Saturday, August 9, 2014

Saturdays in the Garden - I Heart Jerks and My Lemon is Dying

Saturdays in the Garden is something I'm trying out in pursuit of bringing a little more plan into the old blog.   Since the start of the blog, it's pretty much been a free-for-all over here in Dork valley.  It's really unlike me actually because I'm usually firmly in the anal-retentive planner camp (and what a fun camp it is).

So here's the plan I'm aspiring to.  I plan to post four days a week: Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.  Sunday will be a post about TV or a book review, Tuesday will be the Top Ten Tuesday meme or some kind of list, Thursday will be a book review, and Saturday will be this kind of post which will wrap up the week on the blog and in general life including what's going on in the garden.  We'll see how it goes especially since in two weeks I will be headed into the wilds for 5 weeks for work and will likely only sporadically be near an internet connection, but plans are meant to be hijacked, right? 



My garden is a mess right now and I have been criminally hands off with it all summer.  Despite my negligence, some things are doing really well.  The chard is looking like a beautiful shiny forest and the Juliet variety tomatoes are producing like crazy as promised.  In fact, I'm being buried in tomatoes.  It's what I wanted so that  I could do some canning of my own produce (in the past I've bought in bulk from a local farmer), but canning takes some motivation.... I'm hoping tomorrow. 

My favorite thing to do with Chard and Kale is to cook it up in some combination with white beans and garlic.  My current favorite recipe is Braised White Beans and Chard which I'm liking because it is quick and easy and the inclusion of the chard stems really does add some satisfying crunch. 

Not everything is being so productive alas.  For many years I have dreamed of growing my own lemons as a gateway to other citrus.  In pursuit of this dream, I bought a dwarf Meyer lemon tree last year and have been nurturing it along in a pot.  A month ago it produced a profusion of sweet smelling blooms and then little baby lemons despite the foliage looking decidedly unhappy.  Pollinators were all over it.  A month on and the foliage looks worse, the fledgling lemons have not really gotten bigger and many have dropped off.  Looks like my dream of becoming a citrus grower needs a little work. I'm not entirely sure what's gone wrong because it could have been a number of things.  We got insane amounts of non stop rain last month and maybe I haven't been fertilizing the greedy tree as much as I probably should have.  Or I just suck at citrus.

I'm a Meyer Lemon Tree and I'm just sick and tired.



On Monday I got to dig around through some rocks at a local quarry for work. It's state fair time here in Iowa and I was picking up some more rock to go around the water garden at our exhibit.  But the fair is not what I am excited about.  I'm excited about the rocks. I was in a hurry but could have spent a couple of hours just exploring this huge pile of 6-10" rocks.  Because I love them.  I know next to nothing about geology, and probably couldn't tell you one type of rock from another.  I just like them and pick up ones I think are cool.  I think I'm attracted to them for their long lives and connection to history.  And that they are awesome.  Here are some from my collection.

It has a fossil!
The perfectly round rock in the middle picture was from a small area in Southwest Missouri where, I was told, a meteor fell in the geologic past.  It's one of only 120 meteor craters in the world.  There's some interesting information on it here halfway down the page under Missouri Rock Balls.

In other news, yesterday was apparently World Cat Day and while I am much more a dog person I do have a little ginger cat named Rosie who had a rare affectionate moment with her housemate Rudy today.  Aw, sweet HUGE doggie friend. 

Other than that I've been binge watching episodes of House for the last few weeks. At this point I feel like I am qualified to diagnose any mysterious disease that might present itself.  Uh, oh  - the urine is brown?  Kidney must be failing.  Bleeding out of everywhere - liver is a goner.  The truly weird thing is that I now have a huge crush on Hugh Laurie.  I mean I  liked him before  - Sense and Sensibility (actually Mr. Palmer is pretty House-like), Jeeves and Wooster, Fry and Laurie - he's hilarious and awesome.  But now I think he's kind of hot. Because he's playing a selfish jerk. A very clever and witty selfish jerk, but still!  What the hell is wrong with me?? Maybe the whole nice guys aren't attractive myth isn't so mythological?  Or maybe it's just his blue eyes and stubble:0).  Whatever.  I need help.

I'm currently reading three books. On my e-reader, I'm reading The Blackhouse by Peter May.  This was an ARC from NetGalley that was supposed to be finished by August 5th.  Oops.  I'm liking it and it's moving quickly so hopefully I won't be too late in reviewing it. It's a murder mystery set on the Outer Hebrides of Scotland where it is very windy and bleak. Or so this book is leading me to believe.  In the car I've been listening to 11/22/63 by Stephen King for what feels like months already.  I'm digging it but it seriously feels, narratively as well as length wise, like I have already read three different novels (okay maybe novellas) and I'm not even halfway through.  On my iPod I'm listening to a young adult novel, Throne of Glass by Sara J. Maas.  The beginning was a little rocky but it's growing on me now much to my relief.  There are some bloggers I follow and trust who ADORE this book and series hardcore who I suspect would never forgive me if I didn't like it.  


After disappearing for many days last week (because I was running around the hills of western Iowa for work) I tried to do some catch up this week.

SUNDAY: I posted a long overdue review of Ann Patchett's State of Wonder on Sunday.  It was pretty excellent. 4 out of 5 stars.
TUESDAY: Participated in The Broke and Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday meme about books you'd use to introduce people to a particular genre, author etc...
THURSDAY:  I posted a review of the really excellent The Son by Phillip Meyer.  4.5 out of 5 stars.

This coming week:

SUNDAY: Review of Locke and Key, Volumes 1-4 by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez.  This is a graphic novel series with a horror persuasion.
TUESDAY:  Top Ten Tuesday with the topic of Books I'm not Sure I Want to Read
THURSDAY:  Review of The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell.  Jesuits in Space!  I will be coming out officially as a Mary Doria Russell Fangirl.
SATURDAY: Saturdays in the Garden post.  I should have some fodder as I'll be spending a good chunk of the week chasing butterflies in Western Iowa again this week.

So what's been going on in your lives, blogs and/or gardens lately?  Do you secretly find jerks hot?  Any inanimate objects you're inordinately fond of?  I'd love to hear about it!

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