April Tarps make . . . July green beans?

Blessings, Darlings!

I’m really pushing myself on this day off, to get stuff done in the garden. But first I have to make ‘tarps’ to put over the soil (to keep the weeds down) by taping black plastic garden bags (cheap, from Costco) together.

I HATE using plastic in the garden. But I’ve been so horribly low on spoons that every 8 X 8 area I make tarps for and get the tarps in place on is an area that some day soon, when I have spoons, I’ll be able to plant fast and easily. If I can just cover the entire garden now, in April, then planting in May and June will be easy.

The problem is finding spoons in April. The plastic bags I’ve had forever, so they are here. The duct tape is here.

Spoons, as always, are on back order.

Frondly, Fern

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Price increases

 Blessings Darlings!

We had another hard freeze Sunday night.  It did a lot of damage to my sprouting Swiss Chard, which we were hoping to use for salad and cooking greens right quick.  Most of the plants survived, but there will be delays.
HOWEVER – the freeze didn’t bother the wild spring greens.  Today on my 10 minute break at work I filled a gallon bag with some lovely dead nettle.  It will become a creamy green topping for pasta tomorrow night. 
This all matters because my job exists, but doesn’t really pay a living wage.  And the price of food has jumped . . . and so has the price of propane.  We are down to the point that out propane tank has only about 12% of its capacity left, about 51 gallons.  So I ordered another 100 gallons.  Which is more than 3 times the price per gallon it was when we first moved in here, some 4 or 5 years ago.  I DID get a small discount for our first fill, I’m sure.  But with Covid induced price increases (due to workers missing work from illness and/or deaths, leading to supply problems) followed by supply pressure from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, added to the fact that the past month was 3 degrees F colder here than it had been one year before (and that year wasn’t a warm one) – I’m going to be spending $500 to just get 100 gallons of propane.  100 gallons.  We usually use 400 gallons a year.  In November I spent $1400 on propane (we really were sucking fumes at that point, 4% left in the tank).  It looks as if I’ll be spending at LEAST $2000 for propane this year.
I expect there will be a lot of weed – excuse me, wild crafted vegetable eating in our future. 
Frondly, Fern

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The Fairy Folklore in Pan’s Labyrinth

 Continuing on with my series of fairy folklore in films and television let’s look at the 2006 film Pan’s Labyrinth, or ‘El laberinto del fauno’ [the labyrinth of the Faun]. This movie, much like Henson’s Labyrinth, is full of folklore references which are worth discussing, as well as many references to classical literature and mythology which are beyond the purview of this blog. As with previous…

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Are Fairies Physical?

 One of the most common questions I’m asked is if fairies have physicality, if they are tangible beings. This is rooted I think in the common idea perpetuated especially in new age and post-Victorian fairy belief that these beings are entirely energy or thoughtforms, creatures that can be perceived by the mind but lack physical reality in this world. So let’s dig into this shall we?Arthur…

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Baobhan Sìth in Folklore vs my Fiction

 I recently gave a presentation ‘Elves After Dark 2’ in which I discussed several specific types of folkloric beings known to directly and intimately interact with humans. This included the Scottish Baobhan Sìth a being that I also include in my fiction and in the Q&A after the presentation I was asked about how the folklore differed from my interpretation in my Between the Worlds series. I…

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GoodRx actually works. Sometimes.

Blessings Darlings!

I’m going to take a moment to talk about GoodRx.  You might have seen it’s ads on TV, about how it can help you get the prescription meds that you need for affordable prices.

Well, we had to try it out the other day.  Here’s what happened.

The Chubby Hubby, being old, has an assortment of stuff about his body that isn’t optimal.   One of them is the dreaded “I have to get up and pee once or twice overnight”.  It’s not something that *I* see as a critical thing, but it’s his body and sometimes he has trouble getting back to sleep after getting up to pee.  Anyway –

So he sees a urologist.  No prostate issues, just the ‘overactive bladder’ stuff.  Fine.  Tries one drug, doesn’t work.  Tries another drug, doesn’t work.  Now they want him to try another drug, maybe two drugs together.  Welp, while the original drugs were cheap, especially with our AARP medicare drug coverage – these are NOT AT ALL affordable, even with the drug coverage.  Like, $300+ and $400+ per month.

