Weird Weather & Garden Art


We're having cool nights (turn on the heater cool) and hot days (turn on the AC hot) these days. It's that time of year when Mother Nature can't seem to make up her mind.

I go out and change the bird bath water every day. And as soon as I go inside, there is a flurry of bird activity out there. It is a riot of noise. They immediately jump in and start splashing around in the fresh water.


I am truly enjoying the lushness of the plants. The potato vines have just gone crazy, trailing all over the place. So have the mints.

I trimmed back the lemon balm, as much of it was dried up and not pretty. But I'm going to enjoy the greenery until it freezes.

The Hyacinth Bean Vine is making pretty purple pods of beans that I will retrieve and save to plant next year.


The squirrels are very active, much to Charlie's delight. He is absolutely mesmerized by their antics.

Abi just doesn't care about the birds or squirrels. The only critter she seems to be watchful of is me! She follows and watches me like a little hawk.

When I go out that front door, she is screeching and pitching a fit and sometimes she bites my foot as I ease through a narrow bit of door to keep her from running out. Charlie throws a fit with her.


I've had these wind chimes since I lived in Texas. They came from Garden Deva right here in Tulsa. My daughters used to buy this garden art for me for birthdays, etc. However we decided long ago to not give gifts to one another.

One thing I'll say about metal garden art: It never breaks! It just continues to rust. And I think that rust is lovely for texture in my garden.

I ordered many of Garden Deva's creations online before I moved here. I need to figure out where her shop is and visit it one of these days. Maybe next spring before I plant for summer.

If you like the wind chimes or would like to take a look at her metal sculptures, go visit her here

Here is a collage of some of her sculptures that appeal to me:


Wouldn't you love to have that sweet bench? It's pretty pricey at around $800! W-a-y out of my league.


A question: Do any of you have one of those one multi-use instant pot pressure cookers like the one above? I keep reading about them. Kind of interested in hearing more. Just wanting some feedback.


42 comments

  1. my daughter has one of those pressure cookers. It cooks boneless chicken in a very small amount of time. she has done chicken, pot roast, etc. and she swears by it. i'm not much of a meat eater or I would probably get one for myself.

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    1. I've read you can make yogurt and all kinds of things in it.

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  2. I like small appliances that help me avoid using the oven. These pressure cookers look great, but I'm not sure one would fit with our style of eating. We do a lot of casseroles and stir fries using rice and vegetables, so we use a Black and Decker rice cooker almost every other day to cook the rice and steam veggies in the little basket in the top. We usually use beans for protein in these meals instead of meat. We also use the rice cooker to make our breakfast oatmeal. The small appliance I'd like to have is a good toaster oven such as your Breville oven. We make our toast and make sandwiches with a George Foreman griddle right now, and I like using it. But I'd love to have a small toaster oven for making biscuits, cookies and bruschetta. I hate heating up the regular oven to make them.

    Your metal yard art is very eye-catching. For pieces that seem simple, they are quite expressive. We have a lot of zinnias blooming now. I didn't plant them until at least mid-July because I forgot I had the seeds, saved from flowers a few years back. I was so happy that they sprouted, and they seem bigger and taller than I remember. Some are well over three feet tall! I guess the soil is really good here.

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    1. I plant zinnias and they rarely come up for some reason. As for the one pot, you're supposed to be able to use it instead of various small appliances. The point I guess is to eliminate some in favor of having it. I'll be doing a lot more research on it.

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  3. Oh, I want to know about that pressure cooker too. I have used the old fashioned ones to cook my chicken for enchiladas and it always made the chicken moist and shredded good.

    It's funny that Abi cries when you leave. I started telling Mazi "you can't go, it's too hot for puppies" and she knows exactly what I mean. She'll walk away from the door and lay on the sofa.

    Dogs are the best!

    Love your chimes!

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    1. Abi is not very compliant. She does what she does. There is a saying that "a cat is a cat and that is that." I would insert Abi in there because she's very stubborn!

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  4. that's a lovely picture of the squirrel Brenda. I love metal too, outside when it rusts and adds a lovely patina and inside for a industrial look. I ask myself why I like this inside because I really like cozy but have not come up with an answer yet.
    I had a pressure cooker many years ago, can't really remember much about it. Now it seems that the air fryer is the thing to have, I was considering it but decided I wouldn't use it much.

