Monday, April 30, 2012

Garden Update 6, Flower Power Edition

The ultilitatian vegitable garden veggies  have been planted *, more on that. Now I have time to work on the more decorative gardening.

The marigolds are both decorative and utilitarian. They are known as a good "companion" plant, I also planted some Borage ( allegedly the leaves and stems taste like cucumber and are good cooked like greens, and its prolific blue flowers are good in salads and can be candied for deserts) for the same reason among the tomatoes*. Both plants do yeoman's work of  warding off ugly bugs and other pests. I'm also going to poison for bugs like a sumbitch, but its good to have back up, and maybe I can poison less.



I really want to give as much back up to these plants as possible, I don't have any irrigation hooked up for this area so its a litle on its own. I do water it but it doesn't get the day-in-day-out water that the big garden gets. The marigolds are supposed to protect from bugs and grubs, I didn't find any grubs in this plot but I did in the big garden. Here I found lovely worms. Unlike the next plot I visited.

This was where I found the grubs. A lot of grubs and painfully few worms. I did find a couple of worms while I was planting the flowers but I also found more grubs. I'm hoping the marigolds keep them from doing a lot of damage to my peppers.

I found a lot of worms in this plot, but I also found a couple of grubs.


I wasn't the on;ly one working in the back yard, My father did a yomans job to get this raised in the yard. My yard looks like its covered in dirt but in reality, its covered in about three feet of concrete covered in a dusting of of about a foot of packed clay. I've never been able to hang anything in this house because it wasn't built with that in mind back in 1952. Now, I can and I am dreaming of all the gorgeous hanging baskets I'm going to see there. We also moved my hammock from the front porch to the back yard and I like it better there. I all ready had a nice naplet back there with Dogger.

My father also brought me a fabulous lawn mower and not one of those ozone depleting gas sucking monsters, no my mower is electric and so cool. Its almost as environmentally positive as my manual mower but much, much, much more powerful. So I can keep my yard in line while not stepping outside the environmental line.

These are the only flowers I did not plant this weekend, these little beauties are from one the All Blue's. I don't really know why they have bloomed so early or why only one plant has them. There are no other blooms on that plant or any of the others, not even any buds.

Moving on to the front yard.

These are new for 2012. I've ignored these stairs for years and I finally noticed that they too could support flower pots. This year as alomost every year, I planted impatients. I did go a little different this year by not getting pink blooms. I went  instead with white, orange, red and a bright lavender.

What is not visible in these pictures, are the Split Second Morning Glories I planted on Sunday. I haven't totally disavowed pink flowers...

Can you imagine if even a hand full of the seeds I planted sprouted? These frilly pink wonders all along my deck railing? OMG!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Cat Blogging

Yeah, I was doing something cute but you were too slow.

Yay Friday

Not much to report this time around, my Dad is in town and I am trying to be a good hostess or something. It is a bit of a challenge to have to cook for more-than-one and then cooking food that more than I want to eat. Shockingly, most people do not want to eat variations on a theme on a single food item. I like eating tilapia every night but I guess for some people that might get a little dull.

People who aren't me.

Change is good but variations on a theme also has strong arguments in its favor. You always know whats for dinner, for instance, much less angst and eventually, when you get tired of the single protean source, you move on. Change is good.

This weekend the theme is: Soups!

Today also marked the start of a New Book. I finished a book sale find and now I've moved on to another. I really like Carl Hiaasen and I thought that anything he wrote would be fascinating - and then he wrote a book about hating golf but going back to playing golf and buying clubs and playing golf badly and then buying better clubs and then angsting about playing golf badly. Thus far, this is not fascinating. Hopefully, he'll tell a story about murdering someone with a golf club and than I'll be fascinated.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A meeting of minds

Since I never know if these are posting and mostly I fear that you get to read yesterday's posts today, because "schedule" and "time" and "date" mean nothing,  I'm going to keep this short.

I was thinking today that it had been a long time since I last walked Dogger through our neighborhood. There must be tons of bottles and cans piling up that no one else will do anything about and I hate that, I like to be useful and walking Dogger while fun for her, can be boring for me, picking up cans and bottles gives me something to do in-between picking up dog shit.

Anyway, I haven't walked Dogger through the nab on our old route for months, and we walked there daily for years until we had two run ins with unleashed dogs and I decided that enough was enough and we were done with the route. There are a lot of places we can walk with a lot fewer unleashed dogs and fewer cans and bottles.

I missed the old route and my little glass and aluminum. I took a quick turn down the closet street and then headed back to safety, we didn't see any thing but I'm still a little leery. I did see a lot of cans and bottles though and while I forgot my bag, now I know where they are for the next time. Dogger and I had cleared the hood and were headed down a safe street for us when I was stopped by an older man who gave his address as the street we had just dipped our toes into. My first response was "I don't got no money" and  gave him a  quick look at Doggers' Concern Face - its a massive turn off for most panhandlers and drunks

It turns out the guy was not a panhandler or a drunk! He wanted to talk to me about a scene he had just witnessed. A white girl and her small white and black dog got menaced by two off leash pitts and the neighbor wanted to know if I knew the white girl and if this white girl would mind if he pressed charges against the owners of the pitts. It seems his street is a maze of drug houses and drug dealers and off leash pitts and I'm never walking Dogger on that street again - but regardless of that, he is one angry man and wants his street back.

He said the owners of the dogs reached the pitts before they had a chance to eat the other dog and its mistress and he didn't think either were hurt - Scared shitless, but not actually harmed. The girl and the dog left the site and moved on. The neighbor hates the drug houses and the drug dealers and the unleashed pitts and wants them all out. The man said he flagged down a cop and told him but there was nothing the cop could do without the actual victim.

He wants to go to he City Council and get them to change the rules for landlords about who and what they rent to and what those tenants do in the landlords house. I feel him on this, I also hate drug houses, drug dealers and off leash pitts.

He stopped me because in his mind all the new white folks that have moved in of late all know each other.  And happy racial profiling to you too, I told him I didn't know the white girl or her dog but I do know of another white girl who often walks two bloodhounds. I also told him that Dogger and I didn't walk the nab anymore because of the off leash dogs. Dogger is old, but fast, strong and fearless. My concern is her taking apart an off leash dog, but I am starting to think I might have it wrong.

Who knew it was safer to walk in the largely abandoned warehouse district than in my own residential backyard? The man gave me is card and told me to give it to the white girl if I see her, perhaps at one of our white girl meetings. Or when we're walking our dogs, when I run into her  I'll have to tell her about the safety and comfort of the unleashed dog free zone that makes up the largely abandoned warehouse district.

This is scheduled to post at 7am on April 25th. Published manually at 8:05 pm, April 25.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Another Tuesday.

I'm sitting here listening to my Itunes on my lap top. earlier, I made my dinner with a recipe I found on an online recipe site and brought my computer into the kitchen to use as an animated cookbook.

Later, I'm going to try to find an ex-boyfriend from college and throw myself on his mercy for making so much fun of him and his computer back in he day. He broke up with me when I told him it was me or it, apparently it had a better personality and was nicer to him than I was; as cool and multi-talented as it was, it couldn't go to the Austin Improv and humiliate him in public like I could and did.  So maybe I wasn't entirely innocent or undeserving of being dumped. I blame the light board for ratting me out but in my defence, if he had spent half as much time with me as he did with his computer, things would have ended differently. I would have accused him of cheating on me with his room mate instead announcing he was having a sexual relationship with his commodore 64.  I still think he would have if he could have. Humpfh.

Now, in modern days, I spend more time with my computer than he ever did.

This weekend, I took a break form my computer, and planted a zillion tiny plants, and now I'm covering all zillion of them in plastic. Have you ever tried to gently over tiny, fragile baby plants with sheets? Its not a gentle act, its actually very violating and I expect to lose more plants from the protection that from the cold.  I'm hoping they aren't permanently damaged from the covers, I know my potatoes will be all right and the peas will come through but its really hard to cover short climbing plants, I really fear for my green beans.

My only hope is that reports of a freeze have been greatly exaggerated. I checked my weather sites and while none of them are calling for a hard freeze  they are warning of low thirties and even that low can't be good for tender little plants.

Speaking of tender little delicate things, I need to go see how badly the evil Yankees are beating up on my poor little baby Rangers. I hate the Yankees. Not just because they are the Yankees, but because hey always do really mean things to my Rangers. Years ago they used to use them for target practice and to try out new recruits from their farm teams. They didn't even respect the Rangers enough to send out their second string and they still beat them like a drum. That was then and this is now, the  Yankees fell to the  Rangers on their way to the World Series and it felt really good, this year they are having a not-fabulous (9-6) season while the Rangers are having a good season (13-3).

 The Rangers are having a crap game tonight though, super crap, not going to come back from this, better hope for a better tomorrow kind of game game. I hate the Yankees. I must remember however that baseball is a game of statistics, a zillion games played over many, many, many months and this too shall pass.  Its a long season and there are other teams as yet unplayed, that the Rangers will beat like a drum. I still hate the Yankees though.

I need to let the game go, its not good for my blood pressure. Apparently, nothing is good for my blood pressure. It does give me something to hold over my co-workers heads though "Are you going to tell me something that is going to disturb me? Is it worth my head exploding? Is this something you can handle on your own then? Great". I can't use that often without actually coming across with an exploding head as an object lesson and I'm not that much interested in teaching.

Every once in a while I turn the  blood pressure machine I borrowed from one of them on, and let them hear it do its thing, I know they can hear it and I'm trying to train them to see it as a sign their behavior is upsetting me. I don't really use it because it doesn't work very well, but it s good teaching tool. A lesson I don't mind teaching.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Garden Update 5 2012

The fates smiled, in between torrential storms, my plants arrived! There was some doubt after after I realized that Fed Ex was only a middle man and the actual responsible party was the U.S Postal Service I had serious doubts that they were going to arrive before Wednesday.

