daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Yesterday I started my vegetable garden by planting seeds for two kinds of broccoli, one kind of cauliflower, and four tomatoes in small plastic containers and putting them in a warm spot to sprout. Normally I'd be jumping the gun by starting tomatoes this early, but one of them (Yorkbec) was bred in Canada to be more cold-tolerant and the others are dwarf-types that I intend for container culture. My main-season tomatoes will get started later.

On Saturday I made some DIY laundry soap using a recipe someone on my FB feed was raving over. The few loads I've done so far have turned out ok, but I'm withholding judgement until I use up the container. The one downside it has from the beginning is that I can't use it on any of my silks; it has washing soda in it and (iirc) silks resent strong alkalies.

I got very little house-work type stuff done on Sunday, and this was by design. As part of my efforts to manage my stress levels I'm trying to make Sunday really be a day of rest. I can do fun-type work like gardening or writing or even cooking, but if I don't get any laundry or such done that's ok. To make this work I need to be better at getting some housework done on weeknights after I get home from work, but (the theory goes) since I'm getting some real rest on the weekend I should feel less exhausted during the week. As with my laundry soap, I'm currently withholding judgement on the project.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
The shooting pain in my right leg is gone as if it had never been. I'm grateful, but I'd be happier if I knew what caused it in the first place.

I've done an inventory of my stash of vegetable seeds and have determined that I probably shouldn't buy any more seeds this year. I probably still will, but at least I can now avoid getting a fifth packet of leaf mustard. There are a few things that I have, but would like some different varieties of (can one have too many kinds of radish? I think not!) and it would be nice to have a few more flowers this year.

The feed section of my TWSBI Vac 700 broke last night. Happily I noticed something was going wrong before the nib and feed fell out, releasing a ml of Black Swan in Australian Roses all over my notebook. So annoying. TWSBI is supposed to have great customer service so getting a replacement part shouldn't be difficult, but I'm a bit bummed that it happened at all.

Still creeping through stage 5 of my Latin text. I should be going faster, but I'm dealing with the terror of having to now keep track of both case and plurality of nouns. Apparently being a native speaker of English has made me a declension wimp.
daidoji_gisei: (Cornflower field)
I came home from work and laid down for an hour. This is a bad habit I'm trying to break, on the principle that I could get more accomplished if instead of laying down I sat down and did some crochet or read a book, but I'm getting cranky with myself over how much stuff I need to get done each week and how I should be productive every single minute of the day.

Eventually I got up and changed into gardening clothes (by which I mean a t-shirt and a ripped pair of jeans) and got out to do some work in my garden. I spent about an hour and a half weeding, something that it really needed. There's more to be done, but now at least it looks more like a garden-in-progress and less like an abandoned lot. I'm somewhat depressed over it, still. I had ambitions of being able to feed myself home-grown vegetables from Memorial Day to Labor Day and everything is still so small I don't think I'll have anything harvestable on the 27th. It's a cold spring when collards, radishes, and spinach you planted at the end of March are only an inch tall on May 20th. On the bright side, all my potatoes are up and looking very strong, so at least I won't lack for potatoes.

I'm being tempted by the latest BPAL update--a Lunacy (Honey Moon) and three single notes (Passionflower, some patchouli, and Wild Dandelion). OK, so the patchouli isn't a threat and I managed to talk myself out of Honey Moon and Passionflower, but the Dandelion intrigues me. I'm enough of of a plant nerd to know that dandelion flowers don't have much in the way of scent, so this will be the PBAL perfumer's imagination of a dandelion, which means it could be anything. I find this weirdly attractive. The problem with this is that their postage is so high I flatly refuse to buy only a single bottle from them, so I need to decide if there is anything from the general catalog I want enough to make the whole thing worthwhile. This in turn needs to be balanced against the plane tickets I need to be buying soon and oh yeah, I do keep claiming I want a bicycle for transportation. Choices, I have them.
daidoji_gisei: (Cornflower field)
It's Mayday, and the weather forecast has a 90% chance of rain, snow, and sleet today. This isn't incredibly outrageous in Nebraska--Lincoln's frost-free date is May 15--but it is inconvenient. I don't know what to plant right now in my garden, it's too wet and cold to get into the garden if I did, and my bedroom is practically impassable because I'm stuck with both my cold-weather and warm-weather clothing in play.

