Hello there! I hope you’re doing well and staying safe. I know things are kind of all over the place again. Wherever you are I’m praying for you and hope that you see and hear the things you need to in order to hold some peace of mind. I hope that when you need strength you find it. When you need love, it comes to you. All in all, I’m praying for the world and that this year ends on a good note.
To help you all with that I’m going to focus on some shout outs of sorts in this post. I’ve been wanting to do a post for a long time seeing as I haven’t. I’ve got a lot of plans and ideas but, well I have a lot of plans and ideas and I’ve come to realize that I’m really only one person and there really only is 24 hours in a day. Some days though it feels like maybe we’re getting cheated out of an hour or two. 😉
Okay so update on my stuff and then some YouTube shout outs because I am YouTube obsessed.
Here’s What’s Update! Reading
- Currently listening to Kindred by Octavia E. Butler on Audible, narrated by Kim Staunton
Finished Listening to (sorry for the repeats):
- The Diary of A Bookseller by Shaun Bythell, Audible, memoir – 4 stars
- Rogue (Talon, #2) by Julie Kagawa, Audible, fantasy, YA – 3 stars
- Solider (Talon, #3) by Julie Kagawa, Audible, fantasy, YA – 4 stars
- Summer Frost by Blake Crouch, Audible, sci-fi, short story – 3 stars
- The Bone Jar (Detective Lew Kirby, #1) by S.W. Kane, e-book, mystery, thriller, Goodreads giveaway win – 4 stars
- Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo, Audible, YA, contemporary – 5 stars
- The Lathe of Heaven By Ursula K. Le Guin, Audible, Sci-fi, fantasy – 4 stars
The Bone Jar I won through a Goodreads’ Giveaway and I’m glad I did. I thought it was a well written and captivating story. Some reviewers thought there was way too much going on, which in all fairness there was a lot to follow but I kind of liked that about it because it was done well. I think it made me pay even more attention. I do recommend this to fans of mystery and thriller. I will read more of the Detective Lew Kirby books and those of the author S.W. Kane as they come out.
Clap When You Land was well worth the hype, if that’s your type of book that is. I highly recommend it and I recommend to listen to the audio because one of the narrators (narrated by two people, each acting out one of the girls) is the author.
The Lathe of Heaven and Summer Frost were my first reads of Ursula K. Le Guin and Blake Crouch. I plan to continue reading their work although I’m feeling like maybe these books weren’t such great picks for me as first reads. Luckily I’ve heard a lot of great things by both of them. But don’t get me wrong, they weren’t bad books at all they just didn’t get me really excited. The Lathe of Heaven was pretty fascinating and very original but I didn’t love the pacing. Summer Frost, well let me first say I’m not all about A.I. so I may not be the best candidate to speak on this book but it felt meh, kind of been there done that. When the story went the way I was expecting I was disappointed. But it was a short story so it definitely deserves credit for what it did in that space.
Here’s What’s Update: Writing
It’s that time of year NaNoWriMo! Okay it’s been that for about 20 days now. I didn’t get started until the 8th but I am 5k shy of being on track for my goal of 50k words. Not bad for joining about a week late. My current word count is 23,312 words. That count is in addition to the over 150k words I already have for my novel. Much of which will get cut. That’s just part of the job. 😉
I’ve done some virtual write-ins (which I never did in previous years) and a lot of word sprints. This year’s competition has really helped me get back into my seat when it comes to my novel. The write-ins, prompts, and sprints have helped me to make progress and get into some new content in the story. So far so good!
Here’s What’s Update: In the Life of My Garden
As you might well suspect the gardening season is, for the most part, over. I would say I had a pretty successful year and that includes my failures because I learned so so much. I can’t wait for next year, let me tell you, I am stoked!
That said, I am still gardening in the third week of November in Zone 6a. We’ve had some snow come and go (just a bit) and definitely had light and hard frosts. We’ve also had some really beautiful weather. The things I’m still growing are beets, a variety of kale, carrots, radishes, pak choy and mint. Not all of them are doing awesomely, they’re growing really slow what with the reduced light and colder temps. I’m not sure how successful they’ll be in the long run but we’ll see.
