revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (Laputa)
posted by [personal profile] revdorothyl at 01:03pm on 07/09/2014 under
I'm taking it easier on my ankle again today, after having pushed my limits a bit on Friday's Racine outing, but I'm being thoroughly entertained just looking out the window next to my bed, where American Goldfinches have been busy all morning feeding on the seeds in my sister's Purple Coneflowers.

If I had anything other than an older cellphone with which to take a photo, I'd try to catch a pic, but for now I'm just reveling in the beautiful colors and the dainty skill of the finches in clinging to the flowers and industriously picking out the seeds from their cones.

I could kick myself for all the time and money I used to waste on keeping a thistle seed feeder filled for the Goldfinches and House Finches outside my picture window back in Iowa, when I could've just planted some perennial and hard-to-kill native prairie flowers to feed them for free! :)

And speaking of, now I see a red-tinged House Finch joining the Goldfinches. Neat!

For anyone who's not sure what purple coneflowers are . . . )
revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (Laputa)
posted by [personal profile] revdorothyl at 03:50pm on 15/08/2014 under
Some pics my sister took of our garden and SOME of our freshly picked produce today.

Read more... )
revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (Donna Super Temp)
Okay, so it's been six months since I last posted anything, anywhere, pretty much. And I'm sorry for that.

Here's a quick rundown of some of the highlights: Six Months in Six Minutes (or Less) )

So, except for the broken ankle and current lack of mobility, life is going okay for now. We all still miss my mother every day, but we've drawn closer to one another and made some positive changes in all our lives as we deal with our loss.
revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (What Would Mac Do?)
I need to bring a dessert to the departmental picnic for Religion majors and minors and faculty (including Adjunct Professors, like me) this evening at a nearby park, so I got up this morning and decided to try to make a SWEET cherry tomato pie (instead of the savory pies, tarts, etc. for which recipes abound on the web).

Read more... )

It's a good thing I used only one of the two crusts in my box of refrigerator pie dough to make that yellow cherry tomato tart and decided to use the remaining crust to make an "insurance pie" from canned blueberry filling from the pantry and lots of frozen blueberries from the freezer, with a crumb topping on top. That's the pie I'll be taking with me to the get-together tonight, instead.

The tomato tart IS sweet, but somehow the lemon zest and sugar and cinnamon that I added to the pie filling just made the tomatoes taste even MORE like TOMATOES! So, I'll be eating that at home, by myself. Instead of the dessert I intended it to be, it wants to be eaten with lots of sharp cheese on the side and shredded basil on top. If I alternate a bite of sharp Swiss cheese with each bite of the tart, it's not bad at all!

Lesson learned? No tomatoes in desserts for me.
revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (Laputa)
The subject line pretty much says it all:

1) We're officially into the hot summer weather here, and have been continuously warmer than I care to be for well over a week and a half now, with daily temperatures in the mid-90s F.

2) I seriously despise this hot, humid weather (not least because I know it's only going to get worse and worse throughout the summer, and that it'll last through October, at least).

3) BUT on the 'plus' side of the balance sheet, I picked a handful of ripe yellow cherry tomatoes from my garden this weekend and also got to eat this year's first handful of ripe red and yellow raspberries from my berry patch.

more info on particular tomato varieties )

So . . . I guess the sunshine and warm weather do serve some constructive purpose.


And it's not all that bad just yet, or I wouldn't have been able to spend almost an hour outside just before lunch on Saturday, weeding around my tomatoes and between the raspberry canes. There's nothing quite so motivational (when it comes to getting me to actually weed something) as realizing that all the Creeping Charlie and other invasive weeds were making it impossible for me to find the ripe berries that were already hiding back there.

