Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Updated cat pictures

Some pictures of kitty Christmas presents; or otherwise.  Gremlin is in the tent, Bandit is on the chair on the Christmas blanket, Scooter, the orange cat went to the vetenarian today as part of his Christmas checkup.  the other picture is Princess laying in the new cat scratcher/lounger, Gremmy rolling in catnip and Elfin in the cat bed.  All new.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday afternoon in November

The top picture is my husband hefting two of the mature tromboncino squashes, each weighs around 20 to 30 lbs.  So far hanging in the gazebo is around 10 mature squashes hanging, and on the vines are many more.  I don't know how long he will let them stay on the vines as he is getting antsy to prepare new plantings for the brussels sprouts and other cruciferous crops.  There are a couple knitting pictures taken at a restaurant we enjoy, one tiny shawl in brown will be one of the flower basket shawls; the picture of the vinca was all washed out and not pretty, and the rainbow one is knit by my friend Colleen and I am making the same shawl in the same yarn and colors. The bottom picture is me in the squashes; I am about 5'5" now so you can see how long the squashes get.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Garden today before I pick more of the brandywine tomatoes, and squashes and those shrubs of basil.
Oh, and Bleu likes to hang out in the cat carriers; each cat seems to have a preference, although there are three that look the same to me.  Gremlin sleeps in one at night, when he isn't laying between my lower legs holding me hostage all night long.

Yarn I have tried to show off

This was a gift from a friend for my birthday and I have had trouble uploading it from my photo program, but maybe now my Mac will let me put it there.

Friday, October 17, 2008

oops, forgot to say...

If you are a knitter, you will plainly see that I did NOT follow the pattern correctly on that previous post. It should be a diamond shape, not diagonal. OOOPS, not right but still not bad to look at.

long time again between posts

Sorry it has been so long since I last posted, the garden is still going strong, the tomatoes are slowing, which is a good thing as I don't feel all covered in tomato juice all the time, the squashes are awesome, someday I will take pictures. The chilies are amazing, I even gave away a couple of varieties of chilies to the Sears guy delivering the newest freezer today. That new one is awesome, has compartments so hopefully we can track food by either dates or cuisine; like the Asian in one compartment, Italian in another; the beef and the pork overflowed into other compartments; guess we won't have to shop for a good long while, and the pantry is much the same. Handy in this economy. It got to the point in tossing food out (lots of chili and soups and stuff like that) that my hubby started tossing my cherished tupperware out and I wasn't even fighting to keep it. I have no idea how many chicken tortilla soups are in there. Knitting wise, I am trying shawls; not well but trying. I have gorgeous yarns and patterns. Wish me luck. Oh, and I had to order another set of Harmony Needles to accomodate the larger sizes needed for shawls.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Tomatoes and more tomatoes

I wish I had a clean kitchen, I really do because then I would take pictures of all the pretty colors of tomatoes. And these are the ones that were saved out from the fire roasting of the night before. Those are awesome smelling and then we re-roasted the serranos and jalapenos and we tossed all of them together. I need to get the mouli mill out to get the tomato skins off and the seeds out. Then can them up.
The Brandywine tomatoes are still going for Guiness records I guess; the green ones are still about 7 inches or more across and shocked the friend of my husband who grew Mortgage Lifter and other big ones and never saw tomatoes so large. The squashes are growing and while we pollinate them ourselves due to a dearth of bees, some of the pollinations didn't take but others have. I have visions of tromboncinos that are the baseball bat size yet again.
That is it for the garden report; time to put stuff away.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Trekking 100 socks are not done

I didn't finish the socks in time for the Ravelympics; I still have the foot and the toes to do. But it will be done; the cats seem to approve of the socks.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

It isn't my fault, of course

For Weeks I have wanted to take pictures of the garden (mess) that I have going but the major problem with an incredible small space is not being able to back up far enough to get pictures of tomato plants that are 8 feet and more; some much more but they are not getting any more staking than that. The tomatoes are producing extremely well, all the heirlooms are producing better than they ever have. All the volunteer tomatoes are ripening, we have been eating grape tomatoes that are red, but I am still waiting to see if any of the yellow ones show up. I have huge trusses of round tomatoes that seem to be the type that are used for the "tomatoes on a vine" that one buys in the markets. I wouldn't be surprised, my cutting board that is a juice catcher would keep the seeds for the compost pile so who knows what is growing where they popped up? Tonight for dinner, we used the so far, biggest Cherokee Purple for the chicken tacos. I loved that they were not so juicy that they were hard to handle and not totally full of seeds. The size of the seeds reminds me of the Black Plums so I don't want to eat those in case they taste like them too. The Cherokee Purple tasted great and now my husband is even happier with having trellised and re-trellised more of them today and saw how laden they were with fruits. Last nights' Greek Salad had the Box Car Willie Tomatoes in it and they were extremely tasty, more so than I had been led to believe.
I asked my husband to take one of his fancy-schmancy cameras out to the garden to try to capture not just the size of the plants, but the size of the fruits. He has all sorts of lenses for all his cameras as he will probably go pro again. Oh, and he picked all kinds of chilies today, so that made him purchase mango, papayas, pineapples and who knows what today. I don't know if he plans on using the passion fruits that keep dropping like little bombs out front. Husband will make hot and sweet killer salsa that would hurt most mere mortals but is excellent with chicken and fish. Thank goodness for the pressure canner, besides the fish he catches (this is albacore and mahi-mahi season) he makes salsas, and I want to can up tomatoes and pickle some of my spicy peppers. Most of the red jalapenos are going to be packed in tuna for pressure canning but otherwise I love them as cheese poppers.
My thai basils are growing sooo incredibly well, time to make more Thai dishes. Oh, and I can't even go into how many tangles the various varieties of cucumbers have gotten into, but luckily it didn't keep them from producing well. A bit too well. A pickling cucumber that is 9 inches long will have to probably be made into antipasto mix with peppers and cauliflower and stuff. The Tromboncino squashes are running wild and free over the trellises and the hops are in close competition. Whew.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Knitting Projects

