Thursday, March 29, 2012


Yeah, I'm not doing this.

It looks like I have an albino Imperial Star artichoke, it seems to have stopped since the true leaves started to sprout. Maybe I should buy that big lottery ticket. It looks like I'm off and running with this years first garden freak.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Season's Change

Here's the 2012 grow-op. 
I just re-potted some maters into bigger pots, burying them up to their necks.
The fan helps build strong stems and keeps fungus gnats away. We had a plant full of them that I got rid of, but the damn things keep popping up. Fungus gnats look a bit like fruit flies, but they love to lay eggs in the soil of houseplants and will eat the root structure, often stunting a plants growth, but usually killing baby seedlings if there numbers are high enough.
This is the first real harvest of the season. These are collards and broccoli we planted back in October that were in hoop houses. I'm not dead set on doing it again next fall, but we do have a lot of garlic coming up, so maybe we'll focus on that next time. 
Here is Sadie posing with my new bargain find. I plan to bring it to Vegas for my first International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners conference in June. 

It will be 5 years in November that I started with the Coroner's office. I started in the morgue, then was promoted to Investigator. The week of my birthday next month I will start a new position as Senior Deputy/ Investigations Supervisor. I've been stressing a bit about it, but I have gotten a lot of positive feedback and look forward to the new position. I always said I never wanted an ordinary life, so this is what I get.

The Book That Will Drive You Mad

Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth -- musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies -- the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children.Now, for the first time, this astonishing novel is made available in book form, complete with the original colored words, vertical footnotes, and newly added second and third appendices.The story remains unchanged, focusing on a young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story -- of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams. 

I picked up a copy yesterday, I doubt it will be an ebook any time soon with the bizarre formatting. So far I haven't gone mad, but the footnotes are getting a bit strange. I think I will like this book.


“This much I’m certain of: it doesn’t happen immediately. You’ll finish [the book] and that will be that, until a moment will come, maybe in a month, maybe a year, maybe even several years. You’ll be sick or feeling troubled or deeply in love or quietly uncertain or even content for the first time in your life. It won’t matter. Out of the blue, beyond any cause you can trace, you’ll suddenly realize things are not how you perceived them to be at all. For some reason, you will no longer be the person you believed you once were. You’ll detect slow and subtle shifts going on all around you, more importantly shifts in you. Worse, you’ll realize it’s always been shifting, like a shimmer of sorts, a vast shimmer, only dark like a room. But you won’t understand why or how. You’ll have forgotten what granted you this awareness in the first place

You might try then, as I did, to find a sky so full of stars it will blind you again. Only no sky can blind you now. Even with all that iridescent magic up there, your eye will no longer linger on the light, it will no longer trace constellations. You’ll care only about the darkness and you’ll watch it for hours, for days, maybe even for years, trying in vain to believe you’re some kind of indispensable, universe-appointed sentinel, as if just by looking you could actually keep it all at bay. It will get so bad you’ll be afraid to look away, you’ll be afraid to sleep.

Then no matter where you are, in a crowded restaurant or on some desolate street or even in the comforts of your own home, you’ll watch yourself dismantle every assurance you ever lived by. You’ll stand aside as a great complexity intrudes, tearing apart, piece by piece, all of your carefully conceived denials, whether deliberate or unconscious. And then for better or worse you’ll turn, unable to resist, though try to resist you still will, fighting with everything you’ve got not to face the thing you most dread, what is now, what will be, what has always come before, the creature you truly are, the creature we all are, buried in the nameless black of a name.

And then the nightmares will begin.”

Friday, March 23, 2012

Good Read

I just finished this book Wednesday. I found it highly entertaining, extremely interesting, and very educational. It is all about the birth of American Toxicology and New York's first Medical Examiner Dr. C. Norris. If you liked Devil in the White City and science you'll really like this book.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Here is the broccoli and collards we planted last fall. We actually have broccoli! The watermelon radishes were a bust, I'm finished with them. I think there are some shallots or onions in there. I didn't get a photo of the garlic and Rocket arugula in the larger raised bed not shown to the left. I'm wearing the Simplicity 2603 cardi-wrap that I've been needing to finish for over a month. I sewed it up today and am quite happy with the result. I could really jazz it up with a cinch belt and some leggings if I keep up with the jogging. 
Broccoli that made it through the winter.
The grow op is in full swing. We've got tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and flowers coming up.
Happy St. Patties!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Enough Already

I've found that I really drag my feet on a new post if I don't have any of my own photos. I've been meaning to address the garden plans for this year and I don't have any examples of what I consider a reason to grow. I might be a jerk, but when we plan on growing something, my rule is that if it is good and easily procured at the store (cheap) but difficult to grow, we don't grow it. Brassicas are on that list due to my awful attempts at dealing with aphids. Brussels sprouts were a huge space waster considering they were covered with aphids with all but non-organic pesticides. Should I eat the store bought ones? That is a great question, but not one for now. I had a n interesting talk with a pathologist that will only eat organically grown meat, just to avoid those nasty neurological wasting diseases we've heard about in the past.

I digress. My goal this year is to continue my delicate new love affair with the tomato. I am a born tomato hater. They are full of goo and seeds and have always tasted bad unless as a sauce or ketchup. This is my third year with growing them. I really got hooked by Black Krim, but I found I had to cut the mushy parts off. I can't handle mushy or mealy fruit-EVER. So I found myself dissecting the bottoms off most my Krims last year. I really liked Black Cherry. They were small, firm, had a lot less goop and a nice pop to them. The flavor was to die for, bright, deep, and tangy. My favorite was to use them in tomato salads with vinegar and oil, or bruschetta, which I adore. 

This year's plan is to go with variety, and some smaller sizes. I want to make beautiful salads, bruschettas, and salsas. I am literally growing a tomato rainbow. Here is my borrowed from the internet photo:

This years tomato list thanks to Baker Creek Seeds (and their photos):


White Queen

Green Zebra

Pearly Pink

Orange Icicle

Black Cherry

And Egg Yolk

All the seedlings have sprouted nicely and are under the lights as I write this. Happy gardening 2012!

Kyle's picks this year are Mortgage Lifter

Honey Bunch