Thursday, June 24, 2010

New Photo Project!

While surfing the net for images for a totally separate project I came across this image that made me SO WANT to do a project like this!

Check it out HERE.

I really, really want to do this... So if you see me on your doorstep soon with my camera, please don't call the police... I'm just collecting 'door' pictures....

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

In My Garden

My Gladiolas are finally in bloom. All along the fence and bright, fiery red.

And here is Logan showing you how big the veggie garden is getting:

Above are the squash plants, just as tall as he is. And below are some of the tomatoes, much taller than him. And I have tons of green tomatoes just waiting to turn. A few have begun to turn slightly orange and pink - but I'm waiting for the red explosion!

And almost an afterthought this year is the herb garden. Here is some thyme. I don't use it much, not this kind. A little oregano in the back ground, I will use that more I think...

But here is my favorite herb/ground cover ever! Elfin Thyme. Possibly my favorite plant ever, but like music and songs, it's hard to choose just one... but Elfin thyme is for sure in the top five.
I have it growing (slowly, oh so slowly) between the paving stones of the patio I made last summer... did I mention I made this patio ALL BY MYSELF? I did. Me. Just me.

Here is a close up of all the tiny, tiny leaves... I love this stuff. You can walk on it, it comes back every year, and it smells really good. I assume you could use it in cooking, but I wouldn't dare take any from the patio since it grows so slowly.

And the back of my yard... mostly in shade, no real grass grows on a consistent basis but something else does. Another of my very favorites... moss. I love moss. It's like soft carpet under your feet. I have a project for this summer (and I hope to get around to it sooner than later). I found it in one of my Organic Gardening magazine issues. You take a cement bowl, or pot, or urn - which ever vessel works for you... You fill it with a rounded mound of dirt and cover it with a layer of moss. Sounds simple, boring even... but I think it will be beautiful. It should come back every year, and if not, I have an abundance of moss in my yard to replenish it. Here is such a patch of my lovely moss:

Just wanted to say that I love Moss and Thyme.


We color around here just about every day... which means I pick hundreds of crayons off the floor just about every day... We have moved on from crayons to markers. And then back to crayons after I found Little Man with his arms colored from fingers to elbows in hot pink marker... But how else am I going to teach them to be little artists unless I let them make a giant mess once in a while. And every so often I get a reward.
Here is one of Nola's marker drawings:

Explanation from the artist: This is the sun (in orange) drawn first because it was a sunny day. Then a rain cloud came (gray blob at top) and made it a rainy day. Then the rain droplets (blue circles in front of the sun) came down and it rained ALL OVER the grass (green squiggle at bottom).
I think she's the next Van Gogh!

And here is one she made just for me:

Mama & Nola
I have no idea who is who, but we both look fabulous, don't you think!

And from time to time I have to bust out my skillz and color with the chillins too. What usually happens is that we all sit down to color. I start some drawing or whatnot while they whip out four or five drawings a piece. They're done and take off to do other things and I am left alone at the table coloring with crayons... happy as can be, I might add.

Here is a crayon drawing I did of Nola. She was pouting about something and when else can I get her to sit so still? So I drew her.

I also usually take requests while coloring... This one is a request from Nola for an Apple Tree:

And what else can you do when you're done coloring, have no pants on, have thrown all your crayons and markers around the room?
Table surf. Yep, that's right! Climb up on the table, lay on your belly and ride the wave.

I swear I have a handle on my kids... really I do!

Saturday, June 12, 2010


My gladiolas are about to bloom. I've never grown these before and I'm not entirely sure what to expect from them... but the brilliant fire red that's peeking out is exciting. It's so bright. I can't wait for the towers of color to explode from them... there was supposed to be yellows and oranges in them as well... we shall have to wait and see...

And my baby rose has grown into a young woman! She has bloomed!

One single bud, one single bloom... but OH SO GORGEOUS!

It's all very Bloom-tastic!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Garden Update

Here is my veggie garden. So far this year the plants that have made it into the garden are squash, tomatoes, peppers, okra and beans.

Here is a shot of my squash patch (with Little Man in the background)

One of the cool things about growing squash - they reach out and grab you!

Here is one of the four varieties I have, One Ball. They grow in little globes about the size of billiard balls. I have another called Eight Ball that is green.

And then I have Fairy Squash. Much like an Acorn Squash in type and eatable possibilities but grows to the shape of a little fairy house.... cute!

And here is the side of the garden where the tomatoes live.

I have about 10 varieties (I think). The confusion is still sorting itself out as the tomatoes actually grow. What I thought was one type will sometimes turn out to be another... oops. I'm just proud that everything this year has been grown from seed.

Here is what I think is a Marinara Tomato.

