May. 5th, 2013 11:54 pm
felis_lupus: (plant kitteh)
Garden update: Still no rain, but got the hose hooked up and in a better, more use-able space over the weekend.

Seeds are up! Beets showed their funny little 3-leaved cotyledon sets over the weekend, so they win 2013. Two carrots, some chard, and kohlrabi made an appearance today. No sign of peas yet, but hopefully the warm weather will bring them and the rest of the seeds along soon.

Still haven't washed my car...

Had a lovely day at Fort Williams yesterday, having a steampunky teatime and kite flying afternoon. Was able to get two linked kites in the air once the wind cooperated later in the day, and it was such a wonderful sight. Photos (none of me, the curse of the photographer) from the day:
05-04 Tea on the Green

Hoping to see some video of the kites, once the videographer figures out how to get it off her phone...


Apr. 26th, 2013 04:53 pm
felis_lupus: (plant kitteh)
Right... so... I'm still here. This is still here. Spring is here. Dusting a few things off today, both physical and metaphysical, I guess. Kurlon is at the track for his first actual race weekend in a few years, so it's just me and the kitties at home for this first actual beautiful sunny warm weekend of Spring. I planted the garden box. Half of it.

To start with:
'Sugar Snap' Peas
'Five Color Silverbeet' Swiss Chard
'Early Wonder' Beets (yup... gonna try 'em... I had pickled beets, and didn't hate them, so we'll see what happens here)
'Purple & White Vienna Blend' Kohlrabi
'Tyee' Spinach
'Buttercrunch' Lettuce
'Danvers Half Long' and 'Purple Haze' Carrots
'Sunspot' Sunflowers
'Mahogany' Nasturtium

and a pot of 'Starry Night' Sweet Peas by the front porch... hoping they'll grow and climb the railing after they (hopefully) hit the top of the trellis. Hoping the slugs are not as bad as they were last year, that was awful. All defenses armed and ready for that battle, they will NOT get ahead of me this year. Slug bait, diatomaceous earth, and beer. I will deal with gooey piles of drunk slugs if it means I get to keep my seedlings.

I cut down a few saplings that needed to go, more to go in the near future. More tomorrow. Cleaning up the garden, porch area, other stuff. Maybe I'll even wash my car.
felis_lupus: (plant kitteh)
Things are going well. Been getting plenty of rain, got plenty of slug stuff to keep the rotten little slimy gits from eating absolutely everything in sight. They ate all the purple kohlrabi, have shredded my iris foliage and cutleaf coneflower leaves, and as I discovered today, completely ate my Canadian Ginger. This pisses me off some... I will have to make sure to redouble my efforts on keeping the anti-slug stuff sprinkled around. There are good moments, though...

My 'Enchanted One' bearded iris has one flower stalk, 4 buds, all beautiful. Lemon scented, ruffly, yellow and purple and peach and blue. Doesn't get much better than this.

The potatoes have been buried as deeply as they're going to be, and I've hayed them in. Hoping for good blooms, and then lots and lots of tubers later! The second half of the garden is not doing so well... the peas are growing nice and tall, but aren't really clinging to the trellis. I still have a mere 4 lettuce plants, the spinach isn't doing much, no sign of more carrots from when I re-seeded a week ago, the chard is still tiny... My borage is growing well, though, and the onions appear to at least be doing what they should be doing at this point. Perhaps will just have to start with seedlings in future years, if the bed stays where it is... really it'd be better on the other side of the driveway... depends on how well I can keep the pots watered, I suppose.

The "fruit" tomatoes are both planted now. 'Pineapple' is taking off like a shot, and the little 'Garden Peach' that Ruth gave me is finally in its own pot, after the pouring rain last week finally moved off.

Everything has a nice thick topping of compost now too. Brought a trailer load of our wonderful surf n' turf compost (cow poo and seafood bits; nothing better for amending the soil!) home from work Saturday, [personal profile] kurlon helped me shovel it off. While working, I just mentioned to him to please not clock me in the head with his shovel... "Yeah," said he, "that would be an awkward police report... 'So, why exactly did you hit your wife in the head with your shovel?' 'Well, officer... I just got tired of dealing with her shit...'"

Yeeeeeeep. ;)

Everything looks fabulous, though. So happy. So tired... New photos of the garden start here, I think.
felis_lupus: (Default)
Mostly. I think I relaxed for real sometime around 4:30 on Saturday afternoon, during one of several naps...

Arrived onsite at Panteria earlier than I'd hoped I would, helped Max & Mickel finish setting up the Taj, and had a lovely dinner, fire, and starwatching with everybody. There were a few shooting stars, and lots and lots of satellites swooshing overhead. A beautiful evening.

