ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
2017-04-22 01:16 pm

Saturday Yardening

Today we went to the Earth Day event at the Douglas-Hart Nature Center.  I took two flats of plants for the plant swap, and picked up a big pot of lamb's ear and another of bachelor's button.  I also bought a bunch of native plants from the plant sale.

It's cloudy and cold outside.  

Some of the grass and clover seed is beginning to sprout. \o/

EDIT 4/22/17: Round 2, I planted the lamb's ear in the septic garden and the bachelor's button in the wildflower garden.

EDIT 4/22/17: Round 3, I took the ice plant outside, and I planted a six-pack each of marigolds and zinnias in the barrel garden.

EDIT 4/22/17: Round 4, I planted purslane in one of the hanging baskets by the barrel garden and rosemary in the strip garden by the patio.  I distributed four Italian parsley plants in the strip garden, cistern garden, and a pot.

EDIT 4/22/17: Round 5, I planted several pots of petunias, verbena, alyssum, and Dusty Miller artemesia.  That's most of the stuff from the grocery stores.  I still have several items from the shipment to plant, plus the flat of things I just bought in the plant sale this morning.

EDIT 4/22/17: Round 6, I mulched around four of the trees and shrubs I planted earlier.  It is dusk now, and too dark to see outside, so I'm done for today.  *goflopnow*
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
2017-04-21 06:24 pm

Friday Yardening

Today is cloudy and cool.

I planted a hollyhock in the septic garden and a hydrangea at the edge of the savanna, and watered those.  

I spread grass seed in the back yard, which is about half done now.

I dug up 10 plants for the plant swap tomorrow.  

The white spirea and the birdgift apple tree are blooming. 

EDIT 4/21/17: I dug up 8 more plants for the plant swap, and labeled all 18.  It is now dark, so I'm done for the night.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
2017-04-20 11:54 pm

Today's Adventures

We met my parents in Champaign today.  :D  Stopped to shop for spices, and I got the ones I was looking for.  Doug found a new brand of world spice blends that I looked at for 2 seconds and said, "If I start going through those, I will blow $50 and I've already got a sizable order here."  But I definitely plan to go back and do that in the future.

For supper we went to Olive Garden, which had a sample table with their two flavored lemonades: strawberry-passionfruit and kiwi-melon.  Both were utterly fabulous.  I got the strawberry-passionfruit, Doug got the kiwi-melon, and we shared.  :D Both flavors had a top, middle, and bottom note so I will definitely remember that for future reference in fruity lemonades.  It made a huge difference over just strawberry lemonade.

We watched Step Afrika at the Krannert center, which was also brilliant.  They did amazing things with dance, drums, and body music.  Very exuberant, whole-body motions.  The show told the story of the Great Migration from Africa to the South, and then the South to the North.  \o/
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
2017-04-20 11:47 pm

Thursday Yardening

Today it rained, and even hailed a little so I had to go holler at that to stop, which it quickly did.  Good water for the plants, though, and I don't think any substantial damage was done.

I bought a few more flowers, like marigolds for the barrel garden.  Mom and Dad brought the last item from the plant shipment that came separately, a contorta hazelnut.  :D  So I have lots of planting to do. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
2017-04-19 05:40 pm

Wednesday Yardening

Today we bought more grass seed and flowers.  I put most of a hopper of grass seed down the front of the fencerow and finishing the side of the house.  Then I put a little more beside the patio.  There's some left. 

EDIT 4/19/17: Round 2, Doug raked some of the back yard while I planted more flowers around the septic cap.  Then I spread the last of the grass seed in the hopper on the raked patch.  I also watered the border of the septic cap garden.

