aldersprig: (LynConstruction)

The “Junie Joins the Girl Scouts” pair of stories, published on October 18, 20011 & 2013.
There are words a mother never wants to hear. I’ve got a list of them; I keep it in a notebook which is otherwise filled with very boring accounting. I don’t want to give the kids ideas.
Read on!!

Our garden has been loving the sun-rain-sun-rain cycle.

Take a Peek!

Originally posted February 13, 2012. Part of the Aunt Family setting.
The bonfire had died down to embers by midnight. The children were asleep, the husbands and brothers drinking beer and playing poker, and the sisters-in-law settled off watching the children.
Read On!
aldersprig: (Cooking)

So we tried a thing last night and it actually turned out well!

We had ground beef to eat and it was way too hot for eating spaghetti or hamburgers or anything too hot.
Available for all "Recipe Box" patrons!

Originally posted June 16, 2011.
The sushi bar had a mermaid in its fish tank.

I was new in town, having just recently parlayed my experience with the Agency into a cushy consulting gig and my hazard pay into a nice little house...

Read on!

These are walking onions. They make bulbs on the top of their stalks, which make another stalk with another bulb, which makes… you guessed it, another stalk with another bulb!!

Take a Peek!
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
I have this very vague memory of being a very small child and playing something like Wonder Woman (we almost never did make-believe straight from the shows), and opening up a box (an imaginary box) my character had buried, in which she kept her golden bracelets.

Pat might have had a pair too. We were pretty equal-opportunity.

All that’s left of my very-young make-believe are flashes like that: bracelets. rolling off both sides of a cot to indicate born at the same time (okay, we were weird kids. That surprises whom?). Tiny ball-bearing prisons we pretending to shrink people into.

(My interest in bondage goes back way far, too).

Right, so.

Buried Wonder Woman bracelets.

I really, really, really liked seeing Diana, Princess of Themyscira, bouncing bullets of her bracelets. ​​I have to admit, that might have been my absolutely favorite part of the movie.

It was a fun move, I really enjoyed it, and it was easily the best DC comics movie I have ever seen in the theatre.

That’s daming it with faint praise, but it was fun.

But now I’m thinking about digging in dirt, and make-believe, (And never stopping playing make-believe) and gardening.

Which I did again this weekend, of course. All of our raised beds have now been bolted sufficiently that they will not fall apart this year!

Everything except one last-minute impulse purchase of bok choi is planted.

Well, and the corn seeds and the sunflower seeds....

We’re getting there!

We’ve got some squash planted in mounds, garlic and purple potatoes, asparagus and broccoli and muskmellon in the ground, seeds in pots for habanada and shiso and cilantro…

We’re doing really well, and it’s exciting.

Not quite as exciting as bouncing bullets off of one’s bracelets, but more humanly do-able.

And almost on the level of my make-believe characters who garden, so go me!
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
This weekend, we worked on the garden beds!

We moved something like 6 square feet of walking onions from various garden beds into the hedgerow, where we hope they will fight it out with the goldenrod and emerge victorious.

We then started to repair the bed most of those onions had been living in, noticed that we had two 3-½” bolts instead of the 4” we needed, and were about to go out to Lowes and then dinner…

...when we remembered that it was graduation weekend for the largest college in the area.

So we went for bolts the next day, bolted that bed back together, amended and turned over the soil, and planted asparagus roots and strawberries. This is now a perennial bed for something actually intentional, as opposed to a perennial-onion bed.

We had a little time left, so we turned over another bed, planted the cabbage starts, and planted two milkweed (fancy milkweed) and two fancy day lily starts.

So our garden so far:

[cabbage] [kale, needs work ] [sweet potatoes] [asparagus/strawberries]
[tomatoes][peppers, eggplant]][~needs work~ [ ~needs planting~]

And then, off to the left, a wide hilly section that has held/will hold various squash, and on the patio, a whole range of pots holding herbs, tomato, and peppers.

And so far we’ve only lost one pepper plant to the rabbits and, darn it, 1 pack of squash plants to the cat.

