"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant."
Robert Louis Stevenson

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Spiders in the Laundry Room

My project for this weekend was painting the laundry room.  First we wiped down the walls and in doing so I noticed a Mama spider and dozens of babies in the top left corner of the room.  They were on the ceiling so I decided that I could still paint the wall around them without harming them.

 Look how many babies she has!  She has her hands (legs) full!  Talk about itsy bitsy, their little bodies were like specks of pepper.


A Tibetan story tells of a meditation student who, while meditating in his room, believed he saw a spider descending in front of him. Each day the menacing creature returned, growing larger and larger each time. So frightened was the student, that he went to his teacher to report his dilemma. He said he planned to place a knife in his lap during meditation, so when the spider appeared he would kill it. The teacher advised him against this plan. Instead, he suggested, bring a piece of chalk to meditation, and when the spider appeared, mark an "X" on its belly. Then report back.

The student returned to his meditation. When the spider again appeared, he resisted the urge to attack it, and instead did just what the master suggested. When he later reported back to the master, the teacher told him to lift up his shirt and look at his own belly. There was the "X".

They were in the top left corner next to the cabinet, but on the ceiling (picture above).  I was able to paint right up to that area.  First I put my hand along the edge to see if they would move a bit more away from where I needed to paint.  The mama stretched out her legs pulling in the babies one at a time until they were far enough from my hand that she must have thought they would be safe from me.  I painted very carefully so as not to frighten them.  None of them moved or got stuck on the paint on the wall.  Thank goodness.  I like spiders and like having them in the house,  keeps out the other bugs that fly around.

The (spider) photos are after my paint job and they all seem to be doing fine.  I left the skylight and the door to the garage open so the fumes would move out quickly.

I used Behr paint in eggshell, I think the color is called Cotton Ball.  The color is a nice soft white, much brighter than it looks in my photos.  I was getting a lot of golden shadows from the skylight.

I still need to paint with white enamel on the cabinets, door and trim, and will hopefully get to that this week. 

It feels good to have another project almost completed, then on to the Master Bedroom, Hall, Living Room and Den.
I do love to paint!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Battenburg Lace, White Crochet and Breakfast with Tasha Tudor

Of course I am not really having breakfast with Tasha Tudor.  I am re-reading a book by Tovah Martin called Tasha Tudor's Garden while enjoying this warm morning under the shade of our Pomegranate tree.   I dressed my small garden table with a white battenburg lace tablecloth, a vintage handkerchief for a napkin and on the chair is a crochet afghan that a dear friend made for me one year for my birthday.

On the menu was a vegetable topped baked potato using some of my vegetables from the garden.

I often eat a baked potato for breakfast. It is chock full of nutrients, like potassium, B6, riboflavin, folate, magnesium, phosphorous, iron and zinc.  It has 45% of our daily requirement of Vit C, is a good source for fiber and even has protein.  Make sure you eat the skin too, it has 20% of the nutrients!

You can find my recipe at A Table for Rue, Please my herbal cooking blog.

I love the way Tovah Martin writes in this book.  She takes you on a beautiful journey of Tasha's garden.  She talks about how Tasha's son built her home using only hand tools!  Can you imagine the love that son has for his mother to take the time to build that way.  The photography for this book is by Richard W. Brown, he did a fantastic job presenting her garden just as we would envision it to be.  There are also a few illustrations of Tasha's artwork.

One thing that I love about my collection of gardening books, is that I will no doubt find some pressed leaves or flowers in them that I found either in my garden or at gardens that I have visited.  I have one book that has many leaves that I collected at my husband's family farm in Lovingston VA.  I am not sure what book they are in but that is okay,  it will be a wonderful surprise when I pull that book out one day and see them; bringing back all sorts of wonderful memories of the day I collected them and spent the day pressing them.

There is a chapter for each month of the year, I decided to read September first since we are just about to end this month.  It still feels like summer here in Southern CA but maybe reading this will bring forth some cooler weather for us.

Another perfect breakfast in the garden.  Thank you for joining me Tasha Tudor and Tovah Martin, and for making my morning so blissful. 

I gaze upon the garden.
My heart grown peaceful.
From its spirit comes my will.
From its color comes my being.
                                                         -unknown poet 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Staying Cool with Cucumber, Grapefruit, and Mint Water

Our Pink Grapefruit tree is loaded with fruit, lots of Mint ready to pick, and I had just picked two Armenian Cucumbers from the garden.  I made a gallon jar of flavored water to keep me cool today.  It should be a bit cooler, forecast for 94 today.

