Posts Tagged sunflowers

Sugar Plum Flo and Other Dogs

We have masses and masses of plums on our trees at the moment and two of my dogs spend hours foraging for them, eating them and leaving me to clean up after them which, after a diet rich in fruit, is quite time consuming as you can imagine.   Why can’t I have a dog that hunts for truffles making lots of money for me in the process?

Dog Searching for PlumsNote the lushness of the grass in August – normally it is brown and dead – an indication of how pants the weather has been this summer.   I think we might have to move somewhere with a better climate like the U.K.  😉

Dog Eating PlumsTwo plums spotted.  Note the gleam in her eye.

Talking of Flo, I have mentioned before that we got her from the dog rescue at Carcassonne or the S.P.A.  My friend Karen hosts what has become an annual event at her home whereby people buy a ticket, come and eat some good food, buy drinks for a euro, fork out for some raffle tickets (hopefully) then strut their stuff at the ‘disco’ afterwards  and in the process we raise money for the dogs and cats in the kennels.

S.P.A. Carcassonne Fund RaiserSomebody made this cake and bought it along.  I’m not sure what sort of dog that is but it’s chocolate which is all you really need to know.

S.P.A. Fundraiser July 2014Lovely company, beautiful French scenery (the sunflowers were in full bloom in the local fields, thank you Monsieur Farmer) and, after some rumbles of thunder, it was a beautiful evening.

S.P.A. DogsLots of photographs of dogs available for adoption to make people go ‘aaaah’ and, hopefully adopt or volunteer to sponsor or go and walk the dogs from time to time.

Thanks to everybody’s generosity we made over 1500 euros for the S.P.A.. which should pay for some food, flea collars and veterinary care.

I did my bit too.  I made a non-alcoholic punch for the drivers (like me)  and teetotallers (not like me) , called a ‘Luscious Slush Punch’  because you freeze part of it and then add lemonade when you’re ready, resulting in a chilled,  slushy, fruity punch drink.  However, in my mad rush to get there on time, I  mistakenly grabbed a tub of chicken stock from the freezer instead of one of the three  frozen punch mixtures I had prepared in advance.  Luckily, Mr. T. was one of the barmen and, after looking at the suspicious colour,  realised what had happened and refrained from serving it to anybody.  The resident dogs were pleased with it.  At least it made people laugh although they might not have done if it had got as far as their glass.

Here’s where to find the recipe should you wish to make the fruit version.  It’s American but I substituted jelly powder for the jello – when I wasn’t substituting chicken stock that is – and it seemed to work fine. ( Tip:  Do not add as much sugar as the recipe calls for – at least halve it!!)

I was going to do a bit of a knitting update but that might be a bit too much info in one post so I’ll do that tomorrow instead.

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Gourds, Sunflowers and a Dire Warning

( very photo heavy post – just saying)


I thought I’d wandered into a kind of French South Park episode at the weekend when we decided to go to a nearby village and see ‘Le Jardin Enchanté’  (the enchanted garden) which is only rarely open to the public and saw this sign.

French Warning SIgnTranslation:   Supervise your Children – Stay with them.

Yes, there was a river with quite a few rocks around and the French aren’t ones to install safety barriers around things but I’m not sure the illustration needed to be quite so graphic.

RiverOr maybe it wasn’t graphic enough as this little tot’s father was actively encouraging a bit of extreme river and rock playtime.

The idea of the day – if I understood the blurb correctly and it’s possible I didn’t –  was to combine art with agriculture and there were some interesting examples.   Being the beginning of September, gourds and sunflowers were mostly the objets d’art of choice.

Decorated Gourd

Bath or Shower

Love the sunflower shower head.

Decorated Tree

and the dressed to kill tree

Clay Decoration

Not sure about the unfortunate swelling on the front there!

Gourd in Knickers

Marks and Spencer trying to save money on lingerie models?


Moving away from the primitive art, there were some gorgeous end of summer colours.  The sunflowers in our garden only grew due to the cast off seeds which dropped off the birdfeeder in the winter so we can’t take credit for those and we are a bit high up to grow some of the other plants so I was a bit envious.

 Sunflower Heads

Somebody’s been busy with flowerheads – these are floating in the river


Late Summer Flowers


Lots of time and effort (and stones) must have gone into some of these little structures

Stone Man

Straw Girl

Some quite subtle installations and (back to the primitive art)

Coal Scuttle Face

some not!

French Sign

It was a lovely place  with a very ‘hippy’ feel to it with brightly coloured baggy trousers, piercings and dreadlocks in abundance  – some spots along the river had incense sticks burning amongst the stones and flowers –  definitely different from the more traditional garden open day in the U.K.   Some of the ‘spectacles’ were a bit weird and very French.  One appeared to consist of a grown woman playing with a doll made out of straw in exactly the sort of way my daughters used to play with Barbies,  apparently for the entertainment of the crowd.   On this evidence we decided not to stay for the spectacles due to take place later in the day even though it was all free.   A good excuse for a family afternoon out  before college and University start again though and an opportunity to take some silly photos like Mlle. T the elder (in her recently finished handmade dress, please note!) pretending to use a gourd as a punch bag – as you do.

Large Gourd

Back to the sewing table next time and some tips on what to do with fabric covered in Dr. Who’s tardis – how I tempt you.

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