Saturday Meanderings

Happy Easter weekend! We are back in town with our new little (well, not so little) puppy. Next week I will share our cross country adventures and introduce you to the handsome fella. With Easter being so early this year, the weatherman is predicting chilly temperatures and rain. So much for eating outside and enjoying the spring weather on Sunday. It’s that time again and welcome to Saturday Meanderings, where we chat about all good things these past 2 weeks, as I missed last week.

Chicken cake Easter 2022

Daughter’s Birthday dinner party

27th birthday

Luckily, our daughter is home for her birthday and we had a casual dinner party celebrating both her birthday and St. Patrick’s Day.

Guinness pot pies

With 12 guests, I make 2 of my Guinness pot pies, a large salad and two desserts~Baileys Irish cream cheesecake and a London Fog cake (Julianna’s request). These tried and true recipes are always a hit.

Annual Shamrock Run

Fortunately, after indulging in so many good calories, my daughter and I get up early the following morning to participate in the annual Shamrock Run. It is chilly and rainy, but we felt blessed to see a rainbow before the race started.

Rainbow for good luck

Julianna ran the 10K with both her dogs (just amazing!) and I thought I would just walk the 5K. However, at the starting line everyone around me started running and in order to keep up, I, too, started running. Please note that after 3 knee surgeries my doctor advises me not to run anymore. I don’t know what came over me but I ran about 60% of the race and placed 5th in my age category. Not without consequences, though.

After the finish line

I could hardly walk later that day and of course, my knee ballooned up a bit. What was I thinking?!? Nonetheless, it is a fun run with all sorts of outrageous St. Patrick’s Day attire. Plus I never want to miss out of an opportunity to do something with my children. I am trying to turn off the voice in my head that is saying, “Mary, you are too old for this”.

Fruit picking

Gleaning the citrus trees

It’s that time of year where we need to glean all the citrus trees. Sweet smelling blossoms are now opening on most of the trees. Removing this year’s crop of fruit will help the production of next year’s crop.

First of the citrus blooms

In our orchard we have 12 citrus trees ranging from oranges to kumquats to grapefruits. With our abundance of fruit, we ship boxes of fruit to family and friends and donate the rest.

Farmers Defense protective sleeves

Picking fruit equals many arm scratches, so I finally put on my Farmers Defense sleeves, which are a must for any gardener. They come in various designs and you can find them here. Really love this product!

Our Yard this Time of Year

Easter and Spring is when our yard looks its best~mostly around mid-to-late April. A few trees are still bare and will bud later, but the flowers and the lawn are at their prime.

Front planter filled with snapdragons and lavender
Green, green grass

Rose Garden and New Book

The rose bushes in the garden look so healthy and vibrant. A few buds are appearing and I am trying to keep an eye out for aphids, which generally are in abundance this time of year.

First of the roses

I have always wanted to truly learn about roses, but I’m a bit of a weekend gardener. Do you follow Grace Rose Farm on Instagram @gracerosefarm? The photos are always so gorgeous and you can order both cut flowers and rose plants directly from them. I recently received her book, Garden Roses and it is a complete guide to growing and arranging roses.

Garden Roses by GracieLinda Poulson

Currently reading this book to up my roses game. Note: I thought the book would be coffee table book size but it is smaller, which I like. The photos are just stunning and it’s written is a way that is easy to understand.

Making Easter Baskets

A quick trip to Target this week results in some great finds for Easter and Easter baskets. How cute are these fabric, bottom weighted chickens with spectacles?!? At $3.00 a piece, you can find them in their dollar section at the store entrance. I cannot find these online so they must be an in-store special.

Fabric Chickens from Target

I love making Easter baskets and like to find a container that serves a purpose afterwards. These coil rope baskets with leather (pleather?) handles by Brightroom are wonderful storage containers. They come in various sizes but I have the 11″ one here and they are currently on sale for $8.00.

Brightroom coil rope baskets

In the basket, there is a bottle of rosé Prosecco, chocolate bunnies, various toiletries-deodorant, facial masks, favorite candies and a wonderful smelling candle. Another Target find at the Threshold section (Studio McGee’s line), this 3 wick candle comes in a matte ceramic container and the scent (Citron and Sands) is fabulous. A bargain for such a large candle at $17.00.

Flower Pressing

Do you remember the post about making your own framed botanical artwork? If not, here it is. In order to press the flowers, I use all of our big books, which is cumbersome.

Making your own botanical art

But Rachel, from The Ponds Farmhouse is very creative with a super handy husband. I love this flower press they make from scrap materials.

The Ponds Farmhouse DIY Flower Press

Rachel puts her beautiful touches on it using a flower motif. I certainly could have used this when making my botanical artwork. What a wonderful way to preserve the beauty of your garden and yard. You can see Rachel’s blog post here. I think I may ask my husband to make this….

What Am I Reading?

The Frozen River

My friend, Andrea recommends listening to this book . However, I read it instead and it is SO good. I imagine it is excellent whether you read or listen to it. It has over 10,000 reviews with 4.6 stars and is a best seller on Amazon. I highly recommend The Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon. So well done. Now I need to read her other novels, Code Name Hélèna and I Was Anastasia. Is anyone familiar with this author?

Mary’s Must Haves

As you can see in some of the photos above, I really love this lightweight polyester vest from 32 Degrees. Originally, I bought mine at Costco, but inventory there is certainly hit or miss. Amazon sells this same brand in 6 colors and it has a 4.6 rating.

Also Amazon has a similar looking one for less money and in 12 colors (currently 50% off), but I cannot verify the quality. However, with over 13,000 reviews and a 4.4 rating, it may be a good product. I actually might purchase one and try it out as I like some of the color choices.

Lightweight polyester vest

What I love about this vest is that it is very light, packable, and washable. During these Spring days when it is warm one minute and cold the next, it is perfect for me, especially in our drafty old home.

I own a blue and olive green one and depending on the weather, it works well with long or short sleeves. I’m 5’4″ and am wearing a Small. This yellow one is particularly cute, isn’t it?

Great Rubber Shoes

Sloggers~Waterproof, Rain and Garden shoes

These Sloggers are my go-to shoes when it’s wet or muddy outside. They are perfect for gardening too. My very first pair was a gift from my friend, Janie and not only are they cute, but oh so comfortable. Now I own two pairs and one set of boots.

With 24 designs to choose from, you can be slogging through the mud in style. I typically wear a 7.5 woman’s shoe size so the size 8 works out well.

Our new puppy

I could go on and on today, but there are hot cross buns and babka bread to be made for Easter Sunday. Wishing you a blessed holiday weekend. Please look for my post next week where I will share all the details of this handsome guy!