Thursday, September 29, 2005
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
The first round is on me!!!
Toad pee and bunny blood
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
The study also says that the level of critters in your garden will increase. Which is why for the
first time ever, I've seen a few too many of the yellow garden spider. It's kinda big and I'm not really a fan of spiders. Actually I'm terrified of them, but I would never kill one outside. I was picking squash last week, kinda walking all stooped over, and my face came within about 6 inches of her big old web and there she was , right in the middle. Actually, the zig-zag caught my eye. This particular spider builds a large web and that zig-zag incorporates some kind of ultraviolet pigment of something, visible to birds, to prevent them from flying through the webs. Pretty neat. So my weeds and lack of chemicals has resulted in enourmous spiders. Good for me. Haha. And on Sunday, I was repotting a houseplant that had been outside for the past month, and when I pulled it apart from the other plants around it, I saw a spider web pull apart, and a wee one of these fell to the ground. I'm really, really, really glad that the spider fell out, and didn't come into the house. Because that plant gets hung next to my side of the bed. And I will kill a spider in the house.
Monday, September 26, 2005
I planted it in front of a light-colored wall, so it should stand out nicely. Anyway, while I was planting my newly purchased stuff, I dug up pieces of pottery. Usually I dig up pieces of things when I plant stuff. Pieces of Blue Willow plates, blue and brown glass, so this wasn't suprising, but I couldn't figure out what it was that I dug up. It was a weird shape and was part rose colored with a cobalt blue edge. It must have been a planter or something. Maybe a weird little garden gnome. It definitely didn't look like a dish or bowl or anything. I wondered why I found it where I did. Was my house built on an old farm dump or something. Who dumps glass and broken pottery right outside their door? Strange. When I used to do more field work, I came across old farm dumps all the time. Usually they were way out in the woods and I could spend an hour sifting through the remains of life long ago. Old blue Milk of Magnesia Bottles, glass doorknobs, old perfum bottles, Noxema jars, old tiny bottles, blue tinged canning jars. Even old pickle jars and ketchup bottles are pretty. I have tons of these in the house and in the garage. In the summer I cut flowers and bring them in and display them in these funky old 'found' jars. My husband is a bit of a scavenger also. He has a bunch of those old colored glass insulators that they used to use on overhead electric lines. He finds them along the railroad tracks. And when we used to go to Ocracoke, we would kayak to this great spot near the harbor entrance where we could spend hours scouring the rocky beach and picking out beach glass and pieces of pottery. I have old jars full of beach glass in my bathroom, each labeled with the year and where it was found. I love stumbling on cool old things like that. Thinking about where it has been before and who has touched it and how long it took for it to travel from the last person to me.
Race to the bottom
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Am I the only one?
But sometimes it sure as hell feels like it. Okay, I admit, I scrutinize the ripple effect of most every action I make a little too much. But do most people not do it at all? Every day I drive home in my little 96 Honda Civic doing the speed limit. I can afford a bigger, newer car. But my car works, gets great gas mileage, and I have no car payment. Why would I buy a new one? As traffic stacks up behind me and one after another SUV going 80 whip around me, I wonder. What is going on in the head of someone that drives an SUV? A gas guzzling vehicle speeding yet. When you drive above 55 mph, your fuel efficiency decreases by as much as 20%. That's why, during the early 70s a 55 mph speed limit was enacted. Not for safety, but to save fuel. Am I the only that knows this or am I the only person that cares? I particularly love Hummer drivers. There is no other person on the face of this earth as gluttonous as a Hummer driver.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Don't let the memory fade
So much more, like rescinding the rule that reconstruction workers be paid the prevailing wage, so corporations can make more money and the actual residents in need of decent jobs don't. Yes it sounds like it would be cheaper for the Feds this way, but the language in the order doesn't say that corporations have to pass that savings back to the American taxpayer...and today, limiting the amount recoverable in lawsuits from Katrina. Anyway, enough venting, here is a website that is collecting oral histories from people that survived Katrina and what they went through. Let's not forget that this was a monumental failure of the agency that is charged in keeping us safe in the event of a terrorist attack, Homeland Security....and of course a failure of the incompetent people put in charge of FEMA.
