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Saturday, April 25, 2009

fresh air, hard work and a shower……….

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……. does wonders !! If you read my last post that I did this morning ~ you will know that I was going out to mow today and hopefully clear my head. It took me about four hours bumping along this Texas soil (got smart after 2 years and got a sports bra that I wore for the first time today!) Boy, did that make a difference! Whoo hoo!! ….. While mowing, the birds were dive-bombing me. I thought it was those silly killdeer, but they didn’t have the stripes around their necks… so I don’t know what they were. I took a few pictures, but you can’t make out the females, so I got a picture of the male. I don’t have a fancy schmancy camera therefore, my close-ups aren’t close enough. I had to sneak up around the trees to get a shot of him. If anyone knows what he is, let me know! We used to look for the nest(s) while mowing and then put a stake by them to protect the eggs when we mowed again. That didn’t do any good because then some varmint would eat them anyway … so, sorry to say ….. I just mow now and can’t be worrying about seeing a nest the size of a pancake somewhere in the grass. They have 52 acres behind me that doesn’t get mowed during killdeer season and they still choose my “once a week” mowed yard. UGH!

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There he is (above) on the fence! Watching as his “lady” birds are doing something on the ground. I thought they were looking for the nest. These were my dive-bombers!

mowing 001(Above) are the lady birds (the two brown circles near the bottom center of this picture). I know, I know, I am not a very good bird picture taker. But my friend Kate is, she is at Chronicles of a Country Girl! Check out her pics!

I did however happen to get some pretty shots of the wildflowers on the other side of the fence. Don’t they look like a painting??

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mowing 008 Now, wouldn’t you think this would be a better place to hide a nest????? Silly birds!!

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This is another shot of the fence where the male bird was sitting. Bird gone, but barn there! Imagine, this is right from my yard. God, I love where I live!

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Here is another shot with a view of the red barn. I hope I am not boring you. Taking these shots today was just what I needed :)

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Two more things to tell you. I did not plant these petunias. I had some petunias in pots above this area of the ground last year ~ and I guess the seeds must have dropped …. and here is where they grow! It is not a very convenient place because it is right where I mow and walk … but my heart could never deny them where they want to be!

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And lastly, I have to tell you that this round rock has come from a field along the beach between Ventura and Santa Barbara of our beloved Southern California. We, (hubby, me and son) were taking our dear parakeet to his final resting place at the beach. As we walked, and walked along the Pacific Ocean to find just the right place to bury our bird, my son found this rock. He was probably around seven at the time. The rock is about the size of a large cantaloupe (which I spell, cantelope, but spell check disagrees) and probably weighs 5-7 lbs. He proceeded to carry it along the walk and we asked him what he was going to do with it. “It is for my round rock collection”, he told us. Well, it was actually the first round rock for his round rock collection. My son is 25 now. This is the only round rock in his round rock collection!!!!! But, I am a mom, so I keep it! You never know, maybe he will have a son and he will find a round rock for the collection!! :)

So, as you can see …. my spirits have been lifted simply by walking out my own back door. And I kid you not, as I typed that sentence, the sun just peeked through the clouds, through my back window and on to my face! If there is anything I must learn from this past week. Love life everyday while we are able.

Thank you all who commented on my last post. I sobbed for a few moments while reading them, not realizing how the week truly took it’s toll on my head and my heart. Thank you. Thank you. ~Cheryl

a long week


This is all I can muster up today. I haven’t posted in a while due to starting a new job in a field that I am unfamiliar. The business end of the healthcare industry. Elderly. Beyond assisted living. I wish what I had seen this week could be as healthy as this old woman sitting at the shores edge. But it was not. I need to find a place to put my feelings and the images I am carrying ….. so that I can do my job. I am mentally “spent”. So, bear with me, my loyal readers and new readers.

Right now, I need to jump on my mower ….. there are two acres waiting to be manicured before another rain storm swoops in tomorrow.

Going to "zone out" for a couple of hours. I will be back. I promise.

