Sunday Morning Garden Chat: Blossoms

satby hanging baskets aug 14

From faithful commentor Satby:

Last spring I sent my shots of seeds I started; the hanging basket and flower box orange petunias are the result. The vanilla strawberry hydrangea is past its peak but still pretty, and the morning glories are the 6th generation from ones I planted in 2008. Once they take hold they get pretty invasive, so I rip about 1/2 of what sprouts out. But they are gorgeous when they fill in and bloom.

satby vining climbers aug 14

My power is out after thunderstorms last night. My veggies were a bust this year, too cool and rainy so they wilted and failed to set much fruit. But, it was a great year for flowers. This basket had petunias and thurbiginas (not sure of the spelling) with morning glory volunteers showing up as the petunias waned. The shorter days already have some leaves changing color as you see here.

satby wookie catio aug 14

This is my Wookie, who was rescued with his siblings in 2005, complaining from his “catio”. Momma is the orange cat on the chair behind him. My solution to having 12 rescue animals is zones, the cat zone is the entire basement and the completely enclosed catio, 10x10x4 (I should have made it 6, it’s really hard to mow). In summer the rose of sharon bushes provide flowers and shade for the full sun site, and in winter the sun can warm it through the bare branches. Wookie and Momma like it the most, they only come in during bad weather and to eat.

I’m not showing the Spousal Unit that last picture — he’s been talking for years about adding a ‘catio’, but we’re already hip-deep in First World house Problems. This was the summer we finally got around to updating the fifty-year-old electrical system from a fusebox to a proper circuit-breaker system. Which is great, except it meant emptying all the clutter that’s been accumulat- ing in the garage for the last twenty years, so the electrician could get at the wall meters. Did I mention we’re both packrats, from a long line of packrats? Did I mention I’m allergic to dust, mold spores, and mouse/vole dander?…

So we’ve filled our maximum garbage/recycling quota for the last several weeks, and there’s a growing stack of gotta-list-it-on-freecycle stuff. I’ve spent too much time sorting out the detritus of two decades of broken gardening dreams (seed-starting kits & warming mats, hoarded pots, chipped yard decorations, watering gimcracks, tools that didn’t fit my purposes… ) And — because my ‘veggie garden’ is really just planters on the driveway extension — I can’t get at my (remaining) tomato plants without threading through a maze of garage-based “stuff” being shifted from Wall A to Shelf B. No more projects!

What’s going on in your gardens this week?

61 replies
  1. 1
    cosima says:

    Here in Scotland I picked 2-1/2 lbs of jostaberries from the plants in our fruitcage yesterday, topped & tailed for an hour last night, and will make jam after I am able to get a lot of jars. If any BJ folk have experience making jam with jostaberries & can pass on a recipe it would be much appreciated! The recipes that I’ve seen online vary radically — jostaberries are not very common, I guess, so the pickings seem a bit slim in re: jam recipes.

    I also picked about a pound of blueberries, but that’s not enough for jam, so I’m weighing my options — i.e., add other berries (raspberries, strawberries, ???) and make jam, or throw them in the freezer and think about it some other time, or, perhaps, leave them in the refrigerator and snack on them until they’re gone.

    Our summer has definitely felt as though it is over for the past couple of weeks, but the weather is supposed to be nice this week, which is good, because my parents are here in 2 days for a week-long visit before going off to cycle in Germany and Denmark.

    Last summer my daughter planted seeds for wildflowers in a dedicated (for her use) raised bed, and we had loads of lovely flowers. This summer was a total bust for that effort — not much heat, lots of rains. And our strawberries did nothing. They were clearly unhappy with the weather. Some of the plants’ leaves are changing, but all else is green & glorious. Oh yes, we got one pear & one apple on the trees that are still young & small, which are the only kind of fruit trees we have.

    On one of the threads I noticed that some had been discussing Tommy’s potential? upcoming? trip to Scotland ———— so, if you’re heading this direction, Tommy, and will hit the northeast or thereabouts give a shout out and I’ll be happy to show you around our neck of the woods.

