Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Tomato Butterfly #WordlessWednesday

One of the varieties of tomatoes spouse is growing in his community garden plot is called Big Rainbow.
It's a beefsteak variety, meaning it's large and meaty, with lots of liquid.


This particular one got wrapped around a stem during its babyhood, and grew up into this.  To me, it looks like a butterfly.  We didn't plan what the stem looks like.  Unfortunately, getting this tomato extricated from the plant left a bruise on the left side so we'll have to use it right away.

I think this one is destined for a tomato and mayonnaise sandwich, one of my summer favs.

Joining Sandee of Comedy Plus for her #WordlessWednesday.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Blueberry Skies with One More Recipe

It's blueberry time again!  We went picking one last time (perhaps) for this year. 

The skies were blueberry blue.

The blueberries were blue, too. 

This time, the fields were a lot more crowded, despite us getting there not long after the U-Pick farm opened, so we had to wear our masks some of the time.  I quickly found out why - these were some of the best blueberries we've ever picked.

So, it's time for a recipe, quick and easy.  I've made this several times (no photos for you today).  It's adapted from a public Weight Watchers recipe.  I've seen a number of variations on the theme of this dessert online so there's little here that's a secret, and I will share with you how I make it.

My version was born from not having all the ingredients in the Weight Watchers recipe, and I like it so much that I haven't tried to make it the Weight Watchers way.

What I do is this:  I take an 8 inch square baking pan and line it with foil.  Put aside.

Make crumbs out of 6 squares graham crackers. 

Next, combine 1 cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt, 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup, 1 tsp lime juice, and about 1/2 tsp amount of lemon crystals (you can also use fresh lemon zest)..  Add 1 cup fresh blueberries and half of the graham cracker crumbs. Stir it all together.

Scoop into the prepared pan and level it out.  Top with remainder of graham cracker crumbs.

Freeze about an hour.  Cut into six even slices.  Serve frozen or let soften slightly.

A serving is one slice. 


I've thought about some variations.  We have some Trader Joe's Key Lime cookies we might just substitute for the graham crackers next time.  Or, I could see this with Nilla Wafers, a childhood favorite of mine, instead of the crackers.

I wish you could come to my house and share....

What do you think?

Monday, August 3, 2020

Islands #MusicMovesMe

It's Monday, and it's time for Music Moves Me!

Who are the members of Music Moves Me ?  We are bloggers who blog about music each Monday. If you have music to share with us, you are most welcome to join!  Just remember our simple rule:  you must include at least one You Tube or Vimeo video or your post may be subject to removal or labeling "NO MUSIC". You are welcome to write about music. too but we need that video!

So let's get started.

Each month, we have a guest co-host and guess who the guest co-host is this month?

Let's welcome Stacy from Stacy Uncorked, our guest co-host for August!  Her theme for today is "Songs About Islands or an Island theme."

Oh, islands.  There are really all kinds of islands.  In fact, I was born on an island - New York State's Long Island, which is the 10th largest island in the United States.  Yes, it's not the kind of island we think of, but it's an island!  And for that reason, I am going to start this off with:

Long Island's Billy Joel and his song about Billy the Kid, who was probably born on the island of Manhattan in New York City.  Two islands for the price of one!

A good, almost deserted, distant one (not too hot and lots of shade) sure would hit the spot.

Why don't we start the "kind of island many of us are thinking of" set with 1956's Harry Belafonte and Jamaica Farewell.  I have to note that the use of "gay" in this song mean, back when this song was written, "happy".

When I think of islands and the tropics, I immediately think of Jimmy Buffet.  Sure enough he has recorded a song called "Island".

This song reminded me (for some reason) of the Beach Boys and their many, many, hits. Which one should I pick?  How about "Wouldn't It Be Nice?" would be nice.

But the one I was really after was "Kokomo".

I wasn't familiar with this Pink Floyd song, San Tropez, but I sure enjoyed it.

I tried hard not using Elton John's "Island Girl" and Dolly Parton/Kenny Roger's "Islands in the Stream", but I am losing the battle.  Here's one of them.  Guess which one.

And that's a musical wrap.  Happy rest of the summer to you, dear readers.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Thank You For Flying SpaceX

The last time a United States capsule touched down in water was 45 years ago (July 24, 1975, to be exact).  Many of my readers weren't even alive then.

For a time, we used space shuttles flown by Americans, but the program had two disasters - two too many, and at least one partially caused by cost cutting.

Then, for many years, our former enemy, Russia, had to take us back and forth.

Now, our space exploration can finally continue, in a joint partnership between NASA and private industry.  When the astronauts touched down into the Gulf, a ground person said "Thank you for flying SpaceX."

