Freezing (an update)

Here we are, in the middle of a heat wave, and my teeth are chattering. I can’t feel my fingers, and the tip of my nose went numb hours ago. As soon as May 1st rolls around, our office building turns on the air conditioning. It’s not a system based on the outside temperature, but on the day of the year.

They say they’re keeping it at 70 degrees. Which, I’m sure it is in the Offices of Important People.

But for lowbies like me, I need to bring sweaters and gloves into work in August. As much as I love my little spot in the corner by the supply closet (that isn’t sarcasm; I like it here. No one ever visits), I am also right beneath one of the air conditioning vents. So it’s not just cold air skirling about insidiously. It’s not a cold that creeps, and makes me shiver by increments. Oh, no, it’s a full-on icy gale blowing down on the top of my head, and there’s nowhere I can move to get away from it. I can’t even wait until everyone’s gone home for the day and climb up, ninja-like, atop my overhead bins to close the vent on my side. It’s one of those permanently-open ones.

Tonight, I’m going to find my fuzzy sweater and bring it with me to bundle up for the rest of the summer.

Other stuff I’ve been doing instead of blogging:

I planted a garden. Yes, me, the Bane of Things That Grow. It’s not a very big garden, just yet, and I’m not even sure everything will survive. See, initially, I figured I’d grow some herbs in window boxes, so I could have them well into the fall. When I was out buying the flats of herbs, I saw some tomatoes.

I can grow tomatoes. I’ve done really well with them in the past. Since flats were something like 8 for $12, I went a little overboard – peppers (red, green, jalapeno), onions, butternut squash and green beans. I figured they could all go into big ol’ pots and do just fine.

Well. Somehow I forgot that when you buy a flat, you’re not just buying one pepper plant. You’re buying anywhere from 4-6. Big ol’ pots just won’t cut it.

My father, who owns just about every tool known to man (or if he doesn’t, knows someone within three houses to either side of him who will let him borrow theirs), has a roto-tiller. Down he came, last Saturday when it was super wicked hot, and tilled the little garden my mother and I had sectioned off with leftover paving bricks during the Home Improvement Hell a couple of summers ago.

I couldn’t just go ahead and plant when he was done, though. We have some pretty stubborn grass that had grown in that spot, so I had to go through on my hands and knees and get rid of the stuff the roto-tiller couldn’t. By the end of the day, I was pretty disgusting. No planting got done.

Sunday, Red Sox game in the afternoon (Poppacow, this is for you: WOOOO-HOOOOO GO SAWX!), and then it was nearly dark when we got home. I was too gorram hot and tired to go out and plant.

Which leads us to last night. Got home, changed out of the work clothes, found my trowel and lugged my sad potted vegetables-to-be out to the back. Stuck ’em in the ground. I think the squash and the green beans are pretty dead. The window boxes that were their temporary homes didn’t have holes for water to leak out, and they were in there while it rained for three days straight.

Funny thing is, I usually kill plants by not watering them enough, and here I’ve gone and drowned the squash and beans.

Go on, laugh.

Tonight, I’m going to give the herbs a little more room. Now that I have a couple of window boxes freed up, let’s see if I can separate out the basil without destroying it.

Aside from that, I’ve been plinking away at three stories at once, with a third waiting patiently in the back of my head. I think it knows better than to try competing for attention against the al’Cair women, but every once in a while it passes me a note that says, “Ahem, you think that when I’m done, I might be worth submitting to Escape Pod. Let’s not forget that, yeah?”

So, productivity in a couple of forms. Maybe I’ll break out the camera and put some pictures of the fledgling garden up here. You guys can have virtual conversations with my tomatoes, and maybe they’ll hear you and grow into tasty edible things.

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6 Responses to Freezing (an update)

  1. Grizz says:

    Max will be happy to talk to your tomatoes any time. Just lemme know. 😉

  2. Von says:

    You said Wicked. I heart you a lot.

  3. Itanya Blade says:


    Silence of the Squash!

  4. Lewis says:

    Maybe your tomatoes could have an IM chat with Rashonakitty’s balcony tomatoes. They aren’t doing so good. Something about attempting to grow tomatoes in this blast-furnace heat, in a bucket, on a second-floor apartment balcony is just causing them to not work too well. I have no idea why.

    On the good side, the catnip is growing like wild. So perhaps there will be much Fat Cat and Flat Cat humiliation in our future.

  5. falconesse says:

    Von, “wicked” is the one way that people can tell where I’m from. I don’t have an accent, otherwise. It’s weird; I pick up other people’s accents all the time if I talk to them long enough, but I never pick up the Boston one.

    Plant update: this morning, I discovered that two of the window boxes full of herbs got knocked over, either by the wind or by one of the feral cats that likes hanging out on that brick wall.

    Of course, last night, I’d had the brilliant idea to separate the basil into two boxes, and to give the oregano and one of the rosemary plants their own box, to stop crowding.

    I righted them and scooped some dirt back in, and have to hope the fall didn’t kill them. Le sigh.

  6. torteya says:

    Oh, “Oregano” you say?

    You have piqued my interest!

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