Of the seeds I planted earlier in the month, the brassicas all sprouted almost immediately. As I was stuck home then with sinus issues this was cheering. The tomatoes started showing life a week later, and today I noticed that some of my peppers were sprouting. I'll need to dig out my notebook to figure what varieties I have, but being able to have any tomato and pepper plants without buying sets makes me happy.

Because I was worried about viability, in some cases I dropped two tomato seeds into the little peat pellet and so now have two plants growing in the same space. In the interest of science I've decided to let them both grow a bit, and then snip one off, plant it in some fresh potting soil, and see if I can get it to root. If it succeeds I have another plant to give away, and if it fails I've lost nothing.

I'm dithering over a BPAL order. Today is the last day to order the April eclipse blend and the sweet alyssum single note, so I need to decide quickly. It's a lot of money for scents I can't try beforehand, even when one takes into account their trade potential. On the other hand, the eclipse blend would be a chance to see if I like how BPAL handles patchouli. On the third hand, it' looks like I'll be swapping for a patchouli-containing floral, so maybe I should just save my money. I should, after all, be saving for a bicycle. Not to mention the two Lamy Al-Stars I've decided I want. It's nice that my financial health has improved to the point I can have problems like this, but I could want to be better at making up my mind.
daidoji_gisei: (Cornflower field)
This afternoon I was running around trying to scare up enough clear plastic containers and seed-starting mix to plant seeds in and I discovered that I had five--count them, FIVE--Jiffy mini-greenhouses. I'm not sure if that's what Jiffy calls them, but that's what they are: dark plastic trays with clear plastic dome tops and 25 little peat pellets for starting seeds in. You water the pellets, stick the seeds in, put the clear lid on to keep everything moist and wait for your seeds to sprout. I had picked them up at some end-of-season clearance and forgotten about them until I was searching my sun room for potting soil.

I did not use all five of them; even my lunacy does not extend to starting 125 plants in one day. I stopped at 3: one of various tomatoes, one of various peppers, and one of various brassicas. That's waaaay more tomatoes and peppers than I need, but since I'm using old seeds I have some viability worries--best to start extras, and give away what I can't use. The brassicas include seven broccoli, despite me having four in the garden already, because this April's weather has been so weird I'm worried about it surviving. Sure broccoli can take a little snow, but can it take snow after it's been rained on for two days? I have no experience with these kinds of questions.

While eating lunch I was reading the BPAL forum and found the thread with carnation recommendations. I am in need of a good carnation scent! One of the perfumes that kept coming up was The Bow and Crown of Conquest, which had both carnation and leather notes. I had gotten a free imp of it from the lab in a previous order, tried it on, and hadn't been impressed. This had saddened me because it has an awesome name, and I'm easily moved by that kind of thing. (Writer, what can I do?) Inspired by this new information I dug out the imp and really slathered a patch on my arm to try it again.

Apparently, this is one of those scents that I can't dab on and expect to smell anything of it: it needs coverage. But it does smell nice! I can't pick out the carnation but there is a classy floral hanging out with the leather. I, um, ordered an imp of Whip (rose and leather) as part of last week's BPAL order, so now I am even more curious about how it will turn out. I like Bow and Crown of Conquest, but if I like Whip will I really need two floral-and-leather perfumes? (On the other hand, it's not like I am not accumulating a complete wardrobe of rose scents...) And would I really admit to be wearing something called Whip in public? Bow and Crown of Conquest is unwieldy, but tactically safe.

The things I end up worrying about...
daidoji_gisei: (Kakita Hideshi)
A few weeks ago the landlord trimmed up the apple trees in the yard and left a pile of the branches sitting next to the street for the trashmen to pick up. I gathered up a few of the twigs, took them inside, stuck them in a vase of water, and waited. I now have a vase of blooming apple-blossom twigs in my living room, and yes that is just a delightful-looking as it sounds.

