Saturday, February 6, 2016

Saturday in the Garden - Eggplants and the Iowa Caucuses


Happy February Y'all!
Perhaps the most common mistake novice and - we hate to admit it - even experienced gardeners make is to let the juices of early spring enthusiasm overcome rational thought.
- Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardeners Handbook by Ron and Jennifer Kujawski
The above quote encompasses the process of garden planning and seed buying perfectly.  It's one of the lessons (mistakes) I've learned over and over again  - being too ambitious with what I can actually accomplish in my garden.  The seed catalogs are so beautiful and there are so many interesting things to plant that it is hard to remember that planting ALL THE THINGS is just not realistic.  Trying one or two new things a year  - great - trying twenty new things - will bite you in the ass.

An example of the fugue that takes me over during garden planning is eggplant.  Every damn year I have to almost literally slap my hand away from buying eggplant seed.  I don't like eggplant and never have.  Sure, this may be because I just don't know how to cook it properly but the fact remains, I have no desire to cook and eat eggplant.  But there are so many cool and pretty and compact varieties of eggplant and I WANT them ALL.  *shakes head*  It's a sickness.

Source. OOOOOHHH! Look at all the pretty... Look Away Stephanie! Look Away!
The thing is, maybe someday I'll have a big enough garden to play around with eggplants and learn how to properly prepare them for eating but my current garden is tiny and shady and I do NOT need to use some of the premium space on eggplants.

I hope to (for reals this time) have my garden plan and seed order done by next Saturday.


My life right now is just so irritating and boring, I don't even want to talk about it.  Basically, work is kicking my ass and I want to hide under my bed whimpering softly for the next 3 months.  The End.  

I can maybe talk about one unusual event of the week - The Iowa Caucus.  I currently live in the state of Iowa and have had the dubious pleasure of having an average of 10 pieces of campaign mail plus 3-4 phone calls/text messages a DAY the last three weeks or so.  The Democratic caucus is kind of a wacky and fascinating exercise in Democracy.  You get all the registered Democrats in the precinct in a room and have them divide themselves out based on who their candidate of choice is.  Then the bargaining and wheedling begins particularly if one candidate doesn't have a quorum (like Martin O'Malley). The wheedling could take the form of a representative for each of the remaining candidates standing up and giving a stump speech - just regular Joe or Jane citizens, speaking from the heart - or you could have more personal pleas person to person.  The lack-of-quorum folks then choose between the remaining candidates and divvy themselves up.  The proportion of people in each candidate's area than determine how many delegates for each candidate will be sent to convention.  It's a little crazy and quite a lot of fun.  I'm glad it's over, though I am feeling decidedly less popular now.



This week I really got into The Great British Baking Show.  There's one random season of it available on Netflix and it was such a blast.  I'm not usually a fan of reality TV but this was both charming and impressive. And the person I wanted to win, did!  The down side was that it made me crave baked goods with a passion.

I also discovered that some of my favorite HGTV shows that I like to binge on when I stay at a hotel (and have cable) are now on Netflix.  DANGEROUS!  I've been watching lots of episodes of The Property Brothers which I love but which may cure me of my addiction to these shows just because much of the conceit is so silly.  Basically, if you aren't aware, the Property Brothers are identical twins; one of them is a realtor and the other is a contractor.  They convince people to buy a fixer upper and then the contractor brother renovates it into a beautiful gem.  At the start of each episode they take the couple to a house that fits all their needs and which is move-in ready and then cruelly break their heart by telling them it's way out of their price range.  Every show the home buyers state at the beginning that they don't, under any circumstances, want a renovation.  Then why ON EARTH are you on The Property Brothers?  It's an awkward fiction, for sure.


I am still in a really nasty reading slump though I did manage to finish one book this morning.  I hope I get my mojo back soon.

Finished Last Week: 

  • Steal the Sky by Megan O'Keefe:  An ARC and the first in a new science fiction series that sounds Firefly-esque.  Publication: January 5th, 2016.  It was okay.

Currently Reading:

  • A World Without Princes (The School for Good and Evil #2) by Soman Chainani: This is a super fun middle-grade series and is one of the series I identified as one I'd like to put in the finished column.  ON HOLD  - HAD TO RETURN TO LIBRARY. DANG IT.
  • One Magic Square by Lolo Houbein: A gardening book about maximize food production in a small space.  An ARC from Netgalley (though I think it's an older title).   
  • Let's Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson: A humorous memoir for the very popular blogger, The Bloggess.  
  • Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson #2):  This is the second book in this very popular middle-grade series about a modern day boy who happens to be the son of a Greek god.

Added to the TBR:

This is a list of books that I have added to my Goodreads TBR list this week.  It helps to burn the books I want to read a little more firmly into my mind, maybe get them on some other folks TBRs and gives me a chance to recognize a lot of the awesome bloggers that add stuff to my TBR!

I added nothing this week.


Slow week on the blog because I'm in a bit of a blogging slump as well as a reading slump.  Combination of a busy week and brain overloaded with work crap.



  • SUNDAY: Review of The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater.
  • TUESDAY: TOP TEN TUESDAY hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. The topic this week is a Valentine's Day inspired freebie.  Since I just did my favorite Slow Burn Couples for the freebie two weeks ago, I may have jumped the gun a bit on this one!  I'll see if I have any other romance-based topic ideas in my head. 
  • WEDNESDAY: Review of Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare or Uprooted by Naomi Novik. Or maybe something else:0).  
  • THURSDAY: Parent of Virtues - Week 6

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