around the house

Summer hasn’t been especially stress-free around this house, but every time I take an amble around, I’m reminded why the place you live matters, and why the effort you put into your surroundings makes a difference.


Hello, Sarge. 🙂


The first heirloom tomato is changing color and YES I checked to make sure it wasn’t the reflection from the newly spray-painted trellis or the orange rag I used to stake it. It’s definitely ripening. That means caprese salad with home grown tomato and basil very soon…and gorgeous creamy buffalo mozzarella. It means bruschetta. With great bread. Yum.

The first one out of the gate is on the JD’s Special C-Tex plant, which you’ll remember my friends at Michigan Heirlooms subbed for me when my second Paul Robeson plant wasn’t available. For the record, here is the progress on the Paul Robesons.


Okay, now, I’m going to go on the record and say that I am viewing these SUPPOSED Paul Robesons with a skeptical eye. They don’t look like Paul Robesons at this point in their maturity, is all I’m sayin’. That quasi-teardrop shape seems more indicative of a Japanese Trifele tomato, no? Which wasn’t even on the seed roster at Michigan Heirlooms, so no idea how that mix up might have occurred. If there was, in fact, a mix up. I am certainly not impugning MH’s reputation or their knowledge of tomatoes and maybe my Paul Robesons will smush out and take on the proper shape. I don’t think I would mind getting a Japanese Trifele by some sort of cosmic accident, since the review I just linked to calls them “a truly transcendent tomato”. God knows I could never pass up a transcendent tomato and I certainly never thought I could be growing one or several in my humble garden.

The Cherokee Purples aren’t even worth showing you at this point. I really view them as a workhorse tomato. They’re growing well but are already cracking in spots. I’m sure this is somehow my fault.

I never thought I could talk this long about tomatoes.

The shade-loving loose plants that I bought at Eastern Market Flower Day are, like last year, absolutely spectacularly beautiful. They thrive in the big containers on my front porch and I have sworn to go back every year to THAT vendor to buy THOSE plants.


And, a new addition this year, my extremely talented parents refurbished my wood duck welcome sign and it has taken a proud place on my brick. They made me a moonlit snow owl sign, as well, because Miss L and I love owls, but it hasn’t been hung yet so no pictures available.

My father carves the birds, woodburns their feather details, and my mother paints them. They have made some unbelievably beautiful pieces together, from small Christmas ornament carvings to full size decoys. I wish I had a website to direct you to in case you want to buy one BUT MY PARENTS DON’T HAVE A WEBSITE EVEN THOUGH THEY COULD BE MAKING GOBS OF MONEY ON THEIR BEAUTIFUL WOODCRAFTS. Yes MOM AND DAD I AM TALKING TO YOU. And not just because you are probably the only ones reading my blog. 😉



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