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Visiting the Elizabeth Lawrence House and Garden

Charlotte is and has been home to some incredible talents, especially writers and landscape architects like Elizabeth Lawrence. Considered one of three of the most important people in horticultural history of the Southeast, Ms. Lawrence poured her heart and soul into the grounds surrounding her home and shared her knowledge with others in her books and newspaper columns.

Elizabeth Lawrence house sign

The Elizabeth Lawrence House and Garden is another wonderful destination in Charlotte that is not often spoken of, but should not be missed. As of this writing in 2024, I’ve lived in Charlotte for twelve years, and I’ve never heard of it until I happened across a blurb on a website. Perhaps the secrecy is deliberate, as once you’ve been, you understand how unique and special it is to be able to visit it.

Owned by the Wing Haven foundation, the Elizabeth Lawrence House and Garden is included in the admission price at Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary. Just ten houses apart, the stroll in the individual gardens and a visit between the properties takes one back in time to an era of quiet solitude in the garden where time spent is refreshing to mind and spirit. You’ll undoubtedly find yourself both invigorated with new ideas for your own gardens as well as need of a nap due to the restful environment and bit of walking exercise.

Locally and nationally considered a historic landmark, the property exudes with the spirit of Ms. Lawrence. The home has been left as though she has just stepped out for a quick visit to the plant nursery for a few supplies. Her writing desk had me drooling, as I share her need for a window while I work. Everything was just beautiful, and I understand how delightful it must have been to sit for hours at that desk writing as she looked over her garden.

Elizabeth Lawrence desk overlooking garden.
Just look at this space!!! I love everything. EVERYTHING.
Bookcase Elizabeth Lawrence house
Even the bookcases are perfection.
Elizabeth Lawrence watering can
Elizabeth Lawrence watering can. Metal. Can you imagine how heavy it would be with water, too?
Even the door stop is out of a storybook.

From the Smithsonian Institution where the property is included in the The Garden Club of America collection:

Established in 1949 by Elizabeth Lawrence, the property has no lawn. The entire property, only 75×225 feet, includes a parking area, driveway, and house. The remaining space is plantings and pathways. A narrow path between a bamboo hedge and a fence covered with garden tiles provides the garden entrance. In the back, intricately designed partiers are outlined with stone. Numerous seating areas and small statuary are found throughout the garden. Designed for privacy in a neighborhood of close neighbors, Elizabeth Lawrence used the garden as a laboratory and sat at a desk overlooking the garden. The garden was renovated in 1986 and is maintained by a devotee of her work. According to the Garden Conservancy, the structure of the garden remains “essentially the same and as much as sixty percent of Lawrence’s own plantings continue to prosper.” The Friends of the Elizabeth Lawrence Garden, with the Garden Conservancy, was formed to preserve the garden.

Persons and organizations associated with the property include: Elizabeth Lawrence (former owner, 1949-1984), James Sommers (former owner, 1984-1986); Elizabeth Lawrence (landscape designer); David Wagner, AIA (remodel architect); Steve Del Vecchio (gardener); Mecklenburg County Master Gardeners (volunteer project); Charlotte Garden Club, affiliated with Mint Museum (volunteer in garden); and Friends of Elizabeth Lawrence (foundation for preservation).

Check out her great reads:

Two Gardeners: Katharine S. White and Elizabeth Lawrence–A Friendship in Letters

No One Gardens Alone: A Life of Elizabeth Lawrence

A Garden of One’s Own: Writings of Elizabeth Lawrence

Through the Garden Gate

The Little Bulbs: A Tale of Two Gardens

Gardens in Winter

A Rock Garden in the South

Lob’s Wood

Birds of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County North Carolina

Becoming Elizabeth Lawrence: Discovered Letters of a Southern Gardener

Beautiful at All Seasons: Southern Gardening and Beyond with Elizabeth Lawrence

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Visiting Wing Haven Garden and Bird Sanctuary

Tucked in the hustle and bustle of Charlotte, Wing Haven Garden and Bird Sanctuary provides a return and connection to nature that is wrapped in a story of love and commitment. Elizabeth and Edwin Clarkson lived an incredible love story that forged an urban oasis for nature and nature lovers. The grounds of the garden feel intimate while encouraging visitors to slow down and enjoy the sounds and sights all around. This secret garden feels like a portal to another time, as one can focus on the sound of the breeze in the branches above, the industrious work of the birds and squirrels, and the scents of the blooming flowers that awaken senses of delight that may have been in hibernation for far too long.

The home that Edwin built for Elizabeth, to her specifications no less, continues to stand with authority and grace on Ridgewood Avenue, a testament to the shared dream they had of their future together and the importance of creating space for the event the smallest that nature offers. The three acres feel much larger, as the paths encourage visitors to take a turn this way or that, for either side will not disappoint. You’ll lose time meandering around the plants, finding yourself remembering gardens and people of your past. It feels too special to rush and yet, time passes quickly without notice. Every part of you engages in this tour of the gardens, and you may find yourself both refreshed and tired from the stimulation of your senses. It is that “good tired” one feels when the only activation of the nervous system has been pleasant and fulfilling.

Read the Journals of Elizabeth Clarkson, dating from February 1933 to November 1951.

Don’t forget to visit the Elizabeth Lawrence Home and Garden (check out my visit), as it is included in the admission of Wing Haven.

Elizabeth was a concert pianist, and her performances at the piano were a delight in their home. The piano takes center stage in the front room, as it is the first thing one sees upon entering the home. The window to the back tucks into the wall, allowing Elizabeth to roll her piano outside to play for visitors on the back lawn. A bird caregiver, she often played the piano with birds resting on her arms as she danced upon the keys. One would expect nothing less from this dynamic duo who gave their all to the animals and land they loved.

Back of the house. Elizabeth would roll her piano out onto the patio.
Side of the house reflected in the koi pond.

One of my favorite items to look for are the quotations that are sprinkled around the property.

Discover more about this hidden gem in our beautiful city of Charlotte! There are a number of books available about the property and the Elizabeth Lawrence Home and Garden down the road.

Two Gardeners: Katharine S. White and Elizabeth Lawrence–A Friendship in Letters

No One Gardens Alone: A Life of Elizabeth Lawrence

A Garden of One’s Own: Writings of Elizabeth Lawrence

Through the Garden Gate

The Little Bulbs: A Tale of Two Gardens

Gardens in Winter

A Rock Garden in the South

Lob’s Wood

Birds of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County North Carolina

Becoming Elizabeth Lawrence: Discovered Letters of a Southern Gardener

Beautiful at All Seasons: Southern Gardening and Beyond with Elizabeth Lawrence

Clemson has a beautifully written garden profile available for reading.

Price: $10 for ages 11 and older; 10 and younger are free; an annual membership is also available

Be sure to keep up with their events, as they host many of them, including FREE Admission days like the one coming up on Earth Day!

Wing Haven is a 501(c)(3) organization.

“Wing Haven’s purpose is to maintain and develop its
properties located in Charlotte, North Carolina as a garden and bird sanctuary for the use, education,
and enjoyment of the community and to stimulate interest in horticulture.” Wing Haven Foundation, Inc.

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What I’m Watching: Moving On with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin

Thanks for the photo, Glenn Carstens-Peters

A revenge comedy about two friends who reunite at a funeral to seek justice for a sexual assault that happened while they were in college. As a survivor of rape, I recommend this film and applaud the sensitivity and honesty with which the subject is handled. It is a movie with a great deal of humor, but above that, it has a heart.

Many movies I’ve seen miss the mark when attempting to express the feelings of those who have been sexually assaulted. This movie has some poignant moments that are beautifully expressed in the words of the script and the character portrayal by Jane Fonda.

Moving On can currently be seen on Hulu at the time of this posting.

