Keto almond crackers

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A tasty cracker made at home in minutes…

Recipe: Oven 350F YIELD: 50 + crackers
In a medium mixing bowl
Beat one organic egg together with
1/2 t. pink Himalayan salt
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1/2 t. New Mexico red chile
1 T. melted butter
Whisk these well.
Add 2 C. Almond Flour (I like Blue Diamond brand)
Stir all together and press with a rubber spatula until a dough forms, pressing as you go.
Place a piece of parchment on the counter the size of the large sheet pan.
Place dough on the paper and shape into a rectangle.
Place a second piece of parchment over the dough and begin to flatten/roll with a rolling pin.
(Don’t worry about the jagged edges, they bake/taste just fine)
Keep rolling and turning the paper until dough is about 1/4″ thick.
Remove top piece of parchment.
Gently cut the dough into squares using a chef’s knife or pizza wheel.
Poke each cracker with a fork to allow steam out and crisping.
Slide the paper with dough onto a sheet pan and bake 18-20 minutes.
Remove pan from oven and cool crackers on rack 10 minutes.
Crackers will have separated while baking.
Slide the paper onto the cooling rack and cool completely.
Store crackers in a biscuit tin or airtight container at room temperature.
What could be easier?
Gluten free, Keto friendly. Great with soups, salads, omelets, and cheeses.

These crackers are crisp and tasty.
Change up the spices as you desire.
Options: Press sesame seeds into dough as you roll; the variations are endless.

Copyright 2021 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved



If you are climbing the walls…

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vacuum them.

Spending so much time indoors this winter, I began noticing billions of dust particles flying around when I made the bed, dressed, or ran the blow dryer. Streaming morning sunlight highlighted these particles and I thought, if I am seeing all this, what am I breathing? On one particular sunny afternoon, as sunlight washed a wall, I noticed dust clinging to the paint! OMG!

Therefore, I have an new appreciation for dust. Or rather a highly developed loathing of dust.

Yes, I use high-count cotton sheets, but I frequently vacuum the fitted sheet while the bed is airing following a night’s sleep…but not every day. Heavy velvet draperies hang at both windows too, you know the “puddle-type” so popular in the ’90’s? Those I consider “self cleaning” just by drawing them open and closed every day…but where does that dust go? Answer, somewhere else in the room. Ok, I have three wool blankets on the bed too, that I often shake outdoors. But still, dust particles dance like fairies.

Years ago I added a whole-house electronic UV air filter to the HVAC attic air handler. The only time it was chocked full was the year I baked twenty loaves of market bread per week. When that experiment ended, I swore the particles came from R35 cellulose attic insulation. That stuff may be a great insulator, but I cringe every time the AC tech goes up for bi-annual inspections. Could those cellulose particles be trickling down the returns? I considered pricey room air filters, but decided I did not want to own another appliance nor wanted the noise/lights associated with it. So it goes.

Since my current HVAC unit is twelve years old, I bit the bullet and have a SEER 14 unit arriving on March 6th, with all the bells and whistles. Parts of the old attic air handler date back to 1995, so it is time. Pain-in-the-wallet time. But when all is done, will my resident air particles vanish? Will they be sucked into the new electronic air filter? The technician assures me that the updated unit “will make a big difference.” He also plans to address a few other issues created by the original company, like poorly placed flex lines. If I have dust now, how much will I have after having three techs wallowing in my attic’s cellulose for eight hours? Geeze!

Meanwhile, spring is attempting to arrive in Virginia. The ice and snow are nearly melted in the gardens. Temps reached 70F this week for one day. I pulled a few pernicious weeds/grasses yesterday, and discovered what little stamina I have. Is this an age thing, or has the past year subtly taken a toll on my body, mind, spirit?? Gosh, the new Pegan Diet is tempting. Will it fix all my aliments? Will it restore my energy of youth? With every new year, I have plans for the garden…updates, edits, new plantings and all this takes strength, agility, and determination. I have plenty of the latter.

