Friday, August 21, 2009

A very pathetic garden

Our garden has been a bit of a disappointment this summer! After so much work with all the tilling and manure, the bazillions of seedlings, the newly constructed green house over it and the carpeted floor for weed control, we had very high hopes of a highly productive garden.
So far we have had about 5 yellow zucchinis (out of a total of 6 bushes planted), 4 cucumber (but there are 2 more on the way), a handful of edamame (out of 18 stalks planted), and 2 baggies full of sugar peas (before the record high temps killed them).
In all fairness, we are still holding out hope for the tomatoes and this beautiful lone eggplant on a suprisingly pretty eggplant bush is letting us know there's still a little time left!Totally unaware of the slow productivity in the backyard, my apple tree in the front yard has gone gangbusters! If you just look at the apple cross-eyed it jumps off the tree! I am pretty excited about these! They are my first fruit trees...pretty dang cool that they are actually making fruit!
We have learned that the soil is everything...we tried to improve our ho-hum soil with good stuff, but we really needed to cover the bad soil and start, or build on top of, with good soil. We know for next year now AND we also have a little better idea where to plant things and how much of each.
All in all, I honestly think the trips to Carpinito Bros regularly would be a cheaper and more time efficient for all our produce needs, but there is something pretty cool about seeing it growing in your backyard!

Almost the end???? WHAT?

It dawned on me, during one of my regular stops at Carpinito Bros, that summer is drawing to a close. What? SERIOUSLY? How can that be? Well, the zucchinis don't lie! Each visit to the farm had mounds and mounds of zucchinis and rock bottom prices per pound. Of course I would load up with what I needed for the next week or so (which is quite a bit since I have discovered I love zucchini in EVERYTHING) and be on my way until the next time. (Keeping in mind I am not currently mentioning the other $40 worth of vegetables I HAD TO HAVE until the next time).

Well, this particular visit came the discovery of the itty bitty bin of zucchini. I was panic struck-literally! How will I make it without zucchini in my food? How do I get some and save them for winter? Is there enough, if I buy them ALL, for the winter???? You should know that I DO appreciate the fact the biggest panic in my life at the moment is how to preserve zucchini for winter use!!!

Anyways, I bought 10 lbs of little tender zucchinis and 5 lbs of green pepper and eggplants and headed home to start slicing and dicing for freezing these summer pleasures. The 10 lbs of zucchini took about an hour and half to slice up-not too shabby of an investment since in the winter the price for imported zucchini is more than 4 times what I paid today! Now that those are in the freezer I am once again that enough? Do I have enough for the spaghetti sauces??? AHHHH!

I am half way through the eggplants, since you have to slightly steam them first to be able to freeze them and this morning the green peppers are calling my name...begging to get sliced, diced and frozen so they can be enjoyed another day!

If I get all that done and my work for today before 6pm, I am headed back to Carpinito Bros for more zucchini!!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Very spoiled chickens

This moment brought to you by some very spoiled chickens

getting a yummy oatmeal & yogurt breakfast.

Sorry about the shakiness, I had to watch my toes...a hungry chicken will go for anything!

Renaissance Fair

Last weekend we headed out to Buckley, WA for the Renaissance Fair. I hadn't been since I was a kid and this was Ken's first time going to one of these things. My little sister, Jacque & Vitaly, her boyfriend, met us there to join in on all the renaissance fun :)
It was pretty cool people watching! Totally Renaissance Fair goers to dress in the garb of the era. We were not. Some of the costumes were totally elaborate all the way to full on linked metal knight armor.

It was a scorcher of a day too! I got a little burnt and I can only imagine how how all those people were that were completely dressed up! WOW!
We had a good time. It definitely wasn't nearly as cool as I remember it. It used to be in a location where all the booths were sort of built into a forest like setting and I remember they had jousting shows regularly for everyone to see. The shows at this event were difficult to see and there was no jousting (at least not during the hours we were there). There really wasn't much of anything that we would actually purchase either. The vendors had products that were very appropriate to the era, but not so much to our current lives.
None the less, it was fun to hang out with my sister, to people watch and to do something different and out of the ordinary!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Icky but effective!

About a month ago, I was at the Bellevue Arts & Crafts Fair and was thrilled to find a booth of natural/homeopathic dog products. As you might imagine, I quickly found myself deep in conversation with the booth vendor. This conversation lead to a natural remedy for arthritis in dogs.
The remedy was chicken feet. YES, chicken feet.
Well, it took me an additional month of watching poor Chaos limping in obvious pain before I decided I was willing to try it. Ken and I went to a local Asian grocery store and stocked up on chicken feet. Seriously, you can buy packages of chicken feet right there in their meat department-WOW!
I won't add a picture to this post because, well, it's a little icky to look at.
After a week of two chicken feet a day, Mr Chaos has barely a limp left. We are amazed. After a year of glucosamine & chondrotint tablets with absolutely no results we thought that was as good as it would get and at least it wasn't getting worse. After just a week, we have seen miraculous results!!!!
We are a believer in chicken feet!!!! WOW!
The dogs thoroughly love it when it's time for another one. One in the morning, one at night and we look forward to another week to see if the limp goes away entirely.
Once again, the natural cure kicks the butt of the pill cure!!!! WoooHooo!