Happy New Year

We had a great Christmas with all the grandkids on the scene. Nancy won “most interesting gift” with tickets to see Ina Garten, one of her celebrity chefs. The tickets include a stay at a luxury hotel in downtown Orlando plus dinner at an excellent restaurant and lunch at her favorite barbecue restaurant in the galaxy. I go along as her escort. On the Sunday after Christmas they all came up to the lake for a turkey dinner with the Holland grill working overtime. From there Tomster headed back to Chicago and Simon back to Bibb County Alabama. New year’s eve was uneventful – we were in bed by 10PM – only to be awakened by quite a barrage of gun fire. I guess lots of neighbors got firearms for Christmas and waiting until midnight to try them out. Lots of semi automatic fire.

The weather has been nearly perfect (for me) although I wouldn’t mind a few days of 40 degree kind of temps with no frost to trigger the speckled perch fishing. The garden is lovin’ it too with nothing under any kind of stress. It’s looking like the cherry tomatoes will have run their course in the next couple of weeks. I wish the regular tomatoes were as prolific as the cherries but they remain a tough crop to master.

Nancy’s latest culinary masterpiece is an eggplant – meatball parmigiana with cherry tomato sauce. The meatballs were the Ina Garten beauties that she manufactured last week. She made 3-4 dozen, froze most of them and is breaking them out four at a time as needed. The last time we had the eggplant creation I was fairly sure that would be the end of the eggplant season but this ultra nice winter has kept the plants producing. For sure, this is the end though. I need the space and the fruit is getting smaller and smaller with each picking.

I mentioned that the weather was nearly perfect. Well actually we could use a cold snap to kill off some more bugs that have invaded the potato patch and I’m sure, will move on to greener things if they don’t get nipped by the cold. I’m thinking there’s not much I can do about it but then it hits me, sure I can. It’s way too early to plant summer stuff. I haven’t even got the 2016 seed catalogs yet but I have some summer seeds left over from last year. Surely if I put in some summer squash the Frost gods will see that as a challenge. So I planted 6 squash hills and started green pepper seeds on the back porch – both moves about 2 months early. These seeds will normally take only a week to germinate so my guess is that within 2 weeks there will be freeze or frost warnings in Barberville. Worth a try.

George is back in the hospital due to excessive internal bleeding. They’ve been trying to locate the source of the bleeding for a couple of months now. The order of magnitude of the problem is that in the past 3 months, he’s had 14 pints of blood transfused and the rate has been accelerating. I talked to him yesterday and he said they think they see a sputter in one area that remains hidden from viewing – right in the middle – something called a septum and an illium – I’m pretty sure the spelling is wrong and it sounds like the name of a Greek play. They see it with a nuclear scan test. The solution is to literally plug the hole. I asked is there was a blood equivalent to “Stop Leak”, a cure for leaking radiators. Apparently there’s not.

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