Monthly Archives: April 2013

Ah April — More Garden

We had another hard freeze, the Brussel sprouts, kohl rabi, kale and Swiss chard seem to be no more, alas.

On the other hand, the small purple flower that blooms briefly in the veggie garden each spring has budded. It’s the only flower thing in the veggie garden beds, and each year I just can’t make myself move it to a flower bed instead. It’s so cheering to see this single, tiny flower in early spring!

I planted the first seeds yesterday: peas & radishes. I’d located my old seed stash last year, so the oldest stuff went out — some of it from 2009! If they don’t come up, I won’t really be surprised. ๐Ÿ˜€ I have newer radish seed but not peas (I plant a lot of peas.) so we bought some. If there’s no sprouting going on out there in the next week or so, I’ll replant the bed. I planted snow peas on one side of the trellis and shelling (English) peas on the other with radishes to fill in the bed. We’ll see what we get!

Still to do: finish filling the new root veggie bed and seed the first carrots, and maybe potatoes, and onions. The onions and potatoes are “maybe” because my usual source for “starts” is a market in MA. They weren’t selling what I wanted by the pound, only by the bag — and too expensively at that, so I didn’t buy any. There’s a co-op in the bigger town where I’m going today. I’ll pick up a few organic potatoes & onions, if they’re not insanely expensive, and I’ll use those.

I was given 6 bunches of pussy willows the other day. I saw an antique dealer I know who had a hand full of these. They were starting to “bloom” and she was pitching them. So I saved her the trouble. I bought some rooting compound and at the moment they’re all in vases in the dining room window. The rooting compound I found was a dyed blue liquid, instead of the powder I expected. The stuff particulated out, there’s a “cloud” on the bottom of all the vases. I got these Friday. I’ll give them til this Friday and if there’s no rooting going on at that point, they’ll go to the dump. I love pussy willows and would LOVE to have some growing in the swampy bits here. We’ll see if this works?

The write up I found said rooting compound isn’t necessary, but that’s the way I was taught, so that’s what I did. Also, these are old, dried out branches, so maybe the rooting compound will help? Who knows? They may all be dead as can be, but the hope that they may not be is enough for early spring!

I need to plant lettuce yet. I was thinking we’d have a salad of Swiss chard, kale, sorrel, chives, radicchio, and a few leeks. It would need a sweet dressing, most of those are more bitter than sweet, but it would all have come out of the garden! But no chard or kale as I noted above, darn it.

Maybe I’ll just stir fry some of what’s left. Last year I wanted full-size radicchio. The chipmunks, squirrels or mice beat me to it! The day before I was going to harvest the biggest head, I came out and almost all of it had been eaten to the ground! If I want radicchio in the spring, we need to eat them young, or the critters get them all! Apparently, they don’t like sorrel.

The bulbs on the north side of the house have finally (5 years?) started to spread on their own. I think the problem they’ve got is that the hill there is too steep, where I’ve leveled out part of the bank, that’s the only piece where they’ve spread towards the vernal pond. Now I know where I’ll use the leaf pile! That, some branches, some soil and the bank on that side of the house can still be steep enough to shed water, but not so steep that the daffs, etc. won’t get a toehold.

And of course, EVERYTHING needs to be fertilized. I wish the fellow who built this house had paid for importing some topsoil! He didn’t. He trucked in God knows how much sand, which is great for the septic, but one of my continual problems the past 20 years has been to create top soil and then KEEP it. The sand leaches the nutrients right out of the soil just about as fast as I can add them.

Rotating the beans/peas around the veggie garden makes a discernible difference, but I can’t plant beans & peas over the lawn, where the blueberry hedge is, under the trees, etc.

I haven’t bought my straw for the year yet. I’ll get 2-3 bales which I’ll use to mulch the veggie garden for water retention. In the fall, the veggie beds are mulched in straw and leaves and whatever straw remains is added to the last compost heap, and the partially composted straw is used the following spring.

I’ve been doing this for years. I can tell.ย  When we bought this place, the soil looked like a vanilla cake with a thin chocolate glaze on top. About 1/3″ of top soil — that’s it. The fact that I can dig 6-8″ (and more in some places) before I hit sand always makes me feel like I’ve won something!

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Springing Forward & Falling Into the Same Old Cr*p

I unearthed my vegetable garden today. This is always a treasure hunt, with both great surprises and bitter disappointments. The surprises this spring include: maybe actually getting some Brussel Sprouts from one of the two plants (too young in the fall) and the sorrel survived, something I’ve never managed before! ๐Ÿ˜€ The new rhubarb survived too — something I was NOT sure of!

The bitter disappointment for the garden is mostly the lemon verbena. I had the biggest, healthiest plant I’ve ever had last year, I carefully mulched it really well in the Fall. It doesn’t seem to have survived, although it may surprise me yet? [I’m not going to pull it up just yet.]

Also, it’s obvious that a neighbor doesn’t trust me with her kids. They were out in the yard, asked if they could come over, I said, “Yes, if it’s all right with your mother.” The answer was “No.” So the kids would have been outside in plain sight in my yard. [This happens every time the kids ask btw, this isn’t the first time this has occurred.]

