Nov 15 2010

No Excuses

Published by admin under Uncategorized

I’m back.  I can’t promise to show up here more regularly, since my other blog over at What Life Dishes Out, along with those annoying habits I have of working for a living, feeding my family, and trying to keep my home somewhat livable, have been keeping me real busy lately.  I’m really not making excuses, but I am making a promise to try to do better going forward.    

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Aug 03 2010

Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum, In A Dish…

Published by admin under Uncategorized

…how many pieces do you wish?

We attended an out-of-state Family Reunion this past weekend.   The previous one had been a full five years before.  Although my children hadn’t seen their cousins in all that time, it was as if no time had passed.  Almost immediately, they broke into a game of tag.  But first, they needed to decide who was “It”.  When I heard one of the girls singing this rhyme and counting the hands laid out on the table, I remembered that we used to do this exact same rhyme in my youth.  I hadn’t thought of it since then, but the memories came flooding back.


“Bubble gum, bubble gum, in a dish.  How many pieces do you wish?”


“1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12″

And and hand is removed from the table.

And so it continues.

Until there are only two left.

And finally, one is declared “It”. 

There isn’t even enough time to take a picture before they run off to play the next game.

What rhymes do you remember from your childhood???

4 responses so far

Jul 25 2010

Christmas In July

Published by admin under Daylilies, Gardening, Kids

For a daylily hybridizer, yesterday was a lot like being a kid at Christmas.  There wasn’t much sleeping the night before, and each daylily afficionado participating in the SMDS Daylily show at Bordines was eagerly awaiting the sunrise to see what mother nature would present to them in their garden beds. 

Our long day started the night before, with my husband dead-heading.  Unlike it sounds, this has nothing to do with The Grateful Dead.  What this means is that he removed that day’s spent flowers to make way for the next day’s blooms.  This isn’t something he does every night, but when awards are on the line, you want to make sure that there is literally nothing in the way of a bud opening perfectly!

All those removed blooms don’t just end up on the ground or in the compost bin. Instead, we dump them in a pile as a treat for the deer.

The deer just love daylilies.  That’s why it is such a feat to keep them out of our garden!  

Did you know that daylilies are edible for humans, too?  They actually taste a lot like a sweet lettuce, with a soft buttery texture.   Here are some recipes for daylilies.  I’ll have to feature a recipe for these incredible edible flowers over on my What Life Dishes Out blog soon.

The weather Friday night was pretty iffy.  It looked like rain storms were likely at some point during the night.  To the north, this is what we saw…


…and to the South, this.

But by the time we went to bed, after doing all we could do ahead of time to prepare for the show such as printing address labels for the entry cards (so we didn’t need to fill each out by hand), and packing all the essentials we’d need for the day such as the camera and grooming tools (for the daylilies), the rain still hadn’t come. 

We set the alarm for 3 a.m.  Yes, you read that right.  If the rain had started, he could run out then and cut the scapes and buds for the show before they opened and were ruined by any heavy rain or wind. 

Sure, he could have cut flowers the night before anyway and kept them in water, but that isn’t optimum for the flowers to bloom well and besdies, you can’t know which blooms might open to be blemished.   Mother Nature has her own agenda!

Neither of us slept much.  There was, of course, the worry that a storm would blow in suddenly without warning, and so any sleep was like that of a new parent of a newborn baby.  Besides, I have a hard time sleeping whenever I know an alarm is set.  I really think it’s because I hate the abrupt shock of being awoken by that awful harsh sound.  I keep waking all night to peek at the clock hoping I can turn it off just before it sounds the alarm.

We finally got out of bed at about 6:30 to the sounds of thunder in the not too far distance.   And thus began the task of surveying that morning’s happenings in the garden and selecting the scapes and blooms to bring along for the show.


He hadn’t had breakfast yet, but I assure you…he is not eating that flower!  He just needed an extra hand and I was otherwise engaged taking a photo.   I’m helpful like that.

Right after this shot, I did take the bloom off his hands…er, I mean mouth…and shuttled it into the barn into a waiting and water-filled flower holder-thingy. 

Thus, our dance continued: He’d cut the scapes and buds, hand them off to me, and I’d make the quick walk into the barn and then back to him to receive the next selection.  

