Botany Boot Camp

Lori and I went to a Botany Boot Camp Saturday morning at the LA Arboretum.

It was a six hour class studying the terminology, concepts and structures needed to identify the 7 most common plant families at the Arboretum.

Five and a half hours in class going over the plant structures.  Leaves, stems, flowers, roots and other identifying parts.  We also went over lots of plant families.  My brain could not absorb everything, but it was lots of fun.

We ended up walking for the last two hours and looking at plants and trying to identify them from what we had gone over.  There was just too much information but then again it was called boot camp.

A cool side note was the woman who is in charge of the LA County Master Gardeners was also in the class.  Lori and I both signed up last year and were not chosen to take the training, but she remembered our applications and said they had so many and encouraged us to re-apply.



Sauce on the vine

Did I mention the heat last week?  It was friggen HOT!  Upper 90’s and into the 100’s for days on end.  Today was only 92, and a relief.

The weather did my tomatoes in.  Although I water them and had been eating them this last week turned a lot of them to mush.  It was just too hot outside for them.

I could have tried to pick them all but my there were to many to do anything with except can them.  My canner is at the house in Calimesa and honestly it was just too damn hot to think about canning.

So this one single tomato plant will need to be pulled out.  Guess I’ll start planning the fall garden.  I have carrot, lettuce and spinach seeds on the kitchen counter ready to go!


Goings On

I went looking through my photos to see if there was anything blog worthy.  Most are of my great-niece as I still request daily photos of that little peanut.


IMG_2440There were also some pictures of Air Force One that is housed as the Ronald Regan Presidential Museum.  My niece Taylor and I drove up last Saturday to take in the Titanic exhibit that is currently there.  We spent a couple of hours going through it and then rushed through the Presidential part.  I was interested in seeing more but it was crowded and just seemed more like propaganda than a museum.

Besides baby pictures I have food pictures so I guess I have done some cooking.  I made a peach crostata because the peaches were magnificent.  I also have this picture of chicken wings I made on the same day, trying to use up some panko I had opened and also bake in the convection oven and not heat the house too much because it is in the 90’s.  Saturday before Taylor and I drove up to museum I made biscuits for breakfast as well.

It may be Summer but that doesn’t mean that Lori is not crazy busy getting ready for fall classes.  Her office shows her dedication to the upcoming school year.

What we should both be working on is the yard, but I did mention the 90+ degrees and that coupled with hot flashes has meant that we have gotten started a couple of times, but boy oh boy are we behind.  I am sensing a pattern here.  I keep thinking, If I could just caught up then I could maintain it.  However the last time we had help to get caught up then peak happened, or travel, or finals or a myriad of things that got us way behind again on the weeding.  It is on the list for this upcoming weekend.

Tomato, tomato

That title doesn’t translate well when you are going for pronunciation.

TomAto, Tomauto.   Anyway……..

This morning is a blur, I got home super late, not leaving work until 12:30 and then hitting crazy road crew traffic.  I then had to be up and out of the house to go for a massage.  So even tired, you know I made that appointment.

Really the only thing I did before leaving was make Lori some cream of wheat and then take the watering can that catches the kitchen sink drip out to put on my tomato plant.

Most of the garden is now pulled,  I have this one lonely roma tomato plant and my herbs.  There are a ton of green tomatoes.  I am sure they will all start to ripen at the same time and will be fantastic for pico or sauce.

I chose a roma this year.  I usually do cherry tomatoes because they are so easy to just eat right off the bush.  Romas are my favorite and I think for more than just cooking.

I had been pinching the suckers for a while and was getting a nice shaped plant but it has not officially gotten out of control.

I wonder how fried green romas would be?






A random April day

The loss of project managers at work last fall has made for a very busy ‘peak’ season.  One of the project managers that was in for the season to help, left at the end of March.  It has made for an even busier couple weeks of which I am off work an hour to 90 minutes later every night.

I am finding it difficult to get all the things done I wish to during the day.  Mostly because my eight hours of sleep seems to be between 1am and 9am only leaving me three hours of day.  I didn’t make it to the gym today, instead I ran a few errands and pulled the fall garden.  There were three brussel sprout plants that had come to the end of their season and were taller than me.  The last of the sprouts small and shriveling up.  The plants filled the bin.

It was a beautiful day and I was planning on putting in some spinach seeds today, but with 90 degrees in the next couple days I thought I should wait until it was back in the mid 70’s next week so I don’t have to water the seeds every day.

There was time to roast some carrots that needed to be cooked up and make a salad to take for dinner before jumping in the shower for another long day at the office.  Now as it nears midnight and I type this lame excuse for a blog entry….only with the hopes that things will ease up lately and the blogs will become more plentiful soon.


flowers, lots of them

Our yard is not set up for annuals.  We don’t water anything except the trees and a lot of that is collected from sink drips.

So last weekend when Lori needed to shop for her Monday landscape design class we visited seven different nurseries.  She had several different ‘plans’ she was working with.

By the end of the weekend, we had eight or nine flats and several on our front porch.  Lori had to get them all into her car to get to school on Monday.

It was so fun to look for the annuals and match colors and textures and impressing Lori with my flower knowledge….even if we were buying them for her class.