Untested Veggie Vendor, AKA Totally Tomatoes came through.

When I order from Burpee I get six young plants, one plant per variety. I usually have to supplement with some local buys as well to fill out the garden. TT sent me a lot of plants. A lot of very young plants, so young that I believe that were planted the morning they were shipped.

I opened one of the boxes and was a little shocked. I had a total of sixteen tomato plants in four different varieties, all Brandy-wine variants. The other box held sixteen tiny bell pepper plants. The peppers were in much better shape.

How little? Each of these held four plants

Plants about the size of a library pencil. I have never bought a plant that small. And now I have have bought thrity-two plants that small. I have all ready lost one of the tomato seedlings - not really hdeart breaking as I never wanted quite so many tomatoe plants and wouldn't have them except that they were very cheap and I looked online and they can be frozen and they do make sauces from them. If even half of the plants live long enough to be productive I'm going to be swimming in tomaotes. I give a lot of them to a woman at work who loves tomatoes but I don't even think she can eat that many. I did some (late) research on the variety and apparently they aren't what I was looking for, these puppies are huge, upwards of a pound on the small ones. What was I thinking? January causes brain damage.

The picture is not great quality but in my defence it is currently both cold and raining and I don't have the desire to spend the time in the cold and rain to get the perfect picture. I went ahead and put cages up now because in the past I've waited andit doesn't end well. I learned to do it when I plant them, reguardless of how small the plants are.

For those of you keeping track I have Brandywines in black,red, yellow and pink.

Onto my real favorites, the peppers. They are also teeny plants but somehow, more butch teeny plants than the tomatoes. I have : Super Heavy Weight, Goliath, King Arthur and Gourmet and the Purple Beauties (6) I picked up at the Farmers Market because they were so good last year. I am going to have to get a bigger freezer.

The only thing I have left to plant are the marigolds, I discovered too many grubs when I was planting - I also learned all ready this year that next winter there will be no winter cover! The parts of the garden that had relatively light winter cover have a lot more worms and no grubs, while the area that had heavy coverage has many grubs and no worms. Worms are good, grubs are bad. Marigolds are a way to limit the damage from the grubs. And they're pretty and I like pretty, in the plant world they're like blonds with PhDs.

So this year I have  four kinds of potatoes, four kinds of tomatoes, five kinds of peppers, one variety of green beans, one of peas and one kind of watermelon.  Its kind of like having forty one pets.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Cat Blogging

Sweetie Pie in her natural habitat.

Garden Update 4, 2012

My vegetable's from the untested veggie dealer have shipped! And if the Fed-Ex tracking site is to be believed, they arrived in Western North Carolina Thursday morning.  I am hoping that this means that I'll be getting them either this afternoon or Saturday. According the the weather teasers the network has been showing, it would be better for me if they were to arrive on today so that I can get them in the ground in between rain showers  - rain is good for new veggie plants but the attended cool weather  would not be good for me.

To get my planting muscles warmed up I went shopping at the Farmers Market and picked up some watermelon seedlings and some very pretty purple peppers. I cleared out the plot where I planted the melons last year and remembering some of their early struggles, I put down weed barrier so the seedlings wouldn't get over run and maybe protect them from pests, I'm going to be hitting the pesticides heavy this year, last year the vine suffered a lot of pest damage when the plant was young.  When I was digging up the ground I found a lot of very nice worms, I mean gorgeous worms and this made me very happy, I also found a whole nest of slugs and this made me very unhappy. I salted them to death and then uprooted the hunk of dirt they were gathered on and threw it over the fence. I did a lot of digging around and didn't fin anymore of them. El yucko, let me tell you. Over joyed about the number and vitality of worms though.

Back in February when I planted the first spuds I had one left over and I planted it in the same area I had used for the watermelons last year. I parked my pig in front of where I left it and went on my way. Time past and I began to think that the spud was a no go. This was all right because the other spuds were go-go-going and one not making it was the cost of farming. I put the pig in the wrong place, orphan spud did grow!

Aren't they adorable?

Since I took their pictures, I didn't want everything else to feel left out.

These are  my purple peppers, I really like how they taste and I would like to grow more than these but I have to see how many the untested veggie vendor sends me. I ordered a "collection" so it might be dicey.

 Peas and beans and strawberries full steam ahead! I did have to poison them all ready and by the looks of it, I'm going to have to break out the Seven if I want to stay on top of the pest situation. I can't wait to get the rest of the garden in and plant my tomatoes and peppers.

Speaking of strawberries, these are the blueberry plants I have potted in the front. No, I can't remember what kind they are, just that they are more successful than the twigs I paid too much for at Sam's Club.

Also in the front, but not in pots, are these All Blues I didn't have room for in the back. I hope they are more productive here than the pumpkin vine was last year.

Not visible in this picture is planter 7, but it hasn't done anything photogenic as yet. Everyone else is doing well, I hope they are working to produce as much underground as they are on the surface.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

When to care.

