The revenge of the tomatillos!

The final garden harvest was Saturday. I picked a gazillion tomatillos, the remaining peppers, and a tiny bit of basil. Over the past two weeks I’d picked most of the basil (which now lives in my freezer) and the more ripe peppers. As you can see, tomatillos were the bulk of the harvest.

The long peppers are Big Jims, and the smaller ones are baby Big Jims, Mosco Pueblo chili peppers, and there’s even one teeny tiny poblano. I left the little peppers on the plants as long as I could, but the weather was turning and it was time.

When I say “the weather was turning,” boy, did it turn! On Saturday it was sunny and in the 60s. My garden was happy. The plants were growing. Bees were buzzing around the borage, marigolds and, of course, the many tomatillo flowers. The only clue that something was up (other than the forecast) was that our ash tree decided to drop half its leaves, even though most of the leaves were still green. It was like the ash knew what was coming…

By the time it stopped snowing on Sunday, we had close to a foot of snow. I went out and knocked snow from the tree branches I could reach because it was weighing them down. And my garden…well, it was no more.

Some of the herbs are undoubtedly okay, like the sage and probably the fennel. And maybe the rosemary. They might even be a little happier now, since as soon as I take down the remnants of the tomatillo plants, whatever is left will get a lot more sun. The tomatillo plants had taken over most of the garden, so they were keeping the other plants from getting much sunshine. They’d even taken over the lower branches of the small crabapple we’d planted by the garden earlier in the summer.

Now the tomatillo plants are gone, but they’ve had their revenge…because now I have to figure out what to do with all of the tomatillos!!!!!

Here’s an update on new things I’ve learned and experienced in the past week!

Learnings

I’m doing research for a book series (at least I think it’s a series) set in Italy in roughly 80 A.D. This, of course, means part of the story will be set in Rome—because how could it not be?

I started working on this project at the fantasy writing workshop I took last April, and while I really love how the story starts (since it was clear from the first line that it was going to be much longer than the short story it was supposed to be), I would like to do a lot more research before getting back to the actual writing so that the facts and setting details are as accurate as I can make them.

I’m reading A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome by Alberto Angela. This is one of the books recommended by some of my friends who write historical fiction, and it’s exactly what I was looking for to start with. I’m learning all kinds of things about Imperial Rome, as well as facts about life before electricity and other things we take for granted today. For example, the streets of Rome would have been dark at night, because they didn’t have streetlights—but there were lanterns set at places where there were important statues and things like that, and those locations were often at street intersections. So now if I write a scene at night I not only know the streets were dark, which I probably would have guessed, but I also know what kinds of places on the streets might be lit up.

Experiencings

I went back to work after a week off, and aside from a brief period of annoyance at actually having to have a job at all :), I realized I still like my day job!

It was really nice to get back into the swing of things. Apparently the organization I work in got reorganized last week (we’re mostly the same, but now report up through a different chain), so that was a little surprising, although not unexpected at a company of this size. I’ve mostly worked for startups and small software companies, so it’s been interesting to work for a really large company for the past year and a half. The reorg doesn’t appear to have affected anything at my level, so it’s more of a curiosity for me than anything else.

I’m looking forward to going to work tomorrow, which is really great. And let’s be clear—I’m also looking forward to my next vacation. 🙂

I have a new short story coming out soon in Rocketpack Adventures, an anthology put together by Russ Crossley. This is the story I didn’t have time to write, but was so excited about that I squeezed it in anyway. I wrote most of it in a single day about a month ago. More about my story and the collection as we get closer to launch!

I haven’t written anything new since I finished my non-fiction book, Bundle Up!, because I’ve been busy putting together promotional material related to the NaNoWriMo Writing Tools bundle. I’ve been doing interviews with some of the other authors in the bundle, and my friend Lori is helping out with some posts we’re going to do with and about the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, which is a non-profit organization that gets a percentage of the proceeds from the NaNoWriMo bundle. I’ve also been working on edits, formatting, and marketing prep for the first volume in the monster series my friend DeAnna and I are editing. I’ve been working on a slew of other things as well, like website updates, and making checklists and spreadsheets.

And, of course, I’m experimenting with tomatillo recipes. 🙂

Jasper helped with the harvest! Notice what he put in the bowl…

 
 

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