apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Gardening - Garden Hoe)
It's seriously about time I spammed you all with vegetable porn. (And it has nothing to do with the fact that I have major re-writes due tomorrow, including an additional sex scene. *ahem*)



(Also: give me your best songs to write porn to. GO!)
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Crocus)
FINALLY I have a day off that coincides with the unusually early spring weather Michigan has been having. I spent a couple hours outside cleaning up the herb garden--trimming back the lavender, thyme, and the Greek oregano that seems to be harboring plans to take over the world. I also discovered that my strawberry pot, which I took very little pains to preserve last fall, made it through the winter, and both the strawberry plants and the orange mint I planted in it made it through the winter!

This was cause for celebration. Several glasses of Sauvignon Blanc in my belly and armed with a digital camera, I documented the happy-making arrival of spring in all its glory. :D (Warning: I was a bit tipsy, so the focus on some of the pics is...not great. Yep. Drunk and in the garden with a camera: the perfect way to spend a Saturday off!)

More evidence of an early spring... )

Happy Spring, and Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! ♥
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Magenta (Rocky Horror))
First and foremost, BUT THIS BOOK:

It contains a story written by none other than the fantastically talented [ profile] ladylovelace and is available in both paperback and Kindle form.

In garden news: I finally have little baby watermelons on my vines! I've been able to spot two so far, only slightly bigger than a jellybean, and that makes me very happy! Also making me happy are the seven pumpkins I have growing that are now about 1-2 lbs. each. While I am melting in the heat, the veggies are diggin' it, and all the plants are just full of new growth. Here's some gratuitous veggie pics: Read more... )

Things I am NOT happy about, gardenwise: the mildew, my arch-nemesis. END ROT! Ok, so I have seven pumpkins growing nicely, but none of the new little baby pumpkins are making it! They're rotting and falling off the vine before they get bigger than golfball-sized. It is epic sad! :( Various other forms of fungal wilt are striking my nutmeg melons (which otherwise have adorable little fuzzy fruits on them!) and the cucumbers. Everday I am ripping out a few feet of vine that have given up on life. And this FRIGGIN' HUMIDITY is torture!

Also also: more people need to play my game with me! It works thusly:
  • You give me the name of a color or an emotion.
  • I give you something that reminds me of or represents that color or emotion: a picture, a quote, a drabble, etc.
  • I give you a color or emotion, and then you do the same!

apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Garden Hoe)
There's a bandwagon? Well, I must jump on it!

A couple weeks ago, my friend convinced me to purchase this app called "hipstamatic" for my iPhone. It takes various cool/hip lens/film/photo effects and applies them to your digital photos. I downloaded it, but then never really sat around and played with it/figured it out. Well, now all the ladies at [ profile] pulped_fictions have the app and are making lovely picspams with it, SO NOW I MUST, TOO!

I'm still figuring it out, figuring out what lenses produce which effects, what film effects are my favorite, and how to produce different borders, etc. But I have discovered that if I shake my phone, the app gives me a random combination of settings, which is very fun for trying things out. So, behind the cut find a MASSIVE picspam of images from my backyard garden and my veggie plot. Also a couple random images of me, and my cat, whose permanent "cannot be bothered to deal with you" expression fits just perfectly with the hipster effect of the retro lenses!

Photos. Many. MANY. )

rantypants addendum: I know Flickr is supposed to be some poncey, artsy photo-sharing experience whatever, but it's still a damn photo hosting site, and I don't know why it's necessary for them to make it so damn difficult for me to find the direct URLs to my own damn photos and then demand I include a link to their website if I should ever decide to post my own damn photos elsewhere.

In conclusion: my own damn photos. :P
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Garden Hoe)
Everything going on in the world of my garden! There are tiny little golf ball-sized pumpkins, and we should be harvesting yellow squash within a week. The chinese cabbage will take over the world, if I don't eat it all first!

