Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Life lessons in a Tree

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On most (well, probably 3-4  in a week to be perfectly honest)

ahem, as I was saying

On most mornings, I try to take a walk. It is uphill the one way and

my favorite -- downhill coming back.

This beautiful hibiscus flower is along the way,
along with
These grapes growing on the school yard fence
(why do grapes on the school fence always taste sour?)

This walnut tree has always fascinated me.

Looking up into the branches

I see a lot that has happened here.

Notice the curves and circles of the limbs.
They start out growing and then they are turned into a circle a couple of times.

At the top it tells me earlier in its life it had a major trial.
It was so great that it did a complete circle before it started growing in the way
the Lord intended.
Wow, that tells me something.
I have started out with so, so good intentions, then I have gotten all
switched around, to finally find out that I have been headed in the wrong direction.
But, as I see here, this branch got headed into the right direction again.
Aren't we thankful for the Lord's forgiveness?

Now, at the bottom, there is another arrow.
Again, it got off track. Maybe later in its life.
But, after a lot of twisting and turning,
it is headed again in the right direction.

"The Lord's mercies are new every morning"

Another thing, notice how green it is, and it is still bearing fruit it its old age.
I want that to be said of me, she got off track a few times,
but look at the fruit of her life.

(side note: sorry for the poor quality of the photos - phone was easy to carry)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Homemade Potato Salad

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I have a dear friend who recently broke her ankle. I have tried, along with several others, to provide a meal here and there. Tonight I am making Mini Cheddar Meat Loaves, Potato Salad and a Cucumber/Tomato Salad. Trying to keep it so as to not heat up their home.

I have been making this potato salad for as long as I have been married, and that is a long time. I have a way of cooking it that I have never seen others do, and perhaps it is harming us in an unintentional way, so if you know so, please let me know. You will know as we go along here...

Here is the cast:
Salt and Pepper, mustard, dill pickles, mayo, sweet pickle/relish, potatoes, eggs and onions.
I forgot til later that I also add
Celery, chopped up and
Black olives, either chopped or sliced.

First, take your potatoes.
I have around 10 here and I think I added another one.
Cooking for two is such a challenge.
I cooked for 8 for many years and I still think in those terms.

I peel the potatoes, then cut them up into chunks.
Cutting first one way, and then the other.
I fished around and found one that was not yet cut.
Add water to cover
Now, here is the part that I different from other cooks.
I cook my eggs right in with the potatoes. First, I rinse them and put them right in.
Make sure that the water covers them.
Simmer the potatoes and eggs together for around 20 minutes.
The potatoes will be done when they turn a translucent color compared to a flat white.

In the meantime, take a bowl and start putting in the other ingredients.

Clockwise from the top, sweet relish, black olives, around a Tbsp of mustard, chopped
celery, dill pickle and in the center, chopped red onion.
The potatoes are simmering along with the eggs.

When the potatoes are done, scoop out the eggs into a bowl
It's OK if they kinda crack.
Take them over to the sink and run cold water over them while you get hot pads for the potatoes.
Pour those potatoes into the colander and rinse them with cold water until they are cooler.
Now, put them into the bowl with the other ingredients.
Peel those eggs and add them. I use an egg slicer, I put them through one way
turn them around and put them through again. Now, you may want to save an egg
for garnishing the top, it is up to you.

I never, never remember to make the starting bowl big enough, here I have changed to a larger bowl
so that I can mix it.
I have added enough mayonnaise to moisten everything and gently stirred it together.

The finished product back into the original bowl, minus a bit put by for Mr. and a sprinkle of
paprika.   By the way,
if you use an airtight bowl, your refrigerator won't smell light boiled eggs later.

Here are the other dishes I prepared for the couple

Mini Cheddar Meat Loaves (recipe from online)
And, Cucumber/Tomato Salad with Red onions

I hope to do some more homemade recipes in the future.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Strutting My Stuff

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Hey you are in the right place.

I have been redone thanks to a dear friend. She has made me look so good, I am looking twice at myself!

Check out the background...

Custom made, I might add.

I love the new look, hope you do too.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things

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I have many favorites.

A lot of times when I find a treasure at a yard/estate sale, I cannot part with it at first, a testimony to the cluttered state my house is in.
They stay on a shelf, giving me joy as I look at them
admiring the handiwork of a true artisan.

Then, they must go on to a new home.
After all, this is not a museum.
And, my kids will thank me for not keeping everything.

I recently came across these two pewter teapots.
(at the same house I got ironstone from - only two weeks later!)

I would not be afraid to put anything in this pot, it is so shiny and clean.

The marks on the bottom of this particular pot are four shields
with characters inside them.
I cannot find a maker with those marks.
Pewter was popular in the 1800's.

This one:

Has a strawberry on the top and lovely filigree feet

This one has a mark that dates it to 1831-1851.
Can you imagine something that old and looking this good?
I hope that I wear as well.

Both had dents in the sides which I carefully tried to remedy as much as possible.
Pewter is a soft metal and it seemed to help.
I have decided that however much these want to be favorites
and stay here at the house,
they must go to our next show.

So, I have shined them up, priced them and put them in a container.
They are ready to grace the home of someone else.
Someone with more room than I have.

Do you have favorites?
Would you like to share them with us?

Monday, July 18, 2011

"Things Are Gonna Change Someday

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Trouble's gonna fly away. Things are gonna change for the better my friend, and the better gonna stay"

An expert is going to beef-up, change-up, completely over-haul and otherwise make me look good on this, yes, this blog.

One of my blogging friends is going to make this change, soon. She is going to make me look so good, you too will be begging for her help. I am planning, conniving, trying to figure out what to do in exchange for this service. She is the shy, retiring type with a dynamo of knowledge stored in her nimble fingers. I hope you look forward to a change as much as I do.

Stay tuned

Friday, July 15, 2011

Marketing Questions ? ? ?

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Do you have a favorite way to market your items?

I have been loosing sleep trying to figure out new ways to market some of my items. One I am going to try is this:
It is a silverplate place setting of all the same vintage pattern tied together. Would you pay $8 for that? I don't know if my prices are too high. I want to put a place setting on an ironstone plate on one of Mr's Farm Style Tables. What do you think? (place setting of knife, fork, spoon, soup spoon)
I love the older vintage silverplate patterns. Some date back to the early 1900's --- that is more than a lifetime for some of us.

The older patterns are so pretty. This one is "Gardenia", 1941 by Rogers & Sons.

So, what do you think? Any suggestions? I am open...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Wait! Don't Leave...

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You have not gotten the wrong place if you wanted to visit Wildberry Ranch.

I have been trying out some new settings... This is like letting a bull into a china shop. Most of what I do is trial and error -- mostly error. I think I am setting something up and lo and behold - it isn't saved or whatever.

Backgrounds... now that is a subject in itself. I do like sunsets, but do you think it is a little much?

If you all have any suggestions, fire away -- I can use all the help I can get.

And, thanks in advance