piranha: red origami crane (Default)
didn't go kayaking today; couldn't sleep last night and then felt out of sorts all day today. also am feeling my muscles, so i decided a day of rest would be a good idea for them.

i did putter around in the garden a little, typing up the tomato plants a bit more now that they're starting to have some weight on them.

4 years ago in may, i had just planted the ornamental plum tree.

young plum tree, quite spindly

now it actually gives decent shade.

it's kinda wild. ;) the tree is as tall as the house now.

lots of experimentation in the front garden this year, i built several subirrigation containers, which are working out great. there will be more next year if we're still here.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
(yes, i know it's a bad word, but i want to beat myself up, so there.)

filled in a survey for growstuff.org [1], but didn't record my answers. i wasn't sure what i need most from the site to actually use it more than sporadically when i happen to think about it. when i first heard about it from the *poing*, i was excited; it seemed like a great idea. but when i started using it, that excitement faded [2]. after thinking about why, i decided that the one thing i want them to work most on is "plant other crops", which is not part of the mission statement as i understand it, but at least it was present in the survey, so i don't feel entirely out of line. because while foodstuffs are important to me, an open-source food growing database would be fab, and i really would love to own a piece of land so i can make an attempt at permaculture, and some semblance of self-sufficiency again, at this point (and probably forever), i am not just growing food, but i love trees, shrubs, flowers, fibre, and dye plants as well, and i am just not gonna use a site that allows me to only plant one type of stuff in the online representation of my garden. considering my limited number of spoons, even though it's an extremely worthwhile project, i don't see myself participating if i need to stick to food -- if i even could just add non-food crops (without database information) that might be good enough, not sure.

i have some further vague dissatisfaction about the site, and i'm not sure why. i find it hard to find anything. i noticed some of you are there as well, but i am just not gonna comb the whole list of members each time i log on; there seems to be no general search. i am not interested in searching only for members geographically near me (i can already find those in a variety of ways); i want to find the internet people i know, and learn about their gardening endeavours. even if i find you, i can't "follow" any of you people. there seem to be no notifications for replies to any posts/comments i made, which is pretty much a non-starter; i can't keep track of that stuff in my head. without communication, i am also unlikely to participate. oh, i am piranha over there.

i can't add a crop easily. i can't find the right crop some of the time (naming issues), and cultivars seem non-existent. i have photos of all my plants, but i can't simply link to them -- this is yet another place that wants me to upload images to flickr. i'll gladly share my images and i'd even put them into the public domain if it's for a good purpose such as building an open database of plant information, but it's just one more thing where the web either fractures into too many pieces or becomes too dependent on a single source -- i do not want that one site to be flickr, nor do i want it to be each project's individual server, but a site of my choosing. yes, i realize, APIs. *grump*.

i answered "don't care" to some items i would actually be interested in some time in the future, like swapping seeds / seedlings. as it stands, that can't happen across borders, and no members seem to be near me, so i discarded it entirely for now. if the site gains some more features, i might advertise it at the local farmers' markets, which could be useful.

i don't remember what happened with my folia attempt; i think it was a combination of site not being well developed yet plus sickness. i should maybe check it out again, but these days i feel generally less inclined towards proprietary systems.

[1] from the wiki: Growstuff is a social website for food gardeners to track their crops and harvests, connect and share with friends, learn from each other, and trade produce, seeds and other garden-related produce and supplies.

[2] lest anyone involved with growstuff thinks that i am unjustly criticizing a start-up, i am just whinging, not blaming growstuff. as far as i can see they're looking ok for a start-up, they've in fact just asked me what i want, and i have no philosophical complaints. just curmudgeonly, tired me not "clicking" with a new place.

poised

May. 5th, 2013 14:36
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
runner on 1st getting getting ready to steal 2nd

so i went to my first "real" baseball game. now, everybody will snort when i mention that i have actually been to a couple of major league games in toronto. but somehow that didn't count, because we sat so far away that i could only see what was happening by trying to watch a giant tv screen, and it just had this all-around commercial feel to it, not what i had always imagined when reading about baseball games as family entertainment.

