Saturday, July 31, 2010

It’s A Jungle Out There

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I snapped some photos of the jungle in the back yard I used to call my garden! It’s a tropical mess. The tomato and cuke plants are getting buried by the gourds and giant pumpkin and butternut. I can’t get to the sugar snap peas because I planted them too close to the corn!DSC04847

DSC04848 It was so hard to find the little tags on the twigs I put beside each plant that I made new signs that stick out of the ground about 5 or more feet! I made them out of old bamboo rods with paint sticks taped to the tops. I wrote on the paint sticks with  a permanent marker…the name of each vegetable….like large pumpkin, small pumpkin, regular cukes, pickling cukes…etc. After I stuck them all in the garden and stood back away from the garden, I took a good look. It reminded me of a Democratic Convention!!!!! Instead of IOWA or some other state it says CORN or  GOURDS! It  was   pretty funny.DSC04845

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The butternut is coming along well and I found a giant pumpkin today! That was exciting because it’s hard to get underneath all those leaves without the bees getting you! See the bee inside that squash blossom above? They are all through the garden and very aggressive. The copper beetles are becoming less of a nuisance lately. The bees took over their job, but at least the bees are good for the garden!DSC04851


  See the ARC shaped gourd hidden in the above photo? We have been picking 4 to 6 cucumbers every other day. We eat salads every day and what a difference with the added freshness of those juicy cukes. My popcorn leaves are keeping right up with the regular yellow corn. Can’t wait to see if it matures and what it looks like. Harvesting should be interesting. It’s always fun. It’s my favorite part of growing a garden! Finding all those hidden treasures under the massive leaves!! You never know where a vegetable is going to end up or what strange form it will take.DSC04855 My next project is to make some old fashioned sour pickles in a large wide mouth jar. No canning….just drop them into the vinegar, solution. I have two recipes. Both are from elderly ladies here in my town and are almost identical. I have another one for dill pickles. I will share with you all when I do it.~..~ How’s your garden doing?


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It’s An Inside Job……


No…that’s not my quilt up above but isn’t it pretty? Typical Maine scene someone who knew what the heck they were doing created. Me?…I really just shoot from the hip…on a wing and a prayer!  I know I have been doing a lot of whining about the heat. So I thought I would show you what I have been doing inside, while trying to avoid that heat. Last Christmas, i made two lap blankets. One for my wonderful friend and mother in law Alice, and one for my terrific father in law Woody! He actually posted photos of them a few posts ago. I made them from scraps I got at a yard sale. The material all came from L.L. Bean. A woman worked there and ended up with a huge amount of sample material. I was lucky enough to get several large boxes of it from her. I have done so many crafts with that material, I can’t even begin to tell you.

After seeing the lap blankets I made for A & W last Christmas, my husband Bob told me he would like one. So I started making him one. I don’t have a lot of masculine looking material left. He really likes red…of course…he’s an Aries and don’t laugh because I have never quilted and it’s all done by hand. This is the front. Just pieces cut this way and that and sewn together any which way! No pattern or method to my madness really.DSC04838 God I hate this font. Hold on…..I’m back!… and let’s see if this font is not so crowded as the last one…so far not so good i guess. This Lap Blanket is much longer. I was going for 5 feet but got carried away. Bobbie is at least 5’9” and he is hidden behind there! Oh well…he doesn’t mind. Here is another shot……


Another font change! Sorry. That black piece in the upper right is suede. I ran out of material big enough and thought he would like the feel of it. The back side of that is very furry and warm. See his white sneakers below? I am glad I did not see his face behind there because i made him stand there for a bit…my camera was screwing up!DSC04840 Alice tells me it looks like the colors from the family crest. Bobbie is Scottish. Why do you think I call him Bobbie McGeek?? He’s also Irish and French and I forget what else? Alice would know! She is a master genealogist! 

DSC04841That’s the front. It’s wrinkled, needs to be pressed, and stitches need tightening up. Now I will purchase a coordinating piece of soft fabric to sew onto the back as well as a satin blanket border. With Alice and Woody’s, I stenciled the first letter of each of their names onto a piece of fabric and sewed it on with a blanket stitch using embroidery thread.image That is Woody’s, above, and here is Alice’s… image Bobbie’s will get a big B and that would stand for his nickname Bobbie or for his last name Bean! How about that? So….that’s what I have been doing while watching movies, and watching my husband play Modern Warfare on the Xbox! The computer business has picked up as well. This is historically a very slow time of year for us. Can you guess why? Yup…..THE HEAT is keeping folks inside more…..but I can’t complain about that now can I?? Not one bit. What are you all doing to stay cool??airconditioning



Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I’m Sick Of It!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I don’t know about any of you all, but I am really tired of this heat! I cannot WAIT until fall. I know I should be grateful that the weather in Maine is so great this year but dam it’s hot!image I really want a break from it. It’s all I can do to just get outside and water my Garganchuan garden. Is that really a word? Maybe it’s an urban thing? Yup…just found it in the urban dictionary. That garden’s huge! Another thing I should be grateful for?image Is anyone else sick of it? I guess I could make a gratitude list? Nah…………it’s too damned hot for that. I did, however, find this cool rock that was hand painted with gratitude on it.