Read more... )

In other plant news: Thursday's hail storms in Chicago have severely damaged the Garfield Park Conservatory. My friend actually works there as their director of family programs. It's a beautiful conservatory, with a massive collection of plants. The whole conservatory is devastated, with nearly all of the glass roofs laying in ruins and 80% of the plants damaged. It's closed until further notice.

If you can, please consider donating to help repair the damage! You can do so on their webpage.
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Default)
If you missed it, I have a poll up about 'femininity', what it means, and how well you fit into the paradigm here. (Please don't tell me you all are finally getting sick of my incessant polling???)

The garden is pretty much all dug in and planted. All that I have left to do is build trellises for the pumpkins, squash, and melons. Here's what it looks like so far: (click to embiggen)

And now, a few things that sparked my discussion post on femininity: Read more... )

Well, rambly TL;DR post is...yeah, you know! Do share your thoughts, vote in the poll if you haven't, and...well, accept my kisses and hugs for being exceptional, regardless of your gender! :D
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Tomatillos + Tomatoes)
The weather has finally let up, and we're able to start our plot in the community garden! Hooray!

Since my dad is retired and officially has Nothing Better To Do, my mother has recruited him to help with the gardening. (Which is good, since she can't really do any of it herself.) We went out yesterday morning to see if the Guy we hired had roto-tilled yet, but he hadn't. He did it that afternoon, and so my parents went out while I was at work to start making the hills. They were able to finish the back three, which are the big (3 ft wide) ones set aside for my pumpkins, squash, melons and the beans and peas.

This morning, they left to visit my brother in Indianapolis before he and his wife move to California. So I get to put together the rest of the garden by myself. It's a big job, but honestly: I'm psyched. My mother drives me nuts. She can't do anything herself, so instead she satisfies herself by playing Foreman and trying to dictate my every move. (Those who know me can imagine how well this goes over.) And my dad: well, he handles it even less well than I do. And with more shouting.

So today, I went out and finished digging out the rows. (Building up my awesome Ditch Digger arms!) I bought some organic fertilizer and raked it and some compost into the back mounds and planted the pumpkins, squash, and melons and gave them a good watering. I also spent some time chatting and catching up with my community garden neighbors.

Now, I may very well be the youngest gardener out there by about 10 years--I'm certainly the only one under 30. (Not counting this weird, commune-like community group that's renting a plot. I swear, they have about 20 people working one little square, most of whom are just standing around.) Despite being the age of many of my neighbor's grandchildren, I fit in scarily well. I spent about five minutes talking to a woman about my cultivator tool. (It's ergonomic. BOO YA!) Another neighbor told me I had "nice furrows!" "Why, thank you!" I replied coyly. :P

And so commences my exciting summer social life of chatting to middle-aged retirees about weeding and hose attachments!

In other happy news: my new iPod is here (oh, how I missed you, my love!) and Trade Secret is having some massive clearance sale and I bought a bag full of expensive-smelling hair products for just $17.00. I also got two bottles of OPI nail polish for $1.50 each. They were originally $12.50 a pop because they contain diamond dust! Ooh, how decadent! I'm gonna have to wait until the heavy digging is over to paint my nails, though: I haven't much to speak of at the moment.
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Default)
Last night I had a dream that I got a job in a whorehouse. I've been stressing out lately about not having a full-time job, and how I'm going to be able to afford to go back to school, and blah blah blah, and what does my subconscious give me? "Hey, you could always be a whore!" Thanks, brain: that was extremely helpful.

I am totally not qualified to be a whore. Or a hairdresser. )

My mother and I are now swinging into full-scale GARDENING MODE, and this was our kickoff weekend. We went to Block's (a nursery with the best prices and selection on flats of annuals) and Detroit's Eastern Market to buy flowers, veggies, and herbs. Also, my perennial herb garden that I planted last summer is coming back, and looking gorgeous! (Minus a few comrades who didn't survive the winter. R.I.P. golden oregano, variegated sage, lemongrass, lemon verbena, and two lavendars.)

