Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fence-painting Progress and Lots of Tomatoes

That's a birdhouse in the background.

This weekend was my favorite kind of weekend—full of home projects and lots of wholesome homey fun.

On Friday night we made popcorn and watched the firefly shows in the backyard through our big sun-room windows. We have so many fireflies this year! I always say to Rob, “There’s no need for fairies when there are fireflies.” And what I mean is, the world is so magical just as it is, you don’t even need to make things up.

On Saturday we worked on painting the picket fence around our new pond under the pindo palms. We’re painting it “Salamander”--a sort of black-green. And by the way, it is a total pain painting a picket fence. There are so many little nooks and crannies. We're nowhere close to done.

All the while we were painting, I was bugging Rob, saying, “So, do you have any other interesting stories?” Whenever we paint, I am always annoying like that. I can’t just be quiet and think my own thoughts. Every five minutes I’ll say, “So, do you have any other interesting stories?” Or: “So, do you have any gossip?”

Luckily, Babs and Greg, two of our cats, came by after a while and kept us company, lying in the cool, wet sand. Babs is so funny. She’s black, with a little white locket, and she’s so loyal and sweet and so messy. She always has a spider web on her face and burrs in her fur. She loves to lie in the mud while giving herself a bath. “Oh, sweet, messy Babs,” Rob will say, petting her tummy. “You are such a good friend.” Babs loves rituals and routines. For example, she loves to sit by the pond with Rob in the evenings, and if he’s late, she’ll cry until he comes and opens the gate. Then he'll sit with her and they'll watch the goldfish. (Oh, some neat news: Our goldfish had babies!)

Our vegetable garden is so bounteous right now, I almost can’t believe it. We have cantaloupes galore, and lots of interesting peppers, and the most beautiful shiny purple eggplant. The okra is doing great too—but usually the cats end up stealing it out of my harvesting basket and playing with it and we never get to eat it. I guess they like it because it’s fuzzy and makes them think of mice.

We’re having a bumper crop of tomatoes this year, and Rob is so excited. He weighs all our harvests on a little scale he bought, and he keeps track of all the weights on a spreadsheet. He’s always talking a mile a minute (“We’ve harvested over 25 pounds of tomatoes this year, and I don’t think we’re anywhere close to done!”) and making fiery salsas. On Saturday afternoon we picked two and a half pounds of cherry tomatoes—German Lunch Box, Tommy Toe, Sprite, and Matt’s Wild Cherry (my personal favorite). As we picked, our neighbors’ chickens squawked and the hawks cried and Babs cleaned her foot while sitting in a mud puddle.

On Sunday we made barbecue tempeh sandwiches for lunch, along with an eggplant-tomato stew, quinoa, and purple cabbage salad with Ramen noodles, slivered almonds, and sunflower seeds. There came a point when a whole bunch of cats decided to get involved in the cooking. Carl dipped his paw into a bowl of blueberries, and Softee (usually our most retiring pet) tried to pull a piece of tempeh out of the marinade. I was talking on the phone when all of this happened. And Rob yelled, “Leslie, what are you doing? I need help! Civil society is breaking down!”

Okra is so pretty, I'd grow it just for its ornamental value.

Mint crowding the back steps


BBQ tempeh sandwich, made with the help of cats

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