To live and enjoy every day to its fullest, use my gifts to help others, I travel to wherever passion finds me.

What Will She Paint?

So many friends I met here...!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Last Sunday afternoon it was soft balmy weather. Perfect to work in the yard. We, or rather my hubby, worked in the yard to pull up all overgrown plants and weeded one corner of the yard, and a strip on the side, by this fence with the wisteria.

The previous owner must have loved plants that plant themselves forth (can't remember the right word for it). I am not exaggerating, but since the fall somehow seedlings developed into minitiature trees, taller than my 6'3" hubby! Everything in our yard grows at a faster rate than the yards around us - I guess our soil is more fertile?? I mentioned casually that for that reason it would be good to be in the yard somewhat more regular. He gave me a fake cheese smile in response. We understand each other without words.

Since I have a hard time pulling or twisting things with my hands, I just raked the dead leaves of winter. Mainly to keep my hubby company. He hates yard work, but he also knows I would do it myself, if I would be able to do the heavier work.
(Just in time, because this week it has been 80 degree weather, and had the air conditioning on in the car!)

Now, there is enough bare soil that I should plant something there.
May be an apple tree, the way they are raising the prices... This week they were 1 lb(3 apples) for 2 dollars at one store, and 49c. per apple in another store. Are they crazy?
Now, we do have a lemon and a lime tree. During the clean-up of the yard I saw the lemons hanging. You see on the pic that this year the lemon is almost as big as a naval orange. That was my big excitement of the day!

My lemons are never as harshly sour as the store bought ones. I wash and freeze them. If I need the peel for a salad, I just cut the peel off while it's still frozen, and put the rest back in the freezer bag.
I use my lemons mainly for salads, some pasta dishes, and desserts, because I don't like lemonade. Although, when it is sweltering hot 90 plus degrees weather in the summer, I love a glass of tonic with a slice of lemon and ice cubes in it.

Lemon is also used in one of my favorite pasta dishes.


8 oz. spaghetti

1 lb. asparagus, cut in 2 inch pieces
3/4 lb. shrimp, peeled
1/8 teaspoon red (chili) pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Cook spaghetti as directed.

Meanwhile, in stir fry pan, fry the pieces of asparagus in hot olive oil until crunchy (like Chinese vegetables, done, but not soft).
Add spices and shrimp, and fry for one more minute.
(I go the easy route and buy the cooked shrimp)

Mix all ingredients for the dressing in a separate bowl. The amount is for 2 people, so double or triple the recipe for more servings. Also, if dressing is too "thin" to your taste, you may thicken it with mayonnaise. Or, if you like a warm sauce, make a white sauce, or an Alfredo sauce, and add these ingredients to it.

The asparagus and shrimp goes on top of the spagetti.
It the dressing is put in a little seperate bowl, people can sprinkle as much or as little of the dressing as they want on their spaghetti dish.


Back to my yard.
To my great delight, the wisteria is profusely blooming right now. This one is the ultimate romancer. The dainty flowers have all my favorite shades of purple and lavender in them.
I find these flowers have an air of mystery, something fairy tale like over them.

Since I love mysteries, I invite you to plop on one of my chairs beside mine and while you drink a cup of tea or coffee with cookie, read an Agatha Christie for an hour, or a book to your own liking.


Poetikat said...

I'd love to have a lemon tree. I just don't think it would thrive in these northern climes.
I believe the word you were searching for was self-propagate. They are wonderful if they do that as long as they aren't rampant.


Cedar said...

I was at the grocers the other day and I thought that same thing, when did they start charging for fruit individually? Now I am just going to start asking: Can I buy half this apple? A third of this Banana? One grape?

DUTA said...

Food is probably going to become an issue in the coming years, so it's a smart move to grow vegetables and fruit trees in one's yard.
As for lemons - undiluted lemon juice is my ultimate cure for a sore throat.

Dina said...

That's funny, land being "too" fertile. :)
So you can freeze lemons? I'll try it.
My yard has pomegranate trees. Eating that fruit is time-consuming. Wish I could send you some.
Enjoy your warmth!

jeannette stgermain said...

