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Basically, aside from the continuing problem of marauding squirrels and their tendency to chomp everything because they forget they hate the taste of peppers, everything is going very well.


six pepper plants in black plastic planters . six pepper plants in planters and pots

1. peppers A2, A4, A6, B1, B3, and B5 - Monday, 17 July 2017
2. peppers C2, C4, C6, D1, D3, and D5


four more images under the cut )


pepper fruit on a pepper plant, with human fingers for scale

7. the Lazarus pepper


The majority of the peppers are now tall enough that I have wrapped the loops at the top of their stakes around their central stems. A few of those plants have even developed visible buds!

I now have three peppers running a few weeks behind the others, though: A2, which just got munched a couple days ago; B5, which got munched a few weeks ago; and E6 which had the fungal problem and might need a repeat dose of fungicide around its roots. C6 and D1 are also running behind, though less drastically. That is because they nearly drowned while I was away on vacation and left their planter a crucial two inches too close to the gutter waterfall, and it's hard to grow properly when your soil has turned into a non-Newtonian fluid. (Don't worry! I dried them out, gave them some replacement soil and a good dose of fertilizer to replace lost nutrients, and they are doing fine now.)

The Lazarus pepper's fruit is growing nicely! It does feel a little bit softer/squishier than I would ideally like, but I plan to give all the plants EVEN MORE EGGSHELLS later this week, which should help. Its leaves are likewise still a bit yellower than I would ideally like, but less so that a few weeks ago. Also -- and I am not sure how evident this is in my photographs -- the Lazarus pepper doesn't really have a central stem; it splits into two 'branches' about six inches up from its roots. And while the other flowers on the branch with the single extant fruit have come to nothing, the OTHER branch is now in the process of developing buds, so! We shall see what happens. :D

-----

In summary: all my squash are blooming!


one squash plant, top view, with wilted flowers

8. Tan - Monday, 17 July 2017


six more images under the cut )


Okay, more details. :) As you can see, Tan got hollowed out a bit -- probably by those continued menaces otherwise known as squirrels. (I am frankly impressed; squash stems and leaves are prickly once they get past the very tiny baby phase.) The utterly shredded leaf, however, fell victim to the gutter waterfall before I noticed the mauling and ran outside to move it about six inches to the left. (I got thoroughly soaked in the process, despite using an umbrella. It rained buckets last Thursday.) Anyway, the plant is attempting to regrow its central stem and leaves, and probably won't attempt to fruit until it gets further on that basic project.

Sethera continues to be stable in its little pen of plastic trellises, and in fact has started to grow an actualfax squash! Yay! So far this one doesn't seem afflicted with the blossom end rot that did in Azer's first attempt at fruiting, but as mentioned in the pepper update post, I am going to be dosing all plants with more eggshells later this week just on general principle.

In fact, Azer and Covera are each ALSO attempting a tiny actualfax squash -- Covera's is by far the smaller, but you can kind of see it in the top view photo, whereas Azer's hid so well I didn't notice it until Tuesday morning and consequently have no good picture of it.

The squash blossoms are HIGHLY attractive to insects -- particularly something that is either a type of solitary bee, or a fly that's wearing a pretty good bee disguise. They also attract spiders, presumably as a secondary consequence of attracting insects. The flowers are quite ephemeral and bloom for one day at most, often only part of a day, before furling back up and starting to wilt.

And that is that for this week. :)


[[original Tumblr post (peppers) for when the embedded images inevitably break ; original Tumblr post (squash) for when the embedded images inevitably break]]
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
The taxi was ten minutes late, but Ithaca airport security is pretty efficient so I got to the plane on time. All my connections went smoothly, and though takeoff from the Twin Cities was a little delayed by weather, that flight actually landed at Bemidji a few minutes early. Victory!

