I’m Stuck At P Is For Pumpkin…

IMG_8243_row_pumpkins_october_2014 (1049x1280)

I can’t get enough of these babies.

‘Tis the season.

I am neck deep in Scrivener II — advanced Scrivener — this week.

This be a blog quickie.

Hover and click.

You know you want to.

Let’s just eat pie for Hump Day.

Pie cures everything.

Pumpkin Pie.

With whipped cream.

I have a thing about whipped cream since visiting the Land of Lincoln.

Don’t ask.


Back in the Land of Lincoln…

Meanwhile, back in the Land of Lincoln.

Just over the Indiana border.

Past the Village of St. Joseph.

If you hit Champaign/Urbana, you’ve gone too far.

Out in the corn and soybean fields sits the Dairy Barn in Sidney, Illinois. Population about 1200.

IMG_7915_dairy_barn_1_september_2014 (1278x1280)

Let me just say right up front I’ve never been a big fan of soft serve.

Actually, ice cream isn’t my dessert of choice.

After a visit to LOL Sister in September, I have to amend that statement.

I’ve never been a big fan of soft serve, but I’m a big fan of the lemon soft serve I had at Sidney Dairy Barn.

IMG_7910_dairy_barn_2_september_2014 (1280x954)

We hit this place just before noon. It wasn’t even open yet. We waited.

Soft serve for lunch. Who’s with me?

I understand there is always a line of an evening during the season. As in, the place is hopping.

I looked at the board. It was Saturday. The featured flavor for the week was lemon. Worked for me.

Because I love lemon. Lemonade. Lemon tart. Lemon meringue pie. Lemon squares. Lemon chicken. As a kid, I used to suck on lemons sprinkled with salt. Freak girl.

Staff opened the window promptly at noon, and I placed my order. We all had lemon. I ordered the small, but thought about ordering the kiddie cone. Two tongue-swipes in and I wished I had ordered the equivalent of a venti or trenta. You Starbuck folk know what I’m talking about.

It was the best soft serve I have ever had. Somewhere between ice cream and custard. Soft and smooth. Lemon, but not tart. That lemon had been mellowed out. It was in the zone. Mellow, baby. And just a hint of sweet. Even the cone had a flavor, and it wasn’t the cardboard flavor I’m accustomed to. It was a little vanilla here, a touch of I-have-no-idea there.

How I managed not to get a shot of this lemon deliciousness, I do not know. It was gone before I could even whip my not-so-smart-phone out of my back pocket. Licks fingers. Smacks lips.

IMG_7913_dairy_barn_september_2014 (1280x956)

Seriously cute. I need that cow. There is a nice, empty space in my office over the garage just waiting for that cow. If that cow goes missing, Sidney Dairy Barn, it wasn’t me. I swears.

IMG_7912_dairy_barn_4_september_2014 (1280x956)

Could I please have a ride in this Moo Mobile? Please, with lemon soft serve on it?

Here be Hump Day.


P.S. If I’m on that route again, Sidney Dairy Barn, I’ll be back…checking out the featured flavor. Count on it.

Hello, October…

IMG_7982_hello_october_2014 (1280x956)

Hello, October!

Click. It. Bigger.

That’s an order, blogger.

A guideline, actually.

I’m just back from a 6-day road trip to commune with the Michigander Sister in the Michigander Sister’s new home.

Guess I can’t call her Michigander Sister anymore. She’s livin’ the agricultural life in the Land of Lincoln, aka the Prairie State.


LOL Sister?

Illinian Sister?

Illinoisan Sister?

Prairie State Sister?

These are the kinds of thoughts that hurt my brain after romancing the road.

We zipped through Michigan, beetled through Indiana, and wandered in the wilderness in Illinois. It was corn and soybeans for as far as the eye could see. It was one lane roads, that zigged here and zagged there, through field upon field of corn and soybeans, soybeans and corn. The sun shone every day. I ate the best ice cream I’ve ever had — but that’s gonna require a post of its own — and met some really fine folk.

The only sounds were the trains, tractors, and cicadas. Oh. And the quadcopter. Yup. Another post.

It was the land of tractors, so you know I want to move there, right?

Also, the B-I-L (brother-in-law) has the sweetest Harley I have ever seen.

You have to be an early riser to get a ride.

I didn’t get a ride.



Happy first Hump Day of October.


p.s. That shot was taken on the long driveway to the mailbox, between the corn fields and the soybean fields, somewhere in the Land of Lincoln. Make that the Prairie State.

The Producer…

First things first.

Just so there isn’t any confusion.

Why, yes. I did change my header image. Thank you for noticing.

You did notice, right?

I do that from time to time. It’s like moving furniture. It must be done.

You may notice other little tweaks over the next few weeks.

Then, again, maybe not. I don’t know how much decaffeine you’ve had before you hit this site.

Do not be alarmed.

It’s just me.

Moving furniture.

Meanwhile, back at Burbville Farm & Gardens.

Remember this?

IMG_7192_close_chadwick_elengrey_august_2014 (765x1024)

Miss Chadwick Cherry?

I’ve been calling her Miss Chadwick Cherry all summer long when, in fact, this is Chadwick’s Cherry. As in… Alan Chadwick.

Thunks head on desk.