You know you are an urban yout' when : You casually talk over calling an ambulance for the prostrate old drunk down the street with the younger drunks across the street. That you can say "Do I need to call on that old drunk down there? He looks like he done fall out" and it makes perfect sense to all parties.

Ultimately, about eight of us stood in the middle of the street peering down the street at Old Fred, those of us that could see that far, saw one of two things, we saw Old Fred 1) struggling to sit up or 2) trying to swim, it was hard to tell. His drunk friends decided that since he was trying to sit up so he was okay. "Moving", "end stage alcoholism", "resting" versus "passed out". Speaking with the men  they felt that as long as you are sitting up its all good. They had a point, it is much harder to aspirate on your own vomit if you are sitting up-right. You also have much less far to fall when you pass out again, much lower chance of injury. And besides, he had moved himself and now he was on the grass!

And no, I do not feel bad about labeling him an Old Drunk. If I see you doing the breast stroke on the side walk at low tide I'm going to call you a drunk. You might be a young drunk or you might be an old drunk but you a drunk.

Now I know the next time when I see that old drunk passed out by the gas station that his proper name is "old Fred" and under what circumstances I should call for help: If he's moving don't call, if he's not, call. Or don't.

Today is April 19, 2012. On this date in 1995 one hundred and sixty eight people were murdered by a rightwing zealot . Miraculously, the monster was found almost immediately. He was tried, convicted and  June 11, 2001 ,he was humanely executed, ideally, 168 very small charges should have been surgically planted all over his body and slowly exploded over time. His associates were tried and convicted and sentenced to various terms. May they all rot in hell for eternity.

The Oklahoma City Bombing , lest we forget, we should never forget.
The victims.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The secret to My Parents' cat

I really tried to take pictures of the cats' feet. I wanted to to do because my Parents' Cat has verysmall tiny, feet - which I think explains her over all bad temperament! Her feet are so tiny that they must cause her pain! I would growl and hiss and generally be unpleasant and bitey if my feet were as mall as hers. really, her front foot-hand is the size of my thumb nail and I keep my nails short.

I wanted to compare and contrast MPC unnaturally tiny feet with Small Cats perfectly normal sized feet but as it turns out, cat feet photograph very badly and made it next to impossible to compare or contrast, you just have to take my word for it.

I think she's a nasty and given to biting as she is because she suffers from  either some sort of ancient kitty genetic foot binding condition or she was a lab cat at some evil cat building lab and she was a failed attempt. All of her feet are tiny, front and back.  Small Cat on the other hand, has normal healthy sized feet and he is a friendly, sweet non-bitey cat.

MPC is smaller, much, much smaller and lighter but I think this is either because of ancient Chinese cat foot binding or the cat lab fiasco or she might even be some sort of dwarf cat breed that isn't registered. She's very small, weighs next to nothing and unnaturally teeny feet. I would also bet that her legs are shorter and her trunk smaller than a normally configured cat as well.

I think the lab fiasco, prior to it being a fiasco, what they were trying to do was come up with some sort of super awesome ever-kitten breed of cat and their first draft was MPC - she turned out way too sour, due in large part to her unnaturally small feet and the attendant pain due to their unnatural size so they "donated" her to the animal rescue and they had to  go on to their next draft.

 She doesn't look like a Frankencat, she really looks almost perfect until she bites you because she's awake or you took a breath in her airspace while she was looking in your direction or you interrupted  one of her ten daily gaks on the carpet or your bed or you tried to feed her or save her from a burning building or any of the 10,000 unforgivable sins you can commit when you share space with her.

You will try desperately to please her though her eyes are gorgeous and look like they understand everything and give you the impression that she generally wants only to sooth whatever you need soothed, which is normally the pain from her last bite, she has the most lovely fur ever, you look at and say "I want to touch it immediately! Where have I see than fur like that before?", it was not a  mink coat or  an ermine jacket, you saw it on baby ducks! she has baby duck down fur! Permanent baby kitty fur!

When you see her, it appears that you could just sink right into her and it would be all fluff, no bones and if you did run into a bone, it would be made of velvet or be squishy and you should squeeze her all the time and she would purr and head butt and make you so happy and she  would live to please you because she is just that adorable.

In reality, her  tragic, unnaturally tiny feet hurt all the time and she hates everyone, including you.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Winning is good. Losing is bad.

After I humiliated the rye grass back with the weed whacker over the weekend, I thought I would add insult to injury and mow the rest of it with my push mower. The whacker must have been really insulting and after I mowed it down with a push mower I thought for sure the rest of it I coulnd't knock down with the mower would just surrender out of embarrassment.

Sadly, the grass has really high self esteem and it laughed at my mower. Loudly. It was really insulting to be honest, to be laughed by rye grass in the spring - in January? Sure, rye grass is a winter grass, you have bow to that, very few living things thrive in the winter and rye grass really is the king of the dead season.

Rye grass as emo hero? Somewhere a grad student just got a cramp.

