Saturday Farmers Market on Sunday

I love watching the garden come alive….it’s just so much fun. And I’m glad I’m doing these posts because I can really see the progress of everything when I look at it from week to week. It’ll serve as a good gardening journal too. Here’s what’s going on in the garden this week:

1. My banana pepper that I planted in a pot is doing fantastic! It’s way ahead of the bells and jalapenos that I have in the garden. All kinds of little buds on it 🙂 YUM! Can’t wait to have banana peppers!!

2. My favorite herb…this is my lemon thyme. The smell is to die for and so is the taste….And I think it’s such a pretty plant too. It has sort of a bonsai look to it.

3. My grapevine is continuing to creep. I went today to look for two more trellises that I was going to connect to each side of the main trellis with hinges to make a screen and give the grapes more room but couldn’t find trellises that were the same size 😦 I’ll have to hunt at some more places next weekend. Still plenty of time before it needs more room. Can’t wait til I actually have grapes!!

4. I had one open spot left in my garden and decided that I would test something out in it…so I got some brocolli today!! I’m going to see how it does. If it does well, I’ll get more in the future.

5. I planted a bunch of marigolds in my garden to help attract some bees and to help ward off some pests. I LOVE the smell of marigolds, though I know most people don’t…they remind me of tomato leaves which I love the smell of as well. The bees apparently REALLY like them…I was trying to carry them from the patio to the garden and got chased by a bumblebee who wanted at them!

6. My basil is doing SO GOOD!! I’ll never plant basil in a pot again. It does so much better in the ground. The smell is intoxicating…can’t wait to make some pesto!!

7. My satsuma tree is blossoming!!! I’m so excited 😀 😀 😀 I love the look of their little flowers and the smell is amazing too. Mmmmm…I just love spring so much!

8. Here’s a pic of the two raised beds. They’re doing pretty well! As you can see, I have the trellis up, everything is staying very green and I’ve added some solar lights to the garden so that I can check on it at night 🙂

9. And my strawberries are growing!! I hope I get more and better strawberries this year than last year. It’s their second year, so hopefully they’ll do better. Though I keep them in a strawberry planter so I don’t expect tons of berries.

And now I’m heading on over to my tumblr page to post even MORE garden pictures :p Sorry guys, lol. I must drive people nuts with gardening updates, lol.

It's Once Upon A Time Time!

Once upon a time, I joined the world of book blogging. That was in 2007. January of 2007 to be exact. At the time, I didn’t really know any bloggers. I followed the blogs of Neil Gaiman and Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings. I read a few other blogs, but not regularly. Then Spring came around and Carl started a challenge based around fantasy, folklore, fairy tales and mythology. I think I fell out of my chair. This was my favorite kind of literature! So I joined…my first challenge. It was then that I truly felt like this community had become a true community. One of Carl’s challenges within the challenge was to go and comment on everyone’s sign up posts and I made SO MANY friends from that one day. Friends that have now come to mean more to me than I can ever express in words….five years later.

This year, I’ve been in a reading and blogging funk. I can’t seem to motivate myself for anything. But I’m hoping that this wonderful challenge will bring back that spirit that I have been missing. It’s a reminder and a celebration of the beauty of stories and the beauty of friendships for me. So I’m thrilled to embark upon Quest the First for the fifth annual Once Upon a Time Challenge.

Here is a pool of books that I plan on choosing from to read….as if this isn’t enough, I’ll likely add to this as the challenge progresses :p

Fathom by Cherie Priest (I’m actually in the middle of this one)
Harrowing the Dragon by Patricia McKillip
Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia Wrede
The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Bird by Rita Murphy
I Was A Teenage Fairy by Francesca Lia Block
Tales From Moomin Valley by Tove Jansson
Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones
Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud
The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett
A Wind in the Door by Madeline L’Engle
A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett
St. Lucy’s Home For Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell
The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter
Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon
Blue Diary by Alice Hoffman
The Unicorn Sonata by Peter Beagle
Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 by David Petersen
Baba Yaga Laid an Egg by Dubravka Ugresic
Troll: A Love Story by Johanna Sinisalo
Mojo Stories by Various
Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith
Small Gods by Terry Pratchett
Lips Touch Three Times by Laini Taylor
The Gobin Market by Christina Rossetti
Thessaly: Witch For Hire by Bill Willingham
Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie
One for Sorrow by Christopher Barzak
Fables by Bill Willingham
Ash by Malinda Lo
Dream Angus by Alexander McCall Smith
Black Juice by Margo Lanagan
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Weight by Jeanette Winterson
The Orphan’s Tale by Catherynne Valente
The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia
The Wild Wood by Charles de Lint
Memory and Dream by Charles de Lint
Ratha’s Creature by Clare Bell
His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik
Zahra the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu
The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett
Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
Hidden Warrior by Lynn Flewelling
The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Medicine Road by Charles de Lint
The Onion Girl by Charles de Lint
The Watermelon King by Daniel Wallace
The Green Man ed. by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windlling
The Faery Reel ed by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
The Little Country by Charles de Lint
Someplace to be Flying by Charles de Lint

Whew! My fingers are tired after typing all of that :p And this isn’t even ALL of the fantasy that I own, lol. I would love some help winding this list down….what do you think is a MUST READ out of this list? Have fun everyone!!!!