I’d like to say this doesn’t hurt, but it does. I’ve had a lifetime of people judging me because of the years of therapy, because of the hoarding, etc. people think I’m “crazy” or “unreliable” and there’s nothing I can do or say to counter it, except deny who I am or have been — and I refuse to do that.

It isn’t just the neighbor. I’ve got family who won’t leave their kids with me and my husband, not even for an hour or two. Does it hurt? Of course it does.

But this type of thing is the reason I refuse to apologize, explain or even discuss it with either mother. They wouldn’t tell me the truth anyway, or probably not, so we’ll all pretend that I’m really acceptable, when I’m not — at least to them. I get it, I really do and I don’t blame them.

But in many, many ways I’m likely healthier mentally and emotionally than either of the mothers. I’ve spent a lifetime learning the edges and abysses of my psyche — where they just react and don’t know why or what they’re likely to do. And we’ll all pretend that because they haven’t had the therapy and/or the obvious problems that they don’t have any. Which of course is cr*p.

Recently, I had someone tell me that having PTSD etc. isn’t a social stigma anymore. I think that person must live in fantasyland? Maybe if you haven’t got anything to be stigmatized about, that’s true, but from my perspective? Nothing’s changed, this is more of the same old cr*p, people espousing one thing and acting out of another altogether.

What upsets me the most about it is that there’s no way I can change it or fix it. I can’t “graduate” or be “certified” and so this type of rejection will continue to happen the rest of my life.

The only way I know to NOT get this type of reaction from people is to hide my pastย  — which works way worse when people find out, and they always do. It’s just too juicy a piece of gossip for people to pass up.

This is another one of the reasons that sometimes I’d really just like to get amnesia. It would be nice to actually NOT expect this reaction from people. I don’t expect it from everyone all the time any more, but I’m certainly NOT surprised when it shows up, again — Ah! Hell0 — It’s the same old cr*p! ๐Ÿ˜€

Okay

I have a bunch of data entry to do to catch up with last month and this. I also have a lot of stuff to get ready for the new booth, to purge, etc. and I’ve been running errands like mad AND working on the house/garden instead of sitting in front of a computer.

Spring has hit my yard with the new chores it brings: raking, cleaning stray twigs from the yard, setting up the vegetable garden, seeding or planting plants, etc.

Life is pretty frantic right about now. I’m still pretty busy LIVING rather than writing about it. More soon!

Today

we went to a used-stuff show.

Guess what? We bought stuff! I haven’t counted how MUCH stuff, but we bought some.

I did NOT take stuff to dump off, donate, or otherwise purge. I went through the books which had been placed atop the china cabinet tonight. We still have all of them, but I know what I’m going to do with them.

However, tomorrow? Tomorrow is a DUMP day and another day. I’ll move March to the history page and start a new page for April (little late, ‘eh?) tomorrow.

Tonight? Tonight I’m going to do the dishes then get to bed.

I be tired.

Friday’s Note:

I had 58 books to donate when I left yesterday. We went to the old booth. I have a 1/2 off sale going til the end of the month. We removed some books and a bookcase, added 16 new books, and took out s0me of the oldest books.

We stopped at a book donation bin on the way home and donated the 58 + most of the books I’d pulled. (I’ll have real numbers for later today, the books are all inventoried and will be written off.)

Last night as a sort of experiment, I didn’t have wine after dinner. At 2 a.m., when I still couldn’t sleep, I drank the last of the bottle (about 1/3 of a glass) and slept. Woke up late, about 20 minutes ago, just when I should have been trundling out the door! (Sorry Linda!)

During last night’s insomnia, I added 3 books to the dump bin.

I haven’t been counting, I’ve been

purging stuff in quantity and cleaning!

Today the neighbor’s son came again and we worked on the dining room and cleaning up the bedroom. After he left, I tackled the books I had loaded in the car from the storage.

I got one box of paperbacks cataloged that were donations, and they were donated tonight on the way home. I grabbed some books from the old booth that hadn’t sold, and those were donated too! Also grabbed one of the paperback bookcases, so I can add it to the new booth.

Anyway, yes, I bought 4 books yesterday, but I sold 6, and tossed 23 — that was yesterday. Today? Today I donated around 60, at guess. I’m not worried about my numbers, I’m just too busy to count stuff and write it all in the blog!

 

Okay.

I sold or donated 56 pcs Saturday at the flea market (8 donations, 7 to the Sr. center and one to a group for mothers of multiples (twins, etc.)). When I left, I went by the thrift shop, but there was NO parking spaces, so I went to the market with the book donation bin instead.

I left 27 books in the bin. Then I drove home via the dump and left the suitcase, a dish drainer, a spice rack, and other stuff. I got there just as they were closing. Today we went back and donated the remaining stuff I’d intended to give the thrift shop, another 45 books, a bag sealer, 2 camping plates, a mirror, a pencil tray, one of my plastic bins that had broken, a granite roasting pan bottom, etc.

I’ve got to finalize March’s numbers so I can get on with April’s — sigh. Not enough time in the day to do everything.

Tomorrow? Tomorrow is Monday. That’s the day the neighbor’s son comes and we go work in the storage or work in the living room or . . .? We’ll see!