Corona update week 4 or 400 who knows?

So, here we are in 2020- in lockdown and safe at home- but slightly bored. I can report that after 4 weeks in lockdown I have accomplished a few things, but not nearly as much as the Instagram Influencers and Motivated Mothers circulating around the internet. I feel both inadequate and accomplished at the same time.

Life skills learned: 1- thanks to a dumpling class taught by my colleague in Shanghai.  I have also learned that I love dumplings and that they’re extremely relaxing to make.   The best part is that Gary does not like dumplings and I’ve gotten to eat every single one that I Made and they are yummy!

New cooking fad appliances bought:  1 – well 2—maybe 3 if you include the Soda Stream birthday gift.  The only one I’ve bought is the Inova sous vide precision cooker, (and the vacuum sealer to go with it.)  I can already tell it’s going to be life changing for 6 months and then sit in the drawer untouched most of the year.  It’s pretty cool though- I’ve already made carrots and asparagus.  Gary was unimpressed.  They tasted great but they were pretty much just normal carrots and normal asparagus.  So, he doesn’t really get what all the fuss is about.

Hobbies attempted:  3- But so far only 1 has been successful and even that is early days.  Apparently I’ve started a garden from seed- I think the broccoli is growing and at least one or two other plants.  I had very low expectations so didn’t bother to mark what is growing where or read the instructions on how to grow it.  I just stuck the seeds in dirt and the dirt in  a pot and now there are green things growing.  Maybe broccoli or lettuce or tomatoes?  Who knows?  It’s like a quarantine wheel of plant fortunes.

So that led me to think about building a planter box for my new victory garden of broccoli and tomatoes- hopefully.  Luckily, Gary talked me out of DIY-ing it and building it myself.  Actually, it was common sense that made me realize it was a bad idea.  That, and asking Gary whether we had a saw and what pilot holes are, knowing full well that I have no business near a saw- and the likelihood of me putting together anything without instructions is low.  So I just ordered a planter box- which is probably a huge mistake since I have no idea how to garden or even what size I need.  How much dirt goes into a planter box and then what do you do next?

And the third hobby that I have attempted is needlepoint/cross stitch-  well I ordered a kit, which wasn’t in stock, and I’ve ordered two more that haven’t arrived.  By the time they come this lockdown will be over and I’m sure they will both be filed away in my drawer of broken dreams. 

I  would love to say that I’m using my corona-cation time wisely but I’m not and it’s not really a vacation.  I’m working full time, and even though I’m saving time commuting and putting on makeup and getting dressed, I still don’t quite have the free time that other people seem to to learn hobbies or organise their lives I’m not making clever videos or memes or macrame-ing anything or sewing a mask or even Kondo-ing my cabinets.  I’m watching Netflix and still have laundry I haven’t folded and books I’m meaning to read.   Not much has changed- it feels like we’ve been stuck on Tuesday for 4 weeks now.  I think I’ll be a bit sad when this is all Over if I have nothing to show for it- or maybe I’ll just have everyone over for sous vide broccoli and dumplings.

Nothing tastes sweeter…

…than a strawberry from your own garden! I should know, I ate one the other day! Quite surprisingly, my little garden has been going gangbusters and we are starting to enjoy the fruits (pardon my pun) of my labor! We’ve already had a few cherry tomatoes, used the mint in a few dishes and I saw my first pepper today! I’m still waiting for what I hope will be sunflowers and there are a couple of things in the back garden which I’m not sure what they are– one is possibly a resurrected eggplant. It is starting to flower so we’ll know soon enough! In the meantime, here are more pictures of our little patch of earth!

I will say one thing, I admire people who grow their own food. Despite our progress, our garden would feed us for a day maximum at this stage. I can’t imagine having to rely on it for all of our meals. IMG_9150-0.JPG

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I’m not bragging but….

My garden is actually doing pretty well!  (Touch wood)

It’s going so well, that I’m scared to leave it for a few days to go to Noosa.  Who’s going to water them and keep them alive for 5 whole days!

It’s going so well, that I actually can see tiny baby tomatoes on my tomato plant.

It’s going so well, that I didn’t pull the weeds that are actually little baby flowers.

It’s going so well, that only a few plants have died.

It’s going so well, that I’m bragging (only slightly) about it.

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Can you see the little baby tomatoes? I’m EXCEPTIONALLY proud of them!

Because I’m a proud little plant mama.  I’m managed to keep these little guys alive (more or less- I’m sorry coriander and parsley) for a few weeks now.   I’ve been watering them almost every day and the results are starting to bear fruit….literally!It’s going so well, I actually used homegrown mint when I made roast lamb AND in my minty peas this week. Just as an FYI, last time I tried to grow tomatoes, I wound up with one.   That’s right.  1 little sad cherry tomato that I waited patiently all summer for.  We’re already doing a bit better this time!

So, because I have no children or pets, I’m going to treat you to a few progress photos of the garden…  you can just make out the little shoots for the wildflowers (I hope) that have started growing.  I nearly pulled them thinking they were weeds, until I realised that they were growing in the exact spots where I had sown the seeds for the flowers.  I’m not a gardening expert (yet) but I’m making progress!  I’ll keep you posted!

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Ok, so maybe my hit rate isn’t 100%….

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One is parsley, one is coriander (cilantro)…I’m just not sure which is which…but they definitely are doing better inside than out!

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Rosemary

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Mint… and what originally was parsley and coriander too…. but they died 😦

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Baby flowers…. or weeds???? Only time will tell!

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Fingers crossed they are flowers… it’s too soon to tell!

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1 dead plant out of 4…. not too bad!

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Ok, you can’t see the garden fresh mint in the peas and spinach, but it’s in there…. trust me!

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oh….and we have a garden…

Well, I have the beginnings of a garden.

After two trips to Bunnings, I have two dead herb plants, and a raised garden bed full of potential.  Eggplant, cherry tomato, cucumber, pepper, mint, chili, rosemary, and flowers may grow in our garden.  I also sowed seeds- sunflowers, wild flowers, rosemary, coriander, and parsley which *may* also turn into something.

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I’m not optimistic.  But you never know, now that I’m a wife and a semi-grown up, I may actually learn to garden.  It probably would have been helpful if I had read up on how to plant plants beforehand- I’m not sure that my dig a hole and hope for the best method is the right way to go.   Apparently there are different soils, fertilizers, water and shade conditions to worry about so we’ll see what happens…. stay tuned.  I’m waiting with baited breath to see what happens…

In the meantime, we’ll be sitting in our new hammock, waiting for something to happen!September and October 2014 025