And here is a Super Marzano (which is a giant Roma style). You can tell that they are already starting their roma shape... cool!

And here is some Okra. I have two types, a regular Clemson Green variety and this one, the Organic Burgundy.... I'm really excited to see burgundy okra! It won't start to produce until mis summer.... boo...

And onto the flowers... Here is a new addition to the yard this year. A lily. It's really big, bigger than my hand. A little more tropical looking that I was hoping for, but pretty non the less.

And my Flora Pride and Joy..... The rose I grew from a clipping in my window sill for almost a year... then planted into a pot and nurtured indoors for months... then nervously planted outside in the wild of my back yard, hoping the whole time it would live and thrive....
It now has a BLOOM! A bloom! My very first rose bud. I could tear up... but I won't.

And here is the whole little plant.... I love it so!

And then there are these two things that keep growing my yard... can't seem to get rid of them... pesky little things, even though I love them!

My kids are goofballs!

And now we come to the good stuff...


I was making a new fence for the beans and the squash and the wire mesh got away from me... And then attacked my hand. It bled like crazy! But I'm fine... no worries....

So that is my garden update for now.... I hope to be back in a few weeks with red tomatoes and tiny okra to show you.... and beans, now that I have fenced them in from the evil little bunnies that live in my yard....

Happy Gardening Everyone!

Links that are worth checking out:
Fairy Squash post by Homeward Garden Plot 41
Eight Ball Zucchini Parmesan Recipe
Okra... - article by Alice Yeager
Burgundy Okra Shoestring Fries - recipe

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

BLT Pasta Recipe

I found a recipe for a BLT pasta in a freeby magazine from the mail. I don't like to follow recipes... I like the ideas, but don't care for the exacts. So I got this idea for a BLT pasta and here is what I did with it. (If you are a measurement, specific, instruction following type, just look up a version of this - there are sure to be plenty.)

First, I took about 6 slices of bacon

Cut and pan fried them. That is, of course, the 'B' in the dish.

Then we have our 'L' and our 'T'... The magazine recipe used leeks as it's L... but also included spinach. So I chose to go with just the spinach Leaves as my L. And grape tomatoes, halved, are our T. I also have onion, just a slice the size of an orange wedge, basil from the garden, and garlic. I love garlic and have no reason not to use it in excess.... for those of you still worried about your breath - you may want to lessen the amount (I used six cloves). You will also need about 1 cup of chicken stock.

Look at these tomatoes! I can't wait until I have fresh ones from my garden to use!

And we have our pasta. The recipe called for a pasta I had never heard of and, not surprisingly, that my grocery store did not carry. I opted for this noodle - my kids love it.

They're like noodle straws... fun! And they hold the sauce in really well.

So, to get to cooking. Cook your bacon and set it aside, removing most, but not all, of the bacon grease from the pan. Start your pasta cooking, this type takes a little longer than regular spaghetti. Chop the onion and toss it into the pan. After it has become clear, add the garlic and bacon back in. After about 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly so the garlic doesn't burn, add your tomatoes. Let them heat up just a bit and then add the liquid. Stir and let come to a simmer.

Once your pasta is done (to an al dente state) drain it. Surely this is obvious.... Then add your basil, chopped, and your spinach to the sauce.

Stir gently as the spinach wilts. Once all is incorporated the sauce will look very liquidy and you may think to yourself, 'There is nothing to thicken this up... what did I do wrong?' Don't worry! Just toss in your noodles. Fold it over itself a few times to mix it all up. Turn off the heat and let it sit for about 10 minutes, folding every few minutes. During this 10 minutes you can get the table ready, make some garlic bread, shave your legs, I don't care.... just let the noodles soak up the sauce....

And then.... and then.... here you have it:

BLT Pasta!
It was so yummy.
I loved it, the husband loved it, and the kids ate some....
which is all I can ask from picky little ones anyway.

I hope you make this for yourself and let me know if you do - and even more so if you have any improvements to add!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

My Life is Falling Apart

Okay - so my life is just fine... but all the things in my life are falling apart.

Here is a list:
1. My Car - currently NOT working.
2. My Computer - always giving me problems!
3. My Remote Control - works most of the time, but sometimes, does not.
4. The Satellite in my Bedroom - my fault cause we never re-hooked it up after switching rooms around... but still NOT working.
5. My Weight loss Plan - okay, this one it totally my fault... but also NOT working!

I need to get my car fixed, buy a new computer, order a new remote and hook up my satellite TV in the bedroom.... maybe after all that I will have lost a pound or two!

Seriously - if anyone knows about modern technology (cause I am a little slow on the uptake in this department) help me out. I need a new computer and really just don't know where to start.... It's been a while since I bought my last computer (hence the major problems) and I'm out of practice and out of the loop.