Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Growing Dorman Raspberries in the South

It's late May in the South and that means berries are ripening again. We planted 3 more blueberry shrubs a few months back and they are adding beautifully to the original 5.

Along with the blues, we have planted 4 thornless blackberries and 2 red raspberries. Of the thornless, the Arapaho and the Navajo. The Arapaho is ripening now and the other is still setting flowers as well as ripening berries.

The Dorman raspberry is a variety that really does well here in SE LA and the berries are huge and juicy! It is not the raspberry you find up in the north but stands alone as a sweet red "blackberry".... but better.

The 2 vines we planted last year were quite small and produced a fair number of berries then. After, they concentrated on growing new vines, even throughout most of the winter, and then in the spring these were covered in tiny bud clusters. So I watched and waited and began to fret (what's new, right?) because unlike the blackberries and strawberries which open and reveal the flower and remains open as the berries plump up and ripen, these rascals didn't open. Well, okay, a few did, but I'm talking less than one dozen out of hundreds. They really just got rounder but they stayed closed.... and I fretted.

Then one day last week, just when I could almost not take the strain....... (bah!)..... one bud broke ranks with the others and the berry burst out like popcorn in a skillet and started to fill out. The others followed suit and today they are everywhere!

For what it is worth, I am finding that picking the berries very early in the morning makes for a sweeter berry.

We have planted ornamental gourds as well, and this one is a bird house:

This is one of several varieties out there:
I am excited about decorating the fall with these beauties.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Has This Ever Happened To You?

I made several healthy vegan salads for a party the other night, one included pine nuts. Toasted pine nuts to be specific and this may also be germane to the issue, I don't know.

The next day, I ate a fried egg on toast for breakfast and thought the bread must be bad.

Few hours later I ate a couple of cherries and thought..... strange... cherries are tart and sweet but not these... and they look so good. What is up with that?

Then hours later I ate beans and rice and by this point I knew something was terribly wrong. My daughter looked it up on Google, (where would we be without a search engine?) and found that a metallic taste in one's mouth can be caused by several things.... but the only one on the list that referred to me was Pine Nuts.

Apparently some people experience this phenomenon and not all the time. It comes primarily from nuts processed in China and as I still had the package, I checked. Sure enough.

Now that was Sunday afternoon. The sensation grew worse as the hours passed and what is alarming is this can last up to 3 weeks! Nothing tastes good, including nothing in the mouth at all. Toothpaste? forget it. Wine is the WORST.

As it happens, I have been drinking aloe vera and juice for a few weeks to help alleviate what I think might be the onset of arthritis in two fingers (I think it is helping BTW) and John read on the net that aloe vera and activated charcoal are two things which might help this problem pass more quickly. We found one bottle of charcoal at the Walgreens where, interestingly enough, I also had purchased the aloe, and I am hoping I get some relief..... man alive, this is gross.

I thought, well at least since eating is unpleasant, I'll lose a few pounds. Then I read that not eating usually worsens the sensation. Great. I find myself in a Lose-Lose situation. So much for healthy living.

Such a shame too because that was a yummy salad.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It's Been A Long Time...

.....since I laughed this much. Enjoy!

It's better if you understand Swedish. It's still a hoot if you don't, especially if your first-hand knowledge of Swedes is the antithesis of thisasis.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Cube Project

This is very interesting:

3 x 3 x 3 meters... no oven. There goes the aroma of fresh-baked bread. and no towel rack.... booo what are you thinking, Mike!

However, after the honeymoon period has ended and the novelty wears off, I wonder what happens to the human mind when the body is literally confined to such a small space.

Also.... can two average size people live in harmony together in this space and not be constantly bumping into each other or have to choreograph each other's movements to avoid collision. "''scuse me..." "Pardon me"..."oh dear, excuse me..." At least you'd never hear, "Honey, where are you?"

"Or two friendly people.." It's going to take something more than friendship to manage living in 10 square meters. Like, maybe .... an alibi?

Don't misunderstand..... I think this is a remarkable achievement... and a vastly superior improvement to the formaldehyde Katrina trailers, no comparison really. But they had more space in them......

I'd like to try a week in it to see how it holds up, not just how I would do in one. But a lot of thought and money has gone into this...... it is clearly intended as a long-term abode and not just for emergency or as a lark.

Maybe you need a duplex for a couple.

Friday, May 6, 2011

On The Road Again!

Have you seen this alleged to be truthful story about Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson and Marlon Brando drivig themselves away from New York City after 9-11? Three of the 20th Century's greatest stars.......together...... escaping NYC.

(the is NOT a real photo... c'mon people)

Ok, you have to read the story to get the full story but supposedly Marlon was making them nuts having to stop at every KFC on the way. Of course! I believe that.

They drove to Ohio. Why not Ohio?

Here's how I know it's not true...... they didn't stop for gas at that station where Elvis works.