Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Time Flies

The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot.
Michael Althsuler

Time flies.
Time waits for no man.
Time heals all wounds.
All any of us wants is more time.
Time to stand up.
Time to grow up.
Time to let go.
Meredith Grey

This summer is flying by. The garden, my pets, my family, and my work have been keeping me busy. I've been trying to find time to write, and the time just slips by. Before I know it, I can barely keep my eyes open, let alone think and write sentences that others will understand. Did you get that?

Well, I plan to make some time for writing this weekend. Why? I want to share the happenings in my life with you. The garden is doing so well, and we have cucumbers, pickles, and zucchini coming out of our ears. My husband has been busy canning. Puppy is hanging in there. She has a little more pain, but she's still wagging that tail and playing with us. I've been busy selling - craft shows, small shows, and book shows. The apartments need tenants, the house needs to be cleaned, and I need a vacation. All in all, it's been a busy summer.

Now, off to dreamland!

Aunt Janet

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Gift

I have no gift to give you, just myself, my love,
and a prayer for blessings.
Happy Birthday!

I came home empty-handed, with empty pockets, and a migraine. You made your dinner and your birthday cake. I slept my migraine away. I had nothing to give you.

I pray for blessings to be showered down on you and for peace to surround you. I give to you my love. It's free, but it's the most valuable gift I have to offer.

What's important? Our little family, our garden, our extended family, pickles and jam, birdhouses and the first red tomato. The phone call from a niece or mom & dad, or homemade birthday cake. A good book or movie. It's the simple things in life that matter - that are the most valuable. I need to remember that you would have enjoyed something homemade, instead of something store bought. I need to remember what is important - You!


UT's Birthday Cake

1 pkg family size brownies - Make according to instructions on package. Cool.
1 large instant pudding, any flavor - Make according to instructions on package. Fold in
8 oz. container Cool Whip, thawed. - Spread pudding mixture over brownies and chill until set.

Free Stuff

Did you know that you can get free stuff on your birthday? Find out how at How to Get Free Stuff on Your Birthday from Over 100 Places Also, sign up at Birthday Freebies.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


You are invited to the festival of this world and your life is blessed.
Rabindranath Tagore

Our town celebrated their Summerfest this weekend. I love this gathering of friends and family. I love seeing people that I haven't seen in years. I love corn dogs and funnel cakes and lemon shake-ups. I think that baby contests are somewhat fixed (I know which baby is the cutest). I used to love Tilt-a-Wheels. Now, I'll stick to Ferris Wheels. The music is grand (and too loud), the fireworks star striking.

I am tired, and I haven't posted. I spent all week preparing and participating in the craft fair. Off to bed I go, until I am rested and able to write something that isn't spinning anymore.

Aunt Janet

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Weeds in the Garden

The philosopher who said that work well done never needs doing over
never weeded a garden.
Ray D. Everson

Click to play this Smilebox postcard: July Garden

My dad used to say "Measure twice, cut once." As you probably guessed, he was a carpenter. In some aspects of life, this is true. You need to be accurate, you need to do it right the first time. Carpenters would waste a lot of wood if they weren't precise on their measurements.

More true than not, although you can strive for perfection, you are not perfect. Usually practice makes perfect. You may not accomplish something on the first try, but you need to keep trying until you succeed. The more times you do something, the better you get at it, and the better the outcome.


The zucchini is coming! If anyone has grown zucchini, you know what I mean. You will have an over-abundance soon! Here is one recipe that my nieces love (minus an ingredient or two).

Italian Zucchini Casserole

1 large zucchini (2-3 lb), seeded and sliced thinly
1 green pepper, seeded and sliced thinly
1 large onion, sliced thinly
2 ripe tomatoes, or 1 - 16 oz. can of diced tomatoes
Garlic Garlic, or garlic powder
Italian Seasoning
1 - 8 oz. tomato sauce
1 - 8 to 16 oz. pkg mozzarella shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

You make this like lasagna. Layer 1/3 of the zucchini and 1/2 of the rest of the vegetables in order listed above. Sprinkle garlic and Italian seasoning, to taste, on each layer. Top first layer with cheese. Again layer 1/3 of the zucchini and 1/2 of the rest of the vegetables, sprinkle with garlic and Italian seasoning. Top with remaining zucchini, and tomato sauce. Cover with foil, tented, and bake for 1 hour. Remove foil, top with mozzarella cheese and bake until melted. The vegetables will produce liquid, so serve it with a slotted spoon or spatula. It is so good!

Aunt Janet's Sayings

This is one thing I always say when I'm saying goodbye, and now I hear my nieces and nephews saying it to me first. "I love you. Talk to you later. Bye." The words "I love you" are so powerful!

Pulling weeds,
Aunt Janet

Monday, July 06, 2009

Bees & Mosquitoes

It's not so much how busy you are, but why you are busy.
The bee is praised. The mosquito is swatted.
Mary O'Connor

I just came in from outside, and the mosquitoes had a feast on my arms and legs. I have welts everywhere. Not knowing I was going to be helping pull weeds, I did not put on any repellent, and I am now suffering from about 100 bites, no kidding. There has to be a reason that God created mosquitoes, but I can't think of one beneficial thing mosquitoes offer. Can you? Okay, maybe exercise - we move our arms around spastically as we swat these nasty insects.

