Earning My Keep, Sort Of

Yesterday was unseasonably warm (70s), so I got busy.  I wasn’t the only one; the first chorus of peepers and tree frogs were out in force nearby, always my favorite time.  Hoping to attract frogs and others to a water feature some day, I started to dig out a hole (not pictured) for the larger pond liner, out in the “prairie”.  Simultaneously, I used the soil to reconstruct the boardwalk, redirecting it between trees.  It was hard work, in my winter flab condition, so after a few hours I left some for another day.  No sense having a heart attack in the middle of my project.

Another exciting sign of spring was the first blooming of daffodils and hyacinth.  I brought the first cut flowers inside.  It’s just the beginning of the flower extravaganza to follow.  I have no idea how so many hundreds of bulbs mysteriously migrate to all over the property.  I spotted a fat young groundhog checking out the garden, making plans!  I suspect it’s the little one that visited our front porch last year, only bigger.  I wasn’t able to get a photo, unfortunately.  Overhead, a couple of hawks were soaring and screaming, while down below, herds of squirrels were getting manically frisky.  Not me, though; I collapsed in a heap of exhaustion, being not as “springy” as I used to be!

 

 

L42’s Almaniacal Almanac

No sooner did I rototill the veg beds than it started raining…and raining…about an inch in just the last day or two!  I planned it!  It’s headed for the 60s, but tomorrow is supposed to be in the 70s!?!  This is that false alarm time of year when you have to resist the temptation to plant stuff outside.  Patience…

Still, I don’t need to go outdoors to find exotic botanical surprises.  Another hibiscus bloomed, and these adorable mushrooms keep popping up in pots, in this case among ginger root.  Yay, all my tomatoes are germinating!  If you squint, you can make some out.

Nosh Some Hamantaschen

Tonight the historical holiday of Purim begins.  To review: In ancient Persia, the evil trump Haman was plotting to kill all the Jews (a recurring theme, go figure), but Esther and Mordecai cleverly exposed his plot and he was hanged (long story short).  Yay, we lived to see another day of persecution.  A good excuse to get drunk!   And eat these nice hamantaschen baked by E.

Well, today I finally felt well enough to go outside and till both veg gardens.  Here they are:

This tropical hibiscus bloomed indoors today!

Never Too Many Flowers

What a day to be under the weather (different version, still not amused).  It’s almost 70º out, sunny and breezy, a perfect day for what I’d hoped would be tilling the veg beds day.  Oh well, it will get done eventually.  In lieu of gardening, here are some more flowers from yesterday.

I just have to say, I don’t care what petty complaints people have about politicians, whether it’s Gov. Cuomo, or Pres. Biden. They’re still a million times better than the alternative predator we had for four horrible years.

And insulting a presidential rescue dog, for [email protected]# sake?!  Don’t people have anything better to do?

With all the other catastrophic traumas going on every day, no thanks to the previous admin., it’s such a relief to wake up to news of competent leaders finally getting stuff done.  Yes, we should have been much farther along by now, but here we are, at least not going backwards.

After four years of bad news, on top of pre-existing anxiety, any progress, however small, is like therapy to my ears.  You won’t hear me complaining.  I lived through trump.

 

Farmer L42’s Almanac 2021

To review: I am L42 and this is my sporadic Almanac for the year 2021.

I just planted my tomato seeds indoors (plus more basil and cilantro).  Meanwhile, my eggplants and now peppers are germinating.  It’s a miracle.

Next up:  the next warm day I will rototill the veg beds again.  Then the first week of March or so, I’ll start outdoor direct sowing of the earliest cool-weather crops (covering them as necessary).  It’s still a bit cold, but resistance is futile.

Outside, the ground is covered with crocuses, and thousands of other spring flower shoots have spread everywhere.  Soon it will be a veritable flower lawn.  So much nicer than turf.

