Tuesday, April 30, 2013

count-down - 48 hours

so what am i doing writing a blog post when there's still lots to do before thursday.  i can't even find my do-it list anymore.  maybe i packed it??  actually i am feeling pretty organized until i have a momentary flash of oh dear goddess what is it i've forgotten?  but this is my moment to just sit awhile and chill.

no blessed event in the greenhouse yet.  wondering how i would know if the preying mantis case of young uns is a dud or there are actually hundreds of little mantis nymphs about to break thru and feast on that nasty aphid infestation on the arugula and spinach.  after tomorrow, i'll just turn it over to Lauren-the-dog-and-house-sitter and let her watch for the blessed event.

got my new slip-on comfy travelin' shoes yesterday.  wore them all day yesterday and can now declare them to be comfortable and travel-worthy!

on thursday we fly to Vancouver, BC and from Vancouver to London to Hamburg, then stay there for 2 nights, and on sunday Soren will pick us up and take us to his home in Sonderborg, Denmark for 6 days.  Soren was an exchange student and lived with us for part of his year here, and we've stayed in touch since (1987) with visits from him and our visits to see his HS graduation, wedding, and again after he had kids.  he became my semi-son and i love him like a son!!  anyway, he has arranged for us to stay in his uncle's house while we're there.  also, Chris, Kate, A and Z will meet us there and we'll travel together from there.  the next stop is the Greek Peloponnese for a week, then drive north to Arachova, close the Mt Parnassus and also go to Delphi where i will try to find the Oracle as i have some things to ask her.  from there, drive to Athens and fly to Hania, Crete and back to the village and people we love... Vamos!  i will then take a vacation from my vacation and do totally nothing for a few days, except wander down to Boumosifi taverna for good food and raki and hangin' with friends.  i'm really looking forward to this adventure!!

Soren posted a photo on fb of uncle's house where we'll stay.

i'm planning on posting some photos and stories from the trip... that makes it easier for me to remember where i've been.... which becomes progressively foggier trying to remember what i did last week, let alone a year or more ago.  there's parts of this aging thing that just aren't pretty or fun!  so bravo for photos and blogs!

see ya on the flip side......

p.s. and a bonus is that our dear friend, Sarah Hauser will be on the same flight with us from pdx to
vanc to london!  bravo!  hi Sarah

Friday, April 26, 2013

variety of stuff... preying mantis, aphids, kalitsounia, fabric art

i've been waiting impatiently for the blessed event in the greenhouse.  a couple of weeks ago, i put a preying mantis egg case strategically placed in the midst of aphid infected arugula and spinach in there.  this is my next hope after the lady bugs betrayed me and jumped ship, leaving all those tasting bugs behind.  i have no idea where the little buggers went, but they deserted easy meals and are gone!  it has been really warm in there this week, so is ideal environment for them.  i probably look like a real nut case... out there a couple of times a day closely inspecting every plant near where the case is hanging.  nothing so far........

this is what a newly hatched nymph will look like.


and back in the kitchen... i decided to make kalitsounia, one of my fave Greek eats, last weekend.  they are little cheese pies (sometimes with spinach in them, too).  a bit time-consuming to make, but pretty easy.  you make a dough, roll it thin, cut circles, put cheese mix in the middle, fold one edge over, mash the edge with a fork and then either fry in olive oil or bake.  for the cheese mixture i used mysithra, feta, eggs, minced up fresh mint and seasonings.  i'll post the recipe if anyone wants it.

i've made some more small banners/hanging/prayer flags for gifts.  they are really fun to make.... using the fabric fusing technique then hand stitching, maybe some beads...  The one on the left is almost finished... just needing some leaves on the flower stems.  the one on the right is still a work in progress. there is a third one in progress... still early in its development.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

my queendom and what's going on...

where to start?  it is almost TOO tempting to rant about my intense feelings of disappointment in our congress and sadness over what's become of our country.  shame comes to mind.  i will, however, not give in to that temptation.

spring, beauty, new growth are showing up around here.  the greenhouse continues to give us an abundance of salad greens.  my tiny kales are filling up their eggshell first home... and some have been put out into the cold, wet ground and are doing well under their circumstances.  the bad news is the huge invasion of aphids and ants in the greenhouse.  thought i had the answer with a bag of lady bugs.... but they betrayed me!  i released them from their net prison into an ideal environment of sun, warmth and a huge supply of food... and the damn little buggers jumped ship.  i still see a few on the plants in amongst the aphids... but there were hundreds!  where the bloody hell did they go??  my backup plan was a preying mantis cocoon and it's just hanging there among the greens and i'm still waiting for their appearance.  i don't want to spray poisons in there to get rid of pests.  did try a citrus based spray, which did totally nothing!

they appeared to be trying to increase their number... or maybe just having a bit of an afternoon fling.  (is this one of those NSFW  things?)

and in the kitchen, the hoya plant is having one of its infrequent and gorgeous blooming events.  it has a very faint, very sweet aroma... love it!

here we have a souvenir of a small get-together a few weeks ago here at dome central.  perhaps i should feel shame and embarrassment about my lack of interest in housekeeping/cleaning/keeping the dust at bay.... it made me giggle!  i'm thinking it was my great-nieces, and whoever started it, there's an additional signature from Anna when she visited from Boise.  Maggie and her VCF (very close friend) Jake from Brooklyn came out for lunch (they even brought the lunch!!!), Maggie's girls, and Judy, Robin and Amelia also came.

Jordan and Maisy in a tree..

Maggie and Jake.  Jake will be moving to pdx this summer!

the latest agricultural adventure here is the planting of an olive orchard.  these are the small ones for crushing into olive oil.  there are 2 or 3 Kalamata trees, too, tho and those are the ones i'm more interested in.  i just don't think i'll still be around to see much olive oil production.

Meika had another adventure with Steve the vet.  Jim took her in for her post-op visit and to have a runny, goopy eye checked.  Steve found a small growth under her eyelid and lasered it off, which required anesthesia... the first shot didn't work, so he gave a 2nd and by the time she got home i think she was feeling the effect of both shots.  took her a long time to get over that!!  but she was soon back to her sassy, opinionated self.

so, there ya have it.  trying really hard to find my zen place.  have had Andrea Bocelli playing for the last 2 hours and even with Amazing Grace, still not there yet.