Saturday, December 29, 2012

Time to Think Spring

I just got my first seed catalog in the mail yesterday. Yep, it's that time to start planning your garden. I want to try some new veggies and some new management practices. If anyone knows of any way of "weeding" that doesn't require back strain and pulling, please share with me. I have been perusing the catalog and am getting excited to get my hands dirty. My biggest problem is that once school starts, the garden goes by the wayside in September. So, I need to keep up my enthusiasm for at least 9 months. I will post soon with future gardening plans.

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

New Recipe Ideas Update

As I stated in my previous post yesterday, New Recipe Ideas, I tried a recipe for spaghetti squash. Mind you, I don't care for squash in particular. I've always found that squash 'taste" to be too much, with the exception of pumpkin. I don't care for yams, butternut squash, or sweet potatoes. I grew butternut squash last year in the hopes of "liking" it, but did not. Even with the addition of dubious amounts of brown sugar, butter, pineapple and marshmallows. It fell short for me.l

So here I bought a "start" at the local Bi-Mart store that actually had two plants in the little pot. So I planted them. And off did they go! Holy, Moly! I had spaghetti squash galore, coming out at me from all sides. Well, I had never even tried spaghetti squash, yet even enjoyed any squash except pumpkin. And I had never grown a pumpkin. So, I really, really hoped we liked it. Because... we had so many. So, when to harvest. Well... I don't know. so I harvested at all stages because I didn't know what to look for. Don't harvest when they are still green and stripey. Too soon. I have green and stripey, orange and a little stripey, and beige (perfect!).

Okay, so my recipe critique of Spaghetti Squash Gratin. First, I learned spaghetti squash does not have that "squash, yam... taste."  So I liked it. But... it is kind of bland, so the bacon helped. I would recommend using a stronger cheese like sharp cheddar in this dish. Mozzarella got very lost. Also, I will add next time, butter and some brown sugar. This dish needs dome perking up! It is good... but it needs more than the original recipe. I will add butter next time, too. Overall, an okay dish, but trust me, it needs: butter, sharp cheddar, and brown sugar. Let me know your thoughts if you try this and any tweaking that you do.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

New Recipe Ideas

Now that I am on Christmas break, I have had the opportunity to search for some new recipes. I find that I often get in a rut, fixing the same thing over and over again. Here are some new ideas for you to try.

I found this recipe for Pizza Dip over at Closet Cooking. Give it a try. It is ooey, gooey goodness. Tweak it and add whatever toppings you like. I like to use toasted french bread slices to scoop up this delicious dip.

Pizza Dip
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella, grated
  • 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded/grated
  • 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
  • 2 ounces pepperoni, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons green pepper, sliced (I used mushrooms, instead)
  • 2 tablespoons black olives, sliced
  1. Mix the cream cheese, sour cream mayonnaise, mozzarella and parmigiano reggiano and spread it across the bottom of a pie plate.
  2. Spread the pizza sauce on top and sprinkle on the cheese, pepperoni, green pepper and olives.
  3. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until the sides are bubbling and the cheese cheese has melted and turned golden brown on top, about 20 minutes.
This recipe for peanut butter cups is not new, but I make it every year for the holidays and thought you may like to try it.

Peanut Butter Cups

1/3 C creamy peanut butter
1/4 C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Mix well and chill. Roll into 24 balls, about 1/2 tsp each, and place in paper cup lined mini muffin tin.

1/2 C creamy peanut butter
8 oz milk chocolate chips
Melt in microwave 1-2 min. and stir well. Cover peanut butter balls with chocolate and chill in fridge.

I found this gratin recipe at The Fresh Princess of Bon Air. I plan on making this tomorrow, so can't say yet how we like it. I will update.

Spaghetti Squash Gratin with Walnuts and Bacon
adapted from Mele Cotte

Spaghetti squash, about 3-4 lbs
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
1/3 cup panko crumbs
1/2 cup cheese (dry mozzarella, or whatever you have on hand)
1 tsp chili powder
olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350.  Carefully slice the squash in half (heating it in the microwave for 2 minutes or so makes this process a lot easier!) and remove seeds.  Rub flesh with olive oil and sprinkle with chili powder.  Roast for about 40 minutes, or until you can easily comb a fork through the flesh.

