Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I did not get the public defender job. And I sulked about it for weeks.

On to new topics! Ahem! I've been wanting to try growing herbs for ages. I would like to cook more with fresh herbs but I hate buying them at the grocery store. So this is what I did: I went to our local college library, which amazingly I am allowed to borrow from since we gave a little bit to Spouse's alumni association, and picked out my limit of 5 books. And then I went online and found 6 books from all over the state, which came in via interlibrary loan.

Now, garden writers are absolutely charming. I need to do some choice quotes next time I'm about. However, the problem with eleven different gardening books [and two University Extension Services, and Martha Stewart's web stuff] is that you end up with umpteen different voices squawking about, say, Greek vs. Italian oregano. Certainly there is some overlap, but there are just enough differences in the advice from source to source to drive me up the freaking wall. I am one of those people plagued by the notion that there is a "right" way to do everything. I even take it further and believe there is probably a "best" way to do everything, and I feel like a failure if I don't do it that way the first time.

And by the time I finally decided that yes, I did want to start with teeny little seeds and babysit them into great big plants, it hadn't yet sunk in how LOOOOONG all this was going to take. Little sprouts might pop up right away for most herbs, but as far as actual plants you could transfer to your garden, or to pots in my case, it can take 7-10 WEEKS. Our development is beautifully manicured--more than I would have ever expected for a bunch of townhouses--and our little fenced-in area is covered in mulch, so I am, as they say, pot-bound.

Anyway, I have probably waited too long to get started, such that by the time I have anything big enough to put in a real pot, it will be so hot and humid that the little guys would fizzle and croak outdoors. Which would be okay, I guess, because some herbs can do just fine indoors. The issue is just how much bigger and bushier they would be if they grew outside (see also: in the ground, vs. in a pot). We have a petunia that has been a houseplant since I brought it home, and it's more than just technically alive--in fact, it's really perked up lately, with lots of magenta blooms--but compared to the ones I saw outside at Lowe's on Saturday, it looks utterly peaked.

So I'll try it and see what happens. I do have a couple seed packets to order (one from Monticello, as in Thomas Jefferson, holy cow), and if shipping isn't too exorbitant, I may be ordering one plant since I haven't been able to find seeds. But as far as basil, oregano, etc., I'm good to get started.

The news around here is I'm not currently worrying about the job thing, because I have something else to fret about instead: Spouse is seriously sick. As soon as we had any information, I went straight to Dr. Google and instantly wished I hadn't, because I've been scared out of my mind since. He's undergone testing and should see a specialist this week. Much as I want to know what it really is, I'm a little afraid to know as well. If you happen to be into prayer, lighting candles, Reiki, or whatever, it would be much appreciated. I know in my heart that ultimately he'll be fine; I just need to convince my head of that and not panic.


  1. Dr. Google will definitely scare the bejebus out of you, that's for sure. No fair sharing partial stories, because now I'm scared for you, and I don't even know what I'm scared about! I hope everything is OK.

    Good for you on growing the plants! I have a forest upstairs that I've started from seedlings, and they're coming along fine. What I like to do is grow some more unique things myself, and buy other more common plants that are fully grown. That way, I get some of everything. :)

    Sorry about the job. I hope something better comes along soon!

  2. I was JUST looking at basil seeds tonight! Paul has been putting pesto into everything, and at GREAT COST. I was thinking maybe I could grow basil, but I don't know.

    I will send non-panicking vibes in your direction. I'm a panicker too.

  3. Basil is supposedly really easy to get going and to keep alive, indoors or out. So I'd say it's definitely worth a shot.

    Sorry to be obtuse on here--I'm sending you both notes. Thanks much for commenting!