Sunday, June 29, 2008


Today is my brother's birthday. We are big on tradition in my family, and my brother likes to go to a local crab house called Costa's. The crabs are big and spicey, and a good time was had by all. The crabs were so big, we even had a few to send home with my uncle.
..and a birthday is not complete without a cake.
Happy Birthday. Hope it is a great year!

Friday, June 27, 2008


Unfortunately, my husband can't remember what these are. Anyone have any ideas. There are nine numbered sizes. (one missing)
They telescope inside each other.
They are hollow with sharp beveled edges.
I would appreciate all guesses.
Thanks and have a good night

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Niki and I took two of the dogs into the pool. It was Bailey's first swim. Flynn is an experienced swimmer who will jump into the pool anytime.

Flynn can go up and down the ladder by himself. Riley prefers to be an observer. No pool for him.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Nothing went as expected today. Car troubles cancelled a trip out to Ellicott City with a dear friend. My daughter offered to take me, but she was on call for work and had a crisis. So I, of course, spent the afternoon with other visitors in the gardenKatidids, I think these rival your spider crickets. I didn't know I had these in the backyard.The rue is growing nicely. Don't know what to expect. But I will report if I get butterflies.
The basil is doing nicely, pesto is right around the corner.
I am ready for grilled zucchini....

...and fresh cucumbers for the salad... ...and, of course, the TOMATOES!

My husband got home and we headed up to one of my favorite places, Hacienda Shiloh. It is an organic herb and garlic farm near Gettysburg. I usually go up a couple of times a year. Early summer to pick up herbs and plants for the garden(this is where I got the indigo). A very knowledgable woman by the name of Marda, a California transplant and am I glad she came, owns the establishment. She always has something different. I was lucky to get some of the last of the lime basil. It is great in salsa. After July 4th the garlic is usually ready to be harvested and that means the next trip. She has all sorts. I never realized how good garlic was. It is nothing like the supermarket bulbs. The tastes are superb, rich and full. She also sells every herb and tea imaginable .

We picked up some garlic scapes to tide us over until the parent bulbs are ready to appear. Used it for the guacomole and the hamburgers tonight. I also picked up a surprise for an mutual plant addict that I know. Everyone have a great weekend.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Good thing it isn't real. Do you think it could be related to Katie's spider crickets? Watch out don't get bit?

It is acutally an ashtray. No one smokes in my house, so it will have to stay guarding the plants.
I wonder if this scary thing ever helped anyone stop smoking?

Thursday, June 19, 2008


My daughter and I decided to take a trip down to the yard--Camden Yard where our beloved Orioles play baseball. There is such an excitement in the air this year. They are not expected to do anything this year. But the young players are fun to watch. They never give up and you can see that they love the game. Their manager, Trembley, is a perfect match for these kids. It was perfect weather and a delightful night. They came away with another victory. Swept the Houston Astros. It was so much sweeter since Tejada plays for the Astros. He was a trouble maker here. A lot of boos were heard around the ballpark when he came up to bat.
Speaking of Tejada's bat--look closely. What is holding up his bat? He fouled off a pitch and set the bat in this position. I have never seen this on the field before. A couple of minutes later he came and picked it up and went back to the plate.
The new scoreboard looks nice. But we don't like the hotel additions to the skyline. They are building a Hilton and it now blocks the view.
Bases are loaded. Everywhere you look there is an Oriole.
A wonderful night was had by all! Except the Astros.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


My kids gave my husband a fire pit for Father's Day. Well, we went out looking for brickwork to put under the pit. We picked out a spot at the end of the yard, away from the house. Found a nice design. AND while we were at Lowe's my husband picked up some more brick to create an area at the bottom of our steps. It becomes a muddy mess with all the dogs in the rain. AND he is also creating an area under the grill. We never have one project going at a time in our house. Hopefully, less mud. It looks like we can test it out tonight. Thunderstorms coming.
Puppy update. Look at her legs. Boy, is she getting tall.
Patio tomato update. I can almost taste them.
The herbs I got at the Lavendar festival have been placed in multiple pots. They are already taking off. I can't wait to start cooking.
More flowers are blooming.
This is my $3 project from the supermarket(think Charlie Brown's Christmas tree) Hasn't it come along.
Hosta, hosta, hosta. I love hosta.
It is such a pleasure escaping to the yard. It is my refuge after a long day at work. The dogs love to share it with us. My husband and I are blessed with a good life.

Friday, June 13, 2008


I spent the day with friends at the Pennsylvania Lavendar Festival hosted by Willow Pond Farm.

I did not realize how many different varities of lavendar there are. We took a lavender wand making class. We decided we were better knitters. Not all of us are meant to be lavender wand makers. The class is usually a half hour. We were there for an hour and a half.
They sold, of course, lavender. But they also are an herb farm. I came away with tarragon, rosemary, roe, thai basil, spicey oregano, thyme lime, and a few others. Margaret and I picked up a curry we were all excited about-- only to read in the car that you shouldn't cook with it.
Some of the spoils: lavender honey, a herbal flea collar for the puppy, a computer wrist pad with soothing lavender, a neck rap, multiple herb mixes. I also picked up a grab bag that had candles, soap and lavender sachet. The dreaded lavender wand is the white object with the bow.
I had a wonderful time and look forward to it's return next year.
P.S. The pitcher on the right hand side is full of marigold infused water. A co-worker suggested this as a non herbicidal remedy for bugs in the garden. She said it was always succesful for her dad. I will let you know.



Composting is a tradition in my husband's family. His dad had a huge compost pile in the back of his property. He grew everything. Great tomatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, onions, grapes, blackberries, along with the best asparagus patch I had every seen. It was fertilized by the compost pile. He put all the yard trimmings (stubborn weeds or infected plants he left out)and all kitchen scraps, not animal based. Especially good were coffee grounds and egg shells. (something to do with the nitrogen vs carbon)

We compost here on a smaller scale. But once we got the dogs they interfered with the pile and we thought we would have to stop. For Father's Day one year, I found this miracle composter. It made it so much simpler and cleaner and the dogs ignore it. We just keep it loaded with all the same ingredients. It's like Composting For Dummies. The container is even marked. It has a whole for air and water. You roll the thing around the yard. One flat end turn at a time. It gets very hot quickly but doesn't have an odor. It is amazing how fast the full container decomposes.

At the end of the season my husband tills the composted material into the soil. It really has done wonders for the soil and helps keep the clippings and scraps out of the landfill.