Sunday, February 22, 2015

That Time of Year Again.

First, a moment of silence please, for Mr. Jon Snow, the fishie who would not die. He was about 2 years old, with a squished fin that made him gimpy. After about a week or two of acting really weird, he has finally passed on to the big muck pond in the sky. Since I still have one albino Cory left, I'm not sure whether I should downgrade the tank to a smaller one, restock the fishies, or just wait for the very last fish to die before I give up totally. On top of that, Miss Maow needed a trip to the Emergency Vet after having a bad reaction to her yearly vaccines. Not cool, considering that we are strongly considering snatching up this little guy...

Meet Hobbs... aka Ajax, if he moves in here.
Anyways, it is one of the best times of year ever in the Northwest. Everything is turning green, and the cherry blossoms are exploding everywhere. That means it's time to plant more green things! I was hoping to do it yesterday when the weather was great, but, thanks to the weather changing, I came down with a massive migraine. I used the down time to finish my math project instead. I made up for it today though, and I'm already feeling the ouch setting in. But I love to see things grow! I love that every time I come home I am met with lots of sprouting little greens, and sometimes a Bill, too.

If he's not busy showing off his belly, he
usually comes downstairs when he hears
anyone's car pull up.

So I still barely know what I'm doing when it comes to gardening, but this time I decided to stick with pretty things instead of edible things, so maybe I'll be less sad when they don't quite work out. Part of it is also growing things outside. Honestly up here, you just plop everything down and let it do--As long as you've got it in the area that gets the right amount of sun, our local weather takes care of the rest. My Bestest ever has a lovely container-garden in her front yard, and since I will likely be moving, I've made sure to mimic her garden as well as planting in the cute little flowerbed out "front."

So far in the front, I've got giant golden crocuses sprouting, Wildflower Tulips starting to pop out, and some Muscari or something (like Bluebells) slowly growing in the back. My crocuses aren't filling in as densely as everyone else in the neighborhood, but I'm guessing I planted them too spread out. Again, trial and error. They'll come back thicker next year for whoever moves in though, and that will be nice. I left one more row behind everything, to plant some Dahlias come springtime--er, nowtime. After doing some research though, I found that Dahlias tend to be annuals, not perennials, so I'm less interested in paying at least $5 a pair for the roots.

That didn't stop me from grabbing one pack of them though, and we'll see how they do in the container. If I manage to keep them alive through the winter, I may plant them in the ground once I land in my real real-home house. While I was walking around in a haze, I also grabbed Columbines and Bleeding Hearts because I really love them. I figured the Lupines would be a nice filler in the back of the flowerbed since I'm more or less ditching the Dahlias. And for fun, I also grabbed an everbearing strawberry plant. I remember them being really easy to propagate.

 Last but not least, on the left, I have no idea what I'm growing. Obviously some pretty purple crocuses, but I cannot for the life of me remember what's popping out in the middle. There's two of them, but the other one is growing much slower. On the right, I paired the Bleeding Hearts with two pink Hyacinths, just to mix things up. Not pictured, I also did a row of Gladiolus, and mixed the Columbines with some of the Lupines since they're both perennials. And I also did a pot full of Lilly of the Valley... I think... That may or may not be all. It's hard for me to say. There's a lot of other random stuff growing in the flower beds, but I don't know what most of it is. I want to pull the weeds and clean it all up, but--eh, effort. Swapping over to nights soon isn't really going to help, and going to DC won't help, but hopefully in the next few weeks I'll be able to pull up the weeds and lay down some more hens-n-chicks by the big tree. Then there's the matter of the actual lawn...

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Cats-up. Ketsup. Ketchup. Catch-Up.

So, here's what my garden looks like these days... I'm excited! I can't remember what I've planted over in the little planters, but I love to watch them sprout. I can tell for sure that the Crocuses are blooming, and they're going to be yellow, because I can see the flowers that haven't finished growing yet. On the left, I forget what I have planted in the back, but I am excited to see everything together in the spring. I might still put some Dahlias in behind what's already growing, but I'm not sure. I still want to clean up the twigs and other little weeds. Not to mention the other flower beds around the house that I didn't plant--I don't know what they're growing, but stuff is sprouting too!

So, I started shopping at Costco last year. Sometimes it's great. Having an Italian in the house, it's just kind of smart to bring home 1-2 gallons of olive oil at a time. Except they're really awkward to cook with, especially with a semi-gimpy dominant hand. But. I happened to remember that I had a stopper spout like bartenders use. And of course, I'm a bit of a packrat, so I have tons of glass bottles. The first bottle I tried fit perfectly, so I ran it through the dishwasher, stripped the stickers, and behold! Easy to pour EVOO.

So I says to the Italian, "What should I put in here to flavor the oil?"
"Hmmm... How about garlic?"
"Yeah, okay, but... do you really want everything we cook to have garlic taste in it? ...Nevermind, don't answer that question."

Bless His Fishy Heart. So, when we all moved into the big house, way back when, I had a small tragedy. I thought John Snow was going to die... because I didn't take everything out of the aquarium when I moved them, and he uh, well, he got squished. I felt so bad that I broke into tears. Luckily [I suppose?] he didn't die, but since one of his belly fins did get squished, he was unable to swim normally. He would flit from leaf to leaf to stone to leaf, and you could tell how tired it made him. I -just- recently came up with this idea to make him a "handicap accessible" fishy-apartment. I added a tiny castle for him to sleep in. He seems to like it better, but now he's got a bump on one side that I'm guessing is constipation.

So much this. Story of my life. My daily struggle.  I wish I could trust more, and let life unfold. There's so much at play right now, so many details hanging up in the air, and it's both frustrating and really exciting. This is going to be a good year. But more on that later.