How was your (long, in the US) weekend?
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
I haven’t done one of these in a while, but it’s the season to get back into them, I suppose: What I Did on my Summer Vacation Weekend.

Although in this case, it’s a bit of vacation, too, since I started with taking Wednesday and Thursday off, worked Friday, and then took the weekend.

So this extended weekend was all about gardening — or, more accurately, gardening prep. We went two two nurseries, pulled out all our nice ceramic pots to outline the edge of the “patio”, and then went to a plant sale at the local high school.

(Our “patio” is a slab of concrete filling in the space made by an L in house construction. It’s amazing how much MORE patio-like it looks with the addition of a line of pretty pots (Ollie’s Discount Outlet; one’s a little rhomboid, one has a flaw in the glazing, but they cost for five of them what one would cost non-seconds) does to make it look like an intentional outdoor space. Add in the nice plastic-decking-wood deck chairs and table we got last year and it’s a proper patio.)
Read more... )
aldersprig: (Cooking)
January by the numbers starts here!
From [ profile] kelkyag's prompt "oregano;" a blog post

This one’s all me.

When we moved into our second apartment together, T and I — and a friend of ours, and a friend of his, and so on — we acquired a whole bunch of stuff-left-from-previous-roommates, thus starting a trend that would continue (with a couple pauses) for the next decade-plus: dishes, pie plates, for a little while a doll cabinet.

But back then, one of the first things we got was a collection of far too much grocery-store oregano. I think there were three containers of the stuff. And the thing is… we didn’t really cook with that many spices and herbs back then. We were in our early twenties, I barely cooked at all and T. was just starting to work on his cooking.

We ate oregano in everything for a while. And the thing is, old grocery-store oregano doesn’t taste like much and I didn’t have much of a sense of smell, so I’m not sure it added much more than a sort of dusty green color. Still. Oregano. Everywhere.

We started gardening maybe 5 years later, but it is not until three years ago that I actually started growing oregano.

This stuff, I can smell. I can taste. It’s pretty good, actually, although when it comes to herbage I much prefer parsley and sage.

But the thing about oregano is, it turns out it’s part of the mint family. (I find this weird. I’m not sure why I find this weird, but I do). And it’s a perennial. And, well, it acts like it’s in the mint family, which is to say it’s determined, invasive, and durable.

And the thing grows nearly three feet tall. Every year, without me doing anything. And the bees love it.

And we still don’t cook with oregano.

Want More?
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
Wyste has been journalling, and it's got me thinking about gardening and home improvement.

If the weather holds - and says it will - I could see if I can turn over the beds this weekend. Might still be too frozen.

It's probably too early to plant carrots - they say "3 weeks before the last expected frost" which is more like mid- to late-April - but I could risk a single batch. Peas, on the other hand, say "as soon as you can work the soil," so if I can get the bed with the trellis turned over, I could do that this weekend.

We started burning brush, too. Kind of nice sitting out there with a laptop, writing while the fire crackles. Now all I need is a wifi repeater.

How are your plans for the spring shaping up?

And has anyone tried any hydroponic gardening?

Or in pots? I've been looking up stuff for next winter, including salad radishes.
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
I have been thinking about plant origins and variations.

Spurred by this article and lovely infographic, and the fact that when you plant 5 or 6 different Brassicae in one long garden plot, it becomes really really obvious they're the same plant (esp. Kale and Brussels sprouts! They make nearly identical plants!) and by this cute video showing plants then-and-now, it makes me wonder both about what's in our garden (right now? Dirt and last year's carrots and leeks, and one barely-surviving kale plant) and about worldbuilding plants.

And then I think about growing purple potatoes, and I think about this, Ursula Vernon's informative rant on the Potato Apocalypse, and I think about varieties.

We have such bounty, and such breadth and depth available. It's pretty awesome.
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
Is it spring yet?

I was wandering around this past weekend without a jacket, so it certainly seems like spring. We've started to order seeds - though I need to find a source for purple seed potatoes - so that makes it seem like spring. There's only a tiny bit of snow anywhere, so that looks springlike, right?