If any of you have thoughts on any of these topics, do share in the comments section. After all, “we are in this life together.”

A question for readers: Do any of you own a robotic lawn mower? The thought of not walking behind my old Toro in summer heat/humidity is really attractive. I looked at what Home Depot is selling, and one can be had for $900. Laying the guideline is the biggest hurdle. Any advice?

Well readers, I am off perhaps to run the vacuum, which by the way has a HEPA filter. 😉

Take care and stay safe. We are not out of the woods yet.


Copyright 2021 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved

Three hours of sun

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I discovered that this dreary weather has taken a toll and kicked me when I am already down. Keeping a happy face despite the stress of this pandemic, I finally met my match. For the last two days I just wanted to roll over in bed and forget. Forget the day, forget the suffering, forget the routines, and forget the fact that I have not had my first jab.

calm sky

On August 6th, 2020 a violent hail storm came through and beat my three roofs to bits. The insurance company called them a total loss. I never liked the typical three-tab shingles, so I priced metal. Angels were looking out for me, and I was referred to an Amish family who specializes in metal roofing. After my appointment in October, I signed on. There was a long wait list.

A week ago my phone rang and they were ready…they gave me a ONE DAY notice…I hung onto my hat and three days later, with five men on my roofs, I had my transformation.

Below you can see snippets of my old/new roofs…house, carport and garden shed.

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The former shingled roof.

Old cedar shakes

Old cedar shakes on the garden shed. I did like the shakes but how fragile they are…

lovely. just lovely

lovely. just lovely

precise workmanship!

precise workmanship!

Finally more handsome abode

Finally a more handsome abode. For nearly twenty years, I have worked, worked, worked on this 1970’s ranch…

The great part of metal roofing is that the old asphalt shingles remain on the building…that translates to no waste going to a landfill. A good thing. And the metal has an Energy Star rating and a 40 year warranty!

Ok, no wonder I am exhausted. But, wait! On March 6th, my HVAC system is being replaced! Yes, I am a masochist! This translates to workmen being inside my attic space (filled with R35 cellulose), tramping down my narrow attic stairs with the old air handler, walking through the living/dining room, and out the front door. They must dismantle/assemble what goes out and what comes in, THEN  new lines must be run the full length of the attic, out the soffit, and down the outside of the house to the new unit. OMG!!!

This time the $$$ comes out of my pocket. Yippee!

This is why at my ripe old age, I continue to produce income. I wonder what I would do if I did not own this money pit.

That is why I call home…MY NEEDY BOX.

Do you have one? Do share in the comments section.

The forecast says more sleet in two days. I’d best get myself outdoors this 50-ish F sunny afternoon, as soon I will be hold up in my kitchen baking orders or under a pile of mohair blankets binging on YouTube.

Copyright © 2021 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved

“this too shall pass”

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Or will it?
Recent events in America left at least half of her citizens stunned, horrified, and traumatized.

Not only have we dealt with a narcissistic lunatic in the White House for the past four years, a pandemic of epic proportions since 2020, senseless murders, and the desecration of historic monuments, we are now forced to deal with hatred, riots, and rampant disregard for truth and democracy.

I no longer recognize my own country!

Years ago I worked two blocks from the United States Capitol building. On pretty days, I would take my lunch and sit at a fountain in front of the Supreme Court, then stroll across the street to the handsome gardens and grounds of the Capitol, politely nodding to Capitol police. I also photographed the beautiful iron work in the lamps, stair rails, and bus stops that embellished those grounds. Often I would gaze up at the fabulous Capitol building in awe, knowing that within those walls housed the elected officials of our nation. How small I felt realizing how behemoth the significance was.

Gone are those days.

Before recent events, I surmise that pedestrians or even employees on a lunch break on the Capitol Grounds, without proper credentials, would be suspect. Perhaps even disallowed. By 1999, I departed Northern Virginia, and returned to the place of my roots, where I spent my dreamy childhood on the back of a horse.

