Thursday, May 31, 2012

Finally big enough - a highlight of my year!

..........My lemon verbena plant finally got big enough to give enough leaves to make a small pitcher of tea!  This is my favorite iced tea.  Lemon verbena is high on my list of favorite herbs to grow.  It is a bit of a challenge though, for me to keep the plant growing and healthy long enough to use.  My last plant never grew very big and then got frozen and didn't come back. (It is a deciduous  plant and supplies the leaves in warmer months only.) So, I started over with the present one and have been patiently waiting to have enough leaves for tea.

This is less than half as many leaves as I use for a big pitcher of tea.  I use two bags of black tea also when I make the big pitcher full. And I never use lemon juice. I thought the lemon would just add to the picture. If you are not familiar with lemon verbena you need to experience it.  It has a strong sweet lemon flavor and fragrance similar to lemon balm.  I did add the one bag of mint tea also.

The top leaves are the lemon verbena.  The flowers are from blue pea vine which is a tropical vine that I also love. Here, it is for decoration only - don't put it into the tea.

This lemon herb has it's own sweetness and even though I like sweet tea I use very little sweetener for this kind of tea.  Today I added just a bit of honey.

And then, there were these.  A friend mentioned yesterday about how Publix has mangoes on sale and how good they are.  I have always thought that I don't like mangoes but decided maybe I ought to try them one more time.  There are several food items that I wouldn't be eating if I had not tried them several times before I decided yes, I do like this after all.

So here they are looking all tropical and pretty!  I peeled one and took a bite and................
eeeeeeeeewwwwwww I DID NOT like it!  I had planned to show the nice pretty cubes in the bowl but I didn't get cubes I got a mangled juicy mess!  Does that mean it was overripe?  I don't know but I do know that I will not buy another one.

So, what do I do with this one.  Wonder if my neighbor likes mangoes.

And, so I turned to this.

It is almost overripe but was not a disappointment.

Now to another subject - this little devotional book.  I have been seeing it on Pinterest. And then this week a group of friends I was with discussed it and highly recommended it. Three out of the six were using it as a daily devotional. One friend who recently lost a son told us except for this book she would have canceled coming to the luncheon that day. She got up and was especially sad and depressed but as she read the short page for May 29th she decided to get dressed and go to the lunch after all. Look what part of that page contained. ".........I know precisely what you need to draw nearer to Me. Accept every event as My hand-tailored provision for your needs. When you view your life this way, the most reasonable response is to be thankful. Do not reject any of My gifts; find Me in every situation."  We all six had a great time and as I left decided to stop by the Christian book store and buy a copy for myself.

The store owner said they keep it on a special sale all the time and it is very popular. It is not a new book.  I believe it was written in 2004.
The over riding theme of the book is that our Father loves us and He guides our minds as we think things out in His presence.
Sure wish I could give you a big glass of lemon verbena tea!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cards are so fun to make...........

.............Today I am sharing a few of my latest card creations. They are relatively plain compared to some hand done cards. I tend to be a little on the plain side with most of mine and use a lot of decorative papers............

This one is made with a strip of decorative paper at the top and plain cardstock on the bottom with a ribbon glued between. I love embelishments like the button here.  The black border is what the card is resting on and not part of the card. I started to add a ribbon bow but decided the card would be good for a man and might be better without a bow.

This one will be good used as a sympathy card.

I used Stamping Ups Big Shot to make the background on the blue paper.  I so appreciate my Stamping Up Supervisor friend who so generously lets me use her things. She has just about all that's available! I favor butterflies and made these with Cindys Beautiful Wings Embosslits and the Big Shot. The sheer white ribbon seemed to be just the right finishing touch but not to forget the little oval pearl!

Sometimes little details are everything.

I chose and cut the three background strips and glued them to kraft cardstock.  The oval is another die cut, the butterflies a stamp and the words another stamp.

I have been admiring some beautiful tags on pinterest and this is my first large one to make. It is seven inches long by three and a half wide.  I chose the elements from my "stash".  I have plenty left for many more so this will definitely not be the last.

The background is a graphic that I found on Pinterest which I printed.  I cut the tag base from sturdy cardstock and glued the background on to it and went from there.  You will recognize the same three butterflies from the cards.

I would like to spend a whole day making these.

This is a view of the whole tag including the gauze tie.  Most of the large tags I see are victorian in style.  I love them!

Picmonkey now has provided the ability to make collages.  This is my first experiment.  I didn't have enough pictures uploaded to do much but I look forward to playing around with this application and see what I might come up with for future posts.
Thank you for letting me show you my newly made things.  Have a great Memorial Day weekend as we all say goodbye to May.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Resurrection Time..............

..............We have been getting some good rain and things have resurrected!  Especially the resurrection fern.............

