Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Lark Rise To Candleford Review


Lark Rise to Candleford
Take a trip into 19th century Oxfordshire, England as its' residents battle the economics, challenges, changes and the rural landscape in this pivotal time in rural England.The Lark Rise to Candleford series is based on the semi-autobiographical novels by Flora Thompson and reminds us how difficult daily life can be in that era, but as always the human spirit prevails through challenges, heartbreaks and triumphs.

This series is uplifting, realistic, charming, entertaining, visually stunning. You will care about the characters and rejoice with their successes and tear with the heartbreaks. Some of the best shows on television have been momentarily forgotten and archived. This television series deserves a search through the television archives with the reward of an endearing series families can watch together and thoroughly enjoy.


Fans Of The BBC

If you are a fan of the BBC (British Broadcasting Company) historical drama then Lark Rise to Candleford is for you. This is a character driven series in which the characters are fully developed along with the depiction of Oxfordshire and its' surrounding communities.

Long before Downton Abbey captured a new generation of BBC fans the BBC has offered quality television dramas along with the classic Masterpiece Series. It is definitely worth a look through the archives of  BBC series and you will find many hidden treasures perfect to stream or purchase for todays' binge viewers. 

Lark Rise to Candleford Book

Many fans of the Lark Rise to Candleford television series found themselves so enthralled they were propelled to seek out the original book by Flora Thompson. Lark Rise To Candleford is a trilogy published in 1945 comprised of the books: "Lark Rise", "Over To Candleford" and "Candleford Green."

The trilogy offers 556 pages of richly described landscape, English villages and countryside. The book is a wonderful way to envelope yourself into the 19th century English countryside which is so integral to the television series. 

I highly recommend the Lark Rise To Candleford: Complete Collection and here are a few of my BBC hidden treasures perfect to curl up on the couch and enjoy!




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Black Rifle Coffee Reviewed

Good Coffee Supports Veterans

Coffee Made With Vets in mind. Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
Black Rifle Coffee is more than just a good cup of brew for your enjoyment, it is a company with a purpose that I can get behind and I think you might, also. 

I have reviewed several blends of coffee over the years and that is because I really do love a good cup of coffee. Recently, my husband saw a piece on television that piqued his interest and he ordered a variety pack of coffee from the Black Rifle Coffee Company. We have not been disappointed with the coffee and we are happy to support their mission.

What? A coffee company with a mission? Well, I guess most do have a mission and that would be to sell a lot of coffee. Am I right? This company is different. Oh sure, they want to sell a lot of coffee but let me explain about these guys. 

The company was started by military veteran Evan Hafer in his garage with about $1800 dollars as working capital. He wanted to create good coffee because during his tours in Iraq and Afghanistan he found that the option for coffee was pretty awful and he loves a good cup of 'Joe'. Then he had an idea that he presented to one of his veteran buddies. What if, they made coffee and employed veterans in the process? There are many unemployed vets around the country that they would like to help, not with handouts but with employment. That is where the dream started and it is working!

Right now, they have two actual stores that employ veterans along with a manufacturing facility that also employs vets. They are working on getting more stores built around the company and have gained quite a presence with online sales. The last report that I saw says that they have something like 104 employees with that number including about 47 or more veterans. Another thing that I like about these guys is that they also have several women in the company, many of which are in upper management.

So, what about the coffee? Well, I'm here to tell you that it really is good! In our variety pack we received:

  • AK47 
  • JB (Just Black)
  • BB (Beyond Black)
  • SS (Silencer Smooth)
All of them make a great tasting cup of coffee! My favorite is the AK47 with a solid boldness about it. My husband likes all of them but his favorite is the JB blend. There are other blends that we can try but we wanted to start with the variety pack first. 

I like that this company was formed by Veterans of our military and that they support the hiring of veterans in their company. They know first hand what a soldier goes through when he or she returns from deployment in war torn areas. PTSD, disabling injury, and depression are common in Vets from any conflict. Who better to help them cope than people who have been through the same experience?

