Sunday, June 28, 2009


I am very lucky to have raspberries growing in my backyard. There were some black raspberries growing in the yard when we moved here 3 years ago, way in the back corner and almost swallowed up by large coniferous trees and a 50+ year old lilac bush. We moved the plants to over by the shed that first summer hoping they would be happy there, and I have to say that this year they've been very happy!

My dad has grown red raspberries for years and years, and gave me about a dozen plants 3 years ago. I planted them around a rotting stump and they've had 2 very good producing summers. I've been picking raspberries almost every day now for 2 weeks and have 2 gallons of berries in the freezer. We've eaten some fresh, of course, and friends have come over to pick berries, too.

I made my first batch of raspberry jam today--10 half-pints of black raspberry jam. My dad really likes black raspberries, so I will give him several of these jars, and when he comes over for the Fourth of July weekend I will make him a black raspberry cobbler. I'm sure it won't be as good as his stepmother made, but I can try!

I also harvested a cucumber, some side shoots of broccoli and half a head of cabbage. Yes, half a head! This is my first year trying to grow cabbage and the slugs got the better of me. I tried pouring beer in shallow dishes but wasn't consistent with it. So one side of the cabbage was slimy and the other side was nice. The rest of the garden is looking good. The cauliflower heads are just starting to appear. I'd almost given up on them; the plants are huge! Lots of squash, zucchini, celery on the way.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Coldplay for my birthday!

Yesterday was my 40-somethingth birthday. I had a leisurely morning, then Caroline and I drove over to meet my parents for lunch at the Beef House. My parents had been on a trip with a club they're involved with and were on their way back to Illinois. On our drive home, we heard on the radio that there were still tickets available for Coldplay at Verizon Wireless Music Center. We stopped at the box office to see if any lawn seats were available, and I purchased 3 tickets for us. There were already people in line for the 6:00 gate opening when we bought our tickets at 3:30, so we ran home, packed a picnic dinner and waited for Karl to get home. Fortunately it's a quick drive to Verizon.

We arrived back at Verizon at 5:15. Verizon Wireless was there doing a promo where the first 100 Verizon customers who showed a Verizon phone could get in the "Jump The Line" gate area. Caroline has Verizon service, so I took her phone and got in that line while Caroline and Karl stayed in the regular line. When it was time to open all the gates, the Verizon gate was opened first, and it wasn't until all the Verizon people has been admitted that they opened the regular gates. It paid off, as I was able to place our blanket in the very front of the lawn section in the center section.

We ate our dinner and waited for the show to start. The first band was called Howling Bells. Didn't much care for them. Then came Snow Patrol, which at least I'd heard some of their songs. At this point Karl and I were beginning to think maybe we were too old to enjoy concerts...until Coldplay took the stage.

AWESOME! That about sums it up. A real crowd-pleasing show. Chris Martin has so much energy and really seems to enjoy what he's doing. Fun and entertaining to watch. About half-way through the band left the stage and went to a mini-stage located in a side section of the pavillion where they played a couple of songs. Then back to the main stage for a couple of numbers, then the band went to another mini-stage in the lawn section to our left. Finished up on the main stage. They played all the songs I wanted to hear except Speed of Sound.

As we were leaving Verizon we were handed a CD, which we promptly placed in the CD player of the car. Here's a link to get a free download of the CD that was handed out after the concert. It's 9 songs performed live by Coldplay. Fantastic!

Friday, June 5, 2009