Here are some photos of what we've got going on. I whittled it down to the best pics, and spared you about a dozen views of my teeny tiny herb garden!

apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Canton Everett Delaware III)
Last night I told an intruding stranger to piss off (in politer terms than that) when he decided to come up to my friend in a restaurant and tell her how to handle her dog. Thank you, Cesar Fucking Milan, but we're not interested in your lecture course. I just hate blowhard men who think everyone's just dying to hear their expert opinion on absolutely everything. (When he lit up a cigarette, I was oh so sorely tempted to offer him some free condescension advice on how he should quit.)

(For what it's worth, it's not my friend's dog: she's watching it for a couple months. She has no experience with dogs, and I knew it was a bad idea to bring it to the restaurant. After I scared off the Dog Whisperer, she drove the little yapper home so everyone could eat in peace.)

We've started buying annuals for the house. My mom is crazy into container gardening, and loves making elaborate pots for the patio. Me, I'm much more into the herbs and vegetables: the stuff that's ugly, but useful! I bought a little four pack of dill.

I'm going to get the rest of the herbs I need when we go out to Eastern Market tomorrow. It's a huge farmer's market in downtown Detroit, and it is SO MUCH FUN! The market itself is full of about 5 tents worth of vendors, and the area is surrounded by fun shops and yummy restaurants. There's outdoor BBQ and street performers, and it's just a good time! I like looking for unusual mint varieties to plant and dry for tea. Last year I had chocolate, orange, lemon, apple, peppermint, and Kentucky Colonel Mint, which is a spearmint variety: it's GORGEOUS, and smells OH SO good! Very delicious for mojitos and other mixed drinks: I like a sprig in my vodka lemonade.

My father and I have started making plans to build trellises for my pumpkins, melons, and squash. We went out to Lowe's to look at wood and do some pricing, and the man who worked there was actually able to talk to me about what I needed as if I were a competent, thinking adult! HOORAY for restoring my faith in men, Random Lowe's Employee! ♥

Happy weekend, y'all. What's up with you?
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Tomatillos + Tomatoes)
I know it's spring and time to move onto spring vegetables, but there were some yummy-looking leeks in the grocery store the other day, and I couldn't resist! So here's a quick recipe:

Leek, New Potato, and Kale Bake

recipe )

Tomorrow, for my friend's graduation BBQ, I'm making an orzo pasta salad with marinated veggies. They had some GORGEOUS-looking eggplants at the grocery store: deep purple, and cream and purple-striped ones. I also bought some zucchini, yellow summer squash, a red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, and some marinated olives and feta cheese. I think I'm going to add some oregano from the herb garden. What I can't decide is this: should I cook the veggies? How is eggplant raw? My instinct is to roast the veggies, but: before or after I marinate them? Hmm...conundrums.

(Good lord, is this journal boring! If it's not me complaining, it's me wittering on about food! When do I get my Old Lady badge?)

It was a beautiful sunny day, and I spent the afternoon puttering around in the garden. The cat accompanied me, and spent her time pretending to be a street-savvy Wild Animal. She very nearly went after a bumblebee who was working the hyacinths, but wisely decided he was out of her league.

I then went inside, and re-potted some of the seedlings I'd started that were getting too big for the starter trays. Remember the baby pictures I posted of my seedlings? Well, look at my pumpkins now: Trying to save flist space... )

I also have a FANMIX up at [ profile] sherlockmas. Check it out, and feel free to point and laugh at my taste in Angsty Chick Music. :P


Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' 'bout! Happy weekend, everyone. xx :D

And now, to work on the latest Music Battle Challenge from [ profile] evilhippo. This one is FIENDISHLY DIFFICULT: I must tell a story through my song choices, without repeating any artists!
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (P&P - Darcy (Gonna Bitch in Journal))
First, some miscellaneous bitching: I need a faster computer. I see no reason why I can't have 10 different tabs open in Firefox, two Notebook pages, a Word document, iTunes, Spider Solitaire, a few different folders, email, and still be able to edit photos in GIMP. I feel a big 'ol sulk coming on.

