Last week was dreadful. It was hotter than Satan's oven, and I had the last of those articles to finish copyediting, and my office is on the top floor of an attic apartment with windows facing southweset, and it is hard to think when all of those factors conspire against you at the same time. But luckily, it cooled off a bit over the weekend and is now delightfully overcast, so my brain is functioning properly again and I can tell you all about all the non-thinking things I have done in the meanwhile.
Due to the mind-numbing heat, I have had to be extra-vigilant about watering my balcony plants. I don't know what this is, but I got it as a little gift from a guest, and I bunged it in the pot with the walnut tree and the dead mice for want of a better place for it, yet it is thriving there.
I have a variety of flowers growing from seeds, none of which I know the name of.
This is some cilantro I let get away from me. Apparently, you are supposed to use it before it puts out flowers. The leaves near the flowers don't taste good, but maybe there are still some bigger leaves lower down that are still edible. John is making guacamole tonight, and baby needs some cilantro for it!
Someday, this will be chamomile. Right now, it is just some disgusting green stuff. God help us if that is how the tea is supposed to taste. (I don't drink it anyway, but John does.)
There's also the mystery citrus plant. Every year, I drag it indoors in the fall, and it gets scraggly and droopy and its leaves fall off if you look at them, and I do a little creative snipping on it, and when spring comes, I drag it out on the balcony and say, "The hell with it." Then it puts out a bunch of healthy leaves that you can't get off with pliers. Still no fruit, though.
Here's another victim of my long-term gardening. This poinsettia still has a few faded pink leaves from when I successfully forced it this last winter. And look--a bud!
Finally, we have the biggest disappointment of my 2010 gardening attempts. Looking at the thick, healthy leaves, you'd think I was well on my way to a motherlode of flowers. Well, you'd be wrong. Wondering what was up with the mystery plants (because I always neglect to label the planters), I dug out the seed packets I had saved and discovered I had planted carnations. Yay! Carnations! My favorite flowers! And then turned over the packet to discover they only put out flowers in the second year. What a blow.
After I got my editing sent off Friday evening, I devoted myself to a weekend full of watering and cleaning. John was disappointed on Saturday that I would rather stay at home with a bunch of cat fuzz and caustic chemicals than go swimming with him, but really, the house needed it and I had been planning it for half of the week. It takes me that long to build up to these things. John didn't give me half a week to embrace the idea of swimming, which I don't care for that much to start with. Plus, he was happy to have been gone when I told him that Cry-Baby came on tv, AND I WATCHED IT. Luckily, I had a lot of stuff already sprayed or washed and drying, so I could devote myself to the deliciousness that is a young Johnny Depp. I must have watched this movie once a week the whole time I was preggers with Hannah and during her infancy (I think Jooge turned me on to it--how can I thank you enough?!), so it is probably melded with her DNA somehow. Anyhow, when I wasn't getting all hot and bothered over Johnny Depp in his tighty whiteys (let that image sink in, ladies), I was scrubbing the shit out of bathrooms and the kitchen. Major spring cleaning type stuff.
On Sunday, Cry-Baby came on again, so Hannah got to enjoy the beauty of it first hand (she had accompanied a friend shopping on Saturday and so missed out on the glory). John avoided it by washing the dishes, slowly and thoroughly. Afterward, I put together a new bookcase and got my side of the closet a little bit neater by moving all the books out of it and into the new bookcase. I also got my office neatened up now that the one project was over but before I got back to the other project. It made it nice to get back to work this morning.
Then Hannah wanted me to cut her hair. I told her that she'd have to get in the shower right after dinner if she really wanted me to do it. Normally she has achieved a mind meld with the television at that point and requires a blasting cap to get her moving, but I must have come across as sufficiently serious for her to get a move on. She has thick hair, like her dad, and she was getting annoyed with "sweaty neck", so off it came, all but a section that she is braiding and pushing behind her ear so she looks like a Padawan learner.
I'm sure there are other things I've forgotten, but I need to go start dinner, so farewell, friends and loved ones, for now.