Throwing Up the Towel

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Speaking of the weather and gardening, I bought my tomato plants yesterday. Last year, I tried raising tomatoes from seeds I’d saved the year before that, and it was a disaster. This year, I have returned to the old ways: I went to the feed-and-seed store and bought the biggest honkin’ Better Boys they had! I might have tomatoes by the first of next week, if the weather holds.

115 thoughts on “Throwing Up the Towel”

  1. I had started tomatoes from seeds for years from tomatoes that came from my grandfather in Italy….until one year I got a little restless and planted too early and a spring frost got them….

    Still have weeks to go before I can even start thinking about planting my garden….Mr J, will you share a tomato????

  2. We have a cat with kidney issues who has to go to the vet to get fluids every couple of weeks. We almost always take along copies of cat-related cartoons, usually A&J or Rhymes with Orange. Today’s retro will definitely be going!

  3. Mindy every climate is different. In Michigan it is often Memorial Day. I usually put mine in around Mother’s Day. In the last 5 years of tomato growing, I’ve had 2 horrible years. 2 moderate years and one bumper crop years. But I don’t work hard enough to cultivate a bumper crop. I need to water more often.

  4. Good morning, Villagers! Paul, that is sad. My boss’ husband visited his ol family place, found a rosebush browing beside a ruined shack, dug it up and replanted it in our bed and it blooms every year. It is not a hybrid tea, more like the roses you see on old English paintings. It smells wonderful and is red on the outside and white near the center.

    Ruth Anne, thanks for warning me about “Rhymes With Orange” πŸ˜€

  5. Anyone know anything about propagating rhododendrons? We’ve had a beautiful one that is over twenty years old and looks like it is nearing the end of its life. It would nice if I could take some cutting and grow a new generation, but my knowledge of gardening is about limit to “dig hole, plant bulb”.

  6. Up in New England here we Symply do not plant until after Memorial Day…

    @Ruth Anne/Lilyblack,

    Almosr wore my “If you say gullible slowly it sounds like oranges” Tshirt to the concert tonight, but I decided to go with the “What I Really Need Are Minions” one instead.

    Are the people in the Eastern Ukrainian town of Donetsk crazy? Hasn’t the world already tried this once? Someone lose their Fargone mind? FYI,

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/04/17/jews-ordered-to-register-in-east-ukraine/7816951

  7. Lilyblack – Rhymes with Orange is only occasionally about cats; usually it’s just the quirks of life. I was introduced to it here in the Village. Take a chance and try it! rhymeswithorange.com

  8. We usually wait until Memorial Day for our garden. Our meteorologists recommend waiting until Mother’s Day. We want instant gratification and buy plants from our local nursery rather than use seeds.

  9. I always plant my tomatoes April 1. They’re doing wonderful so far. Got a few small
    fruits already. I get my plants from a wonderful nursery in Pasadena. They always
    have all the varieties I want. Mostly heirlooms. They all taste a bit different than
    one another and all great. Kellogg’s Breakfast is my favorite. They’re more expensive
    to buy, but I bring in plumeria cuttings and trade them for my plants. Been doing that
    for 5 years now.

    Blinky – try this forum. I hang out on the tomato forum, but there’s one for you too!
    I’ve learned tons from the folks there.

    http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/azalea/

  10. I quit gardening when mother nature quit supplying rainwater for the garden. It’s just too expensive to water vegetables with municipal water and we only get rain for 4-6 weeks of the year anymore.
    I sure do miss it, though! I always grew ‘maters, and most everything else, from seed. I’d start flats indoors in mid-late March and transplant at about 4 weeks, heavily mulching and ready to protect the plants from the inevitable May freezes.

  11. Symply:

    Antisemitism is rampant in Europe, especially Eastern, and has been, on and off, for two millennia. The Holocaust was its worst manifestation, but Hitler didn’t invent it, he fed on it.

