March 31, 2011

more spring fever

it's too early in the season to plant much of anything, but there's still been a lot of work to do. I've been in the garden intermittently all winter, so fortunately I didn't have much weeding, but I planted winter rye and clover as overwintering cover crops last november, and those had to be clipped and tilled under a few weeks ago so they had time to die off before new plantings went in. and that shit was hard work. I planted a cover crop on the recommendation of portland parks & rec, who suggest that or mulching to prevent weed growth in the winter. of course, it turns out I was in the garden through the winter so I totally could have prevented the weeds by hand. you also plant a cover crop to add organic matter to the soil, but I think this might be the last year I plant it, or at least the last year I plant so much of it. it was basically like weeding x 1000.

after/before (with a kale divider)
a before and after shot (with the after section on the left). this was the remainder of my kale bed, so the cover crop was sown around it, which meant I planted about 1/3 the amount of seeds in this bed than I planted elsewhere. it still took me a good hour to till it.

those blasted cover crops
a mostly-tilled section of the fully-seeded cover crop bed

I overwintered brussels sprouts (just pulled the last ones up a few weeks ago, and still have to dig out the stalks) and kale, along with most of my herb garden. the lavender, which was already very sickly, didn't make it, and one of my sage plants may not either, but on the whole, everything is trooping through.

thyme, bronze fennel
thyme and bronze fennel

sage: healthy + unwell
one healthy sage, one sick sage

hello, cilantro
newly-planted cilantro

this year was my first dabbling in perennials, since this is the first time I've had a garden long enough! I planted a smattering of tulips and hyacinths -- and maybe crocuses? I don't remember, but if so they haven't emerged yet -- on the border of my garlic bed. and they grew! the garlic started growing in the middle of winter and look at it now. yay garlic:

garlic scape-lets

hyacinths look like wee baby pineapples.
my hyacinths emerge

I also went ahead and planted one row of lettuce, along with a lone arugula. I planted the first batch of italianischer seeds; we'll see how they do. planting from seed terrifies me (because I'm afraid nothing will grow, or I'M DOING IT WRONG) but I've been trying to take the edge off the terror by telling myself that I'm an intrepid gardener! you don't get to be intrepid much of the time so I like the idea.

the first lettuce of spring.

and my raspberry plant charmingly went from a bunch of dead-looking reddish vines to a budding little thing in the course of, I kid you not, three days.
hi, I'm a raspberry

(I'm pretty sure that raspberry plant has designs to take over the whole bed, but thankfully I like raspberries)

so next on the agenda is to build a trellis for the peas and pole beans. I bought some supports the other day but once I put them in the ground I realized they're likely too spindly, so I'm going to try again with stouter wooden supports. the pole beans can't be planted yet but the peas can go in any time so I'd like to get the trellis in by the weekend. and the peas. and I should mix in some compost. and then I'm gonna sit in the middle of the plot and think grow, grow, grow.

March 29, 2011

spring fever

I have the worst case of spring fever/garden fever ever, in the history of ever. remember how I said that any time you encounter me, I'm probably thinking about my injury? well, I take it back: now I'm thinking about my injury, but I'm also considering what kind of trellis supports to use, and whether I can fit the cucumbers in next to the strawberries, and whether I should have gotten those books from the library before I made my garden plan for the season, and if I should consider moving the sunflowers away from the pole beans.

it's exhausting. is it may yet? I have planting to do.

I don't think I've explicitly mentioned it on the blog, but this summer I'll be unemployed from late may through late august. times are hard in the non-profit arts world, and many companies, including ours, are taking drastic measures to keep the books balanced. in our case, some people who were originally on year-long contracts have been switched to 10-month contracts, and some others who were already on shorter contracts have had their work time further reduced. it is hard on everyone, but for the most part we accept what's happening with minimal bitterness; there is not much right now that anyone can do until the economy stabilizes.

plus, free summer!

so, in order to not starve, I'm hoping to feed myself almost exclusively from what I plant. last year I hardly bought any produce from july to october, and that was with a garden I didn't start until june, where I gave no thought to when things should be planted and a third of what went in the ground bolted. this year I believe I can nearly live off my garden if I do it right.

