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Monday Musings: 07.02.2012 Edition July 2, 2012

Posted by Toy Lady in Big Lug, Garden, meal plan monday, Musings.


Can you believe it’s JULY already?  I mean, where has the year gone?

I’m not going to lie – early summer is probably my favorite time of the year.  The snow is a distant memory, and it’s too far until next fall to worry about it yet.   The garden is well-established, and there’s the anticipation of my favorite veggies – soon, my pretties!  And, of course, what I’m not growing, someone else is – the public market is awash with gorgeous, fresh produce!  Lettuce, spinach, beets, broccoli, potatoes, and even mustard greens!


And it’s time for the obligatory garden update – I’ve got itty bitty baby green beans!

I hope to be picking beans by the end of the week, though I can’t seem to remember for sure exactly how long it takes from bean, um, infant to fully mature, pickable bean.  Not long, though – I do know that!


I love my little raised beds, both for the vegetable garden and for the herb garden – I think they set off the garden space, and they help keep the weeds out – some of them, anyway.

However, when we fenced in the back yard last year, we had the fence run right alongside the garden – I wanted to be sure there was enough room outside the fence for a lawnmower, a flower bed, whatever.

Unfortunately, short of constantly pulling the grass out by hand, there’s just no way to keep it down in that little 4-inch strip between the garden and the fence.

Until I happened upon a sale on “landscape stones.”


And the herb garden – well, I think that was poor planning on my part.  There’s just not enough room between the house and the garden OR the deck and the garden for a lawnmower – which means Peeps has to carefully weed-whack in there, and that’s no fun!

I went looking for some mulch to cover the ground in that little corner – I’m out there barefoot too often to want gravel – and we found the coolest thing red mulch made out of recycled tires!   It should last indefinitely (which evidently the biggest problem with old tires in the first place -they just can’t get rid of them!) – though I have no idea where they found red tires!


Remember last week, we had that Linguine Frittata  from Health magazine?

And you know how the Boy works evenings now, so he misses dinner five nights out of seven?

Well, I got up the next morning to find a note on the chalkboard in the kitchen – I don’t know if you can read it, but it says “frittata = Really good.”

It was, in fact, really good, and I highly recommend it, but I really didn’t expect that reaction to scrambled eggs, collard greens and pasta!



I had Peeps take a picture of this because I just had to show you just what a big old baby the Jar really is!

Usually, he waits until I’ve settled down to knit or watch TV or whatever – until he’s certain I’m not going to get up – and then he’ll come over and lie down on the floor next to the couch.


And sometimes, I’ll sit on the floor, and he’ll come over and lie down next to me.


But every once in a while, I’ll sit down on the floor, and he’ll come over and SIT ON MY LAP!

All 110 pounds of him!

Can anyone say “mama’s boy?”



Oh, the mad crazy lavender from last week!

I picked it all – some of it was almost past its prime, and I didn’t want to be screwing around with it too much, so it all went.

I picked it and stemmed it, and ended up with about 2 cups of cleaned blossoms.

I took a good handful and added it to some tea I was brewing for iced tea – it was just enough to add a hint of floral flavor – very nice, and I am definitely doing that again!

The rest, I steeped in some simple syrup, to be used for various things – I did make myself a glass of lavender soda (kind of like we did with the ginger ale, only with lavender syrup), and it was very good.  I’m probably going to use it in some ice cream or sorbet – I’m sure I’ll be able to take advantage of at least a couple of the great suggestions I got last week!



Oh, speaking of that idiot dog – he is going to be the death of me yet!

I took him to the beach Saturday, and we had a ball – he walked, he swam, he sniffed, we met a couple of new dogs, fun was had by all.

But when he’s ready to go home, he’s ready to go home Right Now!   He kind of shifts into low gear, and he heads for the car.  He doesn’t really pull or drag me, but he’s very. . . single-minded about it!

We got to the parking lot, and he was walking on one side of a low fence, while I was on the other, grassy side in my bare feet.  Keep in mind that we were walking along at a fairly good clip, watching for the car, when WHACK! he ran my arm right into a sign-post!

It looks worse than it feels – but it’s a nice reminder for me to watch where I’m going, isn’t it?



And once again, it’s time for the weekly menu plan.  Peeps is on vacation this week (the Ravioli Shop is always closed the week of Independence Day), and, since the holiday falls on Wednesday, I’m taking Thursday and Friday off, as well.


The weather is looking stunningly summer-like (after all, it’s JULY!) – we’re looking forward to doing some grilling this week!

Monday – We were in Sam’s Club last weekend, and we could not resist picking up a package of  wild Alaskan sockeye salmon – if it’s good, we’ll probably pick up more.  We’ll do the fish with some compound butter (butter blended with some lovely, lovely fresh herbs) broccoli and brown rice.  How much healthier can we get?  (Well, except the butter, but hey, that’s dairy!)

Tuesday – Now that the herb garden is in full swing (boy is it!) we’re going to do an old favorite – pasta with tuna, walnuts, lemon and herbs – every year, we wait until the garden can handle it, and it’s always SO SO GOOD!

Wednesday – Woo, it’s the 4th of July!  After we read the Declaration of  Independence, I’m going to make a batch of my mother’s potato salad, and we’re going to do burgers, potato salad and tossed salad.  Yay.

Thursday – We’re going to do the Glazed Chicken from the current Cooking Light, but, instead of their noodle salad, we’re going to make our favorite cold sesame noodles, and we’ll do mustard greens – that should be a nice contrast to the noodles.

Friday – Friday is, as always, pizza night – I have no idea if there will be anything leftover from the week to decorate my pizza with – if not, I’ll probably go the “fresh herbs and olive oil” route.  It’ll still be lovely.

Be sure to click on over to The Organizing Junkie’s Monday Menu Plan post for loads and loads of other ideas.





1. Steph J. (@CheapskateCook) - July 2, 2012

Pasta with tuna, walnuts, lemon and herbs sounds delicious! Love the lavender, and it looks like you guys are having awesome weather – it’s been like 100-110 where we are.
(here from MPM!)

Toy Lady - July 3, 2012

Hi, Steph, welcome! Wow, I don’t know what I’d do with temps over 100! But I guess it’s like they say – it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity, huh?

2. judy - July 2, 2012

My computer is acting nuts so can’t respond on e-mail but I loved this one. That Jar is a piece of work. I liked your solution to the grass problem and l am glad that Peeps has some time away from the ovens! Nice note from the Boy who appreciates good food. Have to find a trouble shooter for this computer as it is talking forever to post a message but you deserved a BIG GOOD today. Eat well.

Toy Lady - July 3, 2012

Hey, Jude, I hope you’re doing well – and keeping cool! Yes, it sure is nice to see The Boy’s notes – it’s good to be appreciated, isn’t it? 😀

3. judy - July 4, 2012

We had lovely rain last night and again today. It was healing and cool. Happy firecracker day as they are banned every here. Will enjoy the Boston Pops on TV!

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