Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: February 2017

While my Zone 6 garden hasn’t quite awakened from its mild winter slumber quite yet, I have plenty of blooms indoors to keep me company.

I got this African violet as a birthday present from a co-worker some ten years ago — actually, probably more like twelve, now that I think about it. It’s still going strong, which pleases me.

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day: Feb 2017

I potted up this Ragtime amaryllis in hopes of a Christmas bloom, which it just barely missed. (Luckily, the second bloom stalk of the Christmas Star amaryllis filled in quite nicely.) This is the second bloom of Ragtime, much later than I would have expected. But I’ll take it!

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day: Feb 2017

This is my first year forcing hyacinths. I decided to do them in rounds, partially because I bought half a dozen bulbs and only have three forcing vases, but also so I could do some trial-and-error to see how they bloom best in my house. I managed to rot the first two bulbs, but this third one is the charm.

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day: Feb 2017

Finally — and this one might be the one I’m most excited about — this is the first bloom of this particular kalanchoe that I got as a cutting nearly three years ago. My friend and co-worker gave me four cuttings of three colors (I think), and so far I’ve seen shades of orange and pink. This is the first yellow bloom.

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day: Feb 2017

Looking forward to seeing a few outdoor blooms by this time next month — crocuses, if nothing else.

As always, thanks to Carol of May Dreams Gardens for hosting this meme every month!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

We’ve been married for almost 14 years now — together for almost 21 years in total — so our V-Day plan is pretty established by now. Either I’ll get up on some morning near Valentine’s Day and find a bouquet on the kitchen table, or I’ll get a call from the front desk at my work to pick up the flowers that Aaron had delivered.

I look forward to this every year. We don’t go out for a romantic dinner — our schedules don’t really allow for it, plus we already do a monthly date night, and everything is CRAZY on Valentine’s Day — but I always can count on getting flowers from my Honey-Muffin.

XOXO, Honey. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Keepin’ It Goin’

When I resolved to post something to the blog every day, I didn’t realize how narcissistic and self-serving it would seem some days. Post a thing for everyone to see, every day, whether it’s interesting or not. Whether I’m feeling it or not.

I have a blog post all queued up and ready to go… but I don’t feel like it’s what I want to post today. I’m tired and I just succumbed to an after-dinner uber-snack that made me uncomfortably full, so I’m not into posting an entry called, “Why DO I want to lose weight?”

I’m guessing this is how it is for real writers, too — sometimes you get the bear, and sometimes the bear gets you. You just keep on keepin’ on, and eventually something good happens.

If you’re still reading… thanks. And here’s a pic of my kid writing out valentines after dinner to pep up a dull blog entry:

Happy Chinese New Year!

Connor with an oversized chocolate coin

Connor’s favorite server at the dim sum restaurant gave him two chocolate coins for the Lunar New Year today. Connor remembered that he’d gotten an envelope with a dollar in it last year, and hoped he’d get another surprise this year, too.

I think he liked this surprise better. 🙂

Fun New Glasses!

Took Friday afternoon off work for appointments: dentist, chiropractor, glasses, and picking up my son’s kindergarten registration packet. Fit in a solo lunch at my favorite Chinese-Korean joint (a special treat, since they’re closed on weekends and are nowhere near my work) and a brief camera walk at the Metropark near my house (until the camera battery balked at the cold temps).

I love it when the planets align and I can have a productive and enjoyable afternoon like that.

BTW, in case you can’t see in this pic, the new glasses are sort of a brown and aqua tortoiseshell with a couple bits of straight-up rainbow thrown in. Subtly fun, without being committed to a bright crazy pair of glasses for two years.

Goodreads

On a whim, I created an account on Goodreads today.

(I’m not sure why it thinks I live in Delaware, but I haven’t corrected it yet.)

Goodreads seems like my kind of thing, as far as tracking what books I’ve read. I’ve been tracking my sparse reading habits elsewhere for the past couple of years; perhaps I’ll enter what data I have, just for grins.

I certainly have enough books that I haven’t read here at home, and in my Audible library — but if my To Be Read pile ever magically dwindles, Goodreads also looks like it’s ripe with recommendations.

Maybe just the act of recording what books I’m reading will spur me to read more. What gets measured gets done, as someone once said. Plus, I don’t want to embarrass myself by ONLY reading six books this year (even though I set that as my goal). I’m supposed to be this huge lover of reading… but I didn’t finish a single book in the second half of 2016.

My son told me the other day that “reading is boring.” Be still, my heart! My own son? Maybe if he sees his Mom reading more often instead of playing on her phone, he might get the idea that reading for leisure is a thing people do.

Plus, you know, a trip to the library every now and then never hurt anyone… even those of us with more books than can fit in our shelves.

Did I Really Order This Many Seeds?

Short answer: Yes, I did.

My order from Jung’s Seeds came in today, and that was my first reaction. They did send me two free trial packets — bachelor buttons and muskmelon — but I really did order all eleven other packets. For many gardeners, that’s just a fraction of what they grow… but for me, well, I’m planning to expand my little suggestion of a vegetable garden patch into something a little more substantial. (Note to self: don’t forget to call 8-1-1 beforehand just to be sure you don’t dig too close to any utilities.)

Last year, I had a few varieties of tomatoes, some basil, and eggplant. This year, here’s the rundown of edibles:

Vegetables (New)

Squash, Easypick Green
Muskmelon, Pride of Wisconsin
Tomato, Early Girl
Tomato, SunSugar (yellow cherry)
Carrot, Nelson
Carrot, Bolero
Cucumber, Diamont
Eggplant, Millionaire

Vegetables (2016 or earlier)

Eggplant, Black Beauty
Tomato, Yellow Pear

Herbs (New)

Sage, Broadleaf
Thyme, Winter

Herbs (2016 or earlier)

Basil, Asian, Cinnamon
Basil, Asian, Sweet Thai
Basil, Asian, Siam Queen
Basil, Lemon, Mrs. Burns
Cilantro, Calypso
Dill, Goldkrone
Lemon Balm
Parsley, Titan
Peppers, Paprika, Dulce Rojo

I also ordered a few new ornamentals: zinnias and sunflowers — plus the bonus bachelor buttons — and I have several others I plan to start from previous years’ seeds, like cosmos, miniature hollyhock, cinquefoil, woodland tobacco, foxgloves, sweet peas, and milkweed.

That might be too many. Or, like last year, some might work out and others will fall flat, and I’ll be glad that I started so many different seeds.

Designer Sunglasses

Let me state for the record that I am never again going to schedule a morning optometrist appointment with the intention of working in the afternoon. She dilated my eyes as part of the standard exam; I hadn’t realized the dilation drops can take upwards of four hours to wear off. I had a headache all afternoon from trying to focus close enough for computer-screen work.

Apart from that, though — and the fact that their Optical provider doesn’t accept my vision insurance — I had a pretty uneventful visit, and am looking forward to getting my new frames in a couple of weeks!