Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Serenity

Mid Summer Treat...

Wisteria are Spring-blooming plants. Imagine my delight when I (finally) noticed their second bloom just yesterday. Wow! It's August and we have another wisteria bloomage moment! Simply amazing. And beautiful!

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!


This is also my entry in Kacey's photo-of-the-month contest.
It would be just loverly to win ;-)!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hmmmm....


Sometimes there's just no accounting for good taste

~

My friend Kacey posted about weird sights on the side of highways the other day, and I remembered I'd taken this photo while on I-70 on the way to St. Louis (traveling home this past June). That billboard up there...kinda leaves me speechless...it is just so very wrong on so very many levels. Barbeque anyone?

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Perfect SWF Day


Today was a "gift" kind of day. It began in the mid 60's with no humidity, and continued as such. That makes for a most magnificent cloud-watching kind of day! Don't tell anyone, but I stopped off at one of my very favorite Saugatuck River spots to take a few photos before work. OK, it made me a bit late for work, but who can blame me with this photo to be taken?
Such a very unusual summer we've had here in the Northeast. Not many days that were hot, so much rain it's unbearably wet and all surfaces are incredibly slippery historical, and green as far as the eye can see. My lawn has been perpetually green, well, until the last week, when it suddenly began to turn brown. I think the browning is caused not by lack of water, but because my grass has finally given up the ghost along with my zucchini, cucumbers and tomatoes and simply decided the best thing to do was drown. (Don't even ASK me about the mildew on my hosta plants and maple tree leaves - it's real and it's not at all pretty - and it's the first time in 30 years that's ever happened!) The weeds? If we're not careful, they'll be growing over the top of the house next week!
So there, my friends, you have a small glance of my magnificent sky for this week. I know there are many beautiful skies all over the world, but my sky certainly ranks with one of the best! Glad it's mine!

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Trout River

My Norwalk River -
one of many stocked with trout.
Fly fishing this Fall!

On first glance, it looks
like it could be a country
stream. Nope, city-bound.

Beauty in water,
Wherever it flows. Urban,
Or the wild places.

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Cousin Out Back

The "Sunday morning glory bloom" I posted, well, just this last Sunday, came out of the same packet of seeds that today's morning glory bloom did. Can you imagine two more different blooms? So, though they're related, the cousin out back is certainly very different than her front porch relative!

Other than that, I'm also having photo issues, basically because I HATE HATE HATE reading directions of any kind, and thus I am left with a humongous...

Conundrum:

The top photo is here courtesy of iPhoto...morning glories are beautiful, colors are not. Cropping is good.
The second photo is here courtesy of flickr.com...morning glories are beautiful, colors are also beautiful. Cropping is not!

I am not happy.

From iPhoto

From Flickr

My big, (and I mean very big) problem?? I hate to read directions, so I have no idea how to fuse the two above problems into one solution...without reading the directions. DAMMIT! (And do NOT tell me to read the directions!)

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sad Little Morning Glory...

Last year my {morning glories were simply magnificent}! Blue and every color in between - just beautiful. This year, not so much. I sent seeds to my blogging friend {Mary}, as I knew they'd be as magnificent this year as last...Not so much. (Sorry Mary!) I'm growing great foliage, but the blooms are small and terribly disappointing. What is UP with that??? This year, once again I'll gather seeds and hope next year will be better...but I'm buyin' as well.

