Monday, May 31, 2010

What's in bloom in my courtyard

The fragrance of Gardenia is  very welcome. After languishing as a small plant, this took off this year and has exploded.

This lovely is a Brugmansia but I cannot recall which one. It is a mini variety.
The Calla Lily has just started to throw up spikes.
And the dwarf Snapdragons add more color.

My back patio has a profusion of Day lilies... hard to catch them. These seem to like it here as they are multiplied.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Up close and personal

DH and I were checking some stuff out this morning in the front of the house and as we walked outside we saw our resident bobcat catch a rodent. I ran back in for my camera and Ned stood still. Bobcat walked and sat down about 20 feet away in the shade to eat her meal. This was the only shot I could get. She started to walk back toward Ned but was in the sun and I could not focus. When she got about 10 feet from Ned he shooed her away. She did not seem to be a all frightened of us, but she could be rabid. Nice to know she is keeping the rodent population down somewhat. She is the size of a medium sized dog and sort of mangy looking. This was the first time I saw her, although all my neighbors saw her last year. Bobcats are pretty much loners so there are not usually more than one in an area.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Yep, I have been very quiet. I have been hit with some major dental issues (they continue) and my back problems have returned neither which is conducive to my creative juices. :-(. I have a piece that is ready for quilting but I haven't been able to do it. I missed a deadline as a result. Bummer.

On the bright side, I bought an ipad 3G and have been having a blast setting it up and getting to know it. If you can be in love with a piece of tech, then I am. I am really looking forward to taking this with me when I travel instead of having to schlep my laptop. No, this will not take the place of a computer, but if I don't have to do serious work, then the ipad will work just fine. You can create and edit documents and excel files, you can read news from all the major players, you can organize your life up the wazoo, and best for me... you can read books. I will no longer have to carry a bunch of heavy books on my trips. It has a 10 hour battery life which will get me through most flights and a screen I can actually read. I put a passcode lock on it in case I lose it or it gets stolen and I registered it at which is free. Mobileme will allow me to track it (and my iphone) if it goes missing and will allow a complete data wipe if necessary. Of course it also has my favorite games to wile away the time. Most of the apps are free, but I shelled out a few bucks for a couple. I haven't signed up for the 3G part yet as I have managed to find free wifi locally so far. I am not a fan of AT&T and I am hoping someone else gets the next iphone... but if they don't, I might consider giving up my iphone when my contract is up. I get ZERO reception at my house with AT&T. Verizon works here and with my ipad I will not need all the neat stuff on my iphone. I can go back to just having a simple phone.... of course since I am a tech junkie, I am sure Apple will come out with something fantastic with the next generation and I will want it. Sigh.

Now I just need to figure out how I can go back to playing without killing my back. I suspect a trip to the back doctor is going to be in my not too distant future. What he did 2+ years ago worked... maybe time for it again.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Berry Cobbler/Crisp recipe

I got lots of requests for this recipe so I am posting it here. This is NOT my recipe... I got it 3rd hand so I am not sure of it's original provenance. This serves 4-6. I have made this several times and used peaches one time... it was not memorable. You can cut this recipe in half but remember to put it in a deep dish. Baked on, spilled berry juice is not fun to clean up.. and it smokes.... don't ask me how I know that.

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg beaten (if you live at high elevations you may need another 1/2 an egg beaten)

5-6 cups of Berries ( I use Blackberries, Raspberries, and Blueberries. I am allergic to Strawberries)
1/2 -3/4 cup sugar to sweeten fruit to taste
2 tsp flour
1 stick (1/4 lb) butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 370 degrees. Generously butter a baking dish about 8"x8"x2" (deeper is better).
2. Combine 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir to mix the dry ingredients thoroughly. Make a well in the center and add the beaten egg. Stir mixture with a fork until it gets crumbly... the consistency of cornmeal. If the mixture is too dry, add a little more of another beaten egg.
3. Transfer berries into another large mixing bowl. Stir in the remaining sugar and flour together. Sprinkle the mixture over the fruit and carefully toss until it coats the berries thoroughly.
4. Pour the berries into the buttered baking dish and spread evenly.
5. Sprinkle the crumbly flour mixture over the top of the fruit. Drizzle the melted butter evenly over it. Place it in the oven and bake about 40 minutes or until the topping is golden.
6. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream. At room temperature the crust will have absorbed more of the berry juices. CAVEAT... this can be addictive!

On another note... I got my ipad 3G yesterday. This is an awesome toy. I have discovered a free piece of software called Dropbox that allows you to upload any file and see it on all your toys (computer, iphone, ipad, etc)... or even on any other computer as long as you have internet access. This really gives you the freedom of leaving your computer at home but gives you access to files you might need. I have not tried out the 3G part yet but the regular wifi works great. I bought a spiffy red case for it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


For mothers day, my wonderful DD got me a cobbler pan with accessories (like a blackberry candle). DH followed my recipe and made it this evening... My back is not wonderful and I cannot stand that long.  It looks so yummy. I even have lactose free vanilla ice cream to go with it! We just have to wait till it cools down a bit. Yum yum.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Jasmine in my courtyard

The Jasmine is in full bloom in my courtyard and the scent is divine. Some other assorted plants shown here as well.

I know I haven't posted in a while... been down with some health issues... not life threatening but just a pain in the butt. Had to have a tooth extracted last week and this week my back went out. I have not been working on much of anything... just whining.  The weather is perfect for gardening but I cannot do it... rats.

Hoping next week is better. Hope you all have a great weekend.