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August, 2012

Get the snake!

(First off, I did not take this picture – I found it online) So… last night around 7 pm, Denis and I were out in the back yard and saw a large bird fly over our heads and land in a tree. Denis said, “That’s an owl. Get your camera!” I ran in and got my zoom lens and took some pictures but it was getting dark and the photos were blurred. But still, it was pretty exciting to see it in person. We usually just hear them at night. This photo shows the kind it was… a Great Horned Owl. It was huge! Then I decided to try taking video so I went back for my camcorder. Ready to shoot, I said, “Denis, see if you can get him to fly.” So Denis started flailing his arms and making noise but the bird just stared at us, probably wondering if we had food. “Throw something in his direction, maybe he’ll fly,”  I said. Denis took a lemon off our tree and pitched it hard but the owl was too far away. So we watched him until it got too dark to see. Then this morning I remembered I just bought a plastic snake. It’s so real-looking I had to show the gardeners it wasn’t real so they wouldn’t attack it with a shovel. I should have put the snake on the ground and waited for the owl to swoop down and carry it away. So tonight, I’m setting up a sting. I’m putting my plastic snake on the ground and hiding behind a bush with my video camera to see if he comes back. That could work, couldn’t it? Or do I need to get a job?

It was a standoff

It looks like my rabbit is here to stay.

I caught him stealing a leaf off my avocado tree and he didn’t know what do do. The leaf was as big as his head! It was a standoff. He tried to stare me down but what was he thinking? “Back off, lady, or I’ll eat this leaf right now!” I just took his picture and let him have his snack. How can I be mad at something so cute? Funny, that’s what Denis says when I’m mad at him… and he is cute, but not as cute as my little bunny. But Denis’s ears are getting a little longer…

Phyllis Diller 1917 – 2012

As a standup comedian, I adored Phyllis Diller, who passed away today at the age of 95.  Not only did Ms Diller pave the way for all women comics, she was really, really funny. I was beyond excited when she appeared on my talk show in 1991 while it was only a test run in Las Vegas called Just Between Us. What a genuinely nice person she was. Thank you, Phyllis, for the decades of laughter.

Touring The Tremendous Tomato Tree

I may never see a plant like this again so on August 16th I made this video tour of my cherry tomatoes. Keep in mind that I did not plant this, I didn’t feed it, it just appeared in my garden – and it’s ONE plant!  It’s grown to about 25 feet long and 20 feet wide, vining in every direction. I had been picking tomatoes for seven weeks and in this video I picked 151 tomatoes! (it took 15 minutes so we sped up the video – even I don’t want to watch 15 minutes of tomato-picking!) That’s 151 tomatoes in one day! That brought the total to 2,352 tomatoes but since then, I’ve picked over 1,000 more – you can follow the daily tomato count in the “Tomato Progress” posting above. I still can’t believe it! How many more will come? There may be another contest yet…

Vegas was a bust

Driving to Vegas in August… what was I thinking? It was 110 degrees! Going to hell doesn’t scare me now. We went for three days and I guess I’m not a very good traveller. It took me more days to pack than we spent in Vegas. I had to bring sandwiches & drinks for the road, 110 proof sunblock, my own sheets, my teapot, disinfectant wipes, hard boiled eggs, phone chargers, my skincare products…  I forgot my face scrub but that’s okay – I just rubbed my face with the hotel washcloth. When we hit the casino, I couldn’t breathe. I said to Denis, “This must be a  smokers’ convention.” Or else people who quit years ago were so stressed about losing money, they started smoking again.  I tried to have fun but it seems like I enjoyed Vegas more when I was younger. The clubs are all so loud. Where I enjoyed the music most on this trip, was in the elevator.

They need more Cirque du Soleil shows in Vegas. Com’on! There’s too many! They’re not even exciting any more. With titles like “O” and “KA” I should send them my idea: “BLAH” – acrobatics based on the history of how paint dries. Even my gambling was a bust. I lost my twenty dollars at  blackjack in less than a minute. They should call it Whackjack:  as soon as  you start putting money on the table, they whack you with a big stick.

We have an EXACT winner!

Congratulations, Kari !! You should head for Vegas right now because you guessed 1,721 tomatoes and by 10 this morning, I picked exactly 1,721 tomatoes!

Kari says, “I am a mom of two wonderful children and an avid gardener.  My husband, the kids and I plant a garden every year as a family and we too are having a booming tomato season. We love to cook so sauce, salsa, toasted tomato sandwiches, we’ll have enough for it all… Thank you so much. You just made back to school shopping a bit easier.”

Kari guessed 1,721 and when I counted my tomatoes up this morning I was shocked that someone hit the exact number. I still can’t believe it! And Lee (from my hometown – go, London!) came close with his guess of 1,758. A lot of you missed the blog posting just below where I said that I had already picked 1,014 tomatoes by July 29th.

This tomato plant is still producing like crazy! I thought it would be almost spent by now but it looks like I will eventually get about two and a half thousand tomatoes. Enough for me, the rabbit, and the mangy, rat-faced, no-good, low-life, beady-eyed, scum-sucking, tomato-eating squirrel. Thanks, everybody, for playing. Kari, your gift card is on the way!

UPDATE 6:00 pm

This is crazy! Here’s what I just picked tonight at 6 o’clock. Sixty-two more tomatoes for a new total of 1,783!

Win $100 American Express gift card!

All you have to do is guess how many ripe cherry tomatoes I will have picked from this plant by Friday morning. At 10 am on Friday, I will go out and pick all the ripe tomatoes I see and add it to my running total. Whoever comes the closest to the total, whether over or under, will win as $100 American Express gift card!  Sounds like fun! 🙂

Here’s all I can tell you:
~~It’s one humungous plant that showed up on its own and I started picking ripe tomatoes on July 6th.

~~They are large (and delicious) cherry tomatoes.

~~The plant is around 25 feet long, 6 feet tall, and around 15 feet wide.

~~I’ve been picking tomatoes every day.

~~One guess per person.

~~Here’s a close-up view…

~~Someone is picking & counting tomatoes while I’m in Vegas, too.

~~We won’t be counting the ones eaten by the mangy, rat-faced, no-good, low-life, beady-eyed, scum-sucking squirrel.

Good luck!!

Headed for Vegas!

Denis and I are off to Las Vegas for a few days. So what if it’s 107 degrees? Okay… it was my idea. I’m not concerned about the weather (just crank up the a/c!), but what about my tomatoes? And my hummingbirds? Who’s going to pick tomatoes and feed the mass of hummingbirds around here? No worries. We’ve arranged alternating shifts of people to come by every day to pick & count tomatoes (to make sure that  mangy, rat-faced, no-good, low-life, beady-eyed, scum-sucking, tomato-eating squirrel doesn’t get them) and fill the bird feeders. I should be worried about my gambling luck in Vegas but noooo, I’m more concerned about the birds running out of food! Oh well, I’ll have peace of mind to focus on the $20 I plan to gamble away. That’s all I’m willing to lose!

The car is gassed up and it’s only a 4 1/2 hour drive but I like to be prepared. So I’m taking hard boiled eggs, cut up carrots & peppers, salmon sandwiches, homemade oatmeal cookies, apples, bananas, water, kleenex, paper towels, handiwipes & bandaids. That’s just for the ride.  Once we get there, it’s party time! I’m staying up ’til midnight!