Sunday, November 30, 2008

I am Officially the Slowest Land Mammal

A few times a year I get motivated to try to get back into shape. Like most Americans, I need to lose a few pounds. I usually start walking or take a class. Unfortunately, I always get side tracked by Monkeys, my garden, or something one of my sisters is doing. I guess my fits and spats of healthful thinking have kept me from weight 300 lbs, but they certainly have not brought me back down to pre-Baby Monkey size or condition.

Recently, I have been inspired to start again. I bought one of those step meters and thought I would see what would happen if I just worked around the house and yard all day. I cleaned house for about six hours. I spent another 45 minutes or so in the garden. I would usually spend more time in the garden, but it was cold and windy today.

After a little less than 7 hours on my feet, the pedometer says I have walked 2.27 miles. I am officially slower than a tree sloth. YEAH!!!

Check out my sister's craft blog In Stitches. She has a couple of giveaways.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Our Little Christmas Tree

Every year the day after Thanksgiving Manly Man and the Monkeys put up the Christmas tree for me. Sometimes I come home from a sister's house and find it up. Yesterday, I was on the computer and they came in to tell me to come look. Isn't it sweet?
I did a little research trying to figure out if our fake white tree is better for the environment than a real tree. From everything I read, it is basically a wash. In the future, if we decide to get a real tree, I would like to get a living tree and then plant it in the yard. Or maybe we could go to a local tree farm and cut down our own and then mulch it after Christmas. In the meantime, this little tree will last us for years. When it gets to ratty to be inside, I will save it as a deck or front porch tree and it will get many more years of service.
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Friday, November 28, 2008

Church of the Latter Day Hates to Fold Socks Order

In order to get out of folding socks it was suggested that I make sock folding against my religion. My religion pretty much has no opinion about socks. So let's invent a new church. Foxymoron of This Country Life suggested "Church of The Latter Day Hates to Fold Socks Order." That might work. Now we can send notes to our spouses about how we cannot in good conscience fold the socks, as we will be committing a cardinal sin. Purist in the movement may even refuse to fold clothes on religious grounds. Everybody in the Monkey House will then have to find their own freaking socks.

Aunt Debbi's Ten Sock Commandments
1. Honor your mother and stop it with the sock antics.
2. Thou shall not throw socks on the ceiling fan.
3. Thou shall not wear your mother's pink footies.
4. Thou shall not take your socks off and leave these socks on top of the play house.
5. Thou shall not throw your socks over the fence to the neighbor's dog.
6. Thou shall not leave your socks in the kitchen.
7. Thou shall not sneak your dad's socks when you cannot find your own because you left all your dirty socks under the bed.
8. Thou shall not leave your dirty socks under the bed.
9. Thou shall not wear a mismatched (one blue/one white) pair of socks to school. The teachers think you are being raised by a pair of howler monkeys.
10. Find your own freaking socks.

Now isn't that better?

Should I worry about being struck down for this little bit of silliness?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey Day Report

We had a lovely family Thanksgiving this year. All seven siblings and all of the grand kids made it to the celebration.
First we released our butterfly . This was pretty lame as the butterfly refused to fly. He just sat there on that flower.

Two cousins called pulling the wishbone. Teenage Monkey won. He won't divulge his wish - silly Monkey.

We started a new family tradition of burning a bonfire. This was quite nice, but no one wanted to stay outside until it burned all the way out.
The food was good and there was too much. Sadly, no one ate my tomato jam-cowards. Table conversation was lively with plenty of laughter.
Hope you all had a very happy holiday with plenty of family, food, and fun.
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What I am thankful for on this Thanksgiving

Here they are, The Dirty Dozen Dozen. Well, there is one still in the oven so let's call them The Excellent Eleven.
I am thankful for each of these beautiful children, the people who made them, and the people who made the people that made them.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.


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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Albino Frittilary

Y'all may remember a week or so ago we found what looked like an albino fritillary caterpillar. I brought it inside and it made a cocoon. This evening I noticed some icky stuff in the bottom of the jar it was in and thought, "Oh no, did it die?" Well no, it came out of the chrysalis and here it is. It was in the jar for 17 days. The butterfly is a little lighter than a normal fritillary and a little smaller. Tomorrow morning, we will set it free.
Sorry about the blurry picture. Eventually, I will learn how to properly use a camera. I will do this when I finish all the laundry. This means my photography should improve in about nine years, IF Baby Monkey goes away to college.
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Yummy Goodness

I am not a fan of radishes. They are just the wrong kind of spicy. They taste like a cold sort of hot to me. Not going to go out of my way to eat a radish. The good thing about radishes is how easy they are to grow. Throw the seeds on the ground, add a little bit of water, and in a couple of weeks I have a bunch of radishes I don't really want to eat.

If radishes tasted better, they would be the perfect vegetable to get kids into gardening. They are fast and easy to grow. Unfortunatly, I don't know of any child that will willingly eat a radish.

Manly Man eats radishes with lots of salt and pepper. However, he only eats them about once or twice a year. This does not really work out too well with home grown radishes as all of them are ready to eat at the same time. One packet of radish seeds makes about a bazillion radishes. I know, I know succession planting, but what is the fun in doing it right.

Somewhere on the interweb, I read about people in some other country eating radishes for breakfast on bread and butter. So last spring I picked a couple of radishes sliced them and put them in a bread and butter sandwich. Now this was real butter and good wheat bread. Mmmmm yummy. They don't even taste like radishes. You really have to try this. Now I can't wait until the radishes are ready to pull. Today I picked three and had my first radish/butter sandwich. Manly Man may never get another radish.

Just now, I found someone else on the Internet who eats radishes with dab of butter and some sea salt. Going to give that a try tomorrow.

Any veggies that just don't do it for you?

I can see by the first couple of comments that we are going to need to vote on radishes. Now you can go to the poll right over there on the side bar. I will not vote as I have already made my opinion clear as mud.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Non Compostibles

Things that I have found buried in the compost bin
1) Car Keys
2) Phone
3) Tonka Trucks
4) Metal Plant Markers
5) Fork
6) Tea Saucer
7) Dog Collar
8) Bracelet
9) Pruners
10) Baseball
11) My Sanity

Composted anything unusual lately?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Consider a Family Blog

I love blogging. I started this blog as a serious garden site and promptly lost control of it and myself. When I first began, the goal was to reach out to a few friends and my family. I never ever imagined that there were so many really nice, cool, funny, and talented bloggers out there who I would come to consider friends. My real world friends and family rarely ever comment. I can see that they come to visit by my site meter. Yet, they do not comment. I have even tried to bate them to no avail. I even posted a couple of pictures, nothing.

I have one sister who blogs. She also designed my header and template. Very talented sister. About a week or so ago this sister, Moms The Word of Just Jack, started a private family blog for us. She set us all up as contributors. It is sort of like the team blogs, but the team members are a mom and a bunch of sisters and our only readers are ourselves. The non blogging sisters jumped right in. My Mom got on board quick and is pretty funny in the comments. (She ate a sea slug, ewwwww]. I think they participate because it is private, just between us. The big bad interweb is not allowed. They don't have to worry about my scary garden blogging friends. Y'all are about the least scary online critters ever, but they don't know that.

The family blog has been a place to brag or complain about our kids, get news on an upcoming wedding, let each other know when we are sick, complete a menu for our Thanksgiving dinner, examine the love life of our only teenage girl, and figure out a few family mysteries. The sister that lives out of state can communicate with us without worrying about getting stuck on the phone for hours.

As the blog is a private blog, I cannot invite you to go visit. This is not a request for readership anyway. I really don't do that. The point of this post is to encourage you to set one up for your family or friends. It is a lot of fun and keeps us connected every day.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Chop Sticks

We have started a new family tradition. On most Saturdays we load up the monkeys and go eat Chinese food. A newish Chinese buffet is about ten minutes from the house. The food is really good and the price is affordable for this family of five.

