• 25May

    JuliLawrence.com 3.0. Another redesign because I’m trying to redo all sites under my care to make them mobile friendly. I’m also adding some categories, because yes, I have NEW PROJECTS. I moved and have a new house! That stuff will be under the category UnMartha, because I’m the anti Martha Stewart. Domesticity just doesn’t come naturally to me. I’m also back to gardening, and guess what: it’s a blank slate, people!

    Why not Facebook? Because I don’t like cluttering up my friends’ pages with a lot of stuff. I prefer to post most things here, so viewing is voluntary. I’m all about choice, not force!

    I’ll be setting gardening and house things to appear on the front page. No time for that kind of detail. If you’re here for the organic gardening info (as most of my visitors are), then just click here to go straight to it. Ciao!

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  • 23May

    Okay, I’m trying to show restraint and be cool-headed here, but I don’t think I can.

    I’ve MOVED! And it’s my Barbie Dreamhouse!

    I’ve been here a week now and it feels like home. I can’t even begin to tell you how peaceful it is here. So quiet, with beautiful views from every window.

    We had been looking for a new house for a year, and it took that long to find the right one. I found a number of them that I liked, fell in love more than once, but there was always an issue. Wet basement, plans for highway construction nearby, low ground that was ripe for water problems, and so on. My uncle kept looking under the hood and would find something that made each house I liked a “no.” That was hard, especially when I found a house that was a gorgeous three-bedroom, surrounded by decks, nearly an acre of land. (In an area where property values are sadly declining rapidly. It’s still a beautiful area.) Read the rest of this entry »

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  • 08Nov

    Juli Lawrence has written this post to get G00gle to stand at attention and take notice! It’s all about me, Juli Lawrence.

    I am backdating this post so it doesn’t appear on the front page and confuse anyone. It’s for my own amusement. I am Juli Anne Lawrence. Or Julianne Lawrence, depending on my mood.

    This is for my friend, because she likes to Google me and then read things to me on the phone. Things about me, Juli Lawrence.

    To the others named Juli Lawrence, my sincere apologies. You won’t get the job because your potential employer will read pages and pages of G00g1e stuff and think “Hey, that Juli Lawrence would not be a good fit at our company because she’s a loud mouth.”

    Yes I am.

    Sincerely, Juli Lawrence of Facebook

    And it’s really 2012 when I wrote this little ditty:

    Juli Lawrence was a Welshman

    Juli was a thief

    Juli came to our house and stole a leg of beef

    I went to Juli’s house and Juli was not home

    Juli came to our house and stole a marrow bone

    Juli Lawrence

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  • 24Jun

    Well that was a shock. This domain expired today, and GoDaddy parked it.

    I often wait until the expiration date to renew (and I don’t do auto renew because you can always find a promo code for a discount) and have never had GoDaddy turn off my domain. Technically, I would think they wouldn’t park it until 11:59 pm on the night it expires. They obviously have changed their practices.

    No clue why, but I don’t like it. I still prefer GoDaddy over any other registrar I’ve ever used, and I’ve used a number of them. GoDaddy doesn’t have shady practices like many of them do. I’ll just start renewing domains the day before they expire I guess.

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  • 21Jun

    Even though this is a gardening blog, I might talk recipes every now and then, because I like finding new things to do with all of the things I grow. Especially eggplant – I grow so much of it and always on the lookout for a new recipe.

    I’m not a good cook, I don’t especially like to cook, and I’m often very overwhelmed by it. I have a handful of recipes that I can cook well; most are things like fried chicken and gravy because where I’m from pretty much everyone knows how to make that. (Except my first husband actually taught me. To be fair, most of my cooking skills come from his mother, who was very kind and patient.)

    But sometimes I have fun trying. I’m constantly on the quest to make the perfect lamb curry. I’ve made some good ones, but never as good as my favorite Indian restaurant.

    To me, there are two flavors you can’t overdo: garlic and curry. I put curry on a lot of things.

    But I never thought of putting it on a burger. I actually think burgers are very hard to make. Mine never hold together very well, and they’re always ugly. So I’d picked up some preformed sirloin burgers at the store – we don’t eat regular ground beef.

    For hubby, it’s because he prefers the taste of ground sirloin. Until I met him, I really had no idea there was a difference…that’s how tragic my skillz are. (Of course until he met me, he didn’t know the glory of a home-grown tomato, so I guess that evens it out.) The other reason is because I’m very paranoid about e coli and other things in food. (Due to some very bad experiences with food poisoning. Not pretty.)