I am on the island, in the cabin, and will probably make a longer post tomorrow after I have pulled myself back together a bit more. :)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
six pepper seedlings in black plastic planters . five pepper seedlings in plastic planters and pots

1. peppers A2, A4, A6, B1, B3, and B5 - Monday, 19 June 2017
2. peppers C2, C4, C6, D1, and D3


three images under the cut )


As you can see, I have rearranged my peppers. Actually I had them rearranged for a while -- not in this exact configuration, which I adopted a couple days ago because I wanted to space out the squash planters a little -- but differently from the groups-of-six I was using for photos. This is because Landlord Dude has yet to fix the damn gutter on the back of the house, and consequently any rain harder than a drizzle (or that lasts longer than half an hour) turns the gutter into a waterfall that happens to be right over one of my kitchen windows/my back porch. So I make sure none of my poor plants are right under the cascade, because they are small and tender and do not deserve to be punched repeatedly in the metaphorical face. *wry*

As you can also see, I have staked sixteen of the peppers. I did not stake E6 because it's growing noticeably slower than the others, but I think I will do so Wednesday evening because I will be leaving on vacation Thursday morning and I am quite sure it will need a stake before I get home a week later. I also didn't stake B5 because the poor dear is only just beginning to recover from its savage beheading -- it is growing a new leaf! Life finds a way!

Pepper D5 has something wrong with its leaves. I suspect it may have caught some residue from the fungicide/insecticide I sprayed on the Lazarus pepper a couple weeks ago, but the newest tiny leave seem on track to be normal rather than crumpled, so I trust it will do all right in the long run.


two images under the cut )


tiny green bell pepper on a pepper plant

8. the Lazarus pepper - Monday, 19 June 2017 (OMG AN ACTUALFAX PEPPER!!!)


And last but not least, the Lazarus pepper bloomed! The first bud opened on Wednesday, and as of today that first flower has lost its petals (heavy rain, what can you do?) to reveal an ACTUALFAX PEPPER. It is so tiny. And so cute. :DDD

I continue to fight a rearguard action against the evils of the white mulberry tree. You have no idea how many berries I have to sweep off the porch every day, or pick out of the pots and planters, to say nothing of the infinite mulberry seedlings I have to uproot and toss away.

(If you haven't realized by now? I hate mulberry trees. I mean, they are probably lovely trees in an orchard, or out in the woods where they can do their own thing without bothering anyone, but trust me, you do NOT want them in your yard. Not in a million years. They are a MENACE.

Also they attract squirrels, but that is a separate problem.)


four images under the cut )


Meanwhile, unidentified marauders (*cough* squirrels *cough*) tried to uproot Tan and/or shred its stem again, but so far as I can tell the leaves retain enough connection to the root system to stay alive. Also I have buried the long, floppy part of the stem under even more potting soil -- I did the same for Sethera while I was at it -- and have tried to prop up the vertical parts of the plants such that they have proper support and won't tip over under their own weight as the grow.

Azer and Covera, of course, do not suffer from this problem as they never went through a floppy phase of growing sideways in search of the sun, and are both growing great guns. I am fairly sure their mutual end goal is to devour my porch. Sethera and Tan probably share this ambition, though they are not quite as well-placed to follow through on it. *wry*

I have spaced out the four planters a little bit, but I am beginning to think that I may have to move one or two of them off the porch entirely. I am not sure where else they could go. Down in the yard among the raspberry canes? (Which survived last year's drought and have put up slightly alarming amounts of new growth; I think they want to devour my porch as well, though from below rather than from above.) In the front yard behind the shelter of the hedge? In the driveway beside the trash cans?

I will have to consider this before they get too big to move...


[[original Tumblr post (peppers), for when the embedded images inevitably break ; original Tumblr post (squash), for when the embedded images inevitably break]]
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
As you have doubtless noticed, I failed to post about my plants on Monday the 15th. This is because depression occasionally whacks me in the brain with a bag of sand for a while, whereupon I let stuff unrelated to immediate survival (or my job) slide until such time as I have the spoons to deal with it. Yes, even fun stuff like gardening. *sigh*

Anyway, I did scrape together a decent bunch of spoons today so here we are with the grand pepper repotting and squash thinning post. Better late than never, yeah? *wry*


four pepper seedlings in black plastic planters . two pepper seedlings in a black plastic planter

1. peppers A2, A4, A6, and B1 (Friday, 19 May 2017)
2. peppers B3 and B5


two more images under the cut )


I decided that this year I wanted to keep better track of my peppers, which is why I 'named' them on a grid system back when they were still in their little black plastic tray. I therefore painted those IDs onto the planters and pots and made sure to transfer each plant to the correct final home.