Kind of cool huh? Oh……cool?…..that’s what I need. I guess I’ll go back to playing this……. image

on my Xbox 360, with the fan blowing the cool air from the air conditioner on me while I try to get that illusive black pearl. I HAVE gotten TWO of them but am still struggling to get the three at once. Can you tell I’ve been inside WAY too much???image    This isn’t looking too bad. At least it’s cool?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wicked Whoopies…….


  My sister in law Amy lives in Nashville. She recently came home for a  visit. Her nickname in Nashville is the Whoopie pie lady. She got this nickname from a singer song writer friend of she and my brothers, that some of you may know. His name is John Hiatt. Amy introduced him to our Maine Whoopie pies. Now, it is a Maine thing for us, but I am sure many people around the country and the world make them and eat them too! I love them. My favorite is the one above….the chocolate chip/yellow cake whoopie…..oh it’s to die for…trust me. When I showed up to spend some time with Amy and her mom, I brought 3 whoopies with me….a peanut butter/chocolate, a vanilla cake with coconut cream filling, and a red velvet. There was one suspiciously missing….the chocolate chip…..not sure what happened to it?? I am amazed at the different flavors that are popping up lately. Here are a few I need to try when I am cheating on my diet….






Red Velvet

Vanilla Bean

Banana Creme

Chocolate Lovers

Classic Mini

NEW! Peanut Butter Whoop-de-Doo

Springtime Special Lemon & Strawberry Minis

NEW! Black Forest

NEW! Orange Creamsicle

NEW! Lip Lick'n Lemon

Chocolate Chip


Oatmeal Cream

Peanut Butter


Raspberry & Cream



Jumbo Wicked Whoopie


   Those are all from Wicked Whoopie. What’s your favorite? Amy was not here this last year when John Hiatt performed in Portland so she sent my little brother with a big bag of Whoopies for John. My brother Steve delivered them before the concert. John apparently made comments about them constantly….in between sets! I guess it was pretty funny.

   Oh my gosh…..I just found out there was a Whoopie pie festival in Maine in June and I missed it! Look at this!…. Whoopie Pie Festival   Oh well….maybe next year!

image                      Here’s one for the fall……


Saturday, July 17, 2010


   For some reason I thought my garden would not grow well this year because I did not have the usual 6 yards of manure brought in. I was WRONG! As many of you know, we are experiencing an unusually hot and humid July here in Maine. Not a lot of rain but plenty of sunshine and heat. I opted this year to not get manure tilled in to save money. Gardens can get expensive and money was tight. My garden is all organic….no chemicals are used. I hand pick bugs off the plants and use solutions like vinegar and water or garlic and water. I put little bits of deodorant soap on my tomato cages to ward off deer but that’s it. The weeds were getting away from me a while back and I made a big effort to stay out there until I got them under raps. They are creeping back but not as bad as they were. The photo below was taken on June 30th.


Here is the garden about 18 days later…..


Giant pumpkin, corn (popcorn), roma tomatoes above.


Slightly to the left of the photo above is butternut squash, gourds, more tomatoes.


The weeds are taking over on the other side of the snow pea fence. Those will be gone today. To the left of that is regular corn.


Looking in from the other side of the corn. More weeds to get to today.


The Roma tomatoes are starting to fruit. You know what is next right? Those ugly tomato horn worms I get every year! That’s why for the first time ever, I scattered my tomato plants throughout the garden to confuse them! Maybe I won’t get them?


The gourds tend to be like 2 year olds….they are all over the place! To try and contain them a bit, I put tomato cages on some when they were small. Here’s one above….you can barely see the cage. This should be an interesting adventure.


Gourds and Sweet Dumpling squash. More weeds! Boy will I be busy today out there in the heat. It is supposed to be 90 degrees today but not as humid. Not as humid huh? Ninety IS humid as far as I am concerned! While taking these photos, Obie and Baby were following me through the garden and were ready to go inside. Baby’s personal space was invaded by Obie and she hissed at him! It’s rare for her to do that but it has happened twice this summer. She’s getting old and it’s been one hell of a hot summer so far. Here’s a picture of her HISSING at him!


           Can you see her hissing? WATCH OUT OBIE!!



Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Playing with collages….

