Wednesday Ramblings ~ 17 June 2009 ~ Sparks, Nevada

Just a Smörgåsbord of things today…lots of different pictures of things I took over the weekend.

Let’s start with Lucy-Goosey ~ she is much better, less stressed out, kennel cold over with. She’s a funny, funny, funny kitty. Eats like a horse. Me thinks we’ll have to start rationing out her food!

Leo is a bit blury…he was licking her face.

Hurry up and take my picture…

The Lemon Queen Sunflowers ~ these are part of the Great Sunflower Bee Project. This picture was taken over the weekend, they are over the top of the fence now, taller than me…I’m 5’4″ (no short jokes, please! 😛 )

A close-up of a soon-to-be sunflower.

The Chamomile is blooming…

The Blueberries are still green…

I’ve tomatoes bigger than the plant…had to string the plant up to support the buggers. These are the Siberian Red Heirloom tomatoes that I bought at the UNCE Master Gardener Plant sale in May. My other tomato plants are starting to bloom.

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This is Piggy…our neighbor’s cat that we are feeding for the summer while he’s away on a drill rig in Eastern Nevada. He’s a pretty cool cat…gives one hellacious head-butt.

My yellow onions are growing much faster than the red ones…

We got this cool dude at Goodwill…someone had welded him out of steel. Sorta has a Southwestern Predator look going for him. LOL! Soon he’ll be taking on all of the sunflowers growing around him.

Tax Return Buys

My husband and I received our tax return a couple of weeks ago…and after paying all of our bills (he’s unemployed, so it’s been paycheck to paycheck lately) and putting some into the savings account, I decided we could each buy something. Last weekend after church we headed to one of the local antique malls and we both found something…actually, I found two somethings! LOL!

On Monday my husband went back and negotiated lower prices and bought himself a funny cast iron bottle opener (ummm…let’s just say he named “her” Pamela ~ just picture Ralphie stroking his dad’s Leg Lamp…only Pamela is from head to 5″ stilettos!). And one of my two picks ~ which I will show a picture of!

A hand-made wooden cupboard with hand-forged hinges.

And then yesterday, while carrying in some groceries, I saw my second pick sitting in the sunroom! I skipped up the walk-way! A wooden table with an enamel metal top! He went back and got me the table!!! The paint isn’t my favorite…but it does match the tile in the kitchen…also not my favorite…but when it warms up a bit I’m going to buy some sage green paint.

Here’s my new table ~

As you can see…it matches the tile in my wee kitchen. Don’t mind the dirty dishes.

Estate & Thirft Store Finds from the Weekend

Wanted to share some pretty neat finds…if I say so myself! 🙂

On Friday I found in the mail an ad to send away for Lasagna Gardening ~ A new layering system for Bountiful Gardens: No diggin, No Tilling, No Weeding, No Kidding! By Patricia Lanza. Was thumbing through it and put it onto the “maybe” pile as it was pretty expensive…four payments of $7, plus shipping.

Guess what I found Sunday afternoon at our local Savers store for $1.99?! Looks pretty good…but I would never pay $28 plus for it. So check to see if your local library or thrift store has it or maybe someone is selling a copy on Craigslist.

Note: This is a gardening book…not a cooking book! 🙂


The following all came from a local estate sale that was held at the south end of town. I picked up 3 metal flower frogs, a hanging scale, a book, a pretty cream/green/floral can, and another old brass hose nozzle (not pictured) …for $6.

A hanging scale from L.F. & C. of New York that goes up to 25 pounds.

Three small metal flower frogs. (I already had the pottery one)

A vintage tin can that’s cream with a floral print…probably for flour or coffee.

And a very cool book, Out on the Porch ~ An Evocation in Words and Pictures ~ With an Introduction by Reynolds Price. Published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 1992.

The porch…along with the kitchen is my “favoritest” part of the house!

It’s chock full of great pictures of porches in America with passages from books written by William Faulkner, James Agee, Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, Thomas Wolfe, Mark Twain, Josephine Humphreys, Clyde Edgerton, Annie Dillard, and Rick Bass.

It was a summer of wistaria. The twilight was full of it and of the smell of his father’s cigar as they sat on the front gallery after supper…while in the deep shaggy lawn below the veranda fireflies blew and drifted in soft random.
– William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!

“Out on the porch…” The very words bring to mind a mood, a feeling, an image of a place to relax and enjoy a cool breeze on a warm night, a place for reading, rocking, and storytelling. Out on the Porch is a book for everyone who’s ever passed a shady veranda and felt inclined to stop and rest.”

The twilight was blurred and soft. Supper was almost ready and the smell of cabbage floated to them from the open hall. All of them were together except Hazel, who had not come home from work, and Etta, who still lay sick in bed. Their Dad leaned back in a chair with his sock-feet on the bannisters. Bill was on the steps with the kids. Their Mama sat on the swing fanning herself with the newspaper. Across the street a girl new in the neighborhood skated up and down the sidewalk on one roller skate. The lights on the block were just beginning to be turned on, and far away a man was calling someone.
-Carson McCullers ~ The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

Pledge to shop at locally owned stores this Holiday Season!