~until next time, Cheryl

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


colin-brynn-lavender-harvest-vashon-washington-state-united-states-of-america-north-america steve-vidler-senaque-abbey-and-lavender-fields-gordes-provence-france neil-emmerson-lavender-knife-luberon-france
The color is magnificent. The fragrance, undeniable. Whenever I walk passed a lavender plant I can’t help but to gently rub my hands across it’s leaves. Then, hands cupped to face ~ slowly, deeply, inhale. The feeling is that of taking a small bite of rich milk chocolate, closing your eyes and savoring the taste in your mouth. An instant pick-me-up!
With Lavender in mind, I must give a shout out to fellow blogger Debi at Lavender Chick. If you don’t already know her, Deb owns a Lavender Farm in the Texas Hill Country. Her blog is delightful and she can be a hoot. Stop by and read her recent post on “her trip to Tuesday Morning to pick up juice glasses”.
Another shout out with Lavender in mind, must go to Laeriss at A Heart in Provence. Laeriss lives in Provence, France and her blog photographs are beyond beautiful. I can never get enough visits to ogle those photos. I love every single post she does, but a favorite is “Shades of Purple and Terra Cotta”.
Lavender sachets: wrap lavender in cheesecloth and throw in your dryer to freshen your clothes. You can also tuck one in your pillowcase to induce a restful sleep or add one to your lingerie drawer.
Lavender oil: dot behind ears or on wrists as a perfume.
I believe that Lavender can be used in any decorating color schemes. This beautiful plant can compliment any decor.
Lavender & yellows/gold Lavender & blues/aqua
renee-jardine-lavender-herb-collection r-graves-lavender-hugs
Lavender & pinks/peach Lavender & greens/olive
laurence-david-la-bell-provencale-i t-chiu-lavender
Lavender & reds
Bring a little lavender into your life! And if you want a giant smile when you walk into your kitchen, have a bowl of lemons next to a vase of lavender! Gorgeous!
Which brings me to my last shout out, with lavender & lemons in mind! This one goes to incredible cook and gardener, Jain at Once in a Blue Moon!
If you don’t already know Jain, please visit her blog, but be prepared to leave hungry and feel totally inadequate in preparing a meal. Some of my favorite eye candy posts of hers is when she includes photos of lemons and lavender!

all posters can be purchased (keyword: lavender) on http://www.art.com/

Saturday, April 11, 2009

lace colored eggs, meatloaf & mashed pototoes…….

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Happy Easter!

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Lace & Doily colored eggs. Wrap lace or doily around hard cooked egg tightly, twist-tie the end. Then place in a bowl of warm water, food coloring and couple tablespoons of white vinegar. Leave in until desired color. Unwrap and see what you made!

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I haven’t posted a recipe in a while so I wanted to let you in on the Best Meatloaf Ever! Not a pretty post, but oh sooooo good!

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees

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Two eggs beaten

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2 cups soft bread crumbs, two pounds ground beef

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About 1/2 cup chopped onion

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2 tablespoons cream style horseradish

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1 teaspoon dry mustard, 1/4 cup milk or cream

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1/4 cup catsup, pinch of sea salt

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2 tablespoons sweet jalapeno relish (you could probably substitute with regular relish and cayenne pepper) Now for the ugly part ~ take off your rings and mix all ingredients together with your hands, moosh and smoosh and goosh until it is all nicely mixed.

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Form into a loaf and bake for approximately 1 hour 25 minutes

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About half the way through the baking ~ spread about a 1/4 cup catsup over the top of the meatloaf, continue baking

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The best meatloaf ever! Now for the mashed potatoes!

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Approximately 8 red potatoes, peeled (I like to leave some of the peel on for color, texture and vitamins)

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Cut into approximate quarters and boil in water (with pinch of sea salt) until they are tender, you will be able to pierce through them easily with a fork

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Drain, do not rinse. In a bowl, put 1/2 a stick of butter and 1/2 cup of sour cream and then pour the potatoes

over them to melt the butter

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Mash the potatoes and add about 1/2 cup of half & half (you can also use milk)

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Continue mashing and add salt and pepper to taste. I use sea salt and lots of pepper! Then grab the mixer and whip

until desired texture! Aren’t they pretty with scattered red skins throughout?! Now don’t forget, I am not much

of a measurer and don’t follow recipes much, so add a little of this or that in any amount that tastes good to you!

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Yum! Now that’s what we call comfort food! Happy cooking!!! ~ Cheryl :)

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