The eternal Sunday afternoon

Dearest blog (and readers),

I owe you a proper post, I do! I’ve thought about it almost every day these last three weeks of May, these bright, suffocating summer days where each daylight hour creeps agonizingly slowly towards the horizon and the sunset. yet every moment feels the same, caught in a never ending Sunday afternoon where mild despair and ennui blend into a restless fugue of endlessly scrolling through a loop of social media apps, searching, seeking the the barest hint of serotonin, the throttled breath of a chuckle, the lip twitch which could, if you are feeling generous, be named fourth cousin to a smile.

YES I’m day-drinking and YES I’m PMSing and this moody introspection is all you’re getting today. Please, don’t validate this poor behavior with a comment. Proper blog posts should have a proper structure, a proper thesis and well constructed, fleshed out paragraphs! None of this… disjointed rambling, these overblown and wordy comparisons, like a woman sloppily laced into a too-small corset, spilling breasts and feelings everywhere.

On the bright side, and an accomplishment fully rooted in reality and not the semi-intoxicated wanderings of a hormonal mind, I did join the third color in my Five Year Fade shawl today! (Even if by some miracle/continued unemployment/pandemic combination, I do finish it in less than 5 years, I’ve certainly crammed enough life changes into this period that it FEELS like half a decade). Once it’s a little further along I’ll show you some pictures, dearest blog (and readers).

Pretend there’s a really fucking SOLID conclusion here, friends, while I scoop the pieces of orange out of the bottom of my empty water goblet of sangria using my fingers like a classy dame and tap “publish”.

Really struggling.

For no logical reason the last couple of weeks have been really, really hard. I’ve been meaning to do another post (every 2 weeks seemed like an achievable goal!) but fuck if all this shit* hasn’t kicked my ass.

I’m still alive, and I’m still kicking (mostly when poked). Here’s a short list of things I’m grateful for.

  • Mr. Smoot has been extremely supportive and kind during the last two months. I had Baby’s First Panic Attack** at o-dark-thirty this morning and he was an absolute champ.
  • Since all this started I’ve sewed a dress & a Finch Bucket knitting bag, dyed a skein of fingering weight yarn in the Crock-Pot, organized all of my good yarn and picked 10 new projects to cast on, and come up with a story setting for a D&D campaign.
  • We still have a roof over our heads and money for food & internet.
  • All of my family and friends are still healthy and most are able to stay home and take care of themselves.
  • I’ve got incredible friends who stay in touch.

That’s all – I’m going to sit in the sun with my eyes closed until the timer goes off to finish baking this week’s bread.

*the state of the world, our particularly idiotic state government, not having a job to focus on, etc

**no idea what triggered it, I was sound asleep and not even dreaming, as I recall. But I did a little digging online and the symptoms seem to align, so… God, I hope it doesn’t become a habit. It was Not Fun.

Growing Things, All Around

Since one of the things I mentioned in my last post, What’s Bringing Me Peace Right Now, was spending a lot of time on my porch, I thought I’d give you a mini photo tour.

First, the view from the captain’s chair – in the shade, with dappled sunlight from the trees which are fully bursting to life, ah, Spring! The pine tree pollen has nearly given up for the year, or at least it’s been light enough that I can stand to be outside without triggering a full allergy attack.

A panorama shot of a small first-floor apartment porch, enclosed by a rotting white wooden railing. Taken from the perspective of the author, sitting in one of two aqua camping chairs. Plants abound.

Featuring a sulky Shadow, who refuses to come outside with me (where he desperately wants to be):

A fat grey cat lounges inside on a cat scratcher, resolutely ignoring the open screen door to the porch.
Behold: His Magnificence, King Shadow the Whinger

I couldn’t have house plants at our previous residence, as it was too cold in the winter to keep anything alive. When we relocated here last summer, I went a little nuts with greenery and the most gorgeous pots I could find/afford. Originally these were for the living room, but since Shadow can’t keep his mouth off of them (they’re cat-safe, don’t worry) they now live on the porch.

My money tree, which is supposed to bring good luck. It’s looking far healthier now that the overnight temperatures aren’t below 40 degrees. I’m especially fond of the solar powered lantern, which casts ornate shadows and golden light all over the porch in the evening.
Two medium sized parlor palms, in gorgeous aqua and copper rounded ceramic pots, live on a wire plant rack by the sliding porch door.
The parlor palms are a little pickier (they want to be CLOSE to sunlight but not IN sunlight) so they got a little sun-bleached last month. They’re recovering!

Along the railing, where they get morning sun, you’ll spot my striped spider plant which is THRIVING now that it is outside. I’m excessively fond of the barely-tamed indoor jungle look of houseplants in the 70’s (please see my Pinterest for additional images), so for a while this was inside the sliding glass door in a macrame plant holder. Turns out, it didn’t get enough light, so outside it goes. I really need to look up how to take cuttings from the babies it has sprouted and get myself a nice Spider Plant Monolith going.

Look at it, in all of its 70’s glory!

In a fit of Must Plant Things earlier this spring, right about the time we began our social isolation, I went a little crazy and filled every plastic pot I had with sunflower seeds. It was a packet of seeds from 2018, so I didn’t expect much except the relief of getting potting soil under my fingernails, but to my surprise nearly all of them sprouted. I transferred about 12 or so seedlings to the bed in front of the porch, but either the squirrels ate them or the ground’s not healthy enough to sustain life because they ALL died within a week. Theoretically, one can grow certain sunflowers in containers, but these are a full 6′ tall variety and I doubt there’s enough room for them to grow to maturity and bloom. Still, I can’t bring myself to tear them up and plant something else.

They’re doing their best. Also, this picture is not as in focus as I thought it was on my phone.

Finally, in the hopes of producing something edible from the porch, I have herbs and vegetables. In the stoneware jug, you’ll see what will eventually be a hearty rosemary bush. It’s a year old, but I’ve cut it back repeatedly to encourage new stems to grow rather than it getting tall and weedy. Also, in the purple pot, some itty bitty basil babies! Basil is apparently okay to grow clumped like this until it gets thinned at 12″ tall – we’ll see if it makes it. I haven’t had good luck with basil in the past.

I am excited for these to get big enough for me to eat them. Rosemary Foccacia bread. Mmmm.
Cherry tomato plant! The prevous tenants left this pot in the bushes and I STOLE IT. If you look closely you can see a couple of blossoms, and a wee babby green tomato.

There you go. Now you can imagine me on fine mornings, sitting here drinking coffee and puttering about poking the plants.