Saturday, February 26, 2011

Live and let grow

There are new signs of life in the garden, PLUS, I haven't gotten my neck wrung yet.  Lawrence prefers an uncluttered landscaping look, whereas I would rather have stuff growing in every possible square inch - where plants are concerned, "uncluttered" to me means "empty".   

So at this point, in making incremental improvements to the landscaping, I have to walk the fine line of spousal approval.  Here's another addition I made last week, with the old adage in mind, "it's easier to get forgiveness than permission":
I had picked up this urn last fall on sale for about sixty-five bucks, thinking we might turn it into a fountain.  We've decided we want a more upscale fountain than this (don't know what kind yet - just know it should be more substantial), so I decided to try placing it here, between two mulch beds.  This move met with both C's and L's approval (whew!) so, voila - I have squeezed in ONE MORE space in which to grow three varieties of basil!! 

It's February, so you can see the damage done by the phenomenal cold snap of a few weeks ago.  Took the side right off the Wax Myrtle to the right.  But the Loropetalum is in bloom... a most outrageous pink form.  I didn't think they'd survive the hard freezes - you can see the damage to the leaves.
  Anyway, we have tomatoes and tomato cages and other stuff ready and it's almost time for us to excavate the lettuce and put those in... maybe next weekend. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Into every life...

...a little noise must fall, especially around here!!

Building a house turned out to be much cooler than I thought it would be, but everything has a downside, and mine starting today consists of this:
Oh hell yeah: the lot directly across has begun construction.  From a personal standpoint it doesn't bother me, but my clients are going to have to spend some of the next 100 days hearing me say, "WHAT??!  CAN YOU REPEAT THAT PLEASE!?" on the phone over the din of tractors, cement pumpers, forklifts, and of course, Tejano music

This is what we accept when we buy into new neighborhoods.  I feel sorry for the guys adjacent left of us - they just brought home a new baby five days ago, and they mark the start of their new son's journey through life with all this racket.  And the house adjacent right of this has a 4-month-old baby.  And if the house adjacent left of this doesn't have a baby yet, it will in a matter of weeks.  And MY baby (the really big one) is working backshift this week and trying to sleep during the day, so it's not likely to improve HIS frame of mind either.

Such is life.  With our luck, everything will get completed around here just in time for the next hurricane, which will blow it all back down and then we'll start the cycle all over again. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Quote of the Day

Excerpted from emails in which the unintended consequences of accomplishing the impossible were discussed.  (In case it's not obvious, I strive to cultivate friendships with folks who are at least as blunt as I am).

"The problem of tackling a nasty project and doing a good job on it is that you become tagged with the reputation of producing good results on nasty projects. As such, you are rewarded with more nasty projects. To succeed in business requires the ability to spot such projects early and deflect them to someone else, preferably making it sound like you are doing them a favor in recommending them for it. Women once were easier targets of this tactic, but with more exposure to the workplace, they have unfortunately started to catch on."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fourscore science lore

I blogged about it at inception, and I blogged about it in the rain.  And now I finally have Mom's Obligatory Trophy Photo of the child who I had to beg and bribe with Abe's Cajun pie in order to elicit a smile. 

And even that pie bribery didn't cut the mustard, because she's twelve and way too cool to smile.  Lawee had to give me ass-ears in order to drag this expression out of her as I was aiming the camera.  Or something - I don't know exactly what he was gesturing above my head, and I can only imagine.  Oh, the indignity of it.  All for a trophy pic that I roundly deserve anyway.  (Can we go back to the Terrible Twos now??  They were orders of magnitude easier!!!!)

Advisory:  DON'T do a google image search using the string 'ass ears fingers'. 
The results are not good.
So now she proceeds to the District competition, which I believe is on March 1.

Here's a cool shot from the display board:
Well, *I* thought it was cool.  But I'm just an old science nerd, which is one of the reasons why I don't elicit as many smiles as I used to.

All in the genetic family

Stan Musial has won the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
That guy on the left.
We don't know him, but he's a maternal relative [insert historical-family-feud-and-failed-reconciliation story here]. 

The first time I saw a photograph of Stan Musial, it was many years ago in the St. Louis Post Dispatch.  My first reaction was, "Oh my God, what did [my grandfather] do this time to get his picture all the way into an AMERICAN newspaper?!?"

My grandfather was a well-known environmentalist in our little part of Canada, so his picture was in the newspaper on a regular basis.  But that was mostly constrained to the local region, hence my confusion.  I had to sit down and read the Post-Dispatch article twice before it clicked for me that the man pictured was NOT Charlie Musial - it was just a guy who looked startingly like him, by obvious virtue of genetics. 

Finding that newspaper article was an odd experience I remember vividly to this day.   

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snow day

No snow arrived, but 44 roads are iced-over. We have no response equipment for snow or ice, so we just sit and wait until the stuff melts, which ought to be in another five hours or so. 

Well, MOST of us sit and wait.  Some people have tried to go out; there was one ten-car pileup on a freeway north of here around dawn, and plenty of other incidents:

Houston Transtar live road report from 0734 hours this morning.  Everywhere you see a red diamond is an accident.  Buncha people didn't get the memo, apparently.
Aaaaaand two and a half hours later,
no improvement.  One hundred wrecks in four hours, says the media.
It is AMAZINGLY quiet out there, because airports also suspended operations yesterday around mid-afternoon, and I don't know if they've resumed.  All schools are out, so even if someone wants to go to work, the kids are all stuck at home. 

Kind of an underwhelming snow day, but I think I'll go for a walk and enjoy the sound of silence.  And the sights of destruction.

Suckville as far as some of my landscaping is concerned.
There's only so much a person can cover up.

The raised gardens are all covered with 100 watt light bulbs run underneath but, after four days below freezing, I don't know if that's going to be enough to save anything.