28 May 2008

Over the Hump Day Reflections on the Weekend

I put the garden in this weekend, it is a mere whisper of past gardens.  This year only tomatoes, peppers, basil, and cucumbers.  (There are some onions still in the ground from last year.) All of the herbs have come back with a ferocity I have yet to witness.  The bees, my lord the bees are doing well.  Keeping my fingers crossed that they do not split this year. (Here is a good story about a NYC cop who is also a beekeeper.) And the strawberries, we are slated for a bumper crop this year.  

If you are thinking of a garden lemme offer some advice on plant selection.  

#1.  A Cost Effective garden.  Go to your local grocery store and look at the most expensive produce items and grow them in your back yard.  For instance, check out the price difference between green peppers and red (or other multi colored variations).  Crops that stay on the vine longer will cost more.  Why?  They take up valuable space and valuable time.

#2.  A Taste Garden.  Think of the produce items that bring you the most joy.  Grow those plants.  They will taste 10 times better than anything you can buy at the store and you will have a greater factor of satisfaction knowing you grew them.

#3.  A What the Hell Garden.  Pick up a seed catalog and find the most bizarre items and grow them just to see how they grow.  I am amazed at how many people do not know that garlic is a bulb that grows underground.

#4.  A Memory Garden.  Recall the vegetables your father, mother or significant person in your life used to grow and grow those vegetables.  Or grow vegetables from the homeland of your ancestry.  Even if you cannot stand to eat them, the memories, aromas and textures brought back will be well worth it.

The weekend also saw the great Memorial Day parade in town.  This year #1 was in the parade.  So the VOR, #1 and #3 (in stroller) waited in line while #2 and myself staked out a spot on the main drag (in the shade of course).  #2 was full of patriotism, as seen in his picture.  (he is wearing my cap, he said look at me daddy I'm dressed like a preacher.)

Here is #1 in the parade:
Here is #3 at the parade:
While #2 and I waited for the parade to begin we were accosted by four young violin players.  They walked in front of our group, put a violin case down with money in it and started playing a song from Pirates of the Caribbean then The Battle Hymn of the Republic.  The kids were great.  As soon as they lined up ready to play, I said okay lets hear Old Joe Clark, a one, a two an three and take me home.  They weren't amused.  We threw a buck in the case and off they went: what a great idea...
On Monday I tried for the first time Chicken Kebabs. I cut up some chicken, put a good splash of EVOO in a dish, threw in a ton of salt and let it sit for a good spell. Then I peered in the frig and found an onion, a red pepper, a green pepper and some cherry tomatoes. I put it all on bamboo skewers, topped it off with some pepper and placed them on the grill. Verdict: Fabulous!

Finally, overcoming fears. Whenever the VOR or I vacuum #3 runs for the couch and cries. When the vacuum cleaner is turned off they are the best of friends, (most of the time we cannot keep him away from it) but when it comes alive through the genius of electricity whatever bond they have quickly evaporates. So this weekend the VOR showed #3 how the dirt sucking contraption works, their friendship is now complete:

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