Scrape out all of the "spaghetti" flesh from each half and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place half of squash in a greased 8x8 baking dish.  Top with bacon crumbles, toasted nuts, and HALF of the shredded cheese.  Top with remaining squash, followed by remaining cheese and panko crumbs.

Increase oven temperature to 375 and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the top is brown and the cheese has melted.

Slow Cooker Apple Oatmeal, courtesy of Monica at theyummylife
My slow cooker cooks fast. I know, sounds funny but it really does and so 7 hours is too long for my crock pot. So I need to make it the day before and reheat, or get up early and allow about 5 hours of cooking. I also changed of couple of things, for instance, I use 2% milk and do not add flax seed.

Slow Cooker, Apple Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oatmeal
By Monica              Servings: 7 (3/4-cup) servings
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2-1/2 to 3 cups chopped)
  • 1-1/2 cups fat-free milk (or substitute non-diary alternative like almond milk)
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked steel-cut oats
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (or substitute maple syrup or other desired sweetener)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons butter, cut into 5-6 pieces (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Optional garnishes: chopped nuts, raisins, maple syrup, additional milk or butter
Coat inside of 3-1/2 quart (or larger) slow cooker with cooking spray. Add all ingredients (except optional toppings) to slow cooker. Stir, cover, and cook on low for approx. 7 hours (slow cooker times can vary). Spoon oatmeal into bowls; add optional toppings, if desired. Store leftovers in refrigerator. Freezes well.

To reheat single servings: Put 1-cup cooked oatmeal in microwave proof bowl. Add 1/3 cup fat-free milk. Microwave on high for 1 minute; stir. Continue cooking for another minute, or until hot.

Recipe can be doubled in 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Increase cooking time 1 hour.

Nutritional Info (per 3/4 cup serving): 149 calories, 3.6g fat, 27.3g carbs, 3.9g fiber, 4.9g protein; Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 4 pts 
Let me know if you try any of these and I welcome your feedback.

Friday, November 23, 2012

It's a Battle to the End for the Last Drumstick

Yes, it's true! Here is Cooper and Wesson battling it out for dibs on that last drumstick.

They love to play and it is hard to believe but when they play like this they are silent with the occasional yelp from Wesson when he has overstepped his bounds. They are so funny to watch!
I hope everyone is having a wonder Thanksgiving weekend.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Snow, Roofing, Dogs, and More

Well, it turns out we didn't puppysit this weekend after all. DD19 is planning her trip tentatively for next weekend. But she did bring her blue heeler pup out on Wednesday for a play date with Cooper. Unfortunately for Wesson, he began to yelp while in the front yard under Cooper's supervision and was visibly hurt and limping. After a couple of hours of TLC and no improvement, he had a visit to the vet for a diagnosis of a slight fracture in the hip. Friday when Wesson visited, he was still limping, but was entrusted to our care so DD19 and her BF22 could go ice skating. Here is Wes, you can see he is favoring his hind leg. Ice skating was cancelled due to a blizzard they ran into on the way before they even got to the pass. Our very first puppy sitting with our grandpup was unexpectedly cancelled! Bahahaaaa!!

Here you can see DD18's kitten, Brantley, and Cooper like to pal around.

He knows he's cute!

Here we are making apple cider with some friends. I was able to put up 14 quarts with a gallon and a half to drink and share with others. Plus, I have two boxes of apples in the garage. Didn't I lament last fall on processing all those apples. Well, here I go again! This weekend, I dried two batches and canned up 3 quarts. I know, only 3 quarts, but it was today after I had already made salsa and was kinda beat. Plus, my back was complaining.

We have had the worst luck with our leaky skylights in the kitchen and bathroom. 2 weeks ago we had a doozy of a rainstorm so DH ordered tin and went to work Saturday pulling off the old tin and getting the new stuff on. Did I mention that when he started it was lightly snowing and water was coming off the roof? Yeah. Well, lucky for us it stopped so he could get his work done.

You'd never believe it, but moments after they finished, it started snowing! If that wasn't a sign. 

We woke up to 5-6 inches of new snow this morning. It's not supposed to last though. Yesterday DH as busy changing tires on our daughter's cars. Just in time! I am without winter tires but hope I will be okay. I have a Subaru with new tires and a new set of tires and rims would run about $1,000 and we are not wanting to spend any money now if we don't have to. DH has my old Subaru and he has will be putting winter tires on it soon. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the roads won't be too bad this winter.

Here's my Veteran's Day work. I had a whole box of green tomatoes in the greenhouse and I am tired of waiting for them to ripen. What to do? Well, make Green Tomato Salsa, of course! Except, I have never made green tomato salsa before and didn't have a good recipe. I like salsa verde which is made with tomatillos, so I figured, how much different can a green tomato be? I found a Green Tomato Salsa Recipe that looked good. So, here it is. It made 8 pints with enough leftover to enjoy today. The only changes I made were that I used 2 large red peppers , 2 large onions, and substituted lemon juice for the vinegar. I have found that home canned salsa with vinegar has an unpleasant taste that our family does not like, and lemon juice is an acceptable acid substitute for vinegar. The salsa is very good with just enough heat and a slight tartness. Be sure to use the sugar to counter the tartness. The picture looks pasty and doesn't show the beautiful, bright shades of green. It is much prettier in real life.

I got ambitious.  First, I  had peeled apples for dehydrating which just takes minutes. Then I made the green tomato salsa. I had purposely left the bowl of water with the anti-browning treatment in it to use in case I was energetic and wanted to can some apples later. Yeoww!! I didn't realize how tired I was or how my back was aching, so after enough apples for 3 quarts I called it quits, and stopped there. Here are the apples

Back tracking to Halloween ( I have not been good about keeping up with my blog, as you know if you are a regular follower), our pumpkins did not last a week and a half this year because October was so warm.

Yes, that is a fence charger you see on the porch. Cooper loves to dig but DH took it down, and that wee bit of corner you can see in the lower right of the picture is routinely dug up, much to our dismay. When the charger is up and running, no digging, when the charger is unplugged and down, digging! We are open to suggestions that don't entail brute punishment. I would use his shock collar, but of course I would have to catch him in the act to use it and he's too smart for that!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Puppy Sitting

DD19 called this evening. She is going out of town and wants to know if we can watch her 3 1/2 month old puppy over the weekend. A Blue Heeler. Named Wesson (Smith's cousin). With lots of energy. That never stops moving. That mauls our Cooper to death and when he's down and wore out, jumps and climbs all over him. Cooper is soooo patient with him. He let's him bite and pull at his fur and jump all over him. He runs around him and jumps some more. I get tired just watching for 2 minutes. Cooper is so wore out after an hour visit, he sleeps for hours afterward.

I said yes. Pictures and updates will follow this weekend.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fall Happenings

School is in full swing and I have been busy this fall maintaining the garden and getting into the fall routine. Our chickens have discovered the joy of digging up and eating potatoes. We are going to dig up the potatoes and put them in the shop to cure. They also love romaine lettuce and spinach less so. So far, they have left alone the peppers, tomatoes (which are still VERY green) the zucchini and cucumbers. Have you ever tried lemon cucumbers? They are delicious. Last weekend, we picked enough green beans to can 16 pints and had some leftover for the freezer. They are still coming on so will pick again this weekend.

We have not been able to spend much time at all outdoors do to poor air quality from the fires here in the PNW. Some days it smells like a campfire all day long and visibility is so poor it is about 1/2-3/4 mile. It would be such a lovely fall if the air were better. Winter preparations need to attended to in October, so I am hoping we can get to everything before the snow flies. 

Meanwhile, Safeway had an excellent buy on beef round tip roast for $2.49/lb. It is the kind of roast that does so well in the crock pot all day, then shreds to perfection without all those grisly, slimy parts that are yucky to peel off. It's all meat and so tender. The first roast I put garlic slivers in and rubbed with salt, pepper and some spice rub, and it had the most wonderful juices leftover to make a tasty gravy to serve with mashed potatoes. Saturday we are having company, so I am thawing one and am going to crock pot it all day with mexican seasonings so I can shred it for tacos and burritos for a mexi bar so that people can make the burritos as they like. Love to have leftovers for easy week night meals, too. What have you been cooking?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Blogger's Block

I haven't posted in three weeks, and I noticed I have lost a follower. I am assuming because I haven't been blogging. Honestly, I am so overrun with news, doom and gloom, daily chores, a major forest fire in my area, and getting ready for back to school, that I just can't think of anything to blog about that anyone would want to read.

I blog about different things, life around our homestead, some politics, canning and food. But, what do my readers want to be updated on or what do you want read about? What is interesting in our life that makes you want to stop by and browse through my thoughts? I didn't want to bore anyone with too many chick pictures, but guess what? That BO hen I think is wanting to brood again. I put a Rhode Is. Red in the nursery yesterday because the rooster is sooo hard on her that her back end is not only bare but deep, deep red from irritation and swollen, so I put her in the nursery last night. Well, today, I went out to put the gals up and RI Red was not in the pen, but BO was! Yesterday I took out 3 eggs from the nursery that she laid and when I cracked them this morning for scrambled eggs, they looked like they were on the first day or two of a new life beginning. We'll see what happens.

Anyways, I apologize for not blogging. I don't know why really. I need a break, or I am feeling overwhelmed with the news. Maybe I am just in a slump. I will try to keep up one or two posts a week now that school is starting again. Let me know what keeps you reading my blog. Recipes? Canning? Political/educational rants?

Hubby is coming home for dinner late tonight, so I best be in the kitchen and have dinner ready. I am starved!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Bar Stool Economics

I saw this today at  shtfplan. I have seen it before over the years and it is a good reminder of how our tax system works. I don't know if the author is known.

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for a beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.
If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.00
The sixth would pay $3.00
The seventh would pay $7.00
The eighth would pay $12.00
The ninth would pay $18.00
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.00
So that’s what they decided to do. The men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with arraignment, until one day, the owner threw them a curve.
“Since you are all such good customers, he said, I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.00.
“Drinks for the ten men now cost just $80.00
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men – the paying customers? How could they divide the $ 20 windfall so that everyone would get there “fair share?” They realized that $ 20.00 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay!
And so:
The fifth man like the first four, now paid nothing ( 100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of 12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid 14 instead of 18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).
Each of the six was better off than before! And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.
“I only got a dollar out of the $20“ declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, “but he got $10!”
“Yeah, that’s right, shouted the seventh man. “why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!”
“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in union. “ We didn’t I get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!”
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!
And that, boys and girls, journalist and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.
For those who understand, no explanation is needed.
For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Garden Tour

We have had wild July weather episodes here in the PNW and prior to that, a cold, wet, windy spring. My garden is late. But let me take you on a tour and show you how my veggies are coming along.

My green beans are starting to climb.

 First sweet pea flowers.

Baby broccoli

Last year's onions gone to flower.

Flowering oregeno

Chives gone to seed

Hungarian peppers

Tomatoes (still babies at this point, not growing very fast).


Corn (what's left after the wind and hail storms). See how it's bent over.

Potato flowers

Spaghetti squash

Zucchini that is finally growing.

Lemon cucumbers (I have one regular cuke hanging on).


Lemon balm gone wild.



That's what I've got going on in my garden. We should have a bumper crop of potatoes and tomatoes. The rest will be for good eating. Strawberries are done for the season. I may get a stray one now and then. I also have radishes coming up but the carrots are no-shows at this point. In addition, some romaine lettuce and spinach are peeking out of the ground. They are in the same bed as the radishes and tomatoes. How is your garden doing?

