One Potato, Two Potato,Three Potato, Four!

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It’s interesting just how simple growing potatoes can be….I found one of my store bought potatoes sprouting inside of the brown paper bag they came in. Well, in the middle of winter what does this gal wanna be doing?   GARDENING

So, I removed the spud from the paper bag and placed it over where my Jalapeno plants were growing. I’d just placed the sprouting spud on the drip tray that was underneath my planter with the grow lights.. Guess what happened next?

Well, I forgot all about the sprouting spud because my son’s ivy plant took off on a growing spree, not unlike the blue light special at K-Mart, you know those flashing blue lights where everyone makes a mad dash just to see what’s on sale on any given day…

This spring I thought it was time to clean the tray underneath my planter and guess what? I found the wee sprouting spud, but it had morphed into this living thing with a tall sprout reaching at least 12 inches tall… the spud itself had wrinkled a little bit, but the sprout was glorious just the same.. I planted it outside this spring and in the picture is the potato thriving in all of its glory..

I say glory, because we here in this family just love our potatoes.. It’s such a versatile vegetable and will last stored away in a cool dark place.. Oh, Oh…I have a funny story about a cool dark place..

When I was working with the Canadian Red Cross as a personal support worker, I had a client who wanted me to clean up her basement closet, and perhaps find a lost special pair of red shoes for her…I found a brown paper grocery store bag in the closet underneath some dresses hanging on the rod (I couldn’t see the top of the bag yet…)

I cleaned up the closet and pulled out the brown paper bag, shocked and a tad scared to find it full of potatoes that had sprouted and were growing leaves! The vines had to be two feet tall which had tangled their way among her clothing in the closet… I am ashamed to admit I did let out a big yelp, and said one of my silly southern sayings, “Oh My Gravy…”

I wish I’d asked to take home that huge bag of sprouting spuds that day, but I followed her instructions and threw them in the garbage.. I bet perhaps, you’re wondering if I found those special pair of red shoes that day…

I certainly did indeed find those shoes this lovely woman had been searching for over a year without any luck… As it turns out those were the shoes she always wore on her anniversary every year.. She’d wear them only on their special day and then return them back into a cloth shoe bag and back into a shoe box..

The lives others live in a lifetime can be so special and dear.. So, if someone who’s elderly ask for a favor to find something ~ go on and take a few minutes to make someones day just that much better.. I’m glad I did… go above and beyond for this grand owner of the special red shoes….


(These were the closest I could find to her shoes via the internet)

courtesy of

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Until next time

~  Laura  ~


Umbrella Gardening ~ Who knew?

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For the last few years trying to grow my radishes has been a learning curve due to many different variables. I planted my radish seeds before the last frost date into my permaculture bed. Since, the bed will hold the heat long after the day has ended and the chill of a May night surrounds the bed…

I’ve also heard that some seeds will sprout quickly if you freeze them for a few hours.. Hum… that sure did get me to thinking about my own garden this season.. I had mother nature on my side to provide the chill at night, so I planted the seeds in early May and hoped for frost… Have you ever heard of a gardener hoping for frost?

Well, this worked out beautifully, surprising me! I knew from last year the permaculture bed would retain the heat from the day so I didn’t even fret over the May dusting of snow that we experienced….I said, “Come on Mother Nature, give me your best!” And she without fail did just that.

But, and yes there is a but…..May became the longest running heat spell we’ve had in many moons, and we all know radish seedlings hate the heat and will bolt right before your eyes, turning into seeds for the following year or Fall planting, if you’re brave…

But, I planned on this contingency and planted a second bunch of radish seeds in a wooden planter…When the heat happened I waved my hand at mother nature and went searching for my broken umbrella in my garage.

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This action of mine looked really funny at first having this huge umbrella dead center atop my permaculture bed where my radish seedling had sprouted….I tied some sticks to the front wire fencing and to the spines of the umbrella because the wind would have caught the umbrella throwing it probably into the neighbors yard…  🙂

The second planting of radish seeds were not shaded and my plan was to let them bolt and offer to me the radish seeds I’d need for next year, with mother natures help there are tiny flowers on the top of the stem and soon I’ll have the seeds… Take that mother nature.. or I should say I worked with you this year, instead of fighting what you have planned for my short gardening season…

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Update to follow if my plan works out and I indeed do retrieve seeds from this

bolting Radish plant…

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I weeded the clover that was beginning to take over my garden beds, (5) in total.. While, my pup watched me from the shade of my flowering honeysuckle bush…

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Isn’t she just a sweetheart….

But, it was time to return indoors, since my skin could feel the humidity beginning…

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and my pup was the first one up the steps…

Before, the thunderstorms roll in today! Yay, free water for the garden


it’ll fill up my rain barrels…win, win, win, chicken dinner….