I did discover that while rye grass laughs at push mowers, clover is terrified  of push mowers! It was fabulous! Such immediate gratification! Such a feeling of genuine power! Of course it was "power" over clover but after being laughed at by rye grass you have to get your thrills where you can. Its a bit like getting a pink participation ribbon - "Here is your ribbon for mowing" - unless you are  between the ages of 13-30, in which case, everyone got a blue ribbon for thinking about participating in mowing and pink ribbons were handed out for successfully peeing in the bathroom most of the time.

I'm old and I remember when some people actually really won and some people actually really lost. They don't do that anymore, all the special snow flakes have to be awarded for their specialness in the exact same special way despite  the naturally occurring varying degrees of specialness, or Mommy and Daddy will sue.

A special snow flake will never win a gold medal or even want to. Special snow flakes make our nation weak and I genuinely fear for this county in future Olympics. To help this country win more medals,  go, go and kick the shit out of the first special snow flake you see. This from some one who was always picked last, never scored a goal or even did well at board games. The difference was I really desired  to get picked first, score lots of goals and win at board games. I had the impetus to get better, because my clear lack of skill was not rewarded. The kids who did have the skills were rewarded. I wanted to be rewarded. Hence, I worked harder and sometimes I won, because I worked for it. I wanted it.

Kids today live in a world where the only games are Candyland and Shoots and Ladders, there are no winners and everyone loses all the time and winning is mean.  There is no real reason to be good at anything because being bad at everything gets the same reward. The truth is that winning is awesome and losing is not awesome. Totally.

Monday, April 16, 2012

One year later

I gave myself three tasks for the weekend : Attend Democratic County Convention, get the weed barrier down and make my pork dish.

I was a very good girl.

The barrier was its usual good time,  this year I added a degree of difficulty to the task by requiring that the barrier go down around plants already in the ground. Its easy when there isn't anything in the way but it gets a little tricky when you have to include an arts and crafts component in it as well.

But before I could do that, I had to go to the convention, it earned itself a place oin my schedule by being held two blocks from my house. I was the only member of my precinct to be in attendance. I hope the new First Vice Chair had a good reason to not go to either the convention or the County Executive Committee meeting that preceded the convention. She is lucky they reached quorum! A reasonably good time was had by all who were smart enough to leave before the resolutions portion of the meeting started. It may not look great to walk out and leave but I learned my lesson the hard way and now I'm hypertensive and I don't need the added stress. Also my shit list is very long all ready.

After the meeting and the garden work it was time to get cooking!

Doesn't it look good! What you can't tell from the picture is that it needed to cook for at least another forty-five minutes. I cut into it and discovered pork tartar! You would think that after an hour in the oven it would be adequately cooked but no, I think it should have been cooked at at least 400 for probably an hour and a half instead of an hour at 350. Its a very solid pork cake and it needs time to cook through. You have a layer of pork, a layer of stuffing and you just keep going until you run out. I should have known myself the cook time wasn't correct.

Anyway, after cooking it through out, I can say that while its good it isn't great and I think it makes a much better breakfast dish than a main course for dinner. You also have to really, really, really like bacon. I think if I made this again, which I will not, I would  fry at least briefly the outer covering a bacon before I set up the cake.

This weekend is the anniversary of the Spring Storms of 2011. I thought about this while I was happily working in the garden in the sun and thinking about why I had this bright sun to be working in.

What a difference a year makes.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Cat Blogging

He is such a boy!


I had to cover my plants over night and wear a coat to work this morning. I would say Not Cool but it was cool, very, very cool! I drove to work with the heat on!

Oh, almost my entire family left for Ireland today, my Mother took my umbrella so I can almost garuntee that Ireland will be hit by a massive unseasonal drought the whole time they are there. Here, we will get twenty-five inches of rain.

For my part I am trying for the title of "Oldest person without a passport".  My niece and nephew have had them since they were in utero, both of their passport pictures are sonograms.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I covered or brought in my outdoor plants and brought my winter pjs out of storage.  Tomorrow morning is going to suck when I have to uncover all my plants and stash the covers. I do not enjoy being faked out by Mother Nature, especially after spring sprung in the middle of March.

Now I just have to hope that the cooler temps don't come wrapped in wind . I think everything in the garden will be all right and really only the green beans might really object to the cold, and they are of course, the hardest to cover. The spuds are not cold weather adverse but enough of the plants are very young that I decided just to cover all of them just in case they are sensitive. My potted plants on the front porch had to be brought in bodily, I'm not going to worry too much about the potatoes I have out there because they are in the ground and pretty thoroughly shielded by the house where they are. I didn't do anything with my blueberries because I have decided that they are a cold weather tolerant plant. Possibly because they are too big and heavy for me to move inside and too delicate to be covered with a sheet.

While I mulled over my cold weather gear options for the garden I went to Wallyworld to shop for ingredients for my next project,  Mitten of Pork! I saw it on Two Fat Ladies and fell in love. I uniformly love pretty much everything they make but I am a lot more fond of  their recipes that include less than 16 ingredients and are made up of foods available on this side of the Atlantic. Even better if they are available of this side of the Atlantic and at Wallyworld. I also just had the thought, as a good Democrat, In honor of Romney being the most likely GOP nominee, am having Mitt for Dinner! My dog rides inside you asshole!