I’m excited about some native (to North America) tree and shrub seeds I just ordered from a reliable grower/seed saver in Canada. Finally I’ll get to try growing paw paw, persimmon, black elderberry, serviceberry, and witch hazel, all excellent natives for wildlife habitat restoration, and food/fragrance for all of us.  It’s a good start.

Here are some breads E made the other day, y’know, to help keep the house warm.  I’ll have a lot of working off to do.

Frozen But Not Defeated

Another plan bites the dust.  I was going to try ordering native tree and shrub bare roots and plugs from reputable native growers to be shipped here.  But it seems FedEx, their main shipping service, has been careless and unreliable with handling plant shipments, especially during the pandemic.  So I’d risk losing an expensive minimum order, either before or after delivery.  I still don’t feel safe personally picking up nonessential orders anywhere local, even with supposed COVID compliance.  So much for that idea.  Back to being doggedly patient/resigned.

That’s nothing of course compared to what Texas and much of the country are suffering in these monster arctic storms, power outages, water shortages, and related hardships and deaths.  As usual, Republican politics and negligence were involved.  They’d rather people be endangered and die, than allow the government to address inadequate infrastructure and climate change or provide relief.  These record wintry disasters are also delaying the vaccine rollouts and impacting hospitals.  So much misery persists, especially after four years of deliberate dereliction and ineptitude.  I’m just relieved that saner minds are now on the job.

But all is not lost!  E. TN has (so far) avoided the worst of the icy blasts.  Seedlings are coming up indoors and out.  Here are artichoke seedlings in my “nursery”, and daffodil shoots (and red mustard) defying the cold.  Some good changes can’t be inhibited.

 

Setting New Records

It’s so weird having temps around 50º with some rain, while most of the country is setting major historical records for below freezing temps, blizzards, dangerous ice, and encores of same.  Still, my brother and bro-in-law in CA easily upstaged us, as they’re relaxing at the beach!  Hard to believe we all live in the same country sometimes.

It’s weirder to be age 69, but enough about that.  Funny how the older you get, the fewer candles there tend to be!  Here are some scenes from my birthday.  (I’m a cheese freak.)  Not bad for being isolated in a pandemic, all things considered.  I do miss people, but I can wait.

 

 

 

69, the NOT Sexy Kind

Impeachment acquittal was of course a forgone conclusion, requiring a 2/3 Senate majority, though a simple majority would have absolutely convicted trump.  To be fair, more repubs than ever joined dems in voting to convict.  But  predictably, most repubs used a bogus unconstitutional legal technicality as their excuse to acquit, though the shameful facts were right in their faces.  They will have to live with their complicit guilt.

It’s dispiriting, but all is not lost–the many criminal and civil cases against trump are still to come.  I have to keep telling myself that he and his accomplices can’t get away with their crimes and derelictions forever, and history will reveal the truth.  What a time to be living through.

And speaking of surviving, I’m about to reach that infamous but definitely not sexy number 69.  Practically on my deathbed!  But I plow on.  I hope to reach the other side of COVID still alive.  We’ll see how that goes.  Where there are crocuses (even the cold, shivering variety), there is hope.

 

 

 

Impeach, Take Two

It’s almost painful to watch such disingenuous twisting of semantics and context to distract from the real point of this impeachment trial.

Fighting for justice and human rights is not the same as inciting savages to attack and kill and pillage in the name of suppressing our lawful voting process.  These idiots assume everyone operates under their same disconnect from reality and hypocritical ethical standards.  They keep their members in line with oppressive threats to their political futures, so they don’t dare do the right thing in the face of indisputable facts that they themselves witnessed.

In any normal court of law, these unscrupulous and manipulative tactics would never stand up to scrutiny, but these are not normal times.  An American president can get away with treasonous violence and be made to look like the victim here.  This is the precedent they want to set.  Still, it’s not over yet.  There are undoubtably more crimes and misdemeanors to be revealed.

Misu helped me write this opinion and approves this message.  Also, here is a yummy homemade from scratch sourdough bread by E.