f&f, mom and caa, quaker notes, bread notes, the solution

I so want to have a pity party for myself. I'll just say: lousy sleep, elephants, Mom & Dad.


* I'm now clerk of meeting. Collapse )

* Friday night chat with my sister about working together on some sort of environmental/plant gig went well, building enthusiasm. I was right in my perception that she was not finding time or energy to think about the future but was focused on the many projects at hand. Which is good! The right place for focus! But without looking at a map once in a while, you might not get where you want to go.

* I've a new gardening basket (i just need to find a ring knife to replace the one i think i threw out with the previous basket when Marlowe ... contaminated it).

* I might have a better bread recipe, and Hans the rye sourdough starter may be in good condition.

* I made dumplings/gnocchi/knoephla with left over sour dough starter (and eggs and flour), and they are comforting. My dried mustard greens are doing well in soups. And while it sounds odd, they mix well with the dried tomato.


garden, retirement plans, health, cats, administrivia

How did i ever get through the day? Especially when more people were writing here? I keep being surprised by finding entries i missed reading when i thought i read. I feel like my "morning quick tasks" and catch up reading take ALL MORNING.

Happy notes:

* i have not developed a lingering cough from the cold i have (still experiencing drainage). Yay for my desultory use of the lung steroid.

* i have identified where i will plant the ten bare root saplings that are arriving soon. I have a little clearing to do for some, and one i am planting deeper in the woods near the one rock outcropping we have. It's an American Linden which will be the core of some future Swedish woodland garden. I did get haresbell seeds too. Anyhow that will begin a deer exclusion test because apparently deer like lindens.

* i'm beginning to have hope that winter rye might grow enough in the woods to fight stilt grass? It's too soon, but i am hoping. There's also a plant called hogs peanut (Amphicarpaea bracteata). I've found a selected variety that is supposed to have high yields, and Lee Ritch of NY state says, "Even non-native, invasive Japanese stilt grass and garlic mustard can’t hold their own against hog peanuts." I assume that deer can obliterate it, though, although most documents refer to voles as the harvester of the peas. (That's what was distracting me earlier this week.)

Perplexed notes: i can't find documentation of what nurseries have to do to get the certification. I am in a invasive fire ant quarantine county and i can find how one treats the soil used in potting plants and -- wow, that looks non trivial. There's also record keeping (i have the records of most all of my purchases and plantings, so that is not a worry immediately), but other than the records outlined in the fire ant quarantine documentation ... whut to do? Fortunately there are three resources we can avail ourselves of. I may leave this as an assignment for L.

Impatient notes: i can't wait for Friday and visit with L. There's a Feb 11 convention at the county convention center for landscapers and plant professionals. I wonder about attending or sending L. Or waiting A WHOLE YEAR for next years.

Perplexed notes - more: now back to thinking the lumps on my forearm are from some inflammation from Marlowe grabbing me with her claws.

Administrivia: so, i don't see tags in exported journal entries. I'm going to duplicate tags in titles. My regrets for the annoyance.


(no subject)

MONDAY, mid morning:

Far too distracted by Oikos Tree Crops' selections. I went to verify something about sunchokes and then found their nuts and plums and strawberry selections far more extensive than when i last checked. Stop stop stop.

Christine is at the vet with the boyos, and Carrie wanted out (in the rain). Kitten Marlowe, too. I decided to just go ahead and fix the fence. It was a quick job of weaving wire in the gap (which i had probably caused with the powerful string trimmer. While i was out, i noticed the 500 gallon barrel is full. So, i went and run a hose down the hill past the garden and have opened the port. Meanwhile, Marlowe has had plenty of time to explore the yard and now sit at the double gate gazing at the meadow. I am on the back porch and keep hopping up to check on her. She's just sitting there. Given how promptly she passed through the gap the last two times we were monitoring her, i feel comfortable to assume it's secure now.

It finally rained hard enough for Marlow to want to go in. The input to the tank started exceeding the output.


