Thursday, August 7, 2014

pretty, funny, happy, real


Flowers for Mary, large and small
The late-summer perennials have come in to save my garden from looking entirely neglected. I ahve a bit of a love-hate relationship with both of these. The gladiolus are lovely, almost exotic-looking and will keep blooming through the season if you cut them. They do need a bit of maintenance to keep them looking nice in the vase, though. On the upside, they tend to droop in the garden once they're in full bloom and need to be cut, so I don't feel like I have to sacrifice beauty outside for beauty in the house. The Resurrection Lilies (aka Naked Ladies, due to the complete lack of leaves), are quite striking, but they due have a strong odor that gets them banished from the dining room table. The clovers are all over the yard, smell heavenly, and have me resolved to make the next house a place where we can just sow wildflowers and forget the grass entirely.


My last batch of fermented pickles (a few years ago now) was an abject, slimy failure. Armed with a couple of new recipes, we tried again, and these are coming along quite nicely. The ones in jars are a salt brine, and were ready to be moved to the fridge today. The bigger container (actually a trifle dish with a heavy glass pickle plate for weight) are the "No-fail" half sours (there's some vinegar in the brine to keep the less-desirable molds away), and I think those will be better suited to those with less adventurous tastes around here. The one disappointment is that the skins are rather tough, but overall, I'm still quite pleased.


Peanut's camera face:
Is this what we look like to him?
 Also, Bean's declaration this morning that "That tea has eyes!" (Actually, it was this iced coffee).
It looks far more awake than I was at this point.


You may recall my saying that we finally had enough shelves for our books? Guess what I found in the garage this week:
I had been presuming these bags were full of old notes and course packets and such, but no, they're almost entirely real books. I knew it was too good to last.


  1. Your pickles look delicious! I've been meaning to try my hand at making some for several summers now but still haven't gotten around to it. Sadly, our current house has an entirely shaded back yard, so I haven't grown cucumbers successfully since we moved in three summers ago. :(

    Gladiolus always remind me of my Grandma, who grew them and loved them. They do make such a nice statement, and yours are beautiful!

    1. I tried growing cucumbers last summer, and I got a grand total of three that were so puny and pale that I didn't even bother picking them, much less pickling them! These were four for a dollar at the farmer's market. I got ten, which didn't look like that many at the time, but it does work out to 80 pickles, so we ought to be set for a while!

      I love glads, too, even though we're far enough north that I have to dig up the bulbs for the winter. No matter what else I fail to grow, the bulbs always seem to manage. Maybe I should switch to an all-bulb garden!