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sakon76: (Sakon)
Though the wheels of the road to healthiness turn steady, oh but do they seem to turn slow.

I've been sick this winter more than usual. I've missed writing class twice this term! I'm hoping I'm just burning through my winter illness quota early.

The weather, at least, has turned suspiciously nice. Which means I need to spend time in the garden this weekend, pruning back roses and potting up blueberry plants and getting seeds started. And in just over a month I get to disappear off to the UK for five weeks, leaving it all in the hands of my mother. Who is a fantastic gardener without much of a garden of her own this year, but that doesn't help me feel less guilty about having to dump it all on her. :/

But for now I should go clean house some more and then try to sew. Quilt guild on Tuesday. Also Pancake Day. Trying to figure out how to do both....
sakon76: (Sakon)
I shaghai'd Wonderful Husband into yardwork this morning, both in the kitchen garden and the beds out front. The last of the compost is dug in, a heck of a lot of weeds pulled, and the last of my tomatoes/peppers/aubergines/strawberries planted. The roses are mulched, and three out of four blueberry plants finally in their forever homes. The yard waste bin is full.

This afternoon, I got the colorful parts of the baby quilt cut and started sewing them. Pressing seams open is a new and interesting way of doing things. We'll see how it works out.

This evening, we finally played the new board game we picked up at Wondercon, Trekking the National Parks. It was actually quite fun.

Tomorrow, baking and more sewing.
sakon76: (Sakon)
Wonderful Husband is out getting a new car. His Corolla, which he's had since he came over to the USA 11+ years ago, has ticked rather high in mileage, so it's time.

Amusingly, he's getting the same model of car (Honda Fit) that I drive. Though in a darker blue. I've threatened to one night, in the dead of night, sneak out to the garage and switch their parking spots. :)

Squiddle is on the tail end of his nap; I'll probably go get him up after I finish this blog entry. During the quiet, I've been doing my writing class homework and wondering if Wonderful Husband will be home in time for me to go to the quilt guild meeting tonight, of if I'm taking Squiddle with me and going just long enough to drop off my charity blocks (and pick up more) and drop off my block exchange blocks (and pick up instructions for next month's). I've also been considering taking one of the guild's workshops, but having someone else watch the Squiddle for eight hours will be more pain than it's worth. And I have plenty of tops already in progress and finished that I need to quilt.

The garden is coming along in fits and starts. I've cleared about a third of the longest bed and dug compost into it. Five tomato plants are in, I need to put another six on the other side, then mulch it. And the dandelions and mint are busy trying to re-establish themselves in the bed in the front of the house, which finally (after five years) looks like civilized people live here. But that all may well wait until Thursday. Stuff to do tonight, tomorrow, and Thursday morning. Busy busy!
sakon76: (Sakon)
I was up at 7 this morning, and out the door by 7:11, heading to the city's annual compost giveaway. Last year it was at Angel Stadium, directly under the "A" in the parking lot. This year it was across the freeway, at the Honda Center, site of many concert experiences. And one hockey game. I was there, loaded up with free compost, and back home at 7:51 (proving myself wrong; I'd told Wonderful Husband I would be gone half an hour). Wonderful Husband was still sleeping (when he woke up later, he asked if I'd gone yet, so clearly I am a ninja), and Squiddle woke up about five minutes after I got home. Excellent timing!

Today was a being productive day - I did dishes and laundry and cleaned the rest of the stove and vacuumed the shed straw out of my car, then went to my quilt guild's show. I'm currently on my period, which usually is an energy suck, but for some reason this month it's a getting-stuff-done zone. No idea why. Wish it was always like this.

There were some really lovely pieces in the quilt show, but overall I think I'm at a level where I should enter/display my stuff next year. Not that my work is better, but it's on par. I was amused at the silent auction table being completely made up of the somewhat tattered antique quilts I'd donated. I bought a couple things in the sale room, then headed home to have lunch before going to the Costume College packet stuffing.

