Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rufus vs. the Hornet...

...and Ted vs. the Camera.  This was not supposed to be the subject of this post.  The subject was supposed to be Rufus vs. the Rabbit, Part II; however, Rufus had a different idea.

Farmer Ted spied a rabbit eyeing up the back garden, and since Rufus was nowhere to be found he chased it off into the neighbors yard.  Then, when Rufus showed back up we encouraged him to "go get the rabbit...get him."  Hey, if we say that phrase with "squirrel" he takes off like a shot.  It's Pavlovian I guess, and specific to only one species.  Or maybe, he's just gotten tired of the game (because we like to send him tearing out into the yard even if there isn't a squirrel).  Whatever the case, "rabbit" only earned us a blank stare.  Ted heads out to the backyard to get a picture of the rabbit, so we can blog about Rabbits-2, Twinkletoes-0.

*notice no pic of the rabbit*

Right about then, Rufus heard a buzzing noise.  He rushed over to investigate, and got stung on the nose.  So here's the dog flailing around, swatting his nose.  He's barking at the hornet, gets stung again, flails around some more and then takes off into the yard.

*notice no video of the Dragon*

At least now we know that there's a hornet's nest in the grill.


Monday, May 30, 2011

A Double Celebration.

My baby is 12 today.  I like having a child with a birthday that sometimes falls on Memorial Day.  It makes me all the more thankful for those who have and who do serve in our military.  Your selfless courage means that the ones I love the most can sleep peacefully at night.

Happy Bday Youngest Spawn!  I hope you enjoyed your weekend long bday extravaganza.

On the GrowDammit front, we did some reorganization.  Some of the colder weather greens have run their course, so those got pulled.  Some stray tomato seedlings got planted to see what they'll do.  The okra, that was suffering due to too much shade got moved to a sunnier spot as did the asparagus and strawberries.  We threw some sunflower, cosmos and gourd seeds in various places to see what would happen.  I have a really pretty perennial garden, but I really want a cutting garden too.  Farmer Ted spent a lot of the day cleaning up my $1 Jag.  It looks great.  (I guess we need some before and after shots.)

For supper, we had blackened shrimp over grits cakes with sides of GrowDammit spinach and collards.

Now...chillin' on the back deck.  Next...will the eldest spawn have to choke down broccoli without cheese sauce for a week?  He implores you to vote.  Actually he wants to stage a protest because "Why isn't pork a choice?"

Saturday, May 28, 2011

"Holy Shit. We have tomatoes!"

Is exactly what Farmer Ted said when he spied these...

The onions and peas are going strong (so are the peppers but the picks came out fuzzy - hey we couldn't call it day if there wasn't an equipment malfunction).

I wish we could grow Sam Adams (no not your dog Jill).

We have a ton of lettuce.

Not just Romaine.  And in breaking news, we discovered a new and exciting way to get the spawn to eat their veggies.  Let them go right into the garden, pick it themselves and shove it in.  Who knew?  Even the spawn's friends were eating lettuce.  I guess it was the dirt flavor that won them over.

Rufus Dragon went icognito making sure all was copacetic.

He even got his digs in to the Brookberry Garden dawgs.

It was a very productive day!  Next...the Growdammit Orchard is almost finished.  We just need some blueberry bushes, and some pics.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rufus vs. The Dog Door

We have a sliding glass door from the Kitchen to the Deck, and in the screen door we have a dog door so that Twinkletoes may come and go as he pleases when it's nice weather.  The dog loves to be outside, but is not a fan of the dog door.  He'll use it if he must.  I'm not sure why he doesn't like it, but it's our guess that it's just too much damn work for his highness to get up the momentum to launch himself through it.  He had even taken to waiting to go in and out when we are home until someone is around to let him in or out.

Then came his lucky day.  The latch to the screen door broke, and Rufus Dragon let his creative juices flow.  *Please excuse the poor video quality.*

I guess he figured if we can open the damned door, why couldn't he?  Of course he got stuck part way through.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Poll...The Flowering Cabbage Rumble

As an added bonus, whichever wins the eldest spawn will have to eat for a week.  Well, he did request a new poll.

