Tuesday, June 26, 2012



I have been neglectful.

I have been fishing and eating tacos and lying on the beach reading Pillars of the Earth until my eyes cross and sunburning weird patterns onto my chest with the ties of my bikini top and everything except updating you fine folks on the garden and that is wrong.

Forgive me?

Meanwhile, the garden once again proved that it did not need me to be present in order to go bugshit crazy.

This is the last time I make fun of the Berkeley Tie Dye tomatoes being high all the time. Probably.

A tomato in the landscaping? Were we sober when we planted this? Probably, no.

Kumquats in summer? This has been a weird season.

I am preparing myself for another year of WHAT IS THAT SUNFLOWER DOING WAY UP THERE?

I have faith that this Padron will produce many peppers so that I can do this.
These are the Golden Greeks, of which I hope to have many so that I can make pepperoncini again.

Admission: I've already canned some pickles. AH-mazing.

And we're going to Square some more watermelon this year. Hopefully. If this guy starts growing soon.

These are the Green Giant tomatoes. Obviously.

Better Boys being, well, better in almost all the ways.

The year's first sunflower being all, "Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaay!"

I believe these are Better Boys, too. I could be wrong, but...no, that's them.

Also please forgive me for posting photos taken with my phone. I love the thing and it's super convenient, but it isn't as good as my big dog camera from which I shall have photos shortly.

I mean, I *had* photos from the big dog, but they're a bit out of date now since it was real warm last week while we were doing the aforementioned sunburning of tender white parts and the garden LOST ITS DAMN MIND.

See? One week ago this guy was tiny. When I got home from vacation I ATE HIM.

This grew a whole new arm while we were gone. ONE WEEK. ONE ARM. NUTSO.

Not so "Giant" yet, just one week ago.

A week ago this guy didn't have any buddies. Now he's trying to get away from all his roomies.

So, yeah, when I upload all of the photos from my camera you will see that the garden has been mightily busy doing things like producing enough cucumbers for the first round of pickling, enough lettuce for me to harvest a pound of it (HOLY) and the nasturtium are, well, doing what they do best - FREAKING OUT, MAN.

You'd think that *they* were the ones smoking the reefer.

We're too innocent for all of that.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fish ass and creative sunburns.

For the first time in recorded Finny Fishes history, getting up early to go fish did NOT mean also fighting a creeping hangover and trying not to chum the river with my own puke.

Paul says, "A morning on the boat without a searing headache is AOK by me."

Not that I've spent a lot of time barfing into rivers, but that's usually because waking up with a hangover means that we're not racing out in the small hours to get on the fish.

This time, however, we were up in the 4s and on the water in the 6s and, if you can believe it, smiling and happy to do so. Unlike previous trips.

"What you don't know is that I've Irished up this coffee."
Oh Bubba, caffeine and fishing do make this man smile. I also have no evidence to support the claim that his coffee was anything other than strong, black and weird smelling - with the weird smell coming from the Starbucks instant packets he piled into the in-room coffee maker at the Super 8, our very fancy fishing accommodations. 

"Hey! There are no outward signs that a storage container of Eastern European hookers were murdered in this room! Posh!"

Sorry, we're still a bit jumpy from our visit to the Murder Motel last year.

Anyway - about those fish...we caught some.


I think we'd been anchored for less than 10 minutes when Paul landed his first rainbow.

"No skunks on my watch."

And then it was like this for eight hours.

This fish croaked at me. It was perhaps ready to go back in the water.

Captain Fish Ass himself. 

A smiling Royals fan. Only when there's a fish on the line.

The Mighty Sunburned Forearm

An Eagle Lake trout doing its best Jaws impression. Duh-nuh...

My Romanian grandmother, Paul, hauling in another beauty.

Fish ass.

Nice catch, Bubbie!

I was all excited about this one until I realized she was pregs and dumping babies on my feet. Sorry, mama.
Sorry, baby.

So pretty, the guide videotaped her being released back into the lake.

Which made me extra proud. My prettiest catch of the day.
So, yeah, all told I think we caught somewhere between 35-45 famous Eagle Lake trout and had an outstanding time with our guide, Doug, from Sierra Drifters

I've also decided that still water fishing from a boat is awesome fun, my cast still needs immeasurable amounts of work and that I'm grateful for our super helpful and patient guide who instructed me on the finer points of roll casting and mending. 

As in, "OK. Now *really* mend your line." 

Bless him. I'm awful.

Then, as is customary for all fishing trips, sunburns were compared over beers.

Bubba wins with his reinterpreted widow's peak.

His prize? The Pioneer Cafe's beer sampler platter. 

And then, because we can't just fish the lake and go home, we decided to go to another spot on Deer Creek and fall down.

I wish I had photos of that, but since my camera went for a swim with me in the river, I'm afraid she's down for the count. 

Boo. I will be on the hunt for a new beater camera for my fishing vest unless she comes back to life after a week spent drying out and thinking about what she did.

Jerk camera, just floating around in my vest pocket full of water. Sheesh.

I did, however, get a few shots of us on Deer Creek from earlier in the trip. A lovely time when my camera was still safe and dry in my vest because I was quite busy fending off mosquitos and not so hell bent on falling over my own giant booted feet in the river.

When the sun went behind the hill, the mosquitos screamed, "GAME ON" and then ate my face.

Pre-face mauling.

I wish that Deer Creek were scenic.


And let's not forget that this was Duchess's first fishing trip.

Nice work, mama. Also, I now remember what you look like when you're clean.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Gone fishing

You're used to this by now - my sudden escapes to chase fish.

Thankfully, this time we're not hauling across the continental US to tangle with Arkansas' version of the Wonderful Whites (if you haven't seen this documentary...well, just don't talk to me until you see it), just to a nice lake up in the Eastern Sierras and then to Tahoe to wander around some rivers in our waders.

Wandering PLUS casting PLUS catching fish. That is the dream.

I expect there will be fish (the lake fishing guide has alluded to the possibility of 50 fish days - FUCKING TEASE), early cocktail hours, sunshine and good times. Probably also poor boat behavior, creative swearing and strange-patterned sunburns even though I put on sunscreen like it's shellac.

When I return to the blog (which may be mid-fishing vacay, we'll see), I've got updates on the bees (Honey! Spiders! Wax Moths! It's a disaster.), the garden (The Green Giant tomato is, indeed, jolly), the dog's homicidal tendencies and, eventually, the biggest news to hit Finny Knits since I launched this shitshow in 2005.

Gird your loins, friends, it's about to get nuts.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Don't tangle with me lest I Garden Stare you.

You guys remember how I get the garden to grow, right?

Yeah, well, you thought that my whole "Throw Your Arms In The Air and Say Grow" backyard garden band was just a funny aside for the blog and not a real thing that gets the garden growing, but no.

It totally works.

How do I know?

Because this plant was totally croaking a week ago.

Totally not croaking now. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

 And then I gave it the Garden Stare.

See, the Garden Stare is a lot like the "Throw Your Arms In The Air and Say Grow" thing, except it's mostly just staring, followed by a Finny-style pep talk that goes something like,

"Hi tomato. What's happening here? What's with the wilting? This is not a good look for you. No, you're more of a 'Hey! Look at my big tomatoes and healthy leaves!' kind of tomato. So just stop this wilting. Be strong! Tell whatever is doing this to you to SUCK ON IT because you are going to grow big and strong and probably block out the sun for the Better Boy tomato growing behind you BUT YOU DON'T CARE BECAUSE YOU ARE AWESOME. Amen."

So I guess the Garden Stare is something of a pep talk, prayer and course of verbal abuse rolled into one and accompanied by a very hard staring and palpating of the affected leaves until such time as I feel as though my message and healing powers have been suitably absorbed into the plant.

Perhaps my course language scares off the offending cooties?

Perhaps the plant is very strong.


Perhaps the suspected Fusarium Wilt wasn't Fusarium Wilt at all (since the recovery of the plant has been sustained over the last three days and not just at night, like the references say) and instead it was something else that has gone away now.

