Garden Notes

We had a frost last week, after I stupidly planted out a few of the tender plants I bought last weekend. Lesson learned there. So the rest of the plants I bought are jammed in with my seedlings under the grow lights, until at least Memorial Day.

The exception to that are a few flats that came in cardboard containers. I’m not comfortable leaving those in them, since they dry out so much more quickly. So those have been planted in their intended containers, and will hang out with the dahlias until it’s reliably warmed up.


Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance – Lois McMaster Bujold

This book occurs relatively late in the timeline of this series, and concerns Miles’ cousin Ivan. It’s more or less the story of how a notorious womanizer finally finds the right woman, and settles down.

It helps that the right woman is one of the daughters of one of the baronial families of Jackson’s Whole. Unlike Barrayar, the Whole is ruled by those with enough money and cunning to stay in power, and Tej’s family had that power, up until she and Ivan manage to meet on Komarr. He’s there for work, and she’s on the run after her parents and oldest brother were killed in a hostile takeover.

This book goes exactly where you think it’s going to, until a rather significant wrench gets throw into the works, and that’s when the story goes from good to great. It’s a mad caper, barely featuring Miles, no less, and it’s wonderful. Not that I’ve ever had a bad thing to say about this series.

Knitting Notes

The Lana Plantae Rambouillet Fingering in Cochineal & Madder is finally used up! The “problem” with this yarn is that it’s a 500 yard skein (as opposed to a 100 g skein), so it feels like it took forever to finally use up.

I really did like this yarn, the color is so cool. It’s a little on the scratchier side, but I think I’ve managed to use it well enough to not have to worry about that.

Garden Notes

Tragically, going to Wolfes Neck practically forces us by Estabrook’s in Yarmouth, so here’s today’s haul from there. We got three of the red verbena that did so well up front last summer, a red nicotiana (that looks more robust than the ones I grew last year), a Rozanne geranium, some supplemental Swiss chard, a sungold tomato and oregano.

The front bed really is the worst for taking pictures, because there’s always some sort of sun line, but here’s Rozanne and the verbena in their new home.

The kniphofia, sea holly and delphiniums have all come back. The violet and wild strawberries are doing really well this year as well. I hate cutting them back – I don’t really consider them weeds, so I’ll let them go as long as they don’t completely get in the way.

I also planted a sedum that had found its way to the back of the shed up in this bed. I’m in the process of redoing the compost pile back there, so it needed to be moved. It’s red, so I figured might as well put it up front – that fits the theme. We’ll see if it’s ok with the sun situation in this bed.

We are on the lookout for another yellow dahlia to put up here, but for reasons that’ll be clearer later, I have a little less plant shopping time this May than I usually do.

The Princess Diarist – Carrie Fisher

I do miss Carrie Fisher. She had such a great writing voice, and it was so nice to see her commentary on various things, knowing she had fully reached that lovely stage of being a woman of a certain age who no longer has any fucks to give. I wish I could have seen what she would have had to say about various events in the past several years.

This book talks about her career as Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise, because she completely acknowledges that she and Leia are tied up in many ways that a real and fictional person probably shouldn’t be. I’m just so glad I never had aspirations to be a celebrity. What a weird world to live in.

Anyway, if you’re a fan, read this book. It is a little sad in places, because it was written fairly close to her death, and there are a couple of moments that ring very differently because she passed away not too long after she wrote this than they otherwise would have. But it’s mostly a lovely tribute to a character that’s very important to a lot of people, including the one who happen to look just like her.

The Serpent’s Egg – Caroline Stevermer

This book is thirty five years old (with a nice, new cover) and in hindsight, that’s absolutely obvious when reading it. The plot is very quick, very fun, and very fast. I think today, you would have gotten a lot more detail about the various intrigues.

Basically, the evil Duke of Tilbury is out to kill the queen, and a merry band of some of her other subjects want to save her. Why they want to save her is a little beyond me – she’s not actually that nice. But the actual merry band is a lot of fun.

I’ll confess, I sometimes miss the slimmer books I read in the 80s and 90s. Books these days are more often ponderous tomes with lots of detail and maybe lots of story. It’s a little refreshing to just take a quick dip.

Knitting Notes

Pattern: Mini Newfoundland Mittens by Streelymade Designs
Needles: Size 2.5 DPNs
Yarn: Lana Plantae Rambouillet Fingering in Cochineal & Madder, Quince and Co Chickadee in Iceland and Quince and Co Finch in Egret

This was an interesting pattern. I’m not sure I ultimately loved the trigger finger version, but it’s a fun pattern, and plenty of variety to chose from if you’ve got lots of yarn scraps.

Garden Notes

So remember how proud I was of myself for resisting the siren call of dahlia tubers? It didn’t last. I got four more colors. I’m thinking I may try storing half of them in my mother’s basement, to insure better winter survival.

In other news, I have most of the rest of the seedlings planted up to larger pots, so the third grow light is now engaged. The only ones I didn’t plant up were the epazote. I think I remember that they were better for direct sowing anyway, so that was a gamble. (They sprouted, but they’re just tiny.)