Since 2000, I embedded myself in the blissful countryside outside Charlottesville, bought my first house, developed a successful small business, and all the while the nation changed. While living in a small town, it is easy to miss the subtlety of toxic government. One can vote for change, yet there is an undercurrent of hate that festered. The boil burst on January 6, 2021.

As I eagerly await the new Washington administration come January 20th, I fear too often, despite my fragile hope and optimism. The cancer in Washington has had four years to metastasize. I dread many vital organs of government are malignant. I wonder if the diagnosis will be fatal.

As the great nation we once represented to the planet, this country is at a precipice, toes on the edge…teetering while the earth falls away. Can we draw back from this? Can this nation be healed? Will national terrorists tire and learn that intimidation never wins? Or have they drunk the Kool-Aid never to yield?

Time will tell. Eventually most people on the planet will be vaccinated. While big pharma is cooking up Covid vaccines, perhaps they could create a vaccination that would cure hate.

How are you coping with the recent events? Why not share a comment?

Copyright 2021 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved

there is no place like home…

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Since March of this year, all life as before changed. Home became more of a sanctuary than ever before.

Typically, I sparsely listen national news, and I continued my usual routine sans mask or gloves. Then, as I prepared for another year of our farmer’s market, I quickly noticed that store shelves were bare…supplies were naught. Flour was no where to be found. WHAT??

By April, the drama unfolded as our market morphed into an online pre-order, pre-pay, drive through venue. I froze and let two weeks of market commence before I snapped to and opened the required accounts to participate.

Then the bizarre happened. Small production turned into huge…the community discovered my products and ordered in mass. I nearly had a stroke the first week, as orders poured in. I must produce and keep up! I must scramble for common supplies! Yes, MOI. Little old MOI!! A One-Woman operation since 2000! Click, Click, Click…people love shopping online.

Apparently, my foods/flowers became a source of comfort for hundreds. Revenue doubled. When I was able to find canning jars, I produced numerous batches of jams and chutneys. What became a rage in the fall was my Hot Fudge Sauce…women reported that they were simply opening the jar and eating straight away with a spoon. Forget warming it. At least stress eating is healthier at the farmer’s market.

One would not think that buttermilk biscuits, pimento cheese, and blueberry scones would be in high demand week after week. Nor would seasonal jams and preserves vanish immediately upon offer. Pestos sold through the seasons, as did the peonies during May. I could go on, but alas, this is a short blog this first day of winter.

There was a grand hunger.

Families loaded the kids and dogs (and one cat) into their automobiles and through the Saturday market they drove, trunks open, ready to receive local wares. I quickly surmised that this was an excuse for a family outing from the safety of their cars. Everyone was on their best behavior.

I entertained myself by counting the number of whisper-quiet Teslas that drove through. Affluent residents abound in this town, and we local producers are grateful. Oh, so grateful. This mutual support kept us all sane.

Then the summer wore on into fall.

Needless to say, I was so busy keeping up, I did not photograph any of these weekly happenings.

“Make hay while the sun shines” became my mantra. Normally I stop market the end of October, but this year sales revenue never slowed, so I rode the wave until December 19th.

As I blog today for the first time in months, I sit exhausted at the keyboard. Yesterday, I spent another five hours in the kitchen preparing the last orders before Christmas. I see that WordPress has changed its blogging format and I haven’t a clue how to insert photographs. So this will be an image-less blog, except for my descriptions.

And it may be my last blog if I cannot figure out the madness of WordPress’ engineers. Don’t fix things if they are not broken! Guess they have too much time on their hands. Meanwhile…

The best thoughts I can muster now are:

“There is a fine line between order and chaos”
and
all life is temporary.

I choose to think this too shall pass and we will emerge as the butterfly, more beautiful than the caterpillar and able to fly.

So readers, how have you spent the last few months of 2020?
Do share in the comments section.

Copyright 2020 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved

the perfect Tiny House

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As I cleaned out the three bird boxes last week, I could not resist photographing the nest of the Black Cap Chickadee.