Eating out with my monkeys is an experience. They all three have monster appetites. They also eat almost anything because there mother thought that feeding them out of the garden was a good idea. This has led to some odd outside grazing habits, but I digress.

Baby Monkey primarily eats sweet and sour chicken. He knows what he likes and he sees no reason to branch out. Middle Monkey eats everything. He even eats the sushi, but he is not crazy about the sticky rice. He takes the sushi rolls apart and eats everything but the rice - weird.

Today we looked up and Teenage Monkey was using chop sticks like an expert. Then I realized what he was eating with the chop sticks - banana pudding. I can't make this stuff up people. He was picking the vanilla wafers and banana bits out of the pudding with chop sticks. We were in public with normal people. Arrrgh.

Somebody help me. Please help me.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Gardening and Quilting

It has been a busy day here at the Monkey House. The Monkeys and I tore up the compost pile, screened some compost, and created a new raised bed. Tomorrow we will screen more compost and make at least two more raised beds, if not three. Then we will rebuild the compost pile. If we get it all done, the fall/winter garden will be ready to finish planting. In the past, I have only planted half the garden in the fall. This year, the whole thing will be planted.
After it became too dark and too cold to keep working outside, I came in and started working on the family reunion quilt. I have all the squares and sashing up on the color wall. Tomorrow I will mark the white blocks with the quilting pattern and begin assembling the quilt top. I want to have the top finished by Sunday afternoon and begin quilting it Monday. That will give me a little less than two weeks to get it quilted and bound. It is a twin quilt and the quilting pattern is pretty simple. I should be able to get it done. If my past record is any indication of my future behavior, I will be binding this quilt after midnight the day of the party.
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Thursday, November 20, 2008


I may never make jelly again and it is all Curmudgeon's fault. I have made jelly all my cooking life. We have plums that make a very pretty ruby red jelly and black berries that make the best jelly for biscuits ever. Last night I made jam.

I am pretty sure everyone is pretty sick of me yammering on and on about the green tomatoes. Well, the situation is pretty much handled with the green tomato jam and green tomato pickles. There are a couple of bowls of large green tomatoes that will get ripe over time. The little ones are all used up.

Jelly is complicated to make. Cut up the fruit, cook it, then figure out the messiest way possible to remove the fruit from the juice. Then add tons of sugar and some sort of pectin. My kitchen looks like a fruit and sugar bomb has gone off in it every time I make jelly. A T-shirt is ruined by juice stains during each and every jelly making session. I often get half done jelly in my hair - Don't ask.

Jam was so easy. Cut up the fruit, add sugar, and any other ingredients that sound good. Let that sit for a while as the sugar draws out the fruits juices. Then cook it down until it thickens. All the fruit stays in the jam. No fruit goes to the compost pile. Jam is yummy and has a nice texture.

All that jam making reminded me of a song from a long time ago. I have not heard it in years. Thanks to the interweb I was able to find the words.
Saturday morning found me itching
To get on over to my grandma's kitchen
[And what you gonna do, honey]
The sweetest little berries was cooking up right
And then we'd put them in a canning jar and seal them up tight
We were making jam
[What kind?]
Strawberry jam, that's what kind
[Aw, the good kind]
Yeah, if you want the best jam
You gotta make your own
We have Smucker's, Welches, Knotts Berry Farm
But a little homemade jam never did a body no harm
A little local motion is all we need
To close down these corporate jam factories
We'll be making jamStrawberry jam, mmmm-mm
If you want the best jamYou gotta make your own
(Make that jam Doc, show 'em how it's done)
Yeah, we have a little revolution sweeping the land
Now once more everybody's making homemade jam
So won't you call your friends up on the telephone
You invite 'em on over, you make some jam of your own
You'll be making jamStrawberry jam
If you want the best jam
You gotta make your own

Anybody else like to make jam?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Green Tomato Madness

A couple of days ago, I had to pick all of my green tomatoes. Nola and Brenda, as true Texans, suggested frying them. I cannot imagine trying to eat 10 lbs of fried green tomatoes. I love them, but 10 lbs - Yuck. Even I would get sick of that. Thankfully, some other Internet friends came to the rescue.

