DRAFT TODAY, POST TOMORROW: Some posts may be in draft status until I (aka procrastinator extraordinaire) get around to posting them.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Progressive Pool Party. And after party.

Our neighborhood has a progressive pool party every summer--4 houses, 2 hours each starting early in the afternoon and ending late at night. (The last house is not actually 2 hours...) Last year was the first year we went. It was neat to see the yards and chat with our community.

Everyone is supposed to bring something to share to one of the houses. I'm an overachiever so I did more than that. I took the pickles I made a while ago using cucumbers from our garden to the first party where appetizers were being served.

I took cantaloupe sorbet on cake Popsicle sticks for the second party where frozen treats are served. The sorbet was great.
I had my own dinner quickly at one of our stops at home. I took pineapple coconut juice and Malibu as my tasty beverage but I waited till the last party to start drinking.

Our friends, R and M and H, came out to the last party and wanted to go out so we checked out a couple of bars in the area. We suggested Longhorn so we could eat but we went to Roman's Oasis. There was no food. There was a live band in a really hot room and a not great DJ in the cooler room. We eventually left.

The guys wanted to stop at Jack in the Box.This is one of the harder parts of my awesome diet. Everyone is eating hot smelly food while I'm eating a Larabar or something. It sucks so hard.

After that, we went to Longhorn but it was too late to eat and there was hardly anyone there. It was weird. We thought there was always a band on Saturday night. Well, while we were getting our drinks, a few guys came out to practice or jam or something so they played a few songs for me, R and H to dance a little. It was a fun ending to the night.
Grumpy Cat

Friday, June 28, 2013

Protein coffee

Ideas come at me all day, every day. It's a little unfortunate, because my brain is a sieve. So I save links and recipes and little slips of paper and post its and magazines and and and...

So when I ran across french press ice coffee and a coffee protein shake, I thought "I must combine these ideas into one awesometastic breakfast beverage for my commute!"

I got an inexpensive french press at Target--my husband Mick talked me into the red one of course. I was out of homemade creamer so I'm using this So Delicious Barista style vanilla creamer which is pretty good but too many additives. It's shelf stable so I'll probably keep some for "emergency" and guest use. I'm using some organic coffee grounds from Fresh & Easy--they have a very nice selection for comparable prices to anywhere else. (I got this package for $5.99, but usually $6.99.) I have been using a chocolate hemp protein powder or a vanilla rice protein powder, either of which works nicely here.
Mmmm. Coffee.
So I like that I mix the coffee the night before and it's ready in the morning. I'll have to work on the proportions and size a little--that's not my usual coffee cup. And I really need to get in some successful baking. But Gluten Free Creations has some pretty good stuff to hold me over on occasion.
...and scones from GFC. Yes please!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Not really working

I wanted to get my hair done before our upcoming trip--my gray is bad and the ends need a trim. When I called to schedule the color, it was hard to find a time so I decided to do it on my work at home day. But I also have my chiropractor appointment that day so I decided I would have to take the day off. But then a meeting was scheduled that I would have to be in the office in the middle of the day. Are you as exhausted as I am?

So I got my color done and my hair looks fabulous. The best it will look until I have it done again. She recommends that I use the flat iron more often to smooth it. That means I have to dry my hair in the morning. I'll think about it.

Then I head to the office for my meeting. A couple of hours in the office and then on the road again.

I get to the chiropractor and have my adjustments. He recommends every 2-3 weeks. The next available appointment is 5 weeks. Huh.

For dinner, I made this packaged Carnitas from Costco for a burrito, smothered in (safe) enchilada sauce. (It's sold in a jar at Albertson's.)

Happy 11th birthday to Cassi.
So tired...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Garden update--wasp edition

So my husband Mick asked me why I'm growing pot in the middle of the corn field. Now that he and his helpers have taken the dried corn stalks down, the tallest plant in the middle is a solitary okra plant. Do you think it looks like pot?
So the photos are blurry because the plant is covered in wasps. Covered. In. Wasps. They aren't on anything else. Just this plant. OMGOMGOMG. I cannot deal with wasps. So Mick came out to spray the hell out of the plant. I'll have to remove all the current pods since they won't be edible.
some of the pods are drying on the plant

see the green okra straight up the middle?
 The watermelon are just coming in.
This is what is left now that it's been "cleaned out" meaning the corn is gone but there's a mess left behind, including a lot of that damn grassy weed stuff.
 In my garden my jalapenos are coming in green and red, but they (especially the red) are cracking on the plant. It's too hot and dry I guess. But I really want those red ones to make Sriracha sauce.
 The bell peppers, butternut squash, and tomatoes think it's too hot too. I need more shade.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wildflower Bread Company vs GFC Bakery

