Sunday, June 29, 2008

Weekend assortment

  • Yesterday seemed a little too hot to have really high-quality time at the dog park. Angus and new buddy Frodo did have fun though, and rode well in the car together. Next time we'll just skip the drive and let them play here. Better climate control, and lower chance of stepping in poop.
  • That cucumber? It got bigger. It got picked. And it got eaten. And lo, it was crispy and yummy.
  • Sang a Trout Fishing In America song in church today.
  • Going on a worship field trip this afternoon. With most of the band coming along.
  • In the middle of a true crime novel that includes several people I know in real life. Surreal is putting it mildly.
  • Had a sanctioned graffiti session on the bare floor of our under-construction sanctuary.
  • Saw two German Shepherds being walked. Still miss my girl.
  • Said "no" to an offer of ice cream yesterday. Yes, I'm feeling okay.
  • Don't think I would say "no" today. Waiting for my opportunity.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pitfalls of pretending to farm

Sometimes you get more disappointed than expected when the corn is finished, and half of it got ruined by stupid ants who ate corn that wasn't theirs, and this worm:


While we are normally not advocates of capital punishment, we did try offering the worm to The Boy to eat. After a tasting that resulted in the demise of the worm, he ultimately declined. (I suppose I should point out for new readers that The Boy is one canis familiaris, not a humanoid. He licks himself. He swallows bunnies whole. Eating a worm is not really much of a stretch.)

Not all is lost, though. We did have perhaps half a dozen good cobs of corn (have eaten four so far, and some more await in the fridge), and look what we spied this afternoon:

A cantaloupe-to-be:


A cucumber (which The Alpha says is all prickly! maybe that will keep the pests away):


Two ProtoMatoes:


And here's one of several currently teeny squash!

(If you have any tricks for keeping bugs from eating all of these goodies, let us know in the comments. We're new at this.)

That concludes the Farm Report. Back to you, Internet.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Corn harvest update

Tonight was our second night of eating corn from our own garden (click for close-up):


And yes, it was yummy again!

Today was also when we got our first big gardening disappointment. See this pretty, pretty ear of corn?


Looks pretty sweet, doesn't it? You could really enjoy getting stuff stuck between your teeth if you were feasting on corn such as this fine specimen.

Except...

...look at the other side of it.


Ants did this. ANTS. They ate the shuck, then got all into the kernels and ate those, too.


There's nothing in the book about how to keep ants away from your corn (we are suburbanites, not farmers). We have the anti-bunny fencing, which seems to have worked so far. (Either that, or The Boy is eating all the bunnies on their approach... and if that's the case, we just don't want to know.) We wouldn't really mind if a crow got our corn... after all, we are scarecrowless.

But tonight we were forced to take anti-ant measures. Our first tactic is to attract the ants to something else besides the corn (and that something else happens to include borax). Hopefully, this move will save the rest of our meager harvest.

And, coming next: cucumbers and squash!

Meetups and mini-farming

Just a very quick entry this morning... Zorra asked if there were pictures from this weekend's meetup; no, there aren't, but we did have a nice time! Missed having Mary Beth here, though.

One fellow RevGal blogger who shall remain anonymous went out for a look at our garden, and confirmed that yes, some of the corn was nearly ready to harvest. And yesterday, The Alpha harvested two cobs and cooked them for supper! We ate corn that we grew! Here in suburbia! And it tasted great!

I'm sure we'll harvest another couple of cobs for supper today. I'll try to remember to photograph the momentous event.

Friday, June 20, 2008

A Word Association Friday Five

Using the song "Summer in the City" as her inspiration, Singing Owl brings us the following RevGals Friday Five of word association:

1. rooftop My own roof. We've lived here 8 years and haven't had to replace it. Yet.

2. gritty Sand in your sunscreen.

3. hot town (yeah, I know, it's two words) New Orleans. First time I ever went there was a muggy afternoon in June. Now it makes me think of devastation, of course, but also of RevGals, because the Big Event set sail from there!

