This past Friday, I ended up in ER (my first time in the hospital as a patient in 25 years!). They kept me for observations overnight but couldn’t find anything wrong with me aside from a urinary tract infection. Since then, in talking with friends and looking it it, it would appear that UTIs cause a lot of weird problems as you get older.
Anyway, I’ve been taking it easy this past week trying to get my resting heart rate back up to the mid 60s (it had plummeted from that to the mid-50s in the span of a less than a month…apparently, my UTI began over a month ago). The antibiotic seems to be doing its job and I’m feeling slightly better than I was earlier in the week.
I did take videos of our beautiful garden last Tuesday before my ER episode. If you want to them them out, go to my Instagram account.
Have a wonderful weekend! I will try not to spend it in the ER again.
It seems like everyone has certain plants that they grow well. What thrives in our garden is not necessarily what do well in other people’s. It depends on the condition of the soil, the prevalence of pests, and, at times, total random chance.
Three of the vegetables we’re able to grow well are peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes. The Spousal Unit grows a variety of peppers, from banana to bell to jalapeño to poblanos. For eggplants, we prefer the sleek and delicate Japanese variety over the rotund and seedy Italian type.
Look! They’re flowering already.
Look at how gorgeous the eggplant blossoms are! Why spend money on annual flowers that don’t feed you when eggplants provide food for both the eyes and stomach? Same with okra. They have flowers that are absolute show stoppers. It’s not like it’s super easy to grow eggplants; we have to wage a constant battle on flea beetles. But they are fairly easy to start and SO has discovered an excellent way to preserve them, so we’re still enjoying last year’s crop.
Ah, and the happiness-inducing green of the tomato seedling! I’m not looking forward to 200 hours of canning and dehydrating later in the summer but for now, I will admire their youthful loveliness.
We’ve saved the plastic pots of seedlings that we bought over the years and SO starts his veggies in them until they disintegrate.
Do you have a garden? What veggies do well for you?
Today it is my great pleasure to feature the latest book from award-winning author TERESA ROBESON. WHO IS TIBET’S EXILED LEADER: The 14th Dalai Lama is a slight departure from Teresa’s previous picture books since it is a graphic novel that tells the story of Tibet’s exiled leader the 14th Dalai Lama.
Here is my review for the book:
This graphic novel tells the important historical account of the leader of TIBET, THE 14TH Dalai Lama, who was forced into exile in 1959 by the People’s Liberation Army of China. Tibet’s “Precious Protector’s” harrowing escape is easy to read and understand thanks to the graphic format and the periodic history and cultural lessons sprinkled throughout the story. The book provides a summary of Tibet’s ongoing fight for freedom and autonomy. A perfect addition to a multicultural library.
Here is my interview with Teresa and her exciting new book.
Marsha Diane Arnold, an author friend of mine, has a new book coming out on May 9th…yes, in 4 days! Here are a few of her other delightful books.
Well in advance of the release, she asked a group of us to be a part of her launch team. It’s a tactic authors are encouraged to perform in order to give a book a great reach. These days, it’s hard to have a career in publishing if you’re not actively out there promoting your book. No longer can one be a reclusive author, like Harper Lee, and still sell a bazillion books.
Maybe the idea behind a launch team is for viral spreading via chain communication like that 1980s Faberge shampoo commercial? I honestly don’t know if it works but I’m willing to help.
So, a very happy upcoming book birthday to ONE SMALL THING! You can buy it at your favorite bookstore.
A couple of weeks ago, we had a garlic mustard eradication party that our neighbor organized. While out and about trying to save our corner of the valley from that nasty invasive (it’s pretty futile unless more people participate), I got to take photo of a few more spring ephemerals as a follow up to the Spring Beauties post.
There are so many more wildflowers out there! I’m grateful to have both my iPhone and iNaturalist help me ID them. But we also have a whole bunch of book guides, from Audubon to Newcomb’s. What do you use?
Even before the Purple Finches and Dark-eyed Juncos have migrated north, the Spousal Unit feels spring in his bones and starts plants indoors. He has a fairly simple set up of heat mats and regular fluorescent lights. And when the seedlings have grown to a certain size, he toughens them up with a slight breeze from a small fan.
When the weather warms a bit more, like it has recently, if only for a few days, SU takes them out to acclimatize them.
You might wonder what we grow? As I like to tell people, it’d be easier to tell you what we don’t grow because that list would be a lot shorter.
Today I am happy to feature the latest STEM biography from author LAURIE WALLMARK.
HER EYES ON THE STARS: Maria Mitchell, Astronomer
(Illustrated by Liz Wong)
Here is the blurb for the book:
Maria Mitchell’s curiosity about the night sky led her to spend hours studying the stars. She discovered a comet as a young woman, winning an award from the King of Denmark for being the first person to discover a new comet using a telescope.
Now famous as “the lady astronomer,” Maria went on to become a professional astronomer, an unheard of achievement for a woman in the 19th century. She was the first woman to get any kind of government job when she was hired by the United States Naval Observatory. Then as the first woman astronomy professor in the world, Maria used her position at Vassar College to teach young women to set their sights on…
One of the best things about spring, besides the allergies (KIDDING), are the wild flowers and other plants. Let me share a few of my favorites with you!
The leaves of this plant are as cute as the flowers, even if the name leaves (no pun intended!) something to be desired.
Many moons ago, the Spousal Unit dug up some of these babies (below) somewhere and put them around our house. Since them, they’ve spread a lot, bringing their ethereal blue to brighten our springs.
I don’t know why some people have such a vendetta against violets but I think they’re beautiful (and edible). We get ones on our property that range from deep purple to white.
And speaking of edible, we bought a bunch of ramps, a native wild onion, from the farmer’s market years back and planted them in the woods next to our house. They’ve taken their sweet time to spread and there is still not enough to make a meal of while leaving enough behind to keep growing. Dang it.
Since my post is titled “spring beauties,” I would be remiss if I didn’t actually shared a Spring Beauty. Here she is, peering out shyly.
Do you go wildflower hunting (with your eyes only; bag no trophies) or grow your own native edibles?