    Back to the burgers. I’ve kind of gotten spoiled on what may be one of the better burgers. I was watching a show with Gordon Ramsay, and he whipped up a bowl of beef and claimed he was making the best burger in the world. I went online and found people discussing it (the recipe was supposedly top secret), and it really just goes like this:

    your ground beef, a lot of finely chopped red onion, three egg yolks (!), some bread crumbs, salt and pepper, dijon mustard and a large squirt of ketchup

    Mix it up and make burgers. Really, really good. I’m sure it’s the onion and dijon mustard.

    Having gotten used to that good taste, I was thinking these sirloin prefab burgers were going to be drab, so I decided to spice mine up. You can never go wrong with Worcestershire sauce, so I put that on the meat (which was starting to cook in the skillet). Then I added:

    paprika, garlic powder, some Italian seasoning, and yes…curry powder.

    FANTASTIC! I’ll call it the Juli curry burger, and it was the best burger ever. Hubby had to have his plain, because he doesn’t appreciate the curry. That’s his loss.

    I really believe curry makes everything taste better.

    I should also confess that years ago, I thought I invented the tuna melt. I just made it up, and it was fab, and months later I found out it was a real sandwich. So this burger probably already exists.

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  • 14Jun

    Goat eating thistle

    It might be to have a ranch with horses I could ride, and goats. I’m mad for goats! I keep trying to talk DH into moving somewhere rural and getting goats; I’ve promised to milk them and make feta cheese. But it’s hard to convince a New Yorker rural living is good. He’s the Zha Zha Gabor to my Eddie Albert in my Green Acres fantasy.

    I was trying to find info on thistles, because I think I have some and don’t know whether I should glove up and pull them, or let them be. Then I came across a site on using goats for companion grazing and weed control! We wouldn’t even have to mow…we could just let the goats do it!

    How cute is this guy? I’m so in love.

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  • 12Jun

    A few weeks ago, I noticed a very messy nest made in the curve of the downspout on the side of the shed. My neighbor said it was a mourning dove nest. Mourning doves are one of my favorite birds. So I made a special point of telling any workmen around to be careful of the nest.

    I googled it, and apparently the birds are known for their very untidy nests.

    But I never saw any birds in it and forgot about it. One day, a robin flew over my head and landed…in the nest. I hadn’t noticed, but she’d built a very tidy nest on top of it. It was like this: mourning dove nest: built by Juli; nest on top: built by very organized hubby. Such a difference, and I need to try and take a picture.

    Normally, I’m not fond of the robins. In the past, they have mowed down my entire vegetable garden of seedlings. Nobody would believe me, and said it had to be cutworms, but I put foil collars on my seedlings to prevent cutworms, plus I’d seen a robin do the deed. She just chopped it off with her beak, let the plant parts fall over and then flew away. Destruction for no purpose at all, and I was MAD. Plus I had to replant the entire garden.

    After that, I used vinyl bird netting and a system of foil pieces on string, that I would weave throughout the garden. Oh, I tried making mean faces on old CDs and hanging them on stakes, but that did not work. I thought about getting a fake owl or snake, but was chatting with an old timer at a nursery. He said robins did that to get stuff for their nest, and you only had to survive a week or so, and then they were done.

    Once I learned that, I did the netting for about two weeks, then removed it, and haven’t had a problem with birds since.

    So this robin had built a new nest, and it was obvious she was sitting on her eggs. It’s too high up to look into the nest, without a ladder. But I’ve enjoyed her intense concentration and the glaring looks she gives me when I looked at her and her nest.

    I kept watching, but for the last couple of days, forgot about the nest. It just hit me, and I ran outside. The nest was empty…..but within seconds, there she flew, into the nest, a worm in her mouth. And I saw teeny tiny heads and beaks sticking up!!! She’s birthed her babies!

    I’m so excited. It’s the first time I’ve actually seen a bird’s nest in real life with baby birdies! My whole life I’ve lived in the country, and we allowed cats and dogs outside. So bird watching (or feeding) has never been an option until my move to the burbs. I really detest the burbs, although I confess liking some of the perks (like not having to drive fifteen minutes to run out for a loaf of bread, plus cable TV and DSL, and not being last on the list when power lines go down).

    But being in the burbs means it’s not safe to let the cats outside anymore. On the flip side, for the first time, I can feed the birds. And now I’ve seen my first nest of baby robins. Imagine growing up in the country, a farm girl on a horse, and she’s never seen a nest of baby birds. Baby chickens, yes. Baby cows, piglets, rabbits, and other mammals, check. But wildlife? Nope, other than some possums I rescued, Mike and Possie. I was a kid then, hence the clever names.

