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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Winding down

I will always remember Christmas 2006 as the first Christmas where I woke up to thunder. Talk about starting off with a boom….

Now that Christmas is over, the crazy time is starting to wind down. Of course, it doesn’t happen all at once — there are clearance items to buy (and put away for next year) and some shopping to do for Three Kings Day (aka Epiphany) on Jan. 6. We have our major gift exchange on Three Kings Day at FAR Manor — it gives us an opportunity (not always taken) to reserve Christmas Day as a religious observation, plus it gives us a week & a half extra to get presents (often at steep discounts).

Yesterday it was cool and wet; today it was cold and wet. Two of my basil plants are still hanging on; I’ve managed to remember to bring them inside on the coldest nights and the frost hadn’t got them yet. On the other hand, they’re not going to perk up and give me enough leaves to make one last batch of pesto… but I can’t bear to kill good plants. The third basil plant went to seed and checked out a couple of weeks ago; I’ve moved it under cover to dry out and then I’ll harvest the seed pods. I found a couple of seed trays laying around outside today; they’ve also gone under cover. I’ll plant basil and cilantro in them first thing next year.

I took this picture with my new smellphone; a Samsung A707 (The Boy dropped the old Moto, which prompted it to retire). It has a lot of stuff that I don’t really need, like an MP3 player and a 2.0 megapixel camera, but the price was right (after rebate, which Stinkular has been pretty good about honoring). I’ve started to go through the manual (which, so far, I’m not impressed with) to figure out how to set up the camera and so forth… but it beats the heck out of the Moto (which isn’t saying much, granted). It’s too nice to not worry about, though, so I’ll probably have to get a case for it soon.

Back to work in the morning for a few days, then another three-day weekend.


  1. I know what you mean about babying the basil ... I have successfully overwintered here in the past, but it takes some effort. What you might want to consider for next year is to take (say late-summer or so) some cuttings from your outdoor plants and root them, repot them and keep them outside until frost. There are 2 advantages to this (you probably know this?): cutting the plants back will make them bushier and promotemore vigorous growth, and 2, you get extra plants!

    Keeping it alive inside is the tricky part ... they need the sunniest window you can provide, in a room where it never gets too cold (the kitchen has worked for me), and a decent amount of humidity. Keep well watered, but not overwatered and pinch frequently to make them branch more.

    I used to do this with my rare African Blue Basil (a hybrid that unfortunately doesn't produce seeds!) and was able to keep a plant alive for 3 years before I got lazy and killed it off... :-(

  2. Wow, that's amazing, keeping a basil going for 3 years. I'd read somewhere that basil was an annual, so I was pretty much resigned to it dying off. I'll have to keep that in mind.

    So thanks for the pointer! I plan to be marking & prepping a spot for a serious herb garden through the winter so it will be ready to rumble this spring. Lots to do... gather up & shred all the leaves & clippings for mulching/limeing... oh heck, you probably know better than I do what I'm up for. :-)


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