Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Teenage Monkey Eats His Family Out of House and Home

Any minute now I will get back to garden blogging. In the meantime, can someone tell me exactly how much food is required for a fourteen-year-old boy? Tonight, he ate two and a half pork chops, all of the fried zucchini and okra, and some sauteed zucchini and carrots for dinner. About an hour later, he was making himself a hot dog. He is not overweight. He did just grow taller than me.

I bought green apples, red apples, oranges, and bananas today. This evening, the red apples and bananas are gone. He ate about four pounds of fruit in four hours.

We went out to dinner with my monster family last week. He ate his entree of salmon, half of another steak offered by an aunt, bits and pieces off of other plates, and at least two and a half servings of cheese cake and one serving of another dessert.

I have a teenager with a bottomless pit of a belly. I am getting a little scared. Do y'all have any idea how to afford the appetite of a teenage boy?

Bad Bedfellow

This morning, I was sleeping well having nice dreams about sunshine and flowers when something crawled across my face. I woke up and brushed it away and the sucker stung me on the palm of my hand. Then it crawled under the covers making me scream and bounce around the bed. Mr. Bad Bug then crawled to the edge of the bed. I went and got some tissue to kill it with. Okay, maybe tissue paper is not the right weapon to use to kill a stinging creature. I was still a little asleep and a lot in pain, cognitave function was not at it's best, just saying. I tried to squash it and the little monster stung me through the paper on the tip of my finger. I dropped it and it stung me again on the side of my finger. At this point Manly Man is awake and very confused. I leave the room to go find Benadryl. When I returned to the bed room, Manly Man was in his tennis shoes and boxers trying to find the bug with a giant mag light. He said it fell off the bed, but we never did find it. I took the blankets outside and shook them out just to be safe. This was the worse wake up ever. Now I am afraid to sleep in my bed.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Our Friend Ben, You are not going to Believe This One

Do you see that grey blob on top of the dusty ceiling fan? Can you guess what it is? Is it a giant dust bunny? Is it a scared squirrel?
Nope, it is Teenage Monkey's dirty sock. That's right he threw his dirty, stinky sock up on the ceiling fan about twelve feet up in the air.
Somebody help me. Please help me.
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Stuart from Blotanical is trying to help me get my feed back up. I followed the instructions for the work around, but still nothing as of yesterday. Hopefully, he performed some interweb magic and all will be well. This is a test to see if what he did fixed me. I seem to be a problem child.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Rambling Again

This will be another rambling post as I really do not have a point. I assume that if you are here, it is not because of the quality of my writing, but to laugh along with the insanity of my life. Either that or you are related to me. By the way, my lurking sisters, I can see you have been here by looking at the site meter. Leave me a comment already.
This is my purple Castor bean plant. It can grow very tall. It lived through this summer without any additional water from me. These are tough plants.
Here in north Texas we are between summer and fall. The plants still look a little stressed and we need rain. October is historically one of the wettest months. I can't wait to get my fall/winter garden in and start getting those veggies again. I actually have a better fall/winter garden than spring/summer garden. We rarely have a freeze and the cool weather crops get a nice long growing season. I am going to grow broccoli, Swiss chard, sugar snap peas, lettuce, collards, spinach, carrots, cabbage, broccoli rhab, onions, and garlic.
The large red flower is a pomegranate bloom. This is a dwarf plant that produces tiny little poms and I just love it. The flowers around it are a salvia of some sort. This salvia is tall and leggy. It is also invasive and reseeds itself everywhere. I would get rid of it, but the humming birds love it, so it stays.
Here is a penta in full bloom on my front porch. There is no direct sunlight here, but this little flower is doing just fine. Sometimes I ignore plant labels and just do what I want- with mixed results of course.
Why doesn't my ginger bloom? Do you know? Anybody?
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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Nola

I wanted to make a short post in honor of Nola's birthday. Nola blogs at Alamo North. We met on the interweb, probably through Brenda, but I really can't recall. Through our blogs we discovered we live in neighboring counties. I hope to meet her at the Scarecrow Festival in Kaufman next month. She is funny and bright and I am happy to know her. She is one of the funniest commentors around. Happy Birthday Nola. I hope you spent the day at the fair.

