Cooler weather, weekend fun, and VOTE

First, let’s start off by celebrating the cooler weather.  Woo-hoo!!!  We are finally in the low 80s/low 60s here.  Go ahead, my friends up north, laugh- -here those temperatures are actually cool, lol!  I don’t know if we’ll make a freeze by Halloween like we’ve done many times in the past, but at least the temperatures are sliding.

The spring/summer garden is officially over.  We had a tremendous harvest, with totals slightly over the ones I posted earlier for the year.  The horrendous temperatures held off until the latter part of summer, so we got a few extra weeks of production.  How hot did it eventually get here?  Hot enough to kill off my mint in the garden.  For those of you who have grown mint before, and watched it take over your property, you know exactly how hard it is to kill.  Mine went to herb heaven about seven weeks ago.

Despite my resolution to NOT plant a fall garden, to let the boxes/garden rows go fallow, I’ve decided to use one of the garden boxes while supplementing all the other spots with cow poo and letting them rest.  I’ve started from seed in cups cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, Swiss chard and bok choy.  Bok choy is AWESOME.  It’s kind of like celery, but very tender and very nutritious, and works great in stir fry, stews, soups, gumbo, etc.  Not to mention, all the veggies I listed above will tolerate below-freezing temperatures.  On the extremely rare occasion it got down to 17 degrees here, my cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach and parsley all survived without being covered.  Of course, it had rained prior to freezing, so they had a good covering of ice–maybe that helped insulate them?  Regardless, I feel confident enough in those choices to go ahead and get a garden box ready for them.

This past weekend we all had some time off together, and we went to St. Sophia’s Greek Funstival.  This was their 54th year, and our second year of going.  We always have a great time, and absolutely love the feeling of community and camaraderie.  It’s kind of funny/strange–when one thinks about our city, we might think of the Hispanic culture, India, Asia, but for some reason Greek is not one that automatically comes to mind, but there is a STRONG Greek community with St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church.  This year the weather was perfect (last year when we went it ended up raining) and there were a LOT of people there.  We enjoyed live Greek music and traditional dancing as well as gyros (beef and lamb mix with special seasoning, tomatoes, onions and topped with tzatziki sauce, which is a blend of cucumber, sour cream, yogurt and garlic), chicken souvlaki, dolmades (ground beef, rice and herbs wrapped in tender grape leaves) and fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth pitas, as well as loukoumathes (Greek deep-fried pastry puffs laced with honey).  The one thing we were looking forward to from last year?  Baklava.  Unfortunately, on the third day when we went, they were OUT.  In fact, they were out of the baklava, finiki (butter cookie dipped in honey and topped with nuts), and kourabie (almond cookie covered with powdered sugar).  ARGH!!!  That’s like going to a major league baseball game and finding out they’re out of peanuts and hot dogs!  Sorry, that’s not acceptable.  So, I did the only thing I could do–when we eventually left the festival, we stopped by the grocery store and I picked up the ingredients to make homemade baklava.  Easy ingredients, tedious assembly, but OH SO GOOD.

As far as today, if your state has early voting, today was the first day to vote!  We went first thing this morning and let our (little) voice be heard.  I think we’ve seen enough to know who should be in office and who shouldn’t.  The only way to make a difference is if you get out and vote, and besides, you can’t legitimately gripe about what’s going on in politics unless you voted.

Lastly, my thoughts on Obama appointing Ron Klain as Ebola ‘czar’.  He was a lawyer, court clerk, former chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden and also to then-Vice President Al Gore.  No healthcare experience.  No infectious disease/epidemiology experience.  Kind of like taking your car to a florist to have the transmission worked on, ya know what I mean?

People, get out and VOTE.  It’s the most important thing you can do.

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