Old handkerchief belonged to my Grandmother, I use it as a napkin.  Look how lovely the tatting is along the edges;  it also has drawn thread work.  

Stay Cool!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Planting Garlic and Another Heat Wave

Since last week, here in San Diego County, we have been experiencing one of the longest heat waves I can remember.  Today the temperature reached 101.  Yesterday I think we made it to 104!

When you get to the bottom of this post I have a 10 day forecast for our area.  Is that really rain I see forecast for the 23rd? There is a chance that Hurricane Odile on the Baja Coast may bring us some rain, we have a 50% chance, but then we have a 50% chance that we won't.  Maybe I will get out tonight and do a rain dance under what is left of the moon and hope for a 51% chance of rain.

Not much else to do with the high heat so I spent the mid-morning under the shade of the front veranda and planted up 32 garlic cloves.  This is garlic that I grew last year and kept the smaller heads to separate into cloves to plant this fall, for next years harvest.  I hope this batch will do better than last years,  I only got a dozen or so that were large enough to use for cooking.

You can see by the sprout that these were ready to be planted.  I lost a few that rotted but I did end up with about 32 cloves.  I will give them about a month to 6 weeks in the pots and then plant them out in the garden.

"Garlic used as it should be used is the soul, the divine essence, of cookery. The cook who can employ it successfully will be found to possess the delicacy of perception, the accuracy of judgment, and the dexterity of hand which go to the formation of a great artist."

Mrs. W. G. Waters in 'The Cook's Decameron,' 1920

10 Day Forecast for Escondido

Mon Sep 15
102°F Observed High 12:05 pm
Tue Sep 16
Wed Sep 17
Thu Sep 18
Fri Sep 19
Sat Sep 20
Sun Sep 21
Mon Sep 22
Chance of rain:
Tue Sep 23
AM Showers
Chance of rain:
Wed Sep 24
Chance of rain:

Friday, September 5, 2014

Seedling Update 2014

Planted seeds on August 25th.  In just 12 days look how the seedlings have grown.  A few more weeks and I can either transplant directly to the garden or, depending on the weather, pot them up in larger containers.

Lacinato Kale
Winter Red Kale
Broccoli Raab Rapini
Michihili Chinese Cabbage
Rocket Arugula
Mesclun Blend Lettuce
Butterhead Marvel of Four Season Lettuce
Freckles Romaine Lettuce
Oak Leaf Blend Lettuce
Butterhead Buttercrunch Lettuce
Ruby Red Swiss Chard

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Another Harvest Today!

I guess when I was watering our community garden plot yesterday I overlooked a few squash.  Of course, with this weather they could have doubled their size in the 30 hours since I was there.  Anyway, just a few photos to share to keep my journal updated.

Cocozelle round zucchini squash, a few Japanese eggplants, 3 Patty Pan squash, Kale, and Beans.  One Asian cucumber that was rolled up so tight against the back of the wood frame that I first thought it was a snake! No kidding, I jumped back about two feet when I was bending down to move the vines. EEEK!

 The green beans are Kentucky Wonder and then a few Purple Pod Pole Beans.

 Calabacitas con Maiz will be on the menu later this week

Nice batch of Lacinato Kale for dinner tonight, I think I will make Peruano Beans and Greens.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Today's Harvest

I went to my community plot this morning and did some watering and came home with a bunch of peppers.  This will be it for the colored bell peppers, I will pull up the plants later this week.  I picked a good amount from the 6 plants that I was growing but the fruit was small, and the skins are very thin.  I still have some green pepper plants and a few of the hot peppers that I will leave in for a few more weeks.  They still have fruit, albeit small but I can still use the hot ones in salsa and I rarely use an entire pepper when cooking anyway.

Here is a good batch of Habanero and red and green Jalapeno peppers.  I will give a lot of these away, after I make some hot pepper jelly.  These guys are so hot that I will probably only need one for the entire batch of jelly.

I also picked a couple of long Asian cucumbers.  I used one in our salad last night and it was really good!  The two front green veggies are a dark zucchini that I planted late in July and is just now coming in.

Have a Beautiful Day