Sunday, April 22, 2012


As of this morning, every last herb pot has started, and every last tomato has sprouted, and not a single damn bell pepper has emerged. But! The consistency is comforting. :-D

The weather is not as miserable as I feared. 25 degrees colder than yesterday, yes. Drizzling, yes. But pouring rain and windy? No. In fact, now that all my little seeds are safe in the ground, there's a nice light rain falling, soaking my little plantlings. I'm rather pleased with the way this turned out.
It's definitely chilly outside - maybe 50, maybe - but everything I put out was a spring plant so that's no big deal.
While I was digging rows for my carrots, I watched two tufted titmice visiting the birdfeeder nearest the garden. I told Brian, who was quite pleased.
While he and I sat on the patio yesterday, me soaking up the sun and him enjoying the breeze from the shade, we heard a woodpecker in the trees on the hill. I spotted him and showed him to Brian, who asked what kind of woodpecker it was. I couldn't tell - "big" was all I could say. Brian said I needed a pair of binoculars for birding. I couldn't agree more.

So today is a day for soaking up peace.
By noon I had everything done for the day. All I can hear out the window is the light tapping of rain and the occassional feasting robin. There are sleeping mammals in nearly every room of the house. My bills are paid, my mail is sorted. All I have to do is some schoolwork.
But that can wait for tomorrow.
Today will be a lazy day.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Official Start

The garden is officially started.
My husband made his annual contribution to our garden (besides eating the results) by tilling the entire 800 square foot main plot on his own. I didn't touch the tiller - except to help get it into and out of the truck - and he's more impressive when you consider he did it sans ankles.

I love it when you rent something and it comes with its own ramp. (also, a view of our beautiful forsythia)

The end result was two very tired people and a large swath of earth ready to produce tasty things.

The stakes in the front mark where my two kinds of carrots will go. The stakes in the back are for the lettuce patch. Both will be seeded tomorrow morning, along with my peas... which will go somewhere in the middle there.
And, looking at the weather, I should have done it today. Poop. But! Instead of seeding the garden, I took photos for you of everything else we have around the yard:
The tulips are about ready to bloom, although the crocus are already gone.

The deck off our bedroom. I hauled the patio furniture out of storage today.

We added a bird feeder outside my bedroom window to taunt Seamus (pictured). I later added a hummingbird globe to the shepherd's crook there. The plants you see are rhododendrums and blueberries.

Two new bird feeders! Brian wanted to buy bird houses, but I challenged him to name the birds in our yard and he couldn't. I told him he could put up bird houses when he knew what birds we had that needed one.

Sully Monster did not understand why I was outside.

 The last straw for the sanity of our poor cats: a squirrel feeder. You can see this in the background of the photo of the deck. The cats can see it from the door and from our window. Ha ha ha.

I also hauled my clothesline out of storage and my adirondack chairs. They look so tempting in the sun, surrounded by grass and a gentle breeze. -sigh- I can't wait for summer to truly be here.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Gardening, Finally.

While I intended to start my garden projects some weeks ago, life interfered. Like it does.
To sum up,
Lisa (whose relationship to me I truncate down to 'sister,' removing the burdonsome 'step,' 'in-law,' and 'future') had fairly short-notice back surgery. With a nine-month-old she can no longer pick up, her life is difficult and I spent a weekend cooking food for her & her fiance.
School and work and volunteer work also happen. A lot.
And then my grandmother fell a week ago Friday and broke her hip.

There are also fun things.
My brother flew in on Thursday (the day before Gramma fell) and we went to PAX East(er) together.
Brian and I sprung for a fairly swank hotel for the weekend, rather than get up at the asscrack of dawn and drive an hour into the city, fighting traffic all the way.
The view from our room:
We didn't just have ANY room. No! We had a corner room:

I won't bore you with PAX photos. I'm putting all those on my facebook, anyways, no need to double-post.
So that was last weekend, the first weekend of April.
THIS weekend, we celebrated Jennah's 25th birthday a bit belatedly.
And then I had all day today to work on the garden.

