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Geeky Adventures…

November 12, 2014

Just a few pictures from our time in Washinton DC/at the World Fantasy Convention…

On an early morning mission:

Smarchers on a mission

DoOF cover

This cover of The Dragons of Ordinary Farm, signed by Tad Williams and Deborah Beale, is the communal possession of all Smarchers (the members of the Tad Williams message board). It has been travelling the world for many years in the company of many Smarchers.
DoOF cover 2

I don’t like getting up early, but mornings are so beautiful…


And of course there had to be some plant geekery as well…

botanical gardens

botanical gardens

It will probably not surprise you that about half of my pictures are just from the botanical garden… far too many pictures to deal with now…

The Bears Have Not Eaten Me Yet

November 10, 2014

When I travel, I always try to have a quote from The Dragonbone Chair on my bag.


(I wish I could post better picture, but I can’t get those off my camera right now, so instead you get a scrappy picture taken with this borrowed tablet.)

Bhojujik mo qunquc means, “if the bears don’t eat you, it’s home.” I have kind of a had time with travelling, with leaving my comfortable, familiar places and routines, and it’s nice to have this reminder that anywhere can be home.

(Firsfron of was the first person ever to not just notice the embroidery (very few people do) but to immediately understand it. But that did not surprise me at all, given how much he knows about Osten Ard.)

And right now, home is this:


And this, in case the picture doesn’t already say “really fancy, really expensive”, is a room at the Willard, which is, what, two blocks or so from the White House.

Adventures in Faraway Lands…

November 6, 2014

I had so many things I still wanted to blog about – book reviews, NaNoWriMo, the balcony garden clean-up, one last Harvest Monday for the year, and probably more that I’m forgetting. But there was no time for any of it before it was time to leave.

Now what I would love to do is post a “look where I am” picture, but my pictures are on my shiny new camera and I’m on a borrowed tablet, which I’m slowly learning my way around, so… no pictures for now.

So, where I am is in Washington DC, for the World Fantasy Convention.

I have so many things I could tell you about already, before the con has even started – it’s my first time travelling outside of Europe, so the flight alone was quite the adventure for me, and then all the fun I’m having with the friends I met up with, and a bit of sightseeing yesterday, but I think that will have to wait until I have an actual keyboard again.

November Calendar Picture

November 1, 2014


A picture from Kew Gardens, and phew, was that a difficult one to find an ID for! Because googling for white passionflowers leads to lots and lots of pure white ones, and googling for passionflowers at Kew Gardens, I found out there is actually a variety called ‘Kew Gardens’  (and I want to have it). But now I’m pretty certain it’s Passiflora coriacea.

New and Old

October 27, 2014

I think at this point, I’ve spent years grumbling about my camera, and about how I should buy a new one… and now I finally have. It kind of does bother me to buy a new one while the old one still works, but I just don’t want to lug that old, slow brick around on my upcoming trip, and then come home and discover that half my pictures look like crap.

If you’ll excuse the terrible webcam picture, I just want to show you the size difference between my new camera (a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX350, if anyone’s interested in that) and the old one (Kodak EasyShare Z710):


And now I’ll get to what Peter – who has put a lot of time into researching and comparing cameras for me, and absolutely deserves some cake or something – has been asking me for: pictures!


Here’s what it looked like with the old camera:



And old:

(That’s the picture on the wall in the previous picture, by the way.)

New (the flash might even be a little too bright):

And old:

New (I’m neeming plants again. That’s the bathroom with no light other than the flash):

And old:


And old:

I have a couple more pictures, but those are the ones where I have direct comparisons, and I really need to go to bed.

Harvest Monday – October 20, 2014

October 20, 2014

I haven’t been harvesting so much as cleaning up my gardens – the one on the balcony and the one in the community garden – and occasionally finding something edible.


A few beans I must have missed when I picked what I thought were the last beans, and a pepper that suddenly landed in front of my feet.

Last year, I had the brilliant idea to plant my surplus Oxalis tetraphylla (Four-leaf Sorrel, “lucky clover”) bulbs in the community garden, since they have fleshy, edible roots. But then I was too lazy to harvest them, and already had so many bulbs from what I’d grown on the balcony that I didn’t know what to do with them… so I decided to just leave the Oxalis in the ground to freeze to death.

Only, the weather didn’t play along, and all the Oxalis came back in the spring. I picked out every single bulb I could find when I dug over the plot (and later, because I didn’t know what else to do with them, planted them, a handful to a pot, and took them in to sell at work) and still missed so many. The ground under my sweetcorn was so full of Oxalis, you couldn’t tell I had removed any at all.

So, the same thing all over again when I pulled up the corn and the weeds… diggging up all the Oxalis. This time, at least, it was a bit easier to find, since they still had leaves. I came home with a whole bucket of bulbs, and then spent the evening sorting them into bulbs for replanting and roots to eat.


(Oh, and I found a last tiny zucchini, too.)

I even sorted the bulbs into the ones with big roots, which I’ll plant again next year, and the ones with small or no storage roots, which I’ll sell at work again. Although I don’t know if the size of the roots actually has to do with genetics, or just with how much space and sunlight the plants had. But I suppose it can’t hurt to select for large roots…

And apparently, those were all of my harvests. Mostly, I have been eating the tomatoes I harvested a week ago. And I have no idea what is going on with these tomatoes… I have had siamese twin tomatoes before, but never one growing on top of the other like that. Makes me wonder what the flower looked like!


Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day – October 2014

October 15, 2014

This time I even remembered to take pictures before it got dark. Although there’s not much to take pictures of this month…

Indoors, the begonia that never stops blooming…


On the balcony, nasturtiums:




Violas waiting to be planted:


And lots of Abutilons:





It may not be much, but for October, it’s still plenty.



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