Home In Disarray

June 29, 2010

Boris ♥s Peas

Boris ♥s Peas
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True story. Anything this dog can get his lips around from my garden, he’s all about eating. Unfortunately due to our way cooler than normal summer, so far, peas are pretty much it!

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Thankfully, my peas are LOVING the cool summer and going to town on producing as many fruits as possible. Most days I walk out to the bed and come back inside with a pocketful of peas, and Boris follows me around until my pocket’s empty.

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He spots his prey…

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And goes in for the kill

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Then he has to figure out how to chew the damned thing!

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Posted in: Dogs, Garden
June 14, 2010

Busted my ass in the yard

Busted my ass in the yard
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For approximately the last week.  Last Sunday Craig’s mom lit a fire under our asses and offered up her and Craig’s dad’s services (labor) in getting a plethora of small projects wrapped up.

So on Monday and Tuesday, then Friday and Saturday we worked our butts off, and had about 4-5 yards of topsoil delivered to fill in the bed that I built last spring and neglected to do the lasagna composting technique that I was planning to. The lawn needed to be shaped desperately, it had outgrown it’s edges by feet and was in general disrepair. The front garden beds were ugly. Well, they’re still ugly but now we have most of the plants cleared out so we can put in a front porch this summer. And the bottom of the yard was full of weeds. And a stand for my Jonah Japanese Maple needed to get built. And a bunch of other stuff.

I promised myself that if I got everything done, I’d treat myself and go to Flower World to get plants to fill in the bed that soil is finally in. And I got everything but spreading the remainder of the soil out done. That’ll be a project for one evening this week. So I went to Flower World anyway. Then I spent $127. Oops.

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I built this little bed next to one of the decks that I’ve been wanting for the last year but never got around to building. It’s a salad greens garden. I planted some butter lettuce, something curly, and then planted seeds for a red and green “cooks blend” mix.

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Here’s the north side of the deck. I got a rose-colored hydrangea too.

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Look at this clematis!!! It has double flowers. I didn’t want to get a clematis but then I saw this and couldn’t help myself. Plus it bloom on old wood which means I don’t have to constantly prune it to keep it flowering all over.

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I got this pot for free when I bought another pot. The bottom was broken out of it which made it free and perfect for burying to add some hardscape style interest to the garden.

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Salvia, echinacea, daphne odora, honeysuckle vine, and of course some enormous azaleas that we pulled out from the front and planted in this bed, a slightly shadier spot should give them some relief.

Here’s the “done” version of the bed.

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Here’s the before.

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And the old foggy edge of the lawn

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Here’s what it looks like now. Totally ready for me to plant a bunch of perennials to fill in between the shrubs.

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And some of my favorite plants.

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This is an “Innocence” Mock Orange. It’s COATED in buds ready to pop.

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This guy’s on the verge of opening.

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And my Grandmother’s Peony. Well, it’s a portion of her peony. I don’t actually remember anything about it, so I’m pretty excited for this single bud to open so I can find out what the blooms look – and more importantly – smell like.

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Here are my hanging baskets. They have fuschias and something else in them. Geraniums maybe? Not sure. Anyway, I was hoping they’d start trailing soon. No such luck so far. :-/

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Here’s the bed next to our bedroom deck. I have 2 varieties of honeysuckle planted there. Next summer we should be able to open our bedroom door at night and have the scent of honeysuckle waft in. That’s my romanticized plan. We’ll see how it goes.

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Here’s the Jonah tree’s new and hopefully permanent spot, out of full sun. The leaves were starting to get sunburnt. I think it looks nice. 🙂

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My dahlias are finally coming up. Hopefully this summery weather holds out and we don’t go back into a pattern of 50º and rainy 6 days a week with an occasional sun-break.

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And my raised veggie beds. Tomatoes have pretty much completely taken over the left one. I figured I’ll leave them to their devices and see what happens. Most of them are volunteers from last year’s dropped fruit.

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Look at my peas! They’re crazy scary. They are more than 6 feet tall! I’m 5’8″ and when I climb up on the side of the bed, I can just barely see the top of that frame. And they’re higher than that!

