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Monday, July 23, 2012

Beautiful Rose of Sharon

I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.
Song of Solomon 2:1

The Biblical reference almost certainly does not refer to what is commonly known today as a Rose of Sharon and what I have in my yard. . . but isn’t it a beautiful bush! When the blooms fall, it creates a halo of blossoms on the ground beneath.

 I walked outside this morning and counted. I have six bushes. They have purple and pink flowers. One of my bushes at the corner of my house is a combination of purple and white. Not on the same bush, but two bushes that grew side by side.

These plants are so easy to grow. I read somewhere where a person just stuck a branch into the dirt until it took root. The seed pods can be a blessing and a curse. If left to nature, these pods drop and reseed the bush. This is great if you are looking to plant new bushes and/or trees in different places.
But they can take over. The only place in my yard where they 'take over' is at the corner of my house where I have a large one. It is planted inside of  landscape timbers. Their seeds fall and grow. This does not happen to the ones out in my yard because the grass is always mowed around them.
You could take the pods off in early spring before they have a chance to drop and repopulate. But if you have a large plant, there will be many,  many seed pods to remove.

I walked in the back yard of my neighbors house yesterday, hunting down my walking partner. I found her at her flower garden. I didn't realize she had so many Rose of Sharon plants . . . all started by my over abundance of plants. One is a gorgeous white!

They are very easy to grow. They love the sun and a well drained soil. They are a late bloomer, so you can enjoy them when other plants and flowers have lost their early blooms.

The bees and butterflies love them! Who couldn't love them? They are so beautiful!

Do you have a Rose of Sharon plant? What colors? If you are ever by my way in the summer, I could give you a little sprout and you could watch it grow into a gorgeous plant.

Posted by Janet F. Smart at Writing in the Blackberry Patch.
©Janet F. Smart

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Attack of the Killer Squash

It is that time of year again.

It is when your garden attacks you with many, many squash.

You fill your refrigerator (and extra refrigerator) with them, you give them away (or try to give them away) and you see how soon your family gets sick of eating them.

I have made at one time or another squash cakes, squash muffins, fried squash rings, sliced squash on the George Forman Grill, mix diced squash with your fried potatoes, dice, mix with flour or corn meal and fry them, squash bread, squash croquets, squash cubes/tomato and onions and last but not least the squash casserole!

The only thing about a lot of these recipes is that you make a low fat, good for you squash into a fattening, but delicious dish. The Forman Grill recipe is the easiest and least calorie one of the above. And, I love it fixed this way. I peel them and slice the squash longways into 6 pieces or so (depending on the thickness of your squash). I spray butter on them and sprinkle corn meal and seasoned salt on each one. I then cook at 350 degrees for five minutes on each side. Very good.

Here is my favorite casserole recipe:


2-4 yellow squash
1/2 onion, diced
can of cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

Peel and cube squash. Cook squash and onion till tender. Drain water. Put squash and onion in casserole dish and add cream of chicken soup and sour cream and stir together.

Mix together:
1/2 cup self rising flour
1/2 cup corn meal mix
1 egg
2T melted butter
milk and water
 (in other words make a small batch of cornbread)

Mix together the cornbread ingredients and pour on top of squash mixture. Cook uncovered in 350 degree oven about 30-35 minutes. Put on broil and brown cornbread on top if you wish.

Now you have your vegetable and your bread for supper.

Go here for my squash cakes and squash/tomato/onion recipes.
Go here for my squash bread recipe.

 Have I left any squash idea out? Tell us your favorite squash recipe --- please!

Posted by Janet F. Smart on Writing in the Blackberry Patch
©Janet F. Smart

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Getting Things Done

I haven't been posting much this summer. But, I have been busy.

We had a yard sale and I got rid of lots of stuff. The stuff that I didn't sell my sister filled up the back of their pickup truck with and took to their church for their yard sale. The truck bed, behind the front seat and the front seat was full.

Can you believe all the stuff we have that we don't need. I hate clutter, yet my house is filled with it.
I was very happy the first years of our marriage and we didn't have much at all. Compared to now, you might say back then we had an empty house. But we were perfectly content.

The garage is now empty enough that I can go in and straighten it out, get rid of more stuff and organize what is left. Who knows, maybe this winter we will be able to fit one car into our two car garage.

We took our swing off our front porch last year when we had new siding put on our house. I put it in the garage and hadn't put it back up. We have a glider on the porch, two vintage yellow metal chairs and an iron  piece of furniture. There was no room for the swing. I decided to take the iron bench off the porch and put it in front of the sliding glass doors where our drive way is. Now we have room to get the swing out of the garage and back on the porch. I am painting it today a barn red, it will  match the bricks on the front of our house. I found the almost full can of paint when I was cleaning out the garage.

It is amazing the things you find that you forgot you had, when you de-clutter!

Little by little we are getting things done.
Our garden is coming in good, the deer have enjoyed snacking on our green beans.
My berries are getting ripe. They have had a rough time of it this year. The storm that went through a few weeks ago damaged some of them and then the very high temps and drought are taking a toll on them.

I must admit the source of a lot of my clutter is yard sales. I still go to them, but not as much. I've also become more selective about the things I buy.  I have gotten very good things at yard sales before. The above swing was bought at a yard sale, a refrigerator (which is handier than an extra thumb), Fenton at a very small price and clothing.

I had a relapse a few weeks ago, though. I bought this antique milk can. Our next door neighbor had it in her yard sale. I didn't need it, but I wanted it. It is a little rusty on the outside, but the inside is very nice and clean. It was only $5.

Can any of you nice people out there give me ideas as to what to do with this milk can? I look forward to your creative ideas and suggestions.

posted by Janet F. Smart at Writing in  the Blackberry Patch.
©Janet F. Smart

Monday, July 2, 2012

Summer is a time for. . .

Summer is a time for yard sales, sizzling heat, storms and blackberries.

I just don't like to experience them all on the same day.

My neighbor and I picked the hottest day of the year to have a yard sale.

With temperatures soaring over 100 degrees, thank goodness for me and my yard sale visitors, I chose to put my stuff under the shade of our apple trees. I am glad to say I got rid of a few big items, such as our troy-bilt tiller, our son's truck tool box and my manual treadmill.

The evening after the yard sale we were visited by the worst storm of the year. Well, let's just say the worst wind storm we have had since building here in 1980.

We were lucky, we were left with electricity and our trees still in the ground, though missing a lot of limbs. Our yard and subdivision were littered with pieces of siding, uprooted trees, tree limbs, blown away bird houses and feeders and lots of stuff from who knows where.

My blackberry vines were damaged, but thank goodness, not destroyed.


I don't know about you, but I hope the rest of the summer is a little less uneventful!

Posted by Janet F. Smart on Writing in the Blackberry Patch.