Monday, July 30, 2012


It's gonna be a hot one here in Oklahoma!

Before we moved here I'd never heard of the term:
"heat dome".

Apparently we have one parked on top of us!

Man, two bad summers in a row..
Thank heavens for air-conditioning!!

Lucky Dog

Friday, July 27, 2012

Harvest Bonus

Well, it’s late July, and despite triple-digit heat,
our tomato plants are surviving and even thriving. 

They’re still putting out yellow blooms and more tomatoes. 
I’m surprised.

But sure enough, this late in the season I always find
yellow and ugly branches to prune off.  So I do. 

Unfortunately, then I am left with top heavy foliage
and ugly bare vines on the bottom.

I guess the vine sacrifices its lower branches… 
Who knows? 
Maybe the plant can support only so much,
and the unnecessary branches yellow and die.

Anyway, my tomato plants are definitely past their peak.

Amazingly, though, they are still producing. 
I picked 65 tomatoes in the 100° heat today.

And then I noticed the foliage on the top looked wrong.


Then I noticed a few more things to harvest…

Aarrgghh!!!  Tomato hornworms!  They ate my pretty leaves!

I’ve never had tomato hornworms before,
and I wondered how I got them,
since I’m growing these tomatoes in pots
on a concrete driveway. 

In other words, they didn’t just crawl in.

So after pulling the green creatures off,
I came inside to google such things
to find out where in the world they came from.

Apparently at some point,
either on my driveway or before I purchased them,
some crazy moth responsible for these giant caterpillars
must’ve laid eggs on our plants.  Yuk.

And these suckers are fairly huge, too! 
3-4 inches long. 
And very fat and very tenacious.

 And since they’re green, they really blend in,
making them fairly hard to find.

I guess because it’s been so hot,
I hadn’t been a very good tomato mommy.  J 

We’ve just been watering them to keep them alive,
 and not paying much more attention to them than that. 

In and out quickly with the watering can has been my MO lately.

Plus, to tell ya the truth,
I’ve never encountered them before,
so I truly didn’t know to inspect my plants for them.

But if you’re a tomato-grower, let me tell ya…
Look for dark worm poop and giant green worms! 
Oh, and stems devoid of foliage might also be your first clue.  LOL

Hopefully, we found them all. 
I took a photo last week, and the vines looked beautiful then,
so who knows when they started their massive eating binge.

We pulled off a total of 6!!  Out of the blue!

Good grief, why do I itch so much just thinking about all this??
J  J

Good thing the tomatoes are so delicious! 

And I still have plenty of basil,
so you know what we’re having for dinner!!

Tomato Basil Pasta Dish    ß my first hyperlink!! 
Hahaha  I’m SO not-techno!!

Lucky Dog

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Knitting Hint

I discovered a new tip for my knitting!

Actually I can’t remember if I read it or if I made it up myself. 
I probably read it somewhere on the Internet. 
I read a lot on the Internet.

So often I get to reading and clicking to some other site
and reading some more, and by the next day or the next,
I can’t remember where I read about something
and can’t get back there for love or money!!!

Do you do that, too???  J

Anyway, if I ever find out where I read about it
 (if I read about it), I’ll be sure to edit this and credit them!

In the meantime, let me explain my problem and my solution.

You see, other than socks,
most of my knitting projects are kinda long-term. 
Not something done in just a week or two or three. 

Okay, who am I kidding? 
Very long-term.

Especially since I’m not a fast knitter
and don’t want to be one!  J

And ya know, really lengthy projects can kinda test one’s mettle!!

Sometimes I don’t want to pick up my shawl that I’m knitting,
 for example, and work on it because,
well, I guess because there’s no instant gratification. 

It would be just more of the same ol’, same ol’.
And later?  Yup, just more of the same.

Well, that doesn’t help me make any progress, now, does it?  J

But.  What I learned / discovered / read was…

Place a marker when you start on your project next time. 
Just wherever you are right now, place a stitch marker there.

Then, when you knit on this project for awhile,
you can see your progress from the stitch marker. 
Visually, actually see it!

You can eyeball and measure how many inches
you’ve accomplished this evening / week / month. 
And it’s very satisfying!  J

So I tried it on my ruffle-y “potato chip” scarf.

I put a stitch marker where I was and knitted for awhile,
and was very surprised that in one evening,
it had grown by a few inches.

Well, now, that was mighty gratifying, I must say!  J
And now, I’m much more likely to pick up this project
and work on it for awhile.

And someday, I may actually finish it!  What a concept!  J

In fact, I finished it last night!  Yay!!

Gosh, I love knitting!!

Lucky Dog

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Favorite Products -- Earth Balance

What a find!!    ♥ ♥ ♥

In searching for a vegan butter substitute for Mr. Man,
I accidentally found the perfect substitute for real butter!