Too often their fabulous recipes take for granted that you have access to loads of freshly butchered game and still wriggling shellfish from the North Sea.  I was very intrigued by this recipe because it calls for pork tenderloin and good bacon, two things here in NC are plentiful and for me, available at a good price at the Pork Outlet conveniently located next door to my office. I was going to pick up some bacon at Wally, but I decided I could get much nicer bacon at the pork outlet, probably more of it and cheaper.

I am making some changes to the recipe as written, instead of fresh white breadcrumbs for the stuffing I am substituting, well, stuffing because its available and I like it. I don't think its going to make a huge difference in taste or texture and  I believe in cooking for your audience and in this case I and the audience and I prefer Pepperidge Farm stuffing. I can't imagine actually enjoying wet, lumpy white bread crumbs no matter how tasty they might be. They will definitely be lumpy, wet, bread crumbs. If the dish is really juicy the crumbs will turn into pork flavored gruel. Ew.

Also coming up this weekend? my County Convention and installing weed barrier in the garden!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Garden Update 3 2012

I hope expectant mothers have more fun during their sonograms than I did. In my defence to the non-enjoyability factor, mine was called an echocardiogram. I also discovered that it is very difficult to hold your breath while laying on your side, sit up fine, flat on your back? Easy. You live and learn.

I almost hope they do find something, I;m tired of all these tests that come back that everything is fine when its clear that everything is not fine. I don't want to be one of those miserable people on Mystery Diagnosis.

When I came back from the doctors office my plan was to get the weed barrier down in the garden but then it started to get windy and the temp started to drop - not precipitously, but noticeably. I started to worry about the pl;ants because when I checked the weather the temps have further to go, but not so far that I have  to cover the plants. I think. The report said its going to bottom out at thirty-eight and I'm pretty sure that spuds don't hate a chill. I know my peas will squeal in cool weather glee but I worry about the green beans as they are a warm weather plant.

How are your plants? you ask. Well...

The strawberries I caged from Alphagal last spring are perking along. I had three plants but now I think its down to two adult plants and three or so baby plants. I might have to see if she has more plants she wants me to foster for her because they are very low effort plants and they seem happy in a space that nothing else has wanted to grow.

I planted peas on one side and green-beans on the other. I had to replant the green-beans because the first batch were from a bag I had around and I think they were just too old to be germinate. The new ones seem right on track. The peas said they didn't need a trellis but I'll believe that when I see it. I intentionally bought pole beans because a couple of years ago I went with bush beans and they didn't work out, the produced but it wasn't very much and it was limited to a couple of weeks. Pole beans produse more for longer.

These are the last two I planted. I think they are going to do well. I was a little concerned about them but once they take off they really go berserkers. Bin 4 is a few days ahead of these and its started to take off as well. The other bins are so full and lively, I am starting to wonder if I should thin the herds a bit. I'm a little afraid that they are going to be too crowded in the planters and this might make them less productive and I am all about garden  productivity. I suck at thinning and instead I just add more dirt and hope for the best.

The "older" plants are well on their way to lush, note in the foreground in planter 4, I've hit them with bone meal and some low dose fertilizer in the wake of all the rain we've gotten I thought it was a good idea to refresh the nutrients in the soil - all of which was store bought and I question its integrity as a planting medium.

They all have a long way to go, the reds are much sooner but they still have about forty-five days to go themselves, the others won't be ready for months.

Family picture.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Lawn Mower Girl

When I said that I was going to put "some" music on my new toy, what I really meat was "all my music" on my new toy. I stayed up late to do it to, I discovered that 2G really means 216 peaces of music and it has made me re-think just how attached I am to close to the two hours of Aaron Copeland music I included. I think it will depend on how much The New Bohemians catalogue runs. Note for the technologically less evolved, you can not put your collection of cassette tapes on your Ipod. You would think that after all this time they would come up with a way of transferring audio tapes to CD! People get all moist about their ancient vinyl records, but doesn't anyone have a soft spot for that outdated yet touching mix tape from sophomore year?

I have so much technology at my fingertips now, right now for instance, I am listening to a past Wait, wait don't tell me!, I had thought I was going to play my new toy but I decided that I can listen to Alternative ate as a genre whenever I want and Wait, wait...  gets less timely every day it waits on Itunes for me to get around to it. Its important to prioritize your media

Before I got serious about my radio quiz show listening, I came home from work and worked.  I mowed the lawn and carried 108 pounds of dirt from my car to the back yard, While doing this I discovered exactly how much I can carry before its too much - roughly four pounds less than each bag weighed. I can carry fifty-four pounds but I don't really think I should, I can but I don't want to make a habit of it.

I made my  spuds happy though, everyone who needed more dirt got more dirt. This work should not diminish my labors mowing my yard. I paid the lawn mower guy last week and decided that I really could not keep paying him to do my work. So I mowed a lawn that didn't really need me to mow it so that I could mow it myself.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Back where I started.

