lblanchard: (swannfountain)
The Scamp is clearly falling down on the job.

I was making the coffee this evening, and as I started the coffee grinder a bit of motion caught the corner of my eye. Damned if it wasn't a mousie, scuttling from under the stove to under the fridge. When I decided to move the trashcan that's next to the fridge to investigate, there was mousie making for what I thought was a long-abandoned mouse hole. Mousie thought better of it and retreated under the fridge again.

I've left the trash can in front of the fridge in case the Scamp is moved to investigate. Tomorrow I will go searching for mousetraps and set one along the wall right by the mousehole. That ought to do the little bugger in. I wonder how big a family s/he has?
lblanchard: (Default)
Today the weather is predicted to grow sharply warmer and remain so for the rest of the week. So this afternoon's exercise will be the Great Hippeastrum Exodus. I have three of the slightly larger milk crates that I think will serve well as housing for the collection, supplementing the staking I did with their higher sides. The collection will get almost full shade for a day or two and then be moved a few feet to a space where they'll get sun in the mornings but won't be subjected to the hotter noonday or afternoon sun.

I see that LJ is in full meltdown this morning. Another DDoS attack, perhaps. Fortunately, there's Dreamwidth. I should train myself to post here, but I usually read over at LJ...

EDITED TO ADD: And I see LJ is back, so I'll attempt a crosspost. I'll add that the three crates have been brought inside after a good rinsing, and the first crate (the class of 2011) has been set out. The other two crates are loaded and ready to go downstairs. Meanwhile, new growth on Franklinia continues at a stately pace. As soon as the seedling has put down serious roots in its little yogurt container I'll plunk the whole container full of soil in a much larger pot.

If I had a bigger space I couldn't lavish all this attention (and write at such mind-numbing detail) on just a few plants. I'd be too busy doing epic battle with weeds and bugs.

Speaking of mind-numbing detail: I had potted up a couple pieces of creeping jenny a few weeks ago. Today I added them to the gallimaufry in my window boxes out front, and discovered that they'd sent roots clear down to the bottoms of their little pots. I had thought that the plant was very shallow-rooted, but apparently that's only when it's creeping. Once it has a foothold it gets more serious about putting down roots. (That's probably a metaphor for something if I were the reflective type.)

While I was fussing with my plants out front I had the storm door open, using that little flit-gun-like anti-slamming device and a little keeper. The Scamp came out to help. He alerted on a couple of passing dogs and looked positively alarmed at the sound of some smallish diesel trucks. But he was definitely in Mighty Explorer mode and went after my next door neighbors' tree pits. He was still investigating the smells when I had finished my work. I called and he ignored me, so I went out and herded him back inside. Herding cats is an art form -- too aggressive and they say screw you and scamper away, too timid and they pay no attention. Today I got it right and chuckled as I closed the door.

Bad Cat

Jun. 13th, 2010 11:34 am
lblanchard: (Default)
envoypeachimpatiensI have whined repeatedly about the poor germination of my very expensive impatiens seeds and how I have only four viable seedlings from this $3.50 pack of seeds.

I believe I mentioned that I set out the four seedlings this week, and that I was hoping they'd take root and do well.

Today, as I was coming downstairs, Roy reported that The Scamp had started excavations near the coleus and I probably would want to plant another coleus there to discourage them.

Yikes! That's where I planted the impatiens -- did The Scamp dig up any of those? Roy looked at me blankly. He gets coleus, plants with colorful leaves. He gets impatiens, plants with colorful flowers in shady places. But two-inch seedlings? Not so much.

So I scampered out and to my relief the Scamp had only dug up one, hadn't hurt it, and the deed was still so recent that it hadn't dried out. So back in the ground it went. Now I have put down a "mulch" of bricks around those plants so that he won't be so eager to excavate there. Once plants grow to about 6" he seems to get the idea that there will be no digging there and I'll be able to remove the bricks. Which are not pretty.

There's a whole big area full of cedar bark mulch where The Scamp can dig to his heart's content. Bad cat!
lblanchard: (Default)
City schools and offices closed today (Thursday.
City schools and offices closed tomorrow (Friday.
Our street is plowed by still snow-covered.

The Scamp caught a mouse this morning -- Roy watched him toy with it. An hour later he was still toying with it and the poor thing wasn't dead yet. Shortly thereafter, the Scamp got tired of the game, dispatched the mouse, and went off to eat his cat food. The mighty hunter!

