Monday, June 29, 2009

Gardens, Hillbillies and Cellos

What do gardens, hillbillies and cellos have in common, you ask?  Well, nothing I guess except that these three subjects have been highlights at the Lodi's lately! I've wanted to write about all three so why not put them all in one post!

First, let's talk about my garden.  This is where I spend some of my time (hopefully not too much) these days since it's hot and I'm trying to keep things going.  Many diseases and bugs have attacked my precious plants but I'm staying faithful to growing our food organically.

This is what it looked like a few months ago.  Now the tomatoes in front are taller than me and the squash in back has climbed up and over our 8 foot fence!  The peas on the side are finished so they aren't there anymore but I've planted cucumbers in there place.  I went ahead and ripped out my bell peppers plants because either the aphids were doing them in or they just weren't producing.  Plus, as you can see, it's a little crowded.  I've got an eggplant plant and some basil in there too.

Ahhh, I've got tomatoes!  Many years of no success with tomatoes or very little hasn't squelched my gardening addiction.  Past years I've been discouraged at the end of the season and vowed I would not get so involved again.  But then spring rolls around and I get the fever to try again.

This has been my most successful year but not without it's challenges.  I will not take any credit for this windowsill full of tomatoes.  They are truly a gift from the Lord.  I planted 3 kinds of tomatoes this year.  Of course, cherry tomatoes because I know they are easiest for me to grow, Roma tomatoes, and then the famous vine ripe tomatoes.  

Ok, for those who don't know what these are, you need to be educated about the best squash around.  This is spaghetti squash and we absolutely love it.  In the store they sell for $1.59 per pound!  If you buy a 3-4 pound squash, you'll pay $5 or $6 per squash!  Ok, one squash will not feed my whole family so then I need two!  So . . . I've always wanted to grow them.  Well, here you go, a whole basket full and I've still got 5 or so ripening on the vine.

When you bake a spaghetti squash, it comes out stringy just like spaghetti.  If you don't over cook it, it will taste just perfect and you can even top it with sauce and whala!  You've got carb free spaghetti!  

Well, I hope this looks good to you because it sure tasted great.  I used my tomatoes to make a summer tomato sauce with fresh basil also from the garden and then cooked up some chicken sausage to go on the side.  Throw in a salad (too bad my lettuce didn't make it this year) and top it with parmesan and it was fabulous!  What rewards for my labor.

Ok, on to the next topic around here.  This is Hillbilly Reece!  

He finally lost his front tooth.  The other one is just sitting there as big as life!  It's a little loose but not enough to pull it yet.  His smile is pretty interesting looking. When we tease him, he just winks and smiles big.  

On to cellos!  Olivia has been wanting a cello for a few months now.  A couple of the youth at church play them and she thinks they are pretty cool sounding.  Olivia, AJ and Julia put all their money together to buy one.  Why Aj and Julia?  Well, the deal was a cello and a violin.  Olivia already has a violin and AJ and Julia have been wanting to learn too so they got their violin in the deal.

Olivia is very excited about her new toy.  She is teaching herself how to play right now.  In some ways it's very similar to the violin and yet it is also very different.  She has picked out a few songs on it.  It has a very deep, beautiful sound.  She wanted me to blog about it so that some of her friends who read this could see it.  So there you go.  

Maybe some day I'll post a video of her playing it!


Bridges family said...

Wow I am really impressed with your beautiful produce!! You and Mom will have to compare notes this Sunday on tomato growing, since we are having some unhappy times with our tomatoes right now! :( I would love to try a spaghetti squash sometime!

Please tell Olivia that I think her cello is beautiful! I am excited to see it in person this Sunday! :) I will write out a list of some different things I can show her at church to give her a "kickstart" to teaching herself! :)

See y'all soon!

scharmen said...

And I can vouch for that spaghetti squash. Good food. It's so cool seeing all these blog pictures and reading the recaps now that I've been there in person. Helps to give everything some personality and perspective. :)