Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fall is here

Fall is here in full force. The key indication is that my living room is chock-full of houseplants right now, thanks to a freeze warning tonight. Three boxes have already been moved to the new house, mostly the amaryllis and a few others. The amaryllis aren't going to bloom this Christmas, since I forgot to head them towards dormancy back in September. I'll just have to feed them up for a while and try next year. Maybe, if I put a note in my dayplanner, I'll actually remember to stick them in a closet next fall.

For the past month or so, it's been hazardous to stand under any nut-bearing tree in the area. It's a bumper year for the pin oak crop - the ground outside under our pin oak is about 50% covered with acorns. A few weeks ago, every time the wind blew it sounded like a hailstorm as acorns were plinking off the metal roof of the carport. The shagbark hickory trees at the preschool playground were worse though - the nuts in the hull are about the size of a golf ball, and they come down with some energy. I've seen a few hit the ground hard enough to bounce a bit, and sometimes the hull will split as they hit.

No plant casualties in the area from the recent winds, but I did see a flowering pear casualty on the way to preschool this morning. It had just tipped over into a parking lot, no roots showing at all. They're pretty trees and they grow fast, but they're notoriously weak when it comes to wind, root systems, or dropping random limbs. I've heard of flowering pears falling over at the hint of a breeze. My sister had a large-ish pear tip over onto her Mustang a few years back. No wind, the tree just fell over. Luckily the car wasn't hurt, but it's still kind of freaky.

Unluckily, the tree shading most of our deck at the new house? Flowering pear, about 15 years old, which is about the time they start getting iffy. This one is in the lee of the house, so hopefully it won't fall over anytime soon, but one of the tentative plans for next year is to replace it with something a little sturdier. As part of that plan, we're going to pick up a few quarts of Bud's acorns (yes, the tree has a name) and try to sprout some. Part of those will go to family members who could use a few good trees too - I may be biased, but Bud has a very nice shape, is healthy, turns a lovely orangey-yellow color in the fall, and sounds very peaceful in a slight breeze. Trust me, if he wasn't 30 or so feet tall, I'd be sorely tempted to dig him up and move him to the new house.
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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Furniture shopping

We've been doing a lot of furniture shopping lately, since we currently have practically nothing, and what we do have is old and decrepit. Certain things, like the 15-year-old mattress with escaping springs, and the sprung-seated loveseat, aren't coming to the house. Instead, they're getting a one-way trip to the landfill. Which leads to the furniture shopping.

Mattress shopping isn't the worst, oddly. Once we rule out memory foam, tempurpedic, and anything more than a foot thick (because I just got sheets that I love), there's not a lot to decide between. We may have found the right mattress tonight. We also found a nice table and chairs. Solid oak chairs, and they're heavy. Built to last, I guess. I lusted briefly after the hickory-top table, but the construction was iffy and the chairs were lousy. The one we like has a nifty butterfly leaf - it folds, flips, and self-stores under the table. Beats stashing the leaf under a bed and forgetting where it is.

No pictures, the camera batteries were dead.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Funny stuff on TV

First, Sesame Street's spoof of the Old Spice commercials.

Grover is one of my favorite Muppets.

Second, Chuck last night. Or maybe I was the only person who got the homage to my late, lamented Firefly, when the Generalissimo unveiled his statue of Captain Awesome.
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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The end of house-hunting

The Great Never-Ending House Hunt is over!!! Bought a house this week, and managed (I think) to surprise our families.

It's a bit bigger than we were aiming for, but the back yard is amazing, it's a good neighborhood, and we got a good price on it. I'll have quite a bit of gardening work to do, though - the recent owners had been there 2 years, and were not garden/yardwork people, it seems. Daylilies planted in the shade under the deck, something that wants to be a tree also growing under the deck, irises growing under a spruce tree (literally under - low-hanging limb). Too bad it's so late in the year, I think it might be too late to move the lilies and irises this fall. Have to Google that, along with ways to keep the deer from devouring the hostas.

I'll also have to deal with way bigger utility bills (as far as square footage, it's 4 times the size of the current place), along with a bigger insurance bill. Condo insurance is seriously cheap, being just a bit more involved than renter's insurance. The jump in price from a condo to a 4x bigger house with a deck and everything is a pretty good chunk of money. Time to adapt, and get more serious about careful shopping and saving energy. First plan is to put CFLs in all or most of the light fixtures, which should at least make a dent in the electric bill.