Thursday, August 21, 2008

Proof of life.

It's a good thing those squash plants grew something because I was about to doubt them. They were very close to getting pulled out. But, alas, there is life and hopefully a lot of squash coming. The vines are covered with flowers and the vines are sprawled all over the place.

butternut squash

acorn sqaush

While I was back in the gardens I was pondering Nancy's pear tree. First of all, it's provided entertainment. How, you might ask. Well, I'll tell you. Our neighborhood squirrels have had a field day stripping off the fruit. Then I watch them teeter along the high power line with a giant pear in it's mouth. We've found half eaten pears two yards down from where the tree is. It's really funny to watch. The second thing I was pondering was how much the fruit stinks when its fallen off the tree and is rotting on the ground. Horrid. We are going to have to go out and pick up the mushy fruit and compost them.


Last, but not least today, I wanted to show you guys these beautiful morning glories my mom in law brought over. I haven't figure out where they are going yet. We have white morning glories growing all over the place, but I love the purple in these. I'm pondering putting them on the side of our carport. The carport is covered with ivy right now, but these are prettier.

morning glories...although these are mid afternoon glories.

Tim scored some free baseball tickets so we are taking the kids to the game. It should be a nice night for some baseball. I think I will take Tim's scarf and work on some knitting. I will try not to spill beer on it. =)

I hope everyone has a great day!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


And here we are to Wednesday. I am hopefully done with my recaps for the last couple of days. The garden is looking good. I think the zucchinis are done for the year. The plant kind of just died off. We have broccoli out there that is ready to be picked. I'm very excited about this:

savoy cabbage

I'm going to have to dig up Tim's grandmother's recipe for cabbage rolls, because it is the best recipe ever. I can't wait to use this cabbage!

Tim is very excited with his chili peppers. They are starting to turn red. I'm not sure what he's going to do with all of them. I'll probably snag a couple for making dal with but the rest are his babies.

nice hot pepper

We are still having a ton of tomatoes ripen. I just called Nancy to tell her to go pick some from the back gardens. They are ready and are going to start dropping. We still have a bunch that we need to use. I guess this weekend will be another canning weekend. Mom D brought me over some of her cucumbers and I'm going to get some dill pickles made, and we can make more tomato sauce.

monster sized tomatoes

The lettuce seeds that we planted on Saturday were up yesterday. All three types have sprouted and I'll let them get a little bit bigger before I thin them out. I guess they are really loving the cool August we are having.

row of Escarole

I know I've said it before, but I'm going to say it again. I think these are one of my favorite flowers and I hope that I've been able to save some of the seeds so that I can plant next year. them!

Tim and I just walked through the back gardens and were discussing the work we needed to do back there and guess what we found? Not only did we find two butternut squash, but we also found an acorn squash. I guess we got them both. They were free plants given to us at a nursery because they were just going to throw them out. They have taken over one of the beds completely back there but I'm excited to actually see squash on the vines now. I had my doubts.

Well, I think I'm caught up for this week. It's been busy but fun. Time to get back into a routine.

Oh, and Brian....I'm glad your tomato stopped growing sideways. You seriously crack me up...not necessarily when you call at 10 crack me up.

And Amy...don't pay attention to Tim. =)

I hope everyone has a great day!


*doing a Tuesday wrap-up on Wed.

Tuesday ended up being a great day. I had my doubts because when we got up it was dark and stormy looking out. Grandma was still here and we wanted to do something fun but it didn't look like the weather was going to cooperate. We decided to run to JoAnn Fabrics so that we could look around. I've been itching to sew again and have played with the idea of making my own dress to wear to my father-in-laws wedding in October. I picked out a pattern and some material. I got it for a steal at 5 bucks a yard. I'm going to make it and if it turns looking decent I'll wear it, if not, I have plenty of time to figure something else out.

a cute dress I hope

After the fabric store we came home and had a quick lunch. It was still pretty yucky looking out but the kids were bugging to do something with grandma before she went home. I had heard on the news yesterday that there was a fair north of here that was going on for, get this, the 151st year. That means the first year this fair was run was in 1857 (and yes, I used a calculator). It was about 50 minutes north of here. So, even though it was dark out we took a gamble and went for it. We headed for the Harford County Fair. I am so glad we did. By the time we got there (around 1 pm) the sun was out full force and it was feeling like a cool fall day. It was only 68 degrees and it was breezy and it felt great. I'm not normally a fair/carnival kind of person. Never really went to them as a kid. I always have concerns about fair rides and the safety of them and well, I don't like being around a lot of people. Some might call me anti social. The fair was really busy considering it was a Tuesday. It made me shudder to think what it will be like on the weekend.

Once we got in the kids immediately were drawn to the rides. I bought a few tickets and we scoped out the safest (least amount to fall) rides. They hit the carousel first.

Aidan approves of the carousel.

After the carousel we were able to talk them into walking around a little bit before we hit any more rides. We wandered in to where they had all the animals. We saw goats, sheep, cows, and pigs.

I don't think Aidan liked the smells.

The kids were losing their patience while Grandma and I were walking around looking at the crafts and things. Parts of it were kind of set up like a flea market. The kids each got Patchy a big rawhide bone and they each got to dunk a little boy by throwing a ball at a target. The food smells were starting to get to the wee ones and I had to get them food.

While we were walking around we stumbled on a bee/honey shack. There were gentlemen there talking about how to keep a hive and I picked up a catalog of bee keeping supplies, which I lost somewhere in my travels later. It was really neat though.

lots of bees in a hive

At this point the boys were losing their patience and wanted to get back to the rides. So, we headed back to let them do a couple more rides. First they went on the alligator roller coaster. They loved this ride and rode it twice, once in the front and then once in the back.

Connor looks scared on this ride...but he loved it.

The second time they rode the butt of the alligator.

They did a little fishing. Each of them won a stuffed animal that I know is going to end up in pieces all over the house once Patchy gets to them.

Fried Oreos, really? Ugh.


*doing a Monday wrap up on Wed

A butterfly on the butterfly bush next door. I think I'm going to have to get a butterfly bush to go with the Bee Balm bush I want.

Wow, this is going to be hard to remember back to Monday. I don't even know if there is anything I really have to say except thank you to my mother in law for coming over and watching the boys so Tim and I could have a date night. It was much needed and very much appreciated.

I'm in a "challenge" this month (the quit now challenge) and I had said I would quit eating out. So I fought with myself about whether or not we would go out, but it came down to this: it was our anniversary a couple of weeks ago and it's not often that we have a we took advantage of the situation. We were good though. We walked to the downtown area and shared a pizza and then went to go see Batman The Dark Knight. It was a good movie. It was kind of dark and disturbing and I'm really sad to see Heath Ledger play his last role in a really sadistic manner, but it was a good flick. I hadn't wanted to see it, but I knew Tim did so we went. It was a win win for all involved too because grandma took the kiddies to go bumper boating and go carting. They had so much fun and were raving about it even still today.

Oh, and I also have to rave about Ed's smoked pulled pork. It was delish. Thanks mom for bringing over the yummy food. And thank you for bringing over all the plants. Once I get them placed, I'll post pics of them. This is starting to make less sense as I go along because I'm really tired right now. I should get off of here before I screw something up.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Seventeen pounds.

Pounds that I lost? I wish. Tumor removed from butt? Nope. Potatoes picked out of withering patch? Ding ding. Yesterday morning I was out with Patchy and I thought, "hey, why don't you stick your hands down in there and see if there is anything. We had checked a while back and came up with these pathetic looking potatoes. But not yesterday. I pulled a plant out of the ground and loosened up the soil and three beautiful potatoes were laying there for me. I ran inside and showed Tim and then called Nancy. See? I was excited! After a fast breakfast, Tim and I went out and pulled up the entire patch of potatoes out by the tomatoes. The patch went from this:

scraggly potato plants

To this:

17 pounds of potato perfection

To this:

three rows of three different kinds of lettuce with Mylie watching over them

Needless to say we were very excited. We still have one more potato patch to pull, but we are going to wait a little bit. I am trying to figure out what to do with them all. I split them in half and gave half to Nancy and the other half I have in a brown bag ready to put into a dark cool spot so they will last longer. I left all the dirt on them because I've read that they last longer that way instead of washing the dirt off of them.

It was such a nice morning yesterday morning that we hit one of the gardens and went to town on the clean up. Unfortunately, it wasn't one of the veggie patches. It was the patio garden. I've been debating with myself and Tim about the mystery plant. I'm pretty sure it is a pumpkin plant. And while it's huge and taking over the patio and covered with blossoms, there is no sign of any fruit growing on it at all.

taking over patio

bountiful beautiful blossoms (with icky bug)

Tim thinks it came from a pumpkin that was genetically modified to not reproduce. Sad. So after a lot of thinking about it, we pulled it out. It was choking out some of the flowers we had planted earlier and was just crawling with those striped beetles. Tim chopped the hell out of it and threw it into our compost.

patio reclaimed

Once that was out of there, I went to town on weeding out the flower bed. I still need to work on the brick patio but it looks much better already. While I was weeding I freaked out when I touched this and didn't even know it was there until I looked again.

praying mantis

This thing is huge. It was just hanging there pretending to be a leaf of the plant and my hand touched it as I was pulling weeds around it. It gives me the shivers even now as I'm writing it. Next to it, I didn't photo it, was a hanging carcass of another one. She sucked the life out of it apparently. It was pretty gross, but the kids were fascinated. *shudder*

So while I'm pleased about the potato patch production and the clean up of the patio garden, I still have the garden beds to deal with.

the mess that is our garden

I'm not even sure where to start. It looks like we have a bunch of tomatoes to harvest again. The cabbage is growing into beautiful heads. There are a couple of kohlrabi left to be picked. There is a zucchini growing bigger. There are a couple of cukes hanging out and then the squash. Here's my problem with the squash bed. It too has a mystery plant in the bed. It looks like the pumpkin plant that we took out of the patio and it's running over the top of the other squash. I need to get in there and clear it out but it's going to be difficult telling which plant it which. They are all covered with blossoms. Then there is the mess of the brick pathways. They are inundated with grass and weeds. It's going to be an all day adventure I fear. Maybe what I'll do is enlist Tim to come out and help for a couple of hours this morning while it's still cool out. It's supposed to be warmer today than it has been for the month of August. Our high today is 81. Not too bad.

Lots to do today. I need to go start a loaf of oatmeal bread for Ethan. Nancy is going to send him a care package and I said I would make him a loaf of the yummy bread that I make all the time. I can do that now and while it's rising, head out to do some weeding. I hope everyone has a great day!