Month: May 2008

Boy, am I beat

No real reason for it, except that sunshine and heat drain me of energy like a short does a car battery. It’s been hot and sunny the last two days and I’ve got almost all the rest of my stuff planted. That’s meant hauling dirt up and down the stairs, of course, so maybe that’s why I’m tired, I dunno. Anyway, I have four Delicata squash planted on the driveway and a lemon cucumber, the latter courtesy of a friend, so they’ll get plenty of sunshine up there.

In the raised beds, kale and chard has come up. My rhubarb is finally making enough rhubarb to eat (it’s three years old or more) and there are also peas, lots of lettuces, beets, potatoes (blue ones!), a tomato or two, a mini-pepper (the latter two courtesy of the same friend), some parsley, The Herbs That Will Not Die (thyme, oregano, chives, but I’m not sure whether the rosemary made it) and, of course, The Strawberries That Conquered the Earth. My asparagus has given me two nice servings so far, and the stalks are just huge, fat and sweeeeeet. Yummmm. Sweet basil and lemon balm are going in a little over-the-deck-railing planter, too. That should be enough. And then some.

Another friend gave me the curry plant she dug out of her yard, too. (Smells like curry, but curries are blended spices and I don’t know if you can cook with this stuff.) Having seen it only in early spring, I was expecting a small bush. It had a two two-inch trunks and getting it in the car trunk was like trying to stuff a body inside. I don’t have room for it, so it’s still sitting up on the driveway. Maybe I’ll drag it out to the street (it’s HEAVY) and put a sign on it saying “free to good home.”

This is the big Ski to Sea weekend, a period during which I do my best to stay faaaaar away from Fairhaven, seeing as how I’m interested in neither the race nor trying to get parking. The street fair can be kind of fun, but street fairs everywhere are pretty much the same and having covered about 500 of them, they mostly feel like a place I have to work.

I did go down, with the aforementioned friend, so we could give two other friends a break. Seeing as how it’s Memorial Day weekend, they’d taken their Iraq “wall,” which consists of about 45 or 50 mounted poster-sized boards with the name, hometown and date of death of each US soldier who has so far died in Iraq. They needed to eat dinner, so we babysat the wall for a while. It was very well received—completely nonpolitical, as it usually is not 😉 —and lots of people were stopping to look people up. I found the guys from Chris’s unit and also a young man whose family I knew in Hazen. You all know my feelings about that, so I won’t repeat them.

Grandma had already completely forgotten the four new jokes I told her last night so she laughed again with great glee. She’d forgotten one of them already last night, not long after I told it to her, so she got three laughs out of that one. She still doesn’t recognize her future in the little old ladies who wander into the dining room because they don’t know what time it is or when dinner is, and then come back a few minutes later because they don’t remember doing so before. I suppose denial can be a comfort for some.

The Squirrel Wars are down to Plan D. Or maybe Plan E. This is not going well.

It’s clouding over and I think it’s supposed to rain tonight. That will make me happy, as long as it doesn’t get up to 80 tomorrow and be a steam bath. At the moment, I’m watching “The Producers” (the old one) and avoiding working on things I ought to do.

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Evil white people

That’s what those *#)! gray squirrels are like. Drop one off in the neighborhood, and before you know it it’s multiplied, they’ve stolen the land, killed off or driven out the local inhabitants, and are spreading their philosophy of aggression all over the world. Grrrr.

I won’t go into detail about my battles with these monsters again, but a couple of days ago I saw one of the beasts fling—yes, fling—one of my little brown Douglas squirrels off the birdfeeder. The next day, three of the nasty gray tree-rats (two big males, well over two pounds—big enough to haul a Radio Flyer!) were in my yard.

I am making Plans. I am the one with opposable thumbs and a large brain pan, and I want them gone.

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I am a being of light!

Here is the tree northwood sent me for Mother’s Day, with the background at 50% or so so as not to overwhelm it. It’s pretty good sized and it really really liked the sunshine and heat that showed up the day after it did:


And here’s a shot of my linen top, knitted from flax yarn that was really sheddy and left bits of green floating around in the air for hours. It’s pretty comfortable and it actually fits in all the important places, although it’s a bit wrinkled here from being wadded up in my lap while I did the finish work. I’m pretty pleased. 🙂 I have also obviously become a magical being of light:


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More things that happened this week

. . . or, technically, last week, since Sunday is said to be the first day of the week, and this week.

Snaotheus got my two light fixtures installed yesterday and we (mostly he) pressure-washed half the front deck. He found some good beers at Bargainica that were useful for motivation, although pressure-washing isn’t a particularly onerous chore on a hot day (and it was HOT). He also played Tall Person ™ and hung up my fuchsia, around which hummingbirds are already clustering happily.

We did a little target practice before we went to a concert, and I think got the pistol sighted in pretty well. I got it close the night before, but we were making nice perforations around the left-hand perimeter of the circle, so I moved it over a tish more and we hit the circle a lot more often. Now I have two screens out of the windows and one of them hinged to the window with tape. Unfortunately, Mr. Gray pays very close attention to me and if he even sees motion in the house, he scampers off. I’ll have to spend a few hours sitting in my “blind” (hahahaaah!), composed of a dining-room chair at the front window, and catch the little bastid that way. Grrr.

