Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Morning Frost Art

      Merry Christmas morning to all.  It has gotten cold again, so when I went to check on the cold frames, I was greeted with a present left from the Elves last night.

Christmas morning Elf Art,  December 25th, 2013

      This is the uncropped version to see what the whole glass looks like.  The crystals are on the inside of the glass, and will melt off as soon as the sun warms the glass.  So enjoy for the moment.

Flipped exposure
Second glass in partial shadow
      And a Happy New Year to All.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Third Annual Stocking Night

      We have not hosted Christmas morning at our house since the grand children started to arrive for the fun.  Much easier to move Gramma and Pop Pop on Christmas morn rather than the little ones.  They have their morning at home, then extended family meet at Barb's house for the Christmas Feast.  And even though no one would come here for Christmas, Gramma would still decorate inside and out.  We still had stockings some years, though they might be empty.
      Two years ago I suggested to Cindy that we have the girls and families here for dinner shortly before Christmas so everyone could see the tree and decorations.  And the best part is that I would be able to go to the dollar store to buy gobs and gobs of stuff to pack the stockings.  To my utter surprise, the idea was warmly embraced, and a tradition born.  The first year we had Gramma's delicious beef stew.  The second year Gramma's delicious beef stew was even requested by the wee ones, and yes, Gramma's now Delicious Beef Stew is on the menu for tomorrow.  Even though the forecast is for a high of 73 degrees.  Don't mess with a good thing.

Stocking Night Eve, December 21,  2013

      Now we are ready for the crew to arrive late this afternoon.  Ah; kids, noise, waste paper thrown everywhere.  What more could one ask for?  Well, maybe the Redskins and the Eagles to both win today. Come on Santa, fill Pop Pop's stockings with those goodies.

Ready and waiting, well mostly ready

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Garlic, and Next Year More Garlic

Two heads of Garlic,  November 16th, 2012
      Last year a neighbor gave me two heads of named garlic, a first for me.  The head on the left was Red Russian, and the head on the right was Music.

      The Red Russian divided into eleven cloves, nearly 50% more than the seven cloves I got from the Music bulb.  The cloves were planted on November 16th of last year.  The bulbs were harvested in July of this year, with one bulb of Music lost to the wet early summer.  Many of the Red Russian bulbs felt a little spongy, also because of the wet soil.  The bulbs were dried for a couple of weeks on a rack in the porch, then bagged and forgotten in the garage.

      Hoping it is not too late to plant garlic, I rescued the bulbs from their stay in the garage.  The Music bulbs felt pretty firm, and split up nicely into 37 cloves that would be planted.

      These are the biggest, plumpest cloves of garlic I have ever seen!  Look at that one monster to the left of my thumb.  And from the taste test back in July, quite tasty too.

      The Music cloves were planted at the east end of bed number two in the back yard garden.  The more numerous but smaller cloves of Red Russian were planted in a group near the middle of bed number two.  Two of the Red Russian bulbs had dried to essentially dust, and many of the small cloves were just discarded.  Music certainly won the first year competition, though Red Russian may just have disliked the wet spring and early summer.  Next year could be completely different.

      The cloves were pushed down into the soil in three shallow trenches, then lightly covered.  From just one head each last year, I should have a monster haul next year.  And then..... the numbers get mind boggling.