Saturday, May 16, 2009

Garden Update

To me, it feels like the garden is getting off to a very slow start this year. This year, Matt is working in the garden too (thankfully) and coordinating our schedules means that the peas didn't get into the ground as early as I would like. Still, here is what is going on.

Potatoes. We bought a four variety package from Territorial and split half with Aunt Pat. Steve Soloman in Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades explains it is important for the potatoes to be "well-chitted" which means having those shoots growing out of them. To do this, you lay them out on newspaper and wait for sprouts to appear. But how to tell which of the four variety of potatoes was which? I felt pretty smart for thinking of marking a letter on each potato with a Sharpie to indicate the variety.

Our newly expanded garden ready for planting. At this point the cover crops of crimson clover have all been turned over to rot. And let me tell you, this is an easier job in March than in May.

Sentinel enjoyed hiding in this stand of clover, so I left it. That tiny thing to the right is our new Hungarian Cherry Tree, bought from One Green World. I hope it will be a focal point in the yard, after it gets some height to it.

One of the columnar apples has shot up. I can barely reach the top of it with my hand streched overhead. No apples this year, though. I think it frosted at just the wrong moment.

The other one is shorter, and equally barren.

We've covered our raised beds with black plastic in hopes of super heating the soil so we can grow Cantaloupes and Honeydew melons.

Everything looks a bit barren to me right now. I'm looking forward to seeing green.

We have our pea poles up in Leo's yard, and beds ready for Winter Squash, Potatoes, Pole beans and, of course, the asparagus. Which we can't eat this year, but next year we will enjoy.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Squeak Visits

What are those glowing eyes at the top of the refrigerator?

Squeak, the high jumping kitty has arrived.

He will stay quite a long time and we hope that both cats enjoy the company.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Soup and Shakespeare Party - 7-year Anniversary (incomplete post)

As you can see from previous blog posts, we were reading A Midsummer Night's Dream. And we stopped posting about reading it at about Act III. Oh, well. We did finish it and we planned a celebration that happened to coincide with our anniversary. We have been together seven years and Patricia got the idea to have a reading of MND from Shawn and Sara over at Pike Schemes.

We made three kinds of soup (Matt's default lentil stew, which was a bit chewy, but good enough for Christi to request the recipe, and Patricia made garbanzo bean soup and tomato soup). From 7:30-8 we served soup and people had to figure out what parts in the play they wanted. Patricia purposely designed no system to hand out parts, although she went to, which listed the number of lines for each character. Those that wanted small parts picked the fairies and the players, and those that wanted larger parts picked the lovers, the royalty, etc. People selected the name tag with their character's name.

Everyone went around and introduced him or herself and how they knew Matt and Patricia. Kevin introduced himself and said that he knew us from the Syphilis Survivor Support Group and the Ex-Pedophiles for Jesus. Michael was already drunk (he's got low tolerance) and he said he's married to Hafidha and by the transitive property, he knows everyone. Hafidha introduced herself and her husband ("He's not an alcoholic, just the opposite"). JoJo introduced himself and said he knew Matt from when they got naked for massage school. (Kevin said, "That old one.") Leo introduced himself as our neighbor and "They use my dirt."

Introductions done, we switched seats depending on who was in the scene.

It started off kind of rough, as you can see from this first photo.
But once I started in with the first lines as Theseus, people started laughing. Y'know, Theseus wooed his wife by beating her in battle, then he tells Hermia to accept her father's choice of suitor, become a nun, or die. It's not the most politically correct play, is it?
As Egeus, Michael affected a light Southern accent. It was cute.
When Theseus confessed that he meant to take care of a problem, "But, being full of self-affairs, My mind did lose it." Deborah commented, "Oops. Forgot."
Then came Helena, who was played by Julie. Julie happens to be from England and she did an amazing reading as Helena. It was a delight to hear.
Then came the players.
Deborah was the perfect Nick Bottom. When she accidentally read one of JoJo's lines, she said, "It's in character. Bottom wants to play all the parts."
Dana as Francis Flute, got to say, "...let me not play a woman. I have a beard coming." Oh, irony.
Then came the fairies. See below.
Leo has an amazing voice for acting. He played Oberon with a deep, mysterious voice, which several people commented was very fitting.

Kevin was Puck. 'Nuff said.

Kelly did a great job as Titania, although she said "Whew" after one of her long speeches.
After Helena pursued Demetrius (JoJo), who wanted nothing to do with her, Kelly gave some sisterly advice, "He's just not that into you."
Then all the fairies had to sing a song, making up the tune as we went. Thank goodness we didn't record that.
After Puck drugs the first Athenian, Kevin commented, "Footnote: hilarity ensues."
At this point, Matt's commentary tapers off. There were many lovely moments reading this play--it is a great read aloud, even for people not familiar with the plot. Several people over the next week cornered me and expressed with great enthusiasm what fun the party was and when would our next one be.

After the reading we had the traditional ice cream and hot fudge dessert and everyone bid goodnight.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

What does six months of film plastic collection look like?

I've taken our film plastic out of our garbage stream. We've always reused the plastic bags you get from the grocery store as garbage bags, but now all that other plastic (Raman Noodle Wrappers, Tortilla bags, Produce Bags, Potato Bags etc.) gets separated from the normal trash. In that perfect, ideal world I don't live in, I would drop off the film plastic recycling at the recycling station just down the street on a regular basis. In the world I do live in, the one where intermittent tasks sometimes get put off until they are a bit overwhelming, you can see what six months of plastic looks like. I figure this was enough to totally fill our garbage bin so it makes a difference to take it in separately.
Six months of plastic is surprisingly heavy. On the way to the recycling center I was panting more than usual. "Man, I am more out of shape than I thought" I said as I huffed and puffed. But after I dropped off the plastic, I was back to my usually speedy biking self. I was glad it was the plastic and not me.
Could you recycle your film plastic? It turned out to not be that much trouble for us. See if there is a recycling center near you.