Refuge


Leave a comment

Friday, 15 February, 2013 Quick Takes Lent I

7_quick_takes_sm1

It’s Friday…

1. …the first one in Lent. I got ready for Lent in time … barely.

2. …after the Pope’s stunner. How odd that the only two papal elections I have ever witnessed have been so tied in with Lent and Easter. Although John Paul II had been so ill for so long, still I remember feeling thrown off-balance when he died. He had been Pope for my entire life, having been elected before I was born. I love Pope Benedict, I trust his judgement absolutely, I am sure that what he is doing he is doing for clear and good reasons, I am not afraid – the Church will endure.

3. But that off-kilter feeling is back- particularly because Benedict is so old. There will be no more Popes who are a living link back to the middle of the twentieth century, or back to the Second Vatican Council. I’m less concerned about liturgical history than secular history; I don’t feel we are much distant from the evils of totalitarianism.

4. …before a Monday off. Thank goodness. I’ve been swamped at work and could use the break. I think the whole world should be on the academic schedule (work at work 9 mos of the year and then 3 mos “flex-time.”)

5. …so no meat! Lent in going to be a challenge in the food department for me. I just got into a decent rhythm cooking-wise and abstaining Fridays are a disruption.

6. …in mid-February. Winter has been so off-and-on here. We’ve had no snow to speak of and it’s really driven home how dry the winter is (still don’t like that and have not adapted.) We’ve had rain a handful of times. Now that the early darkness is receding the garden calls to me, but a) I’m afraid to look and b) tonight is one of those possible snow nights.

7. … and I’m out of things to say.

More Takes at Conversion Diary.

Advertisements


4 Comments

Thursday, 11 October, 2012 Thursday Quick Takes

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Quick Takes: Sick Pity Party Edition

1. “Acute viral bronchitis.” This is why there has been no blogging over here in forever.

2. “Which has lasted longer than normal,” quoth the doc last Friday, regarding the then two weeks of sick. Apparently, I could have ten more days to go before I feel better.

3. I guess codeine is the drug of the moment. I have a scrip for cough syrup with codeine. When I had the emergency root canal situation this summer, I was given Tylenol with codeine and I discovered that codeine produces a very altered mental state in me.  Not planning on filling the cough syrup prescription; I have a hard time seeing being high as an appealing alternative to being sick.

4. Self-pity on display (written Tues. while home sick):  Being sick when you are single/on your own sucks.  It is also the one situation where sharing a house is not a positive. One cannot monopolize the couch and bathroom with abandon in a shared house; and, sick or not, one cannot let the dishes pile up. I have been confined to my increasingly putrid room for the last 14 days. And I pity my poor housemates (although they are uninfected thus far.)

5. Canned soup gets gross after week two. Even excellent instant miso gets old. Homemade chicken soup is much better and rutabagas make a nice substitute for rice or noodles. (When I get better, I really must remember to make/freeze another large batch against illness or to give to sick friends.)

6. The weather has more or less turned in DC, and I need to do all my cold-weather arranging (inside & out), but am still too sick to tackle much of it.

Besides geographic beauty, I miss the simplicity of California dressing.  This is the time of year where I resent strongly the need to switch out my whole wardrobe and do not look forward to having to stifle myself in multiple layers of cloth every day. Sure, it’s fun to go read all the fashion sites and get “ideas” for the change of seasons, but even after four years, the amount of clothing needed for the East Coast still feels  excessive and fussy and unfrugal and unnecessary to me.

The only cold weather chore I’ve gotten to (out of sheer necessity) is to put my duvet back on my bed. For a long time I was in complete agreement with Seraphic on the subject of beds/bed linen – especially duvet versus sheets*.  But I ended up buying a duvet some years back (the last time I had nasty bronchitis, actually) and I really like it.  I just (unrepentantly) use sheets with the duvet.  In the very hot months, I just take the duvet out of its cover and use the cover as a light blanket. When the weather turns, I stick the duvet back in its cover, and if it gets very cold, add blankets. Works quite nicely, I think.

7.  This site is about my speed right now. Bad for my cough, though.

Find more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

*(Top sheets provide a necessary barrier between you & the covers. Thus, if you are sick or not especially clean or whatever, the covers remain uncontaminated and no need to wash all your bedding frequently, just wash the sheets. Substituting a duvet cover is not the same somehow.)


Leave a comment

Friday, 31 August 2012, 7 QT’s Garden After pictures

Almost a year ago when I started this blog, I was going to convert the wilderness that was the  back yard at my house into a reasonable approximation of a garden.  10 months later…

1. The back garden before

Fallen tree obscuring the right hand corner of the yard – March 2012

and more before

The other side of the yard before

I wish I had taken more thorough “before” pictures.