Turned out there was a kink in the hose and the tank wasn't draining at all. I let the tank drain in the afternoon (maybe 100 gallons) and it was spilling over this morning. I'm not sure how quickly it drains so i didn't want to drain it overnight. I'll watch as i drain it today. It may have also stopped raining for a few hours.

Yesterday, during my last work meeting, i had myself convinced it was Friday afternoon. That was odd.

Procrastination self-destruction at work with a bit of difficulty with Christine's elephants. My own overwhelm makes the second-hand overwhelm that comes from managing elephants harder.

I've often joked about having to work and never being able to retire. I wonder though. Assuming a gift that will come close to paying off this property, i hope that i could manage to retire and -- could this place be a showcase of skill? Could my photography, plant propagation, and botanical skills be solid enough that i could hang out a shingle? Advise you on the qualities of your "weeds" and how to (re) deploy them in your landscape. Propagate sedges and woodland plants for sale. Keep on top of excellent sources for plants. "Weeds to wonders landscaping." I think my sister is interested in doing something similar. I've proposed we talk about it.

Meanwhile, Luigi needs $1k of dental work.

Also, i seem to have encountered some poison ivy. That, or Marlowe grabbed my arm with her claws and somehow injected me with something i am reacting to. Initially i thought it was Marlowe, but i'm gonna go with poison ivy.



We'd bought an LED collar for Marlowe that appeared to be far to large. The "clasp" has the recharge point for the LEDs and rubber/silicone cups into which one shoves the clear plastic ... cylinder. I was going to say tube but it's not. It's at least a quarter inch in diameter. The clasp was rather large and assumed a pretty large diameter circle. Nonetheless, with Marlowe promptly getting out of the orchard i needed something for this rainy morning. I cut the tube so there was a length that wasn't too large around Marlowe's neck (leaving a length i could easily wear around mine), coiled it up in the bottom of a small cup and poured hot water over it to set the tighter circle.

This morning it went on Marlowe without a hitch, and she danced off into the early twilight. Boing, boing, the pink circlet danced away. I attended to getting the door to the porch open for the boyos to be able to return at will and then went to find Marlowe. She was by the double gate, staring into the meadow, a location that fascinates her. (I believe the Chatham rabbits live in the high arches of the fescue grasses left to grow unimpeded,) She was inside: i could see the light reflected on the posts -- and then the post disappeared. She'd slipped out.

Rounding her up wasn't too hard, thank heavens, and now i know the location to fix. She didn't climb over to the gap between the two gates above the latch: that was going to be harder to address.

Lacto-fermented sunchokes: diced, a tuber, and the jar with the cloudy brine

The lacto-fermented sunchokes seem to be free of the gas-inducing inulin (at least significantly reduced). Pickled with no spices, they taste celery-like and are still quite crisp. I was reading the forager chef write about sochan, another close sunflower relative.
The flavor of sochan could, at first be likened as “celery-esque” but that celery-like flavor is more specifically, to me, the flavor shared by many different Asters. It’s a slightly herbal flavor....

Cubed in a salad, they were quite pleasant. I suspect one could still roast and mash them.


(no subject)

Thursday's presentation went well enough (goal achieved). Friday i worked from M&D's. I didn't feel well focused, and i left with the intention of finishing the workday at home, while Christine went to her brother in law's birthday party. Christine had been distressed over a variety of points around the party for over a week. I ended up not working but binged on the TV procedural, Bones.

Saturday i planted some winter-start seeds: poppies, beets, spinach, turnips, and onions. I put a row cover over the bed. The crazy warmth of this weekend might help germination along. I am always surprised how long it takes to plant seeds. We went out with friends in the evening, an early dinner and then Rise of Skywalker.