But it's not yet March, and I live in the northeast. It's not spring until May, most years. You don't plant without some sort of covering until Memorial Day weekend (May 30th, this year). And our last frost date is in mid-May.

Still, I can start planning. Planning is easy.

So what should I plant this year?

P.S. My kale lasted till mid-February again this year before it started to turn brown on the tops. Definitely planting kale again.

P.P.S. We still have a few apples from our biggest tree sitting on the kitchen counter.
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
The recipe says to wait 2 days. I tried it yesterday, and found the pickling hadn't really penetrated the daikon completely. Today - delicious. Absolutely tasty.

However, it might actually be a little TOO sugary for me...
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)

The picture above is what Daikon looks like on seed packets.

What it looks like when allowed to grow IRL is more like the second picture here. Picture that about the size of a small-to-medium butternut squash.

Now picture three of them, two ripped out of the ground by a wind storm.

That's a lot of daikon.

Daikon, if you haven't tried them, aren't as bitey as red radishes. They work well in baked dishes, but, ah, it's July. We're not doing much oven work.

They also keep really really well. However, our fridge was getting rather full of long whitish roots.

So we pickled some!

(By "some", I mean, T sat there with a mandoline matchsticking daikon until the salad bowl was over half full).

We used this recipe, trebled. We used a salad spinner to get the water out, after letting the daikon sit in a colander with its salt. I used half rice vinegar and half distilled white for cost, and I replaced the sake with ginger brandy, 'cause we had it on hand.

We stored them in three old salsa jars in the very-cold back of the fridge.

The pickling juice tasted heavenly. I'll let you know how the pickled daikon taste in a few days!
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)

Yesterday I planted kale!

Tonight, I'm going to plant kohlrabi!

Left on my list of brassicae to buy: mustard (for seed, I don't like eating bitter greens <.<) and broccoli.

And I'm going to plant some turnips (Brassica rapa subsp. rapa)...

The list so far:
Horseradish, daikon radish, turnip (Brassicaceae family)
Cauliflower in three colors
brussels sprouts
bok choy

Any I'm missing? :-D
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)

Tuesday, I put more brassicae in the ground!

This time it was a row of Brussels Sprouts, which despite growing like a tall stick of vegetation, require like 18" of spacing. I like planting stuff close together - French Intensive Gardening or Square Foot Gardening style - so spacing things that far apart is weird. But they don't seem to thrive without the space.

Then a row of cabbage. Cabbage! We'll see if we actually eat it...

I've got room for one more row in this bed. I think it'll be half kale and half broccoli.

Gooooooo Team Brassica!
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)

Today I leveled (mostly) one of my 12" deep raised beds, by digging a hole down to the bottom of the 2' stake and then hammering the thing down with a mallet. Whee! HulkLyn Smash!

Then I used the backfilled hole to plant a Horseradish, because a 2' deep hole filled with loose dirt and peat is about the nicest, deepest hole I'm gonna get for a root plant like that.

Once I'd hauled over some more compost-dirt mix and peat moss and mixed the whole thing up like a particularly giant brownie mix, I started putting in the rest of the plants, yay! (well, first I laid down ground cloth).

This is Brassica Bed One - We're not growing many nightshades this year, to defeat the blight problem we've been having, so we're overcompensating with All Dah Brassicaceae. First in is a multi-color mix of cauliflower and then a four-pack of purple cauliflower. When I go back out, a row of baby bok choy. Whee!

It helps, I suppose, that we really like EATING brassicaeae.

Image Source
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)

Today I planted some Evergreen Bunching Onions - in the other half of the row in which I planted carrots yesterday. I also planted a few feet of Rossa Lunga di Firenze seeds. Both are "spring" or "green onion" or "Scallion" varieties, depending on how you ask - something eaten while the bulb is the size of a fingertip, the greens often used as garnish.

All of these seeds are old, although I've kept them all in the freezer, so I overplanted heavily. I mean, like carrots, you can eat the thinnings, too. And if they only sprout sporadically, I have enough seeds to fill in the gaps.

