Vera Stewart

pollinator
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since Apr 22, 2015
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bike books dog food preservation greening the desert
7b at 1050 feet, precipitation average 13 inches, irrigated, Okanagan Valley
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Recent posts by Vera Stewart

Yesterday, the Smartwools got holes on the bottoms of the feet.

Icebreakers - withstood 27 washes
Smartwools - withstood 42 washes

Darn Toughs - 42 washes and counting.

Because the pair of Darn Tough socks that I have are a heavier cushion then the Icebreaker and Smartwool socks were, and because they cost me more than twice as much as each other pair of sock to purchase, even though they are the "last socks standing" - they haven't actually won this competition for me yet.

In order to prove the best buy for me, they need to last at least 2.4 times the smartwool socks - another 59 washes, or 100 washes in total.

In order to prove that they are actually tougher than the other socks, they should probably last another 20% or so of washes, due to them being built more 'cushiony/thicker in the first place - so another 8 or 9 washes, or 51 washes in total.

So, the sock washing documentation will continue in the Vera home.



2 weeks ago
I did Nanowrimo a couple of times, and one year I "finished" with a rough draft of a novella...which i will some day get back to, but until then, it's main characters have taken further life in short stories, one of which was my first story published in print.
Actually it's still my only story in print.

I don't plan on nanowrimo'ing this year, because I am now involved with a community writing group that focuses on flash/short fiction, and I'm also working on a non-fiction project, and a play...

but I encourage anyone curious to try NaNoWriMo out! It's a lot of fun if you can get your head around a couple of hours a day, typing/writing nonsense.

Don't go in to it thinking you have to write a perfect story in a month. All you have to do is write a story, it can be awful. You'll still have written a story. And if you don't get the story done, you'll have written some of a story! And that's a good thing too.
1 month ago

Conor Haley wrote:my first time trying to build a structure. I went a little overboard for just a chicken coop



But it's beautiful!
1 month ago
We've had freezing nights a few times in the past week or so, so this is the end again, my friends! We also had a rather spectacular rain and hail storm a few days ago that literally drove holes through plant leaves. It was great.

Also awful. My (late planted) morning glory vines had just started to flower. They are extremely unhappy looking now. I've kept them up, hoping for some sort of resurrection, but... they are toast. I need to pull them down *sniffle*

The good rain/weather news is that a) rain is good, overall. and b) I found a trench coat at the thrift store that 1) is a bit big especially in the length of the sleeves, but that is so much better then too small, and anyway it has a belt 2) and it has a zip in liner 3) new it would have been over $200, and the only thing wrong with it was a loose button 3) it was $15 4) it makes me feel like a film noir hero. Thank-you for indulging my thrift store win brag. I've never had a trench coat before. Now I want it to rain again. And again. And again. OK, now stop...


End of Garden Season inventory of perennial/overwinterable plants in yards: (24 identified on possession of yard - 38 at end of last year - 41 at start of this garden year)

Your average north american yard grass
Cedars
A vine growing on some of the cedars <---- I may have killed this off but I'm not sure yet
Pine
Yew
Juniper
An evergreen tree
Dandelions
Scouring Rushes
Yucca
Virginia creeper (much less now then when I started three summers ago)
Periwinkle
Sumac
moss
What I call puffball mushrooms
Mullein
White Clover
Oregon Grape
Black Currant
Hen and Chicks
Madame Lemoine Lilac
Green Onion <----- I'm going to harvest the onions that are left in my garden sometime this month. I'll probably plant new onions next year.
Johnny Jump Up
Stonecrop
Snapdragon
Red currant
Saskatoon/Serviceberry
Hybrid Roses
Orange Hawkweed <---- hopefully dead
Pineapple weed
Gloriosa daisy
Victoria rhubarb
Strawberry
Speedwell
Comfrey
Nigra Hollyhock
Catmint
Some tulips that no one admits they planted but are in the yard some how...
Lavender (the big tall "original" kind)
Lavender (a small but perfectly mound shaped copyrighted kind)
Sage
Chicory
Horseradish
Tarragon
Forsythia <----- I am worried about the forsythia, about a quarter of it snapped off in the recent storm. I hope the winter storms/snow doesn't destroy it.
Sorrel

Total going into winter - 42.

I was hoping to have 48 species growing by the end of my third season (to double the amount of species growing in my yard in that time.) However, I spent far less time in the garden this year then last.
It wasn't a spectacularly successful gardening year - particularly on the edibles side - I didn't get a lot of greens or vegetables, or tomatoes, or...

Most of my runner beans froze before they could complete setting seed, but I did get some seed.

