Saturday, October 11, 2014

Going Paleo

This has to be my favorite homecooked meal ever. It sure hit the spot. Salmon with garlic, lemon and butter. Avocado and yellow pepper. 

This is a good example of a Paleo Whole30 meal: delicious, satisfyingn healthy and filling. It's the first of many upcoming Paleo meals I can look forward to. I have begun a Paleo diet and even scaled that back to the Whole30. I'm not fooling myself: This is drastic lifestyle change that I've given a lot of thought to and research about. Plus, my daughter endorses Paleo and has the health and vitality to prove it. 

If you'd like to learn what the Paleo diet entails and why it's healthy, please see There are many other websites that explain the concept. Here is a link to Whole30: 

So please comment below about your thoughts, opinions, encouragement or other feedback. I look forward to hearing your feedback. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Please don't abandon your shoe

I am puzzled about the shoes left along highways, byways, roadways and yes, parking lots. They're never in pairs. Who abandons one but not both of a pair of shoes?  And who would abandon a shoe at all, unless it's to a good cause such as a resale shop?
Size 7 flipflop with stretchy heel strap. Nothing wrong with it to speak of, other than it's a little worn out. Perhaps it just fell out of a patron's car when she went into Chick-Fil-A?
Shoe of unknown size, evidently worn out and thrown aside for a newer model. Shame on you!

Size 9 sandal from Target that lasted 10 years, then finally snapped. It was perfectly in style in a classic sort of way before it went bye-bye.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Practicing yoga

I've been practicing yoga one hour a day for two weeks. Practicing, as in entering the yogasphere with your body, mind, emotions and other essentials of personhood. I've been alternating between two iPhone apps: Yoga Studio, which is difficult but not so evil as Pocket Yoga, which I will kill at some point in the future.

Read on for some useful things I found for my daily practice:

These yoga socks separate the toes
and have gripper dots on the bottom. They work well
and let me do without my yoga mat.

These are gripper gloves for weight lifting
but they're great for gripping the floor during yoga.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Super Tomato is here!

Get out the red cape, SuperSauce Hybrid is here! Weighs in at 14 oz, definitely the largest tomato I've ever grown. Share your "tomato story" with a comment below this post! You never know, I might feature you on Quirky Cultivator!
I really need to do something with these tonight.
How do you make tomato juice?
This is today's harvest, which really weighed down
my gathering apron, so much so that I could hardly walk!
I did a tutorial on my gathering apron; see it here.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A great square dance

We had a great time square dancing Friday night. It's always fun. From the left, that's my husband, Mark, caller Jay, and me. It's not all twangy country music. Last night included "Wagon Wheel" (Rock Me Mama), "Pink Cadillac" and "Play that Funky Music"(White Boy). I think we even danced to Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff." Go Jay!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Garden snapshots

Patty pan squash are doing well. Cucumbers are not bearing yet. Potatoes got their first bloom, meaning there are little potatoes forming underground. Tomatoes are growing like crazy and providing great snacks for the squirrels.
50 tomato plants are doing well
and bearing great clusters of tomatoes,
some with nine tomatoes in a cluster
Pole beans are bearing like crazy. Cantaloupes have a lot of blooms but no fruit yet. I'm taking it on faith that the sweet potatoes are doing something underground.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

First try at cantaloupe

Cantaloupe 10 days after planting seeds. Why do my things take longer than the Todds'? But notice the cute marker. It denotes that this is cantaloupe planting date #1 (of 3) and that I planted on 3/21/14. I like to label things.
Cantaloupe on 5/9/14, 19 days after seeds were planted. I mulched with oak leaves.
This year I am trying cantaloupe after hearing a rave review from a gardener who knows what she's doing. "They go crazy. You won't believe how many you'll get," she said. So I thought, why not.

I planted Hale's Best Jumbo seeds on 3/21/14. The Brazoria County Master Gardeners suggest this variety: Ambrosia. The only one I could get seeds for around here was Hale's Best Jumbo. The seeds cost me $1.35 and I put a lot of thought and new technique into it, but I might as well experiment, right?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Oh those crazy tomatoes

Seven weeks ago I planted sad, spindly, 2-inch-tall tomato plants. Now look at them -- some are over 3 feet high! Realistically speaking they'll probably reach 8 feet. Radioactive soil? That's certainly possible but I sincerely hope not. Rather, credit goes to the mushroom compost I had brought in this year. Seven cubic yards and enough men to till it in and build my rows.

Half of my tomatoes are from seeds I started indoors in Dixie cups. The others were seedlings I bought when I lost faith in the Dixie-cup batch, which rallied when I decided to plant them in the garden.

So this year I have 50 tomato plants, way too many for just two people, so if you stay on my good side and you're local, I might turn my garden into a freebie U-pick zone. Stay tuned.

Here are the tomato varieties I have: 24 Better Boy, seven Fresh Salsa Hybrid, six Bush Early Girl Hybrid, eight SuperSauce Hybrid and five Celebrity Hybrid.
Before I counted today, I had given away six plants to my friends Joyce and Francis, though I'm not sure if they (the tomatoes) survived. There's something sad about gently pulling out a giant tomato plant and sending it home with someone else, because those babies almost immediately wilt. It's a little like sending your children out into the world: They may wilt at first, but you hope all the effort and prayer and years and tears have given them strong roots on which to build the rest of their lives. Amen.

More about tomatoes:
Stem bumps

Friday, March 21, 2014

Crop report: Pole beans

Pole beans are green beans that develop feelers
that reach out and grasp anything they can
climb on. Naturally, they like to climb pretty high.
For garden structures, I ordinarily just make do with whatever I have, but decided to splurge on two Burpee's Pole Bean and Pea Towers. I'm glad I did, because the beans sure are happy.
I took this photo before I strung up the towers. The craft sticks marked where I planted the seeds so I would know where to water. Beans like to be kept moist (but not wet)
as they work their magic underground.
This is from my pole beans a year ago. Let beans soak overnight in a bowl of water, then plant them
two to a hole. This makes germination more of a sure thing.
Beans are notorious for not cooperating with the gardener. Once germinated, though, green beans are a very easy crop.
The beans put out feelers and start
climbing. It's really kind of creepy.
Here they are climbing the strings.
A nice healthy green
The ones on the left are climbing 
while the ones on the right are germinating.
First blooms
First bean
First harvest
First "mess" of green beans. They turned out delicious
except that I let them get too big and they had the
strings of old-fashioned string beans. I learned to pick
them earlier. In cooking them, I like to keep them a bright green so they don't get mushy. I acknowledge that this picture is at an odd angle. I really don't cook on a slope. It is very flat here.

The pole beans have been yielding well the last two weeks or so but have slowed down. Today I added some fertilizer to maybe get them going again.

Any tips for growing green beans? Click on the comment link below this post. You can comment anonymously, with just your first name or nickname, or with your full name.