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Robust McManlyPants on Average Display » gardening

gardening


Believe it or not, I have posted some kitten pictures, taken and posted garden pictures from Saturday evening, and posted some other kitten pictures that I took at random yesterday.

So here’s this weekend’s heartstopper:  last night Didi fell out of the 2nd story window in my home office.

I have no idea what precipitated this, but all of a sudden there was neither a screen nor a kitten in that window.  I remember saying something stupid at the time, and then saying to The Boyf (who was standing in the room when it happened) that I was “on it,” whatever that means, and tearing off downstairs and outside to go find Didi.  The Boyf ran to turn off the AC, since it was right next to where Didi would have landed and so loud it might drown me out when trying to find him, and I got down there and started calling out for him.

He was right where he landed, walking around and meowing and generally freaked the hell out.  I rubbed him down very lightly and didn’t get any complaints, and he was walking on his own, so I went ahead and picked him up and though he was shaking (or was that me?) he was absolutely fine.

Now that window stays closed.  And in the meantime, Didi has loved all the attention.

The Boyf and I sat down on the back porch, eventually, to catch our breath and try to let the freakies wear off, and he said to me, “Well, I guess Didi’s probably down to about 8.7 lives, now.”

“If he’s down to 8.7,” I said, “I guess I’m at point seven.”

A bit of a catch-up post today. This morning I had an idea for a blog post about the Hookergate scandal or something like it and I remember wondering whether it was clever or just coincidence and now I can’t remember it.

Oh, but trying to write about it made me remember it, so here it is: Scott McLellan resigns as Resident Punching Bag and the next week Jeff Gannon officially comes out of the closet at a blogger conference in Philly, in the process saying he stayed overnight at the White House one night, election night 2004.

Of course, rumor’s had it for years that Scott is something other than strictly heterosexual, and so I have to wonder… what are the odds that they’re related events? Like, Scotty’s leaving his post would somehow involve a signal to Gannon that it was OK to start letting in a little sunshine, or something. I don’t even know why it would matter, so I guess it was just dumb.

In gardening news, the apple trees are all doing quite well. I need to start pruning them back to give them some shape. I want to take some pictures of them, but I can’t find my tripod and think I may have accidentally abandoned it somewhere on a trip or something. So, time to get a new one.

In WoW news, the new playable race on the Alliance side has been revealed for real. It’s the Draenei, alright, but they don’t look like the sick little frog-men you can find in Swamp of Sorrows and that, shallow as it sounds, is a nice thing to hear. I can’t wait for some Jack Thompson-style moron (such as Jack Thompson, who is an utter moron) to go screaming across the stage of some lame talk-show somewhere with “LOTS OF PLAYERS HAVE WANTED TO PLAY DEMONS” on a banner to illustrate that we all want to eat your babies.

And in hometown news, I found out last night that the little brother of a friend from childhood got busted for running a meth lab out of his mom’s trailer.

Stylin’.

Sigh.

Just a few things running around my mind today:

  • One of the criticisms leveled against Twin Peaks in what little scholarship I’ve read regarding the series’ encoded meanings is that it is an anti-feminist work that glorifies violence against women. Taking the series and film as a whole, however, and especially in light of the last scene of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, it seems to me that it has no agenda other than to reflect Laura as a whole person with good and bad qualities and decisions all her own. She is neither held up as a saint nor damned as a sinner. In fact, the end of FWWM suggests that the only way she is able to move forward is by having someone, presumably the audience, witness – neither condemn nor endorse but witness – the whole truth of her complicated life and recognize her as a fully three-dimensional human being rather than a positive or negative stereotype or otherwise pigeonhole her specific and unique and human experience. As such, it has no specifically feminist agenda but it is also impossible to classify as anti-feminist; given that its message, if one chooses to find it in this way, is that each person must be allowed to be all of themselves and recognized as such, and that each person has a right to face their own fears and demons and, by integrating those and other experiences into the whole of their being, gain enlightenment, it seems that it is equally empowering of all people and, in that regard, may be more subtly feminist than anyone suspects. It also means I’ve probably watched Twin Peaks too many times, but in fact sitting around thinking about it like this makes me want to watch it again. I also think that the show’s message, if there is one, is no more complicated than that the social pressures of the middle class make it easy for kids to turn out fucked up.
  • There are few things in the world more tasty than salmon.
  • I would rather spend a sweaty morning mowing my back yard every 2 years than sew it with grass seed and have an easy time of mowing it every 2 weeks.
  • I really need to get my emergency brake fixed so that I can get my car inspected.
  • Dan Brown (author of Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code) should be publicly mocked for publishing such a thinly veiled pitch for a screen adaptation and daring to call it a novel.

So, sticking to my vacation mission statement announced last week, I have been sitting on my ass. Here’s what I’ve discovered:

The Garden:
It is late-mid-January, and I have flowers starting to come up. Some of them have already started to bloom. Welcome to the apocalypse.

