Garden Goodies

I am so excited, yesterday I had the first harvesting from my vegetable garden for the season!  Everything is doing really well, there are a ton of little green tomatoes, tiny little cucumbers, the hot peppers are doing very well and I will be able to start picking the cayennes soon.

I decided to take a look yesterday morning, and it looks like the basil is ready to start picking and using and freezing.

And this is what I was able to pick yesterday!

Green and yellow beans (which were delicious steamed by the way) and our first cucumber of the season.  In another week or two we will be inundated with them, and the beans are already getting out of control, and that is only the first planting.  The second is two weeks behind, and starting to sprout lots of little baby beans too!  this year I will be trying to freeze them to see how they turn out.

And we had one lonely little cucumber ready too, I don’t know why it was so far ahead of the others, but I’ll take it, and it was delicious.

My day continued with a nice afternoon pedicure with my sister-in-law.  We had to wait a bit to get in, so we wandered the mall for a bit, but the wait was worth it.  We both got a total pampering foot rub and treatment with fun summer colours.

And check out the cool freehand artwork, but please ignore the flip flop tan lines 😀

A to Z

We had a great Saturday today, after the crazy storms of yesterday.  B has gone for a sleepover with his best friend and cousin, and we had the hubby’s brother, sister in law and nephews over for an impromptu visit and dinner.  they were up at our cottage, and the power was knocked out, and is scheduled to be out for another day or so!
Tomorrow we are going  here just the hubby and I.  It is our 12 year anniversary (!) and we are going for some pampering.

A good friend of mine posted this on her blog, and tagged me, so now I have to do it!  But I also thought it would be a fun foray in to a post other than recipes.  So here goes!

A to Z

A. Attached or single?
Attached, tomorrow is our 12 year wedding anniversary!

 B. Best friend?
I have two, L and D.  They are both very similar people which is funny.  L I have known since grade 9 (which is too many years to count) and D is someone whom I have known for a very long time and was friendly with, but did not become friends until we started to work together.

C. Cake or Pie?
Well, I am not much of a sweets or dessert person, even though I make them, but give me a slice of cherry pie and I will gobble it up.

D. Day of Choice?

This is a hard one.  Since deciding to stay home with the boys, I don’t really worry about the beginning or end of the week.  I would have to say Saturday, that is the day when S is home and I get tow atch him unwind and play with the boys.  There is not usually any hurry to the day and we can do whatever we want whenever we want.

E. Essential item
Oh man, this is a hard one.  I like lots of stuff and like having it, but something I can’t live without?  That is a hard thing to choose just one.  But since I have too, here it is

Yep, chapstick.  I am a chapstick fiend, and I would be in serious withdrawal if I didn’t have any to put on.

F. Favourite Colour?
This is a toss up between green which makes my eyes pop, or a nice mustard yellow.

G. Gummy bears or worms?
Bears, definitely bears.  I have a problem with eating worms, even if they are fake.

H. Hometown?
Well, if we are talking my place of birth, that would be Port Alberni, BC (lived there until grade 3).  After that we lived in or around Barrie, ON.

I. Favourite Indulgence?
Chips, any kind of chips.  I have a severe salty tooth.

J. January or July?
July, definitely July.  I dislike being cold and I dislike the snow.  I know, I live in the snow belt of Ontario, but what can you do?  Give me the heat and humidity over frostbite and snow drifts any day!

K. Kids?
I have two boys, O and B, and 7 angel babies.

L. Life isn’t complete without?
Laughter, understanding and forgiveness.

M. Marriage date?
July 21, 2001

N.  Number of brothers/sisters?
Two brothers, both younger.

O. Oranges or apples?
Depends, if they are Christmas oranges (mandarin or clementine) then oranges, any other time of year apples.

P. Phobias?
Spiders.  Ugh I can barely type it.

Q. Quotes?
Well, this is one of my favourites, and it really strikes a chord with my trying to add to our family after multiple losses.

R. Reasons to smile?
My husband, my family, my boys whose hijinks never fail to make me laugh.  Friends, and a good tv show!

