July 31

Because I am such a pleaser, I went outside foggy bright and early this morning to get pictures of my lovely Rose of Sharron ‘fence’.

And now I feel compelled to tell you my saga of these poor bushes. This group that you see here were planted 5 springs ago. Superman and I planted them in the rain.

I hadn’t ordered enough, so the shortest one that you see was where we had to stop. (For that year)

We also planted them on the other side of the house.

Interestingly, the neighbor’s 2 dogs faithfully watered the other side and they all died.

So, I purchased some more, and 4 springs ago, found Superman planting again.

Superman is my hero, because he hates to plant these things.

I make him talk to them.

At that time, 3 little boys lived 2 houses over and they ran their motorized Jeep all over my freshly planted ‘fence’.  Only 3 survived.

I was. not. happy.

We also replaced the ones on the other side as well, and did all manner of things to discourage the dogs from watering my ‘fence’. It helped, but some died.

3 springs ago, I purchased my last batch of Rose of Sharron ‘fence’, daring anyone or anything to kill my plants.

Superman and the boy planted them, and I made them both talk to them.

This is why you see varying stages of growth, and varying colors.

I love them all.

This year, just before Superman left for Columbus, he mowed and weed whacked my lawn for me. He got way to close to my ‘fence’ and shredded the bark on the dog side. A few stems have died.

I have suggested to him that if he wants to plant more of these things, please…continue to weed whack my bushes.

I seriously doubt that the weed whacker will ever be seen on that side of the house again.

https://i2.wp.com/i29.photobucket.com/albums/c257/chocolatechic/smilies/roses.gif

Now for the give away.

We all have fears of baking something. I was always afraid to use yeast. I stubbornly refused to even try to make bread, or any other baked good that used yeast.

Then bread machines came along.

I got one.

I used it.

Fresh baked bread was so much better than that nasty store bought stuff.

That machine gave me the courage to try to bake bread on my own, and I have never looked back.

So, today I am giving away a King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Cook Book.

To try to win this lovely book, all you have to do is leave a comment telling me what you are afraid of in the kitchen? What are you afraid to cook or bake.

I will turn to the trusty number generator and have it pick a winner, which will be announced tomorrow.

July 30

When we moved to town almost 6 years ago, it was a huge change for us.

We were used to quiet peaceful evenings.

That doesn’t happen in town unless it is 23º outside.

We were used to letting the kids go out and play whenever they liked and not have any fear that they would be harmed.

In town, you keep your kids close by.

We were used to fresh air.

That doesn’t happen in town, period.

We were used to not seeing neighbors unless you walked at least a half mile down the road.

In town, the neighbors sit on their front porch and stare into your living room through your middle class Victorian windows that almost reach the floor.

When I began to notice the neighbor’s watching our every move on a daily basis, about 3 days after we moved in, I got the idea to plant a lovely “fence line” of Rose of Sharron hedges. They grow marvelously fast, and are outrageously beautiful.

They are now tall enough to block pesky neighbors from viewing me blog every morning, and watch Law and Order CI every evening.

Now if I could just find a way to keep that little girl off her scooter at 10pm….

PS. There is going to be a give away tomorrow.

July 29

This TWD is a Peach Galette.

I had to look up the definition of galette.

A galette is a fancy-schmancy way of saying ‘free form tart’.

Which also means no pie pan to wash.

Score!

This recipe called for some sort of jam to be spread in the bottom of the crust.

Some sort of jam that would correspond pleasantly to peaches.

What kind of jam corresponds to peaches?

Dorie suggested ginger preserves, and I thought ‘ooooOOOOOooooo that sounds delicious. I want some’.

Do you know that Pothole, Ohio does not have ginger preserves. at. all.?

I was so disappointed to be doing without the ginger preserves that I have never tasted before, never even heard of before.

So I sent the boy to the store with my debit card and said ‘get something that will match. I do not care what it is.’

He brought home some lovely seedless red raspberry preserves.

