Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Around the garden July 2018

It's already midway through August, but better late than never, right?

I hacked my rosebushes down to stumps near the end of June/beginning of July. That's totally not the right season for pruning but they've produced 3 or 4 new blooms between them so they're apparently not dead! I'm hoping that next year, since they won't be so spindly, we'll get more blossoms.

I went to the store for "fresh dill" and came back with a plant. Plus some lemon balm, because it was RIGHT THERE just asking to be brought home with me!

You can tell how much the peppermint has grown by comparing it to the lemon balm.

The peppermint was having drainage issues in its previous pot, so I moved it to a different, bigger pot. Judging from the density of the root system, it was hankering for a bigger pot anyway.

The lemon balm went into a matching pot. (These pots were just sitting in the yard when we moved in. Yay free stuff!)

The dill went into the garden bed, in place of the dearly departed sage seedling that Cat uprooted.

Here's the garden as a whole. Cucumbers continuing to grow like kudzu, beans and basil and parsley doing well, everything else kind of meh.

Okay, the zucchini plant is growing quite fast, but as of this writing it has yet to produce any female flowers so it's definitely not my favorite plant-child right now.

Pictured here: Basil and parsley. I've mostly been using them fresh, but also drying some to see if that works out to keep us in tasty herbs through the winter.

Not pictured: I've harvested at least a gallon of cucumbers at this point, I'd say. A gallon of cucumbers seems like a lot, but a gallon of homemade dill pickles makes me think I need a bigger garden!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Egg bake

This is really simple, but I haven't slept well in 4.5 years so I need to write everything down lest I forget.

12 eggs
3/4 c milk
1/2 c flour
1 tbsp baking powder
Salt and pepper
Cooked sausage/bacon
Cooked potatoes
Cooked vegetables
1 c shredded cheddar

Combine first 4 ingredients in a blender and blend, or combine in a bowl and whisk vigorously.

Add spices (whatever you want depending on your mood) and mix-ins. I really like this as a way to use up leftover roast veggies languishing in the fridge. It also makes a good meatless Friday entree if you leave out the sausage/bacon.

Pour into greased baking dish. Sprinkle cheese on top.

Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Around the Garden, June 2018

I haven't really tackled this bed along the side of the house yet, but I discovered that there are these orangey-red lilies among the weeds! They're already done for the year now, so that explains why we didn't know they were there, having moved in last August.

The snap peas peaked around the beginning of June. I think I harvested less than a dozen all told. Next year I plan to add a second bed in a more shady spot, so hopefully the heat-sensitive peas will do better.

This is a "before" picture of the scraggly pine shrubs and hostas in the front of our house. Those are all gone now and I planted various perennial flowers there (including about half of the purple tulips--the rest will be going in around back as soon as I get a free moment). Tune in next summer for the "after" picture. :p

In the garden we added some tomato seedlings that a friend's kids grew from seeds. They're still awfully small so I'm not entirely sure we'll actually get tomatoes this year.

The basil is doing very well. 10/10 would plant again. (Except I need to figure out what to do with all of it now so it doesn't go to seed or whatever.)

The parsley is also doing really well.

The teeny-weeny zucchini is getting a bit bigger now. It's had some flowers but I haven't seen any fruit getting started. Are zucchinis one of those plants with different flower sexes?

The green beans did moderately well. I still only got 1-2 servings of beans off them, so I might have to tweak things next year.

Ever since it got super hot, the cucumber plant has been growing like gangbusters. I'll definitely replant in full sun next year, but I'm going to get a different trellis. I've harvested a couple of cukes that literally grew around the mesh so you have to break the cuke in half to get it off.

Tune in later this month (or possibly early next month) for exciting things like MAKING PICKLES.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


I apparently haven't updated on Cat's language development since she was 15 months old. :o I keep writing blog posts in my head but never sitting down to write them, and I really don't like writing posts on my phone.

Anyway. Between 15 and 18 months she added:

- in and out

- the sign for "water"

- combining the signs "more" and "milk"

- "ba" for ball

- uh-oh

- "duh" for doggie plus various dog related sound effects

- open

- thank you

She also picked up the habit of patting a chair when she wants you to sit down.

Between 18 and 20 months:

- yeah

- no (she has recently entered that charming phase where she says "no" to basically anything you suggest)

- go

- various short sentences along the lines of "go bye" and "let's go"

- "Where'd it go?"

- beep beep

- "ba" also means bath, bowl, block, and blanket, depending on context

- "baba" for banana

- eat

- sentences "eat baba" (banana) and "eat dat"

- moo and neigh

- whee (e.g. when going down a slide)

- diaper

- combining the sign for "all done" and the word "diaper"

- "dine" for dinosaur

- car

- when she wants to watch YouTube videos on my phone, she holds up one finger in the "wait a minute" gesture, because that's what she's seen me do!

So that makes 30-ish words and probably 4-5 different "sentences" using those words, plus whatever I'm forgetting!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Carl, why don't we have a theme song guy?

No pics today because Google Drive is being finicky and I'm lazy/tired.

One of Tad's favorite things is theme songs. Sometimes he'll scroll through PBS kids on the tablet listening to each theme song and then skipping to the next show before he actually watches any of the episode.

Lately, he's been singing theme songs.

His current favorites:

"My world turning, [unintelligible] day! Wif Mom and Daddy, I find my way! I Caillou! I Caillou! I Caillou!"

"I cure-yus, I cure-yus, I cur-yus..." (No, he doesn't ever get to George!)

"One two free four, paper cat, paper cat, paper cat..." (He's started adding the other lyrics to this song, but probably 75% of the original is "paper cat" anyway.)

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Around the garden, May 2018

Pictures of plants, as one does. If the formatting is wonky, I don't even care and Blogger is terrible.

In the kitchen windowsill, I have an aloe vera plant named My Days of Not Taking You Seriously Are Certainly Coming to a Middle. I dunno, these things just happen. Anyway, it's very handy when one burns oneself cooking dinner and also provides the important service of obscuring the lovely view of the trash cans.

On the front porch we have Pepper Potts, so called because she is a peppermint plant and lives in a pot, because I have been suitably warned about invasive species. 

Also on the front porch, purple tulips. These were my late grandma's favorite flower.

Right now they look like this, which is less impressive. When I get a moment I want to rip out the evergreen shrub and hostas (I don't LIKE evergreen shrubs and hostas, okay?) and put the tulip bulbs in there along with a bunch of other flowers.

In the side yard we have my little square foot garden box. I think this diagram is mostly accurate except that I got nervous and planted like twice as much of everything as I was supposed to. Everything but the tomatoes has been planted at this point; those are going in as soon as I get the seedlings from a friend's 7-year-old who's running a nursery business this summer.

Sugar snap peas. They are having a hard time with the heat lately, but fortunately Cat loves dragging her tiny Paw Patrol watering can over and dousing them thoroughly.

Bush beans.

I think these are parsley but they are still teeny-tiny like that so who even knows?

These are a small cucumber that says "pickling hybrid" on the seed packet so by gum I am going to pickle them. In mason jars, no less.

I call this Teeny Weeny Zucchini, because it is. One hopes it will get MUCH larger considering it has an entire quarter of the garden box as its allotment. Also I want to seduce my neighbors into being my friends by giving them zucchinis.

Wait, or is it zucchinis that make people hate you? Social skills are hard.

I think, based on placement, that these little guys are basil. I'm kind of just leaving in all the random sprouts until they have 2-3 sets of leaves and I can actually tell if they're herbs or weeds.

And here's a random picture of some wild violets just because.

Friday, May 4, 2018

You don't actually have to be anything, part two

Again, disclaimer that this is basically an opinion piece and not a treatise, sorry baby koalas.

Last month was Autism Awareness Month, so of course I'm just writing about it now. :p

In my experience, these days there is a lot less emphasis on making autistic kids "normal" (though some organizations still do this, *cough*AutismSpeaks*cough*). But I also see a lot of people going in the opposite direction of labeling their kids "treasures" or "angels" and talking about how their goal is for the kid to be able to use his unique talents!!!11!

On the one hand, damn straight my kid is a treasure. You all wish you were as cool as he is, trust me.

On the other hand, I don't want him to grow up feeling like he has to play the role of "disabled kid in a Hallmark made-for-TV movie", where the power of love and friendship smooths over all obstacles and everybody rides off into the sunset together.

Tad will probably end up being good at some things. He will probably end up being bad at other things. He will almost certainly have his own opinions of what he wants to do with his life that have nothing to do with inspiring other people by "overcoming" his disability. He will almost certainly not care that nobody wants to adorn a glossy pamphlet on disability with the picture of a pimply, awkward teenager who doesn't like smiling and wears the same holey shirt several days in a row because changing into a shirt that feels different takes too many spoons.

Or he'll end up completely different than that picture I painted above, because he doesn't have to fit anybody's predefined idea of what he should be like. 

I want him to be happy and reasonably independent (is anybody 100% independent, disabled or not?) and fulfilled. But I also want him to feel like he's "allowed" to be angry or sad or overwhelmed or dissatisfied. I want him to know that being disabled doesn't mean he's a one-dimensional generic token character in the story of his own life.

It bugs me to write posts without neat little conclusions, but it would be especially inappropriate here, I think. I'm still learning. In five years or fifteen years I will probably write a completely different post on how I feel about Tad's choices in a world that's going to do its best to limit them and set up false dichotomies. But here's my fumbling attempt to say a thing anyway.