Vera Stewart

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

March 18 - Saw a honey bee getting a drink at the neighbour's bird bath today.

I've started a little bit of poking around in the garden this spring although it is still below freezing at night. I have quite a lot of seed to plant, and did start a seed tray of kale early this week. I'm sort of easing my way towards an hour a day of yard/garden work, as well as doing interior spring cleaning and starting to think about maintenance tasks such as painting the house trim - which I didn't do last year. I am also in the process of editing a novella and that project is taking longer than I expected. (When I first started writing this story I thought I'd be done by about now, but I'm... nowhere near done.)

My hope for this year is to provide updates to this thread at least monthly, but they may be short, along the lines of the update today.

I may add a little more to the last 'row' in my vegetable section, even it up with the rest of the rows, once I get winter debris picked up and whichever seeds need to be started early-ish started.


3 weeks ago
Update on Second Round of Competition: Darn Tough v. Wigwam v. Smartwool

Well, now my Darn Tough socks have wandered off on their own adventure somewhere. Hopefully I'll be able to find them during the spring cleaning that's just getting started here today. This is the second time I've had a pair of socks vanish on me during this long experiment, and I feel I need to explain why this may be so.

Sometimes even in the middle of winter, I take my socks off while I wander around the house.
Sometimes I put them some place odd when I do. I drop them on the 'wrong' side of the couch, or put them on a dinning table chair that's only pulled out from under the table once a month when I get around to dusting everything properly. I stick them in a back pocket, and then maybe one or both fall out during my wanderings, or maybe my dog, who loves playing with socks, decides to help herself and I don't notice until I've done the week's laundry and I'm missing my socks.

Last time this happened to a pair of Darn Toughs, I found them again. I am expecting to find my newest pair again.

However, it is also mid-March and I found my first flowers outside today (dandelions) and it's perhaps just about time to wrap up this experiment for the season anyway.

The Wigwams are my least favourite of the three at the moment. I've found them a bit too warm most days. It has been a very mild winter. I've found these so warm that when it's come to be their 'turn' in the sock rotation I sigh a bit.

The Smartwools are holding up well and have been quite comfortable.

The Darn Toughs are holding up well and have been quite comfortable and if anyone sees them wandering about let me know.
4 weeks ago
The demise of the first competition's winner has come. They have at last sprung a leak. (I will probably darn the hole soon.)

I'm not doing such a great job keeping track of how many washes the current competitors have had, but they're still being worn and washed here.
2 months ago
I've added Evolution Device to my list of books to read! (Warning: There are about 200 books already on the list.)
4 months ago
Here is my blog, where I mostly post reviews but sometimes get to announce a story of mine will be published: https://vtdorch.wordpress.com/

And here's the link to my most recently published story: http://frontiertales.com/2020/12Dec/horseshoe_nail_stew.php

I have another story that's supposed to come out later this month, but it's not really 'permie.' It'll be in the winter edition of All World's Wayfarer - http://www.allworldswayfarer.com/upcoming/
4 months ago
Well, I like the idea of alien life appearing somewhat fungal like.

If you're anything like me though, you've got three dozen other ideas you want to return to some day, too.
4 months ago
Please post links or otherwise share your fiction or other writing projects here in this thread! (Thank you for Pearl!)
4 months ago
I am hoping one day to make a partial income through writing fiction. This winter, I've been working on editing a cozy mystery novella that I desperately hope to have ready for publishing some time next year. (I'm a bit slow.)

But my real passion is for historical, speculative fiction and western genre stories (and sometimes stories that blend those genres...) and I'm happy to have a western story published this month online here, it even has a somewhat permie message, as it's all about sharing food! : http://frontiertales.com/2020/12Dec/horseshoe_nail_stew.php

(I know there is a 'sharing our art' thread - is there a 'sharing our stories' thread?)
4 months ago
Snow on the ground this morning, and wool socks on my feet. The competition resumes!
5 months ago
My garden season is more or less over for the year already. A combination of poor weather, poor pollination and ill-health at important gardening times has resulted in, after harvesting potatoes and squash, there being not much left at all to do.

This morning I was able to at last complete catching up on weeding, mulching as much as possible, removing some dead branches from shrubs, tidying the garden shed, etc., and the only things left to harvest are a bit of basil, a secondary planting of lettuce that finally decided to start growing, and possible some runner beans although there continue to be relatively few pods setting. There are a few flowers out in the garden too. One of my neighbours was saying to me the other day that they're not seeing as much pollination this year either so it's not just me. If that's good or bad news, I don't know.

My health has improved and I believe the garden helped. I'm a little disappointed that garden work is coming to an end for the year.

At some point later this fall I might expand the garden area a little more, and once I have room in the yard waste pick up bin I'll need to cut up some of the dead branches and have them carted away, and then I'll be able to get at my composty-soil heap again. (It's currently underneath a dead branches heap.) When I can get to the compost-y heap I might spread some of that soil around the garden to hopefully make the garden soil more fertile for next year.
I might keep some of the dead branches and see if I can figure out how to whittle something.
I'm also hoping to get hold of some cheap local apples and see about putting up some applesauce.

My little freezer is packed full of rhubarb, basil-sorrel pesto, zucchini, and potato soup, and I cut a dahlia flower for the dining table this morning. This gardening season could have been better, but I will still consider it a success, and I expect to have more fun growing next year!



7 months ago