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Thursday, June 26, 2008

My quick stop at Target (aka The $100 Store)

So I have to pick up ds from band practice on my way home. Ok. Let me rephrase that. I didn’t HAVE to do it, he called and asked since it’s so hot & muggy, he didn’t feel like riding his bike 2 miles back home. I said sure since I’m a nice mom J Really though, I had to stop at Target and he was literally right around the block. I wanted ONE thing. That stuff you spray or sprinkle on garden plants for buggy things. I know, I know. Organic. But heck, my tomato plants are wilting and shrivling up & the undersides are covered with white stuff. So too bad. No organic this summer. Park by garden center. Walk in garden center. Tell ds that we are here for one thing. He asked if he can go look at the tank tops. I said sure, off with you. Pick up 2 10” pots on clearance for $1.48 each. No dusty stuff. Hmmm. Walk into store – BIG NO NO!!! Patio center is ALL on clearance. Have a new patio umbrella leaning against cart. Ds shows up with tank tops. $9.99. Oh sure, they are white, thank god!! No, not wife beaters either!! Then he says, I need new headphones for Ipod. I know they have them for 10 bucks. Sure, off with you. Stroll that way through the food section, leaving umbrella behind. Oh look, candy on clearance. What a great thing!! Pick up 2 lb bag of twizzlers for $1.48. Woohoo. Ds comes back and tosses in the $9.99 headphones. Now I have 2 pots, pkg of tank tops, head phones and twizzlers. Hmmm. What’s this. Buy any 4 of these items & get a $5 gift card. Hmm. $3.99 each. Special event purchase. I DO need cleaning supplies. In goes the happy scrubby bubby stuff, tilex fresh shower, lyson toilet cleaner AND 3 pk of ziplocs. These were things that I needed, just not right now. The ds says, hey I need toothpaste & mouthwash. Off we go, further into the store. Yikes! Find toothpaste & mouthwash. In the cart they go. Go back to garden center to check out. $80.xx is the total. Hey, where’s my $5 gift card?? Oh, I need to go to the Customer Service desk, inside the store, at the other end of the building? I think not. After 15 minutes of the cashier trying to figure it out, the manger finally shows up. He can’t figure out why it didn’t go through either. Hands me 2 coupons for $3.00 off each for my inconvenience. Hey. I made an extra dollar there. I’m thrilled!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Recipe - Benihana Onion Soup

This is what I made for dinner on Tuesday (which was soup and sandwiches) ... of course, dd is at work, dh is out to dinner with his Chrysler rep and ds is with the band meeting with the reps from Warner (yes, they are working on a recording deal ... we shall see).

I determined that yes, I could eat this a few times a week. And heck, it's cheap to make! Trying to figure just how many calories it could possibley have in it :) Can't be much, its just broth, shrooms and green onions. Oh yeah, and them crunchy fried onions :)

Oh. There went my theory!! hehe

Be sure to read my notes at the end for my modifications!
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 white onion
1/2 carrot, chunky chop
1/2 celery stalk, chunky chop
4 green onions, green only, thinly sliced
6 medium size shrooms, thinly sliced
Crunchy fried onions (you know the ones!), just a bit, not a lot needed

Combine chicken broth and water in large saucepan over high heat. Rough chop onion, add to broth with carrots and celery. Bring to boil then reduce heat to a simmer.

Simmer soup for 10 minutes then strain veggies and toss them out. Keep broth over low heat to keep warm.

Ladle broth in bowl. Sprinkle a few pieces of the crunchy onions on top, slice a mushroom or 2 (or 3) and sprinkle these with the green onions over top.

When the onions sink after a few minutes, serve the soup.

Ok, my notes: 1. You can take the real easy way out and just by the VEGGIE broth available in stores and only do the onions. I'm certain it would be the same thing.

2. It's a little salty. If doing the canned broth, try to use some reduced sodium.

3. I used the McCormick chicken base stuff (paste like) where it's 1 tsp for each cup of water.

4. Don't be tempted to add other seasonings! This is suppose to be a simple soup. It's good. Trust me. Now off to the kitchen you go!

Books I'm reading (6/24)

I finished the Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand in 2 days (Sunday to Tuesday of last week). I am now reading Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand. Was a little difficult to get into, but now that I'm on page 94, getting better. These are both easy reads for the summer. I love to read and will read just about anything. And so glad that I rediscovered the library!! Thank you Broward County Library!

