Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Of Mice and Millers

We're still dealing with the never-ending vermin project.  Because my computer with online access is downstairs, I don't have much time to post these days amid the muck and yuck even if I wanted to.  But I've had plenty of time to write ...

The tropical plants are all officially indoor plants again.  I'm sure they'll whine and complain--they far prefer real, live sunlight as opposed to the pale stuff that comes in through the windows.  My blood orange is already protesting, and it's only been in a few hours.  But it was shivering out there.  There's really nothing for it.

As if this wasn't enough going on around here to distract me from my real day job of writing fiction, we've had some sunny, dry weather.  For us gardeners, having non-rainy days this time of year is a huge boon.  I've been weeding like a madwoman, and refreshing garden paths with mulch.  The ladybug in the pic loved one particular lavender, a Grosso in the border of my grape arbor.  I moved him to other plants twice, but he kept coming back, so I snipped the wand he'd parked on after taking this pic and left it in the plant.  He seemed happy with that arrangement.

Garden note:  Yes, you can mulch with your leaves, but (and this is a big but) you will be helping garden pests, especially slugs, overwinter right where they can get at your plants.  So.  Don't mulch on top of your perennial crowns.  Evergreens and large shrubs or trees can take a few pests, especially if they're native.  Also feel free to mulch garden paths with leaves (but shred them first with a lawnmower or they'll just blow away.)  If you want to suppress weeds with fallen leaves as mulch and you can't lawnmower them, do what European gardeners do--put down a layer of newspaper or cardboard first, put the leaves on top, and then put your pruned branches on top of the leaves.  Evergreen prunings work best, but if you're in a relatively sheltered area, even a pretty spare deciduous branch can hold those leaves down pretty good.

Orycon 31 is this weekend.  If you're in the Portland, Oregon area and you're interested in genre literature, check us out.  We have media and comic stuff as well, but our focus is books and writing.  We have some great guests this year.  See the Orycon 31 website for more information, including a schedule of events on the programming page.  The convention is right by the Lloyd Center Shopping Mall, so you can have fun at the event and do your holiday shopping too.  Rates are:  $60 for the weekend, $25 for a Friday or a Sunday day pass, and $35 for a Saturday day pass.  Day passes are good until 10am the following day except for Sunday--Orycon shuts down at 4pm.

After OryCon, vermin or no vermin, I will be posting more regularly.  I may even post updates during the event, as I'll have a bit of free time here and there starting Saturday afternoon.

I hope to see some of you there!  Now, back to writing.

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