25 December 2011

Christmas 2011

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!



18 December 2011

Introducing Starburst

A few weeks ago my daughter and I were in Petco and saw these lovely Guinea Pigs. One in particular caught my eye and I just had to buy her. Guinea pigs love to groom each other, but my Starburst wanted none of it and she started having this kicking fit~I knew right then and there she was the one for me!

Guinea Pigs make great pets~if you show them love they will love you back. They also jump a lot(called popcorning)and the first time my daughter and I saw Starburst jumping, we did not know what was going on. It is still funny to see her jumping all over her cage for about 30 seconds almost non stop. The books will tell you to have more than on Guinea Pig, but Starburst has been fine on her own. We do hold her a lot when we are at home and give her maybe to much attention.

If you are thinking about buying a pet~I would recommend starting out with a Guinea Pig. Who can resit a face like my Starburst?

Hoping everyone will have a great week.

Tracy :)


Starburst with Leory and Tigger

Not sure about Tigger

16 December 2011

Think Time

Each day is a new canvas to pain upon. Make sure your picture is full of life and happiness, and at the end of the day you don't look at it and wish you had painted something different.

                                              ~Author Unknown~

Hope everyone will have a great weekend!

Tracy :)

27 November 2011

The Winner Is....

The winner of Vicki Lane's, Sings In The Blood is: Lynne from Dovegreyreader.
Congratulations, Lynne!

Please send me your address~your book and a surprise will be mailed to you Tuesday.  My daughter drew the name from a hat Saturday night and a big "thank you" to her! Sorry the drawing was not Thursday so much has been going on and time slipped through my fingers.

Tracy :)

Signs in the Blood

18 November 2011

Book Giveaway

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of meeting North Carolina's author Vicki Lane at Fountainhead Bookstore. I have just started reading Mrs. Lane's books and blog and I am taking with it all! Mrs Lane has written several books on Elizabeth Goodweather which are Appalachian mysteries and I have enjoyed her first book very much.
A Wonderful Independent Bookstore

Before, Mrs Lane read from her book, she asked "Where is Tracy Garcia?" It took a few seconds for me to realize she was asking for me! I was honor that she remembered me through her blog and it proved to me~yes you can have friends through blogging. I did speak with Mrs Lane after her reading and she is a very sweet and soft spoken person. She signed all her books for me and I have an extra copy of her first book.

Speaking With A Patron

Signing All My Books

Moi With Mrs Lane

If you would like for your name to be put in for the giveaway~just leave a comment and next Thursday I will have my daughter draw a name.

Wishing everyone a great weekend!

Tracy :)

11 November 2011

Good To Be Back

Sorry I have been gone for a while, but the last few months have been a learning experience and I am hoping to share a few things with you.

On 5 April my mom suffered a stroke and I have come to terms with seeing my mom not able to do all she could do at one time. I have seen the ugly side of health care and people who really don't care for their own, but tend to care more for people who never put into the system. I have also spoken with people who had to give up their parents home to get them into a nursing home. Most of all, I have come to understand this country needs to take better care of our senior citizens and medicare needs to do more!!!

Mom is improving everyday--she is in out patient physical therapy at Roger C Peace and I am so proud with all she has accomplished in the last six to seven months. She has some control in her right hand and her speech comes and goes. She is walking with help but with a bad knee and still weak from the stroke~walking is hard. I have learned by watching my mom~her speech is better earlier in the day. When she is tired, I can tell her brain is slowing down.

To help me with my feelings and hurt, I turned to canning this summer.(very good therapy for me). Mr G had a great garden and I canned green beans and tomatoes. I also made salsa~which did not last long. I also made vegetable soup which did not workout at all. Trust me when you walked into my house you could tell! Yes, mistakes were made but I did something I have always wanted to do.

I am also taking knitting lessons and have a great teacher in Hendersonville NC. I will share more about this later.

A few weeks back, I met Vicki Lane who writes mysteries. She is a sweet and very soft spoken person and I am very glad to have met her. She has a wonderful blog~Vicki Lane. In my next post, I will have a book give away singed by Mrs. Lane.

I still have so much to share~so please do come back. This year the Autumn leaves have been unreal!  
  Beautiful colors of red, yellow, and orange.

Tracy :)

23 October 2011

Will Be Back Soon

I am sorry I have been away for a while. So much has happened in the past six months and I hope to share my thoughts with my readers soon.

Please do not give up on me~~I hope to post on my blog this week or next week.

Oh, a book give away is coming up. I met Vicki Lane last week and have an extra book that she singed.

Take Care and come back soon!

Tracy :)

11 September 2011

In Memory of 9/11

                                 Always in my heart, thoughts and prayers.
                                 (Picture taken from Softland Mark)

25 July 2011

Downtown Flowers

After a lovely walk and lunch, my daughter took these pictures around downtown Greenville a few weeks ago. Sorry--no names for the flowers, but I still hope you will enjoy looking at the pictures.

Hope everyone will have the week of your choice!

Tracy :)

21 July 2011

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for:

1. Mom is doing better
2. My family
3. The beautiful warm weather
4. The garden has given us so much to can
5. If you are reading this--I am thankful for you

The idea for Thankful Thursday came from:MissBuckle

19 July 2011

Dandelion Jelly

I read several blogs and notice many bloggers were making dandelion jelly. After making strawberry jelly, I decided to give dandelion jelly a try. Going out and picking the flowers can be very time consuming and you do receive many strange looks. The more flowers you pick the better, because the jelly will be more of a gold color.

 Many bloggers wrote about the honey taste of this jelly and I am here to say--that is very true! I do wonder where the honey taste comes from? It did take the jelly one or two days to set--I almost threw it away, because I thought I did something wrong.