Some find the company a little controversial because of their support of guns. I personally do not. These guys were in our military, they put their lives on the line and of course they know guns. It was very much a part of their jobs while they served our country. To me, that isn't something to condemn them for, we should applaud that they are providing opportunities for their fellow veterans while operating a worthwhile business. 

I think that families that have members who have served will appreciate this company and its goals along with getting the pleasure of drinking a really great cup of coffee. 





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Guilty Book Review

In The Guilty, David Baldacci takes you on a non-stop, action packed adventure in Cantrell, Mississippi.

When a top ranked government assassin is unable to perform his job, he heads home to deal with unresolved issues from his past and winds up embroiled in his father's murder investigation.

Making matters more difficult is the fact that he has been estranged from his father for 20 years. Talking to his father is no easier now than it was when he was a lad and his father's life being on the line does not seem to make a difference. His father wants no help from his son and is resigned to his own personal situation.

Robie, however, refuses to let his father take the murder charge without fighting back. His efforts, combined with those of an equally skilled coworker, to save his dad eventually help him start a proper relationship with his father. Better late than never, as they say. It turns out that his book is about murder and about family.

I was amazed at the action that took place in the first half of the book, which meant that there was lots more still to come. It was fast paced and hard to put down.

Yes, The Guilty is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by me. Read more about it or order your copy from Amazon by clicking right here.

As it turns out, The Guilty is number four in a series called Will Robie and David Baldacci has written many other books, which I look forward to checking out. It is always great to find a new author that you enjoy and if all of Baldacci's books are as good as this one, I will have some more sleep deprived nights ahead.

See you
At the bookstore!
Brenda
Treasures By Brenda

Quick Links:

Order The Guilty from Amazon here.
See David Baldacci's author biography on Amazon.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Why Drink Kefir? If You're Not Including this in Your Diet, You May Want to Rethink That...

Are You Familiar With Kefir?

If you haven't read up on Kefir, you're going to be surprised by all it's benefits.

In case you aren't familiar with Kefir, Kefir is fermented milk. Hey, I heard that gag.

I remember when I first told my mom about Kefir, and used the words 'fermented milk' to describe it, she about up-chucked on the spot.

However, stop right there, it's not sour milk .... it's more like drinkable yogurt.

Kefir comes from the Turkish word 'Keif' which means, "good". So that settles it, it's good.

So Why Drink Kefir?

I tripped upon Kefir's benefits about two years ago while researching inflammation remedies for a very unexpected health matter. Since then, it's been a daily (or almost daily) inclusion in my diet.

According to Healthline there are a number of Benefits to Kefir - Here's a summary of a few of Kefir's good stuff:
  1. Kefir contains high levels of vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2, biotin, folate, enzymes and probiotics
  2. There are approximately 30 strains of good bacteria that help protect against bad bacteria overgrowth, tumors, leaky-gut syndrome and more.
  3. It helps to boost immunity. One of the ingredients that's unique to Kefir is Lactobacillus Kefiri which aids in the protection of other harmful bacteria like Salmonella and E. Coli.
  4. Another ingredient in Kefir is Insoluble Polysaccharide, also known as "Kefiran" and Kefiran is said to be an antimicrobial that guards against Candida. (Candida is a type of Yeast Infection that's mostly found in the mouth, vagina, intestinal tract, mucus membranes and skin). By the way Candida can give you a lot of symptoms - A white coating on your tongue, fatigue, brain fog, joint pain, gas, bloating, chronic sinus issues and more.
  5. Kefir is made from Whole Fat Dairy and has high levels of Calcium. Due to it's make-up it also helps you better absorb the calcium. All of this is good for your bones, especially if you're battling Osteoarthritis.
  6. It's anti-carcinogenic benefits make it a good cancer prevention addition to your diet.
  7. All of the above components give it the traits that aid the fight of Allergies, Irritable Bowel Syndrome as well as improving your skin.
  8. This one benefit may be hard to believe considering it's made with milk, however, it is said to help those who are lactose intolerant. Like yogurt does, Kefir does this more effectively: It's live microorganisms help your immune system suppress allergic responses.
So How Does It Taste?
Lifeway Probiotic Low Fat Plain Kefir, 32 Ounce -- 6 per case.Lifeway Probiotic Low Fat Plain Kefir, 32 Ounce -- 6 per case.
There's plain Kefir and flavored Kefir. I've had both, and tried many flavors. As mentioned above, it tastes like drinkable yogurt, but has a slight tang to it. However, it's not tangy, it just has that hint of difference from other typical drinkable yogurts.