Saturday Farmer's Market 3/19/11

\o/ I’m so excited! First Saturday Farmer’s Market of 2011!!! So I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when I saw that Heather had brought back Saturday Farmer’s Market this year. It’s easily my favorite new weekly meme of last year. And I actually have a LOT going on in my garden right now. More than what I took pictures of. My tomatoes all got blight and I tried to save them with a natural fungicide that I found and made…it’s 1 gallon of water, 3 tablespoons of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid. I even pulled off all of the leaves that were blighted really bad. But it was too late 😦 They all had tomatoes on them too! But I had to pull them up today and replace them. I’m glad I did though because I have some awesome tomatoes in the garden now! I now have a roma tomato, grape tomato, better boy, celebrity and my favorites are a heirloom purple cherokee tomato and a heirloom yellow tomato that I forgot the name of already :/ So hopefully no blight with these!! Here are the pics and then I’ll explain what they are:

1 & 2. I had a dollar week infestation in my garden! Seriously…they were out of control. And I didn’t know how to get rid of them aside from digging them up but I didn’t want to hurt the plants in the garden and if you know me you know I’m NOT using any chemicals in my garden. Well Heather gave me the idea to put newspaper down to smother the weeds and then mulch the garden! So that’s what I did. She told me that my garden would love me so the whole time I was doing this I was singing Jennifer Hudson’s “You’re Gonna Love Me” to my garden :p haha. It looks so much prettier too! Tomorrow I plan on doing the other raised bed! Ran out of newspaper :/

3. I have daffodils starting to bloom all over the place and they are SO beautiful!! Daffodils are one of my favorite flowers. I have these yellow ones which are just gorgeous along with some paper whites and these soft white ones with an orange middle. This one is planted around my duranta tree. I planted a bunch around the tree and this is the only one to bloom so far. I finally learned how to care for bulbs too! You can cut the flower stem off once it dies, but should let the foliage turn yellow and die before cutting it down. That way the bulbs get the energy they need to reproduce next year!

4. My herbs are all doing lovely!! I’m loving actually using my herbs this year. The other day I made some chicken with my pineapple sage and today I made a pot of iced tea with my mint and right now I have chicken in the oven with some lemon thyme on it! I’m in love with this lemon time…the taste and scent is divine!!

5. This picture is my banana pepper plant (the big one) which I bought from a nursery and 4 little plants that I started from seed. Two jalapenos and two black beauty eggplant. I already have 2 eggplant in the raised bed and 4 jalapenos so we’ll be eating lots of those! I didn’t think my seeds were going to do that well but they really are 😀 Yay!!

6. The romaine lettuce has bolted. we didn’t get to eat any of it. I cut one head down for dinner one night but it was already bitter…waited too long in the hopes it would get bigger. But I’m letting them bolt and form seed heads so that I can collect the seeds for later in the year!

7. This isn’t a great picture but I LOVE these flowers!! They’re called scent first passion flowers and they truly do smell divine. And I think they make the cutest little flowers. They look like little rosebuds almost and the foliage is grass like. It’d be pretty to have a bunch of these.

8. These are “Matt’s Flowers” :p I don’t know what they’re really called, but he loves purple, so when I saw these I had to get them. And they’re so gorgeous, aren’t they? Right behind it is one of the white daffodils with the orange center. It’s beautiful as well!

9. My grape vine is continuing to grow!!! I’m so excited 😀 It’s going to need more room to spread though so I’m thinking I’m going to get two more trellises and put them on the sides of this one with hinges so that it’s like a folding screen. Whatcha think? Can’t wait to actually have grapes!!! How exciting is that? I saw a whole bunch of people buying up the grapes at the nursery today.

10. My little satsuma tree has blossoms on it \o/ They haven’t opened up yet but I’m thrilled to no end that I’ll have satsumas this year!! Last year we got a whole two. And they never did ripen. They rotted while they were green on the tree. It was the first year I had the tree. So I’m hoping for better luck this year even though the tree is still very young.

11. And finally, I think this one made me more excited than anything. This is a little baby pomegranate blossom that should open up soon! I actually found three on the tree. First they’ll make a gorgeous red flower and then a mini pomegranate will come afterwards. I’m surprised at how quick this tree grew! It was nothing but sticks a month ago.

Aside from that, I did a lot of weeding today…drilled some holes in the bottom of some planters that my mom bought so that they can drain and helped my mom out with her garden…aka, everything not pictured above :p She bought a really pretty large pot for the front patio today and a gardenia tree that she’s going to plant in it. I love gardenias..they’re beautiful! So that’s it! That’s enough, huh? What’s going on in your garden??

