urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Today has been pretty good, so far. Max woke me up earlier than I'd have wanted, and it's catching up with me now. So I'm drinking another bucket of coffee and taking a rest.

Earlier this afternoon, I finally got some gardening done. :) Well, not very much, but I enjoyed it. With the looming move, I'd been holding off on planting anything. It finally occurred to me that planting some salad greens in hanging baskets on the patio might be a smart plan. Nothing else is going in them this season, and that neatly keeps the succulent stuff up away from the hordes of gastropods which just made me give up on lettuce (and runner beans, and...) last year. Win-win all around.

The rain even held off until I finished pottering around out there.

After plundering the seed stash, now we have pots planted with red frilly leaf lettuce, lamb's lettuce/mâche, rocket, and some iceberg I accidentally bought last year. (Not my favorite for most applications, but it should be OK as young leaf mixed with other stuff.) With any luck, before too long, I can stop flinching and moaning every time I buy non-reduced salad stuff. :)

We get a more immediate salad return, too, if you can call it that. I saved some dandelions which had come up in the baskets. *g*

Some fuschias I'd assumed had given up the ghost over the rather harsh winter are sending up new growth from their bases, too, which I was glad to see. I also left some self-seeded violas where they were; hopefully neither will get completely choked by the lettuce. Having some flowers without planting more would be great!

There is a big pack of pansies out there waiting to be planted in containers, another Tesco rescue I couldn't resist. (Hey, I'm a softy and had been wanting some pansies anyway.) Nobody had bothered to water them, so they were marked down to 75p from £3. A brief float in the pond perked all but a couple right up, and those look like they'll survive.

Better to go ahead and get some enjoyment while we can, especially with no certain time frame for when I'll have to post the container plants on Freecycle or something.

I'd planned to clean the bedroom fish tank today, but don't have the energy to do that and also take Max out grocery shopping. That's more pressing, if we want supper. And coffee in the morning, for that matter.

With any luck, we can get things timed and coordinated so that Ingvar can pick Max up on his way home. The bone-stressed level 2/3 sprained ankle is healing up pretty well, but it's still not up to walking both down there and back. Especially if I'm going to stand up in the kitchen afterward. So I'll need to bus it home. Juggling a cane, at least one shopping bag, and a Max--strong even for a Staffie!--who's still half-scared of crowds can be challenging even when bus travel is not involved.

Yeah, this level of planning is more than a bit of a pain. But worth it.

Oh yeah, last night I made a small batch of lip balm (one empty Badger tin load). I keep overestimating the trouble involved, and buying more commercial stuff instead of making more. Avoiding petroleum and strong scents--lip rashes are not much fun!--that can get expensive for a very limited choice.

What was actually involved? Take a small microwaveable bowl. Add a spoonful of coconut oil (virgin, in this case--great smell!). Add splashes of peanut and olive oils until it looks like you've got a little less than needed to fill the tin(s). If it's oil, it will do, but I like that combo. Rosemary, calendula, etc. infused oil of some kind works well depending on what effects you want, but I didn't have any handy. Throw in some beeswax pellets, about 20% of the volume of oil (err on the side of less). Nuke for about 30 seconds, and stir until it's all melted together. Add essential oils if you like (was going to use a couple of drops of mint in this batch, but couldn't find the bottle). Pour into tin(s) and leave it to set up.

Well, in this case, I had to scrape the stuff back into the bowl and melt it up with more wax, but hey.

Lightly coconut-and-beeswax scented lip balm in a couple of minutes, with maybe 20p worth of (totally edible, good quality) ingredients per good-sized tin. If that. It's better than most of the commercial stuff I've been getting.

Now to stop working up the barely more time and effort required to make more hand cream...

Yeah, this is about the level of everyday excitement around here lately.
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I'm getting some energy back again, which is very welcome. The past few days, I've spent trying to play catch-up around here (and overdoing it, of course). Not much time to spend in front of the keyboard.

The new batch of seeds I'd managed to misplace turned back up (not before time!), so with the lovely weather today I'm planning to go out and wrestle home some more potting soil, and get a lot of things sown. A lot of the seeds I'd been hanging onto just need to go away; some of them were pretty old when I moved here five years ago. *shakes head* So I went ahead and ordered replacements for things I actually wanted to grow this year. The rest of the big bag of potting soil I'd been planning to use went to help fill in a huge hole a frustrated Max dug in the main raised bed out back--what didn't fill in where Churl the Destroyer (cat next door) almost emptied a smaller raised bed!

Gardening and pond rambles )

Yesterday, a little peering around the playing fields while Max and I were out netted enough further tawny owl feathers, mostly secondary wing ones, to make a small fan. (Can't discuss that one much further.) I'm pretty sure they were not there before, and something got hold of that owl. I also picked up some mangled ones, and am going to bury them later. Westlands Rough, by the playing fields, is also looking like a good source of blackberries later and nettles right about now, once I remember to take along some gloves. Along with a filthy little stream for Max to bound through and require a bath, as happened yesterday. :)

Pretty soon, it's time to head for the smaller Sainsbury's up the road in Chadwell Heath, to try and drag back a compressed 20L bag of potting soil on the bus. I know the Brewery location has them in, and am hoping that one does too. Normally, I'd strap that kind of thing onto the bike rack, but I'm still holding off cycling until my eyes are tracking better. It has improved some already, at least, but still seems safer to wait a while. Then it's time to trot Maxie Boy around some more. Yep, exciting days.

September 2011

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