Monday, March 28, 2011


Is it worth the effort?

My family loves fried okra, but it's the vegetable that fights back! 
The first challenge is just to pick it. You have to put on long sleeves and gloves - even if it's a 98 degree July day - to keep the pricklies from your arms and hands. Then you need a long sharp knife to reach in and cut off the pods. 
The second challenge is the beginning of preparation. To slice okra is no less than disgusting. What is it with the slime that comes out when you begin to slice it! After that's rinsed off, okra becomes a pleasure.

I've learned to prepare it to save for winter.
Toss with cornmeal, flour, salt, pepper.
Lay out (with slices not touching) on waxed paper on a cookie sheet.
Freeze (for at least 24 hours)
Put in a bag and keep in the freezer until you're ready to use it.

Visit Sweet Smell of Spring to enjoy an Etsy treasury (collection of art pieces and vintage items) put together in celebration of springtime on the farm.  Or, visit Fall Fruits & Vegetables The Taste of SummerToo Hot to Cook... Summer Salad Time or  Good for You - Fruits and Veggies for yummy / healthy treasuries. Then visit  Oh, John the Rabbit  or What's for Dinner? for a whimsical twist on the theme.  "Okra" also got to represent Arkansas in Natural State. and in I Was Born in Little Rock. Finally visit Some Like it Pink for a surprise - who knew okra could be pink!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

:) Hike...

How can a spring break near home be special?

We ate at local restaurants that we'd never been to.
We rented movies, slept late, cleaned the garage (oops... not fun...)
     We followed a hiking trail to a place called Glory Hole.

The trip down was lovely even though spring hadn't quite yet sprung.

Then a curtain of water...


A little rest and a snack...

Pose for a picture...

The trip back UP seemed a lot longer... sigh...

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Who doesn't love fuchsia!

Fuchsia is such a vibrant, fantastic color that a little goes a long way.  It takes some self confidence to wear fuchsia.  And, who paints a room fuchsia, buys fuchsia couch, or makes it a team jersey color?  
But then, who wouldn't love to paint a room fuchsia, sit on a fuchsia couch, or cheer for the team in fuchsia!
And who wouldn't love to have this gorgeous fuchsia plant growing by their front porch!

This little painting was done as a challenge piece for Artistic Sentiments.  I love to see the varied styles when artists paint from the same point of inspiration.

To purchase this little painting (and it's framed), click "Fuchsia."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tomato Slices

What's the perfect food?

Not a store tomato....
  Not a tomato in winter...
    Not a hydroponic one...
      Not a cold one...

A sun-warmed, home-grown tomato!  

My mom and dad know how to grow the perfect crop of tomatoes.  
1.) Decide (It's a gamble.) when you think the last frost has come and gone.  
2.) Buy some Early Girl, some Better Boy, and some Beefsteak plants at the Coop.  
3.) Cover the ground around the little plants with newspaper (to keep the weeds out later).  
4.) Put big cages around the little plants (because they'll grow huge and fill the cages) to keep them off the ground (where the tomatoes will rot).  
5.) Then, just keep them watered and wait for them to turn red (but not too red - I like them orangy-red)

Click on You Like Tomato, I Like Tomahto Red TomatoTomato, Tomado,  How Does Your Garden Grow,  Ode to the Tomato, or Tomato or Red to enjoy a Etsy treasuries (collections of vintage items and art work) celebrating the tomato.  Eat Your Vegetables or Good Enough to Eat are other treasuries that are colorful celebrations of all vegetables.  Healthy Ideas will encourage you to make good choices - including eating tomatoes! Through the Picture Plane celebrates the magic of paint.  And Food Paintings is just that, paintings of food.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Why don't we ever make Jello anymore?

I used to love Jello, especially when my mom made it in these tiny little tin molds that we had.  It just seemed to taste better if it was in a special shape.  Maybe I'll pick up a box the next time I go shopping.  

Check out Jello is Lots of Fun.  It's an Etsy treasury (collection of vintage items and art pieces) all celebrating Jello! Falling for Orange celebrates the color. Then click on Jelly for another yummy collection.

And, I did a search in the vintage section of Etsy and found the exact tin molds my mom used to use for our special Jello treats!  


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Monarch Butterfly

Have you read Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary?  

You must!
There's a section when the main character goes to a butterfly grove, a place in California where the monarchs stop during their yearly migration.  He doesn't notice anything but what looks like little sticks... until the clouds move back, and the sun shines.  Then all the monarchs open their wings.  He's surrounded by orange as the thousands of butterflies silently fill the air.

I'm sad to learn that their population is diminishing.  I'm going to commit to do my part and plant some milkweed this summer.  That's the plant where they lay their eggs and that their caterpillars eat.

Enjoy an Etsy treasury (collection of art pieces and vintage items) that features this little painting among many other pieces in a celebration of butterflies in art.  Click Flying, Floating, Fascinating... Butterflies.

"Monarch Butterfly" was done as a submission to the January challenge for the Paint and Draw Together site.  It's intriguing to see the many artistic variations on the same image.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

White Daisy

What color is white?

I'm going back the very beginning with this one.  I just had my painter's birthday.  Four years ago, I picked up a paintbrush, dipped it in some paint, and smeared it onto a canvas.  I painted a tree that night.  My homework after that class was to paint another tree.  The next week, the art lesson was to paint something black and white.  I did a cup... but it was awful, truly awful!  I don't believe I have the courage to post a picture of it.   The third week, we had to paint something white, and the lesson was to see that white wasn't white at all - but filled with colors.
This is a concept that still amazes me.  

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cucumber Slices

How many cucumbers does one seed produce?

Every spring we plant a package of cucumber seeds.  It's a tiny little bag, and it seems wrong not to plant them all.  But, every year we end up with hundreds of cucumbers.

Those first ones are so good!  They're small and sweet and crunchy.  And, they have about zero calories each!  For a week or so it's a couple while picking them, one for snack, two for lunch, another for supper. Then repeat for a few days until... yuck.  But, by that time they're getting ripe by the buckets.  Time for pickles!  I wrote about that process on  the July 21st entry. It's "yum" all over again; however, I think the 35 pounds of cucumbers mixed with the 35 lbs of sugar changes the calorie content.

Finally, everyone's sick of them, the neighbor's have all had their fill of them, and they just grow big and fat and turn yellowish and taste bitter.  That's about the point where they become "snozzcumbers."  (Snozzcumbers are the nasty, 10-foot, striped, warty cucumber-like vegetable that are eaten by the Big Friendly Giant in The B.F.G.  by Roald Dahl.)

Ode to Cucumber is a great summer treasury honoring the cucumber.  Or, have a look at Art Salad then Gathering, Preserving, and Sharing the Bounty. Take your pick between one  Cool as a Cucumber or another  Cool as a Cucumber, Then click on Lettuce Eat Salad,  Nice Greeneryor Summer Garden Greens to enjoy Etsy treasuries (collections of vintage items and art pieces) that celebrate the color of summer. Or click on Fresh from the Farm or  Farm Fresh Country for collections that will put you back on the farm for a minute.