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Gratitude Day 16

Over half done with this challenge of posting a bit o' gratitude for 30 days. I don't think its working as well as I thought it would to boost mood. But. Carrying on.

I'm glad I and my husband can fight and then make up and its all okay. I'm grateful we aren't playing the angry for days game, that game sucks, knock on wood we've matured past that.

I am normally not grateful that my school job doesn't have a lot of work for me and I wind up just sitting there, but this week and next I'm perfectly okay with that because I have no time and can use the time at work to read. I think I will be leaving early tomorrow and that is a good thing.

Gratitude Day 13 Beef Stroganof

Today I am grateful for something perfectly mundane. Beef stroganof. I have had it for two suppers in a row, once out and once homemade. Mine has nutmeg, theirs has smoked paprika. I liked the smoked paprika, I may need to get some. I am also grateful that the London Broil I got was "Reduced for Quick Sale" and thereby affordable (usually, I'm stuck with Chuck, if I venture to make this at all).

If I knew the world was ending in like, a few hours, I'd make my self a dinner of beef stroganof and eat up. With really good beef, since why not get the best tenderloin or sirloin if the world is ending.

(I am also grateful to the cows... I really don't eat red meat very often at all. I've made it with seitan, and its okay but not amazing, however, seitan doesn't agree with me these days.)

Also, I googled for beef stroganof festival, didn't find anything, wishful thinking. I'd totally dig trying other versions though- I just read up on some via Wikipedia. I guess the wacky Finns add pickles to theirs? Interesting. And the Russians serve theirs with potatoes, which I've pondered doing for sometime, but the hubinator wasn't on board with so I haven't. I may yet, just to try it. Potatoes makes sense to me. The pickles I'm dubious about.

Gratitude Day 9/10

Fast fast post, as I'm under a horrible migraine (day... I've lost track but I think its four). Yesterday I came home from work and went right to bed. So there really wasn't a lot of gratitude in there, hmm... surely something nice happened yesterday... oh, I helped a student while on duty at reference, it went fine and she was appreciative, so I was grateful I could help her.

Today I left work early, I'm grateful I could. And that the Chao Bella vanilla ice cream was on sale, I had a weird strong craving for vanilla and I haven't been wanting to eat, so vanilla ice cream it is.

My cat is getting worse with his respiratory illness, but I'm grateful he is still eating.

Gratitude Day 6ish

Meh. I'm sorta struggling for gratitude. I have a migraine and the predrome for it was an emotional melt down. Its weird to realize that a lot of the "crazy" and "depressed" feelings I've had over the years are likely nothing to do with anything but migraines.

Anyway. I'm grateful my cat decided to eat after being peckish and worrisome. And that it was a beautiful day weather wise and I got to sit outside for a bit.

Let the siege begin...

Otherwise known as the xmas shopping season. Home Depot has their Xmas crapola up already. Feh. I'm tempted to write them an irritated letter about that. And shopping Saturday was zooey, and horrible because unlike Home Depot (who I give kudos for excellent staff in quantity) everywhere was under staffed. I walked out of Marshall's without buying the tights I was going to purchase because the line was too long. Life is too short to spend unnecessary time in Marshall's. I couldn't find staff to ask about the unpainted picture frames I was hunting for at Michal's and left without purchasing anything. I'll find the frames online, it'll be faster and I'll pay shipping as a reduction of frustration tax happily.

So I'm trying to think of all the sundries that will need purchasing in the next two and a half months, and I'm going to run out and get them in the next week. That and a Trader Joe's run should do it. Then no shopping till January except at co-op and online. It feels a bit like I'm stocking up for a siege. Extra TP, extra cat litter, sponge refills for the dish wand, light bulbs...


Fall Planting Round One

So, I got some fall planting done today. Some of it is a little late, probably should have happened two weeks ago but it was so hot I couldn't bring myself to do it. Poor seedlings would keel over in the heat and so would I.

I basically cleaned out my seed box, so I don't know how well all of this is going to do. Especially the carrots. I've tried them in spring with no success.
Mokum Carrots
Red Chantenay Carrot
Early Wonder Tall Top Beet - three rows
Purple Top White Globe Turnip - one row (why yes, I like beets and beet greens better than turnips)
Cucumber Straight Eight (Bot Interest brand seeds, don't know how well these will germinate)
Pumpkin Warty Thing (Bot Interest again, from the grocery store...hrm)
And, in an act of defiance, Cannellini Beans. This is the wrong time to plant them, but they were in my seed box and I want to wait on the kale and chard so I pitched a row in. We'll see how that goes.

I didn't realize till I read the extension booklet that cucumber was a fall crop here. I had wondered about when their growing season was. I wish it was a summer thing, but I expect they get bitter in the summer (I don't blame them for that, I am getting bitter and stir crazy myself in the heat).

I'm going to put a net up to keep the deer off this bed, and I'm thinking of finally building a cold frame for it too, so I can have kale in the winter. All of these frames I've checked out on the web look so elaborate, I think its silly. I'm planning on making a rectilinear frame and stapling sturdy plastic to it. I can just lift the whole thing off when I want to get at the plants, it'll be light enough.
Why can't there be Venus Transit viewing telescopes set up at a bar? All the events that I've found for viewing are aimed at small children. Its great that there are science events for small children, no doubt, I'd never argue against that. But why do you have to age out of being curious about science/astronomy as a layperson (which is the implication, if you aren't a kid or don't have them, you aren't welcome/shouldn't be there)? It seems to me that there ought to be adults interested in this for its own sake, really. And it says bad things about our culture that most public science events are aimed at children, adult folks should have events too, to stay engaged, educated and curious and especially to be better citizens. I imagine that there are more adult events in larger urban areas... at least I hope so.

