Fribble's Blend

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Location: Jefferson City, Tennessee, United States

Published by: Hard Shell Word Factory ( and Awe-Struck E-Books (

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

As Good As It Gets

I have been pretty disappointed with our tomatoes this year. With the drought, we've had to toss away the first two dozen or so fruit that have come of our vines -- they've been ravaged with blossom end rot. I've picked a few green tomatoes when they looked like they held promise -- Husband used them for fried green tomatoes. (His secret is some sugar in the egg wash; it caramelizes!)

I've been proud of some lettuce I've been growing. I bought a packet that had five kinds of lettuce seed and sowed it in planters, spacing the plantings about three weeks apart. We've gone through the first planter and are starting on the second. It's nothing like Iceberg, take my word for it.

Well, this morning I went out to the garden to check for more blossom end rot, and I found just one tomato that had to be thrown into the hayfield. Then I looked down at a vine and saw RED! I approached it, expecting it to be more damaged fruit, but what my hand grasped was a solid, red globe that filled my palm with absolutely no flaw.

So I took it to show Husband, hiding it from him at first, making him guess which hand. Darn if he didn't get it right the first time. "Finally!"

"Does this say 'sandwich' to you?" I asked.

"It sure does."

Just before lunchtime, he came begging me to pick some of my lettuce. He said "Please." How could I resist? How could I resist the sandwich, homegrown tomato, tender lettuce, real mayonnaise from a jar, wheat bread.

"This is as good as it gets!" Husband said. I agreed. (The only reservation I have might be Asti Spumanti and chocolate -- but that's not lunch!)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thank you, Lady Bird

Today we travelled east and west on I-40 between Dandridge, TN and Asheville, NC. You know what an up-and-down spring we had. Following the warmer than usual winter,we had early spring, the freezes and finally a drought. The usual flower patches at the interchanges weren't spared the ravages of weather.

There were the occasional Black-Eyed Susans and day-lillies along the roads on previous, but I felt almost despondent at the poor showings on previous trips across I-40. But today as we proceeded east from the Waynesville Interchange (I think it was there -- travel muddles my mind), there was a long sweep of wonderful purple and white flowers, some red and pink, some yellows, and mixed together in drifts and splotches.

I smiled and thought: "Thank you, Lady Bird!" Texas wasn't the only state to profit from her encouragement of wild flowers -- all the states and all the travellers have been blessed by her tireless work.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I woke up to some "news of the weird" this morning -- something I could picture too, too well.

So you heard about the wrecking ball that got free in Northwestern Pennyslvania, took out a part of a college library it wasn't supposed to, then kept rolling down hill, pushing cars into each other and finally ending up in the trunk of a car.

Well, it was Meadville, PA, and the college was Allegheny, although neither report mentioned Meadville -- maybe it's "the town to be named later." But I'm familiar with that hill. My grandmother was a resident of the Methodist Home, further up that hill, for over twenty years.

Town planners in that part of the country ignored hills, built streets and roads up, down over and through just as though they weren't there -- the grid must be square! So a spherical object which began to roll had nothing to stop its progress. If you were playing catch with a softball, for instance, and missed it -- well, your dad better have the car keys handy because it may well land in a creek half a mile away.

My sympathies to Allegheny College. I, of course, went to Edinboro state, a few miles away. We were lucky to have a flat campus -- though we might at times thought a wrecking ball might have made improvements.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Larkspur as Weeds/Ground Cover

We have not had enough rain this summer to avoid carrying water to the gardens. There for a while, we were getting showers, giving us the opportunity to gather water in our rain barrels, but that has slacked off, and to add insult to injury, today the nozzle on my watering can broke. We spent about an hour this afternoon scouring a Doller General, a Family Dollar and a Big Lots for a replacement watering can, but no luck.

In the meantime, there are some plants that don't seem to be too worried. The plants with finely cut leaves, like liratis, cosmos and larkspur don't seem to care as much as the flowers that have broad leaves -- naturtiums, calendulas and others. The grass has been mowed only twice so far this summer. So it was a bit of a surprise to find tiny little larkspur plants poking their heads up out of the lawn. They're a welcome sight, a reminder that I might be drooping from the heat and humidity, but they are carrying on!