Archives for posts with tag: change

This evening, I picked the first of the French Filet string beans.  This is the bush variety (as opposed to the Blue Lakes, which are pole beans) and I had to search through the closely spaced leaves to find the ripe ones.  We didn’t do anything with them except to wash them and cut them into bite size pieces.  Raw, they were a nice addition to a salad along with lettuce (our mesclun patch is still producing) and two of the few remaining tomatoes.

Our first string bean harvest allows a nice segue into more recapping of the current season.  The string beans, and the Sugar Snap peas before them, did very well in our garden and we will plant them again next year.  But I think we need to devote more space to them (at least one full-length row) so that there are enough ripe legumes at any time to make a sizeable meal.  This year, we either ate the beans a few at a time or waited until there were enough, taking the risk that some would be overripe.

Of course, if we allow more space for peas and beans we will also have to give up room for other things.  I can’t think of anything we planted this year that I would not grow next year; therefore, we may have to expand the garden.  We probably don’t have enough space to add another full-size planter but we could grow some vegetables in pots or directly in the ground.

Of this year’s vegetables, zucchini would be the most suitable candidate for in-ground growing.  Zucchini plants can be very large—our single vine ended up using as much space as two did earlier in the season—and they tend to sprawl.  Before we pulled it out, our zucchini took up almost half of its planter.  “Don’t Fence Me In” would be the zucchinis’ theme song and it is easy to see why they are often grown in free-form patches.

As for pots, the eggplant and bell pepper plants might do well in stand-alone containers.  Unlike the zucchini, they do not spread out very much.  In fact, the eggplant in particular grew upward as much, if not more, than it did outward.  Neither the eggplant nor the bell pepper grew very large (which may be a characteristic of their respective varieties or due to poor soil conditions) and their smaller size would make them easier to move around as the solar exposure changes.

Believe it or not (I’m not sure I did), we still had not replanted all of the Siberian irises after our last root-dividing session (see September 15, 2012).  There is no more room in the ornamental garden and after scouting around (again) for suitable new locations, I ended up back at the strip of weeds next to the stone wall where we replanted some irises two weeks ago.  Clearly, this was the place for them.

After two hours of labor that can be summed up by a single punctuated word—rocks!—we are finally finished with the Siberian irises.  When combined with the bearded irises, which we received from friends in exchange for a share of our Siberian ones and which we planted near the patio two weeks ago, we have done everything we need to do with irises for the next few years.

Now, if I was a more conscientious and energetic gardener, I would move on to the lilies and hostas, both of which could benefit from the same treatment we gave the irises.  But I’m not (and am feeling lazy) so they will have to wait.  Maybe next year…

Generally, I like to get up early in the morning.  I’m not talking crazy-early which by my definition is any time earlier than 5:00 am.  That still counts as the night before.  No, for me early is in the 5:30 am to 6:30 am range.  For the last few years, my alarm clock has been set to 6:00 am.

In mid-summer, getting up at that hour is no problem.  It is already light by then and because my circadian rhythms are usually in sync with the sun, I am fully awake when the sun rises.  But as summer progresses into fall and the day shortens, it becomes increasingly difficult to haul myself out of bed for the same reason.  Rising before the sun takes considerable effort.

Luckily, it is not still dark in the early morning but that won’t last for long.  To take advantage of the light (on what looks to be a particularly sunny day), we decided to take a quick hike in Fahnestock State Park before getting to work.  One of the nice things about being so close to the park and knowing some of its trails so well is that we can complete a short loop before 9:00 am.

And one of the nice things about doing anything that early is that by the time I sit down to my desk to start the day’s work, I will have already accomplished a great deal.  In this case, my body will have gotten an hour’s worth of exercise and my mind will be fresh and clear from the meditative peace and beauty of the great outdoors.

This morning at about 3:00 am, Rachel’s cell phone started to ring.  Normally, we would be annoyed by this but because we had planned to get up in an hour to make a 6:00 am flight to Seattle, we were particularly miffed.

Rachel could not get to her phone in time to answer it but we thought it might be just as well.  The caller was identified as “800 Service” which usually means a telemarketer.  A sales call at 3:00 am?  Really?  I would think that the people who run call centers in India would be better at keeping track of time zones than that.

A few minutes later, though, the house phone rang.  The display indicated “800 Service”, same as before.  This had to be something more important, so I answered it.  There was a slight pause and then a recording started to play.  The call was from our airline and the message was alerting us that our 6:00 am flight had been cancelled.  This was a new one.  We’ve had flights cancelled on us before but we’ve never gotten an advance phone call about it.

The recording went on to reassure us that the airline had “protected” us on another flight leaving at 5:00 pm that afternoon.  I suppose they thought they were doing us a favor but if we accepted their alternate plan, we would lose almost an entire day in Seattle.  This would not do.

Good thing for us, Rachel is an expert travel agent.  She got an airline representative on the phone (there was not much of a wait at 3:30 in the morning!) and started the process of finding a new itinerary that would get us to Seattle at roughly the same time.  In only a few minutes, she was able to secure seats on another 6:00 am flight.  The only catch was that the flight would leave from another airport.

The other airport is twice as far away—about an hour by car—so we had to scramble.  With the help of our car’s navigation system and light traffic (the main benefit of early morning travel), we made it with plenty of time to spare.  In fact, after a hectic two hours, the airport’s morning rush seemed almost serene in comparison.