10 November 2009

Day 2

Meh. Not so bad... yet. Though I burned my tongue this morning on some too-hot tea, so that's bumming me out. And I'm getting bored of chewing so much (silly roughage). So far shunning booze and cheese isn't boosting my desire to work, though. Surfing the internet is just so much more fun! And now to read some of The Canon (Natalie Angier), which I have been slowly making my way through

09 November 2009

Day 1

Today is the first day (of 10, hopefully) of ye' olde raw fruit & veg cleanse. Since I'm already borderline vegan, this isn't a huge switch, and I'm keeping some minor and not so minor exceptions (can you call it a "cleanse" while still drinking coffee every morning?). But it is still a bit of a challenge. And always impressive to see how much tea I can drink when I'm bored of the food options.

And luckily I live in a state where farmers' markets are still open in November. When I did this last spring, it led to some interesting results, so we'll see what this brings (look, Ma, no more Diet Coke!). So far just a craft project plan and some more tiny, tiny stitches. Perhaps tomorrow I will provide a quilt update (no, it's not finished). Mmmmm, Bedtime Tea...

08 November 2009


Today we built a compost bin! Hooray, no more storing compost in the metal trash can that got all stinky and full of fruit flies. Despite some disagreement on the design (see creative use of found wood), it turned out okay, I think. I did accidentally disrupt an Argentine ant nest in the process of moving my small pile of yard clippings and leaves into the bin. I feel about 5% bad about that.

Really, I only feel 5% bad about killing a bunch of ants and ant larvae (and disrupting their home) because I read Elizabeth Kolbert's review of Jonathan Safran Foer's new book about vegetarianism. Of course, I don't eat meat (and less and less eggs & cheese, these days) but, well, there is this awkward question about where to draw that line, right? I've seen video of Argentine ants interacting with other insects, waging hostile takeovers, etc, so, how bad to they feel right now? What about when I go to turn the compost?

But, honestly, if they invade my house then it's war.

In other news, lots is going on in the garden. Anything that looks noteworthy on flickr is a start from the nursery, but the seeds are coming along. Who knew that hours of sunlight was such an important factor? Oh, wait. I did. Doh.

18 October 2009

Making progress...

Phew! Not only do we have germination (more on that sometime soon), but we have (nearly) a place to put the baby plants. Three 4' x 8' raised beds, plus a 10' x 9' plot for the three sisters (after a cover crop mix from Common Ground). I am anticipating waking up tomorrow barely able to move due to all the digging I did today (thank goodness for the rain!) Now if only I could get the compost situation figured out. And buy some soil. Oh, the list goes on. We have also had our first houseguests (for HSB) and our first dinner party (cooked Moosewood's Bulgarian red pepper stew and baked Hungarian pumpernickel bread. My baking skills continue to produce dense, but tasty bread...more yeast? heat?)

15 September 2009

Drum roll, please...

Ladies and gentlemen... We have germination.

Seriously, everything has a few sprouts coming up except for the Tuscan kale, the spinach, and the red onions (who are a day behind). And the marigolds are blooming, which is nice too. But the seedlings are the best. One more:

I'm pretty psyched that this whole farming thing hasn't been derailed on the first step.

10 September 2009

Oh, internet....

How I've missed you! Sure, we still had the iPhone, but, honestly, the iPhone is not for hanging out online and randomly searching for stuff. Or blogging. Or really doing anything except proving someone (or myself) wrong about something via wikipedia. But we moved! Or I moved, and this weekend we move N. And now we live in a house. With walls. That aren't touching other houses' walls. And when I jingle my keys two crazy dogs don't go ape s**t. And R can do just about whatever he wants. And as of this afternoon we have internet.

Currently I am full of plans but empty of fundage, so I do things like stake out where raised beds will someday go, and buy seeds. Lots of seeds. And make spreadsheets. I'm thinking I'll do some photo-monitoring (because that's what I do). This is the yard as it stands. There are two apple trees and a fig, and lots of dead lawn. Things may get interesting...

The current veggie seed list includes leeks, spinach, lettuce, two kinds of kale, arugula, scallions, Swiss chard, radishes, beets, carrots, and cauliflower. There were no big onions at the hippie organic store, so we'll see. But if I find some motivation, they may all get sown tonight! Or tomorrow. Oh, temperate climates. How fun are you?

27 August 2009

Really important question

Due to a sad, overplayed "workout mix" in my ipod, I have developed the following question: Which is the better rhyme? Nelly's intrepid use of "...bottles, ...models, ...throttle, ...goggles," or Sir Mix-a-Lot's "...Honda, ...Fonda, ...anaconda." I ponder this question on a regular basis.

In other news, the quilt progresses but I've started a new set of projects that are top secret for the time being. And the house situation will hopefully be made official on Sunday, then there will be much rejoicing. And trips to Ikea and the plant nursery.

19 August 2009


It looks like we're moving (at some point...)! I just spent all this time trying make a sketch of it on my lame tablet pc, but the sketch program will only export in LAME formats. WTF? So you'll just have to imagine it for now. BUT, it's got space, a yard, and a garage (and allows Mr. R) so what else could I possibly need. Maybe I'll give this exportation thing another go. Stand by...