2. The back yard “during”

It has been a long road fraught with obstacles to get to “after” pics!

What happened the last time I was (almost) ready to post “after” pictures:

Hard to tell, but this is the same angle as the original before picture

and

3.  Ta Da!

The path to the back – August 2012

On the garage roof: my veteran geranium, zinnias, Italian parsley (apparently this is the spot it likes), snap dragons. I have ambitions fill the edge of the roof in future.

The back yard – August 2012

This is my best “overview” shot. That vague shape of mulch is my path and everything on the outer edge is a bed.

From the other angle

I have ambitions of encouraging the moss in the center so much it becomes a moss lawn. That brown patch in the front was an experiment with buying sheet moss – didn’t work, sheet moss is definitely dead.

The Tour

4.  heading straight ahead from the path behind the garage, first

Vinca and the blue column

The vinca is a “found” plant – I didn’t plant it, just encouraged it. Also pictured: wild violets, current bane of my existence.

And

Cyclamen

which I hope will be hardy outside.  Not pictured because it’s dormant, I planted a bleeding heart on the other side of the column. There will be snowdrops, bluebells and daffodils in the spring, too,  if I’ve managed not to disturb them too badly this summer.

5.I planted hostas in the right-hand shady corner, against the back fence and under the pretty but highly invasive trumpet vines, that I am tolerating.

Blooming hosta

Ferns and begonias in the left hand corner

The bamboo is creeping back over here

6. Annuals along the lefthand side of the fence – this is the only consistently sunny side of the yard.

Zinnias and ageratum (floss flower)

Next spring, I will plant some chrysanthemums in the ground in this spot and fill in with summer-blooming flowers.

7. Here’s my little “raised bed” – the food section of the yard

Veggie corner with Cana lily

I can’t figure out how I want to hang/install my wine bottle tiki torches which is why they are dotted all over the yard.

Tomatoes and a pepper (in black pot) – I’m afraid they’re not going to ripen, though

and

A little patch of nasturtiums, courtesy of my sister

And bamboo on the garage wall brings the tour full circle

More Quick Takes over at Conversion Diary. Happy Friday!


Leave a comment

Monday, 27 August, 2012 The Garden After – part one

I think I’ve delayed long enough, it’s high time I started posting “after” pictures of the garden.

So, here we go:

Here’s the herb/flower patch “before”

March 2012

In this case, I feel the “before” pictures are a little unfair. There’s just not much that’s planted in this bed that comes up in the spring or is evergreen. And everything I’ve added will be gone next spring too.

Nonetheless here are some current shots of that same area.

August 2012

In pots: tomatoes, alyssum (not currently blooming), a 3 plant mixture at the top of the stairs and the purple flowers by the railing (lower pic only) purchased at the hardware store – names not known, purple basil (!) and there’s lemonbalm (lower pic only) hiding off in the upper left corner. In the ground, from left to right: basil (x 3) and some pathetic parsley (not the spot for it), oregano #1, green onions, in the back zinnias, more oregano with some spearmint pushing through, a marigold, another zinnia, rosemary and over by the gate some bachelor buttons (also not blooming and apparently not very happy.)

From a different angle

This bed is in a happy stage of growth. Because I started everything late this year, it seems many of my plants are at a late-June stage of growth here in late August. I don’t mind so much, except it means I may not see more than the two tomatoes pictured ripen all the way.

I’m really liking the pairing of the zinnias with the onion flowers. Something to do again next year.

I’m still very proud of getting rid of the trash can that used to stand back there.

Way before


Leave a comment

Friday, 23 March 2012, Placeholder Quick Takes

 

1. There’s not much to these QTs. I’m just trying to not totally lose the thread of blogging – it’s been a long week, but none of it is blogable.

2. Please, if you read this and are moved to do so, pray for a special intention for a dear friend of mine.

3. Blogable – one “g” or two?

4. That first set of unidentified bulbs have revealed themselves to actually be bluebells. Sorry no pics.  I still don’t know what this other set is.

5. This week marks total derailment from Lent for me- it was kind of unavoidable. However, as much of this Lent as I’ve observed has been very fruitful. I hope to re-focus myself this weekend. Also, how is Easter only two weeks away?

6. Positives: a) It is supposed to hit 80 degrees today and has been muggy as all get out most of this week (welcome to DC), but I have a fabulous new linen dress. b) I am in love with my bicycle. Owning it is making my life manageable.

7. … And I’m out of words. God is good. Please pray for my friend. See you next week, I hope.

More Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.