the pink pigeon

looking for the extraordinary in the everyday

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On the Road Again

People always want to know what we do at these gift shows in glamorous places like Atlanta and Dallas.  Do we really just run around and shop all day?  Well, yes.  We do actually shop all day.  We buy for the holidays a year in advance.  We try to determine what the design trends are going to be and how best to represent them in our store.  We crunch numbers day in and day out; will it cost too much?  Will it fit in the shelf?  Is the freight too expensive?  How many should we buy?

But sometimes, amidst all the serious work, we will just stand outside someone’s showroom and laugh until our mascara runs down our faces!

Maybe I’ll get around to talking about design trends later; after I stop giggling.


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If you give a kid an egg…….

She’s going to want to sell it!  Who knew?

My enterprising six and eight year olds have both taken on animal care chores for our friends who are in Canada.  Our friends have several chickens, we have several chickens, ergo:We also had some assorted  other things left over from ripping out the garden for the summer.  As I mentioned earlier, my canning efforts have been thwarted by a broken wrist this year so I let the kids sell off the extra tomatoes, potatoes grown in the front yard and whatever else we could forage.

They were on a mission those two.  Nobody escaped without merchandise.  Wheeling and Dealing with the best of them, they sold every single last egg to our unsuspecting neighbors, most of the potatoes and lots of the tomatoes.  

My son even retrieved containers from the near homes to reuse for ” the next customers.”  We lasted about an hour in the heat and once the last produce went, they declared it a success and broke out the celebratory popsicles.I wonder if it will make chicken chores any more popular now that they’ve been able to cash out on all the hours of hauling feed and raking coops?  I have to say I am one super proud Mama today.  We come from a long line of salesmen and it looks like the tradition lives on!

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Water? From the sky? Really?

It rained today.  Hard!  This is so unusual in San Antonio in July that I could almost label it an anomaly.


I can’t complain even though it makes people drive like they left their brains next to the soap by the kitchen sink!  My grass might actually make it through the Summer without turning brown and crunchy, I have full rain barrels and Eddie Rabbit lyrics running through my head:

Well, I love a rainy night
It’s such a beautiful sight
I love to feel the rain
On my face
Taste the rain on my lips
In the moonlight shadow


Hope the weather is as balmy wherever you are!

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Rip it good

In anticipation of a business trip and family vacation, we ripped out most of the garden today.  Because we have such a wonderfully long growing season in South Texas, we will begin planting our Fall garden in late August and have most of our brassicas and cool weather veggies on the way to the table by the time Halloween rolls around.  We started with these six foot high tomato bushes.

This is a “Juliet” which is my favorite Roma variety for canning and sauces.  They are incredibly prolific and seemed to be able to shake off both the horrible stink bug plague and the blight which hit the other varieties much harder.  The others were a cherry whose name I can’t recall, “Cherokee, Green Zebra, Lemon Boy and Celebrity.”  Usually I spend the summer putting up most of the fruit but have been waylaid this year by a broken wrist – oh the guilt over wasted tomatoes!

Luckily some of our foodie friends were able to take and use a lot of them.  We then put our chief bug patrol to work.  About time they earned their keep around here anyhow!  The girls LOVE nothing better than a freshly turned garden bed.  They de-pest, fertilize, till and take care of the weed seeds all in one go.  Plus there is the added bonus of a nice, damp, dirt bath in the hundred degree afternoons.  They don’t bother the herbs much which is just about all that’s left until the Fall crops go in.  We threw it all in the pick-up and headed out to Recycling.

The city of San Antonio has a wonderful facility in place for DIY brush recycling.  You weigh in your full truck and weigh out your empty.  They do ask for verification of residency with a utility bill or some such but our tab for the entire truck full of greenery was only $2.35.  The added bonus is that you can take away as much free mulch as you want.  Since they make no claims that any of it is organic, I don’t think I would recommend it for garden beds but you can’t beat it for young ornamental trees or flowers.

Happy Gardening!

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Little Suckers

Each of the four years we’ve lived here, we’ve had stellar crops of tomatoes.  Like the proverbial zucchini of New England, they were everywhere!  We would do drive-bys and leave bags on the neighbors’ porches.  I canned until my fingers were green!  We ate tomato sauce all winter off of those summer harvests.  Until this year when we wound up with blight, blossom end rot, weird water issues and lots of crazy mockingbirds pecking one bite and leaving the wounded fruit and now these little monsters have moved in:

Meet our friends the leaf footed stink bugs.  We garden organically and very rarely do I meet something that makes all the experts just shake their heads.  Sorry!  Nothing to be done about them.  Such a bummer.  The only help is to shake them off one by one into a bucket of soapy water.  Um, yeah, we have five huge(six feet tall) tomato plants groaning with fruit.  So don’t have the time to comb them for bug.  What do they do?  Stick their obnoxious little noses(proboscis) into each and every fruit until there are speckled, hard places on each one!

Some of this is undoubtedly blight related also, but still annoying to feed most of your hard work to the chickens!