And referring to this tomato as Miss Chadwick’s Cherry just seems wrong, and maybe NSFW — not safe for work.

For the purpose of this post, Chadwick’s Cherry will remain She Who Must Be She.

She started out her burbville garden life in a little seed packet from Edible Antiques.

IMG_6251_tomato_pellets_elengrey_may_2014 (956x1280)


Chadwick’s first picture. More like a sonogram really.

This was my first year of growing from seed.

I started in April, but probably should have started in March.

It’s hard to tell. We had a cool, wet summer.

This represents four varieties — three plants of each. In no particular order, because I can’t tell them apart right now — There is a key somehwere. — Chadwick’s Cherry, Cherokee Purple, Constoluto Fiorentino, and Dr. Carolyn.

IMG_6394_chadwick_sprout_elengrey_may_2013 (1280x1280)

Little Miss Sprout. Finally, the morning sickness is over.

We’re sprouting. We’re sprouting!

IMG_6557_peat_pot_tomatoes_elengrey_may_2014 (1280x1280)

Peat pots, baby!

This went up on Instagram as my version of take-out salad bar. You’re looking at four types of tomato here.

I ended up with some square shots here. Don’t ask me how.

But, you know…

Hip to be square.

IMG_6585_chadwick_ground_elengrey_june_2014 (1280x1280)

Chadwick’s Cherry is in the ground.

The lone survivor of three seedlings.

I can’t really talk about it.

IMG_7173_chadwick_cherry_elengrey_july_2014 (886x1280)

The little cherry that could.

And she grew, and she grew, and she grew.

See the original tomato cage? Then the first set of stakes? Then the second?

Over the fence now.

Enjoy, neighbors!

IMG_7411_first_turning_chadwick_elengrey_august_2014 (956x1280)

Chadwick’s first turning.

Proud mama.

IMG_7858_picked_chadwick_elengrey_september_2014 (956x1280)

We’ve been collecting a basket of these every other day now.

I might have eaten a few during the photo shoot.


We call it…

The Producer.

Here be Hump Day.

Eat a tomato. You’ll feel better.


Single Shot Monday: Benched…

IMG_7780_benched_elengrey_september_2014 (1280x956)


I like groups of things.

I like things in fours.

I like leaves on the ground.

I took a little respite on this bench before I snapped it.

It’s my way.

It was a solid bench with a good view.

A view of the city.

In other news ~

In the morning, I don’t leap out of bed in a single bound.


In the morning, the hills aren’t alive with the sound of music for me.

Shocker, the sequel.

In the morning, I do not engage, and I do not like to be engaged with.

Yeah, we’ll just end that sentence with a prep. Because — hey — it’s Monday. And it’s morning.

So. Saturday morning I stood at the bathroom sink, with my spiked hair and sheet-wrinkled face and sleep-glued eyes, and proceeded to brush my teeth with…

IMG_7855_cortizone_elengrey_september_2014 (1024x765)

Yeah. Cortizone 10 plus. Creme + 10 healing moisturizers.

It looked just like a travel size tube of Colgate.

It didn’t taste like a travel size tube of Colgate.

The good news… I hadn’t swallowed yet.

Spit, spit, SPIT.

I grabbed the Listerine Total Care.

Swish, swish, SWISH.

I yelled down the stairs to Mr. G, honey.

Call the pharmacy. Tell them I just brushed my teeth with Cortizone 10 plus.

I know. You wanted to see the look on his face. Me, too.

Tell them I didn’t swallow.


Tell them I swished with Listerine.


Ask them what I should do.


I looked at my toothbrush and lobbed it into the dustbin.

I ripped open a new brush and vigorously brushed my teeth with toothpaste. Vigorously, as in now the enamel will have to be checked.

Then I rinsed with Listerine Total Care. Again.

The eyes had popped open. The hair was still spiked, but now those spikes were agitated. Add Cortizone, Listerine, and toothpaste spit to my sheet-wrinkled face, and Saturday morning was looking good.

I yelled down the stairs.

Tell the pharmacist I did this, this, and this.

I waited.



[long pause]

I sensed the head-shake. I felt the grin-creep.

Yeah. The pharmacist said you did it right.

Go ahead. Laugh, G-Man. You know you want to.

My middle name isn’t Lucy for nothing.

And Monday is in the house.


Single Shot Monday: Up, Up, Up…

IMG_7224_coming_up_yellow_elengrey_august_2014 (1024x765)


Not the good, salty kind.

Paint chips.

It’s all about the yellow.

Mellow yellow.

Golden yellow.

Meringue, which I always thought of as white.

Um, no.


At least in the world of paint chips.

The entire cave-like, vampire-ish first floor of the casa is being painted yellow and white, as soon as I can decide on the variations on yellow.

Sounds like a symphony.

A symphony of yellow.

I’m excited. In a color-induced, stressed-out, yellow coma kinda way.

It’s taken me all summer spring and summer to settle on the big Y.

It was the fretting.

Fretting sucks that paint chip decision into a vortex.

I had to look up, up, up to get this shot of yellow goodness.

You know you want to click it bigger.

And Monday floats in on cloud of Meringue.

No, wait. Honey Infusion.

No, no, no. Make that September Morning.

Pulls hair and exits left.