Dumb Dogs and Other Critters

Hugh at Rock Paper Lizard wrote a truly funny post comparing his cat to a possum. In the comments I mentioned that we have had a couple of retarded dogs. Hugh, in return, asked if they were clumsy. I decided to answer him here.
Here are Tisha and Trixie being nice. Normally, the little one chases the big one all over the house. Tisha was a birthday gift for Middle Monkey. She has spent the last five years paying us back by hunting Middle Monkey every chance she gets. Trixie, the calico, is Tisha's daughter. She barely tolerates us at all. We are just her food source.

Here is Abby. She is my dog or better said, I am her person. She has an obsession with me. I cannot go anywhere in the house without her right under my feet. She seems to be convinced that something is going to get me and it is her job to be my bodyguard. This causes a lot of tripping and yelling, "Abby outside." She has a very large bone, which she likes to drop on our feet. This hurts -BAD. Abby does not qualify as retarded, just a little touched.
Here is the bunny family. I paid for two female baby bunnies. I actually brought home a male and a female.
Here is Mario formerly known as Lucy. Mario is still in trouble for the unplanned bunny family.

Now for retarded dog stories.
When I was a teenager we had a grey hound named Missy. Missy loved donuts. My dad is a veterinarian and Missy was his clinic dog. One morning she put her head in an empty donut sack to lick the sugar. The sack got stuck on her head and she got scared. Now, grey hounds are fast. She went running all over the clinic through the waiting room, in the office, and through the exam rooms. Most of the staff, the ones who were not helpless with laughter, were trying unsuccessfully to corner her. She ran into almost every wall before someone managed to catch her and get the sack off her head.
Our last German shepherd was retarded. She ate the net off the trampoline so she could jump up on it and sleep.She would run down a monkey and pants them. That's right, she would get them down and pull off their pants. She would not stay in the yard and we could not bring her in the house. We tried to bring her in, but she would run around like something crazed knocking over furniture and monkeys. We put a shock collar on her to keep her in the yard. Now, I don't approve of shock collars as training tools, but this dog was going to get run over and we had to do something. I would rather put a shock collar on people who abandon animals on the side of the road. In the end, the shock collar was a complete failure as she was to dumb to remember that if she jumped the fence she got shocked. She just kept jumping the fence and being surprised when she got shocked. After a few times, I felt sorry for her and took it off. At that point we realized she was not a town dog and found her a home in the country. She was not any better for her new family and they sent her back. She ended up living out the rest of her life with my dad at the vet clinic where she couldn't get loose. You could see in her face that she wanted to be good, but she just was not smart enough to figure out how to behave. Poor Sammy was always in trouble.
Do you have a dumb dog or a smart dog?
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Friday, September 26, 2008

Ten Bog Gardening NoNo's

At the risk of turning this into a bog blog, I am posting one more time about the bog garden.
The river rock arrived yesterday afternoon. We spent four hours spreading it as a rock mulch in between the plants of the bog. Most of these plants will get significantly larger. This will be a very full garden. Some pruning will be necessary.

The men thought I was crazy to want this big rock in the bog. Once they saw it sitting up on its end and showing all the pretty lichen, they were happy. Of course it turned into an engineering problem because they didn't want it to tip over when some child decided to climb on it. I left the men to their own devices with concrete, rebar, and math. That rock is going nowhere.

Here is a picture of the whole thing with my fellow master gardener Ann and Sharon from the extension office. Sharon does a lot of record keeping and general wrangling of our master gardener group.

Here is a view of the bog from the cactus garden.
Ten Bog Gardening NoNo's
1. Select all the plants out of season.
2. Go find good research based bog garden making instructions and ignore them.
3. Make sure there is absolutely no drainage and then wonder why it stinks so bad.
4. Hide from the health inspector who wants you to shut down the mosquito hatchery.
5. Put the flagstone down without putting sand underneath it, pull all the flagstone back out, put down sand, replace flagstone. Two extra steps are absolutely necessary.
6. Set a large rock up on it's side as a trap for climbing children.
7. Put containers with no drainage in the bog to control invasive plants and help with water usage, then be puzzled when the containers float after a rain.
8. Send out an email for a work schedule 12 hours before the actual work begins and then be surprised when nobody shows up to help you.
9. When the bog floods be amazed that you have created a perfect home for crawdads.
10. Answer the question, "Where are you going to put the waterfall?" 300 times.
PS..Ignore the bomb squad. They are not here for you.
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Thursday, September 25, 2008


