Anticipatory Gardening

There's a lot to tell you today...turns out window-washing days pack a lot of activity. The kitties had another bad day with a Man here invading their space. Kitties are purrivate people, and they do not take kindly to strange Mans invading their space. They spent most of the day skulking around and peering around corners. It was pawsitively furrightful. (Sometimes I lapse into Catonese, even when I don't have kitty pictures to show.)

So I finished off the 6th of the Sundresses.

And then I got right to work tracing out the next block for the Heart & Home quilt. This is Block 7 of 9, called "Welcome Family & Friends." Since it's always hard to see the traced lines on these, I took this picture as I had it laid out on my light box. I'll get started stitching this today.

By that time, the window washer guy was hard at work, and so I headed into the sewing room to stay out of his way. My first task was to make the black and white blocks for the Rainbow Jubilee quilt. There are 16 of these.

Yes, as a matter of fact, there is a cat on that top one. After that, I trimmed them to size, and cut them in half...half go one way, half the other.

And then, I sewed them to the sides of the colored blocks, square-in-a-square style.

And with those two colors finished, I'm caught up on the Rainbow Scrap challenge. In July, I'll only need to make the blocks for one color. Here are the blocks I've made so far, all laid out. This is such a fun design. Each new color propels me forward to make the next one.

I've posted this before, but in case you missed it, the pattern is the Jubilee Lap Quilt and can be found in this book. It's a good book with lots of good projects.

That took me well into the afternoon, and so it was time to get outside, fill the bird feeders, and water the pots. Along the way, I took some pictures. The garden is sort of between stages right now. The blooming things I showed you previously have faded, and new things are on the way. Still, these volunteer snapdragons are putting on a show, as they will throughout the season.

We have some ripening strawberries...the squirrels will enjoy these.

Also, this little rose is blooming. We rarely see blooms on this because the deer always eat them while they're still tight in their buds. And they've been eating it this season too. Fortunately, it's gotten large enough now that the deer confine their eating to only one side of the plant, and we still get some flowers on the other side. Such a good deal for us and the deer. It's a very fragrant rose.

You might notice that it's also being devoured by aphids right now. Because we so rarely see flowers on it, it gets neglected. I'll have to pick up some spray for it while I'm out today.

The lavender is blooming now. Today I'll collect some blossoms to make a lavender infusion for lavender blossom jelly...and you know we loves us some Bees Knees garnished with a little lavender blossom.

Also, the mint is lush and green right now. I'm planning to make some mint jelly from this, but I'll wait a little longer, simply because this will be around all season, and the lavender blossoms will fade soon enough.

The sage is blooming. Somehow sage blossom jelly doesn't sound that good to me, but these little flowers are edible. Some members of our CSA group enjoy putting them in salads, and they look pretty too.

I noticed one of the sunflowers has a bud. It will be weeks before this is ready to open, but it's good to see the beginnings of a flower.

Also, the first flowers are appearing on the echinacea now. Of the six plants, only five came back this year. When I see what colors I have, I'll know who's missing and plant some more in that color.

The daylilies are just days away from opening, and there are lots of flowers this year.

We're still waiting on the star lily. The bud keeps growing larger, but so far, no petals are showing.

The first flowers have appeared on the zucchini. It can't bloom soon enough because I'm on my last jar of zucchini relish.

The cherry trees are covered with cherries, and they're starting to ripen. Do you suppose we might get some this year? Doubtful, but one can always hope.

And the plum tree is positively loaded with fruit this year. I'm a little sad when I see the plums because we lost our neighbor Betty while we were traveling. She always made plum jelly from our plums. Maybe I can get her husband to give me her recipe...or else I can find one of my own. Anyway...I can only think the plums are bursting forth in her memory.

The little tomato plant that got eaten earlier in the season is making a comeback, and now it has flowers. Looks like it will survive having been eaten down to a bloody stump.

The hanging tomato plant I got at the farmer's market is covered in blossoms now, and it's doing very well.

Sorry about the blur in these pictures. I was doing pretty well up until now. Anyway...it has a lot of cherry tomatoes on it, and they keep getting larger and larger. The largest is about the size of a ping pong ball now. If it doesn't ripen soon, it will have moved beyond "cherry" tomato into "slicer" size.

Okay, now here's where the fun started. I started making dinner, and what a fiasco that turned into! I had two dishes going at very high temperatures. Unfortunately, they produced a lot of smoke, and the smoke alarms went off. And, let me tell you, those things are absolutely ear-splitting. It was bad enough, but then we couldn't get the darned things shut off. And since our alarms are hooked up to a central service, the phones started ringing too. They wanted to tell us our smoke alarms were going off...as if we didn't know. Actually, they just always want to know if they should call the fire department. NO! I'M JUST COOKING!!! Finally, we got the darned things shut off and cleared the rooms of smoke as much as was possible. Geez.

So what was I cooking? Well, this CSA broccoli for one thing. I use this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, which is kind of a different way to roast broccoli. Once you've made the rub, it will last you for quite a while, and you have yourself an easy side dish.

For our main course...another smoker...these Sticky Asian Chicken Wings. These are so good, and they're on our diet. The accompanying sauce is super good.