As it is, I'm debating going out to the M. Planetarium event. But I really don't want to wade through acres of small children engaged in Venus related art activities to check out the transit on a scope. And I hate pinhole cameras, I've never gotten that to work on my own, so that's out. Meh. Maybe I'll just watch some coverage on the web.

Garden Update

I really wish I had gotten around to getting the strawberry bed in this spring, but next year. I at least have the spot picked out now.

I planted some summer bulbs. Three kinds of glads: atom, abyssinian, and envy. And a couple of crocsmia, Antique Montbretia and Meteor. I really hope some of them make it. Unfortunately, some of them got unearthed after I planted them, by cats I think. They didn't get eaten so I'm thinking its not rodents. And the feral cats, for all that they mess up my beds, do keep the rodents away, I really suspect its the cats using the beds as a litter box and kicking things around.

The squash and okra (its red okra, I'm planting it as an ornamental mostly) didn't come up. The okra I get, it really wants it warm and I have seeds left so I'll give it a go in a couple of days and try again (and I'll let them soak for a full 24 hours, I did soak the first time but I'm not sure about the timing). The squash is a little mysterious, but I'll give it another go next week as well. I was hoping to find thai peppers in plant form but no dice, I only found seeds. But the growing season here is long enough that I think I can pitch them in and they'll produce by first frost. And I need to do another round of beans, I'm staggering them to prevent bean overload and lengthen the harvest, since my hubby doesn't really like string beans.

I still need to plant the poor roses I rescued as rejects from my nursery job last year. Poor tough as nails dears. I think I'll reserve a day next week and get those planted, finally. I'm just not sure about how I want to structure my hedge, more interspersed species or homogenous.

I kind of took a yard break this week, I'll pick up again next week. I'm feeling pretty good about the garden beds. The lawn is a problem, I hate the whole notion of a lawn, for the most part, and now its been ripped up by the tree we had taken out. I tried seeding some bald spots, but without constant watering I don't think they'll sprout. Not sure about trying again, I think maybe in fall I'll give it another go. Given my negligent mowing (which is partly deliberate, I'm enjoying the yellow buttercups that have sprung up as weeds and don't want to mow them down), there may be some seeding in from grass gone to seed too. But this is definitely, even with the lawn, the best the beds have been so far (so out of three years now)- unemployment is good for the garden if not my mental health. Next year will go even more smoothly I think, as I won't be adding a ton of soil to the beds in addition to everything else. I'm looking forward to that.


First Garden Update for 2012

I am completely overwhelmed at this point with even prepping the garden. I need to add a side bed and plant about 5 shrubs and trees, I'm stressed about pulling the trigger on putting those in, its kind of a huge decision. I have about 4 cubic yards of compost/topsoil mix to distribute. And the trellises need to go up and the one bed will get deer proofed.

I'm still wondering about doing battle with the squash beetles again, ugh, to squash or not to squash. I get my tomatoes as seedlings from the farmers market, I hope they have Sungolds, that was a problem last year.

These are my seed orders, I hate starting seedlings so I get seeds that can be direct sown.

From Baker Creek:
Perpetual Spinach Chard
Envy - Zinnia Meteor - Zinnia
Hill Country Heirloom Red Okra
Dragon Tongue Bush Bean
Golden Wax Bush Bean
Crookneck Squash - Early Golden Summer
Eskimo Marigold

From Natural Gardening Company:
Love-in-a-Mist (OG)
Moonsong Deep Orange Sunflower
Lemon Gem Marigold (OP)
Empress Of India Nasturtium (OP)
Calendula Sunshine Flashback (OG)
Benary's Giant Zinnia - Deep Red
Thai Basil Seed (OG)
Borage (OG)
Waltham Butternut (OG)
Queen Sophia Marigold (OP)

I don't think I'll use up my non-flower seed packets (except the chard), if there are seeds someone wants I can send my extras (since y'all plant a month after me it should work out). Heck, there may be some flower packets I don't use up, the calendula is kinda huge.


Really SC? Really?

Gingrich? You've got to be kidding me.

I feel like I've spent my whole life disgusted by that man. I can't even think about him as president. Egomaniac lacking basic compassion- I really think he may be a psychopath. Guh.

Gail Collins had a nice amusing column on his infidelities, here, and this is a choice bit:"There is, however, a lot of difference between giving up drinking on the eve of middle age and giving up adultery at about the time you’re qualifying for Social Security. Cynics might suggest that Newt didn’t so much reform as poop out." I do like Gail Collins, I feel like she carries the tradition of Molly Ivins very well. I cannot get over the fact that people are so willing to forgive his hypocrisy in trying to impeach Clinton. Why does nearly everyone in the media give him a pass on that? Oy oh boy. Its gonna be a long year in politics. I'm not exactly over the moon about Obama (nor am I negative about him, I am planning on voting for him) but criminy I'd volunteer for a dead anteaters re-election campaign if it meant not having the sorry excuse for a human that Gingrich is as president.

At least Gingrich likes science fiction. I can relate to that, the way I related to Reagan's liking Monkey Bread, which I also adore. Small, insignificant things but they humanize them an iota at least.



Ilex cassine

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