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bits of random catch-up (but not really)

See, I had something that we'll self-diagnose as walking pneumonia for a couple weeks. And I'm still recovering. And also I just cannot shake the deep depression I've been under for awhile. My words are all locked up tightly. I have found I can paint, though, so I've been doing that instead of saying things. 

So here's just some stuff and so forth, for now. 

I'm getting a new kind of spam, it seems. I don't know what I could have signed up for to elicit this:

I don't entirely understand the subject of the first one.

From:   boswellstephenieladyurrf@gmail.com

Subject: Can it really be true that serenades beneath a window are left flower  in past ages?

Date: July 31, 2009 7:17:26 PM EDT

I like extreme sports and all kinds of entertainment. Merry-go-rounds

are wonderful and not childish at all!I am a cheerful, nice, sociable,

easy-going woman.I know that I can make happe any man. I have a

perfect looks and brains to that end.

From:   sawyerdarleenlightvdk@gmail.com

Subject: Fancy a long walk in the countryside?

Date: July 30, 2009 5:29:57 PM EDT

I've always been a bit of a homebody. I value friends and family above

everything. I have a tendency for being a bit shy but I am looking to

break out of that. Sometimes you look around and realize just how much

you're missing out on. I don't want to miss out anymore. Some things

that won't change are my belief in communication, integrity and

helping others any chance I get. I guess I am looking for someone that

believes in the same things. That can also teach me more about the

world and introduce me to new experiences. If this sounds like you,

why don't you write me?

The second one seems to have been written by an American, but the first one seems very ESL, right? And there aren't any links in the emails; they seem to expect a reply, perhaps? I dunno. Weird, low-key spam. 

I looked up celebrities who are the same age as me. Here's a list I put together:

Alan Cumming was born on 1/27/1965

Brooke Shields was born on 5/31/1965

Cameron Daddo was born on 3/7/1965

Diane Lane was born on 1/22/1965

Elizabeth Hurley was born on 6/10/1965

Frank Black was born on 4/6/1965

Illeana Douglas was born on 7/25/1965

Jeremy Piven was born on 7/26/1965

John C. Reilly was born on 5/24/1965

Julia Ormond was born on 1/4/1965

Lori Loughlin was born on 7/28/1965

Paulina Porizkova was born on 4/9/1965

Robert Downey, Jr. was born on 4/4/1965

Sarah Jessica Parker was born on 3/25/1965

Slash was born on 7/23/1965

Ben Stiller was born on 11/30/1965

Bjork was born on 11/21/1965

Bryan Singer was born on 9/17/1965

Charlie Sheen was born on 9/3/1965

Craig Bierko was born on 8/18/1965

Dougray Scott was born on 11/25/1965

J.K. Rowling was born on 7/31/1965

Shania Twain was born on 8/28/1965

Ty Pennington was born on 10/19/1965

I can't say that I find any particular meaning in this, but it interests me, a little. I think quite a few of them look older than me. That's gratifying. 

Here's a snapshot of my latest finished painting. It's not a proper photo of it, though, so maybe don't judge too much. 

I guess that's all for now. I'll keep trying, though. I've been missing you all. 

a bit of personal irony

I'm in a very reminiscent mood this week, for reasons I may or may not discuss later. 

I visited Montreal twice, in 1978 and 1980. Mostly I shopped while there. The first time for music and the second time for music and clothes. These are the music purchases I most distinctly remember: Some Girls by the Rolling Stones, (original album cover that was banned in the U.S. the following month and it only cost me 4 dollars American,) and three 45s, "Echo Beach" by Martha & the Muffins, "I Can't Control Myself" by the Teenbeats, and "Mama Rosin" by Zachary Richard. Montreal was (and probably still is) a very naturally hip place. 

In 1987, someone stole most of my music collection. Thanks to digital technology, I have Some Girls again, and I have "Echo Beach," but could never find the other two. 

