Bot Maternity Ward

The rest of the today I worked in labor and delivery–seed-sowing, that is.  I planted a whole flat of salad greens: misticanza, mesclun, lettuce blend, romaine, buttercrunch and upland cress.  I also reseeded some spinach, dill, and chives.  And I gave my older greens a haircut for a salad later, and got them ready for transport to A’s.  The rest are redistributed to make room.  Feeling very propagatrix!




Zucchini Throw Pillow and Other Green Things

Here, by the way, is a lovely and decent zucchini throw pillow [MST3K “The Giant Spider Invasion” ep.] that I made for Avdi long, long ago in the last century, now residing in his spare bedroom after many space migrations.  (If you have to ask…)

I spent Monday evening and this morning at Avdi’s.  Actually I walked there, so more exercise!  It was warm, but so windy I almost blew into the next county.  Still preferable to the tornado warning they were having where I used to live in Ohio.  Most of the the daffodils, and more crocuses, are out in force.  Here is Avdi’s latest bread, also quite robust (what was left of it)!


The green babies downstairs needed serious attending to, so I uncovered and spread them out, using the next shelf up, to give them more air circulation, and other triage.  I also added the plants I had upstairs to the lower shelf.  Next step is to bring over more of my herbs and lettuces/greens, and start more greens at home.

Next I direct-sowed assorted carrots into the veg bed outdoors.  Next time I’ll add some more root veg., etc.  Tomorrow is March (!) so the planting will just multiply from here on out.  I won’t be sorry to leave the long winter behind.

My next visit to A’s is Thursday through Friday, so that gives me time to get some new seeds growing here at the apartment nursery.  More on that later.

Mechanical Hamster, a Tangent

One thing I should clarify about habits (yes, that again)–by definition it’s something you have to consciously incorporate and reinforce daily.  I don’t suddenly wake up one morning and automatically run laps like a mechanical hamster on a wheel, something I find incredibly boring.  Yet it does get easier, and the physical and mental benefits help to motivate me to keep going.  I may only do 5 laps some days, but it’s attainable, I feel good having done it, and thus reinforces itself.

I’m someone who hates the idea of artificial exercise, like treadmills and ellipticals.  My job in horticulture used to be more than enough exercise, without going home to torture devices.  I’d much rather get a workout organically, as in gardening, or hiking in a forest.  Since those are rarely or sporadically accessible to me now, walking in mindless circles (or to Avdi’s, when the weather permits, and helping out around the house) will suffice.

The same goes for writing, though in that case I do like to write, generally.  But having to practice it every day, whether I have anything to say or not (usually not), is a challenge.  Witness this very post.  Not a lot of new material!  No inspiring, life-changing actions or events.  Just me trying to figure out how to make the most of what little time I have left, on a fixed income and without a car, and not just turn into a zucchini throw pillow (in-joke) taking up space.

I realize if you’re someone younger, with a job, and constant pressure to prioritize all your responsibilities, none of this makes sense or resonates.  You’re thinking, must be nice to have the time to sit around and overthink how to spend all the downtime.  To be past having to slave and stress for a living.

But it’s a different kind of stress, to have time and yet very little time left.  To feel like you wasted and squandered so much of your life on poor decisions, and now the pressure’s on to make every last minute count, only…how do you do that?

Yes, maybe I am an over-thinker!  Most people just retire and go play golf or crochet things.  Not me.  I’m cursed with wanting to offset some of the negative past with making things better before I go.  But clueless how or with what resources to do that.  No doubt a Jewish Aquarian neurotic curse.  But it’s mine and I came by it honest.

Hmm, got a little tangential there, apologies.  My mind can be a tangled place.  You should see the bizarre nightmares!  But let’s get back to boring sameness.  I dutifully did my 5 laps, am about to consider the weighty (no pun intended) question of food, definitely wrote my daily essay, will probably socialize at A’s, and reading, I’ve decided, is already an automatic given, not something I have to work at.

Maybe there’s a habit of under-thinking I could work on?  Is that the same as meditation?  We’ll find out.






The Luxury of Boredom

What to write about when there’s nothing to write about…

Boredom!  It’s underrated!  I mean, yes, there’s the bad kind, like the existential ennui and despair of living out your final years in, say, Ohio (just for a hypothetical example).

But then there’s the good kind of boredom, a lazy weekend being able to enjoy the privilege of doing whatever or nothing, a luxury many people don’t have.

I don’t take this for granted.  I did used to work for a living, and act like a crazy person rushing around with a death wish.  And I know this lull will soon pass, and the kid monsoon season will begin and last indefinitely.  All the more reason to be thankful for the time out.

Still, it doesn’t lend itself to clever writing.  You have to get extra creative.  There are plenty of smarter people around to write about all the pressing matters of consequence in the world.  And more mobile people who can spend their free time addressing real issues of social injustice.

So that pretty much leaves excruciatingly boring banter about exercise, cooking, gardening, etc.  And writing about it.  And scrounging up photos to illustrate no point whatsoever!  And talking to myself.

Yes, I do have some time on my hands, and a roof under which to spend it.  I’m one of the lucky ones.


Pseudo Tagine and Screaming Firehawks

After spending Thursday night at Avdi’s, I got busy concocting my latest challenge by him, Moroccan-style chicken in the slow cooker (pseudo-tagine).  (It turned out to be a big hit.)

Then on to yet another perfect batch of challah.  What is it with STL and my newfound challah prowess?  Must be the atmosphere or vibes.

Although those same good vibes weren’t working for Avdi’s work day, unfortunately.  Once he tore himself away from his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day at work, we had a nice drink, Shabbat, and Expanse-viewing.

