Friday, July 29, 2011

I love the summer. I love summer bcause summer means peaches and I am popping peaches like breath mints. I might be developing a peach problem, I know my favorite peach guy at the farmers market thinks I'm stalking him. That is his problem. I am stalking his cheap, cheap peaches that I buy in bulk and eat like candy.

I have no interset in him. I am facinanated with his perfect peaches: not too hard, not too ripe, never bruised,  and he doesn't try to pass of white peaches as real peaches and he never tried to palm hateful, messy clingstone peaches off on me.

I tried to camphalge my peach habit by baking with them but that was in the end, unstaisfying. I didn't want to have to wait on my peaches and I didn't want to have to waste time with pie dough and ingredients. I'm much happier with a raw peach - preferably, three or four at a time.

I don't think of them as peaches, I think of them as really healthy chips.Without the "healthy chip" after taste and attendent self rightousness that comes from eating healthy faux potaote chips. In my mind peaches are really healthy, unself-ritightous because they are full of sugars, wet chips that are sticky and pliable. So, really they aren't very chip like. But like chips, I can't eat just one. I opened up a brave new world when I learned that I didn't need a knife-knife to cut my peaches, I could also use a butter knife. I have many,many more butter knives at my disposal. I also have more butter knives in my disposal, but I'm trying to watch that.

Speaking of disposal. Does anyone know any good uses for peach pitts? I wind up with a lot of them and I was wondering if there isn't some clever craft project I could be useing them for - other than useing them to start my own peach tree hobby farm because I am over trees. No more trees. Do peach pitts polish up? Could I sell them to beeders? If the peach pitts are too large,  I also have watermelon seeds.

I hope peaches are okay in bulk. I would hate to wind up with some sort of  little known fruit born illness that would cause me to wind up in a medical journal because I have a sweet tooth and a touch of OCD and a desire to eat healthy. That would happen to  me. I would end up as story idea on House . I could be spending quality time with icecream bars.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Get cooking

I have my weekend planned. Broskey and Alphagal are Michigan bound so I'll be at lose ends and to fill those sad, empty hours I am going to cook dinner for myself, yeah, that's right, I'm planning my Saturday night dinner all ready.

And not just any Saturday dinner, I'm talking as-seen-on-TV dinner. I'm talking boeuf en croute. Oh yeah, I watched a cooking show about French food. Complicated food made by the most obnoxious woman on television - No, Nancy Grace doesn't have cooking show, the second most obnoxious woman on television. I hate her and her wrap dresses.

But. The last episode featured food that not only did I recognize but food that was made with ingredients sold at regulation grocery stores! I was shocked, because from my experience with what is prepared on that show, normally, everything shown on that show can only be prepared by cooks in the greater Manhattan area or in Lyon.

In reality, boeuf en croute is really a frenchified Beef Wellington. So its not really all that out there or hard to make. I went to the store and went though my shopping list

- Shallots? bang
- Mushrooms? done
-fresh thyme? on it
-puff pastry?mine
-beef tenderloin Um...

Insert screeching halt

I live in North Carolina. We don't do beef. We do pigs. You can raise pigs in a yard, for cattle you need acreage and the entire state doesn't have acreage to properly raise cattle.  I'm pretty sure you can buy beef tenderloin at my grocery but a quick perusal of what they did have out made me I'm think that tenderloin might be by appointment only. I don't have time to make appointments with food. I decided to think on my feet. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, when life gives you pigs, use pork. Pork tenderloin it is . I called my Mom asked if it was advisable and she thought it was. I came home and asked  Google  how it felt about the substitution and  the people of Google were also down with it.

Pork in, beef out. Cool. Next on my list is the Madeira. I don't know what that is, other than I know its a wine. My question would be do I have to use it specifically? I don't drink wine and I don't really want to spend the money for an entire bottle of wine so I can use a cup of it. Its wasteful. So I asked Google again about it.  Good news! substitutions are okay! Red wine is red wine is red wine. Some are sweeter than others and the recipe wants something fairly dry but I can look that up myself. I thought about blowing it off and just saying whatever,  one red is as good as another, but it might be a good idea for the first run through to make the recipe as written. I think it might end up being easier to just buy the cheapest, smallest bottle of it I can find and  figure out ways to use up the rest.Worst case scenario, I'll bring it with me on vacation and make the dish again there .