this game had that, and i had a great time. BC has its own league since 1995, which started with 5 teams -- some guys got together so their sons could play competitive baseball. now the league has 3 divisions, premier, junior, and college, and it actually looks fairly competitive for that age level. canada isn't exactly a baseball country; the weather was perfect, but the visitor attendance was scant; mostly relatives of the players -- nothing like even junior hockey. everyone applauded every good play, no matter from which team. i don't like crowds, and i like crowds who dis the opposing team even less, so this was great. i had a fabulous seat with a great view of home plate, and could put all my new-found knowledge of strategy into action. oh, and the home team are the "pirates". what could be more appropriate?

all i know about baseball i learned from anime. i've been marathoning major, an unusually realistic anime when it comes to strategy (not so realistic when it comes to the accomplishments of the hero, *heh*). which is why i wanted to see a real, live baseball game to begin with.

it was fun. as compared to the blue jays games i watched, i actually understood all the plays now, and the paramour explained the few things that i didn't know. i had a hotdog (i've been pretty good about sticking to a vegetarian diet, but i am officially a "flexitarian", so i can get away with eating really crappy meat products if the atmosphere calls for it). i even conversed with some people (proud grand parents of the smallest player). the home team lost both games, but i didn't care, and they seemed to have a good time as well.

i think i might do this again.


on the health front, i am back on DeathWatch; the last attack lasted 9 hours and wrung me out, and i've been having near panic attacks when trying to sleep, so i definitely needed something to take me out of it all. stupid human bodies.

but i'm mostly holding it together, for values of a very small life -- i am having a garden again this year, for which i have given up the idea of creating more raised beds (since there is no usable soil here), and am building sub-irrigation containers from 72l plastic totes instead. came up with a pretty decent design that seems to be working well, and that's making me happy. this will make some of my garden easily movable when we do move, which is still kinda nebulous, but we've started to casually look at acreage to see what we can afford.

spotty

Oct. 9th, 2010 21:57
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
yellow rose with magenta spots
when i bought this cultivar, named "jalitah", the label promised it would look like this: http://foto.mein-schoener-garten.de/neu,foto,user,cameo,654616,orig.html

unfortunately, mine blooms just plain yellow. except this latest blossom is sporting magenta spots. i've been wondering whether it might've been a label mixup, though in general the rose does comform to the description. maybe it's something in the soil, or something missing, that would get it to bloom according to type?
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
echinacea


went grocery shopping today, and then started unloading the trailer full of old fence boards P dropped off -- unfortunately it has nails in it, so each board needs to be "de-fanged". i'm saving the best boards to build more raised beds; all the rest will be cut up for firewood.


finished watching season 3 of burn notice, and am torn between trying to catch up with season 4 in progress, or waiting until i can marathon the entire season. will probably wait. also waiting for leverage's 3rd season, and that's a difficult wait; i've really enjoyed it up til now. finishing up bones season 4, and wow, if i could have hit the people responsible during the episode with the androgynous japanese doctor, i would have. i am not sure i want to inflict another season of bones on myself; overall the ratio of cool tempe versus stupid comic relief and moralizing booth (can i hope he'll die under the knife? no, i didn't think so.) has just deteriorated so much. might start lost, which will allegedly give me several seasons before going sour.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
orange-red mountain ash berries in front of a deep blue sky


very productive day -- the paramour went geocaching, and i worked in the garden. fastened the umbrella dryer again since the strapping tape had disintegrated, braided some rope and tied back the hedge cedar that had intruded too far into the walk way, finished filling the new hexagon and planted the japanese willow and suriviving lavender, set up my little wading pool and filled it.


am about 25% into the non-patriotic non-pizzazz top. really like the drape of this yarn , and the feel; slightly cool and ... textury. oh yeah, the words are really magical today, *snrk*.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
20100703-california poppy


i have some of that cool denim yarn, the one that softens and fades with washing. it shrinks 10-15% during the first wash. now, cotton garments usually stretch when wearing. what i am wondering is whether the latter might make up for the former. any experience with the amount of stretch?

i'm almost done with my ravelry stashing, even identified most of the mystery balls (i had saved the ball bands, yay, but they don't all have a fibre sample, boo). now i am entering old projects. then i'll shuffle some stuff around -- most of my yarn is now organized by colour, only the bags are not, and they need to be more easily found. i will be SO organized when all this is done.

