Thursday, March 28, 2013

You're not bored of pretty spring yet, are you?

OK, so that title is a bit of a tease because I'm just going to bitch about midterms but I promise to show you pretty flowers as we go though, so just sit there and fucking enjoy it.

Get right in there and enjoy it, damn you.

Wow. I'm quite the hostess.

Poppies from the front yard meadow are getting all FANCY with their frills. Or else they're deformed. Whatevs.

So, here's a fun thing - as midterms were approaching this week a lovely case of PMS attacked my face and guts so that I got the supreme joy of studying my face off meanwhile also wishing to die and being extra pleasant about it.

At least someone is behaving around here.

Thankfully Bubba is in San Francisco for a conference all week and doesn't have to endure my daily rantings on Hwy 17 and PCH drivers, the parking situation at school, the annoying people from class, the bullshit 53 question take-home midterm from one class, the insane Every Question is a Multi-part Short Answer Question midterm that's going to take one hundred years to complete in another class, how I'm going to spend my entire spring break writing papers and doing school projects or how come some of my pepper plants are so shrimpy. he really at a conference or are his skills of self-preservation so well honed that he is just off at the bar with his buddies hiding behind a giant beer?

I really wouldn't blame him. After I lost my damn mind, of course.





Still with me?

And then, when I had finished studying for today's massive forever-taking midterm yesterday evening, I found that STOP THE PRESSES I'm out of tonic and nearly out of gin.

Panic at the disco, y'all.

Thankfully again, there was enough left for one G&T if I subbed most of the tonic for sparkling water and an extra few ice cubes. Because I think you know that I was in no state to be going out to the store to deal with any three dimensional people and their annoying fucking asses after spending three hours (or years, who can really tell) studying the intricacies of biological control of the wild world of insect and pathogen pests.

Let's just say that it seemed ill-advised to interact with anyone at all. Almost even including the dog.

I'm taking my backpack and fleeing the building. Peace out.

Thankfully a third time, my beloved Bubba, arriving home at 11:30pm after conferencing and client handling and schmoozy partying waltzed into the house and produced a big fresh awesome bottle of local gin for me.

Because he knew I was running low.

And that midterms were here.

And...crabbiness...crazy wife needs her medicine...etc.

Damn, I love this man.

And then my neighbors brought over some lilacs off of their gorgeous plant because they "just know how much I love them." The lilacs, not the neighbors. I mean, I do love our neighbors but that's not what they meant.


Perhaps they heard my scream-crying.

So, yeah - I'm taking this whole feared semester right in stride. Which is to say that all of my fears were well-founded and, even though I have yet to begin the most feared month of the most feared semester (April - hi! See you soon. Try not to be a total whore.), I'm already melting down as though I'm in the thick of it.

But hey, I'm not one to wallow (there's a fun lie) so let's shift our focus to one of the few things keeping me from stabbing every last person or chore or accountant (OH MY GOD LET'S NEVER SPEAK OF TAXES I HATE YOU IRS) that crosses my path: the extra exuberance of the front yard meadow.

 Plus, do you know how good these smell?

They smell super good. And I carry them, and now the lilacs, from room to room with me and then to bed at night so that I can be one with their awesome smells around the clock.

I've contemplated taking them in the car with me and into class but I'm not ready to be that kind of freak. Probably soon though.

Stay tuned.

Friday, March 15, 2013


OK. I'm not even going to give you my usual snarky lead-in to this post because we all know that I've waited way too long with the gardenblahblahblah.

I'm just going to start throwing shit out there and you're just going to have to handle it like grown-ups. 

I know you can do it.

Firstly - the front yard meadow. As far as it's concerned, it's spring time, y'all.

KIDDING! This was Altamont pass last weekend. It was very green as we were blazing through on our way to Tahoe for the last backcountry ski trip of the season. Yay and boo.

THIS is my front yard meadow right now. I agree that it's not nearly as green as Altamont Pass, but at least I don't have a bunch of those giant wind turbines hogging all of the space.
For me, it's spring when the poppies bloom.
Hats off the poppies. Cute.
I keep hacking this salvia back and it keeps going, "OH REALLY? COME AT ME, BRO."
Succulents. They are pretty nice for lazy people. Like me.
I keep calling these star flowers but I really have no idea what they're called.
Jada is eyeballing the squirrels. ALWAYS.
Snow bells? I think these are called snow bells. Or is it snow drops? Fact is - I don't care.
I know for sure that that is Mexican Feather Grass. And poppies. And a dandelion that I didn't see until just now and have now added to my list of weeds to pull this weekend. Yay.
BORAGE. The bees are into it. (Bees not pictured. Unless you can find one in there. I couldn't.)
Bee frenzy to come.
The giant iris creeping across the yard.
Flowering pear that will produce no pears at all. Which is OK because we want it like that.
Neighbor's kitty playing Wild Kingdom in the front yard.
If you ignore the street, houses, cars and super annoying ice cream truck that only dings every few seconds instead of playing a real song plus only sells Popsicles - this totally looks like a meadow. Right? I'm quite bitter about the Popsicle thing. 
Sometimes I sit here and heckle the neighbors. And sometimes they throw shit in my yard. It happens.