Seriously, get this stuff home,
put some real butter on a saltine cracker
and put some of this on a saltine cracker,
and see if you can tell which is which!

So many of us could use a replacement
for oh-so-delicious fresh creamery butter*,
but most margarines and healthy spreads are sadly
and sorely lacking in the taste department.

Not this!!

This should so be marketed as a substitute for real butter
instead of as a vegan butter.  LOL 

It’s sweet and lightly salted -- just like the real thing.

It’s my favorite new product,
and I knew you’d want to know about it!!  J  J

Here’s a link to their website. 
They have all sorts of other products, too:


Lucky Dog

J  *10 bonus points if you can name that movie reference!  J

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sweet Poem


"Cleaning and scrubbing

can wait 'til tomorrow
 for babies grow up
    we've learned to our sorrow

 So quiet down cobwebs,
    dust go to sleep
 I'm rocking my baby
    and babies don't keep."

-- Unknown


Friday, July 13, 2012

Mystery Story

[That title is an homage to Mr. Man, who as a youngster, taped faux radio programs with the above title.  You really need to hear him say it.  J !!   I think the full version was:  “And now, mystery fans, it’s time for… Mysssstery Stooooory.”]

So, here’s a little story semi-appropriate for Friday the 13th.  J

I had a little mystery of my own happen in the studio awhile back.
An avalanche of sorts.

What happened was, I have some shoeboxes on top of some drawers. 

And one of the inside columns of 3 shoeboxes had fallen on the floor.  Column, mind you!  And face down, no less!  And all the other columns of shoeboxes were still in position.  (!!)

And nothing else in the room was out of place.

And these are heavy shoeboxes full of art supplies.  And they didn’t even spill much, because they landed on their lids, upside down. 

Now, how does that happen, I ask you??

I know we’ve had more than our share of earthquakes in Oklahoma lately, but not that day.

And no, our little furry pets were not to blame.  The studio is above the garage, in a bonus room all by itself.

Very, very strange.  I just can’t explain it.

But actually…

It’s not quite as strange as the mystery that happened at our previous house up here.

One day, some workmen rang the front doorbell to do something or other that we had hired them to do.  But as I was opening the front door, I heard an absolutely humongous crash of breaking glass behind me, back in the back part of the house.

I dealt with the men, sent them on their way, and as I closed the door I thought, “Oh my, now I have to go clean up all that broken glass.”

I went back to the kitchen and den area, wondering what in the world I would find, and I found…  nothing.

Nothing, I tell you!

No broken glass, nothing out of place.  Nada, zip, zilch.  And I never found anything out of place, even when we moved.  I have never been able to explain that huge shattering noise that I heard.

Weird, weird, weird.

At least this time I found fallen items.  J !!

And I didn’t dare pick up the shoeboxes until I could show Mr. Man, and see if he could make up something rational that could explain it.  (He couldn’t.)  Then I got the camera to document the event.  (Yes, I’m a documenter.)

Anyway, most of my mysteries are the paperback kind:  the Cat Who series, the Cookie Lady mysteries, knitting and needlecraft mysteries…

Falling shoeboxes??  Headfirst??  That’s a new one.

Lucky Dog  ♥

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Design

My latest painting.

PanPastels on black paper.

♥ ♥ 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Quote re Inspiration

"The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration.  Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.

If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to do an awful lot of work.  All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.

Things occur to you.  If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens.  But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction.

Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive.  You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case." 

--Chuck Close

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Recipe--Restaurant-Style Salsa

I had been seeing this recipe on Pinterest for awhile,
and finally decided to try it out.

(BTW, I back-traced it to Pioneer Woman’s website.)

Oh my!  It’s so easy and so good.  
And it makes Mr. Man so happy!  J J

Here’s the way I do it:

1 can diced tomatoes
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1/2 onion, chopped
1/3 bunch cilantro or so
1 T. minced garlic-in-a-jar
1 t. cumin
1 t. sugar
the juice of ½ fresh lime
S&P to taste

Place in food processor.  
Pulse about 10-12 times, or until desired consistency.

That’s IT!!

Oh, and be sure to grab some Scoops while you’re at the store, 
‘cause you’re gonna want some!  J

But if you’re going light, you can eat this salsa with celery sticks.  
It’s that good! 

Oh, I gave Mr. Man a taste of that, 
and I wish you could’ve seen his face!!  LOL

I forgot that he doesn’t like celery unless it’s hidden in a dish.  
Oops!  J

Anyway, starting with canned tomatoes is just the ticket!  
Easy and yummy! 
Perfect for tomorrow’s BBQ!

Happy 4th!!

Lucky Dog

p.s.  I forgot to add:  if you like yours with some heat,
add some chopped jalepe
ños or serrano peppers to taste.
(Or you could use only Rotel tomatoes.)