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I finally got a good day to ride the newly repaired bike at lunch. It was not beastly hot or pouring rain or beastly hot and pouring rain.

I pulled into my favorite spot and immediately noticed that the moped was gone. I was a little sad but also relived that I did not have to take custody of it out of disgust, because my fellow man was too stupid not to beat me to it. Anyway. I thought it was going to be a perfect bike day. I was going to eat my lunch, read a bit of my book and then ride a little. And then I noticed the bugs.

I am not a bug pussy. I spend a lot of time in my backyard, Bug Central, and I  deal. But. The bugs I saw, the swarms of bugs I saw, they weren't in the normal numbers that I am used to dealing with. The fields were alive with the sound of thousands of stingers and they appeared from the safety of my secured car, to be waspy bugs or horse flies  or some other malicious swarming creature and I want nothing to do with any of them.

They were everywhere. Flocks of bugs. You know the clouds of mosquitoes you see at dusk? Clouds of big black flying things!  all flying about a foot off the ground, sniffing like hunting dogs. I think they may have been hornets, but smallish hornets or low end ground wasps or something. Whatever they were, I could almost see them flexing their stingers and throwing little buggy gang signs at each other.

I looked to the right and saw bugs, I looked to the left and saw bugs. I looked off into the distance and I imagined I saw bugs. I had thought I could out distance the bugs on my bike but I began to doubt it. I stayed put. I was surprised to see a non- bug-molested jogger bop by but he might have not known about the bugs so they let him pass. They may have decided that he was all ready in so much pain from jogging at noon that if they did decided to gang up on him it would turn out to be anti-climactic because he was clearly a masochist and he might even enjoy the whole experience anyway and in my mind, the evil winged  bugs from hell were not  slumming as this morons volunteer doms.

I did know about the bugs and therefore could not claim ignorance  and under no circumstance would I be jogging among those sadists anyway. I knew they would not be as kind to me. They knew I knew and I knew they knew I knew. I wasn't even going to crack my window in fear of annoying them unnessarily, the stuiped, ugly, little things.

If we came with stingers I think we would be much scarier as a breed.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

After Market

Approximately around New Years the abandoned market at the end of the street burned down. It became only slightly more of an eyesore than in its pre-burned condition and slightly less than before it was abandoned. At its best it looked like a disused set from an early Spike Lee project. And then it was abandoned and burned and sat there for months. The tornado didn't even blow its hair around.

And that's what it looked like for the next, oh, six months . Lovely. But the other day I noticed that it looked like someone had mess with its "front door". Damn I thought I'm going to have to call the city and get lied to, but then I noticed the  back ho around the rear of the hulk.

Isn't it gorgeous? The neighborhood rejoices. I felt my resale value stretch and sigh with joy.

Speaking over before and after. I decided it was time to eat the first watermelon. I grew it, I harvested it and now it was time to consume it.

It tasted young. It wasn't as sweet as melons I have had in the past but in its defence, it was a preemie and it never had  a chance to develope properly. It was good though and  had the right texture and it smelled devine and I still have half of it left. I have high hopes for the other melons.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Gawd its hot

I was told when I moved here that it never got this hot, they never got tornado's and there was a Chick Fil Et on every corner. Lies all lies. I had a very uneventful weekend, its hard to have events when you spend the entire weekend in your living room. I did take the bike to Alphagirl and Broskys so that Brosky could fix it, but even that was takeing care of in the living room.

Its hot. I really didn't come here to be this hot.  I wasn't excited about anything that would make my environment hotter than it all ready was but I did have to eat, so I took a hint from a really annoying commercial and made a nice meal utilizing my peppers and getting an opportunity to eat some smoked sausage and egg noodles, so I forgave them for making me turn on the stove. I later forgave the brownies for making me turn on the oven because they were so nummy.

I went outside a couple of times because I had to harvest green beans, they are very unforgiving and punish laziness by growing like crazy and getting woody and bitter over night.  I have gotten in the habit of harvesting every day, even if I'm only pulling a few beans because I would rather pull a few everyday than end up throwing them over the fence because they became uneatable because I put off taking care of them.

