Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Tuesday October 9

We had a busy day yesterday grocery shopping and getting the car ready for winter. As a result I didn't get much reading done and no commenting. The clouds left, mostly, and the temperatures got into the mid 80s. Supposed to be a tad cooler but still above expected for mid October. Sunny now with no rain. I finally got out into the gardens and cut the pineapple sage which is now in the new dehydrator. The few strawberries I found are also in there. In a few minutes I will go out and start cleaning out some of the plants that are well past their prime.

Found this and loved it. The Medusa myth as it should have ended.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Friday October 5

We have rain today and cooler temps at least until next Monday. I need to water the 2 hibiscus which are now under lights upstairs and the 2 rosemary down stairs in front of the window. The rest of the garden has been existing without much attention from me. I do need to get out and get some of the clean-up done. The weather reports indicate good chances for rain for the next ten days.

But today I have been trying to figure out what has gone wrong with my computer. Suddenly Google Chrome simply wouldn't work. In the end I moved everything back to Safari which has been a pain. I get used to a certain way of doing things and I really don't like to change.

Saturday October 6

Rain again today. The computer is back to something like normal. I still need to get my bookmarks straightened out because Safari migrated all those I had on Google Chrome and now I have duplicates.

And in a similar vein--our microwave went out just as Mom was starting to fix dinner. We quickly moved all the food back into the fridge and went out to replace it and then ate out. She had to call the hotline of the company making the new microwave to get help to set the damned clock. Oh well--it is up and running and things are back to normal. Or as normal as they ever get here.

Sunday October 7

Rain again and heavy rain overnight last night. Been a nice quiet day to read and do needlework which is what I did. Finished a crocheted pad for the arm rest on Mom's recliner. Over the last month I finished a complete set for both recliners and their headrests. Made progress on a tablecloth and a pair of cross-stitched pillow cases.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Yesterday we had breakfast at my brother's with sister-in-law and niece. Nice to see them all. As a result I didn't get too much done.

One thing I did get done was emptying the dehydrator and grinding the herbs. That dehydrator is going into our What-not room because I have a new one. Yeah, I know I got a new one a couple of months ago. This is the second new dehydrator for the year. The one I started the summer with quit so we pulled out my back up which also quit. Well, the old saying goes "two is one and one is none" so I indulged a bit and got a dehydrator with a thermostat so I can control the heat. Now I am back one and a backup. I will give it a try today with some herbs I can harvest.

I need to get busy putting some of the gardens to bed for the season. Some I will let go so the dead plants can provide a ground cover for the pots to prevent soil from splashing out. My niece mentioned she would love to have a rosemary plant so I will take cuttings from mine and try to get them started. If I succeed I will give her one for Christmas.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Well, I am back. I didn't realize that I haven't posted anything since August 24 and it is now October 1. Damn!! Anyway, welcome to October and the last quarter of 2018.

I am ignoring as much as possible the politics. It is far too annoying and after you have called bullshit on bullshit (and the bullshitters) too many times you begin to feel like a broken record. And it doesn't do any good because the old bullshitters will keep on doing their bullshit--and splattering it all over the rest of us.

Instead I have been concentrating on the gardens, needlework, and reading.

It has been a good year for those pursuits. I finished two crochet blankets for our beds, two embroidered table scarves and one table cloth, some crochet pieces to protect the headrests and arms of our recliners, and several doilies. I have a short stack of the embroidered pieces that need to be hemmed. Since that is a tedious and much disliked task I plan to do that when I need a bit of tedium. I just finished consolidating all my embroidery floss which involved taking skeins off stitch-bows and winding them onto floss bobbins. That turned out to be a bigger chore than I planned. I thought I had four stitch-bow albums and found seven. Each one would hold fifty skeins on their stitch-bows which are flexible plastic pieces just the right length for the skein as it comes from the manufacturer with notches in each end to make sure the thread stayed in place. Why change? Well, I also have eight boxes floss boxes with floss in them--basically 8x12 (approximately, I haven't measured) divided into 2 inch squares. Those hold a lot more floss. But whenever I started a new project I had to hunt through all of those for the right colors. Big pain in the butt and I always wound up buying more when I really didn't need to. Also the stitch-bows had all the inconvenience of the skeins without any real benefit. If you pulled the wrong end you still got tangles and the stitch-bow itself got tangled into the mess. Better to choose one system of storage and stick with it.

I took out the tomato and pepper plants about a month ago. The peppers did give us a nice bunch of peppers to freeze and we used a couple in salads. The tomatoes were a disappointment and what we got we stewed and froze. That made a very nice chunky cream of tomato soup not long ago. I have said before that my little patio is a difficult environment because between the spring and fall equinoxes it becomes an oven as the sun heats up the cement and the white fence reflects light and heat onto the patio. It can be 20F higher on the patio than the official temperature--say 110 vs 90. The other six months it gets progressively colder as the cement loses heat and the area becomes an ice box. The temperature disparity isn't as extreme but it is still there--in the opposite direction. Other plants have done very well. I got almost two pint jars of spearmint, lavender, and peppermint and about a pint of basil, cinnamon basil, pineapple sage and sage. Smaller amounts of chives, oregano, chocolate mint, lemon verbena, and lemon balm. We have had several servings of yogurt with our own strawberries and almost half a pint of dried strawberries for tea.

