Thursday, August 27, 2009

Gardening - Sanding - Reading - Bird Watching : Our Lists

Several projects going on here at home. This is the reason for my lack of posting. There's so much to do and I get so involved in what I'm doing that I forget to bring out the camera to take photos. It's good that I'm staying busy, but I do miss posting here on my blog.

I'm trying to grow some herbs, again. This time I'm researching and watching several How To videos and I'm inspired to see the many great people who make videos on how to do anything. Here are a couple that I found very helpful, and will be visiting often.

  • MonkeySee: Green Gardening
  • GardenGirlTV

  • I'd recently purchased some basil and cilantro at the farmers market and two days ago the basil was looking pretty bad. I hadn't transplanted them into larger pots right away. I quickly read up on how to take care of both of these herbs. Toot and I went to a local nursery and purchased organic soil. Watered very well and left them outside overnight.

The next morning I woke up to find my basil looking alive again.
So glad I didn't kill the poor plant.

What is marvelous about gardening is that Tootie is enjoying the process as well. She helped me transplant the herbs into bigger pots and watered them. It was an enlightening experience for her to get to see the transformation overnight. She's learning so much and every morning I look forward to our next adventures and discoveries.

A list of what I'm working on:

1. Three paintings. One is a landscape and it's almost finished. I will be posting soon.

2. A new compost heap. This time I'm using greens that my father is saving for me from his garden. He doesn't use any chemicals.

3. I'm sanding and painting our backyard benches. Yes, Kermit Green. Isn't it yummy!

4. Worm compost bin.

My Girl's List:
Learning to tell time.
Spelling and writing her name.
Math puzzles.
Creating stories and songs off the top of our heads.
Identifying our backyard wildlife.
Bird watching and paying attention to the different bird calls.
Hula dancing
Made and erupted a volcano out of paper mache.

book cover photos: Google Images (Amazon)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

How to cut a Prickly Pear (Tunas)

As a young girl I grew up eating Tunas in the summertime and now I am passing this delightful tradition to my girl. The ruby red ones are delicious too. My mother was the one who usually cut them for us because they have tiny bristles or thorns (espinas) that can be irritating if you pick one up right where the bristles are. Eventually I learned how to cut them with a little tutelage from my mother. At the beginning there were many espinas to remove from my fingers with eyebrow tweezers. I'm a pro now.

These were washed with the rubber gloves I wear to wash the dishes with.

Cut the ends off. It's easier for me to hold from the ends to avoid the espinas.

Cut across lengthwise. About a quarter of on an inch deep.

It's a blurry shot, but you can see how far to cut-Right where the fruit begins.

Gently pull the skin back. The fruit will stay intact as you continue to pull all the way around.

Pull the pear shaped fruit out and you are done. I put the peels in the compost. Nothing wasted.

They are ready to eat.

I've cut this one in half so you can see that it has small seeds in every bite. Don't try to chew them because they're hard. It's okay, you can eat them whole. Some people are uncomfortable about eating the seeds. I've never had a problem eating them. They are juicy, sweet and very refreshing on a hot day. Enjoy!