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2010-04-06_01hippeastrumThe last three flowers on the 'gervase' are fading. I think one of them will last long enough that I can show our grand-daughter Sara when she gets here some time this afternoon. There are stronger hints that the second pollination has taken.

The last flower on the second scape of 'exotica' is opening, with another stalk behind that -- making this one a three-stalk amaryllis. I wonder if I'll be able to maintain it at that peak of productivity in future years.

Downstairs, my favorite of the two seedlings has finished its bloom, with the other one still going strong -- in fact, #2 had three flowers on its scape. The parent plant is looking good as well.

I am down to my last 10 flowers on Nopalxochia, one of which is sure to collapse today.

A visit from the grand-daughter will be good. I wonder what she'll be like -- they change their personas so from year to year...

ADDENDUM: Some time last week (I think), I powered up my computer and got a "the volume is dirty" and mandatory scan of my little portable external hard drive. This made me unhappy, so I spent money on a 1 TB Iomega drive (desktop, not portable). I fired it up last night and backed up all 55 MB of data files. As soon as I've finished burning CDs of all my image files, I may delete them from this computer and just have them live on the external. That might make this one run better...
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Originally uploaded by lb_philly.
I've been meaning to post this but have been sidetracked by several extremely interesting developments in my day job.

There is The Grandson on my lap, covered with The Blanket. If you want to see more christening weekend pictures, click on the photo and cruise the set.
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Originally uploaded by lb_philly.
I photographed this today in the mountains at Cashiers NC. I have the sinking feeling it's a cultivated plant, but I really don't know. Can anyone name it?

Photos of grandson coming soon so that you can all die of teh cute.
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Tasty: March 27, 2009
Originally uploaded by lb_philly.
The Tucson Kid is on the big airplane headed back to Tucson via Nevada.

From noon Wednesday to this afternoon this is what we did: )

Now I am contemplating the wreckage of my regular life and noting plants to be watered and so forth. A quiet evening with Chinese food and a movie is probably the very thing I need.

ETA: The Tucson Kid reports that he and all his potables have arrived safely.
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Originally uploaded by lb_philly.
Very cool. My kid is flying in on Saturday to attend this conference, and afterwards we will go places. Nice to see banners announcing his arrival.

In other news, the Nopalxochia phyllanthoides first flower is starting to lose its starch. Le sigh. It wasn't at its peak very long.

My hippeastrums are nearing the end of their runs as well. I've cleared a windowsill upstairs here for the big old ones. If none of the seven flowers on the Trader Joe hippeastrum show any signs of pregnancy by the time my kid leaves, I'll cut off what's left of the flowerheads. Miracle-Gro will also be called for.

It's gray and not especially warm out. The weather will be seasonable but I don't think that will thrill the Tucson Kid.
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Originally uploaded by lb_philly.
It is part of the family folklore that when my great-grandmother, pictured here, passed away her Steinway had to be junked. She'd worn it out.

Rummaging around today, I found a hand-written "Programme" -- apparently a musical evening of friends and family in the early 1920s, possibly a little before. I see that my great-grandfather played a flute solo, "Forest Song" from Robin Hood, and my grandmother sang "Bird of Love Divine."

What did my great-grandmother play as the evening's finale? Chopin's Ballade No. 1 in G Minor. Now, I'm not claiming that she was Horowitz, but this YouTube video will help explain why there wasn't much left to her Steinway's action when she was through with it.

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Originally uploaded by lb_philly.
We had the best Mummer's Day imaginable, even though it was bitterly cold.

We walked up Broad Street from Christian to Sansom, experiencing two very different parades. At Broad & Christian, the comic brigades (drunken pipefitters in drag) had just started their march. There were very few crowds there. Grand daughter was totally entranced, stood there like a toddler at the sight of its first Christmas tree. I think it was all the testosterone in the air.

Later we went to the Open House at the Union League, which included reserved bleachers just in front of the League House. The League writes the Mummers Association a check with many zeroes, as it has for years, and they perform for us. They were especially grateful this year as the Mayor has cut the city budget and there will be no funding for the Mummers in 2010, so folks like us are increasingly important. I sat in the cold for four hours, watching the end of the comics, the fancy brigades, and all 18 string bands without leaving my front row seat. Roy and our granddaughter brought me coffee every 45 min or so and checked to make sure I was still able to move.

This is granddaughter with a member of the Greater Kensington String Band, from their "A Pirate's LIfe for Me" 2009 theme. Click around the Flickr photostream for more Mummers.

The official Channel 17 video of them is here:

I have a partial video that I took with my little camera, but I am not sure I know how to use GoLive to edit it down to size.
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Yesterday was pretty frantic with cleaning and such. And I've done something to my knees -- I suspect a combination of weight gain, water retention, and the challenge of biking home with a 19 lb turkey and accoutrement after not biking at all. So I hurt like hell.

But the table is set, the turkey is in the oven, and I am enjoying a cup of coffee while I wait for the ibuprofen to kick in so that I can take a shower and finish up the prep.

It's a simple, artery-clogging feast: roast stuffed turkey with gravy; baked macaroni; frozen french cut green beans dripping in butter. My daughter-in-law is bringing dessert. My brother-in-law is bringing a salad. And Roy's first wife's second husband is bringing homemade bread.

Snackies of the prefab and kid-friendly type have been acquired -- potato and tortilla chips, pretzels, dippy thingies. All the gifties are wrapped, and I have found things that will serve for last-minute guests -- niece's boyfriend, brother-in-law's mother, Roy's first wife's second husband's second wife. Now all I need is a slight reduction in knee pain and a trip to the shower.
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There's a lot of day left, so I may add to this.

1. I have identified every bank statement and every deposit ticket I need to do the PACSCL books. Probably all the invoices, too. So now it's just a matter of data entry.

2. Our grand-daughter is coming here for Christmas and doesn't want to run around to the rest of the family, thankyouverymuch (very tired of that).

3. Roy is getting a rentacar because he has to go to the airport Mon. and car rental is only $5 more than getting a cab. So I can shop without worrying whether all the stuff will go on my bike. Useful just before Christmas.

4. I have my Pandora classical/romantic station almost perfectly tuned for music that sooths me. It only tries to give me vocals once a day now.


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