Sunday, June 29, 2008

6.29 red carpet lily

Older red carpet lily

The two year old red carpet lilies have started to bloom and they are definitely more of a blue-red than the one year old red carpets are. I like the older ones better, but the newer ones are ok. They don't seem to have much overlap of bloom time, so I'm not terribly prone to compare them (except for my general curiosity about the question this year). The shape of the flower is obviously different as well. So, did I order them from different sources, or did my source change their source?

Newer red carpet lily

Saturday, June 28, 2008

6.28 orange-yellow bed

This is how this bed looked yesterday - today it looks just the same except that a big rainstorm swept through and if you can picture how it would look with all the yellow and orange petals of the asian lilies on the ground instead of on the plants, it looks just like that.

6.27 garden report

The vegetable gardens are doing well - the transplantees are happy campers. The seeds are just starting to sprout - when they get just a bit bigger I'll be able to mulch around them without squashing them.

This first picture has two heirloom tomatoes, one acorn squash, two squares of carrot seeds, two squares of salad mix, two squares of dayliliy seeds, and three squares of marigold seedlings.
The second bed has another acorn squash and four cherry tomatoes, with more to come as I get seedlings started.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

6.26B baby3 scape

The camera wanted to focus on the leaves and not the scape, which I didn't notice until I was well back in the house and disinclined to try again. However, you can see it definitely has buds and I'm looking forward to seeing what the bloom looks like! Thanks Cathy, for sending me these. It's been fun!

6.26 baby4 scape

Here's the scape of one of the babies. It's just getting a bit of color and is very much darker than some of my other daylilies.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

6.25 it's wednesday

A day when the week is more than half over once you reach the end of it. I've spent a great deal of time this week at work searching for answers (google is my friend) and only finding a few of them. I came home this evening and played in my garden, but I have no pictures to show you yet. By the time I came in with grubby grubby hands, it was too dark to take pics. My lily beds are coming into serious bud and even a couple of the babies from Cathy are sending up scapes. I will take pictures tomorrow morning, I promise!

6.24 just shaking my head

The good news is that the woman I complained about a few days ago saw the light (or more likely, complained to the wrong person and was squashed for it) and sent an apology email, which I dutifully accepted.

The bad news is that she immediately followed it up with another email which was just as self-centeredly rude as the first occasion, on a slightly different topic.

Monday, June 23, 2008

6.23 reading weekly

This week's reading has been confined to two books:

1. The Broken Crown by Michelle West
2. The Uncrowned King by Michelle West

I bought these when they first came out, some number of years ago. I enjoyed them very much but got a little frustrated with the slow pace of the story - the first book centers around character A, the second around character B. The overall story is forwarded in each book, but when the third book came out, centered for the most part around character C, I gave up and decided to wait for the entire series. I now have the entire series in my hands and am slowly working my way through the books. I'm into book 3 and remembering just why I gave up reading the series the first time.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

6.22 tournament over

Not much happened chez nous this weekend other than studying and S's soccer tournament. K and S both have two more exams to go, one Monday and one Tuesday each. S also had a soccer tournament this evening and he played two games each day. Three regular games, one championship game. He played keeper/field, keeper, field, and keeper for the four games. And he wound up the hero of the game in the last game. It was a zero-tie game through double overtime, so it came down to penalty kicks. The other keeper missed all the kicks. Sean got a hand on one, which went in, but stopped another one cold. Final score: 4-3. It's nice when they get to be champions at their own tournament.

I took my knitting with me, but really only got a row or two done. It was just too hot/humid to knit with wool, and too damp to spin with silk.

6.21 tiger

This is another of the photos that just sort of appeared in my inbox when I uploaded picture. I decided that this one would be preferable to show vs. the others in that batch. This one symbolizes the clean room that magically appeared, K's clean room to be precise. I guess she was getting as annoyed with the clutter as I was. Tiger certainly seems to be enjoying the fact that the chair can be snoozed upon once again.

The other pictures in the batch were all of the fetal pig dissection that took place after school one day. Apparently one of the perks of doing well in high school biology is being permitted to stay after one day and helping with a dissection. Quote - it was interesting but it smelled really bad [ed. - formaldehyde?]. I don't want to do it again.

Friday, June 20, 2008

6.20 Thunderstorm

S and I went to the gym this evening. On the way home, I was entranced by a perfectly gorgeous thunderhead. We were seeing it side-on, and the setting sun was just to the right of it. The leading edge of the cloud was sheer gold, the first bit or so was rosy red, and the bulk of the cloud was shading into dark deep blues. Across the face of the cloud were sun rays shining gold with the blue behind them, as the light streamed past the edge of the cloud and lit up the moisture in the air that was not actually part of the cloud. It was gorgeous, a symphony in shades of color, and by the time we got home where I had a camera, the sun was farther down, the cloud was farther over, and the whole shebang was behind the trees from our house.

