Thursday, June 22, 2017

It looks like another nice day to start out though thundershowers may pop up later and overnight tonight. I want to finish cutting the second container of spearmint and a couple of more herbs for drying.

It is now light enough to see outside and I may put any gardening off till tomorrow. The rain might be moving in sooner than the predictions said.

A light rain came while I fixed breakfast. No thunderstorms--yet. I am grateful for the rain and I can leave the harvesting of the herbs for a day or two without losing anything. This is an easy time because the veggies are just in bloom and the few small tomatoes are not anywhere near ready to pick.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Ah, the Archdruid is back at his new blog Ecosophia. My withdrawal symptoms have eased. Head over there and enjoy an intelligent and witty piece of writing.
Welcome to Summer. The garden is in very good shape. In fact I am more satisfied with this year's garden than any in the past. I did say "welcome to summer" and the hottest part of the season is still ahead but my patio gets its maximum direct sunlight now and from now the days will get shorter until, in three months at the autumnal equinox, it will again be in shade most of the day. Right now the temperature is quite cool--not yet 60F--though it should warm up to about 80. I didn't get the spearmint and peppermint cut yesterday so that is on the list for today. I have been looking at the sage and deciding when would be a good time to collect some of it. Maybe tomorrow along with another cutting of the English lavender.

I did get three trays each of the spearmint and peppermint into the dehydrator. I only clipped one of the buckets of spearmint so I put the other one on my to do list for tomorrow along with the chocolate mint. Depending how much I get I may take some of the lavender also. The dehydrator has, theoretically, seven levels but I like to run only the top six. The seventh is the base and it is more difficult to work with so I simply ignore it. Most of what I wanted to do is done which is good. I often say, semi-jokingly, that if we don't get things done early here we don't get them done at all.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Good morning, all. Another sunny day to start just like yesterday. And like yesterday we may get thunderstorms in the afternoon. Ours made a lot of noise but no rain that I saw. I will water the gardens later and, I hope, harvest peppermint and spearmint (for the second time). But we have grocery shopping to do. so I may delay the herbs till tomorrow. I found and drowned my first Japanese beetle of the season. It was munching on the strawberries. I haven't seen any beetles or beetle damage on the eggplants or the beans or cucumbers--yet.

There are cute stories of revenge and this is one. Lessons here: don't cut down a tree a man has nurtured for thirty years, don't make him pay for the damage your actions caused and don't screw with an arborist.

So Amazon has decided to buy Whole Foods. Bloomberg had this edge of hysteria article today claiming that Amazon will "kill your local grocer." It made little impression on me. A few years ago we realized that we had four choices for general groceries, not including meat which we buy from a small meat market that sources locally. Those four were Strack-Vantills/Town & Country, Walmart, Target, and Aldi. We never liked Aldi and became dissatisfied with Walmart a long time ago. Target is a pale imitation of a grocery store. So Strack-Vantills and Town & Country have been our mainstays. Now however the the company that owns the Strack-Vantills chain (which includes Town & Country which explains why I treat our three stores as a unit) is in bankruptcy and Jewel has a bid in for nineteen of the stores. Right now our three stores are open but how many Jewel will get, if any, is in limbo. Amazon taking over Whole Foods will do little to either hurt or help our local grocery situation since there are fewer than half a dozen Whole Foods stores in the whole state of Indiana and none of them within easy distance of us.

Monday, June 19, 2017

It is a lovely day so far though the weather reports predict afternoon thundershowers. I harvested lemon balm and lime basil which is now drying. The spearmint has recovered from the first cutting well and I plant to cut more along with peppermint. Then it will be time for to cut the lavender again. I am watching the lemon verbena and debating when I should start trimming it to keep it a compact little tree.

Our problem with the printer seems to have corrected itself this morning. We still have no idea of what was wrong but are glad we don't have to replace what has been an excellent little device for us. Once upon a time I could pretty well understand what went on with computers and their peripherals. Not for a long time now. They have progressed so far beyond me.

I found this and my only comment: I would love to roast the trucking companies and all of the companies (like WalMart, Target, Home Depot) who hide behind the excuse that they have no responsibility for the assholes they hire.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Saturday--June 17

Added lotus vines and a heliotrope to the gardens. I do have a couple of additional spaces I could fill but I won't be looking very hard for anything to fill them. The gardens are looking good as they are and I think it is time to let what I have develop. I didn't collect any herbs for drying because of the threat of thundershowers and the errands we needed to do. Tomorrow is a good day to start getting caught up on that. I hope.

Sunday--June 18

We had rain here this very early morning that just stopped a few minutes ago. The weather report says it should clear out and we should see the sun. If that happens I will cut some of the herbs for drying. I put the heliotrope in place of the anemone which suffered from the early heat just after I put it in and then from the cold snap that followed. It never really recovered. I lost several plants to that nasty weather pattern.

I have spent most of the last couple of hours trying to figure out what has gone wrong with our printer. I wanted to print out descriptions of the plants I have in the gardens and easily printed the first. But then it stalled. After trying everything we could think of we finally got it working again by reintroducing it to our wireless router but it stalled again after printing the next two sets. We still haven't figured out what has been happening. The computer says either it can't find the printer or the printer isn't connected. But when we check the printer it says it is. I don't know what is going on but it is frustrating as hell.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Thursday--June 15

We had rain through the night but it has cleared off for what may be a sunny morning. I won't have to water another day and everything looks good from the door. Closer inspection will come later.

The Flint, Michigan, story keeps getting worse. We'll never know how much damage has been done to the people of Flint because any retesting can't verify the lead blood levels of two or three years ago. Five officials have been indicted for involuntary manslaughter because of the deaths due to Legionaries Disease directly attributable to the water contamination.

I skimmed this Tom Englehardt piece yesterday at The people at Foreign Policy in Focus reprinted it today and I decided to read it more closely. If anyone really thinks #45 is going to bring back whatever "golden age" you might long for given his proposed budget (which changes from moment to moment, whim to whim) and his appointments, I have a bridge I would like to sell you. I don't own it but what does that matter in this "Twilight Zone" world.

Another interesting Foreign Policy In Focus article: "The Residue of Empire."

Friday--June 16

The weather predictions for today say scattered thunderstorms. I hope for a clear patch so I can harvest catnip and lemon balm for drying.