Tonight, while I was preparing dinner, my husband asked, "When was the last time you posted on your blog?" Hmmm. Good question. I honestly couldn't remember. (It was a week ago, by the way).
It's true, I've been a total slacker when it comes to this blog. Between our summer activities and all of the lawn and garden work we've been doing lately, I've barely had time to cook, let alone write about it.
I did make this fruit kabob skewered pineapple for my nephew's birthday last weekend:
My sister and I just cut up some fruit, "kabob-ed it", and then I stuck the kabobs into a pineapple before serving. This is a great way to serve fruit for a summer party and it makes for a nice decorative display on your serving table as well. Give it a try! It's super easy, but looks impressive. You can even make the kabobs up the night before your gathering.
While, I've been a "slacker" on the blog front, I assure you, I'm not slacking around the house at all. And I have pictures to prove it! Here are some shots of just a few summer projects we've got going.
First of all, WATER FEATURES! Our new house has not one, not two, but THREE fountains (okay, so one is actually a man-made waterfall.) This "selling point" has translated into a good deal of labor. I am proud to say that we finally have all three up and running!
We began working on the largest koi pond first.
I pumped all of the water out. And then it rained. And then I had to pump it out again. And then the pump broke. And then we bought a new pump. And then it rained. Again. And then....well, you get the picture. The bottom line: it was a bit of a nightmare.
I scooped load after load of this smelly stuff out of the bottom. If you've ever cleaned out your gutters, this stuff smelled like that...only worse. It's safe to say that I have never been so filthy in my life and I used to shovel manure and give baths to pigs on our family's farm!
My husband was the water and power guy. After I got the pond cleaned and weeded, he got it up and running and eventually added mulch. You should see it all lit up at night. It's very pretty. While it's still not perfect and I have some planting to do, I'm just happy that it's no longer a mosquito incubator! I should add that it's not actually a KOI pond right now. It's just a pond. I'm still undecided about adding one more thing or rather things that need to be fed and cared for around here.
Yay! It works!
The smaller koi pond actually proved to be a more challenging task for me. It was just a bit overgrown. Just a tiny bit. See?
Talk about weeds! And not just any weeds. Sure, there were your run-of-the-mill thistles, ragweed, voluntary trees, etc. But worst of all there was an infestation of poison ivy concentrated around this pond. I'd estimate that I've ripped and hauled nearly 200 lbs. of poison ivy out of our lawn this summer and 150 lbs of it came from right here! Yikes!
If you're wondering if I'm allergic, the answer is....YES! Apparently, I'm very allergic. This is just one tiny spot. I won't go into the ugly details, but let's just say that I had an infestation of my own. No worries- a shot in my backside, two prescriptions, a bottle of Calamine and 6 weeks later and I'm nearly as right as rain. Nearly.
Despite the medical bill (and ultimately the chemical bill when I realized that I couldn't conquer each and every poison ivy root by hand or shovel), I whipped the area around that little pond right into shape. I'm looking forward to next year when I can really make it pretty!
During this time, my dog ate my phone. My sweet husband replaced it with a new iPhone as a gift for our anniversary. I had no idea how to use this iPhone, but soon I was adding apps left and right, including a calorie counter app. (Hang in there...I'm going somewhere with this). After a day spent working around this pond, I searched "weeding". Did you know that 5 hours of weeding burns approximately 1532 calories?! And there you have it, a silver lining in my oozing, itchy, poison ivy cloud. : )
Oh, and I've also been busy in the garden. You can check out pictures of our garden right after I planted it HERE. I know that we put ours in late (my sister is already harvesting green beans and my bean plants are still tiny), but things are moving along on the produce front in our yard.
My first tomatoes are forming on the plants. While most of them are destined to top burgers or find their way into a jar of my home-canned salsa, I'm dying to whip up my first batch of fried green tomatoes.
And these tender lil' ruffled lettuce leaves are sprouting out of the ground too.
What weeds? I don't see any weeds! Shhh. Those are my grass seedlings. : )
The vine plants are thriving and just getting their first flowers. Awww.
Despite all of the work, I'm loving this. There is a new surprise or lesson to learn awaiting my discovery every time I walk out my back door. And it's not only plants or the on-the-job learning for DIY projects. I'm tempted to start keeping my own backyard taxonomy. To name some of the "critters" we have encountered: spiders, snakes, frogs, toads, squirrels, ducks, songbirds, bunnies, bunny-eating falcons (no joke), mosquitoes, mosquito-eating bats, chipmunks, skunks, raccoons, and the dreaded garden-eating deer herd. I half expect a bear to come lumbering up onto the deck! There is certainly never a dull moment around here!
Speaking of surprises, this lily just bloomed today in front of the garden shed. Gorgeous!
So yeah, with all of these distractions I haven't been a very good food blogger lately. I promise to work on that. But in the meantime, I have TWO giveaways coming up this month! TWO! Stay tuned for the details and I might even try to cook something to share with ya'll in the meantime.
I hope that all of you are having a wonderful summer.