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

Crematoria




"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


Monday, June 29, 2015

Grill-Meister

I can cook...Yes, Sir I can.  

Not the fancy schmancy stuff on Food Network but good simple fare that keeps them coming back for more.

Can I bake?  

Sure...Some things better than others.  My Oatmeal Craisins keep the folks in the cheap seats hollaring for more.  I suppose I'd be more interested in baking if I could actually eat the stuff. (Ha! Gluten Free Me).

But it's Summer now and there's NO WAY that I'm encouraged to heat up the house to do either. 

Mama takes a break from June till September so if you like salads or nacho's or a simple rice jambalaya or even microwave popcorn...than I'm your girl.

Eventually though, SM's tummy starts reminding him that most food is served HOT and he wants me to grill some real food up.  

Such was the case yesterday morning  when I picked another plethora of summer squash and SM chimed in "Boy, these would sure taste good grilled."

Now usually I just "stew" them.  (Stew is southern for "steam them" in a veggie steamer.)  I toss in some salt and pepper and a slab of butter and I'm a happy camper.

But I do recognize the fact that one of the big reasons SM and I have a happy marriage is because I keep him well fed.  

Seriously Girls...That old adage is true!

 Image result for the way to a man's heart food

Makes me sad that so many of today's young women don't know how to cook.  Or don't care to.  Restaurant food is so blah anymore.  I can cook WAY better than those fools...But I digress.

So since it's hot and Daddy wants some grilled up chow, so be it!

Now the truth is, I have NOT mastered the art of the grill.  
Yeah, yeah, yeah...Low and slow is what they say.  

BULLSHIT.  That's what I say!

Image result for grill fire

I have wasted more food grilling than I've ever lost to the forgotten, moldy depths of my refrigerator.

Now I always thought that grilling was the Man's domain.  

Ugh.  
Fire.  
Me cook.

Image result for neanderthal fire cooking

The few times SM was desperate enough to proceed without me turned out pretty freaken good. 

Pork chops was his thing and he grilled them beautifully.

I heaped tons of praise upon him in the hopes that he might become Grill-Meister extraordinaire!  

Ha!  No such luck.

And so I made my preparations.



Low heat.


Fresh Veg. Spray oil.  (Do you see the seasonings that you gave me Bob?)


So far so good.


And what do you know?  
Success!
And was it ever GOOD!

Move over Boys...I'm taking on the big dogs now!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

June Wrap Up

The 2015 gardening year has surely been an interesting one so far. 



April was colder than normal.  May was dry with no rain and June...Well, June has given us some rain (ie: not much) but has been as hot as August would normally be.


Surprisingly, the garden has hung in there with squash (both winter and summer) being this year's star performer.


We were told that the weather would break with the cold front that moved through yesterday but "ha ha" no such luck unless 5 degrees colder is what you would consider a break.

Supposedly, by the time The 4th of July hits we'll be back in the 100's.



Fingers crossed that I'll be able to get the winter squash to ripen soon and then I'll just cover everything, run back into the air conditioned bliss of my humble abode and wait till September.

You know...That thing called "Fall".

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Hanging In There

First...A bit of history.

SM and I moved to North Carolina in July of 1998.  

SM moved down first in March and lived in an apartment that the company he worked for provided while I stayed up in Ohio working, showing the house and packing things up.

Once I'd completed my notice, I came down in the begining of June to start house hunting and my first thought was "Holy sh*t, we made a mistake."

I had left the mild June weather of Ohio and walked into a Carolina inferno.  Every stinking day of the 2 weeks I was here was over 100 degrees.  I was in shock.  Was this normal?  I was assurred it was not but still...Wow.

I pointed out to SM the other day that this June is very similar to that one.  We've been around 100 degrees everyday for this past week and the long term shows us staying that way through the 4th of July.

The garden is still hanging in there but no longer producing new fruit.  (Except for the squashes for some reason.)  The beans have blooms but few beans.  The same with the tomatos.  The cukes are withering.   

I water everyday (unless by some miracle we get a pop-up) but I feel the plants are kicking into survival mode and it likely won't be too much longer before I start to see them stress. 

I'm curious to see when I'll throw in the towel and in what order I'll stop bothering to water and just let it go.  I've already let one section of beans go since the plants are young and puny.

I find that a certain lethargy is settling in.  These are the days of staying indoors where it's cool (Thank God for the AC) and afternoon naps.  I don't even mind going into work right now.  

At least it's cool there.

 Image result for hot weather funny
 
 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Lure Of The Lake

Every 2 years SM's brother Ronnie and his extended family pool their resources together and rent a huge house somewhere vacationey.  

A lot of times it's at a beach or a mountian retreat.

This time they picked Lake Lure in the mountains of North Carolina, one of SM's favorite places.  

We often go out that way for a day trip in the Fall and loop around the Hendersonville area for apples, cider and donuts.  On the way home SM loves to drive through the switchback curves of Lake Lure.

I've never been there in the summer and it was slightly less hot there than at home.  We enjoyed sitting in the shade and gabbing and got back home late (for me anyways).

I'm always fascintated by these rental homes.  Built specifically for rental income, these homes have 5-6 bedrooms and sometimes just as many bathrooms.  Ron's house for the week sleeps 16!

Whenever I'm at these retreats, I like to envision myself waking up every day to that view.  


Would I take it for granted eventually?


Probably.  And then it occurs to me that the majority of homes along the lake shore are not owner occupied anyway.  

The owner of this one wasn't.  They live in Ashville.  They have a boat house where they keep their boat and use it on weekends.

SM and I had a conversation about that once,  If money was no object and you could go anywhere, do anything...What would you do?

To which we both said travel.  I'd rent a house at the place I wanted to be and live there until I was done seeing everything and then pickup and move on to the next place.

I guess that's why RVing interests us for our retirement years.  

Still, it's always fun to see how the other half lives.  
Or doesn't.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Hot, Hot, Cha, Cha, Cha

The garden continues to go gangbusters with daily pickings of zucchini and yellow summer squashes.  

Golden and green beans are being picked every 3rd day.

The Zinnias have reached critical mass.  



Flowers are exploding everywhere.



But all is not unicorns and rainbows in the back forty.  

Oh no...It's crunch time out there my friends.  

The switch has been flipped and we are in full out Summer time mode.  

Everyday for the near future has been forecast to be between 95 and 100 blistering degrees.  

And better gardeners than I have seen promising gardens go up in smoke during lengthy heat waves.

The lettuce is already toast.  The cucumbers are just starting to grow, the carrots are getting close and I actually have a shot at a bumper crop of winter squash and pumpkins this year.  

For some reason last year all I got was male flowers so for me to see so many baby butternuts and dutch longnecks on the vine is thrilling me to no end.


Trouble is I need at least another month to get them to size and if they don't get adequate water or the plant stresses too much from the heat...Well, then I'll be skunked again this year.

I think a lot of folks assume that we have a long growing season here but actually it's not a continuous growing season for vegetables at least.  

Everything but tomatoes is done by July and then you have to hang out and wait till September if you want to try for a fall garden.

So I'll do what I can.  

When Mother Nature fails to supply us with a daily thunderstorm (few and far between) than the garden hose and I will do that age old gardening dance of summer survival.

Hot, hot??  
Squirt, squirt. 
Cha, cha, cha...