Friday, June 25, 2010

A better view of the Topsy-Turvy

YESSS!!!!! Isn't it gorgeous?

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Slashing the price of tomatoes

Although it looks as if it is growing out of the large flower pot beneath it, this is my Topsy-Turvy tomato plant hanging down. I wanted a close-up shot to show the tomatoes on it. They are abundant. Now it is also growing up and hopefully will still be setting fruit.

The bag tomatoes are doing well also. Therefore, we continue to slash the per unit price of tomatoes at our house.

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

My dad has Alzheimer's and for the last 4 years has been in a facility devoted to the care of those so afflicted. It's an awful, insidious disease which robs both the victim and the family. This is not how I pictured Daddy's retirement years with me. We were going to garden and talk and walk. Needless to say, we do none of that.

In honor of Father's Day and Daddy, I wrote an article for our local internet newspaper. The editor made it the lead-off.

Read and meet my daddy.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Skirting the issue

I like to wear skirts, particularly in the summer. They're so much... cooler.

So I decided at the Big City grocery store today to do an informal survey. How many other women were wearing skirts?

Lots of people in the store. Only three in skirts.

1. Child of about 10 in a sundress. Doesn't count.
2. Woman in what was probably a swimsuit cover-up masquerading as a dress. Or, maybe not. It was short and thin. She was tall and thin. Really looked nice. What can I say?
3. Woman in a short short skirt. She shouldn't have. Really. Too short for her age and size. Her sandals were too tall for her age and size and skirt.

But what can I say? I was surveying. And wearing a skirt made out of a fancy faux lace-designed shower curtain I picked up for a couple bucks at a Canton linen dealer. It's the hazards of sewing, right?

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Monday, June 14, 2010

A Plum Sight

The fruit tree gods smiled this spring. And smiled. And then had a good laugh.

Our springs are usually rife with hope and anxiety. It's cold enough in the winter to kill what we hope are a sufficient number of bugs and then it starts to warm up. Everything blooms and then it gets freezing cold and half of the crop, if not all, is frozen away. This particularly affects peaches probably because they are everyone's favorite.

But this spring we didn't have a killing late freeze. We had rain and sun and bloom, bloom, bloom. This worked to my advantage with the little cherry tree which gave over 2 gallons of itty-bitty fruit which I have frozen and will juice into jelly later this summer. It usually takes me 2-3 summers to have enough to do that.

Alas, it also worked to advantage--someone's--with our poor plum tree.

It is an orchard plum, a Morris. It shouldn't still be alive after 27 years, especially given its twisted trunk and wayward limbs. Seeing how much fruit it could potentially bear, and knowing that it would be little in size, we lopped off a few weak branches and shook the tree every time we passed it.

I have never seen it so laden with fruit. One limb has broken and another has bent to the ground. The fruit is little and if I'm not quick to confiscate it, the mockingbirds are sampling or it is rotting on its own. I have 2 gallons of juice in the freezer and the tree is still loaded with fruit.

I have offered to share and been turned down by people whose own plum trees are in similar circumstances. The only advantage to the fruit which falls to the ground is that it feeds a myriad of butterflies.

I wonder if this is the plum tree's swan song, but then, I've thought that before. I don't really even like plums, as a fruit to eat out of hand, so I think it lives on to spite me.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Who was wearing those fantastic shoes?

In a steak restaurant last night, not high end, but nice with good service and food, and as we're leaving, I head to the ladies' room. Two stalls, one occupied and in I go to the other. Purse on floor, there must not have been a hanger, and whoa!--look at the shoes in the other stall!

Four inch wood stack heels. Sandals in a blue and green print, probably floral if you saw the whole cloth. Toe nails Frenched. Ankles slim. Tattoo on the top of one foot.

What goes with the rest of this?

Alas, I'm out first and hanging around a ladies' room just isn't done, no matter the curiosity, especially when the other half of my party is already waiting for me.

So, I'll just have to use my imagination about the wearer of the great shoes.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

The $50 tomato

Tomato number two, another Better Boy, has come off the vine and into the kitchen. Peeled and sliced it--whew! finally!--tasted like a tomato!

We have loads of green tomatoes all of which will undoubtedly ripen within 24 hours of each other. I'm thinking... bruschetta?

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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

A "1-Click" lesson

Anxious to use my iPad as an ereader, and desiring lots of choices (sorry, Apple iBookstore, get me loads of romance novels and I'll be back), I downloaded the Kindle App for iPad. I'd already explored the site and decided on my book choice, an Australian novel not readily available here, or at least, not in my small town world--and won't I be surprised if it's featured at the local Big Box--but that's not the story.

It was way too easy. 'Want this one?' 'Yes, I do.' And I hit "1-click", something I never do on the real Amazon site. Next screen: 'Pick where you want it d/l'ed.' I did. Zip, zip, zip--it was there!

To back up a minute, I'd hunted down an Amazon gift card for myself, so I could debit my purchases by gift card like I do iTunes. I hadn't been asked to enter any numbers. So, maybe it was just a sample on my iPad?

Nope. "Turning" pages revealed I had it all. Back to the store, find my account, and it's been billed to my credit card on record.

Now, that's fast. That was 1-click too easy.

So now I have a gift card and a take-home lesson.

And a book to read.

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Saturday, June 05, 2010

What scanner?

In order to get the iPad, I had to upgrade my operating system. The one available was 10.6 and I am now running on it. One of the perks was its built-in ability to recognize my printer and therefore, I didn't have to install drivers, etc.

Well, I have rocked along for about a month like this and everything has been peachy. Then I wanted to scan a new postcard and my computer suddenly cannot find my scanner.

Hmmm. Same place it's always been: built into the printer.

"Help" is no help, either the printer's or the computer's. I go to the printer manufacturer site and start digging through the scan problems. Long story short, while the new OS installs the printer drivers, it doesn't install the scan software. Want to scan? Uninstall, reinstall the real version. Or, there's the workarounds.

Now we're talking. I don't want to uninstall/install. I want to scan a postcard.

Workaround number one involves the Mac's Print Preview application. Who knew? Worked like a charm.

Then the site wanted to know if its info was helpful. Certainly, but here's my comment: Why not put this as an "alert" on the front page next to the Vista alert about the same problem?

Of course, they don't answer comments, but maybe they do read them. As for me, I printed off the workaround and tucked it away. Now if I can just find it the next time I need to scan... Oh--hold it! It'll be on the website troubleshooting front page. I just know it will.

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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The $100 tomato arrives

All tomato plants doing well and laden with tomatoes. One, of the Better Boy variety and in a grow bag, was almost hidden at the bottom where the sun can't get to it. It went from yellow-green, to yellow-orange, to orange-red. At near-peak ripeness, we plucked.

Alas, not a very tasty tomato. Because it was first and had perhaps some water stress? Perhaps because it lacked sunshine to perk up its flavor?

I don't know. It was small, although it had looked quite glorious on the vine, and mealy.

There are others. We march on.

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