Then I hauled a little more dirt to the bed at the opposite corner of the garden (There are two rows of four 4x6 beds; the two right-hand beds on each side are 12" deep and the others are 6" deep), where I have a netting trellis set up. There I planted a row of peas: half Wando and half Freezonian (yes, really.)

Again, old seeds - two years ago, I think - this time I tried something different. I planted them at 2x the suggested distance. In two weeks, I can go in and plant half of the "gap" spaces, and in two weeks after that, the other "gap" spaces. That way, the trellis won't be lopsided :-)

...I really like planting things. I'm not so good at remembering to weed and such.
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)

3 feet of carrots - the first of many in succession planting - half Red-cored Chantenay, half Short n' Sweet. They'll be ready at the end of June/beginning of July!

I've got a 4'x6' bed, and plan to plant a half-row every two weeks.

If I plant the rows 6" apart, that's 16 half-rows. /Does the math/ I'd be planting until November... that won't work (First frost is around October 15th here).

Okay, maybe I want to make some of those half-rows something else. Any suggestions?

Planting more at a time seems counter-productive, but I could space things every week instead.

Do you have any favorite varieties of carrot? (Or any other root crop that takes up a small footprint?) Anything I should dedicate half a row to?)

...I have a LOT of green onion seeds still...
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
The Meme

While [personal profile] kelkyag gave me a bunch more pick-a-day-prompts, I'd been thinking about this, so I wrote it :-)

Today I've been thinking about Farmville (big surprise there) - as well as Civ, Sim City, and Carcassonne, and how they relate to my writing.

The thought first came to me a week or two after I'd gotten enmeshed in Farmville, which really can devour quite a bit of time. I was running Addergoole scenarios in my head (like ya do) and I realized that the character was sort of playing Farmville IRL.

My first thought was "I've been playing this so much that it's leeching into my characters."

But THEN I thought about the backstory for Elle and Reynard: rebuilding Buffalo, complete with farms. I thought about the backstory for the Planners: (they started out as) hippy survivalists, with farming, including urban farming. Dig far enough into many of my settings (not, say, Dragons next Door), and you find gardens, farms,and rebuilding buildings: reclaiming, generally, unused or underused land.

The thing is, for all that games like Farmville and Civ, Sim City and Carcasoone are immensely engrossing games, part of why I play them so intensely has to do with how they speak to me. They're world-building games, creating something out of nothing and making it work to your own plan.

Brb, my electronic cows need feeding.
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
The Meme

[personal profile] kelkyag asked: Garden Plans?


Well, at this time of year, I need to get some cardboard and more mulch over the carrots to overwinter them, and come up with something to do with the last of the kale.

Over the winter, I am contemplating a three-bay compost bin. Our current compost bins are about as simple as can be made: a circle of chicken wire (or the plastic version, in one case) held up with three sticks.

What I'm thinking of doing, probably from scrap wood, are three boxes each sharing a side (Something like this:, but less large all around), with the front of each box being fold-down or screw-off, and the three back sides being lined with chicken wire or the like. This gives me two bins to rotate every year, and then a third "slow burn" for things like bones & kitty litter.

As for next year? Only one tomato plant, probably only one pepper. Giving the ground a chance to recover from the tomato blight.

Lots of brassicas! Those did really well this year.

And I'm going to mound the squash next year, and hope that does me better.

That's enough garden planning for early December in the North, I think. <3
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
Gardening - well, anything really, but today I'm talking about gardening - is a learning experience. Even harvesting.

This weekend, we learned:

Hot Peppers: The very tip of a hot pepper isn't indicative of the rest of the pepper.

T. cut off the tip for me to taste, to gauge hotness so we knew how much to put in our enchiladas. Nothing. So he sliced off another tiny slice.

Burning, so much burning. Drinking milk, drinking cider, crying. Well, not quite crying. So much burning.

Turns out those were the ghost peppers. Whoops!

