Friday, May 22, 2009

We have a winner!!!!!!

Dear Farm Girls!!!!! Thank you for your help! I have two winners in the contest!! I am giving the prize to Dawn in Il for recommending I email the Morton Arboretum, who correctly identifed the shrub as "eleangus umbellata" or also calld "autumn olive". I will also send the person who answered my question at the arboretum a prize. You have all been so wonderful and this has been so much fun, and now I know so much about this plant including the fact that it was originally from China, is now becomming a invasive species and that it's fruit has more anti-oxidants in it than tomatoes. The fruit is high in protein, and the seeds and flowers can be used to treat pulmonary infections.( for more info go to or . Thank you all for participating. This was educational and fun. Nadine

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Plant Contest

Yesterday G and I went for a walk near Lake Shabonna. We went on a path we've never been on before, that was more travelled by deer, dogs and racoons, than humans. The temperature was perfect, in the mid 70's and the sun was brilliant and warm. The air was filled with the mild, pleasant and slightly intoxicating smell of honeysuckle. The honeysuckle smell was coming from some tree/bush that I can not identify. I have put a picture of it here, and if someone can tell me what the plant is, I will send the first person to be able to identity it 3 cards of their choice from my etsy shop The small tree has silver green leaves and tiny tiny white flowers that smell like honeysuckle. I live in the Midwest, so it seems to be native to Illinois. Anyone know what this is????? anyone????

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Sad Day

The night before last at 8:45 pm, our beloved cat, Grumbles died of kidney disease in our home. (He is the grey cat in the pictures.)Both Gary and I were at his side. He was our best friend and our son. Gary knew him for almost 15 years, and I knew him for 10. We will miss him so much. He leaves a big empty hole in our house. He was one of the most loving, gentle beings we ever met. I just feel kind of numb and depressed. It's hard.

Yesterday, Gary had off work and I cleared my schedule. After we buried Grumbles in our yard, we drove to the country and went for a short hike. Afterwards, we sat in lounge chairs out at the edge of the wood, and napped and watched birds. The spot we were in was FULL of bluebirds, which I thought was ironic since blue birds are symbolic of being the "blue birds of happiness" and we were feeling so sad. We also saw blue buntings which have a vivid irridescent blue that is like glowing sapphires. There were yellow finches, red cardinals, sparrows, ruby throated hummingbirds, and many more. We even saw a wild turkey. We were lucky it was a perfectly sunny day, because right after Grumbles died the night before, the skies opened up and there was a tremendous rain storm, as if the heavens themselves were crying.

It will take time to heal, and it hit home when we came home last night, and Grumbles was not there.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Wedding Bells

Saturday we went to the wedding of one of Gary's long time bowling buddies. The ceremony was held in a restuarant and our table was upfront and close. Although the ceremony was preformed in the usual way, when the pastor got to the part where he generally says, "for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health", this time he said "for richer or for richer", because the guy that was getting married is pretty wealthy. It got a chuckle from the whole crowd. I like that version much better, I have to say!!!! That's positive thinking at it's finest!

The statues on top of the wedding cake were cute, because our friend is a golfer, and the groom statue was carrying a bag of golf clubs. Unfortunately, the groom accidently backed into the cake table, and got cake frosting all over the back of his pants, which also bought a chuckle from the crowd.

The food was great, and I was able to get a fantastic vegetarian dish of spinach pie. I loved it.

The photographer for the wedding had the same identical camera that I just purchased. That was nice to see.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Flowers in May

My partner had the wonderful foresight to give me a gift certificate for a nursery down the street from our house for Christmas last year, and today was the perfect day to use it.

I had so much fun browsing through all the living things. I couldn't decide on which variety of tomatoes to buy, so I purchased five: yellow Dixie, chocolate cherry, early girl, super sweets, and yellow pear. I had my first chocolate-colored tomato last year, when a client of Gary's was going on vacation. She gave him a bagful from her garden, so they wouldn't go to waste while she was away. I had never even seen a "black" tomato before, and I was fully intrigued. It was mysterious, exotic,and full flavored. It was love at first sight and bite. I confess, I love to cut colorful heirloom tomatoes open, and admire how pretty they look sitting on a cobalt blue plate.

I splurged on the early-girl by getting one that is already two feet in height. For the last several years, I have made the mistake of buying varieties that are late to bear fruit, and we haven't had tomatoes until September, which is too long to wait for me. This year, I'm sure we'll be eating them off the vine by mid summer, thanks to the half-way grown plant.

We may be doing a "stay-cation" (vacation taken at home) this year, so I want to make the back yard a tropical Midwestern paradise!

I have to put up my little fountain, and buy more bird seed at Farm and Fleet. Last year some birds got into the store, when they had their big sliding doors open that lead to their garden department outside. Last week, I had to go to the store to do some shoe shopping, and there were still birds flying around the inside of the store!! I wonder if they are the same ones. They sell 50 pound bags of bird seed, and the bags are always breaking open, so I don't think they would have a problem getting food. I don't know how they would get water, though. It really enhances the shopping experience to see little sparrows flying over head. It always makes me feels good!

I'm going to go do dishes, and make Asian style soup for dinner with Soba Noodles. nappa cabbage, and shitake mushrooms Yum!