Sunday, May 27, 2012

oy the pain, the pain

New computer is up and running, after two days of serious shouting (we seem to do that a lot) and blind alleys and dark mysterious adventures.  Right now it's downloading Worlds of Warcraft, so Im still wedded to this one.  The final step will be moving the email over, and then shut this down.  Sob.  It may be slow, it may be cranky and noisy (this new one isn't all that quiet, btw),  but like that old raggy blanket that sheds more than cats do,  it's familiar and known.  

We will live through this, yes we will. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Deep jungle pool

Yum. Tire water. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

This seems to work

Ive found that ticks do not like baby powder.  I powder the daylights out of me, and rub it into any clothing Im going to wear outside in the garden, and not only do they not bite,  they dont even cling.  Yesterday was the acid test,  since I was digging in the garden, working with old leaves and last year's hay bales, and I only saw one all day. Nothing came in with me.  

either they don't care for the smell, or the taste, or the texture, but for whatever reason,  it works.  Its also cheaper and safer than chemical/commercial sprays, and it doesnt permanently stain your clothes the way aromatic oils and Skin-so-soft does.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Space and Time

Clothes expand to fit the available space.  The drawer that once held six sweatshirts and four pairs of jeans now will barely hold six tshirts, and only if they're 'store folded' and precisely stacked. 

Time shrinks to two thirds of what you need to get the job done, no matter how much extra time you allotted.  And if you're outside painting,  it will rain. 

Beware of anyone who says, "here, let me get that  for you" in  a parking lot.  They will be guaranteed to grab the bag with the bread in it,  and then throw the canned goods on top of that...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Good reads

I tend to shy away from popular fiction  by prolific writers, simply because it's not always that good, and for as much as 25 bucks a book, it had better be magnificent and rarely is.  However, someone gifted me with a John Grisham book this week, "The Street Lawyer" and once I started it, had to just plow right through.  Read it in one day, if not one sitting.   Not a huge amount of grue (some writers, like Patricia Cornwell, seem to be of the splattered brains genre, and it gets wayyy overdone),  and a good steady march to the end.

I have reached  the fifth book in the six-novel "Lucia" series,  always fun,  although by this time parts of it are becoming tedious--been there, done that about nine times--but it was and is still fun to read. 

And a stunning book, gently written, by Gail Tsukiyama, "The Samurai's Garden" about a 20 year old Chinese boy who is sent to Japan for his health in 1937 just after the begining of the Sino-Japanese war, and what happens to him there.  It's the kind of novel that stays with you afterwards, for quite some time.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Garden 2012

Potatoes are in,  the poppies are up and growing fiercely;  worked all day yesterday and today to start the process for next year's potato crop.  This time I'm experimenting with turning the spot into a one year intensive compost bin, and then next spring spreading it about with a nice layer of older compost and hay on top.  They seem to do extremely well growing in almost straight compost, which is just very rich dirt, without the packing factor.  It usually has the consistency of coarse sand, which makes it unsuitable as hilling up material for crops that need it,  but the yield so far has been very impressive.

Having neglected the garden for two years, for various reasons,   it will take most of this summer to get it back in shape.  And me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Time flies like a banana, or maybe an orange

It's been quite awhile since I got this computer,  and we are in the process of assembling the bits so my husband can put together a new one for me.  Curious,  I had him check the records for when I got this.  2003.  It's done well, outlived two printers and four monitors, two UPS systems and several CD drives.  In the winter it makes growly noises if the room is too cold when I turn it on, and there is a hum thats loud enough to be annoying (like whispering in the next room) and also leaves a ringing in my right ear by the end of the day.

'Tis time, I'd say.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012



I got up this morning to find three on the cushion I use on the computer chair, and three more in the bathtub.  Enough, already.

Monday, May 7, 2012


This morning I realized that it was 4:45 and the sky was light enough to see across the yard.   So I got up to celebrate.  There was a symphony out there; chickadees and titmice, a pileated woodpecker in the woods, hooting, and at the edge of the field one lone woodthrush, welcoming the dawn with the rest of us.

Two nights ago when the spring moon rose, my husband took a couple photos of it (my camera isnt quite powerful enough to make it look like anything) and then later on that night discovered that people were posting the 'same shot'.  I think he was a bit disappointed to realize that there is only one view we ever see of the moon, and it's always the same. *s*

Yesterday was my first real day in the garden, and about a half hour in I got a little scared, partly because there was so much to do, and partly because it was unpleasant, physically.  So I had a bit of a talk with me
about just doing the work in front of me, not the stuff Over There,  and instead of worrying about creaks and twinges, just keep going.  and sure enough,  I felt better at the end of it all than I thought I would,  and in the afternoon the time spent was more productive. 

My Now project is to spread about four inches of hay mulch evenly over the new potato bed.  Tomorrow I will stop on my way home from Concord and pick up about 1 1/2 pounds of seed potatoes.  It doesnt sound like much, but we get such a good yield from this raised bed/heavily mulched technique I expect maybe 30 pounds or more.  Fingers crossed, of course, as they always are with garden crops.  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

And Where the Hell Have YOU Been

4:30 this morning I opened the door to let the cats out, heard a squeaky noise;  and there was Sammy.  Wet, a bit skinnier, and quite eager, after four days, to get in out of the rain and the cold.  He is now sleeping it off on the big pillow in the front room.
And that explains why Toby has been so forlorn, and restless.  Sammy was Away, but not Gone.  About all we can do is accept that this is probably going to be the norm for him, and keep our fingers crossed.   Cuffy did this the first day I let him out,  just took off for two days and finally came back wet and hungry and obviously upset.  I think they try to get "home" and realize that home is what they are running FROM, not to.  The miserable cold rain probably helps, too.

So, for now, he's with us again.