Monday, August 31, 2009

Yes, I'm still here. A summer update...

Based on some of the comments, people are wondering what happened to me. Well, nothing but summer! Here's an update....


Alas, I wish all was good there. I had huge bumper harvests of tomatoes very early this year. Did well on chinese red noodle beans and certainly for squash. But then the bountiful rains caught up with me and things took a real nosedive by the first of August.

I got some sort of virus on my tomatoes as well as a more recent attack of stinkbugs. I've had to chuck more than 100 lbs of tomatoes...a full third of my expected harvest over the last few weeks.

Those stinkbug holes really irritate me!

The cooler summer meant that the cabbage moths lasted until a few weeks ago. I can honestly say that it can't have been more than two weeks since I last sighted one. That seriously affected all the cole crops.

Peppers likewise took a growth hit without the heat, though they are now catching up and I've had a great harvest of the Patio Marconi I got from Baker Creek seeds.

But, on the upside, I've definitely canned a good harvest of tomatoes for the winter. Picked up and canned some truly magnificent organic heirloom corn from a local grower. We had a long and fruitful season for berries and I have enough to satisfy that urge for a good berry all winter long. And, of course, the tomatoes were delicious and continue to grace my BLTs with their rich purplish hues.

I've read on some of your blogs out there that many have had similar problems, so I guess that is just this year.


My sister is due anytime now. The due date moved up due to the chunky nature of my soon to be niece. As a halfway selfish gift, I gave her one of those fancy high def ultrasounds. It was great to see her so clearly. She looks so much like my sister and my other two nieces but in different ways and has the cutest nose (like our other sister) but yet is so totally herself!

She's feisty for sure. After trying unsuccessfully to stick her whole hand in her mouth, she tried both hands and then finally gave her all in getting her foot in there. She makes the greatest faces when you bother her too. :)

On a sad note, my sister's friend Beth passed on and she was doing the baby shower with me. We soldiered on and I was very wrapped up in that. It's been decades since I did one so I was nervous and made more work than I needed to.

I got the cake designed by Chef DeLong and it was spectacular. When I get copies of the pictures from my sister's camera I'll post one. It was a masterpiece. I'm still not a fan of buttercreme; it is just too sweet; but her cake is to die for. I'll definitely be ordering the couching (natal) cake from her and we've already figured out some of the design.

Of course, I got so excited I completely overbought. But seriously, when you buy baby things after so long, how do you NOT get carried away? She's going to be the best dressed fat newborn you've ever seen.

On that note, Beth had everything very well planned (we should all take a lesson there) except one thing: her psychotic cat.

With only one relative there was really no one who would take her. I couldn't bear to think of the one thing she had always worried over happening. If Bernice would have gone to the pound she'd be put down for sure. So, what do you suppose happened? Yes, I have a new and psychotic cat.

She acts feral though she's been a housecat her whole life. She's grossly obese and sheds like I have never seen a cat shed. I call her Bernie the Bruiser. We're making great progress and she now will lay in my lap, belly up, drooling, making muffins in the air and purring while I rub her belly. But only after a half hour of slowly working up to it. Most of the time she's under the bed.

Oh...and I saw her promising the dog through the gate that she would, in fact, be murdering said dog at the first opportunity. Lots of work there.


Lots to do around here, but not much is actually off my list. We've had several major rain events that caused flooding. Nothing up to the house, but I did have to swim across the flooded street on one of them. It's made a horrid mess of things and I'm looking out at yet more rain right now.

I've done lots of re-organizing and stuff in the house and yes, more experimental cooking. I've gotten a new cookbook recently. A cookie cookbook! Oh yeah...1001 recipe of cookie goodness. It's out of print but I found it at a dealer and was rewarded finally for my diligent searching. It has got to be the best cookie book out there.

Over time, I hope to be able to get through all of them.

Since I'm home today for Boscoe's disgusting bowel upset from eating something atrocious outside (probably) and his meds haven't quite kicked in yet, I'm now forced to cut this short. I must keep an urgent appointment to stand out in the rain while he fills the air up with an unendurable stench for 5 minutes. Wanna join me?

Miss everyone and I'm so sorry that summer got the best of me!