Hot Peppers, part II: When drying hot peppers in the oven, check the oven before turning it on to make cookies.

Then again, it's not the first time we've learned that. You could smell the capsaicin all the way in the other end of the house.

Carrots: Can overwinter just fine in the garden, just mulched over a bit. Also, given a raised bed with fresh compost + peat, they go wild. These things are huge!

(Also purple. But that was on purpose).

Kale: a fitted queen bedsheet works great as a row cover on frosty mornings, esp. for a 4x6 foot raised bed. On the other hand, kale doesn't give a shit about frost and the bed we didn't cover was just fine.

Tomatillos: aren't supposed to get ripe. Also, if you plant a tiny free tomatillo plant and let it go, it will take over a whole bed.

Broccoli: get huge! if you let it flower.

And, considering the tomato blight and the ridiculously sad squash harvest, we're really glad we don't depend on our garden for our food.

All in all, an educational week!
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
So, the Brassica part of our garden is going nicely...
Read more... )
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
We have 8 4x6 raised beds against the garage in two 4-bed rows, made of 1x8" locust boards.

We bought - late in the season because of shenanigans - locust enough to raise 4 of the beds up to 16" (The posts were left tall last year for that purpose) and - even later in the season - compost/topsoil mix to fill them.

Saturday, I hauled approx. 100 gallons of dirt (mostly in 5 gallon buckets) to get one bed filled up to the top & transplanted a couple of plants that had been waiting (one poor little tomato plant is like 8" tall and already giving me one solitary tomato).

Yesterday, I was working on leveling the back beds up to their first boards before adding in the second row. I stood on the front board to smooth out some dirt...

...and the board tipped backwards out of its screwholes, neat as you please.


Longer screws, more screws, board replaced. But seeing all the roots there was kinda neat. Maybe my next project, I'll make clear plexi raised beds.


Jun. 16th, 2014 10:24 am
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
I'll try to get pictures soon (keeps raining, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it) but I finally got winter squash in the garden yesterday:

2 spaghetti squash
1 "carnival" squash
1 "table ace" squash
1 Buttercup
and, sadly, only one
1 Butternut squash (everyone was out!)

We already have one yellow crookneck summer squash and several cucumbers in, and I may replant the volunteer squash plants that came up in a yet-unfinished bed from my compost.

Now I just need to eat the last butternut from last year's crop!

On Chives

Apr. 9th, 2014 09:48 am
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
I started chive seeds last night!

Chives are one of my favorite plants, because they start coming up and are green and edible when the rest of the world is full of snow. Plus, they're super low-maintenance.

I already have chives growing in my Invasive Plants garden (two sorts), but I want to fill in some of the bleaker and weedier parts of the hedgerow with chives, which will take, ah, quite a bit of chives.

I started one "flat" (in this case, two stacked take-out containers with holes poked in the top one for drainage), one of chives-chives (Allium schoenoprasum - and one of garlic chives (Allium tuberosum - I'm not sure about the second chives - they are listed either as the same thing as gau choy/Chinese chives or a completely different thing, so we shall see).

Each flat has 6 rows of 4 seeds each, which will get me a good start, but I want to do two flats each eventually and find other varieties of chive, as well as something that I bought from a nursery last year - society garlic (which is grown for its leaves, culinarily, and for its pretty flowers). Our hedgerow is going to smell beautiful. Well, depending on your tastes, but we're downwind from a dairy farm, sooo...

This might be a good article for me to bookmark -

And more info on chives -

Know any good varieties I can grow from seed?

aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
Wow. Weekend took me so long to recover from, it's Wednesday before I'm posting about it. :-)

Saturday, Rion & I went to visit [personal profile] inventrix, who lives in Colorado but was in NY for the holiday. That was loads of fun - and only the second time I've seen Trix in person. (Internet people are real; they're just a little realer when you're buying used books with them!)

Sunday was All The Gardening. Well, raking. First raking the lawn, then raking and clearing a patch of dirt for the melons/squash we plan on planting. Then more raking, I think. I'm not actually sure where Sunday evening went.