Teenage Monkey was checking out the Passion vine. He touched the flower and got pollen on his finger. I asked him if he knew what it was, meaning the plant. He answered plant sperm. Maybe he knows too much.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Humming Bird Shower

Something really cool just happened. I was out in the garden watering with the water hose because the rain barrel is dry. In order to get the water to a few plants a little out of the reach of the hose, I sprayed water through the air to the plants. A little green and grey humming bird flew up and just hovered. Then she began flying through the water drops. She must have taken a ten minute shower. I was too amazed to move, so the purple hull beans got over watered.

Planting the Bog Garden

I picked up the plants for the bog garden yesterday. This morning a couple of my master gardener friends and I planted them in the bog.
This side has maiden grass, zebra grass, hardy ageratum, giant day lily, and iris.

Here is my German friend watering the plants with water from one of our 3000 gallon rain barrels.
Here is another friend with my German friend looking at me and wondering why I am taking pictures instead of digging in the dirt.
This section of the bog is larger and is planted with black magic colocasia, horsetail reed, umbrella sedge, hardy ageratum, Morden pink loosestrife, giant day lily, and iris.
Tomorrow we will cover the surface of the bog with river rock.
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Monday, September 22, 2008

Autumn Artemesia

In honor of Autumn, I made an artemesia wreath. I don't know what variety of artemesia I have in my yard. I was told that it was Sweet Annie, but no. I thought it might be artemesia vulgarise, nope, no red stem. It is tall, fragrant, and very invasive. My front porch smells wonderful right now.

Here is something funny. This Japanese Sohyu cucumber grew into the number six. Could this be a sign?
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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Rambling Around the Yard

Nothing really inspired me to blog today, so I just took a walk around the yard with the camera to see what was up.
The ox blood lilies are in full bloom. I always forget how many I have. They are also showing up on their own in some surprising places where I am pretty sure I did not plant them.

I like this container of hen and chicks with escheveria.

Four o'clocks are doing fine. For some reason the pink blooms opened this afternoon, but the yellow stayed shut. Maybe the yellow will bloom tomorrow.

This is an oddity. For some reason, the mock orange decided to put out a single bloom this fall. The normal bloom time for this shrub is early spring. I wish you could smell this flower. Garden bloggers need a scratch and sniff option on our side bars.
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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hey I'm Back

Looks like my last post actually showed up on Blotanical. That's nice. I was feeling all lonely without all the other blogs that went missing with me. Glad things look like they are working again.

The wedding was beautiful. Now might be a good time to explain my best friend AKA the mother of the bride. We have known each other since junior high school. She had her family early, I had mine late, then she had a late child followed by a couple of grandchildren. She is a really young grandmother. She is Meme to my boys, and I am Aunt Debbi to her crew and grand crew. She is the kind of woman that believes she can do everything.

For this wedding, she made all of the food, all of the decorations, and finally cried "uncle" when she started to try to make the cake. I think her MIL finally talked some sense into her and they hired a baker. Just before the wedding, we finally had to force her to stop messing with food and stuff and go get dressed. Soon after that, she got a good look at her beautiful daughter, and she didn't see anything else for the rest of the night.

Kristann, the bride, wore her mother's gown. The ceremony was held under a gazebo. The weather was beautiful and the flowers were lovely. The bride's maids (sisters, one an identical twin of the bride) were perfect. The reception started just at dusk. There were candles and twinkle lights on a deck outside. The father of the bride was embarrassed during the father/daughter dance. The DJ saved him by fading out the song early and starting the next song.

Everything went beautifully. There was not a single wedding disaster. Now our girl is married and on her way.

Oh yeah, there was a groom and he looked really good and did exactly what he was told to do. Good job T.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Couple of Tweeks

Here is the final picture of the half barrel water garden with the Curly Whirly Juncas in a green container and the medium sized ball along with the cobalt blue ball. I like this much better.

