Monday, October 5, 2015

All Is Well

SM and I had last week off and rather than stick around here in the rain (we had no idea how bad it would get at the time) we took off for a road trip.

SM wanted to go to Boston.
I suggested New Orleans.
Hilton Head?  


I had been to Niagara and Toronto before on my own but SM had never been, so that's where we headed.

Canadian Falls and "Yes" it was cold.
Ripleys Aquarium in Toronto was stunning.

Right about Wednesday we were watching late night TV and here comes a report about Joaquin.

I sat up straight when I saw they thought the track might go through Charlotte.

Needless to say, we dodged a bullet there.  Neighbors tell me that we had several inches of rain but NOTHING like whats going on in SC.

On the way home we did swing by Cleveland's West Side Market for the smoked meats and delicious cheeses that we just can't get locally.  We packed our cooler full and then went back in for fresh eating.  SM munched on pickled eggs and bratwurst.  We both shared a Neapolitan and I found heaven in a lemon macaroon.

We finished up our travels in Columbus.  It just worked out that SM's brother Ron was having his 72nd birthday party this past weekend.  Great party and a nice surprise for Ron who didn't know we were in the area.

I've got today off for doing laundry and cleaning the house.
Maybe mow the overgrown lawn.
Back to the grind tomorrow!

Monday, September 28, 2015

In The Mist

We've finally hit a patch of rainy weather.  

Well, mist actually.  

Maybe some heavier drizzle from time to time. 

Unfortunately, it's misted every day this weekend so no outdoor fun occurred around here.

In fact, another storm system is supposed to push out the drizzly clouds that's been sitting on top of us in favor of some honest to goodness rain.

It's forecast to rain everyday this week.
Can't imagine how tall the grass will be by the time we can finally mow it.
I might need to borrow a goat or two.

This flowering vine has taken off and is crawling all over the deck.  I cut it back a bit but it's going bananas with the rain.

SM calls it a Hummingbird Vine. 

I don't know if that's the true name of it but most days we see a small male hummingbird flit around the flowers.

Even in the misty rain.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Dry and Drying

No kidding...but it's been dry here.  Fall is usually our driest season and with little to no rain this Summer, the lawn has finally reached the crispy stage.  

We've been mowing once a week up until now but moving forward, I think we'll catch a break on that at least.  

I noticed our neighbor de-thatching his lawn and raising up a dust storm while doing it.  This is the season for over seeding the lawn around here.  Hard to believe anyone would want to be chained to twice daily watering but there you have it.

Even I've vetoed a Fall garden because of the dry spell.  Who wants to have to baby a garden space like that?  I've even passed on planting Mums and Pansies. 

I must say it been rather pretty outside.  
Cool mornings, warm to hot afternoons. 

Zinnia production is way down right now so I've taken to saving the flower heads and drying them for a seed save.  I've planted them in the same spot for years and can't seem to get them to re-seed year over year on their own.

I'll try saving this batch and planting them in a different spot and see if I can get them to grow.

SM has been out enjoying his Man-Cave.  Football season in high gear!


What's Fall like in your backyard?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Beauty And The Beast

Sorry for the silence on the blog.  
Everything's fine.

It's just that August wiped me out heat-wise.  And humidity-wise.

If you enjoy breathing through a hot, wet washcloth then Charlotte, North Carolina is the place for you to be in August.

So I went into blah mode.  
At least from a creative writing perspective that is.

Life still chugs along but it's been mostly work related activities that have occupied my time.  (I've got new Tech to learn this month (Online Training) and Clinical's start next month so it will be a busy Fall.)

So...Lets wrap up the Summer Garden of 2015, shall we?

August could best be described as The Beauty and The Beast month. 

We had tons of butterflies in the Zinnia patch.

It's been a hot summer and very dry so everything died off early.  I'd been accumulating cardboard in my trunk to lay in the beds so one day I asked SM to help me clear out the dead vines.

And that's when we found The Beast(s).

While I was fascinated with the masses of squash bugs we found hiding under all the dead vines, I was also freaked out and pissed off that they were there.

So I looked up how to eradicate them and dragged the Shop Vac out to the garden, filled it with few inches of soap water and proceeded to vacuum my garden.  (I'm sure the neighbors had a good laugh.) 

Word got out as I sucked those bastards up and suddenly the ground and fence posts were in motion with the Evacuation of the Squash bug.


I will say the Shop Vac/soapy water combination worked beautifully.  I went out the next day to inspect the garden and there wasn't a squash bug in sight.  

I have no idea where they went but suspect I'll be invaded with them next year.  Sigh.

In other news, SM is in full football mode now and has set up his Man Cave on the back porch.  We've purchased a small TV that we take in and out as needed.  SM also bought a swivel rocker that was on sale and hung some cord lighting around the edge of the deck roof.  

It's pretty sweet back there although with the heat I'm like a butterfly myself fluttering in and out.

I'm sitting outside now as I write this.  Believe it or not...It's 57 degrees out this morning.

Yeah me!  Fall is FINALLY on it's way!  
One more week of upper 80's and then I'll be in my favorite season of all.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Still Here...

But I got nothing.  Mid-Summer slump I guess. 

Sorry for the lack of posts lately but I've been pretty mellow and not into the whole blogger thing.  

This happens from time to time with me.  I expect it does with you all too.

So what's up?

The garden is quiet except for the random tomato or squash.  The only thing that's putting out is the Zinnia bed (and for that I'm grateful.)  We've fallen into a more reasonable pattern of temps in the 90's with an infrequent shower here and there.  They've told us we're in "Stage 1 Drought" which doesn't impact me as the garden is finished and I don't water my lawn anyway.

SM and I are busy with work and are too tired to do much once we get home so there's nothing new to report there.  I know we're both looking forward to Fall and getting active again.

I chased SM out of the house this weekend and up to Ohio for a family gather (his side) this weekend.  I wasn't feeling the long drive (since we'd been there last month) so I opted out.  I told SM that he didn't need me whining at him that it was past my bedtime (8:30) when he was with his brothers at the bar, smoking cigars and having a good laugh.  (I tend to be the party pooper around here.)

And to be honest it's sometimes nice to be alone.  Not that I'm really alone with three dogs shadowing my every move, but you get my drift.  

I mowed the lawn and went grocery shopping and did a bunch of laundry yesterday.  I thought about cleaning the carpets and decided to wait until today for that.  Good thing as Scooter puked up a wad of grass that he'd eaten.  I saw that this morning and had to shake my head at the irony.

Anyhow...I'm boring ya'll with mindless blather, so how about some selfies?

                                       Holy Shit!  When did I get so gray??? 

And there you go.
Just another quiet day around here.  
Ya'll have a good one...

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Mens Work

SM and I were watching an old Western on AMC this morning.

 Image result for warlock western movie

Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda, Anthony Quinn in Warlock, a 1959 gunslinger with the typical showdown, shoot em up bang-bang of good guys vs bad guys.

Of course, the two chicks in the movie ran around wringing their hands and making sad moo-moo eyes at their respective beloveds eminent demise.

SM's sipping his coffee and I'm sucking on a Mt Dew which, lets face it, makes me a bit more sparky than SM.

"Why don't these chick's do something?"  I said annoyed. 

"Like what?"  SM asked.

"I don't know.  They always stand on the sidelines in these movies.  I know if it were me, I be getting me a gun."  I retorted.

"Too heavy.  Your wrist couldn't even hold Gerry's pistol."  (Our friend Gerry is big into guns and was showing SM one of his latest acquisitions which felt like it weighed 20lbs.)

 Image result for women in the old west

"Grab a rifle...Grab a bat.  Bean him over the head with a frying pan."  I was getting blood thirsty.

"Nah.  Let the men handle it."  SM replied.  

And they did, in typical Spaghetti Western fashion.

Later, when I was in the garden picking flowers and slapping mosquitoes it occurred to me that if I had been born 200 years ago my outlook on life would be entirely different than it would be now.  The culture of the times would have made me an entirely different person than I am today.

Seems to me that today's girls are a lot more aggressive with each other and with their men than they need to be.  

Of course there's a time and a place for everything, frying pan included.

Just seems to me that we've maybe lost the subtle art of feminine aggression.

Maybe there's a place for the moo-moo eyes after all...?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Cupcakes And Donuts (A Conversation)

So SM and I are watching the news the other day and it appears that Ashley Madison has been hacked.

 Image result for ashley madison hack

"What's that?  A bakery?"  In my mind it sounded like one of those frilly girly places that made fancy cupcakes and donuts.

Or maybe sold women's purses.  (This is how my simple brain works.)  I couldn't figure out what the fuss was over a business I'd never even heard of and said as much to SM.

"It's a website for married people who want to cheat.  Kinda like a dating service."  SM informed me.