About half an hour later, J came in from flying his airplane and said "we have a thunderstorm in our back yard". The cloud, a solitary individual in an otherwise deep blue sky, was directly over our house and pouring down while snarling with thunder. A look on the weather map showed a clear sky with one tiny red dot of thunderstorm just over our town. It seems rather like that little character Joe Bftplsk (or whatever his name was) from Al Capp, the one who wandered around with his own personal thundercloud just over his head.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

6.19 skein 1

This is the first skein of the merino: white, blue, yellow, green and lavender (in descending order of bulk in the fiber). I think it turned out pretty well, although it is uneven in spaces. I'll wait to measure the skeins for average grist until I have both of them done.

Yesterday's singles is making progress but I don't think I'll finish this weekend - the local club's soccer tournament is this weekend (three games for S and a parking attendancy for J) and K needs to help with the pancake breakfast at the church and then stay to work on tying up the loose ends with her project for Girl Scouts.

I had an unpleasant, rather one sided, conversation this evening with a woman who felt that having her daughter be rude on her behalf should somehow nullify both of them from any consequences of rudeness. How dare I correct her daughter for being rude when we both knew very well that she had told her daughter to do what she did? Well... as her leader, it's my job to correct her when she's rude (with regards to things that I'm a leader for), regardless of the fact that I know she's being rude at her mother's direct order. I fail to see why people should have to put up with rudeness just because we all know who the real instigator is. I also fail to see why I have to put up with being yelled at. When I said as much, she started yelling again. I hung up. She called my co leader complaining and swearing she'll never speak to me again.

I can live with that.

The really interesting thing about this whole scenario is that the person to whom the rudeness was directed is... my co-leader.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

6.18 bobbin #3

I'm sure you can see the inconsistencies in this bobbin, but it's serving it's purpose of letting me practice, and giving me a chance to relax. It will almost certainly be as consistently inconsistent as the first skein was, so they'll match. I'll just have to find something that can stand a little unevenness in the yarn.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

6.17 reading weekly

This week, I dipped into and out of the Bujold books again, and I've started reading the Sun Sword series by Michelle West but haven't finished any of them.

I did start and finish the three books out (so far) by Michelle (West) Sagara.
1. Cast in Shadow
2. Cast in Courtlight
3. Cast in Secret

According to her website, there will be at least two more. They're convoluted and interesting, set in a curious world. She has a nice knack to revealing information about her world without being particularly didactic or stop-the-story-let-me-explain-this-to-you.

Monday, June 16, 2008

6.16 Fire next door

Just after five o'clock I heard the rumbling of brakes outside. I looked out the window at the firetruck pulling up outside my house and started to get nervous.

Not my house, but the house next door. Firetrucks from our town and the three closest towns, local and county police/sheriff's departments, random other trucks with blue lights... It was a busy two hours until they all went away again.

The fire apparently started in the dehumidifier in the basement (should I be worried that I think we have the same manufacturer, maybe the same model?), and burnt a bunch of plastics, making a thick acrid smoke and an awful residue all over the inside of the house.

She was home and heard the "bang", got out, got the dog out, called the fire department right away. It could have been much worse, but I suspect that they will find it has been bad enough.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

6.15 blue flag

blue flag
Originally uploaded by zinlizzie
I finally got a daytime picture of my blue flags - just before they're going to be all done. I kept trying to get a picture of them, but since they open up in the early morning and are curling at the edges by evening, they didn't look very nice when I was taking their picture at 7:30 at night.
Today we shifted about 2.5 yards of mulch. Theoretically, it would seem that 5 yards of dirt and 5 yards of mulch should be the same volume, since a "yard" is supposed to be a cubic yard. In practice, they may do them by weight, or it may be that the difference is caused by the fact that we got them from different sources. In any case, in actual practice, the 5 yards of mulch is almost twice as much volume as the 5 yards of dirt was. We put about half of it on the two gardens and then quit fo the day; too hot to do the rest.
After lunch we took a walk down by the Genesee river, along the Greenway path. We wound up walking by the airport fire fighters training facility. One imitation airplane, one imitation car, one "spilled fuel" setup, one building to fill with smoke... A very interesting place to see.
We also saw dozens and dozens of orchids. Unfortunately I didn't have the camera with me. If I can find a picture online I'll post a link to it.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

6.14 snowball

One of the interesting things about living with teenagers is that they do stuff without necessarily telling you about it ahead of time. This can be good or bad, although my experience has mostly been on the good side of the ledger.
One of the things that has been happening more and more often is the use of the camera by K. She's gotten rather good at putting the camera back where she finds it, so the only way I know that something happened is that random photos suddenly appear when I upload the pictures I've just taken.
Snowball, on the office chair, with her little pink tongue stuck out.
"Can you touch your nose with your tongue?"