In this corner, we have Wildflower Bread Company. A giant chain restaurant with locations nationwide, it is typically viewed as a healthy lunch alternative due to its salad offerings, although more people are probably getting soups and sandwiches. They also have breakfast and dinner menus. Bread is abundantly offered with everything, even in some of the salads.

In this corner, we have Gluten Free Creations Bakery. With three local locations, it is making a name for itself as a dedicated gluten-free bakery and lunch café. With hours of 9-5, it is not really a breakfast stop for most people, but it offers great items for breakfast.

Today's company lunch was brought in from Wildflower. I checked the allergen menu, found several soups I could have, had our admin check that they wouldn't offer any of them today, then ordered a Wildflower salad without bread and subbing another dressing. The admin got back to me that there is (now) soy in that dressing, and in all their dressings, so they would provide oil and vinegar. I have my own dressing in the office so I basically ordered a naked salad.

I knew that wouldn't be enough, so I brought a leftover piece of fish from last night's dinner. Then I went to GFC to get cupcakes since I can't eat the cake and ice cream. They have closed the "back door" where customers used to go off Thomas and opened a café store front on 28th St. I found my cupcakes, a brownie and scones for another day, and then decided to check the lunch stuff. They had a vegan mac and cheese, but I asked for verification it had no dairy anyway. I'm not vegan; I'm only vegan when I have "dairy" products and baked goods!

The mac and cheese wasn't bad, a little mushy but that is g/f pasta. The cupcake was awesome as usual. Everyone commented on how good it looks. GFC is definitely the winner in my ring.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Olive Garden

I got a late start, did some housework, and finally got into the kitchen to make breakfast. I decided on teff applesauce pancakes since I know they will work for me, but I decided to add blueberries to a few.
one side looks normal; one side is all blueberry :)
Then, when I had just enough batter for one more pancake, I remembered I had some shredded zucchini in the fridge, so I threw a handful into the last pancake.

One zucchini pancake
I wanted to have a big, late breakfast because we were going to a super early dinner for my BIL's birthday. I asked his parents yesterday where we were going and emphasized that they were not to influence his plans based on my ridiculous diet. They got back to me with his plan for Olive Garden. Since it's owned by the same company that owns the terrible-for-me Red Lobster, I wasn't too hopeful. I found their gluten-free menu and then the allergen menu. Yep, soy in everything.
navy stripes and yellow
I knew I would feel "hungry" once I was surrounded by food so I took a baggie of Kettle Crinkle Chips and some Sahale pomegranate cashews. The chips are salty (as I like them) and the cashews are sweet. I think maybe a little too sweet but okay in small doses. I also had a citrus margarita.

It was great visiting with the kiddos.

I ate some of my leftover pizza when we got home.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Salad and pizza trials

I think I have figured out the alternative milk thing. I was nearly out of almond milk and rice milk so I ended up mixing them for something recently and had a thought, so today I mixed them about half and half and used the mix for my cereal--a recent "Cheerios" purchase with strawberries from my garden. Almond milk is thicker than milk and rice milk is quite watery, so the mix made it much more like milk.
I had a blueberry muffin from Gluten Free Creations bakery too. It was pretty good. I didn't realize it would have a glaze. I think that made it better actually. It was kind of sticky. A normal eater would not think this was a great blueberry muffin but it's not bad.
blue and yellow
We are going to be building our outdoor grill area soon so Mick and I and the helpers went to several showrooms to check out drop-in grills and all the drawers and cabinets and stuff.