There are some very memorable scenes in this film. Here are few of my favorite pieces of dialogue.

When Jane Fonda is expressing to Lily Tomlin how she wants revenge on her attacker, the following is said:

Lily Tomlin: “Oh, Claire, it’s been decades, and not like a couple of decades. It’s been four and a half decades!”

Jane Fonda: “It was yesterday.”

This hit me directly in the heart. It doesn’t matter how many years or decades it has been, for it always feels as though it was just a moment ago. Like a damaged nerve, where the ends are always attempting to reattach and reach out to the other, the person we become after a rape is continually seeking the person we were before. To remember her, to validate and soothe her.

It is one of the most insensitive comments a person can make to another, to inform them that a certain amount of time has passed and therefore the experience should be less painful. This has happened to me a few times. One was by a friend who was a widow and very comfortable grieving her for her loss many years later. I wouldn’t ever be able to tell her to “get over it…he died six years ago.” Unfortunately, she felt comfortable telling me that my rape “was in the past,” and I needed to move on.

Jane Fonda is speaking to her ex-husband, Ralph, and he wants to know what happened to her that made them a viable couple. She says something bad happened. He wants to know why she couldn’t tell him, and she says, “It made me mute. It made me deaf. It made me blind to you and to everything good in my life. I just couldn’t.”

This is exactly my experience. The shame I took on moved into every cell in my body and made me unable to speak my pain. It made me unable to accept that anyone could understand or love me. I was damaged. I was trash. I just had to get through it and keep my pain from overwhelming anyone else. It was my problem, and I wouldn’t make anyone else experience it.

There is another scene where Lily Tomlin is reminding Jane Fonda of all that she has now. She has children, grandchildren, and a nice home.

Jane Fonda replies, “You know what you have? You did what you want in life. That’s what you have.”

After her attack, we understand that she gave up becoming a photographer.

Yes! I understand this so well. Once I was raped, all that I ever was, including my dreams and hopes, were replaced by doubts and fears. I no longer had the self confidence needed to climb the last of the stairs necessary to reach the level I had been chasing. I turned down every opportunity that came my way. Those choices were stolen from me. I no longer believed in me. I was stolen.

Whether you are a survivor of rape or care for someone who is, I hope you’ll consider watching this film. It is very humorous, and while I’ve touched on the moments that made me appreciate the film as it relates to my sexual assault, it isn’t a heavy topic in the film.

The movie is written and directed by Paul Weitz.

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Prime Day Savings of My Favorite Products on Amazon


The days of Prime savings at Amazon are here, and there are some wonderful deals to be had. Below are some of the items I’ve purchased and love. I thought that you may find them beneficial to you! Reminder: Prime Days are a benefit of your Prime membership during July 11 – July 12, 2023.

Safety and Prepping Items

If you have ever lost power and needed a light, ability to charge your phone, or wanted to have a radio to hear the weather, then look no further than this adaptable FORTECLEAR 5000mAh Hand Crank Solar Emergency Radio.

A safe house needs a smart lock. I love that my door locks automatically, and thanks to the addition of the keypad (sold separately), I don’t have to worry if I’ve got my phone on me, I can just type in my code and the lock will open. You don’t need a keypad, but it comes in handy for guests or neighbors that you’d like to have access to your home (you can see if the code has been used, and you can always revoke access at any time, so no worries!). Installation is a breeze!

Don’t fall in the shower! When I had surgery last year, I installed these Shower Handles and frequently relied on them for security when I felt weak. I sincerely believe that EVERY house needs some handles in the shower. The suction cups are strong but are easily removed for cleaning or to rearrange.

The LEVOIT OasisMist Smart Cool and Warm Mist Humidifier is a smart device that alerts you when the tank has run dry and allows you to control the settings via the app. It automatically shuts off when the tank is dry, too! Easy cleanup, quiet, and works like a charm! Your nose will thank you when the winter months are dry and itchy.