Monday, Ri and T. and I hit three wineries on the top west of Seneca Lake, then spent a couple hours at the outlet mall, then hit 2/5 wineries ("Three Brothers" is three wineries and a brewery in one) and a cafe before driving home. Then we stacked firewood until dark.

We have a lot of firewood. :-)

That was my weekend. It looks a lot shorter in text form, but, mainly, it was a lot of fun.

How about you?
aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)

Chives in my Invasives Garden. :-)
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
I've been thinking about rock gardens.

I even have a Pinterest board of rock gardens.

See, our property has a lot of rocks. It's got so many rocks, it's sort of like someone dumped a thin layer of topsoil over a gravel quarry.

(Someone did. The glaciers. We're at the bottom of the Finger Lakes, which means we're the dumping ground for a lot of Canadian rock. Anyone want their rock back?)

So as we do anything in the yard... we pull out rocks. Big rocks, little rocks. Tiny rocks and huge rocks.

We've started covering up a pretty horrid border garden to the west side of the house with large flat rocks, tucking Coleus plants in between the rocks. It's looking decent so far; will look better once we get down more weedcloth.

But we have this wet sunken corner of the yard... and I'm thinking more rocks. Rocks, and a little water feature. Maybe a waterfall.

What do you think?
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
Getting impatient?

Three resources for last frost date by area:

(these read between May 2 and May 31 for last-frost for my approximate area).

here's a map for the UK:
and another:

Something not entirely clear for Australia:

Of course, even with a chart, it helps to look at the weather on a day-to-day basis at the beginning and end of the season.

And I've planted some peas and put my first butternuts in the ground.
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
We now have a bunch (ha) of these, courtesy Ithaca Plant Share.

Looking forward to watching them grow.
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
It's the time of the year when we start planning our garden. This time of year, the snow and the slush demand some thinking about the warmth and the nice weather to come.

Also, seed catalogues have the best sales in February.

So, the T. and I were all set to put together an order last night - just needed to look through the box of freecycled seeds I'd picked up Tuesday - and then.

We opened the box.


Squash, at least three types
Four types of melons.
cumin, basil, more basil, parsley.
Peas, beans, GARBANZO beans, peas. Beans.
Posies. Loads and loads of posies.
Spinach. Lettuce. Two types of Kale.
five types of tomatoes
bell peppers
Turnips, carrots, parsnips, rutabega, BEETS

We're gonna need a bigger garden.

They're not new seeds; they'll probably have a much lower germination rate than fresh seeds. But that's okay. There's enough overkill in there to allow for a rate as low as 10% on everything but the root veggies.

Guys, this is awesome.
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
So, Wednesday - that would be the day before the major snowstorm, but certainly after a bit of snow - I went out into our garden and pulled the leeks out (most of them), and cut the parsley, sage, and oregano back to the ground.

Parsley is amazingly resilient stuff! It will do just fine as long as you brush the snow off. But with a food of snow coming... it was time for it to get cut.

I used this idea and rolled it into a log, which went into the freezer.

Oregano and sage went into freecycled little jars, topped off with cheap (barely virgin at all) olive oil. That'll go in the freezer after T. rearranges the freezers this weekend.

The leeks? Deep fried and eaten. Delicious.

I love that it's December and I'm still pulling things out of my garden. :-D
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
Guys, I am so excited about my garden!!

It's not a big garden - two 4'x24' strips - but it's going wild.

I've been very good about watering it any day we don't have rain (This particular corner of NYS isn't in a drought so I'm not breaking any water regulations) and the heat has been awesome for my tomato plants. They are just sproinging out all over the place - this is going to be (knock on wood) the best tomato crop we've ever gotten, and not just 'cause I went nuts planting plants.

The Finger Lakes climate is generally different from that where I grew up - Lake Ontario has its own band of warmer, wetter weather, so this area, 2 hours away, is colder in winter but less snowy, in general (No giant lake to moderate, or dump snow on us). That's got to be part of it, the unseasonably warm March also part, and I'm guessing microclimates have something to do with it, too: we've got no shortage of water here. I mean, our well has an overflow tube O_O.

