Sunday, September 25, 2011


I felt like I was walking around in a fog until I had my
BIG cup of joe EARLY this morning and looked outside.  I took 2 of the 7 dogs out for a walk around the pasture (yes, I'm keeping 2 of my friend's whippersnappers for a week).
  We were walking in the clouds - a ground cloud.

You've heard the saying ~ "The fog was so thick you could cut it with a knife". I could barely see the horses out there anywhere,  BUT, they were there. 

I enjoy reading the Farmer's Almanac.  I remember my Dad and my grandpa always talking about it and following the dates to plant, etc.  I believe the 2012 is out on the shelves now.  They have a great web site with just tons of interesting things.  Some folks really follow the moon and zodiac signs for doing many things.  Here's an excerpt from their site about Best Days.
Best Days Explained...According to Farmers' Almanac tradition, when the moon is in the appropriate phase and place in the zodiac, it's widely believed that activities will be more fruitful or lead to improved results. The period between the new and full moon (first and second quarters) is considered as the best time to perform tasks that require strength, fertility and growth. The period between the full and new moon (third and fourth quarters) is best for harvesting, retarding growth, etc. Consideration is also given to the relationship the moon has with the 12 ruling signs of the zodiac.

Farmers' Almanac Best Days,

UGGH!!! Somethings grown/blown into my pasture and produced these?? Even though they're very pretty, they cannot stay.  Pasture mow next week.

Thanks for always listening to my jibber. Hope your week gets off to an amazing start ~ Debi

Friday, September 23, 2011

Cooking School

 I'm going to step out of my comfort zone and try something new for my little self.  In keeping with the fall excitment I'm feeling, I signed myself up for a cooking class at Southern Seasons in Chapel Hill.  They present a class schedule each month and I'm scheduled for an October class.  It's an interactive class where I will get to work with the cooking school staff preparing a fabulous menu. 

MENU:  Chives Biscuits with three onion spread, pork brochettes with bourbon sauce, sweet potato puree and wilted greens, and pecan bars.

This class will use North Carolina products/ingredients, so it should be interesting, I think.  I've never done anything like this but have always wanted to.  It begins in the evening and lasts for a couple of hours.  This class is small, about 12 of us.  Have any of you joined a cooking class before?  Maybe you can give me some hints how it works. I was thinking with the holidays around the corner I would get some good ideas for meals.  I get to wear an apron; how sweet might that be!
As a note of caution and make you more aware about where you're stepping, I stepped into a hole of yellow jackets this past week trying to save a kitten.  I was not able to get the kitten, but the ASPC was contacted.  I could hear the baby meowing so loudly when I stepped out into the darkness at my office about 6:30 this week.  My maternal instinct set in and I started my search in the dark.  When I FINALLY found it, it scooted up the tree. I came back down the hill backwards out of the woods and back into my car when I suddenly saw yellow jackets coming out from my scrubs pant legs.  I was panicked to say the least and immediately getting stung everywhere - my arms, hands, and all up my legs.  I got into our building and ran to the restroom and stripped of everything, bees flying.  By lunch time, I had to break down and go to the pharmacy for some 25 mg Benedryl and a big tube of Afterbite.  Got home early afternoon, more Benedryl (and yes, I was knocked out).  I'm good now, but I cannot tell you what I looked like then.  I am not allergic to bee stings ~ this was just sting reaction and it was horrible.  So, beware of where you step; they're out there.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Guess where I've been? 
Back to Pier I.

I was looking for new inspiration.  It won't be long until we start the season's first fire, light the first apple spice candle, and wrap ourselves in a favorite snuggly wrap.  Some of you have probably already done this, I'm pretty sure.  I've had some emails about wearing some foot warmers.

The choices of all their candles, incense, and oils made decision making difficult.  An Asian-spice actually was very nice.  I bought a spiced cake oil diffuser.  I think I'll be pretty happy with that.  It's not too over-bearing. 

I loved the sunflower pattern on these dishes.  It really gave a fall feel of harvest.  The whole little setup was adorable.

Loved this.  I would find a place for it (somewhere).

