Friday, May 31, 2013


 The first ladybug sighted signals the start of "bug season." Happy to see her but now we watch for all those buggy pests that like to munch on the crops!
These potatoes are out of control! I'm hoping for lots of wonderful, nutty yellow Yukon Gold spuds this season. Soon they will bloom and then the tops will die off leaving me with a huge bare box again, only then it will be filled with potatoes.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


 I planned on having a Memorial Weekend extravaganza at Angel Crest Manor so I though with the weather so warm I'd do a mid-morning brunch out on the patio. I found this recipe for a French toast casserole made with croissants. It sounded yummy and would feed six or even 7 as I had planned on. The thing is you really need good croissants  ...not those papery dry ones from the supermarket! My quest for them ended at the local Artisan Bakery in Medford (who knew I didn't have to go to Ashland for ' fact, the Apple Cellar Bakery in Ashland has closed and just gone wholesale.)
 The recipe calls for 8 cut up croissants, 10 eggs and lots of spices. You pour the egg mixture over the croissants, cover it in plastic wrap and let it osmos overnight in the fridge. Then you bake it the next morning for 30 minutes with sliced almonds on the top. Let it cool and dust with lots of powdered sugar. I served it with maple syrup and fresh local strawberries, accompanied by Trader Joe's chicken apple sausages and baked beans. Yummm!
We ended up eating inside as the weather was cool and rainy. And two of my invitees didn't come as planned so we had a bit left over. Their loss!

Monday, May 27, 2013


 Meet paeonia x 'Jan van Leeuwen'  This was my gift to myself this year in anticipation of Mother's Day (thinking it might bloom by then) I planted it in April and it is blooming for Memorial Day. Peonies like it here in this climate with just enough winter to let it "rest" between growing and blooming seasons. And like many plants fond of the Pacific Northwest, they like an acid soil.
This is a Monrovia plant, of course. My motto is "Look for the Monrovia label." If you're gonna splurge on a plant, get one grown by Monrovia and you'll have a better than average chance of success and satisfaction! Monrovia has locations in the Pacific Northwest as well as California. Their plants are well potted in good soil and not root bound like the stuff you find at the big box chains. These blooms are about 5" across and open wide in the sun.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


 This just might look like a guy with too much time on his hands...vacuuming a roof? Well, sadly yes, here at Angel Crest Manor we are forced to vacuum the roof several times during the spring! The mature maple trees (about 50' tall) dump their flowers and then their flower stems this time of year. It makes for a hideous mess and clogs the gutters as well. So the best way to get rid of the stuff is to suck it up!
We hope that the 3rd time is the charm!


Think driving down the road next to a big field and seeing a tall, skinny young guy on a cell phone jogging along with a leash in the other hand and what appears to be a large dog. But it's not a dog,'s a Suffolk sheep (the kind with the black face  legs) cantering along side him! Wish I'd had a camera! Maybe his 4H project was getting a little chunky and he opted for some "road work" to get his sheep in shape for the Jackson County Fair in July. Just guessin'...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


We thought we just might get through spring without hauling out the tarps, but NO! Cold arctic air courtesy of a sagging jet stream has taken over. So with temps down in the mid 30's overnight at this elevation, best not to take any chances. Here you see all the crops wrapped up for another chilly night. Luckily the roses (that's Julia Child in the fore) don't seem to mind! 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


 I'm so done with the brown this year but I had very little budget for changing my mind after 2 years of a chocolate brown bedroom! So I headed to my favourite French decorator emporiums...(Frederiques Meyeres and Jacques Cee Pennae) to look around. First I found a neutral tan & taupe comforter and shams (all for $34 franc bucks) at Frederiques. It meets with the black & white unit's approval as you can see.
Then it was up to Pennae's at Le Maulle for drapes. No pinch pleats in the whole department...just those ugly grommet style things! But wait! Way back in the corner, some discounted tab panels in a cream and taupe stripe linen. At $17 a panel, I grabbed up 4 of them. Back home I set up my trusty Viking sewing machine (circa 1964) and turned them into a single pinch pleat topped drapery. They just fit these not too big windows in the little 1978 style master bedroom. Voila! A nice, clean modern look, and all for $102. Sometimes you just get lucky! 

Monday, May 20, 2013


 May is Clematis Month in the Rogue Valley. Every year I add another vine or two, hoping someday to cover the ugly south fence with vine magic!
 These type of clematis die back every winter and put out new growth on seemingly dead looking vines. I give 'em a shot of fertilizer early in the spring so they have a good start.

This year's main yard project was the privacy screen on the patio ( you're seeing the back side.) The final bit this year was adding a gravel path for the side yard instead of having to muck about in the hideous "junk lumber bark" that the house rehabber put down to cover up the dirt. Not good stuff and it's easy to misstep and twist one's ankle. Besides, this looks loads better! Yes, I am DONE with projects for this year....I think!

Saturday, May 11, 2013


 No, he's not baking a's the mold for a fiberglass spare tire cover for "Mr. T," the Topolino hot rod. He is using some really good aircraft foam to get the shape and then he will cover it with layers of fiberglass cloth & resin until it is "hard as Superman's kneecaps." 
My Mom's Day gift from Carolyn is Prunella Pelican who now sits on our patio water feature. A good spot!

Thursday, May 9, 2013


 An old galvanized bucket gets the "treatment" with succulents and a scratching wabbit.
 An old self-watering trough gets some bronze paint and lots of color with euonymous, salvia, calibrachoa, tagetes, cosmos, osteospermum, alyssum & trailing zinnia.
A new yellow rhoddie next to the intense blue salvia makes a nice display.