ksmith: (coffee cup)
Everything has imported from LJ according to DW, so I am here now. I won't be crossposting over there, and am working up the nerve to delete what's left behind. Feels strange, because I was there for so long.

An unseasonably warm weekend--high 60s yesterday and 70s today. Grass is greening fast. I spread the corn gluten fertilizer/weed suppressant yesterday, and am hoping that I see some improvement in the creeping Charlie control in the backyard. It's going to take a few years to hit the 80% control level that organic stuff usually reaches, but this is Year 2 and so I am hoping.

First daffodils opened today. They'll pick up as the crocuses wind down. It's supposed to drop back to the 50s for a few days, but I don't really mind. As long as the trend is up.
ksmith: (Default)

There will be no raised bed garden this summer.

I first installed it back in 2009. The first few tomato crops were incredible–I had 6-7 plants, and spent most every weekend from early August through early fall making marinara or tomato casserole or salads with fresh basil (I grew that, too). When the chill weather came, I picked the greenies and stuck them in paper bags to ripen, and had fresh tomatoes into December.

I added compost to the soil and added fresh soil every so often, but for whatever reason–weather, poor choice in plants–the harvests fell off. Last summer’s was the worst–it was so cool that even the farmstands struggled. I managed a couple handfuls of cherry tomatoes and some mesclun. Part of me missed the buckets and buckets of harvest, but part of me didn’t care. It had stopped being fun.

I gave the plastic framing to the chimney repair guy, who had a friend who was planning a raised bed garden. That left the dirt, two squared-off mounds of tightly-packed topsoil. Today, I shoveled it into the wheelbarrow and dumped it around the plants near the deck. Over the next few weeks or months or however long it takes, I’ll trim the area with the edger and add more soil and mulch until it looks neat and proper. I have spirea and hibiscus growing there now, and would like to add a few more things. Some of the daffodils in the front yard are putting forth nothing but greenery, which means the bulbs have birthed bulblets that are sucking away the strength; I’ll separate those and stick some near the deck. Look for some shorter shrubs that flower. I am thinking about moving the birdbath garden to the sideyard outside the fence given that the seed that falls to the ground has attracted skunk for the last few years and Gaby has never met a skunk that she didn’t want to harass, the results of which you can guess. If I do that, I can move the astilbes that are growing there now to new homes near the deck….

That will be the outdoor project for the year. Get the backyard in shape.

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

ksmith: (me)
Walk?!

Walk?!

There's a deer in there somewhere

There’s a deer in there somewhere

Defrosted lake

Defrosted lake

Exploring

Exploring

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

Well…

Feb. 18th, 2014 03:04 pm
ksmith: (hibiscus)

…it has been a while.

Not much to report. Snow every few days, followed by shoveling. Bouts of cabin fever. 4-5 inches of weighty powder fell yesterday. Today, however, temps have reached the 40s(F), and there is sun. Stuff is dripping off the roof. I went out and got a massage, then had lunch. Amazing how revitalizing even a hint of Spring can be.

Gaby’s outside now, curled up atop a snowbank. Other times, she lurks beneath the bird feeder and waits for a squirrel to make a mistake. She’s nailed at least 5 that I know of since the first of the year. Buries them in the snow. I expect I will encounter them as the snow melts, unless night critters scavenged them.

Yukon Gaby

She is a Winter Dog. I let her outside yesterday before the snowing and blowing began, and after it started, she still did not want to come in. Instead, she curled up in the snow. I had to go out and leash her to get her inside.

In other news:

comix

…because I am 12 yo again. And because Loki. And because we need a Black Widow movie, Marvel.

Fave song of the moment: After the Disco–Broken Bells. I have it on repeat on iTunes.

It’s a Spring song.

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

Apples

Oct. 31st, 2013 11:02 am
ksmith: (gold leaf)

Lots of apples.

Last week, one of my neighbors gave me a shopping bag full of apples from their tree. 17 pounds worth.

Yesterday, I dealt with them. A couple quarts of applesauce. Apple crisp. Today, apple nut bread.

I recommend the crisp recipe. I did substitute white whole wheat flour for the all-purpose when making the crumbs, and added a couple tablespoons of wheat germ as well. The crumbs may have turned out a little dry as a result, but they do have a nice, nutty flavor.

Lots of cooking over the last week. Autumn food, Jacques Pepin’s tuna w/ pasta (best tuna casserole ever, imo, and yes, I add the raisins), butternut squash soup and maple-brined pork loin roast (result: a very juicy roast that tasted a bit like ham).

House stuff took up a lot of my time. The basement guys came and fixed the window wells and filled All The Cracks. I cleared lava rock from a patch next to the deck, and planted some shrubs. Raked leaves. Set up appointments for more estimates.

Downloaded Gimp, which is freeware photo manipulation software. I’ve heard that it’s difficult to learn, but I would like to use it and try my hand at ebook covers for some short stories. I can understand paying to have a novel cover made, but it’s a little more difficult to justify the expense for a short story. I’ll see how well I do. If it proves a disaster, I’ll look into alternative coverage.

Raining now. Cool, dreary autumn. Trees that were still mostly green seem to have changed over the last two days–maples are either vermilion or a gorgeous deep gold, like butterscotch. Oaks aren’t as flashy, all tarnished brass.

Some folks have already put up their Christmas decorations. That just staggers me. Not ready for that at all.

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

ksmith: (gold leaf)

I will be offline for most of the next week. Nothing wrong. Just busy.