I have this quirk with broccoli.  I will love it, like can't get enough of it love it.  Love it so much I could marry it love it.  For a while.  And then one day, I will smell it cooking and get totally disgusted.  Then I can go years without touching the stuff.  Weird right?  I know, but still it happens.  I do the same thing with canned tuna.  Go figure.

The plotting of the GrowDammit Orchard has begun.  We already have a fully mature apple, and our fig is in the ground and doing quite well.  Last night we planted the cherry tree in the vacinity of the fig.  And we put apricot sproutage in front of the back garden, which will be moved to the middle of the back yard next year for more sunlight.  The back of the back garden is getting too much shade, and the back of the front garden is getting too much shade.  We didn't account for tree foilage in our daily sun/shade analysis in early spring...when there were no leaves on the trees.

Now we are figuring out where to put the berry bushes.  Atilla will make an appearance this weekend.  We're going to clear the yard behind the fig and in front of the Wannabe Compost Area for them and mulch it.  When those suckers start to grow, we're not going to be able to mow around them.

Next...Man down (I'll let Ted fill you on the lawn mower vs. the apricot).  And Rufus Dragon brings a whole new level to lazy.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Plant Whisperer

We thought our garden was boss.  We even trash talked our friend's co-op garden at Brookberry Farm.  This past weekend, we got our greenthumbs handed to us along with our asses.  By none other than Martha, the Plant Whisperer...aka, my Mom.  Martha and Bob live in the upstate of SC, and we stayed with them during our latest travels.  When Bob says, "she can put a stick in some dirt and it will grow," he's not exaggerating.

She's got veggies (it would be easier to tell you what she doesn't have, which is not much)...

...flowers & herbs



...strawberries growing under grapes with figs behind...



...blackberries so thick she ties the stalks together just to be able to harvest them...


...cherries (somewhere back in here.)

She even schools us in yard art.

 She did send us home with enough plants to add to our fig and apple, so we may have our own orchard.  And enough homemade jams and jellies to keep the spawn happy for the next year.

Yeah, we've pretty much been told.

Next.  The eldest spawn has demanded a new poll.  We may humor him and make him choose between two of his absolute favorites tomorrow.  Like my spawn eat vegetables.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sybil the Schizophrenic GPS

We have a Garmin.  Once upon a time, it was very reliable.  I'm not sure what horrible trauma it endured last summer, but lately instead of directions "where to" we've been getting "how can I take you around your ass to get to your elbow today."  It never takes us the same place the same way twice.

My theory centers around the last software update.  When Ted was planning to drive up here with a buddy and visit with us for a couple of weeks (yes, he's still here), I lent them the GPS.  I don't know what they did to it, but they found themselves arriving at their destination (my house) while crossing an overpass in Baltimore on I95.  Since I live in a house in PA, and not in a box under the highway, we figured something went horribly wrong.  When they got here, I figured since I'd never done any kind of update we were due. I plugged her in, updated the software.  Here's where I think they put the whammy on poor Sybil.  They asked if I'd like to purchase updated maps.  I said no.  I mean, the places she had taken me before hadn't changed and if it were somewhere with an update I always had my iPhone.  Why pay?  It asked if I were sure, and I was.  And the update completed.  Since then, I never know which personality I will get.  Will it be the one that diligently takes me to my destination with no glitches?  Will it be the one who keeps me off the highway, even though that setting has not been chosen?  Will it try to put me on a toll road, when I've asked it to steer clear of those?  Will it end me up on a dirt road in the middle of a cornfield?  It's gotten to the point, where I'm afraid to make a turn on a dark back road.