Did not sleep well, for some reason, Friday night. Bah. Made for an out-of-it (and apparently slightly cranky) Camille the next morning. Fencing was at 11. That was the happy thought of the AM. Breakfast was good, I chased a bird into the crabapple tree across the way (an American Restart, a pair of them!), attempted to sit and be calm for a while, failed, and took a walk around camp. Helped Frenya set up the fencing lists at 11, got my gear, headed back, did some FENCING. I needed to stab people. We did a few authorizations; neither one really had a firm grip on the rules, but we gave one guy a provisional. Outright failed the other guy, which I felt a little badly about, but he had no clue... nobody in his area (Mountain Freehold?) to practice with, but he hadn't even read the rules recently and couldn't tell me much of anything about proper fencing. We did the swordwork as a formality, and there was no hard hitting or hesitation, but skill, even with light was just not there... sigh. Better luck next time.

Cynan showed up, ginormous shield in hand, and we fenced. It was awesome. From fighter to fencer in three months, and he's FUN. He and Carolyne and I were one team for Jack's tavern brawl, and we ended up winning the day. Woo! Usually it was Cynan and me left standing at the end of the scenario, which was a new thing for me... still alive? How strange. Hot day though, and lots of fencing, made us all tired. I headed back to camp for a shower and a nap. Kathy joined me on the blanket in the shade, Mickel tootled on her recorder, and I think I actually got some sleep. Or at least relaxed. Which was lovely.

Woke up a few times, not entirely myself, apparently, but conscious enough to chase down Cynan, find Brian, who had my cake pan filled with lovely things from Angus & Tigger before he headed back to Canada, and return to the blanket for more nap. Kinda nap. Laying down in the shade, talking with wonderful people, drinking a bit of Kathy's chocolate-whippedcream-wine. Delicious. Delightful. We were camped on the corner of the main road through camp, so everybody walked by, said hi, socialized for a bit, and wandered on.

Mickel and I headed for the ball post-feast. She ended up playing my recorder and I danced and directed traffic. It was pretty near perfect. Back to a campfire prepared by Max, for stories and singing and socializing, and then I had to go... way too early again... sigh. Home by 3AM, not enough sleep, but work the next day wasn't too bad. So much fun.

The sunshine and warm weather has made the garden explode! Now if only the pouring monsoons would ease up a bit. Between the slugs and the pounding rain, I have hardly any seedlings left. They've eaten the tops off half my sunflowers, the spinach has gone half rotten, and the rain has beaten half of my poor carrots into nothing. I'm going to have to replant, and get some slug stuff. Blech. I whacked my red coneflower this evening, and sent at least a dozen slugs flying. Ick ick ick. All my iris leaves have holes in them, but I am pleased to say that I will be keeping the iris that came with the house. They are not the expected "old fashioned" purple (not that there's anything wrong with purple, I just can't stand they "typical" purple iris that spread everywhere...), but a lovely shade of pale lavender. At least the one that bloomed is. My potatoes have also taken off like crazy! Even out of the tower, like they're supposed to! Yaaaaay! Just need to get rid of the slugs...

Excited too; I have 6 new hoyas, mostly miniatures, coming by mail from The Violet Barn, probably on Friday. They're small, they won't take up much room!! So pleased I rediscovered the site... I need to go through my houseplants again. Most of them need cleaning, some need repotting. It's supposed to rain Saturday. I'll do that when I need a break from sewing. Making a new door for the tent, BEFORE Great Northeastern War! Which I still need to do some planning and scheduling for. The class form is going up this weekend. Will work on that tomorrow.

Till then, some photos:

05-25-26 Panteria

Garden 2012

felis_lupus: TADPOLE. Joe Cartoon (tadpole)
Lancelot is certainly ready.

This has been a freakin' WEEK OF MONDAYS. I am SO ready for the weekend, to spend some time in Vermont, having some nice low stress fencing, dancing, music, and relaxation at Panteria. With the exception of Sunday, it seems everybody I ran across or talked to this week was absolutely batshit insane, impossible to deal with, high-strung, argumentative, and just plain crazy. I had wondered if it was me, for a while, then noted that everybody else in the office and online was experiencing the same stupid stuff. I blame Sunday's eclipse (which we didn't even get to see). Bizarre astrological phenomena.

In garden news (pictures later), my potatoes are almost all growing! There are a few chunks that have no sprouts yet, but I'm not giving up on them just yet. The first little shoots are making their way out the sides of the potato tower too! First noticed one bunch yesterday, and there were definitely more this evening when I came home from work. Sunny days and rainy nights are doing wonders for everything. I grabbed a couple new coral bells from work to replace the ones I lost over the winter, the villosa cultivars ('Caramel' and a lime green one I can't remember right now) did very well. 'Midnight Rose' and 'Hercules' died. Hybrids... sigh. I am trying 'Hercules' again, since the ones at work made it fine (maybe I just had a bum plant), but have replaced the other with 'Regina' We'll see how they do... There are also a couple new Echinacea that came in today that I need to resist buying... double orange-red 'Hot Papaya' is tempting, though... I do have to pick up some slug repellent, or start leaving saucers of cheap beer around, since the leaves on my cutleaf coneflower and just about everything else are starting to look pretty ratty. Little gross slimy pests...