Manly Man thought Kit Carver needed a goatie. We think it is a nice touch.
My niece is getting married tomorrow. Unless something strikes me as just too funny in the morning, I will be back on Saturday.
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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kit Carver

Costume #2
Kit Carver
Thanks for the idea Anna
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Floats in the Water Garden

One of the reasons I love the Internet and garden bloggers is because of the great inspirations I find for my gardens.
Frances at a Faire Garden posted about the development of her water garden.
I shamelessly stole the idea of using fishing floats in my water garden. They are beautiful, they float, they don't clog up the surface of the water with plant material and I can still see the fish.

First effort with three floats one larger than the others. I think it is too much.

Here it is with just the largest float. I think this is the look I am after. Now I need to get the Curly Whirly Juncus out of that bright orange pot and learn to take better pictures.
Anybody know of any good photography for idiots type books?
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Teenage Monkey

Happy Birthday to my first boy.
You can look me in the eye now.
You help your brothers with math when I can't.
Your voice cracks.
You seem both grown up and very young.
You are loving and funny.
You changed my life.
You make me very proud.
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Monday, September 15, 2008

Fun with My Site Meter

Every once in a while I like to check on my site meter and see what brought people here. Mostly it is fellow garden bloggers and family members. Occasionally, someone gets here through a google search looking for some weird stuff for example.

Angel's trumpet looking sad - Don't be sad angels trumpet.

Going to the poor farm - No we aren't. Not yet anyway.

Laws of gardening - You are at the wrong site. I have been known to attract the attention of law enforcement in this garden.

The truth about oregano - Wow, I didn't know that oregano had a dark side and family secretes.

The Winner Is.....

What oak tree has hollow balls?


GBBD September 2008 Fall Flowers

I have fall blooms. The Autumn Joy Clematis is in full bloom.

My passion vine is blooming like crazy again.

Here is my favorite fall combo. Turks cap blooming with ox blood lilies.
Thanks to at Carol May Dreams Garden for hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.
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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Basil Harvest

Wow that is some bad picture. The lemon basil harvest is in full swing. The dehydrator is totally full and I still have a lot left. There is even more in the garden. I smell like lemon basil, nice. I need to find a way to use all of this basil. Manly Man's favorite meal is Italian fried chicken and spaghetti with pesto. I put basil in our regular spaghetti sauce. Other than that, I don't have any other ideas about what to do with all this basil. I tried making a pesto based salad dressing adding more lemon juice and olive oil to make it more runny. That was good, but it needed salt. Any suggestions on what else to do with all this basil?
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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Squash Soup for Silence

Silence over at Poor Richard's Almanac asked for recipes using butternut squash that do not use sweeteners. I picked up a butternut squash at the store earlier today and decided to make soup out of it. I am planning the same thing for Mr. Carver up there come Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday).
So here goes
1 Butternut squash
2 Carrots
2 Celery stalks
1 Clove of garlic
2 1/2 Cups chicken broth
1/2 Teaspoon onion powder
1/2 Teaspoon cumin
1/2 Teaspoon curry powder
1/2 Teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 Teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon ground thyme (I will use fresh next time)
1/2 Teaspoon paprika
Black pepper to taste
Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds, brush with olive oil and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until the squash can be easily scraped away from the skin. Saute garlic, carrots, and celery until tender. Put everything together in a blender and puree.
Make sure the lid of the blender is on tight. Trust me, I learned the hard way. Soup on the ceiling, not good.
Mine had a few carrot chunks, but I liked it that way. Milk or vegetable broth can be substituted for the chicken broth to make this a more vegetarian friendly dish. The soup was a little to spicy for the Monkeys. That's okay, more for me. I did a little research, and this soup is loaded with Vitamin A and beta carotene.
Is it wrong to tease a pumpkin?
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Thanks a Lot Ike

We are all okay. We lost a tree limb or two and the Monkeys had to miss the last day of Cotton Festival, but it could have been a lot worse.
The rain barrel is full, so that is something.
Middle Monkey came in from outside to let us know the wind had picked up speed. How did he know? It almost knocked him out of the pecan tree. Anybody knows you don't climb a tree in a hurricane. Sometimes I think these boys have the common sense of plankton.

Here is the first of Mr. Carver's costumes. How do you like that paper cat mask?
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