I have to say I really enjoyed the working together part of yesterday because that is pretty rare for us.  My husband usually isn’t much of a team player, and pretty much wants me out of his way if he’s doing anything, even in the kitchen.  Whereas I, on the other hand, enjoy company for pretty much anything I do. 

I’m happy to report that we finished up with the cutting just as the first sprinkles started to fall.   But there was no time to rejoice as there was still plenty to do!  Now that he’d selected the beauty contestants, it was time for their primping.

The show was held later in July this year and the early spring caused the blooming season to start a couple weeks sooner.  Because of this, the selection of flowers was more limited.  In fact, there were many plants that were done blooming for the year already.  As to the ones that were still blooming and suitable, many of the scapes showed some brown scarring, rather than the healthy green color of the early season.    

Using a utility knife, he trimmed off any ugly brown areas on the scapes.  Sometimes, it’s necessary to remove a bloom or bud if it interferes with another flower opening properly.  But, you have to make a judgment call since more buds and blooms on a scape are usually better. 

About this time, we woke up the boys and told them to get dressed to come outside to help.  Our youngest immediately took up drinking.

Actually, he is being quite helpful here, bringing Dad a couple wine bottles to place scapes in.  Please don’t mind his unkempt hair.

I was a bit worried how we were going to get all of these entries to the show.  Despite the more limited selection, we seemed to have much more going this year, especially in the off-scape Division. 

But everything fit perfectly. 

And there is a reason everything fit perfectly, but I’ll tell you about that later.

When the car was packed up – and some of those scapes had to be trimmed quite  a bit just to fit into the car – we piled in for the drive down. 

In the car, we laid out the battle plan: My husband would unload the flowers and I’d start prepping the entry cards for each flower with the kid’s help.  We only had an hour to get it all done.

There was time for some last minute grooming…

…before bringing the entries over to the registration table.

This is just one row of the Off-Scape Division entries.  This is the “Edged” section.  Aren’t they pretty?

Here are my boys’ entries in the Youth Section.

In all fairness, I should point out that my two boys were the only entrants in the Youth Section this year.  There may have been other kids in the show who chose to enter their scapes in another Section, as they are allowed to do.  Usually, there are a few competitors in the Youth Section, but one of my boys has taken the Youth Best In Show Award each year for the past 4 years!  Even with them competing only against each other this year, there was still plenty of suspense and healthy rivalry!

After the cutoff time for entries, there is always time to visit with the other hybridizers and oogle all the entries.

But when Judging starts in the On-Scape Division, nobody is allowed in that area!

Here are the judges scrutinizing the entries.  It’s quite a bit like a dog show, but without all the fur, prancing and barking.

In the Off-scape Division, the club-members and the general public do the judging.  It’s no easy task for folks perusing the blooms to decide on their favorite in each section, since there are so many beautiful and unique daylilies.

This toothy yellow beauty was my personal favorite in the seedling category and apparently, I was not the only one who liked it since it took top honors amongst the seedlings!

My boys both took home lots of ribbons in the On-Scape…

…but the winner of the Youth division was………………… drum roll please……………………

My older son finally took the title back from his little brother after his two year run!

Nikki Schmith was judging the On-scape Division this year, so she wasn’t able to enter into that Division where she ordinarily does quite well.   However, she did manage to snag the Daylily Design prize with this both beautiful and interesting arrangement.  I voted for this unique Medusa-like arrangement myself!

My husband also managed to make the Winner’s table for the first time this year!

Last year he cleaned up in the Off-Scape Division, but not this year.   It seems his most hopeful entries didn’t even make it into the show this year.  Why not?  Well, remember when I told you that we surprisingly had plenty of room in the car for the entries?  That was because the box he had set aside for “safekeeping” as we were preparing the other flowers, the one containing his most promising off-scape entries, never made it into the car.   Oops!!!



6 responses so far

Jul 22 2010

Pollinators Anonymous

On my last post, I talked about my husband’s every-morning activity in the garden.

Today, while he was out doing his thing, there were other pollinators in the garden along with him.  Here are a few shots of the company he kept:

I think this next fella was just trying to fit in.

