Farmer’s Markets, Milkweed, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

Nothing says summer like the local farmer’s market — the fruits and vegetables are fresher than the grocery store, there are more organic choices, and you can use your own containers. It’s good for us, good for the farmers, and good for the planet.

Farmers Market

Farmers Market

But humans aren’t the only ones who need to eat in summer. There’s one more thing that defines the season for me. It’s a roadside market for a Monarch caterpillar — a milkweed plant.

Milkweed about to bloom, complete with bug visitor.

Milkweed about to bloom, complete with visiting bug.

Here it is when it’s blooming —

Milkweed flowers.

Milkweed flowers – taken on last summer’s trip “home”.

It’s almost August now, time for the seed pods —

Green milkweed pods.

Green milkweed pods.

If you grew up in the country, like I did, you took these roadside plants for granted.  Once, on an autumn trail ride, I saw an entire tree covered with migrating Monarchs.  Now I wish I could get these butterfly snacks to grow in my backyard. I miss seeing the plants, miss seeing the fall butterfly migration go through, and though I plant as many caterpillar-friendly plants as I can, I don’t get nearly as many takers as I used to.

But on the bright side, it’s summer, and if you’re among the corn-fed (like me) let’s go back to the farmer’s market for one more thing to be thankful for —

Farmers Market Sweet Corn

Sweet Corn — Yum.

Hmm, looking back, I see that, instead of “Summer Lovin'”, maybe I should have saved these photos for a “Summer Eatin'” challenge.  I must have succumbed to writing-while-hungry.

What’s your favorite thing about summer?

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One Dresser Drawer, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers

Who knew that one little dresser drawer could contain so much? A while back, I was searching for a sorting-out job that would be quick, but still give me a sense of accomplishment. I picked this small drawer.

Dresser Drawer Explosion

One dresser drawer – good grief! – see how it exploded all over the place?

I hadn’t looked in this drawer in years. See it? It’s the little one in the middle… “This won’t take long,” I thought. Hah. By the way, this isn’t even all of it.  I took the photo above after hauling a stack of papers to the recycle bin.

This dresser once belonged to my grandmother, so I have some emotional attachment to it. It was in my bedroom when I was growing up. In this house, it’s in a guest bedroom that Bob used to use as a closet.

Dragon Con swag.

“The truth is out there.”

 All this Dragon Con swag tells me that the drawer did get some use since we moved here.

Dresser Drawer - Dragon Con SwagThe Swan Vestas made me smile. I used to collect match boxes (another kind of container) and was thrilled to find some like these in the UK back when I traveled a lot on airline passes. They’re what Sherlock Holmes used, remember? I don’t know if these were mine or Bob’s. The hair clip just above looks like something my grandmother would have used. Could it have come with the dresser?

On the bright side, I did find some useful items: scissors, thread, pencils, stamps, plastic film cannisters made into salt-and-pepper shakers (well maybe not that useful). And this:

Travel Scrabble game

Vintage Travel Scrabble game.

My neighbor back in the 80s had one of these. We used to travel together, and I loved playing scrabble with her. I didn’t know Bob had one. It had never been opened. I almost tore into it as soon as I saw it, then thought, “But wait — would I really use it?” These days people play online. Surprise: I saw there were some vintage sets like this for sale on Amazon, listed mine for $25.00, and two days later someone bought it.

My one small drawer contained a lot of stuff and I spent way too much time looking at it. Most of it got recycled or donated, but somewhere out there someone is (happily, I hope) playing scrabble, and I have four more drawers in this dresser to save for rainy day entertainment.

 Have you exploded a drawer lately?

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Relics, and (Surprise) the Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic

Around here, the real challenge isn’t to find something that qualifies as a relic, but to find something that doesn’t. Any guesses what this is?

3340 DASD - TWA System, 1980-something

Can’t blame it on Bob — I think this relic was mine — *blush*.

It’s 3340 DASD — a direct access storage device — from a long gone airline reservation system. When there was a DASD upgrade back in the late 70s/early 80s, people who worked in the Systems group thought it would be a lark to take some of the old equipment home.  (What were we thinking?)

It’s a little unnerving to think that, capacity-wise, this disk would hold only a few of the images in my iPhoto library.  I don’t remember how many disks it took to house the data base, but it wasn’t all that many. Just think: if you were on a TWA flight back then, your reservation may have been archived in my basement all this time.

Here it is from another angle, so you can see what a little Starship it is. Or rather, not so little by today’s standards. It’s over a foot wide.

3340 DASD from TWA Reservation System

“Hey Scotty, one to beam up…” (dunno what happened to that guy in the red shirt, he was here a minute ago)

But what to do with it? Who would want it? No one. The recycling center wouldn’t take it because it’s a mix of materials.  Dang… it’s a dilemma. Any ideas?

I’m going to think about it while I go watch an episode of Star Trek Voyager on yet another outdated storage device: a DVD (at least I can send the DVD back to Netflix).

Related posts:

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic

More on the DASD

Lois Lane, Wonder Woman, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast

Lois Lane and Wonder Woman, what a contrast not to mention a surprise. I didn’t expect to find comics when cleaning out the basement. Yes, Lois had a job as a reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, but wasn’t the main purpose of her existence to be in peril, so Superman could rescue her?

Contrasting oldie comics: Lois Lane and Wonder Woman

Lois Lane or Wonder Woman?

Meanwhile, Wonder Woman was out there on the front lines, saving her boyfriend and, oh yeah, the planet. To be fair though, Superman spent a lot of time rescuing Jimmy Olson too, and darned if I didn’t find a Jimmy Olson Comic in this lot. I’d forgotten the Lois and Jimmy had their own spin-offs, but now that I think about it, there were separate comics for Superboy (young Superman, of course), Supergirl (Superman’s cousin), and even Superman’s dog (Krypto). When will it end?

Here’s another contrast.

Contrast in the comics: Archie and Superman

Contrast in the comics: Archie and Superman.

Isn’t it a little scary to think that these stories help shape our young minds? See Reggie in the window? For how many years of my childhood did I believe that people partied with lampshades on their heads? Or flew, or wore bat-suits… things like that.

When I unearthed my little stack of comics, of course I had a nanosecond of hope for a million-dollar find. No such luck, unfortunately. But did you notice the original prices?

Contrast in the comics: original prices for Lois Lane and Wonder Woman

Contrast in the comics: original 10-cent prices for Lois Lane and Wonder Woman

Now life and comics go on (though for a considerably higher price). Some of them even became graphic novels. And presumably Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, Lois, and Jimmy are still out there somewhere, saving the planet while coping with myriad love-triangles, and I’m here in my temporary fortress of solitude, simplifying my life and cleaning out the basement.

Do you know where your comics are?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast