Room 222

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

Enough with the idiots aka humans. You will never be able to legislate common sense, compassion, decency, let alone reasoned thought & compromise. Some people have it, lots more don’t. Blah blah blah blah blah ….. screw the Politicians. For now, anyway.

big-american-goldfinchAfter one more mass murder, one more (plus) divisive, repugnant statement by the presumptive nominee of a once proud Political Party, I retreated to my garden. A little birdie told me to. He wasn’t the Bernie Birdie but a sweet little goldfinch who poked his head in through the window bars & gave me a look like Hey stupid! It’s beautiful out here! What are you doing in there?

Tomato_Plant_clip_art_hightI love the feel of the soil, the warmth of the sunshine, the sounds of the birds. I do two things well: baking & growing tomatoes. I have the knack where these are concerned. Each spring I plant tomato seeds indoors, heating mats under their roots, grow lights over their leaves. They are watered, fed, coddled. Memorial Day weekend they make the great move into a plot turned over with compost, green sand & fertilizer. And now they grow. Beautifully, silently, blossoms tempting the big fat bumblebees. All is well. The cycle of nature continues. A few moments of sanity & peace.

*The meaning of the title for this Post? Gardening is a great way to daydream. One day I thought about all the great theme songs TV shows used to have. If my life was a show, what theme would it be? For whatever reason, the theme from Room 222 kept bouncing around my noggin. I like it. I will always be a relic from the ’70s 😉

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33 thoughts on “Room 222”

  1. Thanks SJ, this post as welcoming as the red bird family I am listening to and watching this morning from the back porch, a very cheerful bunch (attached is an old pic, but same feeder, maybe even the same bird, they’ve been hanging around here for years)

  2. sj, I echo craig’s description of you’re thread being “welcoming”… indeed delightfully written too.  thanks.  one of my happy tv theme memories is the happy whistle accompanying opie and his fishin’ pole.  here’s a rare version of that with andy singing lyrics (hadn’t ever heard them before now after all these years):

  3. Ahhhhh….   summertime and the living is easy.  The birds should be taking their fledgling babies to our feeders any day now.

    Nothing tastes as good as fresh homegrown tomatoes.  We used to start our plants inside from seed too.  But I now have a cat that likes to eat the plants the moment they sprout.  We were told to grow catnip and she would go for that instead.  Oh yeah…  she eats both the catnip and the seedlings.  So now we buy tomato plants from a local farm…  we don’t mind… at least we’re spreading some money to a local business.  The plants are already growing small tomatoes.  It means this year should be a great year for them!

  4. for those with Amazon streaming, they have all 8 seasons of Andy Griffith, free with a Prime account. I watch an episode every now and then, truly classic. Also had not heard the version with Andy singing the theme song, thanks for that PatD

  5. Goldfinches, hummingbirds, rose breasted grosbeaks, and orioles are all hanging out at the other end of the building this year. Our end has robins, cardinals, nuthatches, brown creepers, chickadees, and woodpeckers (downy, hairy, redhead, and in early spring, the pileated). Geese (Canada and white), brants, mallards, great blue herons, egrets, and eagles fly over, but don’t land. Barn swallows have nests on the courtyard side of the building. At night, frogs serenade us from both the trees and the pond. Rabbits, raccoons, squirrels, and the occasional deer or fox lope about the surrounding woods and grass sward. The giant cottontail, Thunderfoot, is missing.