It now looks like this and for weeks has looked............. this!  A good, hard rain always brings it back to life. It is on a palm tree trunk which grew sideways for a long time and then headed upwards.

My Tennessee lilies are blooming nicely.

I call them Tennessee lilies because my friend hauled my first one from her family's yard in Difficult, Tennessee. Now there is a strange name for a town!

I think it has been a long time since I showed this little angel. You can see he sits on his pedestal near the sideways tree.

I had to trim the creeping ficus off of him. He was becoming the hidden angel.

A beautiful tangerine color hibiscus. 

I've shown this Clair Matin rose many times. It's one of my good repeat bloomers and is darker in the cooler weather than it will be when we have consistant 90's temperature.

I love the lantern on the parlor maple!  So far I am just getting one at a time and they are smaller than some years.

This is the wild petunia which I have a fairly large clump of and single ones are showing up here and there in the backyard.  Bring them on! The more the better - large clumps hiding the Florida sand!

A healthy nasturtium plant but still only one small blossom?  It cannot take our hot sun and does better in the winter.

Caladium - up close. I always think these look like they were painted by an artist with a brush.

Another type of Caladium.

And, one more. I'm not showing my favorite because I showed it in the last garden post.

An understatement with one bloom on onion chives. But, isn't it neat with all the raindrops.

Up close of the petunia which is in the urn that I planted up not long ago and have shown a few times already.

And now last, the pineapple is not a baby any longer but is a junior. I think it might just develop into a full size, grownup pineapple.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A strange assortment of subjects and pictures.......

............Boy, it is difficult for me to "get back in the groove" when I get slowed down or stopped all together!  Too much time has gone by again without a post from me.

So, here is my lunch today..............

These are peanut butter and banana sandwiches.  It is still difficult for me to chew much of anything so I am still looking for things to eat that are a little on the soft side.

This was quite tasty and how many times can you eat ten sandwiches for lunch!  Making fans with the three strawberries made them seem like way more than they were.

I love hot cooked apples and bisquits for breakfast. This time I heated up applesauce and put it over two biscuits.  I always take out the middle of the biscuits that I eat - don't particularly like all that dry fluff. You could have some bacon or ham with this and it is a great breakfast. Of course, I had my two mugs of coffee too.

Now to show you some new products - new to me, that is. I haven't used the foot soak but am looking forward to it soon. It came highly recommended by a friend. You can find it at Walmart for a very low cost. This is a two pound bag and you only use a half cup per treatment.  The epsom salts help relieve aches and pains, the peppermint essential oil revitalises your senses and the third ingredient baking soda eliminates and prevents foot odor. I may just make myself some peppermint tea to drink while I use mine.

The other product is this lavender soap I found at Big Lots.  I haven't tried it yet either other than enjoying the great fragrance. And appreciating the wonderful packaging - that will sell me every time.

It appears to be a quality product, triple refined, made and distributed by Shugar Soapworks Inc. Los Angeles, California. It is a white, oval 7 oz. bar.

This picture shows a more true color. I think it would be a great little gift, especially if you tie a pretty ribbon around it and place it in a special little bag. I may just go back and get two or three more for that very purpose.

Can you guess what this is??  Of course it is a duck or swan but how is it being used?  It's in my house but I hardly ever see it, thank goodness!

The swan is etched in the glass of a shower door in my tiny hall bathroom.  All the other design is coming from the textured glass.  I am sure you all have seen that kind at some time.  The design is showing through the white curtain I hung over the shower doors to hide the so out-of-date-looking design.  When the early morning sun shines through the bathroom window for just a short time the swan appears.  This particular morning it was really bright and I have to admit, made a pretty look through the curtain on the door.

The last subject and seemingly out of season pictures are of the box where I am storing ideas, recipes, party plans etc. for next Christmas.

The reason I am showing it now is because I had it out last week and did a good bit of planning and organizing for Christmas.  And, to think, it isn't even "Christmas in July" yet.  I suppose I am doing "Christmas in July" in May. I am so excited about Christmas because I plan to do a lot of new decorating. I will use mostly things I already have but not many of the decorations that I have used over and over again. It will be an old fashioned kind of primitive theme - I have visions of crockery, wooden boxes, baskets, lot's of greenery...........

I got this special box because last year I never found the recipes etc. that I had gathered up to use. I spent a bunch of time looking for them but had to start the planning over since I never located them! I am putting magazines, books, loose recipes etc. in this box and as you can see am making notes of ideas and page numbers.

This dedicated, clearly marked box will be easy to see on the shelf in my supply closet.  I expect I will have it out several times before the big week arrives. One thing that has spurred me on to start planning is because of what I am seeing on Pinterest. Soooooooo many neat ideas! Anyone else busy thinking of Christmas yet?  It's really not that far away, you know, will be here before we know it!