My daughter found "I Can't Control Myself" tonight. I told everyone that whoever found it first would receive a cake baked by me. The song pops into my head, you see, whenever I hear "Hangin' on the Telephone" by Blondie, and that was on XM 44 (First Wave) earlier. I've been looking for it since 1996, but suddenly there it was. This may be because they went on tour last year, after having been broken up since 1981. As bands are wont to do these days. 

But then I learned their drummer died last month. Odd, yeah? I thought so. 

The song is a remake of a Troggs song. And if I'd known it as an older person, I'd have easily realized that. But I kind of like it a little better than the original. It's not as down-and-dirty, but fits my teen years better. 

I can't control myself Teen Beats
Now I gotta finally find a good copy of Mama Rosin. I probably will; I think the universe is like that. 

I told someone I was posting something with them in mind. I learned a bit of news yesterday that made me delay that post. But I'll put it up tomorrow. Silly not to. 

Unholy Garden, part two

I think the front areas have to be put off again this year, at least until fall. Which, actually, would work out all right. 

On Saturday I finished digging up the bricks around the holly tree and replaced them to even out and widen the bed a little bit. I cut all the lower branches of the holly to make it easier to work around, plus I think it looks better.
And I added a couple of shade plants. I'm going to put in a small bird bath and a couple more plants, but of the somewhat taller and spindlier variety. The rose thing kind of has to stay for now. 
My shoes didn't survive this ordeal very well. They are not my usual garden shoes, and I've been careful to not get them dirty. But I couldn't find the shoes I normally wear and wanted to get going. 
They'll brush up all right, though. 

I pulled up the old woody raggy sage and some bamboo, and trimmed the bottom of the tree yesterday. 

Then I suddenly took ill. I have some kind of virus with throat yuckiness and fatigue and wooziness and the whole thing. So I sat on the deck for awhile until I gave up and went to bed. Here's something neat I saw, though. 

Here's the oleander I bought the other day. We're in a warm micro garden zone here, where I could probably keep it outdoors all year round, but I think I'll just keep it in a pot and let it do a few weeks inside at the beginning of the year.

And here's a little untouched bed that gets mostly indirect light. I'd like to put something there but it would need to be animal proof as well as not need full sun. 
I have no concluding thoughts at the moment. I am woozy. There's a lot to do this year, gotta get all the wood split, and hopefully remove the small hedge in the front, maybe creating a bed that connects it to the one on the side, but I have to get permission for that. So we'll see. 

Unholy Garden, part one

So, there was like 6 weeks of nothing but rain and then I went away for a few days and now, wow, the garden is just awful. Not unrecoverable or anything, just kind of a dull mess. 

I did some good work to the space behind the house but realized I need to turn my attention to the raised area before it's too late this year. Also, I rearranged the deck a bit; it really needs a good power wash, though. 

Here are some photos (some are 900 wide and some are 1200) and thoughts. In part two, I will offer some of the changes I've already wrought, and more blather. 

This looks decent enough from a distance. It would be nice to make it into one of those "outdoor rooms," but you know, that requires money and stuff. 

Really time to do something with that cracked pot, I suppose. 

As I said, so much was put off for rain. The first photo shows the area of the garden I've mostly left alone since the previous people were here. Last summer was the first full one, and this past season was the time to start making decisions but now it's a little late. I ended up pulling a lot of it out, though, and took a couple new photos of the space I now have to work with. 

Also, I'd popped in tons of little annuals all over the place to provide more color, but many of them didn't survive the monsoon season well. Everything was mulched but now I need to do a new layer over almost all of it. And the peppers and tomatoes are growing, but not like they would had there been, you know, sun. They're starting to take off now, so we'll see what we get from them.

The Scarborough bucket is doing well of course; all thyme, sage, and rosemary want is to be left alone. And they're so much bigger this year, I put the parsley in behind the oregano and lemon balm in the main area (hot herbs photo.) 

The plant stand is also behind the plan as I intended to fill it with more herbs and a few house plants that could hang around outside in summer. 

So far there is dill and cilantro. 

Thus endeth Part One.

