Friday, August 28, 2009

We took a picnic out last weekend and we packed:
  • baguettes
  • French-style potato salad
  • cold whole lobster with:
  • marie-rose sauce and freshly made tomato and basil mayonnaise
  • imported cheese
  • marinated tomatoes, olives, and cornichons
  • summer fruit salad
Partner packed it for us, but he got distracted by the thermos (its seal malfunctioned) so he neglected to bring something to open the lobster with. However, we managed to get into it using our butter knives, forks, and some patience, and it was lovely. I haven't had lobster in years. I'm very sorry to say that although we did bring the camera, we didn't actually take any pictures. Most of the day was spent lounging on the picnic blanket, though we did a bit of walking too.

The fruits of my labor in the garden this past week include some very nice carrots: just a little too big to be considered baby, I think.
A few tomatoes finally. As they were given to us free, we didn't have any clue what kind they'd be, but it turns out they're romas. I had one grilled last night with my dinner and it was delicious.

And finally, my beautiful broccoli is all in this condition. Let's play count the caterpillars. Those little black streaks are indeed larvae; the photo can be enlarged by clicking.
It was the strangest thing, but a few weeks ago Partner discovered a hornet eating a butterfly. It actually was munching it up, all the way from the abdomen to the head, and once it got to the wings it just bit them off and dropped them. And we have seen both a lot of these hornets and butterflies (the cabbage white ones, whose caterpillars are demolishing my broccoli), so I'm wondering. If the hornets like to eat butterflies, why aren't they gobbling up the caterpillars? I mean, caterpillars have got to be a lot more meat per weight, and no crunchy legs or antenna or pesky wings to get in the way.

And then this afternoon I witnessed two different hornets on the same rosebush simultaneously chomping on conspicuously holey rosebuds. I was unclear as to why, when I saw one acting distinctly entomophagous (it's a new word I learned today; it means insect-eating), that any should be eating my flowers.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Of mice and rejected kisses

My laptop has gone to the shop to get a USB port fixed. I may be out of a computer for up to ten days, though I sincerely hope not. I'm using our upstairs desktop, and the keyboard and mouse are so big! My laptop is a tiny thing, a netbook really, with no internal disk drive and about a 10"x6" screen. I'm used to typing on its little keyboard and have a much smaller mouse which is the size of an actual mouse.

Speaking of actual mice...yeah we've got them. Again. Two days in a row I've found a mouse in the trap. I don't know what they see in our place: there's all sorts of nummy mousie munchies outside, especially in summer. We think they must get fed next door (our houses are joined).

This is a self portrait on my lawn under the clothes line. My dog got interested, though she's normally camera-shy. That's me making a yucky face because she wants to kiss me.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I (and to some extent Partner) spent the weekend pretending to camp in the back yard. We didn't pitch a tent, as we don't actually own one at the moment, so the house had to suffice as our tent. I spent nearly the whole weekend--other than sleeping and bathroom breaks--out in the backyard, and did not watch any tv or play on the computer. We had a campfire on Saturday night and went for a hike on Sunday morning. On our hike we picked a few blackberries. I told Partner I was going to camp until it rained; I hoped it would last into the week, but unfortunately it rained overnight and is still a bit drizzly. So my camping trip is over and I'm a bit disappointed. Still, I had fun while it lasted. I even got a little sunburned.

Partner did not spend as much time outside as I did, as he claimed it was too hot. I set up camp chairs and a blanket on the grass in the shade for both sitting and lounging, so I think he was actually making excuses to come inside and play on the computer/watch tv. However, I cannot substantiate this suspicion of mine; he may actually have been busily doing housework or reading fine literature. He certainly cooked an excellent lasagna for dinner on the campfire (I used camping euphemisms for our tent's commodities: campfire=oven, sleeping bag=bed, hole out back=bathroom, etc), and he even washed all the clothing in the river and hung it to dry on a convenient tree. Mostly I lounged.