Family heritage

Alante Photography~ Seattle & the world!

Seattle Tennis Club wedding..whole lotta love~ big thank you to my floral designer friends who helped with this HUGE job~ I love you and appreciate your efforts! You know who you are!!! This could not have happened without your energy and dedication!


I just couldn’t resist sharing this funny phone conversation with my mom this evening.  I was discussing a documentary I recently watched about Mt Vesuvious and the city of Pompeii and how they had discovered a bit of graffiti on the walls of these stone ruins.  I was relating how I  couldn’t believe that 1200 years ago, they wrote graffiti on the walls of these stone latrines! I asked her if it was true that some things never change?

When I asked my mom about this, she laughed hysterically and she said ” my mother always told me to never forget… ” Fools Names & Fools Faces always appear in Public Places”   I really had to laugh at the wisdom of her mothers statement.  But I really wanted to know if that was her moms statement, or a proverb of history.  My mother said she had no idea, she only knew that it came from her mother and that she had heard it preached to her MANY times.

Well, thank goodness for Google and the internet!  I proceeded to Google the saying, then with further clues, I was led to a site that listed many such proverbs, all from a man named Thomas Fuller.  My mother was so excited to know more about Thomas Fuller, because it was a link to her Mother who died when my mother was only 17 years old.   So I continued to search Google (thank goodness for our ability to multi task) while I was talking to my Mom on the phone.  I stumbled upon a website that had 9 pages of Thomas Fuller quotes, and mom and I continued to read them together and laugh.  Her final question was when did Thomas Fuller live?  After a little further Google research, I discovered that his bio was 1608 – 1661.  I almost gave my mother a heart attack!  My Mom was born in the early 1930’s, so to her the fact that her mother was quoting some really incredible quotes of wisdom from the 1600’s was pretty astounding.  She happily said ” my mother must have been a pretty well read woman”

I was pretty impressed with how cool that phone call went!  I couldn’t help but think Happy Holidays to our family,  what a legacy!

One of the older books on my bookshelf is a book called Carla Emery’s Old Fashioned Recipe Book.  It is well used, well worn and so full of knowledge.  The kind of knowledge that know one really uses any more, but it seems like canning is making a comeback and I’m excited about that.  I’ve always been a canner, my poor daughter still suffers from the memories of coming home from school to the smell of cucumbers soaking in the bathub during pickle season.  She hated that smell.   In fact it’s such a strong memory to her , one day while  shopping with her girlfriend they came across a glass pickle ornament, and guess who did it remind them of, yes that’s what they bought me for Christmas.  I love that ornament, because it  stands for something.  A lost art,  I never wanted the art of canning go away. What I had learned from my mother and grandfather were things I knew were an important tool to their survival. I always felt like it might become important again someday to have the knowledge.

Here is a great canning site, if you are interested in learning more about canning

Of course now with all of summer’s bounty out there, it’s the time of year to be thinking about canning.  I thought I would share a few of my favorite  recipes. I have raspberry vinegar aging in the refrigerator right now, waiting to be bottled, I have finished the mustard pickles, the dill pickles, and am just finishing the Sweet pickles this weekend.

Here’s a great reciple for a sweet pickle, that doesn’t even need canning. It will keep in the refrigerator for 6 months.

No Cook Refrigerator Pickles ( the original recipe came from Mrs. Benjamin Swarey, Mill Creek, PA )

6 cups of thinly sliced cucumbers

1 cup of think sliced onions

1 cup of sliced mango ( optional )

2 teaspoons of pickling salt

1 teaspoon of celery seeds

2 cups of white sugar

1 cup white vinegar

3 cups of water

Mix all the ingredients together. Allow it to sit at room temperature for a few hours in the bowl. Then put in jars, put the lid on, and place in the refrigerator. These pickles will keep for 6 months in the refrigerator.  So simple you can have this done in less than an hour, including picking the cucumbers.

The other good recipe ( and a great way to use up tomatoes from the garden right now)

Fresh Salsa

1 – 1/2 lbs of tomatoes ( about 5-6 tomatoes)

1/2 onion, diced

1/4 cup diced green chiles

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1  1/2 teaspoon lemon juice ( bottled or fresh )

1   1/2 teaspoon chopped cilantro

1/8 cup vinegar

pinch of cayenne pepper

Combine all the ingredients and mix well.  You can make larger batches and can this as well as just eating it fresh. Check canning across america for canning instructions.  My recipe says to can for 45 minutes in a water bath canner for pint jars.

And the last one you can use to make dill pickles by the quart, and just store in the refrigerator without canning as well.

