Welcome to my
Perfectly Imperfect Life..........

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

AB4B Interview

Believe it or not yours truly was interviewed
by Donna of Daisy Donnas
for a segment of the Age*Before*Beauty Blog.
Every so often they choose a member to interview
and promote. What a surprise to be one of them!
If you'd like to check it out it will be in Friday, June 26th's blog.
While you're there look around at all the talented ladies and their products.
AB4B Blog

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Great Blog Giveaway!!

Touch of sunshine is having a great blog give away!
Here's a little peak at the prize!
http://touchofsunshine.blogspot.com/search/label/4th%20Of%20July%20Giveaway
Just click on the link.
It is an awesome Giveaway! Fly on over and get your self signed up =)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

More Lazy Gardener Tips

While laying in bed last night I was thinking of some other things I do for my garden. I thought you might benefit from them too.
And best of all they are FREE!
After steaming or boiling vegetables I save the water, let cool, then water a plants with it. I usually look for the one that doesn't seem happy. This water contains a lot of nutrients that gets left behind by the cooking of the vegetables.
Another "eggselent" (sorry, couldn't resist!) nutrient rich water is left from making hard boiled eggs. Just like with crumbling the shells into the garden, this water provides the same nutrients but in a much more milder degree. Many years ago when I had a slew of houseplants and no yard, I used to keep a lidded mason jar filled with water under the kitchen sink. I would add egg shells to it from time to time, let sit & water my houseplants. Leave the shells in the jar and refill with water. When it got so smelly that I couldn't stand it I would change out the eggs and start again. My plants were very happy!
Now we know I'm lazy but I also hate spending money when I can get what I need for free and it works so well. Take a look at my garden and I think you'll agree...this lazy gardener does OK =)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Feed Your Worms!


Don't forget to feed your worms!
Now you probably think I'm crazy, but your garden will appreciate it.
We all know I love to garden. I try to keep it as organic as possible. Hate putting chemicals on my plants...that includes fertilizer.
I don't have the room for a compost pile or the energy to tend to it...
so I do my "lazy woman gardener" style =)
What I do...
I have a big metal bowl 
(you can find something much prettier, I'm sure =))
that sits next to my kitchen sink. 
To it I add fruit, vegetable peelings and trimmings, egg shells, coffee grounds, veggies or fruit past it's prime, etc. throughout the day. 
Please DO NOT include meat or dairy items.

These are not beneficial to the garden.


When I get a chance I go out into my gardens and 
look for a spot in which to bury these....a bare spot or near, 
but not next to a plant so I don't disturb it's roots.


I dig several small/medium holes, fill until your collection is gone.
It also depends how much I have in my bowl.
 Sometimes I'm in a hurry and just dig a big hole for all of it...but it takes longer for it to compost. 


Make sure the hole is deep enough to replace the dirt
 you removed. After all you don't want critters to come dig it up.


Tamp down the dirt on top well. I even step on it to be sure it's nice and compacted. Your done!
You've just fed your worm and in turn your plants.

Your Earthworms will come along, eat all these yummies up then leave their castings (poop aka fertilizer). Your plants will absolutely love this. I have been doing this for years, so believe me it's a tried and true method.

A portion of my gorden

And it's FREE!
AND if you're lucky you may just have a few volunteer plants pop up!
I have volunteer tomatoes, cucumbers and potatoes this year  =)

If you don't want to do the whole collection thing,
here a few plants that do well with certain scraps.

Roses love Bananas!


Bananas have calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, and sulfur just to mention a few of their nutrients.
Bury the whole peel about an inch below the soil at the base of the plant.

Camellias, Azaleas, and Tomatoes love Egg Shells!


Dry and coarsely crumble the shells,


 mix lightly or sprinkle on top of the soil.
Egg Shells provide calcium and magnesium. 
An added bonus is slugs and snails are discouraged from getting into your garden because they can't move over the broken shells.

So save those veggie and fruit scraps for your garden!




Your plants will love you for it =)


Now go feed your worms!!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Free Summer Images

With Summer right around the corner,
I thought now would be a good time to share
some Summertime images with you =)
Enjoy!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Portuguese Holy Ghost Festa

My last post mentioned attending a Portuguese Festa.
I attended so many growing up.
My parents always went to the one in
 Manteca because we had family there.
Our family has spread out over the years ~
 since my Sister and I have left the nest, we've ventured out a bit.
My Sister lives in Petaluma so we have gone to several there.
I live in Newman and we have attended the largest in the valley at Our Lady Of Miracles in Gustine.
It has been the largest for many, many years. When my Dad was little they lived in Modesto and would make room at their home for many Portuguese friends who would travel cross country to come to Gustine for the celebration.
When my Mother was young she was crowned Queen at St Michael's in Livermore 
where she was born and raised, as were my sister and I.
My Grandmother made her beautiful beaded long dress 
with collar and train by hand! Who was a beautiful seamstress in her own right.
Now as my parents have gotten older (and since Mom has passed)we attend The Holy Ghost in Livermore.
It's usually around Dad's Birthday so it makes for an overall beautiful celebration.
I thought maybe you would like a little more information
regarding exactly what the Festa represents, 
this article describes it well. =)

"Feed your fascination for other cultures by going to a Portuguese Holy Spirit festival.
Whether your name is Silva or McClanahan, you'll be welcomed.
Portuguese Americans from the Azores-many whose ancestors came to the West to fish or farm hold festas (pronounced "fesh-tas") in California, Nevada, and Hawaii.
There may be one in your city or town; more than 500,000 Azorean Americans live in California alone.
The festa tradition, which has been observed in this country for about a hundred years, mingles Catholic religious beliefs and ancient legend. Although the sentiment behind festas is the same everywhere, particular customs can differ between communities. The Sunday portion usually starts at 10 A.M., with a parade from the Portuguese hall in town to a church. Other fesh-tivities sometimes including bloodless bullfights-- take place on Friday evenings, Saturdays, and Monday evenings.

But for the uninitiated, the Sunday events are the most interesting. Appointed festa queens make their way down the parade route towing capes of velvet, jewels, seed pearls, beading, feathers, and appliques (their finery, and other aspects of the festa, recall 14th-century Queen Isabel, a peacemaker and friend to the poor-particularly during a Portuguese famine). A Portuguese brass band or two enliven the atmosphere. At the church, the costumed parade cast jams into the front pews, and a Mass is said, often in Portuguese. After the Mass, the priest crowns the Queen at the altar.
A feast of tradition
The parade then returns to the Portuguese hall, where the new Queen releases a white dove, symbol of the Holy Spirit, into the air. (The popular belief that a visit from the Holy Spirit is what enabled Isabel to relieve her people's suffering is the subject of several miraculous legends; according to one, the queen, smuggling food to the poor in midwinter, produced live roses from her robes when her husband, Diniz, demanded to see what she was concealing.)
Inside the festa hall, volunteers prepare sopas e carne (beef soup),
served free to everyone in the charitable spirit of Isabel.
To make the sopas, cows donated by Portuguese community members are slaughtered and boiled for about 6 hours in huge pots (some large enough to hold the meat of entire cows).
Added are onions, paprika, cinnamon, cumin, tomato, wine, and sometimes cabbage. The broth is poured over French bread and mint sprigs; the beef is served alongside.
Throughout the day, you can usually buy other Portuguese specialties-sweet bread, linguica, tremocos (boiled lupino beans).
After the meal, an auctioneer sells homemade bread, wine, and table linens.
Proceeds are used to defray the cost of the festas. Portuguese music fills the ball Sunday night (or sometimes Saturday),
and dancers stamp their feet, spin,
and pose according to the calls of the chamarita. Generally, a community holds its festa at the same time every year."
Sunset Magazine
Every year I try (someone usually outbids me) to win some homemade delicacy.
This year I finally did!!

Portuguese Sweet Bread,
Portuguese Cheese From Portugal (huge wheel came into the Oakland Port, they cut wedges and zip locked),
Casal Mendes (a white Portuguese Wine),
and the illusive Pièce de résistance....
Aquardente (Homemade Portuguese moonshine)!!
Let's party til the cows come home!!

90 Years Young

We recently celebrated Dad's 90th Birthday!
We did so by going to St Michael's Portuguese Festa.
Being full Portuguese we've attended many of these in many cities over the years.
Sopas is sooo good!
It is always a good time.
Afterwards we had the gorgeous cake my Sister brought.
That's Dad when he was about 4 years old, what a doll!
The best gift of all was seeing Dad enjoy himself

Friday, June 5, 2009

Remembering When.....

I remember playing out side pushing a baby doll in a pink Taylor Tot...I always wondered why they were called that...anyway, it had belonged to my older Sister, then passed own to me.


My Sister is 10 years older than I am so by the time I was old enought to actually play with this Taylor Tot, she was very well on to other things.


Now being raised on a farm, dolls went the wayside for more "interactive" play things.
That's right, more than my dolls got to be pushed by me =)
Let's see.....each of the barn cats took turns, a chicken or two, maybe even a duck now & again.
Oh, and can't forget our rooster!
Alfredo rode in style, bumping along our gravel lane.
Some were more willing than others.
As I got older I gave then "seatbelts".
Wish I knew what seatbelts were back then,
I could've patented them & made a fortune LOL ;)

Well, the time has come for that olde Taylor Tot to find a new home.
Maybe someone will revive it with new paint,
maybe it will get to retire & be on display
or maybe it will make new memories for a child.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Baby Graduated

Makes a Mom proud...
Graduation Day had bittersweet feelings for me. My youngest of 4 beautiful children was about to make that final step into adulthood. Being the proud Mother I am, I was of course beaming!
Not only was this a life changing day for him but also for me. No more children "in school", meeting schedules, teachers.......
No, I don't have that empty nest syndrome, I have come to realize just because children Graduate from High School doesn't mean they move out =) But rather just another Chapter closed.
He will attend College next Semester. I am so excited for him. What will the future hold? Only he can make that decision. But he knows Mom will always be there for advice & guidance.
Although I don't think he's quite as excited as I am.....
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