Friday, October 28, 2011

Basketmaker, Ruth


This woman is just amazing, I tell ya.  Look at these baskets!

I recently visited my friend Ruth Swan.  Isn't she cute?  (We surprised her with a visit one weekend)  She is a very lovely lady with a talent for making baskets. 

She has such variety in her work!

Ruth described some of the types of baskets for me and informed me of some of the wood types needed. 

She makes great use of her baskets also.  They are hanging as decor on the walls, pen holders, magazine holders, everything!

Best of all, she surprised me with the gift of a basket!  An egg basket!

Oh and don't worry, there will be more on this soon...

Mudpies at Mammies

I am the most blessed grandma in the world! I got to keep my four darling grand children for few days. Becca 8, Lily 3, Heath 2, and Jack 7 month. It was great!  You know grandmas always have a trick up their sleeve.... Well I remembered playing with mud pies when I was a girl and thought the kids might enjoy it too. Mountain Man, as sweet as he could be, constructed us a safe table out of chairs and ply board. I gathered some old plastic bowl, cups, and pans for them to "cook with."
The kids and I went on a treasure walk and found some seeds, flowers, leaves, pine combs and rocks to add to our creations. We dug up a bucket of rich soil near the woods and filled a big bucket with water.

They played and played and played.  Even Jack was amused at watching them.

Here is Lily decorating her pie with yellow flowers.

Heath mostly liked playing in the water but just look at him mixing.

Becca of course made cupcakes so beautiful that you could take them to a bake sale.

If you need a time to occupy kids a while just get a bucket of dirt and one of water, clean out some disposible bowl and cups from your plastic cabinet and you won't hear a peep for a while.
They didn't even try to eat it!

Have you served any mud pies lately?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Beggars Lice: Stuck on you


Remember the song " Stuck on you"?  Well when you go for a walk in the forest this fall that is what you'll be singing because these little boogers will most likely be all over you!

To the right I made a little collage from Google Images so that you could see how the plants actually look since I wasn't able to capture them.

Have no fear.  These little guys are not any type of bug, insect or virus.  It is just a plant that has seed pods with a velvety shell that like to hitchhike when ever the opportunity arises.  The velvet outside is much like velcro.  Actually it is my non-scientific theory that beggars lice could be the inspiration for velcro.

Here is some pictures to show you some beggars lice on my tights and on mountain mans pants.  He left his tights at home today.  Haha! Just kidding.  Anyway, no worries if you do pick up some of these guys.  You can just pick them off when you get home.  Maybe stick them on someone else. Ha!


Have you ever made a picture on velvet arranging Beggars Lice?  If not go out there and get ya' some! :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Woolly Worm Weather

Well I just found a woolly worm inching across the road today!  You know the question... "Can woolly worms predict the weather?"

Woolly worms are a tiger moth caterpillar and legend has it that they can determine if the coming winter will be mild or harsh.  Woolly worms, also known as woolly bears, have a black band at each end with a band of reddish brown in the middle.  Folk wisdom states that if the brown bands on the woolly worms are narrow, the winter will be harsh.  If the brown band is wide, the winter will be mild.  

Well according my woolly worm found today... drum roll please...we are going to have a mild winter!  Now, there is some folklore wisdom I can go by like "rain before 7, it will quit before 11." but woolly worms aren't a strong predictor for me. 

However, woolly worms are a lot of fun.  When you find a couple of them or more, name them and have a woolly worm race this fall!  

So, how do you predict the weather when woolly worms come out?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Money...It is All Around Us

Are you short on cash?  Everyday I hear of money woes while at work, on the news, and in daily conversation.  Everyone is so frustrated!  So many are jobless!

I started asking myself questions.  What would I do if I needed money?  What would I do if I needed money today?  So we decided to make a project out of this idea... 

The plan:  Make $50 TODAY!
Stipulations: Make it only from something free.

We scouted around us and found some cattails, roadside grass and sumac.

The idea was that people were interested in fall decor but may not take the time to go along roadsides to find fall decor.  We recently had been to the Farmers Market and had seen a lot of bitter sweet and money plants but not cattails.

  1. We picked 30 cattails, grass & sumac (the non-poisonous kind)
  2. I had some acrylic sealer in the basement and we sprayed them to help them last longer.

