Monthly Archives: August 2014

More snippets from summer

What I’m doing.

“On the first day of my summer vacation…I woke up.”

If you recognize that line, you are probably a child of the 70’s or at least a fan of Cheech and Chong (Sister Mary Elephant).

It occurred to me that my life for the last month has followed this essay format very closely. Should someone ask me about my recent work hiatus, and how I’ve spent my time, I would describe it this way.

I wake up and drink some coffee. I eat breakfast and job hunt on internet boards, send correspondence, apply for some jobs, and read a little news. Then I get a shower, and work on *insert home improvement project.* Occasionally, I realize that I am missing a key item and have to run to the mega-home-warehouse-store to find it.

Is that the same as going “downtown to hang out in front of the drugstore?”

What I’m reading

I recently finished Bee Ridgway’s The River of No Return, which interested me because of the time travel premise. There are some good things there: the notion of people having time-jumping ability, the historical period possibilities, and some of the characters are very well written. The backdrop of the story becomes more of romance than a mystery, and it unveils many compelling plot points that are never resolved. I am sure Ms. Ridgway is writing/planning to write more in this series. However, I found myself wanting to know more about the titular river (which is a major plot device in the resolution of this book) – which ends as more of an explanation. I like the universe that these characters inhabit and I love the background mysteries…I just want them to be more than conversational points in a love story. I’ll be on the look out for her second book in this series…and maybe my questions will be answered.

I just started Dark Matter: The Private Life of Sir Isaac Newton, by Phillip Kerr. Assuming I don’t get distracted by another book, I should finish it soon. This one is showing itself to be a good thriller.

What I’m cooking

Because I have more free time…I’ve been cooking for me and the missus. I’ve discovered that you can do many things with crescent roll dough – besides make crescent rolls. There are many layered “casserole” dishes you can make with an 8 x 8 baking dish and two packages of crescent rolls. My favorite has been layered smoked turkey with bacon and swiss cheese. Put down a layer of the dough and press together to make a crust. Add a layer of turkey (deli sliced), then bacon (cooked), then swiss cheese on top. You can also add a layer of sliced tomatoes in here if you so desire. Add a layer of the crescent dough on top. Scramble two eggs and pour half over the layered concoction. Repeat the turkey, bacon, and swiss cheese layers and top with the last of crescent dough. Pour the last of the egg over the casserole. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cover the dish with foil (loosely), and cook for 20 minutes at 350 deg. in the oven. After 20 minutes, remove the foil and cook for another 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it sit for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.


And really good the next day for breakfast.


the tactile feel

when I drink
from a
red plastic cup
with vertical ridges-
waves that undulate at
my tracing fingertips.

and after a time-
combined with the condensate
colluded from
hot and cold-

I wipe clean the surface
and clasp my hands
tightly –
as if to shutter
the memory.

Singing the moon

In a twildly dusk, I see
a flaxum and her mimbles, we
open talk and loydal sing
with sunbeam-laden mulbering.

The verse rafeals a higher cause,
and willently, we sing then pause,
our fragenotions echo there
as we chorus contricare.

As just as then, we breathed and stopped,
fixembled, stable, clembed and swapped
A song sincerely wooed, then freed
and flaxum/poet now agreed.

Then in mirist silence found,
tracing back with embered sound
songs at dusk- the most revered
The ferrel-maried moon appeared

and strummed the night to denser aires
with open chords and fortunes fair.

Don’t micromanage the garden…

I’m not feeling the poems this week, so I thought I would just write…

I think I’ve mentioned here that I like tomatoes.

A poem about growing tomatoes

A post where I mention planting tomatoes…

In a general sense, I think I am infatuated with the idea of growing something out of nothing (or a small thing)…wanting to be a creator of something. I think this is an innate desire that drives people to achieve. My past “experiments” with tomatoes included growing them in various size planters. I moved them around to maximize sunlight, watered them religiously, gave them plant food every couple of weeks. I think I did this in an attempt to control the plant…I know I “wanted” it to grow. Granted, I didn’t have a suitable planting area in the ground until this year. I even purchased plants that were genetically engineered for a patio/porch environment. This achieved limited success with a crop yield. Maybe 6 or 8 tomatoes. I was very keen on controlling the situation and getting the plants to grow under my supervision and plan.

Can you micromanage a tomato plant?

This year I dug a large bed in our back yard and left a suitable space (about 3 sq. feet) for tomato plants. I planted three (2 grape tomato variety, and one regular plant) during Memorial Day weekend. Save for one dowsing with some miracle food (which I have always done, even when plants were in large pots), I have done nothing unusual in the care of these plants. Granted, it has been somewhat rainy in Ohio this summer, and temperatures have not been too extreme.

You’d have thought that the alien plant from “Little Shop of Horrors” was growing in my yard. So far there are no missing animals in my neighborhood.

Feed me.  Feed me Seymour!

Feed me. Feed me Seymour!

I would expect the grape tomatoes to grow everywhere…it’s like a vine and gives you clusters of tomatoes (hence the name), and it is overtaking the neighboring rose bush. But I did not expect this from the “normal” plant. The tomato stalk/stems are spreading every which way. Obviously a sympodial stem… Ultimately what has stuck out in this exercise is that I have done very little with these plants except add a taller stake in the ground every 6 or 7 days to keep the stems from crushing under their own weight. The tomato yield is going to be phenomenal. I count at least a dozen fist sized tomatoes, with smaller ones popping up every other day. tomatoes

I suppose if one were to have a take away lesson from this it would be:

Don’t constrain the garden with your idea of how it should grow. Plan it, plant it, give it some nourishment now and then, keep an eye on it, and let it grow.

If you think about how other things flourish…

plants, animals, and people

this is a successful management strategy.