Just yesterday, we were driving home from the female spawn's graduation weekend.  Congrats lady spawn!  We are very proud, and your party was lovely.  So, we were rolling North on I85 when we see "Accident Ahead, Interstate Closed ahead"  notifications.  We got off the highway in Spartanburg to see if we could get to I77 in Charlotte using back roads.  I was trying different apps on my phone, while we just kept trying to head in a northeast direction.  Sybil, clearly having had some time to strongarm my phone, won in the end and we ended up back on 85.  We decided to pull off (as luck has it, right before the road closure and detour), and stop somewhere to get some food and give the damn phone time to actually work and stop crashing.  I'll let Ted kvetch about how Sybil managed to get us to the only county in SC that doesn't allow Sunday sales of beer.  We noticed that the traffic was being detoured onto one route to get back on I85 past the accident and knew we'd be stuck in that mess for hours.  Having left Sybil in the car, we finally got the phone's map app to work and found another way.  Back in the car and zipping along, laughing at all the poor shmo's who weren't as smart as us.  We managed to only add about 45 minutes to our travel time, and this included a stop for nosh.  Take that Sybil.  Onward and upward.

Little did we know, but Sybil was biding her time.  We got back on I85, hit I77 and then caught I81 up through the Shenandoah.  A beautiful drive.  Now, I usually get off of I81 on the PA Turnpike East all the way home.  Sybil was suggesting a different route.  She wanted us to take I66, and she didn't indicate it would take any longer than it should have.  No toll, no brainer.  Ha.  I66 dumps you into Washington DC.  I66 is having road construction.  I66 does not put you directly on I95 (which was my only concern, but since it didn't I took it). I66 does put you on I495 around DC and THEN onto I95.  *grrrr*  No toll? Ha.  I ended up paying 75 cents more in tolls on I95 than I would've on the turnpike, and I ended up with much more stress and aggravation.  We ended up home after 14 hours at midnight.

Sybil -1; The Wannabes-0.

Next...Martha, the Plant Whisperer.  The Growdammit Orchard.  And other fun stuff.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Blog is Hitting the Road Again

That's right folks.  We have spawn of the female variety graduating from high school.  What the What?

Here's the what.  We have to drive to Georgia to finally see some sunshine.  And since I haven't figured out mobile blogging, much less moving this thing to a more friendly host (what do you want from me...I didn't get home from work until 8pm tonight)...this blog will most likely be on vacation until Monday.

Congratulations to a beautiful, smart young lady.  She wants to be a mini-Ted and go into the culinary field! Pastry Chef even.

And to our blog friends...don't do anything we wouldn't do.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

One Hundreds

Last week we had a classic spawnism on the way to piano.   Tonight we had no such luck, but I was reminded of a classic spawnism.  Again from the youngest.

Every year in the elementary school, they celebrate 100 days with a different activity.  One year the eldest collected 100 fall leaves and we taped them to a giant cutout of a tree that he had painted.  One year, my friend Jill slacked off and realized her daughter had to bring in 100 of something right as a blizzard hit.  She sent the child in with the one thing in the house they had 100 of...wine corks.  There's a reason my friend Jill is my friend.  I digress.

It was the youngest's 2nd grade year, and the teacher had the class sit down to do self portraits of what they thought they were going to look like at 100 years old.  All of my spawn's classmates were drawing themselves with wrinkles, dentures, gray hair, no hair.  Not my child.

Too say that he is literal minded is an understatement.  Notice the attention to detail on the tombstone, and the teacher's comment.

That teacher sure loved this child.  Always bringing the unexpected.

Next...Maybe we'll get back to gardening.  If it would EVER stop raining.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Last night's was the first tomato sandwich of the year.  Not GrowDammit tomatoes, but fresh and from a farm.

I am a tomato sandwich purist.  This means no lettuce, Farmer Ted.  The only health concession I make is whole wheat or grain bread instead of white.  Mayo (not salad dressing...Mayo), salt & pepper.  If you're from the south, then only Duke's Mayo will do.  If you're a Yankee, then you don't know what you're missing and whatever your preferred mayo is acceptable.  If you're a transplanted Yankee, go find yourself a jar of Duke's.  Let me stress that a little mayo goes a very long way.  You want to enhance the sweetness of the tomato, not smother it in mayonnaise. Same with the salt & pepper.  It's all about the tomato, hence the name of the sandwich.

Next...Ted has tackled the hall ceiling again.  I imagine that's what he'll be doing for the next 3 days as well, since the forecast is rain, rain and rain with some thunderstorms and some rain.  I thought the saying went April showers?  And, look for a new poll shortly.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


I have a group of girlfriends who occassionally force me to get away from the ratrace at godforesaken places like this farm on a river...

