Blog posts from November 2009

The great vegetable giveaway…

Nov 26, 2009

Since I now can't eat much of what is in my garden, I've been forced to start giving it away...bags and bags of it! Tomatoes, peppers, beans you name it. I had quite the bumper crop of fall tomatoes this year too...such a shame! I still have a good mix of really ripe tomatoes on the vine plus lots of green ones. Some really big 'Celebrity' tomatoes that would have made the most perfect fried green tomatoes...Ah well...Happy Thanksgiving! (at least I can still eat French fries! lol)


One bowlful of the many off to find a new home...this particular bowl contains some green 'Celebrity', 'Golden Mama' and 'Green Zebra'

Who is laying which eggs?

Nov 23, 2009

The Pox must be tapering off at this point because the gals have started laying again. I think I can also now officially say that all 5 are laying. I do believe that Phyllis, the Polish, has just started laying her first eggs...she is obviously a very late bloomer. I've tried to identify which chicken is laying which eggs, well, because I think that's fun! Each bird will lay a specific color egg, and always lay eggs close to that color. The different breeds obviously also have differences between size and color. Here is my best guess at this point:


From left to right, Honkers, Eunice, Pecker, Phyllis and Einstein. Now, I do think the pox is still effecting some of their egg sizes. Einstein's eggs were bigger pre-pox and molting, so I expect they will go back up in size a bit. Same thing with Eunice (the sage green egg). I expect hers to go back up in size a bit too. You can see the difference between Phyllis's (Polish) eggs, which are more elongated and a lovely pinkish color and Einstein's (Houdan) which are pure white and more round.


I must say, Honkers is laying some honkin' big eggs right now! On the left is a large organic free-range egg from Whole Foods. On the right, is one of my eggs. My yolks are much more orange than the WF eggs as well. I must say that I think I'm kinda kicking WF's behind!

Bees on the Passion Vine

Nov 22, 2009

It was a beautiful Sunday and the bees were out makin' hay while the sun was shining. I have a lavender passion vine that is still blooming like crazy right now and the bees are much appreciative. I try to have plants blooming in my garden as close to year-round as I can so the bees have something to feed on. It comes in handy when you need them around to pollinate your veggies or fruit trees. Just thought you guys might enjoy this photo.


So I can’t eat tomatoes anymore…Kill me now!

Nov 18, 2009

I've been holding back posting on this for about a week because, well, let's just say I'm suffering from PTTSD. That would be Post Tomato Traumatic Stress Disorder. I'm in a bit of shock. I had a full panel of food sensitivity tests done, thinking that I was having a problem digesting gluten and wheat. But little did I know the cruel joke fate would play on me...had I, I don't think I would have gotten tested! it turns out, the foods I reacted the most to (we call them the "red" foods), and thus must remove from my diet, are

  • TOMATOES, garlic, oregano, apples, capsaicin (so nohot peppers), cucumbers, lentils, watermelon, salicylic acid, carob and phenylethylamine (diet sodas I think).

Now, I've been a vegetarian for 20 most of the things on that list right there are pretty important components of my daily diet. I eat healthy and I grow and eat lots of veggies. Anyone who knows me will immediately wonder how on earth I'm going to get along without tomatoes or my hot peppers. My garden is bursting with them! I just planted all that beautiful garlic more cucumber sandwiches...sniff, sniff. Ok, so maybe you're thinking, well, this isn't all that bad, you'll make it work. BUT THERE'S MORE.

Apparently I also have a bunch of other foods I'm highly sensitive too, although not as sensitive as to the red foods. These are the "yellow" foods. I'm supposed to keep these to a minimum and not combine any two together at any time.

  • Baker's Yeast (there goes bread), beets, black pepper, broccoli, cabbage, caffeine, cauliflower, cayenne pepper, cherry, cinnamon, coconut, codfish, corn, grapes, mango, millet, oranges, peanuts, pistachio, plums, pork, rye, solanine, soybean (no more tofu) string beans, sweet potatoes and yellow squash.

