In a matter of a few days we went from the biggest snowfall of the year to 60 degrees and sunny. Sitting in the greenhouse on one of the first nice days of the year makes all the frustration of installing it worth it. The lemon and lime trees are flowering. The bay tree has just about doubled in size. The olive tree has buds. And my banana plant now has 11 leaves. My tomato and pepper seedlings will have to be patient for the soil to warm up before they can go out to the garden in another month or two.
What else is going on? Loki has enjoyed the snow, as have I. I've been working on creating this Hobbes doll. We went to New York to see Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, #JeffWeCan. We're looking forward to the ultimate frisbee season starting up again soon. And Loki is looking forward to fishing in the Bay again.
I'm also working on planning our next trip, which will be a driving tour of Scotland and Northern England. We'll stay in a castle in Scotland, take falconry lessons, stay at an 18th century pub in York, walk along a Roman Road in the Moors, hike part of Hadrian's Wall, explore ruined abbeys, and have all sorts of adventures tooling around the countryside in a Fiat 500. If anyone has ideas on what we should see, we're open to suggestions! Apart from a few days in Edinburgh, I've never been up that way before.
Everyday, I walk by people asking for money. I usually pass by, feeling guilty. I've heard not to give money to panhandlers, but when I have so much, how can I just walk by those with so little? So I went to Target and pulled together some things that they might like. Socks, hand warmers, tissues, chapstick, granola bars, gum, etc. I put these items in bags and will be giving them out. Hopefully that will make their holiday season a little bit better. :) Another good idea from Reddit. I'm also looking forward to their Secret Santa, which starts next week.
With just some sweet potato, ricotta cheese, and flour, we made some pasta and served it with a sage brown butter sauce. They're a decent amount of work, but delicious. They're like little pillows of pasta.
Chris and I have been together for ten years now. That's crazy to think about. I can't imagine what the last decade would have been like without him. Sometimes you just get so lucky. Here's to many more years with us side by side.
It's been a long time since I last posted. The garden grew and then died back with the frost. The carrots, onions, garlic, and spinach are under cold frames now and the little space heater is back in the greenhouse. The end of season frisbee tournament was last weekend. And then I think the next gourmet club theme will be fondue or food cooked with squash. I realize I never posted the link to my summer vacation pictures on here. Sorry about that. Here they are. And now it's time for the end game to 2015. 2014 has been a bit bumpy. I'm looking forward to starting anew.
Peas are better than roses, right? Roses are pretty, but they don't taste that good and they're thorny. Strawberries are also way better and will be here in just a few short weeks. Everything is behind schedule this year. We just put the garden in. Here's hoping for a good season!
The tidal basin was crowded today but the trees were gorgeous. We took an early morning walk to see the peak bloom. Yesterday, we had a frisbee game and worked in the garden. Not a bad way to spend a beautiful weekend.
The first batch of peas didn't sprout, but the second batch is now in the garden. The potatoes have now been planted and the dog hasn't dug them up to play with them yet. The spinach, mustard, and carrots are doing well and we've been harvesting spinach for salad. We planted rhubarb but some animal has eaten it, so I don't know if it will make it. I'm ready for some warm weather. We've had enough snow for now.
There are seedlings in my window once again. They're poking their first leaves above the surface and stretching up toward the grow light. I love it. The lemon and lime trees are blooming in the greenhouse and smell heavenly. All the green living things inside provide stark contrast to the icy, snowy outdoors.
Channa masala is bubbling on the stove. The dog is napping upstairs, on the bed. I just finished a day of working at home. Apart from the cold I'm coming down with, today has been a nice day.
Besides the seedlings, I have my projects. I'm planning our next adventure and trying to learn several languages to prepare for it. And I have done at least some cardio and strength training every day thus far in 2014 to prepare for the spring Ultimate season. It should be a fun season. Chris is even going to help me with sprint training once the snow melts.
The Doctor Who Christmas special with the new Doctor is coming up. Then in January new seasons of Archer, Community, Sherlock, and Suburgatory start. What better entertainment for winter hibernation? The only problem is the dog staring at me trying to get me outside to play. She loves the cold weather.
Everyone is bringing in their leftover Halloween candy to work. It's wonderful. We had our end of season ultimate frisbee tournament over the weekend, so hopefully I worked some of the extra calories off.
And, if you ever want a use for all the cabbage at the farmer's markets in the fall, I've become a big fan of making okinomiyaki ever since we got back from Japan. Here's the recipe I've been using. This year, we're headed to the Baltic, so hopefully I'll come back with some Swedish, Finnish, Danish, or Russian dishes.
Cayenne peppers are still growing in the greenhouse. I've also been getting herbs and dwarf citrus trees to put in there. We got a small space heater to make sure it stays warm enough. There's a lot more work to do in that room, but for now I'm really happy with it.
Next weekend marks the end of our frisbee season. And then we're in good shape for the holiday season. Christmas shopping is done. We've scheduled a winter vacation. I'm glad all of that is squared away since work is crazy busy. The good news is that I'm telecommuting more, so not having a commute is really nice.
Anyway, I'm still here. And I have pictures to put up from a recent trip up to Vermont. I just haven't gotten to it yet.
This is what I look forward to all year long. I want more tomatoes than I know what to do with. Which means, It's almost canning season. I'm excited to have more salsa and sauce for the pantry. I've also saved some tomato seeds, some lettuce seeds, and will have some green bean seeds for next year.
Next year, I will definitely grow more butternut squash plants. I will also plant the rest of the squash later in the year to avoid vine borers. And I want to plant fewer sun drying tomatoes and more paste tomatoes. Although I can't say I'm unhappy with all the sun dried tomatoes currently in our freezer.
Every year, June is a lush time in the garden. Everything is green and growing and well watered. The bugs haven't quite come out in force yet. And the possibilities are endless. Then, disaster strikes. This year, the eggplants are slowly losing a battle with flea beetles and I've spied a few squash bugs. Soon, the cucumber beetles will strike and the tomatoes will contract some sort of wilt. I've come to count on these occurances. But the difference this year is that I'm ready for them. My organic bug spray is mixed and ready. The crops have been rotated since last year and the soil has been enriched by compost. And, perhaps best of all, I have back ups. I let the suckers grow on my tomato plants and when they were about 18 inches tall, I cut them off and put them in a bucket of water. They're starting to root. So when the determinant varieties are done or some of the plants have succumbed to disease and pests, I can just tear them out and replace them. Frost comes late around here, so there'll be plenty of time for another crop. We'll see how it works. In the meantime, the green beans are quite prolific. I'm wondering if I need to start another crop or if they'll keep going all summer.