That's pretty much all the good news in my life right now. I'm behind and buried in about every facet of my life (work, housework, writing, gardening, reading, crocheting), and feeling borderline sick from my sinuses, which are being constantly irritated by the rainy weather fronts that keep sweeping through. Naturally this meant that I needed to spend yesterday afternoon sorting though my PBAL perfumes (how did I manage to get so many?) and deciding what I needed to swap away. (Less than an hour after I posted my swaps list I found someone who was willing to trade a bottle of Peacock Queen 2007 for my Pink Snowballs 2011, so I guess you could say some good came from that.) (I was really crestfallen over how unimpressive Pink Snowballs was on me; from its description (pink roses and vanilla) it should have been brilliant. I'm beginning to suspect that whatever accord PBAL uses for 'pink roses' doesn't agree with me, because Two, Five, and Seven didn't work well either.)

It's bright and sunny today, after days upon days of clouds/rain/snow/etc. I've decided to cast aside writing worries for a few hours and do dishes and get some seeds started. I went without garden tomatoes last year, and I really don't want to repeat that. I don't want to buy plants this year either, not with my embarrassingly large collection of vegetable seeds.

I'm trying not to think about the rest of the week. Doing that means taking stock of all I have to do and the time I have to do it in, and that's the path to despair.
daidoji_gisei: (Cornflower field)
I committed my first act of gardening today. One of my co-workers had told me of a method of growing lettuce that involved sprinkling it on top of melting snow, and as I had a 59 cent package of lettuce seed on hand, I decided to give it a try.

Naturally when I got home I found that the only snow left in my garden was laying on layers of leaves or straw,and I didn't think that would be a good lettuce-rooting medium. Thus I sprinkled the seed on parts of my garden that weren't covered with leaves and/or straw and then shoveled snow from other parts of my yard on top of it. I'm not sure why I didn't shovel the snow first and then sprinkle the seed, but I was tired and it's going to be 50 degrees out tomorrow so it shouldn't matter that much.

I have pansy and viola seeds that I ought to start this weekend, not to mention broccoli and any other cold-weather veggies that need starters-for-transplanting. This leads to the dire thought that I need to go though my seed collection, in the unlikely event that I need to order more seeds for this year. So much to do!
daidoji_gisei: (Cornflower field)
I tried listing out all the things I need to get done right now and that was too depressing so I deleted it. I spin out when I think of it all; much better to tackle a small bit, finish it, and then tackle the next bit.

One of the little bits I've gotten done so far is to water my plants. This doesn't sound impressive unless you know how many plants I have. The herbs in the kitchen are doing well so far, including my longtime nemesis, tarragon. The mustard seedlings haven't gotten beyond having seed leaves yet, but they should start leafing out more. The red russian kale plants I dug up from the yard seem to like their new home in the sun porch and are getting bigger. I am trying to be patient, but I am really looking forward to eating them.

My second round of paperwhites seem to be doing well. The ones in my living room are about 8" tall and have buds; the ones in the cool room downstairs are about 2" high. So far my plan to stagger their blossom periods is working. The current flush of bloom for my fuschia is over, but I can see a few tiny buds being created and it's enthusiastically putting out new leaves and shoots. Meanwhile the african violet on the table below is sending up bud stalks--three visible so far, and I have the feeling that if I investigated I'd find more. I won't: they can surprise me.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
My toilet overflowed Saturday afternoon, leaving water laced with fecal matter all over my bathroom floor. Needless to say, this wrecked my plans to spend the rest of Saturday washing dishes and generally doing kitchen stuff. It was the perfect end to the week, which seemed to be designed to make me feel incompetent and generally without value.

Friday afternoon I made myself come up with a list of good things that had happened during the week. That helped. Later I discovered that my paperwhites had started blooming and my bedroom was full of delicious perfume. That helped more!

