Monday, February 28, 2011

Non-melting seed cakes for your suet feeder!

I had given my cousin a really cute suet feeder and some suet cakes for Christmas as she lives in a somewhat cooler climate and I figured she would have a longer period to use them without melting issues. Well, she is having melting issues already, sadly. I had recently bought a large seek CAKE (not suet, so it does NOT melt) and holder at Lowes. I went online and found that Birdola makes a "junior" sized seed cake for all of the traditional sized suet holders!!! I was so happy! I am gonna get her a few RIGHT AWAY!!!

If you have a tradional sized suet holder, you want to look for the seed cakes called "junior" sized, and they are made to fit. Isn't this great...something that works in the summer heat!

Here are the places I have found where you can buy them:

1. First try your local Lowes...if they do not have them, talk to the manager, they might be able to order them for you, as they do have them on their website.

2. sells them directly from the company.

3. directly from

Passion flowers, bees and Morning Glory wreathlets!

How do you like this quote by Robert Brault???
"Why try to explain miracles to your kids when you can just have them plant a garden".

Who is Robert Brault? A free lance can find his stuff HERE!

For those of you who expressed interest in seeing my red they are! On the fence that is the backdrop to the tire garden, I have red passionvine, jasmine (4 kinds),the little light purple flower vine (seen below with bees/unknown to me), and Morning Glories. I worry at times that the chain link fence may fall over one of these days, but not only is it gorgeous, but works as a privacy screen between yards. As much as I love my neighbor, it is nice to have that visual barrier.

I went out to the garden in early evening the other day and found all of these closed up Morning Glories! Are they not the sweetest? I can honestly say I have not paid close enough attention to them previously to even notice. I had to take a few pics!

And a few bee shots too! They are adorable popping in and out of these flowers covering a larger and larger portion of the fence. (Some sort of vine, I know not what).

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Good morning!

Here is a pic of my green shake ingredients this morning! The only thing straight from the garden was the kale. Other ingrediants were probiotic yogurt, ice, a little water, strawberries, a banana, pear, half a carrot, one eighth of a yellow pepper. It turned out a medium brown color, (I like it better when it looks like something decent), but was really delicious! The pepper taste really adds to it.
Hope everyone has a fruitavegielischious day!!!
xoxo- Julie

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Happy Sunshine!

doozey sunshine 001

How do you upload pics????

I am so frustrated with is taking FOREVER to upload pictures and then sometimes, you wait and wait and the uploader gives an error message or disappears. How do you upload pics faster? Is there an easier way? Please tell me....or I may need to change blog provider...move to Wordpress or another. It seems like a huge waste of time, and I know I can't be sitting here forever like this!!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

UPDATE: I am sad to report that we were unable to drive up for the shuttle launch!!! I cried when I watched it go up on THIS VIDEO. So many wonderful space shuttle memories over the years...

ANOTHER UPDATE: My friend, Cindy, has found that there will be two more shuttle launches, not of Discovery, but of Atlantis and Endeavor!!! YEAH!!!...Here they are:
Date: April 19 +
Mission: STS-134
Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle Endeavour
Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center - Launch Pad 39A
Launch Time: 7:48 p.m. EDT
STS-134 Description: Space shuttle Endeavour will deliver the Express Logistics Carrier-3 (ELC-3) and the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) to the International Space Station.
Date: June 28 +
Mission: STS-135
Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle Atlantis
Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center - Launch Pad 39A
Launch Time: 3:48 p.m. EDT +
Description: Space shuttle Atlantis will carry the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module to deliver supplies, logistics and spare parts to the International Space Station. Atlantis also will fly a system to investigate the potential for robotically refueling existing spacecraft and return a failed ammonia pump module.
The April 19th launch will be beautiful if it can go at 7:48pm, as planned. Night sky is so dramatic! Too bad it will be on a Tuesday...hard to take a 6 year old on a school night!!! We shall see.....Grandma Julie has her ways of making things happen anyway...tee hee hee.....

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Paper acorn people dream of shuttle launch!

I found more big, gorgeous acorns (with their caps) over at a new park. I started playing around with some stationery I have, to make bodies for them, and they turned out cutely...Emily likes them.