Packing tomorrow, and hopefully heading out to spend an evening around the fire with good friends, waking up under canvas for the first time since Pennsic. It will be good.
felis_lupus: (Default)
  • Potatoes! I has sprouts! Yaaaay! Just in the garden box so far; the top ones of the tower are buried a little deeper, I think, and I've got to wait for the ones on the sides of the tower to work their way through the straw, so perhaps next week we'll see some sprouts on the sides.
  • Tomato! I have again obtained a wonderful 'Pineapple' Tomato plant (last seen during the blight of '09 ('10? When was the bad late blight year?); I got one fruit. It was phenomenal.). It is planted in a large green pot, and placed next to the potato tower, in the hopes of more sun = fruits!
  • Purple and green Kohlrabi seeded in the previously vacant spot in the raised bed made their appearance mid-week. YAY.
  • I definitely planted round 1 of peas too deeply. Or it was just too cold. Probably too deeply. Round 2 is all up, just over a week. Half an inch, that's all they need...
  • Have sprayed my rose with Neem oil. The aphids found it. Horrible little beasties.
  • There is ONE bud (so far) on the mystery iris that came with the house. I moved some of them last year, hoping a bit more sun would help them out. I'm kinda hoping for something other than purple, but not really expecting anything exotic. What I hope is my 'Enchanted One' Iris also has one bud. Lemon-scented, yellow with lavender falls, it is absolutely enchanting. Also one bud on the 'Best Bet' piece I got from work when we divided the giant clump last fall. White with deep blue falls. So pretty!
  • Finally planted the Canadian Ginger around the Oakleaf Hydrangea. One casualty, nothing serious, and it allowed me to finally get a good look at the neat little flowers:

    So cool. It's not as glossy and showy as the European, which I have planted around the coral bells one terrace down (two of which need to be replaced... I need a new dark purple and a new green, I think. We've got 'em at work...), but it will fill in the top and hopefully out-compete the darn sorrel.
  • Helped Max put in some hosta, fern, and bugbane by their new privacy fence today, mulch on Sunday after work. Looks fantastic! Looking forward to seeing it next year when it's more filled in.
felis_lupus: (plant kitteh)

Ok, maybe not so mighty... it's kinda cute, really. Only 18" in diameter, and roughly 4' tall, but 2 layers each of 'Yellow Finn' and 'Dark Red Norland' potatoes. I hope something comes of it... It is in the sunny spot where I really should have put the main garden. Thanks so much to [ profile] dervishspin who found the nifty how-to! Thanks also to [personal profile] kurlon who helped hold the silly thing upright and open whilst I attempted to pour soil mix inside and not all over him. I mostly succeeded. One thing that needs to be done is staking it so it stays upright... I don't want to have the Slightly Leaning Tower of Potatoes become the Great Potato Caterpillar. Couple weeks I should hopefully have some sprouts showing through, maybe even before.
felis_lupus: (Lancelot)
It's spring. It's been crazy. I finished a scroll and a half last week (pictures next week, after it's awarded), and am fried. Wheee! First weekend off in a while. I could have gone to Carolingia's Investiture and had a fantastic time, but staying home and puttering around in the garden was a much better plan for today.

Car is fixed, I'm in debt... but, new timing belt, window all better, new rear brakes, everything else should be OK for a while (I hope). Finally got the bill for the repair of my broken arm. Ow ow ow all over again, even though we knew exactly what it was going to be and have the money set aside, still no fun.

The last couple weeks have been full of fencing and friends! Fencing at Fort Knox (SO AWESOME. And we had a STAIR PIT!), got my baby goat fix and had a lovely visit and dinner with Jehan and Kyle at Sunnywood, Sea Dogs game with [ profile] mylisant, Northern Region Rapier Championships and Tyger and Bucket, and finally a day to myself in the garden.

Mother's Day tomorrow; work will probably be crazy, which is really a good thing. I only spent a half hour on the phone with the office today, not bad. Re-confirmed this week that some people have zero sense of self-preservation. WTFPANIC moment from work: I'm in the BIG loader, just finished dumping a bucketload of mulch into the back to this guy's truck, have it in reverse (bucket is still up), so the loader is beeping, and the guy WALKS UNDERNEATH THE BIG BUCKET ARM instead of waiting literally 3 seconds for me to back out of the way enough that he could have walked the exact same space, without danger of being clocked in the head with a major F=MA win on my end. Thank goodness I was paying attention and not actually moving backwards yet. Idiot.