  2. 2
    Tommy says:

    @cosima: my email is tommy dot young @ Updated my passport yesterday. I think I will pull the trigger and head to to Scotland. Where my family is from. Need to get there.

    Oh and a garden thing, I bought a large number of plants from the local farmers market. I can pretty much kill every plant. They are a two months in and they are living. Thriving.

  3. 3
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Amazed at Satby having twelve rescue animals. Sounds exhausting and fun at the same time. Lovely!

  4. 4
    Raven says:

    One of my good friends just spent 3 weeks in Scotland!

  5. 5
    Raven says:

    No more projects!

    I tell my bride that EVERY day!

  6. 6
    satby says:

    @cosima: Not familiar with jostaberries, are they sweet or a bit tart? Oh, Google says they’re a hybrid of gooseberry and currants, so they have their own pectin. My basic recipe for about any jam is 1/2 cup sugar (I only do low sugar) to each cup of fruit / juice, so put them in just enough water to stew until they’re soft, then mash them, add the sugar, and start boiling. If you have a jelly thermometer it’s easier to tell when they’re at the jelly/jam stage.

  7. 7
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    I’ve finished with the negatives, now it’s on to sides of me growing up and from my parents prior to my arrival. I’m actually getting to better understand the scanning software and I”m pretty happy with the results I’m getting.

  8. 8
    satby says:

    @Patricia Kayden: LOL, it’s what happens when you foster hard to adopt rescues. 6 dogs and 6 cats, a few more than I expected. Cats have the basement and their catio (I don’t really believe in letting cats outside but they can’t stay cooped up in a basement either, so this was my solution. Fully enclosed in chicken wire including the roof). 2 dogs in a kennel in the garage, and 4 more in the house, 2 of whom have epilepsy. I’m in perpetual war with animal hair, because I’m allergic to animals. But I love them, and so far keeping a controlled allergen load has worked out.

  9. 9
    satby says:

    @Raven: I say that to myself every day. And the next day I get a great idea for a new one. I think AnneLaurie is my long lost twin.

  10. 10
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Kinda funny, in less than a week my pole beans went from revived to collapsing. I think it was a combination of heat ( a week of 97-98) and a dryspell. ‘S-ok I got plenty already (froze another 15 #s or so Friday). I’m going to let most of them set pods for drying at this point. Same with most of the squash, tho I did plant some more in the Potato bed 5 weeks ago and they are doing well so far. And the tomatoes are in their last throes (and will be for another 2 weeks or so).

    Peppers, peppers, and more peppers…. The solar dryer is overflowing with Serranos, Paprikas, Jalapenos, and a few odd and ends. I smoked a bunch of Paprikas and sweet peppers yesterday and they are now finishing off in the oven. I froze about 7 or 8 lbs of sweets yesterday, and have more to try and think of something to do with. I haven’t even begun to string up the cayennes.

    Picked another 6 or 7 eggplant yesterday and made another batch of baba ghanoush. Can’t get enough of that smoky goodness.

    Peaches are cheap now and I bought some to try and make preserves with. Not going well. The prescribed method for removing the skins is working only about half the time. I think I will just run them all through the Squeezo Strainer and see how that works. If it is reasonable, I’ll have pulp to work with anyway.

    The granddaughter is with me this wkend and we are going to spend the day at my Jeffco buddy’s “cabin” on the Courtois Creek (pronounced Coat-a-way)(I know, I know, I hear it all the time from my quad-lingual wife) so she and his daughters can play in the water and I can sit in the shade, drink a few good beers, eat baba ghanoush, salsa, and cheese, and just basically be a bum for an afternoon.

  11. 11
    satby says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: That’s been one of my projects for years, just watching your updates is telling me I’m going to have to do it when I retire. I think I have enough projects to stay busy for the first 10 years.

