Earlier I stood at the patio door watching the birds and squirrels snacking on the seeds that dropped from Ron and Pat’s birdfeeders. The residents here keep the wildlife well-fed.

And of course, they have fresh water to drink in this terribly hot weather as well.

Birds at my neighbor's birdfeeders

I’m now looking forward to fall weather, though that is months in the making. Typically now that means October and November in these parts.

By August of every year, I’m worn out by the heat. And I haven’t even been outside much.

The way it mostly affects me most now is that it’s hard to take photos because the camera lens fogs up so quickly.

In Birds & Allium Plant & Smoothie Maker, this is the allium plant I planted in a container at my new apartment.

My Allium Plant:

My allium plant in the container has yet to fully bloom. It may be because of the lack of sunlight.

Alliums will bloom best in full sun, though most types will tolerate partial shade. So the blooms will not be as robust, I’m thinking, as the ones I had at the other apartment.

There was a lot more sun there. I had too much sun, in fact, and many of my plants withered and turned brown.

Allium Care:

Alliums are close cousins to onions. They are fast-growing ornamental flowers that grow tall and have round flower heads. The heads are composed of dozens of tiny star-shaped flowers.

These plants are not edible. The leaves have a slight onion-like scent when crushed. Alliums are drought-resistant and cold-tolerant. They are not bothered by deer or rodents, probably due to the strong scent.

More than 400 species exist and offer a wide range of bloom sizes and bloom times.

If you choose to plant allium bulbs, do so in the fall. Most alliums are perennial plants and come back year after year.

Here is a photo of the allium plant I had last year. I believe I planted it in 2020.

In Birds & Allium Plant & Smoothie Maker, this is the allium plant from my former apartment.

New Smoothie Maker:

Last week I ordered a smoothie maker. I’ve had them from time to time. I can’t even recall what happened to the last one.

Here’s the one I ordered, but have yet to wash and use. I had to place an order for frozen fruit and bananas from Whole Foods so I’d have the ingredients. I’ll probably try it out today.

Smoothie maker I ordered from Amazon. It was less than $50.

It is the Koios 850w Smoothie Bullet Blender. The smoothie maker comes with 11 Pieces. It is BPA Free with pulse technology.

You know how diligent I am about reading reviews and comparing products, so it took a few days to choose one. This smoothie maker was under $50.

What you see above is what you get in the package.

Freeze Bananas For Smoothies:

I read recently how to get the best use of fresh bananas for your smoothies.

Peel the bananas and cut them into thirds, or even smaller if you want. Then spread them out on a cookie sheet or whatever you have that will fit into your freezer, and freeze.

After the pieces are fully frozen, put them into a ziplock bag or freezer-safe container and put them back into your freezer.

This way you merely take a few out and make your smoothie. And you won’t have any bad bananas that you will have to toss.

I froze mine in the freezer yesterday. Today I’ll take them out and put them in a baggie or other container.

Ivy:

I can see Ivy from this chair, through my living room patio door to my bedroom patio door. She is on the lookout for critters, which is her favorite hobby.

Ivy looking at birds and squirrels and rabbits out the bedroom patio door.

Ivy takes her critter-watching very seriously.

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18 Comments

  1. Let me share how I freeze bananas for smoothies, no knife or sheet pan required…break your banana in half and pop it into a zip lock freezer bag…you can add more than one banana per bag..it depends on how large they are…then with the zip open, mash the banana flat using the palm of your hand…you want it thin enough to be able to break off in pieces…I press and try mostly fill the whole bag so I don’t have to waste them, but keeping them thin enough to break when frozen. Seal and pop into the freezer: lay them flat until they are frozen after which they can be stored in any position. I do this all the time with canned tomato paste b/c so many recipes call for 2 Tbs and I have to store the rest…into the freezer it goes…I’ve done this as well with Thai Curry paste (the kind that come in the smallish flat can) b/c the amount is to taste and dependent upon how much curry I’m making.

  2. My alliums are also just starting to bloom, and they are in partial shade. I make smoothies in my blender, and use frozen bananas instead of ice. I also like to sometimes put in some avocado to add a creamy thickness, and a healthy fat. Yum! You’ve now gotten me in the mood – I think I’ll have one later!

  3. I learned my lesson from those allium plants a few years ago…make sure you plant them in a container and not the ground, unless you want those things all over the place! They spread like wildfire. Brian dug them up and even after that, they kept popping up all over the place.

    I have a healthy smoothie for breakfast most every morning in the warmer months. I just use my Breville blender, not a special smoothie maker.

  4. It finally cooled off today but I see it will get warmer again tomorrow! Boo!
    I need to quickly make some granola tonight while it’s still cool outside.
    I freeze my fruit and veggies like that too and put them in freezer bags.
    I’ve been putting marinade in a freezer bag with chicken and freezing them too. I’ve been using little bags that way I can pull out 1 or 2 bags to unthaw in the refrig the night b4. It’s worked out great this summer!

  5. I just love allium….especially the dark purple kind. Just beautiful spheres of color. Enjoy your smoothie maker! Sometimes it’s fun just to make a quick meal that way.

  6. I’ve grown to love frozen bananas so much that sometimes I buy the sliced frozen ones at Walmart. I started doing that early in the pandemic when I was planning meals to avoid going to the store so often. I had never noticed them before the pandemic though. I use them in my overnight oatmeal that I eat every day.

    During butterfly season, I let bananas get brown & mushy, slice, then put 2-3 slices in the butterfly feeders (the skin stays on for the butterflies).

  7. The pictures are beautiful. I am sad to say that I probably pruned my hydrangea for flowers at the wrong time last year and I only had one stem bloom this summer. The first winter I pruned it way back and no blooms that summer but the last 3 summers it looked beautiful. My tomato plant only gave me 2 tomatoes this year. We have had enough rain this year to water the plants but it has been hot. Looking forward to fall. Enjoy your day.

  8. Your picture with the birds in beautiful. Can you keep your camera out of the case to warm up before you take it outdoors for picture taking ?

  9. My daughter is looking for a smoothie maker and like you she reads and rereads reviews. So anxious to hear how you like it. Great tip about bananas. She uses fresh spinach — just a handful — in her smoothies. You can’t even taste it. She will make bags of mixed fruit and spinach up, pop them in the freezer and use when needed. It makes for a very filling smoothie and very nutritious.

    It’s in the high 90s here this eeek in So Cal. Yuck. I am struggling to keep my crepe myrtles watered. Now doing slow drips on them which seems to be better than just watering them down.

    Had my second cataract surgery Monday and watched TV last night without my glasses! I am just blown away! Will need readers though for close up. Enjoy your day❣️

  10. I’m done with the summer heat, as well. It could be so much worse, so I try not to complain too much.
    I can’t wait to hear more about your smoothie maker because I’ve been considering purchasing one. Thanks for sharing how to freeze bananas.
    It’s obvious Miss Ivy takes her critter watching very seriously. You’re very lucky to have her on standby. snicker/giggle
    Have a great day!!!

  11. I planted an Allium plant in a container two years ago. It was already well established when I planted it. Last year it came up beautiful, but this year it didn’t do anything . I’m not sure if it was because we have had so much rain.
    I’m like you, I never buy anything until I have researched it and read the reviews!

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