The Watchmaker of Filigree Street – Natasha Pulley

038adf31df89783596f2b2b6a77434f414f4141In 1883, Thaniel Steepleton finds a gold pocket watch on his pillow. Six months later, it saves his life by raising an alarm that causes him to leave the scene of a massive bomb explosion moments before it happens. After the bomb, Thaniel goes in search of the watchmaker, who turns out to be a Japanese man named Kieta Mori. Mori’s workshop is a place of wonder, but since the bomb was clockwork, he’s a suspect in the bombing.

Sounds straightforward, right? Well, there’s a subplot with an Oxford trained physicist (a woman), and Mori’s some kind of clairvoyant, and then things just get weird. I read this mostly to get to the end so I could see what happens. It’s not bad, but I can’t say it’s good either. I’m actually having trouble trying to talk about it. I don’t feel like there was any sort of real resolution, though I suppose you could argue there was. I think this book just wasn’t my cup of tea.


Garden Notes

Planting is done, ahead of this afternoon’s rain.    It’s cool today, but it’s going to be in the 70s for the rest of the week, so I’m not fearing for my tomatoes, if they can get through today.

Today, I added nasturtiums, ground cherries, the rest of the chard, and yarrow.    I have two more blood sorrel that I’ve decided to add to the community garden bed the next time I’m over there.

The Lilac Festival – McLaughlin Garden, South Paris, ME

What I love about the Lilac Festival is that you go expecting lilacs (and boy do they deliver), but there are also just so many lovely spring wildflowers.     This is probably my favorite spring garden in Maine.    I brought my mother for a belated Mother’s Day outing, and we had a lovely time wandering around, seeing flowers she remembers from playing in the woods when she was growing up.

Garden Notes

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The iris in my garden are just about to bloom, but I’ve seen them blooming elsewhere, so I’m planting everything out this weekend.

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This was the fruits of my labors after a trip to the garden center after work on Friday, and the farmer’s market on Saturday.    (Where I managed to give myself and my mother a fright when we nearly plowed into each other while perusing the same tomato plants – we had not coordinated our trips.)

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I started out planting the community garden plot.    I’d brought a few more things than I ended up adding, but this will have: three tomatoes (Brandywine, Cherokee Purple and Purple Passion), two eggplant (an Asian variety and a small, fairy variety), two peppers (Baron – a poblano type and Cheyenne – which should be a not too hot red type), borage, dill, kale, calendula, lemon gem marigolds, regular marigolds, and zucchini.

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Once I got home, I decided to just start planting until I got too hungry to continue.   I got out zinnia, thyme, tarragon, parsley, two cherry tomatoes (Sweet 100 and Sungold), marigolds, bloody dock, kale, half the Swiss chard, basil (Tuscan, regular and Thai), sage and oregano.

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That just leaves half the Swiss chard, nasturtiums, yarrow, husk cherries and some more bloody dock.    I can definitely handle that by the end of the long weekend.

Knitting Notes


Pattern: Winter’s Fern by Trin-Annelie
Yarn: Briggs and Little Heritage in Natural White, Medium Gray and Blue Heather
Needles: Size 7 and 8 circs and 8 DPNs

Here’s the beanie version of this hat.    Both of these are going to be donated – I love the pattern, but I don’t like the way it sits on my head, unfortunately.

Community Garden Notes


The day before I went away, I received an email that the waiting list on the brand new community garden a few blocks away had opened up, and I had a spot waiting for me for this year if I still wanted it.

So it doesn’t look like much at the moment, but I’ve been making plans all week.    I’ve shifted a few things over that I was going to plant in the side garden, and also dreamed a bit.    I’m going to do some full size tomatoes, and some other veg (assuming I find seedlings I like) that I wouldn’t do in pots.    I’ll also do some herbs that will do better in the ground.    So this coming weekend’s shopping and planting extravaganza will be on two fronts.   I can’t wait!

Garden Notes

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Before my trip Down East, I’d given some serious thought to how I was going to harden off my seedlings, since I’ve done too many this year to be able to bring them in and out every day for a week or so.    After much googling, I finally settled on a modified hoop house, with row cover instead of plastic.     The cover had come before I left, but the hoops didn’t arrive until the day I returned.     So that’s now in the backyard for the next week.

I added an extra bay than I needed (and I still have two more hoops) because I figured there would probably be some plant shopping between now and planting weekend (Memorial Day weekend).     And between Saturday’s Farmers Market and the Tate House Plant Sale, I’ve been making headway on that other bay.

Donnell Pond Stars, Franklin, ME

One of the joys of being that far out of town is the lack of light pollution.   I finally had a chance to try my starry skies setting on my camera.     I forgot my tripod (well, BF’s tripod), so the best shots were definitely the ones I had laying on the deck rail.    Still, even the ones I angled, but steadied against something were pretty good.    I can’t wait to try this out again with a tripod.

The bright start is several of the pictures is Jupiter.    My father had his telescope out, so we were able to see its three largest moons.