Archive for the ‘cucumbers’ Tag

The Return of the Prodigal   2 comments

At first I thought my failure to blog regularly was because my work situation has changed. I am now writing freelance from home. While it was one thing to come home from a day on my computer at the office and write a  blog, it was another thing to spend all day on my laptop  up in the loft, then come down to the living room and attempt a blog post.

But that wasn’t it. I realized it was the lack of pictures. You see, normally I’d be inspired by  something in the city or at the shopping center, think I must write about that, snap a photo or two, come home and write. But then, back in January…………..

……….. I lost my camera.

I searched everywhere: in every coat, under the car seat, in my gym bag, my pocketbook, in the kitchen drawer. You name it, I looked there. I was even beginning to think about getting a new phone so I’d have a camera, when……….

……………I found my camera.

The prodigal camera had returned! It was hanging out with some t-shirts in the t-shirt drawer! If I ate meat, I’d proclaim “Prepare the fatted calf ” or whatever it was that the father said when his prodigal son returned. Instead…………..

………….. I charged the camera and started snapping shots .

Ready for an update on the house of Mars?

Marble has calmed down somewhat. He’s two years old and now that it’s summer, he’s content to sit on a little blue rug I bought at the dollar store to wipe my feet on when I come in. The cast of characters changes DSCN1877

After breakfast… with The Brothers

DSCN1884 with Marcel

DSCN1890Alone at last

Then there’s the garden. If you recall, I started  tomatoes and cucumbers from seed. Two cuke seedlings emerged, and 23 tomatoes. Not having space for that many tomatoes, I put them up for adoption and ended up with 5 for myself. Well, 2 died, and the cukes got eaten by groundhogs. The tomatoes are doing well They are the kings of the vegetable garden……

DSCN1880…….Ruling over 2 eggplants. 2 squash, 4 yellow pepper plants

I tried to rise above it, but I can’t. I have to point out, that’s not my shed.

DSCN1882Mine is pretty

So that’s what’s going on in the House of Mars. I’m enjoying this summer so much, writing on the deck is like not working at all.

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So be prepared for more blogs from The House of Mars!

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Live and Let Live   2 comments

I love everything about summer but number two on my list, after going to the beach, is taking care of my garden. Like any mother I feed my plant babies and shop for them –  delicious foods  like fish emulsion and blood meal. I usually purchase these from Home Depot, but was in a hurry one Saturday and since I was already in Wal-Mart, decided to see if their garden department had what I needed.

Not only did they not have either,  but I was somewhat dismayed to find that the  products that supply plant nutrients were outnumbered by those that promised death –  to insects, weeds, moss – you name it

The Good

The Good

The Bad

The Bad

and the ugly!

and the Ugly!

I don’t know why but it troubled me on a deep fundamental level.  I actually feel sorry for the weeds I pull. Now I was on a quandary,  weighing  the end against the means.  Some people spray, I pull. It’s all the same to the weeds. Thankfully someone pointed out that I was protecting my flowers and vegetable plants because it’s a dog eat dog world, with everything sending down roots and competing for water.

As it turned out I could have left the weeds alone…….  because the deer got there first. I went out to water one morning and suffered instant numbing devastation. I kid you not. I was late getting to work because it took me a while to break out of shock. Was my live and let live attitude being tested?

Remember my tomato  plants and cucumber vines?

Back in July

Back in July

They don’t look like that anymore

In mid-August

In mid-August

The tomatoes fared a bit better,

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But they’re soldiering on. Wounded, but still nurturing their tomatoes.

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And so are the cucumbers,  bless their little hearts!

See the cuke (pickle) to the right of the stake.

See the cuke (pickle) to the right of the stake.

 

This called for action, but not too much. The most destructive I could get was repelling them with the noxious odor of musty rotten eggs.

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So far it’s worked. But the sixty-four thousand dollar question is……. Are they just waiting for the tomatoes to ripen?

Posted August 27, 2014 by virginiafair in gardening, Uncategorized

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Making Summer Last   2 comments

Summertime and the living is easy. Fish are jumping and the cotton is high.

This song spoke to me when I was a child. It was the epitome of  long lazy days made expressly for play. Summers seemed  to last longer when there was nothing to do but go out and play from morning to night. When did they start to fly by in the wink of an eye? I’m on a mission this summer – to try to make this summer go as slowly as it can. I switch radio stations in the car if I hear the words Back to School. I grab the remote when I hear the word football coming from the TV.  I delete e-mailed ads that mention Fall Fashions or Back to School.

Just the thought of winter sends shudders through my soul. You see, I’m chilly when the temperature dips south of 75 .  I am that one person in the world who actually loves, yes loves heat and humidity. So if you ever run into me on one of my kind of days do not, I repeat do not, make the mistake of complaining about either the h or the h. If you do, you’ll hear me growl “Would you prefer the polar vortex?

So how am I making my summer last? By handing it over to my senses.

Sometimes hearing gets there first. My ears are early risers. Some mornings, I haven’t even opened my eyes when my ears are already on the job, trying to decipher the calls of the birds who  compete to fill the air with their own particular calls. There are chitterers and tritterers, the chatterers, trillers and squawkers. There’s even a Yankee fan bird who calls Jeter, Jeter, Jeter.

Some days touch steps up to bat.  I step outside and my skin actually sings for joy as the warmth bathes it

Sight’s been putting in duty since early spring, pointing out the first crocus brave enough to break through the frigid soil next to my front walk. Sight also distracted my driving each April morning,  showing me the first leaf buds on the skeletal trees, and keeping track each morning  as   they unfurled and grew  into fragile green miracles. Anticipating the summer to come, I’d always call out the window. “Welcome to the world, little ones.”

As for taste. Coffee never tastes as good as it does when I take that first sip of coffee out on the deck in the fresh calm of a weekend morning.

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Unfortunately I have no time for coffee al fresco Monday through Friday, but thankfully I work in an office complex with lots of outdoor spots to satisfy my senses.

  There’s the bench where I take a five-minute nonsmoker’s break mid-morning.

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Where I walk at lunchtime

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And what’s lunchtime without a place to eat lunch.

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That’s my secret for slowing down summer. It’s like John Lennon said.

I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round. I just love to watch them turn.

Actually I’m just sitting here watching my tomatoes grow

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And my peppers

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And my cucumbers

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