I did see bees in the garden tonight. I watched as they flew from blossom to blossom, collecting the pollen quickly and carefully from each flower. I left them to their task, trying not to get in their way.

Now, if one would have come after me, I would have stood very still, or ran in the opposite direction, not intending to hurt the bee, but just get the heck out of his way.

Their sting hurts, whereas the mosquitoes bite itches like crazy. I respect the bee and what the bee does. I dislike the mosquito and what he does. So, if I see one land on my arm, be assured that I will swat at it and hopefully smack it. But the bee will live on, buzzing from one flower to another, as I watch in awe.

Are you busy for a reason, like the honey bee collecting pollen to make honey, or is your busy without meaning, like the mosquito buzzing around biting (in my opinion)?


Bees are one of the most beneficial insects in the garden, because they pollinate some vegetable blossoms. Pollination is needed to produce vegetable that produce fruit or seed, such as squash or cucumbers(fruit), and tomatoes or corn(seed). In those that produce seed, each blossom contains male and female parts. The wind helps pollinate the blossom, by moving one part to the other, thus self-pollinating the plant. In those that produce fruit, pollen must be moved from the male blossom to the female blossom. This is usually done by bees.

If your fruit vegetables (squash, cucumbers, pumpkins, zucchinis, melons) aren't producing fruit, you can help them along by taking a small brush or Q-tip, brushing it inside the male flower, and then brushing the pollen inside the female flower. The female flower is the one that has a tiny vegetable at the base. The male flower will have pollen-laden stamens.

In your seed vegetables, you just need to brush inside the blossom and make sure that the pollen gets into the middle part of the flower.

If the plant doesn't start bearing fruit in a couple of days, there may be another problem - not enough water, lack of sun, or lack of nutrients in the soil.

Recipe for Honey

While researching for this blog, I found a very interesting article on how honey is made. It came from Michigan State University's website:

How do Bees Make Honey?
(Lansing State Journal, July 30, 1997)

Honeybees use nectar to make honey. Nectar is almost 80% water with some complex sugars. In fact, if you have ever pulled a honeysuckle blossom out of its stem, nectar is the clear liquid that drops from the end of the blossom. In North America, bees get nectar from flowers like clovers, dandelions, berry bushes and fruit tree blossoms. They use their long, tubelike tongues like straws to suck the nectar out of the flowers and they store it in their "honey stomachs". Bees actually have two stomachs, their honey stomach which they use like a nectar backpack and their regular stomach. The honey stomach holds almost 70 mg of nectar and when full, it weighs almost as much as the bee does. Honeybees must visit between 100 and 1500 flowers in order to fill their honeystomachs.

The honeybees return to the hive and pass the nectar onto other worker bees. These bees suck the nectar from the honeybee's stomach through their mouths. These "house bees" "chew" the nectar for about half an hour. During this time, enzymes are breaking the complex sugars in the nectar into simple sugars so that it is both more
digestible for the bees and less likely to be attacked by bacteria while it is stored within the hive. The bees then spread the nectar throughout the honeycombs where water evaporates from it, making it a thicker syrup. The bees make the nectar dry even faster by fanning it with their wings. Once the honey is gooey enough, the bees seal off the cell of the honeycomb with a plug of wax. The honey is stored until it is eaten. In one year, a colony of bees eats between 120 and 200 pounds of honey.

They are really busy bees!

Easy Recipe

Honey Butter

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup honey

Mix the butter and honey with blender or hand mixer. Store in refrigerator.
Variation: Add 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon and 1/2 tsp vanilla.

Free Stuff

Free Sample of Viva Paper Towels
White Castle Free Slider

Saturday, July 04, 2009


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are
Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1776

Our forefathers believed, without doubt, that God created us all equal. He gave or endowed us the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and no one could take these rights away (unalienable = impossible to take away).

On this date, July 4th, 1776, the bells in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, rang.

Even in the midst of financial challenges, we live in a great country! We are free - free to be whoever we want to be.

In many countries, even in this day, you are born into a class, and, in that class, you will remain. I've talked to people from the Middle East who say that they could not open a business, or even go to college, if they wanted to. They did not have the freedom to take the path of their choice as easily as we do in the United States. So, even though they may not agree with our foreign policies, for them, this is still the best country to live in. They have made their home here, and have brought family here.

You may have spoken with people from other countries who came to the United States for freedom, and for a better life. It may have been your parents or grandparents, a friend, or a neighbor. They all came to the the US to follow that dream of freedom!

A little bit of history:

  • Between July 1-4, 1776, Congress debated and revised the Declaration of Independence.
    On July 2nd, 1776, Congress declares Independence as the British fleet and army arrive at New York.
  • On July 4th, 1776, Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia.
  • On July 8th, 1776, the first public reading of Declaration of Independence was held in Philadelphia. On this date, The holiday was first observed in Philadelphia.
  • Independence Day or 4th of July was not declared a legal holiday until 1941.

Let freedom ring!
Aunt Janet
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