On Ravelry, the knitting community site, I signed up for 3 projects, one is a new sock for SockPut and in the Works In Progress Wrestling event, 2 pairs of socks to finish up. The socks are cuff down trekking, and one toe up trekking. The socks to make are going to be a golden yellow, for Team Hogwarts, Hufflepuff house.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Shuffled the colors on the blog around

Thanks Joansie and Yarndude for pointing out that the comment color was hard to see. I hope I got it fixed.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Started a new KAL

AND NO there are no pictures to show for it! I got together with a knitting friend (whose hubby works with mine) and a friend of hers and we had a great time; we were to do one pattern, called Storm, a toe up sock with a provisional cast on. Well, we ALL tried it. And we all ripped it out. I got so I liked the looks of it but it was fiddly. Then L. brought out a pattern she used for a pair of socks and we tried that cast on and we all loved it, we used our circular needles from the "get go" something I generally don't do. I normally start the socks on double points, whether toe up or cuff down, then change to the magic loop method for speed and no losing of precious needles. We will meet next week to start our heels together. We will still be doing the Storm pattern, just not exactly the entire pattern. I bet her heel is fiddly too so we will see. I did bring my camera but to be honest, if you spend an hour or more on one project and rip it, when you get to the toe cap on another sock it sure doesn't look like much. I brought the yarn, from an Etsy shop that doesn't sell it anymore, I don't believe. The yarn is called Vinca and is a shadowing yarn and the progress pics will all be different for all of us.
Hopefully pix next week. And meanwhile that garden is getting so tall I might need to ask my husbands' friend who is 6'4" to tie up the Brandywine and Big Rainbow tomatoes; I am only 5'6" and it is beyond my reach. The squash and cucumbers are vining and vying for which plants they get to crawl over.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Progress on the garden

It has been less than a month since the planting began in the back of the hill and the tomato plants are burgeoning and setting fruit. Nice to have that much progress seeing as the heat wave was pretty intense during the planting time. The pepper plants have greened up nicely and the fruits are almost full sized.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy JULY 4th

I hope you all had a good day; we did and also a wonderful dinner. Our garden is progressing, the plants are healthy and growing so well. The cucumbers are blooming and hopefully will be setting in this miserable heat and humidy. I HAVE AN AIR CONDITIONER NOW!!!!
It took an electrician or 3 but the dedicated line is in and we are comfy and dry. No humid house, nice and cool. Wonderful. I will make every effort to get out and still garden to keep things happy while I am cool in here. The electric rate increased to more than sixteen cents a KW before we installed the a/c so this will be expensive.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Speaking of gardens

My husband and I have been transplanting plants like crazy; some into larger pots to hold til the oldest raised beds are re-built and re-configured. That includes Japanese eggplants as I have some recipes to use them that are awesome. My sister in law is from Malaysia and she has great ideas for eggplant. We also planted more serrano chilies; they usually overwinter in our climate; the hot Santa Ana winds in October did them in and we didn't have any left. We planted more habeneros, and harvested the fruit off the one that overwintered outside. Tons of basil is being replanted; no more room in the ground and the ones in the pots are now taller than the ones baking in the sun; we had to put up two Beach umbrellas to shade the hot chilies from the morning sun, and the later afternoon sun. They are now setting and happy. All the heirloom tomatoes are growing like gangbusters; we are organic gardeners so that is a nice thing to see. One year I used Miracle Grow and got amazing fast growth, then the tomatoes produced so fast they couldn't absorb the calcium fast enough and we got blossom end rot. We always put our ground up egg shells in the holes when we plant the tomatoes; we also put in the worm castings and coffee grounds and stuff. Last year I literally had so many of the Sun Gold and the Jelly Bean tomatoes draping all over the plumbagos that they were about 12-15' long and totally covered, covered, I say, in fruit. The huge Brandywines, Kelloggs Breakfast and the other heirlooms produce huge tomatoes which I couldn't and didn't keep up with; so much for the Excalibur dehydrator waiting to be used. I blew it. Not this year!!! I planted 5 varieties of cucmbers for Greek salad, and gazpacho. The white cucumber says it doesn't need to be peeled. neat. I sure wish I could grow dill. The only dill I can grow is in my Aerogardens.
Wow, now it is Hubbys' birthday and I need to head off to bed even though it is HOT in here. Good night all. Oh, I need to upload more pictures but the computer is hot and so am I.

