Thursday, July 25, 2013

There's Gold In Them There Hills ( Or Food In That There Kitchen)

This is so far off topic (potting table) that if you want to stop reading now I'll understand.

But it is about food, so you might want to hang in here.

I have a dual relationship with food. When I am happy in a relationship, I'm in that kitchen rattling those pots and pans.

When the relationship starts to go south or is completely over my interest in food dwindles.

When Tony and I split up in 2008 I was so happy not to hear the words "what's for dinner" every night, I took a cooking vacay.

Instead of shopping, chopping, cooking and cleaning up the kitchen, I threw myself in Salsa dancing.

My neighbor Nelda and I went 3 times a week, whether she wanted to or not.

I danced myself down to about 98 lbs.

She danced herself into shoulder surgery.

Luckily for both of us I met GG.

And started to cook again.

I haven't gone back to Salsa after our breakup, I now have shoulder issues of my own.

And I do feed myself in a healthy, utilitarian way.

But there's no spoiling coming outta my kitchen.

Or at least there wasn't till Superman moved in.

This morning I work up to crepes two ways: one with raspberries and blueberries, one with scrambled eggs and ham.

And I still hadn't fully digested last night's dinner of fried rice with vegetables. But I'm not complaining, please.

Bet his wife misses the hell out of him!

( And he's even getting used to living with a blogger, camera at the ready).

He's here till December.

Dinner anyone?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The No Dog Days Of Summer

There's a big ole moon out there tonight and it's hot, but not too hot, no humidity.

It's the kind of night that makes you wish you had a dog so you could take a walk in the moonlight.

But I don't, so I won't.

 I've turned off the air in the living room and have the windows open and I can hear the cicadas and the traffic and hopefully I'll hear Gus soon because it's almost bedtime.

I spent an hour tonight weeding a little patch of earth that holds nothing more than 3 wooly thymes, one mystery portulaca, the mystery being will it bloom or won't it, a pot of purple Hyacinth beans, and three pieces of flagstone. It was the Lab's spot to greet Beau, the dog next door, at the fence. This is where they hung out and gossiped.

There were many weeds embedded in the thyme. I painstakingly pulled them out, gave it all a good drink of water and a coating of fresh mulch.

 I ignored the big bed with all the weeds hidden behind the black eyes susans and just focused on the spot in front of me.

It was a Zen as I get.

Tomorrow I"ll take a picture and post this. ( I just took this picture and I already see a few weeds, aaargh)

We'll all mark the date and then see how long it takes it to turn into tanglewood again.

I give it a week,

I loved all your flowers. I appreciate that it takes time and energy to link up but so many people come by to see our flowers, some leave comments, others just look, and then go to your house to look some more: the rewards seems far greater that the energy spent.

It's a lovely way to spread some goodness.

And who doesn't need a little goodness in their lives.

Love and thanks to all who participated and all who came to see.

xo Jane

(Next post, potting bench, promise.)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Flowers In The House Of Hydration: July 2013

6:00am: wake up to a cat's paws patting your face, rather insistently.

Very reluctantly open your eyes and see two cats sitting on the bed with expectant faces, like you promised to take them to the circus for god's sake.

Get up, drip espresso, add ice and milk, feed cats, find sunglasses, open back door.

See the potting table you bought off Craigs List sitting in the back yard. All three of you are surprised.  You because you forgot, it all happened quickly and after work, the cats because they hadn't seen it till now.

You walk down the stairs, the cats leap from deck onto potting table and begin sniffing. The woman who made it has dogs.

What a morning. Rain and cloudy skies in the forecast. Forecast be damned, full sun.

Walk around the garden and decide on a green and white theme for FITH. Hope to project a cooling feeling. Already covered in sweat.

Pick, strip, plunge into pitcher of water, flowers I mean, spray on bug repellent, ice more espresso and get to work in the garden.

10:00am: switch to sparkling water and lemon syrup. Drink deeply.
11:00am same
12:30 ditto.

Leave garden, eat, shower, fall into deep sleep in airconditioned house. Nice.

3:00pm: Decide to use green vases to follow theme. Go up in attic to unearth some. Negate shower.
Make mess in kitchen arranging flowers in vases. Make and ice more espresso. Sweep.
4:30pm: Move vases and shells around, take pictures in a hurry. Friend in from out of town and bringing over her 6 year old son to visit.

6:00pm: go out for fish tacos and limeades.
7:00pm:come home and find yourself playing a hot and sweaty game of soccer with 6 year old.
Score a trillion points. A TRILLION I tell you.
He's a generous goalie.

8:00pm, back on the sparkling water and the computer.

9:00pm, post written.

Gardenias in kitchen window.
Washing dishes no longer a chore.

Dining room green vase full of the first of the limelight hydrangeas, mandevilla vine, oregano, lisianthus, coneflower,lemon verbena,and baptisia greens.

Living room, another green vase full of scents. Rose geranium, pineapple mint, verbena, oregano, abelia, painted fern and more mandevilla.

And on a shelf, a little vase filled with the leftovers, a bit of bush ivy, herbs and a sprig of acorns.

I love FITH, I would never have so many flowers unless I was having people over.

And I am aren't I?

Now, off to your house. I'll stop by Starbucks on the way. Latte anyone?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

What Are You Doing New Year's, I Mean Monday?

Well hello there.