I built two hinged hoop houses over my 4×4 raised bed and the 6×4 foot bed. (Thank you to the Gardening Channel with James Prigioni for showing me how to do it). The latter I will put two layers on. The smaller bed will actually contain four grow bags because I had already planted them and the seedlings are super tiny. I could have just scrapped them and started over but I didn’t want to do that and I thought it could be a really interesting experiment. My mint is growing in the actual bed itself and should sit nice and snug between the bags. Mint is a resilient plant I learned.
In the 6×4 bed I recently sowed a bunch of seeds for romaine, spinach, sorel and more. I’m not sure if it’s warm enough outside for them to germinate but we’ll see. If they don’t I’ll grow them inside then transfer out. I’m determined to try and grow greens through the winter. Yes I will shovel myself a path.
In my first and largest bed, 4x8ft, I still have some radishes growing very slowly. Also my mizuna mustard greens are not only still growing they’re also still in flower! Isn’t that cool? Through many frosts, light snow, and high winds those little yellow flowers are still going strong and unbeknownst to me until yesterday, they smell delicious! They remind me of a hyacinth. Oh they’re lovely. They bolted many months ago and I just let them go to flower and then to seed. Well I finally got to harvest some seeds yesterday. It’s pretty dang cool how many seeds come off these things. I didn’t even use the packet up this spring and now I have hundreds more! (Never mind how many I dropped as I wasn’t trying to be careful.)
The rest of that bed I covered in mulched leaves. My leaf blower also doubles as a mulching vacuum which comes in super handy when you want to mulch and for composting. I added a lot of these mulched leaves to my compost as well as my worm bins. I also have a flower bed that I planted spring bulbs in (Meijer 50% off). That bed too was covered in leaf mulch. And instead of raking my leaves to the curb I mulched them over my lawn. Cool stuff!
My worm bins are doing alright in the basement. My European Nightcrawlers confuse me because I always happen to find several dead every week. I don’t know if they’re dying of old age, I know some have had protein poisoning but it’s annoying. They also really stink, badly. I recently wetted the shredded cardboard/paper I have on top and that might help. The blue bin though will stay dry on top. The ENCs have had a population explosion though some are always dying, there are tons of baby worms.
My next project for vermicomposting is to extract the small amount of red wigglers I have in the blue bin and start them in their own bin. They can coexist and work together however I like the idea of starting them in their own bin and growing their population.
I know I promised you pictures forever ago, but in truth I’ve been super busy and as you can see I’ve not been posting forever. In fact this post comes at the sacrifice of my NaNo novel time but I really wanted to update you.
Here’s What’s Update: YouTube Shout Outs
I plan to go into more detail with this in the future. I’ll also add more information to my People to check out page and expand on that. Right now the title is centered on Podcasts but it’s going to be so much more. These YouTubers that I follow with regard to gardening have taught me a lot. I owe much of my progress to them. I know I’ve mentioned some before but I’ll put the list here. Some of them I’m new to following and they’re a small channel but I want to get their names out there to help them grow.
YouTube Channels to Check out:
- Books With Emily Fox
- Gardner Scott
- Simplify Gardening
- The Gardening Channel with James Prigioni
- Roots and Refuge
- Marty’s Garden
- Whispering Willow Farms
- WhyteDavy Gardening and Worm Farm
- London Worms and Garden
- The Ultimate Recycler
- Dee Worms Vermicomposting
- Gary Pilarchik (The Rusted Garden)
I’ll be adding more and updating this in the near future. This is not a complete list of who I’d like to share. Some of these channels are teaching channels and others are just folks sharing what they do with you. Both are great and necessary in my opinion.
Okay that’s it for now. Stay safe and well. Please do comment about anything you read here. Let me know if you currently follow any of these YouTubers, have read any of the books, are a gardener or a worm farmer. I’d love to hear from you.
Have a great weekend!