  3. Off we went!  To try and sell our collection.
  4. We found a really nice vendor, Nancy, at the Farmers Market who agreed to look at what we had for sell.  I pointed out that no other vendors had cattails or grass for sale.  She asked a few questions and inspected the quality of our products.  She then asked, "What do you want for them?".  We replied, "50."
Deal!!  We were so happy!  We did it!  Nancy was happy to, she had something that no one else did!  We left our phone number in case she wanted more or was not pleased with our product. 

So, you need some money today??  Look around you!  What is available to you may be what someone else can use!

Any ideas or stories you want to share?  How would you make something from nothing? 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Favorite Fall Herb: Pineapple Sage

Actually, pineapple sage is one of my favorite herbs all your around but in the fall she shows her beautiful fall display (Along with many other breathtaking displays that nature has to offer!)  

Pineapple sage is a fragrant flowering plant native to Mexico and Guatemala where it grows naturally, in the forests of oaks & pine trees.  Here in most Appalachians, it is only an annual plant because it can not tolerate the cold.

The leaves are bright green and fuzzy and this late time of year the plant blooms a beautiful red fragrant flower.  Hummingbrids love this flower but are leaving our Appalachians by the time they start blooming.

Pineapple sage is edible.  Bruising or tearing the leaves releases a sweet pineapple flavor that is refreshing when added to teas, salads, pesto chicken or desserts.  

Would you care for a cup of tea?:
Add equal parts of fresh pineapple sage leaves & lemon verbena to a large glass jar.  Fill with water.  Set the jar in the sun and brew yourself a natural & refreshing glass of tea.

Pineapple sage is also used extensively in Mexican traditional medicine, especially for the treatment of anxiety or lowering blood pressure.

If you don't have any pineapple sage this year, don't worry!  Make a note to plant it in your herb garden next year.  Until then you can pick up fresh pineapple sage in specialty stores.

You can also check out Pineapple Sage Pound Cake at  It sounds delicious!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Did you know we have a dog in the family?  No, it is not one of our relatives! Tee-hee! It is our darling Granddog, Bailey.  She is a West Highland Terrier or a "Westie" for short.  Her proud Mama & Papa have taught her good manners.  She minds them very well but when at my house she can do what she wants. She wants to play constantly.

Hey Bailey! Do you want to play frisbee? See, she listens well. 

But sometimes she doesn't want to give the frisbee back. 

Oh well! She is just so cute!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Go App!!

 Best weekend ever!! Why, you ask? Because it was...

Parent Weekend!  Football Weekend! See our daughter, Lydia, Weekend!  Anyway you look at it, it was a Great Weekend!

We headed out Saturday morning for Appalachian State University, Lydia's home away from home.  We saw so many beautiful sights as we rode the 
 high roads.  It was questionable weather with clouds hanging owe the mountains.  I told my Mountain Man, Rick, "Our daughter is getting an education in the heavens."

When we arrived in Boone, we had time for a little lunch and we were off to the game!  It was so exciting!  Our first college game!

Leaves were beginning to change.  The sun was shining bright, showing off all the beautiful fall colors in the scenery.  The weather turned out to be perfect.

Walking to our seats, Mountain Man Rick, (my Hubby) was checking out how the score boards were turning out with all the college teams.  App is definitely up there!  They are doing well so far. :) 

There was so much excitement in the air!  Almost everyone was in their team colors and really into the game.  The students were dressed in some of their best attire to support their team. Tee-hee 

Here were some more of the "Happy Apper's". :)

We had a little time to spend with Lydia's friends after the game. 

We had such a blast and can not wait to go back!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ahh..."The Bath"

If you are over 50, it is possible you have lived in a house with no bathroom.  (Unimaginable to this generation.)  You would have used an outhouse or manual baths from a pan of water.  If you were lucky like my family, you had galvanized tub.  Yes, a portable tub you could drag into the kitchen by the cook stove where the water was boiling the room warm.  

A round galvanized tub I have around the house.
When I was younger we had an oblong tub.  My Mom heated water on the stove then added cold water until it was the right temperature.  It sounds kind of cute now.  

Anyway, this picture is not of me but I keep it hung in my bathroom to remind me of days past and how good it is now.  Aren't we spoiled??

Tell me how your life is better now than when you were young.  Cell phones, electric heat, all that good stuff?

Sunday, October 2, 2011