Friday, May 30, 2008

The Triumph of Hope Over Experience; aka, I Planted the Garden

Yes, only time will tell if I am being foolishly optimistic. After the pleasure with which I bought plants last night, I felt some trepidation looking at the small, fragile things today. It could all be for naught, as I know too well. Last year was so much of not fun, with that critter eating most of my plants. And yet ... and yet. I want this to work. I hope it will work. And that was enough to get me started.

Get ready for some really unexciting pictures! It's ... dirt!

So, the plot Before:

And Now:

It's amazing what you can do with crap tools and a half-assed methodology.

The flowers:

Catnip and basil:

Tomatoes, green beans, cukes:

The rest of the cukes, and the peas.

I had a disappointment there, by the way. As I got them ready to plant, I saw the little tag in the holder for the first time. Sugar snap/snow peas. What a blow! I wanted real peas. I planted them anyway, but it's a let-down. And no one to blame but myself, either; I hate that.

I have to buy some of the weed-blocker and lay that down around, but the only roll I saw when shopping last night was a massive, professional-grade roll for $40. I bet Walmart can beat that. I would have gone tonight, but just under an hour of planting has me worn out. Time to veg with the cats, and sleep late. Ahhh.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Garden, but sock first

Back in November, I wrote about finally finishing the second sock of my second pair of socks. I've been wearing them, and thus washing and drying them, ever since, and what I find odd (for supposed superwash yarn) is how they've shrunk.

Then (and this photo was rotated, damn it):


Since when doesn't superwash mean superwash, she asked plaintively?

Meanwhile, on a happier note, I went shopping for the garden! We have cukes, green beans, peas, basil, plum tomato, and catnip...

...and, yes, a flowering guy. You're not a vegetable, you in the lower left! But he was so funky-looking...

...he jumped in my cart.

And about the catnip? I brought the plants in tonight so they don't die in the car overnight, so of course I broke off a catnip leaf for Pan (Harold not liking the fresh). Though it does smell like catnip, there was an undertone of lemon on my fingers too. My friend Google says sure, lemon catnip, hasn't everyone heard of that?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A year of bunnies

This has been quite a year for me to see bunnies!

Last month I saw one in my yard, baffling me since we have no grass or toothsome greenness which might have tempted him.

I saw no less than three in England: one in the garden of the B&B, one by the side of the roadside services car park, and one running from the train.

And now tonight, this guy was using our yard as a shortcut:

Might be the same as the first one, I couldn't say for sure. They're certainly everywhere, though!

And you know what else is everywhere? Lilacs.

I love them. (I'm trying to exult in Spring as often as I moaned about Winter. I'm not sure it's possible, considering how much whining I did, but I'm trying.) Thanks for the kind words about the photos in my last post, by the way. I couldn't begin to name everything, though I know the poofy purple ones (second photo and second last photo) are wisteria, which was everywhere and smelled divine.

You know what else?

They tilled the garden at work, and tonight they were marking off the plots. It's time to think about planting. Yay. Happy green growing things dance.

Crafty content coming soon! Not new crafty, but crafty discussions, anyway. In case you come for the "knit" part of the blog name.

Looking back, there should have been "flower" in that name somewhere...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

No real content, but look: pretty flowers! English flowers!

When the alarm went off this morning, I could feel a storm brewing in my head. I got up, took a migraine pill, and set the alarm for an hour later. I dozed and slept and the head was much better when I got up. All day, though, I've felt a little off, a bit loopy, a tad "morning after the night before", and to be honest if I'm going to feel like that, I want to earn it*.

*Says the girl who doesn't drink. But you know what I mean.

Of course, life rarely listens to what I want. Anyway, this is all by way of explaining why I'm going to throw you some pictures in lieu of anything requiring thought. I expect you'll enjoy The Flowers of England, or at least I hope so.

This picture, by the way?

As you can see by the tree trunk, it should be turned 90 degrees clockwise. And the usually compliant Picasa let me do it, but wouldn't save it. No idea what bug crawled up Picasa's nose, since that's usually something it will do in its sleep. Just saying.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Signs of England

Before I get into the signs, I would just like to state that hormones are evil things, and that although I am pleased that I have fewer migraines than I used to, I simply wish that I never got any, ever. That is all.

(Though at least on a long weekend, losing most of a day to a horror-headache doesn't screw me up quite as much as usual. Much of yesterday is a blur of ugh, but today was 99% fine headwise, and thus laundry and other things have been accomplished.)

Meanwhile, here are some signs I took pictures of in England, for your entertainment.

Proving that I had my camera out the whole time, here is a photo from Heathrow. It amused me that instead of men's room or something similar, they had this:

Then there was this truck, whose slogan reminded me of the Little Caesar's ads: Pizza pizza!

We also discussed a possible competitor: Sofa SoGood. Someone should use that. Help yourself. You're welcome.

When I noticed the slogan on this newspaper, I had to snap it:

Modest, aren't they?

This is looking on the bright side and thinking positive:

In the US, a similar thing would be:

I wonder if you can call to complain in the UK, or if they only want good news.

Now, does this sound funny to you? I find it sort of old-fashioned, but cute somehow:

In Cranbrook, I was reminded of Window Arts Malden:

More dismayingly, I found these two error-ridden (and inconsistently error-ridden) signs at my old school. Tsk, tsk.

That should be "to receive"; ouch. Then there's only the one error in this version, which was right next to the first one, but they misspelled "receive" in a different way here. Way to hold up those educational standards.

In a car park in Stratford, I was amused by this:

The poor rejected coins...

Apparently the meaning behind this next one is that if the nearest machine is broken, you have no excuse, and must find another to pay the fee. The fact that that message wasn't clear to me is doubtless a cultural thing.

This one I just liked:

While here, I was looking for the missing question mark.

Attention, Typo Hunt Across America: your services are needed abroad as well.

You may need to click on this to make it big enough to fully appreciate the oddness of this sign.

It's odd to me, anyway. And not as amusing as this one:

Because I love the idea of buying reject pots. Human hair, not so much.

Here endeth the lesson. Good night!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Pan in the shower

Most days, Pan gets in the shower after I'm done and licks water from the tub. Perhaps it's because the water is "fresh", even better than the toilet (yes, he drinks out of that, too). It's a bit weird, but hey, my mother and I have had whole conversations about whether my cats are weird because living with me makes them weird, or because I selected weird cats in the first place. (Either way, it doesn't really reflect well on me, does it?)

Some mornings, he's there when I turn the water off, and other times he comes wandering along shortly thereafter, and once in a while he doesn't bother at all. Last year, when I had house guests, we discovered that he does in fact want to get in even if it's not me showering. Once he heard the water going, he was so vocal about the closed bathroom door that I was a tad embarrassed by him, and wanted to reassure the person showering that really, he could take his time, ignore the maniac meowing outside the door.

This morning, Pan was ready for "water world" before I even got in. I had to get my clothing together and there he was, practically pacing. It isn't wet, what goes on here? When I turned the water on, he jumped on the edge of the tub and was looking like he was going to jump right in, which I was certain he would regret, so I lifted him down and moved on. When I was almost done, I looked out and he was still right there. When I finished and pulled the curtain back, I said, "Okay, come on in," and he meowed loudly, as if to say About time, before he hopped in.

Lick, lick, lick. I must get that on camera one of these days.


Went to see the new Indiana Jones movie tonight, and it was good! Though I couldn't watch one extended scene: I don't know if I'm more squeamish than I used to be, or whether it's just because the ick in question hit my "thing", but I couldn't stand it. Bluck. Otherwise, two thumbs up!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A word about "my" house

The house where I grew up is in a town not that far from where I live now. Although it is (and I find this frankly unbelievable) about 15 years since my parents sold the house*, I am still very possessive about the house and very critical of any and all changes that have been made to it since we moved out. I mean, for example, you just have to look at it to see that it is supposed to be painted white with black trim, rather than that odd shade of gray-eggplant, but whatever.

*And I have actually forgiven them for this, by now.

This is not "my" house, but just to give you an idea: Queen Anne Victorian type. Turret. Yeah.

Last summer when my cousin was visiting, we went by the house so that she could see it as it now is. She was hoping that we could talk our way into seeing the inside, but no one was home, so we had to content ourselves with walking down the driveway and looking in the kitchen windows. (What? To see if anyone was home!) They "changed" (read: messed up) the back porch, and they seem to be using the hall door instead of the kitchen door, which is senseless, but who knows. And what's up with that "terrace" thing by the garage? Is that supposed to be pretty?

After the unfortunate paint choice, my biggest gripe is that they changed the driveway. It's a long driveway past the side of the house, which had an area behind the house to turn around in (for cars, I mean), and they took the turn-around out. Why? Why would you change something so massively useful? It's not like it's a small yard and they needed the space, there's plenty of room for grass and flowers and bushes and trees as it was.

So (were you wondering if I had a point? here it comes), I was driving by the house the other day, and I could see a car at the end of the driveway, trying to back out into the street. Backing out? Now are you glad you took out the driveway turn? Silly people.

Although it's not a highway, it's always been a busy street, and the car was out far enough to block traffic on that side. The car in front of me (perhaps feeling that anyone silly enough to back out onto that street without the courage of their convictions* deserved no help) did not slow or stop to let it out. I did, partly because I was well brought up and partly to enjoy more quiet jeering.

*I learned to drive in Boston. If you're going to do something questionable on the road, just do it and be quick about it. If you're going to hesitate, to waffle, you're really going to piss people off, far more than you would if you just cut them off efficiently.

I just don't know what they were thinking. Mutter, mutter.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The crafty side of England

A short one tonight, it's getting late: I spent the evening getting a few groceries, making dinner, and being a lap. The cats are still Velcro, which as I've been home for a week now is wearing ever so slightly thin in the charm department. But! There is no telling cats about time. And after all, it is nice to have been missed.

Plus, I can prove I was thinking of them while I was gone. Not only did I take photos of three actual cats, but there was this:

You don't have to see the cat's face to know it's saying, "I'm just watching the fish".

I had no earthly need for these dishcloths, but I found them quite amusing anyway. One:

And two: