More Green

Mar. 3rd, 2017 03:07 pm
nightdog_barks: (Tomatoes)
Yesterday went to Calloway's and bought:

2 Carnival tomato plants
2 Rutgers Select tomato plants
2 Black Krim tomato plants
2 basil plants, Eleonora
2 dill plants, Bouquet

Oddly enough, no Early Girls to be found. Greenhouse was scented with blooming lime and lemon trees.

Have not planted anything yet. Temps in the 40s/50s at night.
nightdog_barks: (Tomatoes)
Stopped by Lowe's as part of running errands today and bought two Better Bush Hybrid (determinate) tomato plants and two Tabasco pepper plants.

Hello 2017

Jan. 1st, 2017 02:57 pm
nightdog_barks: Painting of a white crow or raven with a pomegranate seed in its beak (White Raven)
Well, the first day of 2017 here is GORGEOUS. 63 warm degrees (17.2 Celsius, and really, it feels much warmer than that) and sunny. Both new calendars are up (Sierra Club in the bedroom, Audubon Society in the kitchen), and there's laundry in the wash. Layla was Not Pleased about the neighborhood fireworks last night (especially when someone set off what sounded like an M-80 close by), but she's happy and fine today.

Also today, I went out on the deck and discovered that SOMEONE had stolen three ripe lemons from our little Meyer lemon tree. There were seven there yesterday; I have picked the remaining four to keep them out of GRASPING PAWS. (I am blaming the opossum who apparently lives nearby.) Oddly enough, the three ripe Satsuma oranges on the other tree were untouched. :D

Oh, July

Jul. 24th, 2016 03:34 pm
nightdog_barks: Graphic of a bluegill fish (Fish bluegill)
Ugh, so tired and blah. Have not been sleeping well, and the weather ... well, it's July. Feh.

1) Reading Louise Erdrich's LaRose. I am an Erdrich fan, and so far this one is very good.

2) Watched the 20/20 episode about the Texas A&M University bonfire collapse last night and enjoyed it, although the show presented an incredibly squeaky-clean version of the events and didn't bother to do even a few minutes of a post-mortem as to WHY the disaster happened. (There's a very good write-up of the underlying causes here, in a Texas Monthly article by Paul Burka.)

BUT. What I wanted to say was that there was a fascinating moment with the woman who was with Public Relations at A&M at the time, who described seeing the dead students being covered with white shrouds, and how for years afterward, she would dream of cocoons in a dark forest. It was deeply affecting and undeniably creepy, and it was so, so striking.

3) No more tomatoes. Peppers are holding on. Lemon oregano that I'd had for a few years is a complete loss. Mint and basil are thriving. Have seen nothing on our nightly walks except cockroaches and tiny baby geckos. Oh, and toads sometimes. Layla tries to catch the cucarachas and geckos. :D
nightdog_barks: Illustration of a young girl wearing a cat mask bandit-style (Mask Girl)
So now we know who's been chowing down on our tomatoes on the vine. Mister Nightdog and I were having brisket tonight and watching The Right Stuff on one of the movie channels when we realized there was a rat in the tomato pot closest to the window. And as we watched the rat instead of the movie, he industriously severed a stem from the plant and carried it off.

"There was a tomato on that," Mister Nightdog said.

"Well, let him have it," I said.

I don't know if it was a Norway rat or a roof rat, but it was a good size and very furry. Bold little bastard.

Speaking of the film, parts of it are still very good, but I don't think the beginning has held up very well. Basically it is Sam Shepard as Chuck Yeager saying "I AM A MAN DOING MANLY THINGS," with Barbara Hershey as his wife-to-be on a horse doing a "I AM RUNNING AWAY FROM YOU ON A HORSE PLZ CHASE ME." So, yeah.

ALSO. I am reading Samantha Hunt's novel Mr. Splitfoot, and wow, so far it is very good.
nightdog_barks: A crow cocks his head, looking at the camera (Crow Eye II)
Okay, so I read Joe Hill's The Fireman, and I liked it. I didn't love it; I think Horns, Heart-Shaped Box, and NOS4A2 are all better novels. Basically, though, if you like Stephen King's The Stand, you'll like The Fireman. There were a couple of things that really tripped me up ... Read more... )

ANYWAY. Yes, The Fireman is worth reading. It drags in spots, but then it's 747 pages long.

The Patio tomatoes are DELICIOUS. Also we have lots of banana peppers and a ton of beautiful red cayennes. Started reading Erik Larson's Dead Wake, about the last voyage of the Lusitania, and so far it is terrific. I don't know how I've not read any Larson until now.

Baylor University is imploding. Chickens do come to roost. It is sad that I am completely unsurprised by any of this (the assaults and the cover-ups) -- what does astonish me is that Baylor has published it for all to see. In Texas, where football is king and reigns supreme, this is unprecedented. EDITED TO ADD that Diana Moskovitz at Deadspin has a great write-up on the level of bullshit going on.
nightdog_barks: Actor Tom Mix dressed as a cowboy (Movie Poster -- Tom Mix)
SO. I dreamed last night that I was sort of a groupie in the entourage of some famous woman science fiction writer (I have no idea who it was), and we ended up at the University of Wisconsin, which in my dream was like a huge open-air tent city out in the middle of nowhere. Even the public toilets were outdoors, WITH NO WALLS, and I was attempting to use the toilet without attracting too much attention. And nobody was really paying attention, but I was still nervous. BRAIN WHAT.

I don't even know. The weather here is beautiful, and we have Early Girl tomatoes, little green Romas and Patios, lovely long banana peppers and poblanos and Santa Fe Grandes. I am still reading Nell Painter's History of White People and it is pretty interesting.

I keep forgetting to say that I watched Laurie Anderson's Heart of a Dog on HBO the other night. I really liked it, but then I'm a Laurie Anderson fan. :D

Also I finally went ahead and ordered my own DVD copy of The Drop, since I keep watching it every time it turns up on a movie channel. It's become one of my favorite films -- I think it truly is a little gem.
nightdog_barks: The character Geordie Keating from Grantchester walking away (Geordie Walking Away)
1) The sun has gone away today and it is cool and damp. Still pleasant but quite a change.

2) We were able to pick two ripe tomatoes off one of the Early Girl plants! And I bought two more tomato plants -- Patio tomatoes, and the plants are TINY compared to the others. They're adorable. :D

3) Watched the season (series?) finale of Sleepy Hollow last night, and I was ... not pleased. For the first time in a long time I am seriously tempted to write a small fix-it fic for a show that isn't House. Abbie Mills, you deserved so much better. :-(

4) The pollen count around here has been in the 5K range lately. This is not acceptable.

5) I'm sure there's a fifth point around here somewhere.

Easter Dog

Mar. 27th, 2016 03:43 pm
nightdog_barks: 1930s movie poster of Buster Crabbe and a lion (Movie Poster -- Jungle Man)
Three pics of Layla that I took this afternoon are under the cut.

Read more... )

OTHERWISE. One of the Early Girl tomatoes is turning red, and we have three or four baby peppers on the Santa Fe Grande plants. Also we had a Great Visitation of Birds yesterday -- cedar waxwings (a wrath of waxwings?), bright red cardinals, wrens, and sparrows.

Oh, and we made this granola recipe today and omg it smells SO GOOD. We cut the recipe in half (we DO NOT NEED nine cups of granola) and substituted chopped pecans for the pistachios. It only took about 30 minutes to bake in our oven. Really looking forward to trying it tomorrow morning. :D

ETA that we couldn't wait and tried a bit of the granola by itself, and OMG IT IS DELICIOUS. :D
nightdog_barks: (Glass Full of Rain)
It seems like spring, anyway, although it's cooled down a bit. Last night we got a good round of thundershowers (Layla remains oddly unaffected/unconcerned about thunder) and tonight into tomorrow we are supposed to have more rain.

Speaking of Layla, here is a shot of her that I took this afternoon:

 photo 9447a844-1e48-4bd8-af5c-eef45b38e216_zps5nthombg.jpg

Also, here is a picture of our garden (such as it is) ... under the cut ...  )

In the past couple of weeks, we've seen more night-time wildlife than we have in MONTHS -- screech owls, cottontail rabbits, even a teeny-tiny baby garter snake (that wriggled quickly away from Layla's inquisitive nose). :D
nightdog_barks: (Flower: Poppy)
1) Took Layla to the vet today for her annual vaccinations. She enjoyed the car ride but was not so thrilled when she was actually at the vet's. But it was done, she tolerated being prodded and poked, and she's fine. She weighs 60.5 pounds, which is pretty close to what I had guessed and is right in line with a female Black Lab. :D

2) Yesterday went to Calloway's because they had garden veggies on sale for $1.98. Bought two poblano pepper plants and two sweet banana peppers. The two cayenne pepper plants from last year have survived the cold weather and are putting out new green leaf growth. Also some of the trees in our neighborhood are budding out. Winter? What winter?

3) What else? Almost done with We Are Here, and unless the ending is drastically bad, I think it is a really worthwhile read. Ordered another memoir from Amazon, My Father, the Pornographer, by Chris Offutt (it got a GREAT review in the NY Times). Also ordered an older novel, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, by R.A. Dick (pen name for Josephine Leslie). I watched the movie on TCM the other night -- I first saw it when I was probably about fourteen, and thought it was the most romantic thing I'd ever seen (a widow falling in love with the ghost of a sea captain!) -- and ... you know what, chiclets? It's held up really well. So anyway, I thought I would read the book. And yes, I watched the TV series when I was a kid, too. :D

On the other hand, I also re-watched the 1976 version of A Star is Born, the one with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, and ... no. Just, no. This is a movie that has not aged well. Except for one song -- Evergreen. Or maybe you had to have been there. :-)
nightdog_barks: (Tomatoes)
Well, okay, not immediately, and our average last freeze date is still over a month away (March 22nd), but. Our neighborhood Lowe's has garden vegetable plants for sale already, so I took the plunge. I bought two Early Girls (DETERMINATE, this time, which means they'll grow in a bush shape and not trail all over the goddamn place with vines), two Romas (also determinate), and two Santa Fe Grande pepper plants. I already have six Early Girls (determinate) on order from Burpee, but I'm not sure when they'll arrive. Probably March 23rd. :D

I finished Elizabeth Strout's My Name Is Lucy Barton. I feel somehow that I should have liked it more than I did -- it's about mothers and daughters, fathers and family, things said and unsaid, dark waves beneath the surface. It is very obvious from the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads that most people loved it. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it, either. I think I liked Olive Kittredge much better. :-(

So now I'm reading a cheery little number called We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust, by Ellen Cassedy.
nightdog_barks: (Winter tree)
It's actually not that bad outside -- it's 39 degrees (3.9 degrees Celsius), but the wind is blasting out of the north and so it feels at least ten degrees colder. I hung a suet basket in the backyard (there are already two seed feeders out there) for the birds. Layla helped by bringing one of her squeaky toys outside and dancing around with it. So far we've had the regular winter avian visitors -- juncos, titmice, chickadees, goldfinches, warblers. Last weekend we had a flock of cedar waxwings come through, accompanied by ... robins.

Have been reading Ian Toll's Pacific Crucible, which is the first book in a two-volume history of the naval war in the Pacific in WWII. So far it is very good. Read The Revenant (book the movie is based on) and thought it was ... okay. It was probably the most simple, straightforward adventure story I've read in a very long time, and honestly I thought the Canadian wilderness novels of Guy Vanderhaeghe (The Englishman's Boy and The Last Crossing) were much better.

Not much else. Thinking about starting some tomato seeds. Heard a screech owl the other night while walking. First one I've heard in MONTHS. Have not seen any night-time wildlife in forever.
nightdog_barks: Illustration of a young girl wearing a cat mask bandit-style (Mask Girl)
1) We are getting MOAR RAIN, courtesy of Tropical Storm Bill. :-P

2) IDK what the hell happened to our Early Girl tomatoes. I could tell after they started growing that they weren't the same Early Girls we had last year, and they haven't borne a single tomato. The Lemon Boys and Black Princes are all producing, just not the EGs. The cayenne peppers are bearing, as are the patio baby eggplants. Our Genovese basil is growing like crazy; I repotted our two little sage plants and they are so happy now. :D

3) I am ALMOST finished with The Peripheral (thank god). I think it is too long for the story Gibson wants to tell, and it would have been better with at least 50 pages lopped off.

4) Stayed up way too late the other night watching Erich von Stroheim's 1924 Greed, which was dark and haunting and all kinds of crazy amazing.

5) Still walking, still loving my Brooks shoes.

Five things make a post.
nightdog_barks: A man's eye looks out from a red frame something like a Ouija board (Trademark Eye)
1) Housefic coming this week. It's something I actually started all the way back in 2007 (omg) but I ran across it recently and decided I wanted it out of my hair forever. :P

2) Still walking with the pup. A lot. The nifty little pedometer I bought says I've been doing about a mile a day, which makes me feel pretty good about myself.

3) Reading Hilary Mantel's Fludd and have been really enjoying it, although I can tell you her invented village (at least, I hope to god it's invented) of Fetherhoughton is a place I would NEVER WANT TO LIVE. O_o

4) Watched the 2014 version of Godzilla last night. Visual effects were much better than the script (or most of the acting).

5) Gardening ...  )

There. There's probably more, but five things make a post.
nightdog_barks: (Green Tree)
(1) Finished reading Black Diamonds and really enjoyed it. An aristocratic family, hints of a changeling baby as an imposter heir, a broad social history of the coal industry in England, forbidden love ... it's an absolutely fascinating tale and very well-told by the author Catherine Bailey.

(2) Everything is turning green! The tomatoes and bok choy are growing, and the cayenne peppers have little white flowers opening up.

(3) The little coconut orchid I have in a kitchen window is blooming for the first time, and the flowers do indeed smell like coconut.

(4) Still watching Person of Interest and mostly enjoying it. Still watching Elementary but not enjoying it nearly as much as I used to. Watching season 2 of Broadchurch and ... finding it much more difficult to follow than season 1. :-P

(5) Layla on the deck photo Layla4_zpscwf8we1d.jpg
Layla on our deck, two days ago. :-)
nightdog_barks: (Jalapenos)
Planted the cayenne peppers and the baby bok choy. This time Layla helped. A LOT. /o\

Planting

Mar. 16th, 2015 03:44 pm
nightdog_barks: (Tomatoes)
Very warm and sunny. Planted the six tomato plants (Early Girl and Black Prince). Layla did not help, as she was scared of the nail guns some construction guys were using across the street.

Saturday

Mar. 7th, 2015 06:04 pm
nightdog_barks: (Tomatoes)
Bought some vegetable plants yesterday -- 4 Early Girl tomatoes, 2 Black Prince tomatoes, 2 cayenne peppers, and 3 baby bok choys. Still too much danger of frost to actually plant them yet, though. We'll have to build a FORTRESS around them when we do -- I have distinct memories of Chango as a puppy happily pulling up pepper plants multiple times.

Have not been on Tumblr in probably a couple of months now.
nightdog_barks: (Sun)
So it is a crazy 82 degrees here (27.8 degrees Celsius). Layla tired herself out running around in the sun and has collapsed in sleep. Earlier she helped me pull last year's dry husks of tomato and pepper plants from their pots (and then redistributed the stalks around the backyard). Getting prepared, because if Sprouts follows the same marketing pattern as last year, they should have Early Girls available for sale by next week.

Watched Philomena and liked it a lot; watched most of The Monuments Men, and, well. Not so good, but some good moments. Also watched Captain America: The Winter Soldier and enjoyed it.

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What I'm Reading Now

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The Night Ocean, by Paul La Farge

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The Astaires: Fred & Adele, by Kathleen Riley

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