Snowbird Citrus! Now I've seen it all. Stop me before it's too late!

 While walking through the HD garden center (my favorite place to be) this morning I stumbled upon a Citrus tree that totally blew my mind.  I've never seen such a thing and I want one!
The 'snowbird' is for those who winter in Florida and when they go home to the north they can just toss it or leave on the balcony of their home for the summer and have all the organic fruit they need when they return.  Our rainy season will take care of watering.

 It's called a "Citrus Cocktail" and has been grafted with several kinds of citrus all growing on the same plant.  Now I do have one with lemons and limes but this one has 
Minneola Honeybell
Meyer Lemon
Persian Lime
Ponkan Tangerine
Navel Orange
Ruby Red Grapefruit
 Notice the leaves on each branch are quite different.
 When I first saw this plant I wanted it until I saw the price tag.
I could imagine it standing proud on my front porch.  How beautiful it would be, and the smell!
 This is one form of citrus tree I've never seen but you all must admit it's perfect for a small family and in a small space.
No waist of fruit with a large tree.
 I'm still think of going to get one and potting it in a large terracotta pot..  but I'm still on my 'no spending February'
Someone stop me before it's too late!



Dreaming of Spring... wanting it to hurry!

While going through some of my old photos I found this shot of my tulips growing in the warm spring sun... it made me want spring to hurry up and get here.
Like most of you we have been having a bit of cold weather (yes here in Clearwater, Fl it's been very chilly this past few weeks) and I'm wanting the warmer weather to come and to get outside in the sun. 
Get my hands dirty!

I have a few bags of bulbs that are waiting for me to get them planted.  
It's just not time!

Funny how I have the beach just a few miles from me and it looks so warm and beautiful. All of you northern folks must think it's like that in my yard but I'll have to tell you it's not! The yard is muddy from the rains and noting is growing.
There is no way to lay on the beach today, windy and cold, but it does look this nice.

 So for now, I'll just keep dreaming and wanting the temps to climb into the 70's.  That is perfect Florida weather.  The summers, well that's another story... they can stay away for a bit longer
I want it Spring all year long.

"Happy Weekend Everyone" 


Mmmmm, yummm, Do you eat 'Vanilla Flavoring'? Stop! Read this!

 Everybody knows who and what this funny animal is right?  
It's a Bever!

I read an article about "Vanilla Flavoring".  Yes, those of us who have bought vanilla flavoring to use in place of the expensive 100% vanilla, or it was in the cake mix you just made or in your sodas or packaged puddings or ice cream or yogurt, any food that says "Artificial Vanilla".. that would be thousands of products you buy in a package or box or can!
 Did you know what is in that 'Vanilla Flavoring"?
"Beaver anal gland juice" Really!
I don't want to gross you all out but you must read this article...

All together now,, Mmmmm, I just love Vanilla, no, were talking about "Artifical Vanilla Flavoring"

 Truth is, chemicals that are used as weed killer, flame retardant, and sunscreen are startlingly common in your supermarket. But you won’t find “carcinogens,” “paint chemicals,” or “beaver anal gland juice” on the back panel. They’ll be hidden under names like “Butylated HydroxyAnisole” or “natural flavoring.” Break through the science experiment to find out what you’re really eating. 
 Natural Flavors
 The name sounds innocent enough, but these mild-sounding words are used by the food industry as an umbrella term for some pretty horrible stuff
 you must not have heard of castoreum, which is “used extensively in perfumery and has been added to food as a flavor ingredient for at least 80 years.”
Castoreum is a product of the trapping industry. When beavers are skinned for their fur, these glands are taken out, and are sold after being smoked or sun-dried to prevent putrefaction…
Castoreum is used in “high class” perfumery for “refined leathery nuances.” It is also reportedly used in some incense. In food, castoreum is used to flavor candies, drinks, and desserts such as puddings.
This means that 'naturall flavors' or 'Organic flavors' can be used in the ingrediants description!!! -- Look for natural Vanilla Bean flavoring

I think it's time for all consumers to revolt!
Tell the food companies "We will not stand for the horrible things that are put in our food"
I'll admit I changed my eating habits years ago going vegetarian  and if it's in a box, I don't buy it.  I don't eat meat or drink sodas!  But 'vanilla flavoring' I'm as guilty as the next person, but will never buy it or anything with it again!  
My toes curl when I think about it!
Saying Mmmm, I love vanilla, but this!! 
* * * * *

Non-Alcoholic Vanilla Extract
2 vanilla beans
1 1/2 cups glycerin
1/2 cup warm water


Slit beans down the middle, and scrape down seeds.

Place both in glycerin and warm water.

Place in a dark jar (or a light jar in a dark place).

Let sit for a month or so.

Shake often.

Strain. (optional).

* * * * * *
I'm linking up to Jenny Matlocks letter "M" for this week.
Alphabet Thursday 

Fertilizer Friday 
What To Do Weekend 


I found a 4yd piece of baby flannel for $1.00....

 While digging through a box of fabrics in a garage sale I found a 4yd piece of the sweetest flannel  and it was all of $1.00
It has the words, "I love Grandma" all over it. I thought I was finished making new baby gear then  after getting it home I put it in the washer and dryer then thought it would make such nice receiving blankets for my new grandbaby to be.  I had 4 weeks to get it made and in the mail to my daughter in OKC.  After cutting and sewing 3 of the blankets I still had some of the fabric left over and then my mind went into overdrive.  
"What do I do with what's left"?

 I went to the fabric store and purchased a contrasting 1/2 yd of flannel and made two bibs that would hold on to the pacifier. First I cut a paper pattern and used the contrasting as a lining. Then a bit of velcro to hold the pacifier in place.

 I still had some of the fabric left then thought the baby needed a rag doll.  

Don't tell the Mr. but I took one of his old tee shirts cut into teeny size (with a pocket...gota make it as authentic as I could)
Now for the hair, face and little baseball cap (from an old pair of jeans) and  purple crochet  socks. 

I used permanent marker for the face.

 The cap needed an embroidered "P" for the family name.

 As most of you know, this will be my daughters 4th child and since the first one 9 years ago I can't tell you how many things I've made for the 3 boys.  With fingers crossed I'm secretly hoping for a girl.  Just think of all the cutesie things I could make for her.   If it's a boy we all are going to so happy, especially his brothers.  They want another boy to join the sports teams they have created with their dad.    Then I'll have to get started on a crib quilt to match the brothers. See them here. 
If it's a girl.. ok, I'll not go there (yet).
Only 3 to 4 weeks and this little one will enter the world.
This babys gender is the "Sweet surprise of the century" for the entire family, especially my daughter and her husband.  Do you believe the gender of this child is in an envelope stashed in my daughters closet and no one has seen it.

I think I need to stop now (stop making new baby items).  Now to wait, then it's on to 6 month and older sizes.  As you can tell, "I'm so excited"

I'm linking up to