Several of you suggested letting them ripen on the window sill. Foxymoron suggest putting them in a paper bag with a ripe banana. She wasn't sure how it worked, but she read it somewhere. Kate arrived with the science behind this. Apparently, ripe fruit off gasses ethylene, which will help green fruit ripen. Go Kate, you are our genius.

Gardengirl shared this recipe for dill pickled tomatoes. I remember these from my childhood. She also suggested slicing them and sauteing them in a little olive oil and serving them with basil and Parmesan cheese. Yum.

Curmudgeon, one of our wonderful Weed Wackin Wenches, shared this recipe for tomato jam.

Cinj, suggested freezer spaghetti sauce. I have not found the recipe for that yet, but I am looking.

For the next couple of days I will be making pickles and jam.

Thanks to everyone who helped me out. Without you I would be drowning in green tomatoes. If anyone else would like to add to the tomato madness, chime in now.

Silence at Poor Richard's Almanac out did herself with six recipes. Thanks Silence

cinj posted her freezer spagetti sauce recipe today.

I made the green tomato jam and it is Monkey approved.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thanks Meadowview Thymes

I received this award from Meadowview Thymes. She is another local north Texas garden blogger. Along with Brenda and Nola we can compare weather notes, shopping news, and look into each others' gardens through our blogs. I am not sure Aunt Debbi's Garden is Uber anything other than uber silly. Thank you Meadowview I am flattered.

Regarding the Uber award "UBER" is an acronym for 'U've Been Excellently Rewarded'. UBER is a synonym of Super. The 'UBER amazing Blog Award' is given to sites that:

1. Inspire you
2. Make you smile and laugh
3. Maybe gives amazing information
4. Is a great read
5. Has an amazing design
6. Any other reasons you can think of that makes them UBER amazing!

Below is the list of blogs I would like to pass this on to. I understand that many bloggers do not participate in awards and memes. Please just consider this my expression of appreciation and don't play if you don't want to.

Nola at Alamo North. A great blog and a new friend.

Foxymoron at This Country Life. She is an blogger from Australia writing about her life and family.

Diana at Sharing Natures Garden. Diana encouraged me to join the 29 day giving challenge.

Kathryn at Plant What Ever Brings You Joy for her great blog and all the work she did organizing and executing the Scarf Initiative.

There are many other blogs that deserve this award and I am sure it is coming around.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Now What?

We had a light freeze last night. The only plants that succumbed were the tomatoes and the squash. Everything else looks just fine including the peppers. We had to pick the green tomatoes. So now what do I do?
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Friday, November 14, 2008

How To Create a Cat Magnet

1. Go shopping
2. Buy really cute velvet pants.
3. Bring purchases home and show off to husband who provided funds for fancy pants.
4. Lay pretty pants out on sofa and forget about them overnight
5. Forget to put the cat out.
6. Sleep well in your bed as cat sleeps well on new the britches
7. Wake up to find cat fur on brand new garment.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's That Quilting Time of Year Again

It's that time of year again. There will be more pictures of quilt blocks and fewer pictures of the garden.
The new turquoise and and lime green Dresden plate blocks are for our annual family reunion. I have to have this finished by the first weekend in December. Yikes, what have I gotten myself into. This is a fun family party. Manly Man's mom is the oldest of five children. There are lots of grand kids, and lots and lots of great grand kids. The party is huge. We can't really exchange individual gifts. We used to do a kids exchange, but it got to big. Now we just bring a gift for our own children and do something like a white elephant exchange for the adults. Some of the grownup gifts have been pretty funny. One year an uncle contributed a tow chain. Another year I managed to score and old milk can. The quilts have been pretty popular. This is a way I can give quilts to this side of the family without being completely overwhelmed.
BTW, how did Thanksgiving end up next freaking week? It feels like this year is flying by.
Well hell, I have to print a correction. My 2008 mastergardener calender has an error. Thanksgiving is 11/27 DUR. I feel a little better. Thanks for catching it Nola.
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Peppers a Plenty

