Thursday, July 30, 2009

Writer's Block and Other Stories

A writer’s block has no cure, I just found out. The old brain was mightily overloaded past few weeks. Work sometimes has that effect on me. Sometimes. And then the news of a wedding in the immediate family. Awesome news, that. I am missing all the excitement and action and my mother-in-law is certainly missing my help more, I am sure. My head has been wrapped in which sarees to buy. Never mind the tiny fact that most of my sarees come out of their hibernation two times a year, at best.

And tending to the garden. And lessons learnt. About soap. The story goes like this. Or should have gone like this. BigGeek calls me to tell me that the pumpkin plant is infested with black insects. I look. I know what they are. I get appropriate weapon of bug destruction. Ka-boom. End of bugs. Hello, pumpkin. What happened was I looked at the insects, I did not know what they were. I tried my trusty vinegar. They did not die.

I got angry. Really angry. And when The Dot gets angry, beware. She gets soap. I squirted good amount of Palmolive dishwashing soap in the squirt bottle, added a little water and went on the sprayed every bug and its egg with it. Which was pretty much every leaf of the vine. And then, because In was so angry, sprayed the eggplant plant and the pole beans and the cukes and the tomatoes. You get the picture. Next day I survey the warzone expecting to pick up dead bugs. But. I see dead vines. Almost dead plants. 19 to-be eggplants on the plant and 2 weeks later, only 4 survived. The pumpkin vine BigGeek has tried to tell me gently has passed on.

But I learnt lessons. It’s better to use insecticides than soap. And BigGeek, the day I went beserk with my soap spray had bought two insecticides for me to choose from. Bless his heart. And I scoffed at him and told him we grow stuff without damaging pesticides. Sigh. But, I have harvested over 30 cukes, 2 lbs of beans, 1 lb okra. 10 squashes, a few tomatoes, a few strawberries. Tomatoes are still ripening. There are three pumpkins on the pumpkin vine, no idea how they will fare.

What also happened in the past few weeks was that BigGeek went on his annual gadget-buy. He bought a ton of gadgets and we have spent all this time trying them out. A new DLSR – Canon T1i, a new prime lens for me – Canon 50mm f/1.4, which I love, love love. Zooms confuse the hell out me, I realized. A new set of Celestron eyepieces for the telescope I gifted him earlier this year for his birthday. And coupler rings and adapters to turn the above mentioned telescope into a gigantic lens.

In all this excitement, I even forgot that this blog turned 2. And it would not have without you. Your comments are nothing but encouraging. So, to show you my gratitude, I am going to filch an image of the moon taken by the BigGeek from our backyard last week. Enjoy and thanks for all the fish.

31 comments:

Girl Next Door (gnd) said...

hi there...was beginning to wonder where you were and if you got the bug from me :)

oooh wedding! what fun!! you going?

so, what's the final status on the plants? poor you!! and darn those bugs!!

that's an awesome, awesome picture from the telescope...!! loved it!

Rohini said...

Happy Two Years :)

Girl Next Door (gnd) said...

oh yes, and Congratulations on your 2 years of great writing!!

Ananva said...

Congrats on 2 years of awesome posts!! Keep them coming!

Monika said...

congrats on turning 2...

thats an awesome pic...

and on the plants try neem solution works most of the times

Kodi's Mom said...

happy two years!!
was wondering abt you...no posts for a while and all that.
sorry abt your plants- but sounds like you still got a good harvest. i went the pesticide route this yr too - there were too many prbs w the rose bushes, had to find something quick & effective.
have heard of friendly predators you can buy & unleash on them bugs.

ps: stunning pic.

GettingThereNow said...

Oh, so it was with soap that you killed the pumpkin? I remember some of Ma's plants died because some soapy water from the kitchen got into them (the drain let out in ma's veggie patch). I learnt my lesson then :P

Worry not - I have killed a squash vine by pulling it out in anger that was supposed to be directed at a cucumber vine that was strangling my tomatoes :P

Sue said...

That's an awesome pic, BigGeek.

rayshma said...

what fish?
is that why u're giving away strawberry plants??

geez... i'm so spaced out! :-/

AA_Mom said...

Congrats, Wouldn't have met you (virtually) if not for the blog.

Breathtakingly awesome pic. Enjoy the wedding, the immediate family weddings run out fast :)

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

Aah! There you are!

So sorry about the killing fields story, but you've still managed quite a bounty! And that's fantastic!

And Happy Bloggie Budday! May your 'Karma' be as fertile as your garden!

Hapi said...

hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

Anonymous said...

Nice to see (read) you again.

I can only say, "A writer's blog has no cure" ! For the eager readers of Karma.........

All the Best to you and Big Geek for the new gadgets. I am sure that the basement is already full now, with the earlier ones ! -:))

Aba

Parul said...

Dot, here's hoping that you grow 42 lbs of okra this year and at least that many posts every month.

love

Parul

Trish said...