After our smoke alarm debacle, Mike and I decided it would be better to use boneless, skinless thighs and do them on the barbecue. I'd like to try this again using the large chicken pieces with the same sauce. I could toss the thighs in the sesame oil, make the sauce, and then he can brush the sauce on as he barbecues. Now I'm itching to try this again, sans ear-splitting noise and choking smoke.

So...there you go...all in a day's work here at the Three Cats Ranch. And I can see clearly now because I have clean windows. Yahoo!

Today I'm hoping to get a start on Todd's Pawtrait. This is my June OMG project, and it's time to get going.

Once I get started on these they go pretty fast. I've pulled some appropriate fabrics from my stash, but that's as far as it goes. There are some kitchen things to do today too, and so there's not a minute to waste.

20 comments from clever and witty friends:

Barbara said...

Where flowers bloom so does hope. ~ Lady Bird Johnson

Dorothy Finley said...

Bet the kitties were no where to be found when the smoke alarm went off--mine are terrified of it.


Oh for your aphids on the roses--all you need is a spray bottle, water and a couple drops of Dawn dish detergent--works wonders and no chemicals--( that is for most people--I can't use Dawn as it makes me cough and feel light headed--but that's me--react to everything, di!!!)
love the dress you did a nice job on it --and like me you are ready for the next project of embroidery!! your blocks on the string quilt are coming along nicely too--and wow what a garden--of veggies, fruits and flowers--
enjoy it all--di

Charlotte M. said...

Your garden is looking lovely. My MIL had a cherry tree that the birds always go to before us. I remember one year we actually got some and we ate so many it made us sick. There's a lesson in there somewhere. Love the looks of the plums. You are such a good stitcher. I love the dress.

Quilting Babcia said...

Looks like you will have a very fruitful harvest this year! We have cherries on our little tree this year for the first time. Since the tree is dwarf and we have tree fencing around it to keep the deer away, I'm hoping it will also deter the birds from sneaking in and devouring everything!

WoolenSails said...

Those are beautiful stitcheries and your Jubilee quilt is coming out beautifully.
Love all your gardens, I tried growing lavender and it died.


crazy quilter said...

Oh all the blooming things you have going on! I would love to grow some lavender I had some years ago and can't get enough of that sweet smell. The Todd is such a looker, I can't wait to see him all in fabric. Sorry about the smoke alarms seems like when this thing set off they have some time limit or something to make sure you are deaf before they stop ! Don't ask me how I know.. Keep on sewing! Love all your blocks for the scrap challenge.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

As always, love all your blooming things. You're very enriched with fruit this year. The birds always get our cherries, but the tree has gotten so huge it would be difficult to pick them anyway. The chippers are still digging my potatoes up - not eating them, just everyday I check and there all the seed potatoes are on top of a rather scavenged lot of dirt.

Denise :) said...

It's fun to see your garden come to life, isn't it? I didn't realize sage bloomed ... mine never gets that far! I pinch the blooms off the basil, so it will continue to grow leaves. Your lavender is really lovely and I bet it smells heavenly!! :)

Brown Family said...

It is nice to get caught up on Rainbow Jubilee Quilt. I have picked half a dozen cherry tomatoes and they are wonderful!

Linda said...

Lol on "Catonese"! :D My kitties do the same thing when strangers come.
Our smoke alarm goes off sometimes if I open the oven door while broiling - good grief!
Loved your entire post.

kc said...

I LOOOOVES me a recipe that measures in glugs! Thanks for that - we will definitely put these two on our list of (healthy) good things to eat!! :) Cancels out the blueberry slabs?

Garden looks promising! Beautiful lavender. Did you ever get around to the chive blossom vinegar this year? I must have missed it if you did..maybe 'cuz I was out gallivanting where the internet doesn't go.

Hugs and pets!! (That dress is still simply stunning. I wonder what is it that has me so captivated? Maybe the silhouette or neckline? Both are my faves...)

Dots said...

Isn't Todd a pretty cat! I will be reading about this project with great interest. I can't wait to see how you do this. Looks great. I love cats, too. Your projects are always good ones. Fun!

Kate said...

I hate the smoke alarms when they go off when they aren't needed. Dinner still turned out though, it looks very yummy.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

It looks like you have an amazing garden! Thanks for sharing it with us! I really like your black and rainbow string quilt, too - such a fun idea!

Frédérique said...

Great garden ;) I love your quilt, very impressive with black blocks!

Quilter Kathy said...

I love your RSC project... it's so vibrant and happy!

piecefulwendy said...

So many lovely growing things going on in your gardens! Hope the kitties have calmed now that the window man has done his work! So sorry to hear of the passing of your neighbor Betty. Hope you can get her recipe and use the plums. Good neighbors are precious. Those chicken wings look yummy! I'm sure the kitties weren't too fond of the smoke alarms either. Haha.

Karen's Korner said...

So many lovely projects happening at your place. Pretty garden.

quiltzyx said...

Boy is your RSC quilt coming along nicely! How big are the blocks? Looks like it will be a nice sized quilt.

Thanks for the garden tour. I thought about dragging my hose out and actually watering the Tortured Flower Garden, but then, why ruin my non-watering streak now?