Garden Notes


My seeds are started for the year.   I’ve got Swiss chard, Lacinto kale, nasturtiums, blood sorrel, calendula, zinnias, and husk cherries.


I’m trying something a little different with seed storage – the above has rice in it, and is currently in a cold part of the fridge.


Here’s the rig in place.   (I’ll be putting the cover on this evening- it needed to dry out a smidge.)


Once they’ve sprouted, I’ve already got the grow light rigged to the timer – I’ll just have to turn that on.


Knitting Notes

I am apparently not meant to be making a hat right now.   I got about three rows into the actual pattern of the current (third) attempt, and realized I had twisted it when I joined it to knit in the round.

I officially give up.    I’ve added the three recent attempted patterns back to my queue, and put the yarn back in my stash.   I think it’s just safer that I work on something else for while.   Probably a long while.

Waistcoats and Weaponry – Gail Carriger

79b8e239d22f6b6596f6b726b41434f414f4141Sophronia and her friends are back at school after their adventures in London. They’re being introduced to the fine art of seduction, and Sophronia’s not sure what to do about her dueling feelings for Lord Felix Mersey and the sootie Soap.

Things are going pretty well until her friend Sidheag receives some devastating news – her werewolf uncles have betrayed her (great-great-etc) grandfather, and attempted to assassinate the queen. Lord Maccon was forced to kill his Beta, and due to the betrayal, has abandoned the pack. Sidheag leaves the school late at night to try and find her grandfather.

Sophronia and her other friends try to cover for her absence, but there’s soon no hiding it, and it’s known that Sidheag has run off. At the same time, Sophronia has to return home for her brother’s engagement ball, and Dimity comes with her, as well as Lord Felix. After all that set up (seriously, that’s the set up) – things really start happening, as all of the mechanical servants at the ball are taken over, and suddenly stop working. Sidheag also shows up, and asks the girls to help her escape north to Scotland, and they sneak on board a train, which turns out to be a vampire spy train. They’re spying on a dirigible, which turns out to be under the control of Felix’s father.     Some very serious things happen at the end of this book.

This is pretty clearly the setup to a spectacular ending to the series. I’ll be very interested to see how things turn out for Sophronia and her friends.

The Reluctant Widow – Georgette Heyer

badfe6dd39c2ec859322f2b5477434f414f4141Elinor is on her way to become a governess for a wealthy woman in the country – a job she’s had to take after her father gambled away the family’s fortune. She’s met at the post coach by the house’s personal coach, and about an hour later is shown into the study of a man who thinks Elinor is the woman he’s contracted to marry his cousin. Lord Carlyon is Eustace Cheviot’s heir, but doesn’t want to inherit, and so has been desperately trying to find someone to marry his cousin.   (Seriously.   I am not making this up.)

Elinor quickly realizes the mistake, but while she and Carlyon are trying to back out of the awkward situation, word comes that Mr. Cheviot has gotten into a fight, and is on his deathbed. And somehow, Carlyon snookers both Elinor and Eustace into the marriage. Have I lost you yet?

This is definitely one of the completely anachronistic Heyer stories that you have to suspend all disbelief on, and just go with it.    Because Elinor’s absolutely a member of the Carlyon family from that moment forward (the younger brother is a hoot), and it very quickly turns into a spy story.     Believe it or not, it’s a fair amount of fun. Completely unbelievable for the time it’s set in, but fun.

Knitting Notes


The Blank Canvas sweater is doing much better.    I’ve finished the main part of the body of the 40″ size, and the fit is much, much better.    (Though I’m definitely lifelining the crap out of everything so I can start over at any one point, at will.)

I’ve started out on the first sleeve, so here’s hoping my calculations to make it long sleeved work.


I’ve also cast on the Roisinis hat/cowl by Emily K. Williams, using Swan Island Natural Colors Merino finger, in the Beetroot colorway.     This is actually not the pattern I’d referenced in my last knitting notes entry, because I couldn’t get this yarn to swatch appropriately – it’s actually light fingering weight, and much too fine.   Fortunately, I’m working off a decent Paypal credit balance, so I was able to find a Plan C for a hat for this winter.

Indoor Garden




I did a little movement with the houseplants this week, so it seemed a good time for a status check.

