Sunday, December 2, 2012

Last Craft Fair of the year

Well, the last show of the year is done and all the leftover materials packed in bins in the craft room. It feels bittersweet; after being overwhelmed and stressed out about getting everything done on time to not having any crafts I need to get done. But wait! The Spring show is just around the corner. Now where did I put those tulip wreaths and bunny pictures? All kidding aside, it was quite an adventure this year. Some smaller shows did so well and then the one big one where there were tens of thousands of visitors (it was all four weekends in October)hardly made me booth fees plus being outdoors during one of the biggest wind storms of the year didn't help. I created some new jams, made different breads, tried out some candy and brownie variations, and served up delicious dips. and my crock pot tortilla chicken it soup was a hit when it was bitterly cold. This last show was a new one for me. It was held at the community college where I do two other shows, so familiar territory. And they had helpers with carts and dollys that made the trips to the car so much easier! And after a season of farmers markets and outdoor festivals, it was so nice to be inside where it was warm! I was in the perfect corner spot where I could spill out a bit from the normal strict 10x10 guidelines. Goodness knows I have plenty to fill the area. I actually didn't bring as much as I planned due to Mr. getting sick and running out of time to do everything. I don't know what I would do without Betsy's help and creative genius. Now if I could enlist a couple of granddaughters help... We tried some new design ideas this year; both in the creations and the booth display. Half the fun is in setting up and creating special vignettes. We got several compliments about it and got two invites for exclusive shows for next year. Yea!
Mr. is feeling a bit better today but still not up to par. He is on several strong medications and if he forgets to take them it really causes some problems. And then dehydration and everything else plays out into a miserable time. So now the time consuming writing descriptions and photo submitting on Etsy begins. I actually enjoy it but it does drain the time I allot for being on the computer. I mean,I need my Pinterest time, right? A few more things cleaned out of the garage and I will be able to park in there. I've kinda hogged it with various projects and bins of things waiting for the next show. And now we can finish the bathroom remodel. And get the Christmas decoration out and up! And there will be time to drive around and enjoy all the decorations and lights. And buckle down and work on my real estate classes. Has anyone tried the tea in pyramid shaped bags? Pretty delish. Just wish they had them in decaf. I love my tea but I drink it all night and if it's not decaf I won't be able to sleep. Don't you love Christmas Holiday time? All the beautiful colors, the food, the family and friend time. And all the Christmas shows on Lifetime and the Hallmark channels? I'm watching some new ones, but also those old favorites. I love 'The Bishops Wife' and even the remake of it called 'The Preachers Wife'. And 'Little Women' was on earlier today! Mr. likes the Christmas cartoons and all the different Christmas Carol movies. I wish we as adults could react to this time of year like the children do. If only the awe and wonder of youth could stay with us and we could put aside our petty issues and arguments focus on whats important and love one another more and as equals. Then we could put our energy into helping solve the important issues like hunger, disease, and healing our Earth. Heres to keeping the Christmas Spirit in all of us all year long!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Been A Long Time

So sorry everyone for the lapse in posting. Between the usual hectic summer of a nursery business and family vacations, my father-in-law's health rapidly declined and after several weeks in the hospital, he passed away. And afterwards the ongoing job of cleaning up the estate,etc. I have 4 more weekends at the farmers market, plus I am doing the Harvest Festival at Greenbluff for the first time, so quite an adventure. That runs every weekend throughout October, so you can imagine the preparation to get enough jams and baked goods to carry me thru. Anyone want to help? We were blessed with an awesome summer as far as weather goes; in fact we are expecting our first frost this week. Others in the area have not been quite so lucky, but we are still getting cukes, tomatoes, and a bumper crop of peppers. Also a good year for potatoes, hops, grapes, plums, raspberries, basil, and garlic. The air quality was a bit bad at times because of the wild fires around us and the lack of breezes, but has cleared up considerably in the last couple of days. I promise to be more diligent with the writing, and hope to bring some new ideas for plantings and crafts in the coming months. How about a sneak peek into what some of the hot plants for next year will be? We miss you Dad. 04/25/1925 - 08/23/2012 For now,Patti
Curtis Franklin Peterson passed on 08/23/2012, to finally join his wife Elizabeth. Born to Walter and Viola Peterson on 04/25/25, he was the 4th of 5 children. Curt served in WWII, and spent his 21st birthday preparing for D-Day. A man of strong morals and convictions, he served as the army's photographic developer and as a Medic due to his Conscientious Objector status. Upon his return to the States he attended WA State University, where he received a Bachelor of Pharmacology degree. While working his first job as a pharmacist in Sprague Washington he met Elizabeth Dirkes, then working her first job as a high school Music, English, and Home Economics teacher. They married in July 1951, and had three children, Claudia Peterson Spencer, Daniel (wife Patricia), and Timothy. In addition to his three children, Curt leaves behind a large living family; two sisters, 4 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren, and countless extended family members; all of whom remember him fondly. He was known to put the needs of others well before his own, whether family, friend, or stranger. A very generous and compassionate man, his house was often open to those in need. He was known and loved for many reasons; from his time at his own store "Curt's Y Drugs", to decorating a 40 foot Christmas tree complete with giant wrapped boxes and hobby horse. He lived his life as a good man, and he will always stand in our memory as the type of person we can aspire to be.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Garden Expo on Saturday

The biggest gardening event in Spokane is this Saturday! And Patti's Garden Expressions will be there!
At Spokane Community College 1810 North Greene Street from 9am to 5pm.
I will have my usual amazing tomato plants. I have selected the best varieties for this area. Lots of early ones and beefsteaks to tiny cherries. Even some best suited for hanging baskets and topsy turvys.
Peppers and other veggie starts.
Lots of water plants and fountains. Stupendous hanging baskets just in time for Mom!
Vintage and handmade items. Jams and jellies, incense, soaps, candles.
Hope to see you all there! I'm in my usual spot on the back wall of the Lair cafeteria.

And don't forget; on Sunday I will be having my Mothers Day Sale in my driveway. Even more delectable items for your viewing and buying pleasure! 10am to 2pm. See my ad in The Exchange or  Email me for directions.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spring Cleaning Is In The Air!

I am ready to shake this place up! Too long have heavy curtains been drawn across dingy windows, quilts of autumn hues thrown across sofa backs, and dust bunnies thriving in nooks and crannies. Well, no more. For it is Spring and we have come out of hibernation. Doors and windows are flung open for fresh air. Then closed again as the cool air reminds me that it is a mere 44 degrees!

 Like the solitary bee who first appears in the early season, gathering strength and beckoning the others to come out of the hive, I am gathering my troops to meet their duties with that same determination. We will exchange the snow shovel for the rake, the snow thrower for the leaf blower and march out into the newly awakened world. Rugs are hung over railings and beat with abandon. Decks are swept and the land is surveyed.

 Where will the hammock go? We need new path lights set there. Another wind chime will be wonderful there. A new flower bed should go there.I want those shrubs moved to there.

The birds are boisterous and excited also. They chatter over their suet meals, squabble over the sunflower seeds and lay claim to last years nests.

 The Northern Flickers are sizing up the telephone pole in the back of the yard for their own and chasing off the mourning doves who like to perch there. No longer content with his cache of filberts and walnuts, our little squirrel  delights in teasing the dogs by running just out of their reach along the fence and into the cherry tree  for his share of seed.

Dan and I both thought we saw and heard a hummingbird so we dig out the feeders and prepare them for the tiny visitors that rely on the nectar for warmth and energy.
The bulbs we planted last fall are breaking thru mulched beds s are the garlic and onions. The koi are up closer to the surface of the pond tho still sluggish, but any day now will be looking for their first seasons feeding of Cheerios to break their winter fast. A bag or two of water softener salt to put a healthy slime coat  on their skin and all the pumps turned back on and we will be ready. The pond looks naked now but soon the plants along the edge will appear and the first long-legged lily pads will appear on the surface.
The tomato plants have come up and soon will need to be divided and put into bigger pots. Early summer flowers are started in the greenhouse and potted plants overwintered are trimmed and fertilized. The sun-warmed greenhouse is very cozy this time of year and a welcome retreat when a sudden downpour or a snow shower sends us scurrying inside.

The chickens are gearing up. The ground has thawed and special treats of weed seeds that have sprouted and bugs and worms crawling up out of the depths cause much excitement and clucking.No part of the garden is left unturned. every nook and cranny is explored. The roosters, ever vigilant, strut  amongst their flocks, casting glances round for intruders from above.
Back inside cupboards and drawers are thrown open. The time for organizing and sorting has begun. What should be kept, given away, re-purposed? The pantry is organized and lists of new supplies for the jam-making season are written.

New recipes join old ones and beloved cookbooks stand shoulder to shoulder with crisp new volumes. Likewise, the library shelves in the office are given a quick dusting, because to tarry too long there would result in the rest of the day spent in idle repose, leafing thru craft design books or sighing over the pictures in the gardening and decor books.

Travel books on the coffee tables that kept us dreaming of warm, far-away places throughout the winter are replaced with the latest garden magazines and the newest release of the Flea Market style magazine.

Fresh bouquets from the grocer are used to brighten  houseplants long overdue a leaf rinsing and fertilizing.
Counters are swept clean of clutter, cabinets are polished, and displays are dusted.

Bread is baking in the oven, the dishwasher is humming and the vacuum is chasing the last of winters grit from under sofas and in corners. Pastels and bright colors in pillows and coverlets, rugs and curtains replace the heavy and more somber colors of winter.

Spring has arrived, even as the wind howls and the snow and sleet beats down. We take comfort in knowing that one day soon, it will be warm again!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Is It Spring Yet?

Okay, not like I'm rushing it or anything. Bot we have had two (count 'em) days of nice weather! As in temps in the 50's! Ya hoo! So it's gotta be Spring, right? The robins are back in the largest flocks I have ever witnessed. The pussy willow is pussying, and fat juicy shoots are breaking the surface and pushing up thru leaf-strewn ground.

We have been out those couple of days and got an amazing amount of work done. Trees pruned or removed entirely. Entire beds removed and awaiting replanting or reconfiguring. General clean-up and revamping.
Of course we are very careful not to walk upon the cold soil lest we ruin it for the season. No digging yet so we don't turn it into cold hard concrete. Just an occasional flick with the rake or a lean over to tug out an unruly plant.
And plans! Yes I have more plans in store for this year! Moving shrubs around. Adding new fruit trees as an espalier revolution down the front side fence. Removing the old overgrown butterfly garden. Adding a bog garden and new plantings along the north side of the pond. Widening the grass pathway on the south side of the pond to accommodate the mower. Making room for more varieties of hops.
Some may get done. Some may get started and then left  for more exciting ventures. Some may lay dormant in my mind and on pages of my garden diary till time and energy permit. But still I dream!

I fear I have been remiss in writing this blog as I have come upon an exhilarating new site called Pinterest!!!  Now if you have not hear of this, rush immediately to There you will see my 'boards' and learn about this site and in fact my interests! And by all means star some of your own  today! it has become the new social network.
I am still selling jams on Etsy and have a sale going on right now. Lots of yummies still left!
Saturday morning I went to the Kootenai county Farmers Market members meeting.This will be my 6th year there! Have lots of new ideas for it as well!

Also hoping to get into the Farm Chicks show.I seriously need help in designing my booth. Send me ideas and maybe we will have a contest!

Speaking of that; has everyone seen the new magazine "Vintage Style"? To die for! Right up my alley! And the new issue of Flea Market Style is out!

Did you see that Home Depot is the first retailer to accept PayPal as a way to pay in their stores? What a great idea.I am already signed up and got their access card. Do you?

Okay take a breath and slow down! Am I rambling. This is how my brain goes now that I am having 'menopausal dementia'. I am literally filled with bits and pieces of info that I try to get out before losing them, or periods of blankness where I can't remember something I am trying to say or do. So get it out quickly before it's gone. Whether speaking or writing. I have bits and pieces of notes written laying all over the house and stuffed in the pockets of my pants or jackets.

I am taking an online course on tax liens and deeds. It is very interesting but demanding of time. Lots of research by phone and Internet. Hopefully it will become a rewarding business venture. Dan and Betsy are my cohorts in this, but if it does fulfill what it promises, I hope to involve other family and friends.

I awoke to pouring rain this morning. We set the clocks ahead an hour so it was still relatively dark. I looked out thru the sunroom and watched the light fill the sky. The weather progressed into patches of sun then sleet and more rain. It became colder and then just as the sun set it broke thru the clouds and lit up the sky one last time.
May your days turn warm and sunny and all the beauty of the Spring flowers fill you with joy.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What's On Your Kitchen / DiningTable?

Okay, honesty time. I'm looking at my table and can't actually see my table? It's pushed up against the wall with three of the chairs upside down on it in back.
Then on the chairs are the boxes that just came from UPS filled with hanging glass balls and teardrops for the terrariums I will be planting.
Below that are the seed catalogs and bins of last years seeds that have been inventoried with invoices for seeds newly ordered.
Taking over the left side are kegs of beer covered in towels fermenting for the desired number of weeks before bottling. With the furnace vent just below, it is the ideal warm spot for such an activity! Alongside them are the boxes of bottles, caps and the antique bottle capper recently acquired via E Bay.
In front are precarious stacks of glass baking pans, pie pans, Corning Ware baking dish sets, mixing bowls, serving bowls, and bread pans. These are from the little frenzy of re-organizing the kitchen pantry and island cupboards that took place one morning before work this week.
Next to them are last years business receipts and invoices, inventory lists, documents and files from the business taxes that were just completed.
Add in a few misplaced bills, Valentines decorations ready to be put up, a sack of clothes for the Goodwill, supplies for the next batch of Chex mix and a 25 pound box of dog treats and you have my dining room table! What would we do without it?

Here's what my table should look like