Menu 6/23 to 6/29

I'm having a difficult time planning the menu week with Monday being the start date. Sure, I could alter my form, but heck, that might be too much work. Once I figure out how to add files to this site, I will do that Monday - Chicken filets served with a salad (romaine, iceburg & garden lettuce, carrots, radicchio) Tuesday - soup & sandwiches (will slice the dried tomato & herb turkey I bought a few weeks back) Wednesday - beef shoulder filet. Dd has been asking for beef for a few days, said she's tired of chicken(??!!) Thursday - leftovers ... and/or soup & salad Friday - (I'm off!) roasted whole chicken OR cut up chicken & grilled & bbq'd Saturday - steaks & taters Sunday - Pork tenderloin (note to self - put some aside for cubanos the following week) Nothing to really post as far as recipes go for the week. Boy. Should be an easy week in the kitchen!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Weekend doings

Again it rained and rained hard. We really need it so I'm not going to complain too much, but still, a little dry weather would be appreciated too right now! Didn't get out on the boat ... obviously. Too many gusts of winds within those storms. They aren't the ususal 'on the breeze' either, but hours long. So instead, I tackled the kitchen on Saturday as I have a large bag put together (again) for goodwill. While I did the kitchen, dh did his dresser. He got rid of a lot. Then he tackled the garage. Really, the garage is not 'bad' as we do park the Tahoe in there, and it's not a storage area. He's very neat & orderly, obsesively so at times so not a lot wrong, just purge time! The kitchen was interesting, to say the least. I did the pots and pans, baking dishess, and my large appliance & mixing bowl sections (3 cabinets, below counters). Tossed a lot. Rearranged (swapped out the pots & pans with the appliances, like food processor & blender & choppers) and bowls. Then discovered that I had quite a bit of baking dishes that fit the new toaster oven. We (me & dh, kids already do) need to start using that more as I think it uses less energy than the massive convection oven. I even decided, after a little thought, got rid of my george foreman rotissire oven (if you live in South Florida and want one, send me an email before the end of the week!). It's big. It's bulky. I never seem to buy a small enough chicken! And so on. Bulk trash pick up is Tuesday. I don't know why, but dh doesn't think alot of stuff is donatable. Like paint rollers, still in the plastic. Duh. So he tosses them in the trash pile. Grrr. It annoys me but what can I do? So I made the blackened chicken sandwiches on the grill pan in the house on Saturday since it was still pouring down rain at 9:30pm. Made the pasta sauce all day on Sunday in the crockpot & cooked up some spaghetti while dh made the garlic rolls. EXCEPT, I didn't buy any rolls and forgot (can you believe that!) to make the dough ... so we pulled out 6 mini croissants from the freezer and used them. We even made them in the toaster oven! Hehe. They were good. Also made a salad that half the lettuce came from my garden (woohoo!!!). So it's Monday and I was all set to do the bus thing today. But now they call for major rain again this evening AND are saying that the gas average for South Florida is $3.99. I did notice that the gas station down the street was 2 cents less a day after I put my measly $20 in ... I don't know what it is now, a week later but I suppose I'll go put another $20 in today. OH - ds is apparently meeting with a record company and their producer Tuesday (next week, I think!) This is great news. They've met with someone before (in Europe, can't remember the exact name of the company, think it was Warner) and was suppose to meet with someone in Mexico but something happened with that. I'm excited! Speaking of sons, be sure to keep an eye for my "Priceless" recommendation commercial for Mastercard! Keep eyes open for this weeks menu & recipes and have a great Monday!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Garden update - June 20th