 I was out in the yard and I got to looking at the melons. The melons near the shed are huge

The one to the left is the largest and its roughly twenty inches at its widest, and the smaller one is just slightly smaller. These guys are just growing like crazy. The other fruits, while younger, should be growing at the same rate but aren't and they have luxery of regular water from the irrigation system.  This made me think about what else they didn't have in common  and what I came up with is that the shed fruits get a lot more direct sunlight than the others. I decided to lift the fruits out of the shady vine coverage and into the sun to see if this would help them along

I'm curious to see if this makes any difference to their rate of growth.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Cat Blogging

Grow Up or Get Out.

I had to do something I didn't want to do. I had to take the First Watermelon out of the garden prematurely.

regulation free stone peach

The problem was that it had stopped growing and if I have learned anything about watermelons,  and I have learned a thing about watermelons, its that they grow all the time.

The same peach. I had to use  the sports setting on my camera to get this. They grow so fast they blur in pictures. 

Its what they do. They get very big and they can't get very big if they spend a lot of time over-thinking the growth process. First Watermelon grew for a while and then it stopped. I thought it was a temporary thing or maybe it is just what they do,because what did I know about watermelons? I thought that it was possible that they grow for a while and then they hit a  plateau and then they sit there for a while gaining strength or something. It was only after the surprise watermelons formed that I learned that they don't stop they have only one speed and it is forward, they don't stop and gather their thoughts and then set off again to continue the process.

I felt bad about having to take out First Watermelon but then I made a discovery:

A Forth watermelon! I see it as a sign. So now there are two growing melons in the garden. True, they aren't growing as fast as the surprise melons but I chalk that up to the amount of direct sunlight they get,  in the garden, while they get a lot of sun, they are somewhat shaded by the trellis and the green beans. The new one is near the fence and might get a little more sun than the other melon that isn't bothered by the trellis but is shaded by the remaining tree.

I have yet to try First Watermelon. I am afraid of what I might find.I don't want to cut it open and have it be hollow or full of worms. If it was anything else in the garden that had failed to thrive, I would just throw over the fence and move on.

I don't see it as littering, I see it as guerrilla gardening. If even a few of the tomatoes and peppers and even  beans that I got rid of are able to take root, the empty lot will be its own Community Garden by next spring. Its a great location, lots of nice sun and the ground is lose due to the tree going tits up  and the house there getting torn down a few years ago. If it had water it would be an awesome place to garden.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I didn't have anything from the garden for dinner, I could I chose not to. Instead, I cleared my palate with a simple pasta dish.  That makes it sound so much more interesting than saying I boiled some spaghetti because its just too hot to mess with the oven or spending a lot of time in front of the stove.

Does anyone know any good recipes for bell peppers? As much as I love stuffed peppers, I have been eating a lot of them lately and I understand that they can be exploited in more ways and there are  many directions  in the pepperverse that I have  yet to explore.

Hmm. About those directions, many were variations of the stuffed pepper theme or used peppers as small parts of a much harder to cook and much harder to put together dishes or  used them primarily as a garnish! The horror! I did see a crab bisque that looked really interesting but sadly, crab meat doesn't grow on tidy shrubs in my yard and I can't just pick it up at the farmers market, but darn it all, I would have to sacrifice and go shopping at the fish mongers and that would be a terrible thing.

It did have the added appeal of requiring tomatoes and I have plenty of those. It was complicated but it was one of the few that got my attention and that there was any chance I would eat myself. I might have to freeze some peppers and make that bisque in the fall or winter.

What I could do, is make some stuffed peppers that I am admittedly a little over right now and just freeze the whole lot for meals later. I would even have to cook the stuffing, just stuff and freeze and cook later.

 I could also check any one of my too many cook books and see what they say. Its harder to browse by ingredient in the books though and I would imagine frustrating and very easy to get off task. It was very  to stay on task online but the repetive nature of the results was less than inspiring.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mopeing about a moped

The best thing about summer is the peaches. I ate them all last summer and this summer they are back for a return engagement. This summer is different because I branched out from just blindly eating slices like so many sticky pringles to baking with them. There are all sorts of things you can do with peaches, I just wish fewer of them started with "set oven for 350 degrees"...  I've eaten so many in all states of peachness that when I nicked myself the other day the blood was sticky and drew flies.

Speaking of things I've cooked. Tonight for dinner I ate the last of my potatoes and the remainder of the green beans. I'll get more green beans but I am sad about the potatoes. I'm going to plant a fall crop but the harvest won't happen for months. I'm going to have to settle for other-people-grown for the duration. Mine are better.

