Tuesday, October 27, 2009
From www.zephyronline.com: A sharp, angular island design as distinctively bold as the city it’s named for, Roma’s sleek presence is new to the Europa Collection. We worked closely with our design team to deliver exciting contemporary style and new features at a surprisingly affordable cost. The innovative quick-lock hanging system ensures one of the easiest island hood installations on the market. And the optional recirculating kit makes ductless installations a snap. Ideal for the design-savvy renovator, the high-rise developer who strives for quality, or the builder who needs mass but won’t settle for mediocrity, Roma Island offers the best of many worlds.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Below is what we picked for the back splash. It glass and is made by Sonoma Tilemakers. It adds a bit of sparkle and color as my countertops are plain. I think it'll add some pizazz to the place. Imagine it against espresso cabinets and stainless steel. Yummy!!!
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
A month ago, these strange blue green plants emerged in the garden. My first impulse was to pull them but upon further examination, I decided to leave them and see what they were. Well, as you can tell, they are Opium Poppies. The bees just love them....I hope they are not becoming addicted! My brother Russell, threw some seeds out in the garden years ago when my Mother was still alive (I'm in the family home) and they finally produced.
The flower's botanical name is papaver somniferum. The Sumerians called it Hul Gil, the 'flower of joy.' This flower is grown mainly by impoverished farmers on small plots in remote regions of the world. It flourishes in dry, warm climates and the vast majority of opium poppies are grown in a narrow, 4,500-mile stretch of mountains extending across southern Asia from Turkey through Pakistan and Laos. Heroin is also increasingly becoming an export from Latin America, notably Colombia.
It's amazing how how a drug that has ruined so many lives can come from a plant that is so beautiful.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
I am blessed, however to have happy, good memories of my Mom. She raised 5 kids without complaint. She was smart, beautiful and an amazing nurse. I miss her so...
So, instead of being sad, I'm looking at the humorous side of Mother's Day with a few silly quotes.
"Mothers are all slightly insane." ~ J.D. Salinger
"I want my children to have all the things I couldn't afford. Then I want to move in with them." ~ Phyllis Diller
"There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it." ~ Chinese Proverb
"It takes a woman twenty years to make a man of her son, and another woman twenty minutes to make a fool of him." ~ Helen Rowland
"The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found." ~ Calvin Trillin
"A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car for ever after." ~ Peter De Vries
"It would seem that something which means poverty, disorder and violence every single day should be avoided entirely, but the desire to beget children is a natural urge." ~ Phyllis Diller
"All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his." ~ Oscar Wilde
"A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie." ~ Tenneva Jordan
"You don't really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around - and why his parents will always wave back." ~William D. Tammeus.
"Working mothers are guinea pigs in a scientific experiment to show that sleep is not necessary to human life." ~ Author Unknown
"Any mother could perform the jobs of several air-traffic controllers with ease." ~ LisaAlther
"My mother had to send me to the movies with my birth certificate, so that I wouldn't have to pay the extra fifty cents that the adults had to pay." ~ KareemAbdul-Jabbar
"My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it." ~ Mark Twain
"My mother's menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it." ~ Buddy Hackett
Friday, May 8, 2009
The other morning, my cat, Eiffel was minding his own business, looking out the window from his cat tree and the dirty birds were attacking him, well almost, through the window. There were about 20 birds freaking out! This intimidated Eiffel and he finally hid behind the curtain. Mind you, NOTHING intimidates Eiffel Jean Pierre - Nothing - EVER.
Later that morning, I was out watering the side garden and these dirty black birds started attacking MOI! Little did I now that they were just trying to protect their little one that had a mishap with his first flying lesson. As I was watering, this little newborn ran and hid under the fern tree. Later, he hopped on this dead sweet pea bush(that's another story)and I snapped a few pictures.
All of the sudden my heart changed towards these "dirty" birds. My vocabulary cleaned up as well. "Isn't it sweet how the Mom and Dad, fly down to feed him"? "Isn't he sooo cute?" "Just look at that precious baby; he must be so scared!" Five minutes earlier, I was asking my husband if I could buy a bb gun! Funny how a baby changes things.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
A long-lived pagan custom was to plant an adorned tree on this day to celebrate the return of spring. For the Catholic Church it is the first day of the month of the Virgin.
But by far, all over France, it is the succession of the "Workers’ protest Day" 1889-1947) which officially became Labor Day, la fête du travail, in 1947.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
1. Be impeccable with your words: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
(This really hit home with me. How often do I speak ill of myself or get caught up in office gossip...too often, I'd say!)
2. Don't take anything personally: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.
(Again, this is a huge one. If someone is having a bad day or not being kind, why do I think they might be mad at me?)
3. Don't make assumptions: Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
(Well...you know what they say about assuming ~ it makes an ass out of u and me!)
4. Always do your best: Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.
(Et, voila! Just what Mom always told me - just do your best!)
