My brother (perhaps I should start referring to him here as Didi, which is the way you address your younger brother in Mandarin) is … quirky about giving presents. As in, often he doesn’t, but when he does, they tend to be unusual. Every once in a while, that’s unusual as in “spectacularly good idea that no one else would have thought of”. While I was away, a package arrived from him for my birthday and a couple of previous gift-giving occasions (combining makes sense anyway when Chanukah, Rudder’s birthday and mine are only 3 months apart and international shipping is involved). The big item in it proved to be an Aerogarden. It’s sort of like the Jetson’s version of a garden. It came with an herb garden seed kit and my brother also included a Salsa Garden kit (cherry tomatoes and jalapenos). We do have a small balcony and Taiwan’s got a wet enough climate that watering would not be an issue, but pollution might, enough sun might, and anyway I never know what else to do as far as pruning, nutrients, and so on. So this thing is really perfect for someone with my nonexistent gardening skillz.

So far this thing is working perfectly; I’ve thinned out the tomato seddlings already, as instructed, and the remaining two seem to be growing robustly. (They’re almost up to 2″!) The pepper has just finally sprouted within the last couple of days. Especially now with Rudder away, I’ve been talking to them and cheering on the new growth. I expect I sound very silly, but I no longer have cats to talk to :-(. If all goes as planned, I can harvest the first little tomatoes in a month or so.

I don’t know what I’ll do if Rudder and I both have to travel, though. Right now it can go two weeks without care (which, you may recall, is a week less than we were both away in March) but when the plants grow bigger they will need water more often. Maybe I can take the whole thing downstairs and ask the guard to watch it, or get a neighbor to plant sit. Or I could bring it in to work, but I’m not sure the plants would react well to that big a disruption.

In other good news, I may have a local Stitch and Bitch to go to this weekend. I was thinking of shopping in the local mall on Saturday and the downtown one on Sunday (for anything I can’t find locally) but maybe I’ll reverse that, since the SnB is over toward the downtown one.