Pier I had a lot of fall dinnerware in all the fall colors.  I was oohing and aaahing over everything.  I bet I stayed in there over an hour or so.  I have no room in my cabinets for dishes.  They are my weakness.  But, if I did ... I could have done some serious shelf clearing at Pier I today. 

However, only a few little things were tucked in my basket home.

Hammered glass candle-holder.  Love that look with a flickering candle.  Of course, I want to try the little La-Tee-Da. 
Hammered Glass HurricaneEffusion Lamp - Pheasant

Harvest Reed Diffusers
Harvest Reed Diffusers

The best deal was a large urn type oval ceremic pot; sits about 3 ft high.  I just don't have a picture of it to post yet.  There was a chip, which I can easily hid.  It was about  $120 or so dollars.  The chip at the top was hidden with all these twig things and fake flowers, etc.  Okay... it was reduced to $40 ... I told her I would take it for $30 and relieve them of their damaged merchandise. Yes, the deal was made.   Thank you Pier I.  
Don't be afraid to ask.  

1st day of fall is Friday.  Are you feeling inspired?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

From the 90's to the 60's

Here we go with this unpredictable weather.   It has been very warm this week in the mid 90's.  Tonight the temperatures are dropping about 30 degrees and the high tomorrow will be about 60.  Crazy.  I remembered to turn the air conditioner off in my car so the blast of cold air wouldn't send a rush of goosebumps all over me.   Fall is preparing to float in I guess.  It's raining outside now.

My Mister got in from Chicago last night about 8.  There was a casual outdoor living show there.  I know you will think he's crazy but - he drove - yes, he did.  My man will not fly and he was even in the air force, but will never fly again.  He says he has no control over matters in the air, but on the ground he has a little control.   Approaching Chicago, he called me and I could hear the anxiety building up about the traffic.  Without me putting in print any language he might have said, let's just say he made it and is now back home. 

Right after work today, I headed west for a larger neighboring city.  I wanted to visit Pier I and check out their fall stuff, sniff some candles, and just hang out in there.   I didn't want to be around dogs and horses and my house for a little while this evening.   I feel empty-nesting approaching and I'm not sure what I want to do with myself.  I've been thinking about that a little bit (just a little). Anyway, I spent a good deal of time in Pier I.  The little sales girl gave me my space and let me do my thing in there.  I came home with some fall smelling things, a pumpkin of sorts, and a few baskets. 

I've pretty much decided I'm not going to have my farm party this year.  I've had one every year for several years now.  Last year was incredible. A huge amount of friends came.  We had a cookout with a blue grass band.  It really was a good time.  We woke up the next morning and someone had stolen one of our cars.  Yea, that was a really good party.  We did get the car back days later in great condition, nothing taken out of it.  It drove me crazy for a long time.  I had a guest list and just couldn't imagine any of the invites taking it.  We had a detective stay on it for a while, but felt it was probably someone taking a joy ride from the back woods. The tax payers dollars should go toward catching some real thugs and murderers, etc, so we dropped it.  Anyway, for some reason my heart's just not into having the party this year.  I might have a smaller dinner or something.  The summer heat just zapped a lot of my energy and it takes a lot of work to do a big invite on the farm.  So I'm scratching that.

We're ordering our firewood tomorrow.  We have a woodstove that we use quite a bit on our middle floor.  We don't have to, but it just feels so good on cold evenings.  The flooring on the middle floor is brick which heats up from the fire in the woodstove.  The dogs all lay around there sleeping on their beds warm from the fire.  We might need a fire this weekend. 

It's been a long hard week.  Tomorrow is Fabulous Friday and I'm so ready.  Hope your Friday will be good to you.   Debi

Monday, September 12, 2011


Ratatouille (the recipe)

I love this recipe.  In fact, this is probably the third batch I've made in a couple of months.  The ingredients include things you are probably growing in your garden or can purchase at your Farmers Market because you want the freshest veggies possible.  Your home will fill with the aroma of the fresh basil and thyme.  Here goes -

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups medium diced eggplant, skin on
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup diced green bell peppers
1 cup diced red bell peppers
1 cup diced yellow squash
1 cup diced zucchini squash
1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded, & chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt & pepper to taste

Set a large saute pan over medium heat and add olive oil. Once hot, add onions and garlic to pan. Cook until they are wilted and lightly caramelized, about 5-7 minutes.  Add eggplant and thyme and cook until eggplant is partially cooked, about 5 minutes. Add green and red peppers, zucchini, and squash and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes, basil, parsley, salt and pepper (to taste), and cook for final 5 minutes.  Stir well to blend.  Serve hot or at room temperature.  