1 quart of pickling cukes

1 clove of garlic

1 dried red hot pepper

1 Tablespoon of pickling salt ( do not use iodized salt )

2 Tablespoons white vinegar

2 heads of fresh dill

Boiling water

Just wash your cucumbers, pack into hot sterilized quart ja. Add the garlic, pepper, salt, vinegar and dill. Cover with the boiling water, seal, and store in the refrigerator. These are ready to each in 6 weeks.  I usually open my first jar op pickles at Thanksgiving.

I’m learning lessons from lean times, I’ve learned that 75 percent of my conversations are with people I love to converse with and nearly every topic  on which I write  is about something that I care deeply about. But it is really tough setting parameters for my daily schedule because everything seems to get in the way of my productivity.

Then again  I guess that these are the decisions that  make all of us focus on the hard choices in life, things like what to cut back on, or what to focus on, should I attend more meetings or travel more etc? And then there are the sometimes plain frivolous things that eat away at your time?   How frustrating those things can be.  Am I the only person who get’s calls from ” John”?  ( If that recorded friendly robot calls me one more time at work I’m going to scream!)  Don’t you think “John”  should just leave his number & have me call him back if I am interested in his “listen up” recorded message telling me how I can get more money for my business? Isn’t there technology for such annoying time wasting things?

I’m beginning to look at the economic situation as a fresh start, I’ve been asking myself, “If I had a fresh start, what would I do with it?” It’s a difficult question to answer because so many things come into play, whether I take it from a  personal, business, or community perspective, it still comes down to choices.  I still need to figure out how to be the most productive!

I keep asking myself,  if it is the simple things I should be more focused on, like paying it forward, or sharing with a neighbor, spending  more time gardening, trying to empower more people, or work more overtime?  😉 It’s tough out there for everyone right now, so what do you do?  Life can be wonderful and I know you have to work to make it be wonderful, & I’ve learned that hardship only makes us feel more grateful and appreciate the good in life,  but  I still wonder sometimes if I am on the right path.

Lately, I have been enjoying watching the series on the History Channel, called Expedition Africa! If you haven’t seen it I would suggest it, If you are driven by exploration of new places, ideas, and love history, you will love it!.  I’m enjoying the concept in the show about retracing Stanley & Livingstone’s journey , reliving the history and the new persceptive is rather like a fresh start.  There was much to be learned the first time they explored Tanzania, but how much more to be learned the second time through? I appreciate the blending of old historical accounts, with the new modern techniques and how it applies  to the situation today.  Seems like a case of subtle wisdom to me…then again I am still thinking about it, & how it can help me become more productive in my daily life. I know that there is a lesson in there, I’m still just savoring the ideas.  One thing was very clear while watching the show, I’m not to fond of snakes, thanks to the photographers who did a fabulous job of convincing me of that! 🙂

At this time in our history I have really begun to  look for the silver lining amidst the clouds!I need a little inspiration!  It’s so hard to find anything that is focusing on the bright side of life, but tonight I watched the story on TV about the  Antinori vineyards in Italy which has roots back to the 1300’s.  It was a refreshing renewal of faith in the small family owned business!

I was so inspired by their focus on family and their philosophy  in life.  I was also humbled when the patriarch of the family retold the story about a period of their family history when they decided they needed an investor in the company, and after many trials and tribulations and it eventually not working, they came back around to the fact that it should remain a family business.  This was in spite of the fact that he had three daughters and a historical tradition of woman not working in the vineyards, but three daughters in the family who wanted to work in the business.  In essence breaking the traditionally male dominated industry standards. The “all things happen in their own time” approach to the wine business was a great reminder for me and other small business owners every where.

I’m in the flower business, and I can’t tell you how many hours I have spent trying to force a flower to bloom or open on demand~ it is frustrating and really downright maddening sometimes!  Maybe that is why I appreciated the story so much. It brought out the more important issues in life,  the ebb and flow, the natural rhythm, the long terms gain, rather than the short term fix!  I’ve decided that maybe this is a period in life for me to have more patience, and I will eventually get to enjoy the fruits of my labor when  the time is right!

Here is a quote from the family that can explain it better than I can and should be an inspirational quote for small family business owners around the globe!  ….

Looking to the future, Antinori explains: “There are many books in our library but they are never enough for us. Our mission is not yet complete: we are driven to express the vast potential of our vineyards and reconcile all that is new and undiscovered with Tuscany’s traditional, cultural, agricultural, artistic and literary heritage. These things represent the identity of Antinori, and one of our greatest strengths is that we are in Tuscany – our essential ‘Tuscan-ness’, if you will”.