Maybe you’ve never thought about having a chainsaw, or perhaps a large one is just too much for you to take on, but either way, a mini one may just save the day! The Saker Mini Chainsaw is a perfect size for trimming back tree small limbs or taking care of fallen debris. Easy to store and ready with two rechargeable batteries, you won’t have to hurt your hands when you want to break up some kindling for the winter fires.

If you are looking for ways to keep your food fresh and stable on the pantry shelf, the Eazy2hD Mason Jar Vacuum Sealer is an inexpensive item that pays for itself in a very short time.

Office and Home

I needed a drafting chair for my art studio. The SMUG Drafting Chair is everything I could hope for, and doesn’t break the bank! Super comfy, and the arms fold up for those quick exits in and out of the chair for potty breaks for Hillary!

I’m not a fan of earbuds, and I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg on something I wasn’t sure I’d even like, but I have to say, I’m loving these SUPFINE Wireless Earbuds. They are listed as IPX8, meaning they are waterproof. You can learn more about that rating and how items are tested at I personally haven’t tried them in the shower or dropped them in the water, so I can’t attest to that quality. They are great earbuds! I own some very expensive headphones that cover my entire ear, and while those are wonderful, these earbuds are great for either popping in for a conversation (as I’ve heard the mic is great), using while in an office setting or while falling asleep and listening to music or watching tv on my phone. For under $15 bucks, they come with a great case that you can drop on your wireless charging pad for a quick charge.

I recently heard a crash and ran to discover that a photo frame had fallen and broken. It was 30 years old, but something had fallen against it and knocked it off the wall. I ordered UpSimples 11×14 Picture Frame Set of 5 (8×10 fits without the matting), and happily had my photo replaced within the week.Now that I have other matching frames, I’m encouraged to add more photos to the wall. A few extra never hurt, and they are quality frames.

If you do any crafts with wax seals, you NEED the Wax Seal Kit,Electric Wax Seal Warmer. I’ve used the little melting kits that use a tea candle to melt the wax, and they are inferior to this electric tool. The wax melts quickly, and you aren’t worried about keeping a stash of tea candles. This kit speeds up the process and helps you create more seals in a consistent manner.

I needed a car vac that didn’t require me lugging out my wet vac for every hair that Hillary sheds in the car. The Vactidy Cordless Vacuum Cleaner fits the bill! I get about 45 minutes on a charge, and that is while using the higher suction speed. There are two speeds, and unless you are sucking up husky hair, you will probably be fine with the lower suction. There are numerous attachments, and including one that allows you to take care of the floor. I was drawn to this item because it is easy to clean. While I don’t think it would replace a vacuum like my Dyson, I do use it for a quick clean of the carpeted stairs and any crumbs nearby. A handy tool to keep close to encourage quick cleanup.

My need for kitchen door curtains led me to Deconovo Door Curtains, and I am very pleased with them. The fabric is light blocking and is easily gathered with the included curtain pull-back. Such a simple necessity and there is no need for an expensive solution. I thought they were a great deal at regular price, but this price makes them an even better one!


Next to gadgets, kitchen organization is a passion of mine. These YEBODA 11oz Glass Milk Bottles are perfect for filling with juice, tea, or water and stashing in the door of the fridge. I especially like them for juice, and the two lid options are a great idea for travel, too.

If you want a little more to drink with the protective sleeve, too, please consider the Otis Classic Reusable Glass Water Bottles with Protective Sleeves. These are my “go to” for grab and go hydration, whether I am hopping in the car, gardening, or just relaxing inside the house. The lid means I’ll not spill them, and the protective sleeve keeps them safe from dings and drops. I try to keep my favorite tea in them and ready to go at all times!

My new favorite gadget is the GIVENEU Electric Fondue Pot Sets with Barbecue Grill. I used to have an electric fondue pot, but it never came close to the fun and excitement of this one! The little mini pans are perfect for additional food and your favorite sauces! It is a great item for parties or for the single person who just wants to throw it all on the grill and have fun with minimal and easy cleanup.

