Sunday, September 15, 2013

Good Progress

This weekend was very satisfying, one of the best I've had in a while. I got to do all the dorky things I love, like playing with my cats and making cat videos and drinking too much Coke, but I also moved ahead on some garden projects. I mean, Rob and I did. We were outside all weekend, and the yard looked way better today (Sunday) than it did on Friday.

For the longest time I've wanted to add some color to our little sitting area under the giant water oak tree behind the vegetable garden. Well, on Saturday I finally found two bold blue pots that were just the right size and shape. I planted rosemary in them and arranged them on the little stone patio next to the cast-iron furniture. The whole area looks so much brighter and more eye-catching now, but I still think I need a third pot, one a bit smaller, to complete the scene. I'm going to try to look for one this week.

To be honest, Rob and I don't often sit in this sitting areabecause the furniture is rather dainty and we are rather big. Bernie, our stray-cat friend, is much more likely to relax here than we are. The lacy little chairs and settee are quite appropriately sized for cats . . . and gnomes.

On Saturday afternoon we started preparing our fall vegetable garden. The old summer crops looked so tired and bedraggled that it felt refreshing to pull them out, kind of like doing a good spring cleaning. First we removed the worn-out eggplant and tomatoes. Then we harvested all our sweet potatoes in order to make room for our new fall stuff. Rob was disappointed because a lot of our sweet potatoes had bites taken out of them. (I think it was the work of voles or mice.) The potatoes that didn't have bites were very handsome and kind of reminded me of little pink manatees.

This morning we set to work planting. We'd gone to the nurseries on Saturday and gotten a bunch of starters. We planted nine arugula, eight Red Acre cabbages, 18 Bonnie's Best white cabbages, nine Red Russian kale, nine Blue Knight kale, 18 Top Bunch collards, six Coronado Crown broccoli, and 18 Packman broccoli. We mixed lots of compost into the beds, along with some Garden-tone. We make our compost from kitchen scraps . . . and bags of leaves we collect all winter long from our neighbors' trash piles.

We took some little breaks from our gardening to sit on the screen porch and drink the season's first Rangpur limeade. We picked 20 limes on Saturday and polished them and squeezed them and made limeade in a big glass pitcher. It was so delicious. The flavor of a Rangpur lime is wonderfully complex. It's not just sour and acidic; it's also got a flowery taste. I often think I can detect a hint of honeysuckle.

While we were drinking our limeade, Carl was being cute. He's such a cheerful little fellow, he really brightens up our house. When we first adopted him, we thought he was a girl and we called him Daisy. The name still seems kind of perfect for him because he's such a sunny, happy soul. He's friendly to all the other cats, but especially the ones with social problems: shy, timid Foxy and moody Buntin, who is her own worst enemy and a helpless slave to her emotions. He works on them, trying to draw them out, win their trust. His method with Foxy is to bump heads with her repeatedly and purr and rub his side against hers. He likes to stand right next to her and drape his tail protectively over her back.

Oh, I forgot. I also did a couple of inside projects (on Saturday night). I finally figured out how to display my cute little pig-shaped serving bowl, a treasure I've had for years and kept buried at the bottom of our old salt box (a piece of furniture that looks kind of like a primitive desk). I put a potted fern in the pig bowl and turned it into a centerpiece for the kitchen table. The cats approve of this new additionthey enjoy walking around on the table in an unsanitary fashion and nibbling on the fern.

Lastly, I found pictures to put in some brass frames that have been sitting empty for several months. It's quite a relief. Now if only I could find a little decorative item to put next to the frames. . . . I'll have to add that to my to-do list.


  1. What a productive weekend you had. I love your seating area, very pretty.

    Your veggie garden looks fantastic. Your limes look lovely and sound interesting.

    I love Carl and hearing about his being so loving and protective towards his family members. That is cool. Miss Tork, we thought was a boy, hence her name of Tork. I also call her Sweetie Petie and other names too. She's a tabby also.

    The fern in the pig planter is a nice bit of whimsy.

    Your brass frames are pretty.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

  2. You definitely made a lot of progress this past weekend. I love your dainty iron set and your blue pots are perfect there. I love the flowers in the vase, too. Just the right touch!

    I've been working on adding vegetables to the garden, too. It's always exciting to kick-start the veggie garden again. Your kale sounds quite interesting. Mine is only plain ole green kale. I've got to look for some of that red and blue. Have you grown it before? How does it taste compared to regular kale?

    Sounds like you had one of the best weekends possible. Now, go and have a great week, too!

  3. Sounds like a very satisfying weekend. Love the pig bowl. You'll be eating very well for some time to come. Those sweet potatoes look yummy!

  4. I'm glad you had such a nice weekend! I really like the blue pots and think they go so well in your space. I've never heard of Rangpur limes, but they sound delicious! Limeade sounds so good, yum! Carl is such a cutie and I had to laugh because both of our male indoor cats were supposed to be females! I guess it's hard to tell when they are kittens!

  5. Another lovely post with great photos! Your description of Carl (formerly maybe known as Carley) was funny and very observant. Owners of pets pick up behavioral nuances in their beloved animals very quickly don't they? I think the table would look sweet with a little basket of maybe acorns or pine cones for the fall, and come summer a few sea shells. You have such amazing taste, whatever you choose will be magazine worthy, I can't wait to see it!

  6. Carl is definitely one cutie. I like to put pots in threes myself. It looks, as you said, more complete. Your sitting area is very pretty and those limes look beautiful. Something about a bowl of green limes is just nice.

  7. it's nice to get so much done - good for you. I just love Carl - what a sweet boy! Such a handsome photo of him too. :)