I Made A Succulent Garden and The Edmond Fitzgerald

During this past summer I posted on my trip to Whitefish Point, Michigan, when we walked on the beach by the Coast Guard Station.  Lake Superior was covered with the most wonderful rocks.  Each in colors of the sea, smoothed with the rolling tides of time. 

The sea at this spot was where the "Edmond Fitzgerald" sank. You remember the song on the radio back in the 80's,  Gordon Lightfoot sang of this true story.
November 10, 1975 the bulk freighter Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior with all hands.
 We first waked through the museum then down to the beach. I carried some of those wonderful rocks back to Florida and the baggage handler  put a "Heavy" sign on my suitcase...

 I thought it was time to put my souvenirs to good use and  made myself a Succulent Garden.
 There were a few succulents in small pots on my potting table and I also bought a few more.. layered a large terracotta saucer with small rocks and some orchid medium.. a bit of sand and soil then laid the tiny plants in between the rocks.

Love this little one called "Baby Toes"

The Hens and Chickens were from a cutting.

Now to wait for the little plants to grow. 
 I found a succulent wreath on Pinterest and am thinking of making one for my front door!
 Would look fabulous, don't you think?
Was wondering if the open and closing of the door would knock the plants off?

Hopefully I don't kill them

with kindness.

We are expecting rain today,, it's been quite a while here  and the area has been in a Fire Warning for the past few weeks.. Florida has had 69 brush fires and this rain is needed really bad.  Bring it on!

Happy Birthday to me!

I'm linking up to


Teaching safety in the Bering Sea communities

My Son teaching the children
SAVOONGA, Alaska – Lt. Tom Pauser, with the 17th Coast Guard District’s prevention division, answers a student’s question at Hogarth Kingeekuk Sr. Memorial School April 10, 2012. Pauser was one of many Coast Guardsmen to visit rural Alaskan schools to give cold-water safety training in classrooms. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Grant DeVuyst.

The room has the look and feel of any other American classroom. The familiar laughter of children fills the air. Artwork and educational posters decorate the walls. Desks are lined across the classroom, most occupied with curious students.
The peculiar, blue-clad instructors at the head of the class have the undivided attention of both the students and their teacher. After all, it is not often Hogarth Kingeekuk Sr. Memorial School, on St. Lawrence Island, gets visitors.
The island, encased by the frozen Bering Sea during the winter months, is the location of two small villages - Savoonga and Gambell. The inherent danger of Alaska’s frigid waters, coupled with remote locations, makes water safety a huge concern for rural, coastal communities like these two.
Enter the Coast Guard. As a part of the larger Arctic Shield 2012 operations, the Coast Guard partnered with the state of Alaska’s Office of Boating Safety to administer the Kids Don’t Float program.
 In waters as frigid as the northern Bering Sea, a little flotation can mean the difference between life and death. Braarud and Pauser brought this information to the school in a kid-friendly way, with satisfying results.

  Siberian Yupi'k child, St. Lawrence Island, Alaska - April 13, 2012

  My Son took this photo of a child living in freezing conditions and his job, while there was to teach the children safety.  For generations the people of the island have gone out fishing with their elders, without flotation devices and many have lost their lives.
A film crew from the Weather Channels, Coast Guard Alaska show was there and they will have an episode on Toms trip to the Bearing Sea.

Wednesday nights on the Weather Channel
Yes, I'm one proud Mom.

For all of you who have not watched this past seasons shows,  check it out.  The stories of the Men and Women of the 
United States Coast Guard 
and the difficult jobs they have, is amazing.

"Bravo Zulu to you "T"  and all your shipmates"

The "Old Girl" is going to her final resting place ...

 Space shuttle Discovery has one last mission to complete a flight to the Smithsonian Institution near Washington, D.C.
On Tuesday, April 17, 2012 we can all look to the sky and watch her final voyage. 

picking her up to go atop the jet

Its destination the Smithsonian Institution's hangar outside Washington, D.C. 
 The plane and jet will make a farewell flight over Cape Canaveral before heading north. The pair also will swoop over the nation's capital, including the National Mall, before landing in Virginia.

I'm proud to say I've seen  both Discovery and her mother plane flying over the sky to land at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas to refuel for it's trip back to Florida.  It was a sight to see.
Then another time watched Discovery jet into space from the Kennedy Space Center.  It's plumes of smoke taking her up into space.

Space center workers arrived by the busloads Monday at the old shuttle landing strip, where the jet was parked with Discovery bolted on top. Security officers, firefighters, former shuttle workers and even astronauts all posed for pictures in front of Discovery.
The six astronauts who flew Discovery's final space trip a year ago were on hand to bid Discovery goodbye.
Discovery first launched in 1984 and flew 39 times in space, more than any other shuttle. It is the oldest of NASA's three surviving space shuttles and the first to head to a museum.
It will go on display at the Smithsonian's hangar at Dulles International Airport in Virginia, replacing Enterprise, the shuttle prototype that never made it to space but was used in landing tests in the late 1970s. Enterprise is bound for New York City's Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.

It's the end of an era in our countries space program but from what I read a new space ship/shuttle is in the making and in a few years we will continue to seek out space once again.