Drink it or Make Smoothies With It

If you can't stomach drinking Kefir (and once you start drinking it, you'll oddly begin to crave it) - then make smoothies with it.

I like to keep a flavored Kefir in my fridge when I'm not in the mood to make a smoothie, and I keep a bottle of plain Kefir for smoothies. I find plain Kefir too hard to drink, but added to smoothies it's ideal.

My Favorite Kefir Smoothie Recipe:

In my Vitamix:
  • 1 Cup of Frozen Pitted Cherries (buy them in the frozen fruit section of your local grocer). The frozen cherries replace 'Ice' - If you use fresh cherries, you'll have to add ice - (too much work)
  • 1/2 Cup of Kefir (honestly I don't measure, I just kinda pour it in)
  • I'll add one single cherry flavored yogurt cup (any flavor is fine - buy regular fat yogurt, don't use any of that '0 percent stuff'- it's all fake sugar!)
  • About 1/4 cup of lemon water (we always keep lemon water in the fridge - just water with two whole lemons cut up in it) - use plain water if you must
  • Optional: a handful of spinach
  • Adjust the thickness you want by adding more or less of any of the above ingredients - just play with it. If you want a richer cherry flavor, add more cherries.
By the way, I'm not a doctor or health professional! Because of my own health issues I had to become informed on the right foods to include in my diet, and Kefir hit my radar.

Here's to your health *clinking kefir glasses*



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Reviewing Hide & Seek Rock Painting Kit by Creativity for Kids

Hide & Seek Rock Painting Kit
While working part time in a retail shop over the holidays,  I checked out a 'grandmother' and her purchase. The minute I saw what she was buying for a grandchild ~ this Rock Painting Kit ~ I knew immediately that it was the perfect Christmas gift for MY grandson as well.  Naturally, by the end of my work day, I had purchased my own kit to send to my artistically inclined 8-year-old grandson David. 

David loves to draw, color and paint, and is a very creative child, so it is not surprising that 'Creativity for Kids' has a variety of creative kits that appeal to kids like him. 




Creativity for Kids Company


Creativity for Kids is a division of the Faber-Castell company, established in 1761 by the cabinet maker Kaspar Faber and  is one of the oldest industrial companies in the world.  

The company is the world’s leading manufacturer of wood-cased pencils with a varied range of products for writing, drawing and creative design.

Faber-Castell acquired Creativity for Kids, the leading U.S. specialty manufacturer of creative activity products for children of all ages, in 1999 and is now headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio.  The next year (2000) the company introduced Children’s Art Products, which are a line of playing and learning art supplies for children.  

The creative kits include a wide variety of artistic play from painting, jewelry making, garden crafts, lighting crafts, science-related invention kits, and a host of other kits in many fields.

You can see the whole range of kits at their website.


Hide & Seek Rock Painting Kit





The kit I chose for my grandson, David, age 8,  was the Hide & Seek Rock Painting Kit.  



Image from Amazon of kit contents
The kit comes with 10 River Rocks, 8 paint colors, 2 paint brushes, 20 transfer designs, tracking stickers, a transfer sponge and instructions.  

This rock painting kit is called 'Hide & Seek' because you can hide the rocks outside and leave clues on the company's Facebook page for people to go and find your rocks. The online link is printed on the package.

I thought this would be a fun project for David & Tyler who love to spend time outside in parks in their area. And when they finish painting all the rocks that came in the kit, they can find more rocks in parks and woods to continue using the kit.


David & Tyler with their painted rocks (c) Elf
The age group for this craft activity kit states it is for children 6 years and up, but David's little 3-1/2 year old brother enjoyed 'painting' the rocks too and both  enjoyed the projects (as you can see in the photo).