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  5. Brenda, I love that wind chime, and will certainly check out the company. I do have a question for you, probably you will think a dumb one, but, how do you start a potato vine?
    I'm always going to look it up, because I've seen how lovely they are, and now you mentioned yours, so just thought I'd ask...

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    1. Not a dumb question! I buy mine at the start of summer in small pots and they just go wild. I don't start them from a potato. I'm assuming that's what you may be referring to.

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    2. Yes,Brenda, I really didn't know how these were grown,I did think maybe it was from a potato, so thank you for your answer, I will check for them in little pots next summer.

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  6. Check out an "air fryer".I just bought an "Air Fryer" which will allow me to cook while using very little oil (it sounds healthier!). I made sweet potato fries in it last night and they came out very tasty. Amazon is amazing, I ordered the fryer Tuesday morning and it was delivered to my doorstep that very evening; the cost was around $85. I've decided that my good 'ole crock pot will do instead of that instant pot. I guess individual preference. Love the wind chime! Carol

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  7. Brenda, I have researched all of these new appliances to death and from what I have read, no we really don't need another kitchen appli9ance to take up are valuable counter space. Most of my friends have all of the new appliances on the market and not one them has said they couldn't live without it. They have also told me there are tricks to using them, especially the air fryer. From what I have read, you just can't beat the slow cooker. I just bought a new one, Hamilton Beach, and there is nothing slow about it! It cooks my food in half the time of my old slow cooker. I think these new appliances are very pricey and I question just how much are we going to be using them and if you live in a small space where are we going to put them? Some of the opinions I have read from professional chefs have said they are just another appliance to take up valuable counter space. Just an opinion!

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    1. I'm just in the checking things out phase. Not sure if I want one. I agree about the space issue!

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    2. Sharyn, I agree that newer slow-cookers cook a lot faster than the old ones. I suspect there must be new regulations dictating a higher minimum temp. for food safety now.

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  8. Brenda, I have the Instant Pot, but since I don't do a lot of cooking, all I've made in it is yogurt. I found a very simple recipe on Pinterest, and it's so easy and delicious. I tried making it plain and adding honey once so that the yogurt could be used in place of sour cream, then realized that I use very little sour cream, lol. I use a gallon of milk with 1/2 cup sugar, 3 TBS vanilla, and 2 TBS of the previous batch of yogurt and it is perfect for me. One of these days when the weather's cold and I don't want to be outside, maybe I'll learn to cook something else.

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    1. You mentioned that when you were here, and that caught my interest.

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  9. Our weather is much the same as yours.

    I think I need a birdbath because yours sounds delightful to watch.

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    1. Oh, watching the birds and squirrels at the birdbath is so much fun!

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  10. I've been circling that Insta Pot thing for a while. I've been wanting to get a pressure cooker like grandma had, but this Insta Pot has some nice features. After reading the comments here, I may just get one! Have a wonderful day!

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  11. Mister used to nip my ankles when he realized I did “the leaving steps.” I tried to keep comings and goings very low key, but he was five steps ahead. I don’t have an insta pot, but in the olden days, I had a pressure cooker. I mostly used it for canning, though.

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    1. That should be “when he realized I was doing the leaving steps.” Spellcheck = argh.

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  12. I have a pressure cooker and I've used it a few times. It does what it does well, but its large and does take up a lot of space. I'd like to hear what you think when you are done with your research.

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    1. I'll have to check and see how big this is.

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    2. I think Instant Pots are available in several different sizes. I have a friend who absolutely loves hers.

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  13. I keep seeing things about the instant pot, but so far it hasn't intrigued me enough to pull the trigger. I think I have enough kitchen gadgets!!

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    1. I'd only do it if it took the place of several others.

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  14. I love your wind chime and it is even better since it weathers so well. I'm glad you asked about the instant pot as I have been curious too. My problem is storage space for small appliances! Our pets do make it difficult to leave. My cats follow me to the door and give me the "sad eyes" knowing it breaks my heart!

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    1. Me too. Don't have a lot of storage space.