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Until next time

~  Laura  ~

I am Gadget Girl (woman)…Old woman!

Betty Crocker Pizza Maker - 001

Presenting the Betty Crocker Pizza Maker

I one-hundred percent admit that gadgets for the kitchen, gardening, laundry room…make me a happy woman, alright old woman… I can say that about myself because it’s true, but don’t let anyone else call me old… Those are fighting words… So, now that you’re completely warned about that, let me continue with the post…    🙂

I found this kitchen gadget for my kitchen last year and have made wonderful pizza’s inside of this machine. You can buy store bought pizza dough (shame on you for not making it from scratch) Hee, Haw… like I do… Well I’m retired, so I have lots of time on my hands and my children are grown… So, moving onward….

The booklet that came with the machine gives instructions for homemade dough.. you make the shells first and cook them, then you top your pizza and cook again… So, its like store bought dough after all… isn’t it.. (homemade taste better….just saying)

The booklet comes with instructions for making a pizza sized Chocolate Chip Cookie! Come ON! Really… A pizza size cookie…..I’d be in heaven with something like that or you can make it and it can be for a surprise for someone you love…. Or if that person is dieting and you don’t care for them this size cookie will totally blow there diet all to the southern regions for sure…. Alright, it’s so hot here and I’m on my last nerve trying to sleep…

So, I decided last evening to try my own lower calorie brownie recipe in my handy dandy Pizza Maker and cut the finished product with a pizza cutter, how cute eh?

On with the show… here’s my creation in my Betty Crocker Pizza Maker

Homemade Brownies

(Oh and they are somewhat thin, so less calories!)

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I should have used the flash on my camera.. but this was so easy… cut a piece of parchment paper and line the pizza maker.. it said to preheat the cooker first, which I didn’t and it worked fine.. I waited for the up to temperature light to turn green after filling with one half of the batter, then started timing the cooking ~ 15- 20 minutes.. and the really cool (pun) thing is I didn’t have to heat up the kitchen with my oven… On days when it’s nearing 98 F…

Isn’t that always the way? You get a craving for something baked when it’s hotter than the southern regions…

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(I remembered to use the flash)

I just grabbed the parchment paper and placed on a cooling rack, added some icing.. Come on ! This old woman needed comfort and icing on the brownie was the solution….. Cut the Pizza shaped brownie with a pizza cutter.. How neat eh?

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To add fun to this dish ~ drizzle the frosting on the plate, since I didn’t have any of my strawberries left.. oh my that would have looked so pretty… But, it was fun for my index finger getting that drizzle off the plate 🙂

So, in conclusion I would have to say one word about my Betty Crocker Pizza Maker Brownie



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Until next time

Red Peonies ~ June 17th 2016

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Each time the red peonies gets ready to bloom many are not up to the white peonies standards

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This flower looks almost too shy to open properly, or the heat from yesterday made it think twice?

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I will say that the white peonies was planted a year or two before the red was planted…But, there’s still a big difference between the plants…It’s almost fun each year to wait and see if the red peonies can finally catch up with the old sibling, so to speak…As we all are aware older will always be older, and the younger will always try to catch up… hum…something to ponder, eh?

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(It looks like a fish with a tail, and not your run of the mill slug)

I threw a few bean seeds into my permaculture bed a few weeks ago, and right off the bat something is eating away at the leaves, it’s gross to look at so I’m sorry I posted this picture, but what in the world is that thing?  Again, sorry for the poor picture I think I need new glasses when taking pictures.. Many are not coming out as clear as before….Aging….hum… Me?

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So, to make up for that gross picture here’s a picture of 3 little pies I made last week, before it turned so bloody hot… strawberry and rhubarb… mmm, mmm, good…….(do you get the joke?)

Let me know in the comments below if ya do….

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Until next time

Rare Snow in Hawaii ~ June 15th 2016

June 15th 2016 Rare Snow in Hawaii covering Manuna Kea Volcano

(Pictures from The Weather Channel)

It snowed in Hawaii on June 15th 2016

Given the extremely high elevation of Mauna Kea 4,205 meters is likely to see snow, but it’s rare for this time of year my weather channel reported. Wow…I’m glad we didn’t see any of the white stuff here in northern Ontario, Canada…But, I’ve seen it snow here in June also…

Although I’d just call that a dusting of sorts, and not really accumulation of any magnitude, but snow just the same.. Something for you to ponder over on this warm Friday morning.. it’s already 22c here at 9:46 with the temperatures expected to rise into the weekend up to 30c.

