April 23nd – “Music, art, bold patterns and accessories—adorn your life with whatever makes you feel most joyful.”

 

I started the day off with a big serving of waffles. I made regular ones for my partner and had oat flour ones for myself.

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It’s excellent topped with Greek yogurt, berries, and maple syrup. I actually like it better than whipped cream!

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I like to eat mine like a sandwich.

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Oatmeal Waffles

¾ cup oat flour

1/ teaspoon baking powder

1 egg

3/8 cup soymilk

½ teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup oil

1 tablespoon maple syrup

A few dashes of cinnamon

 

Toppings: Greek yogurt, berries, real maple syrup

 

Directions:

  1. Throw all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together.
  2. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Cook in waffle iron.
  4. Top with Greek yogurt, berries, and maple syrup. This recipe makes about 1.5 waffle or 2 small ones. Perfect for 1 person. They’re softer than normal waffles, but has more flavor.

Here is the original recipe.

 

After breakfast, I did some reading. I finished The Haunting of the Hill House by Shirley Jackson

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and started on a collection of short stories by John Steinbeck.

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The two writers could not be more different. Jackson is obsessed with giant mansions and socially inept women who live in a world all their own (aka crazy women). Steinbeck is interested in the lives of ordinary folk (aka working class) who don’t live in big houses.

However, based on the two books I read, Jackson and Steinbeck do have some things in common. They are both great at creating vivid pictures of their characters and there is a strong element of violence that invades their stories.  In The Haunting of the Hill House, the story ends with the main character killing herself by purposefully driving her car into a tree. In 3 of the 4 short stories I’ve read by Steinbeck, one man falls to his death, a white quail is accidentally killed, and a scientist murders a cat and dissects its body.

After the cat story, I put the book down. Morbid or terrifying stories like these don’t bother me if they are written well. I enjoyed reading both writers, but I had enough time inside and wanted to get out into the sun!

In the afternoon, I went to the farmer’s market and bought more vegetable starts for the garden. I planted the starts and harvested rhubarb.

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They’re a bit thinner and longer this year, so I’ll need to split the plants up this fall to replant. When rhubarb plants have enough space to grow, their stalks grow thick. Tomorrow, I’ll use these rhubarb stalks to make mini pies! Stay tuned!

 

March 28th – “Someone is creeping up into your territory — decide now how you want to defend it.”

There were a lot of creatures creeping into my territory today.

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In the garden, I was greeted by a little mud colored frog living in some plastic pots that were still muddy from rain. He was the size of a quarter and very cute. I put him in the shade and he hopped out of the pot when I wasn’t looking.

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It was not until an hour later after I was done potting the fig and date plants that sprouted into my garden that I noticed the rhubarb. They were doing really well from the excess rain we had over the last few months. The rhubarb had strong stems and plenty of big leaves.

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The only thing that didn’t look so good were little holes in the leaves. I knew who the culprit was.

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No, it wasn’t this guy.

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These shiny pretty beetles have been snacking on my rhubarb plants.

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They like eating the leaves and don’t go for the stalks. I don’t mind sharing the leaves with them (because leaves are poisonous to humans and we can only eat the stalk), but the rhubarb will die if it isn’t able to absorb sun from the leaves. The first year the bugs came, they ate most of the leaves, severely weakening the plants. I don’t want that to happen again, so I need to defend my territory.

I can either kill the green beetles with my fingers or spray some neem oil on the leaves. There’s still plenty of neem oil left from last year, so I’ll save the beetle squishing for another day.