Wednesday, June 30, 2010

green menu

My friend, Harriet the Spy, is chronicling her summer of vegetables this summer in a new blog.  I thought I'd keep track a bit too, partially so that next summer I can get menu ideas from myself!

Now that my parents live nearby, instead of getting a CSA box every other week, I am splitting a weekly box with them.  I try to assess the contents so I can buy other items I need while at the green market before heading to Kroger.  I haven't bought much produce besides fruit since the CSA began in May.  Greens are finishing up however, and I will need to buy lettuce if I want it for the summer.  This was our week's menu, Wednesday to Tuesday simply because we pick up our boxes on Wednesdays.

June, Week 4:
CSA split: chard, field peas, bell pepper, onion, potatoes, green beans (They took beets, spinach, some of the potatoes, a cuke and I don't remember what else.)

Bought at market: corn, kale, lettuce

Harvested from our yard: 10 cucumbers, +/-6 cherry tomatoes (who knows how many are in Bug's belly), given 2 beefsteaks from my dad's garden

1. Pasta w/tomato and basil, balsamic vinegar
2. Low country boil w/shrimp, corn, potatoes
3. Sweet Italian sausages w/green beans
4. Pizza, cucumber sticks & cherry tomatoes
5. Clam spaghetti, swiss chard, homemade herb bread by Pook
6. Grilled pork loin, field peas
7. Cheeseburgers, kale, sweet potato fries (frozen)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

how does your garden grow?

I start taking pictures of my yard and suddenly I notice jobs that need to be done.  Magnolia leaves are like leather and never decompose.  Layers of ancient magnolia leaves can be dug out still intact.  The large size makes them a hindrance to water absorption, serving as small pools or as gutters leading water away.  So, ignore all the magnolia leaves and just look at the riot of flowers in my sidewalk garden.
Coneflowers, primarily purple but with at least one in gold, share the space with daisies.  I reintroduced the Becky daisy last summer and it has taken off well.  Unfortunately, the Black Eyed Susans are hard to find this year and will need to be encouraged.  A full area of the three is the ultimate goal.  Purple Heart and Lambs Ear fill the low spaces.  (And a couple of cherry tomato plants hide out too.)

Other petals are found in surprising places.  A Black Eyed Susan has chosen the crevice between the fence and driveway.  I will let it remain.  A six foot specimen which requires some research to name is blooming in our wooded area across the sidewalk.  Other than filling it all in tighter, this is a great year for the daisy-like blooms.

Monday, June 28, 2010

our own time zone

We just had a wonderful week in West Virginia with my extended family.  We chose West Virginia, not because anyone in our family lives there, but because no one does.  We looked at various locations between Pittsburgh and Tampa and had a vote.  I voted against north Georgia.  If CD was going to take a week off work I wanted to make it a real trip to somewhere we couldn't go for a weekend.

Pook Googled the directions for us and CD confirmed his choice.  There were three options on the map.  We chose to drive through Asheville, NC  instead of Charlotte, SC.  The estimated time was seven hours thirty minutes for both routes.

Yeah, right.  Our family does not follow Google Time on trips.  We try, honestly we do.  We got off to a good early start and drove our little hearts out... until lunch.  But then we stopped in Asheville for lunch.  CD and I have had several weekend trips there, and I've said I won't move anywhere away from Atlanta, unless it is to Asheville. We love the city.  We found a parking meter available at noon on a Monday, and took it as fate that there would be a restaurant nearby.  And there were three.  One had a twenty minute wait, one served only burgers and nachos, and one was perfect.  The kids shared a three-cheese and sun-dried-tomato-pesto sandwich grilled with sourdough bread and served with incredible sweet potato fries.  CD had to feed the meter.  Lunch was an hour.

But we still cannot account for our other hour.  The only other stops were for gas and bathrooms.  We arrived, as we always do on long trips, two hours later than estimated.  Google plus two.

And coming home?  Same thing.  Different reasons probably, but the same results.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

getting there

Bug smashed stepped on my foot last night.  It really hurt and I sat, holding it for a while.  He kissed my head sweetly and apologized.  But when I didn't immediately hop back onto it, he questioned me.  "Didn't it get there yet?"

I know this is an odd segue (I just really had to share his words), but twice this week I have made really good driving decisions when I thought there was a chance that I was either getting myself lost or at least making my drive much longer than needed.  Both times I "got there" and was pretty amazed at myself.  I have lived in Atlanta, within 8 miles of here, since 1992.  I still get lost all the time. 

I blame Indianapolis for this.  I learned to drive in Indy.  In Indy the roads make a grid, with a few diagonals tossed in for Midwestern fun.  If you miss a turn, you just make three more and four rights can make it right. When I first started driving in Atlanta, I always got turned around.  There is a street near the Fernbank Science Center where I have made U-turns so many times that it just feels natural to turn onto the street yet again.  I've seldom made the correct turn there, so the correct street is unfamiliar.  I soon learned that it took me seven right turns to get from my home to my job.  No lefts at all.  Two area streets crossed each other in two locations, adding to my confusion.  Four rights in Atlanta?  Definitely make a wrong.

And here I am, eighteen years later (wow, that's a long time!) and I still have trouble getting from point B to point C.  But this week I trusted myself (well, I questioned myself, but I kept going) and it turned out well, even better than the route I'd intended, both times.  Maybe I'm making progress.  I know I certainly can never move.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

is there life in the outer world while I'm stuck here?

The internet is down. I’m stir crazy. What super-important-can’t-wait-until-later-without-the-world-coming-to-an-end-email is awaiting me? What has happened in the world today that I won’t know about? Is anyone out there? Help! I can’t even ask for help!

I know just enough about things like wireless routers to know nothing useful. Sometimes they work better if you unplug them and count to twenty before plugging them back in. I might as well make a sacrifice to the god of internet. Reminds me of a child who still imagines little people inside the television.  My I.T. guy (my husband) can't get it running via phone support and has asked me to hang on until tonight.

To add to my ineptness this morning, Pook completed the Lego remote control car kit he just purchased with his birthday money. Except I cannot get the battery case open. I have not yet tried blasting powder, but I have tried everything else. A simple tiny screwdriver should have done the job. Customer Service (which really was helpful) is sending us a new box, but it comes directly from Denmark and therefore might take a few days. Or a week. We couldn’t open the battery compartment on the car either, but after seven Customer Service reps each took an attempt, they finally found the trick and shared it with us. Poor kid. We waited three weeks after he got the birthday money before buying the kit, then had to wait for it to arrive in the mail, and now another week. Patience is not a trait I’m demonstrating to my children very well. Maybe they’ll inherit it from CD’s side of the family.

So, now that this is becoming a blog entry about complaining, let me complain that the county is trying to save money by closing our pool on Mondays. And our swim team coach thinks mornings are better for practices, leaving over half the kids unable to attend due to working parents and camp situations. Our school superintendent has been indicted for racketeering and theft of millions of dollars. And my laundry isn’t drying because of the high humidity.

Huh? I just heard a familiar repetitive tune and discovered that Bug is online. Their computer has internet access and I don’t? I do believe I shall assert my authority and take over their computer. So sorry guys. I need something to work in my favor today.