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You're About to be Redirected to the New Home of Ground Control to Major Mom: 7/19/09 - 7/26/09

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Next Patient...

From 2009 07 21 Garden

This one will be ready to open up on Thursday morning, with plenty of male buds also ready to pollinate!

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pumpkin and Hops Updates

First of all, a week after the artificial insemination, here's what we have for a pumpkin so far:
This is about 1.5 lbs. and about 10" circumference. I'm so excited at this!

Unfortunately, the next several female flowers haven't been opening up, but they can be really sensitive to amounts of water it receives. There are 4-5 more buds pending, and I'm keeping tabs on it...

Someone on Facebook commented about the breed of pumpkin he was growing, and it wasn't till then I realized I don't know what breed this pumpkin is going to be. It could be a pie pumpkin, a jack 'o lantern pumpkin, or maybe one of those state fair pumpkins?

We'll all just have to wait and see....

Break break.

I'm not sure whether I'd mentioned it on my blog, but we are also growing hops in our backyard. We ordered some rhizomes this past spring from American Brewmaster, the store that Dave frequented for his beer-making supplies while we were living in NC. After consulting billions of websites (here's one) looking for how hops are grown, we learned that Nebraska is at the ideal latitude for growing them, and if the soil is good, and they're planted in the right place, we could get enough hops to nicely augment Dave's homebrewing.

So Dave ordered two rhizomes of Centennial hops this past March (at $4 per rhizome, this seems a much better deal than $4 per ounce for hops cones themselves!), and we potted them in pots in April to give them a head start. This is from April 9th.
The first week of May, Dave rigged up the trellising and we put the hops in the ground!
There was little progress for a month or so, Dave and I got a bit worried. By Memorial Day, nothing was climbing...

Picture from May 26th.
Just before our vacation, we saw evidence of some real climbing, and by the time we got back from our vacation, the vines had reached the tops of the trellises! From June 29th.
Just after July 4th, flowers started to appear up at the topmost parts of the vines, and I've been having a pretty hard time getting good pictures of's what I got today (July 21):

We weren't expecting flowers this year. Hops are perennial vines that usually use its first-year growth to focus on strengthening its root system and establishing itself. But whatever we get will be great, and can be preserved for future brews. We're just starting to see the flowers, flowering is allegedly going to continue through late August/early September, so I foresee plenty for at least one batch for Dave and his friends to enjoy this fall/winter.

After all, the world is just coming off of a hops shortage, and the homebrewers takes the brunt of such shortages....

Cheers and happy gardening!

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Barenaked Ladies Concert

Many of you saw the photo I'd e-mailed out yesterday -- you can quickly post to your blog with your telephone and that's what I did.

"What's the big deal? So it's a blurry picture of a bunch of guys playing on a could have been anyone"

You're right, it could have been the band that was playing earlier, lots of classic rock covers...not bad. But it wasn't, it was the best I could do with my phone camera. If you want better pictures, I'll steal these.

Five years ago, Dave and I had tickets to see the Barenaked Ladies in Orlando. Unfortunately, I got really sick and Dave ended up going with one of our friends, Andy, instead. Dave is the bigger fan, but the concerts are a lot of fun and I'm sorry I couldn't go.

While we were on vacation, we were listening to one of Dave's live tracks from an "Everything to Everyone" concert and Dave said, "Boy, I wish we could see one of their concerts again, it's a lot of fun." So one day on the internet during our vacation, I checked their concert schedule and there it was: Council Bluffs, IA on July 18th. Whoa...that's SOON!

With some further investigation, I learned that BNL was playing at a Ribfest outside of the Mid-America Center to launch the RAGBRAI bike ride event which started in Council Bluffs this year. And that if you used the promotion code "RAGBRAI" on Ticketmaster, the tickets were half price (although, with all of Ticketmaster's fees and charges, it ended up more 2/3 the price). Whoo hoo!

Dave and I went and had a great time, enjoying some Tennessee ribs -- some of the best I've ever had -- and then finishing up just in time to get a decent view of the concert! BNL played for about 90 minutes, and by then many of the people were taking off to prepare to start their ride (I guess folks were free to start at midnight Saturday night/Sunday morning). We debated sticking around afterwards to meet the band, but we couldn't figure out where on the Ribfest ground the band would be afterwards, so we ended up just leaving.
From 2009 07 18 RAGBRAI_Ribfest_BarenakedLadies

Their concerts are fun -- a lot of improv and fun banter. Of note was Ed Robertson picking on the sign language lady standing in the front row with her very own spotlight, signing the entire concert, songs and all. He was trying to talk really fast, or use really strange words to try to challenge her. He then lauded her for doing so well with their two "brand new" songs that Ed claimed he didn't even know the words for :-).

I was tickled at all the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese pasta that gets tossed up onto the stage during the song "If I Had $1000000".
From 2009 07 18 RAGBRAI_Ribfest_BarenakedLadies

PS: I don't get to go to music concerts a lot. I guess I average 1 concert per place I've lived, but I don't even think I saw any when I was living in FL. In Ohio Dave and I went to a Stone Temple Pilots, Godsmack and Disturbed show that had us fearing a random urinalysis for the next 48 hours or so. The last famous act I got to see live was Harry Connick, Jr. in Cary, NC 2 years ago. That was amazing.