So, yeah. That's the front yard meadow right now. More stuff is blooming every day, so you'll probably get another few shots later on when the poppies are all in bloom and, for five seconds, the yard looks AWESOME before going back to looking like "Meh. At least it's not lawn."

As for the backyard, where things are blooming and being even more spring like, well, they try to be spring like and then I cut the flowers and bring them inside, so it's kinda more spring like IN my house than around my house, but who's counting?

Mostly because there's nothing to count. Hooray! It's Friday and I make no sense!

Let's look at more pictures...
I put the flowers next to my funky Steamboat mug and laugh at how they match because I've embraced my inner weirdo and I suggest that you do the same. With your inner weirdo. Hands off of mine.

Lilac's leafing up
Sweet peas are blooming. Every so slowly.

First cherry blossom. COME ON MAN.

First grape leaf. COME ON GRAPES.

So many new Clementine blossoms. This tree knows what's good for it.

We can all refer to the kumquat tree when deciding how to behave. This guy knows what mama wants. Specifically - FRUIT NOW PLEASE THANK YOU GO.

Also limes. The nice alcoholic needs her medicine after all and that medicine comes with a wedge of lime in it.

I shall cut these and put them in the house. Am I the only one that gets conflicted about this?

The artichokes are ON it.

Despite evidence to the contrary last fall, the rhubarb is still alive and it's ready to do something meaningful this year. Like, be eaten my Bubba and I.

So then, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down here at the end, I am blahblahblahing about the vegetable garden. Because that's what you were really interested in, right? I know I am. I mean, that other stuff is nice, but when push comes to shove, the vegetable garden is what's getting my attention.

But you knew that.

But what you don't know is that I totally grew a winter garden.

Brussels sprouts that never really amounted to much because I put them in too late. My bad.

SO MUCH DILL that this weekend I'm making a lot of vegetable broth and I've been eating it on everything and most of the time with food that's not really meant to go with dill. Like quesadillas.

Lots of broccoli. LOTS OF IT. We're eating the flowers now since it's bolting, but it was mighty. This is the DiCicco variety. Good stuff.

Cauliflower. Because why not?

Here's another glamour shot of the broccoli because I have a lot of shots of broccoli.

This is the #5 garden bed that I built over the winter. Because four beds isn't enough. And I bet five won't be either.

The Meyer lemons have happened.

And the winter crop of Clementines. They were pretty yum.

Another shot of the #5 bed because I LOVE IT SO MUCH LOOK HOW PRETTY.

These are my neighbors' bell peppers. IN JANUARY. They've been growing them under a tarp to protect from frost. Hilarious.

Tiny Clementine harvest that was super awesome. Also my hands were apparently wet because look at those pruny fingers. EW.

Cutest broccoli. I totally had a crush on it this winter. Does that seem weird to you?

After our first frost last fall when the nasturtium threw itself over the edge and ended its life. So dramatic.

Commencing winter

Our new love affair in the winter garden - mustard greens.

This was buckwheat. It was an excellent cover crop until frost hit and it became dead and brown. 

But not the mustard. It was all, "Frost? Pffffffffft. Whatevs."

Scallions. Green onions. Bunching onions. WHATEVER - we ate them.

Buckwheat being cute and new.

Hey - I wasn't the only one making stuff. The garden spiders wanted in on the action.

Like I was saying - we eat a lot of mustard greens now. 

And, if you've somehow made it all the way down here on this post - firstly, good for you, you absolute champion of blog reading and secondly - here's some early spring garden action in case you're craving it from your snowed-in winter hole somewhere...

All from early spring garden greens (mustards, kales, dill, lettuces, spinach, arugula) and broccoli flowers.

Garlic. It's getting there. Slooooooooooooooooowly.

The peas are ON it. Where "it" is the fence.

These are sweet peas. Lest you confuse them with shelling peas. 
These are the shelling peas. THEY ARE THE CUTEST.

Some spinach because why not.

Some Curly Green lettuce.

My early spring greens garden. I have a total crush on it. 
SO MUCH MUSTARD. We eat it every day.

Seriously. Every day. I feel like I've biofumigated my insides thoroughly.

Did I mention that I totally have a crush on my spring greens?

Because I do. Particularly this cute Ruby Streaks mustard.

The spinach is pretty cute, too.

This carrot isn't as big as it looks here.
Wee carrot.

This isn't food, but I thought you'd appreciate something bright and not-wintry.

Lady beetles are back out in full effect.

Not sure why I took this photo and am now showing it to you, but look! Old ass watering can!

This is when the Brussels sprouts said their tearful goodbyes. How cheesy was THAT? Good times.

If you're seeing this and you DON'T have a crush on these little plants by now, then, well, I just don't know you anymore.

Tell me this doesn't make you swoon with SPRING'S ALMOST HERE-ness. Just try and tell me that and I will call you a big fat liar.
OK, sorry about that. I get all crazy when spring comes. I won't call it a fever because that's just too cliche, but because I do love you, I'll just give you some more bright sunshiny photos so that you know spring is out there and probably coming to you soon in case you're still buried in the snow we'd really like to be getting in Tahoe.