Thankfully it's been raining all week. We so need the rain and everything is green & growing! I finally got the green pepper plants in the ground. They were just taking over the one pot & only planted the big ones (5 I think) in 2 clusters. Two or three have little buds coming in ... can't wait! The tomato plants are getting tall & both have about 6 buds or so. I'm a little concerned as the bottom leaves are turning yellow which happens every year but I don't know if this is a bad sign or not? Will have to keep an eye on them. I think I'm going to leave them in the 2 pots they are in now ... again, I don't know what the heck I'm doing! The basil, mint & cilantro is out of control. I am so glad I left these in pots. The mint is unbelievable. When I got it, I thought it was scraggly and going to die a slow death. NOPE - it's lucious. Unfortunately, no one else in the house (especially dh) likes mint all that much. I've been putting all 3 in my salads daily to use as I trim and sharing with my co-worker (she gets a weekly bowl of all 3). Need to research & see if and how I can preserve the mint & cilantro. The lettuce has suddenly taken off too. I know this all from the rain. This is the first week I felt ok with cutting some for salads. It's pretty tasty stuff but of course, gourmet, not the usual iceburg and romaine! Yummm. Green onions are still growing tall & need trimmed a few times a week. The sunflowers (3) are doing well. One has a large head and the other is getting ready to open. 3rd is just hanging out still. Dd went ahead and planted more seeds, WITHOUT supervision (heck, she's 17) and well, I told her a foot apart, she barely placed them in the soil 6 inches apart, then it rains (floods) and they have started coming up already, but we are going to have to replant them. They are too close to the grass and the lawn boys will just weed wack them right off. They don't pay attention. All the more reason to have ds start cutting the grass. Oh well. So yes, so far, I'm happy with the results. As I'm sure everyone has been reading, gardening and growing your own food is now all the rage. It should be and it should NOT be the latest thing. I don't get that at all?

Blackened Chicken Sandwiches

I so love these & dh is the one that started it all Boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced thin (or you can use the cutlets, or pound the heck out of them) lemon juice blackened fish seasoning (we use Paul whatever his name is) Tomato slices lettuce mayo sandwich or burger buns Lay chicken in glass baking dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Sprinkle with blackened seasoning, remembering that the amount you use is the amount of heat you get. Let sit for 2 hours or so in fridge. Grill. Toast buns. Serve. Oh yum. I usually snag a piece and hide in fridge for a salad later in the week!

Tortilla Pie

This is a Martha Stewart Food recipe. I modified it everytime I make it but I am posting the original recipe: Its considered the Express Lane recipe ... will have to research to refresh my mind as to why :) I think it's the one grocery bag equals 5 meals? 4 flour tortillas, 10 inch (I use wheat) 1 tbs olive oil plus more for pan (forgot the last time I made it and lost the bottom layer) 1 med onion, diced 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes salt & pepper to taste 2 tbs tomato paste 1 lb ground beef (I used chicken from the can!) 3 garlic cloves minced 1 pkg (10 oz) corn kernels 3 cups loose spinach (never used) 2 cups shredded mont. jack cheese (I use whatever I have on hand) fresh cilantro for garnish (I'd be banished from house if I used!) sour cream (optional) Preheat oven to 400 ... use paring knife & trim tortillas so they fit the bottom of a 9" springform pan (I skip this whole thing and use a pie pan!) Heat oil in large skillet, cook onion, cumin and red pepper flakes and salt & pepper til onions are softer. Stir in tomato paste & raise heat to med high. Add meat & garlic, cook, braking up with spoon, til no longer pink. Add corn & spinach & stir until spinach wilted (or til corn is a bit defrosted) Place 1 tortilla in bottom of pan. (oops, don't forget to lub up the bottom of pan with oil or spray!) spread evenly over top 1 1/2 packed cups of meat mixture and 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat layers, ending with last tortilla on top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 15 to 20 minutes til lightly brown. Run knife around edge & remove sides of pan (if springform). Use 2 large spatulas, lift pie and transfer to cutting board or large plate. Cut into wedges & serve with sour cream.

