Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Broken windows of the soul.


I took the dog for a walk on a slightly different route that took us around the edge of the warehouse district but not actually through it because we just did the warehouse district and it doesn't change that much that quickly- unless it does and then its over and you missed it.

We came home and I spent entirely too much time playing with some pictures I took along the way.  You can try out every available filter on the planet and its not going to turn a so-so shot into a museum piece. You can keep trying, but its not going to happen. Sometimes a not really good idea is just really a not very good idea and you need to move on. Really.

I didn't want to believe this. I wanted to play with the image until I exhausted all possibilities... I just knew the right setting was out there and I would find it.  You can not turn a sows ear into a silk purse. I tried though.

I took this through broken windows of an abandoned tire repair warehouse. It looked very promising, looks can be deceiving.  If I had been in the structure ( not safe), or the light had been better, or I had been there earlier, or there was something compelling in the frame... I tried! I was just really excited that both locations looked like you were looking in the hull of a sunken ship.

I like the top image the best, because I spent the most time massaging it.
Could not make this one happen.


And you will notice that Rocket isn't featured in either in either of those shots.


Find the weim in this one.

.After I spent so much time futzing with these, I finally noticed it was much too late to be playing around. I hadn't even decided what I was wearing to work tomorrow! and that was a carnival of over thinking, and then I had to decide if I was coming home for lunch tomorrow since I did not come home today, I really should come home because I'm not sure if Rocket is ready to go two days in a row on his own, so then I had to get my lunch together and if I was doing that I really should get the coffee ready for the morning and get my purse packed and ready for the morning And then, those chores accomplished, I was hungry - but I couldn't do anything about that because  recycling had piled up and the sink was full of dishes. So I took the recycling out, emptied the dishwasher, filled the dishwasher, ran the  garbage disposal, cleaned the sink -because now that I could see it it was gross. Then I had a snack. Grown up-ing is hard.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Home Improvement

I didn't have any plans for doing anything home improvementy this weekend. I knew I was going to to go to Artsplosure, and probably more than once - but wandering around and looking at art was about the only thing I had penciled in.

There was  grocery shopping and laundry and dishes and puttering around, walking the dog and the like but that was about it. I did need to find a corner cat box for the kitties, so when we move downstairs in a couple of weeks, they can be covered. I'm going to keep the other, larger box upstairs because its too big and takes up too much space for anywhere downstairs.

I went to the art fair Friday evening with the dog and we both had a good time. He got admired and I got a sneak peak at some of the art. I can't really go into the stalls with the dog with me, so I came back without him Saturday and did a really thorough inspection. If you just go by the prices of the pieces I wanted, I have exceptional taste.

Saturday was much more fun that Friday because on Saturday the Raleigh Rescue Mission Drum line was performing.




That is art.


Somewhere along the line, Raleigh has picked up all the worst quality's of Seattle and Miami. It rains all the time and its muggy and gross and full of hipsters. All of this impacts me with a mud hole in my backyard, the rain does its part but the run off from the new garden has rendered the area by my shed a wetlands.Its very muddy and doesn't dry and walking through there on my way to the rest of the yard is messy pain in my ass. I thought about it and decided that I could fix this and I needed to get it fixed soon. Saturday night, I went to Home Depot and picked up a couple of pavers.

I also went to Petsmart and Petco. I went to these places to look for cat boxes but mostly I went to the places because I did not bring the dog with me. Rocket waited almost four years to commit a classic weim crime - Getting Into The Kitchen Garbage! I was furious. I didn't actually catch him in the act, so all I could do was put him in his room and passive aggressively visit pet stores without him.

Putting in pavers is not as easy as it looks. It doesn't help that I have had steady diet of Home Improvement shows for years that have showed me the correct way to do the job. The correct way requires power tools, trained professionals and hundreds of dollars. On TV they would have excavated the area, leveled it, put down sand, pounded it flat, then a layer of pea gravel , pounded it, and then finally, lay the pavers themselves. It would be gorgeous. It would also be very expensive.

I have a completely unskilled me, a couple of shovels and $25 to invest.


Even as unschooled as I am, I knew enough to dig down so that they would lay flat, I also had to keep the door of the shed in mind and make sure that it could still clear the pavers. This was a learning curve. I dig the holes way deeper than necessary  but still not large enough. I ended up with a lot of extra dirt. The first two stones looked good, but when I started looking at the space, I knew I needed at least a couple more to really do the job. I felt that I had all ready done a "job" and I was tired.

Pouting, back to Home Depot.

I lay the next two, this was harder and the mud was muddier. It was harder to get the stones leveled and it required a lot more picking them ( heavy, heavy) back up and adding/subtracting/ shifting around the dirt. The whole area was gross and covered with mud. I could hardly see the stones.

But I was done. My Home Improvement shows have taught me that once you are finished with an outdoor project, it is now time to hose off the area. This made great sense because it was muddy and a good hose off would make it so much nicer!

Nonsense! It got so much muddier and covered with puddles and now I couldn't see the stones at all. I almost cried.



I found some towels that had been abandoned outside and tried to sop up the mess! This was after I tried in vain, to sweep the water away. This made me very mad at the Big Box home improvement store ads because they never show the home owner disheartened and filthy after they finish their projects that just miss the mark they set for themselves. I wasn't as mad at my HI shows because they feature professionals and plans and large budgets and its part of the conceit that they are really producing Best Possible Outcome Fairy Tales.

A couple of hours later the path looked like this



It made me feel a little better, I put grass seed down at the end of it so that maybe I can grow some new grass there and tidy the area up a bit. I didn't put any at the other end because its too hard to mow and I still want to get that corner cleaned out and I'm going to wait to make decisions about that part of the yard,

Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday Cats Blogging



Once more with feeling.

Excuses for not writing an entry again

1. I had set my new wallpaper and screen savers on Windows 10!

1a - It rained again and that does not make me feel ambitious.

2. I had an eye doctor appointment after work and she was running behind, afterwards on the ride home it was over cast so I wasn't really bothered by my dilated pupils, however, I have never noticed how bright red and green lights are. Stunningly so.

2a. I had to get take out for dinner and that maked me feel sluggish and lacking in creativity.

3. The dog needed a long walk to make up for no walk yesterday.

3a. I over came my sluggishness and lack of ambition but now I was physically exhausted.

4. I had to go to Target/CVS to pick up that same dogs medication. The first price they quoted was twice was it was last month, which as twice what it was the month before. I was feeling the top of my head peeling away from my skull as I handed her my GoodRX card and she scurried away to the back and spent a long time playing with a computer. She finally returned as the top of my head was counting down for blast off, and told me it was now $27.

4a. The trash does not take itself out and the dishwasher does not have an auto-fill setting.

5. Have you ever had a very tiny kitty? They force you to play laser with them. Brutal task masters.




Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Well, um.

I have really good excuses for not posting a realentry

1. The orchestra had its seventh performance and so I was busy with that . I took a few pictures and I had to upload those to the orchestras Facebook  <I>useing my phone<I>  so that ate time and was stressful.

2. I had to play laser toy with the cats, mostly Tiny,  because Ace isn't as interested, and then I had to take pictures if the cats, mostly Tiny - no favoritism! I already have a Cats Blogging for Ace for this week. Very time consuming!

3.  My computer is updating itself to Windows 10 and that is time consuming and makes it so I can't  use it for other purposes.

4. I had to collect stinky cat litter and carpet bomb Ratville. Ew. Time consuming and just <I>blech<I>, first collecting it and then distributing it. It was that or drop fliers earning them of the coming rat apocalypse. Again,blech.

Raising my standard of living.


A cold front came through Monday - Imagine, in the spring, a cold front. I don't see where NC gets off considering itself part of the south , because if it were really in the south, it would not host cold fronts in MAY.

Anyway. I woke up Monday morning being embraced by the dog and with the big cat stretched out on my legs. It took everything I had to get out of bed.

Its warmed up, but now its raining. This morning I was looking out my dining room window and watched some birds at my bird feeder. I felt good about this, its nice for the birds and my cats get a good show and the more birds in my yard the more opportunities they have to eat the bugs in my yard. Win-Win-Win.

And then my eye shifted downward. There was something else enjoying the bounty and it was clearly not a bird. A Rat! I had thought I saw one the other evening I spent outside communing with nature, but I thought it could have been a possum - I also loathe possums, but rats are more prolific. I also thought I heard the pitter patter of tiny feet in the corner of the yard.

This was no pitter-pattererer. This was a rat the size of a half grown cat! It was wearing rain boots and a hat when it was in my yard eating my bird seed while I watched!. I was furious. And grossed out, very, very grossed out. Also, disappointed with my bird feeder - which by the way is going to be looking for a new home. I had hoped for a better ending for that relationship, I was sure that the squirrels would find a way to destroy it sooner or later. Too bad, its being traded to another team. Bye Felicia.