We ended at BJs. I wasn't excited--there isn't much for me. But I can eat a little and Mick loves their pizza and beer. They had some new menu items and an updated alleren menu. I asked the waitress about an item that looked good but showed up with wheat and eggs on the allergen grid. She came back with the manager and he asked for clarification. He left and came back. We decided I could have the Thai Mango chicken salad without wontons. He checked again on the dressing; he thought it might have soy but it was okay for me. The salad came with a wonton so they had to remake it. It was a very good salad and the dressing was a little spicy, very good.

love the square dressing dishes :)
So I took this photo and Mick starts explaining to the helpers that I blog. Hmm. Then we talk about how, based on his concerns, I use initials or rename people so they want to know what I call them. Inside, I'm kinda freaking out. I rarely say bad things about them, and then not even bad but expressing my feelings of annoyance or whatever, but still, I'm thinking...what have I said? I explained it's not a public blog and didn't give any information on how to find it so maybe we're cool. I don't want to edit myself for my readers. I guess that's one of the reasons it's still private! Well, that and I don't want the critical jerky comments I see on other people's blogs. I don't handle criticism well (surprise!) which is probably why I get so annoyed with some people. Even if they aren't criticizing, I perceive some action or words as criticism. Anyway...

chebe crust
After all that pizza action, I decided to make pizza for my dinner. I tried a new crust. It was a LOT of work. My arms are too weak for this crap. But I like that it has seasonings in the mix. I had to use egg replacer so I'm not sure if that changed how it turned out...
For toppings, I went crazy. I have pizza sauce, artichokes, "cheese", Canadian bacon, pineapple; then I added a green bell pepper and basil from my garden and a leftover orange bell pepper.



It cooked longer than the directions said but I thought the crust turned out kind of gummy. The toppings were fantastic though. So my verdict is that this crust is not the one for me.
with a drink
Update: I completely forgot that I have frozen pizza crusts from the GFC Bakery. WTH. That's actually why I bought that pizza sauce. WTH. I know I already said it but I'm pizzed, haha, that my mind doesn't work with me better. FML. I want to throw a tantrum right now!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Weenies, no beanies

Every month, when it's time for the neighborhood bunco, I feel like not going. It's on a Friday, I've worked all week, I have to commute home, find something to take for sharing, it's just stressful. But I have a good time when I go, and my husband encourages me to go to keep up on the neighborhood news, as it were.

Tonight's event isn't even in our neighborhood. The lady who used to live across the street from me moved to Verrado and is hosting. Sigh. So. Not. Going. But the neighbor behind me said she would pick me up and drive, so I agreed to go.

I got home from work, made a tasty beverage to take with me, packed the Kettle crinkle chips, and threw together a package of little sausages and some of my homemade spicy barbecue sauce. Not bad, if I say so myself.
tasty beverage
"better" weenies. hahaha
Beanie weenies, no beans
I also took my own tamale and Wholly guacamole since I generally can't eat anything there. It was a good choice--someone brought tamales that I couldn't safely have.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Garden update - Cantaloupe is squishy

I haven't been out to the "farm" in a few days. When I got to the cantaloupe, I saw many needed to be picked. Except that a few of them were already being eaten. I don't know what those bugs are--another new one for me--but O.M.G. this is so gross. I try not to use a lot of spray in my garden but I sprayed the hell out of these cantaloupes, bugs, ground underneath with an "organic" Safer brand spray.

so. freakin. gross.
Between the lighting and my phone camera sucking, I couldn't get a photo of this other weird bug under one of them. It was most similar to a large black ant with wings but it wasn't an ant. Oh of course I'm having ant problems elsewhere in the garden too.

I ended up throwing out about a dozen cantaloupe. I knew that would happen. I just can't get to them as fast as they come and I really don't just eat them, so I have to "process" them. I also had one go bad in my kitchen because I forgot to find room for it in the fridge.

I'm pretty sure this is why it takes me a while after gardening to think about dinner plans. If I lived alone, I probably wouldn't bother eating dinner.

I finally pulled all my green onions WAY too late, but now I have no idea what to do with them. There's only so much you can throw them in. I feel like I just need one of each plant. Or to plant a seed or two every week for things that produce more limited amounts. I actually did only plant one eggplant based on the enormous crop we had last season; my one plant seems to be doing well so far.