The latest issue of Reno News & Review had a great editorial in it about buying from local shops this holiday season instead of all at the “box stores”. I thought I’d link to their list ~ RN&R’s guide to holiday shopping—more than 200 gift ideas from nearly 75 local, indie businesses and then after the editorial, give a list of my favorite locally owned stores. How about listing YOUR favorite locally owned shops?!

All in this together

Look around. There appear to be more “going out of business” signs than there are “help wanted” ones. There seem to be more families with children hanging out in parks during the day. We can’t turn on the news without hearing about yet another corporate bailout or more bad news on the banking front.

The simple fact of the matter is that this is going to be a tough holiday season for all of us. The only way we’re going to get through it is to support each other.

A few months ago during the fuel and foreclosure crises, in desperation we yelled, “Every person for him or herself.” We made the argument in this very space that people should shop the free shipping options online to put a few bucks back in the home budget rather than paying for fuel on top of the increased prices for staples we were seeing in grocery stores.

Well, times have changed, gas prices have come down at least temporarily, and we have different hopes for this holiday season. We know it’s likely everyone is going to do less shopping this year. And while luxuries will probably get cut back at the same time as more utilitarian gifts (like gift certificates for grocery stores) are likely to increase, here’s the bottom line: It’s your family, friends and neighbors who own the one-of-a-kind stores around town.

It’s difficult to estimate exactly how much impact each person, each store has to improve quality of life in the Truckee Meadows. There have been studies. One economic impact analysis done in Austin, Texas, in 2002 showed that “for every $100 in customer spending at Borders, the total local economic impact is only $13. The same amount spent with a local merchant yields $45, more than three times the local economic impact” (Austin Chronicle).

What’s surprising is how the numbers add up—from $100 to $9.7 million. Stay with us, here.

Let’s back up and talk about a nationwide campaign RN&R is part of this holiday season. More than 70 alt-weeklies across the country (including RN&R and its sister papers in Sacramento and Chico) have committed to a crusade that urges readers to spend at least $100 of their holiday money at locally owned stores. It will plug dollars into economies like ours right when it’s needed most.

Local businesses produce more income, jobs and tax revenues for their regions. Local businesses keep neighborhoods vibrant and unique. Shopping local is good for the environment, since buying local reduces the need to ship products—including food—thereby lessening greenhouse-gas emissions. Finally, there’s the obvious. Local businesses are fundamentally tied into the future of their communities and do things like donate more money to local nonprofits.

Here’s the math: If each one of RN&R’s readers spends $100 of their holiday money at local businesses between Thanksgiving and New Year’s (instead of in big-box stores), that comes to an additional $9.7 million pouring into our local economy. (An independent group, The Media Audit, estimates that RN&R’s “cume” (cumulative) once-a-month readership adds up to 96,900. Multiply by 100 and voilà, that’s $9.7 million.)

Sounds simple. But it won’t work without your participation. So we ask you to join us. Take the plunge. Pledge to shop local.

Now here is my list of favorite Locally Owned Stores I shop at…there are a lot more out there, but these are my top favorites.

Safari Nails ~ 2855 N Mccarran Blvd # 101, Sparks, NV 89431, (775) 358-6245‎
Excellent priced manicures and pedicures…heck, I’d pay to just sit in their pedicure chairs! OMGosh ~ most excellent back, neck and leg massage. Really nice owners and staff. Buy a gift certificate or you can do like I did and took my mom, sister, and niece in all at once for a girls day out.

And while we are talking about massages…here is my favorite Massage Salon ~

Radiance Salon & Day Spa ~ 540 Victorian Ave, Sparks, NV 89431 (775) 355-1000.
Now this is just a recommendation for a massage…I’ve never gotten a manicure/pedicure/facial nor a haircut there. BUT I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Maria for a deep Swedish massage. That woman is the absolute best…I never want it to end. Big sigh. Once again, great place to buy a gift certificate.

Ben Franklin Crafts ~ 530 Greenbrae Drive, Sparks, NV 89431, (775) 331-5755
My favorite craft store. They also have great quilting fabric…a huge line of great quality fuzzy flannel for those winter quilts. I really, really, really like their fabric. Craft patterns/books and Bead selection is nice too. Lots of kits for kiddos of any age.

Shelly's True Value Hardware ~ 440 Greenbrae Dr
Sparks, NV 89431, (775) 358-1841‎
I’m pretty sure this is our only locally owned hardware store in the area…cool place where you can find just about anything you need. Great owners and very friendly staff. They even help you out to your car with the big bags of bird food. Thanks guys!

For Books I love Sundance Bookstore and the used bookstore on Rock Blvd, Book Gallery.

Thrift and Antique stores are a great place to shop too…

St. Vincent's Thrift Store helps our locals as the SPCA Thrift Store helps our local critters!