Then on Saturday afternoon, while taking out trash from the Toilet Incident, I discovered that I had a couple of Red Russian kale plants growing in my lawn. This was not as strange as it could be, because two years ago I had planted one in a corner of my garden and then instead of pulling it out at the end of the season I just let it be. It spent the summer as an untidy flowering heap that marked the northern end of the garden. What was surprising to me was that I had a second generation sprouting in the fall, and not the spring. I was also surprised that it was clearly a Red Russian kale seedling, given that I'd made no attempt to preserve seed purity. On the other hand, I am pretty sure that RR is B. rapa and most of the rest of my Brassicas are oleracea so the chance of crossbreeding is slight. Also, I appear to be the only person for blocks around that has a vegetable garden. I don't understand this. Read more... )

Last week

Apr. 5th, 2010 07:01 am
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Last week was busy and exciting, not necessarily at the same time.

Good stuff was I got a lot of things planted in my garden. After work on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I went out and planted for a few hours, with the result that I have seeds for arugula, two kinds of carrots, four kinds of radishes, spinach, turnips, three types of peas, lettuce, dandelion, two kinds of mustard, edible chrysanthemum, and kailun in the ground. I also moved two out of the four really annoying clumps of goldenrod that were sticking out in the middle of the garden and evicted lots and lots of lemon balm. Now I like lemon balm, don't get me wrong, but who in their right mind edges the border of a twenty-foot garden with a slightly invasive herb?

I also got to bake a lot of bread on Friday, in preparation for Easter. We did hot cross buns, challah dinner rolls and whole wheat dinner rolls and I didn't get to lunch until almost two in the afternoon but it was so worth it.

This somewhat made up for the fact that Wednesday was inventory day. Inventory isn't difficult, but it is tedious and the fact that I have to stand in the cooler and count all of our cookie backstock doesn't help much.

Thursday was made interesting by the fact that Lincoln (and all surrounding counties) had essentially no phone service. A switch (and its backup replacement) at the downtown switching station failed, with the result that you could call within your geographic zone (as defined by the phone company), but you could not call into another zone. In case you are wondering, this kind of thing completely disables the 911 emergency service. Watching the relevant officials come up with work-arounds for this was kind of interesting, in an abstract sense.

Saturday was a lot of shopping for Easter dinner, and getting all of my sheets washed. In the process of folding said sheets I noticed that my favorite set is now getting somewhat thin, so I need to start thinking about getting new ones. I suppose I can't complain; that set is at least 15 years old. Replacing them means another wrestling match between my ideals and my practicality: I support the idea of buying local, but Lincoln's wretched excuse for a public transit system makes shopping over the internet the better deal in both time and money.

So, that was my week.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
My life has been somewhat stressful and sometimes unpleasant the last few weeks, which has made it hard to journal. Some people find catharsis in writing down everything that is bothering them; I generally find it tedious. However! Today will be annoying because I'm not going to get all the housework I want to get done, done, but before noon three good things happened, so I cannot say it is going to be a bad day.

The first thing was, [livejournal.com profile] yhlee wrote a story for me! It's a very short story to a two-word prompt I gave her, and it is every bit as wonderful as I expected. My story: Steel-Ever-Shining. I've read it like a dozen times already and it makes me smile every time. :-)

The second is, my lemon tree is really going to bloom! I kind of knew this last weekend, when in the course of giving showers to both citrus trees, three bell peppers plants, and two miniature rose bushes, I discovered that there was something that looked suspiciously like a flower bud on the meyer lemon. But this morning I was looking it over for signs of aphids (which are thick on my bell peppers, hence the showers last week) and discovered a whole clutch of buds hidden by a leaf. Lemon blossoms! My apartment will be graced with the delicate fragrance of lemon blossoms! *swoon*

This is all the more exciting to me because I've been a little worried about the lemon tree. The lime tree, when I got it home, sat for a week and then started growing out two spiky branches. The lemon tree did nothing, except to have leaves randomly go yellow and fall off. Quite nerve-wracking. But its fruits haven't fallen off--indeed, they are ripening nicely--and now it is going to bloom, so it can't be that unhappy with life.

