January 27, 2012

A new website

Since I own a hosting company, it just makes sense to host my own blog and content.  Blogger, owned by Google, doesn't allow self-hosting.  WordPress does so please visit me at yankeegumbo.com.

January 26, 2012

Always the gentleman. My Teiko is such a good boy. He always lets the Poodle have the sweet spot on the doggie bed.  That is a GOOD German Shepherd!

January 24, 2012

Simply Beautiful image from Pinterest

All right, I've tried posting my response to the 8,000 "likes" and "comments" on Pinterest and the demands for the "How to directions"...I've tried posting a response 10 times and I've been denied by error messages.


Anyway....I didn't make this arrangement originally, I only pinned it from another pinterest user and the link is from the original website - www.centrogarden.com in Burlington, Ontario Canada. They have a sweet little shop that I would love to visit and spend a week volunteering in!!!

However, if I was going to make this I would go to a local dime store (as suggested by another commentor) and buy a few tall cylinder glass vases. Then I would walk around my yard (or close by) and look for small branches. I would cut a few and bring them home. Then I would get some clear glass beads and with jewelry wire, I would weave them into the nests of the branches to weight them in the water. Done.  Alright, I'd add a few oval candles for effect.

For winter I'd throw some cranberries in for some extra color and holiday cheer. For Easter, I'd throw some miniature plastic easter eggs - maybe with a little water thrown in to weight them in the water or a small flower head that would float around.

This is a total Winter through Spring display and easy-peasy to make.

The original image is from here -

January 17, 2012

On Wisconsin

Probably already have used this title before but "On Wisconsin" is so appropriate for today.  Wisconsin citizens turned in over 1 million recall signatures on our current governor.   Then there are the four senators and the lieutenant gov who were also recalled.

This is what democracy looks like at my house tonight - dinner was left-overs served smorgasbord style on a Wisconsin-shaped wood board.

If you are interested in watching the recall process, check out the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board's live feed of the recall process of scanning 3 tons of recall petitions. Check out http://gab.wi.gov/.

January 13, 2012

That's all right Mama!

Glad my parents got together back in the 60s so that I can be here today!  Here's a little thanks to them!

January 12, 2012

Another lap around the sun....

Tomorrow is my birthday.  I'm in a pretty good place.  It has helped tremendously that we've had an unseasonably warm winter.  Just two days ago it was 51 degrees here in Wisconsin.  But all things change...
Tonight we are having our first snow of the winter.  And of course, it's right at my birthday. But that's okay. I live and love in Wisconsin.  I do need the winter to hibernate and fuel myself. The changing of the seasons is in my blood.

Tomorrow we are having a big party at the house to send our daughter, Ryann, off to Tanzania and Kenya for two months. She leaves on Saturday. I'm so excited for her. What a great birthday present to see my child fulfill a dream.

Bon Voyage my sweet girl and a happy 'nother lap around the sun for me!  Yay!

And here's a song that brings me warmth on a cold January night and makes me so happy - Michael Franti -

January 11, 2012

Winter blooming in Wisconsin

Yes, I know it's been unseasonably warm here in Wisconsin.  Temps today hit 51 degrees.  However by tomorrow temps will be back to the seasonably cold 20 degrees with a threat of 8 inches of snow...

What's a girl to do?  Make sure you have lots of orchids in the house!

This orchid is new and purchased in December.  It's a basic Phalenopsis-type orchid and is super easy to keep and more importantly keep alive and have re-bloom.  Sometimes even twice a year.  But the big thing is once it blooms, it often go for months with new flowers.

This Phalenopsis orchid is a re-bloomer.  It gave me flowers last year and is bringing me more this year. 

This is a different type of orchid, called a Lady's Slipper or Cypridpedium.  It's in the orchid family and one that can grow native in Wisconsin.   This one is not a native but has been living with me for three years now and will bloom twice per year.  Flowers on this type of orchid only last a week or so. Here's a picture of an actual native northwoods Cypridpedium growing at Beatons

I find that Phalenopsis are still my favorite - lots of colors and so easy to maintain.  They bring such color and life to a wintery Wisconsin home. The new shoots pictured above are from my 4-6 year olds.

And Yay!  I'm so excited for the 25th annual Orchid Quest at the coliseum on Feb 4 in Madison.  I think I might have to acquire one or two newbies to join the pack.....

January 6, 2012


Life is fragile yet so resilient.

You only have now - make what you can.


With all your heart.


That is the person you are.

December 31, 2011

Last meal of 2011

And dang, did we make it good!  The 2.5 lb T-Bone steak was really like a small roast. We started by searing it in the cast-iron skillet and finished it off in the oven.  
The ribeye and sirloin pieces were so tender that we call it meat butter as it just melts in your mouth.   I can't sing the praises enough of Jenny Street Market's meat counter.  Just wow!

So now, I'm going to try and stay awake until Midnight. 
Adios 2011.  Hello 2012!

December 30, 2011

Terrariums - fun project for a snowy afternoon

Give me a day off of work and I can easily find things to do. Was inspired to build some terrariums today when I found some really fun glass pieces at a thrift store.  Does anyone remember making these as a kid?  I'd get so lost starring at mine - I could imagine a whole separate world in that container.
 Got some great advice at Jung's Garden center and they set me up will all the proper materials including pea gravel, charcoal, Zippy potty soil, moss and some cute little plants.  With the cover, it's already warm and nicely humid - Just what plants love.
For this terrarium, I put an elephant in for one of my favorite books as a child - Horton Hears a Who.

And of course I'm already wondering what is going to happen to Horton in his new habitat.
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