my community garden plot is 400 square feet which, while not as big as a yard, is bigger than the studio apartment I rented in graduate school. this year, I have plans to grow the following:

lettuce (this kind, along with several other varieties)
a variety of kales
pole beans
cucumbers (this kind plus hopefully regular ones)
a mesclun blend
four different varieties of tomatoes: (early girls [which are my favorite], ananas noire, white currant, chocolate cherry)
snap peas
these beautiful purple brussels sprouts, plus regular ones
golden beets (from last year's leftover seeds)

and LUFFAS! because I am so excited that you can grow your own bath products. we'll see how they go; Scott's very adept gardener friend had trouble with hers last year.

annnnnnnnd I want FLOWERS this year because last year I didn't have any and I felt sad without them. I want tall flowers but they have to be planted strategically or else they will block all my sun:

edible chrysanthemums
other edible flowers (a mix)
this really fun monarda, which I'm sorry I only ordered one of but who has space??

and I'm JUST DYING for this agastache but territorial is sold out so I'll have to get it elsewhere.

I DON'T KNOW HOW THAT WILL ALL FIT?! I am probably a crazy person. actually, I have it all plotted out but lord knows how it will go in real life. I hope it grows all crazy and jungle-like and maybe I will be able to build a fort out of tall flowers and hide in it.

wee tulip
[I have a great camera app on my phone that is sadly in japanese -- literally -- and I don't know what the effects are so sometimes I get ridiculously artsy pictures when I don't mean to. this is one of my emerging queen of the night tulips. they are BLACK. or they will be.]

March 18, 2011


the refined diagnosis:

continued tightness/microtear in left hip flexor
extreme tightness in the tensor fasciae latae (TFL) muscle
gigantic relentless knot in the left quadratus lumborum
extreme muscle tightness on pretty much my entire low back, particularly the QL and the lower part of the erector spinae

so basically, although nobody's used the word, I'm suffering from something that looks like lordosis. all the muscles from my belly button to my thighs are WAY TOO TIGHT.

as a result, my spine's being tugged all over the place, and my pelvis! is twisted! when I lie on my back, one leg is slightly longer than the other; when I lie on my stomach the OTHER leg is longer. amazing, right? it's like a sideshow.

I had the world's best massage on wednesday, and since tuesday I've had two chiropractic adjustments. the chiro sent me home with a worksheet full of stretches, which I've done religiously.

on tuesday she said, "do you think riding is hurting it?" and I answered honestly, that no, I didn't think so; that the pain comes and goes seemingly with no relation to the riding schedule I keep.

then I rode yesterday and the mare threw a MAJOR TANTY, so much so that I dismounted and clipped the lunge line to her bridle and drove her around in a circle for a few minutes so she could pull her damn self together. I rode for a half hour and when I got off, I realized that of course riding is hurting it; the muscles you use most are your abs, your hips, and your back.


so, I am off riding for awhile. it is very sad. I am currently consulting the oracle internet about things I can do with the mare in lieu of riding. lungeing, obviously, and depending on the weather I may begin hand-walking her on the trails behind the arena. (they're currently too muddy for that). she needs a great deal more exposure to the outside world, as she is often entirely too spooky for my tastes, and she has rather impeccable ground manners, so trail walking might be a good change of pace for us both. we will also probably just wander around the property, looking at scary things. a colleague said, 'do all the things you'd normally do, but just bring your horse, kind of like you're carting around your dumb younger brother.'

I'm also, with much chagrin, planning on trying to sell my beloved Crosby saddle at a tack sale this weekend. I LOVE that saddle -- the leather is in beautiful shape, and it's really such a nice piece of tack, which I got for super cheap -- but the reality is, it's too small for me. It has cutback withers, which means the pommel (the part where a saddle horn would be if it were a western saddle) is higher and farther back than normal saddles. In other words, I am turning my crotch into hamburger every time I ride. it's not helping my leg position and unfortunately it's just never going to fit. it's an incredibly hard decision and I'm really sad to part with it (hell, that's why I bought it in the first place) but it's not helping either of us to have me riding in a saddle that's too snug.

so, there we are. no running, no riding. no strength training, except for the very minimal exercises I've been given. bikram has been given a tentative OK. I have no idea how long this will all take. if you see me in the next month or two, I apologize in advance, because half my brain at all times is thinking about my hip: am I standing correctly? should I be stretching it? am I standing more on one leg than the other? is my back tightening up?


