Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gift from the Netherlands

Mail in the country can be received two ways. I could have a rural mailbox installed across the road from the farm. The other choice is a mail box at the Post Office in town.

Rows and Rows of Mailboxes
Since I run my errands in town at least once a week, I have mine delivered to a Post Office Box.

Looks like a package from a friend.

Sent from Holland....

Thank you, my friend, for the beautiful winter scarf!

Meggie Mac

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Labels from the History Books

In thinking about the small items I have collected over the years, I realized I have bowls representing many different countries. The blue pottery bowl is another example. As you can see, there are several small chips on the finish that happen with age.

Have you ever seen pottery like this? This is the only one I have found. It has a very modern shape to it, but it was probably made in the 40's. It is the size of a large serving bowl and is quite heavy.

Here is the surprise. It was "Made in Germany British Zone". In searching the Internet, Germany, after World War II, was labeled different zones by it's occupiers.

Another piece that was probably made at the same time, but in another country, is the wood bowl I have displayed in my home. Can you guess what country this is from?

If you said were right. As you can see by the label, it is hand turned. The bowl is slightly higher on one side, but this just adds charm.

This label would have been after World War II.

Even in a very difficult time in our history, the artisans continued to make beautiful works of art.

Meggie Mac

Monday, February 27, 2012

Greenhouse Update

Do you see the blue glass ball in the lime green flower pot? I bought it at the local discount store for $1.00. It has an open end stem on it so the ball can be filled with water. The water slowly releases in the soil.

It is the time of year that my jeans have dirt stains that simply won't come out with a single washing. By the end of each day, even with the wearing of gloves, my hands are stained from the soil

Plant stands, like this, are easy to make. I have a special tool that cuts the PVC pipe to any length. If you don't have the cutter, you can use a hack saw. I have cut PVC both ways.

Because I didn't glue my PVC stand together, when the new seedlings are ready to transfer to the garden, I take it apart for easy storage. The wood boxes, holding newly re-potted flowers, were made from scraps of lumber I had saved from previous projects.

The first group of 72 tomato seedlings have emerged. Four more trays are still covered untill I see the first sprout.

Two weeks ago, I planted two Flame Seedless Grapes that are now putting on some leaves.

The parsley and multiplying onions, in the kitchen garden, have done well through-out our mild winter.

The variegated vinca (periwinkle) groundcover is putting on new foilage and has started to bloom.

Can you see the pumpkin hiding behind the shrub? It is still holding up after being pulled from the vine back in October.

"Hey, Smoky, wake up! What a great country life for my country cat.....

Meggie Mac

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Second Chance Fun

This is not my latest project....this is vintage!

Saturday morning is usually the day I go into town for all my errands. I decided it might be fun to swing by the Second Chance resale shoppe and take a little time to browse.

I found this beautiful table runner, hand embroidered. Looking at the soft pinks, yellows and blues, I think it will look nice for the Easter table decorations.

The many hours it must have taken to complete this project. The lace edging is hand crochet.

This little piece, under $1.00, will be perfect for hand washing my dishes.

I believe the wooden cabinet was originally a bread box. The finish could easily be re-stained, but I'm thinking I might paint it. As you can see, it is not a small container.

The wooden cabinet could be used for storage in almost any room of my home. Give me a week or so to decide which room it will be the most useful in.....

 If you had found the bread box, how would you make use of it?

Meggie Mac

Friday, February 24, 2012

Wind Advisory Today

Mr. Scarecrow gave it up early today, when he broke loose from his perch.

First wildflowers for 2012
After a couple of weeks of beautiful weather, today, I am facing outside project day with a wind advisory.The howling winds woke me this morning about 4am.

Here is what the weather alert has said, "winds...20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 40 mph. Loose objects will be blown around and driving may become difficult".

Granny Smith

My worries are the early blooms on the fruit trees will be blown away. It could mean no fruit for this year, or at the very least, a reduced crop of fruit. And the moisture in the soil will be zapped up by the winds.

