How Does Your Garden Grow?

Hubby and I do not have a garden. He wants one, but I know who’d end up doing the work, so have vetoed yearly. If you think I am kidding – four years ago we went to a local nursery and he decided he wanted some kind of fruit bearing bush. We decided on two blackberry bushes, one with thorns and one thornless. I figured if I ever got ambitious, I could graft them.

Over the last four years hubby has done a sum total of nothing with these blackberry bushes he had to have. I planted them, staked them, got the trestles (ok, I take it back, when I couldn’t sink the trestles far enough and they leaned, hubby fixed them), I fed them, debugged them, etc. I was even the one that harvested all the fruit!

About the same time that we purchased the blackberry bushes, I also bought hubby an AeroGarden AeroGarden that he had to have a few years ago. I figured if he could take care of that, maybe I was wrong about a backyard garden and he would take care of it.

The AeroGarden AeroGarden is still in the box.

Now to be fair, hubby still has time to decide on container gardening a few things… most likely tomatoes. Winter was pretty long up here in New York this year, so no early planting for us. And, I will not veto a container or two as I will tearing up my flower garden.

We do have that wonderful thornless blackberry bush in the backyard that produces sweet and delicious blackberries:

And one nasty, stick-to-everything, thorned blackberry bush that produces little fruit. I have to see if Hubby will help me yank it in the next few weeks as I want it gone! I do want to replace it with another thornless bush though. Believe me when I say if you have a lot of sun, and enjoy blackberries, a thornless blackberry bush is an easy to take care of fruit choice. I know some people have bird trouble and need to cover them, but *knock on wood* that hasn’t been an issue for us!

So, how does your garden grow? Are you planting one this year? Sticking with a CSA? Or just buying produce direct from a farmer or at the grocery store this year?

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Brotherhood Riesling Wine Review

This Brotherhood Riesling Wine Review was going to simply say: Holy cow buy a case! but the winery has an interesting story, and you may want to know why I enjoyed the wine so much, so here goes …

The Brotherhood Winery is the oldest in the United States. Located in Washingtonville, NY it was first planted by Jean Jacques in 1837, and wine was first fermented in 1837. The winery sold sacramental wine during Prohibition. The Brotherhood Winery is the closest winery in proximity to New York City, pioneering wine tourism, hosting parties and events at wineries.

Vintner’s Notes

Brotherhood’s best selling wine, this beautiful Riesling has delicate floral and lime aromas and full, ripe flavors, off dry and very fruity. Perfectly balanced, with a long clean finish that goes well with salads, crab, or scallops, any mild cheese.

My Notes:

The Brotherhood Riesling is indeed delicate. Hubby called it “too light for food”. Me? All I could think of when he said that was, “Who needs food when you have this wine!?”

Light yellow in color, extremely fragrant floral notes, this wine was light, very fruity and highly drinkable. It was analogous to drinking a floral perfume – er, only the wine wouldn’t kill you like the perfume could if consumed.

Retailing for under $10 a bottle, the Brotherhood Riesling is a wine I plan on purchasing a case of the next time we go to the liquor store.

As always, drink responsibly and please don’t drink and drive.

Note: this post originally appeared on my old blog, Coupons, Deals and More.

For more liquor and wine tips and reviews, click here.

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I Bought A Camera!

A few weeks ago I asked for camera recommendations and help. I would like to thank everyone that responded!

Kim H sent me a few detailed email, and Aarn from Grocery Shop For Free at the Mart, who used to work at a camera store for years and years, also gave me some good advice, and I ended up choosing the Canon EOS Rebel T3i and the Telephoto Zoom Lens, along with a 64 GB sandisk.

The boxes arrived a few weeks ago. I opened them all and this is what I received:

I Bought A Camera!

Ummmm yeah.

I put off delving into the box for a few days. I am what is commonly referred to as electronically-challenged. Give me a computer and no problemo! I can do most anything necessary. Give me a phone, DVD player or, now apparently, an electronic camera, and my eyes glaze over and I am looking for the nearest 10 year old to show me how to work the thing. But, I paid all this money for a new camera, and knew I’d have to give it a go. Whether I wanted to or not.

I was watching Love It Or List It one night, and decided to open just the camera box and start reading the instructions during commercials. With such dedication to learning, is it any wonder I am electronically-challenged?

This was all packed into a tiny, little camera box:

I Bought A Camera!

Ummmm yeah.

I got out the booklet and started reading.

First things first, plug in the battery. That I could figure out!

Next, attach the lens. Long complicated process with several pages of instructions, and it took me all of 2 seconds to do.

Hmmmm things are looking up! Or so I thought.

I had to insert the SD card. I swear it took me 10 minutes to find the opening!!

After that experience, I decided that was enough for one day, and besides I rationalized, there wasn’t much I could do until the battery charged.

So, the mess sat on the sofa for two days while I waited for the battery to charge.

Ok, ok, the battery was charged in a few hours. I waited for two days to gather my courage and give this camera-thing another go.

I got the battery, read the instructions, and after a small amount of fumbling to get the battery housing opened, inserted the battery.

Eureka! I now had a (supposedly) functioning camera!

I opened up the back photo-thingy on the camera that shows the pictures and gives a lot of options and instructions (which I of course ignored), took aim and clicked… something. Apparently not the button that snaps a picture, because nothing showed on the screen. So I decided to snap this! And that! And the other thing!


Back to the instruction manual diagram.

Hmmmm after studying the pages for a few minutes, I figured turning the dial to “on” would help. Then, I located the actual picture-snapping-depression-button – which was no where near what I was pressing and depressing during my initial tries (hey, my choices were logical, truly!).

So I take aim at Mr Max and took a picture if his grubby ole self.

I Bought A Camera!

Hmmmm the subject may be scuzzy looking, but the real point is the picture is pretty clear! You can compare it to my Droid pictures above and see the tremendous difference.

Deciding I could do this, I proceeded to snap another 50 or so pictures, deleting 47 of them because they had “problems”. Apparently I still have to work on not cutting off heads and on centering people and stationary objects. This camera, despite my expectations, is not magical.

So with my new found picture taking skills well in hand, only one more item was on the list! Uploading the pictures to my computer. Now since this was a software issue, I knew it would be easy for me – and installing the software was very easy to deal with! Finding out where to insert the cable into the camera to transfer pictures to my computer? Not-so-much.

I scanned the camera visually. Nuthin’.

I touched every bit of the camera hoping to find the secret passage that reveled the hidden port!


I reread the manual, did a google search, went to youtube – all in the hope of finding the jack to insert the cable to connect the camera to my computer to transfer those three fabulous pictures!


I don’t know how I found it, but I do know that after 15 minutes I was about to give up. I think the camera-gods realized they had toyed with me long enough, and if they didn’t allow me to find that port right now I was going to be the proud owner of a Canon EOS Rebel T3i that sat in the closet and gathered a lot of dust.

And just in the nick of time, I found the teeny-weeny cover to the cable jack. Crisis averted.

Since that initial photo-shoot (hey, doesn’t that sound professional?) I have taken a few hundred more pictures. And they have – for the most part – come out fairly well. I am still doing a lot of cropping, but I think that will abate as I become more familiar with when to use the telephoto options on this lens, and how to use the real telephoto lens I purchased. If nothing else, these pictures are a lot clearer, and you all should be seeing much improved pictures on Ann’s Entitled Life going forward.

Thank you all for the camera help!

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