April 2, 2017

Succulents: April 2nd 2017

It is really tempting to water the lithops, but I know that I am not supposed to until the old leaves have completely dried up. No double splits this year unfortunately.

My echeverias were getting munched on and are just starting to recover. The flower stalks as well as some of the leaves were infested with some black aphid. I also ended up moving into a sunnier spot where they won’t get covered in pepper tree crap.

Lots of new leaves popping up on the baby toes.

April 2, 2017

Succulents: Mid March 2017

I found some succulents (2x lithops and 1x fenestraria) at Ace Hardware the other weekend; We had stopped by to look for a couple of things after watching Beauty and the Beast (really enjoyed it, highly recommended). I had ended up repotting my lithops with the new plants into a one of the terrocotta pots that were discovered in a corner of the yard.

March 16, 2017

The Getty Center

We drove up and spent the day at The Getty Center last Friday. The mother-in-law, who was in town that weekend had not been to The Getty Center yet so we figured this would be a perfect opportunity to go, particularly since we have had an itch to visit for a while. I chose not to bring my camera because I didn’t really feel like dragging it around all day; I did however snap a few photos on my phone:

March 14, 2017

Lithops

Lithops are supposed to be “living stones” but everyone knows that they are really miniature butts. I am honestly surprised that they are still alive. Unlike the Baby Toes and other finicky plants, the lithops were more or less left outside and ignored for most of the year (I take some of my plants in when it rains to avoid overwatering and rotting).

The original plant came with 4 leaves. Shortly after purchasing it, a rabbit munched on one leaving me with 3. Lithops will flower in the Fall and split in the Spring. At around March every year each leaf will start to split, revealing a brand new leaf underneath. Occasionally 2 new leaves will appear. I was lucky enough to recieve 2 double splits bringing me up to 5 leaves.

At some point, 2 leaves died leaving me with 3. Overwatering is suspected as they were left out in heavy rain (we received a lot of rainfall lately). Since there is still quite a bit of room in the pot, I would love to fill it with other lithops. Unfortunately though, they seem to be hard to find in good condition if at all.

Also, for what it is worth: Never place anything under or near a California Pepper Tree, lest you wish for berries and shit to rain upon all that you love. So messy…

February 20, 2017

Dashi Recipe

Dashi is a type cooking stock that is used in virtually every Japanese soup. Authentic dashi is not that hard to make but it is a bit time consuming compared to instant dashi, etc. It is however, much more rewarding to make and tastes much better in my opinion. This recipe is based off of my grandma’s recipe. I don’t remember how much kombu to use so I just sort of “estimated” that part.

Ingredients: Around 8 cups of water, 2 4″x4″ pieces of kombu (dried kelp), 2 hand fulls of katsuobushi (bonito flakes).
Tools: 2 medium soup pots (one to put on the stove and one to strain the dashi into), fine mesh strainer.

  1. Soak the kombu for at least a half hour (I’ve heard that overnight is better).
  2. Slowly bring the dashi to a boil over medium heat. You may have to skim the white crap off of the surface of the water.
  3. Just as the dashi starts to boil, turn off the heat and immediately remove the kombu.
  4. Let the dashi cool off for about 10 to 15 minutes or so.
  5. Add the katsuobushi and bring the water to a boil again.
  6. Once the dashi is boiling, turn off the heat. Let it sit for a minute or two.
  7. Strain through a fine sieve

To make miso soup for example: Make the dashi first, then add the miso paste + tofu and stuff in afterward.

February 18, 2017

Vlog: NorCal

Not so much of a vlog as it is a collection of videos from my phone, mashed together, and then uploaded from an app (which did a shitty encoding job). Shortly after Christmas, my husband and I went on a short vacation up the coast of California to visit family. Fun trip, would love to drive up Highway 1 but maybe during a less busy time period.

December 3, 2016

Teriyaki Salmon With Soba Noodle Salad

I saw a recipe for this dish on YouTube the other day and decided to make it. Super easy marinade comprised of things that we for the most part had around the house; It wasn’t all that different than the homebrew teriyaki sauce that I make for other things. Very easy, quick, and tasty recipe. Here is a link to the video with the recipe. Also: So much for blogging regularly. Whoops.

October 18, 2016

Draw a Thing 10/18/16: Harvey the Cat + Color Chart

Sketched, inked, and then watercolored a picture of our cat Harvey. I messed up a bit while drawing his mouth unfortunately, so he has more of a cartoon cat expression than a normal cat expression :/. Color chart painted for reference for the sake of knowing what each color looks like on paper. I was also pleased to see that the watercolor pigment doesn’t bleed through to the next page. The water itself does though.

October 17, 2016

Draw a Thing 10/17/16: City Street

Bought some cheap watercolors off of Amazon and tried something new. I don’t think I have watercolored since oh, elementary school so crappy painting is crappy but was super fun to do! I figured that: If I made the drawing itself awesomely detailed enough, it would look half decent even if I did an ass job at painting it in. The problem was that interest in this one started petering out about the time Netflix happened. Also the cat, and the husband, and leftover cake, and getting work stuff ready for tomorrow, etc etc. :/

Also, painting with the weird plastic squeezy brush thing as it turns out, is harder than it looks. Maybe I’ll use a page or two of printer paper to practice brush strokes or something so they look less chunky and more smooth-like. Goal: Practice watercoloring and markering more, git gud, buy nicer markers and watercolor supplies, git guder, repeat.

Worth noting that sketchbook paper doesn’t make the best watercolor paper but good enough for my purposes. It actually doesn’t bleed through all that much unless I use a LOT of water; Certainty way less bleeding than the markers.

October 12, 2016

Baby Toes: Part II

Yay my plant is flowering. Unfortunately, the only time that I can see it bloom is on the weekends when we are actually home during the day. Now that the days are getting shorter, it is just dark enough for the flower to be both closed when I leave for work and closed when I get home from work. :/

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