I had a lovely Easter break and now I'm back and it was much better to be gone. On the upside, I was greeted at my front door by my new (to me) Ipod and after an extensive amount of trial and many, many errors, I now have some of my songs on  what was "her" Ipod.

Right now instead of writing an entry I am adding new songs to my new Ipod. If not actually new, new to it. New Ipod is really quite sexy and a vast improvement over my shuffel - which was very nice but clearly an entry level drug.

Saturday, April 7, 2012



Testing widget


Friday, April 6, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Picture II


One for the baby book.

I went to the doctor and she was suitable appauled by my new and unimproved blood pressure. She made me an appointment for an ecocardigram and gave me an additional  blood pressure med. I went home and googled my new drug and discovered that among its plethera of unpleasent side effects was chronic dry cough I already have a chronic dry cough! I don't need an additional dry cough! The other one is not lonley or looking to meet new dry coughs.

I went to a forum and found many, many people who hate the med - keeping in mind people who like the med don't go to forums to talk about how much they love it and what a fab job its doing. That kind of talk is boring, forums are populated by people who hate the med and its thousand different awful side effects. I for one look forward additionally to the insomnia, leg pain, fainting and severe itching - all of which were complained about at length. My question was, why stay on a medication that is doing those things to you? If my cough gets worse,  the new med off the table and the doctor can give me a different one. Period. I'm not going to bitch about it on a forum, I'm going to bitch about it to my doctor. Whateve, but if they weren't bitching about it on a forum, I would only have the official sites to tell me about the drug and they down play the negatives.

The echocardiogram will be something new to put in the baby book and  an interesting change of pace. I've never had one before, I've had two EKGs done, both normal, but its nice to know everything is working, I can hardly just take myself apart and see whats the problem is. Would that I could though. The echo is also going to come out clean, because the cough is from nowhere and nothing is causing it.

I understand that an echocardiogram is very similar to an ultrasound that would be performed on a pregnant woman, except higher up and not looking at a fetus. That was almost a direct quote from a web site I went to to see what an echocardiogram entailed, my own doctor called it a "heart sonogram". I wasn't familiar with this teat so I had to look it up, if she would have said "echocardiogram" I would have known what she was talking about the first time. I think she said it that way to make it sound fluffier and less clinical, she tries to keep the White Coat Anxiety to a minimum by looking like a gym bunny and using baby words. This causes me anxiety.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wag the dog

I was sitting at the dining room table saying to myself Hmm. it sure we would be nice if I could see this 30 Rock rerun better. I should  move the TV when I realized, I don't need to move the TV I can move to the TV! So I did!

And that was the best part of my day. I couldn't even have lunch in peace! I drove into "my" parking lot and I saw this youngish guy walking from the gazebo and he looked odd - odd because even at a distance I was pretty sure his penis was on the wrong side of his pants.

I decided that I was not seeing his penis, I decided I was seeing a fold in his shirt, because it could have been a penis shaped fold.  I made sure my doors were locked and tucked into my book.

Read, read, read, gnaw on protean bar. Watch guy flit around the parking lot like a giant moth. Read, flit, gnaw, flit. He started to flit closer to my car. I studiously read my book.  He flitted,  I gnawed my protean bar.

He laid down next to my car. I read my book like a son-of-a-bitch and then he knocked on my passenger side window and I screamed like a girl.

He apologized profusely but I think he probably liked it. He than asked where the movie theatre on Western was. Yes, I am stupid, this is veering dangerously close to the Can I Borrow A Spoon debacle of a few years ago. I gave him directions and went back to my book.

And then he was at my other window and his dick was hanging out.  I told him to put his thing away and he said he didn't have is thing out, which was odd because he had to move it out of the way to illustrate to me that it was  not out.

I pulled out of the lot and did not run him over. I bet I could have it had occurred to me at the time. Instead I was thinking Ahhhhhhhh Penis!

And then I went back to work .I decided since I wasn't hurt or scared, it wasn't important. A couple of hours later started thinking that he may of flashed other people who potentially could be hurt or scared by his wagging.  I should have called immediately, I did call, hours later and was told that some one had all ready reported a "suspicious" man on campus but the other caller hadn't gone into detail about what she saw and she refused to identify her self or make out a report. I gave them chapter and verse and wasn't shy about giving them everything short of my Mothers maiden name and then I submitted to a lecture about letting the police decide what is and is not important

Weenie Wagger wagged  his weenie one to many times.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lawn and Garden

I think the house looks much nicer when it looks like some one lives here.

This is normally not hard to achieve but this spring its been raining. A Lot, and it turns out weeds love rain . I'm not sure how the actual grass feels about it because I don't have any but the weeds are thrilled. So thrilled in fact that they are growing like steroidal baseball players.

My push mower is not able to compete in the big leagues. Mr. Mower is great when yard only grows a quarter of an inch a month, Mr. Push Mower is in his element, he gets  all excited over this non-growth and he is large and in charge. Sadly, this year he is small and in the shed.