The dark mass in the back was some very tasty ginger/garlic/worcester sauce stir fry chicken with some red wine used to deglaze.  Nummy.

I think I am not going to adopt the moped.
It was pointed out to me by someone with a lot more self control than I have, that I would have to explain to a lot of people with badges how I got the moped and then all the people who would have to service the most-likely-not-perfect moped and then there is the matter of the no pink slip issue, sure to cause a lot of really frustrating issues along the way. I would spend most of my moped quality time explaining and re-reexplaining how we met. I'm not sure that they would believe my story that I honestly found it  and then I would have to go into how I called the police and they came and they said it wasn't stolen and how it just sat there on campus for days and days and how I couldn't just let it rot there - over and over again.

I'm not sure I would want to go into its origin story to the guy at the moped store when I went to go have a key made for it. I admit its a little suspicious that I was taking a walk and it just appeared out of nowhere - like an abandoned kitten, another thing that is never as free as they seem. But, damn it! Look at it!  Sure its a little rough but damn! Free Moped!

Someone is going to walk away with it, why not me?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Watermelons and Peppers

So, I know you are asking yourself about how my watermelons are doing. I'm sure that you find your thoughts drifting that way at the oddest times. I, too, am entranced by my melons.

Let us go back in time...

That was then

This is now*, "now" minus two days.

That  was in a week! They went from babies to toddlers in a week. So far, so good. I am really excited about these new developments.

Speaking of new developments

Another new melon! Its very close to melon #1, which hasn't grown in oh, way too long, so I'm a little apprehensive about the future of his little neighbor.

Its very cute and everything and it appears healthy, but its not growing. I am learning that watermelons grow a lot and fast and this guy did grow and fast but then it stopped. I don't think stopping is a healthy sign of development. I got some fertilizer and zapped the plants with a good dose the other day, so I am hopeing maybe it just needed a nudge in the right direction.

Speaking of growing in the right direction. This guy is feeling a little squished, its such a problem for it, its started climbing the walls.

I've been trying to retrain vines I find doing this because as pretty as a vine is, it gets real un-pretty real fast if that fence is having to support  a potentially twenty pound watermelon, or even a melon of just two-or three pounds. Thus far it hasn't been a real problem but...

More and more are actually taking and growing, this could become an issue - or not, most of the beans die on the vine. If it does take off, I will find away to make it work. I have read about using pantie-hose as a support for larger fruits and I think this is a good idea. It would be so awesome to get to try it out.

Other plant just keeps on keeping on. It has a lot more room to spread out. It is going to start hugging the shed soon and is making in roads into the yard.. Its all ready tried to go to the basement but I've been trying to keep on top of that because I don't want them to get forgotten down there.

Speaking of  "then" and "now"

"Now" we have above, "then" in the big garden

I added the third plant later but by the time I got it in the others had taken up a lot of room. This does help me see that the first melon was from the "new" plant. The plant in the lower left is not doing very well at present, but the other two are perking along. I think the plant on the upper right is the one climbing the fence, the "new" plant is the one that escaped the bed and moved into the yard.

Satellite plant has grown exponentially.

I thought it was going to die and now its the best performer I have. Faith is good. Gardening has taught me that. Faith is good but you can't be too proud to re-plant.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Contractually obligated Emmy Nomination Entry

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series:

Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Louis C.K., Louie
Steve Carell, The Office
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

I'm going to have to go with Alec Baldwin, because I don't watch the other shows. Also? Where is Joel Mchale? I mean for real! Mat LeBlanc? Episodes? For reals? Gah.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series:

Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
Hugh Laurie, House
Timothy Olyphant, Justified
Jon Hamm, Mad Men

Hugh Laurie isn't go to win again. I think he's endless bitching about not winning is why he doesn't win. I wouldn't vote for him either. Buscemi won all ready and MCH won as well. I see it as Kyle Chandler or Timothy Olyphant. Emmy likes rewarding Dramas that no one watches or has ever heard of.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series:

Laura Linney, The Big C
Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation
Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope
Tina Fey, 30 Rock

The Big C or Mike and Molly . Either laughing in cancers' face or fat jokes. I don't find  a drug addicted RN "funny", I'm pretty sure RH was canceled so Martha Plimpton has a good chance, I heart Tina Fey,. but she has 36 Emmys at home all ready, but, in this crowd, I still  have to go for Fey. But Laura Linny will win because she's a movie person.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series:

Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law
Mireille Enos, The Killing
Mariska Hartigay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

I see it as a toss up between FNLs and TGW. I don't watch either and I hate  SVU. I think HL got canceled  after three episodes and I am over MM. I vote for The Killing because that's the one I watch and the actress is brave to spend the entire series looking like a wet cat.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series:

Chris Colfer, Glee
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men

I'm going to have to go with Joel McHale!

