Friday, July 30, 2010

Tea in the Garden

Oh how I love a sunflower!
Just a few pictures of the garden today, my words are few.

Some of you asked after my Tangerine Tea recipe from my last post. First, I will give you my traditional herbal summer vitamin C recipe. We eat a lot of tangerines during citrus season, I save the peels and leave them to dry to be used in tea blends. Here is one of my favorites:

Vitamin C Tea:

2 parts dried Hibiscus flowers
3 parts dried Tangerine/Orange Rind
1 part dried Rose Hips
1 Cinnamon Stick

Place ingredients in tea strainer. Place tea strainer in a heat safe container (I use a large canning jar). Heat water as you would for tea and pour into container. Let steep for 10 min. and remove tea strainer. Let cool and store covered in refrigerator for up to one week. You can add sweetener if you like.

Picking blueberries

For a really easy Tangerine tea that I have just discovered, Celestial Seasonings came out with a Tangerine Orange Zinger that makes beautiful iced tea! I haven't seen it at all the stores so, you may have to look around.

Tomatoes gone wild!

Sundry Veg and flower

If you prefer a black tea, just steep your normal blend with tangerine peels (fresh or dried) and make into iced tea!

Chooks in the garden

Volunteer Sunflower tall as the house.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

This is the Life

Last week I mentioned in passing, something about one of my favorite traditions here at the little green cottage...and now that I have decided to leave last week behind completely, I finally have a chance to fill you in.

Summer arrived at last, shining it's brilliant shine upon us and we smiled. It heralded a beginning of growth, spontaneity, sunburn, bare feet, holidays and good times. It also means that it is time to raise The Summer Tent!

Oh, I know it's nothing fancy, just your average utilitarian "EZ-UP" with some dodgy sheets hung to. Each year I imagine that I will sew up some "granny chic" goodness to cover the whole know, something fit to grace the pages of Country Living say. And perhaps someday I shall.
For now though, dodgy or not, The Summer Tent in all it's humble glory, has become a symbol of what summer should feel like (busy, lazy and vaguely exotic).

It's a welcoming spot to sit, to find shade and rest in a fort in your back yard. When the tent goes up, it also means that the garden is in fairly fit condition, so that one can rest looking out and not feel too compelled to pull at weeds or shovel something. It is a fine place to bring a quilt and have a picnic of blueberries and iced tangerine tea.

Raising The Summer Tent is cause for celebration. A party was in the making and the garden was dressed for company.

Including a new glider/rocker that came as a gift via my mom. Now, this is the place to soothe the savage beast. Buddha cats and 5 year olds can not resist the lull of the swinging bench, nor can mamas, house guests and the odd passer by. It has been voted "the best place to read a story book before bed time ever". It is also good for star gazing once the savage beasts have gone to bed.

For the 3rd annual raising of the summer tent, I went for an Emergency First Aid - Self Service theme. I was told later that several guests enjoyed it's restorative powers.

Oh how I would love if you all could come by, sit for a spell and watch the evening come on. Telling stories of the adventure of everyday living and listening to our favorite songs. Of course there will be cake...and tangerine tea.

So, have a seat.

I will be out there tonight, stargazing - trying to imagine what the sky looks like where you are.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Happy Monday - garden dreams

I have always loved garden sheds, outbuildings and structures...they hold a bit of magic and mystery. Here are a few lovelies I found on Flickr.

1. Garden Shed ....., 2. Garden Shed, 3. Blue, 4. Rug Wash Day, 5. Grow 4 It - Beehive Compost Bins, 6. Garden Shed

I will be back soon with some of my own garden moments.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Agony of Defeat

I have to confess, this week has won. It's victory over me was scored in overtime. We were neck and neck there for a bit, I gave it my all and I played my best but, in the end...I was defeated. There was just too much expected of me, the pressure was too intense, and there just wasn't enough time for it all. Oh, there were good times, excellent volleys and the thrill of the game to be sure! The injury was a blow, the tall one ended up in crutches and may have to sit out the remainder of the season. The small one contributed to the downfall with a serious case of attitude and a small dose of the screaming fits...which got her thrown from the game. Don't worry, we are all fine and we shall be back for a re-match you can bet. Still, I think I might just sit the next one out.

See you next week and have a lovely weekend you crazy kids!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Happy Monday - weekend in review

Well, it was quite a weekend! Full of drama, ups and downs...
Of course it all started with the riveting tale of a runaway chicken who was lost and then found. For today I thought I might just give a little re-cap of the peaks and valleys of our weekend here at the little green cottage.

On the DOWN side:
* Raccoons almost eat a chicken or two, chasing off our beloved Suki to parts unknown.

* A reckless wasp flew into my sandal and before reaching his ultimate end, gave one last painful sting to the underside arch of my foot.

* An even more reckless mouse wandered into the basement, presumably looking for meal and a bed, only to find instead The Buddha Cat. Reaching his ultimate end and deposited into a box of cabbage for later discovery by someone intent on making a batch of kimchi.

* Our long suffering sucker fish was discovered belly up (oh my the bodies are piling up 'round here). He spent all his days meticulously scrubbing the inside of the tank, keeping it tidy and neat. I am choosing to take this as a lesson in what being too fussy about housework can get you.