Friday, June 13, 2008

6.13 Calibrichoa

I found a new-to-me plant at the nursery and decided upon this one as my hanging plant for this year. Last year's hanging pot was actually the pot (new plants) from the year before and it bit the dust through sun damage right at the end of last year's season. These calibrichoa (Superbells) look similar to petunias, although miniaturized, and they don't have the petunia aroma which starts bothering me after a while.
The pot has proved to be too heavy for my hanger though, so at the moment it rests on the shelf of the raised bed and may wind up there for the rest of the season if I don't figure something else out.
It may not make it through the season in any case as the flowers seem to be water hogs and must be watered EVERY day. I am not usually quite that organized. Poor things.

Q. If I pity them in advance, will my conscience let me off the hook when they die?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

6.12 messy box

When I came home yesterday, the last one of my new raised bed boxes looked like this, rather than the neat way it had looked when I left in the morning.

We had a visitor while I was away - my mom got some pictures with the telephoto.

Last year, our neighbor had a visitor (probably the same one?) and later in the summer we had small, silver dollar sized visitors scampering away one afternoon.

We don't think she left me any presents; she gave up in disgust and went off to where people didn't wander around with big-ass telephoto lenses. Papparazzi!

visitorJust for scale - the strings are at one foot intervals.



Wednesday, June 11, 2008

6.11 first year red carpet

Originally uploaded by zinlizzie
The first of my red carpet lilies to bloom this year. This one is one of the new batch and I think it may actually be a slightly different lily than my previous red carpet lilies. I'll have to take a picture of one of those when they bloom again and compare. The foliage is definitely darker on the two year lilies than the one year ones.

I don't remember whether I got them from the same source or not. it doesn't really matter; they're all good!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

6.10 Lavender Mountain Lily

Originally uploaded by zinlizzie
This is very odd picture, as the autofocus chose to put the lower bloom in focus and the one that's closest to the viewer is blurred. Be that as it may, it is the picture I had that is the truest color and after six tries, I gave up.

I have two of these little beauties left out of the dozen I planted. I'm not sure what I did either to kill off the rest or to not kill these off, but I do wish I had more of them. Maybe next year I'll get some more.

Let's see - if I buy 12 a year and have two left of each twelve, how many years will it take to have a dozen living? A question to pose to my going-into-2nd-grade nephew.

Monday, June 09, 2008

6.9 Disappointment

K has spent the last three months practicing twice a week after school, an hour and then two hours at a time, working on a song and dance routine with the Show Choir. For the 9th graders, this is their last year in Show Choir, last chance to shine, their turn to be the Big Dogs. Tonight's the night to strut their stuff, then cry all over each other; it's over it's done, on to other things but this time in their lives is finished.

K's in bed, trying not to throw up again. She's been in bed all day, ever since the school called at 20 minutes after first bell, nauseous and miserable and unhappy. Nauseous and miserable with illness, miserable and unhappy over missing her night. There will be other nights, but this one has been and gone without her.

6.8 veg garden(s)

Originally uploaded by zinlizzie
This is my other major project for the summer. I've wanted some vegetable gardens for a while, but our soil just takes too much improvement in order to do veggies. Voila. 3 new raised beds, 4 x 4 feet, complete with compost and new top soil. I won't be putting too much in to them this year - it's late in the season to start (although with August heat in June, who knows what will happen). However, it's a start and I'm looking forward to doing a few things this year.

6.7B New garden (after)

Originally uploaded by zinlizzie
The new garden with about 2.5 yards of dirt added. We added a layer, watered it down, and then added another layer. I expect to get mulch next and put that over the top.

6.7 New garden (before)

Originally uploaded by zinlizzie
Another angle on the new garden. you can see the electrical box I'd rather not look at from my front window. The little blue spruce has looked a bit lonely in the corner of the yard.

This is taken before we had the five yards of top soil delivered. The temp was up to 98 F today. J did most of the dirt shifting, with some help from S and I at various points of time. Have I mentioned lately I think he's wonderful?

Friday, June 06, 2008

6.6 yellow flag

This is the first of my yellow flags to bloom. If the color showing is any guide, there'll be a lot more of them tomorrow.

Cyndy, you're right - this weather makes it really hard to decide what to wear. Two days ago the high was 62, today it was 98. I hate hot weather.

I really feel for the receptionist at the new job. We're on the 3rd floor and her desk is just inside the door. The door faces the atrium. Someone opens the door at the bottom of the atrium and lets in a blast of steamy hot wind. Said wind sweeps up to the top of the atrium and waits for the door to the office to be opened, then sweeps over the poor receptionist. Repeatedly.

I'd have to find a new job or a bucket of ice to put at my feet or something.

6.5 Growing up

I've had occasion on the past two days to notice just how much my kids are growing up. They are looking so poised and put together. Not all the time, of course, but enough to give long insights into the poised and graceful adults they may become.

S has played soccer since he was 5. It became rather obvious early that he has a defensive player's mentality and focus. He's played goalie at least half time for the past five years. I'm not a particularly good soccer mom (I think I've mentioned that before) and as a consequence I am not a viewer of the games on a regular basis. As such, I think I am more struck by the differences in abilities in play from one game I see to the next, than are some of the parents who go and watch week in and week out.

I saw about half of S's game this past Wednesday. Their other primary goalie having been on the injured list for about 6 weeks, S was in goal for the whole game. They tied 1-1. I asked him afterwards how he felt the game had gone. "Pretty well. I made two mistakes." The mistakes had nothing to do with the goal against him. In his opinion, they were errors in judgement in his strategy as leader of the defense, in his deployment of the defensive players on the field. They hadn't lead to goals against his team, but had jeopardized their chances. Pretty good for insight for a 13 year old.

Then, last night we went to K's year end concert performance, the last performance of the high schools seniors. All the different groups were so poised and so professional in their presentations, difficult work and almost all of it a capella. I was very proud of them.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

6.4 babies 5 & 6

The last of the babies from Cathy.

We keep getting cooler spells (in the sixties F) alternating with warmer spells (in the high eighties, low nineties F). Everything shoots up some more during the warm spells - it almost seems as though you can see it growing if you just blinked at the right moment or turned your head just the right way. There was a high of 67 today - Friday's supposed to be in the 90s.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

6.2 babies1 & 2 and reading weekly

Originally uploaded by zinlizzie
Last fall, Cathy sent me some baby daylilies from her garden. These are two of them - I won't know which ones until they bloom (I doubt they will this year, but you never know). One of them wasn't looking too happy, but a good feed seems to have perked it up.

It's a good thing I got some reading done week before last because this past week hasn't been a good week for reading. Between the new job and the hecticness of it all, I didn't get much read this week.

1. Telzey Amberdon - James Schmitz. One of my favorite authors from the good old days of working my way through my parents Analog collection.

ETA - I'm much too tired today. I deleted this post by accident - tried to recreate it from the ashes, but I'm too tired to do that either.

6.3 babies3 & 4

Today's been a day to be nibbled to death by ducks. We started with K oversleeping, J locked his keys in the house, traffic meant that a 17 minute drive turned into 45, forgot the music lessons...

Staring at my garden helps me relax even if nothing else does. Babies #3 and 4 of the six I got from Cathy.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

6.1 new garden

This weekend's project was starting the prep on a new flower bed. The structure of this bed has been in my mind since we moved into the house. The tree was put in before the lawn, but the rest of the bed has taken a while. For scale, the tree is about 3 feet tall now and the bed is about 3 feet across.

J helped me rototill it yesterday (that is, he rototilled, I removed bits of sod and hundreds of rocks). J and S put the lower border in, which matches the border on the bed by the front walk. We have a huge electric box at the side of the yard, just at the border between our yard and the neighbors. I talked with that neighbor about possibly planning a joint garden to hide the box, but his ideas and mine on plantings didn't mesh very well and when we actually read the sign on the box which says we can't plant within 5 feet of three sides and within 12 feet of the street facing side, he seemed to lose interest. That was 2 years ago and I quit waiting for him.

Mostly I care about not having to look at it from the house, although I suppose for "curb appeal" I should care about the street view as well. The box is not in the picture here, but the upswing of the garden is about twice as far as it appears from here, and I plan to put a white lilac at the top of the bed, then several tall ornamental grasses in between me and the box. The inside border will have lavendar and the outside border will have white and yellow Carpet Lilies (a miniature). Further plantings TBD. Some tulips, some aliums, some shrubbery and possibly a Japanese maple of the dwarf and bushy sort.

Before we get to planting, however, I need about 4 yards of top soil and about 8 yards of mulch delivered. I foresee much hefting in our futures.