My latest (and planted way too late) radishes and carrots are coming up; the herbs I planted from seed do not seem to be coming up and the transplanted ones seem to be dying. The bell peppers and jalapenos are starting to produce. I've eaten all the artichokes and don't see any more coming yet. And the basil seems quite happy.
I don't know what this little beetle came in on, but ew.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Grocery Shopping--Fresh & Easy

Changes. Sigh. So Fresh & Easy had some of the least expensive organic almond milk without carrageenan. They switched to this comparable but not organic (although it is non-GMO certified, one of the reasons I go organic) almond milk. I don't care for the additives in the normal Silk almond milk but the PureAlmond seems to be cleaned up.
This coconut milk creamer has the additives but I thought it was worth trying because it is shelf stable until opened so I can use it as a backup for when I don't make my own. (update: the vanilla version is really good. I wish it were cleaner.)
They have a lot of ground coffee that is organic and labeled for french press use. I'm trying this one. (update: I liked this one!)
I didn't even realize they carried this Ian's "mac and cheese" but it's on clearance for $2 a box. I bought 10 boxes. That's more than a 50% discount from the prices I've seen elsewhere. I debated about cleaning them out but I have a full freezer, and this is still processed junk food, and is that rude to take it all?
There have been stories about F&E closing shop in the US but they have been emailing me that is not what is happening. I really like having them on my shopping list so I am really hoping they stick around.

Monday, June 17, 2013

True Food and O.H.S.O.

One of my coworkers took me to lunch as a thank you for bringing goodies from my garden. We went to True Food because it is always awesome. I had chicken panang curry and green ice tea. We decided to get dessert and I was deciding between the fantastic maple sorbet or the new seasonal lemon coconut sorbet when she said she would get one and I would get the other and we could split them. Great call! They were both fantastic. I mean really, really fantastic. I have to figure out how to make these. The coworker thinks they must reduce maple syrup before making the sorbet because it is intensely maple-y.

We also went to O.H.S.O. for happy hour to celebrate a couple of birthdays. It was a really large group. One of my coworkers found that they make cookies for dogs and got me a package.

I quizzed the waiter and decided on carnitas tacos. Some other guy brought out my food and I tried not to flip out. But there was a cheesy looking sauce on the meat. So I got our waiter's attention and asked what is this, hoping maybe it was something not cheese. But it was--he "forgot" that those tacos (not any of the others) have the sauce. So he took it and got me one without cheese. Not bad. Hard to enjoy sometimes when you're internally freaking out that you don't really understand what is okay to eat. I did not eat the slaw--I don't know why he brought it.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Zucchini Bread Mix

This morning, I made zucchini bread using the mix I bought yesterday. I didn't have a chance to try it before we left to go to Mick's parents' house for Father's Day.

His parents are really trying to accommodate me within what they are used to doing. There are snacks first. They had a box of rice crackers they bought at Costco. I thought they had just bought the one package on the table. It had cheese so it was a no-go. But there were also sesame rice crackers which I can have. I had a couple and they just weren't my thing. I'd eat them in a pinch but by themselves they aren't great.

I brought Popchips to snack on and managed to eat the whole bag throughout the day. I also had a hamburger patty with ketchup, some zucchini and corn.

We spent some time in the pool. I miss having a pool. They have a diving pool; it was a lot of fun. My niece followed me around like a shadow. I think my MIL is amused by it.

I was so exhausted while we were there hanging out. Somehow, when we got home, I found some energy for an hour of gardening. I am going to have to start wearing a hat or bandana--I was dripping sweat into my glasses. So annoying! I worked on the raised gardens and sprinkled cinnamon all over my strawberry patch as I heard it could help with roly poly bugs. It still seems like the raised gardens aren't getting water. The hoses are really close to the top, so I don't understand why it is SO dry until I dig halfway down the box.

For dinner, I had a leftover piece of fish from the other night (I usually cook an extra piece) with a small artichoke from the garden. And a strawberry coconut margarita. So I could use up the last of the strawberry simple syrup. Waste not, want not, and all that.
Just baked bread

Then I tried the zucchini bread. Meh. It looks like zucchini bread but the texture is a little off and it's, I'm not quite sure, maybe not sweet enough, the flavor is not quite right or something. I could try playing around with the proportions, but it's a mix, so I'd rather play with a scratch recipe if I have to experiment.

Oh, my awesome husband Mick suggested I could make him some "regular" zucchini bread. After this trial, I'm thinking that isn't such a bad idea. However, I made sure that they all understood (this was discussed briefly during lunch) that I would have to clean my kitchen top to bottom after making it.

