Photography · Writing · Photo Essay · Gardening

I’ve been busy… [FMF: Turn]

I’ve been busy this past weekend and today. I forgot about the Five Minute Friday (FMF) writing prompt.  I decided to do a pictorial story for the challenge. Everything in this post was done today.  I am tired.  So, mistakes are bound to be present.
divider-clipart-divider_line_medI’ve been working in the garden harvesting herbs.  I tend to harvest the more fragile herbs first and then the hardier ones afterward.   I processed the chives and parsley first this morning.

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I wash all the herbs first and then snip them all into piles or directly onto the dehydrator trays.  This pile of fresh parsley went onto five trays in a dehydrator.

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I tend to space the herbs apart liberally on the dehydrator trays.  Besides the five trays of parsley, I also have one tray each of chives, basil, sage, along with two trays each of rosemary and thyme dehydrating, all of which were harvested this morning.  They will turn into dried herbs.

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This jar is full of dried parsley harvested so far this year. I am currently working on a second jar.  I don’t bother with grinding or crushing the herbs.  They are dumped directly from the trays into the jar.  The exception is rosemary and thyme as I have to strip the leaves from the twigs (branches) and then dump them into their jars.
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Note: I place one or two food-safe rechargeable silica packs inside the jars.  Every time a jar is opened, moisture may get inside.  The silica packs prevent spoilage from occurring.

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Pets

Cat School with Abby Gail

I’ve been posting on Instagram and just realized some of you may not be on Instagram.  Even if you are not, you should be able to view these short videos.  The second one is the latest and she’s doing wonderful.  To be honest, I’m not sure if this will work; but, I am going to try.

4.13.2018

4.20.2018

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Photography · Writing

Five Minute Friday: Other

4.15.2018

Well, once again I’m late with this writing prompt.   I think I am going to have to change the day I write from Sundays to Mondays since our weekends have been busy of late and will continue to be busy.

We went to the Poteet Strawberry Festival this past Saturday.  I processed a bunch of herbs from the garden to dehydrate on Sunday morning.  We also attempted to make jam that same afternoon.  And, we have a lot on our plate in the near future.  We are going to Fredericksburg for a weekend, to the Dallas area for another weekend, and then camping for a week.  Busy, busy, busy!

divider-clipart-divider_line_medWe attempted to make Strawberry Jam this past weekend.  We followed the instructions on how to make jam.  Our mistake was making the assumption a 1/2 flat (6 pints) of purchased strawberries equaled 12 cups or 3 quarts.  We should have measured out the strawberries since it made way too much “jam” the recipe called for.  The pectin could not work for so much fruit. Thus, the liquid did not set up like it should have.

The product is still delicious and good.    It will serve in another capacity besides jam.  We are calling it strawberry syrup even though the consistency is thicker.  I’m thinking it can serve as a condiment for ice cream and waffles.  I am also thinking it can go inside of batter of pancakes, muffins and more to give them a different flavor.

So, this stuff will not go to waste.   It was canned and should last for a long time.  At least, that is my hope. And, the lesson learned from this is to never make assumptions. Measure out the ingredients!

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Photography · Review

Mrs. Grossman’s Sticker Club (Review)


4.6.2018

I first encountered Mrs. Grossman’s Stickers on Instagram.  My heart did a little leap upon viewing their pictures. They reminded me of the ones I used to get when I was a teenager and young adult.

I often went into a favorite small shop of mine and view all the stickers that were displayed on a roll. I  would pick the ones I wanted, tear at the perforations, and then pay for them.  If my memory serves me correctly, the shop was selling them for 10, 15, 20 and 25 cents each depending up size and whatnot.  The stickers were cheap and affordable back then for a person with hardly any money.  I had a blast decorating cheap envelopes and plain stationery.  Letter writing was a big deal back then.

While digging around on the internet, I discovered Mrs. Grossman’s had a sticker club, I immediately joined. There are two options: A monthly and a 12-month prepay.

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The stickers came packaged in the cutest envelope.  How can you not like them? When I first saw the images on the envelope, my heart did a pitter patter.  Do I dare believe this is the same stickers I once loved and adored?

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I nearly broke into tears (of happiness) upon viewing the stickers. The flamingo sticker above is one of the vintage stickers included in the package. It was enclosed in the cutest tiniest manila envelope. I remember seeing this flamingo back in those days when I specifically sought the stickers out.  The copyright date on the back says 1989.  It also had “stickers by the yard”.  Rediscovering this company again just made my soul sing.  I honestly thought they had become defunct.