Played in the garden today. Put fabric and started to do stones along the drip edge of the house so any mulch or compost I put down won't get washed away. Got rid of the burning bush and all of its horrible little children so the lilac (which is actually blooming this year!) doesn't have any more close competition. Also found a stepping-stone pathway (though I'm sure the intent was for it to be better...) that I knew was by the front porch, but not the full extent. A flat shovel did nice work uncovering it. Now I know what I have to start with and can do something nice with it all. Planted 2/3 of the seed potatoes in the other half of the raised bed, I will bring some straw home from work tomorrow and build my awesome potato tower that [ profile] dervishspin found. Cannot wait. Decided also that the garden box should really have been built on the other side of the driveway... we'll see about moving it next year, maybe.

Lots of photos:
04-28 Jehan's Fencing at the Fort
04-28 Sunnywood
04-30 Sea Dogs
05-05 NRRC
05-05 Tyger and Bucket
Garden 2012
felis_lupus: (plant kitteh)
The spinach wins! 8 days after planting, 4 inches of rain yesterday and a nice sunny day today worked their magic, and I have at least a dozen or so spinach seedlings. YAY! The rest of the plants are hopefully not too far behind... carrots will take a little while... not sure on onions... hoping for some peas soon...

My potatoes came yesterday, and are now sitting happily in a box upstairs in the library so they can wake up and maybe start sprouting, and I will hopefully get them in the ground next weekend. I don't know if there's enough to do the full fun potato tower, but maybe I can do a mini-one. I may have more potatoes than I think I do... when they all fit in a little 8x12" box, it is deceptive.

Also got the Bletilla orchids in the mail today! Probably going to grow them as houseplants, even though they're supposedly hardy to zone 5. Two came sprouted and growing very happily in little tiny pots, the third was bareroot... tiny little shriveled thing, with a few roots, and a pathetic looking green sprout flopping about out of the top... I thought "I paid $12.95 for what, now?" but have done the right thing and used up the very last morsels of potting soil and put little Rickey Bletilla properly in a 4" pot, watered gently, and will wait. Patiently. It will be worth it when he finally blooms: The species B. striata has a flower spike on it. Hopefully the stress of shipping and new environment won't shock it and it will still bloom. Thank goodness for easy-to-understand care sheets, too.

Delivery of three Attar of Rose geranium that I have finally, finally been successful at rooting will happen this weekend too. One is a surprise. :) If anybody out there wants a cutting, let me know. I've figured out how to make them grow and be happy. Not as far as I know a medieval-period plant (earliest date I can find is 1690), but quite lovely nonetheless. I've made rosewater, rose-flavored sugar, and a rose-flavored cake (take clean leaves, lay in the bottom of a cake pan, pour white cake mix over them, bake. Delish. And not overly-flowery). The leaves are apparently edible, but I haven't ever munched on them...

And in other news... my li'l red car turned over 180,000 miles today. Good ol' Rosie's at 180,040 on return to the house tonight. Keep going, little car! You have new brakes and will have a new timing belt and other maintenance-worthy internals next week! We'll keep driving for a few more years at least!
felis_lupus: (Default)
And carrots, and lettuce, and onions, and a bunch of other stuff!

I was not completely wiped out tonight when I got home from work, and found myself idly pulling a few weeds in the garden bed by the stairs, which then turned into ripping a bunch of weeds out further up the path, which turned into getting the damn sorrel out of the garden box by the driveway, which turned into turning over the soil, grabbing my seed packets and labels, and getting half the box planted! Whee! The other half will be mostly potatoes, which hopefully are shipping this week and will arrive soon... I ordered Yellow Finn and Dark Red Norland from The Maine Potato Lady, two pretty much fool-proof varieties, so I am led to believe.

I also finally planted the chives and garlic chives and muscari that have been (barely) living in a box for the last two years, since I dug them out of the garden in Windham. I think they will be happier now.

Garden 2012

Seeds, from back to front, left to right:
'Ringmaster' and 'Flat of Italy' Onions
'5-Color Silverbeet' Swiss Chard (and an empty spot that I need to do something with...)
'Carnival' Carrots (so fun! multi-color!), 'Red Sails' Lettuce, 'Tyree' Spinach
'Cascadia' Sugar Snap Peas are planted by the trellis, and there are a few 'Sunspot' dwarf sunflowers and some borage thrown in around the corners for good measure.

Also went to Coronation this past Saturday with Jean, Sorcha, and Mylisant, which was lovely. Still going through photos, there will be a gallery posted soon!
felis_lupus: (Default)

Royal Enfield
Originally uploaded by gshower7
Continuing with the "good weekend" theme, Saturday afternoon, [ profile] kurlon and I went to Cumberland County Choppers to play "not my bike!" because they had the reps from Royal Enfield in, and they were doing test rides. Royal Enfield motorcycles, I learned, are the longest continuous-production bikes in the world. They're single cylinder, pretty normal, well-behaved bikes. Very pretty, classic styling on these. One of them even matched my shoes... :)

Had we been considering buying one, however, the sales guy lost any hope of actually making a sale just about the moment we stepped onto the lot and under the tent. He asked me, "So, you're here for a test ride?" "Yes." I said. "On your own bike?" he asked, with a note of 'oh, little girl, these big ol' motorcycles aren't your thing...' in his voice. "Yes." I said, with a note of 'do you treat all your potential customers like this?' in mine... I was... displeased. But not about to let it ruin the afternoon.

