Tuesday, July 10, 2007


You may get a kick out of this entry - and today's tip... because you can LISTEN to my blog entry today (that is if I've done this correctly...) Just click on the following link (I'd suggest RIGHT clicking and choose OPEN IN NEW WINDOW, that way you wont' be taken away from the written part of my blog - bear with me... its new to me too!) Click on the PLAY BUTTON ON THE LITTLE SILVER PLAYER - you should hear my entire entry! :)

July 10 retry - Audio Article from BlueGrind.com

Well, we are settling into summer. It's a given the days will be born bright and sunshiny. Luckily, we generally get a brisk wind in the morning, so the doors are opened and a freshening breeze sweeps the cobwebs of sleep and dreams from the rooms. A new day waits sparkling outside. Mid morning the doors are sealed and our home becomes a cool refuge from the sun's powerful rays.



ribbon : CMS Go Camping Kit

frames: no name given on file

paper: Barb Derksen

Thanks Angelia (pronounced Anhalla) - for sharing your layout with us. About the pictures, the snail was taken in Pelham, AL. The two sky pictures were taken here at her home in Mobile, AL. The two water pictures were taken at Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, AL. Looks like you live in a beautiful place!


I don't know about you, but I tend to lose all sense of timing during the holidays. I continue to mix even the simplest of dates up, even though Miles and I sat down and mapped the entire summer out on paper. I often double or triple book events - or forget about them entirely. But he still loves me. Yes, he may gnash his teeth, but he loves me. I used to be SO opposite. I think this is still an improvement over how I used to over-organize things and live by the lists. How bout you?

Speaking of Italian - did you know there's a controversy going on right now in Italy about an Italian Chef, Filippo La Mantia of the La Trattoria restaurant in Rome (one of THE places to dine...) He feel thinks garlic is something left over from a time when Italians heavily flavored cheap ingredients... but nowadays its unnecessary to use - in fact, Filippo thinks the flavor of garlic is so ponderous it overwhelms the delicate and subtle flavors of some dishes. Did you know that Italians consumed 108 MILLION pounds of garlic last year??? Whew - I hope the toothpaste and mouthwash industry profited as well. At any rate, if you would like to HEAR or READ the entire article on this "battle of the bulb" you need only to click

Do YOU like garlic? What's your favorite garlic dish?


And speaking of flowers, as well (from the garden paragraph way back there...) Have you ever wondered why some flowers close up at night? Well, I sure do so I set out to find an answer to my question. The simple explanation appears to be that the flowers are protecting their delicate insides - and pollen while they are not needed. But the explanation is much deeper than that - if you are like me and HAVE to know, then you will want to be clicking
HERE to read the full article from New Scientist.

And, speaking of all things of vegetation, and summer, thus speaking of heat and what heat does to any living matter which might be left to decompose... a learning curve of living in a rural area where there is no regular trash pickup - is learning the art of composting. I'm more than happy to compost - I dislike any sort of waste, really. So I have a good 'ol ice cream pail which I use to collect all my vegetable scraps, and I make regular journeys out to the compost heap to do some dig & bury. Its so satisfying to see all those peels and cores and stems eventually break down to good, rich soil!

Now, generally I was keeping the pail beneath the kitchen sink - the logical site, but lately with the heat I've taken to storing it in the fridge! This not only slows down the decomposition process, but it also assures we won't attract fruit flies. When our Mom and Dad came for a visit recently, we had steak and we tossed the meat scraps in with our trash, only we didn't make a trip to the local landfill till several days later. In the meantime, the garbage pail sat 'cooking' in the sun. Whewwwy! Well, now I've solved that little issue too! Because we are not ready to become vegetarians (though that would be not so bad) I keep a bag in the freezer of our fridge. As I accumulate anything non-vegetable that might decompose and smell up the trash, I toss it all in the freezer bag. Later, when Miles makes his trip to the landfill, I simply pop the frozen bag in with the other garbage.

Another thing which makes a HUGE difference in trash reduction, was our decision to be removed from recieving any 'junk mail' - by simply filling out a form at the local post office. I used to have STACKS of paper - now its very little. What, with the internet these days one can easily go online to check out the latest sales flyers from most stores. Alternately, one can 'subscribe' to sales email from the stores you use!


Enough of my ranting... it's time I share some GOOD gardening thoughts with you. I kind of 'live' my way thru the bible at times... I think its the way I can call it up and it makes it all so relevant to me. For example when I'm gardening I might think of GOD gardening - course His plot was a whole lot larger than I'd ever consider...

Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden;
and there he put the man he had formed.

and like us people HE created, He enjoyed the cool hours of the day in HIS garden...