Funny Story--several times I picked dandelions during my lunch at work. One time, I was stopped by security asking me if I was ok and another time I was leaving work and I notice several dandelions in front of a building near where I work. So of course, I stopped my car and starting picking and yes security was watching me.! When I got into my car they followed me until I was off campus. It's funny what we go through to have fresh food.

The beginning

From this..

To this..

Almost there

The end

 My dandelion jelly recipe came from the New York Times.
Urban Forager Dandelions Preserves
(makes about two pints)

2 cups dandelions blossoms, separated from leaves and bracts
2 cups of water
1 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/4 teaspoon of pectin

1. Boil flowers in water on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
2. Strain petals from liquid and return liquid to pot to boil.
3. Add sugar, lemon juice and pectin, following your particular pectin's instructions.
4. Boil and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon, skimming the foam, until the top surface becomes blobby and glasslike(2 or more minutes).


Tracy :)

04 July 2011

Happy Birthday America

                             Wishing everyone a happy fourth of July!

23 June 2011

Summer Reading List 2011

I love reading and always have a good book with me. I have noticed I read and buy more books during the summer months. Just this past week, four books arrived in the mail and it felt like Christmas in June.

Finding a place to read is important to me--at work I will sit outside on my breaks and at home I will read outside on a beautiful day or evening. It's a funny thing how books can make one act.

My 5 books for this Summer are:

~Comedy In A Minor Key by Hans Keilson
135 pp--A Dutch couple hides a Jewish man form the Nazi's--they soon understand how close they have become to their visitor.

~A Turn In The Road by Debbie Macombe
332pp--Three women will drive across country trying to forget the pass and learn the future can be good.


~My Reading Life by Pat Conroy
337pp--Mr Conroy shares with his readers how books have played an important role in his life--he also shares some private moments of his life with his readers.

~Miles To Go by Richard Paul Evans (part 2 of a 5 part series)
336pp-After the death of his wife and losing his home, Alan Christoffersen decides to walk from Washington to Florida. While on his walk he comes in contact with people who he never thought he would meet. Soon he understands the important role he will play in their lives and healing.

~What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
426pp--After hitting her head in a fall, Alice Love has no memory of the past 10 years of her life. She will soon learn how much her life is about to change--will it be good or bad?

(UK Edition Cover)

You might also enjoy: My Family And Other Animals by Gerald Durrell, Show Me Good Land by Shonna Milliken Humphrey and Left Neglected by Lisa Genova

What good books are your reading this Summer?

For more good Summer books-please visit: Sarah Laurence Blog and  From the house of Edward
   "A house without books is like a room without windows"
       Horace Mann

Tracy :)

17 June 2011

Words and Quotes

I have always loved words and quotes. For several years I have been collecting quotes and famous sayings--so far my collection is getting close to one hundred. I keep all my quotes in my Moleskin. Growing up, I can remember reading the dictionary one page at a time and loved learning the origin of words. I also love finding words with in a word. I catch myself doing this all the time--I know it's crazy, but.... It's sad to know one day the dictionary will be something of the pass.

I am guilty like so many people and use Google to look a word up, but I am catching myself reaching for a dictionary more and more.

I read a great blog Chez Spud and came across a post that has left me thinking. Spud wrote on the Holstee Manifesto and I must say we all can learn from this.

Holstee Manifesto

What are some of your favorite quotes or thoughts?

Hope everyone will have the week end of your choice!

Tracy :)

12 June 2011

Royal Stamps

Look what arrived in my post box this past week. I was lucky that I saw these on the Royal Mail web site--some of the stamps are sold out.

Hope everyone will have the week of your choice!

Tracy :)

10 June 2011

Strawberry Jam

For years I have always wanted to make jam, but never had the confidence to do so. Mr G and daughter went strawberry picking back in May and brought home what seemed to be hundreds of strawberries. I decided that day to make jam and I picked a wonderful recipe from Better Home and Gardens.

3 Quarts of  fresh strawberries, hulled
1 1-3/4 ounce package regular powdered fruit pectin
1/2 teaspoon butter
7 Cups of sugar

1. Place 1 cup of crush berries in an 8-quart heavy kettle. Continue adding berries and crushing until you have 5 cups. Stir in pectin and butter. Heat on high, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a full rolling boil. Add sugar all at once. Return to boiling 1 minute, stirring constantly.Remove from heat, skim off foam with a metal spoon.

2. Ladle at once into hot, sterilized half-print canning jars, leaving a 1/4 inch head space. Wipe jar rims, adjust lids. Process in a boiling-water canner for 5 minutes(start timing when water returns to boil). Remove jars; cool on racks. Makes about 7 half-pints.

 I will be making more of this wonderful jam in the future!

Hope everyone will have the week end of your choice.

Tracy :)
So Many Strawberries

Three Small Ones

My First Batch Of Jam

04 June 2011

Spring and Summer Garden 2011

Wanted to share my Spring and Summer garden with you.

This year Mr G planted-- cucumbers, green beans, tomatoes, cabbage, corn, watermelons, radishes and squash. We have pulled up several radishes and with a little sea salt I must say they were ummmm. We have also had one cucumber, but more is to come!  I am going to try my hands at canning green beans this year--hope it goes well!

I also have a small herb garden on my front porch(cilantro and basil). I think cooking is a much more enjoyable experience when you can go out in your back yard and pick fresh vegetables and herbs.

Tracy :)

Mr G Pondering

Tomatoes and Cabbage


Cabbage and a Sunflower

Green Pepper

Our First Radishes

Small But Good!