Thursday, January 29, 2009

Downtown Salon de Provence

Welcome to downtown Salon de Provence, France. This is a town next to my my in-laws village in Provence. Jean Louis took this photo a few months ago while visiting his parents.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I loved this but what to name it??

Sunday, January 25, 2009


These were all taken on a trip to my favorite state of Washington. I can't grow these beauties but sure do love them.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cherry Parfait - France 2003

I took these pictures at the Butchart Gardens in Canada last summer. As the title suggests, these were given to The Butchart Gardens by the French in 2003.

Since my garden is a bit boring these days, I thought it would be fun to show some photos of past travels.

Have a blessed weekend!

ps: for a treat - visit my San Diego blog (link to the right) and play the video.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fallen Leaves

I took this photo months ago in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. I'm sure the leaves are now fallen but they sure were lovely...

A Blessing for the Woods

Before I leave, almost without noticing, before I cross the road and head toward what I have intentionally postponed—
Let me stop to say a blessing for these woods: for crows barking and squirrels scampering, for trees and fungus and multi-colored leaves,
for the way sunlight laces with shadows through each branch and leaf of tree, for these paths that take me in, for these paths that lead me out.
~ Michael S. Glaser

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

God Bless America!

"There is not a liberal America and a conservative America - there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and latino America and asian America - there's the United States of America."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Le Salad

I'm so excited about our lettuce garden. I put these plants in the ground before we had all the rain, ignored them and they are doing fantastic!

Last night, I went out in the dark, holding a flashlight in my mouth so I could see to cut some greens for dinner. The salad was one of the best I've ever had. (of course, the French Roquefort didn't hurt). I am growing spinach (that is not doing very well) romaine, butter?, curly leaf and my favorite - arugula.

We will be adding many raised beds in the spring. I'm so excited to begin this project.

The thyme has been in the garden for a while and is really a nice addition to fish or any meat dish

Sunday, January 11, 2009


I've been lazy and have not picked the Jalapeños. They have turned red which I read are inferior in comparison with the green ones in the markets. Javier, the wonderful man that put up our new fence, lit up when he saw these little gems and took some home with him. He prefers the red. He said to cut them open and let them dry a little before using them. I shall try this.

Jalapeño Facts: (thank you
The jalapeño rates between 2,500 and 10,000 Scoville units in heat. In comparison with other chili peppers, the jalapeño has a heat level that varies from mild to hot depending on cultivation and preparation. The heat, which is caused by capsaicin and related compounds, is concentrated in the veins (placenta) surrounding the seeds, which are called picante. — deseeding and deveining can reduce the heat imparted to a recipe that includes jalapeños. They also have a distinct acidic taste. Handling fresh jalapeños may cause mild skin irritation in some individuals. Some handlers choose to wear latex or vinyl gloves while cutting, skinning, or seeding jalapeños.

The growing period for a jalapeño plant is 70–80 days. When mature, the plant stands two and a half to three feet tall. Typically, a single plant will produce twenty five to thirty five pods. During a growing period, a plant will be picked multiple times. As the growing season comes to an end, the jalapeños start to turn red. The fresh market consists of green jalapeños, and red jalapeños are considered inferior. Growers often either discard the red jalapeños into the ground or use them for the production of chipotles.

Monday, January 5, 2009


With all the recent rains and cooler temps, my cilantro is taking off. I will make the sauce below and serve it with chicken, fish, etc. I think it'll keep for a bit.

This recipe received 5 stars from 366 reviewers on I changed it to light cream cheese and sour cream.

1 (8 ounce) light package cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon light sour cream
1 (7 ounce) can tomatillo salsa
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Combine cream cheese, sour cream, salsa, pepper, celery salt, cumin, garlic powder, cilantro and lime juice in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. Place in a serving bowl

Friday, January 2, 2009

The New Fence

A few days before Christmas, we had a fence installed on our property. It was sort of bitter sweet to me.

My siblings and I were born in this house. The chain-linked fence that separated us from the garden behind us was not only a staple in our lives, but our Mother's as well. I remember climbing over the fence to visit a friend that lived there or to get an ice cream from their never ending supply. In more recent, years we would hop it to "borrow" a lemon or two.

Recently, the neighbors that lived there foreclosed and had to move into a rental. The are into their 80's now and it's just about the saddest thing that happened to me in 2008. They were the original owners; like an Aunt and Uncle to me. How could such a thing happen?

With their move, the garden also went into foreclosure. Mr. G's prized roses just shriveled away and the fruit trees suffered an untimely death. The house remains empty.

At my Mom's funeral, Mrs. G wrote a touching tribute to my Mom entitled, The BackYard Fence. When read by my girlfriend, there was not a dry eye. I find it appropriate to share her story as removing the original fence and seeing their garden decay brought a lot of it back again.

Oh - I forgot to mention the lobster traps. New neighbors moved into the house just right of Mr & Mrs G. Overgrown cypress separated our properites which they promptly removed and replaced with 9 feet of lobster traps! What a horrible site. I could have maybe tolerated it had he had thrown a lobster tail my way once in a while ;) Oh well, he was kind enough to contribute a little $$ towards the project.

We absolutely LOVE the new fence.

The Backyard Fence

By Mrs. G

I met Marilyn over 40 years ago and I'm sure it was at the backyard fence because the children were little then and they had this little ladder that they used to go from one yard to the other to play. As the years went by, the backyard fence seemed to be the meeting place when we had something to share.

My first impression of Marilyn was what a nice Mother she was and over the next 40 years I found out that I was right.

She was interested in anything that her children were involved in so we found that we both were interested in school activities. We both were room Mothers. We worked at the carnivals, the fashion shows and Marilyn finally became PTA President. She was a real worker.
One time at a PTA meeting, Marilyn and I both received awards. So the next day, we met at the fence and with excitement in her voice, she said, "We are going to have our picture made and it will be in the paper". I was ready when she picked me up and I said, "Where are we going?" She said, "Oh just down to the Sentinel." It was my favorite paper at the time. It was a good picture and I still have that picture somewhere in one of my albums.

After Elementary school, the kids didn't want us involved in PTA but Marilyn went on to Boy Scouts, bowling and skiing. Anything the kids were involved in, there she was always sharing and of course, it was discussed at the backyard fence.

Finally, all were in high school and there were proms, formals and graduations. Then it was college, looking for jobs, boyfriends, girlfriends, then weddings - this one and that one and even just one last year. We shared pictures and we thought life couldn't be any better, but we were wrong. Guess wheat Marilyn and I suddenly realized? We were Grandmothers! What a joy. She was always talking about their education, ice-skating and their grades. She was so proud of the smaller children. And she got to see her youngest born.

Oh yes, her children and grandchildren came first but she had another love. She was a nurse. She was my husband Bob's nurse one weekend. He gave her a bad time and she made him obey the rules. It was fun for both.

We had so much fun over the years but about 18 months ago, at the fence, she told me with big tears that she had 9 months to live. It was such a shock.

She's gone now but she will never be forgotten and always when any part of the "G" family looks up the hill and at the the backyard fence, we will think of Marilyn and over 40 years of sweet, sweet memories.

Mr & Mrs G's Garden - Before

Mr & Mrs G's Garden - After

Lobster Traps - Before

Lobster Traps - Before

Lobster Traps - After

Side Garden

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

I wish you all a new year filled with love, happiness and good Champagne!