First hint of autumn in the air today. A cool front moved through yesterday, dropping nighttime temps to the lo 60s. I had left the bedroom windows open all day and into the night, and actually needed the comforter. Nice sleeping weather. The morning proved so cool that I wore long pants for Gaby’s walk, which was a good move because on the way down the street to the bike trail, I stepped on a hickory nut Just Right, and wiped out. Just some road burn on left elbow and right hand. Also a scraped left knee, which would have been much uglier if I hadn’t been wearing the rip-stop cargo pants.

I can’t believe it’s September already. The lawn is still green, but the growth has slowed to practically nothing. Tomatoes are still ripening. Acorns etc have been falling like crazy, and the squirrels are gathering them and digging holes everywhere. I have a slew of canned pumpkin in the pantry, and I’m tempted to make some pumpkin soup. I know you should ideally use fresh roasted pumpkin, but I have to do something with the stuff and I love butternut squash soup so I figure I should like pumpkin soup, too.

Autumn used to be my favorite season. Now it’s late spring/early summer, but I do still have a weakness for crisp mornings and such. Hate the shorter days, though. The wet windy chill, and knowledge that soon there will be snow. Not ready for summer to end.

Mirrored from Kristine Smith.

ksmith: (sun flare)
Can't happen soon enough.
ksmith: (cloud dream)
It's August already. Next month is a -ber month.

Where in hell has the year gone?

Summer?

Jun. 28th, 2011 06:21 pm
ksmith: (gimme a break)
80F. Sunny. Light breeze. I'm outside, and it will take a swarm of skeeters the size of B-52s to drive me inside before the stars come out.

Summer?

Jun. 28th, 2011 06:21 pm
ksmith: (gimme a break)
80F. Sunny. Light breeze. I'm outside, and it will take a swarm of skeeters the size of B-52s to drive me inside before the stars come out.
ksmith: (sun flare)
...the days start getting shorter.

I can't deal. I really can't.
ksmith: (sun flare)
...the days start getting shorter.

I can't deal. I really can't.
ksmith: (hibiscus)
Today is the first day of meteorological spring.

I'll take what I can get.
ksmith: (hibiscus)
Today is the first day of meteorological spring.

I'll take what I can get.
ksmith: (robin)
Temps hit the mid-50s (F) today. At least one temperature record was broken. There's still some snow remaining--a *lot* of snow, in some places--but there are also significant patches of bare ground and winter-brown lawn now visible.

Oy, the mud. I'd like to hook the pups to bags and catheters for the next few days.

I saw a robin today, too. I know that some of them don't bother to fly south anymore, but I haven't seen any in months and it's a robin, dammit. It means spring is slowly, slowly getting its act together. My tomato and pepper seeds arrived the other day. It's getting there.

I realize it's only mid-February. Hell, daytime temps are supposed to fall back down to the 30s by early next week, and we usually have a significant snow event in March. This mild stretch could turn out to be a cruel joke, but I'm not thinking about that now.
ksmith: (robin)
Temps hit the mid-50s (F) today. At least one temperature record was broken. There's still some snow remaining--a *lot* of snow, in some places--but there are also significant patches of bare ground and winter-brown lawn now visible.

Oy, the mud. I'd like to hook the pups to bags and catheters for the next few days.

I saw a robin today, too. I know that some of them don't bother to fly south anymore, but I haven't seen any in months and it's a robin, dammit. It means spring is slowly, slowly getting its act together. My tomato and pepper seeds arrived the other day. It's getting there.

I realize it's only mid-February. Hell, daytime temps are supposed to fall back down to the 30s by early next week, and we usually have a significant snow event in March. This mild stretch could turn out to be a cruel joke, but I'm not thinking about that now.
ksmith: (sprout)
The sun is struggling to come out. Stiff breeze, temps in the 40s, and the snowmelt is dripping off the eaves and rattling down the gutters. I realize it could be a false alarm--this is the Midwest and it is mid-February. Still could be looking at more snow. Possibly even a lot more snow.

But I'm not thinking about that today. I have turned down the furnace and opened windows to let in fresh air--that's what heavy sweatshirts are for. Bought more seeds yesterday: mesclun mix, basil collection. Broccoli raab, for something new and different. The basil will go in a big, fat container on the deck, methinks. The raised bed will be for tomatoes, bell peppers, and lettuces.

I don't want to wish the days away, but I want it to be June. I want to sit out on the deck and watch the pups play and listen to the birds and feel the sun on my face.
ksmith: (sprout)
The sun is struggling to come out. Stiff breeze, temps in the 40s, and the snowmelt is dripping off the eaves and rattling down the gutters. I realize it could be a false alarm--this is the Midwest and it is mid-February. Still could be looking at more snow. Possibly even a lot more snow.

But I'm not thinking about that today. I have turned down the furnace and opened windows to let in fresh air--that's what heavy sweatshirts are for. Bought more seeds yesterday: mesclun mix, basil collection. Broccoli raab, for something new and different. The basil will go in a big, fat container on the deck, methinks. The raised bed will be for tomatoes, bell peppers, and lettuces.

I don't want to wish the days away, but I want it to be June. I want to sit out on the deck and watch the pups play and listen to the birds and feel the sun on my face.
ksmith: (sun flare)
...the days are getting longer again.

It's a cheering thought.
ksmith: (sun flare)
...the days are getting longer again.

It's a cheering thought.

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