Monday, July 27, 2015

Cardinal Flower, Dill, and Shell Bowls

The cardinal flower is blooming. There was only one available at the nursery earlier this Spring. I  must get more of these.

The flowers are brilliant red and the leaves are burgundy red.

 The plant is much lovelier in person.

The dill is blooming and it's bright yellow and almost sparkling in the sunlight. There's an insect in the upper right.

 The plant has more blossoms then greenery.

While the kiln was firing yesterday, I sanded the greenware for the next firing and made more leaf plates and these shell bowls. Today I'll unload and commence glazing. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Firing and New Pottery Shelves

Yesterday I loaded the kiln for a bisque. The weather said to day would be clear now this morning it says it may rain. I decided to fire anyway and keep an eye on the weather. I really packed a lot into the bisque load.

Meanwhile on Friday a friend and I made two sets, yes two, of new pottery shelves. Took almost all day and then had to load for the farmer's market. This time instead of 2 x 2s, I used a larger dimension lumber for the uprights. They're heavier but sturdier. We had some 2 x 8s lying around and we ripped them in thirds which gave us a little less than a 2 x 4. Also I added a slot for the top board which makes the whole setup much sturdier.

As soon as I have a chance I'll take a photo of the new pottery shelves set up. Perhaps at the next farmer's market. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Frontline Plus Kills Cats

Betty went to kitty heaven yesterday. I figured out what was wrong with her all this time. The topical flea treatment was the culprit - Frontline Plus. Butter, (died earlier this year caught by a coyote), didn't have a reaction to the medication. Butter was 20 pounds; Betty was only 10 pounds. At the time I didn't realize her onset of problems came from the treatment. Apparently many pets, both dogs and cats, can suffer permanent damage or succumb to this and other topical flea treatments. Why aren't these pet meds taken off the market? They aren't meds, they are pesticides, that's why the EPA regulates them and not the FDA.

Previously the EPA advised manufacturers to change the products to be more weight specific but even with that there are still lots of pets who die from this treatment which is essentially a poison. The veterinarian also knew about the dangers of this product. I don't recommend using any topical flea treatments; it isn't worth the risk. It can cause severe skin irritation, liver and kidney failure, neurological problems, seizures, strokes, convulsions, and death. Sweet dreams Betty.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Eat Your Green Beans

In the back of my mind I can hear my mom saying, "Eat your green beans". Maybe she had to say that because I didn't like green beans when I was a kid. In winter often we had canned green beans which many times are mushy and bland. Lately though I find myself craving green beans. I could almost eat them for every meal. I couldn't wait for the farmer's market this year so I could get some white half runner beans which are a stringed variety.

For the beans this week I sauteed garlic and shallots in a little butter and olive oil. I put in beans and then chopped up fresh home grown tomatoes. I added one tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar and one tablespoon of organic sugar. While these were cooking I went to the garden and cut fresh herbs of pineapple sage, Spanish tarragon, marjoram, and chocolate basil. I stripped the herb leaves from the stems and cut them up with scissors into small bits. All was cooked till aldente.

Today I was wondering why I have a craving for green beans, and even more green beans. I had a bowl of cereal but was still hungry so I heated a bowl of green beans leftover from yesterday. Take a look at this chart I've borrowed on the nutritional value of the beans (click the link to read the chart; I am sure you'll be as amazed as I am at how good string beans are for your health). My string bean craving must be my body telling me there are vitamins I need in the beans. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.