Menu for 6-16 to 6-22

Since I've fallen a bit off the wagon as far as the sticking with the plan aspect: Monday - Pizzas - original plan was to do homemade, but ended up picking up 2 at BJ's for $8.99 & $9.99 ... really need to stick with the plan! Tuesday - First, baked taters, then hamburgers & brats and THEN - OUT to Sweet Tomatoes! Crap! Wednesday - Burgers ... in the electric skillet as it was pouring down rain ... ended up making some cheapo noodles by Lipton (chicken flavor) which I do NOT recommend Thursday - Chicken Tortilla Pie - yeah! Everything went according to plan, made in the toaster oven that I got a few weeks ago. First time I've used it & knocked off 5 minutes from the behemoth oven :) Friday - blackened chicken sandwiches - I am so hoping that it's not raining this evening. Would really like to have some quality pool time with dh and grill. Saturday - left this open as not sure if we are boating or whatnot. Could be bratwurst. Could be steaks. Could be sandwiches! :) Sunday - Pasta - hopefully I will have time to make my sauce during the day.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The grocery sales papers came out yesterday and today. Tonight, I sat down & went through them and made a list for each store and then attached the list to each sales paper with a paperclip. I am bound & determine to stick with it this week!! As I type that, I remember that I have to get milk which is NEVER on sale!! Bummer. It’s been a tough week. I don’t know why, other than the fact that I’ve slept til 6:30 or 7am every day since the kids don’t have to be up at 5am to get ready for school. It’s really thrown me for a loop … I just don’t have enough time to do everything in the morning now … need to get my new routine down & quick. I had a menu set for the week. I only deviated it and we ate mostly leftovers this week. Chili and hot dogs on Sunday, chili cheese dogs on Monday, Tuesday was grilled cheese & chili, Wednesday was pasta & chili (still have chili!!!) and tonight I made chicken thighs broccoli & wild rice (nice of a change!) But I need to be sure to put the chili in freezer tomorrow. Friday was originally going to be a stay home day. Clean house. Cook. Hang out in pool. Then I thought I better do my shopping as it’s Fathers day weekend AND we will probably be on boat. Plus ds has a hair cut appointment at 3pm (yahoo! He’s getting it cut, not short, but shorter!!!). AND dd’s best friend will be staying the week next week while her mom is out of town so that will be an extra teen to feed. Not a big deal, but still. Saturday and/or Sunday will be boating days. DH wants to go out on Sunday, even though we don’t normally since it’s a pain to clean boat, put everything away etc. He’s just to anal to deal with that stuff. But whatever, if he wants to go both days, we will. We still wanted to get to JC Pennys as they had polos on sale and he is in dire need of new ones for work. BUT I don’t think that’s going to happen. Offered to swing by while running around tomorrow and I was told that I don’t know what he likes in a polo. Hmmm. We’ve been together since 1982. What do you make of that? Then again, just found out, in the past year, chunky tomatoes cooked are icky. Hmmm. Now that was something! Needless to say, the chili no longer has chunky tomatoes. I’m thinking this is the start of mid-life crisis … just kidding!!! My lettuce is really starting to come in…I’m so excited. The tomato plants are growing too … I’ve even got little blooms Woohoo!! Just in time with the stupid tomato recall going on! The mint is out of control, and the cilantro keeps trying to flower (even though I keep pinching it back!) and the basil is luscious. Green onions are doing the same as always, growing tall. The largest sunflower is finally open & yellow. Dd is so thrilled. Ok, I have to go pick up the kids at a friends, they’ve been playing wii all night long I bet!!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Warning - Ramblings

