Friday, July 31, 2009

Did You Vote Today?!


Vote today!

If you took the time to vote today, thank you.  If you don’t have time today, maybe you can vote tomorrow.  Voting ends on August 11.  You can vote everyday until then.

Now, what picture looks like it’s from the 1960s?  The 1st photo or this one?

LAUREN09-0728BCROP 1You can tell me your choice in the comments AFTER you follow the link to vote.

In the famous words of Bartells and James Bartles and Jaymes , “We appreciate your support.”


Wednesday, July 29, 2009


American Movie Classics has created a series called Mad Men. It's about an advertising agency in the early 1960s. Currently, they are holding a contest for a walk on role. This kid has a degree in marketing. This kid knows about the 60s. This kid would love the experience. This kid needs your vote.

Let's see if we can help get her there. Please go to the link and vote for Lauren428. You can vote once each day from each computer. Just click on the stars to vote. Tell a friend. Link up if you like.

Vote often.

I'll let you know if she makes it. Thanks for your help.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Revolting Onions


These guys look like they are trying to make a break from the garden on a very hot Saturday morning.


They appointed the big guy as their leader and lined up to make a run for it. Check. Make that roll for it.


It was slow, hard work under a hot July sun.


Morale was rock bottom and hope was waning.


Surrender was eminent.


They joined others from the garden to give their lives for the greater good. We salute you.

hee haw


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday Stuff

Here’s a view of the day’s events.


Aphids are taking over the pumpkin patch. I started blasting them with water Saturday morning. By afternoon, the ladybugs were starting to assemble.


Today, their babies were munching on those pesky aphids.


They are the dinkiest ladybugs I’ve ever seen. I appreciate their efforts. They’re not the only “good” bugs dining on the aphids.


These blue guys were hovering and diving into the herd of aphids.


They’re turquoise blue. They look like someone has strung some beads together. They seem to like aphids. I don’t know anything more about them. They are my friends.


Goodbye, friends. Keep up the good work!


The yard cat known as the “Devil” cat was trying to tell me that she was not a devil cat because she did not like this weather from hell. I dragged my sweaty self up to the patio with my bell peppers to investigate just how hot it was.


It was.


Inside was watermelon jelly I made. The watermelon came from the garden. It tasted fine while it was cooking. If it doesn’t set up, I’ll use it on ice cream.

Hope you are keeping cool wherever you are.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Come on October


I love when it comes time to turn the calendar to October. It’s a signal that the furnace I know as the Great San Joaquin Valley will begin to cool. The plants and the gardeners are exhausted from the toll the hellish heat takes. Today, just thirty four days after planting, I have pumpkins. Not just any pumpkins. I have Cinderella pumpkins. I expect magic.


It’s already pretty magical that I have gotten this far growing pumpkins. My past attempts were very unsuccessful. This time, I’m letting the vines take over the onion patch (at least until I’m ready to plant cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli) just as the cantaloupe have taken over the potato patch.


The fairytale can continue as long as I don’t have to endure rodents. That’s where the magic ends.

Saturday, July 11, 2009



I’m canning today. This morning I harvested from all the tomato plants – Ace, Celebrity, Better Boy. I wish I had a scale to weigh the baskets I brought in. Next, I culled the fruit. Ace has been giving me troubles with blossom end rot; but they are good producers. Only a few of the tomatoes had sunburn. Any cracked fruit was set aside to make more salsa.

I peeled and cored the tomatoes and put them in hot quart jars along with 1 Tablespoon of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. The fruit should be covered with the juice and leave about 1/2 inch of room from the contents to the jar rim. I got rid of the big air bubbles, cleaned the rims, screwed down the lids. Down they went to the canner for a 45 minute bath.


After that, the jars come out onto a towel on the counter and are covered with another towel to avoid drafts. Draft dodgers?! This is the same process used when I made salsa on Tuesday.

While these babies were cooling down, I made some more salsa from the imperfect tomatoes. I just love salsa (y cheeps!).




June 10, 2009 Planted Cinderella pumpkins.


June 15, 2009 Five days after planting.


July 11, 2009 Thirty one days after planting.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


It’s firecracker time around here. Time to make salsa.

First, I wash, skin, and seed all the tomatoes that make the grade. Those that don’t get sliced up for salads, sandwiches, and just plain eating.DSC_1066_1262

Next, I pull on some latex gloves. These serranos will leave your fingertips thumpin’ if you don’t take cover. I simply wash them, cut off the stem, and chop the rest. I use a combination of red and green serranos. Any remaining peppers can be stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped with bacon, and baked at 375 for about 20 minutes.DSC_0962_1154

After I’ve coughed and hacked from inhaling the peppers, I chop up peeled garlic and onions. Now the kitchen is beginning to smell great.DSC_0669_902

I bring the hot delight to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes. Yesterday I used 1/2 pint jars. I added 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt to each jar (They need to be scrumptiously clean and hot.) before ladling in the salsa. Use a non metal spatula to run around the side of the jar to release any air bubbles. Wipe the rims with a clean cloth. Place the lid on the jar and screw the ring on nice and tight. Process in a hot water bath according to your canning instructions. I let these sweeties soak for 30 minutes. Remove the jars to a towel out of any draft. Cover the lot with another towel to make sure there isn’t any sudden temperature drop. Use towels incase any jars crack open. Sit back and listen to the seals “pop” tight to the jars. DSC_1119_1339

Viva! Es muy bien.


DSC_1111_1331 That means caterpillars. I hunt these guys regularly. You think they would be easy to find – but they’re not. I find their “leavin’s” and look up. That’s how I usually find them. Recently, I found them when harvesting serano peppers. They were not only feasting on the pepper plants, they were eating the peppers too. Curumba! I didn’t think any insect bothered hot peppers. These guys are tough.


I pulled this one off a pepper plant and ran inside to grab my camera while holding him in my gloved hand. I could feel this big baby wriggling in my palm trying to escape my grasp. Typically, I line them up on the wall for birds to enjoy. I wasn’t able to capture this guy’s fate with the camera. I’ll assume there is a happy nest of singing chicks due to this fatty. I wonder if he was spicy.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Window Washing

I washed windows this morning. There’s something very satisfying to me about having clean windows. It hardly rains here; so the accumulation of dust is regular and fierce. I had to get crackin’ before the sun warmed up the glass.DSC_1104_1324 Oh sure. Now the world can see that I had to purchase lemons rather than use some from the tree. My baby tree only has one lemon; so I was forced to buy some. Hey, they are from the USA.

What’s that you say? There’s something on the outside of the window? Hmmmm.


Let me get a better look.


…and that’s in the shade! I think I’ll just go take a siesta until November.