Once again, Serenity is not realized...
sigh...

~~~

xoabb
hmmmmm...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

CG Kate Bag Weekly Harvest 8/22

Ate the beans... and they were delicious! So many peppers,
not sure what we're going to do with them...saute 'em maybe?
Sounds good to me! Tomatoes? Tomorrow's salad!


Hungry bumblebee
Getting every last taste of
Sweet nectar. Fly on!

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!


Friday, August 21, 2009

Beach of Dreams

Serenity is not freedom from the storm,
But peace amid the storm.
~anonymous

xoabb
expect anything!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Attack Cat!

"Feetz...I has dem.
But theyz weapons,
So I keepz dem hidden!"

(What Trey-You would be saying if he was
featured on ~icanhascheezburger.com~)

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday Serenity is NOT Happening this Week

See the open screen door? More importantly, see the tear in the open screen door? That's thanks to our Stella-dog. She has made herself a handy-dandy little hole with which to open not one, but all 3 of our screen doors (really, someone must teach her to close the screen door after opening it, the mosquitos are killing us).
GB and I were at the dinner table last night and, for once, Stella was inside and the screen door was closed because I'd closed it once again. Imagine our utter surprise when Trey-you (that damn cat) sauntered up to the door....and jumped out! Yup, out of the very convenient hole Stella has made. Needless to say, we are not pleased. Not one little teeny tiny bit pleased. Matter of fact, GB swore. A lot. POOH!

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Homemade Blueberry Pie

Our dear family friends, Gus and Roe, have been visiting us the last several weeks. My hubs George (GB), Gus, cousin Pete and friend Jim Fitz - he who is known among his good buddies as ~the supreme dessert creator~ - played golf. As they were returning home that evening, GB called me and said all were coming to dinner if that was ok. Roe, who was beside me in our car and heard this, replied: "Only if Jim brings dessert!" (She was kidding.) GB replied that Jim was much too tired from the night before, so dessert would certainly not be forthcoming. We all laughed and went on with the evening.
Three hours later...."GB", I said, "do you think Jim fell asleep and isn't coming to dinner?" GB said he didn't know. With that, in walked Jim with a warm-out-of-the-oven fresh blueberry pie! He was late because he was making dessert! I'm just sayin', his pie was the best I've had since...well since I've had my mom's pie.

He didn't have to do it -
We were just kidding -
We're SO GLAD he didn't listen!

P. S. The only human being in the entire world that makes better crust than Jimmy Fitz is, and there's no doubt about it, my mother. Her crust is unbelievable perfection. The end.

xoabb
expect anything!

Friday, August 14, 2009

SWF: Sky & Beach w/a Side of Veggies

Mathews County VA
With all my new and old Blisters*
(*Short for Blog-Fest Sisters)


My CG* Kate Bag harvest 8/14/9
Haven't a clue what kind of peppers those are.
Some hot, some sweet...
But which is which??
Ahh...the tastebuds will tell me!
(Pepper & bean seeds from my dad.)
(Oh! Maybe he'll know - wait, he gets his peps mixed up too!)


And...
My first endeavor "putting up" any kind of food.
Can you imagine how fresh and wonderful
it's going to taste during the cold cold winter?

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Our annual Sono Arts Festival.
Not there this year?? Be there next year!
(Come be my guest - I'll be your tour guide.)
Obviously there's something for everyone!

xoabb
expect anything!

Above is one of the many entertainment events offered over the course of 3 days.
Lucky for these 3 the temps stayed in the low 80's!
Bizarre as they looked, the kids loved them!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Take 30 Pounds Fresh Roma Tomatoes...

And you get over 2 gallons sauce...
Just to give you an idea...

That's nearly a 7 lb. can by that big pot - and you saw what was in that pot!

Remember I bought 30 lbs. tomatoes along Arthur Avenue last week? Well, today I cooked them. It was a first for me, and I must admit, it took hours of hard labor a while to do - first you blanch, then ice bath, then peel and core, lightly Cuisinart and then put all in the pot to simmer for a bit. Only thing I added was a bit of EVOO (thank you Rachael Ray for that abbreviation). I've boiled it down a bit and tomorrow will bag it and freeze it! Tastes delicious today - can you imagine how good it will be in the cold months of the coming winter? First time I've done this, and will definitely do it again! (It'll be perfect with the 200 ravioli we made last week. Anyone want to come for dinner??)

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Arthur Avenue w/a side of Locatelli

Any of you ever been to Arthur Avenue? No? Yes? Whatever! When you get there, go to The Market. It's just loaded with wonderful Italian goodies! Olives, prociutto, sausage, fresh pasta and, of course Locatelli - you know, that's romano cheese at its very very freshest and finest!
My friend after I thought I'd been surreptitiously taking photos of him, brazenly asked me if I wanted to take a picture of him. Of course, I said! And so I present you with my new friend, Tony, king of the Locatelli cheese counter, and an all-around good cheese guy! Oh, and if you want to learn more, go to the post I wrote last time we were there! You'll find it here.

What fun we had!

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Black-Eyed Beauty

Love me, love me not!
Am I not just beautful?
Yes! Black Eyed Susan!

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

CG Kate Bag Weekly Harvest w/a Side of Dirt

Things in the CG are kind of looking up! Our harvest this week is slightly even better than last. Just look at my CG Kate bag gatherings! Another gigantic zucchini, two cucumbers, (one that for whatever reason didn't make it into the pic), three peppers, and I so wish I knew what they were - the pepper we harvested last week was quite hot and when I sniffed the three from this week...well...they do not sniff sweet to me! Just look at the beans, those wonderful beans! Enough blue lakes with a few German yellows thrown in to make a mess that will feed not only GB and me, but a friend or two as well. Nice!
I do believe there's another stuffed zucchini in our immediate future. And if all our tomatoes ever ripen? Look out!

Oh, and the dirt? That cucumber was really covered with it!
This whole community garden thing is really a lot of fun.
Till next week's harvest!