March 17, 2011

good weekend

Dayna came to visit me!

  • seriously ate cake for at least three meals, two of which were in one day
  • snowshoed around Trillium Lake


  • ate honest-to-god real grasshoppers at Sushi Mazi (Cristina and I pretty much made a habit of convincing all people we encountered to do this, so I'm happy to continue the tradition; I just got Scott to do it last week)
  • had drinks at Vault


  • polished off a bottle of champagne at Scott's
  • ate at Screen Door (my very favorite brunch spot, worth the hour wait)
  • went shopping, obvs
  • bought really cute hats

    2011-03-11 12.24.10

  • watched movies and scarfed down an entire pizza in 10 minutes
  • survived bikram
  • ate two whole bags of gummi worms in about 15 minutes
  • ran the Shamrock 5K in TUTUS and a crapton of St. Patty's swag

    2011-03-13 08.52.40

  • stood in line for an hour at Voodoo
  • got pedicures
  • called our grandmom

    pretty good weekend, huh? it made up for not seeing each other for the last 13 months. after I put her on the plane Sunday night, I came home and fell asleep on the couch at 8:30. what?! I'm pushing 30, people, I can't run with the 26-year-olds no more.
  • March 9, 2011

    miscellaneous: librarians

    so I think it's pretty safe to say that most librarians just adore playing with the typical librarian stereotypes. basically, librarians like pretending that they're ... librarians.

    stereotype 1: codgy old maid

    case in point.

    stereotype 2: sexy librarian

    do you know I had no idea there was a 'sexy librarian' thing until I enrolled in library school? I.. I had no idea. a friend was like, "YEAH! Now you can rock the sexy librarian thing!" and I thought, that's a thing?

    then I dropped out of library school! so now I just have to play dress-up as a real librarian.

    anyway, I am excited because despite only being a fake librarian, my little library gets to be featured in a tiny blurb in an article running next week on neighborhood notes, a cool little website that features, like, everything going on around this town. they're doing a story about hidden libraries in portland! isn't that fun! anyway, I got interviewed by one of their contributors last week, which was particularly funny because he admitted he had no idea what an opera librarian did, and therefore didn't even know what to ask! luckily, that's standard issue for this job.

    (in case you haven't been able to figure out what it is I do from my random mutterings on this blog, MOLA has a great write-up of the job. it makes me feel real good to be called "organizationally gifted.")

    Then, yesterday, they sent a photographer out to take a photo shoot of me in the library. a photo shoot! I wanted SO BAD to take a scandalous picture 'in the stacks' but a) the opera would kill me, and b) I didn't think the photographer got librarian humor. actually, I had to explain to him what my job entailed so he had some idea of what to take pictures of. I'm happy to report my eraser also makes a cameo. my biggest regret is that it used to have "oops!" printed on the side but it's since been rubbed out by too much use.

    I know.

    the best part is, the existence of this story might be entirely due to the power of drinking with strangers networking; every once in awhile I go for cocktails with a group of awesome twitter ladies, none of whom I knew personally before. I love the internet. and on one of these evenings I met lynnette, who I think runs neighborhood notes? or at least my impression of her is that she was awesome enough to be running the thing. that was over a year ago, but hey! next week there will be a story about me! funny how the universe works!

    in other tiny-fame news, a zine I wrote back in graduate school is being featured in an exhibit at barnard, which, you probably don't know this but it has a really amazing, comprehensive zine library. I don't even know how they got the zine -- did I submit it? maybe a friend did? I don't remember -- but anyhow, it's now on display as part of an exhibit about disability zines.

    best part: I MADE THE CARD CATALOGUE. a librarian's dream.