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  15. The nice thing about the Instant Pot is that you can cook different ways with one appliance. You can pressure cook, slow cook, make yogurt, do regular cooking as one does with a stove or oven.

    My daughter loves hers as she can dinner cooked fast when she gets home from work plus she makes yogurt. And she swears by it for rice and risotto.

    I guess if one already has a stove and a slow-cooker, you don't really need one unless you are interested in pressure cooking. It's also nice for those slow-cooker recipes that have you browning the meat and/or sauteeing veggies first as you can do it all in the Instant Pot and not dirty up all these extra pots and pans.

    IMO for someone starting out, it's a good all-in-one appliance.

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    1. Just interested right now. I've been reading a lot about them on blogs lately.

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  16. I have an Instant Pot and it is the BEST, most used appliance in my kitchen. Beef Stew, Stroganoff, chili, pot roast, ribs, goulash, you name it! I even hard-boiled a dozen eggs in it yesterday. It is a GREAT thing to have!

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    1. That's one thing I was thinking of. Since I don't have a stove, I can't boil eggs.

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  17. Regarding potato vines, I once grew a sweet potato vine from the potato itself and it became very lush and full. I just cut the sweet potato in half and put toothpicks in it around the bottom and set it in a jar of water. Every once in a while I'd change the water to keep it fresh. I had it for quite a long time. I wonder how they start the potato vines you see in the gardening stores. Maybe little bits of potato in soil? Seems like they might rot before developing roots. Hmmn, something to research!

    As for new-fangled pots and cookers, I have little interest. I don't really enjoy cooking and only do so to stay alive! I eat simple meals fixed on my stove burners or in my oven or toaster oven. I wouldn't have room on my meager counters for anything extra, anyway.

    The garden art is nice. I have a metal hanging that I like and I would like to make a little fountain. I saw one made solely with clay pots of different sizes on Flower Patch Farmhouse blog by Pamela ? Can't think of her last name. You could see it if you went on her blog site.

    That little pupster, Abi, is a piece of work, isn't she? She's a bit like my daughter's geriatric cat who lives with me. She rules the roost over a Labradoodle and another cat who is afraid of her! How old are Abi and Charlie? Have you had them since their puppyhood? They sure are cuties.

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    1. Yes, I've had Abi and Charlie since they were pups. They aren't actually brother and sister though. They are now 11 years old. I agree about the cooking. I just eat basically to survive. I certainly don't live to eat!

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  18. BRENDA, CHECK AND SEE BUT I THINK.YOU CAN "BOIL EGGS" IN YOUR LITTLE YELLOW EGG COOKER THAT A READER SENT YOU !
    THE SPECIALTY COOKERS DON'T REALLY INTEREST ME MUCH BEYOND MY CROCKPOT, IT'S A REAL WORKHORSE IN MY KITCHEN.
    SNUGGLES TO THE PUPSTERS

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    1. That went out some time ago. I don't really eat eggs often anyway.

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  19. My friend in Texas bought the Instant Pot recently and said on Sunday her family decided they wanted pot roast for dinner. Her meat was frozen but she put it in that pot and it and the vegetables were done in 1 1/2 hours and it was very tender. That's all know about them!! lol

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    1. Does sound tempting. But don't know where I'd put it.

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  20. I just love watching the crazy squirrels! Your photo is adorable.
    I have a Farberware electric pressure cooker from Walmart (non name brand instant pot). I do not usually like small appliances, however this one is a winner! Hubby calls it the magic pot and he really loves it. Since I can cook from frozen to plate in less than an hour, I have been making dinners more thru the work week. In 20 min you can have shredded chicken from frozen. We have made roasts and veggies, steak, pork chops, potato soup, rice, spaghetti, mac & cheese, potatoes, chili, cheesecake. Another awesome feature for us is pot-in-pot cooking. I can cook the chicken and the rice at the same time and fast. I also cook steak/pork and potatoes at same time. There are only the two of us, so that works great for us. I use stainless steel bowls for the pot-in-pot method. The magic pot has not left my counter since I got it! I plan on trying lasagna this weekend.

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    1. I have just now started reading up on these. I didn't know you could cook from frozen till the other comment. Since I don't have a stove, sounds like it could replace several things.

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