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series:

Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Josh Charles, The Good Wife
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
Walton Goggins, Justified
John Slattery, Mad Men
Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age

I like Alan Cumming, he was great in Cabaret, so on the strength of a years old performance in a different discipline, Go Alan Cumming!

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series:

Jane Lynch, Glee
Betty White, Hot in Cleveland
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock

They're going to give it to Betty White, but I want Kristin Wigg to win.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series:

Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Margo Martindale, Justified
Michelle Forbes, The Killing
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Lets go Michelle Forbes! I just figured out who she is, she was on H-LOTS. The show  uses no light at all, real or artificial that I never got a good look at her. It was so dark it was practically a radio show.

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series:

Idris Elba, The Big C
Nathan Lane, Modern Family
Zach Galifianakis, Saturday Night Live
Justin Timberlake, Saturday Night Live
Matt Damon, 30 Rock
Will Arnett, 30 Rock

As long as it isn't Nathan Lane for the grossly over rewarded MF, I really don't care. I would be happy with Matt Damon won though.

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series:

Bruce Dern, Big Love
Beau Bridges, Brothers & Sisters
Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife
Paul McCrane, Harry’s Law
Jeremy Davies, Justified
Roger Morse, Mad Men

I've heard that MJF plays a complete asshole on TGW. I'm sure he has a lot of anger issues in his life, so I'm glad he has the outlet.

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series:

Kristen Chenoweth, Glee
Dot-Marie Jones, Glee
Gwyneth Paltrow, Glee
Cloris Leachman, Raising Hope
Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live
Elizabeth Banks, 30 Rock
Joan Cusack, Shameless
Alfre Woodard, True Blood

Blech Glee. I vote for Tina Fey or Elizabeth Banks, because I follow her on Twitter.

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series:

Mary McDonnell, The Closer
Julia Stiles, Dexter
Loretta Devine, Grey’s Anatomy
Randee Heller, Mad Men
Cara Buono, Mad Men

Yeah. I don't care about any of these.
Outstanding Comedy Series:

The Big Bang Theory
Modern Family
The Office
Parks & Recreation
30 Rock

Yay! Community!!

Outstanding Drama Series:

Boardwalk Empire
Friday Night Lights
Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
Mad Men

Yeah. Don't care about any of them.

Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series:

The Colbert Report
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Real Time with Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live

Could all of these win?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Cat Blogging


Instead of writing a "real" entry, I'm going to mention that since I came home from work I have : Mowed the lawn - yes is this weather, I mowed the lawn. The  heatwave while it isn't broken per say, it has suffered a small hair line fracture and I decided to take advantage of it and mow the lawn for the first time in a month.

It didn't really need it need it, but with a manual mower its important to get it mowed before it does. You do not want to try to mow a lawn that  actually needs mowing with a manual mower. I also watered everything, vacuumed a good portion of the downstairs, cleaned the bathroom, tidied the kitchen, walked the dog and made two tarts.

I also learned that we follow recipes for a reason and that not all of  our own ideas are good ones. One of the tarts is quite nice while the other has a faint medicinal/metallic after taste.  Guess which one is the equivalent of an interminable  drum solo and which one is Stairway?

Oh, and I finished Harry Potter ( I did not remember a single word of the book. Not one. I know I read it, I read it the day it came out, in one sitting but I didn't remember any of it. This summer on vaca I am reading all the books again.) while I sat outside is the so-lovely-it-hurt early evening with Dogger while we watched the neighbor kid throw a football back and forth with his friend.

Oh, and I will totally have a Emmy Nominations  entry. Never fear.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


I finally started my Harry Potter book. I looked online and I only need to read from chapter 24 to the end, so its very doable, it would be actually doable if I had started last week. So far I've gotten about four pages in and I have tickets for Friday at 10pm. I would love to have been able or even have really wanted to go to the midnight show Thursday like the rest of the dedicated fangirls and fanboys but I'm forty-two year old fanwoman and I can't do it.