Its clear that the corner of my yard where rat lives is going to get a new look and I'm going to need to find waders or something to protect me from whatever ecosystem is going on back there. I'm sure it has an active society, that sadly, I am going to destroy with joy in my heart and great vigor and squealing, I see a lot of vigorous squealing in my future. Also? A less vermin friendly environment and possibly, more gardening room!

Part of the Cultural Revolution that is going to go on in their world, is going to include a lot of dead things. Lots of dead things. I'm going to be a kind Leader though, I'm gong to dump a lot of used cat litter in there to give them a heads up, to let the know the End Is Ni . I have been really unhappy with the trendy cat litter I bought and now its going to pay for itself. It  doesn't clump, t doesn't control odor and its time has passed. I was just going to throw it's stinky self out -  but now its going to Recycled and Re-purposed like Gawd intended. It was born cat litter it is going to end its days as rat frightener.

I'm not going to put my house cats out there in the wilderness! My babies weren't raised like that,  and besides, unless they were raised and trained up by a dedicated hunter, they don't naturally know how to go about stalking, killing and eating prey. Tiny Kitty's take-no-prisoners laser pointer skilz non-withstanding.

Step 1 - Clean up the spilled bird seed.
Step 2 - Let lose the cat piss of war.
Step 3 - Urban Renewal.


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Garden Update 5 2016

The tiny plants and not so tiny plants are showing progress! I've replaced a number of peppers since I planted them originally and that is not the most happy making thing for me to think about. I tried to do the right thing and buy local and small ... and ended up with starters that were too small to go in the ground and too fragile to survive out in the actual real world. It was a lesson learned. Sweet little hipster couples trying to make a go of it, might possibly learn a little more about horticulture than buying  fancy seeds from fancy seed catalogs and then planting them and selling them once they sprout -  possibly think about getting jobs at a nursery where they might learn a little more about plant husbandry .

So three of those pepper plans perished, or just failed to thrive, one by one I bought replacements.  And one by one I bought replacements for those too. The new plants seem to be doing much better now. Lesson learned - avoid hipsters and Wally for your vegetable starters. Home Depot has been a winner for me this season. Last year I bought everything at the Farmers Market and had the worst plants and poorest harvest I ever had. I'm not sure I like the lesson there in the least! Big Boxes are bad and bad for us but they sell the higher quality garden starters? It should not be, but it is.

 From the store, very uninteresting generic variety bigger, older, better adapted.

From the Hipsters. Adorably unprepared, interesting old world variety not available from stores.



The pepper family picture

I've had significantly better luck with the tomatoes! They were only slightly larger than the peppers but they are were so much better prepared.


The original Hipster provided slicing tomatoes. The plant in the front is  Cherokee Black, a very old variety that originated in NC, it looks different because it is different. They are still smaller than the store bought varieties but they are going to be okay. And fabulous.


Store bought sauce varieties.


  
less fabulous but already producing. 


The tomato family picture, note there are three peppers in this garden.


The cages in the foreground are around my remaining celery root plants. The teeny, tiny, bitty celery root plants. One is doing really well-ish the other is just stringing me along.



I think this one is just getting my hopes up, its so small.


My squash is doing well too. I have it in two locations. 


There are three or four in the big garden, and they are perking along and I think they are going to do well. However.


These were planted at the same time in a container. They are bigger, better and absolute rock stars. I have no doubt these guys are going to do land office business. From a box.


I'm not sure its visible, but a baby squash is gestating.


I am also growing corn!


Right now they are being upstaged by the squash, but soon (I hope!) they are going to out grow the squash .I'm going to have to re-home some of them  elsewhere in the box as they get bigger.

I wasn't going to deal with those nasty, high maintenance flowers but I changed ny mind. I also explored the clearance shelves and with minimal investment, watering and a touch of  fertilizer - I got some lovely plants.





(Lantana, working, working)



(above) New Elephant ear, doing well and all ready looking after babies! My senior plant made it through the winter and is going like gangbusters. I'm so proud.

And from last year, my much searched for wild Honeysuckle! It is doing well and making its way around my door. I am hoping it climbs all the way around the door and thrives! I love the way it smells.



In honor of beautifully scented climbing vines, I added a new jasmine in the back yard.


I had to dig a deep hole! So not easy, but totally worth it.

Hopefully by next time I'll have wee babies to show you.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Back among the living



Well Hello!

 We're back! Coming to you from a fill sized screen and a proper keyboard! I'm busy get moved back in and  finding my way around my new, old place. Everything that was here is here-ish or here adjacent. I bought a back up thingy years ago when I bought the machine and finally took it out of its box just this weekend to give to the wizards who fixed my machine so they could back it up - least this nightmare happen again. God Forbid.