The company's motto states:

“Rock Painting is a fun way for you, your friends and family to spread kindness, encouragement and happiness throughout your community – one rock at a time."

Creativity for Kids helps develop children's problem solving and critical thinking skills. I found this rock painting kit to be a fun and delightful educational toy for my young grandsons.


My Grandsons' Collection of Painted Rocks!






More Toy Reviews can be found at: 



(c) Wednesday Elf 2/17/2018






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Copper Chef Square Fry Pan Review

 Copper Chef Square Fry Pan Review
I enjoy cooking, probably because I enjoy eating, and the kitchen is my shared domain.  You see, I share my kitchen with my husband because he also cooks.  He has his specialties and I have mine. 

Not only do we share the kitchen, we share our pots and pans, one of which is the Copper Chef square fry pan that my parents gave my husband for Christmas this past year.   We both love our new skillet.  Note I said "our".   It may have been a gift to my husband, but I now claim it equally because it is so totally awesome.  As a matter of fact, I purchased the Copper Chef round fry pan for my husband for Valentine's Day.  Give it a few days, and I will claim it equally as well.


Why I Love the Copper Chef Fry Pan


First and foremost, I love the Copper Chef fry pan because it cleans so easily.  Seriously, I can easily clean the pan with a paper towel.  Of course, I still hand wash it with dish soap, but it could pass for clean before it ever hits the sink.  According to the packaging information, the pan is dishwasher safe.  However, I always hand wash my coated cookware to preserve the coating for as long as possible.


Copper Chef Square Fry Pan Review


Copper Chef Square Fry Pan Reviewed
I also really like the square shape!  As you can see in the photo, I can fry 4 pieces of meat or 4 eggs at the same time.  With a round pan, I can usually only fry one or two pieces at a time depending on the size of the pan and I could only fry one egg at a time.  It is simply amazing that the square shape makes that much difference, but it does.

Another plus, you can put this pan in the oven, which means it is not just for stove-top frying.  

Oh, and lest I forget to tell you, it has a non-stick ceramic coating, which accounts for the easy cleaning.  And, it also has a hollow handle that doesn't get hot when frying.  That means I don't need a fabric pot holder to lift the skillet.  

Currently, we have the 9.5" square pan and the 8" round pan.   Now, I want the square pan with the lid!  Guess you all know what my husband's next gift will be.  

Copper Chef Square Fry Pan Review
 




Read More Product Reviews On
ReviewThisProducts.com


"Copper Chef Square Fry Pan Review"  written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Glass Castle: A Memoir - Book Review

The Glass Castle:  A Memoir - Book Review
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Some things just speak for themselves.  That Jeannette Walls' memoir, The Glass Castle, has been on the New York Times Best Seller List for seven years is one of those things.  Obviously, I am not the only reader who has found this book to be extraordinary.

The Glass Castle, in short and yet potent vignettes, reveals what has to be the most bizarre childhood of all time.  Born to an artist and a dreamer, Jeannette and her three siblings find themselves living the barest of subsistence lifestyles.  A good day is one on which they are feasting on green grapes and stardust.

On the move constantly, their lives are an alchemy of famine, fire, fleeing (doing the skedaddle), fairytales, and far-off fortune.  One day, their father promises, just as soon as he perfects his invention, The Prospector, and finds gold, he is going to build them a glass castle in the desert.  While Rex chases his elusive dreams, and their mother, Rose Mary, loses herself in her art, the children are left to fend for themselves.

What is it that makes this collection of stories so compelling?  I asked myself this question over and over again as I began to draft this review.  I mean, there are plenty of memoirs about dysfunctional families out there.  What would make any of us want to immerse ourselves in another family's dysfunction?  Don't we have enough of our own?

One reviewer surmised that it could be the same human nature that makes people slow down and gawk at a wreck that draws one into this memoir.  Perhaps we can't help but stare at the scene of an accident.

