Friday, July 3, 2009


I love gardening. I am an earth sign and it really shows. I dig in the dirt to relax and let my mind wander and create. From May to October I have dirt under my fingernails and hear the wild weed every time I walk past our garden.

Weeding - it's an endless and thankless task to be sure.

So...I thought it was time for a garden update. Things are progressing as well as can be expected, it is raining and cool.

Pictured left are what is left from my mass planting of zinnias. Note the stubs everywhere...some thing has been eating all of my baby flowers. Grrrr....chipmunks or rabbits - what's your guess? I need a force field - do they make such a thing for the garden?

I moved my herb garden recently in anticipation of a new deck being added outside our kitchen door. Seems like everyone has survived the transplant. Happy basil picture below.

Our cabbage patch...can't you just picture a bunny here.

Tomatoes growing away and almost ready to be trained to our experimental trellis system.

Long view of some of the garden

The three sisters planting system in action. Note the runner beans growing up the corn. So far, so good.

Happy potato plants.

Yellow squash in the three sisters system.

Finally, cucumbers are growing!!! Yeah!!!
Cucumber beetles have won the last three years and we have had none. I am excited!!


New grapes

Hydrangeas - love them!
Hope that you have enjoyed the update. Let me know what you think. I'll keep you posted with new pics and recipes. Happy gardening!!


It just doesn't feel quite like summer here in Ohio. We have had what feels like endless days of rain and cool temperatures. I'm feeling the need for some thing warm and yummy.

It been a little busy here in the office and around our home so dinners have to be quick and easy. Wah la...quick and easy Tomato Basil Crab Bisque.

I happen to have all the herbs waiting to be picked from the herb garden. We don't yet have a supply of fresh tomatoes (of course fresh is best) so canned tomatoes will do just fine in a hurry. I also used canned crab meat, once again, fresh is best, but canned will do in a pinch.

This soup is very tasty and satisfying (not low cal and worth every calorie.) It's definitely not the canned tomato soup I grew up on. The basil filled the kitchen with the most wonderful aroma. YUMMY!!! Enjoy!!!


1/4 stick of butter

1 10 oz. can of crab meat

2 cans of tomatoes

1/2 c. chopped fresh basil

1 clove garlic minced, (use more if you love garlic)
1 small can of tomato paste

1-1/4 c. half and half
1/2 c. sour cream

1 tsp. fresh thyme

1 tsp fresh oregano

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. hot pepper sauce

1 c. chicken broth

1 tbs. fresh lemon juice

basil leaves for garnish

Melt butter in large pot over medium high heat. Add the crab meat, chopped basil, garlic and tomatoes. Saute the mixture with the melted butter for 2 minutes. Incorporate the tomato paste into the sauteed ingredients, cooking for a few more minutes. Add the remaining ingredients except for lemon juice. Adjust the temperature to low and simmer for 10-12 min.

Puree half the soup in a food processor and return to pot. Serve with a small amount of lemon juice and basil leaf added as garnish to each bowl. Enjoy.