MST3K:
Hercules Unchained is a terrible movie (with Steve Reeves in the title role), but the MST3K of it is awesome. A touch slow to start, but by the end it was pretty hysterical. Interestingly, Hercules and the Moon Men is pretty much exactly the reverse of that: really well done at the beginning, which had me screaming with laughter, but just dull by the end. It’s a much worse movie, minus the MST3K treatment, and the MST3King of it is pretty lackluster as well.

The House:
My new cordless hand-vacuum is awesome.

Toys:
Handheld wi-fi signal finders are way more fun than they should be.

The Interwebs:
To answer a few questions people apparently came here hoping to resolve:
–Yes, if the onions have sprouted green bits, you should throw them away.
–No, we have no videos of dogs, er, you know.
–No, I will not tell you how to “borrow” your neighbor’s wireless signal. If you can’t figure that one out for yourself, you’ve got no business even goddamn trying. I mean, Jesus H.
American Astronaut is a totally awesome movie and rather than run around looking for a torrent for it you should just fucking buy it. For fuck’s sake, they give you a CD with it and it only costs $20 in the first fucking place. Don’t sit there and ever claim you support independent artists if you download American Astronaut from BitTorrent and don’t pay for it.
–I’m sorry Vampire: the Masquerade: Redemption is crashing on you, but I didn’t have that problem when I played it. I suggest powering back the graphics settings and seeing how that treats you. If it works, crank them back up incrementally. I didn’t have crashing issues, but I did have hella framerate issues. I found by dialing back the graphics just slightly I was able to get much better performance out of the game.
–No, for the last time, I do not sell camo pants.

Today I made it happen – pictures of all the new plants (minus the salix because I forgot them – but they’re growing!).

I have to show off a couple of them, though:  first the red hydrangea, then the red asiatic lily:
[[image:hydrangea.jpg::center:0]]

[[image:lily.jpg::center:0]]

How you like them apples? (more…)

Just a quick update – buds forming on the tomato plants, cages placed
because two of the plants just could not hold themselves up
anymore.  The zucchini and squash vines are doing great, as are
the pumpkin and most blackberry vines, but man, the onions and okra are
an utter failure.  On the upside, I have plenty of time to reseed
and try again.

The flower garden needs to get torn up and replanted.

The hostas are going wild.  The hydrangea looks normal
again.  It’s strange seeing a red hydrangea, but it’s
awesome.  The asiatic lilies are just starting to bloom, and
WOW. 

Plants pics get taken tomorrow morning.  The weekend was too crazy.

RAWK.

DSL, you just keep living vicariously.  And no, Arthur Name,
whoever you are, I have no desire to live in a greek temple. 
Well, OK, maybe one with lots of toga-clad male attendants, but only
for the eye-candy factor.  Otherwise, shoot, not even I like sweeping that much, and I genuinely like to sweep.  Plus that marble would be bitchin’ cold first thing in the morning.

This weekend the gaming group gets together for Grillin’ &
Gamin’.  It’s a time-honored combo I’ve long, long enjoyed.  Yum. (more…)

Just a quick pointer to a(nother) new album of plant pics from today.  Yay, tulips! (more…)

OK, just one quick hit:  pictures up
of the first of the yellow tulips opening to display an awesome set of
red streaks in the petals.  Also some shots of the dogwood tree in
the drive and some new daffodills.

The Boyf and I spent most of yesterday building new garden beds. 
They’re going to be veggie gardens this year and for the foreseeable
future, though they may become flower beds, or whatever, as time goes
on.  We wrap that up later this week and this weekend I’ll be
putting vegetables in the ground.  RAWK. (more…)

On a completely random note, do you by any chance know what this vine is?  We have tons
of it.  If so, email me from the mailto: link at the bottom of the
entry.  If you grab one end and pull you can keep pulling and
pulling and pulling.  The vine will break before you reach the
end.  It’s everywhere. (more…)

I’ve got up some pictures I took on Saturday.  Woot! (more…)

You know how I ordered four Hoover apple trees for the yard? 
Yesterday I slapped my forehead and realized I would need
cross-pollinators.  So now I’ve ordered four more of different
varieties, all southern heirloom varieties, all from Big Horse Creek Farm here in NC.

Gods but I am gonna be digging some holes. (more…)

Ah, yes – gardening!

Three blackberry and one black raspberry plant went into the ground in
their respective places this weekend.  I’ve now got the edge of
the old farming road that runs through the back yard lined with
berry-producing plants.  None of them will make this year – I have
to pinch off buds as they appear to keep the canes growing – but next
year it’s gonna be pie-tastic.  If things go well, I might have to
learn how to make jelly.  Aw yeah.

I’m still debating where to put the blueberries, so I haven’t even ordered them yet.