Albacore Tuna

While visiting the WA coast, we picked up a couple of fresh Albacore tuna to can. We cooked up a couple of pieces on the barbie for dinner while we were there, and saved the rest for the canner. The two tuna came to 25#, which netted 12 lbs. of meat. I got 12 pints and 4 half pints, so a total of 16 pints. One full canner load. The total cost was $75, or $3/lb whole, $6.25/lb. net. Dividing $75 by 16 pints, I get $4.69/pint. Most tuna you buy at the store any more are 5 oz. cans. They used to be 7 oz. That would be about 3 store bought cans to one of my pints which don't have any added water or broth. You can pull out whole pieces of tuna. We love home canned tuna! It is firmer and much tastier that the flakes and shards you get from the store. If you ever get a chance, buy a tuna and can some in your pressure canner. Or buy tuna canned at the docks by a small processor. We bought our tuna from the Seafood Connection and they also sell online at Canned Albacore Tuna.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Been at the PNW Coast

I've been away from my blog but I hope you'll all understand when I show you where we've been. Let me share some of what my family has been up to. We visited the beautiful Washington coast for some rest and relaxation.

I love how our beaches in the PNW are not crowded like California or the East coast.

Here we are enjoying an IPA on the beach. We loved this  beach because you could drive right down onto the sand, set up your chairs and enjoy the day!

See the closest person is a comfortable distance from us. We don't do well in crowds.

Here Cooper is loving the attention and the surf with our daughters. 

Some people are surf fishing, probably for perch. They didn't have any luck while we were there.

If you visit a fishing port you have to go down to the docks and get the FRESHEST seafood. We bought a couple of Albacore tuna in Westport and had the guy fillet it up for us. I'm canning most of it when we get home. If you've ever had home canned tuna, you will never go back to store bought canned tuna from Asia. Our tuna is caught with a hook and line, is smaller than Asian tuna and your jar is full of tasty tuna, not water. It is simply delicious!

My DD17 just caught this fresh tuna! What a catch!

Well, she caught it from the green barrel that she's holding the tuna over.

What do you have for dinner when you are at the coast? Fresh seafood, of course.We also bought some Dungeness crab and oysters.   Dinner was green salad, fresh picked crab, oysters and a bite of tuna. Oysters on the barbie.

Picking fresh crab.

No room for salad on the plate right now. Time for the important protein food items like crab and oysters!  Add fresh lemon for sprinkling and melted butter for dipping. Yum!

A random vegetarian showed up for dinner at our campsite. He wasn't interested in sharing our bounty. Too bad... that just means more for the rest of us.

That's how we've been enjoying our time. Enjoying the beach, browsing tourist shops, looking at boats on the docks, walking along the beach, and loving life.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Micro Apartments

How would you like to be forced to live in a 275-300 SF apartment (adAPTS) because you are single or empty nesters? That is the plan presented by Mayor Bloomberg in New York. At the 20 min. mark, listen to the boobs reminisce about their experiences when they first were starting out and their apartment life and doing laundry in the basement. And at min.mark 31 where he says how walking is the simplest, most basic form of transportation. This model parallels what  Agenda 21 is promoting.  It is all about control of your life and sustainable development.    In order to build these match boxes, Bloomberg said that zoning regulations will be waived. Soon, there will be 500 SF apartments for families.

Sustainable development sounds all good and nice until you realize that it means the city, county and federal governments are all working together to eliminate your middle class way of life. It means that middle class families and rural landowners will lose their land and homes, and the seized land will be "restored to it's original state," so the elites can enjoy wildlife and camping in the manufactured wilderness. Meanwhile, you will be shuttled into high density vertical housing sprawl, as opposed to horizontal sprawl that eats up precious land where Bambi lives. These micro apartments will "make good use of shared space" and will be close to mass transit. There will be no garages for cars and you will be forced to walk, ride your bike or use mass transit. Meanwhile, the rich elite, will live on large spaces of land in large homes. They won't be forced into these cages to live because they have too much money.

What is our way of life going to look like? We won't be able to afford the carbon emission taxes, higher property taxes, ObamaCare taxes, and all the taxes they are stealing from us. The government also has their eye on your  401K and IRA's. Yes, it's true. It has been planned  that the government plans to confiscate your IRA's and 401K's. How will you retire? Maybe that's their plan to force you into these micro apartments.