I explained my pancake ritual to illustrate: I make my pancakes, then the bacon, then his pancakes. I clean as I go as much as possible. After eating, I clean the kitchen thoroughly before I make anything else the rest of the day. It's a major undertaking. But as disappointed as I am by the multiple zucchini bread failures, I'm sure he has to be disappointed, patiently (mostly) waiting for something good to come from the zucchini he helped plant and pick.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Country Store

I used to scrapbook with a group of ladies. My husband's college friends (the wives, not the husbands) got me started. I thought I had no creativity but I found a little. And I was motivated by all the great photos Mick takes.

Over time, our group disintegrated. Every once in a while, we would attend an all day event to catch up but we haven't even done that in a long time. Until today! My friends M and H live in the same neighborhood on the east side of town so we went to an event nearby. (For the record, it took me 50 minutes to get there from my house.)

The last few years, I've been working on "Picfolio" scrapbooks for our family and friend photos. I usually end up with enough photos to do one per year. The picfolio is a mix of a photo album and scrapbook. It has sleeves for photos, so the majority can just be inserted if you have the right combination of vertical and horizontal photos. But each page has one larger insert, that photo needs a little matting or something. And then you can add other stuff where you want too.

M and H and I decided to go to Pita Jungle for lunch. We split a small hummus plate and I had the chicken tikka masala and a green ice tea (strawberry kiwi today). Everything was good, as usual.

M mentioned that I should go to the Gluten-free Country Store since it was right around the corner. I have wanted to go for a while but would never make the trip just for that! I see products online frequently that are only available locally at this store. So she showed me where it was before we headed back to scrap for the afternoon.

It was a small store, not a grocery store, although it had some cold cases in back like a grocery store. But it was more like the little country store in the front of a Cracker Barrel or something. There was SO much to look at. My eyes were hurting from a full day of scrapbooking and now...

Here's what I got. I know some of these items are available elsewhere, but sometimes they aren't or I can't find them or whatever.


I just finished a container of sweetened MimicCreme, which I've only seen at one store, so I got this unsweetened version to try. I've seen the Ah!Laska brand before but not this chocolate syrup--no dairy or soy! Sprouts used to carry Glee Gum (no xylitol or aspartame!) but they don't anymore.

Say Cheez!
Namaste products are sold at Whole Foods. I don't know why I decided to buy this today but it looked good--like non-dairy cheeseburger Hamburger Helper. The rest of these products, I've never seen before. I just saw a Bolognese recipe I wanted to try so I got the rigatoni for that. Tortilla crumbs for meatballs. I'm always trying to find a good canned chili for office lunches. And if I ever find (safe) black refried beans anywhere near as good as Chino Bandito's, I will travel anywhere to buy them!

I forgot to include it in the photo, but I also bought a frozen Amy's rice pasta mac and "cheese" that I haven't seen at the other stores or maybe I forgot because it does have nutritional yeast and Daiya cheese which I was avoiding for a while just because I didn't know whether I could eat it or not. (I decided I can but I don't do it all the time.)


This is the section I have almost the most trouble with. Should I bake from scratch or from a mix? Am I overpaying to buy a mix? Well, when my "from scratch" recipes turn out so bad that I throw the results out, I'm not saving any money avoiding a mix. So I found these. This is the other place that carries Sun Flour Mills, besides Albertsons (and they keep moving them so it's like a treasure hunt). Nothing has tasted like the "real" thing yet, but it's better than passable.

For someone with food issues, I'd recommend this place, but give yourself about an hour to go through if you need to avoid anything besides gluten. I think it gives me the opportunity to try more "convenience" foods that "normal" people take for granted. But I also have to think about the cost. They carry Paleo Krunch for about the same price as it's available online and I never bought it because I thought it seemed expensive for some nuts and seeds. Now that I've seen the tiny $7 bag, I know I made the right choice!

Friday, June 14, 2013


I have the most exciting Friday nights. I had my MRI. It's kind of weird that they are open so late, but there was hardly anyone there--patients or employees.