It was just fortunate that I'd gotten most of the overgrown berry patch weeded BEFORE I pulled up a fistful of weeds on the shady end of the garden and found I'd also grabbed the discarded, slightly dried up skin of a molting SNAKE (it was just a little one, judging by the width of the skin, but it was long enough to give me the heebie-jeebies and make me instantly decide that I'd weeded enough for this weekend and that next time I'd better wear my garden gloves when I pull weeds, no matter how much I prefer bare hands for distinguishing weeds from food-producing plants!).
revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (Laputa)
posted by [personal profile] revdorothyl at 05:11pm on 13/03/2011 under
The clocks go forward, and I'm reminded that if I want to use my $25 coupon in the latest Gurney's seed & nursery catalog, it's getting to be that time.

So, I'm stocking up on red raspberry canes that are supposed to be hardy at least as far south as zone 8, and planning to put the new Anne golden raspberry canes in a SHADY location this time, in hopes that the summer heat won't discourage them as much as it did the ones I planted side by side with my red raspberry canes the year I moved in here (of the 3 or 4 Anne canes which I planted, I think only one plant is still sending out new canes, the others having succumbed to one discouragement or another).

The $25 off coupon (on $50 or more worth of products, plus the $12 s&h fee) just barely manages to make the bare-root dormant raspberry canes from Gurney's more attractive than the potted plants from Hirts (since there's a hefty shipping fee on top of Hirts' very attractive low prices).

I did, however, order a few things from Hirts Gardens that I can't get from Gurney's, nor from the garden center at the nearby Home Depot (which doesn't carry any raspberries in stock, in this area): Formosa creeping raspberries (apparently a golden raspberry found creeping in fields in Taiwan) that I'm hoping may work as ground-cover in parts of my backyard, and four (count 'em, FOUR!) Sungold tomato plants for a very reasonable price.

praise for Sungold tomatoes in a mid-South U.S. climate )

If I happen to come across a decent-looking, cheap cherry tomato of some other variety at Home Depot later this Spring, I may plant some other variety, as well, but based on last year's experience, I'd expect that -- if I don't kill any of the Sungold plants outright -- four of those orange-yellow cherry plants should be enough to keep me in eating and even cooking tomatoes for most of the summer and fall.
revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (Laputa)
posted by [personal profile] revdorothyl at 04:48pm on 12/06/2010 under
I went out to my garden this morning to pick the few raspberries that were ready (only 2 red and 1 gold that were ripe enough to pick this time, though I'd gotten almost an actual handful when I last went out to pick on Tuesday morning) and then checked my tomato plants. [Note to self: dig out old, holey nylon stockings to tie up some floppy tomato branches.]

Yes, there were green tomatoes, both cherry-sized and full-sized, in plenty, but there was also one orange-yellow-ish cherry tomato, so -- after checking the label next to the plant to make sure this wasn't a plant whose tomatoes should turn red before they're picked -- I plucked and ate my first, delicious, sweet SunGold tomato!

I'm not thrilled with the raspberry production so far (lots and lots of foliage, though), but I've got a very good feeling about this year's tomato crop!
revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (Default)
I had to break down and water some of my plants today, after the rain I'd been expecting since Thursday failed to materialize (the tomatoes are well-mulched enough and planted deep enough that they weren't wilting yet, and the raspberry canes were just looking a tad dry, but my pots of basil on the patio were bone dry and awfully limp), and I was thrilled to find that there were not only some unripe raspberries hiding under the greenery, but also one ripe red one and four ripe golden raspberries.

hoping this year will be better than last )
revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (Totoro)
Just as an indication of how few triumphs I've been experiencing lately, let me tell you that I felt absurdly proud last night when I was able to do a stirfry for supper with the veggies provided from my own garden: the first of the rainbow carrots, the last of the sugar snap peas, the almost-last of the purple bush beans, and the first ripe cherry tomatoes.

And yes, all those veggies did seem to taste much better than usual, just knowing that I'd grown them myself.

Of course, I did have to wade through the weeds to find anything to pick (once I plant, I'm pretty much done as far as garden maintenance is concerned, because by the time the seeds and seedlings are in the ground it's usually starting to get way too hot and muggy for me).

But in a strange way that makes the triumph all the sweeter: I battled with the weeds to find the hidden goodies, and I emerged victorious! Yay, me!


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