Except I discovered the packet stuffing e-mail didn't include the actual address! Just "person's home, in this city." Not helpful. So for the first time in many years, I didn't go. Instead I stayed home and sewed quilt blocks, pulled weeds, and generally did homebody stuff that needed doing.
sakon76: (Sakon)
Yesterday I was quilting the last half of the last border. I needed to change needles, which, fine, whatever. Quilting takes a larger needle size than I typically use for sewing, so I went through my inherited packets of needles in search of one which was sharp. While I was doing that, the Squiddle got ahold of my scissors.

And managed to cut the quilt.

It's only about an inch and a quarter. It's on a section of the border I hadn't gotten to yet. I can haul out my Babylock and repair it with a zigzag stitch.

But still. That plus the needle thing threw me off my game for the rest of the day.

Nonetheless, I did finally get around to buying us tickets to Wondercon. Unfortunately Saturday tickets were sold out, so like with Comic-Con, it looks like we'll only be attending on Sunday. Que sera sera.

Today I went to the Fullerton Arboretum plant sale, with my list in hand, and bought only what was on my list. This is me trying to be virtuous and not overextend myself gardening this year. That said, I still walked out with twenty plants more and something like $66 less. And I've been weeding the bed along the front of the house to put ten-ish of those plants in. (Purple jalepenos, white habeneros, shishito peppers, and rosa bianca eggplants.)

I have also discovered that at some point in the last six months, Penzey's Spices opened a store less than three miles from my home. Dangerous!
sakon76: (Sakon)
Ha. I have finally bulldozed through cleared off one of the two piles of novel edits sitting on my desk. There is a 8.5" square of space at my right elbow now! And the other pile is about five inches tall. Or a hundred pages of edits, take your choice. So the end is in sight!

I've also finally pulled out my seed packets and started starting seeds for this year's garden. Melons and squash and and aubergines and peppers and corn and popcorn, oh my! I still have the tomatoes, flowers, herbs, and root vegetables (which get seeded in place) to go through, but I'm halfway there.

And, all the bricks on the patio from half taking down the double fence have been neatly stacked in the dogrun. (The dogrun for the dog which we don't have. Meh, the house came with it, and until we feel like taking metal posts out of a concrete slab, it's staying where it is. Storage space it is!) Now to start whacking more bricks out of the remaining inner fence, and eventually planting fruit trees along it....
sakon76: (Sakon)
Sprouts had a sale on a lot of different types of apples this week, so I indulged. And bought a LOT. With a thought toward applesauce, apple jams, apple pies....

Tomorrow being a (large!) family dinner at my parents' place, I decided to experiment for the latter. You see, my go-to recipe is Apple Pie I from The Joy of Cooking. But there's also an Apple Pie II recipe, which precooks the apples so they don't shrink as much during the baking and you don't end up with a crust hovering an inch above the filling. I've never tried it. As of today I have, making one of each type to do a contrast/compare tomorrow. And since I had a bit of crust left over, and a bit of frozen mixed berries just hanging out in the freezer, I freestyled a couple of small tarts for dinner tonight.

I also pulled out a bed's worth of weeds and dead tomato plants, while Wonderful Husband fixed our washer (which wasn't draining properly), and also repaired my car's dome light and replaced the Squiddle's nightlight bulb.

Ah, yes, the Squiddle. Who had gotten me up five times by five a.m. last night, and then Wonderful Husband stayed up with him for a few hours until I was awake, whereupon we tag-teamed out. Usually the baby's much better than that. We're working on the theory that maybe his bedroom needs to be a touch warmer. He has also, as of yesterday, figured out how to open doors. Maybe getting paddle handles instead of knobs was a bad idea.... :)

And the big thing that happened this week was that we threw my parents a bon voyage party, and managed to keep it, and the fact that my younger sister flew down for it, a surprise from my mother until she walked in the restaurant door. ^_^ Being my first foray into party planning, this wasn't exactly a stress-free event, but I think it came off rather well. And now I know what I'm going about for the next time.
sakon76: (Sakon)
Squiddle finally asleep. He had a mad scalp-scratching fit the first time I tried to get him down for the night. Which, I knew he'd been scratching his scalp now and again (the red marks are hard to miss beneath baby-fine hair), but this was the first time I've seen him do it. So he's back in mittens for now. If he's inherited Wonderful Husband's itchy scalp, I pray he outgrows it.

Today was largely a day of yardwork. A bit more clearing of the beds and rubble in the back yard, trimming the rosebushes there, clearing the old nasty lemons off the tree and out of its bed, and starting to clear the kitchen garden. We pulled all the pepper and tomato plants save the one that's actually giving us tomatoes, and I pulled about two-thirds of the oregano's seed head branches. Which is the source of the blisters on both my index fingers. ^_^;; But the yard waste bin is full, so doing more gets to wait until next weekend.

And Wonderful Husband cleaned our bedroom fan today. As it's on year-round, it gets pretty darn nasty sometimes....

I'm down from painkillers-every-three-hours to painkillers-every-eight-hours. Yay! And now, bed for me too.
sakon76: (Sakon)
Saturday's sourdough bread turned out an inedible disk as it never rose. Yesterday's seems a bit better; we'll know for sure once we cut into it tonight. I used a different flour for it, and put it in the closed microwave oven along with a heating pack to help it during the rise. I'm figuring I'll keep doing a loaf on Saturdays and another on Sundays until I've got sourdough bread mastered.

Since yesterday was sunny and rain-free, Wonderful Husband and I ran errands, pulled Christmas stuff down from the garage rafters, and while I baked (the aforementioned bread and an apple pie), he took out the geranium that regularly tries to eat our front door, and hung our outdoor Christmas lights. A couple of the neighbors seem to be getting rather competitive about their light displays. I think we'll stick to our one row of icicles, thanks.

The two times Squiddle woke last night were at the worst points of my REM cycle, but I managed. The third time I got up with him was a matter of necessity on my part. Milk engorgement is a strange feeling. The best description I can give is that it feels like being a balloon inflated too full. Tight to bursting. And then, after Squiddle has nursed and the issue is resolved, the breast feels (comparatively) like a sack of pudding. Weird.

Lowe's has their bulbs half off, but I'm not going to buy any until I have time to plant them. And now that that geranium has been removed, even if the long front bed hasn't been rebuilt yet, I have plans for it. My garlic failure of this year was due to a failure to water. The front bed, however, is one of the ones with sprinklers on a timer. I'm thinking alternating patches of garlic, radishes/carrots/parsnips, and maybe blueberry bushes....
sakon76: (Sakon)
Well, once again I greet the weekend with a list, and once again the weekend laughs at me. That said, I juiced a week's worth of oranges, and turned that six cups of lemon juice into lemon cordial. I had to juice about half the remaining lemons to add in; the cordial was just tasting like sugar water otherwise, with no hint of tartness. So I ended up with three and a half liters of cordial. ^_^;; The remaining lemons also got juiced, and their de-pithed peels added to the limoncello together with another bottle of vodka. My counter has returned to a state of citrus-free! (Though there's still some oranges left in their bag on the floor.)

I started out with not great goals for gardening today, but, well, it rained yesterday. According to my rain gauge, an inch. But as the gauge was hidden among the tall nettles, I don't know whether I trust its numbers. Wonderful Husband was working from home yesterday, and he said it was pouring down harder than he'd ever seen since moving to California. In any case, both the bins under my potting bench were full of water (the bench is right under the eaves and we don't have gutters installed yet), so they got emptied out. And I planted the rhubarb and a hydrangea under the trees along the park side of the backyard.

Then Jaime, one of our neighbors, let us know he's taking the kitchen garden wall down to about half height and getting it rebuilt up. Which is fine with us! It's very wobbly (cracked about halfway up) and he parks right next to it on his side, so he's worried about it coming down in a quake. Thusly, Wonderful Husband cleared the bed adjoining the wall and I replanted the few things I wanted to keep (walking onions, and a few mystery bulbs that flower pink).

I've got 24 4" pots ready for tomato seeds (finally!) and have found my seed packets, so I'll do those up in the morning. For now, though, an early bedtime sounds appealing, especially in light of the time change tomorrow morning....
sakon76: (Sakon)
Proof that global weirding exists: it was in the 80s today. And I know I live in SoCal, but this is still winter. It should not be this warm at this time of year.

After it cooled down a bit (4pmish), I did a bit of yardwork with Wonderful Husband. We cleared the strawberry bed of dead plants, dug in amendments, and I got 15 new bare-root plants put in. He also dug amendments into another bed for me, where I put in three yellow pear tomatoes, and a trellis for cucumbers. Watering all those in and watering the potted plants was all that got done today.

I did, however, get mostly caught up on dishes, and made butternut squash soup for dinner, so that's something.
sakon76: (Default)
Yesterday, I did a good deal of nothing, other than roasting a chicken for dinner. Julia Child may have claimed that the real test of a good chef is a perfectly roasted chicken, but I honestly don't think so. I can do that, no problem, but there are so many, many things I have yet to master.

Today, on the other hand, I have been doing yardwork. The last ten tomato plants, as well as a couple of peppers, chard plants, remaining corn, and whatever weeds were in my way, are now pulled and chopped up and in the compost. The kitchen garden now looks much tidier. Hopefully, later this week I'll be able to put in some more rows of root vegetables.

I also weeded the first couple hundred morning glory seedlings out of the side walkway. I need to consult with Alex, our neighbor on that side, and see if he objects to them covering the wall. If he doesn't, I'll put up netting and let them climb it. In the meantime, the first narcissus has bloomed! They smell so heavenly. This year I need to mark where they are and dig the bulbs in midsummer; they've multiplied rather a lot since I planted them.
sakon76: (Default)
I have been intending to use November and the associated NaNoWriMo to work on Field of Stars. I don't think I'll be able to finish it in one month, no matter how hard I push, but I'm hoping to get a huge chunk of it written and hopefully have the whole book, draft 1, done by New Year's. Doing this kind of huge push, though, means a pretty big investment in time and energy, so I've been trying to get things as what need doing, done before the first.

I'm finishing up a dress I've been working on. I have this weekend earmarked for a set of linen fitted sheet and pillowcases. And somehow, somehow, I need to work on curtains. I've also been cleaning up the garden from summer and sowing the winter/fall crops. Wonderful Husband has been informed (though I will doubtless need to remind him) that I'm planning to absorb myself in the book, and thus the onus of cooking will fall further on him.

All this worked perfectly with Thanksgiving being done by my parents this year, and Christmas by us. It gave us time to get the house spruced up a little more, even.

Except yesterday my father finally got scheduled for knee replacement surgery. In mid-December. Which means we're flipping holidays, as it will be trickier for him to get around at that point, and our place has three stairs up to it which theirs doesn't, and it'll be all around easier that way....

Dammit, wrench being thrown in my NaNo plans! Because now I not only have to plan a major holiday meal for 8+ during the month, I have to speed up making-the-house-presentable. Sanding and painting furniture, painting the shower room, deep-cleaning things, rediscovering the surface of my desk and the areas of the office where I have stuff stacked, tidying the yard....

I hate having to be hyper-organized, and now I have to be so for the next month and a half.
sakon76: (Default)
Pulled weeds, pulled corn. Another week with the yard waste bin full and going to the city's composting program. Certain things I leave to them because they compost on an industrial scale with chippers and grinders and stuff, which I cannot.

Planted a half-dozen jalepeno plants on the side walkway where I pulled the weeds (grass and morning glories). It gets morning sun there, and while half the flowers (I'm not remembering the type/name ATM) my mom gave me to plant there didn't do well (four are still alive and blooming!), the volunteer mystery pepper plant has gone gangbusters. I'm hoping other pepper plants might as well, so for less than $3 I'm giving them a shot.

