Sometimes gardens produce surprises – especially when you haven’t looked closely at the little plastic tag stuck in the soil when you buy the small plant! In spring planting season, my brother-in-law thought he was planting cucumbers. Well, he was – sort of! He didn’t look at the little tag that he’d already stuck in the ground next to the plant until he saw the most unusual cucumbers – if that is what they really were!
In fact, these very long, fat “fruits” are called “Armenian yard-longs.” Yard-long is descriptive, because that is about how long each one of these cucumbers are. The photo here is one of the last ones, and not nearly the biggest! (My foot is in the photo for scale – I wear a size 8 shoe.)
When my brother-in-law pulled out the little tag to find out what kind of cucumber these were, he had to look up “Armenian yard-longs” on the internet. Wikipedia has this description: The Armenian cucumber,Cucumis melo var. flexuosus, is a type of long, slender fruit which tastes like a cucumber and looks somewhat like a cucumber inside. It is actually a variety of muskmelon (C. melo), a species closely related to the cucumber (C. sativus). It is also known as the yard-long cucumber, snake cucumber, snake melon. It should not be confused with the snake gourds (Trichosanthes spp.).
The information my brother-in-law found said that the yard-long is a hybrid between a cucumber and a muskmelon. It really does taste like a cucumber and inside looks like a cucumber – and nothing like a melon!!
Humans have been creating and building things for thousands of years. Some are monumental and awe-inspiring, some are fun or functional, and some are ugly. Everywhere people go, they leave behind something, carelessly or with a purpose.
1. Which of the following could you do without? TV, Computer, Mobile Phone. TV, I guess. I would miss PBS! My son has no TV and he streams everything. Maybe he could teach me!
2. Do you have a lot of old photographs in a box, or did you put them in albums? I do have some photos in a box, but at least they are all sorted and labeled. I have also put a lot of my photos in albums. I was into the scrapbooking craze for awhile – it’s amazing how much time I took (and money I spent!) to add little embellishments and create fancy backgrounds. It’s a lot easier now, because I do it on Shutterfly, since all my photos are now digital (and I can scan the ones that aren’t, which are mainly ones other people have given me). I don’t like to just keep all my photos on my computer, or on flashdrives or whatever. Then if I look at them later, I won’t remember what’s in the photos. I like to remember my trips and I enjoy making and looking at my albums (especially in the depths of winter) and showing them to others. There are many trips I haven’t made into albums, but at least I try to have a journal so I know what the photos are about.
If my kids or grandkids want to throw away my albums after I’m dead, so be it! I will die believing they will cherish them as keepsakes, as well as all my writing!
3. What was the first thing you bought for yourself when you started work?
OMG, that was so long ago, I have no idea! Probably clothes.
4. What is the biggest thing you have bought that did not require finance?
My husband’s car – we didn’t need to finance because at the time we happened to have the money from selling a property, and we also got something of a rebate from his trade-in. It was great not to have monthly car payments, at least until I bought a new car a year later…
Di at pensivity101 is still substituting for Melanie for Share Your World. Here are her questions:
Do you have family photographs on display in your main living room? Yes – well, mostly not in the living room, but on bookshelves in a few different rooms, mostly our bedroom. Our daughter’s wedding photo is on a bookshelf in the living room, wedged between two book ends holding sets of books on either side.
2. What was the best vehicle you owned? I think it’s my current one, a Toyota Prius. I have almost always had Toyotas, which have always worked great for me. Once I had my dad’s old Dodge, which petered out and I had to sell because it would stall when it was raining. (In fact, it was due to that problem that I bought my first cell phone – a big clunky thing!) Another time, I bought a Chrysler Reliant, which was a terrible purchase. Admittedly, the car was used but I had one problem after another. “Reliant” – Ha! What a lie! After that, I went back to buying a used Toyota, and when I could afford a new car, I bought a Toyota Corolla! Since then, I’ve had a hybrid Camry, which we gave to our daughter and son-in-law when his truck died, giving me the excuse to buy the Prius. I have never had to replace a Toyota due to problems with the car; it’s always been to donate to one of our kids!
3. Did you pass your driving test first time? No, I passed it the second time, 6 months after my first try. I didn’t really do anything wrong in my first driving test, except that I was driving my dad’s stick shift car, and it had developed a random habit of stalling. The way to get it going again was to open the hood and wiggle two wires that my dad had shown me! Since this didn’t happen all the time, I took a chance that it wouldn’t happen during the test (and it was the only vehicle available that day). Well, it did! The car stalled after I stopped at a stop sign. I told the instructor I knew what to do to get it going again, but he wouldn’t let me open the hood to wiggle the two wires! So I had to just keep trying to start the car again the normal way, and eventually succeeded without my dad’s remedy! When he failed me, the instructor said, “Next time, bring a car in good working order.”
4. Does loud music from a neighbour or passing cars annoy you? Yes. I think this is very rude. However, I have occasionally turned the volume up on the radio in the car when a favorite song comes on, but now I roll up the windows.
The worse time to have loud music next door is in college, when you’re trying to study and in the next dorm room, they’re having a party and don’t turn it down when you ask them nicely. This happened to me one time and I went next door and pounded on the door. I was so mad I could hardly control myself! I wanted to strangle the guy who opened the door. Instead, I just yelled at him, using several choice epithets. Seeing that my face was red and I was screaming at him, he agreed to turn it down, which he did (but not enough). Well, that’s dorm life!
Gratitude: What has made you smile over the last seven days? My cat, hearing Mahler’s Symphony #1 on my favorite XM radio station in my car, our family’s monthly Zoom meeting and hearing about my nieces and nephews from my sisters.
Yesterday, for Cee’s FOTD, I posted the most amazing dahlia, called “Mystic Illusion” which I photographed while at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. Here are dahlias from that same patch, from the back. They don’t even look real!