Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Kansas in July

It's the worst.

It's that point in the summer when it gets unbearably hot and you realize that there are still TWO ENTIRE MONTHS left of this hellish nonsense. (Yep, that's right. September in Kansas is still summer. You're going to be hopefully disappointed if you think that's when fall weather starts. Believe me, I have to remind myself of this every summer).

I fully admit that since I do not have Kansas blood, I am a complete wimp when it comes to this weather. (My Kansas-born friends are like, "eh whatever" and go out in it anyway. And also manage to grow things in their gardens besides weeds. It's impressive). Thus I have "cabin fever" tendencies in the middle of the summer because I do not want to be outside when it's 90 degrees at 9pm. Forget it.

I've been kind of down in the dumps pretty much this whole month. (Can't you tell?) There is a mass shooting almost on a daily basis in this country and don't get me started on any of this Trump nonsense. Ugh. What a mess. So there's that.

My leg stuff continues, although it is slightly lessened. Finally, going to the chiropractor 3 times a week is starting to pay off. However, my inability to exercise like I wish I could continues to make me grumpy and feel unsettled. (I actually paused my gym membership this month).

Anyway, all this to say, I haven't really been in the mood to blog recently since all it would've been was additional grumbling about the previous topics.

But, as usual, there have been good things. In the greater news (I am mean, Michelle Obama is a rock-star as a politician and as a person. She makes me want to be a better person and advocate) and in regular life. I mean, I did get to be in North Carolina (my favorite state), hug my entire family and spend significant time at the beach.

Back on the home front, Levent and I "celebrated" the 4th holiday by hanging out with friends, eating and drinking yummy things, playing corn hole and watching fireworks. (Fireworks in Kansas still blow my mind (no pun intended). Growing up in IL, the 4th of July was pretty controlled since it was illegal to buy and sell large fireworks. Here, it's free reign. For real. The firework show we watched was just someone's personal fireworks. I spent that 3 day weekend listening to the Hamilton Soundtrack and making a berry cake, which I think is the best way to spend this time of year.

In other news, I probably went to Wichita too many times this month. (This is only a problem because I tend to spent too much money when I go). I continue to learn more about this city and the more I do, the more I love it.
New juice bar in ICT
Lunch at Tanya's Soup Kitchen. Always a good choice. 
It is that time of year when my garden takes a turn for the worst. This is happening, but I have been able to harvest and even can some tomatoes. They are the best looking tomatoes I've ever grown. I am very pleased with them. Since tomatoes are always my most desired summer produce, I will be happy if this the only thing I end up harvesting in bulk.

Finally, even though it's been really hot, it has been raining off and on this summer. Meaning that my gardening watering has been at a minimum. That's awesome.
These are my good things. But I really would be lying if I didn't say that I am already excited for autumn.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Garden patience

Here's to another 3 day weekend spent inside.

Earlier this week, I was talking with my co-worker-friend, Tina, about how Memorial Day weekend was rainy and how we wish it would rain during the week when we're stuck at our desks instead, not on 3 day weekends. Come on, weather.

Actually, let's be real. It's July in Kansas. Even if it was not rainy, I would probably be spending most of my time indoors.

It's been surprisingly rainy here. My Grandma recently sent me her rain gauge for me to use. I just went outside to check it. Thus far this weekend, we've gotten over 3 inches of rain. Once again, my poor garden doesn't really have a chance.

Overall, things look fine. (My zucchini plant continues to be GIANT) But earlier this week, I picked what looked like a ripened tomato, only to find that it had significant dry rot. (I've learned this is a result of poor calcium in the soil. An easy fix is to add tums. Yes, tums, like the ones you have in your medicine cabinet. The only problem is that I had already did that earlier in the season. Meaning, my soil must really be awful. I gave my plants another round of tums. Hopefully, they'll be okay). Today, when I was out checking my rain gauge, I wondered around my garden in the mist and saw that I had another zucchini rotting on the vine. So far, no squash bugs, which is an amazing thing, but I think all this moisture is killing the vegetables.

Moreover, my green bean plants are not producing like they should be. Too much moisture? I have no idea. I was hoping to have enough to can this year, which is not going to happen. (Although, really, I am fine with this. Canning as a concept is lovely, but as a practice, especially by oneself, is exhausting. And I live by myself. I am not sure I need a massive stockpile of green beans. I think I am fine with just growing enough to eat in season right now. Maybe someday when I have a family, I'll be more prone to can things for all of us).

A the growing season continues, I still believe that my garden soil is "not too bad" (especially compared to what I was working with at the community garden. But I've quickly learned that it's "not too great" either. I actually got my soil tested last fall and found that it's really lacking in nitrogen. This can be easily solved with manure, which I spread on my garden this year. But it must really be lacking, because it doesn't seem to be doing the trick.

Every year, I am faced with this situation. I want to help the soil, which usually means investing time and resources into it. However, I am so ready to get out of the prairie that I really don't want to waste my time and resources doing that. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful to not be moving right now (since I usually move living spaces every year), but I don't want to be in Kansas for "long term" anymore. I want to live some place where I can literally dig my roots in (particularly in the form of a strawberry bed).

Learning to be patient is hard work. Whether it's being patient with the current direction my life is taking or waiting for my garden to take off, being patient is the worst. I want things to happen now. I want fresh tomatoes right now! But that's not how that works.

In the meanwhile, I will do my best to be patient and appreciate the moisture outside, cooling down the world. (As well as the first zinnia I cut from my flower bed today).