Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Weekend Job

Remember the LARGE zucchinis from the mom garden? And the load of tomatoes, cucumbers and the half-ton of basil?

Harvest from Mom's garden

They now look something like this:

Rewards of harvest!

Not too shabby - 6 loaves of zucchini bread, 7 quarts of cucumbers, 2 quarts and a pint of tomatoes, and 5 pints of pesto.  The pickles will be extra garlic-y, which is perfectly fine with me!

This was my first time canning anything, and I knew it would be a lot of work, but I was a bit unprepared for just how much I decided to tackle.  Oh, and in case you are wondering - that was only one of the three large zucchinis that made 6 loaves. I figure at the end of this whole deal that I will have made 18 - 20 loaves of bread, if that is what I choose to do with all that zucchini.

Next up is Golden Pear Tomato Jam, and I am REALLY excited about this one. Sweet with a little zing from the hot peppers.

And don't worry, Mom. All of your bowls are washed and in the bag ready to go back to your house. And who knows, there may be a loaf of bread in your freezer, along with a jar of pesto when you get home....

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My Mother's Garden

My parents have taken their annual trip to Japan to see their grandchildren. As they are like many people I know, they run out of time to get everything done around the house and yard before leaving. Sound familiar? As this was the case again for this trip, Mom asked me if I would be willing to go out and harvest some stuff from her garden "so that the birds won't get all of it." So I drove out last night and harvested some items.

rutabaga, carrots, butternut squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, raspberries, zucchini and a LOT of basil

So it would appear that I will be canning tomatoes, making pickles and pesto, and most likely a LOT of zucchini bread.  This is why I say a LOT of zucchini bread:

The fork is for perspective, it is a full size dinner fork.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

My Excuses for Not Posting Sooner, aka An Exercise in Hyperbole

This was a note sent to a dear friend, which outlines how things have been going as of late.

Hello, beautiful friend!

As usual, time is flying by.  I feel like everything has gone off the rails, and I don’t know what I can or need to do to get everything back on track.  Bet you know what that feels like.

Here’s a round-up of what is going on in the life of the crazy girl in Minneapolis….
Weeds have taken over the back yard, and I am worried that they will never leave, even if I pull them out.

The lawn hasn’t been mown in two weeks, and is now a strange combination of tall green weeds and brown dormant grass.

The garden is good – tomatoes and peppers and cucumbers are all doing well, the herbs are ridiculous. The bunnies have finally left the kale alone, so maybe I will be able to harvest that.

The laundry keeps piling up.  I swear that I will start going naked just so I don’t have to wash any more clothes!  And there are only two of us!!!!!! And it never seems to be fully put away. There are piles everywhere!

The dog-fur tumbleweeds and dust bunnies have taken over the living room and bedroom.

There is mail all over the dining room table – and most of it is not mine, but the majority of it is junk.

For some reason, the dishes in the kitchen have yet to figure out how to open the dishwasher and jump in. I have been trying to teach them this for 6 years.  Boy, are they dumb! So they just keep piling up and making more little dirty dishes.

The bathroom is in desperate need of a good thorough cleaning. DESPERATE NEED.

All the floors need to be swept and mopped, and the rug in the living room has enough fur on it to make another dog.

The hedges need to be trimmed again – and again and again and again.  Troublesome things.

The garage needs to be cleaned and straightened, but there is a motorcycle right in the middle blocking EVERYTHING, and has been for two years.

Both cars need to be washed and vacuumed out.  Ick.

I still have not put away the suitcase from the last round of tradeshow travels.  But it has only been 21days.

Oh, and it is HOT outside.

Does any of that sound familiar?  I’ll bet it does.

Missing you and your lovely family.  I need some friend time.  And I have a present for your lovely daughter for her birthday.  Here’s hoping that we can hook up soon, as you are WAY more important that anything that I have on my list!  I hope you are having a wonderful day, and will have a wonderful weekend, too!



Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Where is the Rain?

Apparently Mother Nature has one heck of a sense of humor! She let it rain all over us for the month of May, almost the wettest May on record, and now we have had not a drop of rain since it has been June. I put the sprinkler on the garden last night, something I don't like to do if it can be helped, but the poor little plants looked so weak and sad.  If it can't rain from the sky, it will rain from the hose.  I had grand plans to pull weeds from the garden, but didn't care to sit in the sprinkler to do it, so I opted to dead-head the peonies and iris.

And do you know what those peonies did as thanks?  Developed powdery mildew! So now I am going to try some organic fixes to see if I can fix it, or at least stop it.  It is only the two in the back yard, the peonies along the side of the house and the one in the front are fine.

Tonight when I get home from work, and before we meet some friends for a birthday dinner, I am going to have to water all my poor babies in the front of the house. There are some SERIOUSLY droopy plants in the front of my house.

And they aren't predicting rain in the very near future.  Funny Mother Nature. I just don't get your humor.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Last of the Peonies

This is the first year that I have put hoops up for the peonies. Of course, this is the first year that they have been this big.  And they would have been more standy-up if it hadn't been for all of the rain we received this May. But they are still lovely.  And they smell good, too.

This is the year of the stunted rhubarb, however.  I normally will get at least two big harvests from it before it gets too warm, but this year I haven't even harvested once. It is very strange. What an odd early summer - Lots of rain, brazen bunnies, ravenous birds and stunted rhubarb. Next I will be told that down is up and up is down, and won't that make planting things hard!

I wonder what will happen this June....

Friday, June 1, 2012

Vegetable Garden - aka Bunny Salad Bar

bunny paradise
This is the first year that I have decided to grow more vegetables in the back garden.  I moved the herbs, except the thyme and chives, to pots to grow so that I would have room for veggies.  I planted more tomatoes (with the hope of canning them or making salsa, or both!) and more peppers, too.  And this year, two of the three lovely trellis will have beans and cucumbers!  The middle one will have the pretty sweet peas that my husband insists upon (nitrogen fixer - yep, I married a biologist!).  Along with those, I have garlic, onions and some little lettuce mixes, and kale!  Yay kale!

It's funny - this seems to be the year of the pots.  In addition to the herbs in pots, I started some strawberries in pots, too.  Those cute little ones with the openings on the side that you can put the stringers into as they grow.  The plants have lots of little green berries ripening.  I hope that I can beat the birds to them!

All of this growing stuff leads to troubles with bunnies. They seem to believe that I planted all of this JUST FOR THEM!  And they graze and nibble with impunity - IN BROAD DAYLIGHT!  Oh, if I could run faster we could have a wonderful herb-y bunny stew.

The trouble is, I am frustrated and angry when they eat my food, but my big, soft heart thinks they are really cute.  I can't win!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Amaryllis - surprise!

Ooh!  Here is what I have blooming at my house!  it was a total surprise, like those ladies who have babies and didn't know they were pregnant.

Double Bloom, with another bloom on the way. 
Well, not REALLY like that.  But still a surprise.
"All right, Mr. DeMille, I am ready for my close-up."