I did have doubts as to whether it would taste good or not. I shouldn’t have. It was divine.

I love that boy.

After you get your jam/preserves spread in the bottom, some lovely graham crackers sprinkled over that, you can add your fruit. You can use any fruit you like.

I chopped the required amount, but I found that it was just to much fruit to fit into my dough.

Then you get to add a lovely custard. I put some vanilla paste into mine. It just adds such a lovely flavor.

This free form tart galette is best eaten right out of the oven or at room temperature.

I tried it both ways, and right out of the oven is best. But don’t take my word for it, head on over to Michelle’s blog and get the recipe for yourself.

Michelle, thanks for picking a winner.

July 28

I didn’t realize it when he got home, but the boy was in some serious withdraw.

In Panama, he had no electronic devices at his disposal. No laptop that he could hop on any time he liked, no TV, nothing.

After he recovered from his lack of sleep, and hugged his mamma, he hugged his laptop, and it hasn’t left his side since. I think he is making a side holster for it.

I kid…oh, I kid.

Yesterday, all I heard was laptop, blah~~blah, iTunes, yadda~~yadda, resync iPod, techno~~gobbldigook

Which really meant that he wanted to unhook the modum from my computer so he could attach himself to the internet. Which meant that I had to unattach myself from the internet. Which means that I go into withdraws, and that internet, that isn’t a pretty sight.

We have been discussing getting a Wi-Fi thingie for quite some time, but this time, the boy offered to go halvsies.

I sent him to Stuffmart forthwith.

Verily he came home and we began the process of uploading, rebooting, connecting, moving wires.

Nothing happened, except that now neither of us were connected to the internet.

It got ugly, quick.

I punched in the 1-800 number to my ISP to get some vital information that was missing from all the uploading, rebooting and connecting.

For two. and. a. half. hours. I was on the phone with the Philippines (thanks Kent, your English was perfect).

2 ½ hours of her telling me to type in this, and me obediently doing everything she asked.

Go here, ok.

Click enter, done.

Are you connected, no.

Near the end of the 2 ½ hours, she began to realize that it just. wasn’t. working.

We said goodbye, exchanged vital information, and we now are sending each other birthday cards because after all that, we are BFF’s.

Sarcasm internet, it is what gets me through.

Near the tail end of Kent and my conversation, Extrachips mom popped in and I asked the boy to please call the other 1-800 number to FINALLY FIX THE STUPID THING OR IT WAS GOING BACK TO STUFFMART.

5 minutes later, after talking to India, it was fixed. 5 minutes, internet, and I know exactly what my problem was. I wasn’t talking to India. I wasn’t chatting with someone I could barely hear or understand.

So, the next time you call tech support, and you reach someone you can understand, ask to be transfered to India.

Immediately.

July 27

The boy was glad to be home till I said some fateful words to him. Son, Superman isn’t home and the lawn needs mowed.

After that, not so much.

Bless his heart, he mowed. Then for the rest of the day, he rested, and ate, and rested and ate, and fell into bed at 7:30pm.

He brought his sister a bracelet, I received a cell phone holder, and he also brought home some coffee~~Panamanian coffee~~the stuff that they sell to Starbucks. I am not quite sure if it is for him, or for Superman, but my motherly instinct says it isn’t for Superman.

But let me just show you the prize he got for himself.

Yep…yep…yep! Told ya. Very male.

He couldn’t wait to show me this, tell me all the virtues of this knife with brass knuckles and  “knock out knob” on the end.

I asked him when or where would he use it, seeing as how we aren’t violent people.

He had no answer.

Please don’t come to Pothole, Ohio with malicious intent, you will most certainly meet with some resistance in the form of a a blue handled, much polished lethal weapon.

Yes, it is very good to have him home.

July 26

He’s home…he’s home…he’s home.

It was so good to get up this morning and see his car parked in front of the house.   I waited as long as I could (8am) and tip-toed downstairs to his room and just watched him sleep.

I will tell more later….after he tells me, but let me just say…….his souvenirs for himself are very male.