*note: in the process of replacing images*

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Reasons I haven't planted my potatoes yet...

BABY LIZARDS. Old tyres that were intended to be reused as planters are instead, thanks mostly to my laziness, providing a hotel for our lizard population. Black rubber + a place that catches rainwater = optimal, it seems. A population I encourage, because they seem to compete with the black widows for food. More lizards, less black widows. This treat will end as soon as all the plants are in their permanent containers and I once more have an excess of soil that needs to be prepped for the next planting season.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Yesterday's Lunch

Buckwheat noodles, (organic) vegetable broth, leftover beef/spinach/carrots, one hardboiled egg cut in half, a handful of panfried shrimp and some Sriracha sauce. Cook the shrimp separately, throw everything else in the pot to boil together. Easier than anything.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

On Laundry

I am pretty sure that the goal of choosing how and when you wash/dry your clothes is written into the footnotes of the American Dream when you buy a house. To not deal with shared laundry facilities (where your neighbours will dump out your clothes upon the floor if you are tardy in retrieving them) or top loader washing machines (water inefficient, detrimental to clothes) forced upon you by your landlord... this is true freedom, especially in a country of growing HOA neighbourhood control*.

Laundry's a boring chore when it boils down to it, but as with many things in life, if you have a little choice and control over the matter, it can unclog the fact of it. I'm so glad we found a house with a small laundry room and enough space for a washing line, even if no one is going to fold the damn stuff for me when it's dry.

*Won't mention how this isn't even an issue in the UK. Even with the rain, this kind of issue is taken for granted to not exist.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Nature Sweeping In

Spring is hustling it's way into the garden, and this year it's brought a surge of Lesser Greenfinches that I don't remember from last year (similarly, there's less hawk activity too, I think they've moved further to the west).

When the world is falling apart for people in Japan, I am thankful that I can only make a blog post about the pretty birds in my garden, and not wreckage from my house that the earth has destroyed. That can happen here, and the media seem to enjoy stoking the fires of panic, claiming there will be a "big one" in California sooner rather than later. Seems tacky to me, a million times more tacky than any joke a comedian can make (but less tacky than the idea that any nation deserves disaster) when a country is still collecting and identifying their dead while trying to wrangle their nuclear reactors away from meltdown. 

Saturday, 12 March 2011

The First

This is my most successful seedling after a month and a half of growing - a Goldman's Italian American Tomato from Baker Creek. It's due to go in the ground later this month, as soon as the night temperatures sit solidly above 50F...or at least until I give in to the feeling that I'm limiting it's growth by keeping it in the pot.

According to it's description the fruit has "a bloody, intense red color when ripe" and makes for great tomato sauce, so I'll be putting at least three of these in the ground. Not bad for a first attempt at this type.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Quick Links

  • Design Sponge: Old Window Cold Frame - thinking about doing this for next January, because hauling my seedlings in and out of the laundry room at night really got tired (more on that sometime soon I hope). Our local ReStore could provide the elderly windows, I am sure.
  • Whole Larder Love is one of my new favorite blogs, something that made me realise just how much my attitude to food, and more importantly, hunting, has changed since moving the US.
  • Recipe time! From The Kitchn: Roasted Edamame with sea salt and cracked pepper. Extra easy when you buy the frozen shelled edamame.
  • I really want a pair of Toms shoes. More precisely this navy pair. Great for SoCal living: between stores and cars and homes, shoes don't get as much wear as they do back in the UK, and they *need* to be light enough to endure the heat here.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Driving Through LA

I've now been on this route so often that it's hard to remember how many times without counting it off on my fingers. Los Angeles continues to be the most from-the-car interesting experience, and not just because the traffic is so awful that using my camera is like shooting fish in barrel.

Chinese New Year: completed. Red envelopes collected. Now onto spring - the garden is bursting with new leaves, my seedlings are coming along well, but the weather is still erring on the side of too cold for anything to go beyond that point.