seedling

Rough Hands

Had a really straightforward day today. I mostly dug weeds out of the raised beds in the garden, shopped at the local farmer's market, planted my last four tomato plants, and went swimming with the boys. The spice of the day was making clay pot rice for lunch for Jet and I, it was simple enough now that I have an actual clay pot to cook it in and the rice on the bottom was good and crunchy. I have to say I loved that it was raining while we swam.

It's been a busy week, and I've been kind of having a creative tantrum. Or something. I finished Twin Souls, not just the last chapter but the postlude as well. The chapter is in incandescens' hands for beta, but I'm nesting on the postlude like a hen on eggs as I had to rewrite it a dozen times over before it finally felt right. Now it feels right. It'll be done. It's been a very long time coming, and I finally feel like it's really back in my voice again. So that's to the good, but it feels like I should be feeling more about it other than just... well.. protective. I'll share it, no problem, but it's interesting. I am also finally working on my next piece of Winter War, and there's only two big scenes left and then all the tasty postlude interludes, so there's incentive there, too, to finally finish.

Jet was also at a programming camp all week, so I had a few hours every day to just be with myself. And I had a few hours Thursday morning with Amber, who is writing with me on an every week basis in my own war room. If you have any desire to war with us on a once a week basis just tell me and I'll give you the chatzy invite, but the room's closed to anyone that's not a chatzy member, and I paid for premium, so I locked it from random visitors after someone came into comment about it not being used. We've written with her daughter and with one of my friends, but it's better when everyone participates.

I've also been chasing volunteers for some of the bigger jobs at the church, rounding up announcements every week, and wrestling with The Artist's Way, which is kicking my proverbial ass on the emotional planes. It's been good, but tiring and wringing out old emotions that are so bemusing when I find them that I really don't know what to do with them other than just feel them and let them go. It helps, oddly enough, to burn a candle or three in their name and when the candle's gone the emotions have burned themselves through, too.

I've now read all of Naruto the manga from beginning to end, and Jet and I are watching the anime through. We just got into Shippunden and are so happy that all the filler is done. We do three to six a day, so are going at an amazing rate through them, and it's a blast. But the tiny stuffy Gaara that I bought myself more than three years ago and I have been having long talks together. It's been fun, too. The characters themselves are pretty interesting to me, especially with the differences between generations and how they approach things and why they're different, and there's something about how easily Naruto himself trusts and believes in people that really strikes me as special.

Anyway... it's another interest... *laughs*

The garden is a bit of a mess from neglect on my part, since the snow and frosts went on so late, we were already at Memorial Day before we could possibly plant, and with the end of school, Jet's jazz band performance at the Dickens Opera House, and all the things that went with the change of schedules and I've been scrambling. Another great thing was a visit by Carl, where he ran Dungeon World for Jet, one of Jet's friends, and I. It was a blast, but pretty much ate most of a busy weekend when I had extra duties on Sunday, too. And then this last week the weather got into the 80's for several days, and the weeds went wild and the mosquitoes started swarming, ugh.

So it took all day for John and I to really clear the beds and I'm not quite done, yet. The fall and spring spinach are all bolted and gone. The sugar snap peas are providing already in abundance, the tomato plants I got in last week are already twice as big as their poor pot-bound brethren, and I was seizing over the idea of planting all five beds. I just don't have the time to do the work for all the beds. So we may just leave one fallow, leave another completely covered in wild strawberries (of which we get one or two before the birds get them), and just work the remaining three with my garlic, eight tomato plants, basil, zucchini, the sugar snap peas that are already established, and my old standby carrots. They all love full sun, pretty much, though this year I'm going to plant the Italian zucchini in the shade of the tomatoes because the full out Colorado sun seems to really crisp and brown the zucchini leaves. I actually want to see if a little more shade will help them do better.

So all the tomatoes are in. Yay! Now just for the zucchini, carrots, and basil, which is a seed job and getting a fine control of the weeds.

It was pretty hard work, as I have to really break up the soil to get all the weeds and their roots out and the new plants like it when I open the soil up for them, too. So when it was finally done, we went swimming. I had to shower in the pool's shower just to get all the mosquito repellent and sweat off, but actually getting to do laps in the warm pool under a quiet rain was far better than I imagined it would be. I love swimming in the rain, the feeling of the droplets on my back and head, and the sound of it underwater just soothes me. It chases every conscious thought from my brain, and just lets me feel.

I did, during the day, take the time to soak one cup of jasmine rice and marinate a chopped up skinless boneless chicken thigh in a tablespoon of dark soy with minced ginger and garlic. When Jet came home from fencing and was showering, I fried up a sliced, single Chinese sausage and then sauted the soaked rice in that until it was translucent. Then I poured a cup and a quarter of hot chicken broth in, and let it simmer until the liquid was even with the surface of the rice. The marinated chicken meat and sausage went on top with a big handful of chopped green onion and another double handful of fresh spinach leaves. The cover went on and it simmered for about ten minutes all together. Then I checked the chicken to see that it was cooked through, ate a few kernels of rice from the edge (which were perfectly done), and then I turned the heat on high for two minutes. It crisped the bottom of the rice beautifully.

Best of all, it was finished the minute Jet was done with his shower. So we sat down to watch Naruto and each ate half the recipe in one sitting. I think I now have a summer lunch that's just going to work much better than hot dogs or grilled cheese sandwiches. Jet loved the greens with the savory rice, so we're set. *laughs* I'll remember to take a picture of it next time, but it was really yummy.

I finally also managed to sit down and make a few phone calls for church things, and it's stuff I've been putting off because of all the busyness. I think it'll turn out all right, though, and people were receptive, which is always a good sign.

Yay garden! Its like our own solar power plants...which produces, um, plants?