In praise of volunteers
Monday, September 19, 2005
Why isn't Jeb Bush's son in Iraq? "Other priorities" I guess. Namely being drunk and disorderly in Austin, Texas. You have to wonder about Bush Family values. Jeb's daughter was a prescription forging junkie, his son is a drunk, Georgie's two girls are little party skanks that have no jobs yet, even though they graduated in 2004. How many pictures of them half naked at parties and bars circulated around the internet?
Remember when Rush Limbaugh called Chelsea Clinton the White House Dog? It was during the first term and I think she was 13 or 14 at the time. She didn't do anything to deserve that, just was in those awkward years. I wonder what good ole Rush has to say about the Bush progeny? Abolutely nothing.
Hurricanes and Wetlands
Regardless, the levees systems the National Review guy spoke about had nothing to do with flooding in New Orleans. And I have never heard of an environmental group opposed to the levee system around New Orleans. It is an old city and it must be protected. No argument. What National Review guy and Rove et al conveniently overlook is the loss of wetlands (by Republican policies) that extend from the Gulf of Mexico to New Orleans. There used to be a swath of coastal wetlands that was over 90 miles wide. It is less than 30 miles wide today. Thanks to environmental policies pretty much written by lobbyists and the slash and burn approach of the oil industry, the wetland buffer that used to protect New Orleans just wasnt' there. And no, it didn't all happen during this Bush administration. The Clinton administration worked to build wetlands there, but this destruction dates back to pre-Reagan. They say that for every mile of wetlands, a hurricane is slowed by 1 mile per hour. I think a reduction in wind speed of 60 mph would have made a big difference to New Orleans, but you'll never see this addressed by this administration.
The cricket bus is coming
Increasing your vocabulary
I had friends over yesterday. They are good friends that I used to see a lot, but because of changes in employment, don't see as often as I'd like. It was a really nice day, just relaxing and catching up and sharing a meal together. I need to make more time for people I care about. Everyone always seem so busy, but it really isn't that hard to set aside a few hours here and there to just be together. Not like it's New Years or anything, but that is my new resolution.
Friday, September 16, 2005
Helleborus or Lenten Rose
Tulips are nice, sometimes get eaten, but they also rapidly decline and have to be replaced every few years if you want them to look good and not straggly. They also don't like to get wet, so don't plant them in areas that you will likely water all summer. Snowdrops and crocus, along with Grape hyacinth (Dog-tooth violets) are favorites of moles, voles, chipmunks and squirrels. Sometimes they get eaten but if squirrels get them, they rebury them other places and forget about them, so in the spring, its always a nice little suprise to see how the squirrels have edited the landscaping. To deter pests from medium to large bulbs, bury a piece of chickenwire over the bulbs when you plant them. So when the critters dig down, they are thwarted by the wire.
I would like to try Fritillaria for next spring, but I'm not sure where to put them. They are kind of formal looking and I think need their own space.
A word about soil and composting and sand for Edwin: I'm not sure how big your backyard is, but they make very small composters, so I'm sure that there could be something that would work. Bring home all those leaves, peels, coffee grounds ets, mix them up every so often and you'll have good compost by Spring. You can add eggshells, but I usually crumble mine up and put them out for the birds. It is a source of calcium for them. Clay soil is a pain and unless you want to spend days double-digging your entire back yard and adding ammendments, just make sure to buy things that tolerate poorly drained soils and make the hole you plant in about three times bigger than what you are planting. That way, the roots will be healthy and strong by the time they grow out and hit a wall of clay.
I would save your sand until next year. Plant tomatoes in pots and add the sand to the soil mixture. Tomatoes love sandy, loamy soil. I don't know much about Russian Comfrey. Just a quick web search revealed that it likes full sun and cool conditions, so maybe the heat has stunted it? Dunno.