The NOYA Adjustable Tofu Press is a perfect kitchen tool for anyone who eats a lot of tofu. It helps to squeeze out any moisture and can be used to marinate tofu, too. Quick cleanup and easy to use!

I wanted to clean up the area under my kitchen sink and make it easier to clean. The Under Sink Mat, 34″ x 22″ is a great item that has a drain that helps should any water spill into it, and a nice lip on it to contain any drips. It bends easily for installation, and since it isn’t rigid, you won’t have to struggle with it when you need to pull it out.

Gift Cards

Now is the time to buy Gift Cards!

You can make those dollars STRETCH when you secure a gift card deal during Prime. For example, Buy $50 get $10 credit, code UBER.


I have tried many poop bags over the years, but I have to say that my faves are Amazon Basics Unscented Standard Dog Poop Bags with Dispenser and Leash Clip! I get them every six months with a 900 bag delivery. That’s a lot of bags, Jeannie! Yes, but I pick up immediately after Hillary goes in the yard. I keep them stashed all over the yard, and they are ready to go when she does! They are sturdy, have a nice scent, and I never get a bag with a hole in it.

Winni recently had to have dental surgery and was given a new drug that kept her free of pain, but she was a high risk for falling. I had to keep her contained in a separate room, and even when she felt better, she returned to the room for a few days for quiet time. I kept her litter box in the room and didn’t want Hillary to enjoy the buffet, so I purchased the Baby Gate with Cat Door – Auto Close 29.5″-48.4″ and solved the issue of allowing Winni the opportunity to come and go without Hillary following. Easy to install and a wonderful addition for pets who need a little R&R (or to keep the bigger animals or kids out of the pet room).

The Made4Pets pet stairs are wonderful and strong! Both Winni and Hillary use them. They come with carpet you can attach, and there is a little hidden storage area in the lower step for toys or other items, and a hideaway hole for a rest for small pets. Perfect for help to the furniture or bed.

Outdoor Decor and Lighting

A little extra lighting in the yard is always a good thing, and I am really happy with the Dynaming 8 Pack Solar Post Lights. They are bright and last a really long time.

Gardening is a passion of mine, and my new peony plants needed staking. The 20pack Garden Plant Support Stakes worked like a charm, and you can connect them to make a little fence enclosure, too. Easy, adaptable, and a great item for the garden.

The Ayleid Retractable Garden Hose Reel has saved my back in the summer of 2023. I had previously used a hand crank reel to wind up my hoses, and I hated every minute of it. I’ve used it for over twenty years and cussed a streak at it. Not anymore! The retractable garden hose is like having a butler carry my hose and assist me with winding it up. Do your back a favor and make gardening a little more enjoyable, too

I’ve used the Gardzen 10-Pack 20 Gallon Grow Bags for two seasons now, and I have to say, they are great and make gardening easy and portable! I recently needed to move my garden area, and moving the bags was no trouble at all. They have held up in the weather and sun, and I look forward to using them for many years to come!

Personal Care

After my lipedema liposuction surgery, I’ve experienced nerve damage in my legs. This has made using a traditional blade razor very unsettling. I can’t really feel how deep I’m going with the blades. The Electric Razor for Women – Painless 2-in-1 Women Shaver has solved two problems for me: it is a rechargable razor, and it has two head attachments (one for body and one for face). Your stray chin hairs will be a thing of the past, and you won’t need two tools to take care of your shaving needs.

If you suffer from any form of leg exhaustion or swelling, you may consider compression socks. The 3 Pack Copper Compression Socks are ideal for men and women. They wash beautifully and maintain their shape.