I am hitting opening day though so I still get credit.

So since I'm supposed to be doing all this reading, not watching a five year old Ace of Cakes - is anything on Cooking Network less than five years old? Anyway. I also should not have gone to Wallyworld and I surely did not create a reason to go to Wallyworld because I really wanted to listen to my new Amy Winehouse CD. You can not jam to  your tunes with your computer speakers. I want to point out that in the interest of sisterhood, that my "new" CD is not really new. Its new to me, I am not interested in giving her any money to get high with. Let someone else have the blood on their hands. Now I'm really want my Adele CD to get here.

Amy Winehouse/Charlie Sheen. Can you imagine the crazy? the lack of supervision? The substance abuse? the sheer number of tattoos? They should do a reality show! Too much money, too much crazy, too much too much. It would do huge numbers.

Anyway. I'm going to go read my book.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Random photoblogging

This evening did not start off well. I came home, molested the green beans, harvested another couple of peppers, and then went to check the front of the house, where I ran into my mailman. Super. I am waiting for some used CDs to arrive. Mr. Mailman asks if I am this other address, I say "No, I'm not. I am my address". He says "You ain't got nothing today" and he kept on walking. I said "Hey, I got mail to go out" he said "I can't see the slot! We don't do it like this up north!" I said "Not even  checking? ( and using that tone of voice with me?)  That could score you a quick call to your postmaster" and he said You call him!"  And so I did.

Have you ever tried to find the phone number of your post office? any post office? Do you know what they are listed under in the phonebook? Government offices? State or Fed? County? Don't bother, if they are listed, its under an assumed name. I went through two different books, getting hotter and more pissed off by the second and I had finally decided to just go online when I thought about my magic phone! The map feature includes many phone numbers! Gotcha! douche bag!

I called the number and spoke with a very nice man about my lazy, smart mouthed, assholeish mail man issue. He did tell me that the douche bag was following the rules when he bypassed my house when he had nothing to drop off - even though I had out going mail!  This is bull shit. They wonder why the entire world embraced fax machines and email and couriers over using them. Because of crap like that. Anyway. I could complain about his mouth and his general shit attitude and I did.  Screw around with me asshole. I work for a complaint line, if I want to complain, I know how. Jackass.

Then it was time to make dinner. If I have to say so myself, I make a hell of a stuffed pepper. Nummy! And it improved my mood to no end. I took Dogger out to pee but we didn't hang out, because my lately, we've been walking later in the evening, after its cooled downish. Speaking of Dogger and the outside, someone at work asked me if I was taking Dogger outside - Well, since I don't have a litter box sized for her and she isn't toilet trained, yes I take my dog outside! The woman looked at me like I was a Dogger abuser. Dogger and I don't spend a lot of time outside hanging out, but its not as bad as these weather wimps are saying it is. They totally confuse actual temperature with heat index. Amateurs.

I have found a way to save on water bills though. When its time to water the garden I just hang around for a few minutes and then spin around like a lawn sprinkler. Speaking of the garden, I was going to have to have a Come to Jesus meeting with the satellite watermelon. It has seen a huge improvement in its health, which is super great but now its strong enough to have to get to work.

I mean, its everywhere, its going to eat the shed. I was leaving the yard to go and make dinner when I saw something out of the corner of my eye

Massive intake of breath! I was going to talk to them about manning up and producing and OMG! They manned up and produced! Twice!.

On concrete!  These aren't like little baby's either! They have clearly been there for a little while. I did some shrub trimming over the weekend and if I had seen them then, I would have been much more careful with my raking. Stuff is so much more successful if I don't know they're there.

This is like the least fruit-friendly place the plant could pick and yet there they are, another thing in their favor there is that garden bugs don't spend a lot of time on concrete. Urban Garden fu!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Using what you have

Gawd its hot. Poor Dogger just spends a lot of time looking at with just a very disappointed look on her face. I wish she could understand that its too hot outside and Mama doesn't like going through her entire summer wardrobe before Wednesday. I know Dogger doesn't  experience the heat the same way I do but its really hard to make her understand that the humidity makes Mama sad and it causes her to spend her after work hours prostrate in front a fan, panting.