(This was the eyeopener I was greeted with this morning.)
As I'm sure you all know by now, the east coast is sweltering away.
We have heat and humidity, no rain and huge mosquitoes.

But we also have gardens full of flowers.

So I propose, come Monday, we do what we do best.

We pick an armload of the little buggers and fill a few vases for July's FITH.

Then we link up here and let the magic happen.

And if you're deep into winter?

Invite us over anyway and show us a flower painting, or a jug full of snowdrops.

We would all enjoy a moment of chilly weather.

A chance to put on a sweater and have a hot cup of cheer.

Won't be having that here for months to come.

So summer people, show us what you got, and winter people, bask in the warmth and if you can turn on your ovens,( we can't) maybe bake us a pie.

But come hell or high water, we're having a party on Monday.

The hibiscus are ready.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hot Town

I think I am always the last person in my hood to turn on the airconditioning.

 Maybe the last person in the county.

Yesterday's 89 degree temps didn't phase me, I even got one big bed weeded. And this included going over to my neighbor's yard and pulling miles of bindweed off her fence and my plants.

Who knew that was a yew?

But today I have surrendered and after returning home from Physical Therapy at 10:30 I caved.

The house is now filled with the sound of window units humming.

The roommate is asleep in his cool, dark cave after another midnight shift, the cats are outside trying to get water from the hose and I'm gulping down sparkling water and lemon syrup.

All plans for my day off are put aside and I'm planning on a day of, I don't know, maybe relaxation?

I miss the sounds of the birds though, and I have to keep an eye on those cats so I dash out for a moment or two of the garden.

The plants are loving the heat..

Everything's coming up rudbeckia in my yard.

Correction: after 4 hours sleep Superman just left to go play soccer.,

Geez, nobody has ever made me feel lazy before.

And yes, since you asked, he's still cooking and on Saturday he spent to hours cleaning and beautifully arranging my basement (which he calls the closet), dug out the rest of the fig tree's roots and made plans to start revamping the drainage system in the always flooding back yard.

Of course I took him out to eat Thai.

Hell, I'd fly him to Thailand if he wanted. 

Somewhere, sometime I must have done something right.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

As I Was Walking : The Follow Up

Neither heat, humidity or swarms of mosquitoes can keep me away from a story.

You want follow up on the reuse of the pallets into a raised bed?

I got it.

It took several days of walking to work and either forgetting my camera or hiding under an umbrella and gazing forlornly at this cool structure before I finally got a break at work and a break in the rain and ran down the street to point and shoot.

Initially the driveway was filled with pallets and the (this part is important) young man who has a girlfriend was taking them apart board by board, to create a 15ft. raised bed. This is all that is left

And this is his creation.
 Posts sunk into the ground are strung with heavy picture wire attached with eye hooks, providing a background for the many vines to climb.

His tomatoes and eggplant are heavy with fruit, his melons covered with blossoms.

He is the plant whisperer.

I have a fungal infection, well my Sungold does and my zucchini bears flowers but no fruit.
I feel like Eve, after the apple.

I shall have to keep a close eye on his crops.
But if there were to be any "foraging" you wouldn't read about it here.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Extra, Extra, Read All About It

You will love this.

The new roommate officially arrived today. After hours at the airport, first in Seattle, finally getting to but not out of, North Carolina, he gave up on flying, rented a car, arrived at the Pentagon at 4:30am, worked what was left of his shift, ran some errands, returned the rental car, unpacked, took a 4 hour nap and was waiting for me when I came home to ask what I wanted for dinner.

I'm rooming with Superman!

 And Superman, Lt. Colonel Superman to you, made chicken breasts, with rice and a light mushroom sauce.

Gus still isn't sold on him but Lucy and I think he rocks.

Update: Gus is now hanging in his room with him going through all of his stuff. He just attempted to make away with some special earbuds, but was found out and had to give them back.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Too Hot To Handle?

Here's how we beat the heat in 93degree Virginia.

Grow succulents.

Or Queen Anne's Lace from seeds that may or may not have come home with us from Monticello last fall.
If you're the Guster, stay inside in the AC.

If you're the neighbors, put in a pool.
And then hope your next door neighbor isn't a blogger who takes pictures of it.
What's your cure for the summertime blues?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

As I Was Walking

First off is your Google Reader still in working order?

 Mine seems to be.

Ah, sweet mysteries of life.

Anyhow, back to my real reason for posting.

I was walking to work yesterday when I saw a man taking apart a stack of pallets in his driveway.

Doing anything cool with those I asked?

Yes he said, I'm building a 15foot raised bed on the side of my house.

He was surrounded by plants in pots just waiting for their new resting place.

 There were heirloom tomatoes, lemon cucumbers, Malabar spinach and pots and pots of I don't remember. He said he had put the collection together plant by plant, with great love and a true sense of garden adventure I thought

We checked out the construction site. Nice. He should be blogging, maybe he is, I didn't ask.

But as I walked on, now late for work, I realized this is what I miss about not being in a relationship.

The planning and plotting and finally the realization of a dream, be it a new bed in the garden or a party on the 4th of July.

So I imagined writing an ad for a mate to include: Must love gardening, cats and dogs, cooking and eating, feeding others, working out, working in, reading, dancing, laughing, crying, politics, flowers in the house and my friends and neighbors of course.

Luckily I'm enjoying a relationship with myself just now and I fit the bill perfectly.

Still it would be nice to have someone else clean the kitty litter every now and again.

Just saying.