    Interesting article on one current aspect of it in Hungary in the 11 Nov. ’13 New Yorker, p.28-35.

  12. As the rest of the world issues meaningless threats of “consequences”, dithers, yawns or averts its eyes, Ukraine slides slowly into the New USSR (Union of Silently Swallowed Republics).

  13. Blinky – you’re welcome. If you don’t see what you’re looking for there (I’d be surprised
    if you don’t find something), just post a question. It’s a very friendly place, kinda like here.

  14. Blinky, when my wife and I were gardening, she found some starter compound in a garden store. You take your cutting, wet the end and dip it in the starter. Then plant in a pot and let it get a good start, then transplant. I can’t remember the name of the stuff, but it worked very well.

  15. I planted my tomatoes from seed in January, then transplanted into “Earthbox” self-watering containers. I should have tomatoes by this time next Month. I can hardly wait for the first bacon and homemade tomato sandwich of the year!

  16. According to Putin, Ukraine is again “New Russia”… which name Catherine the Great had given it. His rationale for reclaiming it is that many ethnic Russians live there and are being “abused” by the Ukraine government. Hitler used the same reasoning for liberating several neighboring countries in the 1930s.

    On a happier note, as a dog lover and cat tolerator, I pass along this Pepsi commercial:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8XvtW7sGe8

  17. SF….thanks for the link…..oh, how well I remember that song…..right up there with “tin soldiers and Nixon coming”. the song “Sunshine” can even apply to today’s down your throat healthcare BS.

    GR πŸ˜‰

    Pray today is better…..

    John 3:16

  18. Saving tomato seeds for next year only works on old heirloom varieties. Hybrid seed does not come true the next season. You can get some really strange fruit if it is not open pollinated varieties.

  19. Right about now I’m wishing I had a greenhouse so I could go ahead and plant some tomatoes and maybe a few other things. The way Mother Nature keeps playing with the thermostat I’m a bit afraid to put plants in the ground. Night before last we had frost again.

  20. Grand Theft Floral you say. This could have the makings of an interactive A&J video game. It has a mind boggling amount of scenes and role play options. Hope to see Grand Theft Floral on PS4 by Christmas.

  21. Lilyblack:

    Remembered the name, probably from Dr. Marcham’s English history course at Cornell U. in ’50, but nothing else, so did a search. Nasty man [Jeffreys, not Marcham, who was fun].

    Thanks. emb

  22. sand:

    With two gaps [grandfather known but not father], I can trace my father’s side back to a French widowed baroness[?] and her son, who fled France because husband was on the losing side of some provincial war, and took as their surname the name of the s. English town they settled in. Town has since vanished. This was after ‘1066 and all that.’ Along the way, I understand there is some Scot, N. Irish, and Welsh. On mom’s side it’s simpler: potato famine Irish Catholic mother, whose forbears came here mid-19th century, and secular Jewish father, who came here from Curacao, which was then a Dutch colony. My Dad served in Cuba, 1898, and his younger bro, a career naval officer [Commodore?], shook hands w/ George V aboard some ship, theirs or ours, WWI or so. Photo proves it. Big deal. None of this adds or subtracts from my worth.

    As far as Hitler and some current nuts in Ukraine are concerned, I’m Jewish, but the local United Methodists find me acceptable, if strange. Further, one of my half-sisters married a Belgian or French immigrant who emigrated between the wars, managed hotels, and did well, but also had Jewish ancestry. She was raised Episcopalian, but her son, who married a Catholic and converted, would also have been gassed as a Jew if he’d been in the wrong place.

    Despite a recent blatantly religious post, none of this should matter diddly.

  23. emb,
    fathers family was from the Isle of Aaron until evicted in the Highland Clearances to Canada. Mothers side traces back to France during their long civil war, later immigrated to Canada. Both sides drifted south during the 1870 – 1880 period and mixed with German arrivals. Since I carry the Scots surname, I march with the clan Stuart.