I am /very excited/ to see what this crop provides - and we are already eating tomatoes and cukes from our garden!!

aldersprig: (lynSnow)
Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted anything about my life. Can I blame summer?

Yesterday morning, we woke to find the kittens nowhere. I wandered around the house making cat-calling noises for a minute or two - until T noticed that the living room screen was out.

Then came ten heart-stopping minutes of wandering around the yard making cat-calling noises, until we found them hiding under the lilac bush, soaked and miserable. But safe, whole, and healthy. Thank you, god of cats.

Wet? Yes. It's been /pouring/ here. Thursday, I came home from work, started to thaw dinner... and the power went out. A dinner of Subway subs later, we learned that a tornado had touched down in Elmira, an hour away, but all we'd gotten closer to Ithaca was thunder, lightning, and rain.

All this rain has been good for the garden; my tomatoes are going wild. So are my squash and my peppers. It's going to (knock on wood) be a good harvest)

And speaking of wood - we pulled the Horrid Paneling off of the dining room and living room, and found... well, lots of wood, in one wall. "Bare Studs" the size of trees, where plaster and lathe had clearly been removed at some point. The rest of the walls have unpainted but heavily-nailed-in drywall. This is going to be interesting.

How's your summer going?
aldersprig: (lynSnow)
Not being on the computer much, that's for sure!

State of Nano: As of this morning, I have written 45,378 on my Addergoole, Year 9, 1st Semester piece. That, with previously written material (over 11.5K words, wow!) brings it to 11 chapters and some mini-interludes, which means that I'll finish 12 chapters in just over 50K. Hopefully by the end of the weekend.

State of the garden: we bought another pepper plant (shoshito) and another tomato plant (pear-cherry). Also a cilantro, finally.

The squash are having fun, stretching out finally. The onions are being onions, ditto the leeks.

I have bean sprouts! And pea sprouts! and radish sprouts! (The sort in the garden dirt; I also have sprouts growing in a jar in the kitchen).

And last night I started planting a bag of salt potatoes that had gone to sprout.

State of the everything else: T has been cleaning out the loading ramp that came with the house - essentially a dirt ramp framed in railroad ties. We plan to use it as a planting bed.

After we get the safe out of it. O_O

And the dresser is very nearly done! I have to decide if I want to sand, smooth, and then 4th-coat the top, the sides and drawers are done, and the knobs will get here this week.

And ... that explains, I think, the lack of anything else lately. If I owe you Giraffe Words, I apologize. When I hit 50 K, I will start working on the giraffeyness again!
aldersprig: (lynSnow)
I have been remiss in blogging lately! If you have noticed the camp-nano posts, you can easily see one reason why - I am trying hard to get 50K done by the 20th (the 21st is our 10-year wedding anniversary).

The other reason? Summer!

This weekend I finally got a portion of the garden put in - planted 7 tomato plants in 3 varieties, 7 hot pepper plants in 4 varieties (6 of 2 more to plant), basil in 2 varieties, sage, oregano, and beans. I weeded the carrot patch (apologies to Anne Bishop readers) and laid down weed cloth over the squash (well, around them), too.

And I got another coat of poly on the dresser and started painting it!

In terms of nano, I'm looking to get most of the first semester of Addergoole Year 9 completed: the series will cover, in 52 weeks, one year of the Addergoole school through the eyes of the twenty-some members of the Ninth Cohort.

Also: We got two new kittens. Their names are Oligarchy and Theocracy and they are 12 weeks old and beautiful.

And a link: Finally, a Home where you can enjoy the Post-apoc.
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
So... Last weekend was awesome.

I feel guilty about that, because I still miss Drake. It's hard to even look at his things without sniffling. But this weekend was still really good, and I think that's okay.

First: there was a small wine festival about 40 minutes out of town (At the local ski resort, which was clever of them). We drank lots of wine and had lots of fun and bought a couple bottles - and I may not be allergic to goat wool!

