• Daily Life


    All seven of our seedlings have sprouted! We’ll have an ORCHARD! In about fifteen years. Assuming I don’t kill any of ’em. :)


    I’d just decided that last one wasn’t gonna come up and that I’d probably have to toss it at the new year. But then it popped up. I think those seeds are psychic. :) Anyway, pretty nifty, although I’m going to have to find a deeper box for them, because the tallest ones are brushing the plastic wrap now. I thought it would take MUCH LONGER for them to get tall!

    Things are proceeding apace for Christmas, here. I have…quite a few…of the presents wrapped. A friend was being impressed by that, but I explained that my child seems likely to be up at 2am on Christmas, and this is merely self-preservation. :) (Actually, the poor kid seems to be unwinding a little bit, without school to egg him on. He’s still exhausted, but not *quite* as bad as, say, Sunday, when he was prepared to cancel Christmas. :))

    Speaking of such things, though, we need to go forth into the morning and look for boxes to put things in for wrapping, and a couple more gifts for fambly members. And we need to do that before it gets Any Crazier Out There than it already is (for the record, at 9am in Dublin, usually? NOOOOOOOBODY. Most of the shops aren’t even open (which makes me crazy), and you have the whole place to yourself. Not so much, right now. :)).

  • Daily Life

    ethnic food!

    There’s an aisle at the local grocery store that is advertised as having Ethnic Food in it. Traditionally it was Indian and Chinese, and more recently, Mexican. But this week they have added AMERICAN Ethnic Food! Kraft mac&cheese! Canned pumpkin! Pop Tarts! CHEETOS!!

    I have never been so happy (and dismayed) as to see Cheetos on the shelf. :)

    We’re up to FIVE seedlings now. One is barely a speck of green curl in the dirt, but it’s there! And we only have eight planted, so more than half have sprouted! this is very exciting!

    Today is my older nephew’s 12th birthday. Tonight we’ll go over for the Traditional Birthday Cake And Tree Decorating Party. :)

    Hey, Harry Connolly‘s amazing WAY INTO CHAOS, the first of his Great Way trilogy, is now available for pre-order on Amazon! It has an AMAZING cover. It is an AMAZING book. (It also has a super nice cover quote, if I do say so myself. :))

  • Gardening

    tiny seedlings

    Several weeks ago–early November, because I had to move the greenhouse for Thanksgiving–Young Indiana and I made a wee greenhouse of a deepish cardboard box lined with tinfoil. We filled several empty toilet paper rolls with dirt, propped the rolls in an egg carton, and tucked orange seeds into the tops. We’ve a string of Christmas lights in the box to create warmth, and a piece of saran wrap across the top to keep heat and moisture in. But our kitchen is Very Cold, and I thought that despite our efforts perhaps none of them would manage to sprout at all.

    But a couple of days ago I looked in and we had a single inch-high seedling! I showed Young Indy, who was delighted, and this morning he reported to me that we had ANOTHER one! And he was right: the barest curl had broken through the soil on another of the tubes! So that’s very exciting, and perhaps we’ll even get a few more over the next week or two!

    This is my second attempt at growing orange trees. The first time I tried with two seeds and one did really well up until the point I killed it by going on holiday and not prepping it well enough. I learned quite a lot from the attempt, though. For one thing, oranges don’t have a cold germination period like apples do–they don’t have to get Really Cold for a period of time, you can just plant them straight out of the fruit–and they need pretty warm soil and conditions. Christmas lights make a great source of warmth.

    I also learned I’m really, *really* bad at transplanting, which means starting with biodegradable pots (like, say, empty cardboard toilet paper rolls) is a very good idea. Far less likely to kill the baby tree if I just have to plant the whole roll into a larger container when it’s gotten big enough. Indeed, I have some hope of finding sort of medium-small biodegradable pots when it comes to that stage, so when I need to put them into a larger and perhaps final pot (since I wasn’t planning on growing an actual orchard), I can do it with the least amount of trauma to the trees.

    If all of these wee things sprout and survive, I may be giving people Christmas Orange Trees in a few years. :)

  • Gardening

    potato harvest!

    potatoharvest Potato harvest!

    Our potato plants have been looking a little sad and yellowing and some were starting to die, (no idea why: too much water, not enough water, not enough room, too many slugs…?), so we thought we’d dig up the most pathetic of them and this is what we got! Young Indiana and I are very pleased. :)

    They’re Maris Piper variety, which are as close to Yukon Gold as I’ve found here. V. tasty. We were very excited at finding the biggest one in there, and this was from our small growing container, so I hope there’ll maybe be some full-sized potatoes in the bigger ones. :)

  • Baking,  Gardening

    gardening & not-baking

    Young Indiana inspects our potatoes, which are growing like gangbusters.
    Young Indy & Potatoes

    I thought the idea of putting them near holes in the container was that the tops would grow that way, but apparently the whole thing is shallow enough that both layers of potatoes are just reaching for the top. Gangbusters!

    strawberries & lettuce

    Several of our strawberry plants didn’t take and I haven’t gone to get more, but two are looking healthy, and our lettuce is growing nicely! In fact, all of that has now been clipped back and will shortly be part of our dinner!

    We’ve just sowed carrots (for the value of ‘sowed’ that involves a 4 year old’s assistance, so basically: handsful of seeds tossed into the container to see what happens), I’ve got cucumbers to plant for pickling, and we have a few pea runners going, but the slugs are getting to them and I need to … well, what I really still want to do is get hanging containers for strawberries, peas and tomatoes, but really to do that I also need someone with more enthusiasm for drilling holes in concrete than any of us have. :)

    I wanted to make peanut butter pie while my in-laws were here, and after some exasperation, failed to find a recipe that did what I wanted. I mixed and mashed some and added a bit of my own and came up with this, upon which I forgot to drizzle chocolate, not that it by any stretch of the imagination needed it. :)

    peanut butter pie

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