The UTK Heating Pad for Back, Far Infrared Natural Jade and Tourmaline Heating Pad has quickly become my favorite self-care tool. Ever since I visited the Shoji Spa in Asheville, North Carolina, where I first used a similar mat, I’ve been feeling great with improved motion in my shoulder/neck and ridding my body of headaches that hit me first thing in the morning due to stiffness from sleep. The stones do not get too hot, and unlike traditional heating pads, my back does not have discoloration after I use it. This deal is really limited, so run if you want it!

There we have it, my top picks for Prime Days 2023! I’d love to hear if you have any of the items and what you think of them! Happy shopping!

Disclaimer: Some links on my site are part of affiliate programs, and if you click on them or make a purchase from the link, I may make a few pennies. There is no additional charge to you.

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Days that Define Us: Moving from Virginia to Texas in 1993

Actual entry from my calendar.

Thirty years ago, on this very day in June, I left Virginia for Texas. I didn’t go willingly, and I did not possess a happy heart. Three days prior, I watched my love board a plane and return to Spain. I was finally at the time of my life I’d waited and worked for since I had known what it meant for one to have goals. I was headed to college in August. As far as I could see, my life was finally beginning.

Thanks for the photo, Ross Parmly

This should have been one of the happiest times of my life. A dream brought to fruition by my hard work and determination. This win was mine, and yet, I felt alone and inconsolable at the loss of my home, friends, and boyfriend. Additionally, my parents chose the college that I would attend. They wanted to return to Texas and had forced me to apply to Texas Woman’s University (TWU) in Denton, Texas. While they weren’t paying for a dime of my education, I didn’t have a driver’s license, much less a car, and I was only in a position to do as I was told.

I calmed myself by believing that it didn’t matter if I started college at TWU. I could always transfer. At least I’d made it. I’d survived to eighteen years old (just barely 3.5 weeks prior), and I could begin living my life, even if my controlling parents were dictating how it would begin. I just needed to look at the positive and move forward. This was a rocky beginning, but it didn’t need to compose the complete narrative of my life. I just needed to embrace the journey and jump into the opportunities that waited for me. My boyfriend planned to return in a year, and we’d be on our way to our happily ever after.

Thanks for the photo, Marcel Ardivan

My mindset had always been one that leaned toward the light. Like a plant seeking the sun, I would bend as needed to find a sliver of sustenance and bloom despite a less-than-ideal environment.

Thanks for the photo, Nathália Arantes

This challenge was nothing new and held the potential of a greater reward than I had ever known.

I packed, said my goodbyes to childhood friends, and I was once again dragged across state lines to a strange locale where I was the new girl without a friend in sight. Nothing new to see here.

This day, as we set out for an 18+ hour journey, I kept my face on the window, absorbing the sun’s warmth and encouragement. It was my only source of comfort.

Hold on. Just hold on.

Hold on. Just hold on.

Hold on. Just hold on.

I repeated this phrase to myself until the rhythm muted my mother’s mocking laughter, as she poked fun at my heartbreak.

Hold on. You are almost free.

You are almost who you’ve always wanted to become.

Hold on. Just hold on.

Thanks for the photo, Sydney Sims

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Bushnell Unscripted Podcast: Read with Me – Winnie-the-Pooh Chapter One

Illustration by Ernest H. Shepard

I may be the only person who has not read Winnie-the-Pooh, but I’m quickly fixing my deficiency of Pooh literature. I never knew the story was so funny and packed with adult humor. Just how he came to be named “Pooh” made me laugh loudly when I first read it. I’m kinda glad I wasn’t previously introduced to the honey-loving bear, as my fresh eyes are thoroughly enjoying this new reading adventure. Whether you’ve read the story before or over a lifetime, I hope you’ll give my version a listen.

You can read the original digitized version with me at Google Books.

If you’d like to hear the author, A.A. Milne, read from his work, check out this video.

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BUE03 Bushnell Unscripted Podcast: Dipping back in with TV Shows I’m Watching: Will Trent, Inside Man, and Emily in Paris

Hi! I’m returning back to the land of audio with my latest podcast that is a tiny taste of TV shows I’m currently watching. My time away has certainly been lengthy, and I’m coming back with a variety of subjects to talk about and share with you.

