Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Something that makes you glad

I learned something about my spouse this week. He planted some of the starter plants we bought on Father's Day from our favorite farm store. When he came in afterwards he was in a mighty snit and bringing up random injustices he had suffered from us all. But as he calmed down, lo and behold he got to what was bringing all this on. He hates to be muddy. He hates having his hands in the wet dirt to get the plants in. This was a wonderful discovery because he could take immediate steps to feel better (wash, change clothes) and he can delegate the mud parts to me or to the kids who don't mind an occasional wallow. And the world got a little better.

We planted the rest of the starters in the front. Nod and the girls had a good time with his crazy watering wand hose attachment. I think it may be better for splashing your sister across the yard than for watering the plants.

I find having the plants in the ground very cheerful. We'll see if we can get them through the hot stuff. The weather forecast is: keep watering.

Via Nag I followed a link to the Winged Lion etsy store with beautiful jewelry including of course a winged lion, bees and a pomegranate pendant. I'm liking their ring designs and am mooning over this one. Must stop looking at vintagey rings...

EMK is fussing this month. A quote that I very much like:  let loose and see what happens when you express yourself and then shape it into something unique that makes you glad.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Summer striving

Too good not to share
Description of games and competitions at an 1826 fair in Hungerford England. My favorite is the backswording event: a man's left arm is tied to his side and he is given a stout stick to wield in his right. Win by making your opponent bleed from the head! I'm sorry about the duck and the owl. In case time travel is invented I want to make it clear that I wouldn't want to actually go to this fair. I do like Dr. Beachcombing's history offerings and how he refers to himself in the third person.

Rabbits are gone from the front. Either maturity or mortality has had an effect and I don't want to know. Maybe it's time to dig up this hole and return it to lawn. Surely that would reduce the bunny-nesting siren song of our front yard.

Sweated out by a fire last night and sang some songs to welcome in the summertime. I guess I need to learn the old 'sumer is a cumen in' or something else seasonally appropriate as we do like to mark the corners of the seasons. Casual pagans are we. The grass is a little shriveled and we are watering the plants we want to live. My borage tipped over and is horizontal. Still flowering though so I'll keep watering and hoping. Maybe it'll reseed at least. The plants that Nod bought at the farm store on Sunday are enjoying themselves in our living room. Maybe they'll get in the ground by week's end.

My walking speed in the heat is much reduced and the parking lot at work is being resurfaced and I'm a couple minutes further away and everything takes longer than in the cooler months.

Making the scene
I've been out late the last two weeknights and that shit's gotta stop. Maria BAMF Bamford was really wonderful and her opener, Jackie Kashian was an excellent surprise. We're still repeating some of Jackie's bits especially on the pursuit of the 'pointy' body. Here's an NYT Magazine piece on Maria that is admiring but a bit leaden. She is such her own flavor.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Outside and Inside

Photo related ideas to share from Ursula Vernon
Ladybug project to evaluate the changes in distribution of different species. You can help by sending photos of ladybugs with time/date, location and habitat.

A post that posits a cyber-arm to eliminate shakiness when using a highly magnified lens. I love this idea so much. Not that I want my arm to be replaced but just the idea of a non-weaponized robot arm. Yay!

Ack so so sorry
I think I stepped on a baby bunny when I got out of my car just now at home. I heard a screech and then nothing. I walked around the car but didn't see any critter or bird in distress so I went in the house. When I came back out, baby bunny was in the corner of the lawn right by my car door. It flinched as I approached but stayed low to the ground. It looked intact. I got around it and didn't try to bother it. So upsetting, I thought of it all afternoon. I was relieved to get back home and not find it in the same spot. These bunnies are going to kill me.

Inside time
I'm excited that Love & Friendship is still playing at our downtown arthouse cinema. This weekend will bring excellent conditions for spending time in an air conditioned theater. Now to scare up another comedy of manners girly film appreciator.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Graze Snuffle Grunt

From a Metafilter thread asking for recommended long form ambient videos, a three hour video of bison grazing at Yellowstone.

A what liqueur?
David Lebovitz makes a cocktail called the Chin Up with some overly fancy gin and an Italian artichoke liqueur. Oh DL, you lost me at the artichoke. I like the name but I won't ever drink a Chin Up.

Hand made
I have looked at many recipes for homemade pizza. I am an okay baker. I have made good bread before. But I haven't ever attempted pizza from scratch. Here's another recipe to read. It remains to be seen if I will pull that trigger.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


Hot to trot
I've let the bingo wings get a little too wobbly and now it's time for corrective measures. I managed some cheater pushups and planks last week and will continue. I jogged on Monday morning before I am usually out of bed. I am still waiting for some rush of exercise-provoked energy. Stupid hot is the forecast for the next two days. So if I jog it has to be first thing again. Stupid hot coincides with longest days this month anyway so that should work.

My belly deserves its own paragraph. I keep finding it sticking out, sitting on my lap and am tired of it. My paternal grandmother had a belly that stuck out and she wore a girdle when she got dressed up. As practical as that solution is I find I have no interest in Spanx, the modern girdle. I wonder if the planks etc. can have any effect. Or is it my dowager's gut?

Fully fledged
They're out. The DC Eaglecam site says that the two younguns left the nest on the 5th and 9th of June. I saw one bird earlier today when I checked Cam B. With the light behind it I couldn't see much detail. I think it was an eaglet. I am relieved that they got through the most vulnerable time of their lives.

