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Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Harvest June 13, 2017

Summer may be a few days away on the calendar, but it has already arrived with a vengeance here. You only have to open the door to the back porch, which feels like opening an oven door. It is pleasant very early in the day, but by 8:30 this morning, the heat was wilting.  We are harvesting plenty from our small raised bed garden.  We need a bigger picking basket because this one is overflowing and we still left tomatoes on the vine beginning to turn pink. We try to pick them at that stage to get ahead of the birds. We enjoy this rush of producing now because we know for everything except the okra and peppers, the heat will soon stop flowering and fruit setting. Tonight we will have tomato and corn pie.  Gumbo tomorrow. Pickling and freezing will enable us to use most of it, with some to share as well.

Blessed with bounty!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Her Father's Daughter

I often mention things my granddaughters do that remind me of their fathers doing the same thing when they were little boys.  This photo Jeremy sent me of Jordann tackling a bowl of watermelon slices almost as big as she is takes me back to days when our boys would ask if we could "cut this watermelon" as they rolled it across the kitchen floor. As they stood digging with forks into the heart of a watermelon half, juice sparkling on their chins, they had the same happy smile as this one.  Sometimes we took the melons outside on the porch and  enjoyed the cool sweetness that seems part of hot Texas summers. Then they would have a seed spitting contest!

 Going back to the 40's and 50's,  I think of all the watermelons grown by my grandfathers or the farmers on nearby farms.  The vines sprawled out in sandy fields, where melons swelled and grew juicy, and melons were harvested, piled into the beds of pickup trucks and taken to town or roadside to sell.  I grew up thinking the heart of the melon was for us to eat, sprinkled with a little salt.  The rest of the melon and its rind could be thrown acorss the fence for the cows to enjoy.  How different that image is from the dear prices we pay for a single melon today!  

Bon Appetit, Jordann!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Four O'Clock

It is four o'clock in the afternoon on this Thursday, September 5, 2013.   I am not referring to the time of day in the title above but to the sweet old fashioned flower by that name.  I am remembering sticky, hot September afternoons many years ago when my sister and I sat on the swing in our screened front porch and made our own breeze as we pushed off with our feet to swing back and forth.  There was no air conditioning inside the house, so the shaded porch with its green painted wood floor and blue ceiling was as cool as we were going to get unless we ran through the sprinkler. I can hear the creaking of the chains which held the swing, the song of the Katydids in the Chinaberry tree, and see the shrubbery nestled up against the house on Sunset Street.  Sitting on the porch meant being close to the flowers.  Mother's flower beds held huge hydrangea bushes in the back yard, forsythia, Hawthorne, and a few rose bushes with annuals like Bachelor Buttons and Touch Me Nots and Old Maids in between.  But in front, just on the outside of the porch screens, Cape Jasmine and Four O'Clocks thrived. 

 I loved watching for Four O'Clock flowers to open in the evening air, knowing they would close by the next morning. I liked to pick the flowers, careful not to tear them at the base, and stack them in rows, making decorations and necklaces. I can smell their fragrance, light with a hint of vanilla, and feel the cool tissue papery petals.  They came in all colors - magenta, yellow, white, but the coral of the flower in this photo is the one I remember best. When they went to seed, the hard round black nubs were easy to collect and replant.  

I think the seeds of loving to garden were collected and planted while I was stacking the Four O'Clocks.

Friday, July 20, 2012


Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it. ~Russel Baker

We had two weeks of very unusual weather for July - two weeks of rain every day, heavy rain on a number of days and darkly overcast skies with thunderheads even on the dry days!  This was not associated with a tropical storm or hurricane and was so very much in contrast with last summer, one all remember as a brutal drought.  Many areas north and east of the Houston area received more than 14 inches of rain and experienced flooding.  We were thankful for our 6 to 7 inches and most of all, for the drop in temperatures.  This morning, although there is still a chance of some showers this afternoon, the sun is up early and burning brightly. Hot!  As I was clipping blooms from our leggy basil plants and cutting some of its bounty to hang up and dry,  I was thinking how herbs hate to have wet feet and could almost see soggy soil baking.  It is going to be a true to Texas summer day!

There are many reasons on the Texas Gulf Coast to experience the power of summer.  Flooding rains, blistering heat, the challenges of helping animals and plants survive, getting into an oven everytime I need to drive the truck, fire ants, mosquitoes, electric and water bills, sunglasses sliding down my nose along with perspiration - these are among the ways we spend our summertime.

At the same time, we experience the refreshment of cooling showers, sunshine on our shoulders, singing cicadadas, ripening figs and berries , the flourishing of fragrant herbs, air conditioning, iced tea, cold watermelon,  and a healthy dose of Vitamin D!   "summertime, and the living is are jumpin' and the cotton is high!"  Papa doesn't have to be rich, and Mama may not be good lookin', but "hush, little baby, don't you cry!"