Kalyn's Kitchen: More About Freezing Fresh Herbs: Freezing Thai Basil, Sage, Tarragon, and Mint

Kalyn's Kitchen: More About Freezing Fresh Herbs: Freezing Thai Basil, Sage, Tarragon, and Mint

What a wonderful way to preserve the herbs we are swimming in for later when we don't have them. I have hundreds of Thai basil plants as we use it almost as a vegetable, not so much a garnish. This is an excelllent blog to reference.

Oh, as a matter of fact, the Thai basil that overwintered in the house next to the Aerogardens set seeds which I strewed in pots a few days ago; they are up in our over 100 degree heat for days climate.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Garden Pictures

I took more pictures outside; I swear the tomatoes have grown inches since I took pictures recently. I also noticed that the two jalapeno plants flanking one planting are yellowing, guess I need to give them some nitrogen.

I also took pictures of the red tomatoes and the yellow ones but you can't really see the yellow tomatoes, in the white Aerogarden in the kitchen.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Not the best pictures, but they are pictures.

I finally took pictures of the garden bed (s) but it was sundown and the light was not right. However, I will take more pictures another time. Like those cherry tomatoes in the kitchen, the red ones and the golden ones. Tasty.

Oh, and the Meyers lemon tree in a pot has the oddest fruit set; it is like they tried to be set like a cluster of grapes, I have never in my life seen anything like that. I love Meyers lemons, the fragrance and the flavor. The chilis' were planted on the step gardens and in the wine barrel. We aren't done yet, this is just to whet your appetite. Stephanie, if you see this, those are your raspberry progeny next to the wine barrel, they rooted themselves over there.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Long time no Post

Wow, I didn't realize it was so long since I posted! Hubby got back the beginning of June so I was getting the house sort of cleaned or decluttered a bit. I also haven't knit one single stitch since he got home, busy, busy!
Hubby got the back tomato bed all re-soiled and planted, we have about 6 heirloom tomato varieties in there, plus basil and other non heirloom tomatoes. Oh, today we planted chili peppers, Jalapenos, serranos, Hungarian hot wax and some cubanelles; I don't think those are hot, but they are for frying. We already got the Thai chilies and other hot ones planted and the habenero chilies that overwintered have bright neon orange fruit ready to make salsa. I need to get the squashes and cucumbers in the ground. I can't wait for Greek salads! Cucumbers are soooo easy to grow, as are tomatoes and if you buy by the pound look at the money you save by going out back and picking your own when they are ripe, knowing you don't get poisons or weird chemical treatments done to them. The Tuscan black kale is almost done making their seeds, I will save lots of them for future years, I can't imagine not growing that. I am still eating the leaves and it is still wonderful tasting. Bliss.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

socks in progress and finished

There is one pair of socks I am making in the Vinca that is problematic; the toe doesn't look right on the one that the colors are looking good, and the other sock is *blech* in it's color shading. That will be ripped back, probably to the end of the toe, the color in the skein is a mint green with a light pink, but the muddiness of the coloration in the toe is like, dirty mauve. Ick.

My Step mom got her socks, and is trying them on and laughing so I guess my plan about those bright colors worked. My step-sister says the cuff is a bit snug so the lornas' laces socks will be made looser.

I went ahead and took more in progress pictures of the Trekking 106 pastel socks even though I am barely creeping along on them. I love knitting, I love that color, I am just sort of "mojo-less" I guess.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hootie handling the Heat

Life is hard in the summer time, it is easy just to lay whereever you can for as long as you can. I forgot to celebrate her 12th birthday; will do that when my husband comes home and we can celebrate the kittens 2nd birthday too. Oh, and the 22nd anniversary of the date he joined the Navy.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Home Brew Stash (Is there such a term?)

I just received a BIG ol' box from Home Brew Heaven and it was all kinds of hop pellets and grains and stuff for my hubby to make after he gets home (heck, I am a wuss about even trying to connect the propane tank to the burner outside) and I had ordered hop rhizomes, and some of these are HUGE and full of buds sprouting. I am totally impressed. You will have to take my word for it, they ain't pretty to others so I didn't take pictures. I mean, the grain looks like grain, etc.
There is also a present for my husbands' birthday gift in that box. Nuff said in case he sees my blog.

Friday, May 9, 2008

updates and Bleu

I am working on my socks too, see?
Meanwhile Bleu has taken to sleeping on paper plates in the kitchen every night; he is there as I type.