  24. Blinky – my horticulturist daughter suggested ground layering your rhododendron as the simplest and most effective way to propagate a new plant. A partially buried lower branch is used to start a new plant – rhododendron.org will have information concerning propagation. I have used this method for forsythia and hydrangea. It takes a while for roots to form but it’s very easy to do!

  25. As far as the retro goes, my favorite in this line was the Sunday page. First comes the ominous hacking sound familiar to all cat people. The Janis calls Arlo, telling him the cat’s about to be sick. He then rushes Ludwig out the back door, aiming him forward. Last panel has Arlo sitting on the steps, watching Ludwig in the yard and saying “This is not how I imagined my life”.

  26. Good morning Villagers…..

    GR πŸ˜‰ ….you’re very special, I’ve always loved that song. And yes, it does put a pep in my step…think my girls will hear me singing it today πŸ™‚ Thanks for the smile on my face.

    The above retro reminds me of my house, only my husband is the one who usually gets to it first. One may think this is gross, but I’ve told him to let it dry first, and that way it won’t stain the carpet….what is it in that hard food that creates a stain. I feed them Nine Lives Daily Essentials.

    Going into work, we’ve been bombarded by flies. Put out fly bait and the aisles are almost black….high school boys will be doing a lot of aisle scraping today. Will probably be working tomorrow too.

    Radgad….going to view the video later today…thanks.

    Ya’ll have a blessed Saturday.

    John 3:16

  27. Good morning, Villagers

    We had a wonderful wholly sung service last night for Good Friday, “The Seven Last Words of Christ, It was awesome! (and I don’t use that word loosely, dude)

    No sunrise service for us, alas, but pancake breakfast at 9:45 (I will be serving, not eating!; hopefully I will have drunk my daily smoothie and done my wind sprints by then) and regular service at 11:00. Have a blessed Holy Saturday, everybody!

  28. Standing in queue at an “Express Checkout” register of a Big Box Store, I marveled at the number of people who apparently cannot count to 20. Or 40. Or 50. When I become King of the World, that will be an offense punishable by summary execution.

    I’m just kidding, of course. Public flogging should be sufficient. One lash for every item over 20 in the basket.

    OK, I feel better now. πŸ™‚

    I suppose this could go down in history as the most awesome toilet flush, ever: The Water Bureau in Portland OR decided to flush and refill an open reservoir holding 38 million gallons of public drinking water after a 19-year-old was caught on camera urinating into it earlier this week. Understandable in a way, even though what the teenager did literally didn’t amount to a “drop in a bucket”. And I hope “The Urinator” will be fined the cost of the drain-and-fill operation. But can you imagine what else routinely ends up in that reservoir they don’t know about?

  29. You think those birds and raccoon’s don’t use the Porta-Potties? πŸ˜€

    At our nearby supermarket I observed the same phenomenon and asked the checkout person if they ever said anything to offending shoppers . She said they weren’t allowed to. Yet, once, when the store was busy and the Express Line Empty, I was virtuously waiting in line with my more-than-twenty-item containing cart, and had the clerk draw me out of the line into her Express Line station . And got a dirty look from the next shopper who pulled int the Express Line with less-than-20 items.

    I notice now that they have redecorated they removed the Express Line, probably under the rubric of “Who Needs Trouble?.”

  30. About that reservoir: as Grandpa in ‘Pickles’ said to his grandson, ‘And where do you think the fish go?’ 38M gallons!

    Then there’s the punchline, ‘But not off the diving board!’

  31. Happy it’s “not just me”, Lily. πŸ™‚ Even more irritating is to be in a check-out line…

    …behind someone without a debit card.
    …behind someone with a debit card they just got and don’t have a clue how to use.
    …behind someone paying by check who waits the several minutes while their purchases are totaled before pulling out their checkbook and beginning to fill out the check (apparently in calligraphy).
    …behind someone paying cash who decides at the last moment to give exact change and digs into the bottom of their pocket/purse to find $.97 in dimes, nickels and pennies.

