Gizzy in Heaven!

Gizzy in Heaven!
I love you forever and ever, Amen!


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Berry pickin' out in the country...

My neighbor and I went blueberry picking this morning at 7 o'clock at another neighbor's family property. The lady who lives there doesn't like blueberries (imagine that!) and told us to pick all we want. 

She lives out in the country on a dirt road in quiet, green surroundings where the fox and hare kiss good night. I could totally see myself living here.

I imagined myself living out here with Gizzy enjoying the peaceful quiet with only the sounds of nature and allowing Middi to roam to her heart's content. In such places, I can really hear God! I could even imagine myself writing, like maybe my memoirs (names would have to be changed to protect the innocent), a children's book or some self-help article... you can think clearly without the pressure and noise of civilization.

Nothing but fields in every direction...

Walking past the house towards the back yard, we see the Muscadine grape vine to the left

with a pear tree somewhere in the center

and off to the right are the three blueberry bushes we were looking for.

We picked for about two hours or so, till it looked like it might rain and by then we had enough, so we packed up and went back, knowing we'll return at least one more time, since many of the berries were still not ripe.

Many of them we had to leave for the birds, because they were simply too high up. Even though we took turns pulling down limbs with the cane while the other picked, it was impossible to reach the big ones up high (darn!)

We accidentally broke off a branch that we took home with us, not wanting to leave any evidence of us destroying the blueberry bushes... not that anyone would have noticed.

Bye-bye bushes, till next week - thanks for the berries!

(I wore my high top shoes and was thankful not having received a single fire ant bite. I did however end up collecting some berries in the front of my blouse, which I will not be wearning again next time.)

Heading back to the car, you can see Evelyn carrying her loot and my bucket next to the wooden bar stool that I like to bring along for resting my back. Next time I'll bring two.

Evelyn putting the branch in her trunk while I lookoed around at the old homestead imagining what it must've been like when it was new and many people lived here...

Just an old shed...thought it looked rustic under those trees.

The lady's old cat waiting on the steps - probably for breakfast.

Driving back home with our treasure! I think we each picked about three or four gallons worth of blueberries.

We passed a couple of grazing horses; the one on the left might even be a mule...can you tell?

We saw the most adorable little puppy standing in someone's driveway - look at those ears:

Arriving home, I'm getting the third degree..from the Gizz:

"So THIS is what you left me for? We are NOT amused!"

"What is this stuff anyway? Doesn't smell like anything I want to eat."

Alas, I presented a peace offering in the form of a bacon, egg and cheese bicuit (hold the biscuit.)

Hmmm, might not be acceptable and more groveling is needed ... guess I have to bring out the big guns...


and go for ye ole' belly-rub!!!

Ahhh, that does it every time!

Just a few more things:

When Gizzy and I visited my friend Arlene yesterday, besides well water, she gave me this cute hanging curio that she doesn't want in her house anymore, because it reminds her of the guy who gave it to her - Ain't I lucky? I know just where to put it and what to put in it.

Also, I've been into tea again lately and although I have my preferred supply, I like experimenting with a new flavor now and again. I really like this tea. It smells like Mango, but tastes like Gardenias ... not that I've eaten Gardenias, but if I did, I would imagine them tasting like this.

I know that I'm behind in my reading and commenting, but I will catch up shortly, I promise! (as soon as I sort those berries and get them into baggies for the freezer.)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday Morning Giggles

My (Italian) friend sent me a couple funnies via e-mail yesterday and I want to share them with you to help kick-start your week with a smile:

For two years a man was having an affair with an Italian woman.
One night, she confided in him that she was pregnant. Not wanting to ruin
his reputation or his marriage, he paid her a large sum of money if she
would go to Italy to secretly have the child. If she stayed in Italy
to raise the child, he would also provide child support until the child
turned 18.

She agreed, but asked how he would know when the baby was born. To keep it
discrete, he told her to simply mail him a post card, and write
'Spaghetti' on the back. He would then arrange for the child support
payments to begin.

