A little goes a long way

Smoke gets in my eyes and in my hair...

Triangle may get whiff of blaze

With wildfire still burning in Eastern North Carolina, Triangle residents could smell smoke today.

Thursday morning they were comfortable with could. They could have asked me, I would have told them I smelled it last night and that what I saw coming in Wednesday night and confused with storm clouds wasn't clouds, it was smoke.

Smoke Moves In

Callers clogged the 9-1-1 emergency communications center in Raleigh this morning to report the smoky haze and acrid odor that moved into the region overnight from the wildfire at the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in Eastern North Carolina.

The smoke smells like burning rubber and that confused me, I thought that burning trees would smell like burning wood, not this rubbery mechanical-y odor that has drifted in; and while it did take me a while to put 2 and 2 together when I began to smell something off , I didn't feel compelled to call 911 about it while I was thinking it over. I don't know what kind of trees are burning at that refuge but the smoke smells like a tire dump is on fire. It is the same odor one might notice after forgetting to take the emergency brake off and then driving for a while. At speed... Not that I would know about leaving the emergency brake on, But I have read detailed accounts of others experiences and they describe an odor very much like the one we are experiencing now.

Speaking of petroleum by-products, I went to check out the vintage clothing store I tried to visit last weekend. I was looking though the racks and I ran across a Mexican wedding dress that was as nice as the one that I and every other girl and woman in Texas had three of in 1982. I was like Yeah. It's nice but I had one just like it, it's hardly "vintage". I learned also that in today's world, polyester double knit pants are sold as vintage and I guess if you were born in 1983 they would be. I am so old.

The smoke doesn't seem to be having a negative impact on the garden. I found a new blossom, that might be an eggplant - I can't tell really, I know it's not a squash as they seem be yellow flowers and it's too big to be what I think are sweet bell pepper flowers and, I see a hint of aubergine or it may be a squash with issues. I don't really care, at this point anything reaching maturity would be very exciting. Do they have books like What To Expect when You Are Expecting for first time gardener's? The Girl Friends Guide to Urban Farming? Not Your Great Grandmothers Victory Garden! or even, The Dummies Guide to Growing Things?. I found that I do have a book about gardening but it seems to take for granted you come equipped with a sizable budget, a yard the size of a soccer field, and a staff.

When I laid out my garden I just looked around for the flattest sunny spot in the yard and said there, scraped the ground, dumped in new soil and planted my plants (too many, too close together). Next year bigger garden, fewer plants. According to the book I was supposed to carefully plot out where I was going to put everything and make grids and in general plan a lot more than I did.

Also, according to the book, if I wanted to start a garden I should have started in February and the fact I waited until April says I am an amateur and shouldn't be allowed near as much as a garden salad much less a garden of my own.

The book also thinks I should grow everything from seed. I lied to the book about planting seedlings, I couldn't bear it's further disappointment. In my defence, I didn't know that I was supposed start everything from seed or that gardens were supposed to be geometrically perfect or that it is important to "pre-treat" the soil or even that I was supposed to be pruning my tomatoes. The book would not approve of the tomato tree, a tall tomato plant is a very bad thing and is the mark of an undisciplined garden and a bad gardener.

You discipline a tomato plant and not walk away feeling dirty.

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