Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Heartbreak on Tomato Ridge - more tales from my balcony garden

The gardening gods conspire against me ... aphids, withering heat, smog and wind have all played a role in my balcony garden woes. I finally beat back the last of the aphids, admittedly, I think yesterday's furious winds might have blown away most of the stragglers. But holy cats… when those little bastards entrench themselves, they don’t give up. I finally uprooted a bit of oregano and surrounded two afflicted peppers … yes, they are up to their leaves in leafy, lush herbs. I also go out and prune the garlic chive moat around the other pepper. Since doing that, there hasn’t been a sighting on any of the peppers. I’ve taken to muttering “I love the smell of chives in the morning”.

The morning glory has been a different beast! That was the last aphid bastion and they stubbornly clung to every leaf. I soaked some tomato leaves in water and sprayed the leaves for days and days and days… each time they reappeared, I’d blast them. Finally, my balcony is aphid free! Mr Morning Glory is looking quite robust and aggressive. It’s now hanging down onto the balcony below, looking for more things to grab onto.

But … sigh ….

I’m in mourning ….

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Finally! One of my balcony roses

I finally snagged a good photo of the rose bush growing on my balcony:

Photo of rose growing on my balconyMy rose bush has come along beautifully this summer. It's popping blooms all over. Really, really pleased with it. I'm going to wrap it up in burlap this winter and tuck it into a corner of the balcony. Maybe it might survive.

No idea why it's such a hard rose to get a photo of. Almost all the ones I've taken have been are all over saturated. But, victory at last.

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Of aphid wars, mutant lettuce and balcony potatoes

It’s been a bit of an odd week around here. I’ve been trying to figure out a schedule for posting on the mighty Bitter Grounds… and like a noob, I spent so much time deciding on a schedule, I didn’t get around to publishing anything. Okay not one of my more stellar weeks. I’m doomed to remain mildly disorganised.

…. and ….. they’re back … aphids. ****ing aphids. They’ve taken up residence in one of the peppers. The others have remained untouched. I think they set up a fun fair on the leaves, complete with little Ferris wheels and bumper cars. They seem impervious to everything I’ve tried so I found a lady bug to put on the pepper, thinking I was tempting it with an aphid buffet. The ungrateful little sod wandered around the plant a few minutes and then buggered off. Guess my aphids weren’t good enough for him … her ..?? how do you sex a lady bug? I’ll have to plan my next moves carefully. I suspect the aphids have hazmat suits. That’s the only explanation for their stubborn resistance.

However, my other peppers are beginning to actually look like peppers:

Photo of pepper plants growing on my balcony

A wind storm blew off some of the markers so I haven’t a clue which pepper is which. It’ll be an adventure in the kitchen.

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Read more: Of aphid wars, mutant lettuce and balcony potatoes

Do it yourself smart phone kits - an idea ahead of it's time. #humour

I was thinking about some of the cockeyed ideas I had yesterday while I was basting on the subway and revisited the stickers for "do it yourself smartphone kits". I made a mock ad for them:

Image for a mockup ad for do it yourself smart phone kits

I just might get these made up as vinyl stickers and sell them. Would be great stocking stuffers. What do you think?  Instant smart phone service... just add imagination and a good set of lungs.

 

 

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A brainstorming session that went off the rails yesterday

I unexpectedly rec’d my first donation Wednesday evening. When the donation came in, I did a little happy dance, which, if captured on video, would be very embarrassing. Yup, I look like Snoopy doing his supper time dance. Yesterday I began to think of different ways to thank future donors and patrons (if nothing, I’m an incorrigible optimist). While trapped on the subway yesterday morning, in yet another mysterious holding pattern, my mind wandered over a number of possible options. It must have been a bit hotter than I realised. I’ve been looking over my ideas and ... seriously … Toronto you need to improve the air-conditioning on the TTC, we could have cooked rotisserie chickens down there. If my scribbles and weirdness are an indication, I must have been suffering from a bit of heat stroke.

The exercise started off innocently enough – a small thank you sent to people who subscribe or donate, hopefully something that can be nipped along via email. At one point the heat must have overwhelmed my brain cells and popped a few synapses. Here were some of my more coherent ideas:

A scribbled picture of me smiling. Yes, I drew a stick person complete with the words “O_o snicker”. I actually apologise for that one… profusely.

Certificates to give friends with built in snarky comments. This one actually has merit. I could design an entire series of Snark-o-grams that can be printed at any time.

Spray off – a spritzer bottle with “anti politician” spray in it. No idea … just … no idea whatsoever what this means.

Another scribbled drawing, this time of a coffee cup and a stick cat. Once again “I’m sorry”.

A scribbled drawing of a mobile phone captioned “This smart phone never crashes. Just tape it to a tin can, use string to connect to similar can and bingo – free phones”. No ... no… oh so no, no.

A t-shirt :“Proud patron of Bitter Grounds Magazine

                                … and no I’m not the publishers mother” That one still gives me the giggles. I must have seen it somewhere, because it rings a bell.

Buttons with the cat stamp logo I use. That one isn’t actually nutty. But that was pretty early in the brain stem meltdown. I looked at this idea last night and think it might be a keeper. 

You know, it might be fun doing a few give aways in the future as well. I thought about it earlier, but put it on the back burner while I worked on developing the content categories and developed a readership. It might be time to investigate this seriously with readership slowly climbing each week. But in the meantime, I’ll simply say “Thank you to all of my readers” and “Thank you to George for the generous donation”. Both mean a great deal and gives me the encouragement to keep writing and publishing.

Don't forget to wander by my new Facebook page and hit that like button. https://www.facebook.com/bittergroundsmagazine/ 

… but no scribbled pictures of stick women & cats .. sometimes you just have to draw the line somewhere.

 

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"Writing is not life, but I think that sometimes it can be a way back to life."

- Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

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Where's humour

If you want to see previous Humour entries, I've saved them for you -> http://bittergrounds.com/index.php/they-asked-what

I've decided to move it under the umbrella of Memoirs, which is the kitchen sink of all things.

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