Filled out the paperwork, was introduced to my motorcycle, a "C5" body style. Light, quick, maneuverable. [ profile] kurlon was on the "B5" style, a little longer, a lot heavier (it seemed, when we went to switch halfway through the demo). Nervous, I was, it being Not My Bike, and ohgodwhatifIdumpit? but was determined to do what I knew how to do. I think the rep was a bit confused when we got ready for the ride, and put on all. the. gear. Gloves, jacket (love my jacket, mesh, ventilated), and helmets. Dude, I don't care if it's "only a 5 mile loop" or whatever it was. We're going at traffic speed, I'm on an unfamiliar bike, and there are still other cars out there, all of whom want to kill us (or should be treated as such), thanks very much.

It was a fun ride. Still nervous, wasn't sure what to expect from this strange new vehicle, but I did OK. Started getting comfortable on it right about when we pulled back into the shop... bah. We had the option of swapping bikes halfway through the ride, but I kept the one I was on. I couldn't even sit on the one [ profile] kurlon was riding, the seat was pretty weird. But it's a comfortable bike, 500cc, ~30 hp or so, a good bike for putting around town. Not so much for highway travel or long distances, I don't think. Not unless you get the sidecar...

Returned home to the garden, planted my beautiful Oakleaf Hydrangea. So gorgeous. It completes the terrace quite nicely. That is the one thing I was absolutely certain of when I first found it last year; there would have to be an Oakleaf Hydrangea there. And so there is. Hopefully it makes it through the winter OK, they can be fussy here... but that spot seemed to keep a lot of snow on it last year, so I am hopeful.

All in all, a darn fine weekend. Surprise birthday party for [ profile] anna_mickel at the house this evening, lots of people over, lots of delicious food, a fun time.
felis_lupus: (plant kitteh)

Hill Garden
Originally uploaded by gshower7
I made a big pile of mud! And then put plants in it! Yaaay!

I have exorcised the last of the ghost of the euonymus, I hope. And hopefully the raspberries will have to work a lot harder to get through 6"+ of loam, so I won't have to deal with that. And [ profile] kurlon is the most wonderful husband, because he took pity on me (or got sick of me whining), set up a plywood ramp on the stairs, and then did not kill himself pushing the last 4 wheelbarrows full of loam that I needed to finish filling the bed up said ramp. So much quicker than shoveling it all over the wall. That was not a whole lot of fun. (Didn't help that I was cranky already for having to go into work and water. 2 hours driving for a half hour of actual work... on my day off... on my vacation. Tempting to charge travel time for this. :( ) But now the fun can begin! I get to pick out all the lovely plants that will help hold the soil in place, and make me happy. I think an actual set of plans are in order so I don't go too nuts, and don't end up ripping too much of it out... We'll see how that goes. A few of my nasturtium seeds came up along the wall, the lovely 'Enchanted One' Iris finally has a home, and a beautiful 'Rozanne' Geranium has joined the hill.

The coral bells in the terrace are happy; the little tiny 'Ruby Bells' that I split into three pieces are getting bigger, and next week, after I get back, I think an Oakleaf Hydrangea will be coming home with me to live in the top half of the terrace. Just about perfect.

Veggie garden is kinda growing. It only gets about 5 hours of sun, 9AM to 2PM. We'll see how it all works out. Perhaps will try something different next year. The squash have flowers, though, and I have wee little tomatoes on both plants, and things are still alive.

Listening, now, to a thunderstorm rolling around (the sky is still blue), and cooling off... Tomorrow will be packing the truck and hopefully heading to the GNEW site for a day of relaxation before all the craziness happens on Thursday, and all my friends from far away arrive on Friday.
felis_lupus: (plant kitteh)

Originally uploaded by gshower7
After a too-early wakeup call, a whirlwind trip to Augusta this morning (complete with ridiculous traffic) and a semi-leisurely trip back (stop at Christmas Tree Shop, and a nursery (which I had a gift card for, but discovered upon arrival that I had left it in my other purse, dammit. Oh well. Bought the 2 plants I wanted anyway, and will go back for 2 more when I actually have the dang card)), finally returned home late afternoon.

In the interest of not acquiring more plants unless I actually have a spot to put them so they won't linger and die in their pots, I set to work on rebuilding the collapsed front bit of the terrace out the front door. Several rocks and 13 buckets of loam later, it looked pretty good. [ profile] kurlon and I took a quick trip to the transfer station to get rid of some construction debris from the garage, and stopped by the scary little discount shop in town to see if we could find any hoses, and I came away with an itty bitty pot of coral bells. Marked at $2.99, apparently on sale for 50% off, and I was able to split it into 3 pieces (that's 50 cents each, for those playing along at home... woo!). I call it victory. A good plant day.