The third thing is, it's snowing! A snowstorm rolled into Nebraska today; I saw the first few flakes as I came back from church this morning. The weather service is calling for 1-3" accumulation, which will make walking to work tomorrow annoying yet scenic. I'm looking forward to it.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
No, not the basketball kind of madness. ;-)

As one might guess from my lack of posting, I've been running around in circles busy the last few weeks. Karin and Ami were in town for about 5 days in mid-March, so I got to hang out with them some. Also, they took me with them when they went to go see the Sandhill cranes out on the Platte river, which was gorgeous. I meant to do some posts on it, but my heart was too full and I couldn't write. (I'll try again this weekend, perhaps.) Then we had some really warm spring days where I was starting to clear leaves/sticks/enormous-towering-sunflower-skeletons out of the garden to get it ready for planting, and some weird annoying personal drama, and being massively shorthanded (by about 40 hours a week) in the bakery, and that about sums up the past two weeks.

Random notes from the past few days:

* The house to the west has the tallest magnolia tree I've ever seen. It's huge! (For magnolia values of huge, that is.) It's starting to bud out, which is how I realized it was a magnolia. I'm hoping the cold snap we haven now doesn't bother it too much, because I want to see this thing in full blossom.

* My backyard has a bush about my height covered with small, red buds. As an experiment I broke off a few twigs and stuck them in a vase. I now have twigs that are covered with small white flowers that look like a child's drawing of a five-petaled flower. I have no idea what it is--it's pretty clearly a member of the Rose genus, but that's not exactly narrowing down the list of suspects. I am thinking I need to go down and get a few more twigs.

* Lincoln, Nebraska's average last freeze date is April 28th; last frost date is May 9th.

* LJ is wonderful because you can go back through your entries and figure out what tomato varieties worked and what didn't. Despite this, I have bought yet another packet of Nebraska Wedding tomatoes.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I was going to hang out with [livejournal.com profile] cassandra_e and her family last night, and she was nice enough to help me run home and pick up some laundry so I could hang out and do laundry at the same time. (Yay, efficiency!) As we were walking up to my door I pointed out the leafy-green dark-blue-berried fringe growing out of the gutter above my porch and dangling down in an ornamental fashion.

"See my beautiful deadly nightshade crop? It's too bad I don't have a use for it," I said.

She admired it for a moment and then said, "I foresee a livejournal post about this--'I have this lovely nightshade crop and nothing to do with it.'"

So here it is. ;-)

I did not really plant the nightshade; it grows wild in the neighborhood and most likely hitch-hiked to the gutter in a bird's intestinal track. If I had known that the upstairs air conditioners were going to do such a good job keeping the gutter watered, I would have climbed up and planted cherry tomatoes--and then I would have a nightshade crop I could actually eat.

daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I have no fictions to work on atm, and I'm not (unlike last weekend) going out of town, so I am enjoying a stress-free Saturday. I am taking a pause between washing dishes and making lunch to list out what I want to get accomplished this weekend. Lists are somewhat of a double-edged sword; on the one hand they help me prioritize, and on the other I usually list more than I could reasonably get done and end up Sunday night feeling worthless. But, so many things make me feel worthless I've decided the increase in organization is preferable.

One of the things I'll have to put down is 'go for walk'. I live in one of the older parts of town, so there are lots of trees and flowers to look at. The Bradford pears are on the downward slide, but still holding on; the crab apples are in full cry and the lilacs are just coming online. Also, daffodils and tulips everywhere.

I need to think about what I'm going to do garden-wise as well. I loved picking (more accurately: eating) fresh green beans last year, but once again most of the heirloom tomatoes disappointed me production-wise. I think the Black Cherry tomato was abundant, though--I should go back through my LJ entries and confirm. I'm pretty sure that I continued to fail at getting tomatoes out of Nebraska Wedding. *sigh* The scarlet runner beans were completely done in by the summer heat, so that's off the list. Also, I have decided to grow more cutting-type flowers so that I can treat myself to flower arrangements.

daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Saturday while at the Westlake Ace to pick up a saw I looked through the plants they had for sale and discovered they had both lemon basil and lemon mint. I was especially happy about the lemon mint; I had tried that last year and found it to be a wonderful ice tea herb. My pot of it (gardening tip: DO NOT plant any mint in the ground unless you have a plot surrounded on all sides by 3 feet of conrete, or are ok with having your entire yard taken over by it) hadn't survived the winter and the store I bought it from last year didn't seem to have it this year, so I had given up hope on the matter. But now I just need to decide how big of a pot I want to give to it: the one I used last year is now holding violas, so that's out.