Black cap chickadee

The adorable, tiny black cap chickadee. 

Constructed during the unusually cold spring, this bird insulated her eggs/chicks with divine plushness. Notice the moss base topped with what appeared to be wool or dog hair. I am astonished how creative these birds are when Mother Nature throws a curve ball.

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Keep in mind as you view these images the fact that this small bird erects her nest without help from a mate, only using her mandible, feet, and flight. The entire interior of the box was filled with this material…picked bit by bit and carefully constructed. Are you impressed?

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End view. If you were a chickadee, would you be glad to enter this world snugged in by this nest?

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Custom made, mouthful by mouthful, this beautiful nest is used only for one brood per year. I encourage moss in my gardens solely for this purpose.

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Carolina Wren and Eastern Bluebird nests are totally trashed by the time the brood fledges, often found with many mites and fecal matter. This nest was pristine, tidy with no mess. I hated to take it to the burn barrel, but alas. Before doing so, I had to capture and share photos with followers.

Also happy to report that the resident Eastern Bluebirds have so far this spring successfully fledged two broods of three chicks each. Within days of the last fledge, the adults are back and the female is constructing her third nest. This is a first for my garden’s box, as summer is usually too steamy for a third go. Yet I am confident that this “professional” pair of birds will make do. I gave the box’s interior a good scrub and added Diatomaceous earth to the bottom of the box to ward off blow fly and other blood sucking parasites so common to these birds.

nestling bluebirds day nine

Nestling bluebirds day nine ~ Swallowtail Cottage

As another steamy Virginia summer heats up, I am delighted each day by the wild bird activity in my gardens, observed from my air-conditioned home. Eastern Bluebirds, Black-Cap Chickadees, Northern Cardinals, Red Bellied Woodpeckers, and Carolina Wrens are by far my favorite birds and they are spoiled by hand-chopped sunflower seeds I deliver throughout the day to my rear terrace. Despite challenges from the plethora of invasive 2020 squirrels, I am slowing winning the battle.

Observation of wild birds, their distinct behavioral patterns, intelligence, beauty, and ability to adapt is truly remarkable. I am so envious of their innate ability to just simply fly.

What birds do you love best? What have you learned from your observations?

Keep safe.

Copyright © 2020 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved

Miracles everywhere

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In the words of a local butterfly mentor, Linda best described the wonder of these images I captured earlier this spring:

From a side view, the chrysalis of the magnificent Pipevine Swallowtail  butterfly resembles a miniature prehistoric dragon head. The chrysalis can be a vivid shade of lime green or a mottled grayish brown, suspended on a twig or stick by a monofilament of silk to hold it securely in place until the butterfly is ready to emerge. It then begins to turn dark, revealing the wing pattern and body of the soon to be butterfly. Once freed of its enclosure, it will pump fluid into its wings, making them strong enough to carry the butterfly on the wind or beat a hasty retreat, to nectar plants for sustenance, to begin the life cycle again. The four life stages of a butterfly are truly a remarkable manifestation of Mother Nature’s handiwork.”

Linda Marchman
Author of “Gone Astray”, “Silent Meow”  and NEWLY PUBLISHED “Lost and Found Cats”  www.felinefiction.com

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Early this year, I collected five Pipevine swallowtail eggs from the host plant, a vine (Pipevine) trellised in my garden just for this purpose. Raised indoors due to freakish late killing frosts in March/April, three eggs would fit on the the head of a pin. Tiny. When fed fresh host plant leaves indoors, they grew rapidly in a lettuce container placed in the bay window. The small dots you see in this photo is frass, or butterfly poop. I emptied the frass many times per day and kept leaves fresh. Caterpillars cannot see nor hear. They just eat and poop.  If left in the wild, merely three out of one-hundred would survive to maturity. Predation is rampant. Therefore I do my part to help these beauties survive. About two weeks later, they climbed on the skewers I supplied, and formed their chrysalises. Despite the cold swings outdoors, they rested comfortably indoors.

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This is one Pipevine chrysalis, formed last fall. I stored it in the unheated garden shed over winter, and brought it inside with five of its mates this spring, where they all emerged as butterflies. See what emerged a few minutes later below…

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Notice the different shapes created by the same kind of swallowtail. This one is especially spectacular. The color and shape happened before my eyes. Have you ever seen this transformation? These photos were taken in natural light and the camera was hand-held. If you sew or paint, I am sure you will appreciate this image.

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Amazing, yes? Notice the wee silk thread created by the caterpillar before it transformed into a chrysalis. This is one fine form of engineering!

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This pair is from the same group, yet completely different in color. This I cannot explain. They all emerged successfully two weeks later and I hope that they all live a complete cycle…another two short weeks. In fact this morning, one Pipevine was back at the vine laying eggs. Who knows if it was one of mine. The circle continues. 

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Voila! The overwintered Pipevine emerges! After a while its wings engorge with fluid, and within a short time, it is ready to fly.

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Another view of  spent chrysalis with emerged butterfly resting outside. Over the years, I have raised hundreds of Monarchs and various Swallowtails. They each have a particular life cycle. Learning their ways, caring for them, and seeing them at first flight is a hobby that never fails to delight. When all things come together in perfect harmony, Mother Nature rewards us with miracles.

To these special moments, I cling, while the rest of the planet is currently crazed.

See more of my many butterfly photos and posts by typing Monarch into the search bar on this blog. Butterflies are quite magical, fragile, and fleeting. Similar to life itself.

Let me hear from you in the comments section!

Copyright © 2020 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved

And so it goes…

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Spring in central Virginia continues, despite the human condition. Mother Nature always wins. She has run wild since late March delivering freezing 29F temperatures one night then 80F the next week. Wow! My poor peony crop has never seen such dramatic swings. Yet, for the past two weeks, I managed to harvest enough flowers for bouquets to sell at market. Happy customers are unaware of my road of angst traveled to get there.

2015 Peony city market May

slowly a peony harvest in 2020

The O’Neal blueberries are another story. The bumblebees did a splendid job of pollinating the flowers early on. P1040209Fruit swelled on the stems, yet they too experienced the dramatic temperature swings. My three shrubs are now ten years old. How time flies. Over the years, I experimented in numerous ways on how to deter birds and one nocturnal four-legger from my cash crop.

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A few years back I began experimenting with tulle, yes the stuff wedding veils are made of. Standard bird netting is evil and can snag, injure, or kill a wild bird, therefore I NEVER use it. Tulle on the other hand is soft like an angel’s kiss. Notice in this photo the Mylar strips, whirligigs, and even a fake snake on the ground. None really discouraged wildlife.

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Last year I applied more tulle, the widest I could find at Joann’s. This was more effective, but made my harvesting job much more difficult, although every time I lifted the tulle, I felt like a bride. 😉 One curious raccoon would get tied up in the edges, and there would be strips of tulle around the ground next morning. NOT good.

Soon blueberry harvest...new tulle guard in place. Peonies are chin high.

2020 Improvements…Since blueberries are part of my landscape, I do not want to build a permanent structure around them. Therefore, I purchased eight eight-foot garden stakes to form a minimal frame to hold the tulle higher and wider than the shrubs. On the tops of the stakes I placed inverted, one-quart PETE containers to protect the tulle. Yesterday, I only spent about an hour installing the stakes and applying the tulle. Tentatively held in place with clothes pins, the tulle remained in place overnight and, fingers crossed, throughout the harvest weeks ahead. Notice the black-ish line on the ground along the tulle’s perimeter…that is spent coffee grounds, collected from one local coffee shop. Last year I discovered that raccoons despise the scent/texture of coffee grounds. The space left under the tulle will hopefully prevent critters from tearing it. Since I spent the part of three March days hand sewing this 11 yards of double-wide tulle, I want to see it last a few season. Yes?  

What do you think of my recent solution?
Gardening is all about evolution.
And patience, and resilience.

