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Archive for June 7th, 2009

We really had a great night out at the sauna last night.   There was homemade chapati with hummus, a bean/tomato dip, and wonderful cookies, to name a few of the offerings available.  As our contribution we brought all the prepared ingredients for a churn full of fresh strawberry ice cream.   With all the people there, turning the ice cream maker was pretty much a snap, and then we all feasted on the fresh ice cream.   It was a big hit, and then the sauna was exceeedingly hot and healing.

The first batch of beer Jim brewed last year, the Oktoberfest, is ready to drink.   So that is what I have been having as a mid afternoon snack and hydration break, along with some water, of course.   Being able to drink wine and beer that we have completely controlled the ingredients of is a wonderful thing.   I can safely enjoy a glass of wine now without having to worry about whether I am going to get a sulfite headache.   And the beer is beautifully hoppy with a nice malt that sits on your tongue and seems to make everything all right with the world.

So, I awoke just as the sun was coming up this morning, and since Jim was still peacefully sleeping, got up and fed the cat, fed the dog, put away the clean dishes, washed up the ice cream apparatus from last night while I brewed the coffee, then I took my coffee out to the garden to see what was up out there.   Of course Ruby had to go along.  It was a perfectly still and cool morning, with a hint of sun.  The weathermen thought it was going to be a hot day in the high 80s, sunny all day, but the weather decided to be cool and cloudy, and after a while it clouded up, thundered and sprinkled heavily.   

While I was leaving the house I walked past the basketful of damp dark clothes that I washed yesterday.   I should have hung them up last night but I didn’t get around to it.   The basket reminded me of the load of massage linens that was waiting attention in the washing machine.   It looked coolish and dampish enough to me at that point to wait to hang them up.  At any rate, I ignored all that and progressed out to the garden.

The place is just beautiful.   The driftwood dragon behind the sauna has clothed itself in day lilies.  I think this vista of the savanna and the edge of the labyrinth as a background for what I am rapidly beginning to call the Daylily Dragon is very special indeed.

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The dragon driftwood is worthy of a close up portrait.

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I progressed into the vegetable garden, which is really appreciating the mulch job we did a couple of days ago.  I decided to check out the potato patch and see what is going on there.

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Look at that!   An actual potato.

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I scribbled around in the dirt in the area, and found that this potato had companions.   In the process, I discovered that one of my seed potatoes had produced three little plants, and so I moved two of them over by the beans, harvested the small potatoes they were making and watered them in.   The work I did around the potatoes revealed that the soil was awfully dry, so I set the irrigation system going on the potato and onion patch, and did the broccoli at the same time.   I got a nice little cup of potatoes there.

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I looked around and discovered that there were carrots and onions that could join the potatoes.

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These are all very small vegetables as yet.

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They cleaned up very nicely, don’t you think?  I chopped them all nicely, ran out to the herb garden and gathered a handful of herbs:  tarragon, oregano, parsley, thyme, lemon balm.   Those also got chopped, and then I fried and sauteed and stirred and all together they made a very nice accompaniment for my bacon and eggs and toast at breakfast.

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Mmm, all gone.   While I was out picking vegetables for our breakfast, I ran across a tachnid wasp who was enjoying our cilantro patch.  By the way, this is what happens to cilantro if you ignore it.  It turns into coriander right before your very eyes, and then cheerfully reseeds the cilantro patch for the future crop.

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On the way back into the house, I noticed the red-bellied woodpecker enjoying the feeder.   Imagine me hiding behind the privacy fence, crouching down somewhat to aim my camera between the lattice of the fence, holding the vegetables for breakfast in one hand while I aim and zoom the camera with my other, Ruby pacing around impatiently behind me.  “What the heck are you doing NOW!” emanates from her every posture and move.

But the red bellied woodpecker and the robin papa posed for me so nicely, I ignored the dog and continued my inexplicable activities.

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You can see just how boring I am in the next photo, where I insisted that she stay on the flagstone path next to the asparagus so I would have some scale to show you just how unbelievably immense the asparagus is.   I estimate it at around eight feet.   Bear in mind that the white tops of the fence posts in the bed are four feet tall.  Those are the top tendrils of the asparagus spears curling against the sky.

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I’m sort of in a waiting phase right now.   When the lightning has moved along and we have finished our coffee, Jim and I are going out to dig weeds out of the blueberry section of the stroll garden and move the other blueberries that we put out by the vineyard in there.   It is patently obvious that the poor plants out in the clay and rock of the vineyard find life way too hard for them, and we are going to put them somewhere more amenable to them.   Then maybe they will stop turning brown and shriveling up.  We hope.

Meanwhile, I will leave you with the comment that my darling husband made to me as we went inside after reconnoitering the blueberry situation.  

“It seems like the weekends have turned into weedends.”

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