Saturday, August 23, 2014

Saturdays in the Garden - I Breed Mosquitoes and Hunt for Butterflies

Saturdays in the Garden is my attempt to reflect on the week just gone and it informally serves as my garden journal.


The garden is pretty depressing for me right now.  We are in the wind down portion of the summer and everything is starting to look a little ragged and overdone.  This "look" is accentuated by my neglect.  The garden does not feel like a pleasant place to be right now; it's stressing me out.

I harvested what is likely the last handful of green beans from the garden. They are a little pock marked and diseased looking but that is entirely my fault.  In fact I am surprised at how well they have done this year considering how scrunched together they were.  This year has solidified my love for this heirloom variety of Empress - very easygoing and tasty bush bean. 

Now we come to the guessing game portion of the post.  Guess what this is?!
If you guessed the saddest tiniest little blueberry, you'd be right!  It may be a sad tiny little blueberry but I picked it off of my bush!  The sum total of the blueberry harvest but exciting nonetheless.  It was tart and tasty (because of course I immediately ate it after taking this picture:).  In other exciting news, this is happening:
There are a total of two lemons on my Meyer Lemon tree that have hung in there and appear to be growing!  The tree is still not looking very happy but I may get a couple lemons off of it.

The final garden happening is that the pimento peppers are starting to ripen so hopefully will be able to harvest some of those in the next couple weeks. 


This has been an incredibly frustrating week because of work.  I'm coordinating an extensive survey project on a couple rare species of butterflies and am getting ready to mostly re-locate for 5 weeks to a cabin in Western Iowa.  This past week was supposed to be a down week of wrapping things up in the office and at home and getting things together for a more field based lifestyle.  Then the target species started flying earlier than I was expecting, and hencethe timetable got moved up so I scrambled to get out in the field mid-week.  It was kind of a disaster.  Wednesday rained all day though the forecast had been vague enough that I couldn't have counted on that, so I spent the day driving forlornly around the countryside hoping for a break in the clouds or huddled in a public library, distractedly trying to get some computer work done.  Thursday was sunny but one of the few hot and humid days this summer and my no-longer-used-to-field-work self wilted rather pathetically.  I got very little done.  Friday I woke with what turned out to be a stye on the inside of my eyelid and by lunch I was feeling sick to my stomach as well probably from two days of on-the-go food.  Rather then getting myself organized at work I spent Friday afternoon at a crazy busy doctor's office.

Okay, so it's all pretty 1st world sort of problems (i.e. not really problems at all) but it emphasized to me how rigid I have become.  I've always been a planner and as I've gotten older, I am less and less able/willing to deal with unexpected changes to those plans.  Unfortunately, adaptability is a major necessity for biological field data collection or really any kind of work in the ourdoors.  For one thing, the schedule is often totally dependent on weather which by it's very nature is mostly unpredictable.  This next five weeks will either be very good for me in helping me to loosen up a bit or it may push me over the edge into nervous breakdown territory.  It's a toss up at this point as to which.

The only non-work related item is that one side effect of staying in a number of hotels the last few weeks is that I have been exposed to some cable TV (which I don't have at home).  I have mostly been obsessed with a number of HGTV shows about house hunting (I just really need an undivided kitchen sink - this was one guys major priority) and renovating fixer uppers and doing all sorts of fabulous things that do seem really awesome but also all the same.  I mean the granite counter top craze is intense - yo.  People are not happy unless they've got granite countertops.  And a kitchen island.  And a master bathroom that "looks like a hotel" which led me to realize I am staying in entirely the wrong type of hotels (i.e. most of the hotel bathrooms I'm used to are cramped and utilitarian)! And open floor plans - OPEN FLOOR PLANS!  You ain't nobody unless you got an open floor plan.   I'd like for them to have a show (if they don't already) about renovating a home using eco-friendly materials and designing it to be more energy efficient and such.  I could become very obsessed with a show like that.  Anybody else have a particular home or cooking show they are obsessed with?

BOOKS and the BLOG

This week I have been participating in Bout of Books 11.  It's been going pretty well despite all the other craziness.  I've finished three books that I was in the middle of and am making good progress on an ARC that I started last Sunday - City of Stairs by Robert Bennett Jackson.  Amongst a bunch of Bout of Book Updates this is what happened on the blog this past week:

SUNDAY:  A review of The Blackhouse by Peter May, a mystery/thriller set on the Outer Hebrides islands of Scotland.  It was pretty good!  3 out of 5 stars.
THURSDAY:  A review of the second book in the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo - Siege and Storm. It suffered a little from middle book syndrome but was a solid sequel to the first book in this excellent YA fantasy series.
FRIDAY: Bout of Books Update
SATURDAY: Bout of Books update and Saturdays in the Garden!

This coming week and the ones that follow will be tricky because of what I alluded to above.  I will be mostly living in a cabin without internet access.  I don't know how much I'll be able to post and I've not had much luck with Blogger on scheduling posts.  I'll work on it though. Generally, I will be doing reviews of Wild Comfort by Kathleen Dean Moore, Throne of Glass by Sara J. Maas and 11/22/63 by Stephen King.  The Top Ten Tuesday topic this week is books I really want to read but don't own yet which I plan to work on.

So what's been up in your life or garden? Had any frustrations you'd like to share?  Any great reads this week?

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