Here's what I think.  It is the fending the children did, and the odd ties that bind a family together, that make for compelling reading.  I just had to stay by the side of Jeannette, Lori, Brian, and Maureen as they figured out how to survive each disaster.  I just had to know how they moved beyond the kind of upbringing that would scar most children for life.

This is the kind of book that puts things in perspective for anyone who previously thought he or she had a tough childhood.  It is also a memoir that reminds us of the amazing resilience of children.  Thank heavens for that.  I have a favorite quotation from the book that pretty much sums up the beauty of this memoir:
One time I saw a tiny Joshua tree sapling growing not too far from the old tree.  I wanted to dig it up and replant it near our house.  I told Mom that I would protect it from the wind and water it every day so that it could grow nice and tall and straight.  Mom frowned at me.  'You'd be destroying what makes it special,' she said.  'It's the Joshua tree's struggle that gives it its beauty.'
May you be reminded, in a healing way, of what has made you beautiful as you enter into this walk on the painful side of childhood.  Here's to coming out on the other side.









Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

My Experience Using Freshware Food-to-Go Packs to Freeze Soup: A Review

Freshware Helped me Freeze Individual Mug-Size Soup Servings


After a recent bout with the flu, I realized I had not really prepared very well. Everyone knows how important chicken soup is in helping respiratory illnesses, but few people are up to making it from scratch after they get sick. I wasn't, either, and canned soup just isn't as good. If only I'd been able to pull individual servings out of my freezer that were just the right size for my soup mugs! But I couldn't, since there weren't any there. Since then I've stashed many soup servings in my freezer. Here's how.

My Experience Using Freshware Food-to-Go Packs to Freeze Soup: A Review




Fortunately I did have some frozen French onion soup I'd bought at Costco to get me though a couple of days of flu. Each portion was just right to heat in a soup mug. I decided to look for something that would help me freeze my own individual size portions, so I searched Amazon. I was actually looking for molds, but all I could come up with were muffin tins, and they weren't the size I wanted. I finally found these Freshware Food-To-Go Packs.

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I finally decided on the 16-ounce size. As you can see above, I wanted a portion just right for my soup mugs. My mug holds 12 ounces comfortably with a bit of room at the top. If I pour 12 ounces of soup into the Freshwear container, there is room left for expansion at the top.

My Soup Story


When my Freshware Food-To-Go packs arrived from Amazon. I was anxious to try them out. I chose them because they are BPA Free, and I didn't want to put anything hot  into a plastic container that contained BPA. I also liked that they could go from my freezer into my microwave so that I could partially thaw the soup before pouring it into my mug. It can stand temperatures from -40°F to +250°F. I liked that I could pour it straight from my crockpot into the containers without waiting for the soup to  cool.

My Experience Using Freshware Food-to-Go Packs to Freeze Soup: A Review


This is my most recent batch of soup as it simmered in my crockpot. This time I made vegetable soup with just a bit of ground beef for added flavor. Here's how I made the soup you see here: I Made Soup Again Today.

I really like my crockpot. It's an older version of this one, and its shape makes it easier to cook many kinds of meat and poultry that are harder to cook in my round crockpots. I can also program it for specific cook times and temperatures, knowing it will switch to warm if the cook time finishes. I can't do that with my older crockpots.

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Freezing Hot Foods in Freshware


I found the Freshware very easy to work with. It stacks neatly in the cupboard for easy storage. When I need to freeze soup or anything else in a mug-size portion, the containers are easy to fill and stack.

I usually make a crockpot full of soup or another dish. I put about six servings in a casserole dish to store in the refrigerator to cover about three meals for two during that first week after cooking. I freeze what's left in the Freshware containers. Here's how that looked when I froze some beans I had cooked.

Here the containers have been filled and I've put the lids on them. The foods were still hot when I filled the containers.

My Experience Using Freshware Food-to-Go Packs to Freeze Soup: A Review


Below I show them stacked.

My Experience Using Freshware Food-to-Go Packs to Freeze Soup: A Review


Notice how snugly the lids fit and how neatly they stack for storage in the freezer. Because the containers are clear, you can see exactly what's in them.