Hubby found this collage program for me and I am having fun with it. I created three collages to see what they would look like. I have templates for holidays and every other occasion you can think of! Here are the three of them….Page1 I am hoping it can be clicked on and opened! The above one is my room upstairs. Here’s another collage……………………Page21 These are items from my garden 2 years ago. And the third one has garden goodies and a photo of my daughter sitting back to…Page31 after we had harvested the garden for the year. Can you tell that fall is my favorite time of year? I love these mosaic/collages!!! What do you think? Some of you already make these! I know Sheila does. Very cool….but there are so many choices…it’s hard to choose from so many great backgrounds and styles! I’m loving this!

  My sister in law is home from Nashville and I am going to visit her today. Her mother’s name is Amy also and her father’s name was Joe. Guess what they named my sister in law? Yup…..Amy-Jo…..isn’t that cute? I am so glad she is home and with family that love and miss her. They have certainly been through a lot since that flood. Their home was gutted and is being rebuilt. That can get stressful to say the least. Can’t wait to see her in 2 hours!DSC04425

  My garden is going crazy!! I will get photos this week to share. It has tripled in size in 2 weeks with all of this humid heat we have had in Maine. At least 2 weeks of constant humid temperatures between 80 and 100 degrees here on the plains. I absolutely HATE it. I am NOT a hot weather person. I will hide inside in the air conditioning. We need rain desperately and I think today and tomorrow we are getting a little. I see very little blueberries on my property but if I walk down my street, they are plentiful on the side of the road.  blueberriesready

  I finally got my new orthotics! For about 3 days they were working well. I was feeling the plantar fasciitis but was not as crippled as I have been and then it happened… feet began to itch! I am allergic to something in the orthotics….my worst nightmare. They are very costly @ 350.00 a pair and the insurance does NOT cover them! Thank God I have a nice man named Eric who is going to work with me no matter what to get me back to normal…whatever that is? Hubby took my orthotics back to him yesterday. They are made of manmade cork. He then put a thin leather upper on top with a glue called Cargo Cement. I think that’s the culprit….the glue. So….Eric will take that leather and glue off and we will try that….one step at a time. I am allergic to three things that I know of right now.

1. Neoprene

2. Nickel

3. Cobalt

  Usually, neoprene is the problem. Did you know it was the number one new allergen in the country last year? It was the allergen of the year for 2009!  Check this out….Neoprene Allergy

  So…we will try again. We are bound to get lucky eventually. Meanwhile, I have to remember to be grateful for what I DO have in my life, and that is many, many, blessings. Don’t forget to stop over at Good Old Beans and encourage them to “keep on bloggin!”…’s a fun blog that I miss.

  Stay cool and be happy.                                                       lh

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Been A Busy Girl….

We had a great time on the 4th celebrating Alice & Woody’s 58th wedding anniversary! There happened to be an ice cream cake….DSC04796 that was to die for. Joe had prepared all of the fixings for shrimp and chicken fajitas, and I made a rotisserie chicken/vegetable/romaine/ salad. We also snacked on Joe’s homemade salsa and hummus dip and crackers. The hummus was loaded with garlic! No pictures though? I am getting bad at that!

My father in law built a bird feeding station out of PVC some time ago. He calls it the GoodOldBeanFeedingStation. He and my mother in law Alice get so much enjoyment out of watching all the creatures that come to this station. I made him a sign for it just last year. You can see it on this you tube blog entry he made a while back.

His blog is called Good old Beans……find it on my sidebar..… and he has not blogged in a while! I am trying to get him back into it! For their anniversary, I made them a newer and bigger sign to hang on the feeding station. I am in hopes that he shows it through his blog….hint..hint…..but just in case he doesn’t, here is a sideways look at it in a photo I took of the two of them!!DSC04793 You can barely see it to the left of Woody leaning up against the wall. But meanwhile, isn’t that the sweetest photo of them?? Here’s another….DSC04791 and another…DSC04794 …they are so nice and tanned!! They sit outside on the deck quite often having a nice cuppa coffee! If you go far enough back in Woody’s blog, you will see many videos of the creatures that come to the station. Alice also has a blog called GeeGee’s Graffiti….. please check her out too on my sidebar. She stopped writing in March of 2009. I think it is time for her to come back too. She is the one that painted this debbieladies2 for me…..debbieladies3 debbieladies4 debbieladies5 debbiesladies1 in 2008 and I still have not found a frame for it! Shame on me! This was just a frame that didn’t fit I wanted to try. Isn’t the painting beautiful? Aren’t I lucky? She also did a mixed media mural on her living room wall. The mixed media is pencil drawings, oil painting, decoupage, and crochet. I think that’s it. Here is some of it unfinished and I am in hopes she will share the finished product in her blog.mural1 I will just show photos and let her explain what you are seeing.mural2 mural3 mural6 mural15 mural16 mural8 These are just a few. There are many more shots of this and many more wild animals. She just finished the most beautiful deer! It is so cool to see this in person! So….if you would like to see these two creative bloggers come back, go to their blogs and tell them! That’ll do it! I’m hoping to see a lot of comments….ha ha! cosmos1

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