Anyway. My frustration with my computer's inability to develop superpowers means that I don't have a shiny, pretty graphic to advertise that:

Posting for Spring Into Sherlock over at [ profile] sherlockmas opens tomorrow! Super exciting, y'all: I'll have a banner eventually for anyone who wants to help promote, but in the meantime let me just say that I am very excited, and there are some fantastic submissions to the fest!

Now, since I can't edit the size of pics in GIMP at the moment, I'm going to resize these photos using the IMG tag. If it don't work in your browser: lo siento! (I'm sorry.)

"Oriental" Coleslaw with Peanut Sesame Ginger Dressing
(It's like cold sesame noodles, but with cabbage! And raisins...Mmmm...)

(I forgot to take a picture until it was almost all gone, so my apologies for the sloppiness of the presentation!)

recipe )

Photos of plants coming up in the garden. )

All right everyone: how was your weekend? Any miscellaneous bitching you want to get off your chest?
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Default)
It's beginning: that time of year where I bore my flist with endless garden shots! I'll start off the season with a peek at the seedlings I have started in my basement.

The first three pictures were taken with my iPhone. The last five were taken with my mother's new fancy-schmancy camera that has a macro lens and whatnot. At some point during the photo shoot, I managed to change the proportions of the picture size, so...yeah.

But wait! There's more! )

And as a reward for looking at my boring seedling photos, some spring icons:

apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Willy Wonka (Veruca Salt Wants It NOW!))
It's coming it's coming IT'S COMING! SPRING! ♥ (And I am RIDICULOUSLY excited about it!)

The last few days have been filled with sunshine, blue skies, and 40+ degree weather. (Those of you who live in warmer climates--OH, HUSH! This is Michigan! When it hits 50, we're bustin' out the shorts and flip flops!) (Also: it's dropping back down into the 30s tomorrow, with 4 inches of snow by 7pm. BUT NO MATTER! The sun has had its effect: spring is coming again, and I couldn't be happier!)

I took the cat outside to explore this afternoon. She'd more or less forgotten what it was like to leave the house, and spent the first ten minutes walking around the patio in a circle and meowing at me, she was just so damn excited. Hell, I was excited, too! I spent the better part of an hour poking around the flower beds, checking for signs of life. I was eager to see which plants in my perennial herb garden survived the winter cold. It appears as if the lemongrass has died all the way back to the ground, but I don't know if it'll make its way back for another couple months. Ditto on the lemon verbena. The lavenders seem to have done well, and there's green beneath the snow on the oregano, sage, and the thyme. ♥

I also noticed several spring bulbs starting to come up after this week's thaw. I know better than to get excited over these first few shoots of green that poke their heads above the ground: this is Michigan, after all, and we have at least six weeks of surprise!frosts left until the spring flowers can safely emerge from their winter slumber. But still, that flash of green, that little reminder that the earth is coming back to life, is just so rejuvenating!

I planted the paperwhite bulbs one of my students gave me for Christmas, and spent the afternoon shopping for vegetable seeds. We get to pick out this summer's plot at the community garden on March 15. Things are happening!

Behind the cut, find gratuitous pictures of spring loveliness, and a photo mosaic of some of the fruit and vegetable varieties I'll be growing this summer: HERE BE GREEN A'PLENTY! )

apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Default)
I've had a chatty life couple of days! So I'm going to try to get everything I want to say into one more post today. I PROMISE! So, let's get started, shall we?

First: I went with my mother out to our garden plot today to gather up our stakes and tomato cages and take down the fence our bean was growing on. (THAT was a workout: the bean vine was all up in that fence, and it took some major cardio-vascular effort to rip it out.) We also harvested the last of our crops. (Though I do have some more leeks I'll go back for this weekend.)


cabbages, pumpkin, and acorn squash

Recipe, book meme, and more pictures. JOIN ME! )
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Red sunflower)
Someone has STOLEN one of my pumpkins!

