Life

It got me

March 10, 2022

The stomach bug slammed into me at around 4pm yesterday.

One of the cooler things about being a seasoned adult is the self-awareness that comes with years of experience. I started to feel badly at 4 and immediately put my hair in a bun, covered it in with a hat, and changed into my oldest non-hooded sweatshirt. It wasn’t pleasant, but at least I didn’t have to watch wash my hair or deal with hoodie ties.

Self-portrait, March 10h, 2022

I called out of work today, which I initially felt terrible about until I slept 5 hours straight this morning. I had four zoom meetings scheduled which I couldn’t have possibly participated in or even extracted much from.

Tonight I’m recovered with the exception of this caffeine headache from having no coffee. Working on rectifying that.


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Gardening

Angry Man Farm 2022 – IT BEGINS

March 9, 2022

In case you happen to be new to this old blog, Angry Man Farm is simply our garden. Many years ago WM and I noticed that farms have such lovely, bucolic names like Lone Pine Farm or Running Horse Farm. If we had a farm, it would be Angry Man Farm.

But we don’t have a farm, we have a vegetable garden that seems to be more work than yield but every March I dive in as if I have forgotten the aphids, rabbits, drought, rot, frost, and wind that conspire against me every year.

Seed organization

And it is March.

Kim, planting seeds
“Here, let me pretend I’m deep in thought when in reality I’m taking a photo.”

This year rather than plant one type of vegetable per bed I’m going to mix the vegetables together in the beds, hoping that each plant has different needs from the soil and they’ll grow together instead of competing for the same nutrients. I’m also adding in Nasturtium, which are flowers that are rumored to attract aphid to themselves, and Borage, which is supposed to attract pollinators and repel hornworms. My basil and dill will also be growing in the main beds this year.

Last weekend I started some onions inside. I’ve never successfully grown onions, but that has never stopped me from trying.

five pots with soil in them
Most underwhelming photo ever

I purchased a larger raised garden bed from Wayfair that I’ll use for lettuce and some herbs.

On Sunday, I planted jalapeno and sweet bell peppers, five (!) varieties of tomatoes, basil, and parsley. I used to start the seedlings in the guest room, but with my MIL moved in, I had to think outside the box. This year the seedlings are in the garage, snugged up on a heated mat to keep them warm.

Wee little peat pots ready for seeds!

Here is the sketched out the plan:

photo of a notebook page, with a rough sketch of where I want each plant to go in the beds.
I made a mistake by putting the strawberries in that back bed, but we’ll live with it.

Snap peas will be going up the trellis this year, and I’m going to grow the cucumbers in pots with tomato cages. Radishes, beets, carrots, and onions will be in pots as well. Will we have success with this new, integrated system? Maybe? Will I be satisfied this year? Probably not. Stay tuned!


In other news, we’ve had a stomach bug hit us. My MIL had it Friday into Saturday, recovered Sunday night. WM had it Sunday into Monday, went back to work this morning. And I … am waiting. You’d think I’d have caught it last night into this morning but as of this writing on Wednesday morning … nothing! Which is worse, catching something like that as a surprise, or waiting to catch it? I’m not certain anymore.


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Life

The gratitude cycle

March 6, 2022

A few weeks years ago we noticed that our dryer stopped efficiently drying clothes. Regular loads would take two cycles to dry, but we dealt with it, because after 8 or 9 years in the apartment with a communal downstairs laundromat, having our own washer and dryer were a luxury no matter how long it took to dry.

But lately the loads started taking three cycles to dry. We did a little research, moved some money from savings and bought a dryer. It arrived on Thursday and is a beauty! (she says, firmly embracing middle age) There are different cycles and different temperatures and most importantly, it does NOT play music when it’s finished.

two clothes dryers in my garage
Old on the left, new on the right. The dryer is in the garage, which is why the surroundings look like a garage.

This is a very boring story to be sure, but what I keep marveling at is that it was that easy. We moved money that we already had saved and bought it. There have been many years that something like this would have meant we would have had to budget for a few months to save the money for the dryer. Or we’d put the dryer on a credit card and pay interest.

I appreciate this so much because of those lean years. I appreciate this so much because so many can’t. Do the people who grew up with money and having things handed to them as adults feel gratitude like this? I don’t know how they could…

And that’s it. Nothing profound, just a blog post.

Life

Friday 5: A rose in a fisted glove

March 4, 2022

Happy Friday! I told my coworkers today (via Teams, we’re still working from home until further notice) that this week seemed like it was six weeks long and I think I accomplished maybe 10% of what I needed to.

screenshot of the iOS photos app misidentifying a photo of Murphy as a cat.
My iPhone believes Murphy is a cat. File under: don’t worry about AI taking over the world yet.

In the meantime, I’m dealing with Cold War Kid trauma while Russia batters Ukraine and people chatter about nuclear war like it was a weather forecast. I’ve seen too many plucky underdogs trampled to have hope. But what can I even do other than send money? Nothing. Nada. Keep calm and carry on. Watch hockey (the Devils are losing) and keep blogging.

This week’s Friday 5 theme is A rose in a fisted glove, which is a line from the song “love the one you’re with” by Stephen Still.

  1. In your adult life, how have people tried to bully you, and how have you responded?
    Bullying? I’m not sure I’d call it that. But I hate confrontation and there have been plenty of people who know I won’t push back when pressed into doing something I’d rather not do or if they say something offensive or stupid. I still hate confrontation, but I push back a bit more.
  2. What’s your favorite shade of blue?
    Caribbean water blue, which is almost swimming pool blue. Eighty-seven days until Memorial Day.
  3. What’s a good song with ”yellow” in its lyrics or title?
    An oldie for sure, but a great storytelling song. If you’ve never heard it before, give it a listen and you’ll smile at the end.

4. When have you recently witnessed extraordinary kindness?
You’re going to laugh, but once you get TikTok calibrated to show you what you want to see, there are people all over being kind to each other.

5. What’s a good movie about personal strength in the face of overwhelming odds?

Oh man, any sports movie, any war movie, and also Sister Act 2.


The weather is supposed to be mild this weekend which means I’m going to go all out cleaning up the garden beds and pull at least one muscle. To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow…


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Gardening, Life, Work

February 2022

March 2, 2022

Here are some things we did in February that didn’t warrant their own post because I wasn’t posting much in February!

Mom had a birthday and I bought her a ticket to go see Beautiful: The Carole King Musical at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. I bought myself the other ticket but I always wonder about how to present gifts like that. Do I give her both tickets and wait for her to ask me, even though I believe part of the gift is getting her there and that’s usually my job and she really digs spending time with me? (I also dig spending time with here, but you know that already.)

kim and her mom in front of a poster for the musical
Featuring my foggy glasses!

The show was fantastic. Carole King wrote MANY more songs than I ever thought she did. Her ex-husband was not just a tool but an entire toolbox, but her friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann were hysterical and talented in their own right.

The theater required vaccination cards and masking, which is good. It’s nice to be back out and about.

I had a playdate with Nephew A. He’s approaching 8 years old and its neat to see him becoming his own little dude. I took him to lunch. He wanted to eat pizza outside and we did, even though it was in the 40s and Aunt Kimmy detests the cold. Then we played Minecraft (aka he builds empires and I dig holes) and Lego.

One of the cheapest dates I’ve taken a person on.

I received my CAE certificate in the mail and I am super proud and planning my next step toward full domination of a field you’ve never heard of.

a paper certificate with my name on it in neato Old English looking font
meeheeheeheehee

I need to frame this, right? I really should frame this.

For years we’ve eaten breakfast at the Silver Diner in Cherry Hill and for years we’ve read The Coffee News, which is this tiny newspaper that is found at many restaurants and small stores in South Jersey. Every week it features a photo of a reader. WM submitted a picture of himself last spring and much to our surprise and delight, his photo was featured.

a photo of a flyer featuring a photo of WM holding a flyer. Very meta.
I don’t know why I still obscure his name since we’re all Googlable in this day and age but old habits die hard.

I need to frame this, right? I really should frame this.

I cleaned up the gardening area in the garage to prep for Angry Man Farm 2022. I’ll be starting my seedlings in there this year with some heating pads and grow lights.

a VERY WELL ORGANIZED gardening table.
The before picture is hideous.

It’s not going to look like this for another year, most likely.

And finally, I gave blood. I’m back in the habit of doing it twice a year again and that also feels good. As a person who is legendarily NOT BRAVE giving blood is really easy to do. If you’re past a certain age, you’ve likely had more uncomfortable procedures and tests taken.

kim giving blood. no blood visible
Easy enough that I can selfie while doing it.

Look at those sparkly silver hairs!

The NYT crossword puzzle streak is at 6, because I forgot to do it last week after the Carole King show. Womp womp. I also play Wordle, which is entertaining but in the end a simple word game that people for some reason are all in their feelings about.


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