  32. “Idiocy” is indeed often to blame for many things, Mindy, but in this case the water had already been purified before being pumped into open reservoirs for distribution. Actually, the EPA now requires such water to be held in covered reservoirs, but the Portland water system is still in the process of complying.

  33. Ghost the ones I feel sorry for are the ones who try and use a card and get turned down. For some reason this paralyses everybody, and I move to another line, cause it’s not gonna get cleared up quickly. Happened to me just this week, poor lady. The clerks look so wooden and embarrassed.

  34. GR6: For the rare occasions when I use cash, I often carry one of those soft plastic change purses with 0.99 in it. Takes little time to count out the change, or to count out the difference and give clerk the rest. Needs refilling, but gets rid of the change I accumulate.

    Rant: It’s way past time to get rid of pennies, and probably nickels. The $1 is worth about what a nickel would buy when I was a kid. I understand one Representative’s district is where the metal is mined, or some such, and his major priority is making us keep the damn things. They cost way more than 1 cent to make; he is in effect robbing the nation that he has sworn to defend/support/whatever. We are hostages. [I’m assuming it’s a ‘he’ and don’t care if he’s a Democrat or Republican.]

  35. Lily, you know a place where you can get drinks for a penny!? πŸ™‚

    emb: Exact change is fine; I use it myself quite often. I just object to folks who use up valuable moments of my life hunting for one or two pennies. (I like your system for carrying and using small change.) And yes, in a day and age where a first class postage stamp is 49 cents, I agree that pennies have outlived their usefulness and are obsolete.

    One solution might be for sellers to collect exact amounts if the form of payment is electronic (debit/credit card) and to round up to the nearest 5 or 10 cents if payment is by cash. (They can’t do that you say? I seem to remember that some service stations used to charge more per gallon of gasoline if you paid with plastic instead of cash…although I doubt any still do that now, for competitive reasons.) That would drastically cut the demand for pennies, and perhaps when banks tired of storing them in their vaults, the government would rethink the minting of them.

    In my own case, I get paid electronically and 90% or more of my purchases and bill paying is electronic transfer of funds. So cash is basically obsolete for me. That said, I do discreetly carry $250 in five dollar bills in my car for emergencies and/or when ATM’s and POS terminals might be down due to power outages.

  36. Don’t play cards except for solitaire here, and have one beer [or, rarely, a glass of wine] with a meal, 3-4 x / wk, and stop at that. Last night it was a Laughing Buddha, abv 4.8, 11.16 oz., more or less comparable to a good Central European lager or pilsner.

  37. emb, the penny is plated zinc these days. The main US zinc mine is located in TN, and belongs to the family of a certain ex-senator/VP who invented the internet. Also, all the sales taxes seem to always require pennies. Most newspaper vending machines won’t take anything but quarters. You are right, most of the smaller denomination coins are useless. They should just cut down to dimes and quarters, but forget the idea of substituting a dollar coin for the dollar bill. Better to just drop the dollar bill for the same reason as dropping pennies and nickels.

  38. emb, a beer or a glass of wine is just a good start with me.

    Ghost, I go into a bar and when I finish a drink, I move a penny from my left jacket or jeans pocket to my right, no matter who buys. When I hit eight I stop. And leave. Alone. And people are always buying me drinks, I guess I look thirsty.

    Well, I am :p

  39. Lily, I’ve been known to attend the occasional BYO6Pk get-together with friends. I use a similar system, whereby I drop the bottle caps into my pocket. Haven’t ever ended up with eight of them in my pocket, though. Do runners metabolize alcohol faster than non-runners?

  40. Spent a very busy day today with my daughter and then preparing several dishes for Easter Dinner tomorrow. I was exhausted as I arrived to the Easter Vigil tonight and closed my eyes in the darkness before the service began. I noticed that my phone was vibrating quite a bit, so I snuck a peek at it. I learned in an email that my 87 year old Aunt has just passed away. While I knew she had been declining, her death came as a shock.

