CHIVES! (A blog post)

One of the first things I planted here – at House Thorn – were chives.

I got them off a freecycle or plantcycle (same idea), back in the days when those lists were doing well here in Ithaca.

(The concept of either is that you post “I have this thing I don’t need anymore” or “I have this thing I need, does anyone have it?”  I’ve used it to get: a scythe, cat litter buckets (Our cat litter comes in sort of cartons and I wanted to try cat litter bucket planters), air mattresses, a broken breadmaker… We’ve gotten rid of a safe, a burn barrel, a turtle sandbox…)

I also went and got the earliest-blooming crocuses that were available.

Of course, since we moved into the house in mid-September, we discovered the next Spring that the people who had owned the house before us had been of a similar mind – there are spring blooming bulbs all over this place, so it’s a riot of color from the first thaw through the end of day-lily season.


I hate March, I’m afraid.  Really dislike the month. (T was explaining why to a friend and he summarized it as “the color.”)  It’s grey and muddy! And it’s a tease; you want to plant but you can’t.

The last freeze date in our area is mid-May, just for reference.

But CHIVES.  Chives are food.  They are fresh and they really taste good only fresh. And when the snow is just starting to melt, when it’s just thinking about melting, then you have chives.

This little bit of green pops up in your garden (I have an “invasives” bed I’ve mentioned before, where I let various chives and mints duke it out. I tried oregano once and I ended up with hybridized mint-regano.) and it’s like All Is Not Lost.  Things Will Grow Again. Here, have some Food.

It’s amazing. Alliums are a gift and we should cherish them forever.


Want more?


Other Chive Posts:

Gardening! March 23, 2012

Life in the Country, Tuesday edition (Actually Monday edition, just really late). March 21, 2012

On Chives  April 9, 2014

Spring! Chives – May 16, 2013

Work From Home Blog: Day 4

Yesterday, Day Three of my Telecommuting Journey…

The power went out. 

The internet also went out. 

(We have two UPSs.  The router & cable modem are plugged into one of them. I have about an hour, hour and a half of time working if I turn my laptop to dimmest, etc…. IF the internet isn’t also out.)

It was just after my late lunch, and I really wanted a nap, so I walked out to the middle of the road, got enough signal for gmail and Discord, emailed my boss a telegram (Power out, internet out, will contact when back) and pinged my friends on Discord.

Then I took a nap. 

I mean, my entire job is online. I’d have had maybe… 20 minutes of cleaning my office if I was at work. 

I did some writing when I woke up, called NYSEG just in case nobody else had (1290 people affected, we imagine it will be about 5 p.m. when we get it fixed), played some Minecraft (obv. not the shared server), ordered pizza (from the end of the block), picked UP that pizza, and played Tiles & Tales once I got the tablet with games charged up.

The power came back on at about 9. 

In ordinary circumstances, I might have gone to a local library or cafe to work but… nothing’s open. 

Do you have plans for work if the power/internet go out?


Work From Home Blog: Day 3

I’m going to try to make a trend of this, doing it before work in the morning.


Day three of Telecommuting: My co-workers are starting to suspect I’m actually another cat.

Honestly, I think Oli may be worried and Merit thinks I’m just sick again, and Theo just ignores everyone during the day.

But I was going to talk about supervision. 

For me, this is pretty much exactly the same as being at work – because my boss is always remote (well, a few times a year he visits the office, but with the border to Canada closed, it’s going to be a while). For most of the admins, there won’t be a lot of difference, because the professor that supervises them is either usually just in their office or not even that.

I mean, except the one extrovert in the office.  I imagine she’s going to go mad.

(we did Meyers-Briggs at Admin Excellence Training summer of ’18.  She was like “OH this explains so much” when everyone else at the table came back Introvert.)

But with all that, I still found myself checking the calendar to see if my boss was “at a conference” (he’s got at least two that are tele-conferences now.) yesterday.

As far as I can tell, no.  

But Oli did his best to fill in boss’s virtual absence anyway by sitting on my desk and staring at me.  Good kitty. I feel well supervised. 

How about you?  How do your supervisors feel the need to fill in that gap?


Work From Home Blog: Day2

I’m still sitting in the armchair doing Pre-Morning Things again, so this is Before Day 2. 


Today I’m thinking about meetings.

 When I’m in a meeting at person, I have to do at least moderate performative attention-paying (ditto for training).  I have to look at the person and pretend I’m making eye contact and try not to look too distracted. 

I mean, I generally doodle maps, as anyone who has seen me post “in a meeting” maps can tell, or if I’m too close to the presenter, I just doodle generally, but there has to be some looking at them. And, in general, I have to TRY not to look too bored. 

When I’m working from home, I get to do something to distract the bouncy half of my brain while the other half listens.  Performative attention-paying is “make sure I formulate an interesting question and ask it at least once” which I try to do in meetings/training anyway.  When it’s interesting meeting/training I can engage pretty well and I don’t get talked over or interrupted in chat the same way.

(grumble grumble grumble)

And when it’s three stultifying hours of meetings I am in to show willing… well, let’s just say there’s been a lot of progress on my Minecraft railroads and stations.

That’s a long way of saying meetings are nicer by Zoom when you are an introvert with ADHD. 

(And life is easier in general once I learned those were things about myself that were both true and acceptable, or at least, that *I* could accept them and the rest of the world could be faked around easily enough.)

The Dilbert will continue until morale improves. 

What’s your favorite or least favorite thing about telecommute meetings?


Work From Home Blog: Day 1

Technically BEFORE Day one; I’m still sitting in the armchair doing Pre-Morning Things.


 Day One of Telecommuting (long-term, rather than, say, when I worked from home Friday because my co-worker made me sick again) 


Last night I found myself regarding the closet, wondering what I was going to wear to work. 

Then I realized: my pjs. 

(I always find this a funny way to put this, since what I wear to bed is a pair of armwarmers and that in the winter). 

My bum-around the house flannel pants and favorite cami, in this case (I need to do laundry), the green flannels with the tear in the upper leg from where I sit cross-legged and the faded camo cami (It was on clearance!) that sort of matches. 

Working from home is a little weird 😉

Sure, some Zoom meetings I’m still going to have to put on a cardigan and brush my hair for, but for the most part, as long as you contribute, people don’t ask questions about why you don’t have the camera on. 

Especially when the school is so focused on a) getting all the professors ready to teach their classes via Zoom (zoom is like skype, only… not?) in a few weeks and b) working on getting people less equipped to telecommute and less urgent about it than I am.

(I needed someone to tell me it was okay and someone to set up Remote Desktop in case I needed it). 

Personally, I’ve never been one of the people who needs specific clothes for a productivity ritual.  Tea, yes. Not clothes. 

What about you? If you’re starting a work from home, how are you handling the clothing issue?


A Blog Post: On Being Sick, on Working From Home, Etc.

Two notes:  

First, I started this, like, 2 weeks ago.  But I still want to post it, so, voila, here it is. I’m feeling better health-wise, which is great. (Though our furnace is on the fritz now). 

Keep an eye on my Patreon for the March Patreon Push, which is going to involve, well, more stories on Patreon.  Also check out the Leap Day stories I posted there – and as always, you can find fiction on my account at

 Second, Thank You Kelkyag!  Kelkyag sent me a lovely little kids’ book called The Trouble With Chickens.

(So, should I  make The Chickens Era Science an option on the upcoming poll for this month’s Patreon Theme?)

(Yeah, I’m a little behind. Story of my life.)

Now continues the actual blog post, voila.

~*~~*~~*~ Continue reading

Life, Love, and a Funeral

Warning: the below discusses, among other things, death and funerals. 

Last Monday I got an email from my mother telling me that she & Dad were off to Death Valley for their annual “get Dad away from the cold” trip. (Dad says he doesn’t have Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Pretty sure he’s wrong.)

Three emails into the chain, she tells me my cousin Marilyn has passed away.

Marilyn was my mother’s older cousin (as I track the family tree, I think she was my grandmother’s brother’s daughter), 78 years old, and it turns out she’d been in intensive care for 8 months.

She was also the woman who taught me horseback riding and something of one of my queer icons growing up, long before I actually realized I was bisexual.

I started horseback riding because our Girl Scout leader was horse-mad & her daughter, my nemesis from elementary through middle school (same church, same Girl Scout troop, same school…), got to ride, so I wanted to ride. Continue reading

Blog Post: Baby (Kitty) Pictures

T found some baby pictures of the boy cats and I am on a rampage of nostalgia, remembering them when they were wee little kittens.

We went to visit them — and their equally fluffy mother cat — and brought them home the same night. They were little grey puffballs then, small enough to fit on T’s lap together with room left over.

I remember thinking — saying, even — that I couldn’t wait for them to grow into their personalities, because at that point, they were… mostly babies, adorable but not really doing a whole lot except being hyper  and adorable.

Drake & Gatsby had been such personality-filled old men that having these little infant kitties around again was, well, weird.

But they pretty quickly developed or showed us personalities, probably even before we named them (They were Thing One and Thing Two for a while, or Lefty and Righty for the arm that has a full white sleeve (As you look at them, if I recall correctly.).) Continue reading

A Blog Post: New Year, New Goals

I’ve been thinking about goals, as one does at this time of year.

Yearly goals, monthly goals, weekly goals – the whole shebang.

Some of this comes from finishing up last year’s Wordcount spreadsheet and moving on to this year’s, but “wordcount” is, while a lot of fun, not a very important goal.

(okay, that’s not entirely true, ’cause if you-all want to read, say, Spoils, Purchase, and two other things every week, then a serial once/month and four other stories, a recipe and a partridge in a pear tree on Patreon and I want to write a novel and submit some stories, there needs to be a certain base wordcount.  That, by the way, turns out to be approximately 2000 words, 5 days a week.)

We did this seminar at work on “SMART” goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant/Realistic, and Time-Bounded (or something like that).

So when I’m setting goals – okay, I’ve tried for this for years but now I have a metric – I try to make them things that I can count and work towards.  Not “Sell 12 stories.”  That’s a) not my choice, b) not realistic and possibly not achievable, and c) not actually all that time-bounded.  But “Submit a story every other month.”

I’ve been trying to apply this to all aspects of my goal-setting, but when it comes, to, say, fun (someone suggested I have a section of goals for fun) I’m still sort of struggling.  The best I’ve come up with is “pick a day, and on that day every week, try to communicate with at least a couple of your distant friends.”  And also “do a trip that involves a museum.”

Those are not really uh, specific, but fun sort of gets wedged in the sides of things, doesn’t it?

I mean, other than uh.

When I spend three hours minecrafting and netflixing, which is… um.  It’s own problem?

Have I shown you my Minecraft railroad system?  It’s pretty amazing…

I know not everyone does or likes resolutions, but what about goals? How do you go about setting goals?

And, of course, also, how do you go about moving towards those goals?  Do you check in with yourself monthly? Daily? Never?  Do you bribe yourself? Punish yourself?

…Spend an hour playing Minecraft and THEN do your goals?

Burn all your goals down after a month and start again in March?

If I had a resolution in 2020, it would be Get Stuff Done.   I’m hoping that setting goals will help me get there.

How do YOU get stuff done?