Thursday, December 30, 2010

Last Tomato

Our grandson picked a bunch of green tomatoes in October, when we were about to have freezing temps.  When our daughter came over, she did better than Larry and I did at eating them as they ripened.  I had to throw away a few that spoiled.  This one,  I kept looking at, wondering if it was any good.  The Gardener on Sherlock Street recently did a post on the tomatoes she had on her counter, which made me renew my interest in the last tomato on my counter.  Well, finally, today, I checked it out.

I wish I would have taken the first photo from the place this tomato spent the last couple of months.  I don't know why I didn't.

After the first cut, I had hopes that it was still OK to eat.

 It was not as sweet as a fresh vine ripened tomato, but it was a nice December treat.  The salad was from the store.  I'm pleased to be able to eat lettuce again, after having problems with my jaw this summer.  The night guard I got from a TMJD dentist seems to be helping.

Happy New Year!   Oh, and my parents are celebrating 60 years of marriage today.  I don't think they read my blog, but I wanted to mention it anyway.  That's quite an accomplishment!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas for the Birds

I recently bought a nice pair shoes, and Larry, a coat, so we decided those would be our Christmas presents.  A week before Christmas, KJ, our grandson and I went to a store to get some presents for his parents, aunt, and grandpa.  Awhile back, I got KJ a new toothbrush, then he told Grandpa he needed a new one, too.  So, I had him pick out a toothbrush and toothpaste for Grandpa.  Then, he went into an aisle where there was bird food, and he picked up a suet cake.  I asked if he wanted to give that to Grandpa, too, and he nodded his head.  I had him pick up another.

I didn't remember if we still had a suet feeder, then had an idea for KJ to buy my parents a suet feeder and suet cakes from a local business, The Wild Bird Habitat Stores.  I also put the link to the owner's blog in my sidebar.  He hasn't posted in awhile, but I want to go back and read his articles.  Larry and I want to learn more about feeding birds instead of being hit and miss like we have been.

When I recently asked Larry when he was planning on getting the feeders out, he said he wasn't sure, but he wished we had a place to put them where we could see the birds better.  I hadn't been too much in a hurry to get the feeders out, since they have plenty of seed heads in the yard to enjoy.  I figured since it's almost January, we should be getting the feeders out.

Anyway, KJ had gotten up very early, and was too tired to go shopping, so I showed him the types of feeders online.  I was going to have Larry take him, and I had asked Larry to pick out a suet feeder for KJ to get for me.  Since that didn't work out, I went and got a feeder and suet for my parents.  I picked out a squirrel proof one to be for me.  I also bought Larry the feeder in the first photo so we could see the birds eating.  He forgot that the suet feeder was supposed to be for me, so since I had a package for him, he went out and bought me a bunch of chocolate and a container for them. ;o)

I was finishing my lunch today, when I noticed Larry was putting food in the new feeder.  I wish I'd have noticed earlier to get a better photo, but did have my camera close by, and got this one.  I then went around taking photos as he put more feeders out.  He hasn't gotten all of them out yet, but at least we have some out now.  I also bought some safflower seeds, which Larry put out later, after these photos were taken.

This suet feeder holds 2 cakes.  I hope the squirrels don't knock it down trying to get to the suet.

Since I spent over a certain amount, I got a free sock feeder and a bag of thistle seeds.  

I got the fruit feeder at an estate sale this summer.  I had planned on it being a decoration, but Larry very sweetly cut an apple this morning to put in it. 

I wonder if the squirrels will realize the corn is for them, and the apple is for the birds.

I think this is one of the feeders that was Larry's dad's.

Now, I hope the birds find the feeders soon. 

Have a great week!  I've been watching coverage of the big snow storm in the east.  I hope you all have heat and electricity, or will soon.  If you aren't home, I hope you get there safely, and without too much delay.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

May your celebration of Jesus coming to us in the flesh be filled with joy!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Some Herbs in the Window

We went to Trader Joe's the first Saturday it was open in our city.   I don't normally buy herbs crowded in pots that are too small for them, but the herbs in the pot in the middle of the photo looked good, and they found their way into the shopping cart.  The rosemary, thyme, and oregano joined a couple rosemary plants that I've managed to keep alive for several years.