Vegetables and flowers and herbs, though?  Oh, I’m gonna have ’em
in spades.  My explorations in the yard have turned up that the
soil has basically allowed to lie fallow for the entire time the house
has been there.  That’s nearly 25 years of just sitting there with
rotting leaves on top of it, turning it into something blacker and more
beautiful than any of the dirt I ever saw in Horse Shoe.  It’s
crazy.  It’s so crazy I nearly abandoned the idea of lasagna
gardening since my soil appears to be so good, but the advantages of
raised beds and the ease of their preparation keeps me going.  I
need to pick up something to border the garden proper and get cracking
on that, though, as I think I’ll find it infinitely more pleasant to
build them if I just do a little at a time for a few weekends in a
row.  Otherwise I’m gonna have one very, very long day of loading
up the Jeep with bags of stuff for the bed and lugging it across my
property.

I’ve already cranked up the starter trays for some things – peppers
(bell, jalapen~o and carribean red hot), tomatoes, basil, dill, a few
flowers, okra and catnip.  The catnip has already sprouted – I’m
going to be thinning it by the weekend.  Once the three trays I
have going now are done, I’ll probably crank in a few other flower
varieties in their place as plants go into the garden ~6 weeks from
now, then fill out the rest of the bed beside the back deck with
flowers & herbs.  Catnip is a natural mosquito repellant, and
basil smells good anywhere & everwhere (and is a great companion
plant for tomatoes).   If all goes well, by the beginning of
May I’ll have a vegetable garden with big, strong plants already
growing (including squash & zucchini that won’t get killed by heavy
mid-summer rains), blackberries & raspberries I’m soft-pruning, a
hydrangea back in production, two or three blueberry varieties planted
on the upper side of the old farm road, a hosta twice the size it was
when it died off in December and a flower bed beside the deck filled
with herbs & a variety of blooms.

Jesus but I am a queen. (more…)

Oh yes.  It’s that time of year.  Woot!  Last year my
gardening efforts were haphazard and, ultimately, a failure.  This
was in part due to timing – I couldn’t garden until we’d moved in and
gotten at least somewhat settled, which meant starting two months late,
from seed, setting the plants’ developmental timetable directly at odds
with when the big, heavy rains would come during the summer – and due
in part to poor planning, as the spot where I put an initial bed last
year was the perfect spot except for all the dirt getting washed away
when it rained.

This year, though, I’m already planning.  The seeds shipped this
morning, along with the starter trays and my mini-greenhouse – a little
electric dealie for starting plants.  I’ve just read Lasagna Gardening after hearing of KJ‘s success with it, and OH MY GODS this is going to be a breeze and it is going to RAWK

Here’s the list of seeds on their way to me even as we speak:

yellow squash
zucchini squash
jalapen~o
hot Carribean Red pepper
okra
red onions
yellow onions
bell pepper (red, orange, yellow, purple – a mix of sweet peppers)
lettuce (a blend of non-iceberg salad lettuces)
onion (both red and sweet yellow)
tomatoes
spinach

Now I need to start picking up peat moss and bags of compost and see
what’s around in terms of things I can get to throw into the garden
layers other than leaves.  I need some wire to run around the beds
while they settle and to keep the cat out of them (ha! like that’s gonna work) and I need to go ahead and think about getting some beds marked off and paths laid between them. 

Soon I’ll also get the garlic bulbs to plant and the blackberry bushes and the black raspberry plant.  Aw yeah.

Who knows, it may all fail spectacularly this year, too.  But I do so love to try. (more…)

So, today I ordered the Hoover apple tree grafts to be delivered next year.

Aw yeah. (more…)

Went today and hit the little gardening store around the corner from us
(we refer to the place as the Gingerbread House, but it doesn’t seem to
have caught on; it does seem to have cut babysitting requests right
out, though).  This is the joint where we were stunned by the
attentiveness and unbelievable Cute Factor of some kittens over the
summer.  Today I got there and found them all young cats (one of
whom looked too much like Bruce to believe).  They were all over
the plans and all over the patrons and delight seemed universal. 
On this bright, sunny and warm-but-crisp-around-the-edges day, the
plant place – it has no name and no sign – was awash in people buying
bulbs like they were going out of style.  I ended up throwing down
a few dollars for a bunch of different kinds of bulbs.  I’m not
just going to fill out the rest of The Bed Where Veggies Go To Die with
shade-loving bulbs, I’m going to end up adding some along the edge of
the deck next to the Hosta. 

Aw Yeah.  I’ve got Jetfire daffodills, all kinds of blues and
purples and whites and a honking big bulb I’m going to pot separately
to see if it really produces the world’s biggest, firiest red blooms
ever.  I love gardening, even if I’m a complete failure at it.

In the meantime, I’m out enjoying coffee and Linux’s ability to cope
with coffeeshop access-points when Windows just chokes and dies on them
and seeing if I can offload these pictures I have of Bruce for some
much-delayed cat-blogging.

Oh, the debate was clearly a Kerry win, but the pundits like getting
easy paychecks, so they’re calling it a tie to keep folks
watching.  Whatever.  Wonkette had the funniest summary I’ve seen anywhere by far. (more…)

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