Saturday, January 31, 2015

Saturdays in the Garden - My Backyard looks like an Evil Lair


This week was a downright weird one for January confusing and delighting both human and beast it seemed.  There was one day where it got up to 50 degrees fahrenheit - Insane!  One morning, arriving at work, there was a chickadee singing it's little heart out.  I've always thought that what prompts most birds to begin their breeding rituals is photo-period or day length but it seems temperature must also play a small role.  Or perhaps he was just so dang happy he couldn't help being hopeful.  Poor deluded little bird.
Credit: WI DNR/Lisa Hodge-Richardson
One thing I've been worrying on this week is my backyard.  With the warmer weather, the snow melted making everything soggy and revealing the wreck that is the lawn portion of my backyard.  It's small and shady, and in the 5-6 years I've live here my ginormous and rambunctious dogs have done their best to completely destroy it. Area by area they've systematically killed all the grass until it is one gigantic mud pit.  It stresses me out - It's no fun to hang out in for me or the dogs really, whenever it's wet they track in mud like it's going out of style and I worry about how I will make it presentable when it's time to sell the house in 3-5 years.  This is really me whining because there are things I could do to fix it but they all take work, money, time or all of the above.  I have found a few articles online about dog-friendly landscaping and while they provide a few good ideas, they seem to require a larger space and more money than I have.  Anyway, if anyone has any thrifty and nifty ideas, I'd be interested in hearing them!  I love my dogs and would choose them over a pretty backyard any day but I do wish my backyard could be a little less frightful. 
And in case you are still not disappointed in them they also tore two books to pieces this week. Could have been seen as a bad review but I don't think so...
I got my first seed packet in the mail!  Juliet tomatoes will be my high producing paste tomatoes for canning diced tomatoes and sauce.

After starting off nice and calm at the start of the year, work went haywire over the last couple weeks and will just continue to ramp up from here on out until, well, fall.  It's overwhelming and stressful to think about and this is when it will be most useful to hold onto perspective.  None of the oh-so-important and urgent parts of my job are terribly momentous in the grand scheme of life, the world, and the universe.  As one of my colleagues reminded me this week - I am insignificant.  He meant it in a kind, comforting way which is how I took it because while it is perhaps a little melancholy it is also very freeing.  It frees you up to pursue happiness instead of boring old excellence and means that it's not so bad when you screw up.  So embrace your insignificance and revel in it:0)!  Don't worry - I don't plan to write any self-help books anytime soon.

His other advice was "If you're not getting in trouble from time to time you're not doing your job." Not untrue in my particular line of work but also easier for him to say, Mr. Two Years from Retirement.  Oh to be independently wealthy and really be able to wreak some havoc:0)!


I've been in a bit of a reading and watching slump the last few days of the I-just-finished-something-amazing-that-I-loved-and-can't-get-excited-about-anything-else variety.  The book was Jackaby by William Ritter which felt like it was written just for me, I loved it so much.

The TV show was a re-watch of Avatar: The Last Airbender which I started watching in prep of starting The Legend of Korra.  But then I read somewhere that Katara is Korra's waterbending master which means that Aang dies pretty young and leaves Katara to live on for at least a decade and a half more which makes me unspeakably sad for some reason.  I don't like thinking of a dead Aang especially if all his friends are still around.  I would have preferred for this to take place well in the future.  I'll get over it eventually of course and move on to Korra which there has been a lot of happy buzz about. 

I did watch the first half of a newish British crime series starring David Tennant as the inevitable troubled detective.  It's called Broadchurch and this first series is about the investigation into the murder of a child in a small seaside community.  It's pretty troperiffic but I'm enjoying it.  The second season looks like it focuses on the trial. 

What I've been trying to read is an ARC of Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton which is okay but isn't really pulling me in - it's pretty dark but not in an interesting way (to me).  I am listening to Lirael by Garth Nix in the car and actually I am enjoying it very much but I can't just sit in the car all the time. I also started Moon over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch, the second in the Peter Grant series, and I'm liking it but it's also not exactly what I'm wanting.  I started listening to it on my iPod after finishing Snow Flower and the Secret Fan earlier this week which was good but sad and caused a I-am-trying-my-hardest-not-to-blubber-like-a-baby-in-public moment.  Finally I've been working my way through Real Food: What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck which so far has terrified me because I hardly ever eat fish anymore since I moved to the midwest 9 years ago - I don't trust seafood out here. Apparently, however, fish is the only food with DHA which is critical for brain function.  So THAT'S why I feel like I am getting dumber.  Couldn't be getting older. Nope.

One blog note, if I have time I might play around with installing a new template etc... on my blog this weekend.  I'm expecting this not to go well AT ALL, so if the blog mysteriously disappears that's why.

LAST Week on the Blog:
SUNDAY: My Introduction to K Dramas - Coffee Prince.  Korean television is deliciously addictive!
TUESDAY: Top Ten Tuesday - Books I Want to Discuss - these are books I think would be fun to talk about in a book club, if I had a book club.
WEDNESDAY: Review of Legion 1 and 2 by Brandon Sanderson.  They were all right.
THURSDAY: Tough Traveling - Law Enforcement.  A contemplation of law enforcement in fantasy literature.

NEXT Week on the Blog (if it hasn't blown up):

SUNDAY: Review of The Eterna Files by Leanne Renee Hieber
MONDAY: Perhaps a post about book series that are dropped in the middle and never finished:(.
TUESDAY: Top Ten Tuesday - The topic this week is Books in X genre you can't believe you haven't read.  I'll be listing some canon, classic list I embarrassingly haven't read.
WEDNESDAY: Review of Gulp by Mary Roach
THURSDAY:  Tough Traveling if I can think of a list of Evil Lairs - right now I've only got one and it's pretty obvious so no fun.  Otherwise I'll post a selection of mini-reviews for an odd trio of books. 

Have a great week everyone!

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