Saturday, October 25, 2014

Saturdays in the Garden - Here be Dragon.........Carrots.


I found myself having a really hard time getting motivated to work in the garden this week.  A lot of the tasks in spring and fall are similar but they seem so much less arduous in spring for obvious reasons.  It's easy to get psyched up at the thought of the green returning to the world after being locked in a frozen hell for months.  I love the Autumn but it does signal endings which I haven't quite figured out how to be happy about yet.

On Wednesday (Oct. 22) I got my beds cleaned up and planted my garlic!  That's it above in the picture of (and compost)!  I was able to plant thirty cloves which was better than I expected and all the cloves were a good size.  I left some room around the edge of the bed because I'd like to plant some carrots here next spring they are a good companion plant for garlic. *googles* And it is!  Looks like garlic is pretty friendly with most plants - the only two listed as not good companions are peas and beans.

Speaking of carrots I had a nice little surprise this week.  On Sunday or Monday I remembered that I still had some carrots that I had sort of off handedly planted last spring in the tomato and pepper bed and then never harvested.  When I pulled them, I shockingly had some of the best carrots I've ever grown!
Dragon Carrots  - Yes, They are meant to be purple  - because they are made of dragons. Just kidding. About the "made of dragons" part. 
I mean look at that middle one  - it's actually carrot-sized!  And it was crunchy and sweet and delicious because of course I've already eaten it.   Now here's the tricky thing.  This isn't the normal way to grow carrots - you don't generally let them grow for 5.5 months - but these are the best carrots I've ever grown in my shady, less than ideal back yard.  Should I do this every year? After all I'm pretty good about completely forgetting things!  Or was this just a fluke because carrots like cool, wet weather and we had a cool wet summer?  I am guessing it is the latter but by planting around the garlic bed I can probably experiment a little bit next summer.

With the snap in the air it also seemed like it was time to put up the bird feeders.  So far I've seen only white-breasted nuthatches and a red-bellied woodpecker partaking.

Or is it??
I am in the home stretch of a 2 and 1/2 week vacation.  I was away from home for only 3 days of that 2 and a 1/2 weeks and have spent the remainder of the time relaxing and addressing a long and varied house and personal life to do list.  One of my goals for the year was to find a little more balance between my work and home life.  My job is demanding, energy wise, and as a result there are a few areas of my personal life that get pretty massively neglected.  I want to try and change that.  So far, this has been a really crappy year to try and address the imbalance. I have been in charge of an extra two major projects on top of my regular duties at work that kept me non stop crazy busy from mid March through the end of September.

This two week break has been my attempt to try and re-claim my goal and despite my feeling a little guilty, lazy and irresponsible etc..., I think it was a really great decision.  I feel refreshed and more in control and organized in my home life and I am looking forward to returning to work and approaching it in a less frantic manner on Monday.  I have not been feeling that positive or motivated at my job of late so playing hooky from work for a couple weeks will in the end prove to be the responsible move.  I think.  We'll see how next week goes...

So how about you all?  How do you try to find balance in your life?  Or is that even something you strive for?  I read somewhere recently, can't remember where, that "balance" is a foolish goal because it's not really achievable but I don't know.  It's probably not something to expect at all times but on a longer time scale I think its worth a try.


Last Saturday was Dewey's Read-a-thon!  It's always nice to set aside a period of time and give yourself permission to read as much as you want.  This was my second read-a-thon and it was pretty similar to my first experience.  I read off and on from 8am to 1:30 am and got through 1 and 3/4 books.  I finished Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder - first in the the Little House series which I somehow missed as a kid.  The day after the readathon I finished The second in Alyxandra Harvey's Lovegrove Legacy series, Whisper the Dead.  It was fantastic and I'll be posting a review of it soon.  Later in the week I also finished The Pursuit of Mary Bennet by Pamela Mingle which was enjoyable but also a little...odd.

I've just started Nancy Mitford's The Pursuit of Love which thus far is a hilarious and delightful satire.  I'm also still working through Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan (which is pretty good but better in chunks) and People of Sparks by Jeanne Duprau (which may be a DNF - apparently the only people that survive a great catclysm are mean, weak-willed and downright stupid). 

On the Blog this past week:

SUNDAY:  Review of Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro.  Beautiful book that has stuck with me after finishing.
TUESDAY:  A post where I fangirl all over the fictional women I find the most inspirational.
THURSDAY: Review of In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. A recommended read for true crime fans.

On the Blog in the coming week:

SUNDAY:  Review of Whisper the Dead by Alyxandra Harvey.
TUESDAY:  Top Ten Tuesday of the ten books or movies that will best prepare you for Halloween.
THURSDAY: Review of The Martian by Andy Weir.

That's it for this week.  Hope all is well with you and your patch of garden.

"Let us cultivate our gardens." Voltaire, Candide

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