Thursday, May 28, 2015

Day 148 - Proud Moment

Earlier this week my tenth-grade daughter had to participate in a field test. If you don't know what a field test is, take a brief moment to familiarize yourself. My daughter has end-of-year exams coming up and was not looking forward to taking yet one more test, and apparently neither were her classmates. When she arrived home from school and I inquired about the test, she reported that no one took it seriously, that the teacher had to reportedly tell students to stop talking and keep working. And why should students take the test seriously when the results do not directly impact them, when they are being used as nothing but guinea pigs?

"Mom," she said, "I BSed my way through the multiple choice. I barely read the questions. I am just so done." 

And when it came time for her to write an essay, instead of answering the provided question, she instead wrote about how ridiculous and pointless these tests are, and how unfair they are to students and teachers alike. 

I have never been more proud. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Day 146 - What Starts with T and Ends in L?


Many weeks (months?) ago I was watching an episode of The Goldbergs when my son just had to tell me something (most likely about reptiles). I paused the television, and my son and I had a good laugh over Barry's expression, so much so that he took a picture. For a very long time now he's been sitting on this image in the hopes of creating the perfect meme. 

This evening he said to his big sister, "I'm going to go do something now. What starts with T and ends in L?" 

The correct answer, by the way, was "treadmill."

Don't worry about my daughter's feelings too much or that we're making fun of her. She's got a great sense of humor and had a good laugh at her own expense. Still . . . her spelling does worry me some. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Day 145 - Viral Nation

I'm taking a break from Diana Gabaldon and the Outlander series to read a book my husband got me for Christmas - Viral Nation, by Shaunta Grimes. He knows how much I love young-adult fiction, and he has a knack for choosing Really Good Books. Um . . . lovin' it

From the website: After a virus claimed nearly the entire global population, the world changed. The United States splintered into fifty walled cities where the surviving citizens clustered to start over. The Company, which ended the plague by bringing a life-saving vaccine back from the future, controls everything. They ration the scant food and supplies through a lottery system, mandate daily doses of virus suppressant, and even monitor future timelines to stop crimes before they can be committed.

Brilliant but autistic, sixteen-year-old Clover Donovan has always dreamed of studying at the Waverly-Stead Academy. Her brother and caretaker, West, has done everything in his power to make her dream a reality. But Clover’s refusal to part with her beloved service dog denies her entry into the school. Instead, she is drafted into the Time Mariners, a team of Company operatives who travel through time to gather news about the future.

When one of Clover’s missions reveals that West’s life is in danger, the Donovans are shattered. To change West’s fate, they’ll have to take on the mysterious Company. But as its secrets are revealed, they realize that the Company’s rule may not be as benevolent as it seems. In saving her brother, Clover will face a more powerful force than she ever imagined… and will team up with a band of fellow misfits and outsiders to incite a revolution that will change their destinies forever.



Sunday, May 24, 2015

Day 144 - Garden Update

I spent about 10 hours outside today mowing, trimming (with machine and by hand), digging, planting, watering, fertilizing, weeding . . . Now to sit back and watch everything grow! 

Although you cannot tell in the photo below, there is lavender, lupine, and columbine planted in this bed. My daughter's boyfriend came over today and I commandeered him to help haul stones from the back yard to the front. 


Almost all the plants have been transferred to their permanent homes now. In another month, the gardens should be quite green and overgrown. 


While scavenging for rocks in the woods by the creek, I came across an old wooden drawer missing its bottom. So I planted some zinnias in it. Why not, right? In the wooden pallet in the foreground are strawberry plants that were growing in my back yard. I had a fair amount planted years ago, and they (still!) pop up in unexpected places. I'm not sure they'll produce, but it's worth a try. 


 

This is my youngest daughter's fairy garden. We've planted lavender, dill, sweet peppers, and alyssum. 

I lost two pole bean plants to frost the other night, despite covering everything. My lima beans are also looking sad, so I've planted additional seeds of each. 


In this garden are butternut squash, zucchini, cucumber, and tomatoes. 


The sunflowers are growing! 


The hostas are taking over. 


Another view. 


chard, beets, radishes, carrots, 
peas, beans, oregano, basil, 
chives, and basil


pole bean


carrot


daffodil bulbs


lupine seedline


It might not be big, but I love
my front porch.


Before long the flowers 
will be blooming!


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Day 143 - Short Story Saturday


The shape of it was barely discernible now and yet I could still see its grinning maw, fascinatingly gruesome, the dancing flames making it appear as though it was speaking a silent language. An old woman nudged me with a wooden plate, scratched from wear and piled high with roasted pork. "You eat, pretty girl," she said. "Soon . . ." The woman jabbed me in the stomach with her finger and pantomimed an expanding belly, offering a gap-toothed grin before moving on. 

Ravenous, I took a healthy portion before passing the plate to the next person in the circle. "I don't care if it will make me fat," I whispered to my husband. "I'm starving." 

He laughed. "That's not the kind of fat she was talking about. Didn't you know that in some cultures pigs are symbols of fertility?" 

I stared at him, the fork of meat halfway to my mouth. Giving him a slow smile I said, "To eat, or not to eat?" 

He smiled in return. "That is the question."

Friday, May 22, 2015

Day 142 - Cold Night in the Garden

A full week after the last official frost date finds us under a freeze warning until 9 am Saturday. *angry eyebrows* We've been on a roller-coaster of fluctuating temperatures this month, from a low of 33 degrees to a high of 88. All of us gardeners are itching to FINALLY get warm-weather veggies and flowers in the ground.


I've been hardening off my plants, taking them outside during the day and housing them in the mudroom during the night. But I've even brought the cool-weather plants in for the night (potted kale, lettuce, spinach, and watercress). 



The plants that are already in the garden - peas, onions, kale, lettuce, spinach, carrots, radishes, swiss chard, beets, oregano, basil, rosemary, lavender, borage, dill, and sunflowers . . . whew! - have all been covered with pots and sheets. I'm trusting that the more established vegetation will survive the night. 


I really need one or two of these