To say my eyebrows were in my hairline is an understatement.

"Why would married people need to date?"  I asked, cupcakes exploding in my head.

"It's a hook up place."

"Have you heard of it before?"  I asked.

"Sure."  He says nonchalantly.

"Am I ignorant or innocent?"

"Tami, you have no idea how much stuff like that is on the Internet."

"Hm.  Well, I've said it before and I'll say it again...If you wanna cheat, go for it but could you do me a favor?  Find one that doesn't mind housework and has a job so you can bring her home and she can contribute around here.  If you're getting something out of it I might as well too."

SM laughs.  

We've been together long enough that the jealousy we had in our younger days is long gone.  

At my age, I'd be grateful for another set of hands around here so the idea of a second wife is OK by me.

Cupcakes and donuts, indeed!!!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Mid July Wrap Up

There comes a time in each gardening season where the garden just succumbs to Mother Natures demands.

Succumb...Now that's a word you don't use every day.

I think the pattern is set for us this year.  Hot and dry.  Considering that, I think we've done pretty well by our Summer Garden.

I just went out and picked the last (I expect) of the Summer Yellow Squash.  The SVB's have finally arrived and flat lined the zucchini.  The yellows are sure to follow but all in all I'm thrilled to have had what I consider the best year ever for production.  Last year, I think I maybe got a pot full before the SVB' killed them.

I also did a second Winter squash pull.

After rinsing in (very light) bleach water, I dried them and stuck them in the spare bedroom to cure.  

Take this picture and triple it.

I've got Winters curing everywhere.

My green and yellow beans died a quick death along with the cucs.  They just couldn't take the heat.  I tried a (new to me) Asian Long Bean this year.  Once they bloomed they grew at an alarming rate.  

The taste is mild and I liked them best as a quick toss on the grill but I honestly couldn't get past the asphalt gray color that these pretty purple beans turned once exposed to the heat.  I gave the rest to the dogs and shrugged that off as a neat experiment.  

If they're available in GREEN next year, I'll try them again.

After a slight pause due to the hot and dry weather, the Zinnia's are putting out again this week after a surprise pop-up gave them a nice drenching.

All in all though I think this week will tie it all up and we'll close up shop until September.  We're back in the 100's with no rain forecast.  

Oh well...

Sunday, July 12, 2015


"There's the sun."  SM says as we're sitting out on the back porch enjoying the early morning bird song.  (I had already watered the garden during the pre-dawn.)

"Once the sun comes up over the tree line..." SM continues, "I swear it feels like that Riddick movie.  We're all scrambling to get out of the sun."

"Crematoria."  I say.  "Which isn't far from the truth.  I was out picking up dog poo and you'd be surprised how most of them have turned into charcoal briquettes."

This heat is wearing on my last nerve.  

And we've got at least another 60 days of it before our typical mid September break.

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Year Of The Squash

Have I mentioned lately that I am having a bumper year with squash? 

Summer, Winter...Doesn't matter.  I've got the stuff coming out of my ears!

Winter Squash is all mine.  No sharing the stuff, I love it that much.  Nobody gets to eat it unless they come to my house for dinner.

Summer Squash is a different story.  Fresh eating is the only way it tastes good to me.  I tried freezing it one year and put it in soups that winter but I didn't like the texture and taste. 

I'm grateful for the abundance of Summer Squash I have right now.

And even more grateful for the like minded people out there who don't mind taking it off my hands.  There's less of them out there than you might think. 

 Image result for squash vegetable meme

My "go to" is Mario who works the front reception area in the building where my offices are.  Mario is as tall as he is wide.  An affable giant of a man who works the room helping patients find their doctors, getting elderly folks seated and babies stop crying when they see his smiling face.

Mario always asks me "How's that garden doing?" and is more than willing to take excess veggies off my hands to feed his troops at home.  

Seems like his kids don't question it if it's fried.

Anyhow, I'm hoping to pull some of the mature winters off this weekend.  The main plants are dying back (due to the Summer Inferno that just will not go away!

But the ends are green and blooming and putting out new babies, so who am I to complain? 

 Image result for squash vegetable meme

It's interesting that this year seems to be The Year of The Squash.

I haven't been able to get a squash plant to mature in 4+ years due to the dammed SVB's!  This year nothing, nada...Seems that Mother Nature has found a way and corrected the issue all on her own.

If only I could get her to turn the oven down.  It's been just too freaken HOT this year.

Image result for i'm melting wicked witch gif