  6. a lot of folklore about tomatoes.  here’s an example from brownielocks:
    Around the 8th Century, the Celts believed that apples contained divine wisdom, and when you ate an apple you were taken to a kind of paradise.  This is because the Celts associated apples with the sun.  The connection is that the Celtic word for apple is “abal” which is said to be a derivative of the Greek word for the sun god, Apollo.  On the other hand, the Christians felt that the wisdom you got from the apple led you to Hell.  (I won’t go into the sexual symbols  that the Greeks had about the apple!)   The Celts also had a story that Christ was crucified on an apple tree.  But, it’s the Christians who kept associating the apple with lust, going to the extremes of even claiming it caused venereal disease!  We know today this is not true.  But, during this time, the Christians were just against anything delicious.
    Now, how does the apple connect with the tomato?  When Columbus was on his way to discover America, he got lost and landed in South America.  It was there that he looked at the Orinoco River in Venezuela and assumed it was the gateway to the Garden of Eden.  When Columbus returned back to Spain, he brought with him this really delicious new fruit, called the poma amoris or the love apple.  Today we  just call it the tomato!
    The Hungarians called the tomato, Paradice Appfel, aka The Apple of Pardise.  Why? Well, for some strange reason, the bright red color was considered rather lusty in those days. The tomato was also oozing with juices and exploded with a zing of flavor. This was to the people back then an obvious aphrodisiac.  After all, didn’t it get discovered in the Garden of Eden?
    Well, the Italians had a different idea where the Garden of Eden was.  Apparently the scholars decided that the Greek Garden of Hesperides, a walled enclosure supposedly guarded by spirits, was the real Garden of Eden. And, that it’s magical fruit, golden apples, that grew there were the real temptation of Eve.  Since the tomato  that Columbus brought back, looked a lot like these golden apples from that garden, the Italians call the tomato, pomadoro  (golden apple) and connected the two with the same biblical belief.
    Although Christians ate apples, they still remained cautious of eating the tomato for 150 years or so, until the 1700’s when they started to gain some acceptance, mainly in Italy. But they weren’t eaten whole and in their natural state. They were made into a garnish or a puree. In the early 1700’s, a Jewish-Portuguese immigrant named Dr. Siccaary brought the tomato to North America.  He advertised them as coming from the Tree of Eternal Life from the Garden of Eden and said that anyone who ate a lot of these would never die.  But, most of the western world remained cautious about eating tomatoes, claiming that they made your teeth fall out.
    So, the tomato first gained popularity, not in its natural state, but as a sauce.  In fact, Abbot Chiari, a Catholic moralist in the 1700’s wrote that there was ” nothing more evil than putting the tomato sauce on foods that are covered with drugs (spices) from America.” Why? Back then, sauces were considered satanic because they glorified eating, which then led to gluttony which then led to every one of the other seven deadly sins like lust, greed, etc.

    “The hero of the tomato was named Robert Johnson, and when he announced in 1820 that he was publicly going to eat one of the devilish fruits, people journeyed  for hundreds of miles to his town in New Jersey to watch him drop dead. He mounted the courtyard steps  around noon
    and turned to the throng. “What are you afraid of?” he snarled. “I’ll show you fools that these things are good to eat!”  Then he bit into the tomato.  Seeds and juice spurted forth. Some spectators fainted. But he survived and, according to local legent, sup up a tomato-canning factory.”

  7. SJ, would luv to see a pic of your garden (and others as well) — Some might remember the lime tree I planted a couple years ago. Here it is as of today. followed by pic made on planting day. Growing up but still no limes.

  8. Today’s very nice birds were the husband and wife flickers that worked there way up from the lower branches of one our oak trees to its top. Husband then flew off to another tree, with wife in tow, and repeated the behavior. Very pleasant birds. Didn’t drill holes but simply took the insects off the surface of the trees. On both trees they worked on the sunny sides, basking in the morning glow.

    In our small habitat we must have hundreds of birds that call it home. They range from resident hummingbirds and finches to a variety of woodpecker species. And the cardinals and robins are ubiquitous. The creatures are fortunate in having our dedicated habitat that we rescued from the developer; it has everything they need to survive, no, thrive in comfort and safety.

  9. All yhe nature talk around here today is about the strawberry moon


    I think people for gun safety should do what the NRA does  target people who don’t do what they want

  10. Andy Griffith Show was a daily watch back in college. I still catch it from time to time, and I love every episode. I can’t imagine that there’s ever been a sitcom with a better collection of characters as a cast before or since.

  11. Cutting the grass weekend before last I noticed that the front of the bird house on one of the utility poles in our yard was off, lying on the ground.  I picked it up to put it back on and saw 4 baby birds with their mouths open, waiting for a worm or whatever mama bird would bring.  I put the front of the house back on – gotta check on them today and see if mama bird returned and has them thriving.  Couldn’t begin to tell what flavor of little brown bird they were.

  12. Donald Trump  campaign is hitting back faster …but not better

    the entire theory of the current campaign management is “I now I am but so are you and worse”

  13. Well, our peaceful afternoon on the back porch interrupted by sounds of struggle, our resident cow snake ridding us of yet another mouse (don’t tell Disney)

  14. More before and after — banana tree planting two years ago, and today — yes, there are no bananas

  15. In Panama it took three years before ours started bearing. We were gone befor the fruit matured.

  16. Good to know, Flatus. have had trouble getting a straight answer from the Internet on that

  17. Erase everything, Craig, it was pineapples that we abandoned. I saw lots of banana plants in peoples yards, but banana trees bearing fruit were an uncommon sight. Besides, the local bananas didn’t begin to compare with the Chiquitas that we’re familiar with. Looking at the size of mature banana trees, I should think perhaps seven years before a young one would start bearing.

    Pineapple plants are attractive. Just poke the cut-off top of a ripe pineapple in the ground and wait for it to grow. (don’t bury the leaves) The immature fruit appears on stalks emerging from the core of the new plant. They start out as miniatures of the fruit that we like so much. The plants are interesting almost as soon as they take hold. But, three years is accurate.