I learned I should grow orach and sorrel instead of lettuce, as the lettuce did not survive this year but those two substitutes flourished (I've still got sorrel growing. I'm expecting it to overwinter. I think I'll plant more next spring anyway.) I did get increased harvests from my fruit bushes and expect more again next year. I've learned that morning glories grow luxuriantly here, but slow-ish, and next year I should plant them earlier and somewhere they can crawl all over without falling over. I should have an increased number of strawberries next year, and I may be able to harvest a few stalks of rhubarb.

My herb/bumblebee bed did pretty well this year, it's starting to fill in a bit with comfrey sage forsythia and lavender. Next year I see more zinnias in there too - the zinnias weathered the storm and first few freezes so nicely that this morning I saw a bumblebee crawling around one new zinnia flower.

I'd like to grow potatoes again next season, after being potato-less this year. The cat problem has died down a lot since the spring. And I'll try some different tomatoes, perhaps all smaller types to hopefully avoid splitting problems. I'd really like to see my lilac bush bloom!

I don't know if I'll try growing poppies again. My experiment in growing woad was a complete bust. I'll try some other herbs and flowers and things next year, I just don't know which yet! Will there be wheat again next year? I don't know, it depends on how ambitious I feel in the next little while...

Right now I'm full of Canadian Thanksgiving feasting! (including some sorrel salad onion and tomatoes from the garden.)

Thanks for reading along and I hope to return to this thread within six months!


1 month ago
I remembered! I have started wearing the darn toughs and smartwools again. One washing down in season three of the competition!
1 month ago
Having been away on a work project/vacation, I've returned to an unhappy garden.

What has survived three weeks without my active presence (and noting that nightly irrigation continued while I was away...) 

Hollyhocks, Runner beans, Zinnias, cucumber and Lavender have actually grown. And a sunflower went crazy.
Sage
Morning glories
Comfrey
Horseradish
Chicory
Tarragon
Sorrel
Nasturtium
the currant bushes, lilac, and forsythia, also the other bigger bushes/trees all still alive

the rhubarb, strawberry, and a few lettuces have survived, but they are not looking too good.

There are some big empty spaces in the garden beds now, where greens and herbs like all-heal died.
and i had to mow some of the lawn when I got back, which seems unfair.

The tomato plants are alive and there were a few ripe tomatoes waiting, also a few over-ripe and mouldering tomatoes. There are still a lot of green tomatoes, too.

Very smoky here a few days ago, but today is sunny, breezy and clear skies. It's really nice out!

Took some photos of what is left

2 months ago
International postage can get expensive, (it's $2.50 from Canada to anywhere that is not the US,) but you might be able to find someone willing! I wish you luck!
2 months ago
I've been doing some research on the actor Alan Ladd for one of my (many and often uncompleted) writing projects.

Last night I discovered he did a musical number in one of his movies, which was completely shocking to me. (although it really shouldn't have been, i think even today most actors/actresses are also singers and dancers, although obviously to various levels of skill.)

I now have "Tallahassee" earwoming it's way around my head.

Tallahassee (supposedly being sung by Alan Ladd and Dorothy Lamour)


And there is also this soundie but ... having listened to about 20 hours of his radio program Box 13 in the last couple of weeks, I'm fairly convinced that's not Alan Ladd's voice.

Then again...



2 months ago

r ranson wrote:

I never, ever, not once, lend my pen to another person.  A nib develops an angle based on the user.  Someone who isn't used to a fountain pen (and there aren't many who are these days) can destroy a nib so easily or change the angle so that the ink doesn't flow smoothly from the nib.  That's another good use for the pencil in my bag, to lend if someone thinks they need to use my pen.




I did not know that!

I have a couple of cheap Pilot pens I use most often, with Noodler's or J. Herbin ink. I bought four bottles of ink two years ago, and I still have...almost four full bottles of ink. And I am writer, and I write my first drafts long hand 90% of the time, plus letters, and garden journal entries... I think it's safe to say I write more then most, although not as much as an active student.

One thing that's important to know about the pilot pens is that their "fine" nibs are really fine...I would suggest people start with the medium nib instead.

While on my (mostly failed) attempt to escape the smoke vacation the past couple of weeks, I took some "regular" ball point pens instead of my fountain pens, because I didn't want to lose my fountain pen. I was shocked and dismayed to have TWO pens run out of ink on me!

I actually enjoy it when I get fountain pen ink on my fingers, I treat it as a mark of distinction.
2 months ago
I planted some zinnia seed, and while I've been away they've flowered. I also have three morning glory vines straining the abilities of their trellises, although they're not forming flower heads yet. The sunflower has flowered and gone, the comfrey is doing well, the forsythia seems to be growing, and the lavender and sage looks strong going into the fall. There are still a few anise hyssop plants flowering, too. Saw a bumblebee visiting one of the zinnia flowers a few minutes ago.

Updated photos!