Yes, thank you, thank you - self-propagate was the word I was looking for:) - I'm now sometimes to the point that I remember neither the Dutch or the English word.
I'm afraid you would need a greenhouse for your lemon tree! Regarding fruits and veggies (as well as in other ways) we are really spoiled in California - we have almost everything all the time! Thanks for your comment!

jeannette stgermain said...

You have a wonderful sense of humor! You should write a book "In How many ways businesses think they can fool the public." Not bad, eh?

jeannette stgermain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jeannette stgermain said...

Ugh, it's unfortunate, but I think you are right. But I believe in provision. You being from Israel, probably understand the following. In preparing for the year 2000 many people her were stockpiling food and water.
I had bought tomato plants, standing in containers. They were not doing too well- small and puny.
One day I see that on the other side of the house Roma tomatoes are coming up that I did not plant!! There was an abundandance of big tomatoes for 3 years in a row from that one bush. To me it was like manna(h) in the desert.

jeannette stgermain said...

I know, I should not complain - it is a blessing! Yes, we have pomegranate here too (not in my yard though), it's very filling - one of the teas I drink is white tea with pomegranate - I love it. Too bad you don't live next door -we could exchange lemons and pomegranates :)

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

I would love to sit in your garden with you under the wisteria and have a good chat. We would speak English, of course, although it is the adopted language for both of us. We could have some lemon in our cup of tea. Wouldn't that be nice? I love your wisteria and wish I had one like it. I must investigate the possibilities.

Lillie said...

I know its hard work in the yard, but those blooms are so lovely and fruits look so yummy.

Snowbrush said...

I so enjoyed looking at your art--and envying you your wisteria that is in bloom months ahead of mine. I used to eat a great many wild plants (wisteria does take to the wild in some places), and I would often put wisteria blossoms on my salads (after reading that it was edible). I later read that it is poisonous, but I never suffered any ill effects. That just goes to show that edible plant guides often disagree with one another.

jeannette stgermain said...

For you it is already evening when I see this. Tea is always welcome when having a talk! We probably would talk English LOL. I love reading your daily journey - you have a lot of spunk:) since the wisteria was planted by the precious owner (who obviously had a green thumb), I don't know if it would do well in Limburg. Have a nice evening and a great Sunday!

jeannette stgermain said...

Yes, I am lucky to even have a yard - my private place to be outside and enjoy greenery, to dream and relax. Thank you for pointing to that! Wishing you everything and enjoyable for Sunday :)

jeannette stgermain said...

Went to your blog, because I didn't know who you were. Hope you'll recover well and soon. I read a few of your posts, and wish things in life were simpler for you. You seem to fight, but against what? Conflicted, but about what? I can write about light-hearted things like the beauty of a wisteria, because my heart IS light. But I feel for the many burdens you seem to carry:)

lovelyprism said...

Wisteria and citrus trees! I miss California, here I can grow wisteria but not citrus. Your recipe sounds wonderful too, I think I'll try it!

lovelyprism said...

I left one comment before but it doesn't appear to be here. I went to look at your paintings, t hey're lovely! You're very talented.

jeannette stgermain said...

sorry, last week I lost a few comments from people - have not figured out what it was, but after I wrote that I was going to check in with my son who's a computer geek, it stopped:)
So, if it was a hacker, he got the message, if it was the computer, "it" got the message LOL
Thanks for "following me"!
That article that you wrote about pharmaceuticals is a real important issue - maybe consider rewriting it and give it to a newspaper, or a journalist? This coming from a "mom" should be a personal interest story - you have no business attached to it, advertising one or the other natural product. Have a great Sunday
Yes, the wisteria is a source of pleasure. You probably miss California most in the winter!

SILVER said...

oh Jeannette, those are such a beauty! I have seen some like those but they are in yellows. Absolutely gorgeous too!

and i should try your pasta recipe soon. Asparagus and shrimps! Sounds awesome!

