Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme

With apologies to Simon and Garfunkel:

The herb garden is more-or-less planted. Right now, the challenge is keeping the plants watered given everything is dry as dust. Not the most typical problem in Florida, but when the rainy season ended back in September, it came to a screeching halt. As in not a drop of rain since. We need dust masks just to walk across the lot. Crazy stuff. Anyway, the garden:

And just because I have so much free time, I re-did the walk and landing pad in front of the shed, and added a place for our bikes to sit that is less in the way:

Well, gotta go make dinner.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

More Home Improvement

Still messing around in the front of our place. I got 1/4 of our Simon-and-Garfunkel herb garden in a few days go:

The inside of our car and my work gloves have a wonderful rosemary scent to them now. I'll probably get some thyme started next. The sage may need to be grown from seed; I haven't found a local source for plants, which is usually an indication that something doesn't do well in the local climate. But I've found dozens of pages on the web from people who swear that sage does well in Florida's beach sand soil as long as you don't try to plant it in the middle of a bog. So as some point, I'll order some seeds and see what happens. I also got some aloe vera planted along the side of the porch. The stuff is like a weed down here, so that should fill in fairly quickly.

Today I finished up getting our house number and lot number painted on the posts and hanging all our Arcosanti bells:

Now our pizza delivery guy will have an easier time finding us, not to mention that we're now in compliance with the park rules.

That's pretty much all I've gotten done; we've been too busy socializing for me to get to all the things on my ever-growing to-do list. With Thanksgiving coming up, I don't expect to get much more done for the rest of this week, but if I do, I'll throw a couple pictures up here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Planting Bed

I finally got this thing finished yesterday. Right now, all I'm growing is dead leaves and grass clippings. At some point next week, I'll pick up a half-dozen or so rosemary plants and put those up against the porch. But for now, this is how it looks:

Eventually, the bed will extend for the full length of the trailer, but I need to do a little work on the skirting first. In the meantime, I have all the inside work - cleaning, dishes, bake some bread, etc. - that piled up on me while I was messing around in the yard. A woman's work is never done....

Friday, November 09, 2012

Carl Sagan's Birthday

I really need to get a calendar; I almost missed this again. Anyway, I've posted this before, but it's worth another watch:

The Gods of the Copybook Headings

One Bruce F. Webster has put together an illustrated version of Rudyard Kipling's poem, "The Gods of the Copybook Headings". Appropriate given certain events from earlier this week.

(For those, like me, who somehow avoided copybooks while learning penmanship, Wikipedia has a short article on them. The part that is relevant to Kipling's poem: "Other copybooks, however, focused chiefly on writing literacy and used maxims and sometimes Bible verses as their material. It was intended that students memorize not only correct penmanship, but correct morals as well, through exposure to traditional sayings.")

Wednesday, November 07, 2012


So yea. I made a wee little drive up to Michigan and back. While I was there, Michigan thought it was appropriate to remind me why I left by slamming me with high winds, freezing temperatures, snow, sleet and rain. I got the message, left as soon as logistically possible and have no desire to go back in any months other than June, July or August.

There were two goals for the trip: Take a small load of furniture up to Michigan to dump on others so we can quit living like one of those headcases on Hoarding: Buried Alive, and to help my parents pack up and drive down to Florida for the winter. Both goals were met in that I did manage to get a load of Stuff up to Michigan (nearly) intact and out of our lives while navigating a moving van for most of the length of I-75, and my parents and I are now back in Florida. We made it back late Saturday night. My parents normally take three or four days for the trip down, but I "missed" a couple of their non-expressway longcuts, my sister and brother-in-law that they normally visit were out of town, and I pushed pretty hard for them to not stop a few hours short of Zephyrhills just because it was dark. We met Debbie in Z-town at a local restaurant for a very late dinner about 9:30pm, then finally HOME.

After being gone two full weeks and a couple days, it took all day Sunday and Monday just to catch up on my daily reading and dig through my e-mail. Yesterday, I felt like I spent the entire day in the car, although I'm certain that can't be true. I started my day off with voting. I had considered skipping the whole sordid mess, but decided that while I was out for other things, I may as well drop in and color in a few ovals. I voted my usual pattern; whoever wasn't in office and was least likely to win. The result was typical as well, with not a single person I voted for attaining office. Works for me. In addition, Florida had 11 constitutional amendments on the ballet, all but one of which I voted against as they were measures that should have been handled in the do-nothing legislature rather than being amendments to the state constitution. The only one I voted for was a symbolic amendment making the key provision of Obamacare - the penalty for failing to have health insurance - unconstitutional. With the Supreme Court ruling that the penalty was constitutional, Florida can't make it unconstitutional, but the measure was left on the ballet as a non-binding referendum of sorts.

So the bottom line is that I am not in any way responsible for what happens in the county, state or national governments. I can piss and moan about it all I want because I did in fact drag myself to the polls.

So the underside of the bottom line is, nutin' new here.

The rest of the yesterday was spent driving around Florida's suburban hell trying (and largely failing) to cross items off my various shopping lists. I keep trying to "support local businesses", but they just don't have what I'm looking for. Even the big box stores have been a disappointment. I ventured out again today after we realized that we were out of paper for the printer. I found a few more things, but I finally gave up and moused another big order of random bits on Amazon.

Today, I did get a bunch of things that piled up while I was in Michigan checked off the to-do list, but for every item I checked off, I added two more, so now the list is longer than ever. I think I've discovered all the bits of neglected and forgotten flotsam of our lives, but there may still be something under the couch or in a corner covered in dust bunnies waiting to be discovered.

So I see on Yahoo this morning that Obama gets his four-more-years. Several people I've encountered today, including my parents, are in a state of mourning due to Obama's re-election. I'm sure today's Wednesday Prayer Meetin' at their church will be an hour of wailing and gnashing of teeth. This I do not understand. There is not one single thing that Romney would, or even could have done in office that would have been any different that what Obama will do, just as ol' hope-n-change followed right in Bush's footsteps in spite of all his rhetoric to the contrary. The banks will continue to run the country for the benefit of the wealthiest Americans and their enabling captives in Congress and the White House. Energy prices will continue their wild gyrations that are simultaneously pushing energy companies and consumers into financial ruin. We will come to accept that 8% unemployment is simply frictional unemployment, rather than a sign of serious economic problems. More and more of the middle class will be stomped down into the growing permanent underclass. The stock market will continue its long-term, random walk to nowhere. Various boogie men, including Obama, will be trotted out from time to time to take the blame for all of America's ills. Etc., etc., etc. In short, we will continue the long, bumpy decent we started back in the 1970's. And the rubes never catch wise.

Well, that's all I have energy for today. If I can drag my sorry carcass out of bed at a decent time tomorrow, I may have pictures of our new planting bed. I wouldn't bet on it, but it could happen, at least in theory.

The Housing Industry

I'll do a real post at some point.

Couldn't have said it better myself...