Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tending My Garden

My tiny backyard greenhouse is still a work in progress, but since I did promise you a day visit, come on in and I'll show you what I've been working on.  I wanted the floor to be covered in mussel shells, so I continue to collect and lug bucketfuls back here from the shore.

I still have lots more trips to make.  And yes, that is a tiny watermelon you see growing right there in that tray.  

Notice my toolbox (that I've been using for a cordial caddy for now) that got a little French makeover.  I found the free vintage clip art for this project from Karen over at the The Graphics Fairy and have been a little addicted to her site ever since.  I used Mod Podge to apply it as a transfer onto the toolbox.  Karen shows you how to do this, plus tons of other crafts over there. 

Here's an old galvanized ash bucket I am using to hold my potting soil.  I decided a little bee mascot would jazz it up a bit. 

Karen over at The Graphics Fairy had posted this beautiful vintage golden bee image that I knew would be perfect as soon as I first saw it.  I tell you, her site is addictive. 

Outside my greenhouse, most all of my herbs that I planted from seeds are now flowering.  That's my dill you see in the foreground. 

My cilantro and swiss chard are in a state of beautiful chaos too. 

Time to bring some inside for a cool bath before enjoying.  

I figure if we're going to have a salad, I might as well make a pie for us to eat.  (Feel free to use my logic on this.)

The blackberries I used to make this pie were courtesy of a backyard harvest gathered by Henri. I just hope Irene doesn't harvest the next batch.  To all my friends in the path of Irene, I pray she passes quickly and goes a little easy on us all! 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Garden Discoveries

They're here!  All my little sunflower faces, burst wide open and waiting for me in my garden this morning.  Grown from a pack of seeds, it really is remarkable to see them for the first time.  

And I discover my sunny yellow, pear shaped tomatoes have started to ripen too. 

Even with 3 seasons under my belt, it still gives me a thrill to find real food growing right here in my tiny garden.  Yesterday's harvest.  New red potatoes, zucchini, my fun multi-colored carrots, 2 remaining purple beans, a snap pea and a newly ripened cherry tomato. 

So how do I choose to prepare it for lunch?

Deep fry it. Oh my!  It almost seems a shame to alter it with hot oil, but have you ever tasted fried zucchini with a side of Boursin cheese?

Might as well fry up the potatoes too while I'm at it, and add a little side of BBQ sauce for dipping.  

It's enough to make a health conscious chef faint dead away.  But still, it was pretty good. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Rendezvous in a greenhouse.

I would like to say my first moon lit visit to my greenhouse was spent with Henri, but that’s not the way fate had planned it.

My friend, G., on the 3rd anniversary date of her father’s passing, had phoned to alert me that her precocious patient was at that very moment making a beeline toward our front door. Said patient, our elderly neighbor, was hoping to somehow ditch the watchful eyes of her caregiver, who she thought she had just unwittingly snuck out on. Me, prepared for the unexpected, opened the front door to greet my hopeful neighbor exclaiming “You’re just in time for coffee and lemon cake with Henri.  And look, your favorite TV show is on too!” Glancing backwards she quickly stepped inside leaving her caregiver patiently waiting outside.

Silently mouthing the words “meet me out in the greenhouse” to G., I nodded to Henri to take charge. Leaving the room, I had a plan whose time had come. A new batch of my home made raspberry liqueur was ready, and that morning I had remembered to decant it.

After making sure my inside duo was settled in with their cake and coffee, I grabbed the liqueur with a couple cordial glasses and headed out the back door as the full moon lit my way out to the greenhouse.

Giggling at the shear craziness of the events that precipitated this impromptu escape to the greenhouse, G. and I lifted our glasses to acknowledge this date on the calendar. The anniversary date of her father’s passing.

As she spoke of her last hours with him, a quiet, almost physical sensation of melting into calm could be felt. It’s really all she needed. Just a brief moment to remember the day he left.


Knowing we couldn’t remain out there for too much longer, the term "lunatic" came to mind as we gathered our courage to high tail it back to the house,  keeping a watchful eye for the bear, or the family of raccoons that have been seen around the neighborhood as of late.

Safely back inside, we heard the familiar sounds and laughter from the rerun television show involving one Archie Bunker. All was well again and our brief absence was hardly even noticed.

Later, reflecting on the evening's events, I smiled at the special bond I now felt with my newly acquired greenhouse and the unexpected role it had played in its ability to provide comfort.

