Thursday, September 22, 2011

Am I really so techno-illiterate?

I cannot find my way around on! Seriously! I want to add my friend's blog to my reading list... I have to use Google Chrome to even be able to comment on blogs or see my stats! (Bullies!) I look all over the pages trying to find the link back to my 'dashboard'... so I can start over without logging out and in again!... grrr! Is it really this confusing to get around? I need a Tom-Tom just to blog? Seriously? ... or is it me? Am I too out-of-touch with the whole blog hysteria that I missed a few lessons on navigation? To be fair, Blogger isn't the only site I have had difficulty with... but it is by far the most challenging at the moment!

Shucks, I found images and taxonomy detail for 7 (count! seven!!) insects I have collected over the past two weeks and needed to identify.... and I cannot get around the blog site I use?... I don't believe it's all on me. I think Google could make Blogger, Blogspot, whatever... more user friendly!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Gardening is an enjoyable chore!

The summer is winding down here in central North Carolina. (Boo! Hiss!) My poor little garden would have fared much better if I had planted a cactus bed instead of water-hogging squash and melons! LOL Alas, I managed to salvage two (count: 1, 2!) squash from my thirsty vine, and it looks like I may get two (again, t-w-o!) very small canteloupes. My carrots... well, let me tell you about planting carrots in Carolina clay!! First, I made a modified "square-foot" style garden: I raked out the alcove between the cement steps at the back porch and the cement stoop the HVAC sits on. Then I set a 2x6 plank to create a front edge and staked it so it wouldn't lean over. Next, I poured in prepared topsoil and organic humus (10 bags total), and used a shovel to dig it deep into the original surface... all that, LAST year!! Last year, I had a "cute" garden.

So, the carrots! Right! This year, after pulling out weeds and whatever, I sectioned off the square I'm planting carrots. I take a 10-inch screwdriver and stab it into the ground and wiggle it around to waller out a loose hole for the carrots to enjoy... I do this for every place I am planting a carrot (16 holes). Not only do I only get 1/3 germination from the carrots (I don't know what happens to seeds... I had to plant banana peppers THREE TIMES before even ONE came up!... happy for the one...), oh! Not only do I only get 5 carrots, but they are stumpy... like 'Thumbelina' variety! I am sure I planted Danvers Long, and created a nice deep space for them, and lightly set the seeds in the tops of these carefully prepared holes.... but this ol' Carolina clay pinched them off! ... OR, a second, less plausible explanation: I didn't water often enough during the drought, and while they survived, they never dug deep into the soil. AND... I am impatient and didn't want to wait another 6 weeks till the frost and see if they could fatten up (actually, girth is good, the length is lacking).

Okay, I admit I am impatient when it comes to gardening: my potato sacks are 1/4 (if that one is doing its magic. I haven't looked yet.), my radishes even bolted right out of the ground! Not a single bulb before flowering! Unbelievable! My tomatoes never sprouted, and my peppers/eggplants are MIA. BUT I DID GET: three dinners' worth of green beans!! and two dinners of spinach/mustard greens! And the greens are growing again now that the weather is cooling down!

Still, I am wondering... that was a lot of work this summer for 3 cans of green beans and a can of spinach! I will plant a bumper crop this week, but maybe... just maybe... I need a bigger garden?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Busy Busy Busy!

My summer went okay. I didn't get to move out West, but I'm okay with that. The week of exams, my grandmother had gone back into the hospital. When she came home, and my exams were over, there was a daily onslaught of tornados through the middle of the country... where I needed to drive, no thank you. Then, as if that wasn't enough to discourage me, Phoenix, Arizona was blanketed by a severe duststorm!! Okay, truth: duststorm was not enough to dissuade me without the terrifying weeklong drive through tornado alley at peak season! So, I settled in with my folks for a long summer.... and enrolled for fall classes here.

School started for me on a Wednesday. Two days later, my grandmother passed. I had been expecting her departure for a long time. Watching her ability to take care of herself steadily decline was hard. She is missed, but I have peace in my heart. Just hours after her graveside service, there was a great earthquake! ('Great' for this area is anything that people can actually detect!) I laughed, because I was musing that if that EQ had hit during the service, we might have been digging some more holes!! LOL (okay, sorry, that isn't funny to everybody... but I still crack myself up!) I happened to be in structural geology lab at the time of the event, and we momentarily got off topic, but that's another story!

Family, school starting back, Fall Break planning, deciding on graduate programs, whether to file for a second Bachelors (not a bad idea, as it solidifies concepts by having to complete more classes, but   it would add more than 2 semesters to plan), moving... stay with folks or move closer to school.... need a job... want relevant work experience (in geology), not cashier at grocery/retailer (not that there's anything wrong with those jobs, but I need experience on my resume!) OH! AND.... I've been adding to my listings ( ... and eBay (and_ankhira)... so I am feeling very busy busy!