I attended Meeting today and then we took the Yule tree down. I promptly started cutting it up and ran it through the chipper, and then i started in on other wood sitting around. So much was in a very decayed state and didn't seem worth chipping. The logs that were significant (over six inches in diameter) i ended up making into a zig zag fence. They were pretty rotten, too, and much lighter then when we struggled to move them around after they were cut. The smaller logs I ended up laying out as a pile along the contour of the land under the black walnut. It should slow run off and someday be rich soil. I've scattered Austrian winter peas in the hope that they can get established enough befre the deer notice them. The soil under the pile of wood seemed fairly rich: i seeded with dried seed heads from flowers and grasses in the meadow and winter rye.

Marlowe has figured her way out of the orchard, which is going to be stressful on us -- this past week or so of letting her out has eased much stress.

Overwhelm seems to be contagious in the household: i hope we find ease tomorrow.


(no subject)

I forgot i was on the low fiber/residue diet and nibbled on my pickling sunchokes. Salty but pleasant enough.

One tiny mouse has been released. I suppose i should set the trap back up again.

The cold has hit Christine hard, and this morning she has a migraine. I'm doing OK. I'll go see my parents tonight after work despite the cold.

I'm thinking of buying a 3 quart "fourth burner" pan for making candy. The tall container would mean that more of the solution would be over the thermometer. I am fantasizing about making hard candy on my little grill in the summer using herbs: it's a while yet before i have mature enough echinacea plants to harvest roots and the horehound is just getting established. My first elderberry is ordered but it's next fall or winter when i will plant selected elderberry plants. But it would be lovely to be able to gift herbal lozenges.

My sister says the maple fudge was a perfect consistency and it's the fudge with the crystallization that is not ideal. Well, pralines have the texture i really enjoy. Maybe another batch of those.

Marlow chased Edward and tried ambushing Carrie as Carrie zoomed around the yard. Such a bold kitten! She could use lots and lots of play. I hope Edward (or Carrie) can figure out a way they'd like to play with her. Until then, i am on string dangle duty.


(no subject)

I want to say i am 98% sure we have a mouse. I'm entertained by that, because the only reason i can think that i've a 2% uncertainty is denial. I saw the rump as it slipped away, i cleaned up sign, and Marlowe is fascinated with something behind the fridge. We have at least one mouse. I'm not sude of my resistance to certainty.

--== ∞ ==--

Carrie went out. Marlowe wanted to go as well, so i let her out. Carrie looked back at me, with a "Does she havta come out too?" look.

--== ∞ ==--

Good morning energy overwhelming the possible cold, so far. I went to sleep early but also woke early. We'll see how long this lasts.


Witchy brew

I really don't want to come down with whatever crud Christine has, significantly because i am not allowed to take NSAIDs until next Wednesday's Collapse ). We have grapefruit in the house, and i'm drinking a tisane of grapefruit, turmeric, cayenne, and ginger. Hey, if it's bitter and hot enough, it's got to cure the common cold, right?

The meeting i anticipated today was canceled. The flaky dude who stood me up when i was at the conference, also screwed up communication with me. Herein is the transcript:

[12/16/19 9:54 AM] Dude: The Dec 19 meeting has been cancelled. Sorry, I missed this. I will add a place holder with you presentation for Jan 2. I am hoping we can get a quorum for that date.
[12/16/19 9:55 AM] Me: Oh! That would be delightful!
​[12/16/19 9:57 AM] Dude: I added a page for Jan 02. Can you add a link to your presentation and make sure I titled it correctly? https://confluence.[WORK].org/display/EAO/ARB+2019-01-02
​[12/16/19 9:58 AM] Dude: Cahnged the name: https://confluence.[WORK].org/display/EAO/ARB+2020-01-02
​[12/16/19 9:58 AM] Me: good call!
​[8:11 AM] Me: Looks like both G--- and L--- are out today. Maybe ARB is canceled?
​[9:29 AM] Dude: I assume it is cancelled. I’m out too. I thought we added this for the 9th?
​[9:29 AM] Me: I'll change the wiki if i can. Have a good time out!

This will be the day after the procedure. Deee-lightful.