Sunday, July 24, 2011



Things have been a bit slow at work, so I took two days off last week. I managed to get some more of the siding-boards for our house scraped, but it didn't feel like I made a dent in the pile. Our neighbors must hate us, because our house is so trashy-looking. Robb and I are determined to get this project finished before the neighborhood block party. Goodness knows, I'm sick of the piles of boards, clogging up our driveway, and the sloppy tar-paper "siding" on our house.

I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but this past week, I had my first professional haircut since Robb broke his back. That's over FIVE YEARS, people. I'm not sure what happened to me, but somewhere along the line, a switch was flipped in my brain, and I stopped taking proper care of myself. It was really weird at first. I'd drive Robb to all sorts of doctors' appointments, but I wouldn't take myself to the dentist. I think that this was some kind of crazy survivor's guilt, stemming from Robb's paralysis. I suspect that another part of this was my sinus infection that went undiagnosed for three years.

Anyway, this was crazy, and had to stop. I had long since resumed seeing my delightful dentist, but I really needed a haircut, and I wanted to cover up all the grey hairs that sprouted when Robb was in the hospital. I got exactly the hairstyle that I wanted, from a lovely stylist.

While the haircut was perfect, the dye-job looked cheap and fake. I looked like Severus Snape's curly-haired sister. And after half a day of scowling at myself in the mirror, I called the salon and scheduled an emergency re-visit. They graciously fixed my hair for free. Much better!

This weekend, I dug up a lot of the calla lilies in our back yard. As much as I like these flowers in February, they are a terrible space-hogging snail breeding ground. They take up a huge amount of room in our tiny garden. Because they're right up front, they look like hell when the leaves die back. I'm going to give this batch to my across-the-street neighbor, who actually wants them. If anyone else wants some calla lily bulbs, leave me a message on the blog Don't be shy.

I also dug up on of my two "hot lips" sage plants, which I had foolishly planted in the vegetable garden. I like the idea of including ornamental flowering plants in the garden, but I totally underestimated how huge the sage would become. For the moment, I've stuck this plant into a large pot, and will trundle it around the garden, until I figure out where it wants to live.

After digging up the garlic, shallot, sage, and lilies, the garden looks pretty sad and sparse. At this time of year, most local gardens would be crammed with tomatoes and peppers. Alas, since my violent allergy to hot peppers progressed into an allergy to all members of the nightshade family, we no longer grow these staples of the summer garden.

Robb and I drove around to several garden centers this weekend, and I bought a plants to fill a few voids, notably scarlet runner beans, and parsley. I also got some cosmos and alysum, for the bees.

We've got our "six-pack" seed starters soaking in a sanitizing solution (something from Robb's beer-brewing stash, I think) and I'll be starting my autumn seeds soon. I would have started them today, but I was hit with a head-cold, and have next to no energy or focus. (I know that this blog post reflects my lack of mental focus. Oh well...)

I'm feeling rotten and have been mooching around the house in my jammies. Robb is being a total sweetie-pie. He's making lemon verbena ice cream from the gigantic bush in our back yard. And at my request he's making a turnip gratin. I'm desperately missing potatoes, and thought this might be a decent substitution.

I'd better be feeling better tomorrow, because we have a huge project at work that needs to be finished in two days.

Sorry about the discombobulated blog post. I'm a mess, right about now.


Kristen said...

For a while I thought I had a lemon verbena and I got all excited about ways to eat it, but it turned out it was lemon balm. It keeps off mosquitoes, and you can make a quasi-medicinal tea out of it, but that takes work. I suppose I could plant a verbena and stop whining about the fact that I don't have one...

Point is, I hope your ice cream is lovely. Nom.

Anonymous said...

While not entirely a cure for your missing potatos, I'll recommend mashed cauliflower for a substitute. Add a little garlic and Parmigiano-Reggiano to taste. Wonderful!

Hope you feel better sooner than later,

Anonymous said...

Thanks Lisa.....just read up on the nightshade family and discovered that potatoes were in it and adversely affect arthritis....and my daughter has rheumatoid. She eats LOTS of mashed potatoes.

michelle said...

I can't believe I haven't been by to check your blog in ages, it's always so interesting, even when you're having a bad day. How devastating to have to give up nightshades - no tomatoes, peppers, or eggplant - aaaugh! You might try celery root as a potato substitute, it makes a great gratin. Hope you feel better soon.

Anonymous said...

Saw the comment about the "hot lips" sage. That is one of my very favorite plants in the garden! I prune it every year and it is completely evergreen (probably is at your home as well). It is one of the best plants I brought from our move and it, along with the rosemary, are the first nectar plants for bees in february!

Karen Anne said...

I wonder if now that your sinus infection is cleared up, if you would react to the problem foods the same way. I imagine the infection was raising hob with your mouth and throat tissues.


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