Have a wonderful weekend out there to all of my friends who follow me and to all that just ponder over my blogs just because it’s fun… hugs


Until next time

Peonies Awakening

June 15th 2016 - 013 - Peonies opened

Yesterday morning at 8 the peonies bud was just about to open

12 hours later it’s awake in all of its glory.

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June 15th 2016 - 008 - Monster Jalapeno Plant

Last Fall I planted a few Jalapeno seeds into my indoor round clay planter… it grew and grew over the wintertime, and in December I had enough peppers to can Jalapeno Jelly ~ I’ve used the Jalapeno Jelly over a pork roast and over chicken, basting during the last hour of cooking.

June 15th 2016 - 012 - Monster Jalapeno Plant

The Jalapeno plant has continued to grow after I cut it back at the intersections (V) of the stems and here we go again… It’s loaded with peppers once again.. I’ll be cutting it back again after the peppers are ready to pick, cutting back to the (V) in each stem… The main stem is thick and hardy, so I’m leaving this plant indoors and see just how long I can keep this alive and producing peppers…

June 15th 2016 - 009 - Jalapeno Jelly

~  Yum  ~

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Here’s an update on my 30 year old ivy plant I’ve kept alive..This was a school project my son had in grade school and I have tended to it ever since he proudly brought it home for me on Mother’s day….many, many moon’s ago…

June 15th 2016 - 010 - 30 year old ivy plant

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June 15th 2016 - 011 - Avocado plant started in 2015

This plant was started last year, sorry I can’t remember just when… But, it grew beautifully with many leaves… Then the leaves began to turn black and curl up like it was time for a long winter nap… But, not the type of nap we all wish for, no, no, no… it wanted to swim with the fishes… I hope you get my reference from an old movie…

Well, since it took forever for the avocado pit to show a sprout in the beginning, while poked with toothpicks and having its bottom resting in a jar of water for months, and months… I thought I might show this plant some tender loving care… So, there it sat all winter in a pot of its own with just a stem to prove it was still alive… I waited and waited for signs of new leaves all winter, but all I received was crickets….not the bugs ~ rather just nothing at all…

I kept the soil moist when it needed water, and left it to dry out until the next round of water. I even placed the pot near the Jalapeno plant in hopes it would rally just because it could (if it wanted too?)

Well, the New Year came and went with nothing much happening, until around March…I noticed a sprout from the bare stem beginning to show me this plant had not given up after all… So, since I had room in the big round clay pot where my peppers and basil were growing I set the pot with the avocado plant right on top of the soil….There the three plants could converse with each other in plant language we humans can only hope to understand…

Now, the leaves are big again  and all was not actually lost after all…

So, if you too struggle with trying to grow avocado plants from the pits and the leaves curl up and become as dry and crumbled as mine did ~ Don’t give up … let it drop its leaves and keep watching because if there’s life still in the stem, it may rebound again like mine did…

Perhaps, this plant reminded me of a grand lesson for life… “Don’t ever give up…”

Or, perhaps the Jalapeno and Basil plants cheered this avocado plant back to life?

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Until next time ❤

~  Laura  ~

I welcome today with open eyes

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There’s hardly a cloud in the sky at 8 this morning. What a pure delight to relish in a clear blue sky…

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This plant appears to almost be lined up to dance away the morning…

June 15th 2016 - 004 - Barrel of Poppies from seed

Children love playing with a barrel of monkeys, but I’m delighting in a barrel of poppies….

June 15th 2016 - 002 - Peonies First Bloom

My first white peonies almost ready to open with its color like a beacon of light..

June 15th 2016 - 003 - Red Peonies first blooms

But, this red peonies can’t be stopped either, it’s in a race with its companion plant trying to steal the show….

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Have a wonderful enlightening day out there!

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Until next time

~  Laura  ~

Memories of my first win

I can’t help but remember the very first time I ever won anything. I was around 7 years old at the time. Memories are special little gifts at times, and I think the winner of my raffle contest will always remember winning the contest. She’s around 4 years old and took the naming of my creature very seriously, indeed. So, I added a few extra personal items to the contest prizes, suited just for her. Lots and lots of Frozen items went into the parcel. I just checked Purolator tracking online and noticed it arrived safely to its destination.

I must wait a bit to hear and hopefully see her reactions to her first contest win…. Her auntie will record her on her cell phone for me. I’ve know the winners Auntie for many many moons and she feels just like a daughter to me as well, so this contest for me has warmed my heart and was surprised this little person was announced the winner. I’m sure after opening up the parcel she will always remember this day and for that I’m truly blessed and thankful to have brought these special memories to a sweet child…

Since, the winner named my critter “Burger King” I thought I’d add an extra delight and re-work my critter just a little bit  and send to her a copy of the picture.

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Thank you to all that entered the contest

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Until next time