carolinainmymind

can't you see the sunshine….

At last, Wegmans

Today’s the day. To much fanfare the store opened at 7:00 AM this morning. Did I say much fanfare….

Above the fold, front page of Saturday’s paper. Feature segments on many local news stations. Rented signs on the highways leading to the store advising of traffic delays. A food ad in Wednesday’s paper

And they have mailed coupons….So excited! We won’t be going until the end if the week. After last week of traveling to my high school reunion I have had my fill of moving Ben about and in crowds.

When we were considering where to land as we planned our move back here, Wegmans coming to Raleigh helped tip the balance. I am glad that it is finally here.

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How’s the garden looking?

Well, thanks for asking. It still looks pretty good. Here, Hurricane Dorian was no worse than a thunder storm. We have had some thunderstorms this summer that caused some damage to the garden but nothing awful. And we have had some well spaced rain, but still I felt like I had to do way too much watering.

The tomatoes are still producing although the plants look rather sad.








I did finally get some green beans

The front needs some work. When the weather finally changes I will be moving some things around. I hope to plant daffodils in the new bed where the crepe myrtle is. It has done well and even managed a bloom. Next year should be a good year for it.

That’s how the front looks. Look for a later post about the deck.

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Well, all right

Guest Post by Guppy, Lucky Dog 3

She Who Must Be Obeyed says I have to write something. She says I have been coasting along. Just napping through summer! Really! It has been hot here. Too hot to do much but watch Dog TV and nap. And some days she turns off Dog TV because she says too much sunshine is coming in so I have to nap.

Anyway, I’m gonna be a calendar girl. Those nice folks at Saving Grace are making a fund raising calendar and I get to be on it. She and I have been experimenting with poses. She thinks we should use something avant garde (whatever that is) like this ear shot.



But you know that doesn’t show my whole natural beauty. So I don’t know.


Anyway, we’ll have to decide soon. And I get to take a vacation. I’m excited about that! I am going to discover my inner wild dog and run with the pack. What fun! She says there might be squirrels!

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Tomato Tart

Well, I gave in. All signs seemed to be pointing towards tomato tarts. David Lebovitz wrote about it. https://www.davidlebovitz.com/tomato-tart-recipe-fresh-herbs/ . Carol at Paris Breakfasts wrote about hers. http://parisbreakfasts.blogspot.com/2019/08/august-paris-letter.html . I was reading a cookbook from Poole’s Diner where we celebrated Ben’s birthday with a recipe in it, for what else, a tomato tart. And of course Southern Living had one too. So, a couple of Sundays ago I decided to make one. It more or less took all day!

Required a lot of untensiles and dirtied up the whole kitchen.



It was very pretty. And made a nice slice

I used the Southern Living part for the crust which was excellent. The Poole’s Diner part for the filling, which was not as good. Maybe too much horseradish???? We ate it, but I won’t make it again.

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Wegmans is coming! Wegmans is coming!

Can you tell I’m excited! I have been waiting for this since before we moved back to Raleigh from Italy! Years now.

The rest of Raleigh is taking it as a big deal too.



It is regularly reported on at least two local news casts. Spoken of as “the State Fair of Grocery Stores”.

Of course they are preaching to the choir when they mail me things.





If they want us there on opening day they will have to send a limo. But we will probably be there that first week. Ohhhh, so excited!

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Elephant Ears, Part 3

We have been having a number of afternoon thunderstorms. During one of them I looked out to see that we had a naturally occuring water feature on our deck now.



The water collects on the cup shaped upper leaf and then rolls off to the leaf below. Pretty cool!

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Accepting the reading challenge

On Facebook, I was recently challenged to posting for seven days about books that I have read and enjoyed. I use Facebook to interact with folks that I don’t get to see everyday. I don’t click on things posted on Facebook. I don’t watch videos. I don’t “like” posts. I don’t use emojis. So I wasn’t about to participate in a seven day challenge. But I did like the idea of talking about the books that I have read and enjoyed. I figured if I was going to talk about 7 books I might as well get a blog post out of it. So here Ann, in answer to your challenge, are 7 books that I have enjoyed.

I don’t get much time to wander in the library to search out new titles. To make book selection easier I tend to read books that are part of a series. (carry over from Nancy Drew days?) So many of these are series and I am somewhere in the series.

Miss Julia Takes the Wheel by [Ross, Ann B.]

The Miss Julia series by Ann B Ross. Why I like these: Set in North Carolina. The main character, Miss Julia is a strong, intelligent Southern woman who gets things done. There is always one laugh until you pee moment in the book. I don’t understand, why someone like Reese Witherspoon hasn’t snapped the rights up and made these into movies.



From the Bruno series by Martin Walker. Why I like these: Set in a small bit of the French countryside where Ben and I spent a lovely vacation several years ago. I can “see” everything that is written. Not too violent. Not too many characters to try to keep up with.

If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name: News from Small-Town Alaska by [Lende, Heather]


Sometimes, if our lives are really busy, I find it easier to read a collection of essays. No need to keep track of characters or a plot line. Just pick up, read for a bit when I can and then put it down to come back to later. This is a good one of those. So are these.


You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start in the Morning by [Rivenbark, Celia]



Southern Lady Code: Essays by [Ellis, Helen]

Ben and I both enjoy graphic novels. Especially her works.


Displacement by [Knisley, Lucy]

We would especially recommend this one to anyone who is traveling with older folks.




By  Fabien Grolleau  (Author), Jeremie Royer (Illustrator). This was a beautiful work.

That is seven writers that I have enjoyed. I think having the time to read what I want is one of the best things about being retired. I know living close to a well funded and well maintained public library makes that so easy. And I know this is a privilege that not everyone has.

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Fixing the icemaker

This might be a little dull. This is basically a ‘how to’ for me to use the next time I need it.

Our kitchen is not large. It was hard to pick out appliances. I had to do a lot of shopping online with out touching, opening…that sort of thing. The fridge was especially difficult because I wanted fridge on top, freezer on bottom, not French door. We ended up with a European brand, Blomberg. It is great. Very quiet, which is important since we sleep right next to it. The only thing, there is a design flaw. The ice maker.

Many Europeans are not big on ice. So an icemaker is an afterthought for the manufacturer. A month or so after delivery, the icemaker in our beautiful fridge was frozen solid, not ejecting ice, water overflowing in to the ice collection tray. The manufacturer replaced the fridge. This happened TWO MORE TIMES!!!!!!. In November 2017 we got our third brand new fridge. Every time I pointed out that the power supply had been cut before this happened. When the power comes back on, the icemaker automatically refills without emptying the already made ice. That water either freezes and makes the cubes too heavy to empty or just runs right off into the collection bin.

Well, we putted along just fine, no power outages until this summer. So out came the repair man again. This time he fixed it and showed me how to fix the problem, rather than replacing the whole fridge. I knew it was only a matter of time with all the thunderstorms we have been having that I would have to fix it by myself. I decided to take some pictures this time and write a few notes so it won’t be as much of a guessing game for me next time.


Turn the power off. This screw has NOTHING TO DO WITH ICEMAKER. DO NOT UNSCREW! Blue and white connection does not need to be pulled out! Disconnect. Pull ice maker out. Thaw. Re-connect then put ice maker back.

Push the ice maker back. And slide off

And here’s the way to rehook the wiring!

This was not hard to do. Certainly worth doing, considering what a repair service call would cost.

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Elephant Ears Again

We recently suffered through our second long stretch of 90+ degrees heat. Finally it was broken by some rain.











Needless to say, I was fasinated by the water collecting on the leaves. I am also fascinated by the size of this leaf.



It measures 28 inches long by 22 inches. Not as big as this one that we saw in the greenhouses at NC State.



That is my friend Roy standing beside it, to give you an idea of the size of the leaf.

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The Corpse Plant

When we still lived in Italy, I started following this blog. https://arthur-in-the-garden.com/. The writer, lives about a mile from where we are now. Following his blog gave me a good idea of what to expect garden wise before we moved back. Now that we are back I have just kept reading it. I was tickled when on Tuesday, he posted about a corpse plant blooming at nearby NC State University. It wasn’t until Thursday AM that the newspaper picked up the story. This was a case where being connected on social media paid off. Thanks Arthur!


Wednesday, at our exercise class I talked with our friends Roy and Marcia about going to see it. And we agreed if I could arrange tickets, we would go. It was free but, online reservations were required. Accessiblity for Ben and Marcia was an issue. Parking on campus can be difficult. Accessible parking even more so. Viewing slots were for a 15 minute period. After weighing the hour needed to get Ben ready to go somewhere, the logistics of finding two handicapped accessible parking spaces and the fact that Ben was not nearly as excited about seeing this plant as Marcia and I were, I decided that he might just not go. Roy was dragooned to be the driver allowing us to be dropped off if no parking was available.

Well, our after 5:00 PM viewing time on Friday meant we could get on campus and park fairly close by. So after a bit of standing in line we got to see the much hyped Corpse Plant.







This will give you an idea of the size of it. It was sitting on greenhouse table.

The bloom started to open on Thursday. It was already wilting by the time we got to see it, which is normal. It is very short lived. As you can see from the newspaper photo the center part had been erect but on Friday was now folded over.

If you are able to read the poster about the heat you can see that the plant heats itself up to attract pollinators and produces a smell similar to rotting flesh. By the time we were there it was more like a fish shop smell. Really not that strong. Some close ups.











And this bit of history, lifted from the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden website.

When it was discovered in the rainforest of central Sumatra in western Indonesia, by the Italian botanist and explorer Dr. Odoardo Beccari in 1878, the stories caused quite a sensation and disbelief among European botanists. Not until the first specimen flowered in cultivation at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England in 1889 did the world take notice. During the Victorian era plant hunting was at its height and unusual specimens were enjoyed by a discerning and curious audience. It was also an era where governesses protected young women from such an indecent sight. Whenever the Amorphophallus titanum, which grows only in western Sumatra, has flowered in cultivation it has attracted an enormous amount of attention. The 1998 bloom attracted more than 5,500 visitors to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and worldwide media attention as the first documented bloom of this species in the United States since 1939. A 1996 bloom of this species attracted thousands of people to Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, as did a 1970 two-day flowering in Java which attracted 34,000 viewers. It was introduced to the United States in 1937 when the New York Botanic Garden and the daily press kept the public informed of the progress of the gigantic bloom grown from an imported tuber. The spectacular event so impressed people that when a second specimen flowered (from another imported tuber) two years later it was designated as the official flower of the Bronx, symbolic of the largest and fastest growing borough of the City of New York. The discovery of this species must rank as one of the greatest highlights of natural history exploration.

So I was very tickled to get to see this. Thanks to the owner of the plant, a Doctorial student at NCSU, Brandon Huber. And thanks to NCSU for allowing the public in to see it too. It really was cool!

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