Sunday night I turned over the ground in my garden out back (a strip of land about 2' by 7') and added a few more feet to it. I got all 4 of my tomatoes (Early Girl, Juliet, Black Cherry and Nebraska Wedding) planted, as well as both bell peppers. I dithered awhile on my eggplant and decided that I wanted that as a pot plant. It is still somewhat small, and by the time it gets big enough to plant out I can put it in the big bucket the Purple Dragon carrots are in now.

Monday morning I saw there was a 70% chance of rain Monday night, so I came home form work, grabbed my bag of seeds and headed out to the garden. In the west I could just see the tall, puffy white towers that announce thunderstorms in Nebraska. I planted Masi bush beans, a purple pole bean from Italy, Painted Lady runner beans, amaranth, salad mix, parsley, and dandelions. By the time I finished the sky had gone gray and I was quite certain that I could rely on the incoming storm to water in my seeds for me.

Now comes the long wait. I'll have some minor harvesting from my container gardens in the next few weeks, but I won't get anything big from my garden for about six weeks. The various greens will be ready first, and then if I'm lucky I'll have Early Girl tomatoes in July. In the meantime, the strip of land in front of my porch needs love.

Blue Skies

Apr. 27th, 2007 07:55 am
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I woke up today feeling better. I'm still sick, but I have that slightly-more-energetic feeling that comes from being on the upward swing of the cycle. In the meantime, I'm in pain every time I cough--but I'm coughing less this morning than I was yesterday at this time.

I'm now mulling over what to do about my Saturday. I could go in and do some work to make up my lost hours, and then I wouldn't have to dip into my vacation hours. On the other hand, it's supposed to be sunny and in the 70s on Saturday, and the idea of being free in the sunshine is quite alluring. I have a slew of gardening tasks that I need to get done, so this could be my big chance. And you know, spring sunshiny day.

Yesterday when I came home I had just enough energy to fill my new planters with soil and prewater them, to get them preped for seed-sowing. I also unwrapped my established planters and watered them. I had put in a bunch of seeds in the beginning of April, and then when it got really cold I swathed them in bubble-wrap and hoped for the best. Well, it worked--I have healthy seedlings of carrots, edible peas, and sweet peas. I'm especially excited about the carrots, as they are the Purple Dragon carrots I bought on impulse. I'll need to consider this weekend if I want to seed another container to them, to keep them coming through the summer. The problem is that any container I put to carrots takes away from radishes, and I love radishes. Both of them have to be container-grown because the clay in my back-yard plot is impossible for root crops. Except, for some weird reason, green onions which do just fine.

(Memo to self: rediscover location of city free compost supply. should be way the heck north on 48th, and you'll be looking for an excuse for a drive in the sunshine anyway.)

I should also go buy a few tomato plants. It's technically too early to put them out, but clearly bubble-wrap works just fine as an instant greenhouse so I'm willing to risk it. I'd love to get another Yellow Jelly Bean; it did very well for me last year.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
This afternoon, for the second time in my life, I was stung by a wasp. I could really have done without the experience, but I suppose I can't complain if it only happens about once every twenty years. There was no malice on my part nor, I suppose, on the wasp's part. I was pulling out some old plastic pots that I had saved from last year, and it had evidently been hanging out in one of them. I was in great pain for two or three minutes, and then it subsided into a dull ache. I can still feel it now, but its not enough to inhibit typing.

In spite of this, I did get a little bit of gardening-stuff taken care of. I planted sweet peas, Tom Thumb garden peas and Purple Dragon carrots in various containers on my porch. There is no point in trying to plant carrots in the ground of my garden, the soil in my back yard is far too clay-ey to grow carrots. I then planted in seed-starting pots broccoli and parsley. I also took slips of my rose geranium, honeydew melon sage and pineapple sage and potted them up. I really liked them as tea herbs last summer, so I decided to grow a larger supply this year.