Speaking of little bastids, I have at least one mole, which has dug tunnels under my stepping stones and dislodged them, created mazes in the raised beds, and I fear damaged my precious aspergrasses. It’s pretty awful. I’d rather the little monster dug underneath the weedcloth, but he seems to think digging on top of it is more fun. Creep.

The concert, courtesy of the Cs of B’ham’s season tickets (they’re in Tuscany), was the end-of-season Whatcom Symphony pops concert, which is always fun. It had been a long time since either Snaotheus or I had been to an orchestral concert. All the funny little traditions and etiquettes of the orchestra were oddly soothing.

One piece was especially intriguing (two world premieres!); it combined jazz with the orchestra in four movements. Considering that jazz etiquette and traditions are much different from those of orchestras, I was interested to see which would prevail. In a jazz performance, it’s customary to applaud immediately after a soloist performs, drowning out the rest of the group in the process. In an orchestra performance, you don’t clap until the end of the piece (when the conductor lowers his arms), and then soloists will take individual bows during the applause. Perhaps not surprisingly, orchestral tradition won out in this largely blue-haired, walker-bearing audience. 😉

Ann spent a lot of time figuring out the acoustic sweet spot in this particular performance hall, and she was sure right. Not only did you get music from the stage and bouncing off the acoustic clouds, but also bouncing off a half-wall behind the row we were in.

Considering they’re all volunteers, the symphony did a really good job. Nice and crisp on some difficult passages, and rather sloppy and even a bit out of tune occasionally on some others. But it was still fun, and they were obviously enjoying themselves, which makes it more fun. A featured group, the Bottom Line Duo, gave a very entertaining performance at the end, including a competitive version of “The Flight of the Bumblebee.”
I’ve sprayed half the house with carpenter-ant killer this morning and planted Christopher’s Mother’s Day present (the peach half), which is in about the sunniest spot I could find right next to the stairs. Must away shortly to buy hose acoutrements to replace broken ones. Ah! There’s the little monster now!

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Things that have happened this week

Yesterday it was winter. Today it is summer. I don’t like it when spring is skipped. I don’t want to have fans in the windows all summer long, either. Bleah. But I’m sure Sunshine People are happy. I’m a Rainy Day Person, myself.

I cut a shim today to take up a little space in the light fixture Ryan started installing last week. It’s actually square, I’m waiting for the spackle to dry on the edges of the plywood before I paint it, and I think it will work. Sometimes I amaze myself.

Otis has returned to the birdfeeder, after it had been bereft of creatures (because it was empty) for about a week. The big grosbeaks have shown up and something with a really pretty song but that I haven’t seen yet is outside. The crows were flying over and eyeing things this afternoon, but they don’t usually eat birdseed. No grays yet, but when they show up, I’m ready. 🙂

My physical therapist is pleased with the improvement in the tendons attaching the subscapularis and supraspinatus muscles at the rotator cuff. (Across your back, partway down the shoulder blade.) If they’ll only *stay* this way, I’ll be in much better shape.

I haven’t received my federal “windfall” yet, but I know a few other people who have. Mine will go directly to jail, having already been used to pay taxes.

One of my neighbors told me asparagus is really hard to grow around here. Now that I know that, no doubt all of mine, which has gotten big enough to provide nice sprouts this year, will fold up and die. Or be eaten by the *#@! moles.

My PT hooked me up to that cool electrical machine again today. It pulses through muscles and forces them to contract and relax. It makes me feel like Galvani’s frog. I love that machine. It feels wonderful on my shoulder.

I’m finished with the linen top I’ve been knitting for what, four months or so, except for hemming. Just in time for summer weather, too. It actually fits. Sometimes I amaze myself. I guess that means if I want something to wear for next winter, I should start it now.

Blue has once again licked a raw spot on her foot. She must have the record for Number of Times a Dog Has Consecutively Chewed Holes in Herself and Completely Baffled Both the Vet and Her Mom.

My next-door neighbor left a big bag of rhubarb on my steps this afternoon. I wish I had a freezer. I guess I could bake a rhubarb pie for Ryan this weekend, but I can’t remember whether he likes rhubarb. I like rhubarb. Grandma likes rhubarb.

Did you know “rhubarb” is the word used when a bunch of people in a movie are supposed to be providing background noise, like in a restaurant? Used to be, anyway.

Got a haircut today. “Take off a couple inches all over,” I said. The scissors-wielder evidently uses a measuring system developed on Jupiter, where distances are larger. I look like a hyperactive poodle who’s been given a buzz cut by a blind man. No one will recognize me. Maybe that’s a good thing.

It’s dinnertime. I’m hungry. And I have very, very, very fresh aspergrass to eat. 🙂 Yummmmm. Aspergrassss. Freshhhhh.

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New visitors

New visitors to the bird feeder so far this year:

Purple finches and song sparrows. Though it’s possible that what I think is a song sparrow is actually a girl-type purple finch. Birds are tricky.

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