Friday, May 27, 2011

Carolyn Westbrook: Live from the plantation..Home Grown!

So, when we started this garden the last frost was just a few days before. Nick decided that he was going to have a garden and boy, did he! He tilled up a big patch and then we went and purchased plants and seeds for cucumbers, sugar snap peas, squash, onions, name it we have it. He put up trellises for the cucumbers and tomatoes and worked his heart out, and you know what they reap what you sow. Today, he came in with the prettiest and yummiest carrots that I have ever seen. Honestly. carrots have never really developed in Texas that I have seen. These are big, fat, juicy carrots, and do not taste like store-bought. Anyway, needless to say we had a feast of vegetables and I cannot wait until the red, ripe tomatoes start coming in. There is nothing better than a tomatoe sandwich, but only works with home-grown. The store bought ones taste like cardboard. We have more onions than we know what to do with.

This is the perfect time of year. We are all excited because it is warm enough to go barefoot, but not too hot. Time for working in the flower beds and gardens and decorating our out-of doors. After a long winter snooze, it is time to refesh and renew. Throw open the windows, break open the Pine-Sol and get busy. Washing down the house is a big job, but was sorely needed. A little touch up painting around doors and porches and all of the porches needed a good scrub. This is the time of year that I always like to evaluate the outside and see what needs freshening. Beautiful, bright, new cushions are brought out to grace all of the chairs, swing, and sofa on the front porch and same for the back. The porches are adorned with blue & white pottery of all sizes and filled with flowering plants. Any old rusted hardware, door knobs, door bell plates, should be addressed. This is the place that everyone sees, their first impression, so make it a good one. It is a great time to have beautiful patio or porch furniture, colorful umbrellas, rugs, even lamps, under a covered area. I like to try and find cheap vintage oil paintings and signs when out at the flea markets, to use on the porch. I was able to find a great "boat rental" sign that is one of my favorites for the back porch and an antique wire plant stand. It looks great covered in vintage pots, moss, and little flowering blooms look quite cheery when friends come in the back way.

Oh, and by the way...for those who read this regularly, you will remember that Nick brought home those baby chicks, even when I told him not to...they are ALL roosters. We may have to do some trading at Canton next week. Too many roosters in the hen house and they are all learning to crow at the same time. Old Jake is doing well and has gained 13 lbs, has a shiny coat and now acts as if he was here all along. Bob, who is my licensing agent was down yesterday, and he couldn't believe it was the same skinny, run-down dog from the shelter that he had seen 2 months before. Jake seems to like it here and has fit in very well.

I was busy getting ready for our first photo shoot for the new book, a couple of weeks ago. It was a whirlwind shoot schedule, but turned out just fantastic. I am really pleased with the direction of the new book and I hope to top the last book.
This weekend is supposed to be beautiful weather, so let's get out there and enjoy it. Refresh, Renew, and Enjoy!!! Happy Memorial Weekend everyone!!! xo Carolyn
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