Thursday, June 30, 2016

Big Fat Green Surprise

I know y'all are probably getting sick and tired of hearing about my garden and flowers and such. And I promise not to bore you too much more with it. Well, that might be a lie. But I got a big fat green surprise, today, and I had to share it with you.

You see that tree? Just last week, Cliff was ready to cut it down and plant something different there, something prettier. He went so far as to call it a junk tree. I was about to let him do it, until today.

My sweet little neighbor came over, while I was working in the garden this morning, to bring me some of her blueberries. We were talking about the garden and about how the birds were eating her blueberries, so she was forced to pick them early.....when she mentioned that she saw I had an apple on my tree. "WHAT?!? I didn't know I had an apple tree!" So, she showed me.

Turns out that junk tree in the front yard is an apple tree. I'm so excited!!

I don't know what kind it is, yet, and there are only two apples on the whole tree. One for me and one for Cliff. Ha! Both are green like this, I don't know if it's a Granny Smith or if it will change colors as it continues to mature. Maybe there's an apple expert out there that can tell me.

I tell ya, I'm amazed at all the surprises I keep finding in the yard. One day, I  might find gold!

Hope you all have a safe and Happy 4th of July! Baby Sista and her family are coming to celebrate it with us. My nephew is bringing his Stand-Up Paddle Board. I've always wanted to try paddling one. It's sure to be a good time. I'll let y'all know how it goes.

Talk soon,

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I Picked The Garden, Today

While at the beach last week, my mind was back in the garden. I had picked it before leaving and knew there would be some cucumbers ready when I got back, but I wasn't expecting this. The garden pretty much exploded, while I was gone. HaHa! 

Seriously, I was so excited to pick the garden, today.

Finally, cabbages were ready. The beets are still very small, but a favorite blogger of mine suggested that I could pick them small and saute them and the I did. Let me just say they were delicious. Thanks for the tip, Judy! 

I also picked a huge zucchini, a squash, a tomato, several cucumbers and okra. 
I'm just so excited we're getting all these vegetables that started out kinda know from the frost/freeze start. Patience and perseverance sure is rewarding!

I could hardly wait to get in the kitchen and cook up some deliciousness. I sauteed some cabbage, zucchini, okra, the tiny beets and beet greens in a little olive oil and garlic. And, then sliced a cucumber and tomato to round out dinner. 

Gardens sure are worth all the hard work!


Monday, June 27, 2016

Plum Jam

In just four short months, our plum tree has gone from this......
March 2016

to this thing of beauty....
March 2016

 to perfect greenness....
April 2016

 to bearing these big fat juicy plums...
June 2016

And, this is what you do with an over abundance of these golden delicious fruits...make plum jam.

I have to say this was a very easy recipe. It called for plums, sugar and a little water. One of the directions was to boil the fruit and sugar to the jelling point, about 220 degrees. But, I didn't have a thermometer, so I just guessed. The jam turned out not to be so much of a jam, but more like a thick sauce. Maybe my guessing at the temperature and boiling time was a flop, but I know for a fact it's delicious on an English muffin because that was breakfast, this morning.

Monday, June 20, 2016

In The Garden, Lately

The garden, despite the two frost/freezes in early spring leaving the plants smaller than normal, is producing some mighty good vegetables. It's hard to take a picture of the whole garden, even with my smaller lens.  After shooting this picture, I shot an aerial view from from the second floor bedroom window. 

Aerial view...late June garden.

 Cabbage and beets...I've never grown beets before and I don't really know how big they should get before harvesting. I pulled back a little dirt from one of the largest ones and it's certainly not ready, yet.

Cucumbers...I'm getting quite a few and I'm thrilled because the cucumber is probably my favorite vegetable. 

Marigolds...companions for the tomatoes.

Okra...I've picked a few pods and added them to stewed tomatoes, that I canned last summer, and served over rice. Oh glory! They are so good!

Squash and Zucchini

 Sunflowers to pretty the garden up.

 Tomatoes....I've picked one and there are about 3 more almost ready. I love these, too! Tomato sandwiches with Dukes mayonnaise is the best!

Oregano....a gift from my neighbor's garden. I've been adding it to my salads. 

Hope your gardens are doing well. It's starting to get really hot here and I don't know how much longer mine will produce. Hopefully, I still have a few weeks left.

Talk soon,

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Take It To The Tree

Our plum tree is loaded this year and the fruit is huge! I've been waiting for them to ripen and noticed that they were turning yellow. "Oh my gosh", I thought, "they are going bad before we ever get to pick them". I didn't know, but found out later that the yellow ones are the ripe ones. HaHa! Steep learning curve, here, apparently.

I'm going to apologize now for the poor quality of the photos below, but I was in a hurry to capture the moment and they ended up being sort of blurry. 

Anyway, it appears that our feathered friends know better than me. This blackbird had a hankering for some sweet fruit. He picked up a plum from the ground and took it over to the side walk and dropped it there. Now mind you, the front yard and sidewalk slopes down towards the lake.

So, when he dropped the plum it rolled. He trotted after it, grabbed it and dropped it back on the sidewalk in a different spot....and, it rolled again. It was so funny!

So then, he would hold it with one of his feet in order to get a bite and once he let go, it would roll again. HaHa!

Finally, he said to heck with this and picked up the plum and flew into the tree. I guess his learning curve wasn't as steep as mine.

In the end, he got his fill of the sweet plum and learned a valuable lesson....round plums roll down sloping sidewalks, so just go ahead and take it to the tree.


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Life Lists

I read this on a blog and liked the idea. It reminds me of the popular Bullet Journal system. And I'm all about lists and journals and lists. Ha! So, I thought it would be fun to do my own.

The Weather:
  • Hot as a blazing inferno, today. 93 degrees at 6:45 pm!
  • Still reading 'Go Set A Watchman' by Harper Lee. 
  • John Grisham's 'Rogue Lawyer' waiting in the wings. Yippee!
  • Not watching much, these days. But, I do like those Alaska shows.
  • Cucumbers, fresh ones from the garden! 
  • Hoppin' John Salad left over from our family reunion, yesterday.
This week's to do:
  • Shop for patio side tables.
  • Picking cucumbers, cilantro, squash and zucchini.
  • Consolidating all of my old calendars into a life journal. I've saved calendars since the early 80's.
  • Quilt block for the garden
Around the house:
  • Need to hang pictures at the lake.
From the camera:

What's on your life list?


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Summer Smells

Lidia and I were talking the other night when I said to her that Dial soap smells like summer to me. And then she said, "suntan lotion smells like summer to me".  That gave me the idea to put together a list of my favorite summer smells. In no particular order........

Dial soap...the gold bar
Coppertone Suntan Lotion
Fresh strawberries
Food cooking on the grill
Freshly mown grass, which incidentally smells a little like watermelon
The lemony scent of Magnolia blooms
First morning air, when the dew is still wet on the grass
The earth, just before a summer rain
Pluff mud at the beach
Salty air

What's your favorite Summer smell?