Moby Knit

It's a handmade adventure!


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Sunflowers!

Shortly before Kirsi was born, I planted a bunch of sunflower seeds.  (I thought all the squatting would put me into labor.  It didn’t.  The only thing I accomplished was making myself hot, tired, and sore.)  I planted them mainly as an experiment.  I wanted to see if they’d grow and if they’d survive all the severe storms we’ve been having every summer.  Last year I tried growing some sunflowers from birdseed, and they were ravaged by the derecho that blew through.

This year I upgraded and used seeds meant for planting.  Most of them sprouted, and all of the plants are looking great!

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Mammoth Sunflowers

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Black Oil Sunflowers (I think)

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Mammoth Sunflowers - I have no idea why one is so much taller.

I planted three different varieties.  I’m at a loss now, as to what they were.  I know I planted the mammoth kind at the front of the house and along the side near the flamingos.  I think I planted black oils, but I can’t be sure.  I planted a white variety as well, but the buds are looking awful yellow.  Maybe they’ll turn white once they open.

I’m still waiting for buds on the mammoths.  I love how tall they’ve gotten, and I think I’ll stick to just that variety next year.  (I like being able to see them in the windows.)  Sunflowers are my kind of flower.  They take practically no care, and even I haven’t managed to kill them.  😀

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An Unexpected Find

Today, upon arriving home from running some errands, I noticed a “blob” in one of my thorny bushes.  I took a closer look and saw this:

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Praying Mantis Egg Case

Had I seen this a mere few weeks ago, I would have assumed my bush had some sort of disease.  Fortunately, my mother-in-law had schooled me on praying mantises when I questioned her about a setup I observed in her living room.  She is actively trying to hatch a praying mantis egg case, and she has a tank with all the fixings set up for this purpose.  (What do you expect?  She’s a zoologist!)

I called her shortly after discovering the egg case to brag.  🙂  She said she’d like to have it, so I will be carefully picking it and delivering it to her.  And by picking it I mean cutting off the part of the bush where it is attached.  I read that praying mantises like to lay their eggs in hard to access places, which explains why it’s in the middle of a thorny bush.  :/

I hope the little mantises hatch.  I’d like to see some!


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Catching Up

I’ve been pretty busy lately with family activites and my “job.”  I know I haven’t been posting often, but it’s not due to lack of material!  I took on some cleaning gigs for a couple of family members to earn some extra cash.  Gotta support my habits!

Today I snapped a couple shots of my gardening triumphs.  Up first, one of my black oil sunflowers:

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Black Oil Sunflower

And, as an experiment, I decided to leave some jalapeno peppers on the plant until they fully ripened and turned red:

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Jalapeno Peppers

Eva’s been well.  Here she is digging through her basket of toys:

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I can’t believe she’s already 9 months old!  Last weekend Kai and I took her to my cousin’s house to get her picture taken.  The shots turned out AWESOME.  Get ready for some Eva overload, because I’ll be sharing them in my next post.  🙂


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Jalapeño Poppers

Today I harvested a bunch of jalapeño peppers from my jalapeño plant in my teeny tiny garden.

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Jalapeño peppers from my garden.

My jalapeño plant is turning out to be quite prolific and a worthwhile buy.  🙂  I was kind of at a loss as to what to do with my bounty.  Then it dawned on my that I could make jalapeño poppers!  I love the ones that come in a box from the freezer section of the grocery store, but I’m sure they’re full of all kinds of chemicals and preservatives.  I like to pretend that my version is better.  Different, but better.

Jalapeño Poppers

Ingredients:

-Seeded jalapeño peppers
-Shredded cheddar cheese
-Milk
-Eggs
-Flour
-Salt
-Vegetable Shortening

Method:

1.  Cut the tops off the jalapeño peppers and remove the seeds.  I chose to hollow mine out with a paring knife like so:

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Hollowed Jalapeño Peppers

Yes, it was time consuming.  In the future I think I’d choose to just half them.

2.  Stuff each pepper with shredded cheddar cheese.  You could substitute the cheddar cheese with any filling of your choosing.  I believe cream cheese and bacon are pretty popular fillings.

3.  In a bowl, mix together the eggs (I used one for 8 small peppers) and a splash of milk.  In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and salt.  You’ll have to make an executive decision on how much salt to add.  I didn’t add much, but I’m pretty sure the poppers from the store have a ton of salt in the coating.

4.  Dip the peppers in the egg mixture, then dip them in the flour mixture.  Once all your peppers have been coated, heat up a pan of vegetable shortening.

5.  While the shortening is heating up, do one more round of dipping.  This will make the coating on the peppers a bit thicker.  You could try dipping them a third time, just remember to allow the peppers some time to dry between each dip.

6.  Set the peppers in the hot shortening and allow them to cook until golden brown.  Mine didn’t take long, only a couple minutes.  This probably varies according to pepper size.  My peppers were pretty little.

***Warning – If the cheese starts to bubble out, remove the peppers.  You don’t want to lose all the cheese during frying!

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Jalapeño Poppers!

There you have it.  Homemade jalapeño poppers.  I’m sure I’ll be making lots more of these as the summer progresses.  I’m totally trying cream cheese next!


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The State of Our Yard

I thought I might update you all on the state of our yard seeing as we have been in this house for almost a year now, and we’ve done a lot in that time!

First up, I bought a hook to hold my bird feeder since the squirrels were feasting on my expensive bird food in the feeder’s former location.  I have a thistle feeder way up in one of the trees, so I’ll be adding that to the other side once Kai retrieves it.

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It’s only been up for a few hours, but I’ve already seen goldfinches using it.  In addition, I saw a female blue grosbeak and a house wren land on it.  My adult male bluebird quickly dive-bombed the wren.  Good for him.  🙂

My pansies and violas filled out quite nicely in the beds around the house.  Here’s a picture of the front of the house, complete with cluttered porch:

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And here’s one of my lovely violas:

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The livestock is looking healthy as well.  My pot bellied pig is quite happy:

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Darby Doodle

As is our resident king of Persia:

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Xerxes-Jerksees

My security team is well rested and prepared to lick any intruders to death:

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Although they’ll probably be spending the better part of the week digging holes in the yard instead of patrolling.  Kai filled in all of their existing holes, and we can’t have that!

I’m pretty pleased with what we’ve accomplished outside.  Now I’d like to get to work on the inside!  There’s still lots of pictures that need to be hung, and we could stand to do a little rearranging/decluttering.  I’m going to take it one day at a time.  🙂


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Pathetic Garden Update

I thought I’d share with you all a few pictures of my very pathetic garden.  I’m still holding out hope that it’ll perk up a little.  :/

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Teeny Tiny Garden

Unfortunately my peppers I grew from seed aren’t doing that well.  I bought the jalapeno plant, which is doing okay, and I also bought the two tomato plants.  In addition, I have two more tomato plants in pots off-camera.  I’m waiting for Kai to add onto my garden so I can plant them.

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Jalapeno Peppers

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Roma Tomatoes

I have cages for the tomato plants, but they’re still at my mom’s house.  I’ll probably bring them over this weekend.  My hope is that the tomato plants will flourish and provide me some sort of reward for my gardening efforts.  I suppose I should be impressed with any and all gardening triumphs, no matter how small, when I take into consideration Eva’s presence.  She’s not exactly pro-activities not related to Eva at the moment.  🙂