Saturday, November 7, 2015

Saturdays in the Garden - Beauty in Mundanity


I planted 32 garlic cloves and a small patch of ground with prairie seeds (all flowers) on Sunday the 1st of November.  It was an astounding 72 degrees outside!  I feel like I must have been metaphysically transported in my sleep to some bizarro world.  This weather is not normal.

It feels weird planting seeds right before winter sets in but there are some that require it.  Garlic operates a bit like bulbs for daffodils and tulips do.  Planting them in the fall allows them to start growing at the very first pop of spring.  This early start is crucial to growing big heads which are ready to harvest in June/July.  Prairie seed is a little different.  Prairie seeds require what is called cold stratification.  They germinate better after enduring a period of cold and the freeze thaw cycle helps to integrate them into the soil. Cold stratification can be done artificially in a refrigerator if you miss planting in fall but it's easier if possible to get it planted about now before the soil freezes.
Who says Iowa doesn't have mountains?  Cool Skies this week.

Have you ever contemplated the beauty and sheer joy of a mundane week?  I had only one meeting/ obligation away from my desk at work and no social engagements this week.  A couple of frustrations popped up of course but because I had the time, I was able to keep some perspective. I got caught up on a number of things at work, kept up with my correspondence and got to put some thought into plans for how to tackle some pressing and time intensive projects.   In other words, I made progress instead of spinning until dizzy.  At home, I indulged in some ambitious TV watching and little else. It was the kind of week that would get boring if it was every week but I wouldn't mind 2 or 3 more of them right about now.  The next couple weeks promise to be much more ahoo with lots more meetings and some travel plus a couple holidays thrown in but I'm going to try to hold onto the feeling and inspiration of progress from this week.  In looking for quotes about mundanity (see below), I ran across this article about how to see beauty in mundanity on the Huffington Post.

How about you?  Do you prefer the go, go, go weeks with all kinds of variety or the low stress, plenty of time and not too much to do?

My other excitement is that I signed up, with a few of my friends, for an online class on whole food cooking for the freezer!  It will be taught by and through the Beauty That Moves Blog.  This is a technique I've really started to get into in the last couple years but which I haven't come close to mastering.  I frequently don't have time or don't feel like cooking and all to often that leads me to eating junk and usually to spending money on take out etc....  I also want to really reduce my food waste.  Using the freezer more effectively helps with both of those things! I'm super looking forward to this and there is still time to register for the class if you're interested.


I finished up all the available seasons of Murdoch Mysteries on Thursday night.  Besides some truly ridiculous romance malarkey (though I still love the 'ships), it is really one of the most fun mystery, procedural, puzzle shows on TV.  It's historical (turn of the century Toronto) and the mysteries are some of the most unique that I've encountered on a show like this!  Now I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to watch next....  Any advice on similar shows?

So I am still struggling a bit to find books that engage me.  I seem to only be in the mood for historical mysteries and Harry Potter. So, the most comfortable of comfort reads at least in my world.  I hate to officially set aside some books I've had sitting in pause mode for a while but my frame of mind is kind of demanding it.  Jerk.  So what do you do when you get into this kind of a rut (assuming that you do sometimes of course)?  Do you just give in until you're ready to read something different or do you try to force your way through books that are the opposite of what you are stuck on?

Finished Last Week:

    • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling:  Continuing my re-read of the series! This was the first book in my re-read that didn't leave me starry-eyed with admiration. 
    • The Providence Rider by Robert McCammon: This is another favorite historical mystery series that is definitely NOT cozy and is set in colonial era New York.  For me this was the weakest of the series thus far but I still enjoyed it.
    • Beastly Bones by William Ritter: The follow up to Jackaby which I read and loved earlier this year!  This didn't quite spark the enthusiasm that Jackaby did but it was still pretty darn good.
    • Doctor Who: Only Human by Gareth Roberts:  This was probably my favorite thus far in the Doctor Who novel tie-ins that I've been reading a lot of this year.  Features the Ninth Doctor, Rose, and Captain Jack Harkness.

    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.  I think I'll finish this eventually but putting it officially on the back burner for now.
    • 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. I think this will go on the back burner.  It bores me a bit but the overall concept of the series sounds so fascinating that I want to continue to give it a chance.
    • 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.  I think I am going to officially DNF this one.  The romance nor the main characters are doing it for me and I just don't think it's worth any more time.  Despite pirates.
    • Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey: Space Opera! Also going on the back burner.  For whatever reason, despite the fact that the book is objectively awesome and should be right up my alley, I have no desire to pick it up and read.  Hopefully I can come back to it in a few weeks. 
    • The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James:   A historical mystery set after World War I about a woman working as a temporary who is hired to assist a ghost hunter.  I'm liking it a lot!  It's spooky and romantic!
    • Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling:  *Sniff*  My re-read is coming to an end.
    • End of Days by Susan Ee:  This is the final book in the Penryn and The End of Days trilogy about evil angels and the start of the apocalypse.  I loved the first two books in this YA series and have been sucked in pretty immediately to this one. 


    Added to the TBR:

    This is kind of a new thing I may try, listing books that get added to my Goodreads TBR list each week.  Maybe it will help burn them into my mind a little bit better, get them on some other folks TBRs and it will give me a chance to recognize a lot of the awesome bloggers that add stuff to my TBR!
    • Death by Coffee by Alex Erickson:  A cozy mystery set in a book store which sounds intriguing.  I learned of this book from Booked on a Feeling.
    • The Deathsniffer's Assistant by Kate McIntyre: It looks like an Edwardian era alternate history/fantasy and was recommended by a commenter on my TTT Debuts post from earlier this week.
    • Updraft by Fran Wilde:  The blurb describes a unique YA fantasy involving political intrigue and flying machines. Also recommended by the same commenter on the TTT Debuts post from earlier this week.
    • Still Life by Louise Penny:  Recommended by a friend of mine irl, this is the first in a historical (I think) mystery series set in Quebec and featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache.  It might scratch that Murdoch Mysteries itch?  We'll see. 

    On the BLOG LAST WEEK:

    SUNDAY:  Harry Potter Read-A-Long  I'm joining in on The Estella Society's rather relaxed Harry Potter read-along since I'm in the middle of my own little personal read-a-long already.
    TUESDAY: Top Ten Tuesday | Debut Novels that Rocked my Socks I don't read a ton of new releases but I was able come up with a few favorite debuts from the last 5 years.

    On the BLOG NEXT WEEK:

    I'm still struggling also with the blogging.  So this will be a TBD week.

    That the world is, is the mystical. 
     --Ludwig Wittgenstein

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