Sunday, June 28, 2009

Farm report: Current totals

Corn: 12 ears harvested (That's more than last year's total yield; unlike last year, ants haven't shown up... yet.)

Cucumbers: 15 harvested (topped out at 20 last year, when The Blight hit)

Squash: 7 harvested, including these three:

As you can see, one was hiding from us under some leaves and got a little too big (click to enlarge the photo if you want to see actual size). We plan to cook it up tomorrow night and see if it affected the taste/texture.

Under produce watch:
A surprise cantaloupe vine has emerged (likely from the compost we made last fall). We originally thought it was a misplaced cucumber, but now it's sporting a 2-inch proto-melon.

Under odd critters watch:

We found this guy (or girl) on a cucumber vine this evening. I suspect he's a pest, and am blaming him for some wilted leaves. Am I on target, anyone?

Monday, June 22, 2009

A "because I'm twelve" moment

It wasn't a very long trip for my mind to make its way to the gutter on this one.

This is not a fake church sign. I've been to Old Hickory, Tennessee. Gavin lives in the vicinity of this sign, and he took this photo. And, true to his inner adolescent, he snickered about it. And tweeted it, thus giving many more people the opportunity to snicker likewise. Thank you, friend.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tour of the Manor

Well, the dog-sitter version, at any rate.

Jessica stayed with the dogs while we thumb-havers were at my college roommate's wedding last month. She provided a virtual tour of our living room on her blog.

I think my favorite image was of The Boy. She said she could never get one of him that wasn't blurry. He's funny that way.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Of clones and questions

If you knew my Cub girl, you might understand why this story has stuck with me all day.

Trakr lived 16 years and was a dog hero. A search and rescue expert. The last one to locate a 9/11 survivor.

Cub lived to be just barely 8, had epilepsy, hip dysplasia, and liver disease. (Not exactly a prime candidate for cloning.)

And I'm all about rescues and adoption. My dogs have all come home with me because they were in need. It could be argued that each one needed me, specifically. So, no creating new ones. Plenty of puppies arrive without anyone wanting them to. And plenty of those don't make it to a home like mine.

I've heard lots of people say that she'll always be that one dog, the one that makes all the others look mediocre. I'm sure even a clone of her would be mediocre. You don't clone a personality or a soul, after all. (And if you're reading this and thinking that dogs don't have souls, just keep your keyboard quiet and your cake-hole shut around these parts.)

Last night we were being exceptionally good dogparents and brushing their teeth. "I should've done better," I said, referring at once to the state of Tuesday's molars, which hadn't been stained when she came to live here, and to Cub's, one of which had to be removed because she cracked it (the pre-surgery bloodwork for that procedure was our first clue about the liver problem -- the beginning of the end).

When The Alpha tells me I was the best dog-mommy anyone could've been for her, I do believe him. But I also still cry.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Farm report and hodgepodge

- We harvested 2 ears of corn yesterday. Might eat them tomorrow.

- Gave in and planted new okra seeds.

- At last count, 13 marigolds have sprouted in cups.

Now, for the hodgepodge:

- Somebody I know got engaged, and I can't say who yet.

- Somebody else I know is planning stuff, and I can't say who yet.

- It's quite possible that another somebody else would see that last statement and think I meant him or her, when I actually mean someone completely different. There's lots happening out there, ya know.

- I'm busy on The Alpha's birthday this year, and not because it's his birthday.

- I'm hosting my small group meeting in the morning, so I'd better get to bed.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Farm Report '09: The Preview Interview

I'm finished with Annual Conference #2. Time for something non-churchy.

You know, I've interviewed a dog or two on this blog, but don't know that I've interviewed anyone with opposable thumbs here. (FYI: Blogger's spell check feature does not recognize "opposable." Or the possessive of "Blogger," for that matter.) So, here's a Q&A with The Alpha, prompted by the tableau pictured here:

Q: Just to get readers up to speed, we've heard that marigolds help repel bunnies from gardens. And we agreed to plant some marigolds, not just to repel bunnies from the garden, but also to try to keep them out of our whole back yard, where they have a history of getting eaten.

A: Yep.

Q: So you bought 3 seed packets and some soil, and paper cups.

A: Yep.

Q: When I came home, you were planting. We wondered where to keep the paper cups while giving the seeds time to sprout without dog interference. Hence, the windowsill. What other research did you do?

A: Research? I just started sticking dirt in cups and seeds in dirt.

Q: Oh. Okay... So how's the other stuff going?

A: What other stuff?

Q: The crops.

A: Oh, we're about to have squash. We're starting to get some little bitty baby pickles. Some of the corn's gonna be ready to harvest in a few days; some of the silks are getting dry. So pretty soon we'll have some somethin'.

Q: No further word on the okra?

A: There has not been okra one. I don't think you can keep those seeds more than a year. I'm sure we could buy new seeds, plant two, and get more okra than we could eat.

Q: Well, thanks for gardening.

A: Okay... you're welcome? All I've done is stick seeds in the ground and pour water on them.

Q: That's more than I've done.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


It's been a busy week.

Last Saturday's wedding was lovely, and a certain bridesmaid with a nasty virus managed not to ruin it by fainting (and managed to keep the puke out of the ceremony).

The Alpha drove us home on Sunday. That night he came down with the same bug, only worse. We were both out sick on Monday, and I had to take him to the doc-in-a-box for a shot. Neither of us really got our appetites back until today.

I had a 3-day business trip this week. It was actually kind of helpful not to have an appetite while traveling. Ever frugal, I figured the bright side was that I was saving the company money. It was good to be at the event, see old friends (including one I've known since I was about 4 years old), meet new ones, and watch a certain rookie bishop in action.

And, thanks to the business travel, I can now say I have celebrated Holy Communion with the hermetically-sealed host. I didn't know when I walked into opening worship for this conference that they'd be using them. Apparently they're still really into the flu scare in that part of the state.

You know what went through my mind as a thousand or more of us were communing together by opening up our little single-serving cellophane-sealed styro-bread, then the shot of juice underneath it? This sounds like a giant bowl of Rice Krispies being soaked in milk! ... *snap * crackle * pop * I'm glad I wasn't sitting with anyone I knew; I wouldn't have been able to resist sharing that observation right in the middle of it all.

Also thanks to the travel, I had some big chunks of time with my soon-to-be-former CEO, who joined me for the last half of the trip. She's amazing. It's no wonder she's been tapped for such a great opportunity elsewhere. Yet she's still running full-steam on our behalf in her last weeks in this role. Such a class act.

Been home now for about 24 hours. Settled in, but not quite ready for my own conference, which begins tomorrow afternoon. Lots on my plate. Then a third one, next week, before my chunk of this conference season winds down. Might not be blogging again until the second half of the month.

(Maybe by then, we'll be able to talk openly about plans for lovely niece's major life event, tentatively scheduled for around Thanksgiving.)