2008-07-11 11:28 pm
Entry tags:

Plumbing and landscaping, ct'd

So, we had the owner of Bodhi Tree Landscaping come and consult on our yard, and frankly I'm underwhelmed. He suggested we might consider using roundup to wipe out the front yard, which goes completely counter to his website's claim of pesticide-free installations. All I can figure is that he pegged us as wanting the fast route. And the do-it-yourself route, even though we did say a few times we don't want to do it ourselves, we've been not-doing-it-ourselves for 7 years.

He didn't have any photos of some of the ground-cover he suggested we consider. He said we were at the very start of figuring this out, and we should talk it over amongst ourselves and get back to him when we had a course of action for him. Um, hello?

Perhaps if I had more assertively tried to put money into his hands, he might've tried harder, but I really thought he was gong to re-offer what he said on the phone, an hour consultation for $50 or so; he didn't, and I suggested it, and for whatever reason he didn't want to. Oh well.

So that's Bodhi Tree.

On Tuesday, the city came back and gave our house a colonoscopy. The pipe looks fine (except the city's portion has the remains of tree roots, almost certainly from the tree the city removed two years ago). And they put a stake in the lawn at our property line. The city will replace their pipe, possibly next summer, and they will pay for any sewer-line repairs between now and then. The two guys who came were mid-50s seen-it-all guys. The more assertive one said Hammonds Plumbing is owned by a crook, and he sees them in court almost every week. Hm. I'll pass it on to you all, but I'm not sure I wouldn't hire them again; they did show up on Saturday morning early and did call the city for me.

And now it's bedtime for Bonzo. And me, too.
2008-06-20 11:29 pm

Since I'm up

On the balance, this has been a good week, (and it still can end up a good week assuming the drain augering and fixing goes smoothly tomorrow morning, but I'm trying to not think about it).

A few high points in the last week:

- Work has been rewarding. This week I worked on: php, shell scripts, sql, perl, and WebObjects. I have challenging tasks, and more importantly, I have a plan; and the things I do will make my group's jobs easier. This is most excellent.

- Last Saturday afternoon, I participated in a community witness that went more smoothly than we deserved (given the weather forecast, number of participants, and the structure of the event). And the food at the reception was excellent. And it included home-made lemon meringue pie.

And we learned that our Quaker Meeting is going to have another wedding, next year. The couple met on Lavalife. He's 70, she's 50.

- Ye's sushi with my sweetie.

- semi-wild strawberries from the front yard. I've eaten a few, and they're delicious.

- In a week, I'm seeing a huge pile of Friends at FGC Gathering, in Johnstown PA this year. I'm fairly intentionally making the week a challenge for myself, as instead of taking a workshop, I'm doing service work. Which could be draining, and it could be extremely rewarding. The only thing I know would make the week better would be if [livejournal.com profile] melted_snowball were able to come, but I expect we'll both do OK. My car will have at least one rider, and possibly 1-2 others if they get their acts together. I don't know any of them, but that's fine. We'll talk about workshops and figure out who we know in common...

- And not one but two successful real-estate hunts among friends! [livejournal.com profile] chezmax & [livejournal.com profile] the_infamous_j bought a house locally that sounds well-suited to them, and [livejournal.com profile] sulle_stelle bought a stunning-sounding house in Tampa! Both were long shots, of a sort. Congrats, guys!
2008-05-24 07:06 pm
Entry tags:

Advice: Planter on wheels?

Does anybody have a moving dolly I can borrow so we can put our tomatoes on wheels?

Now that I've got your attention...

We've pressure-washed the deck in preparation for staining. Next step, waiting for a week of no rain, so it will be dry for staining. It's been a month, a very rainy month. The forecast is for rain on Monday.

Meanwhile, d. says the tomatoes need to be planted ASAP, if we're going to have tomatoes. We would like to put them on the deck, in the 3-foot by 3-foot homemade planter. That's a heavy amount of topsoil- maybe 650-800 lbs.

Interim smaller pots aren't as useful (says d.) because he'd have to water twice a day. Putting the planter elsewhere means it's annoying to water. So: I want to put it on wheels, so I can stain most of the deck, roll the planter onto the painted part, and stain the rest. I want to avoid cataclysmic planter failure, broken backs, or failing to stain the *(^%%^ deck this summer.

The tomatoes are busy growing under [livejournal.com profile] the_infamous_j's care, and dan told me today they really should be planted soon.

So is this a good plan? Can you think of better?

Additionally, does anybody have a spare pile of topsoil? d. says we need some. :)
2008-04-07 11:44 pm
Entry tags:


This afternoon there was still a snowbank in the shadow of the house by the side of the driveway, where our tulips are planted. So I shoveled it away, about a foot of snow deep, to expose what I thought would be bare ground.

But no- there are tulip shoots. Each a few cm tall. I'm amazed.

Also, I will be surprised if there is any snow at all by the time I pick up [livejournal.com profile] melted_snowball tomorrow night. It's supposed to be 17 tomorrow (62 F). Woo!

Also, I can't wait to see what the neighbour's yard looks like. Y'know, the one who replaced the big garden with lawn, and then the tulips came up anyway last year. He spent a while digging them up, but Mother Nature might have other plans.

Also, the Quaker planning meeting tonight went better than I'd even hoped. I will go away for a week utterly unstressed about this event. I just need to procure a data-projector I can borrow for the 26th- which is going to be tricky, as I'm between jobs, even if the University wanted me to borrow their projector to go off-campus... Hm, does anyone want to loan me one for a Saturday this month?... ;)
2007-12-19 04:18 pm

Totally Seasonally Inappropritate

This is partly a post for me to link to in my todo list for next spring, because I want to think about longer days (wah, it's so dark at 4:20...)

Via [profile] speedyima:

One Straw Revolution, written by a guy who's doing permaculture in his subdivision.  (He wisely got himself elected president of the neighborhood assn first!)  He also has a basic essay on "Ecological 'Yardening'", covering the basics of lawn maintenance/eradication, vegetable gardening, etc.

His tips on how to get started reducing grass lawn appear sound and reasonably simple.  Though I think the title "yardening" is too twee. Perhaps re-reading this in the spring will inspire me after I never did get started on replacing any of the yard with attractive perennials last year.  Though- I did encourage the ivy to come out from the house into the yard, with careful mowing.  And I'll revisit this in April.

Also: the Eat Well Guide is a database of local farms, stores, and restaurants, from Canada and the US. It's an interesting find, and I'm curious if their overall coverage is better than for our area- it completely lacks most of the local sources I know of; but it would be neat to see this grow up to be a proper international guide.  I'm going to point them at the "Eat Local Eat Fresh" "Buy Local Buy Fresh" database, which is slightly less user-friendly but much more complete for locals.  The Eat Well Guide is from the folks who did the "meatrix" movie(s), which means I have mixed feelings about it- the movies are histronic and a bit misleading, but... it's not like there needs to be a monopoly on media messages about organic cruelty-free meat farms.
2007-08-05 12:47 pm
Entry tags:

Dear Lazyweb: Flower

Anybody know what this is?


There are some in our front yard, and google isn't being much help.
2007-08-04 11:55 am
Entry tags:

Saturday Morning Haiku

He's cataloguing
six pretty flower species
as he mows them down.
2007-05-10 10:49 pm
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I was going to plant morning glories for the front trellis, but every single person who knows plants has said, "watch out, they will take over."

This evening, I talked to a gardener who repeated the line about taking over. They're annual, but unless I'm strict about picking up the flowers all spring (summer?), the seeds will germinate everywhere they can reach, the following spring.

"Oh oh," says I. The trellis is just on the edge of our lot, and the flowers would be planted in our neighbour's grass, and she's a bit particular about her grass. I know this because she was worried when I asked her if she minded me planting morning glories just at the edge. I promised her I'd investigate further before planting.

Jeanette, this evening, recommended Clematis. It's perennial and has pretty blue flowers. And doesn't muscle out the grass or require daily flower/seed cleanup.

...The tulips finally sprouted, but they seem to be a week or so behind everybody else's. Either we have worse soil, late bloomers, or everyone else is more gourmet with their plants' feedings and waterings and little Plant Waldorf School. I wonder if we can send ours for tutoring.
2007-03-31 02:29 pm
Entry tags:

Marion's Crocuses

I just turned the compost for the first time this year ([livejournal.com profile] melted_snowball usually ends up with this chore). I introduced a big bag of shredded white paper and leftover leaves from last winter... I like turning things into dirt.

Last summer, our neighbours dug up and re-sodded their lawn to replace the bushes and flowers which had been tended for decades by the prior owner. It was all a bit sad, because Marion had lived there for so long and had died the summer before. But the new owners nicely gave all their neighbours lots of notice so we could dig up what we wanted to save. I planted a few things which I hope will start sprouting (and I think I see signs of her crocuses in the back part of our yard, today.)

But- the next door neighbour's lawn is also coming up crocuses. All over. It looks like they didn't remove enough of the dirt, huh? It looks pretty neat to me, though it puts a damper on our neighbour's plans for a "nice clean grass yard" as he told us last year. Unless I'm mistaken, he will need to dig all of them up by hand unless he wants them coming back again and again. Bet he's pissed. As you might guess, my sympathies are elsewhere. Grow, crocuses, grow! :)
2006-05-22 09:34 am
Entry tags:

pastry, gardening, and duck

[livejournal.com profile] melted_snowball's pastry post last night reminded me of a discovery I made yesterday- City Cafe makes awesome chocolate croissants! Yesterday was the first time I've been there early enough in the day to actually eat one. It was a fluke that any were left at 2pm; apparently they're usually gone by 10am.

Gardining... behind the cut )

Last night's dinner was finishing off the duck that d. cooked while he was here. Duck-thighs and asparagus, yum. I've put some fat in the freezer, stock in the fridge (ready for some sort of soup tonight; if I can find matzo meal it'll be matzo-ball soup), and a couple of duck-burger patties in the freezer too. Duck is such a good thing.
2006-05-20 10:57 pm


Today was a fine day.

Last night late, just as I was getting ready for sleep I discovered eight stupendously well-thought responses on my post on the subject of niceness. I'm still digesting those; if I haven't responded to you yet, please accept my thanks now for giving me good stuff chew on.

I made it to the Farmer's Market this morning in plenty of time to shop and have my apple fritters (they gave me a freebie! And I didn't even tell them it was my birthday.) I was sneaky and successfully ran into [livejournal.com profile] lovecraftienne, [livejournal.com profile] kourtneyshort, [livejournal.com profile] joymoose, and [livejournal.com profile] hippybngstockng, [livejournal.com profile] uniquecrash5, and their cute kid K.

In addition to conversation, shopping and such I also had some multi-culti bliss watching lots of little old ladies speaking Polish/ Russian/ Chinese/ Portuguese.

At [livejournal.com profile] kourtneyshort's generous invite, I went to The Brick for a beer-tasting avec elle et la multitalented [livejournal.com profile] joymoose, as well as to meet [livejournal.com profile] wefightforpie & a diminutive [livejournal.com profile] wefightfortarts. Good times. The server was quite helpful; coming to our table to repeatedly fill glasses with free local beer. Kourtney brought a yummy dip and veggies, and I brought some bagel-chunks, and someone brought some chips, to complete a carbohydrate-heavy lunch.

I collected birthday wishes on the phone from my sweetie and my parents.

I collected flowers and other plants from our next-door neighbour's yard, because the new owner's going to bulldoze the remains and turn it into grass. Yes, that's sad. But I think Marion would've been happy that her flowers were going to all of her neighbours' yards, even if we won't be as good at gardening as she, when she was alive. But someone else took the flowers [livejournal.com profile] tbiedl pointed out to me the other afternoon. Rats. And... I planted everything.

I was going to pan-roast some duck for dinner, but my parents called back and by the time I finished talking with them, I was more in the mood for leftovers. Tomorrow!

Speaking of which, it is tomorrow. Time for bed.
2006-05-15 10:18 pm
Entry tags:

pretty great evening...

I came home to [livejournal.com profile] tbiedl plus two sprog (*) sitting and chatting with dan; they brought over Professor Wormbog and the Zipperumpa-Zoo specifically because I mentioned it fondly the other day in this journal; I read it to C. (who's three). T. offered to loan it to me, with a wink (which nicely forestalled one of her problems, of a certain assertive small person demanding that book be read to her 89 quadrillion times.) Hey, I'm willing to help out. *shrug* Which is how I got a kid's book on loan this evening.

We all went out to the yard, and discovered our neighbour two doors down, digging in the gardendandelion patch next-door. He said that our neighbour will be tilling it under in a few weeks, so any flowers we want, we should probably come rescue. Sounds like a good challenge to me. My mission is to figure out the ones that T. and dan recommended, dig 'em up, and plant them in our yard. Bonus points if they live more than a month; double bonus if they come back next spring.

Rover seemed to have rolled in something awful, so d. gave her a bath. Go boyfriend go!

I took d. out to celebrate passing his citizenship test; we went to the Bookshelf Cafe in Guelph. The food was OK. My appetizer was super: fried fish-cakes on top of mango and apple slices. My main course was so-so deconstructed mu shu with tofu, but it wasn't as good as the mu shu my sweetie makes. Our server was a bit over the line on being friendly, on toward flirting. Well, no, she was well over the line- she touched my shoulder a buncha times, and consiprationally told me about falling off the wagon on her Cleansing yesterday (she ate a piece of chocolate). d. suggested that maybe the two were connected, and she thought maybe I was a bar of soap? Y'know, to help with the clensing. Hm.


I'm thinking it's bedtime.

(*) who came up with this term for progeny? I forget. Anyway I like it.