One day, about 9 months later, he came home to his confused wife.
'Honey!,' she said, 'you received a very strange post card today.'
'Oh, just give it to me and I'll explain it later,' he said. The wife
obeyed and watched as her husband read the card, turned white, and fainted.
On the card was written:

Spaghetti, Spaghetti, Spaghetti, Spaghetti, Spaghetti.

Three with meatballs, two without.

Send extra sauce!

One morning, the husband returns the boat to their lakeside
cottage after several hours of fishing and decides to take a nap.

Although not familiar with the lake, the wife decides to take the boat out.
She motors out a short distance, anchors, puts her feet up,
and begins to read her book.

The peace and solitude are magnificent.

Along comes a Fish and Game Warden in his boat.
He pulls up alongside the woman and says, 'Good morning, Ma'am. What are you doing?'
'Reading a book,' she replies, (thinking, 'Isn't that obvious?')

'You're in a Restricted Fishing Area,' he informs her.
'I'm sorry, officer, but I'm not fishing. I'm reading.'
'Yes, but I see you have all the equipment.
For all I know you could start at any moment.
I'll have to take you in and write you up.'

'If you do that, I'll have to charge you with sexual assault,' says the woman.
'But I haven't even touched you,' says the Game Warden.
'That's true, but you have all the equipment.
For all I know you could start at any moment.'

'Have a nice day ma'am,' and he left.


Never argue with a woman who reads.
It's likely she can also think.

Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Blueberries explained - and baked!

I received quite a few comments about the prices of the blueberries I get. So, before you pack up and relocate to Southern Georgia, let me clarify that this is NOT THE NORM.  Surprisingly, the prices in our grocery stores are just as high as they are in Orange County, California, but since this is a small town and people have known each other since childhood, many old traditions remain, one of which being this local man picking and selling his own blueberries to locals (only) at this low and unusual price of $2 per quart.

My neighbor and friend Betty has family who live outside the city in the country and they have three blueberry bushes/trees that are producing abundantly this year. I have been invited to go there anytime to pick to my hearts content, so that's even cheaper than $2 a quart, but you run the risk of back aches, sun exposure and fire ant bites. I went there a couple of days ago for about an hour and collected four bites from those ants that are still festering and probably will get worse before they get better... life's a trade-off!

But, I will most definitely be able to bake a nice blueberry pie from the berries I picked (recipe below!)

Easy peasy blueberry pie recipe:

9-inch pie crust, plus extra crust for top crust or pie crust art
(I cheat and buy the twin pack frozen pie crusts at the supermarked)

5-6 cups blueberries, washed and picked over
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice. I think it helps preserve the nice blue color.
1 Tablespoon butter for dotting the top of the berry filling before covering it up with the second crust.

If using frozen pie crust, be sure it's not frozen solid, but not yet completely thawed out, just so it's pliable and won't break when handling (refer to package directions!)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place blueberries in a large bowl. (If applicable, pour the lemon juice over them and stir.) Mix flour and sugar in a small bowl. Pour on fruit and mix to blend. Don't over stir!

Pour into pie crust and spread evenly. (dot with butter, if applicable)

Place top crust on fruit and pinch the edges to make a tight and pretty border. Cut some slits in the top to allow steam out - or make a lattice design with overlaping strips or cut shapes, into top crust, like rounds, stars or half moons...whichever you like.

Place pie onto a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil to catch spillage during backing.

Bake at 425 for 10 minutes. Lower temperature to 325 and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes. Fruit and juices should be bubbling around the edges.

TIP:   If the edges turn brown too quickly, then cover them with a strip of aluminum foil so they won't burn before the pie is done baking.

Be sure and allow to cool for at least an hour before cutting. Make it extra special by serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.... Mmmmmmm....

And for me, I have to have a cup of freshly brewed coffee to go with this. Although I drink my coffee black, on special occasions, I like to place a dollop of freshly whipped cream on top --- that always transports me back to Sunday afternoons in Germany when we had our traditional coffee time around 3 pm. The scent of freshly ground coffee, brewing in the Melitta coffee maker, an assortment of decadent Torte bought from the Konditorei and home made pastry...something we all looked forward to, but that's another story.