I don't know where my email is yet, but I'm sure to find it eventually. My files of pictures are safe, but I'm afraid that shot that didn't make it as posts made it out alive, alot did, but many did not and that makes me sad. The Cloud saved houndeds of my pictures and in a fit of anxiety, I turned on my old desk top nd discovered that everything there, including Daisy and Texs' pictures, are safe. Thank Gawd they died before I upgraded.

I lost  Windows 10, but I don't see it as a big loss, I got it because Microsoft gave it to me, and  then I didn't see a huge improvement in my life as a result, so  I'm not in a hurry to get it back. I would like to find my email though.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Monday, May 9, 2016

In sickness and in hell.

Okay.Here is the deal. Sunday night my computer told me it needed a "re-start",well, the computer itself did not make this request, one if the security programs I have in it - Useless POS - wanted a re-start and I said Sure Why Not? I'm going to bed anyway, Do yo thing!

Monday morning I turn it on and Windows asks for a password and I say I don't have a password! What password! What the fuck is this at not 6am in the morning! I don't need this shit.

And so I go Google on my phone " why is my machine being such a bitch to me?" It turns out it might have something maybe to do with Windows 10 - which I've  had for awhile and this is a new problem so I doubt it.

I Think my computer  caught  a virus and I can not deal. I went to work and waited around until the office supply place opened  and I called them and told them my tale of woe and they said to stop talking because  they just couldn't  even with computer issues but the tech guy was due in at 11 and to call back and talk computer grossness with him.

I spoke with  him and he said bring it in after work  and whatever. I said cool. I brought it in after work,  and shockingly, it turns out his work day and the stores work day are not the same. He could have mentioned that but he didn't. Asshole. So I verbally abused another clerk, who I hope passes the beating on to him.

My laptop goes back to the see the wizard Tuesday.

Yard Crasher


With the vegetable garden getting more and more towards finished - its never ending this year! I'm still pleased I bought my starter plants locally, but I wish they had been started a leetle earlier and they may have been a leetle older when I got them and they may have been a leetle stronger than they turned out to be.

The tomatoes are all uniformly doing well. The remaining celery root plants are  still growing, but they were way too young when I took them home. I lost two of them early and of the two remaining only one seems to be thriving, the other just looks like it may just be humoring me.

I've bought four more pepper plants because a couple of my original plants were non-starters and I wanted more peppers anyway. I still want two more and I may get more tomatoes too.

 The vegetable gardens have been taking up a lot of my time, but I decided it was time to think about more decorative plants . The front porch is out on display and it looks not at all decorative, which is not okay. The elephant ear from last year is doing land office business and I added another younger plant because they are low maintenance and I think they're pretty. I also picked up a bleeding heart plant and made up a couple of  hanging baskets from some bedding plants and a couple more in the backyard with lantana plants. The birds and squirrels are very excited by my existing bird feeder, so I bought another one that is less squirrel friendly.

When I wasn't planting, I was mowing and trimming. Both yards look much sharper now.










Friday, May 6, 2016

Friday Cats Blogging




TGIF


I've been having problems driving ag speed on the freeway for the past year and a half, I told my doctor and she ordered an MRI. Nothing, it wasn't a tumor - Great! But  still no answer to the question. A year past and the disturbances kept happening. My doctor sent me to an ENT, I earned I have perfect hearing, but my nose is a "mess" and he gave me Flonase. My doctor also sent me to a neurologist who thought it sounded like migraines and gave me a migraine med, and he then ordered a VNG ENG test  which I took today.

It turns out it is a migraine! And migraines are treatable or at the very least lets you name the problem, which is much better than thinking you could be losing your mind. It turns out that what is happening is vestibular migraine . An actual thing! Yay!

In celebration a couple of random pictures!

A fourth house was town down on Hargett street, I'm not surprised, it should have been taking down after the storm several years ago. Its been sitting empty for years now, it is a little sad though because it was one of the last original houses on that street.




Its also been raining for days. SUcks because my basement flooded again,  positive thoughts, pretty cloud like this



And we go into Friday.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Air Horn Week 4

We went on another field trip! This week we were at the history museum ruining Pat's speech inside. We played for the longest we have yet and you can tell we have learned a lot.  The manual airhorns are the best! The other good choice is an actual, real musical instruments - trumpets, a tuba, drums, and a flute  are also good choices for noise making. They do not have to be used to make nice noises, they are also exceptional at making LOUD noises.

Here are this week's highlights