Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thursday This and That

It's time to cut hydrangeas for drying for fall and winter arrangements. When they start changing colors -- mine start turning from blue to slightly green -- you simply cut them and place in vases without water. If they were ready, they will keep their shape. These are just the old-time Nikko Blue.There's another way to preserve these flowers so that they take on a "leathery" feel. That method is done with glycerin and my sister and I are researching how to do that method of preserving.

I decided to cut fresh herbs to make a blend that's very good for mixing with olive oil for bread. Here, I have the beginning of a small batch consisting of thyme, rosemary, oregano and chives. I chopped and added dried parsley (would have added fresh, but rabbits got all mine this year!), minced garlic, red pepper flakes, sea salt and black pepper. This mixture needs refrigeration.

 Finished and ready to store in the refrigerator.

It tastes almost like the one I buy at the store for $6! And every bit as good.

For a healthy lunch today I prepared a salad consisting of lettuce, cucumber, tomato, scallions, black beans, black olives, avocado, poached egg, chopped basil, lemon juice and garlic-flavored vinegar. I am a believer in the Meditterean way of eating!

Water tastes even better with mint ice cubes and poured into a pretty stemmed glass.

Ah, what says summer better than a refreshing slice of watermelon?

I don't think I've reported in the blog the latest on Mommie Sox. As you know, she was living at the barn with her five kittens -- now three months old. Two weeks ago Sox was in for spaying and I brought her to house to recover.She has been living happily in a secluded room in the basement. She was very quiet the first week and I don't think the dogs knew of her presence. She's feeling much better now and Kris is definitely wise to her being there. He whines when I go downstairs to attend to her needs. He ordinarily goes with me to the basement each time I go (as he follows every step I make). Valerie, another story. She has NEVER gone downstairs; we have tried for three years to entice her but she will not. She apparently had some bad experience in her past with steps, or a basement, or something. 

But back to Sox. We have decided to make a house cat of her. She is the absolute sweetest kitty I have ever known. She appears perfectly happy to be inside. I am still working on a plan to introduce her to the dogs. More on that as the plan develops.

And the kittens don't appear to miss her either! The strange ways of animals.

Isn't she pretty?

I'll close out this mish-mash of subjects today by showing a few skin care products I love.

1. Clarins Huile Orchidee Bleue Face Treatment Oil - I use it about three times a week as a night moisturizer. Good for dehydrated skin. Smells divine.

2. Weleda Birch Cellulite Oil.

3. Argan Oil - To condition the hair, but I use it as a foot massage; also good for dry skin.

4. Evian Affinity Holiday Skin Tan and Tone - I'm not a big fan of self-tanning products, but this gives just a hint of color, nothing drastic, plus it's a great moisturizer.

5. Elizabeth Arden Peel and Reveal facial mask - Use two or three times a week.

6. Evian facial spray - Great for hot summer days. I keep one in my handbag.

7. Dr. Tichenor's peppermint mouthwash concentrate - Love peppermint mouthwash and this is the best.

8. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse - plant oils and Vitamin E. For some reason, this looks good on days you don't want to use a foundation. Gives your skin a glow.

9. Clarins Body Treatment Oil, "Relax." 100% plant extracts; use after shower. Smell of essential oills - so nice!


  1. Your hydrangeas are beautiful - they look perfect. Mine should be dry in a day or two. Checked on the glycerin today - a new thing we must try.
    Prettiest of all - Miss Sox - wonderful pictures. Can't wait to see her this weekend. She is one lucky cat to have you for her mommy.

  2. I am anxious to try the glycerin preservation method. They will be less likely to shed petals. I am sure I'll have Sox as spoiled as Val and Kris!

  3. I had a friend who varied the soil on her hydranga and could get pink flowers from it. I love huge green hydranga wreaths at Christmas. That cat is so peaceful looking.
    I like the idea of the "oils" you use. One thing I need to solve now that I don't live in wet Seattle, is dry heels. There must be a wonder product for them!

    1. It's interesting, the pink vs. blue. Our soil is acidic so they are blue. Folks add lime to the soil if they want pink blossoms.
      Ida, below, has her solution. Vaseline is great for so many things. Plus, any of these oils I use would certainly help as well.

  4. A friend arrived this morning with a white Hydrangea in a small wooden tub a pre- birthday the past our's have always been the lace caps in gardens.Will be interesting to see how it grows.
    The same friend dries her's in silica gel,I would not have the patience to do this tricky job! still the results are natural with vivid colours.

    Yummy your salad, love bean salads,I eat similar ones daily.

    To prevent cracked heels I use vaseline with cotton socks leave on overnight twice weekly.....real passion killers but works for me.
    Wishing you a great weekend. Ida

    1. Lucky you, a gift white hydrangea! If your birthday is this weekend I wish for you a happy one!
      And by the way, Ida, just send some of your rain my way. It's been three weeks and we're beginning to get that scorched Earth look, what with the high temps we have had and will continue to have!

    2. Thanks, Ida! I'll try that when it gets a little cooler. I wonder if you could use Vap-O-Rub or Mentholatum? That would be cooling, too.

  5. Great mix of this and that, thanks. I´ll have to try that Nuxe product, though I use foundation ( make-up, I assume? ) only seldom.
    The salad looks heavenly, sigh.
    And what about mum Sox, she indeed is the sweetest. Btw, Morty neither likes to climb the stairs, he prefers to stay downstairs. Nor have I witnessed him slipping on the stairs ever..
    I do like hydrangeas, used to have them for decoration, but then this wave of Feng Shui blew over me.
    According to it, you are not supposed to keep dried flowers in your house. Empty vases are also forbidden.
    I don´t know what, but then and there something " clicked " in my head, and I got rid of all the dried whatever, and there are no empty vases either in our home.

    1. Our dogs do have their quirky ways! The Feng Shui thing is something I've read about and like the concept of but have never fully gotten into it. I admire you for getting on that bandwagon! Maybe I'll learn more about it, but I do like my dried hydrangeas!

  6. Dear Sanda...I better print out this post, so much useful info in it. I just started using Clarins and I simply adore the scents. I will get the oil for sure. THe kitty is most adorable indeed. xx

    1. Oh, don't you just adore Clarins. I really love all their skin care products. Glad items of this post are helpful. I learn loads of things from bloggers!


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