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Going down country roads this morning, a smile came across my face. 
Red, white and blue.
Americans were rising to the occasion in honor of 9-11. 

Yes, Old Glory was waving in the wind . 
What a sight!

Watching Good Morning America with tears, the thought came to me ~
Did I forget?  Did the change in America not stay with me?
Did the memory of how Americans came together when 9-11 occurred get pushed to the back burner?
I sort-of felt like it hadn't.

But .... have I really stepped up as an American? 
How have I become a better citizen?
These are the questions I've asked myself today. 

Do I turn my head from the man who's standing with sign for just a little help because he was laid off, homeless, or a Veteran?
How much have I really volunteered?
How much food have I donated to the food bank?

What have I done?  I'm not sure. 
Just thinking.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Happy Anniversary to Us

Love to the man who gives me the opportunity to play in the dirt and always makes it happen, somehow.....

Love to the man has made this journey ~ the good, the bad, and sometimes the ugly ~ an exciting adventure. 

Love to the man who is a wonderful Dad to our two beautiful daughters. 

Love to us for holding it together for 31 years. 

Love ya, Mr. W ~ from Ms. W

Monday, September 5, 2011

No Excitement Here!

Labor Day weekend is almost over.  I hope everyone has a lot more exciting news to tell than me. There was not a trip out of town, there were no friends who came over, and there was hardly any big excitement here.  I can barely contain myself to tell you that the only thing I did worthwhile was to take the garden down which took some time.  I even emptied all my flower pots of annuals and some herbs just because I'm so tired of dragging the hose around to them.  I finished slicing and dicing all the peppers and put them in the freezer.   We haven't made room for the last 100 bales of hay to come and here it is my last day off from a long weekend.  That was at the top of my list of "things to do" and somehow it's now at the bottom

I did go to our store and worked with my daughter a little.  Carolina was having a big tailgating party in the mall parking lot.  I must remember to wear my Duke shirt from now on when I go over there.  There was just way too much of that (wrong) blue color going on for me, so I had to divert my attention elsewhere.  I visited my retailer friend at the camera shop and told him I had all these blogging buddies with terrific cameras and I am feeling kind like the low man on the totem pole with my little point and shoot.  So, he showed me some things and educated me a little about cameras.  I'm not breaking loose yet - just checking things out.

This big horse head right here is the only kind of excitement that happened ~ I'm just saying, it could have been really bad.  Because of my little point and shoot, I could not get close enough to the real picture I wanted to take.  I went outside to try to get the picture, but decided I needed to get in much closer, so I went into the pasture with them.  You know these babies can be trouble, but I guess I just wasn't thinking.  I got trapped behind a tree to save myself from him.  I know he was playing, but I couldn't shoo him away.  He wanted to chase me.  I'm not the fastest runner in town with an old injury, so I had to yell for Ally to come help me out.  That big head above is him coming around the tree after me.  Ally thinks the name "Weston" isn't working and wants to change it.   He has a registered name, but he needs a new barn name.  Any ideas?

For those of you who don't have a clue what this is - it's horse tack.  This is the second stack.  One has already been done.  Ally and her friend were given the whole barn tack to clean from a friend's farm this weekend.  Nothing else gets done around here, only horse stuff. 

Oh yes, one more thing.  The hammock above (and below) is made in American - (Hatteras Hammock; purchased at N.C. Hammock Company -,,  I think you can see the tag stating "USA" on it.  I've been working very hard to buy local, help the small businesses, and purchase from American companies.  It is a challenge, but it's a feel-good thing when it works.  

                                See ya, Debi