On the top shelf, is one that looks dead every spring, but comes back to life.  This may be its last winter, though.  It didn't green up this summer as much as it normally does.

I thought the bay plant I've had a few years had died this spring, but new growth came from the base of the plant, and I cut back the dead stems.

I haven't been using as much self control with the food at holiday gatherings, but am managing to not gain much weight.  I made a big pot of vegetable soup, and put some of my new herbs in it.  This soup is low fat, low calories, so I can enjoy some of those treats.  I just have to be careful.

Happy holidays!  I'm a Christian, and am very thankful for the gift of faith in Jesus.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Foliage Follow-up

Pam, at Digging hosts Foliage Follow-up the day after GBBD.  I just checked out her post, and it is a fun one showing lots of outdoor trees decorated for Christmas.

These photos were taken yesterday, the 15th, after work.  There was still snow on the ground.  Actually, as I typed in the evening, more was coming down.  I had to scrape my car after church, and avoided an area where I was told there was a 3 car accident.  Driving wasn't too bad, but I thought my car wasn't going to stop for the red light at a busy intersection.  It finally did, a little farther out than it should have been.  The cars to the left still had a red light, because the left turning lanes had arrows.  There weren't any in that lane coming my way, so I was able to scoot around the corner and turn right.  As it turns out, there were over 40 accidents last nigh due to icy streets.

Some of the foliage is still looking alive, and some, not, but as many of us have decided, there is still beauty in a plant that is not alive, at least for the season.



Another heuchera:


Perennial geranium:

Grape hyacinth and sedum:


Wood betony:


Pine leaf penstemon:

I'm trying to remember whether this is candytuft or sweet woodruff.

Amsonia hubrichtii:

Coreopsis, the taller threadleaf kind:



Chocolate Joe Pye Weed:

When I went to last month's post to get Pam's link, I noticed I had the kale in it.  It is looking sadder this time, but I'm thinking I'll be able to get out and pick some leaves if I do it pretty soon.

I decided to save the indoor foliage for January, since there probably won't be much outdoor foliage to show.  In less than two weeks, the days will start getting longer again.  That's one of my favorite days of the off season.  The countdown to spring begins!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Blooms, Sort of

The outdoor blooms are finished, but there is still some color in the yard.  I had a holiday gathering after work today, (Tuesday), and there wasn't much light left when I got home, but I went right out to take photos for Garden Blogger's Bloom Day, hosted by Carol, of May Dreams Gardens.

The temps have finally gotten cold enough to take down the snapdragons.  I am sad.

There are a few strawflowers on dried up plants.

I imagine these rue buds won't be opening up.

The autumn joy sedum has some new color under the seed heads.

The iris is not going to open after all.

The gomphrenas still have color on their dry stems as well.

The beauty berries are not blooms, but they are still looking pretty.

I'm thinking folks have included seed heads for bloom day before.  Since there aren't live flowers, I'm enjoying having the seed heads around.

These are New England Asters.

The coneflowers are being eaten by birds, but are still looking good.

Rattlesnake master:

Love lies bleeding:

Saw toothed mountain mint:

I can't remember what kind of grass this is.

It was getting dark, and I got sidetracked taking photos of the next door neighbor kids with the lighted Christmas animals in their yard.  This was the best photo of the Virginia mountain mint.

Inside, out of the cold, I have a few blooms.  I got this holiday cactus, 'Caribbean Dance' in bud a few weeks ago, and it is doing well.

I had thought the next one, 'Dark Marie' wasn't going to make it because I had let it dry out too many times, but after a couple waterings, it is blooming, too.  It looks pretty similar to the new one.  Now, I need to get both of them into larger pots with some good potting soil, so it will be easier to keep them from drying out. Naomi, my pink blooming one is finished blooming for now, but it may bloom again toward spring, like it did last year.

I am looking forward to seeing what kinds of blooms others have this cold December.