I scattered the last of my native wildflower seeds today. I should have done this at least a month ago, but, well, becoming abruptly and unexpectedly single can really throw off a gardening schedule. Now it's done. I also managed to weed a little and to harvest some more pecans. Pecan season is starting to wind down, I think. Next will be pecan leaf season, in which every leaf on the tree falls to the ground.
With high expectations, I dug up my sweet potato plant today. It was a huge disappointment. The top growth was lovely, and the roots were numerous, but the only actual sweet potato I found among the roots was the one I'd planted in the first place. Oh well. I made the best of it by picking all the best-looking leaves off the vine to save for Jessica's family. I tried eating one myself, but it tasted like what it is - a green vegetable - so I didn't like it. Oh, and I took this picture of the sweet potato plant just before I dug it up, so you can see how beautiful and promising it looked from above ground.
My efforts to teach myself to cook seem to have veered off on a tangent that I'm not sure whether I like. I went shopping at Grocery Outlet and ran across a couple of specialized containers designed to improve the quality of microwave cooking. These have helped me make a wider variety of foods, but they're not helping me learn to make anything outside of the microwave. I did finally receive the first two cookbooks I ordered in the mail everal weeks ago, though, so maybe things will continue improving. I also bought a crock-pot, but I'm feeling rather confused by it. I ordered a crock-pot cookbook, but I haven't received it yet, and I don't think I'm going to start feeling very comfortable with the crock-pot until I do.
I need to figure out how to cook something or other to bring to a Thanksgiving-on-Saturday dinner next weekend with my friends Alyson and Jackie and various other friends of theirs. My usual go-to food for pot-luck events at work, back when I didn't work from home, was homemade bread, but Alyson and Jackie are gluten-free, and I think I'd rather learn to make something else entirely than just experiment with gluten-free bread. I suppose that if all else fails, I could just bring some homegrown pecans, but I'd like to use the event as a reason to actually learn to cook something instead. I'd also like to host Jessica's family for a Christmas Eve dinner like Susan and I did last year, but since it's just me now, that also means that I need to learn how to cook something. Though I suppose I actually do know how to cook turkey already. At least, I used to cook turkey roast all the time back when I was last single. I should still be able to manage that much now, even though I haven't done it in more than six years.
My biggest step toward making the kitchen mine so far has been to simply buy my own china. I owned practically no dishwares of my own anymore - I never owned much to begin with, and most of what I did own had broken over the years since I was last single - but now I own lovely fine china with pictures of flowers, dragonflies, butterflies, ladybugs, and bees on it. The insects really won me over. It's nice to see ecological health on my dinner plates. Anyway, buying the china does bring me a significant step closer to being able to entertain company like an adult again. Now I just need to develop a few dinners that I can cook reliably. I can master at least one good dinner by Christmas, right? With a decent array of side dishes? I can probably manage a few side dishes right now, actually. Timing them to be ready at the same time as the dinner, though, I doubt I'd be much good at.
Another thing I did this weekend was to repaint the ceiling of the pink bathroom shower. It needs a few more coats, though, before it will be done.
Yesterday I went for a walk at sunset. This panoramic photo shows some of the area that I walked through. On the far right is my city. To the left of that is the asphalt walking paths on the levee. To the left of that is the railroad track, and to the left of that is the city cemetery. If you could see just a little farther left, you'd see Highway 70, and to the left of that is St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery, which is where I walked to. Not for any particular reason; it just happened to be as far as I had time to walk by sunset.
There are lots of fall colors in the drainage ditch at the foot of the levee right now. Most of the colorful plants are non-native. The main native plants here are the oaks, the mistletoe, and some coyote brush.
This is the Catholic cemetery. It's locked to keep vandals out, but I got a tricky camera angle - over the top of the chain-link/barbed-wire fence - that made it seem as if I weren't shut on the other side of a fence from it.
This is what I actually came for - the view of the Sutter Buttes from the Catholic cemetery.
And here's another section of the horizon at sunset. With Canadian geese overhead. I ended up liking this better than the shot of the buttes.