I will leave this for now and talk about plans for next year next time. Unless I get hold of something more interesting.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Tuesday August 21

Waves of heavy thunderstorms came through last night. I definitely won't have to water the gardens today. And, considering the forecast for scattered storms today, I think working inside will be the order of the day. I am still working on the What-not Room.

Wednesday August 22

Heavy storms again intermittently yesterday. Parts of the gardens look a bit bedraggled but I am going to wait til tomorrow to do anything out there. We plan to take the last of the books to the library. That will clear out that corner on the upstairs landing. I did get a couple of tasks done in the What-not Room and the brought a bit of order to my chair-side table. Too much stuff that I need or don't want too far away when I do want it.

Thursday August 23

Books are gone. It was a nice cool day yesterday and we expect another today. The rains and the cooler temps have encouraged the herbs. I need to harvest some more. The dehydrator will be busy for as long as we have some dry days for garden work.

The future of medicine? Well, what the author describes is what we have been seeing around here.

Stories about the agricultural effects of the heatwave in Europe are coming in faster now. Short version: it isn't good. And this story falls into the OMG-WTF!!! category.

Friday August 24

Though the temps should still be cool we expect possible showers. If it is still dry when we finish breakfast I will harvest more herbs to dry. I have six trays of dry herbs to process and put up.

Well, we have had breakfast and the rain has held off so far. Ground and stored three trays each of lemon verbena and spearmint. Harvested pineapple sage and lavender which is now drying. I have other tasks planned but now it is time for a rest.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Monday August 20

Goodness!! Already two thirds of the way through August. The heat we had earlier has let up a bit--only in the mid 80s for the most part. The humidity makes it feel hotter. I can work outside on dry days a bit longer now. Tomato season is done for us and a disappointing one it has been. Not much in the way of fruit and a lot with very heavy, straw-like cores. I pulled the plants, collected all the ripe tomatoes and Mom stewed them. We had a dish with supper last night and put a quart in the freezer. I am definitely going to give tomatoes a pass next year.

I am ahead on my fall clean-up. The shed is almost cleaned out and straightened up. I think we definitely had mice last year. I found the peanut/corn bird feed in places where I know I never put it. Their cache is gone and I will put the stock into a more secure container.

We are gettin a good rain now. I had hoped we would so I wouldn't have to water anything for a couple of days. We may get more tomorrow morning.

William Astore cross-posted at Naked Capitalism (originally posted at Tomdispatch) has a lot to say about the militarization of sports and none of it good. I think I have said before that hate that obligatory "Thank you for your service" that ends any interview featuring a service member or former service member. It requires no thought, no sacrifice, nothing that truly benefits the service member.

Andrew Kurjata (a writer I haven't encountered before) gives an almost lyrical account of an "apocalyptic" summer in British Columbia.

Yeah--"shit-life syndrome" just about covers it. The subtitle says that cancelling Brexit might save the Brits but the conditions outlined in the article were glaringly evident before the Brexit vote and they are evident on this side of the Atlantic, as the author notes, and we got Trump from the same discontent.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Monday August 13

We had guests today so nothing got done in the gardens. I will absolutely have to water tomorrow morning because it has gotten hot today.

Tuesday August 14

Supposed to be warm again today--another 90F day. I will water everything and then do inside tasks. Tomorrow they say we start a cooler and wetter pattern.

I did get the watering done--just in time since the sage and both rosemary plants were wilting. Otherwise everything looks good. I have a couple of peppers and tomatoes that will be ready in the next couple of days.

Discovered something new this morning: aseptic milk. One of the grocery ads listed it. According to the web it is actually "ultra high temperature" pasteurized milk that is shelf stable for four months without refrigeration after which it is good refrigerated for seven days. Now that I know what it is I will make sure I don't buy any,

Wednesday August 15

The temperature is supposed to moderate a bit--from 90F down to low 80s. And we might get some rain. The reports say scattered thundershowers which may or may not dump anything on us.

The kids are back in school. We saw our usual crowds Monday when we went out to get some snacks for our guests. We went out a bit later yesterday to do grocery shopping and saw the bus had already passed by. My step-niece's children started yesterday. It seems that the school year starts sooner, ends later each year.

Thursday August 16

I don't think we got any rain overnight and didn't get any yesterday. I will water early. Once upon a time the forecast we had for yesterday and today would have meant a very good probability of rain. Nowadays not so much.

Friday August 17

A heavy downpour woke me earlier. It is too dark yet to see if anything was damaged in the gardens.
Found several nice strawberries which are going to go with our ice cream tomorrow night. They will be joined by several more which should ripen by tomorrow morning.

Charles Hugh Smith has the right idea.

The Atlantic has this piece on a variety of corn that is host to nitrogen fixing bacteria which, in essence, self fertilizes. The only problem is the very long maturation time--8 months. The researchers are doing preliminary work on hybridizing that variety with our commercial ones.