Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chapter 30: Wordless Wednesday--Green

Birthday Chacos and my favorite McCoy Pottery flower pot.

Chapter 29: Garden update: First Harvest

We have had our first harvest of 2012! 
This little yellow crookneck squash was not ready on Thursday but was a little bit over-ready when I picked it on Saturday.  They grow so fast! There are 2 more on the vine that will be ready in no time.  The zucchinni squash bushes are big and nice and green but I'm worried they are going to start smothering the hot peppers.  I don't really care for either one of those plants, but Daniel likes them and I don't mind zucchini bread so I make sacrifices to be a good little wife :)

The cucumbers are finally starting to take off but now I don't remember which 2 are pickling vines and which 2 are slicing.  Hopefully I have it noted someplace. I can't wait to be snacking on my own cucumbers.  There is nothing like it in the world.

The tomatoes in the garden were doing so well but then they had little black bugs all over them and the leaves on one bush started to look like they had a fungus. Now they just keep looking worse and worse it seems to be spreading.  I harvested our first red tomato today and it was sort of brown and rotted at the top. It's really disheartening after last year's tomato FAIL. But the 3 bushes in the pot on the back deck are still doing very well (knock on wood), so hopefully I will get to can my own tomatoes yet later this summer. I hope I can figure out a way to save the current tomatoes still.

As for my giant bell is refusing to turn red. I'm not sure if it's just not ready or if I got tricked into buying plants that will just stay green.  Only time will tell.

I finally pulled up a bunch of the first round of lettuce.  It was really quite cute the way they had bolted up so that some of them looked like little lettuce trees but the leaves had turned bitter so up they came.  We have a second round growing that I think will be our last until the fall.  We'll plant more then PLUS try carrots again.  I have 2 random carrot plants that finally decided to grow and I'm determined to grow a bunch when cool weather kicks in.

It has been HOT HOT HOT the past week with no rain in sight.  I have been watering every morning to keep everything alive.  Rain would be a wonderful gift about now. Definitely don't want a repeat of last year.

Overall I'd say the garden is doing ok this year.  I'd give it a solid B or B- at this point.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Chapter 27: It's Alive! A Garden Update

Time for a garden update!  Quick and dirty just for my future reference plus a few questions. And clearly  I had the iPad turned the wrong direction when taking my photos.

The tomatoes are doing pretty well but a few are starting to get these cruddy leaves and I'm not sure why. Hmmm

Strawberry patch! Glad we have the kind that keep producing instead of just one harvest.
BASIL! I'm so proud of this year's basil. This is my best attempt so far. It's definitely Pesto-Time.
Best lettuce crop so far as well.  We are going to have to start eating more salad to keep up.
Daniel bought me a Fuscia at Lowe's the first spring we were dating because we walked by and I exclaimed how pretty it was so he made me let him buy it for me :)  I've gotten another one every spring since and hung it on the front porch and killed it every year.  This year I moved it out back where I actually remember to water it and it's on it's 2nd or third batch of blooms!  I get to look at it more than I would if it was out front too.
I'm still shocked at how well these three tomato plants are doing.  I really did not expect the spindly little sprouts to survive, let alone be thriving the way they are!
Still have Poppies from Daniels' Grandma :)
My little patch of volunteer petunia's is getting big and blooming like crazy! It has lots of weeds around it because I refuse to mow it over so I have to be careful mowing around it.
The cucumbers are still really stunted but they are starting to climb a little.
Sweet little Yellow Squash
I was told I could trellis the zucchini and squash. I think that might have been a terrible falsehood.
I had to stop Daniel from picking this one. I practically threw myself in front of him screaming, "IT HAS TO TURN RED FIRST!!!!!!" This bad boy is going to be delicious!
What's that?  A tiny little soy bean pod waiting to become my Edamame?  Oh yah.
The pumpkin was doing GREAT until we left for the weekend and it got a tiny bit crispy.  Will have to do lots of watering this week to make up for that little mishap.
Also, it's kitten season.  Luna chased a little and mama kitty out from behind the shed this morning so animal control brought by a trap to see if we can catch 'em. Fingers crossed.  It didn't work last time we tried.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Chapter 26: Weekend Update

We have had pretty eventful weekends for several weekends in a row.  Several weeks ago Daniel and I decided to finally bite the bullet after two years of talking about it and we bought ourselves a couple of kayaks!  The only way I could get myself to do it was to call it our 1 year anniversary present, PLUS my birthday (this month) and Daniel's birthday in the Fall.

