“You want me to make a what?” were my confused words along with a deer-in-the-headlights look to my wife Christine earlier this spring. “We already have statues, whirly things, and rocks and now you want to put a bunch of little fairy things in the yard like garden gnomes?” Her response was quick and with a smile “No, no, no. I mean a little garden in a planter I can put on the back deck. You know, one with dwarfy kinds of plants and cute little fairy houses and stuff.” I knew what she wanted and my pathetic act of ignorance was quickly dealt with when Christine came home the next day with a nice plastic planter two feet high and two feet across the open top. I began my research.
Gardeners would need to be under a log not to know about the fairy garden rage spreading across the country. Though somewhat new to the USA, these gardens have been a staple all across Europe for a long, long time. Walk into Jo-Ann Fabrics, Hobby Lobby, Steve’s Ace Hardware and even Theisens and you’ll find fairy garden displays selling everything from the obvious—fairies—to the cute little houses, walkways, rocks, and plants, all in miniature size. As a train hobbyist who enjoys building scenes on my layout, creating a fairy garden would be a blast! We went shopping, Christine found what she liked, and I created a garden.
Fairy gardens can be grown in small garden planters, large garden urns, old wagons, wooden boxes, just about anything that will hold soil and has good drainage. In the case of Christine’s large planter, I cut a circle of particle board two inches less in diameter than her planter top, cut four small grooves for water, covered it with a heavy plastic bag to keep moisture away from the board, and plopped it into the planter. It dropped down about three inches and gave me plenty of room for adding the light planting mix and planting dwarf plants.
We set the garden up and looked it over. Once Christine was pleased, I installed the plants, put in the house and walkway, and then added the fairies and their various activities. I rather liked our creation! I can’t give you every pointer possible, but a few important ones include the following. Use a taller dwarf plant for the “tree” behind or next to the house. Choose some colorful plants as accents, use preserved moss as your “lawn” and build around a theme or activity happening in your garden by using props. Christine’s has a gnome walking on the path, a bicycle, two fairies in chairs listening to a wise gnome, and several other little details to show a day at home in fairyland.
I know fairy gardens will interest a lot of different readers, but none more than those who might not be able to get out into the yard as much, those in assisted living situation, or those who simply want to push the easy button. Fairy gardens can be maintained indoors, though in summer they like being outside on a porch or deck. Interested? Then look at any one of the following web sites to see what I’m talking about and start creating your own personal fairy garden. Who knows? Maybe we can have a Fairy Garden Facebook Display!
Go here to see great pictures of Fairy Gardens: www.sortra.com/40-magical-diy-fairy-garden-ideas/
This site has “how to” ideas for designing your Fairy Garden: www.countryliving.com/gardening/garden-ideas/how-to/a5742/fairy-garden/
Visit the Fairy Garden Store to see what you can buy for your garden: www.fairygardenstore.com
Jo-Ann Fabrics has Fairy Garden pieces: www.joann.com/home-and-floral-decor/floral-and-supplies/miniature-fairy-gardens/
Ebay has Fairy Garden Kits:www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_sacat=0&_nkw=fairy+garden+kit&_frs=1
Brined Grill-Roasted Pork Loin
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup kosher salt
2 cups water
1 (4 to 5 pound) boneless pork loin roast
Extra-virgin olive oil
Cremer’s Rub Me Tender Seasoning
In a bowl mix the sugar and salt with 2 cups of water until dissolved. Put the pork roast into a deep bowl or a large plastic bag. Pour in the sugar and salt water. Add more water until the meat is covered. Let it sit in the brine in the refrigerator for 2 to 6 hours.
Remove the pork roast from the brine about 1/2 hour before you will be ready to cook it to allow it to come up to room temperature. When ready to cook, heat a grill to high heat. Dry the pork, rub it with olive oil, and season it with Rub Me Tender Seasoning. Sear the pork on all sides to get grill marks. Move the roast to an upper rack (or over indirect heat) and put a drip pan underneath it. Cook the pork until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F, about 30 to 45 minutes. Remove to a platter, cover loosely with foil, and allow it to rest for
Before carving, add any accumulated juices to the drippings in the pan. Spoon these over the sliced pork.
I spotted a vintage Pontiac service sign in a shop in Wyoming. It reads “Pontiac Authorized Service” and is about 42 inches in diameter. I paid $150 for it. — Ken, Salt Lake City, Utah
If your sign is authentic, the circular design was used during the 1930s and ‘40s. According to “Picker’s Pocket-Guide to Signs” by Ed Bradley and published by Krause Books, if authentic, the sign often sells for about $3,300. If it is the real deal and you bought it for $150, you got an incredible bargain. Be aware, however, this sign has been reproduced.
During the 1980s, I received a copy of “White Trash Cooking” by Ernest Matthew Mickler and published by Ten Speed Press. Is it worth more than just a few dollars? — Debra, West Memphis, Arkansas
Mickler was a visual artist who was based in Key West, Florida, at the time he published his cookbook. The recipe collection attracted rave reviews, due in no small part because the dishes were genuine and reflected downhome cooking. “Trutti’s Fruited Porkettes” and “Lady Divine’s Chicken-Asparagus Pie” are two of my favorite recipes from this cookbook, which is worth about $15. There is also “White Trash Cooking 2: Recipes for Gatherin’s,” which was published in 1988.
I have a cookie jar marked “Holiday Designs USA.” I can’t find anything about this company and hope you can help. — Polly, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Holiday Designs was founded in 1964 in Sebring, Ohio, and continues to operate to the present day. Although ownership changed in 1983, the name was retained. This company makes ceramic canister sets in addition to a line of cookie jars. Many of the pieces are unmarked or identified with paper labels.
Recently I discovered several dozen Budweiser menu sheets from a saloon/restaurant owned by my family during the early 1930s. The sheets feature an old logo not currently used, and I wonder if they have any value. — Jean,
Corrales, New Mexico
Although your menu sheets are vintage and do
seem interesting, they are probably worth only about $5 each.
Write to Larry Cox in care of KFWS, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803, or send e-mail to email@example.com. Due to the large volume of mail he receives, Mr. Cox cannot personally answer all reader questions, nor does he do appraisals. Do not send any materials requiring return mail.
© 2016 King Features Synd., Inc.
Finding a Pet Sitter
DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I love my two Corgis, but my job as a nurse is demanding with long hours, and sometimes I don’t get home to see them for over a day. My sister has been great, dropping in to feed and walk them, but her work hours are changing soon. I have to get a pet sitter, but I have no idea where to start. — Sara in Dothan, Alabama
DEAR SARA: Set aside some time and start doing research on pet sitters in your area, as well as reading up on common services they offer. And ask around at work and anywhere else you socialize: Word-of-mouth recommendations are valuable.
Pet sitters differ from dog walkers in that they go above and beyond a walk. They spend time in your home with the dogs — from 30 minutes to overnight, if needed. They give them food and water, their daily medication, monitor their well-being and provide any additional services that you agree upon. Some pet sitters offer long-term care in their home or facility if you’re away for several days.
Questions to ask your potential pet sitter include: How much does the service cost? Is the sitter bonded/insured? How many other pets does he/she sit for? Will the business owner be the sitter or will an employee or contractor do the job? If so, how are they screened and trained? What happens if the sitter can’t make it? How does the sitter handle pet emergencies? You can find more extensive lists at Care.com and Pet Sitters International.
Contact at least three sitters and compare prices and their responses to your questions. That will go a long way toward finding the best sitter for your Corgis.
Send your tips, questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2016 King Features Synd., Inc.