On the UP side:
* Suki was found and returned to the coop with tales to tell to her feathered friends.

* After ages of not sewing a stitch, I took to my studio and free-handed a tres simple pattern for a summer nightie for Pony Girl. It whipped up in no time, easy peasy ready for that nights post bath cuddle. (As luck would have it, when donned by the girl and told to give it a twirl, she cried! This on the DOWN side of things...however, the next day she wanted to wear it out and about as a dress instead, UP side)
* The garden is full of colorful blooms at the moment, making my heart happy.

* The weather has been perfect, sunny and bright with a cool breeze.

* The Engineer and I went to an outdoor concert of The Avett Brothers and had a tremendous time!

* Sunday afternoon was spent in the back yard with family, guitars, good food and dragonflies.

All in all, it turned out pretty swell and it's good to remember...
You gotta get up to get down!

I hope you all had a good weekend.

Next time, I am very excited to share one of my favorite summer time traditions here at the little green cottage!

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Breaking News!
I am happy to report that Suki is now safely tucked into the coop with her pals. She was found under an overgrown bush about a block and a half away from home. The same bush we had walked past 4 times earlier this morning, all the while calling "Chook chook chook, here chook!" We had been moping about with long faces and sad hearts but, Pony girl and I thought we would make another round in hopes we'd get lucky. And lucky we were.

It took some patient coaxing and her favorite whole wheat bread crumbs to get her close enough for catching. Once she was sound in the hen house, her gal pals gathered 'round her with little clucking noises as if anxious to hear of her adventures.

We are so happy to have her home!

Where Oh Where

Due to an early morning encounter with a feisty pair of raccoons...Suki has run off and can't be found. We have canvassed the neighborhood, put up posters, spoken to shop owners and hope that she will come home safely. I am so worried and rather sad. Please come back to us Suki, we miss you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Welcome to Leadville

Or, "More of what I did on my summer vacation..."

In the late morning of a blue bird day, the Mr. and I kissed Pony Girl goodbye, left her in the capable hands of her Nana and headed down the open road. With an idea of a destination, we traveled upwards into the mountains. Taking a detour for adventure here and there, we ended up in Leadville, Colorado by late afternoon.

An old mining town with a colored and storied history, Leadville is the highest incorporated city in the United States (10,152 feet above sea level). Which means that us folks who live pretty close to sea level got a bit winded just walking down the street.

Leadville hosted many a colorful character, including "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" of Titanic fame; Doc Holliday; even Oscar Wilde performed at the town's Opera House.

Leadville started out in gold but, the gold ran out in a couple of years, leaving the town almost empty as people flocked farther west in search of more gold. Then, silver was discovered and Leadville was booming once again. At that time when the money was good, one street alone boasted over 67 saloons and numerous brothels.

Careful with the pints though, at this altitude the spirits go right to your head with a wicked reminder in the morning.

Signs of old mines can be spotted all about town.

We spent the night in the historic Delaware Hotel a lovely Victorian building overflowing with antique furniture. I kept expecting the ghosts of the past to wake me and show me where the loot was hidden.

We discovered an amazing antique store housed in an old two-story building that was once a hardware shop. The building alone was a wonder and the treasures inside were abundant.

Upstairs, there was room after room of fascinating bits from the past.

If I'd had a bit more money and perhaps a moving truck, I might have come home with a lot of treasures! This baking cupboard is just the one I have been looking for going on years now, as it is just the right size for our wee kitchen. I do think though, that it rather out sized and out weighed the plane's carry-on luggage limit.

Our trip to Leadville (and back) was just the thing. To be able to see such a unique example of American West heritage, with buildings and mines preserved was quite a treat. It was so easy to imagine the past, reminding me of "Somewhere in Time" albeit a slightly more Wild West version. To have a little time alone with each other was much needed for the Mr. and I.

Well, I'm off to continue the catch-up from our time away, there is still a good sized hill of laundry to finish and the garden has gone wild.

P.S. Just a note, in the above pictures I must tell you, the sky was indeed that blue!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Time Travel

Home again! Lola and family flew off to the Rockies for an adventure, it was a lovely trip. An old family cabin in the mountains was where we stayed, with the Engineer's extended family taking up residence in cabins close by. We celebrated Independence Day with a large family party and much delicious food. Played many games and explored the dramatic Colorado landscape. There were so many moments of wonder that I might be spreading the tales over the next few days.

For much of the trip I felt as if we had traveled back in time. One of our holiday adventures was a trip down the road to a town full of interesting history, healing springs and once considered a sacred area by the Cheyenne and Ute tribes. Of course it is now home to a collection of tourist shops, and they also have an amazing attraction, an old time Penny Arcade!

Let the Amusements begin!

Game On!

Oh dear, I'm seeing pink elephants, I probably should not have stopped here...
Wild Horses in the Wild West.

The doctor is in...
And no arcade would be complete without the irresistible Photo booth

For a cool slideshow of all the arcade photos just click here!

Well, that was a heap of fun! I will return with tall tales from the Wild West...outlaws, saloon girls and gold mines OH MY!

Happy Monday!