    She was the youngest and last of my Mom’s family. All I could think of during the service was my Aunt as well as both of my parents and how lonely that I felt. Needless to say, I spent much of Mass with tears in my eyes. Happy Easter, my friends.

  41. Happy Easter and to Steve’s Aunt, RIP!

    Ghost, I have had ten pennies in my right pocket many times before. Ah, well, a short life and a merry one. Who wants to get old? Not little Lily!

  42. A Blessed Easter to all…..for He is Risen….

    GR πŸ˜‰ …I really liked that song, thanks.

    Got called into work….gotta go…………………..

  43. ‘Better to just drop the dollar bill for the same reason as dropping pennies and nickels.’

    Assuming we eliminate pennies and nickels, I should carry $4.90 in that change purse: 16 quarters and 9 dimes? Europeans, Brits, and Canadians [at last] have adapted to coins worth roughly $1. Americans just possibly could do so also.

    I’d heard a different name associated with preserving pennies, I think a member of the House. And there’s somebody still at it. The issue, both in particular and in general, transcends parties. Ran into a non-partisan rant the other day. If I find it, I may post it.

  44. According to one source, production and distribution costs to the government are 2.4 cents for each penny and 10.08 cents for each nickel. It’s tempting to say, “Yep, Federal government economics at its finest.” But I think the main barrier to eliminating the one-cent piece is plain old nostalgia on the part of a large segment of the American public. People in general just hate to give up old familiar things…economics be damned.

  45. The British gave up the old pence – shilling style currancey for a decimal based system. I remember learning that system while living in Cheshire, though I never truly mastered it. The UK survived that one with their typical stiff upper lip.

    Two biggest downsides to eliminating the penny, IMHO; less coins for the change jar, and resetting all the gas pumps to round off to the nearest nickel. Adjusting all the pumps could be a mini Y2K problem.

  46. Glorious Easter to all!

    To TruckerRon, I would rather leave a clear plastic trail than allow some “forensic expert” to develop a trail that fits a prosecutors believed case.

  47. Debbe πŸ˜‰ I’m sorry you had to work today, but I trust you had a blessed one anyway. Here’s another one for you…the Celtic Simon & Garfunkel? I like the string section, of course. πŸ™‚

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HNHKvtjoj8

    And I hope everyone else has had and will have a blessed day. Now, if you will excuse me, I’ll be serving my Mom the Easter lunch I’ve prepared for her. Heaven knows she’s fixed me a few of them. πŸ™‚

  48. Hope you all enjoyed yourselves,, Sideburns. We had a Seder-type dinner Saturday night for my Sunday School Class. We had a roasted rack of lamb, lamb shanks not being available closer than Dallas. Mazel tov!

  49. Debbe πŸ˜‰ Another tune I suspect you may like. Technically, the video has a “nude scene” in it, but, as they say in Hollywood, it’s tastefully done. Perhaps it won’t get me in Dutch with any of our villagers of the female persuasion.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raNGeq3_DtM

    And I hope the expression “in Dutch” is not politically incorrect in the Netherlands, since although I don’t know for sure, we may have a villager or two from there, as we seem to have some from most everywhere. Which is a good thing.

    Almost time to watch “Cosmos” on the not-quite-so-much-as-usual-idiot-box.

  50. A quick story for you. Early this morning at work, I suddenly realized I wouldn’t be getting my hollow chocolate bunny from mom this year. Knowing it wouldn’t end well if I continued to dwell on this fact, I pushed the thought out my head and got on with my day. I was just getting ready to leave for the day, when a customer came in and gave my employee an adult-themed pack of “Easter candies.” My employee and I got baffled giggles at the unexpected (and admittedly inappropriate) candy, and both of us failed to notice the customer and her friends cracking up in the parking lot. She came back in and presented my clerk with a package of mini Cadberry eggs, and me – with a hollow chocolate bunny. She wished us a happy Easter and walked back out to her friends and drove away. I *did* manage a stunned thank you, but didn’t catch a name, because what the odds a random stranger walks up and hands you exactly what you were missing?