The "Old Girl" is going to her final resting place after a 
Job well done!

two last photos, taken today.
there she go's

 NASA Photos


What can I do with all these Gardenias ?

I did a post on my Gardenia bush a week ago telling of all the buds ready to explode into a full bloom, but this morning I went out and..... Look what is just outside my front door.
The Gardenia bush is bursting with blooms and I just can't stress enough what it
smells like.  The aroma is everywhere. 

Imagine what a Bridal Bouquet would look and smell like. It's such a shame to waist these beautiful blooms and I don't know anyone getting married this week.  How sad to know these blooms will be gone in a matter of days.

Wanting the wonderful smell in my house I cut quite a few gardenias and simply laid them in  bowls of water. Two in the living room and two more in the dining room.

I had to put one in my little bud vase on the kitchen windowsill along with a few roses I clipped from the back yard.
I just love this time of year and I love all the flowers in bloom.

 There are still a few hundred on the bush, just waiting for someone to create
the bouquet of their dreams.  
Or I can make my own Gardenia Perfume. Here are the instructions.

  1. You will need about 4 cups of fresh gardenia petals (you can also use gardenia essential oil, if you don’t have gardenia blossoms) spring water or distilled water, 100 proof vodka (about two ounces), mortar and pestle, cheesecloth, coffee filter, a glass mason jar or any clean, wide mouthed jar with a secure lid and an empty perfume bottle. Make sure you pick gardenia blossoms that have been in bloom for a couple of days, as these are the ones with the strongest scent. Only use fresh gardenia blossoms. The best time to pick these blossoms is early in the morning, when the blossoms are at their freshest. Do not use old or damaged petals.
  2. Chop up the four cups of your gardenia blossoms into small pieces using a knife.
  3. Pound the gardenia blossoms with your mortar and pestle until you reach a pulpy consistency.
  4. Get your empty glass mason jar. Slowly add vodka to the pounded gardenia blossoms, stirring slowly for a couple of minutes.
  5. Get your cheesecloth and use it to cover the mason jar’s opening. Secure the lid of the jar onto the cheesecloth-covered opening. Make sure the lid is closed tightly.
  6. Set aside the mixture for two days. The alcohol in vodka helps extract the essence of the gardenia blossoms.
  7. After two days, stir in the spring water slowly into the mixture.
  8. Again, set aside the mixture for two days.
  9. Open the lid and smell the fragrance. A good perfume should have a balanced scent—the fragrance of gardenia and not the smell of alcohol should greet your nose. The mixture should be made to stand longer if the scent is weak. Add more spring water if the scent is overpowering.
  10. After you get a balanced scent, strain the mixture using the coffee filter.
  11. Carefully put your finished perfume into your perfume bottle. The perfume is now ready for use.
  12. If you don’t have gardenia blossoms, simply use gardenia essential oils. Simply add around ten drops of the essential drops into the vodka. You will still be following the applicable steps you have read above; only this time, you will be replacing the gardenias.
There you have it—easy steps to help you how to make your own gardenia perfume.  You will notice that the ingredients you will be using are found in your own home or can easily be bought online or from specialty stores.  This home-made gardenia perfume is perfect for personal use or as gifts. You can also try the tips found here for making perfumes out of other fragrant flowers like roses.

  I'm going to give this a try. Off to the store I go to get the Vodka.  "Gardenias and Vodka"

 Who Knew?

I'm linking up to

Chickens, The Beauty of it All !

 For months now I've been in the Chicken and Eggs mode. 
Being told by my HOA that "I can not have chickens for organic eggs"!  Well I'm in the process of fighting them as the county where I live just ruled "Homeowners can have Hens for egg consumption"  It's in the category of a kitchen garden.
But it's not in our by-laws!

This past weekend I went out of town with my sister for a fun filled time and while driving down a country road I spotted a "Seed and Feed" store.. well, you know me, I love such stores and when I got out of the car I heard the sound of Roosters..  
"Chickens, they have chickens"!!
"Look at all the baby chicks"!
I was in my glory

Not only did they have Chickens, they had turkeys, ducks, quail and other assorted foul!
I felt like a kid in a candy store.

Then I walked into the room (yes, this city girl called it a room. I have a lot to learn I know) with the Laying Hens
I never realized how beautiful grown chickens could be.


 This one has to be the oddest one I've seen yet.  
Where  are her eyes?

For quite a few years now I've been distressed by learning about the conditions of the chickens and eggs in the farms where we all buy our poultry products.  I pledged to eat only “free-range” eggs, which I once  imagined come from chickens that have free access to the outdoors and fresh air. There are some facilities like that, but in reality, there is no uniform standard for the free-range. Although I don't eat meat I sometimes want to bake a cake and like to use eggs.

My friends and family keep telling me how unstable chickens can be and how I would not know how to cope with being a chicken farmer, but that is silly because there are 
several blogs that raise chickens just for their eggs and they have inspired me in my quest to get a coop in my back yard. Four Hens, that is all I want and need.

 is one blog that has taught me the ins and outs of keeping chickens. Thank you "Tilly" for all your helpful info!

I will continue my fight with the HOA of my townhouse complex.  Maybe I can get a letter from my county and present it at the next board meeting?
I'm not giving up!