My MRI went fine, same as normal, except they gave me a CD with the images. The report will go to my doctor or the research lab--I'm sure I'll have to repeatedly ask for it, based on my previous experiences.
Ah, the return of the pool noodle toy. Summer in Phoenix.
One of the best things about the MRI is that the room is always freezing cold, so they put a warm blanket on you. The technician told me she used to put her son's towels and shirts in the dryer in the morning so he would have warm shirts and towels. I half-joking said his wife must hate you. She said he's not married and I thought it will be amazing if he gets married after being trained to expect that bullshit. What the hell is wrong with mothers of boys? It's obviously a THING, to become completely insane when you pop a boy out of your vagina. Daughters are expected to learn to clean and cook and stuff but boys...boys are to be served? Crazy.

Dilemma (not the movie)

I like what I do to earn a living. I like the company I work for. I've advanced to a lower management position. I don't want a higher management position--I don't want to be in charge of critical decisions.

I was actually surprised that I got that promotion since I have a special arrangement for normal people hours rather than our required professional people hours. So I am allowed to work an average of 40 hours weekly rather than the 2300 annually that is required for my position. When you do the math, taking out the 8 hours allocated for each holiday and vacation day, you have to work about 45 hours a week to meet that requirement.

This was arranged when I started working here. I was leaving my previous firm for health related reasons and felt it was important that I have time to focus on my health. At various times, that means different things, but I frequently take time out of the workday for different medical appointments.

Usually, people in my position get a "senior" position before a management or leadership position. Somehow, that step was missed, so at my recent review, I was told that I would be recommended for that additional promotion.

It was approved and announced at a meeting.

And then my supervisor told me that the next boss up had put a stipulation on my promotion. I need to increase my hours to the standard professional amount. I need to work more hours to get the title of the position I'm already doing. W. T. H. They don't want to pay me more unless I give them more time.

But here's the thing. I'm exhausted. I'm stretched thin. I can't find time to do my errands, although I do some during lunch or right after work. I'm away from my house for 12 hours a day. To add an extra hour a day to my work schedule, I would have to skip or take shorter lunches AND come in earlier or stay even later. Taking shorter lunches means less errands get run and/or I don't feel so great. I can tell some (many) days that I have to get out or my body is going to give me trouble for days.

As if that's not enough, there is someone in leadership pushing for the telecommuting benefit to go away. We are currently allowed one work at home day a week, no Mondays or Fridays or right before or after a holiday or vacation day. I end up cancelling some of my telecommuting days for in-office meetings or other out of office activities that come up, so I probably work at home 3 times a month.

During my work at home day, I don't always get extra hours in. I'd like to say that I always get some extra hours since I don't have the commute. But really, I usually start early and end late; in between, there is usually something else--an errand that has to be run or something personal I need to catch up on. (Recent examples include car service and eyeglass adjustments.)

And here's the part I hate to admit, but it's just between us, right? Sometimes I just need a little extra rest. I'll lay down and close my eyes for a while. They hurt. All. The. Fucking. Time. Or my fatigue is getting the better of me. Maybe I've been dragging through for a couple of days. Some shut eye can make the rest of the workday so much more productive. It's a relief to take that break. But it's time I'm not working. (To be clear, I do not claim that time as work time, just as I wouldn't for lunchtime.)

My husband thinks they are bluffing, that if I tell them no, they would still give me the title. He thinks I should give back the management position if they don't back down. I think he's high. I'm valuable but not irreplaceable. I wonder if this is that male/female difference, why women get paid less, don't get as far or high. We undervalue ourselves while men think they are all that. I know I'm a big deal but I do work less hours than required (and I'm pretty sure I get paid less because of it although I don't know other people's salaries) so it's hard to be aggressive or demanding.

I "know" I have to* say no to the hours, but I don't know what else to say, how far to push...And I really hate to turn down the money if they won't concede.

*I believe we all have choices so when I say "I have to" I mean that I must do that because it is the best choice based on my priorities.
It's all old except the bracelet. :)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Garden Update - Deere edition

When you plant grass, apparently it will have to be mowed at some point. We have hit that point. So he got a riding lawnmower.
this is HALF the grass area
We're going to have to do something to shade the side of the field closest to the grass. That's where the tomatoes and cucumbers are and everything is just scorched, a waste. In the photo below, the grass is to the left.
dry corn shading the garden (mostly)
zucchini (left) and tomatillos (right)
spaghetti squash vine
new bean plants coming in
butternut squash
more vines everywhere
butternut squash are trying to escape
cantaloupe (and tiny watermelon)
Good or bad spider? Dunno.
red jalapeño