Our sweet friend Grace gave us the car rack for a wedding gift last year. Thanks, Grace!

Luna was very concerned about Daniel out on the lake testing a kayak without her.

If she had stayed in the kayak with Daniel she wouldn't have been soaking wet and she wouldn't have had to watch from the shore. That's where she swam to when she dove off the boat.
So this weekend we finally got the chance to try out the kayaks as well as Luna's new doggy life-jacket on a float trip with my family.  The river I grew up floating on is about three and a half hours away so we decided to camp too. My uncle and two little cousins camped with us and we had a wonderful time telling scary stories (Hayden promised to "Scare your face off") and making banana boats. Banana Boats=Banana+chocolate+marshmallows+whatever else you have +tinfoil+campfire.  So fun.
This was the most organized we were going to get for a group shot. That's my kayak in the front. Isn't it pretty?

Luna's 2nd time camping.  She slept without her crate for the first time ever and did great in the tent!

Luna is a great car-rider. But she worries when Daniel is in the gas station.
I don't have any photos of Luna riding in Daniel's kayak or mine because our waterproof case broke for the still camera :( We're hoping we can glue the broken piece back together.  I did take the Flip video in its waterproof case so I'll post the video once I get it edited.  Luna did SUCH a great job for her first float trip!  We all came home exhausted and looking forward to doing it again next weekend for my birthday.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Chapter 25: Pizza and Pinterest Friday

OK, so it's a little goofy that we're not making pizza on the Friday night that I institute "Pizza and Pinterest Fridays" but we USUALLY make home made pizza on Friday nights so the name is staying.  The plan is to do a little bit of discussing about whatever pizza we make each Friday and the recipe we use.  We're still searching for just the right dough recipe and I'm pretty sure I keep repeating recipes and wondering why it feels like I can never get it right.  On top of the quick pizza recap (Which is mostly for my own record-keeping) I'll post a Pinterest "Pin of the Week."  Maybe something I have tried out or something that looks cool and I want to try out or maybe even something completely ridiculous.

Tonight I made tacos instead of pizza because Daniel had pizza at Guy's Night last night where they all hung out and watched hours and hours of Alien movies (you know, Sigourney Weaver eating her way out of an alien that ate her. Or something like that) in anticipation of the new one coming out.  Gag.  I am sometimes invited to guys night when it involves movies (I felt like Queen of the Geeks when I went to see the new Star Trek with them) but I declined this time on the grounds that those old Alien movies freak me the frack out.

Tonight's Pin is a recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  See her pretty pictures? She's way better at photography than I am.  But, I use my iPad for most of my blog photos so I'm going to blame that. Yup.  Not a lack of skills on my part. Nope. Definitely not.

My Tools

You can tell I'm very organic and brand conscious when it comes to spices.  But the almost-empty oregano container is about to get filled with oregano we grew in and dried ourselves. +1 Hippy Point

I followed the directions to the letter. 
Except for the part where I never do that.  Also we are out of cayenne powder.  
We have lots of dried peppers. They just need to be ground up with our zillion pound stone mortar and pestle that we got a TJ Maxx for like $0.17. Or $10.  Whatever it was, it was cheap.
This next picture is where I shook it like a Polaroid Picture.  
But I would never really shake a Polaroid Picture like that because the company said not to.
Although we always did ours and they never burst into flames or anything.
I miss Polaroid Instant Pictures.

This is where I get a tiny bit embarrassed because my container is not a cute half pint mason jar.  
Don't get me wrong.  I have a lot of those.
Two of them currently hold Q-Tips and cotton balls in my bathroom.  I'm so stylish.
I didn't get that from Pinterest.
I think I got it from the Pioneer Woman.
But I might have just made it up.  Maybe.
I really do have a lot of mason jars in varying sizes.
I also just happened to have an empty ground cinnamon container handy and figured I'd do the planet a solid and rock some "Reduce REUSE Recycle" action.

Here is the final product.  
As you can plainly see, I am terrible at food photography.
But the lettuce is from the garden so I had to use this picture to brag on our garden harvest!

And that's my Pin of the Week!  I suggest you hurry over to pin it and/or make it.  And give this Mel character some love on her blog.  The food porn alone is worth the visit.