07 June 2009

gardening etc

We spent most of this sunny weekend outside. Well, got a good chunk of time outside, anyway. We ran a bunch of errands yesterday, including a trip to the the hardware store for a serious pair of pruning scissors, the kind that can take down live wood with a two inch diameter. These things could take your hand off at the wrist.

I was trying to think of a non-boring way to describe how much crap we took down, but I'll just tell you that the resulting brush pile is about the size and shape of a sedan. Something like a Ford Taurus. I think we're going to have to rent a woodchipper to get rid of it. (Speaking of woodchippers, the closest I have ever been to one is the movie Fargo, which we watched last week. It's held up well.)

When I got one particularly big branch, the old guys sitting on the porch across the street clapped for me. Then one yelled, "Don't hurt yourself!" which was a little late since I'd already been hit in the head several times with falling branches. Eventually I learned to get out of the way.

Then today was more errands and yoga, and then we both fell asleep in the afternoon. I took the extended version of the nap while he got up and went for a bike ride. Then I played with the flowers - we have hanging baskets with scarlet verbena and pink petunias and I spent a while deadheading those and the baskets of impatiens.

I also went after the aphids that infest my tomatoes and roses with a "natural" organic pesticide. In a couple of weeks, I think I'll have roses and tomatoes should start being ready a few weeks after that. When the current batch of insecticide runs out, I think I'm going to make my own from dishwashing liquid, mineral oil and water.

I'm really excited about the gardening stuff this year for some reason. I've made various attempts before at container gardening, but I've always proven to have a black thumb. Hopefully this year will be better, because I really like flowers and homegrown tomatoes.

For dinner tonight we grilled some steak tips (just the Whole Foods "santa fe" marinated steak tips) and some veggies (videlia onion, summer squash and zucchini tossed in a mixture of olive oil, fresh thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper.) I love my new gas grill - means the grill is ready to go in ten minutes - and the nonstick grill pan I used for the vegetables. We had sweetcorn, too. I love early summer corn.

All in all it was a pretty restful weekend. A good break from the work week (although actually I should be catching up on some work stuff rather than sitting on the couch blogging and catching up on other blogs. Oh well. I so need to make this rhubarb-berry jam soon. Although I originally went to David Lebovitz's site because summer has got me wanting to start making ice cream again. I'm dying to make this Salted Butter Caramel icecream, which I think will be delicious but looks like a pain in the ass since you make 2 kinds of caramel as well as the custard for the base. Bet it will be worth it, though.)

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