Saturday, May 26, 2007

Flowers, Flowers Everywhere

We are keeping busy, as usual. I started a new exercise program (new for me, not totally new--haha) and I have really been working at it. I am spending more time than ever on the nordic track and also doing some weight lifting. I am feeling so much more fit, already, and am really enjoying it!

Plans for the wedding are progressing nicely. It is still early days, of course, but we sure hope to keep things moving along at a nice pace and not end up with any last minute messes.

The magnolia tree is looking fabulous! In the past, it has always put out lots of buds, and yet they have tended to open up one or two at a time. Well, it is going wild this year! The other day I counted 12 open or partially open flowers, and that wasn't counting the ones that were open but turning brown. Here is a shot of the whole tree--afraid I cut off the top, but it is a better photo than the one that does include the top!

Here is a close up of one of the flowers. I had to make do with one of the lower ones, as most of them are too high for me to photograph well--as small as the tree is, it is way taller than me.

I got quite a surprise while out checking out all the plants. I had always known that there was this big bush near the corner of Helen's house (next door to us), but didn't know what it was. Don't ask me how I have missed seeing it bloom two spring/summers in a row, but I evidently did. I did see it at the right time this year though, and the huge bush is a gardenia. It is covered with blooms, and between the scent from it, and removing spent blooms from our gardenia, I went back in with a headache. Really gorgeous though!!!!

Back to our yard, here is a lovely hibiscus on one of the plants that Joel and the elves cut back because of some kind of mold or mildew or other miscellaneous plant problem. It is coming back just fine, and has the lovely flowers to prove it!

I didn't get a photo of the jasmine, although the trellis is really getting covered and it is all in bloom. However, the posts holding the trellis up seem to have broken/rotted out, and the trellis is not standing right now. The jasmine is getting quite a bit heavier, too, with growing and spreading so much. It is really gorgeous, and the scent is very evident too.

Now for Mom, in the quest to possibly identify the plant in the back. Here is a shot of the whole plant, well, the larger of them, as there are actually two, or maybe three?

This is a shot from the other day (the other photos were from the other day too). There are little buds, just starting to open up, and I think you can sort of see the way the stems and flowers are situated. It is sort of like some kinds of grass, that put out runners?

Here is a photo from today, of one of the flowers. They are opened up now, all those that were buds the other day, I should say. It has been windy and so between that and sometimes getting white glare from the flash, it has been tricky trying to get any photo that you can actually see detail in.

Here is a side view of one of the flowers. Not very good, but you can somewhat see the detail, etc.

So, there it is. The flowers are really small, not any bigger around than a ping pong ball, or a golf ball, I don't think. They are yellow with brown spotting towards the inner parts. It would be interesting to know just what they are.

Now, one last thing before I go! I have to tell you about a relatively new cut of steak. I had seen something on AOL news about some different cuts, and they were being raved over. Well, I was in the commissary a couple of weeks ago, and saw that they had some of one of those new cuts. It is called a flat iron steak. They came in the vacuum pack, and there were two steaks in each package, although that wasn't evident looking at the package. I got some, and Mike cooked two packages of them last weekend. There was a little bit of visible fat while they were raw, but not a lot. Well, Mike cooked them up, and we each had one. I think I can safely say they were the best steaks we had ever had. Good flavor, pretty darn tender and juicy, and even better, the fat all rendered out and we didn't have a scrap of anything left when we finished them. That is a total first for me, as I am really fussy about fat in meat. There truly was nothing to cut out. I don't know if we got lucky the first time or what, although that really isn't totally the case either, as we had the two left over steaks. Even reheated in the microwave, they were still tender and juicy, and once again no fat. Mike is grilling more of them tonight and we will see how they are this time. I did notice when I bought them, that some of the packages are already seasoned. I didn't get seasoned ones. I did give them a good dose of fresh ground pepper and a good sprinkle of salt, and they were fabulous!

Well, I have to go, take care all and more later.....


At 9:14 PM, Blogger Joanna said...

I think this may be some kind of an Iris, what came to mind first was a Tiger Iris, but they don't look exactly alike. Are the spots brown, or purple?

At 3:33 PM, Blogger Sally said...

Hi Jo! They look brown to me. Of course, by how I have had your email with our mystery flowers identified and links to see photos! Cool!!! Thanks so much for finding it!
Thanks again!


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