Wednesday, July 30, 2008

learning to garden as we go

Deep inside the bush they seemed really red so naturally we picked them. Amateur tomato growers is what we are. We have enjoyed this years garden so much that we decided that this fall we are going to build a raised bed and get it ready for next Spring. Gardening is soooo relaxing when you are not getting stung by mosquito's and other flying biters.



This year's container crop included:



Bell Peppers

Banana Peppers

Tomatoes

Mint

Basil

Dill

Oregano

Sage

Parsley

Rosemary



Next year we hope to expand our horizons a little and add some yellow squash, zucchini, jalapeno, and a variety of lettuce. We also plan to use a product called mosquito barrier to help combat some of the biting insects. I found mosquito barrier on the EPA's website as a link. It seems kind of expensive but it is organic and we like that idea a lot. It is made from super duper high concentrated garlic juice which to a mosquito is supposed to act like acid. You dilute with water and spray your trees, bushes and grass. It is supposed to work and at the very worst my yard will smell like a buca di beppo. We also want to do a little composting because our tomato's soil is the product of five years of dumping old soil and clippings in that very spot. When my good friend Valerie planted that tomato for us we notice big fat earth worms. The only other thing I want to do next year is give my peppers more space and a ring to lean on. The weight of the pepper makes the plant droop and it really needs some support. We sure have been enjoying our salads a lot more with all these fresh picked veggies.

ok i'm coming you silly dog


Words I hear frequently from my mother when Tobie's lost patience and wants in. Tobie will woof until he gets his way or chicken at the very minimum. On really bad days (hot and buggy)we have to take him for a ride. Sometimes a ride involves a doggy cone at Andy's, a jr. burger at sonic or mcnuggets. He is not spoiled he just has needs that have to be met. It doesn't matter if gas is $3.50 a gallon when Tobie is ready and he is always ready off we go.

parking in the blue spot





I remember the first time I received a disabled placard. I was walking then and pretty good at that except I had unpredictable moments of weakness. I just started using a cane because I found that with the cane I felt a little safer and I would fall a little less frequently. It was Christmas 1994 and I had a few packages to mail so I pulled into the Hillcrest post office in San Diego, put my placard up, gathered my packages and cane, and got out of my car, when I was accosted by a 30 something. He yelled at me about parking in that spot and said, "there is nothing wrong with you!" He did this at the top of his voice and in front of a parking lot full of people.

At this point I am 27 years old and I had just been seen by a doctor who told me that she thought I had muscular dystrophy. I had not even received the official diagnosis so I was not prepared emotionally to deal with this man. He caught me off guard. I am standing in line and he is right behind me making rude comments about me to his companion. I am feeling completely freaked out, mortified to say the least. My feelings are hurt and I am wondering why some stranger would assume the worst of me. But I am stunned and I can't even speak to him.
I get out of line upset with my packages unmailed, get back in my car and I start to cry. I am stunned by that man, so much so, that I want to yell at him but those feeling surface an hour after and I am long gone. I know that I will never see him again. What would I say to him if I could turn back time it would sound like this “Don’t assume you know everything because I am parked in that spot legally and furthermore what I have has no cure and is none of your business anyway!” Now at 27 I would have called him a jerk at 41 I’m pretty sure I would have called him an as-h-le. I am so glad that I have matured. What happened instead was something even better.
I use my placard everywhere and not one person has ever done that to me since. But things for me are a lot different now. I am in the wheelchair fulltime and I use a ramp van. Let’s face it you don’t go out and buy a ramp van and a power wheelchair just so you can fake a mobility impairment to get the blue spots upfront. What this experience did for me was make no assumptions about anyone. If someone parks in the spot, gets out of their car and they appear fine it could just be on the surface. There are a lot of diseases that happens with so don’t make any assumptions. For God sakes if someone parks illegally and they feel they need that spot bad enough to take it from a disabled person then I say let them have it.