The terrace is very shady, like most of the property, but gets some direct morning sun. The upper level will be home to an Oakleaf Hydrangea (once I bring it home, finally), and the lower level is perfect for my Heuchera collection. The 2 new 'Pistache' Coral Bells and the 'Caramel' I picked up earlier this week seem to be quite happy in their new home, and there's room for at least two more. :) The three little bitty 'Ruby Bells' tuck nicely into the front of the upper level, and will be a nice compliment to the eventual Hydrangea.

In other house news, we have a garage door! It's beautiful! I'll get my bay back soon, and won't have to spend another winter cleaning poor Rosie off! She'll be happier in the garage, too... she's getting old, and cold mornings are not fun for either of us...

Week Recap

May. 12th, 2011 10:33 pm
felis_lupus: (Lancelot)
Good things, mostly, this week.

+ 4 out of 5 days got to ride the bike! Could have, maybe, on Tuesday, but would have been COLD. And Wet. Even with rain gear. So it worked out OK.
+ Good fencing day on Tuesday!
+ Finally bought 'Sigh No More' by Mumford and Sons. For $5. mp3 Album from LOVE.
+ Sunshine today, finally.
+ FRIDAY. Kinda. For me. First Friday of the week!
+ Lovely dinner at Blast from the Past with [ profile] anna_mickel and Max tonight.
+ Rode home under a beautiful moon and indigo skies.

- Not going to be able to play in the garden much this weekend...

+ ...because I'm prepping stuff for Spring's Inspirations on Saturday! Paint and gold and friends and general SCA loveliness.

- Not sure if I'll have any sort of veggie/edibles garden this year... I gotta do something, I'll go nuts...

+ ...but I'm going to help S get a container garden going behind the restaurant where she works! Next weekend, we plant beets and radishes and STUFF!

- ...because she's still hurting from a rough break-up. I'm gonna kick K next time I see him... but not too hard... life will indeed go on. Gardens heal souls. /sigh.

+ Started some herb seeds in a little egg carton greenhouse. Hopefully will have some thyme, and basil, and borage, and other stuff coming up soon. Green. Need. Green.

+ Kitties happy. Got most of the mats (not too bad, but bad enough) out of Galahad's underside out. [ profile] kurlon has to pay attention to the front half, while I work on the back half, and it's quite a feat of acrobatics when we get fuzzbutt up on his haunches so I can get the underside, but he's such a patient, calm kitty... thank goodness. No protesting, even when I know it pulls a little bit...

+/- We really need a garage door. There are birds nesting in the third garage. I think it's a Phoebe. Working on replacing, maybe, the one we lost last weekend...

Time to get off the computer now. Things to do! Busy weekend!
felis_lupus: (Swedish Chef)
So... two years ago, I bought an Attar of Roses scented geranium from a wonderful gentleman at the Windham Farmer's Market. It has a beautiful rosy scent, lovely soft fuzzy leaves, and if I ever get it in enough sunlight for long enough, will have tiny little lavender flowers. That bit hasn't happened yet, but I've managed not to kill it with not enough light or ignorance of water in the last two winters, so that's something...

It continues to put out lots and lots of foliage, though a bit leggy. Nice big leaves, though, on the end of long petioles that tend to get tangled in each other. So decided yesterday to do some pruning and repot the poor thing. I have a lovely pink pot that was going to be home to my 'Pink Princess' philodendron, but she is currently in rehab... having some difficulties with the whole 'growing' thing... need roots for that... yeah. So I chopped 3/4 of the geranium back, back to strong stems that are showing plenty of new buds and growth, repotted it into the new, larger pink pot, and pondered on what to do with this mass of green that smelled so lovely.

Remembering things that Mark said when I bought the plant, I went to the internet... Attar of Rose geraniums are lovely to use in cooking. I baked a rose-flavored cake. It is amazing. Take leaves, lay them on the bottom of a greased and floured cake pan, and pour over them your favorite white cake recipe. I used the boxed mix. The oils and scents and flavor of the geranium leaves infuse into the cake, making it light and flowery and springy and delicious. Can't reliably find if the leaves are actually edible or not, so I peeled them off the cake just in case...

The rest of the leaves were added to a pot of water and simmered for about an hour on the stove, making rosewater. Not sure how that's turned out yet, and not sure how I'm going to store it yet, but there it is in a bowl in my fridge...

And spring is truly here. The snow is nearly gone (though quite a difference from last year... last year, the forsythia was blooming, and we'd been a month without snow...), and maybe I can even rake all the leaves away some night after work. I am ready to start ripping things out of the garden again! Death to the wintercreeper and sumac and mostly dead azalea!
felis_lupus: (Default)

Spring Moon
Originally uploaded by gshower7
Spring is here, spring is here! It's not snowing (though it's only 26 degrees out...), the sun is shining, and I've got the day off. Life is goood.