  12. 12
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I made canned peaches for a neighbor last year, and figured out that the peaches had to sit in the boiling water for about a minute longer than most references said, then you might see the skins crack and they do slide right off. They’ve started to cook a bit by then, but you’re probably going to cook them more anyway. Until I left them in the water longer it was so frustrating I considered “skin on” canned peaches. For a second anyway

  13. 13
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: Yeah, I tried leaving them in longer. 2-4 minutes longer. That was when I finally reached the 50/50 results. Before that it was 20/80. I don’t know, It’s all a learning process. If at first I don’t succeed, I’ll just try try again.

  14. 14
    Raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I fiddled with th ac and got nowhere. Ran into and Hvac guy at the hardware store and he came over and it was not refrigerant. He had stuff going on and said he’d come back. I buzzed my regular dude not expecting him to come out but he did. I felt bad cuz I had to leave for the game but he was cool. My bride dropped me and when she got home he was gone and it worked. It must have been fairly simple to have gone that quickly. I told him when I left “don’t make me have to track you down to pay you like I did last time”!!!

  15. 15
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Raven: Nothing like a professional to know what he is doing.

  16. 16
    Botsplainer says:

    My recommendation on clutter clearing is to hire a dumpster and resolve to fill it about once every 10 years.

    If you haven’t used something or displayed it in 10 years, and it has neither pecuniary nor true sentimental value, toss it. Don’t hold it for a yard sale, or to give to kids or family members you might rationalize as needing it – toss it. It’ll help make you more disciplined in the future in what you buy.

  17. 17
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Botsplainer: My solution was to move every year or 2. Than I got married. (I live her to death, but who needs 15 hair curlers???)

  18. 18
    cosima says:

    Thank you satby for the the jam idea. I will cross my fingers and give it a shot. The thing about making jam (well, the thing other than the fact that I haven’t done it for years) is that it’s so much work to pick the $#@* berries, top & tail (or get rid of stems & fluff if blueberries), and to have it all go pear-shaped is crushing. I am going to have to work up my nerve, I think. The jostaberries are quite sweet when totally ripe, so I like them a bit less than ripe, but I waited too long, and they were just falling off the branches — at least a couple of weeks before they did last year. Last year I didn’t have the nerve to try anything with them, as it was our first year with them, and so I gave them to friends. But I think they’d make lovely jam if I can get it right. We shall see.

    Tommy — I’ll send you an email and we can see if your proposed journey brings you to our corner of Scotland. We are a bit outside of Aberdeen, approx. 20 miles west of it. I can give you lots of info re: ways to get around, options, places, etc., which is pretty critical — to drive (on the wrong side of the road on single-track roads), or not to drive, that is the question……….

  19. 19
    Tommy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I have 17 different addresses. Lived six years where I do now. Ponder that.

  20. 20
    Tommy says:

    @cosima: Wow I had to Google Aberdeen. That is where I want to go. I am a hiker/walker. If you could tell me a place to walk around I’d love it.

  21. 21
    Botsplainer says:


    My father-in-laws USAF career overseas really disciplined them for years, but in retirement, stuff has been accumulating on a gradual basis.

    My wife went a little opposite – she’s a bit of a hoarder, because she lamented not keeping childhood things.

  22. 22
    JPL says:

    @Raven: My project today is to clean up all the branches in the back woods.
    My son brought over a pole saw and removed some dead branches from the trees. Now I’m left with the clean up.
    The only house project I have is to install shutters. The windows are long so I ordered them online and they won’t be here for a few more weeks.
    @satby: Your catio is wonderful.

  23. 23
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I believe Aberdeen was the very first place name in Scotland I ever heard of — long before I knew about Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness or Dundee! When I was very little there was an Aberdonian woman who worked in my family’s bookstore. Lovely woman with a strong accent that enchanted small me. Her name was Janet Peterkin, which to this day sounds like a name straight out of fairy tales, and every year at Christmas she would give us tins and tins of home-made shortbread.

  24. 24
    WereBear says:

    @Botsplainer: toss it. It’ll help make you more disciplined in the future in what you buy.