I had a recent experience with that situation too. One of our local news teams was parked at Nathaniel Green Park in a disabled spot without a placard. My husband took the photo because he really gets mad when he sees that. People please there are only a few of those spots in every parking lot and millions of people that need them. Don’t test fate by parking in one just to save a few steps. It's bad luck, there are a ton of bad diseases that have a later in life onset. So to the man who drives the KY3 Blue Ford Explorer if you forgot to put up your placard I am sorry to post this. If you just tried to save a few steps please try to remember there are alot of people that can't take those steps themselves and really need that spot.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

annie back in the running

Well for the past two nights Annie has slept through the night. She has been so sweet that she is weaseling her way back in the running for next weeks "pet of the week" award.

Its been blazing hot, humid and buggy. When I say buggy I mean big bugs with teeth. Even the poor dogs have bites on them that have puffed up. So indoors we all stay, air conditioning humming and outside the cicadas a buzzing.

labradorite



The stone is in the feldspar family in fact its mineral composition is calcium sodium feldspar, which means little to most people. Often it gets overlooked because from a distance it can seem grey, cloudy and striated. Sadly if you don't inspect it closer you might miss that fact that it has enormous fire when the light hits it just right. The fire can be olive, turquoise, orange, cobalt and even at times appear like the sun. I have read that some rare stones display all these colors at the same time.
How this color display happens is when compatible high temperatures become incompatible at lower temps and lamellar (a thin, plate-like part, or layer) inter-growths form inside the crystal and there is some light ray refraction thrown into the mix. I am no chemistry major so this is my elementary understanding of how this happens. Nevertheless it is so beautiful and the jewelry is even more so. When worn it can go with just about everything because on one level it appears neutral and then out of nowhere it becomes spectacular.
I just made a necklace that I showed my lapidary experts and they tried to keep it. In fact, friendly Floyd as he likes to refer to himself (owner of the Treasure Chest and veteran stone smith for the past 50+ years) said, "when you make something that fine you have to leave it in my store." I said, "no way buddy that piece is mine."
Its chatoyance is outrageous and as soon as I can get it photographed I will post a picture. I have not worn it yet because I need more stones to make the earrings and bracelet and also because it is so special I am not sure I can just wear it. Oh nonsense I think I will wear it tomorrow.
Be on the lookout for this stone and if you are interested in a strand of your own the link I posted (great bulk pricing) has some lovely strands. Or if you live locally you must visit the Treasure Chest because that store is filled with experts and the most beautiful stones in Springfield. Perhaps you want a pendant they have lots of those too or if you are not local just search the site mentioned using "labradorite pendant" and a whole page in various shapes, sizes, and price points will come up.

Monday, July 28, 2008

the grilled pork tenderloin

We had it for dinner last night and it was DELICIOUS! The trick is to turn it every 15 minutes on the grill and use a meat thermometer. When it registers 160 degrees it's done!

posting to a blog is not a waste of time

Anymore than taking the time to read what someone else is thinking is not a waste of time because it is a time of reflection for the writer and sometimes that can trigger reflection time for the reader. Coming up with things to write about is not always easy but to maintain an interesting blog necessary. I am contantly thinking about things to write and because I enjoy this activity so much I want my blog to be interesting enough that I get readers on a regular basis. My brother told me that writing about how to water a tomato was not interesting. I have to agree with him but my blog has not interested him enough that he has bothered to read it. If he had he would realize that I never wrote about that.

He does not have time to read my blog but he does have time to attend a Taze-a-Que 2008. What is a Taze-a-Que 2008? Well simply put it involves a bunch a red necks getting together to see what will happen to their buddy when they shoot him with 50,000 volts of electricity from a a taser gun. After which they grill some meat and have a barbeque. Well for thirty seconds they all got a scare because they thought they killed him. I am not sure why they thought this was a good idea to attend but they did in fact most of Jack's office left work earily to attend. If you want to see what happened the "youtube" link is listed below. I am sure that if the stunned had done some reflecting prior to taking that 50,000 volts the taze-a-que might have just been a barbeque instead. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGDWwcJINUs

addiction


I have friends, family and loves from a previous life that have been caught in the web of addiction. Even somewhere in their subconscious it is a web they desire to avoid. But how do you know you will be snared by that web? When you are young and believe that you are invincible not everything you did was perfect. Maybe you drank to many margaritas, well you did not become addicted but what about the person who did? It is kind of like rolling the dice, don't you think? Sometimes it is fun, weird or better than your current consciousness and you can't leave it or you do not want to leave it because it feels so much better than your organic reality. There is nothing anyone can say to you at this point. You have to be one of the lucky ones to escape it and no one really escapes it unscathed. Even if it is not you living in hell someone you know is. They may not put a face or a name to it and they might even mistake it for heaven but it is hell. Do we write that one off because it snared them and we were lucky that it did not snare us? But it did snare us because we can't write them off and by extension to them we are also snared. So for those caught in the web of addiction please take a moment when you read this and try to imagine no matter how painful it may be that person and what they would be like without the addiction and maybe through the power of positive thought, prayer or whatever you want to call it they will find their true self and become untangled by its nasty, sticky web.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

GRILLED HERBED PORK LOIN


4 lb. boneless pork loin, tied

1/4 c. olive oil

2 tbsp. minced garlic

1 tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
1 tbsp. minced fresh oregano

1 tbsp. minced fresh Basil

1 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Combine oil and all seasonings. Rub over pork, wrap and refrigerate up to 24 hours.

TO GRILL: Prepare grill for indirect cooking (40 charcoal briquettes and light,
when hot put half on each side). Place roast in center, cook,
turning every 15 minutes until 160 degrees on meat thermometer or 60 to 70 minutes.

TO ROAST: Brown in olive oil. Roast in oven at 375 degrees
about 60 to 70 minutes until meat thermometer reaches 160 degrees.
Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. 8 to 10 servings.

the great courses catalogue

It shows up in my mailbox a couple times a month. It seem there are at least 100 or more classes you can purchase on DVD or CD format from about $59.95 to $149.95 on a myriad of subjects. I am tempted each time I get this catalogue to breakdown and purchase one to listen to in my car. Some of the titles crack me up like "Consciousness and Its Implications" with the first lecture titled "Zombies" or "No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life". I imagine Mel Brooks making a spoof class on DVD with dancing flesh eating Nietzsche's running around. Seriously, the endorsers make statements like "Its breath-taking the change these lectures can make in your life." (Bob Schieffer) and the mailbag is filled with people that regret ever holding back from buying these classes. Someone even goes as far as stating they enjoy their insomnia. Wow that's a stretch I am sure. Never-the-less I have not yet tried a course but as soon as I do I will report back and let you know what I think.

coveted "pet of the week" lost to repeat offender



Missy here kept us up all night. She started out by going to sleep like everybody else then she wakes up. Like most of us that wake up we go back to sleep but not Annie. If she woofed once she woofed a hundred times. She was in the running for "pet of the week" this week but she ruined her chances. Even Tobie her room-mate was unhappy with her antics. The problem was she no longer wants to sleep with just Tobie. They have their own room to sleep in at night so that we could contain the dog hair to that room as much as possible. Sleeping with Tobie was not good enough! She feels she must sleep near a human. In the interest of undisturbed sleep for the household she will get her way and sleep on the floor in our room. This is not our first time dealing with this behavior; however, it better be the last time or she might meet up with the Sunday classified across her backside.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

house lion


Bougie (candle in French) named because the tips of his ears are flame colored. He really should be pet of the week. Only he is not our pet we are his. He is 22 pounds and the senior most animal we have. He was born around August of 1999 and came to us is a most peculiar way. I always thought of him as an angle kitty because he arrived at a time when our only cat Fluffy was about to leave this world and move on to cat heaven.
He chose us and never will you ever meet a cat more sensitive to the feelings of others. He never tires of giving love. He is smart and can speak one word of English. He says, "Grandma" when he wants to be fed.
Our only obstacle in receiving his love is his size. He desires to curl up on you as close to your neck as possible and give you love. He is so heavy that if he lays on your chest he could cut off your air supply. Sometimes air is over rated or at least he thinks so. He is a gentle soul and never starts any altercations unlike his brother Buster. He loves the dogs even when they mistook him once for a squirrel and chased him around the house at full speed. Even with his size he moves like the wind when necessary. He comes when you call him. If you are new to our home you will never see him; however, if you are wearing dark colors you will leave with a little piece of him. If you are a frequent visitor he will welcome you and believe that your visit is to him. He is very vocal and when there is food involved even more so.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

duck, duck, goose






A few feathered friends thrive at NGC Park. Every spring new babies are born and now this large pond is the home to a variety of ducks and geese, most notably the Canadian Geese. They hiss like a snake at the others when you feed them and look right at you like you might try to cook them. They dominate the pond and the little quackers give them a wide berth when there is food involved. Speaking of snakes one of the other visitors to NGC park brought his boa constrictor the other day. It had to be at least 20 feet long and easily as thick as his owners mid-section. His snakes name is Jeana. I did not have my camera, a gross over sight on my part or they'd be posted. I wonder if Jeanna likes Canadian Goose?