We stopped on the way home at our favorite bulk store, got roast beef and cheese and pasta, and stopped at two plant stores and the beer store for plants and olive oil, then came home to a dinner of shrimp with olive oil, blue cheese crumbles, tomato and pasta. Nom.

Between Saturday and Sunday, we planted acorn squash, leeks, leeks, leeks, flowers, and two raspberry bushes, worked on the dresser, weeded,... oh, yeah, planted peas... and generally spent a lot of time outdoors playing in the yard. Awesome weekend. Absolutely awesome.
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
We have, right now, a lawn service for mowing (cheaper in the short run then buying a mower, and we have a rather large yard). We also had a delay in getting them to mow this spring, so we then had a need to rake because our lawn was drowning under the cuttings.

We have, also, a small garlic garden by the loading dock (doesn't everyone have a loading dock?) which T. planted from Chinese-food-store garlic last autumn. The garlic is doing very well, but it was getting a bit choked with weeds. It needed mulching.

A=B = garlic bed mulched with grass cuttings. Using what we have. I love it.

This weekend, I also planted some alyssums, a bay tree, and a lavender plant in pots on my patio. And I finished planting the butternuts. Meanwhile, T. raked grass and played with his new sickle, knocking down weeds the mowing service didn't get to.

We still have a double handful of plants to put in the ground that we bought this weekend: we gave [personal profile] capriox our little play house for her goats, so we're going to plant the resultant square of dirt with raspberries, pansies, groundcover, and alyssums.

Having a yard is a lot of fun!

Unrelated: I am going to have reason to send a bunch of letters/postcards soon. I am looking for small-business greeting cards that are pretty and $5/less a card. Want to sell me some? Know someone I should look at? Drop me a line.
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
Today, I planted three of my 6 butternut plants I started from seed. The ground where we're planting them is all rocks and sand, so I dug a big hole for each and filled it with composted manure and peat moss, watered well, and prayed it doesn't snow again.

This was going to be a longer update, but after planting and raking (first mowing was a bit late)... I'm going to fall down now.

ALso? [personal profile] kelkyag? Thank you!
aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
(Monday went by before I managed to write this up!)

We found a bay tree!!

Background: we have been looking for a bay plant to grow for several years, through several nurseries. They're a Mediterranean tree and can't survive outside in a NY State winter, but they can be brought inside for the winter if grown in a pot - and T. cooks with a lot lot lot of bay.

So we finally found one utterly by accident while looking for pepper plants! SO EXCITED!

(We also: saw the Avengers, bought a cherry tomato, and bought sage, mint, mint, and strawberries. And Lavender).

Capriox came to hang out Sunday afternoon for a while - we ate banana bread and showed off our mess. :-D It's always awesome when friends come to visit. <3

Then we got to work on the "invasives" garden: A spot by the eastern side of the house, between the chimney and the garbage cans, where I planted freecycled chives last year. This year I added chocolate mint and pineapple mint in these two giant square cement blocks that had been stacked near the chimney. Should take them a couple weeks to grow out of that!

Link du jour: Vertical Farm in a gutter!

Please check out the Summer Giraffe Poll and the Giraffe Theme request.
aldersprig: (me-lyn-kitty)
It's raining, but it looks like it's finally warming up the normal way (gradually and damply, not in 90-degree bursts). Warm season might finally be here!

This weekend, we got the onions in, and we finally decided on what we were doing on the raised beds. Now to figure out how we're getting them home... I really need a truck. Peas are next, and then the rest of the garden in a week or two.

I spent way too long looking at furniture DIY redos in the time when I was too exhausted to sand the dresser anymore. I have reaffirmed that I hate hate hate the distressed look, but that's about it.:-)

I'm looking forward to starting to pull the house apart and put it together. Hopefully, we can get a lot done this summer!

Link du Jour: Literary Association Ads - teeny books! Giant books! Books on the stairs!

I am not yet certain about decorating with books. I'm also not sure where our bookshelves are going to end up. Would love built-ins. Will see how that works out.


aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (Default)

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