~~~

xoabb
getting excited about our CG weekly harvest!

Friday, August 07, 2009

SWF with a Side of Tomatoes

Sky Watch Reflection
Pollen on pond. Allergies!
NO one is sneeze free!

Lots of tomatoes
(Not mine, farmer's market grown)
Must freeze them...now what???

~~~

xoabb
expecting my mom to come through with her marinara-type sauce -
you know, the one with the peppers & onions that is so so good!


Do join us!

(both photos taken yesterday -
can you believe the pollen on our pond??)

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Ohhh Nooo.....

Stella got this in a full-on face & body kind of way...

Not one of us were - or are - happy.
P. S. Mario had the good sense to stay indoors, thus escaped dastardly smells.
~~~

xoabb
expect...well I just don't know what!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Stella Has a Guest

Mario has been visiting Stella for the last week. Tho he weighs a mere 7 pounds compared to Stella's 78 pounds, he pretty much rules the roost. I am so embarrassed my baby lets that little thing boss her around! I thought I taught her better!

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Sunday Serenity: Ripe Tomatoes In Waiting...



One of the most delightful things about a garden
is the anticipation it provides.

~ W. E. Johns

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Saturday Bean Irritation, Part 2

First, please take a look at the photo below this one. Now, look at the above photo. Can you also see how much better the actual photo quality is when it's uploaded from Flickr instead of iPhoto onto blogger (above pic from Flickr, below from iPhoto)? Colors are definitely sharper. And when I view it on both the compose and preview blogger pages, the photo looks perfectly fine - black line surrounding on all four sides, cropping as it should be, photo perfectly centered. Then I publish it to blogger and all goes to hell in a hand basket. I've tried editing it in Flickr's paintbucket, and though I can make the photo smaller, it still doesn't publish to blogger correctly cropped, and even though I don't figgle with the color, when it's saved back to Flickr, the color is always decidedly off, not nearly as true as the original. Anyone know why this is happening to me? Personally I think it's an evil plot designed to make me finally go 'round the bend into complete blithering idiocy (a small bend indeed). On another note, if anyone has any helpful hints to this challenged Flickr gal wannabe, I'd love to hear 'em.

~~~

xoabb
o bother!

My CG Kate Bag Weekly Harvest


While my friend {Ellen} has thus far only harvested 20 lbs. of beans from her garden, I have already harvested my second 20! Well...beans. Oh awright, I've just harvested my second 20 beans. Not 20 pounds...20 beans. This day week I will not be feeding my family on the CG bean (or any other veggie) harvest. However, above, please behold my miniscule glorious CG bean glory! I know, I know...CG harvest wonders never cease! (By the way? The answer is yes! Yes, I am very very jealous of Ellen's 20 lb. thus far harvest. Very! I think she should share. With me.)

Oh, and for those who don't know, in this instance, CG Kate bag doesn't refer to my {Country Girl Kate} bag, (though she is the one who gave me my loverly Kate Bag), it refers to my Community Garden Kate bag. I've been use my CG Kate bag for harvesting and let's just say there's lots and lots of room in there. Lots of room. Unfortunately. However, hope springs eternal! I'll fill that bag yet! Yup, just wait till tomorrow - I'm showing you my ripe tomatoes-to-be...that will go in my CG Kate bag if they ever, and I have little hope they ever will when they ripen. O the anticipation!

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

P. S. A shout-out to Chesapeake Bay Woman, she who taught me the beauty of the strike-through thingamagiggy. It is ever so loverly!