Virginia Street Antique Mall and Antiques & Tresures Downtown.

Windy Moon Quilt Shop is the place where I like to fondle fabric and sewing machines. 🙂 I’ve gotten gift certificates here many times…and if you have a local quilter in the family, they would love to receive one!
440 Spokane Street, Reno, Nevada 89512 • (775)323-4777

There’s a wee Quilt Shop next to Longs on Prater that is a good shop too ~ Sew-N-Sew ~ lots of gifts for the sewer in your family.

My favorite garden nursery is Rail City Garden Center ~ great gifts in their inside shop and wonderful trees & plants.

My husband loves the little coffee stand on the corner of 15th and Prater, Delta Cafe Coffee. Great cup of joe and good bagels.

My favorite meat place to buy meat is at the University of Nevada’s Wolf Pack Meats ~ would love to give you their website, but it seems to be down at the moment…errors galore! So here is their address and email address:
5895 Clean Water Way Reno, NV 89502 775-857-3663;
I love their pepper & country bacon, Marinated Beef Kabobs, rib eyes, marinated tri-tip, Boston butt roast, ham, and salami. Not a big lamb fan, but I’ve heard good things about their lamb.

After a day of shopping around town or to buy another gift certificate to the BEST PIZZA IN RENO/SPARKS…head on over to Black Rock Pizza on the corner of McCarran and Pyramid.

23 July 2008: Garden Update ~ Hemp Necklace ~ Flowers

Was surprised to see so many peppers when I was watering last night. They grew so big in a couple of days! Must be the heat. So…does anyone know when peppers are ripe? Do I have to wait until they turn red? Pick ’em green? I have Sweet Italian, Garden Salsa Mix, Caribbean Habanero, Serranos (those I know I can pick green) and something called a Jimboy.

Here are the Sweet Italians ~

And here are the Garden Salsa Pepper Mix…but to me looks like Serranos ~

Have nice size cucumbers and pumpkins!

Cool sunflower, eh? Looks like a Vincent van Gogh sunflower! This one is towards the back of my yard, so it may survive my stupid neighbors picking it!

Yesterday the power went off in our building so one of the Associate Deans let us loose…went home, collected the husband and hit the thrift stores. Lookie at the necklaces that I found at St. Vincent’s and Salvation Army. They will be taken apart so I can use the beads in other projects. Although my niece may like the purple one with the shell.

Tried my hand at making a necklace with 20-lb hemp cord…my husband knows I really really really want the beads in the necklace I made him a while back. So he asked for me to make him a hemp necklace that I could hang the silver pendant of his from. I started with a regular braid then switched to an Atlernating Half Stitch, then back to a braid. I’m getting the hang of it…took me two hours (was watching Wipeout and I Survived a Japanese Game Show while making it). Pictures below show the alternating half stitch part. In this first picture you can see the beaded necklace in the upper left with the silver pendant.

And here is a parting shot of the coneflowers in the front of my house this morning. Toodle-loo!

Garden, Quilting, Photography & Yard Sales Makes for a Great Weekend

Even though we were cursed with 96 degree record breaking temps 3 days in a row…I had a great weekend!

My garden is sprouting like crazy now! Peas, PUMPKINS, squash (all three kinds), radishes, cucumbers, black beans, bush beans, either the spinach or romaine (can’t remember which side was which) and corn.

Was at the Washoe County Extension Office’s Master Gardener Plant Sale bright and early Saturday morning…but not as bright and early as a few hardy soles. We were in the first 1/4 of the line though! I bought 4 different tomato plants (Black Russian, Black Japanese, Beligum something, and a Yellow Plum), 3 Basil plants (Cinnamon, Lime, and regular), 2 rhubarbs, clary sage, borage, parsley, 2 hollyhocks, 2 Irish bells.

For $1.50 I picked up two Kodak box cameras at the Sparks Community Rummage Sale ~ Brownie Starflex and a Duaflex.

Cleaned the Duaflex up and then tried the ‘Through the Viewfinder’ method…I need to read more about that one as I don’t think I grasp it yet.

And…I finished the binding on a lap quilt that will be heading to Gulf Port, MS soon.

This Weekend’s El Rancho Swap Meet Finds

We took it nice and easy on Sunday ~ washed two cars, went to the swap meet, took a nap and went out to dinner.

Both my husband and I found a treasure for ourselves! I actually found quite a few treasures, but only bought one.

Mine is a No. 2-C Autographic Kodak, Jr. 13458 camera! Made by Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, NY. It has two patent dates, Jan. 18, 1910 and Jan. 7, 1913.

I found my husband’s treasure…but he soon took it from me to examine it for 15 minutes, put it down, came back to look at it, left the swap meet altoghther, turned the truck around and went back in, bought it. LOL!

A 1930’s Commodore Vanderbilt New York Central Lines train engine.

We both came away from the El Rancho Swap Meet very happy.