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right now

Jul 14, 2009

How the U.S. Navy saved my shallots!

You know how some women hang on to their pre-pregnancy clothes even though they will never fit properly again? It's kind of like proof that we were indeed svelte and hip - "back in the day"! Well, this is also true with veterans. We can't seem to get rid of our uniforms and all accoutrement no matter how many times we stumble upon them over the years in the course of spring cleanings. I have been lugging around 2 seabags full of Navy uniforms ever since I got out over 10 years ago! Now it's like proof to my kids that I was somebody before them, lol! (For those of you who don't know, I was an OTA, Ocean Systems Technician - big word for someone who detects, classifies, and tracks foreign submarines). So on to the shallots - I live in VA, where no one has basements, so I am trying to figure out how to store my shallots so they won't rot. After much thought (I don't have pantyhose or old onion bags to reuse) I came across said seabags in the closet. When I opened the first one, there on top was my answer - Ditty Bags! No, that's not dirty bags, but ditty bags! They are intended for laundry or storing things, and even though I have never used them I seem to have copious amounts of them stored in with my uniforms. The perfect solution - they are made of mesh, and you can launder them for reuse! Who would have thought my Navy service would have come in handy for gardening, lol!?

Here's the shallots with the tops cut off ready for storage

...and here's a "Ditty Bag" with a new life storing shallots!

Yesterday's harvest brought a few cukes, Pinot Noir Bell Peppers, Purple Rain Eggplant, Red Popper Sweet Peppers, and a few blackberries the birds didn't get to.

Harvest Dinner: Chicken Kebabs with Grilled Eggplant, Peppers, Black Pearl Tomatoes and potatoes

On to new exciting stuff: I got a new scale, and it is a sexy one at that! Can a scale be sexy, you ask? Well, just look....! It is cordless, and has a temp probe that can be plugged into it! Even gardeners can get giddy over tech-y stuff! This scale is "all that - and a bag of shallots"! So much for gardening to save money...this was one of those "I have to have that" moments!

On a walkthrough of the garden yesterday, I snapped some pics of things growing now. This is the Hokkaido Heirloom Squash and Cucumber Bed. Growing like gangbusters over the past week!
Flowers on the Hokkaido Squash. Notice the inside of flowers are filled with bees doing their busy work!

I left a few of my grape bunches unbagged so I could monitor their ripeness...the first bunch has turned purple! You can see why I bagged the rest...birds!

In other news around the suburban homestead...we took Loch to camp yesterday! How awesome is 4-H in that they have sleepaway camp for kids as young as 5?!! Nervous, you ask? No Way! I can't wait until Finn is old enough to go with Loch next year. I'm not nervous even a little bit...I know how awesome camp is and he was excited to go. He is also my kid that has no separation issues either, he is "Mr. Independent". I just hope he takes some pictures with the camera we sent with him. Finnegan was feeling a bit lonely on his first night without his big brother, so Daddy set up the tent and we went camping in the living room since it was raining outside! We even set it up right next to the lake (aquarium)! Picture is kind of grainy since I snapped it with a kiddie camera.

Here's a few pics from Finn's sleep study at the Children's Hospital the other night. It looks worse than it was, lol! He said he was turned into "Spiderman"! We will get the apnea results later this month. I guess he and Daddy had a good time there watching a movie and feeling like a science experiment!


  1. Awe, poor Fin with all that gear. Must have been hard to sleep in- looks itchy to me!

    Your veggie harvest is to die for,so colorful. I like your scale. I have had one on my 'buy list' for some time now but there always seems to be something I need more.

    So I assume you met hubby on a ship?

  2. Oooooh, Erin has the scale that I lust for. I just keep telling myself my cheapo "Scaleman" is good enough, I do not need to know the fractions of ounces.

    Those purple peppers are gorgeous! As is your entire garden and harvest. I wish the bees would visit here a bit more, I'm seeing a lot of unpollinated squash in my garden. Last year the bees showed up very late in the season.

  3. I'm feeling so scaleishly inadequate right now. I bet yours even weighs more than 2 pounds at a time.

    Those peppers look fantastic! Mine won't seem to ripen at all.

    Poor Fin. He seemed to have such a good attitude, though. What a trooper!

  4. Kelly, I actually met my husband way after I left the service (he is much younger than I, LOL!). It just so happens that in Virginia Beach, about 75% are employed in the military, so chances of meeting a Navy guy are unavoidable! The scale actually wasn't that expensive, but I do have to keep it up high so the kiddos won't mess with it. That's how my plastic analog one got broken. Granny, I wish I could send some bees to pollinate your squash, I have tons all summer, about 15 on every plant, shrub and flower at any given time. It is sad to see the bees disappearing in many parts of the country. Lots of bumbles, but the honeybees are scarce here.

  5. Wow you are a great mother and a life anyone would envy - no wonder you all would fight to defend it - peace

    ps you should have sex with your squash, lol, did that get your attention - no really slip your finger in a male flower then slip it into the female flowers, this works for tomatoes too

  6. Wow. This was a post and a half! Your veggies look fantastic as well as your Harvest Dinner. Wish we could grow eggplants up here. I love 'em but hubby is not crazy about them. He says he'll eat any I can grow but knows it's almost impossible to do!

    Hope whatever is your little guy's problem can get straightened out easily.

    Love pictures of your garden.