September 29, 2012


garnet autumn


September 26, 2012

Your CSA and Farmer's Markets

Have you ever gotten your week's CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) delivery, or filled your basket with seasonal lovelies at your Farmer's Market, and then

had absolutely no idea what to do with it?

And before you know it, half of it ends up in the compost pile...or, if you are lucky and industrious, maybe

a batch of vegetable stock?

If so, go to the brilliant post HERE at alexandra's kitchen and see how she breaks it down...simplifies it...and gives us tips on how to get the most out of each nutrition-packed delivery.

September 25, 2012

Seasonal Infractions

I am generally not a person that is easily offended.  But when L'il Sis (VERY inappropriately, I might add...) accused me...ME!...of committing a brutish seasonal infraction last week I was mightily offended...and justifiably indignant.

As you may have noticed, I started putting out my pumpkins and gourds a couple of weeks ago (BTW, it is a process that occurs over time as I locate the ones I want and place them as I see fit) ...

...and she had the audacity to tell ME that it was TOO EARLY and that I had committed a serious seasonal infraction (def: doing something deemed seasonally inappropriate...i.e. having both pumpkins and Christmas decorations in your landscape AT THE SAME TIME AND AFTER THANKSGIVING or keeping said Christmas decor up until Valentine's Day.)

To which I heatedly responded:

PPbfflbstt!!! to you, Sister!

(I'm sorry you had to hear that...)

(MY! But aren't these crotons and coleuses pretty...)
My friend Sunshine has even threatened to give out citations for seasonal infractions, it bothers her so much.

I am not quite so militant (and am a lover, not a hater, after all...).  

I tell her that this kind of vigilanteism could become a problem.  You know, placing power in the wrong hands...of the wrong people...

 like L'Il Sis.

Those who unlike moi

are not familiar with the regulations.

Like the one pertaining to pumpkins that says:

"One is permitted, even encouraged, to display pumpkins, gourds and fall decor anytime after, and including, September 1."

Obviously, she has not consulted the statutes in a while.

Just sit and chew on that one, little sister.

September 21, 2012

OHS Garden Tour for Connoisseurs

Take advantage of this beautiful fall weather and spend a lovely morning or afternoon participating in the Oklahoma Horticultural Society's Garden Tour for Connoisseurs.  

Go here for all the details about purchasing tickets and this year's spectacular gardens. (Two of them are in my neighborhood, and I can't wait to get a peak into their backyard spaces.)

It runs from 9:00 - 4:00 tomorrow, September 22, so grab a friend, put on your walking shoes, and prepare to be inspired.  

I'm working one of the venues in the morning before I take the tour myself...maybe we'll run into each other!

Happy touring, everyone!


September 19, 2012

Ornamental Peppers

Need a little something to make you smile?

If so, I highly recommend planting some ornamental peppers this weekend.  They're bright and cheery in a very autumnal way...

look smashing with purple-foliaged leaves like on this lorapetalum...

and the deep gold coloring of this coleus...

the waxy, shiny fruit glisten like jewels in the soft fall sun...

and they're a less traditional seasonal flourish than just mums and pumpkins.

Oh, and they will make you smile, guaranteed!

September 15, 2012

Skin Care, Part II: Morning Ritual

So let's talk serums, shall we?  I prefer them to creams, which I find too heavy, especially since my daily routine consists of layering one product over another...and for this, serums work for me.  Especially since I have slightly oily skin ( a good thing, I've discovered as I age).  

Morning Routine:  After cleansing, I start layering, letting each potion soak in and dry before applying the next product.  Not as time consuming as you'd think.  I just execute other morning rituals (brushing my teeth, making the bed, getting a second cup of coffee) in between.  

(For my rosacea-prone skin, I start out with a thin application of Metrogel, but most of you will begin with  an Anti-oxidant.)

I like BOSKE DERMACEUTICALS Alchemist C, Vitamin C Blend for combination to oily skin.  Find it here.  (Or on EBay where I usually find it for a lot less...true of most of these products.)  Another option, almost identical (but pricier) is Skinceutical Ferulic C Serum.  Find it here

If you have delicate skin like mine, you may want to start out with a somewhat milder, but effective, anti-oxidant.  In this case, try Replenix Power of Three Serum (I recommend all of the Replenix products).  Find it here.

It is especially important (according to 'experts), that you let this layer absorb into the skin...I'm not sure why, but I do as I'm told...well, sometimes I do.

Finally, I apply a layer of Skinceutical's B5 Hydrating Hyaluronic Serum. Find it here.  I also use this at night...which I'll talk about in my next post, SKIN CARE, PART III  Night-time rituals.

Oh!  After all of this don't forget the final, final, application of that sunscreen.

September 14, 2012

Fall Favorites on 4 Your Garden

A heads up, friends, that LC and I will be talking about our favorites for fall today at 4:30 on NewsChannel 4.

Missed some past 4 Your Garden Segments?  Watch them here.

September 13, 2012

Skincare Part 1: Cleansers and Sunscreen

At a certain stage in a gardener's life, she (or he) realizes that sunscreen alone ain't gonna cut it. 

For me that revelation happened about three years ago after a week long stint in the Grand Canyon floating down the Colorado River in a wooden dory.  Too much sun, too much grit, too much sweat and sunscreen...and when I got home my complexion shouted

UNCLE!  I just can't take it any more!

and my rosacea prone skin through a major hissy fit.  Thanks to my dermatologist, a WONDERFUL skin care book by Dr. Leslie Baumann entitled The Skin Type Solution (order it here), and extensive trial and error, I've developed a regimen that I'm often asked about, so I thought I'd share it with you.

