Three from our backyard

I was planting bulbs this afternoon and dug this up:
1951 dime

The sweet potato that sprouted and we planted into our garden trough has been blooming this week:

And, finally, the lantana is still kicking it:

We went by the neighborhood garden center, family owned, to buy some bulk mulch and we bonded a bit with them because I was wearing my Black Kow t-shirt. Good taste in manure will get you far.

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Baby, you’re no good (I’m gonna say it again)

Well, the last week has been full of crap. It included the worst concert experience we’ve ever had. We keep a list of shows we’ve seen and the one last Wednesday was #136. I feel like we’re missing some, but that’s still a lot of shows.

The headlining act, Earth, Wind and Fire, were an hour late coming out to perform. Seriously, was this some bar band that’s waiting for people to drink more because they are making their cash out of how many beers purchased? The venue clearly oversold the space and that meant 1000s were crammed into a tiny outdoor space. The sound system was atrocious. At one point, someone was speaking on stage and every person around me complained that they had no idea what was said. Then the band came out and the sound was no better.

We weren’t the only ones who walked out. We walked away from an Earth, Wind and Fire show. I never thought I’d do that, but at least we had a surprisingly great meal at a Mexican restaurant. Our friend suggested going there for margaritas and to commiserate over our bad experience. It was a damn fine chile relleno.

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Sunday night concert

We went to a concert last night. We were tired when we got there because we’d spent the weekend either cleaning out the MIL’s room or hacking back the stupid privet hedge that lines the sidewalk. Behold, people of the neighborhood! Your sidewalk is back.

The opening act was forgettable. The better-half was rooting for him to get better and I was just “meh” about his entire performance.

Then the Broken Bells came out with a great set and an outstanding lights/video show. We didn’t leave the venue tired.

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And we are back

The site was down for several days because of a vulnerability in the server. We are back to the regular and lazy trickle of posts.

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I first surmised the Horses’ Heads/Were toward Eternity

The MIL passed away and I’m grateful she is no longer cursed by Parkinson’s. The better-half and I talked about all of the things she could do now that she’s free from that nasty disease (assuming you believe in an afterlife). All of the things we came up with had to do with movement which has been in short supply for her in recent years.

A few reflections on the aftermath of having a loved one die:

  • The MIL’s primary care physician was incredibly caring especially while he was delivering the message of “you aren’t going to make it” to the MIL, the better-half and me.
  • The nursing staff at St. Mary’s in Richmond is incredible.
  • After consulting with the funeral home and the cemetery, we felt like we needed a shower.
  • The better-half’s aunt has been such a help over the last few days. She went with us to the funeral home and cemetery and has kept us on track on the “right” thing to do–those things the MIL would want.
  • Walking into a room full of coffins is oddly fascinating. Seeing how ugly, tacky and expensive coffins can be makes you want to be cremated.
  • As painful as visitations are to attend, they are even worse when you have to play host/hostess. I’ve hugged more people I don’t know very well or at all in the past week than I have in the past year. Let’s go back to my personal bubble, shall we?
  • We’re hosting the reception after the graveside service. Know how weird it is to plan a party and you have no idea how many people to expect?
  • My sister is going to work at keeping the buffet of food flowing. I can’t tell you how glad I am that she volunteered to come help. Because what trait do my sister and I share? Organization. There are lists, there are plans and there are a gazillion platters, bowls, and serving pieces downstairs tagged and set up for tomorrow.
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Pretty but kind of dumb

I upgraded my phone and iPad to iOS8 and aside from it taking a really long time (for the iPad it was an overnight job), I noticed that the Apple ID (or is that aPPle iD–seriously who cares about your stupid abbreviations Apple) was attached to an email address I no longer have. Considering I changed my Apple account ages ago, it was puzzling to see the wrong address on the screen.

As pretty as Apple products are and as solid as their hardware, some things are just dumb. So, hey Apple, knife.

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Tired and tired

Last week was an impossible work week and then on Thursday the MIL went into the hospital. She’s still there fighting off pneumonia and a UTI. The MIL is better, but not entirely out of the woods. She’s old/frail and has Parkinson’s. Pneumonia is not a joke and for that matter neither is the persistent UTI.

So, this weekend didn’t really go as planned. My hope for the weekend was to relax and sit outside staring at nothing. Perhaps some reading and music listening would have been involved.

Today we went by to visit with the MIL for a bit and then we came home. It was 2-ish and we had plans to sit outside, vegetate and smoke a chicken* for dinner. Instead, 20+ kids and their parents showed up next door for a brownie/girl scout extravaganza. It looks like recess at an elementary school in the neighbor’s backyard. The chicken is on the smoker and we are not sitting outside enjoying this beautiful afternoon. C’est la vie.

In other news, I ripped out most of the garden. I left the herbs, naturally, and one grape tomato plant. I plan on planting some lettuce and spinach. If I get crazy, perhaps a chard plant or two. The success of the garden is mixed. We did well with peppers and the tomatoes were so-so.


When you buy a chicken at the Farmer’s Market, you find out that the chicken was still clucking until Thursday.

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Had to Get Away

Woke up this morning and saw this:

This chap joined us the other day:

By join, I mean that I walked down the beach and picked up one of the intact dead horseshoe crabs and put it next to us. Lots of dead crabs in various states of undone on the beach this week.

We’ve been hitting the beach later in the afternoon, so we had happy hour oceanside yesterday:

Nothing beats a beer, the ocean, a pod of dolphins and your better-half sitting next to you.

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Deadlines

I recently worked on a project that went so far over deadline that it was as if there was never a deadline. There were many reasons why the deadline rolled right by, but none were a result of my own work. That’s a tough thing to swallow knowing that you’ve done everything you can and still the stuff doesn’t get done when it was promised. Ah, well. Hopefully it was a learning moment.

This week we had a major deadline for training that happens in two weeks. This project has been a cluster from the beginning and if the words scope creep, poor software design and lackluster management are familiar terms for you, then you know what it’s like to work on this project. I’ve worked on lots of projects in my time, but this ranks high on the list of the worst. However, we met yesterday’s deadline.

Mostly, we met that deadline because my boss’s boss booked this room for me for a week and a half:

A room with computer equipment and silence is a thing of beauty.

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Hello, Is there anybody in there?

Where have you been intertubes? I’ve been working like a dog. I can’t wait for vacation or the end of the year. Whichever is first.

We do actually have some pretty flowers in the yard, but they are short-lived:

We took The Nieces to several spots on the James this weekend. The Nieces added to this:

A couple of weekends ago we canned tomatoes and this weekend we’re going to do it again. The first batch came from the green grocer down the street from our house. We kneeled on the floor and looked through the seconds/leftovers they had from Origins Farm. This weekend we’re going to get hooked up with a farmer at the Farmer’s Market. I need to call them and ask them to bring us a case.

When I got home from work this afternoon, I canned dilly green beans. Oh baby. So simple and so tasty.

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