Friday, August 10, 2012

Boutiques and Botanicals

Display in Serendipity
Had a few extra minutes in town this week and visited a new shop in our old downtown area. This shop was a super fun mix of furniture, clothing, accessories and other cool things. The prices were reasonable and I am very tempted by a nice spacious purse I saw there, hmmm.......
Anyway, it was a pleasant change. The previous shop was ultra trendy and rather ridiculously expensive. The stuff was super cool, but I usually felt like I was being sized up and found wanting in one way and another. The owner of Serendipity, Tomisa, was certainly a friendly breath of fresh air.

Maybe the chip on my shoulder toward the previous shop, was that in my previous life I made sales calls there and they even advertised with my company. If you want to know how people really behave, go call on a business owner as an advertising rep. Probably accounts for part of my push against materialism. Anyway, rant aside, I love the new shop and will visit often on my way to the new coffee shop or my drugstore.
Seed pods, 6-8 inches, Kentucky Coffee

In totally unrelated news, outside the library this week, I found a Kentucky Coffee Tree. Wikipedia says they are naturally occurring and rare here in the “midwest”. I am sure this was planted by the University, in fact I think I remember identifying it with my dendrology professor Dr. Tucker.

Kentucky Coffee Seeds
They look a little like an ash tree, but with big pods. The pods have smooth seeds that Wiki says are easy to grow. It also said that early settlers optimistically thought the beans might be a substitute for coffee. It is classified as somewhat toxic (what does that mean?), so I don't think I will give it a try. However it is almost time for sumac berries, and I think I will make some sumac lemonade this year. Co-gardener of Minimalist Intentions blog made some and it was pretty good. Maybe the wildlife have eaten them all. I need to check.

So, looking back, Serendipity lived up to it's potential, and Kentucky Coffee, not so much. Hope I can learn to be who I am with everyone and not treat someone differently for ANY reason. Good goal, not so easy.


  1. HI, Margaret. You asked me about any kinks in the Growing Dome, so far. I am still learning how to plant efficiently. Last year I had about 5 tomato plants and there was room for green beans, cukes, peppers, chiles, cilantro and a couple other things, too. This year I went nuts on the tomatoes and as you read in the blogpost today, they are taking over. So there has to be a happy medium.

    But summers are great in the dome. We have temps usually in the 80's now, and it doesn't get too hot in the dome. I had some aphids, but the ladybugs found the dome and did a good job keeping them controlled. I only pulled up one pepper plant.

    Winters were good, too, and my only problem were some black gnats. I really want to have tomatoes in winter, but they froze last year. No bueno. So I am going to try a couple arctic types this year and cover them if it gets below 20 degrees outside. But I had plenty of lettuce and other winter veggies. My only quandary right now? I may have to pull out a couple tomato plants because 1-I want more green beans and 2-I have to start my carrots!

    PS-We are on the same wavelength. Love Airstream trailers and are looking for one to use as a guesthouse if the daughter is still unemployed. Solar panels and a composting toilet building outside will make it pretty uptown.

    1. Thanks for your comments Bridget. Sounds like the dome is working well for you. Hope those winter tomatoes come through. Looking forward to your next post!