Thawing My Soup after Freezing in Freshware Containers


I had planned my container size for filling mugs that comfortably held 12-ounce portions of food, mostly liquid. You can see the beans I froze above, before they went into the freezer. Below you see the soup after it came out of the freezer. On top you see the soup still frozen after I removed the lid, which kept its shape well. You can also see that the soup had plenty of headroom for the liquid to expand.

My Experience Using Freshware Food-to-Go Packs to Freeze Soup: A Review

The middle photo shows the soup thawing in the microwave. I thawed it without the lid. When it was almost thawed, I transferred it into the mug, since I prefer handling a mug when the soup is hot. Had I wanted to take this to work as a hot lunch, I could have packed it frozen and heated it in the container at lunchtime and also eaten from the container.

Note: This week I cooked a large batch of lentils. I filled three Freshware containers to freeze and one to put in the fridge. I wanted to be able to easily add cooked lentils to soups and salad during rest of the week. When my husband was removing something else from the fridge, my lentil container fell out and fell on the floor from three feet up. The thin bottom of the container broke, but did not shatter. The top stayed on. I was able to safely remove the contents to a new container without adding any cracked plastic with the lentils. It was a very easy process.

Lunch is Ready


The soup is pretty hearty, with lots of protein and vegetables, so it doesn't need a lot to go with it. I toasted a slice of sourdough bread and peeled a tangerine because I love tangerines with anything savory. I can eat the toast on the side or dip it in the soup.

My Experience Using Freshware Food-to-Go Packs to Freeze Soup: A Review


What do you like with your soup?

Get Freshware Containers to Make Your Life Easier


As you can see, Freshware Food-To-Go Packs make preparing and freezing meals in single portions very easy. Cook a large batch of your favorite lunch, freeze what you want to store for later, and thaw at home or take frozen to work to heat there. The containers are able to be washed in a dishwasher. I didn't try this because my dishwasher isn't working anymore and I'm waiting to replace it. But the containers are easy enough to wash by hand. Why not pick up some Freshware containers today while you're thinking about it?



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Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Brita Water Pitcher Reviewed

Easy Way To Filter Water

brita water pitcher
My Brita Water Pitcher
Recently, I purchased a Brita Water Pitcher to use in my home. We have a serious problem with hard lime scale in our water so I was looking for something that would help with having water that was fit for drinking, cooking and using in my coffee maker.

My daughter is the one who clued me in on this amazing little pitcher. I had spent a few days at her place while she was gone on a business trip. Her water is even worse than ours is! She had purchased a Brita to use for her water needs and showed me how to use it before she left. I was duly impressed with how easy it is to use and how much better the water tasted. 

After arriving back home, I decided that this water filter system was perfect for our house, too. It is so very easy to use! After placing the filter into the top part of the pitcher, you just fill up the reservoir and let it filter the water to the area below. Yep, it is that easy!

I purchased the 10 cup capacity model and I love it! A neat feature on the top of the pitcher is a little indicator that tells you when you need to replace the filter. The manufacturer states that an average household will need to change the filter about every two months. My daughter told me that her filter lasts about 40 to 45 days. Obviously, it depends on how much water you use as to the mileage you will get out of one filter. 

The filter takes care of that chlorine taste and odor if it exists in your water. It also takes out copper, mercury and cadmium that might be found in your tap water. It also removes lime scale from your water. For several years now, I have purchased distilled water to use in my coffee maker. It made the coffee taste better for one thing and it also helped my coffee maker to last longer due to no lime build up on the inside. Now, I can use the water that has been filtered in my pitcher. Even though, I have to purchase replacement filters every so often, the cost per gallon works out to be cheaper than buying the distilled water as we have been doing. So, in my case I will be saving money.

If you have hard water like we do, you know that when you boil water for cooking there is a lime residue left in your pan. I hate that! I spend extra time trying to get the scale out of my pans. Now, with the Brita, I can use water from the pitcher and not have to waste more water by cleaning the pan of scale left behind.