Next time, I promise you a day visit.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Speaking Words of Wisdom

Henri and I had such a fun and exciting day today.  We met yet another blog friend in person.  But before I tell you about it, here is a little peek at one of the shelves in my new tiny backyard greenhouse that Henri recently bought for me after we sold our lobster boat Fearless.  I found this vintage planter at a thrift shop and immediately knew I wanted her in my new greenhouse, planted with a little rosemary, of course. 

Here's another peek of some more of my greenhouse that I've been busy filling with edible plants.  It's fast becoming my own little playhouse too, as I could not resist even adding a little bistro set in there! 

More later on the rest of my greenhouse.  But now, let me tell you who we met today.   None other than the very lovely Sharon Lovejoy, award-winning author, illustrator, lecturer and gardening expert who just happens to summer right here in Maine! And who gave a lecture today at the Maine Maritime Academy in Castine that we attended.  Here's a shot of us together.

And there's more!  Sharon, who I first became acquainted with through her incredible blog,  asked us if we wanted to join her and her husband Jeff for lunch and a visit to a local flower and garden shop that she had been meaning to visit. 

I cannot do this place justice with the photos I took today, so I will just show some little snippets that I took while we were there.  To immerse yourself in the complete yumminess of this place go here!   Here's a peek at the amazing succulents that were growing in the flower boxes before you stepped inside. 

And here is the owner, Susan Keating, who I also had the pleasure of meeting.   This will be my new favorite place to go, and I can't believe I've never stopped in here before this!

Susan said they change up the displays in here frequently, which just boggles my mind as I found so much inspiration in here that I can hardly wait to come back! 

So as you can imagine,  my day was pretty awesome.  I didn't even get a chance to get any pictures of the place we had lunch at in Blue Hill, but take my word, we had a lovely, lovely day with Sharon and Jeff. 

I'm going to savor the events of this day for a long time to come.  Thank you so much Sharon, your passion for gardening is pretty darn infectious and I for one believe I have just come down with an incredible fever!

Friday, August 5, 2011

An Afternoon Date For Our 28th

It was a picture perfect day and who could ask for anything more for celebrating our 28 years together.  We dined under an umbrella, out on the lawn at the Jordan Pond House in Acadia National Park. 

A place known for their popovers. 

How about just one more bite Henri? 

My seafood chowder was so good! 

Look!  Two more popovers with his meal.  This place is awesome!

Me, trying to savor the moments before they pass too quickly.   

Pinch me, I just love it here.  It's casual, yet such a dreamy setting. 

You can even bring your favorite pooch if you want. 

And the service, perfection.     

The best part of an afternoon date, is that you make it back home before dark in time to watch everyone leaving for their sunset cruise while you take your evening stroll. 

We are so very blessed to get to share yet another August 5th together.   And for that we remain very thankful and a little dazed by how fast 28 years seems to have flown by for us. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Pearls, Peas and Purple Beans

What a lovely surprise was waiting for me at the Post Office today.   I knew it was on it's way, but it was still a surprise to actually see it in person.   I recently won a beautiful pearl and leather bracelet from a giveaway the very sweet and uber talented Mickey had over at Nicholas Landon Jewelry.  It's from her Jackie Kennedy line, and here's what is written about it . . .

Le Classique Freshwater pearls
Our own cut and rolled by hand leather…the quintessential set of pearls knotted on fine leather gracefully encircles the wrist for an instant look of simple elegance…this classic set reminds me of the famous pearls worn by Jackie Kennedy...i think she would have loved that she could wear these sailing, swimming or for a stroll along the beach...

Let me say, these are the very first real pearls I have ever owned and I absolutely adore this bracelet!  I put it on as soon as I opened it and let me tell you, it felt luxurious and I am spoiled.  Just look at me wearing it to the shore  for some beach combing! 

 Back home I headed out to the garden to harvest some of my peas that seemed to have appeared almost overnight.  
This is my first year for growing peas and didn't get the early start on them like I know you're supposed to do, but I remembered I had a special little covered aluminum pea pot that I ran inside to get to harvest them with. 
And here are my organic purple beans that I grew from seed too. 

Fun with peas and pearls!

Then add some purple beans and marvel at the surprise on the inside.  Yes, they are green too!!
Henri took this picture today while I continued to beach comb.
Henri, who of the two of  us, was the first to own a real pearl (also from Mickey).  You can read all about it here.   I still can't believe I won this gorgeous bracelet, but it has fast become a cherished treasure from a very special blog friend.  Thank you so much Mickey!