Sunday, August 19, 2012

Gardening Day

I have a morning glory hedge. It has taken off this year and I hope that it grows more next year. It is covering an ugly chain link fence with lots of junk behind it. 
I didn't know the centers would come out so bright in the camera. They are so pretty. Funny flowers though, gone by noon. 

The rest of the garden needed some major TLC. Here is the long neglected brick walkway fully covered by rogue raspberry vines and other grasses. 
 And cleared and liberated.
 I still need to deal with the down spout. I need to try to get it to drain more onto the grass. I looked around and I might get one of those roll out downspouts that unroll when they are full of water, then roll back up again when the water is out. More complex options of course include adding tubing, digging a hole in the middle of the yard put rocks in it and drainage stuff and let the water drain into there. Sigh - water is a big issue. Especially since my basement is done! Yay! So soon I need to get down there and organize what is there. 
But onto other issues. The back garden is totally overgrown. Also too much grass, mint and raspberry vines. 
Doesn't everything look like it can breath again? I discovered under all the mess that my garlics have started to grow again. I'm not sure what happened but at the end of May they all sort of died. Maybe I'll dig one up and see what it did. You sure can smell it though.  
 All the maintenance was carried out while Jacques kept watch for the mice. I think there some living in the bricks. I yanked down a lot of wild grapes (not real ones or edible for that matter - just a nuisance vine that re-seeds like crazy), which is where the mice were running up and down. So this is a corner of the yard which needs a lot of kitty attention. 
 And my garden is producing. I've got some beautiful yellow bell peppers coming.
 And also some late tomatoes. I feel a bit guilty about all of this because I get so much in may farm share I have a hard time eating it all! I also got another water melon in my share. This one is one of the long ones (with seeds). I chose a small one so that I could lug it home. I really hope there isn't one this week. I've barely made a dent in this one!
Speaking of food... Last weekend I went up to Aurora, NY - to visit a friend of mine who is an amazing printmaker and book artist. Aurora is a tiny town on the edge of one of the finger lakes, just north of Ithaca. 
 But even though they are in the middle of nowhere - they eat very well. It helps that Curt has major interest in food. We ate at The Inn and the bar and it was delicious. But the highlight had to be breakfast - and my first experience with scrapple. Scrapple is this suspicious breakfast meatloaf that is raved about by local Philadelphians. It always sounded gross to me. The scrapings off the butcher floor and then there are historical recipes calling for saw dust. But I've been assured that now they just use corn meal. At any rate - I would eat this again. It was delicious! especially with the rest of what Curt whipped up, omelet, tomato relish, and a lemon goat cheese spread.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Envy is a Watermelon

Look Dad - a watermelon with seeds! I got it in my farm share alottment today. And it's huge! It was kind of a pleasant/unpleasant surprise. I just didn't think they would be this big. It's got to be 15lbs. It's not one of the long ones. It's just really big - maybe like a super-sized basketball, if there is such a thing. I wasn't prepared to have to lug this thing, (plus 2 large cantelopes, potatoes, two batches of tomatoes, onions, garlic, eggplant, green peppers, and eggs all the way home by foot). But it was worth it. Sugar sweet. One of the best watermelon's I've had in a long time. Wish you were here!
I'm home again in Philadelphia. It's been a rough re-entry. It was so humid here last week. Today is the first day I turned the air conditioners off. It's been brutal. 

While I was away, Wally worked magic on half of the basement. 
I took these when i got home. By now they are much dryer - although not completely. I'm not sure what the next plan is - but there is still half of the basement to go - so I'll keep you posted.
Of course I've been really home-sick for California since I got back too.
Wish I was here. 

I had a lovely time while I was there. When I got back down to Southern California, my dad, Ann and I watch the Olympics quite a bit but also got some culture under our belts. We spent a day at the LA County Museum of Art. 
We went to see "The Boulder," uh, excuse me, Levitated Mass.  Ahem - I'll just be polite and say the jury is still out for me on this one.
The fact that there is a huge boulder, commissioned 20(?) years ago by LACMA, finally installed over a trench on the grounds of the museum is one thing - but it seems like the work of art was actually the process of getting it to the museum. Roads were shut down, the rock was moved only at night, everyone who lived in a zip code that the boulder had to travel through was given a free pass to the museum to see it... However -  there is very little in the way of an adequate statement about The Work. 
But the view from underneath is something...

We saw lots of other exhibits too and had the most delicious lunch at the new cafe. Sashimi and chocolate mousse could be the perfect lunch everyday.  One of my favorite exhibits were the Mola made by the Kuna Indians of Panama.
The exhibition was exceptionally well organized. In the same space as the Mola were these beautiful pots. It's great when the designers provide context for the designs.  Being a former ceramics person - I always love looking at these kinds of pots. They are just gorgeous.  Funny they are from so far south but are so reminiscent of the North West Coastal Tribes.