...and this house on a lake.

They make me endure such heinous views, while consuming large quantities of this...

...and these.

It's really so outrageous that I am occasionally forced to school them at games such as...

Too add insult to injury, they have me brainwashed so as to use horrible, tortuous means of coercion to make Farmer Ted cook for them.   Only to leave him behind.

I really don't know how I can stand to be around these ladies.  And I use that term loosely.

Next...we might try to GrowDammit something today.  And the beets were given a solid thumbs down.  Time for a new poll.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Spawnism Du Jour

While taking the youngest spawn to piano lessons, he was trying to trip Ted up with tongue twisters and big words.

Spawn:  Hey Ted.  Say Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious.
Ted:  No.
Spawn:  Hey Ted. Say Antidisestablishmentterrierism.
Ted:  No.
Me:  What?
Spawn:  Antidisestablishmentterrierism.
Ted:  What is that?  An antidisestablishment for dogs?
Me:  It's when you're in the dog house.
Spawn:  I didn't say Antidisestablishmentterrorism.  Hey, did you know Osama Bid Laden is dead?

We won't even go into how Scerm came about, but that's another good one we'll leave to your imagination.

Anywho, nothing new on the GrowDammit front.  Still harvesting greens.  Things are growing.  Some of our labeling sticks have disappeared, so we have some stuff growing like weeds in the back garden.  We're just not exactly sure what they are.  We hope they aren't weeds.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mom's Day

Our friend Jill said on her FB page this morning, "I don't know a woman who isn't a mother to someone, regardless of whether she has children - happy mother's day to all of you!!"  I really like this.  I also think it applies to some fathers I know who are there for mothers who can't be.

Anyway, I don't take much stock in what I consider "Hallmark Holidays."  Shoot, I don't want a fuss for my birthday or Christmas either for that matter.  I'm just not one for all of the hullabaloo; however, I will say a little acknowledgement is always nice.

Today the youngest spawn, with the help of Farmer Ted, acknowledged the day with flowers and some homemade cards.  The eldest spawn did his part, by having a soccer game.  At Noon.  I know, it's not his fault.  Some Man must've been in charge of the scheduling.  I kid, I kid.  His team won, and he played great.

Tonight is another deck night, only interrupted by supper. The menu consisted of roasted beets with goat cheese, caramelized balsamic vinaigrette on a bed of GrowDammit lettuce.

Even Ted agreed it was pretty darn good.   I'm calling foul on the poll right now b/c he voted Yuck.  The spawn, continued their disdain...

To quell the revolution, we also had a seafood feast.  Clams, Lobster and Shrimp Cocktail (for the youngest spawn - the fact that he will even put something from the sea in his mouth is cause for celebration).

Finally, I continued the torture by insisting on pictures of people and dawg...with me.

So, Happy Mother's Day to all of our blog friends.  No matter why you are called a Mother.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Rufus vs. The Rabbits

This blog post is brought to you from the back deck, where we just got a firsthand look at Rufus in action protecting the garden from the dreaded bunnies.  We're sitting here enjoying the evening with the Dragon at his usual perch at the top of the deck stairs. (Didn't think to get a picture before the real action began.)  Farmer Ted's eagle eye spotted a trio of rabbits in the neighbor's yard. (Picture not achieved before the rabbits ran under the azaleas).

Ted also spotted the neighbor's cat stalking the rabbits.  (No picture of the cat, but it is smallish and black).  The Dragon, ever vigilant, was snoring.  Expecting a wild kingdom moment, I raced inside for my glasses and the camera.  The Dragon roused himself enough to pick up his head, and this is when he spied...the cat.  He raced down the steps to the backyard to keep an eye on the situation.  At first, he was standing at the ready anticipating a yard breach.  Then, the anticipation got to be too much.

He had to take a rest.  Finally, after watching the cat scare the rabbits away, he decided crisis averted.

All's well that ends well.

*  Please excuse the technical difficulties we had with the AV equipment.  Clearly another photography lesson is in order.