It’s Friday. It’s gorgeous outside. I’m sitting here, alone, in my office that is a nice chilly 40 degrees. Ok, that’s an exaggeartion, but it’s freakin cold in here! And quiet!!! And I’m bored. Notice that the stock market tanked. Unemployment is up to 5.5%, highest in 20 years. Foreclosures are at 1,000,000 homes and rising. FP&L are requesting a rate increase to cover the fuel charges of 16%. They just did that last year or so AND also got the hurricane recovery fee approved. Oh – and oil just hit over $135 a barrel. Yeah, I could easily get myself all worked up and depressed, but I’m not going to. I am happy for the things I have. I just hope that we can continue to keep these things. Hubby & I had to take out one of the gel batteries from the boat last night as it keeps draining. He is going to pick up a new one today. The cost will probably run over $100. Good lord. This boat is costing a lot to keep up & maintain. Yamaha paid $8000 for motor and we had to pay another $2200. Suppose it’s better than having to pay $10 grand which would basically almost buy you a new motor, but not a yamy 300 hp bad boy … I don’t know if we are planning on boating or not this weekend. Seas are suppose to be rough with a small craft advisory warning. Not exactly fun ocean boating weather! But we do need to take a leisure ride down the intracoastal and check out the new no-wake zone. They had put new signs up last week, on the west side by the house said “no wake” and the east side, the old sign “resume moderate speed” was still up. So I guess it depends on which way you looked (and the fact that you are heading north or south is even more bizarre overall!). But really, a weekend at home, floating in the pool, relaxing, doing stuff in the garden & yard, relaxing sounds good. DH, of course, does not agree! The kids are officially out of school. Daughter works 10 to 6 today and 1:30 to 11pm tomorrow. She’s bummed but at least she can go check out the free surf lessons in the morning. Son colored his hair this morning. Did not know anything about it except that princess told me he was up already cuz she helped him do it. Better not be a funky color, blonde is what he normally does. He hates it that it gets dark dark underneath and white blonde from the sun & pool (hey, he’s a rocker and I would think that would be cool??). I have yet to take the bus, but the kids have been using up their bus passes. I am so glad that I bought them when I did as they’ve had to take the city bus home from school these past 2 weeks quite a bit. I planned on driving to work Tuesday, have dh drop me off on Wednesday and take the bus Thursday & Friday. BUT (of course, there is an excuse/reason!)Wednesday I thought my g/f was going to bring some fresh dolphin (mahi mahi) that her friends had caught on Tuesday AND I was going to run to Costco for some fruit & bread since I’m over half way there at the office. No fish, and didn’t get out to Costco. That night, my other g/f called to see if I wanted to do lunch on Thursday. Sure. Drove to work to drive to lunch. Friday (today), well, I had to drive cuz I have to stop at Blockbuster to return 2 movies that will be officially late tomorrow AND I have to stop at Winn Dixie (uggg) to get the Tide that’s on sale for $5.99 and use my $1.00 off coupon that expires on the 8th. Oh yeah, and to pick up some beer for the weekend. So I am planning on starting on Monday with bus, drive Tuesday and Wednesday & Thursday bus. Not only will this cut back fuel consumption on MY part, but will also be good for the extra exercise and maybe appreciate a little more of what I should be more grateful of!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I had to stop at Goodwill on the way home from work last Wednesday night to drop off the stuff in the back of truck. Since I had to go inside, figured I’d look around as the place was CLEAN and very very neat & orderly! Surprise! Picked up a pair of white nautical pants and a coral color Liz Claiborne tank. They were $6 each. Wow. I thought that was expensive. Even the non name brand stuff was $4 or $5 each. So in addition to really cleaning the place up, they have raised their prices. They no longer do ½ off certain color tags either. Gal at register said new management, a lot of negative policies. Hmmm. Wonder what she meant by that? Think I may stick with Out of the Closet that goes to $1 on certain colors each month. Freebies from girlfriend! Last wednesday night my girlfriend came over for a while as we haven’t seen each other in a while. It was nice to see her! Cathy also brought over a big black garbage bag full of clothes! Woohoo! Wish I had known she was coming as I would have skipped shopping at Goodwill! I got (thank you thankyou!) a new black bikini by dkny, along with a stretchy red skirt & a really cool black tank for coverups. DH has been on me to get a new suit before summer. I’ve been wanting to wait to lose a couple of pounds. The suit is a size 8, my size, but tiny. Oh well. May motivate me more to lose! Hehe. Also, 5 cardigan, tank sets (all liz Claiborne), 3 dresses, just the flowing pull over types, 2 blouses, a really cool blue & white top which I’m wearing to work today with my new white pants, a Body by Victoria Secret bra (I know these things go for $50+ and it’s MY size, she won’t tell me how or where she got it … I KNOW it’s not her size!) and a few scarves which I may use as belts…and necklaces. The leather & beaded ones…I love those things. It’s like my birthday!! Woohoo!! Thank you thank you thank you! I’m a very happy camper.

Gardening

Gardening: Sunday, drove by home depot (after dropping dd off at work & on way to music store for ds to get guitar strings) to get a few bags of dirt to replant a few things in garden containers. Ended up buying 2 tomato plants also. I usually try to use my seeds but well, I’m just impatient and yes, it was a spontaneous purchase. Planted them in 2 large pots that I got from hardware store a few weeks ago (dirt cheap!) and replanted the green onions & basil also. Moved all over to under the cabbage palm tree by the fence. My thoughts are that the tomatoe plants usually get cooked by the summer sun. So hopefully begin that they will get filtered sunlight from the tree and still be able to get the rain, they will do ‘ok’. I will let you know! While on the boat on Saturday, I noticed a house on the east side of the intracoastal (meaning the dock has full west exposure) that the dock was full of garden pots. No, not flowers, tomatoes & such. They had the cages made out of what looked to be chicken wire, shaped in a square shape to match the pots. I was very very impressed. We are off the intracoastal too, but 2 houses in on a smaller canal, this house was full intracoastal, which equates to big bucks! J Meaning: even the wealthy are considering growing their own food in these tough times. I have to tell you, while at home depot, I was amazed (and impressed) at the number of people buying veggie plants. A lot of younger urban type couples. Could it be the home grown revolution is taking over?? J Update on Gardening The basil, cilantro and mint plants are doing really well. I replanted the basil into a little bit bigger pot but nothing large and moved it over to the fence with the tomatoe plants and the green onions (in a small terracotta pot). The cilantro & mint are still on the pavers by garage entrance but in the shade of this large (non-edible) plant. The tomatoe plants are growing taller. Will have to evaluate how I can tie them up to the fence as they grow. I’m guessing with pantyhose pieces? Oh. I don’t even have any hose!! I’ll figure something out, I’m sure! The green pepper seeds that I had tossed in to the large pot of dirt (didn’t really even bury them) have taken off like crazy and I have 4 or 5 that are very tall & will most likely produce peppers. I’ve been weeding the smaller plants out (not keeping as I don’t know where I would put them) so as not to crowd them too much. I think that is always my problem with container growing. The lettuce is doing terrific!! I planted another thin row on either side of the main one that is already growing to keep the season going. The fresh rain & late afternoon sun is doing great for them! I can’t wait to start trimming & trying (think baby greens!) I saw something kind of cool and interesting that I’m gonna try. Take those cinderblocks with the 2 holes on the sides. Lay them with hole facing up and down. Fill partial with dirt, add seeds/plant & fill remaining with dirt. This was used with romaine lettuce. Awesome idea!!! I brought 3 small plastic containers in for my co-worker. One with mint, one with cilantro and one with basil. She was thrilled and was adding to her lunch last time I checked. It’s good to share! Now if I could just keep the cat from leaving me presents & gifts. Not ON the plants, but in the general area. I think he’s leaving them cuz he knows I’m always out there puttering around & will see them. Nice Kiki, but not necessary!

