Friday, September 13, 2019

How My Garden Grows, or Not, Sic. The Life and Cultivation of My Little Garden

Hello, Darlings

I am here again with a post about my garden. I am sure I mentioned it in one of my recent posts. I have always kept a journal, by the same name, on my progress, and with it I can reflect and improve on my successes and limit my failures. Anyway, besides being a DIY-er, I am also a container gardener. I got into container gardening long before it is “the thing” that it is today

I started like most container gardeners back in the days when our grandmothers and mothers would place a plant in water on to the window seal. These plants were usually various potatoes and some herbs.  There was also the small collection of parlor palms, African violets, airplanes and spider plants, just to name a few. 

I just had a funny thought. If we were living in California, there could be some marijuana plants growing merrily in someone’s window seal right now. 

Well, back in the earlier seventies I started experimenting with some generally thought of outdoor plants for indoor use. I had some success with roses under grow lights; however, the intensity of the lights was too strong and the roses grew, bloomed, and died too fast for enjoyment indoors. I was living in an apartment up north at the time. 

Disappointed, I temporarily gave up, but I never forgot the beauty of those roses blooming in my apartment regardless of their briefness. 

Well, over the years, I have experimented with other outdoor plants with some success. However, I must admit I recently lost a couple of dwarf Cavendish trees, apparently, my grow lights were strong enough, but I over watered them.  Nevertheless, I plan to grow a couple of them and some roses in containers outdoors at some later date.

The reasons I continue with container gardening is that it is easier to control the plants environments, means the contents soil and method of feeding.  Moreover, I cam happily grow and care for plants indoors and outdoors. For containers, I use the standard terra cotta, and plastic pots. Most recently, I have started using the cloths grow bags, which comes in 1 gallon to 300-gallon sizes. 

As a renter, I find using containers fun and also a plus, because I neither need to nor want to plant anything in the ground belonging to someone else. 

Below are pictures of my container garden as it looks today. The grow bags have a variety of young greens growing in them. Some of you might recognize the collard, the mustard and the turnip greens. However, I also planted a green that is new to me and is called the Leafy Red Amaranth Greens. Like my all-weather leaf lettuce, the Amaranth Greens are heat tolerant.  The other plants you’ll know as they are still very popular. 

Mustard greens

Collards, Mustard, and the Red amaranth greens


Amaranth greens and Mustard greens

Long view around fire pit

Long of whole garden at an earlier date.
As you can see my little garden is very contained, and there is no need to plant anything in the ground. In addition, it is very transportable from place to place.

Until next time,

   Chow, Darlings. 

The Amazing H2O Mop X5 Steamer, a Recommendation for All Households

Hello, Darlings,

I want to share with you an invention that I discovered two years ago and have greatly changed the way in which I mopped floors.

Firstly, I have never been a great fan of mopping because dealing with harsh chemical cleaners and the dirty water affected my allergy problem. However, my purchase of the H2O Mop X5 Steamer changed all that.

Although, I still have allergies and always will, the use of the H2O Mop X5 Steamer has eliminated the allergies associated with mopping.

With the use of the H2O Mop X5 Steamer and its attachment, for the past two years, I have been able it clean the dirtiest and grimiest floor imaginable.  By using plain water changed into stream, I am able to clean and bring the natural beauty of both marble and wood floors back to the surface without having to resort to getting down on my hands and knees to clean them, which in truth, is something I have been blessed in not having to do. Pushing a cloth mop around the floors was bad enough; no one in this day and age needs to get down of their knees. That is oh so old school.

The miracle of the H2O Mop X5 Steamer is a must for today’s housewives, househusbands, and anyone needing an easier and more healthier way too clean their floors. It is lightweight and comes with lots of interchangeable, washable attachments

Click this link to discover more about this amazing the H2O Mop X5 Steamer,

Until next time,

    Chow, Darlings

Monday, August 26, 2019

Part 4 of The Making of My “Homemade Air Plant Terrariums”

Hello, Darlings,

Here are the two terrariums bases stains with two layers on pecan high gloss stain. As you can the dowels now blend in with the bottom bases. I am thinking this is an okay shade. However, the camera also product this shade, which is a muted shade when no flash is used. I can come close to this shade by mixing the pecan will dark shade.

