Friday, September 20, 2013

Go ahead. Play with your Food

It's completely ridiculous, but the ridiculous in me (a big, big portion here) simply had to plant the dark red ("Outredeous") lettuce evenly spaced between the bright green one (Black-seeded Simpson"). 

And those shallot tops that just won't die down? Turn them into an aromatic bouquet for the desk.  Keeps the pests away and later on, they can be used in an omellete.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Updates: #3

The Discover and Go program, available through the Oakland Public Library and other local libraries, still works for me.  Free entry into the Aquarium by the Bay, the Academy of Sciences and the Lindsay Wildlife Museum, for example, really saved this month's budget.

At the Aquarium, the coolest items included the jellyfish tanks and the octopus. I had heard that the Aquarium was kinda rinky-dink, but it was far more interesting than I was expecting. (Maybe the free entry helped.)

So why were we aware of entrance fees? Well, aside from the fact that some of them are pretty high (I know, the costs of blah, blah, blah justify...) we had a young visitor, our nephew Ian, who wanted to see everything.

And although the weather was foggy and cool, the Bay Bridge out of commission and the fireworks show canceled, we persevered. Heck, we even went to Tahoe, suspecting that it might be a little smoky from the Rim Fire, but never ever imaging that it would be sooooo bad. No hiking for us.

Princess came out of hiding once Ian left. She has never been keen about visitors, hates it when the doorbell rings but somehow always seems to know the precise moment when those evil strangers are gone.

Whew! Still with me? Well then, Kevin is doing just great, and planning on going back to work asap (yeah, he likes to keep busy).

And if you need some retail therapy now that the back-to-school madness is over, Kathy Kenny and a few friends - Las Tres Amigas - are putting on a trunk show this upcoming weekend.

Oh yeah, and did I mention the tomatoes? Finally, finally, finally, something is happening out back. And this year, they are pretty tasty. We switched from Stupice to Glacier, and they really were glacial in ripening - ninety days? C'mon. But I'll try them again next year, no prob. 'cause they taste so good.

Lastly, it was a great party at Velvet da Vinci in celebration of the marriage of Tom and Mike! Yessir, it was a fun time, and it was had by all. Congratulations and Best Wishes!

Jellyfish photo courtesy of Ian Cullings

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Summer Bounty for the Rest of Us

Since retiring, I have made two lampshades. Or rather, I've re-made two small shades which were old enough to be attending junior high, but I don't think that really counts as working.

Instead, I've been slaving away into the yard. Ahhh, yes, the Zucchini Sex Goddess has been re-deployed. In fact, that ZSG tried to expand her area of expertise and work her charms on a gourd plant - close cousin to the zuke, that blooms even earlier in the morning - but to no purpose. No girl gourds came to the party.

The blossoms on the gourd plant are quite pretty, though - white instead of goldfish-orange. So we all pretended it was just fine to grow a flowering vine. It doesn't really matter that there will not be any gourds this year, right?

But there are beans, beans and more than enough beans to make up for the lack of a few stupid gourds. This season's choice was Fortex pole beans. Great results. And the neighborhood crowd pleaser? Watching the vines grow up the trellis in the front yard (more about trellises another time).

I like my beans mildly flavored (none of that hearty, chewy beany-ness of romanos for me). If you feel that same way, I strongly recommend Fortex. Then you get the entertainment of designing and building a trellis, too.