You may note that several of the seedlings have lost a cotyledon. This is because I was kind of a dumbass and left them out too long one afternoon last week, and then overwatered them in a slightly panicked reaction to their desperately wilted state. :( But they seem to be recovering (I think the fertilizer I gave them last weekend perked them up a bit) and I figure proper soil can only help in that process.


two squash seedlings in a clear plastic tub . one squash seedling in a clear plastic tub

5. Yan and Tan (Thursday, 18 May 2017)
6. Tethera


four more images under the cut )


Meanwhile, all the second-round squash seedlings were doing fairly well, but I had to murder two of them or the only eventual survivor would have been Tethera -- these tubs are not big enough to support two full-grown squash plants. So Yan and Pip got snipped, since Tan and Sethera, their pot-mates, were flourishing just that vital bit more. I hate this part of gardening, which is why I vastly prefer to plant single seeds and transplant the survivors. Alas, that is not practical for squash!

I should mention, at this point, that Meeny (my one surviving first-round squash seedling) died last Friday. I am not sure what went wrong. Perhaps I overwatered there as well? Perhaps Meeny did not cope well with being confined to my kitchen after several afternoons outdoors in proper sun? (I had to bring all the plants inside last week for temperature reasons.) It is a tragic mystery. But I have planted two new seeds in that tub -- henceforth to be known as Azer and Hovera -- and hopefully they will have better luck than their predecessor.

Lastly, I moved the Lazarus pepper outside for good and for keeps a couple days ago... except I think I'll bring it indoors one last time tonight, since the temperature will drop down to about 45F and I would prefer not to test its ability to withstand quite that much of a shock. *wry*

(Oh, PS: the onion was not able to recover from its mold infestation. So it goes.)


[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I mixed some MiracleGro into water this morning and gave all the peppers and squash a drink of fertilizer. Hopefully they will appreciate it.


a peeled onion, just sprouted, lying in a ceramic dish with a bit of water

1. my unexpected onion, Monday, 8 May 2017


The onion was having serious mold problems -- two separate kinds, one black and mostly under the skin, and one white and infesting its base where new roots were attempting to sprout. So I peeled it, cut out a couple particularly bad spots, and sprayed it with fungicide. I think that did in its first attempt at growing roots, but it seems to be trying again and at least these new attempts will not get strangled at birth by evil spores. *crosses fingers, wishes it well*


eighteen pepper seedlings, growing in peat cylinders in a black plastic container . small green pepper plant

2. eighteen pepper seedlings
3. the Lazarus pepper


I think all the plants miss going outside for the afternoons -- they really liked the direct sunlight -- but it's been low to mid 40s (Fahrenheit) and/or pouring rain for the past several days in Ithaca, so they're not getting back outdoors until Thursday at the earliest, and possibly not until next Monday depending on how the weather behaves.


four squash photos under the cut )


Methera-the-squash failed to sprout, which saves me from having to figure out which seedling to murder in one of my tubs. I will still have to decide who will survive in the Yan-vs.-Tan and Pip-vs.-Sethera matchups, though. I am hoping another week will make it more obvious which ones are more vigorous than the others.


[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Wrote a tiny story (742 words) as an entry in the 2017 John Mosedale creative writing contest, which is run by the Loon (the annual newsletter/directory of the Star Island Protective League). I then ran it past Vicky for approval, since although the starting inspiration was my recent obsession with maybe purchasing a tiny fruit tree for my kitchen, it then veered into some stuff drawn from conversations I've had with her this past year, and I didn't want to just throw that out for anyone to read if she'd be uncomfortable with that. But she said it was cool, so I submitted it.

2. Shoveled my front steps and sidewalk AGAIN, because when I got home from work on Friday they were buried under a foot and a half of snow and ice, which had taken advantage of the lovely sunny afternoon to depart the roof en masse.

3. Baked brownies!

4. Helped Miss Cactus decorate the rental office counter for spring:


paper flowers and leaves on a black background . paper flowers and leaves on a black background



The leaves are leftover shamrocks from our St. Patrick's Day display, which I did not bother to photograph since it was not terribly exciting. Miss Cactus and I reused them rather than cut out entirely new leaves to go with the flowers. Most of the flowers are colored paper with a bit of Sharpie marker in the centers to make them look a bit livelier and less monochrome, but a few were printed on white paper and given unique coloring jobs, because we could and because arts and crafts are fun. :)

[[original Tumblr post, for when the embedded images inevitably break]]

more items under the cut )

And now I think I will go to bed, because I am kind of brain-fried for no identifiable reason, and I figure sleep is more likely to help than staying up for another hour and trying to force myself into being productive.
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1. Took garden progress photos and posted them online.