First up, I’m watching Will Trent. I watch it on Hulu, but you can also purchase the entire season or pay per episode on Amazon.

I’m digging that the show is similar to Monk, but definitely suited for a more adult audience. The sweet little chihuahua Will rescues is darling and is honestly one of the draws of the show for me. The series is based off of Karin Slaughter’s New York Times best selling “Will Trent” book series that I will be checking out. Have you read the books? What are you thoughts on the show?

Stop what you are doing and RUN to watch Inside Man. The BBC has done it again with a magical mix of drama and mystery that will keep you riveted for four episodes. The end comes too soon, as watching David Tennant and Stanley Tucci is a treat in and of itself. These two talented actors make for a combination that keeps one on the edge of the seat. RUN…watch… report back on what you think.

Finally, a little fluff and fun to wash down the serious watching, as we return to Season 3 of Emily in Paris. I adore Emily and her French friends. How could you not? When I’m not watching the show, I’m listening to the music on the Emily in Paris Soundtrack.

Emily in Paris, A Netflix series

The last episode of Season 3 was certainly a bombshell. Do you believe Cami? I think our favorite secret keeper has grown her nose a bit with this story. I can’t wait for the next season. Will it be the last?

What are you watching this Winter? I’d love to hear your recommendations and view your list of favorites!

Thanks for listening and reading, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Check out my watchlist on IMDB.

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Happy National Popcorn Day – Easy Popping at Home

National Popcorn Day is a great excuse to enjoy your own popcorn at home with little expense and great fun. I do love popcorn. As a child, it always felt like such a treat, especially when we would buy a “self-contained stove-top popping pan” from Jiffy Pop. We would watch it pop, the foil balloon of popcorn expanding and sizzling. Of course, as a vegan, I haven’t had that product in years, as they have milk derivatives in their products. That’s okay, the sweet memory is there.

I have a vintage air popper that I use, but I find myself avoiding it because the blower is quite loud, and I don’t enjoy the sound. I started purchasing small, individual bags of popped corn from Costco, but the new price increases have made me avoid putting it in my cart.

Popcorn is too delicious of a snack to abandon! The low-calorie snack is a great treat throughout the day. Determined to find a solution, I started searching for an answer to my popcorn dilemma.

I took a leap and ordered the Mueller Premium Microwave Popcorn Popper, 3 Quart Capacity Popcorn Maker, Borosilicate Glass, with a 3-in-1 Silicone Lid.

I was drawn to the popper because it is glass, has a silicone lid for measuring kernels and melting a variety of additional items to help flavor the popcorn, but this microwave cooker doesn’t need any additional oils or flavors to make the popcorn. It is a simple design with promising results based on the reviews. It is in a charming red color (they seem to have a happy yellow now) and is dishwasher safe, too.

I needed some popcorn, so I ordered a 3 lb. bag of Anthony’s Organic Yellow Popcorn Kernels, 3 lb, (Gluten Free and Non GMO).

I was apprehensive, but foraged ahead with my goal of having yummy popcorn without additional packaging waste and extra expense. The first batch was not ideal. I followed the instructions and most of my popcorn didn’t pop. The second time, I extended the cooking time and it got better, but not great. The third time, I set the microwave to five minutes and watched as the entire bowl cooked up. It didn’t need the full five minutes, but it was close. Since that successful time, I’ve tried other brands of popcorn and can attest that the cooking times have been all over the board. Some have needed a swift three minutes, and others need a bit longer. My advice is simply to experiment and standby as the popcorn is in the microwave. Nobody likes burnt popcorn.

The popcorn has been delicious. While you don’t need any additional oil to make the popcorn pop, I plop a little organic coconut oil in the bowl before I measure out and dump my kernels. I put a pat of vegan butter in the top of the lid to melt as it pops, and I frequently experiment with a variety of spices and salts when the popcorn is completed. I have yet to try chocolates or other sweet mixtures. I do like a healthy dusting of nutritional yeast.