Only the cleverest catbird or cardinal will find their way under the tulle to the berries. I don’t mind sharing a few, but since I harvested thirty pounds of berries from these three shrubs in 2019, I will not share many with wildlife.

Regular market customers are already lined up for their share of this blue superfood come June.

Now back to the peony harvest. Overcast skies this week threaten rain on partially opened buds, not quite ready for harvest. Peonies and rain are not the ideal combination for floral bouquets. A giant circus tent would be ideal for protection, but alas that will not happen. And so it goes…

I hope you and yours are well and safe. I enjoy hearing from you, so please take a moment to drop a comment.

Copyright © 2020 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved

Transform, transition, resilience

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Fear can paralyze us.

Change can anger us.

Gratitude can transform us.

Since March 16 my life is forever changed. And for the better.

somewhere over the rainbow

We must have hope for the better.

At first, I was in denial about the pandemic. Cases had not yet arrived in my small town. I did not wear a mask until a month ago. I live in the country, and believe the air is pure. I limit my trips to town. Already a compulsive hand washer (being in food production), I quickly located gloves to protect my flesh from harsh hand sanitizers while out in public.

Overnight, ordinary supplies vanished from store shelves. I began to order back-stock of my supplies. Shipments arrived from Florida. Supplements from Amazon arrived late or vanished altogether. Then restaurants closed. Schools closed. Death tolls began to mount. Life is no longer normal. A global shift. A mighty cull. A change out of control.

I must transition or suffer.

The Good Begins:

The first Saturday in April is the beginning of the farmer’s market season here in Central Virginia. This season is my 20th. I have been ready for change for over a decade and change happened in a BIG way. Our public market is closed until further notice. Fortunately, our management scrambled and bought a software geared to online farmer’s market shopping and drive-thru pick up. At first I resisted — many hoops to jump through. I had to open a PayPal account in order to receive payment. NO!
Hesitantly, I joined the other reserved agricultural/value added vendors, and by week three sales quadrupled! I am awash with new business. Customers never before seen. Apparently they want to Buy Fresh, Buy Local and with gusto!

This is how it works:

Monday through Thursday, the public can place/preorder items listed on the site. They also pre-pay so there is no cash exchanged. Vendors gather with their vehicles in a city park, socially distanced, and from 8-12 on Saturday, while customers drive through, trunks open, and vendors place their orders in those trunks. The revenue goes into a City PayPal account, and after they deduct their commission, the balance is transferred to vendor’s accounts. Easy peasy. Technology is fantastic when it works for the overall good. And this is GOOD.

The first week I nearly had a stroke when I checked my orders. Until then, I had become resigned to an inevitable annual loss. Instead, I never had this demand at the old market. I hit the ground running, delighted that organization is my forte, and at my ripe age, still functions. No more guessing nor speculating. No more exhausting chit chat with market customers. No more crack-of-dawn risings. I am over the moon!

Supply shopping became a game. Some hits, some outs. Helpful suppliers and new ones found online have performed flawlessly. I am grateful. So grateful. As a one-woman operation, every bit of help is appreciated! Angels appear in the most unexpected places.

The Advantage:

With stay at home orders in place, families want/need an excuse to get out of the house. From the safety of their automobiles, this drive-through venue allows an outing (even dogs attend) for the entire family, albeit behind closed windows. Vendors are gloved and masked, and communication is nil, except for a wave or thumbs up. When all orders are picked up, vendors too are free to leave. Such a delightful change. Everyone wins.

Back at Swallowtail Cottage:

This spring has been one for the record books. On April 19, we had a killing frost of 29F. For zone 7A, this is harsh. The annual cash crop of hundreds of peony stems/buds were wilted to the ground. This has never happened in the nineteen years I have lived here. They seemed to recover once the sun rose, but most stems have remained in a stupor ever since.

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The Oriental poppies are splendid this spring, yet the peonies are having a difficult time with these unusually cold nights.

