Saturday Meanderings

Happy Saturday from the chilly mountains of Arizona. I am here with my friend, Christine for a few days, enjoying the crisp temperatures, snow on the ground and the quiet solitude. Storms are predicted for later on this weekend but hopefully we will be back on the road to the Valley before any front moves in. Thanks for joining me today for Saturday Meanderings where we chat about all good things this week.

Snow at the cabin

Passion Fruit

Have you ever eaten passion fruit? It is not something we typically see in our produce section in the grocery store, since it is cultivated in tropical climates. Our local store, Safeway, surprisingly have some in stock and I am excited to try it. Rather expensive and quite odd looking, these wrinkly globes aren’t very visually appealing.

Passion fruit

Cut them open to reveal and even stranger looking substance. The fruit is tart, slightly sweet and tangy.

Inside the passion fruit

Needless to say, I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I am glad I tried it. Will I buy it again? Maybe if it’s on sale. Have you ever had passion fruit and if so, do you just eat it or use it in a recipe?

Cold Weather

I know many parts of the U.S. are getting hit with extremely cold temperatures. As you know my son, Benjamin is attending grad school in Chicago. Here is a shot of the weather one day this week. How a Phoenix born and raised person fairs in this type of weather, I do not know.

Chicago’s weather

Having the appropriate layers and clothing is the key, I guess. Here’s a photo of Benjamin’s girlfriend, Delaney ready for the extreme weather.

Delaney in a Chicago winter

Perhaps I should stop complaining when it gets under 60 degrees here! I’m just cold looking at her photo.

Forcing Branches into Blooms

Trimmed branches with new buds

This week I did a heavy trimming of my fruit trees (peaches and apricots) as small, new buds are now appearing. Instead of composting the cut branches, I grab an armful and decide to try and force them into bloom indoors.

Large jug to accommodate the branches

Using a large green glass jug, I fill it with branches and bring it inside to our breakfast room table. Placing it adjacent to the fireplace, I believe this will be a nice warm spot for the blossoms to explode.

Shiplap and Shells forcing blooms

I will keep you posted on their progress. Also, my friend, Kim from Shiplap and Shells has a blog post about forcing blooms and her pictures are great too. Have you ever done this?

Tangerine Sidecars

Tangerine Sidecars

My sweet neighbor and friend, Tevia brings over a large basket of fresh tangerines this week. In addition to just squeezing and drinking the tangerine juice, we make these delicious Tangerine Sidecars. The ingredients include tangerine juice, lemon juice, ginger simple syrup and bourbon. I always think of these as a healthy cocktail (getting your Vitamin C), if there even is such a thing. Recipe is here.

Getting Small Projects Done

One of my New Year’s goals is to check projects off the Big and Small Project Lists. This week, I touch up paint the back staircase steps. If you recall, re-doing the back staircase was a beastly project (see it here). The staircase has a navy stripe going up the center of white painted steps. Though the paint seems to be holding up, there are normal chips from wear and tear.

Paint touch up on stairs

What makes this project easy, is that I keep a Mason jar of paint labeled and handy to use. A quick shake of the jar and a small paint brush, and now all the chips are gone! Small project done!

Around the Internet

The Crowned Goat

Coco, from The Crowned Goat, has a lovely inspirational post about “You can’t finish what you don’t start”. If you are feeling a bit stuck in your life, this is a really good read. You can find it here.

Country Road 407

I am a big fan of vintage quilts. Each bed at our cabin has its unique one with its own story. Cindy, from Country Road 407 has a delightful post on ways to use and decorate with vintage quilts. Don’t you love these quilt tags? You can see it here.

Mary’s Must Haves

First Saturday Lime

Though it may not be gardening season for some of you, this is the ONLY product that works on eradicating the nasty worms that eat my geranium blooms. As seen on Shark Tank, First Saturday Lime is an organic alternative to pesticides. It REALLY works! I applied this to my geraniums 2 years ago and all the worms disappeared. The little buggers are back on a few of my plants so my husband quickly ordered more. I cannot say enough about this product. It also removes and prevents algae from ponds and birdbaths. Here is their product description: Easy, Eco-Friendly, and Effective monthly insect barrier that Repels , Neutralizes, and Deodorizes (homes, coops, kennels, ponds) and prevent ants, fleas, ticks, aphids, mosquitos, algae. You can find it here.

Millet and Brown Rice Ramen Noodles

This is my new go-to noodle. Lotus Foods Millet and Brown Rice Japanese- style noodles are gluten-free, and easy to cook. Millet and brown rice are some of the most nutritious and easily digestible grains. Ready to eat in 4 minutes. This week I made an Italian chicken dish and broke these noodles into it. So delicious and can be used in numerous ways. You can find these at Costco in a 12-pack or you can order them online here in a 10-pack. Perfect for soups and each pack has 8 grams of protein.

Set of 5 hand masks

My hands are EXTRA dry at the cabin. These hand masks infuse collagen, vitamins and natural plant extracts to help dry, cracked and aging hands. After I finish writing this post, I plan to use one of these masks to help improve the condition of my hands. Great price for 5 hand masks at $11.99.

I hope you have some fun things planned for the weekend. Stay safe and warm out there!