S. Season of choice?
Summer.  While I love the holidays in other seasons (xmas, thanksgiving, easter) I love the heat of summer, and a lot of the festivals we have around here make it a great time of year!

T. Tag five people
I don’t know if this will work or not, but Jess, Shelly, Jenn (I know you orginally tagged me, but, well, I have a small following right now!), Jenn (a different one!), krysten

U. Unknown fact about me?
Ummmmm, I am pretty double jointed, and I am very sarcastic, which is hidden under a good girl image.  I am the queen of one liners and inuendos though, trust!

V. Vegetable?
Hmmm, toss up between brussells sprouts or beans fresh from the garden (dinner tonight!)

W. Worst habit?
Picking my nose?  Ha, totally kidding! I guess it would have to be biting my fingers.  I do not bite my nails, but sometimes I will bite the sides of my nails where the skin is thick.  Weird, I know.

X.  Xray or ultrasound?
Well, I have never had an xray, but I have had many ultrasounds, so I will go with ultrasound.

Y. Your favourite food?
Toss up, tacos

or spaghetti and meatballs

 Z. Zodiac sign?

and now it is your turn!  Do the survey and tag me, and all your friends who blog, get to know them better!

How does your (veggie) garden grow?

One thing I have been waiting for since the end of last summer is fresh garden vegetables.  I have planted a garden every summer for the past eight years.

We always plant right around the May long weekend.  This year we planted it on the Sunday.  I didn’t do carrots or radishes this year to make room for more beans.  Our other staples are cherry tomatoes, roma tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, cucumber, basil, jalapeno peppers and cayenne peppers.

This year I *will* try making salsa.  I have been saying that for the past two years but I really mean it this time!

The roma tomatoes are grown strictly for freezing.  I will do another post on that when it actually comes time to do the tomatoes.  But basically we blanch, de-skin and freeze them in two cup portions.  This equals a large can of tomatoes.  We sub them in any recipe that would normally use canned tomatoes, lasagna, spaghetti, casseroles, etc.  Last fall we did over 100 bags!

I took some pictures of my tiny veggies this morning to share.

Here is the garden itself, fenced in to keep kids, dog, and wild critter (rabbits) out.

My tomatoes are doing really well

There are even some baby tomatoes right now!

The beans are coming out too

As are some tiny cucumbers

And the last one (I promise) the cayennes.  They are not ready until they turn red, but it won’t be too long before I am picking them!

Now see that red roof in the top left corner of the very first picture?  After spending two hours weeding all the gardens, I am taking the boys right over there to go jump in the lake.
Happy Wednesday everyone!

Micro Suede Cleaner Extraordinaire

If anyone has stained up microsuede furniture, take note!
I have come across the best cleaner for it, at a very low cost.  The secret cleaner……Rubbing alcohol.
That’s right, rubbing alcohol, I tried it out today, and it works great.

*Disclaimer* As with any new cleaning product, please test in an inconspicuous area first before attempting this.

The only things you will need are a spray bottle, a bottle of rubbing alcohol (NOT peroxide) a white sponge or rag, and a scrub brush.

I tried this out on my chair.  Please do not judge the state of the cushions, I have two boys who like to use them for fort building, trampolines, soft landings and whatever else their imaginations produce.

This is the before picture

See, gross right?  I found out after the fact as well that you can’t use water to clean stains, it leaves watermarks.  *sigh*  this was filed away for future reference.

So here is what you do.
1. Pour the rubbing alcohol in to the clean spray bottle.
2. Fully saturate the stained area.
3. Scrub with your white rag or sponge.  Put some elbow grease in to it, you aren’t just giving this a light wipe.
4. When it is dry, if it is crispy use your (dry) bristle brush to rub the area and soften it up.

That’s it, all there was to it.  Some stubborn stains will require a couple of treatments before it is all the way gone, but even in one treatment of mine it looks almost brand new again!

And now for the after shot!

I did the whole chair as well as the cushions, unfortunately I forgot to take a before shot of the chair itself, but here is the after.

And the rags that I used that used to be white.

Seriously the dirt that you get off is kind of gross.

I am off to do my couch now.