Before staining

After staining

Without camera flash, but shade to use.

After the stain dries, I will decide whether to darken them or not .

Until next time,

      Chow Darlings

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Part 3 of The Making of My “Homemade Air Plant Terrariums”

Hello, Darlings

I’m back with a third installment of the progress of “The Making of My “Homemade Air Plant Terrariums”.  In last night post, Part 2 of The Making of My “Homemade Air Plant Terrariums”, I showed you that I glued the dowels to the wooden bases.

The photos below show how the glass jars will sit on the bases once I have stained them. I let the dowels dry overnight, and now they are ready for some light sanding and staining.

The jars are cradled very nicely.

Until next time,

      Chow Darlings

Wasp for Today??

Hello, Darlings

I found this little fellow DOA in a pail of rain water that I am using to water some baby greens in my green house. It is my first encounter with this bug, so I snap this picture and looked it up on the web.

What I discovered about this bug is that it is a Cuckoo Wasp and it was nosing around my backyard because of the flowers and other plants I have back there. 

The Cuckoo Wasps like the drink the nectar of flowers. They have very small stinkers, so unless you are allergic the threat of getting badly stunk is probably less than the normal black wasp.

With all the high winds and rains we are experiencing the wasp probably was pushed into the rain water where it could not get out and drowned.

Anyway, here is a link on more about Cuckoo Wasp.

Until next time,

       Chow Darlings.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Part 2 of The Making of My “Homemade Air Plant Terrariums”

Hello, Hello, Darlings!

I am here will a brief update on the progress of my DIY project, "The Making of My “Homemade Air Plant Terrariums". Tell me.  Can you italicize a period? You know I'm not serious, right. Right!!! Hmm, never mind.

Anyway, I must admit that this project was not moving at all before today. Lately, there are other things that have been taking up much of my time. Nevertheless, while out and about town today, I stop in my favorite thrift store found two wooden ornaments that will work perfectly as the bases for my terrariums.

Each one of these has feet on the bottom which is helpful because when finished, the terrariums will not be laying flat.

As you can see I glued on the dowels which will keep the glass jars from rolling off. Of there is still a problem with them staying in place, I will glue the jars in the centers. Once the dowels are dried, I will sand everything to remove any excess glue and then them stain everything to tone down the color to a nice chestnut. And that will be the next post.

Until then, 

     Chow, Darlings!!

Monday, August 12, 2019

The Making of My “Homemade Air Plant Terrariums”

Hello,  Darlings

Today I will explain the mystery of why I posted the story The Meanest Man Who Ever Lived (An American Folktale). In spite of what some less imaginative people may have thought, my reason for posting the story was and remain purest and of the godliest of reasons. I, as the title of the post states, am making a couple of homemade terrariums in the hope of saving my air plants. My hope is that in partially enclosing them in the jars it will stop the extreme dryness of the plants caused by the two large circulating fans in the living room that blow air on them twenty-four hours a day, every day.

As for the folktale, I posted it because I concur with the unknown author that Spanish moss is an invasive plant. I, like many people,  think of it as a parasitic plant that slowly but surely will suck the life of the trees that they cling to for support. Now I am also aware of the Southern charm the plant so gracefully inspires as it hangs on to the trees, and that it is not seen by some people as a pest. However, like the Widow tree, Spanish moss has inspired many folktales of both the romantic and of the dark and haunting kind.  Therefore, as for this story, The Meanest Man Who Ever Lived (An American Folktale)  it relates to the plants negative far-reaching and eventual cost.

Well, that is enough on the nature of Spanish moss and my personal thoughts about it. The fans in the living room help the cool air circulate from the AC unit. This is a good thing. However, the downside is that the constant cool air on my air plants dries them out to the point that they quickly dry out, fall apart, and die, which is a shame because the plants are so beautiful.

Below are my supplies I am using to make the terrariums, and luckily I already had many of the items on hand, which were leftovers from other DIY homemade projects.
  • Two large glass jars. Jars that once held pickles; to be set on homemade platforms. I might glue the jars to the platforms to prevent them from rolling on to the floor and breaking. 
  • Two pieces of flat wood to make  the bottoms for the platforms;  leftovers from the wood I use to replace the broken glass shelves of the china chest. 
  • Eight small dowels, to be glued to the platforms to create supports and to hold the jars in place 
  • Several river rocks which are leftover from when I was into fish keeping. I now use them under planters to help with the drainage of water, and now this project.
  • One can of green paint for painting the wooden platforms and the dowels after gluing them together. 
  • One can of clear semi-gloss paint.  To give the river rocks a polish look.