Went to the gym. Twelve minutes of pure exhausting pain on the elliptical of evil whose sensors are shot, then a more reasonable twenty-five minutes on the bike. Then upstairs to the weight machines, where I went through my repetoire except for the "dorsal flexer" (if I'm deciphering April-the-trainer's handwriting correctly), which someone else was on. Then back downstairs and waiting for Wonderful Husband to finish his bike time so he could hold my feet down for the side-to-side core flex sets, and ten situps. I cannot do situps or anything abs related without something/one to keep my feet down. Fail!Me.

Now to rifle through the fridge for dinner, hang that last set of shelves, and then have the pleasure of actually, finally putting DVDs on them. ^_^
sakon76: (Default)
Have finished second editing pass on Queen's Choice!

Now to put on shoes and a hat and go pull weeds.

Non-stop thrills, chills, and excitement around here, y'all. :)
sakon76: (Default)
Spent the eclipse gardening and occasionally taking a gander at the pinhole camera I'd made. Using an actual pin, which for some reason makes me snicker.

Writing class tomorrow night; I still haven't done my homework. Guess I know what I'll be doing during my lunch break tomorrow!

Have gotten the waistband and zipper off the burgundy linen skirt, and am in the process of sewing the lining to the fashion fabric at the zipper opening before reattaching the zipper, invisibly. Then I'll gather the skirt ~7" narrower.

For now, though, as I need to run around doing car things in the morning, bed!
sakon76: (Default)
I handed Wonderful Husband the article in Threads about the VPLL 1912 Project. I listed for him all the reasons I shouldn't do it. I'm juggling almost too many things as it is! He made hmming noises in all the right places and thought I should do it anyway.

So I signed up.

Time management skills. I must acquire them. I should study at the feet of [livejournal.com profile] mmouse15, who obviously has a Time Turner, as she manages to do more than seems humanly possible....

Also, have discovered that though Lowe's still sells 1/2" soaker hoses, they no longer carry 1/2" hose menders. Fortunately, Ace Hardware does. And apparently my local Ace has a VERY nicely appointed housewares section. Le Creuset! Also, lots and lots of canning equipment. Including wide-mouthed pint-and-a-half jars, and half gallon jars. I resisted, but good to know those are locally available.

The weekly ritual of ripping out devil grass resprout attempts from among the roses seems to be slowly bearing fruit. There was less grass to tear out this week....
sakon76: (Default)
Didn't get a full round of editing done tonight because I spent some time starting seeds and working in the garden instead. Hooray for having extra daylight after work! Also, hooray for new garden fork! It makes digging in amendments so much easier.

Editing count: up to page 89/627. 131,756 words. One scene left in chapter five, but it's a long one.
sakon76: (Default)
Yesterday, after taking one of the cats to the vet for her booster shots, I went over to my parents' place to help my mother trim back the rose bushes in the front of their house.

It was an adventure. To begin with, the endeavor involved ripping out lots of grass to find the rosebushes themselves...

Two and a half hours later, though, the task was complete. By the time I got home, I was aching all over. Wearing gloves and being careful mean that my hands and arms only look like I got in a fight with one cat, not a dozen, but I can still feel where I got stuck by the rose prickles. Good thing I did it yesterday instead of today; my hands will need the extra recovery time before going in to work....
sakon76: (Default)
Since we wanted to have tacos, and my four volunteer lettuce plants (Amish Deer Tongue) aren't big enough to provide the greens yet, I started a Mason jar of sprouts going earlier this week. Now, usually I do alfalfa sprouts, but I also had a package of radish seeds for sprouts, and I like the peppery bite, so I decided to do those instead. Now, with alfalfa sprouts, you cover the bottom of the jar 2-3 seeds deep. The instructions for the radish sprouts instruct to cover the bottom of the jar an inch or so deep.

I decided to err on the side of caution.

Damn good thing I did. The quart jar, minus what we used on the tacos, is packed full. Sandwich time~!

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