Sunday, November 22, 2015

Saturday in the Garden - Winter Unawares

November 21, 2015

I haven't visited the blog in a week and a half mostly because my heart hasn't been in it.  One of my close colleagues at work, only 58 years old, died suddenly late last week.  This sad event has brought with it a lot of emotion of course, grief and shock being primary.  He was someone I looked up to, depended upon and greatly admired.  He was my boss and a leader in our section so there is a lot of fear and uncertainty and worry for the others in my group who also really depended on him.  Finally, is the reminder that life is very short and that every day we and our loved ones have is a gift.  I hope that I can hold onto that as it is an important reminder and one that I can use but I wish it didn't have to come along with such a sad and heartbreaking event.


It happened.  I was lured into (further) laziness and gardening bliss by the long and relatively warm Fall.  Mid-November and no hard freeze yet?!?  Unheard of in this part of the world.  So it was bound to come with a rude awakening as you can see in the pictures.  Snow. A respectable amount. And cold temperatures - low of 9 degrees last night.

I have been avoiding my fall yard/garden chores for weeks and had started in the last two weeks to fret about it.  I knew I was going to regret my procrastination and sure enough this cold spell moved in, in the middle of the week and while I was traveling for work.  Blerg.  I had kale, sugar snap peas and green onions I should've harvested that are now toast.  I needed to mulch my garlic, blueberries and roses to protect them over winter and I will just have to hope this snap of bad weather did not take them out.  It would serve me right if it did though..... There are times when being a lazy gardener does not pay.  On the bright side, I guess this will be a nice little experiment to see how hardy these plants really are.

One fun thing is that the meeting I was out of town for was at a Wildlife Refuge in the city limits of Minneapolis/St. Paul.  The meeting room we were in overlooked the bird feeders where the biggest entertainment was the "urban" turkeys who had figured out that when the dinky birds are at the feeders they toss away as much seed (onto the ground) as they eat.  The turkeys then run around under the feeder and peck it up.  They were hilarious and their antics were much fun to watch - probably better than the meeting, quite frankly. Plus it's appropriate to enjoy of turkeys as we here in the U.S. head towards Thanksgiving.


I haven't been watching much despite really wanting something last week that would help take my mind off of things.  One thing I tried was Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS).  Whoa.  I consider myself a Star Trek fan though nowhere near trekkie status, but it had been a VERY long time since I had watched any episodes from TOS.  The special effects are of course laughable though you can still see why they would've been impressive at the time (1960s).  There was an initial pilot or "test" episode that they made when selling the show that I hadn't seen before and the only cast member/character that remained the same to TOS was Spock.  The most interesting thing was that Number One was a woman who was totally awesome and who was played by the actress who later played Lwaxana Troi and who in real life was the wife of Gene Roddenberry.  I would've liked to have seen her stick around as 1st officer!  The gender politics of the show is also atrocious.  The female cast members wear the most insanely short skirts as their uniform.  All this time is devoted, in both the test episode and TOS, to the sexual tensions between the captain and his female subordinates.  In the test episode a comment is made about still having to "get used to having a woman on the bridge" like in the 1960s they thought that in 300 years women would just be breaking through into "men's" jobs. Glad we've moved a little quicker than that.  William Shatner was a pretty attractive young man and literally every female who encounters him, wants him.  I know that that is the big joke about TOS but I honestly hadn't remembered how front and center it was in EVERY. SINGLE. EPISODE.  Well, at least in the first 4-5 episodes of the series; I didn't get any further than that.  I may watch more some other time when I am a little more in the mood for such antics.


Finished Last Week (well really two):

  • The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James:   A historical mystery set after World War I about a woman working as a temporary who is hired to assist a ghost hunter. I really really liked this one!
  • Murder on Marble Row by Victoria Thompson:   Book 6 in the historical mystery series set in Victorian era New York and featuring a midwife and a police sergeant. I do very much enjoy this series even if Sarah Brandt, the female protagonist, drives me a little batty at times.  The crime in this one involves bombs and anarchists so it was fun and I think one of my favorites thus far in the series.

Currently Reading:

  • Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling:  *Sniff*  My re-read is coming to an end.
  • End of Days by Susan Ee:  This is the final book in the Penryn and The End of Days trilogy about evil angels and the start of the apocalypse.  I loved the first two books in this YA series and have been sucked in pretty immediately to this one.  
  • Heartless by Gail Carriger:  I'm listening to this 4th book in the Parasol Protectorate series.  Carriger is having way too much fun with an 8 months pregnant Alexia.   
  • Still Life by Louise Penny:  This is the first book in a mystery series set in Quebec, Canada and featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache.  A friend of mine recommended this series to me and so far this book is fantastic.  Excellent writing, excellent characters, intriguing mystery and setting. 

Added to the TBR:

This is kind of a new thing I may try, listing books that get added to my Goodreads TBR list each week.  Maybe it will help burn them into my mind a little bit better, get them on some other folks TBRs and it will give me a chance to recognize a lot of the awesome bloggers that add stuff to my TBR!

  • Guardian of the Balance by Irene Radford:  Descendants of Merlin #1. This is an older book I ran across while trying to find a more recent book a friend had mentioned that featured Merlin's descendants.  I never did find the book she mentioned (and haven't had a chance to ask her again) but this looked intriguing.  I am a sucker for anything Arthurian Legend related.



As I mentioned I've been absent from the blog for a bit while dealing with some stuff in real life but there have been two new posts since I last did a "Saturday" post:


We'll see as I'm still lagging behind and all discombobulated.  At the very least, I hope to give some attention to the blog when I have several days off for the holidays.

“The life given us by nature is short; but the memory of a well-spent life is eternal.”
- Marcus Tullius Cicero

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