EDIT 4/19/17: Round 3, I planted lantana, snapdragons, and million bells in the barrel garden.  Also mint and pink daisies in the septic garden.  Then watered stuff in.  It is now dusk, so I'm done for the night.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
2017-04-19 04:45 pm

Birdfeeding

I saw two blue jays at the hopper feeder.  I've heard them in the yard, but this is the first I've actually seen any in months. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
2017-04-17 01:57 pm
Entry tags:

Monday Update 4-17-17

These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Poetry Fishbowl Report for April 4, 2017
Unsold Poems from the April 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl
Poem: "Twisted Wind"
Exploring Your Hair
Friday Yardening
Meet Julia
Thursday Yardening (with photo)
Thursday Yardening
Poetry Fishbowl on Tuesday, April 18
Wednesday Yardening


The [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam ran this past weekend. Check out the action.

"The Harrowing of Hildeburh" is the last of the Six Poems of the Fall, so the core of A Conflagration of Dragons is now complete. \o/ It was commissioned by [personal profile] nsfwords.

There will be a Bonus Fishbowl on Tuesday, April 18 featuring Clay of Life.


Poetry in Microfunding:
"A Hope and a Promise" belongs to Polychrome Heroics and has 10 new verses.  Saraphina makes a new friend.  "Essential for Human Survival" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Cassandra.  Groundhog and Cassandra talk about whether to set aside dangerous things for a while.  "The Inner Transition" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies.  Stylet turns himself in to Valor's Widow.

Weather has been variable.  Today is warm and cloudy, still damp from yesterday's rain.  The birdfeeders have attracted doves, grackles, some sparrows, and a brown thrasher.  Currently blooming: forsythia, daffodils, tulips, scilla, blue grape hyacinths, violets, pear, anemones, crabapples, cherries, redbud, lilacs, dandelions.  Asparagus is sprouting.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
2017-04-17 01:51 pm

Monday Yardening

Yesterday we picked up a big box of plants from Mom and Dad.  Today I've started putting them out, starting with a pair of pawpaw trees.

The weather is warm and cloudy.  It rained a little yesterday.  I've been seeing bumblebees around.

EDIT 4/17/17:  Round 2, I planted a Moench purple aster and an Azure Fairy daisy in the wildflower garden.

EDIT 4/17/17: Round 3, I planted a mock orange in the forest garden and a ninebark in the hedge along the west edge of the savanna.  I also covered today's plantings with milk jugs and watered them.  I still need to mulch them, though.

Another wildflower is blooming in the forest garden, with a pendant yellow flower.  I think it's a largeflower bellflower.  I also found a black parrot tulip blooming in the garden beside the parking lot.

EDIT 4/17/17: Round 4, I planted the heather by the barrel garden and the red feather clover in the wildflower garden, and put milk jugs over both.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
2017-04-14 06:34 pm

Friday Yardening

Today we bought a huge bag of grass seed and a spreader for it.  I was delighted to find a large jug of weed spray with a sprayer nozzle, already mixed up -- usually the larger quantities only come in concentrate that needs mixing, which is not a type of kitchen chemistry I wish to do.  I also got two flats of assorted herbs and flowers.

I then planted those in around the septic cap.  They include: one mature rhubarb (no we're not going to eat it, I bought it because it's pretty and the leaves are toxic), one stonecrop sedum (I have one that doesn't get eaten), one spiderwort (not yummy), one coreopsis (not yummy), one onion chive (repellent), one garlic chive (repellent), two butterfly weeds, a couple dozen marigolds of various colors in sizes from giant to dwarf, and eight Dusty Miller artemesias.  I may or may not have forgotten a couple other things.

*goflopnow*

EDIT 4/14/17: Round 2, I dug up more wild chives and finished the border.  I also watered everything in it.  Much of the area around the septic cap is now full, although there's room to plant more things if I find other stuff I'm looking for.  If not, no big deal, the other stuff will probably fill in eventually.  I hope that at least some of this less-palatable planting will survive the wildlife.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
2017-04-13 06:19 pm

Brown Thrasher

I saw a brown thrasher busily digging into the hopper feeder.  :D  They are cheerful singers and voracious insectivores, supplementing with seeds when insects are less plentiful. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (neutral)
2017-04-13 06:12 pm

Thursday Yardening

The hollow around the septic cap has been filled with 6 bags of topsoil, and the sawdust from stump grinding is mostly covered.  This area is now plantable.  \o/

The hollow around the septic cap has been filled.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
2017-04-13 03:28 pm

Thursday Yardening

So far today I have sprayed weed killer along the fencerow of the forest yard to discourage stumps from resprouting.  I hope to get back out again later.

