(Cheesy French accent)
Oh, my loooooovely seeds. How I cannot wait to plant you. We will spend byootiful days in dee sun too-geh-zair. And then we will sit too-geh-zair at zee din-air table, where I will enjoy your sweet fruits of looooove.
(/Cheesy French accent)
Also, FYI, there's some updates to the Charity Knitting pages. In fact, Allison is posing with her new scarf right over there to the left in the featured item slot. Bid! Give money! Feel like a good samaritan!
Since a Mr. PenguinX
asked what the latest news was on the model, I thought I'd put up a quick update.
Practically as soon as Paul put up his concepts, he got several emails from modelers in the community asking if they could model her. He told them that as long as I was given the rights to distribute the model, he was fine with people taking a stab at modeling her.
One modeler in particular has really made some progress on her. So much so that this is probably going to be the first model to be released based on the concepts. I think it's fantastic work, especially the z-brush pass on her horns on the second page, which is where I snagged the pic from. (By the way, the page contains nudity and copious discussions of nudity. You've been warned.)
Arshlevon is doing fantastic work. I've emailed him to let him know how much I love the model so far and I'll be promoting her here as soon as he's done with her.
More on the comic as it progresses. And it's definitely progressing...Paul has done all the roughing out of the comic pages and is now working on the detailed line work. Progress!
Last summer I had so much fun having a garden. Granted, it was a tiny plot of dirt that only grew three things: watermelon, squash, and peppers. I also had a tomato plant off to the side of the house. But it was successful, something I wasn't completely expecting. It's funny...I've never liked tomatoes, but it's amazing how good one will suddenly taste when you've grown it yourself.
I've been spending the winter months planning out Caryn's Garden 2.0. In doing this, I've had to balance out Len's enthusiasm for what he wants to cook and eat in the kitchen with what Im capable of growing as a novice gardener and what we have room for. We've decided that the plot will be a 40' x 12' area in the backyard that gets good sun, with one end of it getting decent shade for the plants that need it. I've spent a lot of time and effort deciding on what I'm going to grow, although I don't know why as it seems like there isn't anything I'm not planning on growing. A couple of weeks ago I graphed out my garden idea and figured out what was going to go where, carefully cross-referencing each vegetable in The Garden Primer, a great book for beginners on gardening.
The book keeps cautioning that you should start small and slowly work your way up. Naturally I'm not going to do this, for two reasons. The first reason is that Len has requested everything under the sun and balks at the mere mention of not growing it due to space or effort constraints. I'm working hard at explaining to him that just because you want to grow something doesn't mean that something is going to cooperate for a variety of reasons -- you may not have adequate climate conditions, you may not have the space and you have to pick and choose what you want to grow to fit in there, and also that you can't just throw a bunch of seeds in the garden and expect them to grow. Growing two types of tomatoes or peppers without careful planning and set up can result in cross-pollination, which will give you sterile plants if you get anything at all. Lettuce is a cold-weather plant and can't tolerate heat above 70 degrees; the 95 degree Wisconsin summer will ruin any lettuce we plant, so it has to be planned for either very early spring or late fall and winter, and all of this depends on the workability of the soil. After some explanation, I think he's started to get it.
The second reason is that I really do want a big garden that I can work on during the weekends. I enjoyed having my little My First Garden, but it was practically maintenance-free. With the exception of the daily waterings I had nothing to do. There were days that summer where the weather was beautiful and I wanted to badly to go outside and sit in the garden and do things. What things? I have no idea. I wanted to garden. They say there's a lot of effort involved and I wanted to be involved in it, but it wasn't happening.
With the garden I'm planning now, I'll have plenty to do, and I've even made up a planting calendar so I know what gets started in the ground and how far from the first frost date, what gets started indoors, and what has to wait to get sown in the summer so that we get some good fall crops.
Another challenge I'm putting on myself that may make this garden hard work is that I'm only growing heirlooms. Heirlooms are strains of vegetables or flowers that are not hybrids and are sometimes in danger of being lost as a species. By growing these, you help preserve the genetic variety of the vegetable world. And I'm always all about natural foods, so not growing hybrids or genetically altered plants sounds better to me. There are so many varieties of really wicked looking heirloom vegetables, and the fact that you can save the seeds to refine your crop from year to year is really enticing. Today I bought all my seeds from Seed Savers Exchange. In many cases, especially with tomatoes and peppers, it was really hard to narrow it down to just one or two varieties to grow. Here's what I plan to grow:
- Scarlet Nantes carrots
- Hillybilly Potato Leaf tomatoes
- Wisconsin 55 tomatoes
- Beam's Yellow Pear tomatoes
- Delicata winter squash (which I can get from the local nursery)
- Criss Cross watermelons
- King of the North bell peppers (Bell peppers are one of my favorite veggies!)
- Purple Beauty bell peppers
- Orange Thai hot peppers
- Brittle Wax pole beans
- Jacob's Cattle dry bean
- Early Fortune cucumbers
- Black Beauty zucchini
- Golden zucchini
- Golden Bantam corn (this one's going to be an experiment; I'm not planting very much so I may get low yield, but I want to try)
- Purple Top White Globe turnips
- Detroit Dark Red beet
- Burpee's Golden beet
- Yugoslavian Red Butterhead lettuce
- America spinach
- DeCiccio broccoli
- Arikara sunflowers (for the tasty seeds)
Wow, that's a lot. But I've been doing planning and research and I think I can handle it, and I'm really looking forward to having a garden I can tend on the weekends. And besides, doesn't the thought of all those gorgeous vegetables on your plate direct from your garden make your mouth water?
So over a week ago I started coming down with what I thought was a cold. I don't like running off to doctors at the sign of a sniffle, so I let it run its course thinking that in about three days I'd start feeilng better. That didn't happen. After about eight days I was still getting worse. And Len had whatever it was, too. Then this morning at about 4 a.m. I woke up feeling fluid in my ears. When I moved, I felt a crackling and then a POP! and a clear, sticky fluid came out of my ears.
Stuffy nose? Eh, it's a cold. Fluid leaking out of your ears? Proooobbbbably a sign that you should see a doctor. A call to the nurse's hot line confirmed this.
So we trundled in and found out that yes, I have a perforated eardrum, which was caused by a sinus infection coupled with developing walking pneumonia.
I hope I didn't infect any of my coworkers this week.
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