Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A New Dominion .... Maybe Someday Soon

Warning:  The following is political.  I try to avoid that, but some things are too important.  Feel free to just skip this and come back another day.   But, you were warned.

Yesterday was historic - at least in this little part of the planet.  The U.S. District Court for the 4th Judicial Circuit struck down Virginia's law prohibiting the marriage of people of the same gender.  Wow!  Hurrah! Dancing in the streets last night and all that good stuff.

Of course, it will be appealed and a Stay will begin today, but it's a huge step forward for this state which is perhaps the most purple in the nation. 

If you are still reading, I have only three points:

1) After 30+ years of marriage (to a person of the opposite gender), I can think of no way that the marriage of two women or two men would challenge my marriage in any way.

2) Children need two (or perhaps more) loving parents.  The pieces parts don't really mean anything ... just the love. 

3) As a nation we need to separate the legal and religious components of marriage.  A close friend of mine is a Methodist minister.  When he performs a marriage he ends by saying, "By the power vested in me by The Commonwealth of Virginia, I now pronounce you man and wife."  All the ceremony that comes before may be the "church part" but the power comes from the state.  That's what we need to change.  We need to provide a way that a couple - any willing adult couple - can go to a state-sanctioned official to be united legally and then they can deal with the church in the way that is right for them.  Some states provide that - one can get married by a clerk at the courthouse.  But many others - including Virginia - do not.  It needs to be the standard.

This change is coming and we need to just get over it and move on.  Next stop ... the Supremes! 

"Someday, we'll be together!"

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hydrangea Love

Having bemoaned the lack of hydrangea blooms this summer - and I have truly missed them!  - now comes the newest addition to the yard.
 June 30th.
A 'Vanilla Strawberry' hydrangea that I planted last fall, and frankly had not counted on its blooming this year. 
July 2nd.
Although it's a "panical" hydrangea and so new to me, it blooms on new wood and therefore escaped the last freeze of the winter that killed all the buds on the mopheads and lacecaps.  Even in its first year, it is blooming.  This variety typically grows 6-10 feet in height and diameter, so I put it where it can serve as a "barrier plant" between our yard and our neighbor's.
July 4th 
When fully mature, the panicals should open white and then "age" to darker shades of pink to strawberry - eventually producing a shrub full of multi-colored flowers. 

What's not to love about that?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Feeding the Masses

Well, perhaps not the masses, but at least the two people who live in our house. 

Mitchell's new raised beds have certainly lived up to their potential this summer.  We planted several types of tomato, broccoli, cauliflower, several peppers and okra in early May, and now are reaping the benefits. 

The tomatoes are awesome!  We will soon be those people who break into their neighbors' homes and leave produce on the kitchen counter!

We started getting 'Cherokee Purple' more than a week ago and then harvested the first 'Brandywine' last night.  Both are heritage varieties and very tasty!  There are a zillion green Roma's just waiting to ripen up and become roasted tomato sauce for freezing. 

The broccoli are nearly done - we are well into the second cutting of side shoots.  Hard to beat the taste of broccoli that was cut 30 minutes ago. 

Even the okra are cooperating this year.  Only planted about half the usual number, since last year we got really, really tired of them.  So far, I've cut 3-6 every night, so we only have a meal's worth every three to four days and that works well for us. 

There are mystery peppers, too.  Mystery, because I have lost the little tags and can't remember what I planted.  One is Cubanelle, but have no idea about the others!

The herbs are flourishing as well, and providing basil and cilantro on a daily basis.  Life is good!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Heaven in the Garden

It's that wonderful time of the summer when all you really have to do is sit back and enjoy.  Well, perhaps add a bit of water now and then and a bit of deadheading, but mostly it's time to enjoy all the hard work of fall and spring. 

The lilies are in full bloom.  This one is a mystery.  I do not remember planting it, altho this is at least the third year it has bloomed - each year more spectacular than the last. 

It is more than six feet tall and has three separate stalks this year - after only one for the past two years.

The flowers are lovely, but it's the whole THING that is so striking.
The gate is 36 inches tall.

Dayliles are coming along, too.

As well as the calla lilies.

What's not to love?