4. night For some reason, Billy Joel's "Until the Night" from the 52nd Street album. (No video for linking... although somebody has put some odd little thing together over on YouTube using clips from some ABC soap opera... no, I don't know who Carly and Lorenzo are, and I don't need to know.) But hey, just for fun, go check out Billy's site. Did you know it's the 30th anniversary of The Stranger? My big brother had it on 8-track... I wore out my cassette years ago, and now I have it on CD. (Woo, tangent...)

5. dance Something I used to do a lot, but don't do often enough these days.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Boy: Valued Consumer

This afternoon at work I got an excited phone call from home.

"Angus got a package!"

He did?

I mean, we're not new to deliveries for our dogs. Years ago when Cub had her hip surgery she got a balloon bouquet. Nothing's happened lately, though, for The Boy to have reason to receive shipments.

But indeed, here's the package, addressed to The Boy himself.


(They got his age wrong. He just turned 4 in April.)

Notice it's from MySurvey.com, which means that The Alpha and his quest to get free gift cards had something to do with this shipment.

Inside, there was...


TWENTY POUNDS of dog food!!!! (Yes, folks, half The Boy's body weight!)

Better yet, TWENTY POUNDS of dog food in the brand, and flavor, that we already know he likes because it's what we buy him anyway!

This survey's going to be so easy, The Boy could fill it out himself. Even with the no-thumbs challenge.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Boy Goes to The P.O.

Hi, it's me, The Boy.

Remember?


Remember now?

Okay, then.

Tonight The Alpha and The Typist and I all went on a walk! (sometimes I go running with just The Alpha, no The Typist. The Typist doesn't like running. I like running. Do you?)

And when we got to the Big Street, we crossed it! And we went to this place. And The Typist was carrying a box -- I wasn't really noticing that when we left the house because I was busy screaming about getting to go on a walk -- and inside this place, The Alpha pulled this handle and this big thing opened up its mouth and The Typist put the box in there. And she said something about dogs not being allowed in the Post Office but I don't know what she was talking about.

And then we went on more walk. And now we're home.

I'm going to get more water now.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Nothing quite like...

...running for the bathroom every 15 minutes the night before you're supposed to go visit two focus points of a certain consumer-driven holiday

...deciding that even with that dandy prescription, there's no way you can make a 5-hour car trip, but still feeling a little guilty about it

...feeling less guilty when at least your parental unit seems to totally understand

...skipping church because you're still not quite recovered, and nobody knows you're even in town

...realizing all over again why you don't watch TV all that much

...being able to keep down solids and liquids again.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Inch by inch, row by row...

After 8 years of living in the same place, we finally decided to try to grow some food. You know, so we will be self-sustaining in the event of having to hunker down after a zombie invasion or some such.

Well, mostly The Alpha is the one trying to grow some food. I try to stay out of the way, as I do not seem to have inherited my mother's nurturing way with plants.

See our corn stalks? And our corn silk? You may have to click for the larger image to see the corn silk. (I didn't know silk showed up before the ears.) And our bean plants below the corn?

Here are the tomato plants.

Here are some cucumber and okra plants. I'm glad I remember which seeds went where, or it'd all be a surprise to me when stuff starts producing.

And here are the cantaloupe plants. Which look an awful lot like cucumber plants. And not just to me -- I've been told they look that way to bees, too. And that the bees will cross-pollinate our cucumbers with our cantaloupes, and we could wind up with cukealoupes. Or cantacumbers. We'll let the Internet know if that happens.

Also note the presence of The Boy, whose tail made a special appearance in the above photograph.

Re: this post's title, there are those in the band who hate "The Garden Song" (chief among them our drummer, who really doesn't get to do very much on that selection). But around here, we love it. Especially this version:

The Summer Cut

Only because two special blogfriends requested it, here's me, face and all, with my summer haircut.

I'm a little unnerved by the one-squinty-eye thing, but the point is to show my hair, so kindly ignore the rest of me for now.

And no, I'm not naked. Can't you see that tank strap?

About to bury this post below the fold with a nice big post on our garden,
The Typist

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Last one to do the Summer meme

Because everybody else has done it, and sometimes I'm a joiner.

1.) What first tells you that Summer is here?
The daily "How much longer can we avoid turning on the air conditioning?" suspense.

2.) Name five of your favorite distinctively Summer habits or customs.