Genesis 3:8

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God
as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day,
and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.

It's really too bad we messed up in the Garden - can you imagine what it must have been like to commune with HIM face to face there? I still do feel close to HIM when I'm out among the greenery...

And even GOD had to tend his garden as the bible tells us - HE set it up to be irrigated, getting enough water:

Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered, like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, toward Zoar.

In fact - our LORD thinks of us AS HIS GARDEN - how HE would desire to take care of us - according to the following scripture:

ISAIAH 58:11
The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

Even John thought of GOD as THE Gardener:

JOHN 15:1
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.

Sure puts a new slant on gardening for me... you've got to be LOOKING for HIM out there...

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes, -
the rest sit round it and pluck blackberries

- Elizabeth Barrett Browning

SAY it!

I just discovered a very cool site which will turn text into speech - anything you desire - and it's free. I'm using today's tip as a demo for you to experience this. Simply register with Bluegrind and then copy and paste the text you want to have 'speechified' - or you can even have it do it for you. Lots of potential here - specially if you like the idea of helping sight impaired people have an enjoyable experience! Let me know if you try this out too!



  1. Good Afternoon Barb:)
    I came by earlier and decided to wait until you put your new blog up for today..Now my DD has asked me to go to lunch with her..so..I will have to stop back by later to comment more.:)


  2. :) so glad to see you on today!...and your little carrot man had me giggling!....thanks for everything! thanks for just being YOU!

  3. Barb - living near the "Garlic Capital of the World" - Gilroy, with their Garlic Festival [http://www.gilroygarlicfestival.com/pages/press.html], I think if you don't like garlic you'd better leave this area of the country. :-) I don't like heavy garlic, but do like it. As for the Rome controversy, I know some cooks who feel that parsley is a decoration and isn't a real "anything" to a dish. I know others who feel that parsley is a contributor to overall look to a dish - to each their own. Now, garlic bread without garlic - that's different. :-) BTW, having not quite read the entire article, I expected to hear *your* voice reading the blog - quite a shock to hear a male's voice and I figured it wasn't your husband - LOL! :-) Have a day!

  4. Great tips & cool pix (pictures) and WONDERFUL freebie too! who could ask for more? hehe i could not get the audio of your entry working, not sure why but i DO get so lost too easily lol Have a BEAUTIFUL day and thank you for ALLLLLLL you do! i was so happy for your entry today, you were missed :D

  5. AnonymousJuly 10, 2007

    Hi Barb - It is difficult to give Amy a foot massage when they live on the East Coast and we live in Northern Calif. That is why we enjoyed the trip here that Emma took in early April (Emma is such a thoughtful little two year old that she brought her mommy along too.)

    Amy W's Daddo

  6. Hey there Mrs. Miles! Thanks so much for faithfully visiting and commenting on my blog. It makes blogging worthwhile!

    I'll have to check out your camera the next time we are in a big enough city ... one that has a camera shop. I hate to buy a new camera when mine still works but D is after me! He wants mine for HIS pocket.

    I can hardly believe that garlic article! And garlic is SO good for you too. Why would they ever want to eliminate it? We love garlic ... roasted garlic/lemon chicken is one of our favorites. My Aunt was always prejudice against garlic too ... thought it was poor man's food.

    We have a garlic festival here too, mid August. A favorite event around here. I'm growing about 30 garlics this year myself. Want to put more in next year ... one has to have enough to last the year AND plant.

    Hope you are "keeping cool". I've been picking weeds all morning and just came in to cool off.

    TTFN ...

  7. Thank you for the pretty kit.

  8. love the carrot man...good pictures of the parade ..it was awesome ....love your new home ..can't wait for my next visit

  9. I hope you are enjoying the holiday break and recharging your batteries. :)

    I'm just trying to put myself up to date with all the blogs that I have bookmarked, it becomes difficult sometimes. :)

    I love all the comments and interesting news and links in your postings and the garlick one is a good one. I myself love garlic but with a little bit of measure. I don't want to kill anyone when I start speaking. LOL It's also very good for the health as someone else has pointed out. :)

    Thanks so much for all the interesting stories, links and history dates you put in your blog. It makes it really interesting to read. :)

    Have a wonderful break, get lots of rest and best wishes. :O)

  10. Hello my friend - glad you're enjoying your days of summer. How about this heat eh? I too have been hibernating inside.

    Missing your face! Have a great week!

  11. Hi Barb,

    Thanks so much for the pretty kit! Made my day seeing a happy color like that! ::waving from Southern Ontario::

  12. Love the Poppy kit you shared. I downloaded it today and already used it on a page! So thought I would share it with you! Thanks!!!


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