Rosie said...

Your Wisteria is lovely - I think it is such a beautiful plant. How wonderful to have your own lemon tree - I didn't know you could freeze them so thanks for the tip:) Your garden or yard sounds wonderful - ours is so hard to work in as it is heavy clay soil. Very wet in winter and too dry in the summer:)

Lynette said...

Thanks for sharing your recipe, it sounds so delicious! Those are some huge lemons and it must be wonderful to have a lemon tree in your own yard. I bet your yard is lovely and those wisterias are some gorgeous flowers. They grow wild near where I live, down by the Appamattox River here in Virginia. The trees turn purple with them, they're so pretty!

jeannette stgermain said...

I have never seen a yellow wisteria :) The pasta dish with that dresssing is actually very light. My son calls it my diet pasta dish:) - but i do love it!

jeannette stgermain said...

Wow, I don't know if they have wisteria here, growing wild! When we bought this house I didn't pay attention which plants were in the yard, but the longer I live here, the more I am thankful for the previous owner(s) who planted all these lovely things for me/us to enjoy! Thanks for visiting:)

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Hello Jeanette. I dont know how I missed this one. So sorry. If I have extra lemons I squeeze them out into my ice trays and then freeze them. Once frozen, they are placed in an airtights container. That way, I take out just the block or two I need. I love lemons and the smell of them. When I was younger, I cleared a patch of thorns from our lemon tree and would climb up there with the saltpot and eat them. :)

Reader Wil said...

In Indonesia we had a lemontree in the garden. Your wisteria is wonderful! I wished I had one in my yard. The forsythia branches were cuttings from the one a friend had in her garden.
Thanks for your visit Jeannette! Have a great week! Groetjes! Wil

jeannette stgermain said...

Don't worry about it - no harm done, I missed plenty of your posts :) Still have to get used to people coming up with a post every day! for myself, I'm glad if I can write 2 posts a week!
Thanks for the tip, I know now, why my lemon in the ice-cube trays would virtually dissolve over time - I had not put them in air tight containers!
I wonder what the salt pot is?
In my mind I can see that little girl climbing in the tree to have her lemons :)

jeannette stgermain said...

Reader Wil,
Your pics of the forsythia were amazing (because I know how small the flowers are!)! their form remind me of stars. when I read that you had a lemon tree in Indonesia, suddenly the word "djeroek" came to me - wow, how memory works (and my memory is usually not that good LOL) Thank you for your comment and you have a great week too!

Denise said...

You have the most wonderful garden I can tell. How I would love to sit amongst your aromatic blooms with a good book. I've always loved the idea of having a 'secret garden'. Perhaps one day. In the meantime, loved this post, the recipe looks great and I thoroughly enjoyed your photographs. We had a lemon tree in California years and years ago. How I wish we had one now. Must go fix myself a cup of coffee and start reading that new book I bought over the weekend.

jeannette stgermain said...

I guess Orange County and surroundings are known for its citrus fruits. When you live in the city, you need more privacy - I never though of my small yard as a secret garde, but in a way it is (thanks for pointing that out to me).
That may be the reason why people in the city do not greet each other in the street. One time, when we visited some friends in Oklahoma, it really took me by surprise when someone who passed me, said, "Hi." Wow, someone greeted me - that made my day!

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Wisteria out now! How wonderful. And lemons growing in your garden! this sounds beautiful, Jeannette.

jeannette stgermain said...

Forgot where you live, but everything is in bloom here now - spring is the prettiest in California, because everything is still green and fresh -most of the year, all of our sprinkler systems are on to keep our plants alive!!! with this desert climate.

Leedra said...

Glad you stopped by my blog, hope you will return.

Love the wisteria, ours are not in bloom yet. This one is gorgeous.

Leedra’s Photos For Fun

Leedra’s Greeting Cards

Photography By Leedra

jeannette stgermain said...

This witeria is blooming now, because it's California, Spring before Spring :) thanks for visiting, and you are welcome any time here!