- Making homemade ice cream (I think we're going to have to replace our ice cream freezer... it's 8 years old and the thing that holds the motor onto the tub broke off...)
- Getting a whole lot of my hair whacked off (did that yesterday, and good thing, too -- just in time to avoid getting it all tangled in the wind at an outdoor concert last night).
- Having a few weeks of a lighter Wednesday music rehearsal schedule
- We usually make one trip to Six Flags at some point, hitting all the biggest and best rides as many times as we can put up with standing in line.
- "Batching it" for a week while The Alpha chaperones the youth mission trip.

3.) What is your favorite smell of Summer?
Honeysuckle.

4.) What is your favorite taste of Summer?

A perfectly ripe slice of watermelon.

5.) Favorite Summer memory?

Freezing my tail off in August on a day cruise to Northwest Glacier... spotting the wildlife... hardly believing we were seeing such grandeur.

6.) Extreme heat or extreme cold? Which would you choose and why?
I guess by default of living in the South I've chosen extreme heat. But I don't really like it. However, I don't think I'd really like extreme cold, either. I'm a wimp.

7.) What books do you plan to read for the season?

I just started The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. Intriguing, thus far.

8.) How does the Summer affect your faith? Is it a hindrance or an ally
?
Summer creates some open space -- no big holiday preparation pressures, for example -- so I think it's probably an ally, though I've never pondered this question before.

I don't think there's anyone left to tag for this one! But if you haven't done it yet, be my guest.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Friday Five: The Big Picture

Over at RevGalBlogPals, Sally writes: This week I took some time out to stop and walk and take in the view; my son Chris is studying in one of the most beautiful parts of the country, too often we simply drive up there, turn around and come home! This time Tim and I took time out to take in the view. It occurs to me that we need to do that more in life....
With that in mind I offer you this week's Friday Five:

1. How important is the "big picture" to you, do you need a glimpse of the possibilities or are you a details person? I like knowing the general direction of where I'm headed, but I'm not very good at being part of long-range "visioning" processes. Those types of things move too slowly for me. Give me something to do while someone else concentrates on what comes next!

2. If the big picture is important to you how do you hold onto it in the nitty gritty details of life?
I'm a list-maker. And a list-checker-offer. There's something kinesthetically satisfying about checking something off a list.

3. Name a book, poem, psalm, piece of music that transports to to another dimension (one....what am I thinking....) As Sally predicted, so many pieces of music come to mind... "Seven Bridges Road" by the Eagles; "Who Wouldn't Want to Be Me" by Keith Urban; "City of Blinding Lights" by U2; about half the songs on Terri Hendrix's CD The Spiritual Kind... and more, of course. EDITED to add: How could I have forgotten "Sweet Afton" by Nickel Creek?

4.Thinking of physical views, is there somewhere that inspires you, somewhere that you breathe more easily? I think my Friday Fives have a pattern with questions like this, and that pattern involves answering "Alaska." But for this one, I also have to add New Mexico, Colorado, and northwest Arkansas (Boston Mountains). Why don't I live closer to any of these places? And if I did, would they still be as inspiring?

5. A picture opportunity... post one if you can (or a link to one!) Amazing how very tiny things can remind one of the big picture. It's kind of blurry -- it's hard to record something so little with only one hand on the camera -- but Monday morning I discovered an inchworm (and yes, I sang the Inchworm song). I took some video just before I set it free:

video

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A visit from Frodo

Frodo Doggins, that is.

Frodo is an easygoing Austin dog, but he will be here in the 'burbs for a while because his human is having to live in a dorm at seminary. His temporary humans brought him over to meet The Boy today.

The Boy was a little unsure of things. He hasn't ever been the chief host for another dog before.


There was much sniffing, and some face-making:


But after a while, everybody seemed to be getting along.


And, at last, they had a little game of chase:


(We were pleasantly surprised that The Boy was the chaser and not the chase-ee. Because he never would've tried such a thing with his sister. He must be figuring out he owns the place now.)

And hey, The Boy, don't go thinking you're going to start getting super-duper organic veggie dog treats like hippie-town Frodo eats. Yes, it was nice of him to share, but we know you like the ones you have.