It's been an oddly unpleasant year in the garden. The polar vortex we had early on offed a pink climbing rose that had previously been plenty tough. It took a while for me to notice some of the other changes. The bronze fennel that I have had for years and years…always hopping around reseeding itself, almost to the point of weediness….completely gone. Sorry Swallowtail caterpillars. The same thing with my malva zebrina. I just recently saw two plants finally coming through and blooming. Normally they are all over the place. 


The aster yellows disease that infected my coneflowers has been heartbreaking. I ended up pulling out all my coneflowers as they slowly died off. I fear my black-eyed susans and phlox have the same thing. Damn. I'll have to completely rethink that whole bed next year.


To top it all off, I only planted one row of zinnias this spring. I've been whimpering for the last month every time we pass a bed of zinnias. NOT ENOUGH ZINNIAS this year. My fault. Then I wimped out and bought cosmo plants instead of planting seeds and the damn things never got over a foot high. Crazy times in the garden this year. My window boxes are getting straggly…I'm thinking I might go out to Country Arbors and get some mums and proclaim it fall.



This morning I, yet again, slept through the farmers' market. Ernie kindly trotted off and took care of it….and it's looking like ratatouille weather to me, huh?

Generally, we try to buy wild-caught salmon, but sometimes we buy the Faroe Islands salmon. Last night we had some and did it my favorite olive oil poached way. DAMN, it's good. I had an orange leftover from a hotel breakfast bar so I sliced that up and laid it in a loaf pan…added a bit of salt, then the two pieces of salmon, then fresh thyme from the yard, a bit more salt, and then enough glugs of olive oil to come halfway up the side of the salmon. 300-degree oven….took 25 minutes (the leftover olive oil is wonderful saved for other salads.) We had some gorgeous green beans that I drizzled with the orange-thyme-salmony oil, and then a side of sweet potato hash browns. They're more like fritters really. Just grated sweet potato and a dash of cornstarch and salt…cooked in butter in a cast iron pan until shatteringly crunchy.

Yeah. That was a good dinner.

And the leftovers made for a damned good breakfast.



I'm snuggled in my office as I write this. The breeze is wonderfully cool as it comes in the window. I'm listening to Bark (Tim Lee and Susan Bauer Lee)'s new album and it is DAMN wonderful. The songs…both the lyrics and the groove…really, REALLY speak to me. The album art is also visually stunning. Highly recommended….and although it's seemingly forever away….plan on celebrating Valentine's Day with them next year here in our living room. 🥰


Ernie is taking Owen over to Record Swap for work (the bug is still under the weather) and Ernie's going back to the farmers' market for more cherry tomatoes. Leo's got some Parkland thing to do, and we have no plans until the free Bluebonnets show (Kathy Valentine was always my favorite Go-Go) at Krannert at 5!