I haven't yet turned the ground in my small strip of the back yard, but after all the rain I'm not in a hurry for that. Still, if I'm going to get any kale this spring I need to do it soon. On the other hand, spring has been so warm the past two weeks it might already be too late! Also, I really need to figure out where my packet of Bright Lights Swiss Chard went.

Springtime in the garden! Some year I'll draw up a plan in advance, but my current method works well enough for now.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
It is now past Saturday noon and I'm still lazing around my apartment in my jammies, slippers, and second-favorite yukata. This is somewhat rare for me, as I'm normally a morning person, but this past week I was (to quote my honored father) busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest and being slow for a while is kinda nice. I slept in till about 7:30, then got up, read, fixed myself a nice brunch (sauteed butternut squash with Chinese five-spice powder, omelet, sourdough biscuits with butter and honey, grapefruit juice, big pot of black tea), read some more. I sometimes envy my married/with children contemporaries, because they rarely have to worry about being alone, but I have to admit that the single life does have its compensations.

Sooner or later I'm going to get dressed, and it really should be sooner because I need to go into work today--I shifted my work hours around this week to accommodate some deadlines. Also, if I don't have the inventory numbers from my department in on Monday morning for our bookkeeper I'll have Colasaurus Rex looking for me, and this is never a good thing. (Note to any future small business owners among my readers: competent bookkeepers are an asset to any business. Competent bookkeepers who generate their own Fear effects are pure gold.)

I also need to haul my container gardens out of my kitchen and back on to my porch. The danger of frost has passed, for now, and so everything goes out for a last week or so of real sunshine. In the meantime I'll be sorting out what I care about enough to find room for inside and what I can bear to let die. I have a bell pepper that I've kept for two summers now, and that has first dibs on my south windows.

Of the tomatoes out back: The Yellow Jelly Bean seems to have come through ok, the Black Russian appears to have sustained some damage. I'm not sure if it's fatal yet but I'm not holding my breath. The one (count them, one) tomato I got off it was tasty, but I don't think it was tasty enough to put up with such a prima donna. A plant that doesn't like heat and doesn't like cold really has no business being in Nebraska.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
It's six in the morning, and according to the National Weather Service it's 32 degrees F at the Lincoln Municipal Airport. This means that it's some undetermined temperature above 32 degrees F in my back yard--the location and geometry of such creates a slightly warmer microclimate than the airport enjoys--which means that my tomato plants might, MIGHT, have gotten through the night intact. Which means I might be able to eke out another week or so of Yellow Jelly Bean tomatoes.

I'm hopeful. Tomatoes hate cold, but I covered them last night, and they are in a sheltered location.... After I get dressed and before I leave for work I'll uncover them and see. In the end, that's a gardener's fate--wait and see.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
On Wednesday, Lincoln got to 108 degrees f. Right now it is 61 degrees F--that's a 47 degree temperature shift for those of you playing along at home. Life on the Great Plains may be many things, but the weather is never boring.

It's raining was well, which pleases the gardener in me. But the shift in pressure is probably what gave me yesterday's sinus headache, which caused me to miss my L5R rpg game. Bummer.

But, since it is rainy and cooler tonight I'll be able to plant the purslane I've rooted. Purslane is one of a number of wild plants I've wanted to try eating, but the only good stands of it I can find are in parking lots. Do you want to eat something that was growing in a parking lot? I didn't think so. But while rereading Wild Seasons (Kay Young, Bison books) a few weeks back I noticed the author's claim that purslane was easy to root, which means that you can collect some stems from wild plants and cultivate them in your garden. With this in mind I picked some stems from a fat-leaved specimen growing in one of the hell-strips at work and threw them into a bowl of water at home. They all have glisteny white roots growing out of them now, so I need to plant them out before they start pining away from lack of sunlight.

It may seem a little odd to invest time in trying to grow a wild plant in your garden, but purslane self-sows and is untroubled by drought and poor soil. If I can get it established, I'll have a perpetual source of gourmet greens that require no further effort on my part. Does gardening get better than that?


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