Cue freak out.  And a call to the urologist about other options due to the prices.  The nurse there says to try a different pharmacy (I’ll talk about Walgreens some other post) and use GoodRx there.  He does.  The price for Expensive Drug #1 drops to under $17.  OTOH, the price for Expensive Drug #2 stays over $400.

He’s getting Drug #1 and trying it out.  Expensive Drug #2 is not on our menu.

So, somewhat mixed results, but those of you who don’t have drug coverage, or whose drug coverage leaves some drugs unaffordable, might get some help thru’ it.  It’s worth looking at.

Frondly, Fern

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A little warmth in the cold of winter.

Blessings, Darlings!

Today is almost totally cloudy, with a cold wind altho’ the actual temperature is in the mid 50’s, and it’s still a waxing moon (now more than 1/4 full.)  The Super Bowl is tomorrow (not that we care) and Valentine’s Day is in two days (alas, not that THAT matters, either.)

I picked up and started using a mat for heating seeds.  Not that I’m using it on any seeds – it’s under my ginger and turmeric plants.  Those plants die back to their tubers in this house over the winter, then don’t start up again until damn near summer.  This means I get TINY crops of them.

Unacceptably tiny crops.

Thus, investment in the mat and electricity.  We’ll see if this improves the situation.  The Chubby Hubby says he’s jealous of the plants, that he’d like another source of heat, especially with the newly instituted thermostat drop at night.

This last week has been very warm here, which reduced our use of propane by itself, so we can’t see if our lifestyle changes (tiny lifestyle changes) have reduced our usage.  The next 3 days, tho’, will be colder so might give us some information.

I got an e-mail from our propane provider.  They feel we should contact them for a refill when the tank is down to 40% full.  Um, we were down to 30% full last week.  The price of propane is sky high.  I’m hoping the price will drop before we actually are forced to order any.  Of course that might not be possible.

Oh, I DID start some seeds, but since I started Swiss Chard, and that is VERY hardy, I didn’t need to heat the seed bed at all.  They are awfully leggy, since I don’t have any grow lights.  But if I get a cold frame put up outside, they might do okay soon.  If.

Frondly, Fern

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Its Time To Talk About The Anti-Irish Issues in That Popular Series

 I’ve said I would write this blog for a while, after discussing the subject in bits and pieces on social media so here we are. I want to preface this by saying though that this isn’t an indictment of the author in question personally nor am I saying she did this consciously nor intentionally. This isn’t me trying to bash the series; I’m picking it as one example out of many because its popular…

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Sunday evening tech down

 Blessings, Darlings!

It’s a bright, sunny, but cold day here in my corner of the Appalachians.  Waxing moon.  My cousin Barbara’s 80th birthday (Happy birthday!)  Temperature might get up above freezing today.  Or might not.
I’ve got the dishwasher running, and the second load of laundry in that washer.  Due to the cold weather, the laundry will go into the dryer.  Soon I’ll be heading out to work for the day.

While this winter hasn’t seemed to be particularly cold – we’re certainly going thru’ propane at an advanced rate.  I might need to buy more to get thru’ the winter, a concept that is intimidating given how high the price all fossil fuels are this year.  Not that I expect them to get much lower in future years, mind you.  But most years I can fill the tank for $900 or so and get thru’ a year, while last fall I paid over $1400 and worry that I’ll run out.

Chubby Hubby and I had a talk about the propane issue, and he spent the evening trying to get the theoretically programmable thermostat programmed.  He had no success.  So now we’re just going to manually change it, morning and evening.  We had been leaving it at 66 degrees all the time.  Now, from about 8 pm to 5:30 am, it will be set to 62 degrees.  Maybe that will help.  And maybe the guys will take shorter showers.  I’ve been doing that for a while now.

Frondly, Fern

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Folklore in Hilda

 As part of my ongoing series on folklore found in mass media I’m going to take on the popular Netflix show Hilda. This is an animated series based on an existing comic/graphic novel that pulls heavily from Icelandic and related folklore. It is aimed at children and features a main character who is a child and so we go into this understanding that the folklore within the show has been softened…

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