Six on Saturday: mystery solved

Oh, look, it’s still Saturday in my time zone! Let’s do this before it gets any later. For my first shot, here’s the current state of the vegetable garden. The sweet peas stubbornly refuse to bloom, but the chard I cut back before visiting my family in August has come back strongly, and there are still tomatoes trying to ripen.

#2 is the sedums and marigold again, with a splash of coreopsis:

For #3, we have asters in two shades of purple:

Yesterday I decided to pull up some of the unidentified plants from the new bed in the front yard. When they came up, I thought they might be cosmos, as I had tossed some seeds around the plot while I was planting the flowers I’d dug up from elsewhere in the yard, but they never did bloom, besides becoming very large and woody. (But maybe they’re like the sweet peas??)

While I was pulling out these big things, a smaller plant nearby came up, too. I was okay with that; its flowers were pretty but didn’t last. This is a similar one, for #5.

And then I learned that this was actually a potato plant! I am excited about this. One potato is not much of a harvest, but I wasn’t trying to grow potatoes, so this is pure lagniappe. The soil I used in the new flower bed came from my compost heap, so I guess some potato peelings survived and thrived. #6 was taken indoors, with a teacup for scale.

That’s my six for this week. I think there are two more potato plants in various spots in the garden (one actually in the vegetable patch), so I’ll let them alone for a bit longer before I try to harvest more potatoes. Volunteer tomato plants in the front bed are also doing very well. I need more tomato cages or stakes, though, and this is not a good time of year to buy them. I’ve been trying to prop up the plants with small fallen branches, since it’s too dry to be safe to burn them.

Six on Saturday is hosted by The Propagator. We share asters, this week.

Spreadsheets for Humanities research

For awhile now, I’ve intended to blog on this topic, since Undine expressed interest. I have a few tabs open with related posts, and I want to close them, and I’m feeling a Friday-afternoon slump, so let’s do this.

I originally started working with spreadsheets because the tables I’d created in WordPerfect were so long and complicated that they had become unstable. I mentioned that here. From what I said in that post about a concordance and Topic A in Author Z, I think this was an earlier stage of research on what is now my book-in-progress. This project began as a conference paper. A journal editor who attended my session asked me to expand and submit the paper to their journal. When I started expanding, the danged thing grew, and grew, and grew some more. It’s still growing. I am still adding to the spreadsheet, as I realize that more and more words have connections to Topic A.

Profacero asked, around the same time, about using spreadsheets and calculators and bibliography managers. I don’t need spreadsheets for numbers. For me, they’re a useful way of tabulating information in a way I can get at easily.

I had another spreadsheet for part of the MMP, the Macedonian Marginalia Project. It had a long list of the marginalia, including columns for manuscript folio, edition page, text by which the marginalia appeared, and I forget what else, but there was more.

Another book-related spreadsheet tracks family relationships for multiple generations. I could get specialized family-tree software, but that’s not exactly what I want. I need to comment on what people were doing, and marriages they thought about negotiating but didn’t go through with, and similar matters. I like having different columns in which I can put this kind of information. Excel appears to be a very robust program. I can fill up cells with text, not numbers, and it just chugs along, keeping things organized.

I have a spreadsheet that I’m trying to use to organize the book itself, section by section, including primary and secondary quotations, historical analogues, and various other things that I want to use to support my main points. That isn’t going as well, TBH, because I do a lot of my thinking by writing, and then I have to take the time to move points from a written document into the spreadsheet, and it all seems stupidly fiddly: until the moment when I’m struggling with what goes where and I wish that I had moved things into the spreadsheet so that I could see things spread out clearly instead of having to pull them out of a long wall of text.

Then there’s the spreadsheet with all my scholarly books in it, which I wrote about here.

There might be some others, but those are the main ones that occur to me. Questions welcome!

Six on Sss…sunday

Late again! I took my photographs yesterday. Then I put away a load of laundry, did some weeding and watered the potted tomatoes, took an eBay return to the post office and did some other errands, went for a walk, ate dinner, and watched a stage of the Vuelta. I suppose I could have done a blog post during the TV-watching, if I had remembered, but I didn’t.

It seems to be the time of year for white flowers, again: here’s #1, Honorine Jobert, in bud.

And again like last year, the garlic:

For #3, the autumn clematis, now in bloom:

#4, the hydrangeas (Annabelle, I believe), not yet white, but they will be:

The sedums are pink, but some of the little flowerlets are still whitish:

#6, on the other side of the clump of sedums, is the one dwarf marigold I have this year. I do not know what happened to the marigolds. Last year they bloomed like mad, both in front and in the veg patch. I figured at least some would come up from seed on their own, but I also saved seeds and tried to start some in little pots, and threw some around the veg patch again. Not one of the dozen that I carefully planted came up, and neither did any of the others, till this one. I am glad to see it:

In non-gardening news, I met my writing goals for the week, and graded two sets of short assignments, one from each class. I hardly recognize this efficient self . . . except that I haven’t done most of the other things on the week’s list, so I guess it’s still me. At least I’ve done the most important things!

Six on Saturday, which is supposed to happen on Saturday, is hosted by The Propagator. He also has Honorine and Annabelle this week.