also finished the 2nd layer of the new raised bed hexagon last night, and filled it. need to buy more coir, wet it, turn it in, and then i can replant. the japanese willow, the korean lilac, all my lavenders, and then we'll see.

now watching the 2nd season of leverage (like the show a lot; it appeals to my inner robin hood). but i want sophie back! nothing against jeri ryan, but, yeah, not the same as gina bellman.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
tip of a branch on my young plum tree, covered in pink blossoms
the tree is doing fantastically well -- last year it had 3 blossoms, this year it's covered. lee valley now has deep watering stakes, so that'll be easier to handle now than it was previously. since the bed around it is was largely annuals except for the lupine and mexican feather grass, i can start pondering what i want to plant next. i still like the idea of the goth theme.

man, the garden is so far ahead of time right now; it's kinda neat (though i fear a freak storm, so i am keeping the tenders inside as yet). i have fresh herbs! it's interesting to note which plants don't seem to care at all; those are the ones that don't go by temperature, but are photoperiodic, and need a certain daytime length -- daffodils, and carpathian bellflower for example.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
several branches of bright, green-golden-brown, palmate leaves with 3 lobes (maybe currant) in front of dark background


it was drizzly today, but not delugey, so i continued working in the garden. last year i paid for not prepping much; worst winter ever, and i lost a number of plants that can normally make it through our mild winter. this year all tender plants are either potted and taken inside, or protected outside. and the garden is cleaned up. i want to get a bale of straw, but even if i don't, things will be ok.

feeling quite accomplished.
piranha: cartoon me hammering nail into board (construction)
young plum tree planted in raised wooden hexagon bed

since i couldn't sleep last night, i stayed up and started planting the tree around 6:30. that hexagon took pretty much a cubic yard of soil. got the tree nicely straight, at least from this direction (the trunk is slightly bent in one plane).

now to decide what flowers to plant around the edge, and more importantly what colour scheme. should i stay with blue & yellow/orange or branch out into reds and burgundies? the tree almost calls out for a goth garden underneath.

DW screen reader users: i am experimenting with both a title and alt text for this image. does that get read twice for you or only once?
piranha: cartoon me hammering nail into board (construction)

that's my tree bed hexagon -- it turned out pretty well considering a certain amount of warp in the boards. certainly much cheaper than any other method of construction. simpson strong-tie for the win!

i might just leave it at this one layer (8" high, 7" of soil). the boards look pretty junky, but they're solid. i think i'll ask the landlord whether he has any paint left from painting the houses, because that would look better than to just let them weather. we have topsoil, so tomorrow i'll finally get to plant the tree.

i wish i knew some place to pick up leftover lumber, but driving around looking at construction sites will use up in gas what i would save. i'll probably check the restore and if they have nothing then just pick up some 2x6's at slegg's (building some square-foot boxes for more veggies).
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
crown of a young plum tree with some pinkish blossoms and many more burgundy leaves
prunus cerasifera 'pissardii nigra'

the landlord did not actually forget about the discussion we had in the fall that having a tree in front might help shade the shack in the summer. so now they bought us a tree. a tree which flowers and will bear fruit! what it will not do is give much shade for the next N years. *grin*. but i don't mind. we have a fruit tree, *heh*! and it's certainly bigger than my thigh-high ginkgo. which survived our unusually nasty winter with very little damage and is leafing out now. also blooming: dogwood, apple tree, and scylla.

we're in open beta now, and i will no longer drive you nuts regale you with the daily good thing about dreamwidth. :) just that things are going well, thousands of new people have moved in and are exploring, and i feel good about helping a little to make it work. and i am very *bouncy* about the *poing* helping too!

i'll write about open beta night when i get some spoons, i can't even keep up with my reading list right now, nevermind LJ.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
the *poing* wanted to vegetate today, so i went by myself to hazelwood herb farm and looked at their early offerings.

