Friday, March 21, 2014

In the Garden--Just a note to say hi!

Miss me?

I've been doing a ton of things lately, lots of them quite good things, but I have been away.

In no particular order, I've been

1) Writing for FanboyNation and working on some behind-the-scenes web maintenance, including editing 1,000 posts to allow for better customization on the image display and changing the menu. Also, I've reviewed a number of good books and comic books, discovering Valiant Comics in the process; I love what they're doing with Unity and X-O Manowar, and I'm every bit as curious about Rai as they want me to be. Stop by and take a look.

2) Spending a lot (a lot!) of time playing Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age: Awakening, both of which I enjoyed thoroughly, though I do have some philosophical issues with story choices and world design that I may or may not end up blogging about. I have started a review, but it keeps sprawling out all over the place and trying to turn itself into other essays, so it's anyone's guess whether I'll actually write it--especially given the above reviews! Short version: Fun, has some unexpected twists and great companions, but also has a truly dark bent, doesn't really keep to the player's compact which, like the detective story promise claims that the case can be solved. Also has one nasty potential triggering moment midway through the Deep Roads that didn't need to be there at all. And, I still do want to play DA II sometime. My current computer's not up to it, though (even some of the DA I fights were a balance between defeating the enemy and defeating it in such a way that my computer didn't crash in the process--lots of pausing), so it will be a while, and by that point, DA III will likely have been out for years.

3) Reading through almost all of Tamora Pierce's work in one tumultuous go. This got started because she wrote a short story in the second Legends of Red Sonja. I love what Gail Simone is doing there--she got a number of fantasy authors to write short stories in an ongoing larger tale.

4) Spring cleaning! I don't know why Spring should especially be a cleaning sort of time, but it's traditional, and I got the bug and reorganized and cleaned the hall closets. It was oddly satisfying, but does mean not blogging.

5) Gardening. It's spring!

Sadly, the world around here is not puddle-wonderful, but we had two days of good, steady rain and it softened the dirt enough and got me busy weeding and clearing and planting. There are even new roses now! The selection includes the researched and cross-referenced careful choice of Yves Piaget, and the "but it's gorgeous!" choice of Dark Night (no scent, but stunning!). Also, there's a Rock & Roll bush in there now, picked on the basis of scent and because one parent is George Burns. I did check the canes for thorns first, though. It is a beautiful rose and I love it, but I'm pretty sure that somewhere back in George Burns' past is a cutting from Sleeping Beauty's hedge.

Also, there are artichokes, lovely Purple Romagne artichokes that have just started blooming.

So--I shall try to review here more often, really I shall! But it's spring, and puddle-wonderful or not, the garden beckons.

This all does mean, though, that the Link Lists are indefinitely suspended. They're great fun, but they are definitely the most time-consuming type of post. Most of the links I would post here are shared on Twitter and Pinterest, though without the commentary.

I leave you with some images from the garden.

Purple Romagna Artichoke. It's beautiful and tasty both. Sadly, it loses its color when cooked.

A Chris Evert Rose. The color is amazing; in real life, it's nearly flourescent. It's got a great scent, too.

I've had several generations of nasturtium in the garden. Every now and again, I buy a new package of seeds when something catches my eye. It's fun to see how they hybridize. This is one of my favorites.

A Double Delight, one of my favorite roses!


  1. I didn't know artichokes came in purple! How pretty!

    1. I have to confess--I didn't either until these came up! I grabbed a package of seeds that I thought were Green Globe. Then, these showed up, and I looked again at the package: It had TWO kinds of seed, Green Globe and Purple Romagna. The purples grew, and I am glad.