While other garden bloggers are posting about their first freeze, first snow, and putting their gardens to bed for the winter, over here in my garden we are having a fall bumper crop of hot peppers.

There is something a little off about my chili pequeno plant. The leaves are turning black. There has not been a freeze and they look perfectly healthy. The plant is loaded with peppers. hmmmm....

Here is a picture of the peppers I picked today with the lovely bouquet of flowers Manly Man gave me for our anniversary. Those are not all the peppers. I got bored and stopped picking them. I will get back out there again tomorrow.

What to do with all these pepper? Well, I joined the 29 Day Giving Challenge. My gift today was a pint of Serrano to the neighbor who loves them. She says they won't eat the habaneros. I will make some more hot sauce and pickle some. Then I may need to put up a sign in the yard saying,


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Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Eleven years ago on 11/11/97 Manly Man and I married. It has been a wonderful life and I am so blessed to have him. He gave me beautiful flowers, a card, and cloths shopping money. Woohoo. Happy Anniversary baby, I love you.

Monday, November 10, 2008


A couple of days ago, I posted a little about how I became Aunt Debbi. Racquel at Perennial Garden Lover recognized our shared Texas drill team legacy and chimed right in. We agreed a drill team glory days double post was in order. You can see her post on her time as a Stingerette right here.
I am sure this picture made my Dad really happy.
Below is a picture of the 1981-82 North Mesquite Pacesetters.I have no idea where I am. We were sixty members strong.

Next is a collage of "What in the world were we thinking" pictures. Most of these were taken at drill team camp in Kilgore Texas, home of the Rangerettes.


Top left- Pompom attack
Top right -Look at Meme
Bottom left -Who picked out those goofy hats? And can we rub off some of that makeup please?
Bottom right -Did we really have to create geometric shapes in our camp roommate picture? Dig the french braids. I am the chick without a tan on the bottom right.

Sorry Meme, I found a curler picture.
I spent three years wearing blue eye shadow, red lipstick, Lycra, and industrial strength pantyhose. I killed the ozone with tons of hairspray. I tore up the pantyhose doing jump splits and knee spins on AstroTurf and gym floors during football and basketball games. I did all of this with my very best friend.
We enjoyed performing at Dallas Cowboy and Dallas Mavericks games. Profession athletes are huge - just an observation.
Here is a little short list of my misadventures during drill team
Jump splits in the mud
Boot kicked across the field during high kick routine
Being accidentally tackled by a out of bounds football player
Forgetting my lipstick before lining up on the field and having to kiss my best friend. Love you Meme, but not "that" way.
Falling off a human pyramid.
Do you have any high school glory days stories you would care to share? Don't be embarrassed. I fessed up to wearing blue eye shadow.

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My Sister Has a Question

I received an email this morning from sister#2. She had a better garden this year than I did. I am not jealous, really, I'm not. Apparently, popcorn crop failure runs in the family.

Here is her question,

O.k. Well I tried it again and I caught the microwave on fire again.
Can you ask your gardening people what I might be doing wrong and see if any of them have ever grown and successfully popped popcorn on the cob?

Tell them that the popcorn I bought popped beautifully in a paper bag on five different cobs and that the popcorn I grew is directly from those cobs.
I am becoming mortally afraid of popcorn.

