Saturday, December 12, 2015

Saturday in the Garden - December in La La Land

I feel pretty lame about it but I have to talk about the weather because it's just so bizarre.  It is nigh on mid-December and the average temperatures have been in the upper 40s to mid the UPPER MIDWEST for goodness sake.  Seriously, I'm so used to hiding in my house shivering by this time of the year that I really don't know what to do with myself.  I'm not complaining  - if it were up to me it would be like this all winter with maybe an occasional drop in temperature for a snow storm which stick around for a a couple-three days and during which everybody would get time off and world peace would erupt because everybody had enough and was content in the simplicity and joy of life.  ***sigh*** Sometimes it's fun to visit la la land.  What would be your perfect winter?

There is still some green and growth in the world too.  Some radishes which I planted as seed back in August and which never really produced...well...radishes is still green and perky.  Radish iS one of the crops popular as a cover crop.  Cover crops are planted to hold the soil (prevent erosion) over winter when the ground would usually be bare, and then it can be harvested or planted over and left to rot in spring providing the soil with natural nutrients like compost. All right, it's way more complicated than that but that's the gist. I don't really need erosion control in my tiny raised bed in the middle of town but I'm kind of tickled at the idea that I'm utilizing cover crops.  Hee!

My unintentional "cover crop"
Moving indoors, my Meyer Lemon tree is having a blooming bonanza! This is by far the most it has ever bloomed in the three years I have had it (I counted at least 49 blooms or buds!) and I have grand hopes for lots of lemons. The blooms smell heavenly.  To get lemons I will need to hand pollinate as the flowers open.  Unfortunately, I believe it's also infested with scale - lots of sticky honeydew on leaves and branches and it was infested last winter.  Last year, I only discovered the problem right before it went outside so I just let it go but this year I'm going to try and get rid of it with some organic recipes I found online, including some fish emulsion.
Acting like a pollinator


Tis the season to be reflective.  I'm not sure if it is like this for everyone because for a lot of folks it seems to be the season for running around like headless chickens but for me it's relatively quiet.  I took a few days off from work around the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday and it once again reminded me how beneficial taking time like that is, not just for me on a personal health level but in improving my enthusiasm for and productivity at work.  Again I don't know whether it works that way for everyone but for introvert me it's the best medicine I can take - a few days to get my house in order both literally and figuratively.

One thing I saw recently that really caught my imagination, though I think it is an old story was about the 365grateful project.  if you are unfamiliar the basic idea was that an Australian woman took a picture every day for a year of one thing or experience that she was grateful for that day.  The act of being more mindful and focusing on the positive every day is really something I feel like is sorely missing from my life.  My life is amazing and I am so incredibly fortunate and yet I feel like I waste so much energy being grumpy, stressed, worried and resentful about things.  While in some ways a project like this feels a little self-indulgent and perhaps very "first world problem" oriented, I actually think it may help me to more fully realize how totally blessed my life is and open up some room to be more compassionate towards everyone. So I'm going to contemplate this a little more and then try something at the start of the year or thereabouts. If I had to pick something I am grateful for today my cup would be overflowing.  I am grateful for my Meyer Lemon tree blooming its little heart out and me getting to act as pollinator.  I also am grateful to have discovered that a local friend of mine is a closet artist and a really good one and I got a bunch of Christmas shopping done at a homegrown craft and art show just outside of town. 


I watched the final two Harry Potter movies the last couple nights to wrap up my HP re-read and re-watch and holy buckets are they good and SO emotional.  I was sort of mentally exhausted after watching part two last night.  I crawled into bed at like 9:30,lol. 


Finished Last Week: 

Currently Reading:

  • Heartless by Gail Carriger:  I'm was listening to this 4th book in the Parasol Protectorate series.  Carriger was having way too much fun with an 8 months pregnant Alexia.   ON HOLD because I was forced to return it to the library. Grr....
  • Into the Wilderness by Sarah Donati:  Historical fiction/romance (different actually then just a historical romance) I had to wait behind 6 other patrons on the hold list to get this from the library despite the fact it was published in 1998.  Not sure why - maybe because it gets compared to Outlander and that's big right now?  Even though I did not like Outlander, I am loving this so far.  Set in the American frontier just pre or post revolution period (somewhere between 1750 and 1800:).
  • Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara:  I've gotten a little farther into this one and am not sure what I think of it.  It's very immersive but not in a good way - in a "what the hell is going on" way.  I'll stick with it for a while and hope it reveals itself.
  • Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater:  The third in the Raven Cycle books.

Added to the TBR:

This is a list of books that I have added to my Goodreads TBR list this week.  It helps to burn the books I want to read a little more firmly into my mind, maybe get them on some other folks TBRs and gives me a chance to recognize a lot of the awesome bloggers that add stuff to my TBR!

  • The Secret River by Kate Grenville:  A historical fiction novel that takes place in the early days of Australian settlement by the British.  I found this title on The Book Stop.
  • The Viscountess of Vice by Jenny Holiday:  I read the first two books in this Regency Romance series and noticed a third is coming out.  I really liked book one in the series and was a little underwhelmed by book two but I'm willing to give the series another try.
  • Love by the Letter by Melissa Jagears:  From a TTT list on Reading is my Superpower. Romances set in the Western Frontier.  My impression is that it will be a relatively clean romance.
  • The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall:  The start of a Regency era romance series.  From a TTT list on Reading is my Superpower and again I suspect this is Christian Fiction so relatively clean.  Christian fiction is not normally my thing but I have read one or two books and they were fine.  As long as the religious message isn't too overpowering, I'm generally okay with it.
The next three are all by Debut Authors in 2016 and all came by a TTT list on The Bibliosanctum:
  • The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky:  Pitched that it will be enjoyed by anyone who enjoyed American Gods or Percy Jackson.  I'm so there.
  • Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto: Saloons and six-shooters feature prominently in the description and I can not resist a Weird Western, no way, no how.
  • The Dragon Round by Stephen Powers: Pitched for "fans of Scott Lynch and Naomi Novik",  Sounds good.  Basically there are ships powered by sails and there are dragons - I adore both.


      On the BLOG LAST WEEK:

      On the BLOG NEXT WEEK:

      I will start with a re-read post on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on Sunday, participate in The Broke and the Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday which is the favorite books of the year post, and then hopefully have a review of Magic Slays with a side of Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews.  If inspiration and motivation align I may try to squeeze in another TBD review, but that's probably me just being silly.

      That's it for me this slightly overcast Saturday.  How's things for you?  Are you finding your holidays reflective or hectic or perhaps a little of both?

      I do Captain Jack. I totally do.

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