Camping at Assateague Island

Including time out for sleep, this post has taken 17 hours so far, and I'm kind of tired of it. I meant it to be the first of three last night. Here's hoping when I click post! 

So this trip was so important to me. I planned and planned and planned, to make it all go perfectly. To a couple members of the family it appears to have been an epic fail, and therefore I cannot say it was successful for me. But it certainly could have been. I could say that there are a couple of whiny princesses in our family, however, that would not do any of us much good. To be fair, they were challenged greatly by the mosquitos in a way that the others, especially me, were not. Everything seemed harder to them and so they made it harder. This is what people do, isn't it? We all do, often. 

I want so much to remember just all the best nice parts of the trip but they are clouded by the difficulties:  though to my mind those don't weigh nearly as much, they do to people I wanted to please, so I'm a little sad about that. I'd gladly try it again, just work on avoiding those issues, but I'm not sure they'll want to. 

The one aspect that was a great challenge to all of us was a great huge storm our last night of camping. It was torrential, terrific, and frankly a little scary. Riding out a long bout of rain and lightning and 50 mph winds in your house can be nerve-wracking. Doing that in a car on a narrow island while watching your tent sway in the wind like the Shrieking Shack at Hogwarts is quite another. And the rain fly did not adequately do its job. Most of us slept in the car after we assessed the resulting water damage. 

Again, I did not see this as the huge challenge and burden a couple of the others did. It was merely some wet stuff to bring home the next day and wash. But I admit it was rather a drag. Especially since I did all the laundry when we returned home! (But don't you love taking fresh clean laundry out of the dryer? It's kind of a magical experience.) 

Here is a picture of what greeted us when we arrived at the house. Although it doesn't do the sight justice at all. Livvy had Decorated Everything with American flags, streamers, pinwheels, signs, to such a degree of excess it was both hilarious and impressive. We've never decorated for July 4, and she made up for every year all in one go. She was disappointed to not find an appropriate Obama picture to hang, though, so above our mailbox was a poster of the Canadian Parliament. Canada Day, you know. 

And here's a slideshow of wistful happiness. It's about 3 minutes long and I hope you enjoy it. Each photo is a distinct memory for me that I will cherish. I mean, they're not award-winners or anything. Just what I saw during a few days from home. 

assateague 06/09

I'd like to go back to Assateague. But I guess if we ever get to go camping again, we'll pick a new destination, perhaps some September, perhaps. Our September 2006 camping trip to Locust Lake in PA was very nice, other than concerns over having so little money. 

There's so much more I'd enjoy sharing. There are plenty of details and anecdotes and so forth. But everything is kind of locked up in my head these days and I'm having a difficult time pouring it out. Perhaps it'll all just be added to one of my fictional worlds someday. :-)

QotD: Best. Present. Ever.

What's the best present you've ever received?

LP has given me so many great gifts, it's hard to know which is the greatest. 

A long time ago he gave me inline skates and all the padding and stuff. That was fun, but having some more kids made it harder to do.


He took me on weekend trips to Chicago for my 30th birthday, Detroit for my 32nd birthday, New York for my 40th birthday. He gave me my guitar, all my iPods and laptops (3 of each,) and my turntable. 

It's kind of feast or famine, to be honest, but the feasts are always something to behold. 

QotD: Fashion Forward

What do you think we'll be wearing twenty years from now?
Presented by Intel, Sponsors of Tomorrow.

Hi, Intel! I don't have your stuff, but you seem sound. 

We used to have these things called Vox Hunt. This would have been a really good one. 


Okay but seriously, anyway, I don't know if there are going to be advances in fabrics; my guess is that if there are, they'll come from lighter and more renewable sources, but possibly be more "disposable" than they are now. 

Yay, yay, yay!

I have a new computer. I mean, it's not new. But it might as well be, because compared to my other one, it is awesome. And it works and stuff. 

So I get to be here now, and read things and even look and listen to multimedia. Plus do all that stuff I always mean to do. 

Not at this moment, because I'm still getting everything as I like it. But soon, and whenever I like!