More Bad Bloggers

I thought that while I’m downloading ass loads of NEW GAMES FOR MY PS3 I would go ahead and catch up on the bad bloggers posts…this is sad. My blog is becoming nothing but handing out points of blame to people because I haven’t been able to read at all lately T_T I don’t know what is wrong with my brain but it just doesn’t have the motivation to read right now. Whenever I pick up a book and start reading I’m falling asleep after 5 pages…maybe that’s a sign that I need to sleep, eh? Anyway…here are the books that have come into my house!

1. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf – I STILL have not read any Virginia Woolf! I desperately need to. And after Ana reviewed this one, I knew I wanted to read it…point to Ana. (paperback swap)

2. Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation by Kate Bornstein – I heard about this one on Sirius XM’s gay radio station, OutQ. And its so good so far!! It’s a book of essays, poetry and comics about transgendered people all written by transgendered people. Highly recommend it! Point to OutQ. (Bought it)

3. Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia C. Wrede – I’ve been wanting to read this book ever since Pat read it awhile back…it just sounded delightful!! And then Ana just recently reviewed it too and tipped me over the edge. Point to Pat and Ana. (Paperback Swap)

4. Waiting for Columbus by Thomas Trofimuk – My sweet second mother, Pat sent me this book and it was the best surprise in the world 😀 It sounds like an absolutely amazing book that captures all of my interests! About a psych patient who thinks he’s Columbus from what I can tell from the jacket flap. Point to Pat. (Gift from a friend)

5. Harrowing the Dragon by Patricia McKillip – I’ve been DYING to read some McKillip ever since reading her story in The Armless Maiden. It was one of my favorite stories in that book. (bought it)

6. The Fallen: The Fallen and Leviathan by Thomas Sniegoski – I have to admit that I totally bought this one because of the cover. I love it. I started reading the book while I was in Arkansas and it’s decent so far. Has anyone else read this series? What do you think? (Bought it)

7. Annabel by Kathleen Winter – I’m SO excited about this book. I’ve been wanting to read about it ever since I saw Vasilly post that she got it. It’s about a child that’s born transgendered and is raised as a male but begins to feel his female side come out as he gets older. Point for Vasilly. (Bought it)

8. Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves – My dear Matt found this book for me while we were out book shopping. The cover was appealing to me and we read the book flap not expecting much but it actually sounded really good! So I got it :p I’ll probably send it to him once I’m done with it. Point to Matt. (Bought it)

9. Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult – I heard about this one through The Trevor Project. They’re starting a bookclub and reading this and I think that Ms. Picoult is donating some of the profit from this book to lgbt organizations. The only thing I’ve read by her is a short story in Neil Gaiman’s Stories collection and I actually really liked it…it evoked a strong reaction in me. Point to The Trevor Project. (Bought it)

Time For An Update

Hello dears! I didn’t want this space to lie dormant for too long, so I thought I’d put a post about a whole lot of nothing :p But first I have a winner to announce for my 1000th post giveaway! And that winner, according to random.org is Gavin from Page247 who thanked me for the heads up on Bayou Vol. 2!! So if you’d be kind enough to send me your address, Gavin, at chrisa511(at)gmail(dot)com, I’ll get the book right in the mail to you!!

I’ve actually already read Bayou Volume 2 and OMG it was amazing!! I’m hoping to eventually get a review of it up. But for now, I’ll tell you that it’s even better than the first book. It was definitely worth the wait! Now I just want volume three. This is certainly one of the best graphic novels to come out in a long time. And I love the way it handles racism through a fantasy perspective that’s based in history. And it’s hard to find another graphic novel that surpasses it’s beauty as far as the illustrations.

Aside from that, my reading is still moving forward at a snail’s pace :/ Which is why I haven’t posted all that much over here. I just haven’t had anything to write about! Though I’m still updating like crazy over on my tumblr page. I’m about halfway through The Fox Woman by Kij Johnson right now and I am SO in love with that book. But it’s not one that I can breeze through. It’s more the kind of book (at least for me) that’s best read at a slow place so that I can enjoy the lyricism and beauty of it’s words and the story that those words tell. It reminds me a lot of Tender Morsels in that way. Amazing story, slow consumption. I absolutely adore books like that!

I’ve added another book to my reading too. The other day, I heard an interview with Kate Bornstein and S. Bear Bergman about their new book Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation. Bornstein wrote a book called Gender Outlaws in the early 90s about being a transwoman. And I hadn’t even heard of THAT book until that interview. This new Gender Outlaws book is a collaborative book by and about numerous authors who are trans. It’s such an amazing book and I think that anyone will enjoy it. I’ve identified with it quite a bit despite being a cisgendered male. It just has a lot to say about gender in general and the perceptions and prejudices that rule that subject.  The collection has essays, poetry and comics. Many of them are laugh out loud funny, some are anger inducing and many are tear inducing. As a whole it’s a fantastic collection so far though!

I’ll likely be a stranger until next week, though there is the possibility of another post or two over here. And I’m going to try to catch up on visiting other blogs tonight too! The reason I’ll be a stranger is that I’m off to visit Matt on Thursday! I’ll be there until next Monday and I’m so freaking excited that I can’t even tell you! While I’m there, I’ll get to see the wonderful Renay and Zach again too 😀 So until then, *hugs* I miss everyone!!