  • wasabia japonica -- wasabi (mine got eaten by wildlife last year, *pout*, so we try again)
  • artemisia dracunculus 'sativa' -- french tarragon (hard winter killed mine)
  • myrrhis odorata -- sweet cicely (strong taste reminiscent of anise)
  • rumex scutatus -- buckler's sorrel (sharp, tangy lemon flavor)
  • levisticum officinale -- lovage (vaguely reminiscent of celer;, maggi)
  • monarda fistulosa -- wild bergamot (sweet, pungent, peppery, buttery)
  • marrubium vulgare -- white horehound (musky, bittersweet)
  • agastache foeniculum -- white anise hyssop (strong, sweet, anise/licorice)
  • borago officinalis -- borage (fresh, young cucumber)
  • valeriana officinalis -- valerian (tastes like wet, dirty socks; attracts rats)
  • galium verum -- lady's bedstraw (for dye)
  • thymus x citriodorus 'orange balsam' -- thyme (x orange)
  • thymus x citriodorus 'doone valley' -- creeping thyme (more lemony than lemon thyme)
  • lavandula x intermedia 'grosso' -- lavender (darkest blue-purple flowers of any of the french hybrids, very cold hardy)
  • lavandula x intermedia 'goldburg' -- lavender (creamy yellow & grey-blue, compact growth)
piranha: red origami crane (Default)


zantedeschia -- calla lily. cv may be 'selina'.

seed starts )
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
plant haul from hazelwood herb farm:

  • angelica angelica archangelica. this gets HUGE, and i'll put it behind the figwort (which is also big, but not quite _as_ big). that's not the best place because there's not enough shade, but who knows, i might yet buy a tree for the front. i just wanted a ginormous plant, and i love its smell.
  • arugula eruca vesicaria sativa.
  • dill, 3 kinds: anethum graveolens bouquet, hercules, and tetra.
  • hummingbird sage salvia guarnatica.
  • lemon thyme thymus citriodorus variegata, since mine died last year.
  • ricola mint mentha x piperita 'swiss'.
  • shiso perilla frutescens. i'm going japanese. :) it's eaten with sashimi, and used in making umeboshi (pickled plum).
  • wasabi wasabia japonica !!!!! did i mention how excited i am about this? they will get their own little spot in the back under the apple tree in some new soil i'll buy, because they like it rich (and the entire backyard (minus my small beds) has no real topsoil), and they like it very shady. that's not the ideal growing condition, for that i'd need a gravel stream, but this is the next best thing. 


it was hard to stop because this early in the year they have lots of stuff i would like to buy, but i promised myself that i'd not buy more than i can plant, and the landlord's missile silo building has destroyed one of my beds already (though any day now i'll shovel that clear again. ghods, i am not looking forward to that what with the soil being clayey and heavy. i'm thinking of getting a truckload of good soil and covering the entire area around the back fence (using the fence itself to grow cucumbers and sweat peas. that's probably gonna remain a dream because it involves a lot of physical labour since that's not accessible other than by wheelbarrow.

what i really, really want is to make a pond in the back yard. *sigh*.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)

summer salad harvest time

fresh from the garden:

cucumbers, banana pepper, borage, french sorrel, garlic chives, nasturtium leaves and flower, and the very first cherry tomatoes.

*yum*.

piranha: red origami crane (Default)
mozilla just ate my entry. fucker. you're the first thing to go, i swear.

long entry made short:

1) behind on gardening, but perennials nicely established. pictures when new system rebuilt. need more room, but not in the mood for backbreaking conversion of crap soil into soil in which something other than puny weeds will grow.

2) "new" system is paramour's old one. athlon XP 2100+. paramour's new system drool-worthy athlon 64 X2, inside whisper-quiet HP pavilion -- first namebrand desktop system we bought in many, many years. at under $1000, it's not really worth building oneself. now i get to remove redhat 9 and fedora core 2 from this machine, and install XP and debian on it. then there will be pictures. i also have a new LCD monitor, which makes me very happy -- decided to eventually use two 19" @ 1280x1024 each to get more real estate instead of shelling out lots more money for one higher res widescreen. this baby is a viewsonic VA902b; nice clear picture, matte screen (i can't stand those new shiny ones).
piranha: red origami crane (veggie)
this whole week has been sodden with rain, with only a few short breaks.  so today was the first day since the paramour left that i had opportunity to get my new plants into the ground.  i took the baby's breath out of the raised bed in front because it gets way too big anyway.  i am not 100% sure where to put it yet.  in its place i put yellow snapdragons for the paramour, and around the edge, as usual, blue petunias -- this year with a lacey pattern.