(Mind you, this regime works for me and my skin type.  To find out yours, I highly recommend reading the book.)

Cleanser  I alternate between Cetaphil (or its knock-off) and Dove Soap.  Both are inexpensive, can be found anywhere, and are very gentle on sensitive skin.  (the Dove is much better about taking off your eye make-up...)  Other gentle cleansers are available, but these work for me.

Next:  The 'is it REALLY worth it? purchase.

The Clarisonic  By now, most of you have probably heard of or read about this sonic wave skin machine.  (Made by the Sonicare toothbrush company). Read about it and find one here.  At around $200 it is no small investment, but I assure you it's worth it. Less expensive drugstore versions just aren't the same.  Better to save for the real thing.  Trust me on this one.

Sunscreen  I adore Neutrogena Liquid Sunscreen and practically buy it by the case. It leaves no white residue or tackiness and I use it every day.  Religiously. Every day.  Did I say EVERY DAY.  You can find it most anywhere and when I find it on sale (it's pricier than other sunscreens), I stock up.

Next Installment:  Skincare Part II.  Potions, serums, and creams.  Oh my!

September 12, 2012

L'Il Sis, Lady Grace, and the Opossum

L'il Sis and her dog, Lady Grace, have a large and beautiful back yard. Lots of trees, lots of space, lots of running room.

A very welcoming area.

So thought the opossum that decided to hop their wooden picket fence and prevail on their hospitality.

Tragically, sadly, and yes, let's be honest here...

pretty disgustingly,

the opossum didn't quite make it over the fence.

Let's just leave it at that.

Except to say that blood, and lots of it, was involved...

and ultimately, so was Animal Control, after L'il Sis placed a 911 call to them.

Not having any previous experience with the agency, she had rather low...expectations (teeth and hair optional) of their services. 

Anyhoo, L'il Sis said the WOMAN who ultimately showed up to dispatch the opossum couldn't have been more professional, compassionate and competent.
L'il Sis was quite impressed (and a little humbled). the point of this story.

After the woman left, L'il Sis took the time and effort to contact the agency and let them know what a stellar employee they had; how much she appreciated her professionalism; and how happy she was that her tax dollars were
going to support such skill and proficiency.

Needless to say, the person who took the call was VERY appreciative of the call ("You made my day!"), and the time and thoughtfulness behind the gesture.

L'il Sis also asked for the name of the woman's supervisor so she could write a follow up letter documenting her positive experience.

I love this about my baby sister. I love the graciousness of the gesture. I love
that it sums up her nature. I love that she recognizes how important it is to
acknowledge the good work of others. I love that she knows kindness is a gift that keeps on giving and that someone has to start the process.

She learned this from my mother who was a wonderful role model in this regard. So considerate, so kind, so appreciative.

What a good role model L'il Sis is for Lady Grace...and for me.

September 10, 2012

Sheer Wonder

Will you allow me an extremely mushy moment?

See the beautiful, blonde-headed boy in the center of this photograph?  It is an image of my oldest son who turned 22 today.  One of my three beautiful men; two beautiful sons.  

Look at the expression on his face.

The look of wonder, of awe, of  "WOW!  look what's out there!  Look where it's going! How high might it fly?!   How far can it go and where will it end?"

THAT, my son, is how we feel about you.  The awe of where you have been and where you will go.  Sheer and proud wonderment. You.

 Fly high, Baby.

September 9, 2012


Something about fall, maybe because it's back to school time, makes me crave a new pair of eyeglasses. 

I want to feel the spirit of the season.

This summer at the family reunion, my hip nephew had on a pair of great glasses...

and that was how I was introduced to Warby Parker.  After that introduction it seemed everyone but me knew about them. As their website explains, they are

A new concept in eyewear

i.e. a really cute pair of boutique style glasses you can buy on-line for a great price (they retail for just $95.00).  Including lenses.

You can even select five sample frames to try on at home....completely free of charge, including shipping.... before you commit.  Here in OKC, we are EXTREMELY fortunate to have a showroom (something I didn't discover until after I requested my five samples.)

You can find them at SHOP GOOD, 3 NW 9th Street, in Mid-town...a great little store whose entire inventory represents a product that in some way "gives back".

In Warby Parker's case, that means that for every pair of glasses you purchase, they donate

a pair to someone in need.

The most difficult part, of course, is deciding on the frame.

I was initially partial to Huxley here.  In a dark tortoise.

Then I tried on other options...Crosby, Winston, Preston...

before Roosevelt eventually stole my heart.

Husband took my picture stylin' the Roosevelt...

first, goofily posing and smiling.

Then goofily frowning, but still maintaining my best Miss America stance.

All in all, a fun way to spend a fall afternoon.  If you want to check out some new frames yourself, visit Warby Parker and see what they have to offer.

I just love fall, don't you?

September 8, 2012

Pink Zinnia

May I ask your opinion on something, my dears?  

I am going to guess you like pink zinnias as much as I.  And I am also guessing you have enjoyed the color blocking phenomenon of the past season.

But how do you feel about pink/orange as a floral combo? In the medium of zinnias or anything else in the garden.

I remember the great gardener Christopher Lloyd wondering this same thing about a tulip planting at Great Dixter one year.  He decided it was a go.

And what are your thoughts on this?  

Do tell, won't you?