Sunday, June 16, 2013

Yup, I'm Doing a Father's Day Post Too

So I know that a good chunk of the internet is going to be doing a post in honour of Father's Day, but it is a good opportunity to get some writing in, so I figured it couldn't hurt to do one myself.

As you may have guessed, partner & I are pretty big geeks/nerds, and there's a good shot that our kid will find something geeky to love.  From my anecdotal experience, most people come by their geek status thanks to a parent.  In my case, it was my dad. 
My mom definitely gave me my appreciation for arts and crafting (plus she taught me how to drive.  Anyone who teaches a teenager to drive deserves some serious kudos I think).   But it is my dad who passed along a love of sci-fi and fantasy, as well as some cooking and baking skills.

I have memories of watching Dr. Who,

Red Dwarf,

Alfred Hitchcock Presents,

Star Trek: TNG,

and Seaquest with my father (among others).

The added bonus to watching these programs is that they gave me my first two nerd girl crushes: Wil Wheaton
and Jonathan Brandis.

 I'm pretty sure my introduction to Star Wars was through my dad as well.  We would also watch terrible sci-fi or Japanese monster films when they aired on Saturday or Sunday afternoon timeslots on the television.

My dad also influenced my taste in books (we've both read all of Piers Anthony's Xanth series, among others), provided our first video game system (original NES!  I was always annoyed you couldn't shoot that annoying dog in Duck Hunt), etc.

Now that I'm a grown-up, it is really nice that we can continue to share our geeky hobbies.  This past Christmas holiday, for example, we went to see the first installment of The Hobbit together.  If one of us finds a new tv or book series, we let the other know (or lend them a copy).

I'm hoping that as my baby girl gets bigger, my partner & I will be able to pass along our love of geeky things in the same sort of way that my dad did, leaving pleasant memories behind.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Hopefully, This Will End in Delicious Noms

 My garden is finally, properly getting sorted.  I'm a little bit behind this year (and as a result, there will be no potatoes *sad face*).   On the upside, getting anything done other than cutting the grass is a huge amount of progress over last year, where we barely even did that.

I thought I might give you a little tour today.  I'm going to apologize for photo quality in advance as there were issues related to a tiny human being strapped to my front.

This,clearly, is the front of our home.  I put up 2 hanging baskets of yellow begonias, and 2 planters of petunias.  The petunias are a lovely purpley-red colour, with white edges.

The little flower bed in the front came with purple irises and dark pink peonies.  Last year, we added an English lavender, a pink columbine and a variegated hosta.  This year, I also stuck in a gerber daisy, but it hasn't really bloomed yet.

From left to right: lavender (the gerber daisy is behind), irises, peonies, columbine (back), hosta (front)
The backyard still needs quite a bit of work, but we're making progress.  The previous owners had filled all the flowerbeds with daylilies, irises and lots of hostas.  The only interesting plants were the lilac bush, rhubarb, horseradish and grapes.

You can just make out the horseradish & rhubarb in the lower right corner.  The fancy-pants BBQ is in the lower left!
You can see in the above photo that we put in a raised veggie bed (and surrounded it with pots) at the end of the yard.  This was the one that was my delayed shipment!  It is a neat modular system where you can leave hook them together to make a larger unit, or stack them to make it deeper.  We used two 4'x4'x6" units and stacked them to make it one foot deep for the veggies.

In the main bed, I'm growing long cayenne peppers, Black Krim tomatoes, golden cherry tomatoes, an Italian heirloom variety of sweet pepper, easter egg radishes, french breakfast radishes, little finger carrots, chioggia beets and two kinds of bush beans - a snap bean and a yellow wax variety.
In the pots all around, I've got cilantro, dill, spearmint, chocolate mint and a lettuce mix.
I'm very excited to see how this vegetable bed turns out!  If the planter works well, I might get another one next year so I can plant more things!
However, this is not the only food we've put in!  We ripped out the flower bed along the north fence and put in ever-bearing strawberries.  I love strawberries.  They just went in this morning, so hopefully they do well there.
Further along the same fence, under the cedar trees, I've put in two highbush blueberries.  This is the bit I'm very excited about!

I know they don't look like much now, but eventually these babies should get up to 1.5 meters tall!

Have you planted anything this season? How is it coming along?  If you have any suggestions for the flowerbed we have on the south fence, let me know!  So far, I've only managed to get some chives and some thyme in it - otherwise, it is all hostas and daylilies.  Yuck!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Busy Like a Bee

Like many others, I am in the "What the deuce? How is it already June?!" party.  This had left me feeling pretty behind in all the things that I'm hoping to accomplish before winter decides to show its face again.  I think I might be overcompensating a little bit though.

Yesterday, after everyone was up & fed, here's what got accomplished:
  • went to the library to return books, pay overdue fees and pick-up holds
  • went to partner's bank
  • went to my bank
  • went to the farmer's market and bought some plants (wooo! heirloom tomatoes, peppers, beans and radishes!) and fancy local honey
  • stopped at the fancy coffee shop and got an Iced Nutella Latte
  • stopped at the corner store on the way home that also sells plants and bought a bunch of herbs and a cayenne pepper to plant
  • had lunch with the inlaws
  • took the baby on a playdate to the park
  • got rained out at the park, so took the babies to the gelato place and ate delicious tiramisu flavoured gelato (in hindsight, the super-sugar & caffeinated gelato might not have been the best choice of flavours to share with the one-year-old)
  • filled the raised planter box and pots with soil and planted all the greenery I bought in the morning
  • washed the baby's laundry
  • washed my laundry
  • watched Mirror, Mirror (it wasn't bad)
  • and all of this was in addition to the usual stuff one does on a non-work day, like make & eat lunch & dinner, use the bathroom, check your email, etc.
No wonder I felt tired today!  I think I might need to cut it back a bit, or I'm going to wear myself out before July.
Although when I think of everything that's still on the list, like painting the kitchen, planting strawberries, finishing up some knitting projects . . . how long do I have until winter again?