Happy Birthday To My Husband

Today is Sami’s birthday. He doesn’t like to receive any presents for any occasion but I really thought I had it nailed this time.


I gave him a 13″ non-stick ceramic Italian fry pan made with real! diamonds! Who wouldn’t like that? As you can see from the label, it’s Mirror Extra Shiny so you don’t even have to cook in it to enjoy it.

Naturally, he complained about it. Nevertheless,  I’m pretty sure that we’ll be seeing some pancakes cooked over diamonds around here pretty soon.


There will be no blogging today due to my extreme grief caused by a clueless  husband on the loose with a hedge clipper in his hand who thought he was doing the world a favor by stepping over the little border fence at the edge of my flower bed trampling the iris leaves to hack down a giant cluster of perennial sunflowers that i have been cultivating for 12 years and  it was just about the only thing that was thriving in this stupid summer of copious rain alternating with blazing heat and not just hacking it down but digging it out by the roots and claiming that he thought it was an enormous weed with yellow buds about to open on it even though he is completely unbothered by any actual weeds around here and this isn’t even the first time his superpower to misidentify a highly valued plant as a weed and annihilate it has rendered me inconsolable.


The Saga of the Volunteer Tomato – Preface

The Saga of the Volunteer Tomato – Fini

Some Tomatoes

Emboldened by my recent success with the IT department, I thought I’d try going outside and bossing the weeds around for a while. A fairly short while, it turns out. Even though I was working in the shade and it was only 8 am, the humidity got me and I gave up. I did accomplish about 2/3 of what I set out to do so at least there is something to show for it.

I can’t help admiring my old hosiery that now hold up cherry tomato plants.


I left that big knot there for effect. Now that you’ve seen it, I’ll trim it off.

Of all gardening activities, nothing gives me more pleasure than adding another knee-high to the tomato support system that I have going on out there in that pot. I think I got this idea from way back when I used to subscribe to Organic Gardening. Or maybe I just read it some random place. I know for sure I never actually saw anyone do this – and come to think of it, I still haven’t seen anyone except me do it.

But it makes sense. The stocking stretch thin but still provide efficient support and yet do not cut int the stems of the plants. Plus they’re free and you do your recycle bit (which I do  not care about at all*) by repurposing them. That’s why I think I found this in Organic Gardening. Thinking about it a little more, they must have advised use of panythose to hold up heavy vegetable otherwise why would a stem be cut into by normal garden string? Anyway, I really enjoy talking about garden use of hosiery.

*I’ll start worrying about natural resources when they order Las Vegas to turn off the lights and the fountains and not before.

Here’s tutorial in case I can spread this genius idea around:


I just spent 12 minutes on this. 12 minutes that I could have spent tidying up around here. Ha ha just joking. It’s my day off. I’m not using it to tidy up.

I’ll leave you to ponder that while I go off to be a vegan. Watermelon smoothie for breakfast; corn and avocado salad for lunch.

Me And The Buh Buhs

2:45 pm – Now updated with more kvetching!

I have a lot of work today but I can’t concentrate until I get this off my chest.

Truth: my subtext of internal dialog goes like this: buh buh buh buh buh

And the reason for it is this. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the theme songs from Farmer’s Insurance and Hot In Cleveland are conspiring to keep my head full of buh buh buh. Is there no escape?


In other kvetching, it looks like the dopey creek project will have  a suitably matching dopey fence around it soon. In the world of fencing, can there be a fence more inefficient at keeping things out than the classic split rail style?

photo (4)

Supplies have been dumped. Countdown to running hordes of trouble-making 12 year olds: 3 … 2.. 1 …

There’s so much tangential goings-on around the creek project. Remind me to tell you about how they put in new sidewalks because of the new catch basin and had to conform to current ADA standards by making  all driveway aprons meet flush with the road pavement and they did that by chopping out half of my concrete driveway and re-angling that part, changing the slope significantly. In the 16 feet of driveway that they replaced, the drop is 21 inches. Ironic that their efforts to meet ADA standards made it a real physical challenge to walk up the drive. We protested and they offered to solve the issue (that they created) by building a wooden ramp from my front steps down through the middle of the lawn and through the heart of my magnificent rhododendrons.

These people are insane.
The Great Wall of Rhododendrons featuring Mr. Sami, circa 2009


UPDATE: Wait. One more thing.

This professional photo, in a nutshell,  is everything that is wrong with the modern bridal industrial complex:


oooh i am a naked bride and someone hung my wedding dress so high in a filthy tree that even if i stand on a golf cart i won’t be able to reach it


The Definition of Optimism

photo (5)

5′ plant stakes in a 2′ tomato pot

The secret to successful tomato plant support is sturdy staking and old pantyhose. Sami offered to shorten these for me so that they’re not so ridiculous but I’m pleased with my own hubris about the size of these stakes and I think I’ll leave them.

Who among us does not love the smell of a tomato plant? It occurs to me that I’ve chosen extremely fragrant plants for the pots this year. Not plants that are fragrant on the breeze, but plants that release an intoxicating aroma when they’re touched. Whenever I deadhead a marigold, I sniff the flowerhead and then roll it in my hand until it releases its seeds. The bright red geraniums don’t even need to be deadheaded to take part in the fragrance game – I usually rub a leaf whenever I pass one. Rub it between thumb and forefinger as if I was evaluating velvet.