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
We have been digging up a portion of our grass to put in raised beds. It really bothered me to water the grass to keep it green when we could be using our precious water to water something we could eat! We have one other bed that we use as well. It provided all our our salad greens, herbs, etc. for the entire winter.
Jean Louis and I finally built our double 4x8 raised bed this weekend. I can't wait to fill it with veggies. So, along with 2 more 4x4s, we'll be set. We used redwood on this one and was sure to put the reddest part of the boards towards the dirt. If you want directions on how to build one, email me.
We followed the square foot gardening book and made a soil mixture of 1/3 compost, 1/3 vermiculite and 1/3 peat moss. I also added a little manure and organic fertilizer. It was really hard to find vermiculite in San Diego as I needed the premium grade (course). Do not use pearlite or the other grades of vermiculite as they will not retain the water as needed.
This soil combination is supposed to cut back on watering as the vermiculite and peat retain water. San Diego is in drought conditions and this summer there will be a mandated cutback so this should help.
I'm so excited - it's planting time!!!
For San Diego Gardeners:
Per Sunset Magazine, Coastal gardeners (in Sunset climate zones 21-24) can continue to plant quick-maturing, cool-season crops, including chard, leaf lettuces, radishes, and spinach. Inland (zones 18-21), switch to warm-season crops such as beans, corn, cucumber, eggplant, melons, peppers, summer and winter squash, and tomatoes. In the high desert (zone 11), wait a few more weeks; frost is still a possibility.
Plant beans, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, lima beans, melons, peppers, squash, tomatoes, and other warm-season crops. Delay planting two to four weeks in the high desert (Sunset climate zone 11) where frost is still a possibility. Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company is a great seed source for less common varieties.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
The linkage between April Fools Day and fish goes back to the abundance of fish to be found in French streams and rivers during early April when the young fish had just hatched. These young fish were easy to fool with a hook and lure. Therefore, the French called them 'Poisson d'Avril' or 'April Fish.' Soon it became customary (according to this origin theory) to fool people on April 1, as a way of celebrating the abundance of foolish fish. The French still use the term 'Poisson d'Avril' to describe the unfortunate victims of April Fool's Day pranks.
It felt only appropriate to have a tuna sandwich for lunch today since the diet forbids me from indulging on a chocolate fish! I'm holding out for that box of Chocolates that will be sent from the in-laws in France to us for Pâques (Easter).
Monday, March 30, 2009
These are just a few of the photos I took in Provence of my Belle Mere's (Mother in Law's) garden. She is an amazing gardener and it was such fun having her give me a tour of it and listening to her pronounce all of the names in french. My Belle Mere does not speak English and my French is a work-in-progress but somehow we communicate beautifully. Be sure to look at the last picture if you are a bird lover.
My father in law puts these walnuts out for the birds to eat...how sweet is that?
Friday, March 27, 2009
I was thrilled when I dug into the raised bed to plant my first tomato and voila families of worms everywhere! I contribute this to composting.
I was so excited, I had to run and show Frenchie. Did you know the word for worm in french is "verre de terre"? Verre means worm and de terre means of the earth. Worm of the earth. Hmmm....where else would a worm be from?
When you have this many worms, you get worm castings which are highly rich in nutrients and minerals which is essential to healthy plants. The crumb-like texture of the worm casts helps to improve the soil, making it more free-draining and better aerated. Worm casts can also improve a poor, dry soil making it more able to retain essential moisture. These benefits mean good, healthy root production.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
They look like leeks! I was in the garden when the Captain came home and he saw these on the ground and asked if we were having leek soup for dinner!
Ok, let's say you did not let them mature like I did. What causes bulb onions to send up flower stalks?
Flowering of onions can be caused by several things but usually the most prevalent is temperature fluctuation. An onion is classed as a biennial which means it normally takes 2 years to go from seed to seed. Temperature is the controlling or triggering factor in this process. If an onion plant is exposed to alternating cold and warm temperatures resulting in the onion plant going dormant, resuming growth, going dormant and then resuming growth again, the onion bulbs prematurely flower or bolt.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Last night we were over at our friends, The Webers (who are very cool people by the way) , for dinner. They are using the square foot garden approach which I've considered. These pictures are from their lovely garden.
The Ten Basics of Square Foot Gardening:
1 - LAYOUT
Arrange you garden in squares, not rows. Lay it out in 4' by 4' areas.
2 - BOXES
Build boxes to hold a new soil mix above ground.
3 - AISLES
Space boxes 3’ apart to form walking aisles.
4 - SOIL
Fill boxes with Mel’s special soil mix: 1/3 compost. 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 coarse vermiculite.
5 - GRID
Make a square foot grid for the top of each box. A MUST!
6 - CARE
NEVER WALK ON YOUR GROWING SOIL. Tend your garden from the aisles.
7 - SELECT
Plant a different flower, vegetable, or herb crop in each square foot, using 1, 4, 9, or 16 plants per square foot.