I think they have a sort of alien look to them, with their strange headgear...are they trying to "phone home" with that garb??? Could they be dreaming of getting back home on the next space shuttle???
Seriously, we might drive an hour to see the space shuttle is the last one to ever go up...tomorrow at 4:50pm from Kennedy Space Center! If we go, I will take these guys with me, and see if I can take their pic in front of the shuttle as it lifts off! You can check out NASA and launch info HERE.

I just found that there is a spacecraft scheduled for launch on Friday also...NASA's Glory spacecraft from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California is currently planned for no earlier than Friday, Feb. 25 at 5:09 a.m. EST. For info on this you can go HERE. The
coverage of the countdown on NASA TV will begin on launch day at 3:30 a.m. EST.

Garden girl, green shake, and some birds!!!

This morning, I went out in the garden with Emily June in her diaper to play in water and fertilize my plants. She had a wonderful time with the hose and little wheelybarrow, and watering can. Everything got an over abundance of flooding!!! Heeheehee. Oh well...a few broken kale stems, eh...who cares when we girls are playin!!!

My DIL came out to sit with us, and I told her I had seen Montel Williams on TV promoting a food emulsifier, and a guest had made a "green" shake and had included a handful of greens into it, but by adding a lot of pale colored items (banana and apples), PLUS throwing in a few blueberries...the shake came out a darker purple color...and you would not even realize there was green stuff in it! That made us start talking about trying it, so I got up and went inside and blended up the following items in my Vitamix: ice, water, fresh strawberries, some jarred pears, fresh kale leaves just cut from the garden, and one small probiotic yogurt. The shake was PURPLE...I guess the light green and the red from the strawberries made that shade. I poured a nice glass for all three of us, and OH...wait...I forgot to tell you that I added another SECRET ingredient (also just cut from the garden)...a small eggplant, skin and all. That added the purple from the skin too! We could not taste ANY eggplant flavor, and the kale only added a sort of fresh taste! So...all in all, we agreed that we really liked it and that we will try and make them for breakfast each morning!!! Just think of all that vitamin, mineral and antioxidant activity going on!!!

Around 10am, suddenly we had an outpouring of bird activity on the new seed cake! We saw 3 female painted buntings, one red-headed woodpecker, 2 blue jays, a small grey bird that looks like either a warbler or vireo or swallow, and one female cardinal. They didn't seem to mind us, or Doozey at a distance of approx. 10 ft. away!!! That was good...because now I know I can go out with my camera and tuck away in the corner and watch!

I had a large yellow butterfly flitter past, and then land right next to Emily and I, on a large open purple morning glory, which was right next to a bright red opened red passionflower! That was too much color to take...but of course, my camera was not out there quite yet! Drat!

Here are a few bird shots from too far you can see by the quality...but I still wanted to show you some of what we saw!

Female Cardinal:

Painted buntings...both female and males:

See this well camophlaged feller just to the left of center, on the branch??? What do you think he is???

Now I know, 10 am in the magic hour!!!
Now, Miss Emily is asleep, and her Mom has left for work. Daughter is napping...she is sick. I sit with quiet time on my hands.....hmmmm...what will be next??? I may try some paper cutting...I found a book at the library!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

New garden goodies and some of my spring growth!

My husband and I just got home from Lowes!!!!!!!

Look at this super cute birdbath, made of resin, so lightweight, and it is the same height as three tires stacked, which makes it perfect for the area! It is a mushroom birdbath with a little bunny underneath! 34 dollars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am a sucker for inexpensive, but the mushrooms really sold it (well, OK, maybe the bunny too...)

Then, check out this new item at Lowes. It is a giant seed cake holder and seed cake! It has a bottom grill too, so the little birdies have a place for their little foots!!! :)

Here it is, as nestled in brush in just the perfect location to see out my kitchen window!!! Yeehaw!!!

Mr. Stripey tomatoes here:

They should end up sort of changing from a yellow on bottom, green on top, and red in middle with an orange stripes...very interesting...I am dying to see...should be soon for these first two...
They are about 3 inches in diameter now.
A close up reveals the stripes starting to show:

Some pretty flowers in the tires:

THREE new beefy tomatoes (large for sandwiches), to take up the three buckets that the carrots were in:

The last of the carrots pulled out:

Here are some of my prolific eggplants!!! The one plant you see here with 6 in the pic, actually has TEN currently in different stages!

OK, here are some shots of my overwintered OKRA!!! 7 plants with new growth and okra production! I am so psyched!!! Now I wonder... how many years I can keep them going...???

Here are some blooms on my Mother of Trillions (I made that up)...heeheehee...but seriously, they are on the Kalenchoe in the strawberry planter!

And a close up:

It is a beautiful, clear day here...temp around 82 at 1pm, and I was so excited about all of the beauty in the garden area, I just had to show you guys! It seems I live in a paradise! This whole, big, yet very tiny world exists in a 10 x 8 patch outside my kitchen window, and it has been the best world to have, to view wildlife, especially birds, bees, lizards, and butterflies. I guess you can say I really do have a Succulent Life. Everyone can. Seeds are cheap. It's a love thing. I hope you all have the best weekend ever...full of love, people, and plants!!! xoxo- Julie

Saturday, February 19, 2011

This and that...

I was so happy when my partner in crime, Miss Emily, (seen here as an undercover spy) and I decided to go out to the vegie patch to see what we could find.

We were surprised to find that we had 4 fully grown Ichiban eggplants ready to go! YEAH!!!...Grandma Julie was never so happy to be snipping!!! Then we cut some kale, and pulled some carrots, and surveyed the okra plants, which are flowering again and showing new growth!!! I cut the tops out of them, and found 4 okra to full size! This neams (I hope) that they actually made it through winter here and are starting to gear up again!!! YIPEEEEE! This was very exciting to me, as I was actually experimenting to see if I could do it. I couldn't find much info online regarding the chances of it being able to happen, so I am heavily encouraged. Next weekend I will re-fertilize and see what happens!

Here is a shot of my largest and the worlds smallest carrot...hey it came from MY GARDEN!!! Hehehehe. See it next to the dime?....and you don't even have to pay one thin dime to view it!!! LOL. (Remember that at the fair)???

You see, Florida is a sh-tty place to grow carrots. Even in a bucket with all commercial dirt and wonderous regular weekly feedings! They have been VERY FUN to grow, and I am going to look up a different variety (one that is supposed to be monsterous) for next years crop.....we shall see what happens then...

I finally made my rainbow sides for my little basket and filled it with "gold". I plan on buying some Mardi Gras coins to use. Hey...I've got a question. You all remember my little tree that we decorated for Valentines Day? Today we are stripping it of its lovliness (Donovan's Valentines from his class are all over it), and we were going to start a St. Patricks tree...but then I remembered Mardi Gras. Do you think we could combine both of those holidays on one tree, or would it be sacriligous? I REALLY want to do it to save myself time...what are your thoughts???

Friday, February 18, 2011

My Gramma rocks!

For the life of me, I cannot get this pic to turn! Sorry!
You can't see what it says on Emily's shirt, but it says "MY MOM ROCKS"! Well, after finding this awesome website that has hundreds of different characters/animals/etc. that can be printed out that fit a paper toilet roll exactly.....I really think her shirt should say "MY GRAMMA ROCKS"!!!
These are a Lamb, and Little Bo Peep. She has played with them all day! The site allows you to print in color or B & W. I would recommend doing the B & W, and allowing the child to color it before cutting it out. These kids have two toy boxes full that they rarely touch, but make a game up, or make a game, or make an ANYTHING, and THAT is where the fun lies. Tonight I made a new for St Patricks Day...I need to make some little rainbows for the sides and fill it with "gold"...I will attempt to make my gold from origami paper...

I have been practicing a few origami things. One is really kind of looks like a canoe, but deeper. It is called a candy pouch. It can be used to hold food items too (even fries or eggs, etc.) if wax paper is used on the inside. I made the first one with a peice of newspaper and a piece of computer paper. The whole day Emily carried her little toy items everywhere in it. The next morning she wanted eggs and toast for breakfast, so what did Gramma Julie do??? I had to make her one with wax paper on the inside. I cut the scrambled eggs in chunks for finger food, and her toast in 1 inch wide strips, and placed them in the pouch. She sat on her Moms lap and ate that while watching much more perfect can it get???

Luckily my book that has a section on Origami, starts with easy projects (the pouch, and a butterfly, that I made today), and progresses up to moderate and advanced. I have never forced myself to persevere to get it down, but now I have an urge to do so. If I can keep going, I will be sure to post what I make, OK?????

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Doozey love, and some shamrocks!

First, just want to show you one happy doggy...when those little arms and paws are tucked up, that means "I am loved"...with belly scratches going on...ahhhhh.

Take a look at this really amazing idea for making shamrocks decorations from toilet paper tubes! I found the "recipe" over at CHILDMADE, and they are so basic that a school age child can easily make them. Donovan has enjoyed painting this green one (not quite done yet...was interrupted by bathtime)...but plans to finish painting them green, and add sparkle glaze over top. I like the one at Childmade that she sprayed gold...may have to do a few like that.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A pretty bouquet!

How do you like this for a bouquet??? The bright carnations are so pretty in an amongst the collard leaves!!! You see, she is on a strict diet plan and rarely candy and cake were out on Valentines Day. She also hates us to spend a lot of money on cut flowers that will die. I was really stumped this year on an idea for her, until I went to Walmart for something else, and I thought of her beloved collards. She loves the fresh collards at Walmart!!! She is a collard fanatic, actually. I saw the cut flowers there, and the idea just popped right into my make this bouquet. The stems were so large, they would not fit into a large vase, I had to use a big plastic Tupperware-like container to hold it all. Luckily I had some bright pink tissue paper in my drawer to hide the ugliness, and a ribbon to tie it all up! I think we both really loved it, actually. The droopy leaves were revived with cold water.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine day gift from Grandkids to their Mommy!

Well, this gift has taken me a whole month, and right up until 2 am of Valentine's Day to finish. It has been a labor of love! I wanted to make something special that could be from the grandkids to their Mom. They assisted by allowing me to use their photos, and letting me trace their hands. I have shown them each page as I created this book/card so they would know what was up with it all. I had to find time ot sew it when my DIL was either not home, or in bed!!! It was tricky!

I was happy with the whole project except, as it turns out, the FRONT cover! Darn it all. The front cover uses heavy paper/cardboard elements. The rest of the book is felt, and fabric and sewn into place. I am leaving it at this point because I am out of time. It is still a really wonderful peice, and I think she will be amazed and very happy!

I used two sheets of felt to make each "page". This way I could sew elements on each side and then I sewed them together using a blanket stitch (except one page, which was a straight stitch). Each page sort of just came to me as I went along.

All pages are hand embroidered except the last two, when I switched to free sewing using the machine. It is a much finer line, and actually I could not get it to show up at all on the red page, as you will see when you get to the page...

My 2011 came out weirdly!!!

The last page (pink) showed the writing just fine, but not that red would not cooperate!

I enjoyed crafting each page...especially the "LOVE MUNKY" page. Wondering why I spelled it this way? For space, of course! Plus it was CUTE! There are little heart charms on each munky, and some green sequins sewn into the tree for leaves too.

The other page, which came out of my mind and thin air, was the "Bound by Love" page, where I sewed a big red heart and stuffed it. I put MOMMY on the heart, and the kids hands are holding it, and it is bound to their hands by a red cord. I had to use rows of ribbon to sew behind the fingers of the hands, because it needed structure to be able to hold the heart. That was tricky and had to be all pinned together to hold in place as I hand stitched it all.

I had all of these elements in my house already, which was ultra amazing and wonderful...(except a few felt hearts, and the star buttons on the "Super Stars" page). This makes it feel very special to me since it was made from all the stuff I had been attracted to when I had originally bought or found them.

I bound the pages together with some Valentine fabric I had. My Mom had made a dress for my daughter when she was in 1st grade with it...and she is 21 now!!!

The "Tresures of my Heart" page started with a big zentangle heart I drew out. I included on section of zebra print, as she loves animal prints. I sewed it down with a covering of photo sheet plastic over top to protect it. Then I hand cut all the white letters out and glued them down. I did not like that, so I decided to make it look more treasure-like I would hand sew all of those various colored beads on top. Then I stitched the black line going under all the words and I think it looks kinda like a treasure map!

I found a beautiful poem by Charles Swain called "Home Is Where There's One To Love Us". I printed it out on pink paper, and glued it onto white to frame it out, then added a few heart stickers. I stuck it inside the book for her to find.

Here is the poem, if you care to read it:

Home Is Where There's One To Love Us

Home's not mearly roof and room-

It needs something to endear it;

Home is where the heart can bloom,

Where there's some kind lip to cheer it!

What is home with none to meet,

None to welcome, none to greet us?

Home is sweet-and only sweet-

When there's one we love to meet us!

~Charles Swain
Hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine's Day!
xoxo- Julie