I came to the conclusion, after I'd staked off 100 square feet for my lettuces and 60 square feet for my carrots, this was the year I needed to get a tiller.
We generally rent one, but I would like to till the garden more than once. The lettuce patch and the carrot patch and the row of peas should be done first. I would till the whole thing, so any weeds would have plenty of time to die in the sun before I planted. Then I would like to till a second time, right before I plant my tomatoes and beans and peppers and cukes.
I hate renting something twice.
So we headed out!
And could not find a single store that would sell me a rear-tine "rawr" type tiller.
So I'm renting a huge one Friday, taking out my neatly measured out stakes, and tilling the whole damn thing. 20 by 40. Done.
And then when it comes time to put in the rest of the garden I'll have to either rent it again or till up the individual areas by hand. (witness the eye roll)

Anyways. When I wasn't lamenting my lack of a tiller today, I potted a ton of plants.
There are four pots of my newest attempt on the back deck: container potatoes. I hear the plant part of a potato is actually rather pretty, and I would love to find out.
I have 3 dozen tomatoes started, and another dozen red bell peppers sitting with them. My beans and peas and cukes will all be direct-seed.
I convert my laundry closet every spring for seed starting. This year I'm adding a mat to help heat up the soil.
My tasty babies:

My very-nearly-clean laundry closet:

Hopefully I post again before they've all grown up and gone into the ground!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cross Section

School and Life have been ridiculous of late.  I've been referred to a specialist in Boston, finally, after two years of heartache, and trying to balance trips into the city with school and my three jobs has made for rough times of late.
Today was particularly weird. I had my English midterm, finally, 2/3 of the way through the semester. Immediately following, in my Psychology class, I had to emcee our group presentation.  In between English and Psychology I started to get very anxious... both due to the unavoidable stage fright of standing up in front of 3 dozen people and because I only had an hour-long presentation and a 4-hour shift at the Tutoring Center standing between myself and a weekend of total badassery.

Yes, for the third year running, I am attending PAX East this weekend.

My brother flew in and has a hotel in the city tonight. I should call him, actually, and make sure he ate, come to think of it.
While I was getting jumpy anticipating the convention, my father called to tell me my grandmother fell and broke her hip today.

Talk about roller coasters.

I don't know how or what to feel about Gramma yet.  She's feisty, and I'd hate to lose her. I'd hate to see her in a home, but she's maybe not at a place where she can take care of that huge old house anymore.
I can't do anything about it right now, though, so I'm putting it aside.

When Brian and I finally got home from campus tonight - after I had a mini blood sugar incident and demanded drive through en route, ha - I made up the guest bedroom for my brother, who will be occupying it starting Sunday. Then it was off to pack!
The bag'o'clothes was fairly straightforward. Pants, undergarments, geeky shirts, extra shoes, shower stuff, just-in-case first aid kit.
But maybe more important, and decidedly more fun, to pack was my backpack. The item I'm lugging around a convention for three days.

I somehow managed to get all of my hobbies represented in my backpack.
Both of my knitting projects, a shawl for myself and an as-yet-unclaimed baby sweater. Probably for Sarah's little girl.
My Kindle. Thank goodness for Kindles! I have 50+ books in the space of a notepad.
My camera! The one on my phone isn't enough, I'm packing my expensive Canon.
My geekery. Brian was impressed with what I chose to include: Zombie Dice, Monty Python Fluxx, Phase 10,  a standard set of playing cards, and Bananagrams.
There is one pocket on the side of my bag that contains my compact hair brush, my Gerber in its case, and my pouch of D&D dice. If that isn't me in a nutshell, I don't know what is.
I need to stuff the folding camp stool we bought in there too, and then I'll be good to go.

Once I get home, I should have some breathing space to get started on the fun spring activity of getting utterly covered in potting soil as I start seedlings. No, I don't have anything started yet.

Our record last freeze is JUNE for the love of pete.