LOL!Dot!that was a fun post..I am sorry to hear about the garden..but it was one fun post!
And happy 2 years!

Ekta said...

hey there...Happy Birthday (am talking to the blog)... Here's wishing you a long and funny life, and hope your creator doesn't get too many of these writers' blocks...
Ohh and Dottie dear, sorry about the pumpkin...am glad i never got to see this side of you though :)

Diwakar Sinha said...

wirters block doesnt have a cure...it took me 4 days to write what I would otherwise have done in a few hours time. But finally I penned it down..:)

Vinita said...

Just this evening (after making a big batch idlis and huge pot of sambar and also chutney) I thought I should get on the internet and ask you as to why you had stopped posting.

I was happy to see your post but all those plants which you must have tended to like babies passing away in a single night.. that must be hard on you. may their soul live in peace.

And what about the bugs?? are they still surviving?

I don't have a green thumb and I haven't planted a single plant in our huge backyard and texas weather. Still I feel your pain.

dipali said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Dottie's beautiful blog!
And yes, bloggers' block is a real animal:(

mnamma said...

Happy 2 years Dottie!!

DotThoughts said...

gnd: Will bring you some zuccini today/tomorrow and gracias:)

Ro: Gracias :)

Ananva: Muy Gracias (you can see my glowing in my spanish here)

Monika: Thanks a LOT for that tip. I went to Home Depot this weekend saw a neem extract. Dang. I should have posted about this when the bugs arrived. Thanks a LOT.

Kodi's mom: Ach, my rose is sooo finicky and high maintainence. I let BigGeek care for it, since he has lots of experience in that department ;-)

GTN: you tell me now :( hmph. But your squash vine episide made me feel better ;-)


Sue: hey hey hey, you are supposed to compliment me, even if it is his pic.

rayshma: oh the fish you get in a restaurant at the end of the universe ;-)

AA_Mom: thanks a lot!!

M4: awww.. what a sweet thing to say, thanks!

Hapi: Welcome!

Aba: you want some old gadgets? :)

Parul: lol. ok and drop that many pounds too, yes ;-)

Trish: thankee muchee?

Ekta: The blog thank you from the bottom of the creator's heart :) Thanks a lot, your words spur me on!

Diwakar: I am glad you did!!!

Vinia: Guess what, I read your comment and the batter was soo on the back of my mind, guess what I did? Dude, Texas weather = nice okra. Green thumbs are totally cultivable :)

Dips: Thanks so much, dear!

mnamma: thanks a lot!

GettingThereNow said...

:) I am glad my distress gave you solace.

I am close to uprooting my zucchini plants. I haven't gotten even ONE zuke out of it this year. They are grow to about 3 inches long and then rot. Something's the matter - but I don't know what :( At least uprooting it will give the other plants the space they need. You have any ideas to revive the zukes? I have fertilized and sprayed insecticide. The leaf stalks are all turning yellow. Come to think of it, I don't even see any flowers on it now. *sob*

DotThoughts said...

hmmm...if they are growing to about 3" and then rotting (some of my zukes are doing that) it could be a "bee" problem. the zukes are getting pollinated. In July/Aug if it gets too hot, the bees stay away. how are the cukes doing? Next year I am planning to plant some bee-loving plants to accompany the cukes and zukes.

DotThoughts said...

i meant the zukes are *not* getting pollinated.

GettingThereNow said...

No I do see a lot of bees. If the zukes are growing to 3 inches in length - that can only happen after pollination na? And cukes are doing great. Harvesting about three cukes a day. Same with green peppers and green chilies. Tomatoes are growing now too. Though all of them are still green. And eggplants and green beans are doing well too. It is only the zukes that are tantrummy :((

DotThoughts said...

no.. no female flowes will grow into small zukes and die if not pollinated in time. but if you are seeing bees, then it muct be something else? any disease on the leaves?

GettingThereNow said...

Leaves have yellow spots which appeared only recently. Could they be affected by overwatering? It rained almost not stop here last week and even before that.

DotThoughts said...

could be mildew because of wet weather, but it should do that to the fruit. Over watering should not be a big problem because of te rain if they are plained inground..It sounds more like a pollination problem to me... In late July/ Aug, I see this with my cukes and zukes when bees are fewer. Are you planting the zukes in the same spot as last year? If you are, that could be the problem..zukes are heavy nitrogen feeders.. so try feeding them nitrogen-heavy fertlizer. And plant pole beans in the zuke spot next year. They will grow just beautifully there and fix your nitrogen..

Vinita said...

tu aata bhaaji paala kasa ugvaychaa hya vishayavar ek chhansa blog suru kar. Bharpur waachak miltil..hee hee

DotThoughts said...

Vinita: maagchi comment lihitana malaa 'amchi maati amchi mansa' hya doordarshanvarchya karyakramachi aathvan zhali :)

Girl Next Door (gnd) said...

atha malaa pan "aamchi maai aamchi mansa" aatvan zali ;-)