I am really happy with my new purchase and am grateful that I learned something from my daughter. The pitcher is easy to use, relatively inexpensive and I feel that it will pay for itself in a short period of time. Plus the water that we now consume will be healthier for our bodies.

How about you? Have you considered getting a pitcher that filters your water? Possibly, you already have one; if so, are you glad you purchased it?



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Reviewing the Antique Rose Emporium

The Antique Rose Emporium 2018 catalog.
Do you love Roses? Would you like to grow roses in your garden but believe they are too delicate and difficult to grow? Are you looking for a special, hardy, old-fashioned rose and can't find quite what you want at the local nurseries? If the answer to any of these questions is "yes" I recommend that you shop at the Antique Rose Emporium.

What better recommendation is there than word-of-mouth?  A few years ago, when I was searching for a very specific rose but had no idea it's name, Renaissance Woman pointed me in the direction of The Antique Rose Emporium.  I'm glad she did. Receiving my 2018 catalog in the mail recently reminded me that I wanted to continue to spread the word about the wonderful roses offered at the Antique Rose Emporium (ARE).


The Antique Rose Emporium


The Antique Rose Emporium (ARE) is located in Independence, Texas. There you will find their display garden and retail center.  If, like me, you are not able to visit them in Texas, you can order from them online and request their catalog. The ship orders within the continental US. It is their philosophy (and in my limited experience with roses, I agree) that old garden roses are hardy and easy-to-grow.

An excerpt from their "our story" page:


"Until the discovery of old garden roses, I shared the prevailing bias that roses were hard to grow, were fussy, needed to be sprayed, needed to be pruned in a certain way, and were short-lived. Roses we have since discovered have changed my bias and have made me an advocate of these easy care roses and I truly believe they are the ultimate garden plant"  -- Mike Shoup at Antique Rose Emporium

If you'd like to read more of what Mike Shoup has to say about roses, take a peek at his book:

Empress of the Garden available on Amazon

My Quest for a Specific Rose


Many years ago, I lived in a home that had been the home of a family who had lived there for 60+ years. In that yard was a rose bush that was both adored and hated. It was the most thorny thing and was a chore to mow around.  Yet, despite not being pruned or fertilized, or cared for in any other way it provided constant and a profuse amount of little maroon blossoms from the heat of the summer through late autumn. Those small roses had a strong fragrance that floated through the yard and into the house. On days off, I spread a blanket in the yard near that bush and relaxed with a book.

I had no idea how much I'd miss that rose bush and how often I would think about it after I moved away.  So the search began for a similar rose bush.

The problem is, I know next-to-nothing about roses. Didn't know what "hips" were. Double-bloom? Rambler? Remontant? WHAT?! 

Despite my complete lack of familiarity with describing roses, and trying to recall details about a rose from a decade ago, I emailed ARE to ask if they could help me identify that elusive rose.


Great Customer Service at the Antique Rose Emporium


I expected no response from my strange email request to help find that rose bush. Imagine my surprise when I received a personal response within that same day! Mr. Shoup described two roses with similar characteristics. And closed with the comment "This is the closest I can get. I think you are describing an old Hybrid Tea that we don't carry". 

I was astounded that anyone would take the time to respond to my inept description of an old rose bush. In my excitement about the roses they had to offer, I had already ordered a Granny Grimmetts for my yard at The Shack.

I received my Granny Grimmetts via the mail; shipped safely in a box and packaging that held it securely. I planted it in my yard at The Shack and the deer immediately stripped it. I now know that roses are a delicacy to deer and planting a rose on a ridge in West Virginia was like ringing a deer dinner bell. I placed a protective cage around the bush, and something else feasted on that poor plant.  I was sure that I had failed and killed that little rose bush but I allowed the cage to remain. And I was thrilled that the following year, that poor victimized rose had grown, put on a few buds, and was doing well! 


Granny Grimmetts in her new home
I have since returned to the area where that original rose bush was. I drove past the home and had plans of knocking on the door to ask if I could get some cuts from the plant. Alas, that unruly and thorny rosebush was long gone. But I have my Granny Grimmetts and plan to add the recommended Dame de Coeur.


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