    I did see a fledgling last year, which was very exciting. He wasn’t excited, though, because I was oohing and ahing, and it invaded his bird space.

    Baby birdies!!! I get excited at the silliest things.

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  • 07Jun

    Ack, I normally detest those little “what kind of x are you?” quizzes, but I came across one that was “kind of flower” and could not resist.

    This kind of freaks me out, because I do tend to be health aware and somewhat of a hypochondriac.

    I am an
    Echinacea


    What Flower
    Are You?

    “You are a health conscious person, both your health and the health of others. You know all about the health benefits and dangers of the world around you.”
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  • 03Jun

    Just a tip for people who have trouble with squirrels. I use only safflower seeds and have yet to have a squirrel go after the seed. The seeds attract titmice, gray jays of some kind, all kinds of finches, mourning doves (they love it!) and cardinals. The cardinals may fuss at first, but if you keep it up, they’ll come.

    The nice thing about safflower seed is that the blackbirds and sparrows don’t care for it. We have finches and cardinals all day long with the safflower seed. The mourning doves are too fat to fit on the feeder, so I leave handfuls of it on the deck railing. They enjoy that, and the cats enjoy the show.

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  • 08Apr

    Take some pictures as things are popping up in my gardens. I’ve got baby hairy vetch everywhere and am excited about it! It won’t be long before the ladybugs start moving in. I saw a ladybug on my windshield about a week or so ago, and decided that it’s like a four-leaf clover: good luck.

    The other thing I need to do is add links to blogs I like. I came across a gardening blog a few weeks ago, intended to go back and bookmark it and of course didn’t. I have no idea what it was called or how I came across it. But it was a dandy, cheerful blog.

    I just realized this as I came across another blog I fell in love with: Yulinka Cooks. She has Russian recipes!!! And how double cool is it that we share similar names. Yulinka is a derivative of Yulia, similar to Juli.

    So Yulinka Cooks is the first blog I’m adding. I should have done this long ago.

    I was doing a little work on a family project – we’re putting together family recipes and I volunteered (lol) to do it on computer. I *thought* the whole thing was typed up. Instead, my aunt gave me a huge briefcase of folders. Untyped. Gads, oh well. I also thought it was to be old recipes passed on from Grandma and various great aunties, but as it turns out, there’s all kind of stuff. (Some fun sounding stuff, too!)

    So I thought, well, if people have included recipes they’ve gotten at work or from friends and it’s not all Scottish-English-country type recipes, then I’m including some Italian stuff from my in-laws, and I’m also including my top secret Uzbeki shashlik recipe. Nobody who has ever had my shashlik (shish kebab) didn’t LOVE IT.

    I got it from two nice Uzbeki ladies who were staying awhile in Leningrad when I lived there. I met them in a line for shoes and it was mutual enchantment: I was enchanted by these Uzbeki women (and later did my MA thesis ON the women of Central Asian Republics of the USSR, now independent countries), and they were enchanted by a goofy American girl who was thrilled beyond words to be in the USSR studying at university. (LGU, rah rah!)

    They fed me shashlik and other wonderful things, and then taught me how to make the shashlik. Among friends, that’s kind of my signature dish if we’re doing a cookout.

    These ladies told me the recipe came from the times of Genghis Khan, and they were descended from him. True or not, their stories were FAB.U.LOUS.

    Anyway, privyet!

    My secret wish for my front yard? A true Russian countryside front yard. They don’t mow, just let it grow up in wildflowers. It’s spectacular.

    So I was searching Uzbeki shashlik stuff, just curious if the Mongols raised livestock.

    Speaking of the Mongols, you can actually buy a yurt. I WOULD LOVE to have a yurt, but I don’t think that would go over so well here.

    Now I’ve got to find a recipe for goluptsi. There is a church in Royalton, Illinois (southern Illinois) that is Russian Orthodox. For a time, I seriously considered converting to that just because it’s so beautiful and I was very moved going to services (officially forbidden at the time) and seeing the crying ladies and the icons.

    Anyway, I got the best goluptsi (stuffed cabbage rolls) recipe ever from a man at that church in Royalton, but I can’t find it. I need to try and find a similar recipe because I’ve been craving it. I’m thinking of trying some with a stuffing of whole wheatberries instead of meat. I’m thinking the recipe I had may have been more Ukrainian than Russian, though.

    First up, figuring out how to make links show up. It’s always something.

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