Monthly Archives: July 2011

Rubbing Elbows

We took a field trip yesterday to hang out with our neighbors, the Duponts.  Sort of.  Actually, I found a Groupon for half-off admission to Longwood Gardens.  If you are looking for a reason to come visit us up here in PA, this is it.  Ted & I concur that even paying full price admission is a deal.  This might be as close to Shangri La as you’re gonna find, and it’s less than 10 minutes from my house.

Mr. Camera got some nice shots.

Yellow Swallowtail on Lantana

What is that weird hummingbird insect looking thing?

A baby hummingbird?
Nope.  A Hummingbird Moth.  It mimics a hummingbird.  Nature is so cool.
We took a pic of this b/c I want something for the garden that is tall, red and in bloom right now.  We have no idea what it is?
Very cool idea.  Didn’t get a picture of the actual lantana tree.
Angel Trumpet.  Want this.
Bog Garden Envy
Everyone should have their own formal Italian Fountain Garden.
Always kiss the frog ladies.
Do we have a place for this?
And this bell tower?
Idea for shaded area in back of our property.  Again, no pic of actual plant.
Kewl
The Eye of Water
Where are we gonna put the Conservatory?
So we can have indoor fountains.
Every home needs a wall of green leading to the bathrooms.
We could get used to waking up to this.
And this.
And this.
Behind the scenes view of the Longwood Organ.
It’s a huge organ.  Minds out of the gutter people.  
Farmer Ted wrote & performed a song about me.
For all of you familiar with Ted’s songs, see if you can find it.
For those not familiar with Ted’s songs.

Scenes from the orchid room.
Ginger?

My favorite was the water garden.

Idea for when we add our water feature.
Lotus
More random conservatory.
  
Who knew bananas flowered?
The succulent garden.

We’ll spare you the 500 other pictures we took.
Except for a few final shots…
Fountain display at night. 
Farmer Ted needs to work on the night pics.

Hey Mr. Dupont, we Wannabe Farmers.  Let us know when our room is ready. 
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What?

Maybe if I don’t breathe, they won’t notice I’m on the pillows.

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Recipe Thursday

Not as exciting as Hump Day or TGIFriday, but what self-respecting blog can go without a theme day?  And, what self-respecting blog that is sort of about a garden can go without a few recipes?

At my office, on the last working day of every month, we have a Sprint Review.  For all of my non-geek friends, this is when our brilliant Development Team shows off all of the new technology they have created for us lowly Sales and Marketing minions to sell and market.  Tomorrow’s review is over a pizza lunch where we are also saying goodbye to one of our employees who is moving on.  Hey, we are busy so we multitask.

What the hell does this have to do with Recipe Thursday you ask?  I’ll tell ya.  Living with a retired chef who has no concept of “low calorie, low fat and small portions” has seen the size of my ass grow a bit.  This coupled with the fact that when I broke my toe last Fall, I screwed up my knee overcompensating while walking and can only do yoga without aggravating it, has added a little to the thigh area.  I need to drop a few pounds and pizza isn’t on the diet, so I made a nice little GrowDammit side salad to go with my fake lunchmeat sandwich tomorrow.

I took orange cherry and yellow pear  tomatoes and halved them.  I also took a purple heirloom mini bell pepper and diced it (green bell pepper works as well).  I mixed these together with a little hit of Kosher salt and cracked black pepper.  For the dressing, I cut up a mix of different basil leaves and muddled them into a little less than a tablespoon of mayo (Duke’s of course).  I folded that into the tomato/pepper mix and that was all she wrote.

I know what you are thinking.  Mayo?  For a diet?  Here’s the deal.  You really don’t need a lot of mayo for this b/c once it hits the juice of the tomatoes it really thins out and coats everything.  This is actually a nice salad to make for a bbq side in place of a potato or pasta salad which are usually full of mayo or oil. It’s a lot prettier if you use red tomatoes and green/purple bells for the color pop.

Next…We have tomatillo pouches!  Now all we need are some damned poblanos to show up.

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The Heat Dome Cometh. Again.

After 2 days of reprieve from 115 degree temps, we are expecting another heat wave tomorrow.  We did as much outside today as we could.  Well, Ted did.  I had to work and get my hair did first, but I came home and helped.  Ted did some garden weed whacking.  He apparently got a little crazy and took out a cayenne plant.  Then we attacked some huge vining, bee attracting weed that was not only overtaking the fence and gourd plants in the back garden, but  strangling my forsythia bush as well.  I gave Ted the go ahead to aggressively prune the forsythia, this vine was so invasive.  Let’s just say, Ted’s idea of pruning and my idea of pruning are vastly different.  Why is it when men hear the word prune, they interpret that to mean cut it down to the ground?  Oh well, it’ll come back next year.  I think.