    I’m pretty good about using what I actually get. It’s things that are no longer useful, and still hanging around, where the problem can lie.

    I’m sure not the only one raised with that “use it up or do without” mentality… created by people with basements. But I have to remind myself that this was before products became the “barely clearing low specs” monstrosities they are today.

  25. 25
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Wookie is very cute; I admit I had to embiggen the photo and squint a bit to see Momma. The catio is a great idea, and those two, at least, seem perfectly happy.

    Nice pictures. Morning glories are especially well-named.

  26. 26
    JPL says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: When are you leaving for your vacation? Have a wonderful time.

  27. 27
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Botsplainer: My wife is in Spain right now going through her parents’ things trying to decide what she wants to bring back and what she doesn’t care about. I dread the imminent arrival of the multitude of boxes full of stuff that has little more than sentimental value. I won’t say a word because when mine died I was just as bad – or worse – but some things are going to have to go.

    My only hope is that before she left, she expressed that exact same sentiment to me.

  28. 28
    Josie says:

    Five years ago I moved from a four bedroom house to a two bedroom house. It was traumatic and involved getting rid of a thirty year accumulation of stuff. I don’t remember much about it, as I must have repressed the memories. Now I will move again, this time to a rent house 200 miles away to be near my children. I need to again jettison everything that is not essential and am just paralyzed as to how to proceed. I walk around and look at everything and try to figure out where to begin. I keep waiting for inspiration, but I seem to be sinking into inaction and depression. I spend way too much time on the internet and reading on my Kindle. I need someone to kick my butt.

  29. 29
    the Conster says:


    I gather you’re swinging through our neck of the woods? Has it been decided yet whether it will be downtown Boston or a near in suburb? Where are you staying?

  30. 30
    cosima says:

    Here’s an interesting write up on Lord’s Throat, which is not too far from our neck of the woods:

    Shame that there are no photos at the link, but a google search should give many.

    Burn O Vat, Glen Muick, Glen Tanar (we were there just yesterday), Stonehaven, Dunnottar, the list goes on & on. Northeast Scotland is a walker’s dream. A train ride to Inverness takes you over to other amazing places on the west coast (Skye, Iona, etc.).

    I cannot say enough how much I love this place. People often ask if I miss the U.S. — and although I have lived in many beautiful places there, I never ever do. This is the home of my heart. When we fly into Aberdeen my heart always feels so full & happy, no matter that we’ve usually just been to somewhere amazing (because it takes a trip to somewhere amazing to get me out of Scotland).

    I’ve sent you an email, Tommy, and will do my best to help you plan out a trip to remember forever.

  31. 31
    Violet says:

    It’s currently raining! This is a good thing. We’re still behind on rain and missed all the rain during the “80% chance of rain!” days this week. So I’ll be working inside today.

    It’s fall planting season here. Still a few things producing. The long beans rested and are back blooming and setting, albeit a bit slower than before. The last of the melons–they’re so small and cute–are showing signs of ripening. Can’t wait to take out those sad looking vines.

    I planted a few fall tomatoes a few days ago. Also the first of the broccoli and cauliflower. It’s early for those but I figured why not give it a go. If I get an early harvest that’s good.

    Need to get the fall planting of the bush beans in but it hasn’t happened. Carrots too. I really enjoy fall vegetable gardening, but the prep work for it during the heat of August is brutal.

  32. 32
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @the Conster:

    I’m staying with friends who live in Waltham. Expect to arrive in the Boston area midday Friday (the 5th), Red Sox game at Fenway that evening. Concert (A Far Cry) the next night. During the following week I’m driving to see a friend in Maine, then over to Vermont to see Muddy, back to Boston in time for another AFC concert on Friday 12th, and then, I believe, a BJ meetup on Saturday 13th at a location still to be determined. Hope to see you there! Anne Laurie has kindly agreed to post details a little closer to the date, so Watch This Space.