          So there you have it, my latest project and the reason for the folktale, which I must admit is not all that pleasant of a read, and which is a totally unflattering truth about Spanish moss. However, it was something I just stumbled upon as I was looking for uses for it.

The jars and some of the other supplies on hand

Spanish Moss, hopefully creeper free

Air plants; not glue to driftwood

The river rocks
I will post more photos of my progress with the terrariums as I go along.

Until next time,

     Chow, Darlings!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

The Meanest Man Who Ever Lived (An American Folktale)

Hello Darlings,

I ran across this story when I was looking up uses for Spanish moss./ It is one of many origin story about the plant, but is is also a cautionary tell for good, dirty, scoundrel. It is entitled, "The Meanest Man Who Ever Lived".

The Meanest Man Who Ever Lived (An American Folktale)

Once upon a time, a man lived down in Georgia who was so mean, people always tried to stay away from him. That mean man was so smart that he worked out ways to make other people fight with one another. He did so many terrible things, it's hard to recount them all. He threw rocks at children and animals. He chased people with brooms. He poisoned food and water. He cheated. He lied. He boasted and bragged. He yelled at the top of his lungs. Nobody knew how to stop him from causing so much hurt.

Nobody liked him. Well, that's not completely true.

Indeed, the Devil loved the mean old man. The Devil watched him for years, measuring the mean old man's strengths. He admired his skills. He even stole some ideas from him. And then one day, the Devil decided it was time to meet that mean old man. After all, he was old.

One day, the mean old man was walking down the road, looking for someone to hurt, when he felt a presence nearby. He turned around, looking this way and that, but he didn't see a soul. Then suddenly, out of the mist, the long arm of the Devil stretched toward him and reached for the mean old man's lapels, ready to yank him into the netherworld.

The mean old man leaped away and cried, "Wait just one second! I'm not going anywhere. Is that you, Devil? If it is, you must know it's not my time!"

The Devil laughed. "You've been here a long time, old man. A long, long time."

That was true. The mean old man had been around for as long as anyone could remember. He'd made life miserable for everyone for longer than anyone knew, and when they tried to figure out how old he was, no one could.

"I've got a lot more meanness left in me!" the mean old man said to the Devil. "I've been here a long time, that's true. But, please. Let me stay a while little longer. I'm your best friend on Earth!"

The Devil thought about this. He knew that was so. The mean old man was doing a good job here on Earth, and the Devil was reluctant to stop him.

"All right," the Devil agreed, "I'll give you more time." He pulled his hand back into the mist, but the mean old man called after him.

"Listen, the next time you come for me, give me a sign that you're coming before you appear. Send me a message so you don't catch me by surprise!"

The Devil agreed, and the mean old man was happy that he had outsmarted the Devil. He was proud of himself for earning more time on Earth. Even though he moved slowly and every muscle ached, he knew he had a lot more meanness in him. His mind was always plotting mean things to do to people.

Time passed, and the mean old man continued robbing people of their money, destroying children's self-esteem, hurting people who were already hurt and cheating workers. Every time he found something he could take away from someone, he took it -- friends, houses, land, air, water, time. He loved to tell everyone how smart he was. He told them he was smarter than anyone else, for no one else knew how to be this mean!

"I'm the meanest man around!" he boasted.

Everyone agreed, of course.

The Devil had to keep his word, so when he decided it was time to come again, he had to send a sign. He sent a flash of lightning and a clap of thunder and a voice that boomed, "I'm coming now!"

But the mean old man didn't hear him because he was too busy making noise of his own.

The Devil was outsmarted and puzzled. "It will soon be time for the mean old man to die," he said.

A little later the Devil sent a howling wind and a wild storm to warn the mean old man he was coming, but he paid no attention.

Even the Devil knows a deal is a deal. If the mean old man didn't hear the Devil coming, he couldn't take him.