Okay, on tap for this weekend, weeding, digging out silver maples that are growing everywhere, and ripping out the stuff in the garden that is over. We'll see how much I
Thursday, September 15, 2005
There was a McCoy pottery kitchen sponge holder that sat on the windowsill above the sink. It was green and was a series of little Scotty Dogs, increasing in size from smallest to largest. Every now and then one comes up on Ebay, but I haven't purchased one yet. I would love to have one for my kitchen windowsill. There were other things in the kitchen I would love to have. On the door frame, between the kitchen and dining room, was a cast iron bottle opener. It was a bald man with, I think three eyes, and big buck teeth that stuck out (that opened the bottle). I was terrified of that bottle opener. Whenever I was there as a kid, Gran-nan would tell me to get two Cokes from the fridge (the 16 oz. glass bottle kind) but I could never open them cause of the scary bald-man bottle opener.
Some of the pictures have traveled overseas and back. There are many pictures, the scalloped edge kind, of my grandmother with my very young mother that were sent to my grandfather in Korea. There are notes on the back from her to him. And lots of times her calves are scribbled out or she tells him to pay no mind to her double chin in the picture. Was there ever a time when women weren't self-concious of their weight? It must predate Daguerre.
My favorite pictures are those in the yard. My Greatgrandmother and Greatgrandfather had a beautiful yard. Azaleas and dogwoods and dahlias and roses and hydrangeas...just beautiful. There is a great picture of four generations of women sitting in those kitschy metal chairs from the 40s, in a semicircle, completely surrounded by flowering trees and shrubs. My mom, my grandmother, my great grandmother, and my great, great grandmother, all leaning forward and smiling for the camera. Sometimes I drive past that house when I am close by. It isn't far from Harrisburg High School. The house hasn't been kept up, and the yard looks nothing like it did in the old days. But it still has the biggest yard in the area, and the grill on the front door is still there with my great grandmother's initial on it. The cement step up from the street is still there, poured some 60 years ago, with Sarah and Earl carved into it with a heart drawn around it.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Something to chew on
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
When I grow up
Bulb Planting time
The perils of living in old houses
Monday, September 12, 2005
The positive side of PMS
Friday, September 09, 2005
Thursday, September 08, 2005
I won a blue ribbon for my Genovese Heirloom tomatoes at the Etown fair. And a three dollar premium to boot. Woohoo. For all I know, no one else entered the category, so I won by default, but maybe not. There won't be any stopping me next year. Significant other works tonight so tonight will be Pesto night. (He wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole).
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
about the name
I never made the pesto, so maybe tonight. I still have tons of tomatoes. Many rotted while we were away but they are still coming fast and furious. I made a great tomato salad on Sunday too. Tomatoes, balsamic, olive oil, sea salt, basil, kalamata olives and a few good garlicky croutons. Threw it in a bowl, and even though I am not a big tomato fan, it was really good and was gone in two days. There were tons on sunflowers. I'm not sure if I should cut the heads and use them for decoration and then let the birds eat them this winter or leave them standing and let the birds have them now. I picked a few more cucumbers and need to make one more jar of pickles. Oh, and I got an honorable mention ribbon for the jam I entered at the Etown fair. My texture was a little too lumpy to place 1st or 2nd but they said it tasted really good. Not sure how I did on the tomatoes. Will keep you posted.
Where to begin
Late in the week, my husband and I decided that we didn't think we would come here anymore. The level of excitement that we used to feel going on vacation just wasn't what it used to be, and the level of change that occurs from year to year is just too much and never for the better. What is it about the human race that leads people to just want to consume everything? Maybe we will try and go back to Ocracoke or maybe we will try and find something along the eastern shore of Virginia. Who knows. But watching something die a slow death from over-development and an overwhelming onslaught of obnoxious tourists is just too depressing. Yes, I know I'm a tourist too, but we aren't loud, we don't expect unreasonable accomodations, we respect the locals, and we actually enjoy seeing wildlife instead of calling someone to have it removed.