Things mostly seem fine after the summer vacation and repotting I was forced into by an infestation last winter.    About the only thing that really changed is that I can no longer keep the smaller peace lily on the radiator.   It’s just drying out at the drop of a hat.     I wonder if I should have put it in a bigger pot.   So I may need to attend to that when it warms up.

I also moved the snake plant over to the front window this weekend.    I’m considering getting a big statement plant to replace it in that corner of the dining room.    I’d rather have something that’s big on top, rather than sending over leaves that enjoy falling right in the walking path to the living room.


And finally, my father asked me for a cutting of the Grammie begonia a couple years ago at this point.    And I can’t seem to get any to root in potting soil.    So I’m trying several in water.    Let’s see if that does anything…

Garden Notes


And so it begins…

Next weekend is going to be seed starting time, so I cleaned up and gathered things together this weekend.    I had to restock the peat pellets.    (What I plan to do this year is start them in the peat pellets, and put them in the little pots when I transfer them to the grow light.)

I also found that both of the black trays I had used under the grow light developed cracks, so I pulled out some of my largest houseplant trays to hold things under the grow light instead.   The light itself is in the front room, and easily accessible.   Plus, I won’t need it until thing sprout anyway, so I’ll probably just pull that out next week.   I figure I can get it set up, and get the timer working, even if I don’t turn the light on yet.

A Quiet Life in the Country – T. E. Kinsey

9472a03105430ec596b35356e67434f414f4141Lady Emily Hardcastle and her maid Flo are retiring to the country after an apparently interesting time traveling the world, both before and after the death of Lady Hardcastle’s husband. Naturally, there’s a murder in their new village, and they feel compelled to investigate.

I was a little let down by the women’s past. I was promised a maid who is an expert in the martial arts, and all I really got was hints about things the women had done in China and India. If that’s going to be blurbed, I expect a little more. (Granted, this appears to be the first book in a series, so there is time for that later.)

That aside, this was an enjoyable book. I see it compared to Wodehouse and Heyer – I’d say Heyer is better, but this book shows promise. I’ll definitely consider reading more in the series.

Winter is Here

After a relatively uneventful season, winter finally decided to show up.     It snowed all day Friday the 10th, fitfully Saturday the 11th (it was considered a separate storm), then started later in the Sunday on Sunday the 12th and went all the way through the next day.     And then it decided to snow on Wednesday the 15th, as well.    I think there was even another set of flurries in there at some other point as well.  We got 39.5 inches (Portland Jetport official totals, at least) through the whole funfest.

The pictures below are from Monday, starting at 4:30, when I logged off my computer (worked from home).   We were out shoveling until about 7:30.   (We did do the neighbor’s across the street.   He’s 80.   He had no business being outside in this.)

It looks pretty bad from this side, at least on top.
And then you see the inside drift against the fence.
Here’s a badly lit picture of the BF from the clean up, for scale. (I will note – this is still there, even though it was in the 40s yesterday, and will probably be in the 50s today. We had nowhere to put it.)
E’s car looks pretty bad from the back.


The boys had gone out done clean up of what was out there already on Monday morning, including one round of plow crap at the end of the driveway. This was round two. Check for the car across the street to see what it looks like if you hadn’t cleaned up earlier. (That’s the neighbor we dug out.)
I swear there are stairs there.
The lovely back yard bank, post clean up.

To add insult to injury, the Wednesday storm started as rain, so the Thursday morning crap at the end of the driveway was like cement.   (We lucked out on this one – it was only about five inches here.    They got around 20 in the Sebago/Denmark/Bridgton area)    And we desperately need snow removal on our street (it’s not even worth trying to exit on the Brighton side at the moment.)     It may melt before they’re able to do that, if the temps of the last couple days continue.   And at least at the moment, there are holes in the banks at the storm drains, so the street is not currently flooding.

So, winter.   Woo.

Garden Notes


And so it begins…

Here are this year’s seeds.   I have some leftover Tuscan kale I’ll try to use one last time this year, as well.

Definitely more flowers this year.   I saw calendula mixed in with Tuscan kale in the Kitchen Garden at the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden last summer, and having grown both, and knowing I like both, I love the idea of that mix.    I also want zinnias, because they’re just awesome, and no one around here sells flats that I’m at all interested in.

This year’s experiment is the Goldie ground cherries.   I would love to grow fruit, but I don’t have the space for trees or bushes.      This will give me something sweet, without taking up a ton of room.    So we’ll see how that goes.    My mother has grown them before, so they should work.