Bluebonnet Plant
Yesterday, I saw small beginnings of our State Flower, the Bluebonnet. In a few weeks, my pasture will be a sea of blue, with other wildflowers sprinkled in between.

I guess I will fight the winds today and work outside until noon.

The afternoon will be spent in my sewing nook. I have the new skirt for the laundry room to finish.

Meggie Mac

Thursday, February 23, 2012

This Can't Be February

Roses this time of year? My roses have been blooming for over a month.

The temperatures have been unseasonably warm. It reached 79 degrees yesterday.

And the rains have been good for several weeks.

So, you might be asking, "What is the problem?" It is the time of the year I prune back the old growth of last year. I just don't have the heart to cut the roses back with so many buds on them. As you can see, the foliage is a bit scraggly, still handing on from last season.

I will prune them....just not today.

After reading Ngo Family Farm post from yesterday, I decided I would do the same and list the "new" varieties of seeds I will be trying for the 2012 garden. Check out my list by clicking on Garden 2012. You can also find it at the top of this page under the blog header.

Don't forget to also check out Jamie's blog, Ngo Family Farm. She posts beautiful photo's and has great ideas, including her planting list for this year.

Meggie Mac

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

George Washington-Planting Potatoes

Today I remember the birthday of George Washington, the first American president. He is often referred to as "The Father of our Country". He was also known for his love of the land and farming.

So, maybe it is fitting, that my Texas Organic Gardening Book suggests I plant my potatoes on February 22. I have always planted things when time allowed. This year, I thought it would be patriotic to plant the potatoes on our first president's birthday.

Usually I cut the seed potatoes in chunks, let them air dry a day, and then, plant.

This year, I'm trying a different approach by planting the whole potato.

One long row of Red Pontiac and one row of Kennebec, now covered, are ready to start growing. If you have not dug for potatoes, you are missing one of life's rewards in gardening.

Children love to do this too! Even for me, just thinking about all the potatoes I will find under the soil of a single growing plant, puts a smile on my face.

If you are one of my blogging friends who home-schools your children, check out When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A Wintertime Story. It is a history book filled with beautiful illustrations.

Meggie Mac

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Beat of the Bodhran

When I accepted The Versatile Blogger Award, one of the requirements was to list 7 things about myself. I revealed I was learning to play the bodhran.

I had several comments asking me, "What is a bodhran?"....this is my response.

I'm a wee bit on the shy side.

While searching for my "Mac" ancestors, I decided I wanted to learn some Scottish music using my guitar.

That step lead me to the bodhran.

In a sitting position, I use this crossbar to hold it while resting the bodhran on my right thigh. The tipper is held in my left hand, like holding a writing pen, and you brush up and down over the goat skin top.

My guitar teacher and I are learning together.

I ordered the bodhran from Ireland....yes, I know, I did say Scottish music. The Irish also use the same instrument in their music.

If you would like to hear the sound of the instrument, click on the above YouTube. You might, just as I have, fall in love with the sound.

You will often hear celtic musicians with this instrument in their group. The Corries, no longer performing, are still well-known in Scotland for their traditional music.

Meggie Mac

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Rules Have Changed

Lunch at Noon? Dinner at 6pm?

There was a time when this was the rule. My family was young and I had a mealtime schedule. But, the family grew up and moved away. Now there are no rules or weekly menus posted on the fridge.

Cooking for one is very flexible....

I will start with a trip to the kitchen garden  and pick some winter greens for a salad.

How about a pot of "quick" soup?

I keep it simple for today's lunch, using whatever looks interesting in the fridge. I have some leftover breakfast sausage, red and orange bell peppers, and a small onion that I saute in a little butter. Using a can of black beans, rinse the liquid off. I add the beans to the mix and continue to cook for a few more minutes. Sprinkle in a little flour. Continue to stir while adding a can of chicken broth and 1 cup of water.

A handful of pasta swirls will make it more filling.

This is what you have for lunch when you can break the rules....

Meggie Mac
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