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Jul 18 2010

Shared Affections

Published by admin under Daylilies, Gardening

It’s summertime.  And you know what that means?

It means I have to share my husband.

Every morning, from the time he wakes until right before lunchtime, he is in the their bed.

I really can’t blame him.  Just look at these beauties!

I try to keep up on my appearance.

I exercise.  Sometimes I even put on makeup.

I even get out of my pajamas and dressed most days.

But honestly, who could compete with this?

Shameless Flirts!

My husband isn’t the only one they are attracting, either.

It takes two to three years for one of his crosses to bloom, and that pretty much constitutes a long-term relationship.

But since I know it’s just all about the sex, I’m really okay with it. 

That IS what he is doing out there every morning, y’know.

He’s taking the boy parts…

…and touching them to the girl parts.

Like so…

Is it me, or is it getting warm in here???

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Jul 17 2010

Oh, Deer!

Living out in the country has it’s benefits:

There’s the wildlife we see nearly daily,

Our ability to keep backyard chickens,

the joy of watching my children interact with those chickens,

and even the experience of watching the wildlife interact with the chickens.


We are also able to keep a large garden…

…which supplies us with a daily bounty during the summer,

…and even into the Winter.

We see deer everyday out our windows, and they are so beautiful.

This, however, ain’t so pretty.

And it’s making it really hard for me to continue with this “not eating mammals” thing.

But at least it is easier to find the beans without all that foliage in the way.

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Jul 09 2010

Fresh From The Garden…

Published by admin under Uncategorized

…and I have plans for these guys tonight!  Stay tuned!!

Edit: We had these for dinner last night, made into one of our favorite summer dishes.   I had already been anxiously awaiting the first Zucchini of the season, just so I could make our Zucchini Au Gratin.  Click on over to for the step-by-step recipe!

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Jul 04 2010

Happy Independence Day!

Published by admin under Uncategorized

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Jul 02 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For

Published by admin under Uncategorized

Recently, we started biking.

There have been some mishaps…

…and quick recoverys.

Since we were enjoying this new family activity so well, we decided to get some new bikes.

The boys got new bikes.

And so did we.

When I say “new bikes”, what I really mean is somebody else’s old bikes, but new to us. 

After all, we are frugal.

Tonight, for the first time as a family, we took our new bikes out.

We set off for a trail near our house, and while we couldn’t go terribly far since it was nearing dark, we did plan to get in five miles or so.

About a mile into the ride, I commented to my hubby how easy the ride seemed on the new bike.  

I know he was happy to hear this, because there was some - let’s call it ”contention” – when he bought the bikes.  I was of the mind that the bikes were “too good” for us (read “too expensive”) since we aren’t exactly experienced at this whole biking thing.  In fact, I’m wondering if I am supposed to even refer to this as “biking” at all?  Isn’t biking done on motorcycles?  Should I be calling it “bicycling”?  See???  I told you! I have no idea what I am even doing on a bike or bicycle or whatever you call it.

Anyway, I was riding along on my two-wheel-pedal-power thingy, commenting how easy the ride seemed and complaining that because it was so easy, I wasn’t really getting a work out.   

Which brings us back to the title of this blog post.

We were on our way back, but still a couple miles from home, when this happened:

It wasn’t fixable.

I had a phone, and I suggested I ought to call our neighbor.  But we still would have to get back to the main road from the trail, and from there it was only another mile home.   He was just going to have to walk it. 

I joked that if he would attach the chain to my bike somehow, he could grab the other end and I could pull him home.

My stupid big mouth.

Next thing you know, I’m pedaling while he holds onto the strap of my waist pack, and I’m pulling him along. 

I can’t imagine how that looked to anyone who may have seen us.

So, I did get in my workout today, but gained 180 pounds doing so.

I know what you are thinking, but it never even occured to me – until we got home that is - that it would have been easy for us to switch bikes and him to pull ME home instead.

I have no doubt that he DID think of that much sooner.  He, unlike myself,  knows when to keep his mouth shut.

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Jun 28 2010

Flight Training

Published by admin under Kids

Early this spring, our youngest found some plastic scraps leftover from an old portable greenhouse. 

And with a little help from Dad…

…he knew just what to do.

Up, up and away!

This may not end well.

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