Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Early Voting

Yesterday I went to Crossroads Mall and voted early. I wore cowboy boots and a blue shirt.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Photolog 10/24/2008: Snakes

Sorry about the huge pictures this week, blogger is having technical difficulties. You can see them better by clicking on them.

Not much going on in the garden this week, most things are growing and the nights are getting cooler. I am really happy with how big the Broccoli and Cauliflower are getting. The plants are looking really green after the dose of fish emulsion and epsom salt I sprayed this week. My spinach sprouts are just stuck at an inch tall for some reason, and I think what they want is a good rain. I am going to get up early tomorrow and give everything a good soaking. 

My secret weapon for the birds has been a bunch of strategically placed rubber snakes. It's kinda like a little haunted house for birds out there, and it seems to be working. I have to go move them around every few days or the birds get smart, and I don't want to risk any of my nice tomatoes being beaked to death. I am thinking about trying to put out a bird feeder on the other side of the yard to give them something else to eat, and I hope that doesn't just make the problem worse by attracting more birds than there were before. We will see what happens...

On a side note...

I took an NCLEX-RN predictor test this week at school to see my probability of passing the real test the first time through. I scored a 95% probability! Besides the boost in confidence this test also tells me what I need to review to do even better next time. This is pretty much what my next 8 weeks will look like... test, review, test again. Gotta love standardized testing! 

No nurse left behind...

Little Mesclun Lettuce sprouts

Snake guarding my tomatoes

Friday, October 17, 2008

Photolog 10/17.2008

Photolog 10/17/2008

The broccoli and cauliflower have really been growing, and I feel like my part time job is to pluck all the tiny caterpillars off of their leaves before they can do much damage. My first snap peas started to set a couple of days ago, and the Juliet tomatoes have been turning red despite the fact they are slowly being de-foliated by the Fusarium wilt. Stay tuned to find out how I am keeping the mocking birds from eating them!

New in the garden this week:
+ Snap peas set
+ Cilantro sprouted
+Topped the tomatoes to encourage bigger fruit

Juliet Tomatoes

I feel like I haven't been able to spend time doing much of anything besides school lately. All my studying has paid off though... I took my Advanced Concepts cumulative final exam this past wednesday and aced it missing only 2 out of 50 questions! This has been the most challenging semester, and it's good to know that I have taken the toughest tests and it's all easy coasting from here. For the next 8 weeks (my last before graduation) my clinicals will be at Baptist Medical Center downtown in the cardiovascular unit, and in class we will mostly be preparing for the NCLEX-RN exam

You know you have been spending long days at the hospital and long nights at the library when even the cats miss you...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Photolog 10/10/2008, Grand National

Photolog 10/10

Night-time temps are finally dropping! This means leafy-greens!

Here is what's been happening this week:
+ Planted Mesclun Lettuce
+ Planted Cilantro
+ Planted Spinach (again)
+ Composted Black-eyed peas from the side garden

Broccoli and Cauliflower


And a side-note on the Grand National:
I have been listening to Grand National, which is a band I found on Pandora, and they are pretty sweet. You can find a link to them on the right in the Headphones section. They are a British band with a sound reminiscent of Sting and The Police, although much more modern. It deserves a good listen if you are getting bored with whatever you got spinning on your iPod. I think it's shaping up to be my fall soundtrack, and if you know me that says a lot.

Friday, October 3, 2008

What does it all mean? Photolog 10/3/2008

Photolog 10/3

This past week I have experienced a lot, and my garden has gone through some changes. I experienced some fantastic festival performances while in Austin last weekend, I have been officially offered a job working in the ER, and I have given a certain option a good "look-see" (but more on that later). So while I have been busy fighting the crowds and dust at Zilker park, while I have been diligently learning the pathophysiology and treatment algorithms for Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), I have been utterly out of control of some happenings in the garden.

First of all, my first vine-ripe tomato of the fall season was burgled by some ungrateful mocking bird. The nerve! I pulled the buggered and pecked-to death tomato off the vine and threw it over the fence I was so mad. Obviously the red ornament thing is a myth, and it has been officially busted. What's worse is that my Juliet tomatoes are susceptible to Fusarium wilt, and they both have it. The leaves are turning brown and dying off from the bottom of the plant up, and soon I will just have some dead stringy-looking tomato vines. The only good thing is that my Better Boy's and Cherry tomatoes are resistant, but is seems that they have some kind of wilt too. I don't know whether to pull up the Juliets now or let them live as long as possible. 

Soon to be completely leafless and dead Juliet Tomatoes

The peas are just about done, and that is a good thing considering what some of them look like. I did some research and think it's a virus that the peas have had since they were little seeds. It started out as one plant, and then it spread all over the side garden. It's a confounding viral conflagration. 

Soon to be dead peas

Some good things have been happening at the same time. The Okra is my big producer right now. From seven plants I harvest about two pods a day, and it's fairly delicious. One weird thing I have discovered in case you are ever on some obscure game-show: fresh picked okra smells kinda like dog (this smell goes away once you wash and cook it).

Okra plate

For those of you who have actually read this far:

Something special has happened in my backyard. In the grass beside the garden grows a single corn stalk. I noticed him the other day, and I am really wondering how he got there. The fact that he is disease and bug free makes no sense. What does he represent in all of this? Is he an outcast or a pioneer? Surely there is some scientific answer to his existence, I just don't know what to think of him. I'd like to think that he is deserving of the most fertile place in the garden, and that he deserves all my attention (though that hasn't appeared to help the rest of the plants). I think for now I will watch and see what happens with this special corn sprout, though I am pretty sure he will end up in the compost bin.