Love, Me

Aunt Debbi here again. If any of you have any information on what in the world we both could have done wrong please help. My popcorn and her popcorn look just like the popcorn seed we grew them from. My didn't pop but scorched with the traditional popping method. Hers' catches on fire in the microwave when the parent corn popped just fine with that method. Are we drying it too long, too short, is there a magic spell?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

White Catterpillar

I found this frittilary caterpillar on the passion vine today. It can only be a frittilary, but it looks like an albino. So far I have not been able to find out any information about this. I am trying to find a local lepidopterous society. Maybe they know something about this.

Here it is again. I looks like it is in one of the later enstars. I wonder what the butterfly will look like. Maybe I should take it and put it in a caterpillar habitat and see what happens. Maybe I shouldn't . I need more information.

Here is another frittilary. It has lavender instead of black stripes. The web search for this variation says it does happen more frequently in Texas.

Here is another. Looks like it is getting ready to make a cocoon as it is in the upside down J position. I hope we stay warm enough to let them complete the transformation.

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Do You Think He Needs a Haircut?

Yes, those are my ponytail holders.
No, I did not help him.
Somebody help me. Please help me.
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Thanks A Million Kathryn

Katheryn at Plant What Ever Brings You Joy, posted about the wrap up of the scarf initiative. She showed pictures of the scarves. They were all lovely. It is wonderful to think of the little girls who will wear them and stay a little warmer this winter. I was so worried I would not be able to get mine ready on time. But there it was today along with all the others. This makes me feel better about human kind. Look what can happen if one person has an idea, puts it out their to a bunch of blogging friends, and then organizes it. Fantastic. Thanks a million Kathryn.

Friday, November 7, 2008

How I Became Aunt Debbi

Yesterday, Brenda asked how I became Aunt Debbi. See that tall blond in the picture above. It is all her fault. That is our Meme. Back in the day I called her Rhonni. We met in jr. high school and have been best friends for thirty years. She even gave me a BFF key chain a few years ago. In that picture, we are 16-her and 17-me, the petite brunette. She became my drill team little sister in high school. I just decided to keep her.
In high school, people get a lot of nicknames. My family has always called me Deb, but in high school, I became Debbi. It was the 80's I could spell it silly if I wanted to.
Now, Meme started her family early. She had twin daughters when she was 20. Because she had the first babies and she called me Debbi, Aunt Debbi I became and have stayed.
I have 20 nieces and nephews and two grand nephews. The grand nephews are the beautiful boys of Meme's twins. They call me Aunt Debbi too. The other 16 nieces and nephews call me aunt Debra or Deb, not nearly as cute, but I answer to just about anything.
Obviously, I have a very large and fertile family. We have one more niece on the way this winter. You should see family dinners, it's a zoo.
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Thursday, November 6, 2008


I found this on my deck tonight at about 10:00. I usually step on them before I see them. Ever tried to get slug slime off of your bare foot?
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Aunt Debbi's Garden is one year old today. On this date last year I made my very first post. I was taking myself really seriously. Nobody commented. Lucky for y'all the Monkey's took over. This blog may be silly, but it usually isn't boring.
A look at my site meter shows that more than 13,000 people have been here to visit. Now, I know that is not a lot in the big blogging picture, but hey, I'm blown away.

I have enjoyed this hobby very much. I have made some great internet friends and actually met one face to face. I love to read comments y'all leave and go out and read y'alls blogs.
I have gotten some great ideas from other garden bloggers. I hope I have given a little bit of good information along with all the silliness.
I chronicled the really silly invasion of pumpkins in my tiny garden.
We were involved in several sock situations, one became an international incident

I feel like this is a great record of our lives from my point of view and saturated in plants.
The Monkeys are not impressed.
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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election News

Wasn't that the most exciting election ever? I am amazed at how this election changed my perspective. Wasn't it awesome to see so many people participate in the vote regardless of their choice.

I, however, have other election news. Monday morning, Aunt Debbi was elected president of the KCMG Association. Of course, they do not call me Aunt Debbi. Now understand, this is not really a big deal. Nobody else wanted the job. Still, I think it will be fun to lead it for a year. I hope I don't mess it up.

