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Monday, July 25, 2016

BEWARE of the Crawling Butternut Squash

This past winter, we purchased  a butternut squash.
It was HEAVY, EXPENSIVE, but great tasting.
I whipped up this soup ( YUMMY EASY RECIPE)  that was heavenly.
End or story?
Hardly.....
Those that know Ron, know that he is quite the farmer. He has been cultivating the ground for as long as I've know him. Click on the highlighted link to see a post from 2012!--->How our Garden Grows ! and a link from this year!----> Hello From Outback
Back to the squash...King Ron saved the seeds, dried them, and planted them this year. Everything he does, is usually a whopping success!
This morning I took a few photos.
The bees were busy this morning





























FYI... Squash flowers are unisexual, and require a bee to move pollen from male to female flowers! Female flowers that have not been pollinated will still produce a fruit, but she will not have seeds


Dying grass, but crawling Squash!
Curls and curls
Butternut flowers are twice the size of other squash flowers.














































If all of these lovely squash mature...... I'll be calling you to help me cook!





Saturday, July 16, 2016

DOWN UNDER WITH THE MUSHROOMS
















Can you imagine being those little fairies that live and dance under the classic woodland mushroom canopy? Surely you have read  Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (click highlighted text to read about Alice). Chapter five is all about the mushroom, and of course, advice from a Caterpillar!

"Oh a hunting I will go..." 
And hunting I went!
No, I wasn't hunting to eat.... I was hunting to photograph! 
If you plan to do this, be prepared to get down with these fungi/toadstools/mushrooms. 
Grab a towel or mat.... and PLEASE, don't sit on the mushrooms! You'll be spending a lot of time flat on your stomach on the ground, getting dirty! 
Nope, I didn't dance under the mushrooms, but I got down under with the mushrooms!
Enjoy the photographs that I captured!






















































NOTE: Mushrooms can be poisonous, edible, wild, psychedelic, hallucinogenic, orange, yellow, purple, magic, or morel. It is important that you properly identify the fungi if you plan to eat them!!!















Click here to see some beautiful images-----> 21 Magical images.
and....
Here is a great site: HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH.
Happy Hunting Down Under!



















Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Fireworks, Fair and Funnel cakes


The fair, as seen from my front porch!



































Aren't you glad that you were born in the good ole U.S. of A? 
I AM!










For the past several weeks, the media has shown a very ugly side of America. I am not denying these horrendous tragedies, but I think it is important that adults react and respond in a mature, intelligent manner.  I am disgusted seeing all of the political hatred of candidates, racial slurs and bigoted nonsense. Try to imagine, if you will, how powerful our own ANGER AND FEAR are being transferred to our young people! Shame on us! Life is precious, don't get me wrong, but get over yourselves, you bunch of big babies!! (OK... Rant over)
Enjoy the fireworks photos!

The Fourth of July fireworks festivities at RIVER'S EDGE  were cancelled due to the weather, but were rescheduled for the next evening, July 5th. The wait was worth it, as we stood on the walking bridge on Franklin Road to see the spectacular show! 







































The following 2 evenings, we attended the Salem Fair. 
That innocent, playful, uncomplicated aspect of our 'inner child' took over! We get excited about going to the fair! May we never grow old in our zest for life.
"Never Grow Up"... Peter Pan. 
The Crescent Moon even showed up at the fair!
























Wouldn't you love to fly? I would!




















The action, the people, the rides, the music.........

































Here's to remembering the Salem Fair 2016!















AND OH THOSE FUNNEL CAKES 
Yep, we ate one.... And it was delicious 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

FIGARO

















Meet FIGARO.
She is our highly rated fig tree.
We hold her in high esteem.
She, like so many of our guarded plants, is an offspring from my mother-in-law's back yard. Some of you remember Mr. Lincoln, our treasured hybrid rose bush, which also grew in her back yard. If you missed that blog, click on this link to view ---> Good Ole' Mr. Lincoln.
FIGARO has been in our possession for 10-15 years.
We keep her pruned to about 6' for easy access.
Looking back, I remember how Dot had her fig tree espaliered against a wooden fence. Now I know WHY she did that. As soon as our figs have come and gone, we may give this a try: ESPALIER A FIG TREE

Her fig tree looked similar to this:
Photo credit: theinnergardnener.wordpress.com













I can almost taste the sweet delicacy of those ripe figs.



























