Tuesday, February 28, 2023

A Thrifty Tip

When thrift shopping, it can be easy to overlook things in boxes in favor of the more obvious/attractive items.  Sometimes the boxes are on the bottom shelves and seem like more effort than they are usually worth to sift through.
That being said, on a recent visit I was intrigued by this box.
My curiosity got the best of me.

This is what I saw after removing the lid.
I became more intrigued by this hand carved nativity set so neatly packed.
One of the first Christmas gifts Brett gave to me our first year of marriage was a Precious Moments nativity set.  I loved it for many years.  Forty some years later I no longer love it.  At this point in my life I have been wanting one made of wood.  It has sort of been on my radar, although I haven't been looking too diligently.

Carefully packaged in newspaper that I can't read.
I can imagine somebody returning from Bethlehem with this beautiful memento of their trip.  It would appear that since 2001 it has been loved and appreciated.  Hard to say why it ended up at the thrift shop.  But, I must say, I am glad it did.


A close up view.

Another close up.

With this unbelievably low price there was no way I could pass it up.
After doing an online search I have learned that similar sets are selling in the $150-200 price range.

Another recent box find started off like this.
I nearly didn't waste my time on it until something on the box caught my eye.  The mailing label was attached indicating where it had originally shipped from.  A company that I have never bought from, but know to be a bit high end.

Once unboxed, the label was still attached.
Looks like the lady who ordered them never used them.

Once taken out of the box the familiar Mackenzie Childs patterns were revealed.  I think these will be fun for Easter decorating this year.
In this case the $1.99 price tag sealed the deal.

If you find yourself thrift or garage sale shopping and come across things in boxes, it just might be worth taking a look.  You never know what treasure might be lurking inside.

Friday, February 24, 2023

When Life Gives You Lemons ...

Late last fall when it was time to bring my Meyer Lemon inside for the winter, there were two lovely lemons waiting to be picked.  Not a huge harvest, yet very exciting as I have been trying to grow them for years with limited success.
I put them into the fridge waiting for just the right recipe to use them in.  While two lemons from the grocery wouldn't be all that exciting, these were like a prized treasure to me :).  
Anyhow, the fall and winter holidays came and went.  The lemons were still in the fridge.  Clearly something needed to be done before they were no longer edible.

Yesterday I decided to quit waiting for the perfect recipe to present itself and just think of something with lemon in it that sounded appealing.  Something with blueberries came to mind.
I consulted my Cooking Light cookbook and decided on lemon blueberry muffins.

The lemon glaze was the "icing on the cake muffin".  It added such a sweet/tart fresh lemon flavor.
One lemon and it's zest were used.  One remains in the fridge.
Amazingly, they were still very fresh and full of juice.
I suppose that has to do with being homegrown rather than traveling great distances to reach the grocery store.

All ready for the weekend.
If you were here I'd offer you one.
Since that's not the case, I can offer the recipe here.

With our recent stretch of warm weather, the lemon tree has been enjoying the patio.  The five lemons that were growing last fall are still there along with many flower buds.  Exciting!!
I think I better start collecting the lemon recipes now.
Do you have any to recommend?

Hope your weekend is enjoyable.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Outside Playing

My winter garden is beginning to wake up.
Daffodils are thinking about opening.
Our current temperatures in the 70s this week may be just what's needed to coax them along.
The bulbs I planted most recently (last fall) are just starting to poke out of the ground.  I'm hoping that means the daffodil show will be extended this year.

Since it is still early and there isn't much blooming, I brought my Valentine's bouquet outside to play with.
A recent phone update means a camera update too.
Today seemed like a good day to get to know the camera better.

A week later and the flowers are still looking good in their close up.

There are a few pansies in bloom.
I zoomed in a bit on this one.
The color and clarity are nice.
The zoom capabilities on this phone are much better than the previous one.

Hoping to test out that function on a bird photo or two, I sat and waited for one to land at the feeder.
I waited and waited and then noticed two hawks swooping overhead.
That would explain why the songbirds were in hiding.
I tried for a quick photo of the hawks and ended up with this.
Ah well, it looks like more practice is in order.

When choosing a phone cover, a garden theme was the winner.
I hope to spend lots of time getting familiar with the camera feature in the coming months.  Naturally much of that time will be in the garden.