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Next up, I spread the remainder of the soil and tackle the front.

Posted in: Garden, Landscaping
June 5, 2010

Mother’s Day Pasta

Mother’s Day Pasta
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The entire time Craig and I have been dating, we’ve made his mom dinner on Mother’s Day. Every year, I ask Sue what she wants, and every year, she says “I want some kind of fresh pasta with vegetables, but no red sauce or cream sauce.” And every year, I try some version based on this theme. And every year, it usually turns out well, but isn’t what she wants.

This is this year’s version. The vegetable content is carrots, broccoli, zucchini, mushroom, and halved grape tomatoes.  I made a white wine and creme fraiche sauce and served it with chicken and topped the lot with some shredded parmesan.  It was good, but I’m not sure it was what she was looking for.  😉

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Posted in: Cooking
June 4, 2010

Stuffed portabella mushrooms with pantry red sauce and sun-shaped pasta

Stuffed portabella mushrooms with pantry red sauce and sun-shaped pasta
By

QFC had stuffed portabella mushrooms on sale. Normally I’m the last person to fall for “pre-packaged ready-to-go” stuff, but they were stuffed with spinach, mozzarella, and herbs only, and were cheaper than buying just the mushrooms on their own. And I’m a sucker for a deal. So I bought them, popped em in the oven and tried to figure out what to serve with them after the fact.

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I ended up with a mixture of diced canned tomatoes, tomato paste, butter, balsamic vinegar, crushed garlic, and dried oregano and basil. Then I mixed in some leftover sautéed and cubed chicken breast for protein. It was the best pasta sauce I’ve ever had in my life. It was truly magical. I can’t really describe it adequately, so I’ll just tell you it was AWESOME!!!

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And I cooked up some of the fancy sun-shaped pasta that I promised to show you at some point. Everything came together beautifully, and after slicing up the mushroom and giving everything a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, I went to town on that plate!

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Posted in: Cooking
June 4, 2010

Boris in his natural habitat

Boris in his natural habitat
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On our bed. With his cheeseburger.

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He loves that cheeseburger. When he drops it off the side of the bed, he stares at it for a while with an expression of total confusion on his face, then slowly stretches out, gets his front legs down off the bed, leaving his back legs stretched straight out behind him on the bed. Then he grabs the burger, jumps down, and jumps straight back up onto the bed.

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I love it when he lies on his side and his ear stands straight up. It makes me want to kiss the inside of his ear and smell his paws. They smell like a strangely pleasant combination of chips and bleach.

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Posted in: Dogs
June 4, 2010

Steak and sun dried tomato risotto

Steak and sun dried tomato risotto
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Craig was gone for the weekend, so I decided to treat myself to a nice lunch a few weeks ago. So I picked up a NY strip steak from our favorite butcher, and decided that a nice risotto would make a good pairing, considering I had a bottle of white wine and half a gallon of chicken stock to use up.

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Risotto’s super easy. And steak’s super easy to cook. Get a smoking hot cast iron pan, toss in a salted and peppered steak, let it sear on one side, flip over, then pop it into a 400º oven. Cook it to desired done-ness, pull out of pan, let rest on cutting board for several minutes, then slice and enjoy.

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I prefer my steak cold on the inside. As rare as possible while still cooked on the outside. YUM. I don’t really like stomping all over the flavor of the meat.

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Treat yourself to a fancy lunch!!!!

Posted in: Cooking
June 4, 2010

Some views of the garden a few weeks ago

Some views of the garden a few weeks ago
By

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When it was sunny. And warm. And not rainy and depressing.

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Oh, my lupine!

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So gorgeous and so covered in aphids

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And my peas. Which are now about 5 feet tall.

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And the Jonah tree.

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Where the leaves touch the sun, they turn yellow. Where they don’t get sun, they stay green.

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And the Golden Lotus

And this thing.
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Plus the herbs and strawberries.

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Plus my new honeysuckle!!!

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Posted in: Garden