Weather is sunny and beautiful again.  Yay.  Yay.

EDIT 4/13/17: Round 2 involved us raking up the cut burdock leaves around the septic cap and then dumping 6 bags of topsoil around it to fill in the hollows and cover the sawdust from stump grinding.  This area is now plantable!  \o/

I've tried growing grass there and it hasn't worked, so now I'm going to try other things instead.  Considerations include: Nothing with a deep permanent root system.  Probably not bulbs, although I might consider small ones later.  Nothing meant to be eaten by people.  Definitely things that are resistant to deer and rabbits.

There's no such thing as 100% herbivore-proof plants.  Herbivore-resistant ones come in two broad categories: things that just aren't very yummy, and things that produce repellent and/or downright toxic compounds.  Plants which are fuzzy or prickly are less likely to get eaten than those which are tender and delicious.  Some things I am considering: wild chives, artemesia, rue, pennyroyal, rhubarb, lamb's ear, marigolds, butterfly weed (milkweed family), coreopsis, nicotiana.  I already have a bone garden in the forest yard for toxic understory plants such as foxglove and monkshood.

EDIT 4/13/17: Round 3, I took a snapshot of the septic cap.   I also planted 10 mixed hostas, mostly around the purple-and-white garden, some in the forest garden near the kitchen window.  This completes the plants I had in the house.  

The next batch of plants has arrived at my parents' house, so we'll need to pick up those this weekend.

EDIT 4/1/17: Round 4, I dug up a bunch of wild chives from where the old raspberry patch used to be, and transplanted them to the edge of the septic area.  A border of allium tends to discourage pests.  With a little luck, I may find some chives or garlic chives in packs this summer, and plant more of those.  They make very pretty flowers, pink on regular chives and white on garlic chives.  

As it now too dark to plant anything, I am done with yardwork for today.  I feel much more accomplished now.
 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
2017-04-11 09:49 am

Tree Guys

We have tree guys here trimming brush and grinding stumps.  I've been up since 7:30 AM and spent an hour flagging stuff that's deliberate in the roadside yard.  I have used about a week's worth of spoons today already.  :P  *flop*

I will try to get some fishbowl stuff done that doesn't require too much brain -- got a couple more things to post.  But if I'm erratic today, that's why. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
2017-04-10 06:40 pm
Entry tags:

Muscat Grapes

I saw some muscat grapes at the store and decided to try them.  They're yellowish with a pink blush, very sweet and juicy. Doug and I only knew these as wine grapes, but apparently some varieties are table grapes.  They do have the same floral notes that muscat wines are famous for -- almost more like a tropical fruit than regular grape flavor.   Actually, they remind me a bit of other 'blush' fruits I have enjoyed, like the gold raspberries.  These are too soft to cut in half, so if you want them for fruit salad, use them whole.  I imagine they would be awesome for juicing or smoothies though.

I am so buying more of these if I see them!  I like most kinds of grapes, but these are really nice.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
2017-04-10 04:35 pm

Monday Yardening

I did some spring planting after it stopped raining.  I potted up a trench pot of johnny-jump-ups in solid purple, purple-and-yellow, solid yellow, and solid burgundy.  :D  I still have some left of everything but the yellow which was in a single pot.  The others were six-packs.

Lilacs are beginning to bloom, and cherry trees.  More tulips are blooming in the purple-and-white garden.

A mourning dove has now made a nest in the gutter above the back porch.  I am less pleased with this position.  :/ 

EDIT 4/10/17:

I finished planting the johnny-jump-ups and some Dusty Miller artemesia in pots.  The last couple of artemesias went into the white garden.