While Farmer Ted was finishing up his hack job, I took a break to show off my less blonde self.

Raymond at Bella Bella is a God!

In other garden news, the electrified fence idea didn’t pan out.  So, it’s on to Plan B.  I’ll let Ted fill you in on the fence Fail and Plan B.  Whatever that is.  For now, we are pulling the tomatoes just as they start to show a hint of orange and ripening them inside.  Not quite as good as vine ripened, but better than half-eaten.

Today’s haul…

Clearly you can tell I took tonight’s pics from the lack of photo quality you have come to now expect from Mr. Camera.

Next…Depends on how hot it gets, so we’ll see.  Farmer Ted and that pesky 1/2 lung of his can’t breathe while the air is the quality of soup.

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The Lair

I’m not quite sure how a night hanging out in Ted’s Lair won out over the first deck night possible since the heat dome descended over the Northeast, but here I am.  Sitting in my basement?

This is my basement?

  How does this happen?

Welcome

Even the Dragon is affected…

I blame the Home Depot.

New Toy

Oh, wait.  Sorry, I blame…

Pure Animal Magnetism

Next…Varmint control.  Whatever was chowing down on the ripe tomatoes is moving on to the starting to ripen tomatoes.  We declare war.  Farmer Ted has a plan involving a battery charger and a fence.  Don’t worry all you varmint lovers, it will be low voltage.  And better than a pellet gun.

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Sidelined. Again.

Flooding rains = Flooded lair = A very unhappy Farmer Ted.

Security breach of the front garden = Varmint munching on the ripening tomatoes = A very pissed Farmer Michele.

It’s been quite a day.  Oh well, we have a new match in the Herb Smackdown.  Sage v. Chives.  Vote away blog peeps.

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Sidelined

First, I left Farmer Ted to fend for himself in the heat while I had girl’s weekend at my friend’s farm.  Then, I come home with some blackberries that gave both us food poisoning.  Thank goodness he didn’t eat as many as I did.  He’s too skinny to have full on food poisoning.

Anyway, we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled program tomorrow.

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Rufus vs. the Razor

Guess who got beautified? He got the #2, and he looks 10 pounds lighter.

A friskier Dragon.

A GrowDammit Harvest…

Tomatoes, pepper and Okra!

Another Wannabe Roadtrip is on the horizon…

Next…Who’s gonna take the Match Game Poll?

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The Rogue A/C Unit

Our schizophrenic GPS has apparently influenced our household appliances.  I think they are conspiring to either seriously maim or kill us.  Hopefully, you’ve read about Sybil the GPS.  If not, scroll back through our old posts.

Our house was built in 1950, before anything like El Nino, La Nina, Global Warming and headlines like “Record Breaking Heat Scorches the Northeast!”  We don’t have central A/C.  So far, we’ve just been cooling off the upstairs with a couple of window fans.  Downstairs, we’ve been running a couple of window units.  The spawn live down there anyway in the Summer, as they stay up until all hours playing video games and watching TV and then fall asleep in the Family Room.  Window fans in the upstairs mostly unoccupied bedrooms (other than ours) have sufficed.  Moving air is usually the answer.  It’s worked out.

Until this morning.  It was 94 degrees in our bedroom this morning while I was getting ready for work.  I got up, showered, dried my hair…and 5 minutes later my hair was soaking wet.  It’s a good thing I don’t wear much makeup.  It would’ve slid right off my face.  Tonight,  Farmer Ted and I hijacked one of the two window units downstairs and brought it upstairs to the bedroom.  We set it to a comfy 75 degrees, and right now we need a damned parka.  It won’t quit.  But when we turn it off, the temp rapidly climbs back up into the 80’s.  So we turn it back on, right now we are at 72 and it is pumping out the chill.  I’m scared to go to sleep.  Either we are going to die from sweating to death if we turn it off, or hypothermia if we leave it on.

Help.  If you don’t hear from us in a few days, please call Bob Smith.

Next…Afternoon thunderstorms (which did not provide relief from the heat), prevented any gardening.  We need some serious weeding.  The bog garden is suffering, as are all the potted plants.  We’ve got some work to do.  Oh, and I had my first GrowDammit tomato sammich for lunch today.  Farmer Ted didn’t get pics before I inhaled it unfortunately.

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LDHD Days 9 & 10

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we ended up staying Sunday and driving home today.  Here are some highlights from the past few days…

Mr. & Mrs. Smith & Dawg

Ted

Not Ted’s Yacht

Blogging from the Dock

Next…Back to the grind.  What did the Wannabes come home to find in the GrowDammit gardens?

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