A Ridiculously Long Time

Yes, its been a ridiculously LONG time since I’ve posted anything new here.  June 3rd, to be exact. 

A lot has happened in the last 2-plus months.  The garden has been growing exponentially on a daily basis.  Okra! Okra! Okra!  The tomato plants are big and green but VERY few tomatoes have made it to the table.  What’s up with that?  We’ve gotten 5 very nice cantalopes and have a few more on the vine.  My late season onions did nicely.  I will plant all three beds in the spring and try to sell them.  The squash bloomed magnificently but failed to produce a single fruit – or vege.  Fruit sounds more poetic, don’t you think?  Anyway, we ain’t got no squash.    Some random vine keeps trying to overtake my spirea (sp?) and I have to remove it daily.  The “ever-bearing” strawberries blessed us bountifully in June (just like the “June bearing” variety) and haven’t been seen since.  The heat has just about killed them.  I really need to get out there and thin out the bed, but its so dang hot.  Day after day after day of temps over 100 degrees.  It makes it really hard to water.  I try to wait until the sun goes behind the trees about 8 p.m., but as soon as the water hose comes out, so do the mosquitoes.  I refuse to spray myself with the chemical stuff and instead use a locally produced natural ingredient repellent, but if you miss even one small spot with the stuff, the little biters find it and attack and its repellent properties are only good for about 15 minutes.  Whine whine whine….. My Mom was right about the blackeye peas.  You need to plant A LOT of them to get enough to eat.  Out of the whole bed I planted, only 3 plants came up (soil too cold and the seed rotted), but the vines of those 3 amigos have grown wild. Even so, they haven’t produced enough for a single meal even at this point.  So, note for next year:  no blackeye peas; plant okra in a straight line, not in a bed.  Too itchy and scratchy reaching in to pick.  Plant tomatoes in a different spot.  One bed for cantalope and one for squash.  

We finally got to take a vacation in August.  DH and son had a great time hiking and rafting on the Rio Grande while I suffered mightily at a 3 day quilting retreat in Angel Fire, NM.  The torture consisted of uninterrupted creative sewing time, gourmet meals

Just one of the sumptuous desserts!

and reacquaintance with friends made at a Santa Fe retreat in ’07.  Such suffering!! 

Notice the deck and pine trees outside the windows!

 I got an entire quilt top finished in 2-1/2 days, got in some serious gift shopping for the neighbor caring for the critters, and was awed and amazed at the quantity and beauty of the local hummingbirds.  That’s something you just don’t see in Oklahoma.  The first night we were there it rained and thundered and was so chilly we had to put on sweaters.  Most of the women were from the Texas panhandle, as were our hostesses.  You know you’re around a bunch of true Texas women when the conversation during Meet and Greet turns to the prolificacy of rattlesnakes this year!  Then there were the “Albuquerque 3”.  They kept us laughing the whole weekend.  It was wonderful.

So, now we’re back home.  Laundry is semi caught up – okay, is laundry ever caught up?  And I’m SOOOOOO ready for the garden to stop producing for this year.  My Mom says, “Just pull it up!”, but there is something inside that won’t let me destroy plants that are still producing food for my table.  Especially the okra.  Its almost blasphemy to pull up plants that are still offering up those sweet pods that are so good fried just to the point of being burnt.  Crunch, crunch, yum……

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