Down in the propagation station, the tomato and greens seedlings were all blasting off like screaming firehawks.  (Expanse ref.)  And outside, daffodils were starting to bloom, so I got to cut the first Shabbat flowers of the season.

Even better, the hellebores (lenten rose) are starting to bud out.

The crocuses I planted in fall are all coming up and should be blooming any time now.  And in my little borrowed  greenhouse annex, I have misc. assorted herbs and plants waiting for transplant, with more on the way over from propagatrix HQ.

Now I’m home, having watched CRC’s live-streaming Shabbat morning service, and thankful the hate group threats did not turn out to be an issue here as far as I know.

Habitrail at One Month

Yesterday’s big tornado scare is in the rearview but not out of mind.  I got so distracted, I forgot to mention that I completed my one month of incorporating habits on Tuesday the 21st (same day as Mardi Gras), but it had become so habitual that I forgot to celebrate.  I just kept on doing it!

So that tells you something.  It works.  Even if I skip a day, or modify a habit, it becomes more automatic during the week.  So I may or may not continue to report my progress daily, but it’s a part of my routine nevertheless.  I’ll add on new healthy habits as they occur to me.  Any ideas are welcome!

So just to kick off month #2, I did my minimal 5 laps (maybe more later), made a “fish fry” with potatoes and zucchini, will socialize overnight at Avdi’s, added yet more books to my reading pile, have obviously been writing at least once a day, and meditation isn’t really happening for me.  Or it is through gardening and nature, and I don’t even know it.  Some nature, such as tornado threats, isn’t very conducive.

The one habit I’d really like to add seems impossible for me right now, and that’s some form of regular social justice activism or volunteer work.  Maybe once I get more familiar and comfortable with public transit, or meet fellow volunteers to carpool with, it can happen.

For now my (hopefully) helping Avdi out will have to suffice.  And once the kid mob arrives, I suspect my hands will be full with herding and refereeing.  Plus gardening.  Does it count if I free up Avdi so at least he can get to do some meaningful activism?  Sort of like vicarious community service.





Still in MO

So, I think we dodged a bullet here, and I’m not reporting from Oz, which is a relief.  It was a little scary for a while there.  I’m sure this won’t be the last time.  I spent years in OH deathly afraid of tornadoes, and I guess it’s my lot in life now.  Even hurricanes don’t scare me as much as just the idea of tornadoes.  I was seriously ready to kiss my ass goodbye.

All that excitement conveniently put me off my exercising, so I just did a few laps, while thinking about one more reason I’m glad I live on the ground floor, in case I had to head for the dungeon.  There it’s just a matter of not drowning in a flooded cellar, rather than the horror of getting launched into a worse midwestern state.  “I f**king hate space!”, as Avasarala might say.  I can deal with a lot of water.

Look, the sky is clearing!  Is that sun?!  Or is it just the calm before the next storm?  One never knows here in MO.  I’m so relieved, I think I’ll drink early.  Cheers!  To living another day.


First STL Tornado Watch

Another STL first–helping Avdi direct-sow the first seeds of the season in his veg garden yesterday.  Actually, I let him do most of the actual seeding, something he really enjoys.  We planted assorted peas, radishes, and spinach.  I went a little overboard on the radishes, for some reason, so now we have to find new ways to eat them!  So the 2023 growing season is officially underway at the Avdi’s.

After he got back to his work, I mixed up a wagonload of soil amendments and prepped the beginnings of the herb beds.

It was weirdly warm out today, and just now we got my first STL tornado watch alert, so I’m signing off for now—if you don’t hear from me, I guess I’ll be in Oz.  I’m just glad I got to STL and my family when I did, for however much time I have left.  I hope my worst fears won’t be realized.

Domes Away

Later I’ll be heading over to A’s overnight, so I’ll check in now.

Those little hydro-babies are really starting to pop their lids!  Here’s the latest, sage.  Plus another sage growing in soil.  My older herbs are slowly migrating over to A’s, where they will eventually find a bed in the new herb gardens, my next project.

I did a few laps, cooked a healthy, balanced meal, socialization to come later.  I did run into my next-door neighbor (not literally) while doing laps, and said hi.  She’s an older bent-over lady, probably retired.  We occasionally hold doors for each other, that’s about it.

The people at this apartment building seem to really like their privacy, when they’re not at work.  It’s mostly quiet, except for “Bigfoot” directly over me.  Whenever he (it?) comes home from work, the ten-ton boots come crashing down, along with the toilet seat and everything else up there.  Early in the morning, the thudding around above me is like an alarm clock.  I guess it’s a small price to pay for apartment living.

Today I’m hoping to direct-sow some peas, spinach, and radishes in A’d garden, with his help.  Stay tuned for more exciting bulletins!

Dome Part 2

So, I definitely got my exercise!  I walked to A’s (it was very warm out), greeting other walkers along the way, and then got to work planting the next batch of seeds down in the “greenhouse”.  I planted one flat of assorted tomatoes, and one flat of assorted cool-weather greens.  It’s beginning to look like a prop house now.  Jess was there working with A, and K. was home for Pres. Day, so I got my socialization in.

Then I went outside and A joined me raking out all the bags of compost/manure plus a load of his homemade compost into the veg garden.  Then I rototilled it all in a few more times, and raked it again.  Now it’s ready for the first direct sowing next time I’m there, probably tomorrow.  Until then, the robins and other critters are doing their jobs.  I totally earned my beer (and an episode of Expanse) this evening.

The very first spring bulb flowers are starting to bloom.  It’s just a matter of time.

Now I’m home eating some healthy leftovers, because I actually worked up an appetite.