8 - PLANT
Conserve seeds. Plant only a pinch (2 or 3 seeds) per hole. Place transplants in a slight saucer-shaped depression.
9 - WATER
Water by hand from a bucket of sun-warmed water.
10 - HARVEST
When you finish harvesting a square foot, add compost and replant it with a new and different crop.
Pick an area that gets 6-8 hours of sunshine daily.
Stay clear of trees and shrubs where roots and shade may interfere.
Have it close to the house for convenience and protection.
Existing soil is not really important. You won’t be using it.
Area must not puddle after a heavy rain.
For more on square foot gardening visitwww.squarefootgardening.com
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Jean Louis and our friend BJ went to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park this past weekend to photograph the desert wild flowers. It was a great learning experience and we were really lucky to find the famous desert lily. BJ let me use his fancy camera with his macro lens to get this great shot. Thanks BJ!
The desert lily (Hesperocallis undulata) is one of the most beautiful of the desert wildflowers indigenous to the deserts of California, Arizona and Nevada.
Desert Lily Identification
To positively identify the desert lily, look for characteristic long, thin, narrow leaves that appear wavy or undulating (hence the scientific name undulata). While the leaves usually present as such, it is possible for an individual specimen to display thicker leaves with straight edges. The stem of the desert lily may be one to three feet in height, and as many as 20 buds may be present with only a few open at any one time. The flower itself looks a lot like an Easter lily. Look for six petals—three interior and three exterior.
The desert lily was used as a food source by the indigenous people. It was eaten raw or oven pit baked. The Spanish called it ajo, since the taste is said to be similar to garlic.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
In the article, written by Barbara Wilde of Paris, she offers a complete growing guide of arugula.
Arugula (Eruca sative) is native to the Mediterranean basin, where it grows wild in fields. It tolerates both extreme cold and heat, meaning you can grow it year round in Zones 7 and southward, and for all but the coldest months in the rest of the country.
'Roquette' - 35 days. Extremely frost-tolerant, arrow-shaped leaves.
'Sputnik' - 35 days. A mild-flavored variety with a wide range of leaf shapes.
Plant one today - you wont' be sorry!
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Spring has arrived! Maybe this time change will get me out of my funk and back doing what I love - gardening!
We've been busy this weekend digging up a portion of our back yard for raised beds. We are very excited about this project which will allow us to grow all our own vegies. I'm taking pictures and will have before and after photos later.
I hope you are all having a blessed Sunday. Better get back out in the garden!
Monday, March 2, 2009
This is where Jean Louis grew up - Salon de Provence, France. We love having a coffee at le café while sitting and watching the passersby.
A popular attraction in Salon is the Fontaine Moussue, on the Place Crousillat. This 18th-century fountain is covered by a thick mound of moss. Some say the moss is dying due to global warming. The fountain is surrounded by plane trees planted over the centuries: one was planted in 1799 to mark the end of the Revolution and another was planted in 1919 to mark the end of the Great War.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
I was in the Bay Area visiting my daughter this weekend. When I visit, we frequent Rockridge, a trendy community in North Oakland. Maison d'Etre is a cute store that offers items for the home. Of course the french name intrigues me. Maison=House and Etre= (verb) "To Be."
"Maison d’Etre playfully suggests the store’s reason for being, to celebrate life at home. Owners Patty Brunn and Fred Womack, artists, florists, ardent cooks, parents and pet owners have created a unique nvironment focusing on all things home." Info from www.maisondetre.com
Thursday, February 19, 2009
As you all know, I love the Pacific Northwest and would move there in a heart beat. Here is a shot that I took last summer as I departed Seattle on the Bainbridge Ferry. I was going to visit my dear friend Linda.
I just made reservations to go again in July! I'm not only going to visit my girlfriends but I'll be in Sequim for the Lavender Festival! See the lavender link on the right regarding the festival.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
I must admit, though, that I have not been the best care taker of it. I did not trim it or treat it this winter and I'm sure it's too late since it is beginning to blossom. First day of spring is 3/20 - just around the corner!
Last June I posted about baking apricot crumble and how it made me miss Mom: http://gardenblessings.blogspot.com/2008/06/apricot-memories.html
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I am taking a salad to my buddy Patty in Encinitis during my lunch break . Patty recently had serious back surgery and is laid up for a few weeks.
I can't tell you how wonderful it's been for Jean Louis and I to simply go out and pick our meals!
Here we have romaine, endive, arugula and cilantro - all organic. I hope my summer crops turn out this well.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
You don't see many cacti in Provence. My Belle Mère (Mother-in-Law) is very proud of the ones in her garden and I took this closeup of one of them. She has to protect them in the winter against the cold, sometimes freezing conditions. I miss her. I miss her garden - even in the winter.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Personally, I like to visit this village because it has my favorite shop to buy Provencal tablecloths (napes). We buy a new one every time we visit. It also has a fabulous santon museum. The picture below was taken in the museum. (more on Santons tomorrow)