All the other stickers were just like the ones I used to use.  Just newer.  And, excellent sizes.

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Some metallic puffies were also included in the package. I am not a fan of bubbles or puffies due to the fact my bullet journal would not lay flat if I used them; but, these were cute.   I will not use them; but, they’d make great gifts.

Would I buy individual stickers? Heck yes.  They are available for purchase on their site and on Amazon.  I am sure they are available elsewhere on the internet.

Would I renew the subscription? Heck yes.  There is no discussion about this as I adore them now (still).

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[I am still endeavoring to improve product photography.  It’s still a long ways from being acceptable.  But, I am trying.]

Disclaimer: I have not been paid for or snookered into doing a review on this product.  All opinions are that of my own and no one else.   This is just a way to share my happiness (or not) with products or services.

Writing

Five Minute Friday: Release


circa 1986
My mother and me

When I was growing up, I hung onto grudges, which may turn into bitterness and anger.  I did not know differently as I’m just one generation of many who held onto real and imaginary wrongs done against me.

Let me give you a brief backstory before I tell you the story I hit upon for the word prompt.

On the first day of class on the first trimester of my freshman year in high school, I had a teacher that seated everyone alphabetically.  This, unfortunately, placed me in the back of the class.  I needed to be close to the front as I am deaf and read lips.

I went to this teacher between classes and politely asked to be placed up front and gave her the reason.  Her exact words to me “I’m sorry, I cannot help you. I’m not a special education teacher”.  It was all I could do to remain calm and not blow my top.  I simply told her that I didn’t need help. I just needed to be placed up front of the class.   She refused.

I then went to the school’s office and tried to change classes; but, the school officials said that I could not as I never had this teacher before. I must have had the teacher once before I could request a class change.  So, I was resigned to my fate. I did tell my parents that I was destined to fail that class that night and explained why.

I suffered sitting at the back for a couple of days before one day a miracle seemingly happened.  She fussed and moaned about how I messed up her perfectly good system all the while seating me up front.  And, she told me that she will not pass me.  In other words, she intended to fail me.  I was helpless.  There was nothing I could do.   She made my life miserable.  I was stuck with her as a teacher.

One day, the principal came in to substitute teach. After class was over, he called me out and loudly exclaimed: “So, you’re the one giving our esteem teacher trouble”.  I calmly replied with “Yes, I am” and quietly walked out.  I knew then that I would never have his support.

I was angry with this particular teacher. I was angry at the principal for taking her side.  I was becoming bitter against her.   It made me especially angry that she was so supported, esteemed and worshipped simply because she brought acclaim to the school through her coaching efforts.

Let’s go to the story I really want to focus on.  And, here it begins.

divider-clipart-divider_line_medI had a teacher in the next trimester who I came to like very much simply because I was not invisible to him.   He noticed I broke the typical pattern concerning grades.  I consistently made Cs.  Nothing more or nothing less.

This teacher called me out in front of everyone on this pattern of mine as he returned tests.  I asked him point blank what’s wrong with that?  He explained most kids will make a good grade, a bad grade and then a good one — up and down a curve.   I was a flat line of Cs on the graph.  He then stated to me that I better make a B on the next test.  So, from then on, I consistently made Bs.  Nothing more, nothing less.

He became flustered and enormously amused by what I have done.  He then demanded that I make an A on the next test.   And, what did I do? I made an A.  He threw up his hands and didn’t know what to do about me.

I digressed.

This same teacher overheard me talk with bitterness and anger about this other teacher.  He looked me directly in my eyes and stated along the lines of “hatred, and bitterness is like being on a treadmill. Your mind and heart are always focused on them. So, you’re just going around and around never going forward or moving on with life.”

What he said to me that day turned on the light within me.  I understood what he was saying and he was correct.

That was the day the familial pattern of holding onto grudges was broken. I purposely and intentionally let go of my bitterness. There was nothing I could do about the situations that occurred in the past.  All I can do is move forward and place my focus elsewhere.  It was extremely freeing.

I thank God that this particular teacher was placed in my life to teach me a few important valuable lessons.
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To this day, I have to consciously and consistently relinquish the things I find myself holding onto that may turn into grudges and/or bitterness.  After all, the familial cycle isn’t all that easily broken.   It’s okay to have these feelings. But, it’s a choice to either hang onto or release them.

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Bitterness imprisons life; love releases it.
Harry Emmerson Fosdick

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