The mean old man headed to South Carolina, and then on to North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana. He spread his meanness everywhere, and the Devil couldn't catch up with him.

The mean old man poisoned rivers, chopped down orchards and tore down dams. After a while, food wouldn't grow, and even the mean old man began to shrivel away.

But his white hair and beard kept growing. He grew tinier, but his hair grew longer, catching on bushes and branches.

Suddenly, one day the old man disappeared.

The people were overjoyed. They saw that he had left that long hair behind, and still it grew. They called it Spanish moss, but everyone knew it was really the mean old man's hair. People began to use that hair to build homes, make ropes and stuff mattresses. They were thankful the mean old man was gone, but at least his hair was useful.

Occasionally, mean little critters crawl out of that hair and bite people, reminding everyone of the mean old man who once walked this Earth. To this day, they continue to tell his story.

Source: "Tell Me a Story 3: Women of Wonder," the third CD in the audiobook series, is now available. For more information, please visit

Until next time Darlings,


Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Monday, March 11, 2019

Happy Corned-Beefless Cabbage Soup

Hello, Darlings

I had a great idea for my cabbage soup. Lacking a brisket of corned beef, I decided to trick my cabbage into thinking that its familiar companion the corned beef was in the pot with it. Below is the resulting recipe.

Happy Corned-Beef-Less Cabbage Soup


1 medium-large or large cabbage
1 bag of small red potatoes
1 large onion
1 ½ cup of small carrots
1 ½ cup chopped ham
1 ½ tablespoon of prepared corned beef seasoning
2 teaspoons of salt
½ teaspoon of black pepper
A pinch of crushed red pepper
1 ½ tablespoon of canola oil

  • 1.     In a large Dutch oven add a half of pot of water with the onion, crushed red pepper, canola oil, salt, black pepper, and corned beef seasoning
  • 2.      Cook to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • 3.     Meanwhile, cut up and rinse cabbage; set aside
  • 4.     Wash potatoes and set aside.
  • 5.     Then wash the carrots and microwave them in a microwave cooking container with a steam filtering lid for 20 minutes on high.
  • 6.     When Dutch oven comes to a rolling boil add potatoes and cook for 20 minutes on medium heat.
  • 7.     After carrots are done, drain and put in the pot, then cook for another 15 minutes.
  • 8.     After this time is up, add cabbage and cook until the cabbage is done, about another 20 minutes.
  • 9.     If desired serve with cornbread or corn cakes

I must say that I was delighted by the results. Using the corned beef seasoning to season the cabbage soup was a good idea after all. It tastes as if there is really corned beef in it and has now become a regular soup on our menu.

Until next time,
     Chow Darlings

Download recipe here.
Widescreen Online Review

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Furrr Sales, Furrr Sales, Happy, Happy Faux Fur Sale!

Hello Darlings,

Yes, I'm back. As you know it's that time of the year, where stores are stocking items for their Spring sales. What this means for us is great saving on those "I want them, now!" winter items that were just a little bit out of reach, but are now lower to where we can manage to fit them into our budgets.

Today items are for those of us who love faux fur that are fun to wear and make us look downright fabulous. You know it, girl!

Well, today at Roaman's, the faux fur sales are on.  Below are three of the faux fur coats that are just so dreamy that they make you think of wrapping yourself up in one on the sofa with a nice hot mug of mulled wine and a nearby fire.

First there is the Roaman's Full Length Faux-Fur Coat with Hood. It is down from $359.99 to $129.99, and as a clearance item comes in sizes M (14-16), L (18-20), and 1X (22-24). Sorry, girls.  The only style left is the fox as pictured.

Second, this hooded faux fur group are in sizes M (14-16),  L (18-20), 1X (22-24) and  2X (26-28). These faux furs comes in styles of  chinchilla, black and ranch.

And lastly, there is this three-quarter length Short Faux-Fur Coat that also comes in ranch, chinchilla and fox.  They are down from $199.99  to $99.99.

Wow! What are you waiting for??? Grab up your faux fur, some fresh fruit, bread, ham and cheese, that aforementioned warm mulled wine, and your favorite man   and go party the evening  away on a wintertime picnic.

And don't missed out on Roaman's Buy One, Get one 80% off winter sale as well.

As always,

Chow, Darlings!