Figs can be frozen whole, or sliced. They are high in iron, calcium, potassium and fiber.
They must be allowed to ripen fully on the tree before they are picked.
A ripe fig will be slightly soft and starting to bend at the neck.
Fresh figs do not keep well and can be stored in the refrigerator for only 2-3 days.
Wait for the bend in the neck to pick from tree!


















I suspect the figs will be ripe enough to gently pick in late July or early August.
Notice the netting.
UGH... WHAT A PAIN!
Did I mention deer, squirrels, groundhogs, raccoons, birds, and chipmunks in my previous post?????
If you missed that one, as well, click here to view---> HELLO FROM OUTBACK.
OK. Back to the netting:

















I refuse to allow anyone/any animal other than a very few designated people to eat from this tree that  I call FIGARO.
Her Majesty the Queen, eats from this tree.
....."You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die."..... (of course this quote is TOTALLY taken out of context)
King Ron is not particularly fond of figs...... which is a good thing FOR ME!
YOU ARE HEREBY FOREWARNED.
PS.
Figaro produced her fruit a little earlier than anticipated!
So far, I have consumed the delicacy of 3 figs!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Hello from Outback

Tangled in the McCaslan Pole Beans

























Hello from Outback.....as in our back yard!
We are finally seeing the fruits veggies of our labor.
This act of  labor/harvesting/processing/eating now occurs EVERYDAY!
It's probably going to be a 'Very-Busy-Garden-Month-Of-July'
The first gardening post,  It's Official....READY, SET, GROW <----(click here) was written on May 18th.
If you are serious about gardening, you know that the produce waits for no one.
No one!
A missed opportunity to harvest your food, allows the deer, squirrels, groundhogs, raccoons, birds, and chipmunks to help themselves.
ahhhh..... caught eating some of our crop!

























We have picked zucchini, squash, green beans, and onions.
We have processed and eaten the fruits  veggies of our labor.
What is it that is sooooooo satisfying about growing your own food?

From the ground to the counter:














From the counter to the freezer:

























From the ground, straight to the table:
Zucchini corn bread, green beans, squash, onions, June applesauce.



















PS......
We do not grow June Apples (very tart), but....
OH HOW I LOVE THEM. ♥ 














If you are fond of these, visit ROANOKE CITY MARKET while the June apples are available.
They freeze well, and can be used in many baking recipes!

HAPPY GARDENING, from OUTBACK!

Friday, July 1, 2016

"By the way, is the butler done catching our trout?"


Caravel Dock at Sunset















VISA-----> the place that Ron and I frequently call 'The Moneta Triangle'. This is the place we go to enjoy swimming, sailing, camping, relaxing, socializing, campfires and more(a 50 minute drive from our home in Roanoke, Va).  We have been members of this sailing club for many years. Ron's parents, Winston and Dot, were part of the 'VISA 36' Charter Family Members, who founded VISA in the winter of 1965.  Sailing has been a part of our lives for many years!
In early June, our HUNTER 25 was hauled onto the lift to be cleaned and painted..... for the first time....EVER. She had never been out of the water, since they day we purchased her!
The bottom was power-washed, sanded, filled, and painted.






















Sweat equity and lots of elbow grease






















Re-launching her back into the water, and into our dock slip, took a few extra hands, holding our breath, and a big sigh of relief..... PHEW!
Oh that water felt good!






























Oh yes, after 35 years, Queenie (first mate), decided it was time to put the feminine touch to the inside of our boat(a few new cushions, pillows, and lots more elbow grease).
Poor Capt. Ron has been dragged into luxury cruising after 35 years.
Does a woman EVER finish decorating????..... NO




























Our efforts paid off with SMOOTH SAILING





























Did I mention campfires? It doesn't matter how hot the summer temperatures soar, nothing beats a good ole' campfire. No chocolate deficiency here!















Next on the project list was our 11 yr old camper, which needed fluffing/cleaning, as in BIG TIME.
Famous words from King Ron....
"But it's fine the way it is"...
Which is short for ....
"I like the way my workshop looks. Hands off."
UGH.
A 'before' shot!














'Glamping' is camping, but with glamour (a combination of the two words). 
Once again I engaged in an equal opportunity moment. 
The end result was great!..... 
King Ron even requested the Keurig! 
Things are looking up!!!!

Does a woman EVER finish decorating?..... NO




Summertime, sailing, and camping. My kind of R&R.
What are your favorite things to do ?

Does a woman EVER finish decorating?.... NO






































"By the way, is the butler done catching our trout?"