Friday, April 23, 2010

This cat

Spoiled much?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

One herb away from Scarborough Fair

Despite my strange and inexplicable affinity for all things Gnome, my thumb is most decidedly not green. The Cowboy is the gardener in our little family, and that's just fine with me for the most part. I help him here and there when he needs it, but for the most part, I'm a Plant Killer. I come by it naturally, I suppose. Betty Nuggs is a plant killer also. You won't find any green living things in her house, unless it's mold on some old food in the fridge. I'd like to think I'm a little better about having plants and taking proper care of them than my mother. Perhaps not much, and perhaps not at all, maybe I'm just fooling myself, but I have managed to have 3 indoor house plants for several years now, and not kill them.

When it comes to the out of doors, however, I generally turn the reins over to The Cowboy and he does a great job. He comes by his gardening abilities just as naturally as I come by mine - his parents have bananas, oranges, strawberries, tomatoes, okra, and all manner of other edible and non-edible plants growing in their yard. It's like a jungle over there. But in a good way. The Cowboy is the same way. We could open up our own produce stand over here with all the things he plants and grows each year.

We have an apple tree (with one teeny little apple!)

An orange tree with lots of itty bitty oranges!


Cucumber plants (which will turn into pickles)

Dewberry bushes (which will turn into jam)

He also has some tomatoes, peppers and lemons back there. And lord knows what else. In addition to some beautiful rose bushes on the side of the house.

Every year I try to plant some herbs and keep from killing them until at least June. I've been mildly successful in the past, and some of that success has carried over from year to year. We couldn't kill our rosemary if we tried.

It's rouge. And 2 years ago I planted some thyme on the side of the house that is still going strong. I never use thyme in my cooking, so it just sit there and looks pretty, but it's growing nicely, and I will take the credit for that despite my lack of watering and pretty much forgetting it's over there.

This year I have once again decided to try my hand, or thumb as the case may be, at growing a little herb garden. I bought seeds for basil, parsley and lavender and planted them in pots. Then I forgot to water them for about a week, but thankfully we had some rain. And miraculously, when I checked on the plants the other day - lo and behold! Hark!

Green! Buds! Plants! Living things!

I can't remember which pot I put what in, so I have 2 out of 3 pots sprouting growth, and I don't have any idea what it is coming up. It's like a fun little mystery! Surprise! We've got basil! Or parsley! Or maybe lavender! Time will tell. Sometimes it pays to have a shitty memory.

My calla lily plants also bloomed nicely this year, despite my best efforts to unintentionally kill them. Perhaps the plants have forgiven me! See here, people of the internets, I will become a World Class Gardener, the likes of which few can ever hope to become. Akin to (insert famous gardener name here)!

Probably not. But if I can make something grow and have some yummy basil to put on the tomatoes The Cowboy grows, I'll be happy. Baby steps.

Speaking of growing things and making jam, it was Jam Central over here today. Jam Master Cowboy and I made 27 jars of strawberry jam. No, we did not grow the strawberries. I got them on sale at my new favorite store, Sprouts. But now we have enough jam to last us until the apocalypse.

I will be sure to keep you all abreast of my gardening triumphs. Please pray for me and for my plants and for rain in case (when) I forget to water them.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

So I play the numbers game to find a way to say that life has just begun

(insert perfunctory apology for ridiculously long absence HERE)

My friend Kellie and I get together about twice a week (and sometimes more) to knit, watch American Idol, drink wine and bitch about life. It's a beautiful thing. This past Sunday was one such occasion, and we made a trip to the local hippy-likesmaller and less pretentious-version of Whole Foods, Sprouts. They're not nation wide yet, and they haven't completely replaced Trader Joe's in my heart, but they're a close second. Trader Joe's, I miss you.

So as we're perusing the aisles and filling our baskets with logs of goat cheese and boxes of crackers, we come upon this little delight.

Chocovine. Anyone? I'd certainly never heard of it, but apparently it's been around. We were intrigued. We both looked at it, looked at each other, and then I placed it in our basket, and without saying another word we moved on. We have that kind of relationship where we understand each other and don't need to discuss the purchase of hilarious chocolate wine drinks. Of course we're going to buy it. As if there was ever any question about it. Never mind that we already had 2 other bottles in our basket. Never fear, we've not had any problems polishing off bottles of wine in the past.

That's a recipe for success, by the way, if you're looking for one. 2 bottles of wine + Casey James and Lee Dewyze + knitting = awesomeness. I had to rip back a bib I was working on because after that second bottle of wine, it was all wonky and had a big hole in it.

But damn, did you see Lee's performance of "Hey Jude"? With the bagpipes? That more than made up for any knitting frustrations I might have had. Lee and I are going to make Idol babies one day. You'll see.

Anyway, I got off subject. The wine. The chocolate wine. The Chocovine. We paid for our purchases and went on our way. When we got back to Kellie's place, we decided to open up another bottle first and refrigerate the Chocovine. Figuring it would be better cold, and also possibly after another bottle of wine.

Wrong on both accounts. It was quite possibly the nastiest stuff I've ever had in my mouth (that's what she said). It sort of tasted like a mud-slide, but worse. It didn't taste AT ALL like wine, and barely like chocolate. It was really gross. To the makers of Chocovine, I am sorry. That shiz is gross. Shame on you for marketing that to poor, unsuspecting drunks like myself and Kellie. I want my $8.99 back. (perhaps that should have been an indicator?)

On the drive home (and don't worry, I waited an appropriate amount of time before driving and ate an inappropriate amount of goat cheese and crackers), I heard one of my favorite John Mayer songs on the radio. And it made me smile. And also made me wax philosophical. If you're not a hard core JM fan, you may not know this song. It's not one they play on the radio often. But it's my favorite of all his songs. And as much as I think that John Mayer the person might be a total douche bag, he's a good song writer, and a great guitarist, and a sexy mo-fo. I'm sorry. That's just how I feel. So anyway, here's the lyrics to the song.

No, I'm not color blind, I know the world is black and white
Try to keep an open mind but I just can't sleep in this tonight
Stop this train, I want to get off and go home again
I can't take the speed it's moving in
I know I can't, but honestly won't someone stop this train

Don't know how else to say it, don't want to see my parents go
One generation's length away from fighting life out on my own
Stop this train, I want to get off and go home again
I can't take the speed it's moving in
I know I can't, but honestly won't someone stop this train

So scared of getting older I'm only good at being young
So I play the numbers game to find a way to say that life has just begun
Had a talk with my old man, said help me understand
He said turn 68, you'll renegotiate
Don't stop this train, don't for a minute change the place you're in
And don't think I couldn't ever understand
I tried my hand, John, honestly, we'll never stop this train

Once in awhile when it's good it'll feel like it should
And they're all still around and you're still safe and sound
And you don't miss a thing 'till you cry when you're driving away in the dark

Singing stop this train, I want to get off and go home again
I can't take the speed it's moving in
I know I can't, cause now I see I'll never stop this train

You can listen to the song here: Stop this train

I don't know what it is about these lyrics that move me so much, but they do. And I thought I'd share that with you.

So that's all I have for you. Bad wine and good music. Oh, and my Etsy store is open - have you noticed? Check out the side bar! If you haven't already, please take a look around. It's been open for nearly a month and so far is doing better than I anticipated. So I'm pleased. I'll be adding more to it later this week, so check back in.

Until we meet again...