The bud on my hippeastrum 'exotica' is starting to get nice and fat; the stalk is only about 4" long. 'Gervase' is taking his own sweet time.

There are many more green and gravid-looking swellings on my Nopalxochia. I'm becoming more hopeful by the day.

I have found a cure for the winter blues. Call up Pandora to some nice station (I've fine tuned a "classical and romantic" station that I think well of). In another tab, call up one of the Flickr Flower Show groups. Here are two, both already set for "slide show":

2009: http://www.flickr.com/groups/964183@N22/pool/show/
2008: http://www.flickr.com/groups/584926@N20/pool/show/

Use the little doodad in the lower right to expand the show to full-screen.

Sit back, enjoy the pretty pictures and the lovely music. Knit. Smile.

Snow day

Dec. 19th, 2009 10:00 am
lblanchard: (Default)
It's so much quieter in the city when it's snowing, I guess because there are fewer vehicles on the road, or because the snow muffles the sound so that it doesn't carry as far.

We're predicted to get anywhere between 10-20 inches. I already had bread and milk when I ventured out to buy that turkey yesterday afternoon, and I have five pounds of coffee, so I'm set.

Being as Roy is in Chattanooga, I can run the thermostat down, which I did: to 58F. The thermometer in my office reads 54, and I'm happy to be wearing a hat. Fleece shawl and laprobe are nice, and I've added a fleece bathrobe. What the heck -- there's no one here to see me.

Last night I watched Sherlock Holmes on my computer. This is nice. Perhaps I will bring my knitting upstairs.

Update: I can't find the snow shovel and Mr. lbphilly is out of town. So I did the first shoveling (very necessary in order to get de-icer down on the sidewalk to make later shoveling easier) with a coal scuttle that must weigh 20 pounds all by its lonesome. Add some heavy snow to it and oh brother.

The Scamp went out and came back in pretty quick before I shoveled. After I shoveled he conceived the notion that he could go hide under the bushes and ambush the sparrows as they fed on the ground under the feeder. Perhaps he though there would be no snow under the feeder... after about ten minutes he'd had enough and wailed like a banshee to be let back in.

I think more Sherlock Holmes on Netflix may be called for. Perhaps the Hound of the Baskervilles...
lblanchard: (Default)
It is humiliating to have your bike fall over, and to have you fall over with it.

It's also pretty painful. The back muscle that has been unhappy for the past few months became extremely unhappy, in a crampacious fashion, and my shin made "a hematoma is coming!" sensations.

This contretemps occurred while I was in the process of dismounting at the Trader Joe's. I wobbled into the store and picked up the things that were on my list -- green beans, coffee beans, Clif bars. I forgot a couple things I'd been thinking about getting as long as I was there, but oh well.

This is perhaps divine retribution for my putting off the Trader Joe's run until today. At least I also made it to the PathMark, where the biggest free turkey I could get was 15.5 lb. Waaaahhh. I don't need my big new roasting pan for such a puny turkey. But the really big ones weren't free. Waaaaahhh. On the other hand, I was able to pick up three of those uncut loaves of stuffing bread and four boxes of Bell's Poultry Seasoning, which is hard to find at other times of the year. Other than a quick run for mushrooms on Wednesday, I think I'm set for the Big Cookathon.

While at the Trader Joe's I did pick up several bags of petits pois. (Because I felt this hematoma coming on, you see, and frozen peas make the greatest icepacks.) I came home, made my lunch, set up big pillows on the love seat so my shins would be higher than my heart, positioned the peas just so, covered the rest of me with sweaters and lap robes and The Scamp, and napped for a sinful, decadent, three hours.

One more nice thing. The young folks in the neighborhood are enjoying civic mindedness. They convinced the elementary school four blocks away that trees on their sidewalks would be a good thing, made the arrangements with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and planted eleven trees this morning. Pictures will be posted. We are hoping this will convince the rather more suspicious principal at the school right behind us that trees are A Good Thing.

P.S. -- I have a lump about the size of a pea on my shin, not much of a hematoma, thank goodness. And the back spasm pretty much gave up during the mile ride home.

FORGOT TO MENTION: I also bought two 4-packs of pansies. They'll go in my window boxes tomorrow. In Sept/Oct I forgot to water the window boxes and all the dusty miller and feverfew died, waaaaah.
lblanchard: (Default)
Happy Easter to all, whether it is for you the feast of the Resurrection or an excuse for wanton chocolate consumption (or just another Sunday).

boring housekeeping stuff here, move along )

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