Nursing kits
As much cannot be said for the baby bunnies in our front yard, six feet from our front steps. I was getting ready to pick K up last evening but stopped when I saw mama bunny through the front door window. She was nursing. I've been told that only lasts a few minutes a day for wild rabbits and I couldn't bear to interrupt. There was another adult rabbit nearby. Rabbits don't go about in mated pairs do they? I was held hostage by rabbits until she covered the kits back up and I felt I could disrupt the scene.

I'm quite tired of the news cycle even though lord knows I don't expose myself to much of it. I wish we could get reporters to hold off for a week so the investigation could actually advance before more comment. I'm told by friends of friends that the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence are two effective groups to donate to.

Portal death
" In those days, even in European countries, death had a solemn social importance. It was not regarded as a moment when certain bodily organs ceased to function, but as a dramatic climax, a moment when the soul made its entrance into the next world, passing in full consciousness through a lowly door to an unimaginable scene. Among the watchers there was always the hope that the dying man might reveal something of whaqt he alone could see; that his countenance, if not his lips, would speak, and on his features would fall some light or shadow from beyond. The "Last Words" of great men, Napoleon, Lord Byron, were still printed in gift-books, and the dying murmurs of every common man and woman were listened for an treasured by their neighbours and kinsfolk. These sayings, no matter how unimportant, were given oracular significance and pondered by those who must one day go the same road. "

From Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather. It was enjoyable for the descriptions of the 1800s New Mexican landscape and culture-scape. But far too uncritical of the church missionary fathers and their work. I enjoyed handling the copy I got from the univ library that was printed on rag paper and had checkout stamps going back to the 1970s.

Monday, June 6, 2016


Spuds ahoy
"You’ve planted early, hilled carefully, cultivated and fertilized. Your potato plants are full and healthy. Now you’re wondering when to harvest potatoes you’ve so carefully tended."

Or in my case, "You've been throwing veg scraps into your compost pile for 20 months now. At some point you must have included some viable potatoes because there are happy green potato vines exploding from the front of the bin." I considered trying to transplant them into the garden and then realized that the leaves and stems were too big and I would only rip up the plants. Better to leave them where they are clearly having a good time.

The short answer from the site linked above is a) after the tops of the vines have withered and b) before the first frost. So I'll be dodging around the potato plants as I throw more scraps in the bin this summer.

My peppermint has taken hold in the front so the herbal project currently consists of thyme and mint. Very useful even if I can only get those two to go. Planted some zinnia seeds too and they have sprouted, I'm looking forward to them. I continue to pull out all the moonflower upstarts except for the biggie in the back by the house. I weeded a little and was rewarded when I saw a toad hop. Happy to know it's there. I will need to water as we have finally been given a sweet sunny high pressure system.

A couple of recent things that grabbed me at the Mole blog. This one is quite gentle. This one is more uncomfortable. His writing has a lot about watching the cycles of the earth and feeling more or less included in them.

Friday, June 3, 2016


New horizons
Eaglets are up on branches! I had to switch to Cam B when I didn't see them both in A. I was wondering how restrictive the nest was for them now that they have significant wingspan. Now they can sulk with some distance between them rather than jostling every time they turn around. I wonder how it feels to spend so much time in one spot and then get the drive to fly. So happy to see them spread out.

Done mowed
Mowed the last two evenings so we are no longer in danger of being lost in the jungle. It was hard and I am a boss. I found a round fuzzy item in the tall grass and was relieved it was an old tennis ball and not a baby bunny. Hope to move on to different evening amusements for a few days.

River rising
I hear that there is more flooding in Texas. The Lake Travis beach where we swam has been closed because levels have risen to the parking lots. Oklahoma was the greenest I've ever seen it. Lots of lush grass that made it seem inevitable to have cows. Why wouldn't you have cows with all that grass? Texas was largely covered in wildflowers.

Nod created a chore chart and it is causing wonder and awe amongst us. The first day back from our trip we told the kids what we expected them to do before we got home from work. They didn't and there was a certain amount of wailing/gnashing until it got done. Since then they are accomplishing the listed daily stuff. I still don't understand how the weekly items are indicated.

I remembered that the cat was out at 3am this morning. She shot out when I was bringing in groceries about 9:30p and I closed the door behind her. She ran in pretty sharpish when I called at 3. Argh. Maybe I need a checklist before bed: two kids, two pets. I'll only need the fingers on one hand to count them.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Update Me

Witchy fairy
Florence was delightful, there was no rain, and the ground was not as muddy as I expected. Sadly we had a miscommunication that resulted in K running off to find her own spot to watch the concert and being AWOL for the entire thing. Nod lost his mind and wasn't able to enjoy the performance while Kid 1 was possibly lying in a ditch. She trotted back after the finale and before the first encore. He cried, she cried, I tried to stay out of it. I guess it's all better now. Florence and her machinists gave great show. If she is not consciously working magic on her audiences then I think it's happening under a very thin surface.

Road trip
We went to Texas! and came back! I got to bed early last night and needed it. So many people on the highways of Tejas, it's a challenging environment. The weather cooperated after we got out of Kansas which last week was concentrating on storming. Highlights: a great swim in Lake Travis, some fine tacos and good visits with old friends. The Alamo is still there but I'd recommend going in the winter rather than on a hot summer holiday afternoon.

So mow
The grass it is so damn tall
Even in the front
Where I mowed most recently