Um, yeah, just kill me now. I'm now wishing it was the gluten and wheat I was allergic too! So great, I'm not allergic to gluten, I can eat bread, yay! Wait, no, it all has yeast in it...No soy...pretty much everything at the grocery store has yeast, corn or soy in it in some form. Broccoli, cauliflower??? I have acres of broccoli in the garden right American wine is off my list now too because apparently they all contain corn of some kind? So, awesome, I guess I'll just have to drink nicer more expensive European wines right? NO...because I'm sensitive to GRAPES! Have you ever tried to find something already made that doesn't have black pepper or garlic in it???? 

Oh my gosh, my head is spinning...I need a not made with corn, or yeast, or grapes...LOL

A morning bouquet of roses…

Nov 15, 2009

A lovely bouquet of roses for you this morning...just plucked from the garden. The scent is divine. 'Abraham Darby', 'Tamora' and 'Perle d' Or'.


Einstein is a Houdan…not a Polish…a chicken surprise…

Nov 13, 2009

So, my little Einstein...that was originally supposedto be a Polish hen, is not a Polish hen. Now, as the girls developed, it became more and more obvious to me that Einstein was making a departure from Phyllis in the looks department. Phyllis's hair just got bigger and more impressive, whereas Einstein's never really got any fancier than when she was a pullet. Phyllis's waddles came in pretty good sized in the last two months...Einstein..nada. Phyllis has also gotten a good bit bigger than Einstein. Einstein has feathers on her legs...Phyllis does not. I kind of knew that Einstein's feather pattern really wasn't Polishesque. Now, I guess I've just been too busy to bother investigating this divergence of appearance. But I've been inspecting them a lot more lately (because they have the Pox) and it just couldn't be ignored any longer. After a tad bit of research, and some toe counting, it appears I have myself a Houdan...


Einstein, the mottled Houdan

Houdans have five toes total, Polish have four. That's the clincher. By the looks of it Einstein is a mottled Houdan and may even be a bantam at that. She's the smallest of all the gals, but was the first to start laying. Phyllis has continued to grow, but Einstein has stayed much smaller. I have to say, I'm kinda glad to have a Houdan. I'm already planning my spring 2010 acquisitions...still trying to decide what to get...anyone have any votes?!

‘Four Seasons’ Viola…My new fave…

Nov 12, 2009

These are the cutest violas! The 'Four Seasons' Viola series is a mounding/spreading type of viola that has a bit better heat tolerance on average. They don't trail quite to the degree that 'Purple Rain' does, but they really fill out a container or basket nicely. They produces masses of small blooms. This is definitely my favorite new series of viola to come along in a while...and now just happens to be the perfect time to plant them.


Viola 'Four Seasons White & Pink Wing'- stunning. A lovely combination of white and lavender/pink. Tons of blooms.


Viola 'Four Seasons Purple & Bronze' - a very unique color combination, love it. The plants look really full.

Viola 'Four Seasons Blue & Yellow' - a more traditional color combo, but it looks like it's going to bloom gangbusters.

Go ahead….feed that orchid addiction…

Nov 9, 2009

I used to have a kitty cat named Pierre.  He was super sweet...and super pretty. A blue Russian type mutt, Pierre never met a stranger. He loved his mommy and would have been happiest if I just carried him around in a papoose all day. But, seeing as he weighed about 22lbs..that was just not going to happen! Anyhoo...I had to put him to sleep last summer. Very sad. Pierre had a special talent...a talent for sniffing out the very moment an orchid flower was about to he could eat it. Yes, eat it. I used keep a bevy of orchids in my house, but due to Pierre's tastes that collection dwindled. I have a penchant for Paphiopedilums (slipper orchids), but those were some of Pierre's favorites. I even resorted growing them in glass cookie jars so I could keep a lid on them until they bloomed, but it never failed that Pierre would chomp the flower off just as I removed the lid to let the bloom emerge. Well, now that Pierre has moved on into the Light, I've started "acquiring" again. Here are a few new lovelies...

Paph_exodusPaphiopedulum hybrid (Supersuk 'Eureka' AM/AOS x Raisin Pie 'Hsinying') x Sib 

Paph2 Paphiopedulum hybrid (Supersuk 'Eureka' AM/AOS x Raisin Pie 'Hsinying') x Sib

Now...both of the above are labeled as the same hybrid, so I'm going to have to do some research on those...

Paph3  Paphiopedulum hybrid (Ninja 'Conquest' HCC/AOS x Oriental Enchantment 'Clarity')

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