    After that, it’s off to western Mass (hope to see Schrödinger’s Cat on that part of the drive) and eventually home via a still-to-be-determined route. As you can probably tell, I like to make up itineraries as I go.

  33. 33
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Josie: You have to be heartless. I always looked at a thing and asked myself 2 questions: Have I used it in the last year? Am I going to use it in the next year? If the answer to both those questions was not an unqualified “Yes” (“maybe” wasn’t good enough) out it went.

    At 56, I don’t regret getting rid of any of the things I tossed out, mostly because I don’t remember them. Senility is good for something after all.

  34. 34
    the Conster says:


    I feel your pain, sister. I just sold my 4 BR 3B house of 17 years. I’m moving into a space less than half the sq. footage. If you know the dimensions of the rooms of the house (more or less), then start with the pieces of furniture you know you can bring, and put a sticker on it. Same with any art and rugs. Start putting everything else that you’re not 100% sure about in one place – drawer contents, closet contents, etc., and I’ve found that taken out of their residing place, most if not all of those things look worn, unused, forgotten about and unnecessary and can be thrown away or given away. Start with one closet, and have a couple of bins next to you to sort. The whole moving process does feel like you’ve just been given an elephant to eat though, admittedly.

  35. 35
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Thanks! I’m heading out tomorrow morning, will easily make Alexandria by Tuesday evening for the BJ get-together there. Should be back in the ATL by around the 22nd or 23rd, and let’s do our too-long-delayed lunch (with KarenInGA if she’s back by then).

  36. 36
    the Conster says:


    The best way to travel is to move at a comfortable pace with the ability to adjust itinerary – retirement is perfect for that! I hope to get there one day too, but a few more years left until it works for me. I love that you’re doing a BJ commenter mission – no getting into political arguments, unless it’s about the importance of Hillary’s clothing choices. Have fun, and I’ll definitely want to meet up.

  37. 37
    Violet says:

    @Josie: In case you didn’t know, there is such a thing as a Senior Move Manager. They can help with any or all aspects of moves like yours. Planning, downsizing, getting started, packing, moving, whatever. Here’s a link to the organization and you can see if there’s one near you.

    Sometimes paying someone to help you do something is just the nudge you need to help you get started or do it. You might be able to hire someone just to help you with an approach. Moving can be overwhelming and the older you get the more overwhelming it can seem.

  38. 38
    Josie says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @the Conster:
    Thanks for the encouragement. When I moved to this small house, I avoided some throwing away by putting stuff in the large garage. Now I am faced with going through it. I may just hire someone to haul it all away without looking at it. I like the idea of emptying out drawers and closets and then going through everything. I will try that in the kitchen today.

  39. 39
    WereBear says:

    @Josie: My grandmother went from a huge house to an apartment, and then to assisted living. She found it difficult but focused on all the time and trouble she would save by NOT maintaining all that infrastructure.

    If it’s really important, it will live on in our memories. Things can ground and center us, or they can trap and ensnare us.

    Take it from one who has been through it (dramatically.) You might be going at it from the wrong angle. Try putting only your Kindle on the TO GO pile, and build from there.

  40. 40
    the Conster says:


    That’s a great idea – start small with one drawer. I started with my kitchen junk drawer, and got on a roll. By the time I got to one of the bigger closets, I was so over owning so much shit and became ruthless. The funny thing was, the second the stuff I threw away was gone, you could have put a gun to my head and I couldn’t have told you what was in the bags I threw out.

  41. 41
    Josie says:

    @Violet: What a great program! There are not any move managers near me, but there is good information and helpful tips on the web site. Thanks.

  42. 42
    Violet says:

    @Josie: You are so welcome. Check to see if there is one located in the place you are moving. They might also be able to help you. Senior Move Managers do move people long distances, as well as just across town, so some of them are accustomed to long distance moves and working at a distance.

    Glad the tips are helpful! It’s going to be a growing industry as baby boomers retire and downsize. There’s a big need for older adults who stayed in their homes and then a health crisis forces them to move. The house is a mess, the kids–if there are any–live in another state and help is needed. That kind of thing.