and i whacked the backyard -- a few weeks of rain and sun, and the grass and weeds had grown quite high.   tomorrow i'll turn the area for the tomatoes a last time and plant them.   i bought too many though, so i need to dig up a spot that i had let grow back over last year, or keep them in planters.  except that i want to get away from planters.  and i need extra space anyway, for peppers and extra herbs.  the cucumbers can use the fence.  i am late with the peas again, *sigh*.

soon i'll move the compost pile; the new place for it is mostly prepped, except for, of course, the last of the blackberry roots (sprouting madly already).  this will be the year when most of the backbreaking labour is done, and i'll be able to enjoy the garden a lot more.

i miss my computer.  on saturday the paramour gets back and then we can go hardware shopping! 

i need a gardening icon that does not imply i am a vegetable.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
i'm falling behind again.

it's hard to write when i am so busy. i've managed to keep cooking and doing chores, and even added some work back into the mix. also have been riding the bikes. and, the paramour and i went to meet an old friend in vancouver, and stayed for an extra day to go to the acquarium. i have lots of pictures which need webbifying. will write about that trip separately once i've done that.

the paramour left yesterday for 2 weeks with the folks back in ontario. that trip started well, with a quick trip down to the harbour to catch one of the seaplanes -- there are 3 different companies flying out of nanaimo to vancouver now. the one jill flew on is no more, but a new one has replaced it, and that's the one with which we booked. after seeing the paramour off, i went to buy tomato plants, and woops, a tiny lilac shrub jumped into my cart! syringa meyeri 'palibin' is a korean dwarf. i looked for it the last couple of years everywhere but couldn't find one. it will grow only to 6 ft maximum, and its other advantage is that, if pruned well, it'll offer a second bloom in late summer. yeah, i know, it'll still be too big for the boat, but i can always donate it to P&G. it smells wonderful. i have it inside right now, in my room.

the good news ended when i got home. the neighbour's son had mowed the lawn and apparently forgotten that it's a bad idea to ride the mower down the driveway with the blades going. it had kicked a stone right into the sliding glass door, shattering it. i spent a couple of hours cleaning all the glass out of the carpet and outside. caught the cats and checked their paws too, since this is where they go in and out of the house. nobody seems hurt, though i haven't managed to catch bang yet.

then the paramour called, and the rental car company was not answering their phones. ended up having to take a hotel room. fuckers.

it got cold last night and i berated myself for not putting some plastic over the missing door. and then, just after 1:00 in the morning i heard loud meowing which didn't sound like any of our cats. indeed, the non-existing door had apparently attracted a tan-and-white kitten who looked emaciated and sick. *sigh*. i tried to convince her to go outside, but she ended up hiding on the shelf unit in my room, behind the cookbooks. ok, fine. too late to do anything much. i chatted with her for a while, so she'd let me look at her. at first i thought she was blind in one eye, but it turned out to be all pus, and the eye is probably fine. both eyes were crusted with fluid. i tried to clean it up, but she would have very little of it, so i just gave her some wet food and convinced her that she was safe by keeping all the other cats away. in the end i put her in bacchus's cage with food and water, so contact between her and the others would be minimal. after meowing for a good while, she finally settled down and we all went to sleep.

this morning i called the SPCA, which was of course closed. they gave me the emergency number for the animal control officer on duty, who told me that they really shouldn't take a cat from outside the city -- apparently there is an ordinance that they have to take dogs, but nothing about cats. i convinced him that this one was sick enough to merit an exception, and i said that i'd drive her to the pound myself. which i did; she gave me no trouble going into the carrier. *whew*. glad she wasn't a feral. with two people cleaning her up it wasn't quite as difficult, and it did indeed look as if her eye can be saved. i left her in good hands.

when i got home, i was worn out already. i vegetated for a while, and finally managed to put plastic up over the door, though of course i waited until it started raining, *rolls eyes at self*. so tonight no stray cats can wander inside, and i am not freezing.

i am working on modelling "visemes" - visible mouth movements that look like somewhat realistic speech.

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