Winter doldrums

The weather continues to be yucky – cold, wet, and windy. Cold means highs in the 50’s, lows in the low 40’s; windy means 12-15 mph right out of the north; wet means an inch or so every couple of days. It’s the kind of weather that doesn’t lend itself to fishing, working in the garden, or anything else that occupies my time normally. Lot’s of catching up on reading and working sudoko puzzles. AKA Boring.  I heard on the news that a polar vortex or two are on the horizon.  Why isn’t that a bigger concern than warming?  Warm is good, cold is bad.  easy

I made dinner the other night and screwed up on the red pepper flakes again. It was even hot for me. I guess a tablespoon goes a long way with hot pepper. I make a pasta – swiss chard dish that nominally gets a few sprinkles of pepper flakes but I got carried away. That’s twice in a row so I’m on thin ice in the kitchen.

Tommy came over this morning to take his mother to a movie. That’s their regular Sunday routine now. After they leave, I turn my buddy Robbie (Roomba) on and let him work his little heart out. Last time out he got underneath Nancy’s sewing area and ate up a couple little cloth squares. That stops him dead in his tracks and I clean him out. Along with the normal dust and sand, in this case there were several pins, needles, and pieces of thread. I understand the sand but am always amazed at the amount of dust it finds. The whole idea behind this guy was to reduce the amount of vacuuming Nancy has to do and it really does seem to be accomplishing that. I was afraid she would just follow behind the robot with the sweeper to make sure it was done right but she seems quite happy with the job it does and will initiate it several times a week.

Picking lots of stuff out of the garden now. Along with the load of kale, swiss chard, and lettuce we’re now getting snow peas, cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli. The cool, damp weather is perfect for these crops which suffer with too much heat. We’ve got so much cauliflower that we made a large batch of roast cauliflower soup for Wilma. That goes right along with (my favorite) the Tuscan bread soup with kale, cabbage, and beans.

And speaking of the garden, please remind me to avoid growing sweet potatoes ever again. I picked the last of them a few weeks ago and they’re just not that good. My logic is always that they’re one of the few things that grow well in the heat so why not. Also, even if you don’t eat the potatoes, the vines are so long and strong that it’ll make a load of compost. The problem with that argument is that the vines don’t die. I cut them up and toss them in the compost pile only to find them self rooting and overtaking the compost pile. I tried to turn the pile yesterday only to find it was like coils of rope under the surface and nearly impossible to turn.

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