Its worse now that the green beans are out. They must be harvested  ASAP because of the nasty woody bitterness issue, and since the green beans live outside, I have to spend more time outside in the heat molesting my green bean vines. It is not easy to harvest the beans either. With tomatoes and peppers the ripe fruits stand out, you don't really have to study the plants too much to see that its time for somebody to transition from foodstuff to food.

Green Beans hide. They hide and they are the same color as the leaves - which by-the-way stick to my clothes like they are coated with stick-um, in a pinch you could use them to make yourself a  DIY camo suit. Deer would never suspect a giant green bean was going to get them. They would probably just come by and nibble on it, because green beans are such harmless, friendly things, happy, delicious, totally benign, not going to harm you... a smart hunter could take advantage of that naive trust and just nail gun the stupid beast. Nibble, Nibble... Ker-bang, quite, non-obtrusive, wouldn't even scare the other deer. You could totally make you limit in a weekend.

I see green bean camo suit sales as a future career choice for me. I could raise massive amounts of green beans and sell the leaves to  really hardcore hunters. Every time they were going out, I would sell them a new "suit". Maybe I would rent each hunter their own section of the trellis! They could come by before they went hunting and just roll around in the bean plants. It would make bean harvest a lot easier too, no more hide and seek.

 After they were finished, all they would have to do was pull of the "suit" and leave it where if fell. So green!  So Clean! Hell, they might be able to wear them a second time, I've had shirts go through the wash and when I pulled them out, they still have leaves stuck to them. I would think that they no longer would smell like Mr. Benign Green Bean Man though. I don't think Mr. Detergent Man smells quite as benign to a forest creature though

Monday, July 11, 2011

Holly Homemaker breaks a sweat.

I spent as much of the the weekend in doors as possible, baking and doing laundry and generally being Holly Homemaker. Holly did not care for the humidity outside or the heat. She especially did not care for having to change her clothes every time she as much as peaked outside.

During my brief visits outside to play with the garden, I learned things. Learning  is good, we like learning. We do not like learning about plum sized black watermelons because they are a hard, sad lesson is horticulture. I also learned that it is important to harvest green beans before they form  beans because after they have formed beans, it leaves them with a bitter and woody flavor which causes a bitter and woody taste. In the future I will harvest the beans in a more timely manner - in my defence before this weekend I didn't know I even had beans of pick-able age even there at all, much less growing progressively  more woody and bitter.

Another lesson I learned was that next year the tomatoes will be caged. They are growing out of control and trying to take over the garden! That is the job of the watermelons and green beans! Its clearly written out in their job descriptions!  I do not need another out of control vine eating my yard, granted, the tomatoes are a very productive vine, but I did not want more  vines, I planted plants and I would appreciate if they would stay that way. Next year I'm going to be  Diana, Gardner with a Whip.

Every time I got tired of the heat, I went into the kitchen, first I baked two peach tarts . The recipe as written is good but not great. I leaned that after I  made an initial change in it by making it a peach/ blueberry/raspberry tart. It was after tasting that, that I decided that it would be even better if  the dry, white ingredients were cut in half and everything else was doubled or tripled ( it calls for eight sliced peaches, depending on the size of the fruits this could be cut in half, unless you want to make a lot of twelve inch tarts). I also think that it would be even better if you added vanilla and or almond to it because as good as it was,  the nutmeg and ginger were completely lost ( after I made two stops for that ginger, I had better taste it in the tart!).

Then I did some sexy, sexy laundry . And then changed clothes because even that caused me to break a sweat.

Saturday night I was trying to remain complelty still as to not have to change clothes again, watching cooking shows, What? what do you do Saturday nights?  I was watchinga twelve year old episode of Two Fat Ladies - a show I watch primarily for the Food Porn, because they use ingredients I can't get to make meals I won't eat. In one of the episodes, however, they made something with ingredients I can get to make a meal I would eat:  Robert May's salmon . All it is is salmon, oranges, a bit of nutmeg, orange juice and red wine. Done! you cook it on the stove and you don't even have to heat up your kitchen turning on the oven. And? its really good!  more telling, it was good with a Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Grocery Store cut of fish and cheap, grocery store caliber red wine. I would imagine with fresh salmon from a fish monger, the not-in-my-grocery-store blood oranges and a decent red wine that it would be excellent.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Cat Blogging

Feed Me

Walk on by

Its been so hot lately that I've cut back on Dogger's walks, both in length and in frequency. We walk around the block a lot. Its just too hot to be ambitious. I putter around the garden for my summer exercise. doesn't do much for my physical well being but my emotional self is svelte.