I have to add that I love America, but I miss German (and Austrian) pastries and Torten from the Konditorei!
(You really should go there to see what I mean!)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hear ye, hear ye...

The winner for the Patriotic Star Coasters is.....(drum roll please)................

The Sunroom !!! (The Sunroom)

CONGRATULATIONS to the winner!
(I will send your coasters as soon as I get the address.)

Thank you to everyone who entered my Giveaway, but don't dispair, I will be having another one real soon, so please keep checking back!

Happy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Today is the last day to enter my Independence Day Giveaway for these four patriotic star coasters I crocheted with 100% cotton yarn.

Some of you may have noticed that I've not commented as much. I've been crocheting, helping people and doing stuff around the house. We have another big apartment inspection coming up in July and I need to declutter/reorganize.

I have a few things I want to accomplish besides blogging, one is blueberry picking because blueberry season is here and I want to stock up my freezer. I got some yesterday from a man who worked at the local pharmacy.

He has a blueberry orchard and delivers blueberries locally for $2 a quart, all cleaned and ready for the freezer in a zip-loc baggie. However, picking them myself is cheaper, because at Mallory Farms I can pick a gallon for $8, so that would be half the price of getting them delivered. I just have to go really early in the morning and bring my wooden stool or else my back won't hold out. Good thing the blueberry bushes are like small trees here and one doesn't have to stoop down to pick them like I had to when I lived in Germany. Back then we went blueberry picking in the forests and there they grew low to the ground.

Also my dear friend Samantha from Samantha Gallagher's Art Studio has sent me a book a while back that I really want to finish reading; It's called Robbing the Bees.

Well, I'd best go and pop some corn for the ducks because I'm all out of bread and I can't go to the lake/pond without any food. They follow me around quacking and making a spectacle of themselves.

(...meanwhile Gizzy lounges in his bed)

Remeber to enter my Giveaway if you want a chance at winnig my patriotic star coasters!

Monday, June 21, 2010

A visit with friends

My friend, Sandy, lives in the back part of her family's big Victorian home near Lake Irma.

She also walks early in the morning with her two little Shih-Tzus and we have been meeting up in order to walk and talk together.

She invited us (me and Gizzy) to her place on Sunday morning. She has a nice little garden out back with a small koi pond and various pretty and unusual flowers and plants. Gizzy and I watched her feed the fish who swam right up to her and even let her touch them.

Sandy gave me a tour around her garden and pointed out the various plants and flowers for me. I can't guarantee I remember all their names, but this is a giant hibiscus flower. It was as tall as I.

This variegated ginger lily is just about to bloom. I was fascinated with its beautiful foliage.

These bee balm flowers are almost spent. There's a bee on one of the blossoms towards the bottom, right. Sandy told me that the bees and hummingbirds are very fond of this plant.

Her grandson's dog was trying to make friends with Gizzy through the fence. I was surprised Gizzy didn't bark at him.

These bright pumpkin/orange blossoms are from the blueberry orchid. Sandy explained to me the reason for its name is because after the blossoms are gone, the plant develops little blue berries.

Sandy offered me some for planting around my apartment since she has so many of them.

There's all kinds of little garden statues, bird houses, gnomes and and fairies, but I really liked this guy swinging from a tree.


Gizzy's watching us walk through the garden. He's ready to go inside now.

He was even invited to try out one of the doggy beds. Doesn't he look tiny?

Here's a nice group photo of Sandy and her babies.

We had a very enjoyable visit, talking and watching at least ten different kinds of birds flying up to the bird feeders. Sandy knows her birds and pointed out the ones I didn't know. I remember seeing humming birds, a blue jay, housefinch, sparrows, mourning doves, cardinals, a blackbird and a mockingbird. I missed the woodpecker and probably more. I did notice a skink on the porch and Sandy told me about the three little bunnies that stop by in the morning to graze.

To me this was better than watching the Discovery channel on TV, because it was discovering nature right in our own back yard - the best kind!

When it was time to go, Sandy drove us home since it was after 1 pm and too hot to walk.