Saturday, October 3, 2015

Saturdays in the Garden - Screw Ennui


It's October!  There is a LOT that goes on in the garden this month and it can, in fact, be a little stressful especially if you live somewhere that winter can come on anytime and is miserably cold and snowy.  Like Iowa.  The A Way to Garden blog does a great monthly garden chores post. I particularly love the number one item on her list:
  1. Leave especially ornamental or wildlife-friendly plants standing. Don’t act as if you’re vacuuming the living room; clean up beds tactically for maximum enjoyment by you and the birds.
Most garden to do lists for preparing for winter will encourage the gleeful removal of all dead vegetation.  It is certainly important to do this for any diseased plants but for everything else? As long as you're not too type A? Just leave it until spring.  There are so many living things that use that dead and dormant vegetation to get through the winter and many of them may even be helpful to you come next garden season (like loads of beneficial insects). Just leave it. And take the time you saved to go have a piece of cake to console yourself that winter is coming.

So what's going on here?  We've had some chilly nights but no frost yet so I'm still harvesting some tomatoes, peppers, a last few green beans and some gargantuan carrots!  I finally grew normal sized carrots! It's a garden miracle!  I need to harvest and process the kale and chard for storing as there is a good crop of those.  There are even a couple of plants still flowering - marigolds and a pretty aster that I don't know the name of and have no idea where it came from. Those are the best kinds of plants.  I'm hoping that some radishes and sugar snap peas I planted in early August will bear fruit but I think I will run out of time.  Finally I need to start thinking about planting my garlic and have pulled out a few of the bigger heads from the harvest for re-planting.


Though I'm afraid to jinx it by mentioning it, I think I am coming out of a mild case of depression that's been plaguing me the last 3-4 months or so.  It hasn't been debilitating, I've just been unmotivated and uninterested in almost everything.  The word that keeps coming to mind is Ennui which is French and pretentious but in my mind it seems to perfectly encapsulate the mixture of boredom and mild despair I've been feeling lately.  Listlessness and just wishing something, anything, would happen. The change in season has helped as has being home again.  I've also decided that while I need to continue my work towards some of my longer term goals, I also need to bring some activity and excitement into the short term.  One thing I'd like to do is start doing some traveling again.  I love to travel and never do it anymore mostly because of cost and it being hard to get away from work.  Well screw all that.  Life's too short.  I'm not going to be irresponsible but it also doesn't make a whole lot of sense to put things off.  Honestly I'm not sure I shouldn't feel lucky to have such first world "problems". 

So are you a cheerful personality who never has an attack of the doldrums or do you wrestle occasionally with periods of lower spirits that seem to come out of nowhere?  What usually pulls you out of it if anything?    Finally, If you could travel somewhere and were trying to go easy on the pocketbook where would you go?


I finished up my binge watch of Longmire Season 4 last weekend and was....super disappointed.  I haven't really wanted to watch anything since as if all TV has been tainted by unmet expectations:0).

Some friends and I had a girls night last night and one of the women's husbands very kindly picked out a few movies for us to watch.  We picked Serena (2014) which he pitched as a romance.  Ummm..... I guess it's a romance if highly dysfunctional relationships in depression era North Carolina are your thing?  Despite a pretty stellar cast (Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Toby Stephens, Rhys Ifans) it was terrible.  The nicest thing I can say about it, is that it was a perfect movie to watch and tear apart with friends!


Finished Last Week:

  •  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling:  On the downhill portion of my Harry Potter re-read.  I think this book is going to be the one about which my opinion changes the most from first to second read. 

Currently Reading:

  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe: So maybe some day I'll pick this up again?  Until then it will sit here on the currently read and look encouraging.
  • The Founding (The Morland Dynasty #1) by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles: This is the first book in a series that follows a single British family through numerous generations into modern times.  This first book takes place in the early 15th century.  This is such a fascinating idea and I have high hopes but I have to say the characters in this first book are shallow and are doing nothing for me.
  • Of Noble Birth by Brenda Novak:  Despite the presence of pirates it is not making me happy mostly because of deficient humor and boring main characters. 
  • Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey: Space Opera!
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik: I think this book may be suffering under the influence of too much hype.  I like it thus far (about 1/4 in I'd guess) but I don't feel gushy about it and am definitely not craving it.
  • The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater:  The second book in the Raven Cycle which focuses a bit more on the character of Ronan.


I posted stuff - go me!

TUESDAY:  Review of Unfinished Business by Anne-Marie Slaughter  I really liked this book about modern feminism and work culture.
WEDNESDAY: Review of Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor I loved this YA book about a young witch in Nigeria.



SUNDAY:  Re-read thoughts about Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire plus re-watch of the movie.
TUESDAY:  This week's Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is all about quitting which seems a bit of a downer.  I'll either post on this OR I may post a book review of one of the 25 books I have as a backlog because one of the things I want to quit is procrastinating writing reviews!
THURSDAY:  This week's Tough Traveling topic is Creative Cursing which is awesome but since this is the kind of detail I NEVER remember about a book (though two TV shows and one book come immediately to mind) I may just have to enjoy everyone elses' lists.  Join in if you have some ideas - its a fun meme hosted by Fantasy Review Barn.

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