Miracle Garden

My dream to become a master gardener just got a step closer. I’m in AWE of what my garden did without me for 12 days!

The Eggplant ? had zero new produce growing on it when I left. Now as best I can count it has 20!!

The Cilantro seeds didn’t get blown away and are ready to be harvested for fall planting.

The Zucchini plants, I didn’t plant and wasn’t going to fail at growing again this year LOL, are growing like I’ve NEVER had my zucchini do. The leaves are massive, the branches have extended out like crazy (it MUST be a vine variety) several HUGE blossoms are already blooming and get this – no squash bugs! ??????

The Bell Pepper plant is still small but has 3 huge peppers on it! Can’t wait for them to ripen! ??

And the Tomato plants – holy cow. I don’t even know which variety is which now that they have so grown together and are heavy with LOADS of green tomatoes. Need to figure out which plant is the Green Tie Dyed tomato plant ? so I don’t miss harvesting them. Haha.

And that’s not even the whole of it.

Even my 11pm planting seeds the night before we left has been a succcess. New beans, flowers ? ? and echinacea are all sprouting.

Wow ?

And to think I was almost afraid to go out and look at the garden when we got home. Too many times before it’s been dead even after a short trip away. And this time was the longest. All it takes is a broken water line, extreme heat to arrive or crazy winds and without me there to help out…???‍♀️

This time all the advance preparation I did paid off! Plus a healthy portion of fairy ??‍♀️ dust. ???

Grateful beyond words.

Now it’s almost time to plant my melon seeds. No rest for a master gardener. ?

First meal tonight will be from my freshly harvested basil ? with the edible flowers (4 varieties) and 2 perfect eggplants. Combine this with the zucchini that was in my CSA bag from the farm and we’re going to have my all time favorite basil vinaigrette over dehydrated veggies. It’s going to be DELICIOUS!

Do you have a favorite recipe using basil and/or eggplants? Please share! I need lots of ideas. ?

Saying Arrivederci

Rome Italy Looking out the Window Black and White Tiffany Almazan

A fantastic, out of this world adventure is coming to a close and as we hang out of the kitchen window (our favorite place in the apartment)….

looking over our corner of the neighborhood in Rome I think….

~These are the windows that were all open on Saturday night letting us listen and watch the party.

~These are the trash cans that get emptied at midnight.

~These are the steps we watched the same girl sit on late every night. And the corner the nuns came around to enter the door those steps lead up to.

~These are the balconies we never saw anyone out on. What a shame.

~This is the spot where the group of guys hanging out last night left their trash that was magically gone in the morning. Nice work, pigeon! ??

~These are the cars that park wherever they want and don’t get towed.

~These are the scooters that are everywhere and have the easiest time of parking. We would count how many have alarm systems. ?

~This is the statue that was on our landing, the only one in the building.

~This is the elevator that only fit 2 people with bags or 4 skinny people shoulder to shoulder.

~This is the apparently unused park that we never did figure out what or who it was for.

Can anyone translate the sign?

~This is the street we stayed on. Love the neighborhood!

We don’t say “good-bye” as we’ll definitely be back to see you again soon, Italy ??!


If you want the hookup on where we stayed, drop me a note and I ‘may’ just share it with you. ??? We were in the heart of Ancient Rome, close to the subway, bus stops, grocery stores, restaurants, the delicious Raw chocolate shop and yet away from the main drags and mass of tourists. Absolutely perfect.

Only other place in Rome we’d consider staying is in the Jewish Ghetto. Stay tuned for a post on our visit to that neighborhood of Rome.

The Nose Knows

As is the required regular morning routine I was out playing ball with The Boys, Nicklas, Ian and Larkin, and one of the balls took a crazy bounce and ended up in the veggie bed. (the overflowing bed on the left in the photo, but of course.)

I searched for a while but the tomato plants have literally taken over, becoming so dense and tightly packed together I couldn’t find it without breaking branches.

So hoping I’d eventually come across it one day, I went in the house and got the back up ball. I luckily have a 4th extra ball as the neighbors tossed another one we’d lost many weeks ago back over the wall ??? and we finished our game.

A couple hours later Nicklas goes up to the garden fence, nose in the air obviously having caught a scent and I’m like OMG, he smells the ball! Almost disbelieving, I open the gate, only letting him in (Ian & Larkin know something is up and want in on it too LOL), and he goes right to the middle of the bed sticking his nose in amongst the tomato plants very carefully. He spots an opening by the basil plants and puts a paw in the dirt but quickly listens and takes his paw out when I tell him no.

He sniffs around a bit more and then zeros in with his nose stuffed in a plant and holds still. I check and yup, he’s found it!

I carefully reach in, moving leaves and branches to pick up the ball while Nicklas impatiently waits, thankfully not lunging into the garden bed to grab it.

He is very pleased with his find of course and proudly pranced off with Ian and Larkin hot on his heels, pestering him, hoping to steal his treasure. Lol.