Gardening

Gardening: Sunday, drove by home depot (after dropping dd off at work & on way to music store for ds to get guitar strings) to get a few bags of dirt to replant a few things in garden containers. Ended up buying 2 tomato plants also. I usually try to use my seeds but well, I’m just impatient and yes, it was a spontaneous purchase. Planted them in 2 large pots that I got from hardware store a few weeks ago (dirt cheap!) and replanted the green onions & basil also. Moved all over to under the cabbage palm tree by the fence. My thoughts are that the tomatoe plants usually get cooked by the summer sun. So hopefully begin that they will get filtered sunlight from the tree and still be able to get the rain, they will do ‘ok’. I will let you know! While on the boat on Saturday, I noticed a house on the east side of the intracoastal (meaning the dock has full west exposure) that the dock was full of garden pots. No, not flowers, tomatoes & such. They had the cages made out of what looked to be chicken wire, shaped in a square shape to match the pots. I was very very impressed. We are off the intracoastal too, but 2 houses in on a smaller canal, this house was full intracoastal, which equates to big bucks! J Meaning: even the wealthy are considering growing their own food in these tough times. I have to tell you, while at home depot, I was amazed (and impressed) at the number of people buying veggie plants. A lot of younger urban type couples. Could it be the home grown revolution is taking over?? J Update on Gardening The basil, cilantro and mint plants are doing really well. I replanted the basil into a little bit bigger pot but nothing large and moved it over to the fence with the tomatoe plants and the green onions (in a small terracotta pot). The cilantro & mint are still on the pavers by garage entrance but in the shade of this large (non-edible) plant. The tomatoe plants are growing taller. Will have to evaluate how I can tie them up to the fence as they grow. I’m guessing with pantyhose pieces? Oh. I don’t even have any hose!! I’ll figure something out, I’m sure! The green pepper seeds that I had tossed in to the large pot of dirt (didn’t really even bury them) have taken off like crazy and I have 4 or 5 that are very tall & will most likely produce peppers. I’ve been weeding the smaller plants out (not keeping as I don’t know where I would put them) so as not to crowd them too much. I think that is always my problem with container growing. The lettuce is doing terrific!! I planted another thin row on either side of the main one that is already growing to keep the season going. The fresh rain & late afternoon sun is doing great for them! I can’t wait to start trimming & trying (think baby greens!) I saw something kind of cool and interesting that I’m gonna try. Take those cinderblocks with the 2 holes on the sides. Lay them with hole facing up and down. Fill partial with dirt, add seeds/plant & fill remaining with dirt. This was used with romaine lettuce. Awesome idea!!! I brought 3 small plastic containers in for my co-worker. One with mint, one with cilantro and one with basil. She was thrilled and was adding to her lunch last time I checked. It’s good to share! Now if I could just keep the cat from leaving me presents & gifts. Not ON the plants, but in the general area. I think he’s leaving them cuz he knows I’m always out there puttering around & will see them. Nice Kiki, but not necessary!