Clean-up is a snap, and whether you keep it on the counter or tuck it away, it looks attractive.

Here is the refined coconut oil, butter, and nutritional yeast that I use:

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Celebrating Nature: National Bird Day 2023

Do you feed the birds in your yard? I love supplying them with additional nutrients to help them through the days that seem colder and hotter than ever. I’m blessed to have a wide range of birds that visit and happily partake in the food.

While I was healing from surgeries last year, I found it peaceful to watch the birds visit. I installed two feeder poles and a feeder with a solar light.

I was very excited for this first pole, but I find the attached bowls are not ideal for me. They would be better if they twisted where they attached to the pole to make it easy to dump out debris or dirty water. They don’t do this, and it therefore makes for a very messy clean-up. All is not lost, I still use the pole for my hummingbird feeders. I love the bird design, and it is made well.

The squirrels love it.

This bird feeder is busier than my hometown mall when I was a teenager. Every bird loves visiting it, especially cardinals, blue jays, morning doves, and the nuthatch. The nuthatch population in my yard is large, and they will come perch on it as I fill it. Unafraid of their human, the little birds hop around the feeder eating, hanging upside with ease. The solar powered light was beautiful while it lasted, and while they did supply an extra lid, “in case the other quit” as they stated, both lids did quit early on. It is a beautiful light when it works. But again, the light was simply an added benefit of the item, and it by no means makes the feeder obsolete without the light.

Two solar lights came with the feeder, but neither of them lasted very long.

It is so pretty when the light works.
Looking so innocent, no…I couldn’t possibly be ready to pounce on these feeders to get some grub.

Finally, this is my favorite feeder pole. The feeder above is hanging from this pole on my back deck. The arms swivel so I can bring the feeder in and out as I like, and the bird and leaves are sweet decorative touches.

The clamp is strong and the plastic twisting piece is sturdy.
This is how the poles comes packaged. Easy directions and install.

The birds who visit my yard are sweet visitors, and I hope to make a place for them that is safe and stocked with their needs. I’d hate to imagine life without birds! Here are a few birds I’ve painted with watercolors.

My father loved cardinals, and every time I see one, I think of him. I love my new mug.
Cuddled in my cardinal blanket and drinking a cuppa as I look over the new seed catalog. A good start to the new year.

I wasn’t able to locate my mug online, but this cute one is certain to please the cardinal lover. 🙂

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Spaghetti Day 2023 – Let’s Make Vegan Bolognese

Happy National Spaghetti Day! Lovers of pasta unite for a day of celebration for the skinny noodles that have been, for many of us, a favorite meal since childhood. Spaghetti is one of the rare foods that I can eat cold or hot, and it always seems better the second day.

To celebrate the day, I wanted to make a recipe I haven’t tried before, and a quick search returned Vegan Bolognese with Impossible Meat by The Carrot Underground. The recipe is hearty and delicious. Don’t miss a step or overthink the ingredients! Two cups per veggie may seem like a lot, but it is well worth it. The addition of the veggie stock adds a layer of depth to the flavor, and I substituted red wine vinegar for the red wine. If you don’t like Impossible Meat, substitute it with TVP or another tasty option. This is a fulfilling recipe for your weekly table, and it will certainly score at any potluck event. Everyone will walk away with a content belly.

Additionally, this makes a great meal for those Meatless Mondays you may be testing out or the addition you need for your #Veganuary journey!

I made a video while I cooked, and I hope you’ll check out The Carrot Underground, as it is a fantastic spot for vegan recipes. Thanks for the wonderful recipe, Connie!

I am not affiliated with The Carrot Underground. I simply think they deserve a shout out for their great information!

Check out the products I used below!

Some links on my site are part of affiliate programs, and if you click on them or make a purchase from the link, I may make a few pennies, but that will never come at an additional cost to you!