I went out to the garden plot today to harvest my pumpkins and some veggies for dinner, and one of my pumpkins has been stolen! I had three, and now just the two. I'd been warned about vegetable theft from other gardeners, but naively, I thought it wouldn't happen to me. So sad!

Here's a pic of the two I harvested, along with some acorn squash:

two pumpkins, three squash

For more veggie porn, clickety-click! )
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Default)
A friend who lives in DC now was in town for our friend's baby shower, and I met up with her and her mom today at the place where I have my garden plot. (Turns out her mother has been gardening there since 1975!!) I spent some time chatting to her mom about gardening and the community garden in general, and she advised I pick my squash and pumpkins as soon as possible lest they get stolen. WTF?! Apparently she's had produce stolen before. I've also heard this from other people.

Between the vegetable theft and the rampant gossiping there is way too much drama going on at the community garden!

I did pick one of the acorn squash, because the vine had died and it wasn't going to get any bigger. I roasted it with some olive oil and salt and pepper and it was AWESOME! I also stir-fried some chard and green beans with pine nuts in olive oil, and threw in some leftover pork, and at everyone with rice. So yummy!

Because I'm mega-proud of my veggies (home grown, y'all!) I'm going to post pics of the meal.

In the new cast iron skillet:
cookin' the veggies

Finished meal:
magic stir fry of awesome
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Default)
A couple weeks ago, I was driving home from work, and I thought to myself: it feels like fall. At first, I couldn't understand why I thought that, because the weather was 90 degrees and humid as hell, and all the trees and plants were still green (and brown from the heat).

Then I realized: it's the position of the sun. The northern hemisphere is on the downswing of its tilt, and we're going to be plunged back into winter soon.

So, here are some parting shots of the flower and herb gardens; there's not much left that's healthy and blooming, so I'll have to enjoy it while I can!

First: a beautiful peach-colored zinnia.

peach zinnia

More here... )
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Gashlycrumb Tinies)
First, exciting news: my story Where Two Paths Cross tied for first place in the second challenge at [ profile] she_is_to_me! This was my first challenge, so I am over the moon. I know it was a small challenge, but I have so much respect for the talent over there, I am counting this as a big win. :) Thanks to everyone who voted for me! ♥

On a recommendation from [ profile] doctoreleven I requested Lost in Austen from the library. The rec was made in a thread celebrating the works of Alex Kingston, and from what I could tell from what I was able to watch, she was awesome in it; but she couldn't save it for me.

I had a problem right away. In the opening monologue describing her life, the protagonist says, "I know I sound like a loser, but I do have a boyfriend!" ?!?! SERIOUSLY?! It's only made worse when we discover that the boyfriend is a stereotypical heel and Not Good Enough For Her, and she STILL uses his existence to justify her life. Why would a movie pandering to fans of Jane Austen be so unabashedly insulting to them?

So I didn't make it far into the movie.

Saturday, I went to the Dancin' On the Street festival in Detroit for The Heidlberg Project. (If you've never heard of the Heidelberg Project, it's a rather bold, and controversial, art and activism project in Detroit.) It was a ton of fun, and I'll post some pictures once I get them from my friend.

Finally, I've picked my first watermelon of the season and made some Sherlock icons for the [ profile] bakerstreaders comm.

Garden pictures and icon set behind the cut... )
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (My pumpkin!)
More pictures of plants and such, this time mostly from my herb garden. I love herbs, and every year I have such big plans to do more with them (dry them, make teas and sachets, cook more, etc...) but there's always so much to do with a garden in the summer, it's easy to get burnt out with just all the general maintenance. Still, herbs are pretty low-maintenance plants, and they've managed thrive in spite of my ADD attitude to gardening.

herb garden: lavender and thyme

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme... )
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Default)
garden with snapdragons

I rent a garden plot with my mother at a local community garden. It's in full swing now: the tomatoes are ripening, the squash is taking over neighboring plots, and the weeds are THRIVING! (Well, no more; I spent a good hour yanking them up. For a picture of the results of my effort...

look behind the cut!) )


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