  43. 43
    Josie says:

    @WereBear: Lol. I am really dependent on my Kindle, since it is such an inexpensive form of entertainment – important when you are living on teacher retirement in Texas. I have, however, decided to discipline myself by only turning it on in the evening after I have worked on pitching stuff all day. I also need to stay off of the computer after my morning coffee.

  44. 44
    Violet says:

    @Josie: Set a timer when you decide to work on going through things. Do an hour, then take a break. Or two hours or whatever. But keep that timer ticking away to help you stay focused. It really is a matter of doing small bits every day and pretty soon you’ll notice you’ve done a lot of it.

  45. 45
    Botsplainer says:


    My wife has filled our walkin closet with outfits, handbags and shoes – I’ve appropriated an empty kid closet for me. She also brought home all of her mothers clothes after she passed (they were the same size). They’ve been inhabiting a third of the basement in a portable closet for the past 8 years, and aside from two furs, haven’t been worn.

    They also survived a visit from 1800-got-junk 3 years ago.

    I want another junk round. She doesn’t. There’s an entire storage room and shelves full of games, toys, undisplayed mementos, useless old books long past readability or use that need to go.

  46. 46
    Josie says:

    @Violet: The smaller planned blocks of time would work for me. I find that I don’t have the energy for an all day work marathon the way I used to do things. I can see a difference in energy and focus even from five years ago. I think that is one thing that has been bothering me about all this. I have always been very independent and able do everything from fixing stuff to gardening to moving furniture. Not so much any more. It is very frustrating, but one of the tips on the web site advised starting early and in small blocks of time and effort. I still have a month to get ready for the move, so I should be able to get it done.

  47. 47
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @the Conster:

    It really has — rather unexpectedly, but most pleasantly — turned into a BJ-centric trip! I’m delighted. Some of my best friends in the world are people I originally met online and only much later in meatspace. The friend I’m seeing in Maine is someone I’ve “known” for 15+ years (on a long-ago Dorothy L. Sayers/Lord Peter Wimsey discussion group), although this will be the first time IRL. As for political discussions, I’m pretty sure most of my friends share (broadly) my own views, so no worries there. It’s my RWNJ brothers I need to be careful around!

  48. 48
    Violet says:

    @Josie: It is frustrating the older we get how our energy isn’t quite the same. If you are noticing differences you might also consider a checkup just to make sure everything is okay. Maybe make that a priority once you’re moved–find a doctor in your new town and get a thorough workup.

    As for what you have to do now, see if you can find what times of day work for you and set about it at those times like a job. Like, “From 10 a.m. to noon is sorting and organizing time.” Block it out every day and keep at it. If it’s evenings or afternoons, do it then. Keeping a schedule can keep you on track.

    Since there are no Senior Move Managers near you, you might look into a Professional Organizer. They can help you sort through things or develop a strategy for how to do it. Or just check in with you once a week, even by phone. Professional Organizers vary in how they work and they offer all sorts of services. If something like that might help it could be worth a short term investment.

    Could one of your kids come for a weekend or a week or something to help you? It sucks to feel less independent but smart people also know when to ask for help. There have to be times where you asked for help–roofing your house or doing electrical work or doing taxes or fixing your car or something. It’s funny how we are okay hiring or paying people for those tasks but when it comes to going through stuff or moving or organizing we think we “should” be able to do it all ourselves. Sometimes hiring someone to help or getting friends or family in to help is the best move we can make.

  49. 49
    Steeplejack says:

    Vole Dander would be a good band name.

  50. 50
    the Conster says:


    Are you always surprised to see how someone in meatspace matches up to the one in your head? That first face to face moment is so fraught that I always worry about what my expression is registering, but I’m usually pre-disposed to like them if I know their views align with mine. I’ve winnowed down my meatspace friends to only those whose views I know don’t annoy me – especially if I know that they’re racist. My one and only good friend from the right side of the political spectrum has gone off the rails since she moved to bumfuck Oregon, and has put the “nut” in wingnut. I blocked her from my FB feed two years ago so I wouldn’t argue with her all the time, but she just sent me a crazy ranting FB message about my posts – I don’t even know what she’s talking about – that makes me think of Glenn Close and bunnies.

  51. 51
    muddy says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:I saw your comments about haggis. You ought be more careful when you say you are entirely open to my menus! Just this week I had tongue, and on another day lamb kidney pie. Just kidding, I like that stuff but don’t generally fix it for guests.

  52. 52
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    You’re quite right! I should have been much, much pickier in my answer! Sorry; I’ll attempt to be a lot more fussy in future ;-)

  53. 53
    Ruckus says:

    I use the same rule with a little addition. Do I use it? Will I use it in the next year? Do I have room for it? That last one has been a key over the last 2 yrs because the answer to #2 turns out too often to be maybe. And maybe is an unqualified YES to a pack rat.

  54. 54
    muddy says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Being extra picky will let you fit right into my family. They mostly have very strict preferences/”allergies”, and all conflicting with each other. Holiday meals are a nightmare.

    I eat just about anything that doesn’t taste like licorice. Haven’t knowingly eaten insects, can’t speak to that though. In my thoughts I would crunch them up with an open mind, but feeling the little legs in my mouth might provoke a more visceral reaction.

  55. 55
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @the Conster:

    Are you always surprised to see how someone in meatspace matches up to the one in your head? That first face to face moment is so fraught that I always worry about what my expression is registering, but I’m usually pre-disposed to like them if I know their views align with mine.

    Well, I would say I’m always very curious about how well, or not, they match the image in my head. But I don’t find the moment of meeting particularly worrying. I’m enough of a sappy Pollyanna that I really expect to like everyone, although the FSM knows that sometimes turns out to be a woefully misguided expectation.

  56. 56
    muddy says:

    I had to sort out my parent’s hoard when they died. What a nightmare. It made me determined not to leave such for my son. He might get to mock me for sorting and labeling too stringently – ha ha Mom was anal and OCD. I’m good at the sorting now, and often help friends/family with it.

    I start with 1) chuck, 2) move 3) keep. Chuck is easiest, things you can recycle or readily throw away. Move is divided into someone I know personally wants this, local charity thrift store etc wants this, I can/will sell this. Keep of course has categories too. Keep until death because heirs will want it, keep my favorite things that I currently actually used, keep because I’m pretty sure I will use it, etc. Store the categories separately.

    Once you have gotten a lot of things away, you can be more brutally honest about the very last one, when you admit that although it’s a swell idea, you are not actually going to get around to that.

  57. 57
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I have no allergies at all. Strong aversion to peanuts and peanut butter, although all other nuts are fine* and we’ve already covered the visceral organs. Please don’t worry about me or change anything — I’ve survived all these years eating, mostly, whatever is put in front of me.

    *(except wingnuts, of course)

  58. 58
    muddy says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: It’s a wingnut-free zone! The psycho neighbor moved away this week. Interesting about how the only horrible neighbor is the wingnut, isn’t it?

  59. 59
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Interesting about how the only horrible neighbor is the wingnut, isn’t it?

    Pretty sure that’s not a coincidence.

  60. 60
    satby says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Thanks! Wookie is a smuggler, and if I appear and don’t walk over to pet him he’s quite annoyed and lets me know. Momma is semi feral, but if no other cats are around she will come over for a skritch.

  61. 61
    sempronia says:


    You are extremely brave. Twenty years ago, we planted a wildflower seed mix that included morning glories. We’re still seeing their seedlings in the garden today, despite many aggressive attempts at morning glory genocide. I really liked the flowers (the seed pack included the common blue ones but also these spectacular ruby-and-white blossoms), but I just don’t dare replant these ever again. If I could keep them confined to a wall or pergola or something, I’d put them in again.

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