Saturday, August 8, 2020

Hot Dog and Broad Beans

There's Olga, enjoying the late-summer garden with its oranges and purples. The color palette of flowers definitely seems to shift with the seasons, this time of year producing warmer colors than the pastels of spring. In the morning Olga was sunbathing as usual, but as the heat escalated she spent most of the day in the shade.

I've just been wrestling with New Blogger. I have honestly tried to use it, but I can't get my posts to format the way they used to, with centered photos and correct spacing between paragraphs. (The posts look OK on a computer screen but terrible on a phone.) Besides, as far as I can tell, there is no advantage whatsoever to the new system. So why put myself through this change? I'm going back to Legacy for as long as it exists.

We had a quiet day around here yesterday. A trip to the grocery store, some reading in the garden. I finished Stephanie Danler's book "Stray," her memoir about growing up with substance-abusing parents in Southern California and Colorado. She seems to make some bad choices, but she also writes honestly about them. At one point she said she has a sensitive stomach and isn't "physically built for drugs or any binge behavior," but then details the ways pounding a beer, doing a shot, smoking a cigarette or taking acid, opioids or ecstasy affect her. I thought, well, it's not for lack of trying.

Oh! My t-shirt arrived -- the one I ordered from the states back on June 21. For the longest time the tracking showed that Royal Mail unsuccessfully attempted to deliver it on July 23, and would notify me -- and I got no notification at all. Then suddenly yesterday it popped through the mail slot -- no customs fees, nothing. Who knows where it's been for the past two weeks. At least it's here now. (Meanwhile, Dave's birthday present from his parents, mailed in May, has never arrived. We think it may be gone for good.)

I also stepped into another bureaucratic morass by trying to order my annual credit reports from the USA. Turns out I can't do that if I live overseas, so I had them sent to my stepmother's house in Florida. I haven't seen my credit reports in years but I've lately had some indications that my identity may have been used by someone else to secure a loan -- a car loan, specifically, in Massachusetts. I hope I'm wrong, because that will probably be exhausting to try to clear up, but I guess we'll see.

This Jersey tiger moth fluttered through the back garden yesterday, flashing its bright orange underwings as it flew. I tried to make a video of it in flight, to show you how colorful it is, but I couldn't get the moth to cooperate! It seemed intent on resting on that leaf.

I never mentioned it, but Mrs. Kravitz gave us a bean vine several weeks ago, which Dave has patiently nurtured and trained up some twine at the side of the house. It's started to give us beans! Mrs. K couldn't tell us exactly what kind of beans they are, but she says she eats them pod and all. Dave, however, thinks they're broad beans, like limas, that should be shelled before eating -- the pods have a slightly furry texture. (We ate the ones above complete with pods, and they were fine.) We're also not exactly sure when to pick them. In short, we have no idea what we're doing.


  1. The last sentence in your post says it all. You and half the population of the world. :-)
    Your beans seem to be broad beans, sometimes known as fava among Italians here, are most popular when they are young and tender.

    New Blogger is a total pain in the backside. I have spent a lot of time trying to get a post up on my Android phone. What a joke.
    I might just as well attempt to climb My Everest.
    Beautiful Jersey Tiger moth.

  2. Your garden must be such a surprise to enter when you come in from the city streets. Beautiful. Too bad about that heat. My brother just received a postcard I sent from Málaga to NYC 3 months ago and a letter sent to him from Portland, Oregon at the same time. Dave's birthday gift may show up yet.

  3. Broad beans do not grow up vines. Those are runner beans - best eaten when young - before they become too stringy. I am also struggling with "New Blogger". I think that the Legacy Blogger will disappear on August 24th.

  4. I agree with Mr Pud, they are runner beans. I have grown them for years. Take the " edges" off with a potato peeler or sharp knife, top and tail and cut them into half inch diamond shapes and boil for about 8 mins. We like them eaten warm with a vinaigrette dressing on them.

  5. Fingers crossed for Dave's gift. Parcels aren't so bad here, in spite of the increase. It is our basic letter mail that has fallen in a heap and that happened before COVID.

    Unusual moth. Very pretty.

    They look like normal string beans to me.

    I can't see anything better about the new Blogger. It looks a bit nicer, but that is about it.

    Good luck with bureaucracy. You'll need it.

  6. the beans look like kentucky wonders to me, a type of green bean. I have never cared for them because they are stringy. I prefer blue lake green beans. anyway, there is not right or wrong time to pick. the younger they are the more tender though it you wait too long they are tough.

    I dislike the new blogger too and all my attempts to use it in the past have had me reverting to legacy in frustration. I don't care for the new spacing between paragraphs and that I can no longer drag an image from my finder right into the blog post body. my last post I used the new version (it had been weeks since I last attempted it) and I think it took me 7 clicks to insert one photo. There is a way to center your photos.

    I'm glad you finally got your tshirt.

  7. Some years ago I stopped getting bills from a credit card company (in the time before you could check your bill online). I called them three months in a row asking for my bill--knowing I owed something--even mailing in a payments to the company without a bill statement, but didn't hear anything until after the third month when a fraud investigator finally noticed my repeated calls about a missing bill. Seems someone had changed my address to one in Philadelphia (I've never lived in PA) and then had the company send a new card--to what turned out to be an empty lot--but someone got the card and used it to get cash from various Brooklyn ATMs every single day for three months--amounted to thousands of dollars. And yet the brain trust at the credit card company never put those factors together as possible fraud. Idiots. I figured it was an inside job--even the investigator thought so. Luckily, I was liable for none of it. The kicker is that despite me reporting this fraud and fake address to the three credit reporting services--more than once--none of them has ever the removed the Philly address from my credit reports. Worthless bunch of #$^*$&. Good luck getting your situation resolved.

  8. Cool beans! Honestly, I've never used that expression before but I gather it is for affirmation.

  9. Those look just like green beans to me and I know a green bean when I see it. Just pick them relatively young, as Ellen said, snip off the ends and snap them in half if you want, remove any strings and cook them as you would any green bean.
    I'm sure that like Frances said, they would be delicious warm or cold with a vinaigrette.
    The credit union that we are doing business with seems to have a great fraud detecting ability. One weird charge and they call you.
    What am I doing (not doing?) on new blogger that makes me feel like it's not a big deal? Have you tried shifting the alignment to center before you upload your photos? That's how I've always done it.
    I don't see the purpose of it either though.
    Glad your shirt came. I think the pony express and a slow barge boat could have gotten it there as fast.

  10. We have runner beans here and they do get a bit stringy if left to mature a bit too long on the vine.
    Really glad your tee-shirt arrived. Yay!! I hope Dave's gift arrives. That's a long time to be someplace where it does not belong.
    Love that Jersey Tiger Moth. What a beauty.

  11. Those beans look great. The photo makes me want to get some. The mail has been very strange here too. I blame it on you know who and his aim of trying to screw up the election.
    I've tried to work with the new blogger but I think today I'll convert back. I see they moved the deadline up to Sept. 1st. I bet they are getting all kinds of complaints. I could send them a whole list myself If I could figure out where they put the link to blogger complaints. So far, I have seen nothing that improves the platform. That long list of labels I have to scroll through is ridiculous when before they were all located in one small block. And, they aren't alphabetized. It looks like the list is in order but when I tried to find one label, I found it at the end of the list instead of where it should be. The worst problem I had yesterday was typing my text. The text formatting is all screwed up.
    You know, my job is helping to format software. I'm not a programmer but my work is to see that what the programmers create is workable and makes sense for the user. Seeing what they've done to blogger is like nails on a chalkboard to me.

  12. Your magical garden gives and gives. Meanwhile the US Postal Service slows and slows, just in time for a mail heavy election.

  13. I have a theory that there's a bell curve to gardening. On one end of the curve are the people who know nothing and can grow anything. At the other end are the people who know everything and can grow anything. And in the middle there are people like me whose efforts fall flat half the time and are fine the other half, with no discernible correlation between knowledge and result. I am SO frustrated with my deck garden this year; can you tell? :D

    I've thrown a metaphorical blanket over my head regarding new Blogger. La la la ... not looking or listening ...

  14. Your garden is so lovely! I’m pretty jealous. We’re getting rain every day, but it still looks hot & dry around here. I hope you don’t really have any credit issues - such a pain to straighten out!

    You know my thoughts on new blogger, but now I have an even bigger worry (that I’ve already talked about) - the new PicMonkey. I’m going to have to find some new way to make photo collages - or just quit doing my photos that way. I just can’t figure out the new version. Ugh. I shall repeat - Get Off My Lawn! Heh.

  15. Olga looks quite comfortable. I've never seen a butterfly like the one here. It's really quite beautiful. I would just cook the beans and eat them. As for the new Blogger, I'm hoping it straightens itself out soon. I'm now having problems trying to get my post to look the way I want it to. Hang in there. You have a super day, hugs, Edna B.

  16. Have you left feedback? Click on the question mark upper right hand corner. Everybody who hates the new blogger should leave feedback! It has worked in the past, when they mandated the use of the slide show format, which I do not like, the uproar resulted in them making it an option. I see photo spacing in several blogs which suggests that selecting center before putting up a photo is not actually working. So, I'm staying on legacy until it's not there any more.

  17. You're right . there is no real advantage to the new blogger. I spend most of my time looking for things that they moved.

  18. After all my whining worry about the new Blogger, the instant I had an opportunity to return to the old version, I did. And the sky didn't fall. So I'll never know if I would have like it or not. I'm fine with that.

    Someone should tell the author with the addictive parents that she's most likely addictive herself and should stay off the stuff. The condition is hereditary.

    Sorry about the Massachusetts identity thief. I swear it isn't me.

  19. Oh, I hope the identity theft thing doesn't prove to be true. I think that would be a nightmare to sort out. I LOVE your last sentence as that's how I kind of live my life. "In short, we have no idea what we are doing." :-)

  20. Good afternoon, how are you? I'm Brazilian and I'm looking for new followers for my blog. And I will follow yours with pleasure. New friends are also welcome, no matter the distance.

  21. Steve, Dave might not ever see his gift. I told you about the postal service stealing from me, the ups people have stolen and FedEx have enjoyed some of the items I ordered. Guess what, I ordered a 6 pc. glass food storage set from Walmart. When I got home yesterday from the hospital from taking my chemo treatment FedEx had delivered it but before they did, they had to open the box to see what was in it. I tried calling them today but the office is closed. I just didn't feel like messing with the idiots yesterday. I am going to let them know I will send the inspector general to them if they keep it up. I reported the tickle me Elmo that they stole. I was watching the tracking and I saw they put delivered on it and I call right away to let them know they had stolen it, and told them I had been tracking it. No one came by unless they were invisible because my cameras never picked up a FedEx truck parked in front of my home. I hope they fired the idiot.

  22. Alphie: Yeah, I am definitely not an expert when it comes to growing veg. Your fellow commenters disagree on the bean type, though!

    Mitchell: It does seem much cooler than the street, that's for sure. Weird about the mail service!

    YP: They've bumped the Legacy Blogger death date to Sept. 1, from what I understand.

    Frances: That's almost exactly how Dave prepared them. We're on the same page!

    Andrew: New Blogger looks nicer in the composition mode, but I honestly don't care about that. I just don't see the advantage of the change. Maybe it's all back-end coding stuff that we don't experience as the actual users -- but then, why make the change at all?

    Ellen: Yeah, what is up with the spacing in New Blogger? That's one of my gripes as well.

    Mary: Wow, how annoying! I suppose I'm going to be saddled with this address in Worcester, Mass. for my entire life -- even though I've never set foot in Worcester!

    Catalyst: And how appropriate! :)

    Ms Moon: Have you looked at your New Blogger posts with photos on a phone? I find that although they look fine on the computer, on a phone (and I don't know about a tablet) they're messed up. It's something about the spacing and although the photos say they're centered, and look centered on a computer, on the phone they're all justified left. I should have known you'd be the expert on beans!

    Robin: They ARE beautiful moths, and this seems to be the season for them. I've seen several fluttering around.

    Sharon: I think issues are supposed to be posted to the Blogger community forum:
    I'm going to write a thread there myself describing my gripes. Allison also mentioned a reporting tool in her comment here.

    37P: Could it be a CONSPIRACY?! (In this case, absolutely!)

    Jenny-O: I think the people who seem to be able to grow anything just don't talk about their failures. We ALL struggle with some aspect of gardening!

    Bug: I have no experience with PicMonkey or photo collages, so unfortunately I can't help there. Why do these companies feel the need to change services that WORK FINE!?

    Edna: LOL -- yeah, that's basically what we did -- just cook & eat & hope for the best!

    Allison: I haven't done that yet, but I will!

    Red: Exactly! It shakes up all of our routines, and for what?!

    Marty: The problem is, I think they WILL take away Legacy Blogger in a few weeks, and then we'll all HAVE to use the new one.

    Michael: I think many of us feel that way. But it's a much better way to live than being certain of our actions all the time, which leads to a narcissistic bullheadedness reminiscent of...someone in the White House.

    Luiz: Hello and welcome! I will check out your blog!

    Angelicastar: I can't believe they opened your box! You DO seem to have some serious delivery problems. We're resigned to the fact that Dave's gift may never surface. I think his parents have learned to buy tracking from now on.

  23. Definitely runner beans and lovely not too mature ones.
    We grow them climbing up on a corn stalk and eat the corn on the cob a couple of weeks later.

    I find it's difficult with new blogger when I want to insert youtube videos. I end up with a lot of copy and paste. It took me a whiule to figure out the photo bits. But, for a free service, what are we to complain about.