Thursday, April 30, 2009

4.30 Susan magnolia

Two years ago, I planted a Susan magnolia in the back yard. Last year it gave us three blooms, at widely scattered times (bloom, wait a month, bloom, wait a month, bloom). This year...Wow. What a difference a year makes.
The hot weather recently has encouraged it to think summer is here. We won't be past the average frost date for another week or so.
I just love the way the blooms look. Eventually, it should be tall enough it will shade the office window in the summer time, which is good as the window is full west and that room heats up like no one's business.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

4.29 mushed together

The late cold weather followed by sudden temps in the 80s has made the plants feel like they're late, hurry up. The tulips, the daffodils, the hyacinths and the magnolias are all blooming at once - which is notable as they usually are spaced out a bit more. In my front window bed, the tulips usually have time to come up, bloom and fade before the lilies are more than peeking out of the ground.

Not so this year, as you can see.

I can also see that I probably need to thin both the tulips and the lilies again this year.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

4.28 spring willow

Spring is here with a vengeance. The late cold, followed by the sudden high (for us) temperatures, means that everything is trying to bloom all at once.
The willow tree has bloomed and is giving us lacy yellow-green fronds. It makes a brave picture against the still slightly drab woodlands behind it.
At the base, you can see the squirrel who has decided the willow is big enough to make an emergency bolthole if the dog, cat, or neighbor threaten it. I'm not sure I believe this as the tree is only about 12 feet tall and is not close enough to other trees to make a leap practical. However, I'm not going to bother trying to convince the squirrel otherwise.

Monday, April 20, 2009

4.20 Rainy day

K and S are off of school this week - spring break. (Usually spring break is the week after Easter. I haven't heard a rational explanation yet for why, this year, spring break is the week after the week after Easter.) So of course, the chance of rain today is 100%. We need the rain, but it is going to make timing Sean's mile a little wet today. He might try wiggling out of it, but Tuesday and Wednesday this week are also supposed to be wet. I've promised to let them sleep in today, but playing the following (singing Muppet sheep!) has apparently pried them out of bed, and at only 10:50 in the morning!
That did let me get a bunch of reading done for my homework, which is all to the good.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

4.9 sunny day

It's a beautiful sunny day. It doesn't even seem to be terribly windy, which is a change. Tomorrow, it's supposed to rain again, so I think I'll take what I can get.

I seem to be in a terribly restless mood. I want to throw away two thirds of my possessions and strip down to basics. There are reasons why I hang onto stuff (mostly because if I throw it away or give it away I will hate having to buy it again if I ever need it once more). Paperbackswap has been good for getting rid of books I don't want, but it really only works for swapping books I don't want for those I do (which is somewhat of a good thing) and leaves me with a zero sum game. I want a reduction, not just a changing of the guard. And besides, the books that I've listed for swapping have to go somewhere so I don't lose track of them when someone wants one, and those piles are more damn piles.

This rant all started with reading Madwoman's Lunchbox, which took all my vague feelings and bundled them up for me, seed crystal in a supersaturated solution. J had noticed that stuff had been leaving the house via the trashbin and the recycling options - I'm afraid he hasn't seen anything yet.

The term Spring Cleaning exists for a reason, honed over generations of people rasped to tender nerve endings by being closed up in their domiciles for too many months on end. I've got a bad case this year.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

4.7 snow in April

Every year, we get an average of five inches of snow in April. Why does it always take us by surprise?

The year-to-date snowfall is around 103 inches for the winter. Just about average, really.

Monday, April 06, 2009

4.5 changing of the guard

J left for Tucson yesterday morning. K got back from Williamsburg last night. J will be back next Saturday night.

K's Treble Choir got a gold award. The Jazz Ensemble got a gold award, the bands got a gold and a silver, one band got the Adjudicator's award, two students got Maestro awards, one director got the director's award...

Basically, they cleaned up! They were exhausted when they got home; all of them were drooping when they climbed of the bus, but they claimed they had a good time. Hurrah!

Friday, April 03, 2009

4.3b Sheep cake anyone?

There's a lovely sheep cake at Cake Wrecks today.

4.3 pink green violet

I posted a bud picture of this one a few weeks ago. This one shows any number of open blooms, and if you look very closely, you can see the pale green edging around each of the blooms. It is one of my favorite African violets: green leaves edged with white; double pink blooms edged with green.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

4.2 crocuses

3 years ago I planted 20 crocuses. This year, they're making a brave show.

They've been blooming for several days now, so tomorrow's rain may start battering them a bit. They don't open on grey days, and they snap shut the minute the sun goes behind the house, but the rain is not their friend when they're getting a little tired.

K got on her way this morning. My second interview in two days went well. The state taxes as well as the federal are done. Red Dwarf VII arrived in the interlibrary loan today, after a three week wait. Not a bad day after all, even if it started at 3:30 am. 'Night.