2. Plunged both bays of my kitchen sink, which didn't seem to do anything. Poured drain-declogging fluid down the left bay of the sink, and also down my shower drain. Washed it out fifteen minutes later with boiling water from a teakettle followed by generically hot tap water. The pipes seem to be running better now.

3. Put away my remaining laundry.

more items under the cut )

17. Gave blood! \o/ It took me three and a half months to get my health and my schedule aligned, but by gum, I finally managed it. :DDDDD

18. Did a preliminary read-through of the Small Fandom Big Bang fic I am editing. I will try to go through and leave actual comments tomorrow night.

And now, I think, to bed.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I have slowly been doing edits on Second Chances, since I wrote that story down to the absolute wire and had approximately negative three hours to edit it before the archive went live (my issues with deadlines, let me show you them *sigh*), and most of what I've done so far, aside from tidying up weird and awkward phrases, is fill in transitiony stuff that I only had time to vaguely gesture at in the initial draft. Or in other words, tweaking the foreshadowing and plot/emotional arcs so they hang together better.

Later I will also need to smooth out the denouement, but right now I'm still stuck on shaping the build-up correctly.

And I think... I think there is too rapid a jump from Ray getting his new job to Matt coming to confront Foggy with Daredevil's investigation results. I think I may need another scene in there. The thing is, I'm not quite sure what it should be. I'm leaning toward maybe Ray dropping in to visit Foggy at HCB? Because I should probably do a bit more with Foggy's professional life, and also lawyer stuff gives him a good reason to A) think conflicted thoughts about Matt and B) be involved in some case that tangentially touches on the Rainmaker thing, so that doesn't come completely out of nowhere when Matt brings it up in the next scene.

But I don't want to plot and wriiiiiiiiiite it... *flops angstily to the ground and sulks*

...You know, instead of whining to the internet, I should go edit [redacted]'s Small Fandom Big Bang fic instead, which I agreed to do and should ALSO stop procrastinating about.

Or maybe just go to bed. It's cold, I am tired and sore from shoveling far too much snow, and presumably things will look more manageable in the morning.

snow day

Mar. 14th, 2017 01:53 pm
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I got sent home from work at 1pm, successfully caught a bus down the hill, and walked home the rest of the way. I'm not going to bother shoveling until later -- I already did one round this morning before going in to work, and I am tired.

I think I may take a nap. :)

-----

ETA, 9:30pm

I slept very well, and duly shoveled the sidewalk (both east and north sides of the house) upon getting up. The wind has picked up dramatically, and it's still snowing, but at least I will have less to wade through in the morning.

And speaking of the morning...

Tompkins County closed roads for all non-essential travel at 3pm, and TCAT stopped service for the day around 5:30pm. They have not yet issued statements about their plans for Wednesday.

That means I don't know if I'll be able to get a bus up East Hill tomorrow morning. I really do not want to walk up the hill. That's a pain under the best conditions, and tomorrow it will likely be a nightmare since I'm absolutely sure most of the sidewalks on Buffalo St. won't be shoveled. (College students, you know?)

Unfortunately, as far as I know, the office is currently planning to open at the usual time, which means I will have to be there to open it, so...

I guess I will just have to get up at 6:30am and see whether I will be facing a nightmarish two-mile trek to and then up the hill of doom, or only a three-quarter-mile flat-surface slog to the #10 bus stop (or one mile, if I have to go to Green St. to catch a #30 or #51).
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Did another two hours of paid training for Not the IRS.

2. Brought my peppers indoors Saturday night because of inclement weather. Kept them indoors because the weather has gotten progressively worse through today -- in other words, the snow that had already covered the surrounding hills several inches deep is finally sticking to the ground down here in the lake valley. Bleh.

3. Gathered a bunch of information for some of my youth group kids who wanted to know how they could make a difference after the election. Printed copies and brought them to church this morning.

more items under the cut )

...

As you can see, I am well into my 'oh god Thanksgiving is coming, I have to get my apartment fit for company' burst of mad productivity. *wry*

ETA:

18.
Shoveled the sidewalk -- or at least the east sidewalk. I will leave the north sidewalk for tomorrow and/or for somebody else to deal with. (Actually, I will probably have to shovel the east sidewalk again in the morning, since the snow has only temporarily lightened rather than stopped, but I figure a few minutes' work now will reduce my frustration later by enough to make the trade worthwhile.)

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Elizabeth Culmer

October 2017

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