Perhaps the copper treatment worked.

Perhaps the copper treatment caused this!

Perhaps the cootie is just biding its time before it can come back just as the plant is producing ripe tomatoes to strike it down it its prime! Oh my god that would be the worst. Let's not think that.

Be positive, people! Don't make me fucking Garden Stare you because I will do it and then what?

Well, something bad is what.

Anyway, I'll stop threatening you. The point of this post was to tell you guys that YAY! The first tomatoes are on the plants and looking like small green (and sometimes wrinkly) marbles and that means that we can begin the countdown to #1 Tomato Day which is usually sometime around 4th of July.


Let's look at more green tomato marbles, think good Garden Stare-y thoughts about the Green Giant tomato and cross all our dangly parts that the two replacement tomatoes for the SBMFEB situation continue growing big and strong and SMBFEB-less lest I have to give them a stern talking to akin to that of the Green Giant tomato.

Tough love, people. Sometimes it's the way to go.

Also, #1 Tomato Day COMING UP!

Better Boy Tomato numero uno.

Better Boy Tomato numero dos.

Green Giant Tomato numero no se`.

And I'll stop throwing Spanish in there because where did that come from anyway? Adios. WHOOPS!

Aye caramba. New tomatoes make me act weird.

Monday, June 04, 2012


Remember, like, six years ago, when I was all, "I'm going hybrid and I'm never going back!" and all that?

Apparently I lie.

I think by "Hybrid", I meant "Turbo".

Yeah, so, the whole hybrid thing was nice for a while. I cruised the carpool lanes by myself and sometimes also with actual other people in my car. I got a steady 50 mpg. I reveled in the super technologicalness of its navigation system, back up camera and integrated phone. I petted the contradictory leather upholstery. I felt like a responsible citizen of earth for investing in green technology. I didn't get any speeding tickets.

I also avoided driving in any weather conditions that even vaguely threatened to drop below freezing, hydroplaned on painted highway lines during light mists, was routinely dusted off the line by cyclists, cautiously approached every speedbump lest I scrape the low-riding chassis, stared whimsically at the opaque ceiling longing for sunshine on my shoulders during craptastic commuting gridlock, got successfully blocked during competitive merging situations by underpowered beer cans, shuddered at the thought of having to haul around more than two suitcases and their owners, never overtook even a slow-moving RV and basically pussed about for six years in a car with 110 horsepower and no sunroof or balls whatsoever.

She may be a wagon, but she's got SHNUTS.
So this winter, after getting cock blocked more than a few times from getting to Tahoe by sudden snowstorms (Bubba already ahead of me with the 4x4), I called it.

The time for hybrid had passed.

The time for turbo and horsepower and some semblance of clearance and all wheel drive and the biggest sunroof in all of creation was upon us.

Just watch the fuck out, already, people.

And did I mention the MASSIVE SUNROOF because yay.
Yeah. There were some bittersweet moments when I peaced out of the Prius and launched myself out of the dealership by way of the 243 horses under the hood of this turbo charged beast, but I daresay that the first time I downshifted in preparation for an ass-spankingly good overtaking on Highway 17, it just became friggen sweet.

Love you, Leeloo, but I gotta go. FAST.

Now, yes, there are some very obvious drawbacks to driving an all-gas vehicle that annoyingly calls for premium rather than "Just Whatever They've Got At The Pump or Banana Peels" like the Prius, but I will get over it while I'm hauling butt up to Tahoe regardless of weather or the presence of slow-moving recreational vehicles with the help of the all-wheel-driveness, carrying capacity and the Badass button.

Subaru is so edgy.

I even got to try out the baddassery of this car within 24 hours since we drove up to Tahoe the morning after I brought her home and LO it was snowing on the pass.

In May it was snowing.



But at least we weren't all holding on to the ironic leather in the Prius with our bungs pinched down on the seat hoping we weren't going to slide off of Echo Pass into the never-never.

Instead, the only seat pinching going on was that of our bungs as we snipped around tight turns and overtook THE PANTS OFF everyone between us and South Lake Tahoe because Duchess is one bad ass mama.