Monday, March 30, 2009

Workin' the land-Pleasant Places

John and I spent the weekend at Pleasant Places preparing for the growing season. There's soooo much to do--mowing (as you can see, Olive and Rose love to get in on the action), pruning lots of perrenial beds, removing suckers via my pole chainsaw, just to name a few. I actually asked for that pole chainsaw for Christmas one year. Hee hee! And lo and behold, Santa gave it to me. It gives you quite an upper body workout, holding that much weight up for periods of time. It does our hearts good to see the ebb and flow of the season at Pleasant Places. It reminds us of the truth in Eccleciastes that there is a time and season for everything under the sun.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I've been making GA-nola (the GA stands for George-ann) since the mid 70's. I don't have a recipe and that should inspire you to realize one does not really need a recipe to make good granola---only a love of granola. The rest will take care of itself.

Simply start by going to a good natural foods grocery store and head for the bulk bins. If you're a novice, start with oats as your base. Then walk up and down the isle and buy about a half pound of whatever looks good to you. Think nuts, seeds, brans. Remember to buy raisins, cranberries or other dried fruit to put in the granola AFTER you have baked it. If you like nuts roasted, then put them in mix before baking. It is indeed true that some of the nutrients are lost in baking, but who can resist roasted nuts? Honey, I ain't one of them.
Then buy some oil and honey, maybe even cinnamon if you like it (good for digestion).

Mix it all together with you hands, of course. Spread on cookie sheets that have sides. It's best to use parchment paper for ease of getting it off the pan and also for clean-up.

Cook at around 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes or until the desired brown shade that you like appears.
Bon apetite!

Cootie (bless her heart)

Well, it's not easy taking a photo of an all-black dog who looks kind of Goth. I used shipping tape to put a sprig of pink flowers in her hair to give her better depth of field!

But here she is, having come back from the brink of death just a few short weeks ago. She's 14 years young and has good vim and vigor. She just can't see or hear much, but we love her the same. Welcome to George the Granola Girl, Cootie!

Bird feeder fun

I am always looking for special bird feeders. This one caught my eye for two reasons: First, it's easy to use. And second, I get excited when I look at the colors and design, all in a natural medium of clay. And get this, it was only $17.99 at Lowe's. So, be good to your feathered friends and give them something lovely to look at while they eat.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cross Vine-Pleasant Places

This hearty, prolific flower is called Cross Vine. It's drought resistant, which is a must in the Texas Hill country. Isn't it lovely against the blue sky?

Mexican Purple Sage-Pleasant Places

I love spring and summer because I get to take photos of flowers everywhere, especially at our little ranch in Mason county. The pink blooms of the Mexican sage attract butterfiles, as you can see. Thank you Lord for your creation!

Olive the granddog

I'm slowly introducing the family to you, starting with the canine species. This is my granddog Olive. She is unusual in that she can, at any given moment, look like a different kind of animal. For example, sometimes she looks like a baby fawn, or an ant eater, a baby chick and on and on it goes. Strange, really....Anyway, she is such a blast and so cute you just want to gobble her up with kisses, which I do on a regular basis.

Colors, textures and Lady Banks roses

My daughter, Nicole, bought this wrap for me from Anthropologie. Now, what's so wonderful about it is that she grabbed it and said to herself, "My mom would love this!" Isn't she a sweetie? And of course, I DO love it. I draped it over the Lady Bank rose bush after a drenching spring rain. And here's a close-up of a Lady Banks rose cluster. Ahhh!

Rose our rescue dog

I couldn't go long without showing you Rose. She's named after the Yellow Rose of Texas because we found her (abandoned) near the geographical center of Texas. She is the BEST dog we've ever had in our 34 years of marriage. We call Rose the Love Hound...everybody loves Rose.

George the Granola Girl's first ever post!

Wow, is this exciting or what? My daughters Vanessa and Nicole have inspired me to create my own blog. I love reading their blogs and feel that I need to stay current with cultural media that helps me and my loved ones know each other in a greater way. Maybe you CAN teach an old dog new tricks after all!

After an intense 13 years ('91-'04) of starting, growing and running my own business with 15 employees, I was hit with a devastaing illness, chronic fatigue syndrome. We had to reorganize the business, giving me time to see what I could do to find help with healing and recovery. Since '04, I have been crawling my way out of it, and thanks be to our Lord, I am functional again.

I am experiencing a renaissance of sorts. I'm feeling the creative juices flowing a bit now and I have been able to go back to natural foods cooking, light gardening and the love of the outdoors. I even went to the fabric store the other day and bought a pattern to sew myself a long skirt. Earth Mama is back...maybe!!

I wanted you to see the Texas Hill country in the spring. We have a small ranch in Mason county. I took these photos in May 2007, which was a banner year for the wildflowers. When it's warm, the butterflies swarm right above the flowers and it looks like a magical kingdom. Enjoy!