It reminded me of the old "Thank you for flying Lufthansa" joke about a plane that had to ditch in the ocean, and which I won't repeat here.

But you do have to admire pilots for their absolute cool.  If you have a few minutes, check out this video.

Back to SpaceX, what makes this even sweeter is that one of the two astronauts in the capsule, Doug Hurley, grew up in my local area.

What is a bit sobering is that the recovery crew all had to quarantine for two weeks and were tested for COVID-19 before being allowed to participate in the recovery.  It is good and right that we continue space exploration during this time, but these astronauts, as fate would have it, had to parachute into a corona virus hotspot.

I hope this program does not get sidetracked while we on Earth try to figure the pandemic out.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

The Missing Festival

I took a walk in the park today with my husband.  Ordinary, right?

This is what I should have seen.  Crowds. 

Hot air balloons.

Food trucks.
Celebrations of spiedies, the food of our area of upstate New York.

This is what I saw instead.

This is on a path that would have been blocked off this weekend, normally.

Walkers, joggers, bicyclists were enjoying the park.   People sat at picnic tables (our state allows gatherings of up to 50 people with proper precautions.)

How many of us miss the annual Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally?  Many of us, perhaps. But people all over the world have already lost and missed so much, it's a small thing.

It was a sunny, warm day.  It would have been so nice.

The organizers still hope to hold the festival in October.  Normally, attendance for the three days would be around 60,000 to 100,000.  This year, they will need to hold it to 5,000.(I'm not sure if that's a day or for the total).  It definitely won't be the same.

It's strange, perhaps, but I don't care.

I'm content just to be here.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Where The Path Lead #SkywatchFriday

Skywatch Friday, hosted every Friday by Yogi, brings together bloggers who watch the sky.  So, when I posted about a flood wall path last Friday, I was not expecting my readers to zero in on a path along a floodwall in my area of upstate New York.  I wondered where it went and my readers wanted to know.

So, is today the beginning of a new meme called Pathwatch Friday?  Not really.  But what I am going to show you demonstrates a truth that photography has taught me.  Enjoy.

I took these pictures on one side of the flood wall.

It's really pretty along the river, where the Queen Anne's Lace is blooming.

Love those puffy clouds and that blue river.  If you see little dots in the river, those are birds floating along.

And then, there's the other side of the flood wall.  Let's change our view just a little.

What I was showing you before is on the left.  Let's switch to the right.  Do you see something in the far right middle?

We are getting close to the end here.  You can barely see a highway. Actually, at this point, the path was disappearing under tall weeds, and I didn't want to get a tick on me.  So I stopped before the very end.  The truth is, one side of the path looks over the back of an outdoor shopping plaza and the path dead ends at a main thoroughfare.

There's a lesson here.  If you look beyond the obvious, you may find views well worth photographing.

Want more?  Click the link to Yogi's blog at the top of my post and happy skywatching!

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Garden Updates July 30 2020

I don't blog a lot about our (spouse and my) gardens, and yet my Twitter handle is @RamblinGarden.  I need to do this some more.

Spouse and I have several gardens in zone 5b upstate New York: flower gardens around our house on our small urban/suburban property (and several veggies in pots), and two plots in a community garden.  One is in the ground and the other (mine) is in a raised bed and is perfect for someone like me who has back issues.

Many people have tried to garden for the first time this year.  As they have probably found by now, it ain't necessarily easy.  We've been fighting deer at the community garden (they especially seem to enjoy our filet beans).  Groundhogs and rabbits are challenges, too.  I wish I could give you good solutions.

I wanted to send some garden photos to a cousin in New York City and now I will share with you.  These are the photos that will keep me going when winter comes.  This is the season for storing up memories.
First, let's visit my raised bed garden in our local community garden.  Of course there are flowers, such as this white zinnia.  I thought I would show zinnias first.  Doesn't almost everyone like zinnias?
Candystick zinnia.

White eggplant (If you grow your own, why stick with the usual?)
Small bite peppers.
Yellow squash in spouse's ground level garden.  (The flowers are edible, too, although this year we haven't eaten any.)

Back to the raised bed.  Beans.  Liquid Fence spray did the trick for a while, but the deer have decided it won't stop them.

But you don't need to have a garden to garden.  If you have a yard, a sunny spot, and some pots, you can do it, too.  We have a big groundhog problem but, knock on wood, they haven't bothered these.

Swiss chard.

And tomatoes.

We are also growing cucumbers and summer squash in containers, but haven't had the greatest results.

If you want to read more about our container garden experiences, I can do a post on that.  If you want that, please let me know in the comments.

Do you garden?