This year it is not draught and the yard grows a quarter of an inch an hour. It was getting so out of hand I was worried the city was going to leave some sort of curt  "Dear Home Owner"note on the door reminding me about  statutes and making a point about fines.

Instead of paying the city, I paid the little lawn mower man to do it. Again. Normally over the summer I pay him maybe once or twice the whole span of the summer and when I go on vacation. I've never had to pay him this early or this often. The  environmentally conscience push mower seemed like such a good idea when there wasn't much to mow and when it didn't rain every day.  I have mowed in March but a dry March wasn't that big a deal to the push mower. If I had tried with the mower this year I would have had a stroke and I think it would have died from over exertion.

Moving on to the back yard, clearly I didn't let the lawn mower many back there. He's very old and I fear it might kill him. The winter rye is really excited about the spring and the heat isn't killing it like advertised.

I finally got my irrigation issues solved and the hoses down. I also learned how to perform gender reassignment surgery on a hose end - while the surgery was a success the hose herself lost the battle. I had been hoping that all I needed to do was have water pumping through both ends and that would solve the issue of low pressure... The hose was shot, high pressure, low pressure, those cheap soaker hoses have two seasons tops to live and this was season three. I bought a new hose and now the irrigation issue is solved.

I learned that while you need a plan, you also have to know when the plan has to change. In reality, its better to get the job done then waste a lot of time worrying about  how it gets done. A plan is a road map not a commandment. I'll get the weed barrier done this week and I'll be good to go when the plants finally arrive in two weeks.

Speaking of plants

The quality of this sucks but there is a window of time to take successful pictures in the early evening and the window had slammed shut. It does show that the potatoes are getting bigger and almost everyone is perking along. Pots 4,5,6 are sending up shoots. The spuds I planted in the front  by the porch are doing well too but I'm going to have to watch them to make sure I keep enough dirt around them so they can do their thing. I am hoping they are more productive there then the pumpkins were.

Monday, April 2, 2012


I love the annual book sale, I'll miss my Kindle but I did  just order a book on it so we won't be separated for long, to that end,  Pottermore opened its gates and now I have a wishlist.

I think I bought responsibly at the sale too, I didn't buy anything I didn't actually want to read, I tried really hard to not just throw everything into the box on $5 box day - just anything that looked like I would like it - even the Carl Hiaasen golf book, I don't like golf but I imagine that I would like a golf book by Carl Hiaasen, how could I not? And that book/booklet about the author of The Girl Who... books, hey, he died young and wrote interesting books. I'm kind of surprised the hipsters aren't running around in tee shirts with his picture on them.

When I brought new books in, I was responsible and took the old books out. I made some decisions and loaded up some titles that after some soul searching I admitted that I was never going to read and put them in the GWI box. I think I'll be adding to it because paperback detective novels really don't appreciate the way say, first addition hard covers do so I can feel pretty good about setting them free.

I didn't add much to the paperback detective novel population. I ended up with a lot of hardcover titles and only a few cookbooks! I don't know what I'm going to do with two books of Nordic cuisine but  if there really is a difference between  Switzerland and Sweden and I will find it.

I went to the book sale twice, the fist day I paid for books and the second day I paid $5 for a box of books, no questions, no inspections no counting! I got to the sale by 10:30 the second day  and it looked like locusts had been through the place. Saturday, the kids books tables were groaning under the weight of the books piled up, bu Sunday morning they were cleaned to the bone.

Even with the greedy, locust like behavior of my fellow book buyers on Sunday I was still able to find a Christopher Buckley and a very new copy of collect humor pieces from The New Yorker and then about twenty-five pounds of "other" - Others that I am absolutely going to read and only a handful that I bought strictly for the value of having them on my shelf - you really can't have too many books about how moronic Shrub was or the general villainy of the GOP. You also can't have too many books about the value of having pets in your life.

On Saturday after the sale I went across the street to the vet school and tried to go to their open house, sadly, it was over behind I got there and all I got to see was Giraffe skeleton and bulletin board dedicated to the Fellowship of Christian Veterinarians.

Sunday I did the garden, or tried to. I really, really wanted to get the irrigation in and finished. I got it in, I didn't get it finished. I took pictures last fall of how I set it up and that helped immeasurably because every year I have to re-invent the wheel and I am not feeling inventive. I was doing well despite having to throw away two rotted out drip hoses but I was doing okay. I did have to run and buy a new one, but that was not unexpected.

I got the whole thing in, it looked great. And then I turned it on. Sigh.

Two-thirds of the hoses worked. Hose "A" and Hose "C" were going like  super soakers, Hose "B" just lay there like, well, a non-functioning drip hose. I decided what I needed to do was to hook Hose "B" to Hose "A" and Hose "C", so that I could double the pressure and keep but ends of the hose occupied and hopefully, the whole thing full of enough water pressure to make it soak like the other over pressured hoses.

I tried to just attach the hoses because I thought we just hook hoses to each other. We do, we don't just willy-nilly hook soaker hoses together. Its going to take a trip to Home Depot to get the job done.