Car Sales Are Up- So economy in Recovery

GM posted sales for the month of June showing an increase in sales of 36%. Wow, that is great! Consumers are confident about the economy and their salaries are able to afford them the cost and expense of a new car. But wait! The manipulated bailout of GM by Obama cost us taxpayers 50 billion plus 45 billion of tax credits. And guess what? The government purchases of GM vehicles went up 79% in June of this year. 

How convenient. One of the strategies that Marxists such as Chavez and Castro used to usher in communism is to nationalize major sectors of the economy.  This has been done in the form of bailouts such as GM and the banks. The government then attempts to ease the pain to the fleeced citizens with false charades of economic recovery. Don't forget that Obama cheerily stated that his plan was to redistribute wealth. And he also stated he would institute a "national civilian security force" which is the equivalent of Nazi brown shirts and will be run by FEMA Corp.

The Nazi Germany Dictatorship got started this way. "Hitler asked Hindenburg to grant him emergency powers in view of the 'communist takeover'. Using the constitution, Hindenburg agreed to pass the Law for the Protection of the People and the State.This law gave Hitler what he wanted - a ban on the Communists and Socialists taking part in an election campaign. The leaders from both parties were arrested and their newspapers were shut down. To 'keep the peace' and maintain law and order, the SA (the Brown Shirts) roamed the streets beating up those who openly opposed Hitler" And according to Jerry Boykin, this security force is written into Obama's Health Care Plan.  The video is about 12 min. long but this point is addressed at about the 9:20 min. mark. 

The manipulation by our government and the lies it is spewing forth are staggering. Do your research and don't let the government try to take God out of your life and make you  dependent on the government for your well being. Your job in your life now is to know God, love God, and serve God, so that you may know, love and serve God in your next life. It is about the salvation of your soul. 

P.S. Why can't I get the font to be the same size? Suggestions?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Chores

Been busy trying to stay cool in our heat. We had 101 degree temps on Sunday and a wild electrical storm that night that lit up the sky and blew trees over on homes. I haven't wanted to transplant my tomatoes because we had such cold, wet, windy weather, but this morning I transplanted 17 tomato plants, 2 zucchini and 1 cuke. Most of my seedlings never took. No lettuce, spinach, cucumber (save one, and another that sorta sprouted but then stopped), no carrots, radishes, or peppers. Actually, I think I do have 1 or 2 pepper plants but they are only 1-2 in. tall. Strawberries are coming on and I got 7 small raspberries today. I'm not sure what is up with my strawberries. Some are shiny and sweet as can be, but others are dull and bitter. Ideas anyone?
Here are the tomato transplants. Sorry, they're the tiny specks of green in the middle of the pic.

Potato plants...doing well.

My raspberry bush is producing! Ha, ha, can you see how small these are? This is my abundant harvest I picked this morning. They are on a small saucer. Oh, earlier I said I picked 7 berries, I guess one must have slipped into my mouth.

So, I decided to make a snack out of them and added them to some yogurt I made this weekend. I made the yogurt in my crockpot this time, and it was easy because I just let it sit overnight all bundled up in a bath towel in the oven.

Two years ago I told my DH how much I wanted a clematis plant with the pretty flowers to put out in front of our porch. I saw them at Bi-mart the other day so we went to buy one. There was only one left. It was this tiny stick of nothing. I bought it anyway. Here it is two years later! I love it!

You can see it is even encroaching on the garage door to the right and DH had to build a second support trellis and put it on the other side of the plant because it had morphed into the clematis plant on steroids.

 The chicks are growing and I think around the end of the month I'll introduce them into the rest of the flock. Eggs anyone? I am making breakfast for dinner because now that I am off for the summer, I am not selling eggs to the teachers at the school where I teach and there are too many eggs. Hahahaha. Breakfast will be served at 6:00 p.m. and all are welcome to join us. Scrambled eggs or omelettes, fried potatoes, strawberries, and of course, BACON!  Please RSVP.