Sunday, October 30, 2011

Gathering Nuts for Winter

We are blessed with a huge, old pecan tree in our backyard.

Last Thursday an all day wind storm "harvested" the pecans for us.

Without the wind, the nuts drop at their leisure as their casings mature and open.
I suppose at a nut farm, a tree shaker is used, but we don't own high tech machinery.

I didn't even know we had a bumper crop until after the wind storm.

Picking them up is like a cross between an Easter egg hunt and "Where's Waldo" since they are about the size of a bird's egg and as well camoflaged in the dry grass and fall leaves.
Fortunately, I like games.
Also I have a willing helper, who also likes games.

Rebecca enjoys a fun challenge.
Especially when we would count as we found the nuts--
Me (loudly): "45, 46, 47, 48..."
Rebecca (on the other side of the tree from me):
"49, 50, 51, 52, 53..."
We reached 100 in no time, several times over!
(That's a drink holder fron Sonic being used as a collection bin-
quite sturdy with a nice handle!)

We have a large marketing basket, full, on our back porch,
but still have plenty more to collect.
I won't have to buy nuts for baking this winter,
unless these get eaten first!
There is something wonderful about having a rich commodity in one's own backyard.
I do not take it for granted!
We also have hazel nuts (filberts?) growing on our property line,
but most of the nuts I cracked were rotten.
They seem to be less hardy and need special care (spraying?)
I will have to Google hazel nuts and see what can be done for next year.
Are you harvesting anything?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tea Box

Today I am drinking a peach tea because I like the design on the wrapper and want to be able to use it in a collage or fill it with goodies and enclose in an etsy purchase.

It's such a cute little envelope!

It's one of several teas my mother included in a tea box she found at a garage sale.
The box was empty, but she refilled it for me and mailed it.
An early birthday gift she said.
My birthday is next month.
And speaking of birthays, it was Carole's this past weekend.
Stop over and wish her happy!

My blog has been reduced to tea posts.
If it were not for Tuesdays, you just might not hear from me at all!
(and occasionally you don't, even on a Tuesday!)
Busy, busy, busy!
Kids off from school a couple days a week for teacher's conferences,
garage sales,
a snake sighted in our downstairs bathroom,
a massive house that always needs cleaning
(and I can't find a maid who will work for free!)
and my etsy shop needs stocking.

My days have been full
and I don't have time to blog about it.
My computer runs too slow these days to keep up with my demands.
So I don't even try to use it sometimes,
except when I really need it!
Happy Tea Tuesday!
For more tea posts, visit Kimmie's blog.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tea With a Little Spice

The weather here, just west of central Missouri, has been unseasonably warm for autumn.

But this morning is cooler and the weatherman has predicted even cooler temps by the end of this week.


So I am responding by adding some powdered chai tea (creamy and spicey) to my black tea this morning instead of just milk.

That is an abandoned cinnamon toaster pastry on my saucer.

Do you eat up after your kids like I do?


That's probaly how you stay slimmer than me. :)

My husband has warned me that I will turn into a "plumpkin".

At least it doesn't sound as bad as just "getting fat".

About my cup and saucer-- they aren't matching, but it made me smile when I saw how the saucer's rose motif reflected onto the teacup, so they appear to be a matched set.

And speaking of plumpkins, here's our four legged one with fur.

Cats aren't the only ones who enjoy a patch of sunlight.

It's just that Lucy requires a larger patch.

(She's a St. Bernard.)

Hard to be stressed when the dog obviously doesn't have a care in the world.
She doesn't worry about her weight.

Today I won't worry about mine.

More spiced tea please!

For more Tea Tuesday posts, visit Kimmie's blog.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Another Use For Doll Parts or HOW TO Make Pincushions

I thought to myself,

"there has got to be something else to do with doll parts besides jewelry!"

That idea is so over done.

So I had this cute idea, but then couldn't find the fabric I knew I had

(in a box somewhere, lost in our move last spring);

but then, eureka!

I was cleaning out Rebecca's clothing a couple days ago

and found a pair of velour pants she had outgrown.

So this post is dedicated to Rebecca's Pink Pants.

Roughly cut a circular piece of stretchy knit fabric, preferably something plush looking,

like Rebcca's velour pants.

Tuck a small bit of fiber fill into the center and gather the ends around so it looks like an onion.

(Fiber fill curtesy of a stuffed animal with a loose seam,

because I don't know where my bag of fiber fill is either!)

Stuff the ends into the opening of the doll leg or arm with a scissor or

other slim, sharp object.

Hot glue some trim around the top to give it a nice finish and
Are these not adorable?!
BTW, I got these doll parts at the thrift store.
Someone had used the head for something and didn't need the rest.
I knew there was something I could do with them, so snapped them up.
The bugle beaded trim was a thrift store purchase too,
so add that to Rebecca's cast off pants and the "borrowed" fiber fill and
this project cost me practically nothing.
Afforadable crafting!
These pincushions are destined for Christmas gift giving.
Affordable gift giving!

Now go make something!

Postscript 10-9-11
I found another pair of doll arms and legs in my stash so made more pincushions.

I am selling the extras in my etsy shop, for those who are interested.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tea With Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi

Here is an excerpt from a must-read book series, known as "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency". This is book #5 in the series (pictured) and the chapter is entitled, "Tea is Always the Solution".

Mma Makutsi made the bush tea and they sipped on the dark red liquid as they discussed the best approach to Mma Holonga's suitors. Tea, of course, made the problem seemed smaller, as it always does, and by the time they reached the bottom of their cups, and Mma Makutsi reached for the slightly chipped tea-pot to pour a refill, it had become clear what they [Mmas Ramotswe and Makutsi] would have to do...

(and then the next chapter is entitled, "How to Handle Young Men Through the Application of Psychology"- is this a page turner, or what?)

I have tasted red bush tea and I must say that it is an acquired taste (tastes like boiled bark to me). I prefer black tea. But I do enjoy reading about the life and times of the ladies at the Gaborone, Botswana based detective agency and mentally partake tea with them as they brew a pot to put their clients at ease, clear their thinking or calm their nerves in a stressful situation. The red bush tea flows freely throughout the books.

The books are one reason you haven't seen much of me lately -- I've been reading(!) Nay, consuming the stories. Thankfully my librarian can order these books and get them to me quickly so I can go from one book to another almost uninterrupted (I have jokingly called her my "dealer", because these books have truly been an addiction). That and working at the post office every morning the past two weeks has kept me from updating my blog. Well, there is also being a mom-- the kids demand all of my attention from the minute I pick them up from school to the second they are all off to bed (and sometimes beyond).

My days have been full from dawn to dusk!

If you like artsy postage, like I do, you might want to check out the latest sheet available (as of Sept. 28) with the artwork of Romare Bearden (1911-1988).

If your local post office doesn't have it, do go to to order stamps by mail.

They come right to your door, nicely backed with cardboard and wrapped with celophane.

Pretty much all new postage releases now are "forever" stamps, so if you lose a sheet in the back of a desk drawer and it doesn't surface until your next deep cleaning, 8 years from now (haha), they will still be good for the first ounce of a first class mailing without additonal postage, no matter how much postage has gone up in that time.

Some insider info-- the price of the first ounce postage has not gone up in about 3 years, but there have been increases in the second ounce (from 17 cents to 20 cents) and parcel mailing costs have increased, to defray the postal services billions of dollars in debt and rising costs of doing business over the years (fuel to run all of those delivery cars and trucks!)

For more Tea on Tuesday posts, visit Kimmie's blog.