I did get outside, too, at 12:30 AM or so (agh, need to change the time on my camera for daylight savings...), with my camera and tripod (and should have worn gloves. Brr.), and stared up at the sky for a little while.

Big bright moon, perfectly clear night. Gorgeous.

The first photo I took also had some stars in it. I will need to play with this fantastic camera a bit more, when it's warmer in the evenings, and there is not quite so much moonlight. I have tried taking star photos and a lot of moon photos before , but I have so much more control over every single setting on this camera, I bet I can get some better ones. This was the 'Chaste Moon', according to English Medieval tradition... It was beautiful. Everything outside was bathed in blue light, reflecting off the snow that still covers the land here.

Stones are poking through, though. I am excited to see my terrace again; this year, I know what I am going to put there (Hydrangea quercifolia, Oakleaf Hydrangea), and will do it, before fall! So pretty... Much soil amending to be done first, and the Battle of the Sumac and Raspberry will continue... I made a good dent last year, but there is much ground to be gained and much compost to be spread.
felis_lupus: (plant kitteh)

Originally uploaded by gshower7
Got stuff accomplished yesterday, even though it was rather hot and humid, and time could have been spent better in the AC... I did finish the molding, which is lovely. Now, just need to find time to put the stuff up on the walls... Might try and take a Friday off sometime, to help Max.

Yesterday in the garden, I tried to focus on the long bed by the driveway that has the 4 little yellow Chamaecyparis in it, but that needs so much work, and really needs a complete rip-out and redo before it will be serviceable for anything fun. Realization of what needed to be done hit, and I gave up after pulling out yet more sumac and a couple little oak seedlings. Bah.

Moved instead to the area I can see out the front door, up in the woods, with lovely ledges and beautiful moss (which, I now discover, I don't have a 'before' photo of. oh well). There were raspberry and blackberry canes everywhere there (and some of the blackberries are ripening, yum!), and little pine trees and scrubby little oaks that will never amount to anything except house-breakers, so they all had to go.

It's beautiful now. Getting better, anyway. Ripped out the brambles (though they'll be back; I couldn't get most of the roots) (and next time, put jeans and long sleeves on... don't care how hot it is.), clipped the pine and oaks that I couldn't pull out, yanked a bunch of grass that was growing in the moss (and sacrificed a bit of moss, but with the rain last night, if it didn't wash down the hill, hopefully it re-roots), and found a juniper, buried in leaves and brush.

The terrace itself is solid. The lower level needs a bit of re-stacking, and both need some soil and compost, but I think I've found a temporary (heh) spot for some more of the hosta from K. Astilbe, I think, would look lovely in this area too... Maybe one of the big ostrich plume ones in the top level... hmm...

In sumac notes, the big one by the front door is staying. It's a male plant, and therefore seedless, so won't drop its children all over the garden. Once I get the ones in the garden cleared out, it should be relatively easy to control the root spread. In theory. This makes me generally happy, since taking that plant out would change the entire shade and light structure of the front of the house... and it's the nicest sumac I've ever seen.

Went to see the Highland Soles in Portland last night with Max & Mickel. Scottish Fiddle music, step dance from Cape Breton tradition, and a general feeling of genuine happiness and joy from the folks up on the stage. It's a family band, and it's very obvious they all adore what they are doing, which was wonderful. It ended far too soon for my liking... sigh. Beautiful.
felis_lupus: (plant kitteh)

High Voltage
Originally uploaded by gshower7
I have a new toy... It takes purty pictures... EeEEEeeeE! And I might just have to buy that rose... I think the giant chartreuse hosta is not liking where I put it... too much sun for it, but I think just enough sun to grow a pretty pretty yellow rose. And with a name like 'High Voltage', who can resist, really?

But first, Vinland Raids! So much fun! So hot... But there was fencing, and feasting, and dancing, and lots of time spent with wonderful friends. The site was lovely, if a bit spread out, and I really, really wished the rest of my haushold was with me, specifically with their crossbows, when the darn crows decided that 5:30 AM was a good time to start cawing, right outside my tent. Grumblegrump...

So glad I took Sunday off, and didn't try and do a crazy thing and drive back on Saturday night. Xavier and I had a nice, semi-leisurely ride home up the coast, only one exciting part when we drove through a heck of a thunder/rain/hail storm going through Wells.