  18. craig, that banana tree may be the ornamental kind, not the fruiting…  ask your nearby nursery expert

  19. from wapo:

    At the end of a day that started with Trump firing his campaign manager (much more on that below), he filed an embarrassing May fundraising report late last night with the FEC. Despite raising $3.1 million and loaning himself another $2 million, Trump began this month with less than $1.3 million cash on hand.

    Clinton, by comparison, raised $28 million and started off June with $42 million in cash. Bernie Sanders, with his campaign winding down, still brought in $15.6 million last month and had $9.2 million cash on hand.


    — Trump spent $6.7 million in May. That’s down from $9.4 million in April, but it’s actually a pretty stunning amount when you consider that he’s not advertising or building a serious field operation. So where did all the money go? Matea Gold and Anu Narayanswamy report that the campaign paid out more than $1 million to Trump-owned companies and to reimburse his own family for travel expenses.


    — The FEC reports show that Trump has about 70 staffers total, one-tenth as many as Clinton’s 683. But, instead of rushing to staff up, he bragged about it during an interview with Bill O’Reilly on Fox News last night.

  20. mediaite:

    Even as Donald Trump‘s sand is still glowing from presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton‘s blistering speech on the economy, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is setting the internet ablaze with a new video also attacking Trump over his ballyhooed business acumen. In a video posted to’s Facebook page Tuesday morning, Warren looses a fresh volley of cannonfire at Trump over his failure to produce his tax returns, as well as his documented history of not paying any taxes in some years. The four-minute video features some familiar Warren v. Trump boilerplate, plus a few bonus hits that are new on the program:

    Maybe he’s just a lousy businessman who doesn’t want you to find out that he’s worth a lot less money than he claims — we can’t know for sure. But here’s what we do know: The last time his taxes were made public, Donald Trump paid nothing in federal taxes — zero,” Warren said. “Zero taxes before, and for all we know he’s paying zero taxes today. And he’s proud of it.

    The video has racked up half-a-million views in just a few hours, and its release was rather closely timed to the start of Hillary Clinton’s anti-Trump speech in Columbus, Ohio. This kind of Clinton/Warren Malachi Crunch is something that Trump had better get used to in this campaign.

  21. Ah, I know it’s type, Patd — Musa Manzano, a small apple-flavored dessert banana. It’s not due to bear fruit for a year or more, but I like it’s looks, have four of them now, it’s the biggest.

  22. This is the kind of thing that drives me nuts

    MSNBC had Dr. Larry Sabato on and he explained why there is something wrong with the polls showing him close in Ohio

    but then the ignore the information for the rest of the day

  23. Fun to read all the Posts today.

    As for pictures, I’ll ask someone I know who is a Pro if he’ll take a few.



    My mother would save the pits from avocados & grow them – made interesting foliage plants.


  24. Have banana plant ready to plant on the south side of the house.  It was cheep and looks good.  We will be testing the change in temperatures along the Bay.  I am surrounded by the Chesapeake Bay so the temperature is moderated nicely, unless the Bay freezes over.

    The birds that fly over here are a wide span of species.  From Bald Eagles and brown eagles, osprey, hawks, orioles, blue jays, finches, one that eats bees, sparrows, red birds I do not recognize, several different woodpeckers (I did  not know that a Woody Wood Pecker is so big, saw one taking a stump apart).  I have not seen any hummingbirds, which should be here. Crows, starlings and small black birds.  When they are yacking it up at dawn, it is wonderfully noisy and full of song.

    Along with the orchestra of birds, the silent red fox is amazing.  She had pups and they are moving out and around.  One uses my backyard for a place to hide and enjoy a meaty bone.  A buck came by three years ago, now we have him and his girlfriends showing up to eat our plants.

    This morning I read an article (sorry, cannot remember where) stewing the idea that Trump is really trying to lose and make sure Hillary wins.  Really interesting.  And, the best part is it is a great conspiracy theory that the Republicans love.  Paranoia is the song of the Republicans serenading their leader Trump.

  25. yards and gardens should always be in transition, this corner used to be dominated by a pine tree and covered with vines. with the removal of the tree the vinca and english ivey struggled and several invasive vines more suited to sun took over.  now it is mulch and pots as we decide the next transition. grass?


  26. Buddha  of the gas meter as Cbob called him. Most of the plants behind him are tropicals that we take in every winter

  27. This post made me realise that I haven’t  posted anything on my garden blog  for a while. I will take some pictures tomorrow and share them with you all. I used to do that all the time.


  28. Please do, Jack — always loved yours. Others welcome (reminder: click pics to enlarge them).

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