Let me begin by updating y’all on my post-surgery situation. Two weeks after I went under the laparoscopic knife, I’m back in action. Besides, my veggies are starting to hunt for white flags, so I’ve gotta get moving on the weed front.
We had storms Tuesday night that knocked down the potato plants and toppled a few of the tomatoes in their cages. I went out on Wednesday after work to assess the damage. Yep, me and squadrons of blood-suckers. Argh. No wind along with the tropical heat and humidity were perfect picnic conditions for those nasty little vampires. I hate mosquitoes. Really hate them. I do, however, love dragonflies, so I suppose we can’t get rid of all the mosquitoes, because then what would the dragons eat?
Managed to get the tomatoes upright and trimmed. Yes, trimmed. They get unruly if left to their own devices. Remember, they are vines, so I figure I can hack away. It’s not like they’re gonna die or anything. Got a few green tomatoes so far, but it’ll be a while before I can pick them.
Boy, neglecting the garden for a couple weeks gives the weeds a free pass. Sheesh. The pigweed is a foot tall, and the cheeseweed and crabgrass are racing to see who can set seed first. The shaggy soldier is everywhere, but it pulls the easiest, along with the velvetleaf. Even found a shoot of Virginia creeper trying to sneak in. Stinging nettle is always fun to find–not. And quackgrass and dandelions are belligerent staples. Nutsedge is trying to get a foothold, but I’m on to it.
Ugh. I reserve the right to avenge my veggies. I’ve got purslane everywhere, and after two weeks, it’s carpeting the garden. It’s low-growing, so I don’t attack it until I’ve got the taller stuff under control. Heh, I’ve got just the thing. The stuff is edible (as are most of my weeds, including the crabgrass, I discovered), and quite tasty. Kinda tastes like asparagus (thought I was going to say chicken, didn’t ya?) Since my spinach didn’t come up this year after seeding a few times (except for two spindly plants), and my kale is still MIA after seeding at least 3 times, I figure I might as well substitute a weed. I’m waiting for the lamb’s quarters (another weed) to get big enough to bother harvesting (used like spinach until spinach became prevalent). I’m itchin’ for fresh veggies, and my zucchini is not quite ready for the first harvest.
So, purslane it is.
Nip the stems, leaves and all. Grab a couple handfuls. Wash well, saute in butter, add a dash or two of garlic salt (i.e., prep just like spinach or kale). Voila! It’s super-nutritious, too. Less furry than nettle, and not bitter like dandelion can be. (Nettle, by the way, isn’t bad, if you can get past the fuzzy.)
Word of warning: if someone is spraying weedkiller, for heaven’s sake, don’t eat the weeds. I don’t use any weedkiller unless it’s unavoidable (Virginia creeper and creeping Charlie come to mind, though I just found out creeping Charlie is edible). I know my purslane is “organic”. Same goes if a pet might be peeing on it. (I know, I shouldn’t have to say, but common sense seems to be less and less prevalent these days.)
Kids are home, which adds that dynamic back into the mix. I did manage to spend a couple hours on my WIP, trimming and tightening. I need to cut almost 10k words, so I’m looking for scenes to whack. So where’s the frustration, you ask? Well, trying to choose scenes to cut, for one.
Ever get to the point on a project where you’re so flipping tired of it? As in, just burn the damn thing. Not me, at least not with my WIP. My contemporary fantasy novel, however, is warming a dark corner of a drawer for now. One of my writing sisters is at that point with her project. I get it. Boy, do I ever.
So what do you do? Pout? Scream? Swear off writing? No. Start something different. Like, completely different. Your YA science fiction novel getting you down? Try a cozy mystery. Historical romance? Try an urban fantasy, vampires optional. Work on a short story, or series of shorts, if your novel is making you crazy. If shorts are your pain point, try something longer. Try poetry. Try a memoir.
Don’t. Stop. Writing. If you are a writer, you can’t. Find something new to work on. Start outlining that coming-of-age-in-Edwardian-England book inspired by (fill in name of British drama here).
And add some purslane to your menu.
Oh, for those tracking the orphans, we’ve still got them, but I did put an ad in the local paper this week. And I’ll save you the torture of a picture this time. 🙂