Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Compost Bin

Okay, so it's a plastic storage box that I've drilled holes in.  But whatever.  I try!  This post from last year on one of my favorite blogs, Romesticity, made me want to have a compost bin and believe that I could.  However, good plans never materialized, and it wasn't until I found a handy suggestion in this book that I figured out how to do this at our apartment.  We don't have a yard, so a traditional compost pile or even a nice composter aren't really options.  Also, it was a relatively cheap way for me to try out something new.  I'm kind of pumped.  You want to see pictures?  No?  Well, you get them anyway.

The 'brown' matter, which for me, is a mixture of torn up newspaper and old leaves from our porch.  (That I *obviously* haven't cleaned off since fall.)

After adding potting soil and what few kitchen scraps I had tonight.

My improvised compost bin.  And yes, I did drill the holes in the top in the shape of an "A".  This is what happens when I'm left alone for long periods of time.

Sorry for the craptastic quality of these photos; I did all this about 10pm tonight and had to take pictures RIGHTTHEN.  I can't be the only person this has ever happened to.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

On Gardens and Being a Senior Design Widow

Jay is in his last semester of his degree in electrical engineering and second semester of a senior design project.  Where he must work with a TEAM.  On their hours, which, as young, single men, generally means after 2pm until....after midnight.  Which means that I, as a nine to five gal, never see my husband awake.  Unless it is he waking me up when he gets home.  It is miserable, and I am pouty, but never fear.

The Best Friend since Preschool is coming to the rescue.  (She is a Pharmacy Widow in that her husband to be works out of town and only gets every other weekend off.  She has had to deal with far more separation than I and understands my irritability at not seeing The Boy.  But I digress.)  We are planning a weekend of various projects around her home, which include stripping wallpaper (how naughty!) and starting a garden (and dirty!) and cooking something delectable.  I believe she is especially excited about getting rid of the early nineties wallpaper in her bathroom, and I CANNOT WAIT to "help" her with "her" garden project.  (I guess this is where I confess that I want "her" to "have" a garden because I want to use her backyard since I, in an apartment, do not have one.  There.  Sorry about that.)  I won't get into any great debate over non-rural-area-house-and-garden-making (but go here if you are interested!), but I do want to try my hand at growing my own vegetables.

I've had an interest in growing things since I can remember.  My great aunt Nell always had these great catalogs where you could order seeds and seedling and sapling, and I was beyond fascinated.  I've tried my hand at growing things, and my most successful plant to date has been some Jasmine that I bought at the Biltmore Estate five years ago.  It is still alive, but that's only because it's been in my mother's possession.  The desert rose The Boy and I bought after we married died when we moved to Birmingham (he overwatered it...truth.)  Various flowers I've bought over the years died.  I managed to overwater what first looked to be a promising window box herbs.  Too much sun killed our St. John's Wort.  I let the rosemary freeze over the holidays.  The lettuce I tried to grow in boxes just didn't have the space to flourish, and I didn't know proper harvesting techniques to at least have the baby leaves from it.  My only minor success was broccoli.  I can remember steaming the biggest heads at the same time, and it was the greenest broccoli I'd ever seen.  I hope that having some actual space to grow things will yield more success, and that that hope and excitement will get me through the last few weeks of the dreaded design project.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Some Pups and a Recommendation

Hi there interwebs. Just wanted to touch base via a few adorable photos and one very awesome book and blog.

Why, what is this that is under the bed? 

Oh, it's just Bailey.  Lying on his back. Under the bed. With his feetsies sticking out. I DIE. 

And this, oh this, is the Beans. Asleep. On one of my favorite books ever, Backwards in High Heels: The Impossible Art of Being Female, by Tania Kindersley and Sarah Vine. It covers all manner of topics, from female beauty standards to aging to the different types of love. It's a great read written by two wonderful and witty women with gorgeous illustrations. Ms. Kindersley continues to work on a new book and, in the mean time, writes daily for her blog, She has a great voice and takes lovely pictures of her life in Scotland. Some of her favorites are the hill in front of her home, lichen, and her lovely labs (collectively "The Ladyships").  I look forward to her posts each day and am constantly surprised by the content. It could be politics, or cricket, or a particularly eloquent post on friendship, in which she says of her friends:

" was like falling from a great height into a deep, luxurious feather bed. It's a pleasure so profound and keen that I can hardly find words for it. ... It is the most luxurious, ineffable fondness, because all the flaws and foibles are known, and none of them matter a whit. In fact, the foibles and flaws are the whole point, because no one wants to be friends with flat white perfection."

Just go read the whole post, especially if you, like I do, have very good, very old friends who make life so much richer.  Trust.  And until next good. 

And if you can't be good at it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Thank the Stars for Pictures and Pandora

I've spent the last twenty four hours getting the crap kicked out of me by a brutal stomach bug and the better part of the past three weeks battling a case of the blues.  I am happy to report that I am on the mend on both fronts.  Tonight's supper is on the stove, a tasty stroganoff that involves copious amounts of crimini mushrooms and can be eaten over rice, in a bowl, and with a spoon. 

(If you must know anything about me, know that I cook two to three meals a week that are something over rice, and my favorite foods are those which can be eaten out of a bowl and with a spoon.  I love spoons, and I'm not using a fork unless I absolutely must.  It's just a thing I have.  /endrant.)

I had my Adele station blaring on Pandora, and I am happy to report that not one unfamiliar song has played.  (This is my goal with any Pandora station I create.  I don't know.)  I left the computer long enough for the screensaver to pop up, which is just a slideshow of the 'my pictures' folder on my computer.  I ended up unable to stop watching the slideshow and sat there, entranced, for a good twenty minutes.  I came to the conclusion that my life is pretty good, and my friends and family are even better.   I am one lucky duck.  So here's a few of my favorites just to share with you, whoever you are, and wherever you may be tonight.

My grandmother, Edith (Edie's namesake), at a lathe during WWII.  She didn't wear dresses until she was a teenager wanting to go on a date with the man who eventually became my grandfather, kept a short haircut almost her entire life, and always let people know what she thought.

My granddaddy Bubba with a Corsair during the Korean War.  Even as he neared the end of his life and didn't quite remember everything as he always had, he could remember the day he took this picture with this plane, and even told my mom and me about where we could find it for him.

My great aunt Cora.  I just love this picture of her because, though she smiled plenty in life, there are hardly any pictures of her actually doing so!

My great aunt Nell and my Billy Pa.  I love everything about this picture.

These people.  This football stadium.

This night.  Oh, dear, this night.

This place.


THIS UNREAL ANIMAL.  I'm unsure how she's even real.  THAT FACE.

My buddy boy.

Why yes, I think there shall be an obligatory dog picture in every post.  Sometimes even repeats.  As you can see, life is okay.