Mother’s Day is the sweet spot for peony bouquet sales, yet I merely harvested 18 stems suitable for sale yesterday. Meanwhile, last night we had another hard freeze. Mother Nature is playing hard ball, for sure. This calls for resilience.

The jury is still out on whether the blueberries will ripen. They are in fruit now, but they have never experienced killing frost in their young lives…

O'Neil blueberries

O’Neal blueberries beginning to ripen

Meanwhile, the garden’s chives and parsley are beautiful now, and both make for a signature chive/artichoke/walnut pesto most popular with customers. Win.

chives in my garden

Chives and their edible flowers first thing in the spring…yummy as pesto.

My pimento cheese, buttermilk biscuits, blueberry scones, and Key Lime Pies are finding new popularity. Every Friday, I spend hours in production. Win.

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I currently produce/sell 200 of these per week!

Good food, comfort food, service to the community, and entrepreneurial fervor guide me. One customer stated, “You are getting us through this!” which nearly made me weep.

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My kitchen during five hours of production every Friday.

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The new normal.

Meanwhile the garden reminds me that life goes on despite horror and sorrow. The butterflies lay their eggs on the Pipe vine and parsley. The chrysalises that overwintered with me, are now emerging to fly blissfully away upon the breeze. Those at risk of freezing, I now raise indoors and release on milder days.

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Pipevine caterpillars munch away blissfully indoors as cold temperatures prevail outside. These I collected as eggs.

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The butterfly castle houses one newly emerged Pipevine swallowtail who spent the winter in the shed as a chrysalis. I released it as the temperature rose.

The Eastern Bluebird pair successfully raised their first brood of four nestlings who fledged on May 1.

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Three nestling bluebirds day nine ~ Swallowtail Cottage.

The hummers returned from their tropical retreat on April 20th. The white-throated sparrows finally left this week to migrate farther north for summer. Chipping sparrows are here now, gleaning what they can find in the mulch and under the feeder. Titmice, Northern Cardinals, Red bellied woodpeckers, and the wee Black Cap chickadees also nest and thrive. Many other wild birds grace my gardens, creating a wonderland of endless entertainment, and beautiful views from my windows.

So close your eyes, click your heels and repeat…”there is no place like home.”

For now I am safe, well, productive, and grateful.

How are you faring? How has life shifted for you?

Copyright © 2020 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved

 

An Artist’s Way

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Yesterday, I had a telephone conversation with a creative neighbor and the crux of the topic was: In this life, I strive to surround myself with beauty. Above all else, my eye craves divine images of nature, architecture, and wildlife. Perfection is an illusive goal. This fact I finally resigned myself to a few years ago. Yet, still I strive to surround myself with as much gorgeousness as I can muster, sans the help of a trust fund.

No more strolls amoungst grand estates of Europe, no fantastic scuba trips to the Maldives — I reside locally now and have for nearly two decades. Most of my poetry was penned in the late 1990’s before I began this single family house adventure in 2001. My Book of Garden Poems won no recognition in NYC or London. No longer do I draw and painting has fallen to the chores of this needy box. I have found creative opportunities in my kitchen and gardens. This is my first home on half an acre.

Photography helps me stay attached to my creativity, and this rural place surrounds me with endless visual opportunities. Additionally, this blog, which was born in 2011, provides a home for writing. If you are new to this blog, currently there are over 200 posts that combine both photography and prose. While you are house bound, please take time to explore the two draw-down menus within this work in progress. They are found in the left hand side of this page.

With so much global angst these days, I decided to add slices of beauty I recorded over the past nineteen years. Join me and unwind. These are my images/glimpses of near perfection.

In closing, what thought strikes me significantly this week is the fact that home is my safe place and my gardens are my sanctuary. Are you feeling safe?

Please use this time to discover newfangled ways in which to see the beauty in each and every day. We are in this together.

Your comments are always welcome.

PS. While you are cooped up and looking for exceptional video in 4K Ultra HD…check out this channel, Amazing Places on Our Planet on YouTube. The next best thing to being there. 😉

Copyright © 2020 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved