It has been a very busy and productive week! Some unexpected projects are now complete and I feel like is has been a rich 7 days since our last Saturday Meanderings. Thank you for joining me today as we chat about all good things this week!
Valentine’s Day, Arizona’s Birthday, Ash Wednesday
This week is chock-a-block full of holidays, especially this past Wednesday. I hope you did something special on Valentine’s Day with either a spouse, friend, children or the myriad of people in our lives that we love. Typically we host a Valentine dinner party, but this year, it is just my husband and I, which actually felt extra special.
Delicious steaks, arugula salad (with fresh arugula from a neighbor’s garden) with a lemon vinaigrette, roasted cauliflower for two made the perfect VD dinner.
February 14th is also Arizona’s state birthday, now 112 years old. Our home was built in 1912, the same year Arizona became a state. What makes this interesting for us is that the owner of our home at that time, Everett Ellinwood was also integral in writing the Arizona constitution and actually ran for the first governor’s seat (and lost).
In the Christian tradition, Ash Wednesday, also on February 14th this year, marks the start of the holy season of Lent, a time for reflection and repentance in preparation for the celebration of Easter. Needless to say a very busy holiday week.
I did spend last weekend painting the art room in Dunn Edwards Cottage White. With an entire gallon in my paint stash, it would be wasteful not to use it. The trim (baseboards, crown molding, window and fireplace) are already painted Cottage White so getting the walls to be the same color is an easy decision.
Goodbye goldenrod yellow and hello creamy white. Honestly, I did like having color on the walls but for my art room, where I will be hopefully painting more, the walls are much brighter. I will do a full post on the re-do once the room is all put together.
My Stuffed Hen painting
In removing all the canvases from the art room, I find some of my earlier paintings that are, shall I say, a bit rough. At one first year art class, I took an old shedding stuffed rooster (not even sure how it is in my possession) and attempted to paint it with a bowl of eggs.
Instead of tossing it or painting over it, this original is perfect for the hen house! I put it under glass because the hen house gets a bit dusty with all the hay. It looks nice in its new home.
Spring is in the Air
Even though the mornings here are so chilly, the days are getting warmer. The first sign of spring in our yard is when the peach tree puts out its first blooms.
In addition the birds (and the bees) are out in force. Even though I mentioned this before, you must get the Merlin Bird ID app by Cornell Laboratories. It is completely free and you can record the bird sounds in your yard, or when you travel, and a list of birds magically appears on your phone.
Here are all the birds that are chirping in my yard this week. Such a great app and you can find the information here.
Just yesterday, I finally removed all the frost protection from my garden beds. Our mornings are still nippy but I am hoping we are past freezing temperatures. Some surprises~my huge tomato plants sustained frost damage on the top, but many healthy green branches and leaves remain. When I last checked, the tomatoes were green and growing. Look how many have started ripening now!
Our winter tomatoes are not as flavorful as the spring/summer ones, but they are certainly better than anything you can find in the grocery store! Looking forward to cleaning out the old and planting new for the spring.
Last Call for All Things Lemon
There are only 2 spots left to the All Things Lemon class on Saturday, February 24th. With the weather getting warmer, it will be so delightful to gather on the back terrace. You can click on the link here to register. I will be closing the registration on February 20th or when the last two slots are filled.
Why Do My Hardboiled Eggs have a Green Ring around the Yolk
I love following Lisa, from Fresh Eggs Daily. She lives in Maine, raises chickens and ducks, has written 6 books and hosts her own television show. When I have a chicken question I generally will search her website for an answer.
Recently, she writes a post about that green ring often found in hard boiled eggs. Since I didn’t know the answer to this, I found her post very informative. If you would like to learn more, you can find it here.
Mary’s Must Haves and Updates
Lately I am focusing on natural health remedies. I don’t know about you but I am so tired of all those pharmaceutical commercials advertising a pill or vaccine for everything (and hearing the litany of bad side effects). Granted, some medications necessary, but when did we become a society where we believe a pill cures everything?
Please know I am not referring to serious illnesses here. I am a believer that the world is full of germs and viruses and we should be taking a more active role in building our own immune systems.
Living on a 112 year old property, I think many of our original plants and trees were sourced, not only for their beauty, but possibly for their medicinal value.
Olive Leaf Extract
In doing some research, I discover that the leaves of olive trees can be used as an extract, tea or powder. We have lots of olive trees and am drying the leaves for tea. However, you can purchase the extract~which has the amazing benefits:
The antioxidants in olive leaf extract are mainly polyphenols. From WebMD: Scientists believe these plant-based nutrients play a role in preventing conditions like cognitive decline, cancer, and osteoporosis, heart disease, and Parkinson’s. This extract also lower blood sugar and helps prevent LDL (bad) cholesterol from building up in your arteries. Olive leaf extract may also reduce the severity and duration of upper respiratory infections. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-microbial effects. Wow.
Surprisingly, I’ve never heard of this before now. Olive leaf extract comes in both liquid and capsule form. I am taking 20 drops (recommended is 30-40 drops) in a glass of water daily to see if it improves my cholesterol level and my cognitive functions. Over time, I will work my way up to more drops; I don’t mind the taste either.
Naturally if you have any underlying health issues, always consult your physician before taking any supplement.
Soil Test Kit
I never used to test our soil before planting my garden. Using our own compost (see that post here) seems to suffice, but I find when I do a soil test, I am a bit surprised by the results.
My recommendation is getting a soil testing kit is well worth it. My Soil Testing Kit is 17% off at $29.99 right now on Amazon. Whether you are planting now or in a few months, you may want to consider getting one. It takes about a week to get a report after you have sent in your soil samples.
Queen of Hungary’s water Update
As mentioned before, I did buy Karen’s Botanicals Queen of Hungary’s water. First of all, there is a very strong vinegar smell. In some of the reviews, users indicate if you make it yourself, there is more of a rose water scent.
However, I must say my skin feels very clean and tightened after use. Instead of using both morning and evening, I am only using it in the evening. The description of the product states that it restores the pH of the skin and it helps improve dryness, flakiness and inflammation. Since using it (about a month), my skin feels great. Will it help me look decades younger? Time will tell. Wouldn’t that be nice!
That’s a wrap. Looking forward to sharing the photos with you next week from the All Things Lemon class. Enjoy the long Presidents’ Day weekend. Do you have any special plans?
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