Monday, September 12, 2011

Thank you Four Tops

To the tune of "Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch*" I've been singing all day:

"Rabbit feet, puppy butt. . ."

I could say I'm too tired to blog about the garden, and use the still-wakeful puppy as an excuse, but really, the garden's a mess and so is the house. Oh well. She's still incredibly cute, back and front.

Oh, now she has a name. We're calling her "Taz" for "Tasmania."

*why do we not say, "Honey bunch" any more? I can't imagine hearing someone use that as an endearment.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A little busier now

We may have lost our minds. There's not a whole lot of spare time hanging around here, but any we have lying about just got taken up.

Out of this seething mass of puppies (three of the litter's ten):

We brought home this as-yet-unnamed little girl.

She's spending a lot of time asleep, but still in that baby period where we all get up multiple times a night. Oh joy. The assumptions are that one, she'll eventually sleep through the night, and two, she and Mikey will become fast friends. They're getting along fine now, it's just hard to play when one of you is ten times the size of the other and the other is wobbly on her pins.

Sweet days. I haven't had a puppy since I was five, and the kids are pretty besotted. Yawn.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Island of Calm

It's simple, really.

Fill the pot with water, add some salt. As the water's heating, you sift ground cornmeal into the water with one hand, the other hand stirring gently.
Shhhhhhhh goes the cornmeal, round and round and round goes the spoon.
Time passes.
This time, I didn't grab a book. I didn't try to read the paper or check my messages.
I did listen to the girls playing in the living room, older sister making youngest laugh.
Stirring, stirring, round and round and round.
Nothing changes for a long time -- it's just cornmeal and water, a vortex on the stove.
Barely perceptibly, change sneaks up.
The pot is no longer sedimentary, cornmeal heavy on the bottom, water on the top.
All one mass, yellow as a sunflower, the polenta starting to give off lazy "plop" bubbles.
Heat goes down, I keep stirring.
Plop. Plop. Plop.
And then it's done, and the busy sneaks in again.
But dinner's nearly finished.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Proof in the peppers

My father in law is nursing along his own "Padron" peppers, and I was telling him how well my overwintered pepper plant is doing. He expressed amazement at its height, so I figured I'd actually take pictures just to show how very big it is. I hear that in places where peppers grow naturally, they get much much much bigger, but this one has a stem that's about 1 1/2" in diameter, so it's really put on some growth since last year. I wonder if I can get it through another one?

No worries, though. I bought hormone rooting powder and plan to take and root cuttings to keep indoors for the winter. I'm going to have Padrons coming out my ears next spring. Maybe I should do that with the bell peppers too.

I'm holding a small bowl with one day's pickings at about 12" high. The whole thing is maybe four feet tall? Nice pepper, anyhow.

The rest of the garden is pretty much on the "hell in a handbasket" route. I could be gearing up for four-season gardening, but instead I'm reeling from the beginning of my classes I teach and a ramped-up homeschooling approach. I'm sure that it will all smooth out in the long run. Meanwhile, beds lay fallow.