where's the beef

Nathaniel Green - Close Park

Veggie garden grown for a local food pantry to help those in need. Signs are clearly posted not to pick the vegetables and for the most part everyone is respectful. There are usually several master gardeners around tending to the park. The 59 acre park evolves weekly. It is my goal to see it as much during the growing season as possible.


A view of the hosta garden. Fenced in to keep the geese out but accessible to anyone who wants to go in.

On looker Tobie is not satisfied that the only thing grown here are vegetables and wants to know where's the beef? However he will steal a few cherry tomatoes right off the bush if given the opportunity.

stress ball flower




I call it the stress ball flower because it reminds me of one of those rubber stress relieving balls that you squeeze. If you ever wondered how those balls were manufactured well now you know. It grows on the end of a long stock right here in Springfield, Missouri. Of course we only grow the purple ones the other colors come from somewhere else entirely. I have a yellow one that was grown in China because I like foreign things and I did not want the hillybilly purple Springfield has to offer.

free therapy

Today I woke up feeling pretty good. My mood was up and I think it was because of this. I thought about it all night. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the process of setting this up, choosing fonts, colors, pictures and the layout. I changed the layout more than once. I really only scratched the surface with my garden and millefiori writing and now I am milling a variety of other topics to write about.


Back to the flowers, remember when I talked about the flower being a work of art? Well here is a little natural sculpture that I find fascinating. The colors are brilliant and I love the protruding goldenrod flower that seems to pop like a kernel above its deep cadmium red host. Free therapy a walk in the gardens, working with interesting beads and writing about these things. What could be better?


As I work on this I realize my to do list grows and quite frankly I don't think I care. As for my other concern about if this blogging would last... well I woke up today and I couldn't wait to get on the computer. At least I know that it lasted two days and I woke up feeling happy and content that I live in the middle.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

millefiori glass beads






As I understand it these beads are handmade from Italy. Millefiori I think means millions of flowers and maybe that is what attracts me to them. I love flowers not in the romantic or girly sense but because each flower is like a little work of art. They paint our landscape and they add cheer to even the dreariest day. The millefiori bead adds cheer to my jewelry box. To date I have made a necklace, two bracelets, two pairs of earrings all using oval cobalt or green background millefiori, tiny glass beads that resemble marbles, and sterling silver beads. the necklace is strung on cobalt blue silk. I suggest that you check out the millefiori for yourself and if it appeals to you well you know someone who can make jewelry.

my little blog disclaimer

I never thought that I would want to try this but it is kind of liberating to post stuff on the internet. I look at what I post and it really only makes sense to me. I am wondering how PC I need to be on this thing. I want to use this as a real journal and I really don't want to hold back. I think that maybe that takes more courage than I have. Like any person's life there are things that should probably remain private and often do but that seems uninteresting to me. I want to get down and dirty with this thing. I am 41 years old and I still don't know what I want to do with myself. My interests change before they are even realized so I wonder if this will be the first and last posting I ever do. Well we shall see.

I wrote that above because it is kind of a disclaimer. If I am sad you will read it. If I am happy you will read it and everything in between.


Nathaniel Greene - Close Park






Nathaniel Greene/Close park tended and managed by the Master Gardener's of University of Missouri is a little piece of heaven in Springfield. This is one of many beds at Nathaniel Greene/Close Park. This is one shot of the English garden. There is a white garden dedicated just to flowering white plants and trees. In addition to these gardens there is a large pond with a bike trail and walking trail, many flower gardens, Hosta gardens, rose gardens and a Japanese strolling garden. If visiting Springfield you should make an effort to spend some time at Nathaniel Greene/Close Park.