Were You Raised in a Barn?

It is cool, windy day here in north Texas. Leaves are falling and getting blown all over the place. The temperature feels wonderful. This has been the driest October I can remember. There is a slight chance of rain later, but not much of a chance.
I went outside to water the garden. This has to be done every day because of the sunny, dry weather. I have been leaving the door open because it has been so nice outside.
Well look what the wind brought inside for me this morning. No Monkeys were involved in this particular mess. It was all me. My grandmother, Rhodella, is rolling over in her grave right now. I can just hear her, "Were you raised in a barn?"
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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

To Do List

1. Plant onions.
2. Weed.
3. Plant lettuce.
4. Weed.
5. Pick Peppers.
6. Weed.
7. Rake leaves.
8. Weed.
9. Parent Monkeys.
10. Take advantage of that 19th amendment and Vote.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Another Answer to a Monkey Question

No you are not filing the dog's nails with my diamond nail file. Go to bed.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Sweetest Thing

A friend and coworker of Manly Man asked my advise tonight. He wants to purchase a gift for a woman he admires who has recently been promoted. She is now a master trainer at the gym he works out in.

I suggested he go to one of those engraving places and get her a little plaque or statue with something heart felt engraved on it. No overtly romantic gestures and no expectations. Just be a nice guy.

He said Manly Man had suggested a hand gun, bfff. Now, let me tell you a little about Manly Man. He gives flowers ,diamonds, sapphires, chainsaws, tillers, greenhouses, and shotguns. He will move a greenhouse where ever I want it. He makes excellent monkeys. He is the best gift giver ever. He is one of the best cooks I know. That's right, I said it. He can cook as good as I can. You should see the necklace I received for mothers' day this year. Gorgeous. My man has it all figured out. I won't even talk about the really good stuff.

I am one lucky woman.


You know you might be in Texas if you have cheese burgers with fried okra and fried green tomatoes instead of french fries. That was dinner for us tonight. We are still getting okra, squash, and tomatoes from the garden and will until it freezes.

Fried green tomatoes and fried okra

Green tomatoes sliced thin and/or okra cut to 1/2 inch pieces
1 egg white + 2 tablespoons water
1 cup corn meal and 4 tablespoons season salt or Cajun spice

Dip tomatoes and/or okra in egg wash. Dredge okra and/or tomato slices in corn meal/season salt. Fry until golden brown.

I was taught to cook southern fried foods as soon as I was tall enough to see over the stove top. The dishes include chicken fried steak, chicken fried chicken, okra, tomatoes, and fish. I was also taught to make pickles from cucumbers, okra, green tomatoes, and watermelon rind. Later I decided that almost anything can be a pickle so we have pickled carrots and green beans. Later I learned to make homemade bread. All of this cooking and baking was taught at the elbow of one of my grandparents. Margaret taught the frying and pickling, Bill taught the bread baking, and Rhodella taught me never to be afraid of trying new things (thus the weird pickles). They have been gone for a number of years, but every time I cook these old favorites, I feel close to them again.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

On Second Glance

I spoke too soon. A second look around revealed a Gulf fritillary caterpillar almost ready to make a chrysalis. Looks like we may have enough time for butterflies yet. My powers of observation are underwhelming.
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The Butterflies are Late This Year

We have been waiting all summer for the Gulf Fritillary butterflies to show up. Over the last two weeks we have seen one or two at a time. None were laying eggs on the passion vine. Today I counted eight flying around, nectaring, flying in spirals around one and other, and then laying eggs on the passion vine.

We are approximately twenty days from our average first freeze. I don't know if the eggs will have enough time to hatch into caterpillars and grow large enough to make a chrysalis. An internet search did not reveal the length of time these flying flowers need to complete the egg/caterpillar/ butterfly transformation. I am afraid they were too late this year.

Here is a regular pomegranate next to my miniature fruit.
Isn't the little guy cute?
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