I also saw that the honeysuckles are beginning to bloom, serviceberry tree and gold currants are in full bloom, and in the wildflower garden the sky blue grape hyacinths are also blooming.  :D  Trilliums are sprouting in the forest garden.
ysabetwordsmith: Artwork of the wordsmith typing. (typing)
2017-04-10 02:47 pm
Entry tags:

Monday Update 4-10-17

These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Poem: "Discovering the Rose Garden"
Poem: "This Has Always Been Me"
Read "Building New Connections" by Dialecticdreamer
Poem: "In the Cracks of Climate Change"
Poem: "Until You Saw into My Cracks"
Refugees and Work
Friday Yardening
Poem: "Cracks and Shadows"
Poem: "Saying No to Powerlessness"
Flavored Cottage Cheese
Poem: "kintsugi"
Read "The Consequences of Responsibility" by Dialecticdreamer
Hard Things
Conversational Methods
Poem: "What Lives in the Cracks"

The Poetry Fishbowl on Tuesday went well.

Poetry in Microfunding:
"A Hope and a Promise" belongs to Polychrome Heroics.  Mrs. Ozenne observes Saraphina.  "Essential for Human Survival" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Cassandra.  Groundhog and Cassandra talk about whether to set aside dangerous things for a while.  "The Inner Transition" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies.  Stylet turns himself in to Valor's Widow.

Weather has been variable, and is raining today.  At the birdfeeder I have seen plentiful doves and grackles, some sparrows, and a cardinal or two.  The mourning dove nest by the kitchen window has been abandoned, although the eggs are still there.  :/  Currently blooming: forsythia, crocus, daffodils, tulips, scilla, hyacinths, blue grape hyacinths, violets, pear, anemones, crabapples, cherries.  Redbud has buds but they're not open yet.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (neutral)
2017-04-07 07:00 pm

Friday Yardening

Today I fed the birds. It's sunny and bright, but the feeders are quite active -- lots of grackles and sparrows.

I haven't seen the mourning dove on the nest for several days, although the eggs are still there. Apparently it's been abandoned. :/ But perhaps another dove will start a new batch. There are often several clutches a season in that location, it's very popular.

Walk with me ... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
2017-04-06 07:32 pm
Entry tags:

Flavored Cottage Cheese

Last time we went shopping, I spied some flavored cottage cheese in snack-size cups.  I grabbed the strawberry; other flavors include peach and pineapple.  I think there was at least one savory flavor, too, but that's all I could find online.

Today I tried the strawberry version, and it was pretty good, although a little odd.  Probably that's just lack of familiarity -- I had a similar experience with Annie's yogurt, which is now my favorite.  It's a surprisingly healthy set of ingredients for a store brand, too.  I didn't even realize the fruit was on the bottom and supposed to be stirred, since strawberry bits were visible on top; I'd expected it to be flavored with puree at best.  Just remember to stir it first.  Also, the label says "small curd" but this looks more like what I've seen sold as "large curd" before; if you're picky about size, be careful.  I happen to like both.  I also enjoy plain cottage cheese, but variety is fun.  As a snack, this has many advantages: individual cups are more portable and convenient for portioning, cottage cheese is nutritious, and it's filling.  :D

Apparently several other companies have their own options:

Honey & Pear, Maple & Vanilla

six fruit flavors

and more!

If you don't eat dairy, you can make coconut cottage cheese.  It's probably just as good with fruit.

Stuff like this is ubiquitous in Terramagne -- plain, sweet, or savory. They have much better access to healthy snacks. When tasty, affordable, nutritious food is readily available then people are more likely to eat that than junk.  A vending village in T-America will typically have half a case of junk if there's only a couple of machines, or one for candy and one for sodas if there are many machines.  The rest will have fruit, sandwiches, granola bars, healthy dairy products, bottled water, fruit juice, and other good-to-great choices.  The higher-tech machines will play little games with you or ask health trivia questions, and you can win discounts or even free food that way.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
2017-04-03 09:38 pm

Certified Wildlife Habitat

Today we registered our yard as a Certified Wildlife Habitat. The National Wildlife Federation has a page on gardening for wildlife which lays out the components. I have boldfaced the ones I have.

Read more... )