Hah! Oh, Microsoft Paint, when will I shell out the cash for a real program so that I don't need you anymore? But this is what the front of the house will look like once I get my hands on some cheap giant pots (it's all concrete). The back will be a project of epic proportions, but there are two apple trees, a fig tree, and a whole bunch of dead lawn that really wants to be converted to a mini-farm. I may have to subscribe to Sunset Magazine. Does that mean I'm old?

16 August 2009


OK, back from ABQ where we discovered an unreasonable amount of broken glass on the roads and bike paths. But we also discovered thorn-resistant tubes. Apparently the locals roll them WITH SEALANT and that's how they avoid flats. I actually carried Clyde through a bike path underpass to avoid what must have been several fifths of who knows what.

But now I'm home and after sending N off at 4:30 a.m. I've had an alarmingly productive Sunday. Finished and combined the quilt squares yesterday:

N was a bit startled by the lack of pattern/symmetry, but I think he's getting over it. Then I added top and bottom borders, made a backing, and then a "quilt sandwich" and THEN started on what is now my least favorite part of quilting: hand basting it all together.

On the up side, it does show how cool the back may eventually look...

Now it's just a couple of bajillion tiny stitches between me and finished! This has all been additionally challenging as I've been keeping all fingers and toes crossed about a potential rental house that would be AWESOME. Like a hundred billion hot dogs, sir.

31 July 2009

Potential Epic

Task of the morning? Getting this bike:

into it's FAA regulation size suitcase so that I can take it with me to a conference in Albuquerque.

Fortunately I have step-by-step instructions from N... First we carefully pad it and take it apart.

Then fit it into it's box Tetris-style.

Then stuffing clothes in as extra padding, and I'm ready to go! Hopefully the re-assembly goes as smoothly, and hopefully I can carve out some time in the very full schedule to get some rides in.

28 July 2009

Le Tired

Two days of running the dog in the morning, then pedaling to work, then hiking around all day, then pedaling home & entertaining the dog some more is maybe too much. BUT I only have two quilting squares left, then it's on to... what comes after making the squares? Hopefully something less painstakingly detailed.

What I should be doing right now is adjusting Clyde-the-Ritchey-Breakaway's front derailleur so that I can use the big chain ring tomorrow (and fixing the handlebars, and swapping the saddles). But I'm tired and want to watch the Daily Show and go to bed. And make breakfast and walk R somewhere in there.

I'm starting to collect pictures of poison oak (the plant, not the rash on my arm) on flickr. They really are quite pretty, despite their bad rap.

And that concludes my random listing of thoughts.

26 July 2009

Attempting a Resurrection

Okay, so I know we thought I'd let this thing die, but all of a sudden it seems like a good idea again. I just bought a new camera (after leaving the old one at a plot...) and so am feeling inspired to take pictures and post them somewhere. I'm also in the midst of making a quilt - my first attempt at such a thing. It's turning out to be a lot more precision cutting and ironing than actual sewing, and unlike knitting, you definitely can't do it while watching TV (at least the beginning, square-sewing part). But it does feed my need to be obsessive. And since I'm sortof tired of the Big Bad Baby Blanket (Stitch & Bitch), but everyone I know keeps having babies, I figure I need a new gig. Also working on a knitting project, but that doesn't look like much yet.

This is what a quilt square would look like if you were 1 inch tall:

And this is what a finished square looks like:

The pattern is modified from a Denyse Schmidt quilt.

In other news, I'm hoping this blog will keep me from obsessively searching craigslist for apartments for me, N, and R to share (trumpets blare!) which has been quite a process. And, if you haven't seen it yet, it's absolutely mandatory that you read over Mark Bittman's 101 salads. Awesome.

K. Time to go turn over the laundry and run the dog to Trader Joe's.

11 January 2009

Pot Farming

Why, yes, it has been a while. BUT a few months ago I moved to the RWC, and now I find myself with more free time and the urge to cultivate. And like a good 20-something, I've chosen to blog about it (mostly for nerdy record keeping purposes). So, here's the thing. My tiny apartment walkway ("balcony" is a bit highfalutin) gets no direct winter sunlight, and it's fairly chilly (and January). So we're starting with lettuce, chard, and some herbs (lemon thyme and spicy oregano). The chard looks a bit sad right now, but I have high hopes.

IKEA also makes these sweet-as mini green houses, so we're experimenting with one lettuce and one chard in, one and one out (at least until they get too big). The soil mix is mostly sterile mulch, supplemented with about 1 T/pot of Dr. Earth's organic 5. I realize they are all too crowded (I think the recommended situation for pot gardens is 5 gallons of soil per plant...) but I have limited space, and, heck, it's lettuce. I could eat it right now if I wanted. I haven't re-potted or fertilized the herbs yet. One more picture for the purposes of documentation:

Updates hopefully to follow. Otherwise life is good. Being only a 6.5 mile bike from campus is awesome (as opposed to the 1.5 hr each way bike-train-bike system), Nathan and Rudy are stupendous, school continues, and I'm looking forward to a great spring (though it would be nice if we got a bit of winter one of these days...) I hope all is well with you, internet.