  51. Mindy from Indy, sounds like your Mom got your present to you, even though she was elsewhere. And a good laugh too! Happy Easter everyone.

  52. Good morning Villagers…..

    Indy Mindy, I’m with Mark….it sounds like your Mom did get you your hollowed out chocolate Easter bunny….one never knows.

    Awww…GR πŸ˜‰ the last link brought back such…memories. Thanks….but, who are those Celtic singers….they did an excellent job on “Sounds of Silence”….bookmarked that one.

    Well, it’s back to work today….heh, wait, I just left that place. πŸ™‚

    My husband fixed spaghetti for Easter, with garlic French bread…..yum.

    My brother-in-law has left to go home and start repairing his winter damaged home. My one nephew went back to his ex-wife of 4 months. But I still have Andrew, my other nephew. He works at the poultry houses with us. I worry about him…he is a very depressed young man. In less than a year, he lost his mother to cancer, his half-sister died (at 45) of a heart attack, and his fiance broke up with him…..I told him last weekend, as I pointed to his little daughter Brooklyn, that she was his reason for living. I’m glad he is staying here with us.

    later….heh, I haven’t seen the word ‘pokies’ mentioned lately….slipping there GR πŸ™‚

    Ya’ll have a blessed day

  53. A slightly belated but sincere Happy Easter to everyone! Indy Mindy, moms do indeed work in strange ways sometimes.

    We had Easter lasagna and garlic bread for supper.

  54. And we had tacos for our Easter dinner! Doesn’t matter what we have, as long as we are thankful from whence it came and enjoy the fellowship. Happy belated Easter!

  55. We had ham with pineapple sauce, hash brown potatoes with shallots, mushroom and white Cheddar cheese, stir fry asparagus and lemon cake for dessert. Took advantage of the gorgeous day and took a walk around the neighborhood.

  56. It was a pretty day, here, too. I had got my wind sprints out of the way, early, so I played with the dogs after lunch and worked off the calories. I don’t thiink my tummy is pooching out today. I still have my “bikini bridge” πŸ˜›

  57. Debbe πŸ˜‰ That’s the thing about pokies…they can pop up when you least expect them. πŸ™‚

    “Bikini bridge”, eh, Lily. πŸ˜‰ Oh, and when you feel an urge to drop some pennies in your pocket, what is your adult beverage of choice?

  58. Great program Ruth Anne. I went to college (majoring in music) with several people from northern Alabama. One of them moved back to the area (Sheffield) and made a career playing and recording with a lot of the groups in Muscle Shoals.

  59. Good morning Villagers///

    Yes you are right Rusty…it has been warm lately, and my brother-in-law left a couple of weeks ago…..amen.

    So, it’s Earth Day AND Ford’s Mustang’s 50th birthday….so much excitement in one day I don’t know how to contain myself πŸ™‚ Think I’ll celebrate with a beer tonight and recycle the can!

    Ya’ll have a blessed day….

    GR πŸ˜‰

  60. Today is NOT a pagan holiday at our house. It’s our wedding anniversary. Mentioning the E-day gets me in hot water with my lovely wife, who normally recycles and combines trips and composts. That hot water is worse than any global warming!

    Go figure.

  61. Steve, as I mentioned on the Dark Side, I always assumed the West coast. That is always how I pictured it. Maybe north of Cedar Key… or around Apalachicola. Beautiful beaches up that way, and not too crowded. West of Panama City is the Redneck Rivera.

  62. I tend to think of the whole FL Panhandle as the “redneck riviera”. Dirt Band even did a song by that title. I’m from/sail on the TX Gulf Coast, so only ocean sunRISES for me…sadly! Not being a “morning person”, don’t catch too many of those! πŸ™‚

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