Arriving back at work on Monday, I was greeted by S, our office manager, who told me she did a silly thing over the weekend... she found a heck of a deal on a practically brand new Nikon D90 camera, with lenses (digital SLR... covet, covet, covet...), and bought it, even though she had a really nice DSLR already. So jealous, I told her... she then of course mentioned that she was going to put her old D70 on Craigslist, or something... eh? Hrm. How much do you want for it...? One thing led to another, and it's mine, now. Or will be officially, once I actually pay her for it... Is shiny. Is take purty pictures. Is going to be a month of reading the manual before I figure things out, but this means I will be able to take good photos at courts, and in low-light situations, and get right up the butterfly's nose with the spiffy spiffy macro lens. I realize now, after playing with this camera for a few days, how much I missed my film SLR. Better now. :)

Before playing too much, though, I have got to get cracking. There's a ton of stuff I've got to get done before GNEW, not the least of which is a rather complicated scroll, but I'll be fine... To Do List to be made tomorrow... after work, and the Greek Festival in Portland! Mmm... loukomades...
felis_lupus: (Default)
Kind of a boring update... skip it if you like. ;) )

Looking forward to tomorrow, my one day off. Weather is supposed to be beautiful. I have a Plan for the gardens. It involves weed killer (for the pathway), compost (for the beds - ohgod do they need *something*), and weed barrier cloth (to go over the whole thing, and maybe starve out at least some of the sumac and raspberries). I intend to dig out the barberry and put a giant hosta in its place, which will be an incredible improvement. Perhaps will be able to plant the cutleaf coneflower as well. I think I have the spot picked out. We shall see how it goes.
felis_lupus: (plant kitteh)

Blue Library
Originally uploaded by gshower7
But a good one. This is not the best photo, but it gives a pretty good idea of what I've done for the last couple days... When are my weekends going to be relaxing again, I wonder...

Yesterday started semi-early, but it was good to be up. Had to go buy paint! But first, had to clear away stuff from the walls in what would become my library.... that took a little while, as did taping and prepping. Took off parts of the door molding, since they weren't exactly securely attached to the walls anyway. Made for easier painting. First, bought compost for the garden (and two new Pasque flowers, to be planted soonish... I hope), and then paint, brushes, and rollers, and then home.

Did yellow first, to finish the main column which is part of the same visual space as the dining area... Max and I debated about painting it or not, and after not, it turns out it definitely needed to be done. Better now. Then onto blue, ceiling first. A beautiful, pale blue. Almost white. Pale enough that it was a little bit difficult to see where I'd painted, plus it being a textured ceiling (haaaaate.), coupled with the dawning realization of 'uh oh... I'm using a LOT of paint (dang super-fluffy roller)... perhaps two cans would have been better?' made for a semi-frustrating time. I think I used every single drop of paint in the can. Should do a second coat at some point, but it's done enough for now... got one pretty even coat over the whole ceiling.

Walls went quick, thank goodness. They are perfect, forget-me-not blue. I love it. Only a few little touch-up spots that I find every now and then, and they're easy enough to hit with a brush. Now the only thing left is to figure out what to do with the horrible white door... I'm thinking mural, but not sure of what yet. I should just paint it and get a clean coat of *something* on it.

After paint, went to visit Max, and we finished up edging the last of the oak molding for the bedroom. Hoping to get it over here sometime this week, and will stain, and then hopefully put it up soon. Can't wait to move into the downstairs bedroom...

Max and I then met [ profile] anna_mickel, [ profile] ninian_vesalius, and [ profile] alexsaintpierre at the movies, and saw Robin Hood. Oh. My. So good. EEEEEEE. Fun movie, different take on the legend. Forget everything you know, enjoy the pretty, and listen to the wonderful Alan Doyle sing. :)

Speaking of which... Alan, Bob, Sean, and Murray have a new album coming out. Just in time to completely miss GNEW, but it will give me something to look forward to after it's over. Three tracks are available for listening (and if anybody can figure out how to get actual copies of them off the flash player, it would make me a very happy kitty), and I am so looking forward to hearing the rest of the album... Eeee!

Painted the library yesterday in preparation for E, Mom, Dad, Mom-in-law, and Dad-in-law, who all came to visit today. Mom and dad brought boxes of books, great-grandma's sewing machine, and some random other STUFF. MiL and DiL brought a rocking chair that was J's great grandmother's, and came to help put more stuff away. E came to visit, and was shanghaied into helping reassemble my house... I've promised her a better visit soon... The library is assembled, my sewing room is more organized, almost usable, and I'm exhausted. My plans for today (since it was kinda rainy) had included getting the library and sewing room organized, whether everybody had come visiting or not, but it certainly went quicker with more help.

This week at work will be interesting... tiring, I suspect. Open house/Customer appreciation day on Saturday will be zooey, and it's prep for that that will be taking over my work week. Aieee. Hoping to get in my garden on Friday, the sumac is starting to wake up, and since I've taken away the big feeder trees, root suckers are popping up everywhere. I think I'll have to buy a wheelbarrow this week, start hauling stuff out of the garden and into the trailer so we can take it to the brush pile. Hope to clean up the boxwood, rip out more roots, and get those 6 bags of compost spread on the cleared part of the garden soon.


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Lady Camille

August 2013

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