When it was cold, we took lots of walks for lots of mileage. It was cold and awful and sometimes it was icy and more than once there was snow on the ground and it was always dark and we were out there walking like it was our job.

Now? its dry and warm and light almost all the time our walks are short and not nearly as frequent as they were. I hate this. Today I decided that we needed to go for a "real" walk. They changed my mail pick up from "afternoonish" to "if and when we feel like it-ish". I decided that we were going to walk to the post office, do a DIY project if you will. I could drive there but we like this walk. It is one of our more ambitious walks, even when its nice but I thought we needed the exercise.

It was nice outside for about the first ten minutes. Then the humidity kicked in. 85% humidity and it was only about 90 degrees.. It was okay as long as there was shade to walk in - Did I mention we had a tornado that knocked down a lot of the shade? We kept going. Dogger seemed really happy and energized and I really needed to get my bill mailed. Things were still okay after we got the the post office, then I had the idea that we should walk up Edenton instead of New Bern.  We were slowing down and I stopped to read a sign in someones garden, it turned out to be an inside joke sign not a sign sign. Whatever. I looked up and I didn't know where I was. I looked around and said to myself "What street is this?".

This was not a good thing.

I figured it out but it was kind of a weird moment. I did try to hurry at that point, did not make me sweat less.  Dogger and I kept going and I began to notice my clothes were wet and my hair was wet and my mouth was dry. We hurried home. On the way a man told me that Dogger was smarter than half the people he knows. I don't think he's ever tried to talk to Dogger about current events or the weather or anything so I don't know what he was basing his opinion on because I don't think he really knows Dogger well enough to gage her intellect. I mean how would he have access to her SATs anyway. She did well but she didn't do that well.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Garden Update 20 2011

Here we grow!

The little plant that could. Only a few blooms and no fruits, but its pretty anyway.

What a little attention and a lot of pesticide can achieve. Beans 2.0 are doing well, no blooms yet, but again, its pretty.

Family Picture, things are getting a little sloppy.

 I imagine if they were caged, there wouldn't be so floppy or undisciplined. There are arguments for and against this practice. They are much harder to perform maintenance on without cages. Allegedly they grow more fruits that ripen earlier when uncaged. More fruits harder to take care of and find once ripe.

 If I had known this variety was going to be this small or get blossom end rot to the degree that these and only these fruits have displayed, I wouldn't have bothered with these plants at all. I don't even like small tomatoes. Gah.

Yay! This is what I like to see big tomatoes where I can see them. I do have to watch very closely though and harvest just prior to ideal ripeness because if I don't "they" will. Bastards.

 Next year I am going to be all about purple peppers. Allegedly, I also planted at least two yellow varieties but they haven't produced anything of any color yet.

Next year if I can be as disciplined as I wanted to be this year, its going to be 80% peppers and only, tops, 20% tomatoes. Damn it. Plus whatever else seems cool. But many, many fewer tomatoes.

 Green beans are not having any problems with "them". Green beans are green and lush and healthy but green beans are not producing like something growing like that that should. Grumble.

 That used to be a fence. Now its Trellis East.

Just about all the green beans have produced, the lazy things. Next year I plant fewer.

Here we have green beans, peppers and tomatoes. Undisciplined! or a nifty chip dip.

The first plant is getting a little peaky.

 Second and third plants are not peaky.

 Baby watermelon seems to have hit a developmental
platteau . I am trying not to worry.

 Even smaller baby watermelon is also platteau-ing.  I am also trying not to worry about this one.

 Watermelon vine is adventurous. Here, it is hanging out with the peppers, looking for some room to spread out. Hopefully, also to have room for the kids to run around.

 Lots and lots of blooms, not many fruits.

One of the few, the proud, the brave. The short lived.

 Still growing. It can because its not wasting precious resources on producing fruits. Its pretty and all and the flowers are lovely, but ... Would it be too much to ask three plants to make a pumpkin?!

 Just about nicer than actual flowers. Certainly more colorful.

Raspberries are nice and green but seem to have stopped making berries.