Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fun with Tech Support

You know it's not going to end well when even the tech support guy on the phone sounds confused by what he sees. I've spent way too much time talking to CenturyLink's tech support this week. Our Internet died on Wednesday, mid-use. Phone was fine, just no broadband. And as I was trying to narrow it down to "their problem or mine" we get a call asking if we'd gotten the new modem for the new TV service. Which, no - the TV is satellite, and we don't (didn't) need a new modem. So I called Tech Support, got transferred at least once - because we have "special" broadband and had to call a different number than the main broadband TS number - and confused at least two people. Because apparently what our account says at CL is abnormal or something. Long story short, I spent Thursday waiting for the technician ("any time between 8 and 5" but you can call to see how is workload is). He spent an hour fiddling with things, inside and outside the house, left a new modem, and we have internet again. But, the Kindle now can't get a signal farther than halfway down the upstairs hall. With the old modem, I could get a signal all the way down to the basement door (two floors down). So, on Friday, another call to Tech about the possibility of boosting the signal. And hour and a call-back later, our account may be more accurate on their end, but our only solution is to buy another WiFi router and run the signal through it. And we may not have the "special" broadband - there's some confusion over whether we have bonded, fiber, DDSL, VDSL, or who-the-hell-knows. But at least we have internet again, although the Kindle is used a lot less when I can't netsurf on it. And apparently the trigger for this whole mess is that we called two weeks ago to cancel the inside wire maintenance plan ($5.99/month).

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

So, the Freak Out Followup

Follow up to the optical freak out. Bob has - according to the second optometrist - Small-angle esotropia, intermittent at near but constant at a distance, causing amblyopia with crowding phenomenon. None of which comes up with a lot on Google, unfortunately. Essentially, his left eye is periodically a bit off-track, thus the "intermittent" which means that surgery won't fix it. He had his 6-week follow-up, and there was some improvement, so we're doing more eye exercises and will go back for another appointment at some point. Scarily, the doctor implied tht this could be a fairly long-term thing. God, I hope not. Adding 2 hours of eye exercises on top of the after-school French program and regular homework, plus time for playing and dinner, is trying to cram a lot into one day. Doesn't help that he's bored with most everything we've done, and is a master at stalling and misdirection. Bribing will only go so far, and threats don't do any good.

It's Dead, Jim

A moment of silence, please, for our poor TiVo. Yes, we knew it was acting twitchy and that we needed to call DirecTV about a replacement. Yes, I knew I needed to watch some of the massive backlog that built up over the summer. Too late now, folks. It died this morning, while I was watching a Flashpoint rerun. Froze up, wouldn't respond, and even a pull-the-plug reboot didn't fix it this time. FedEx will be delivering the replacement hopefully tomorrow. And, sadly, if it was really the hard drive that crashed and burned, all my backlog is gone. Now, 75% of it, oh well, there will be reruns. Eventually. Or they exist on DVD. Things like old Disney movies (although Happiest Millionaire is pretty rare), The Music Man, Flashpoint reruns, the Good Witch movies, even Black Gold, which is obscure at best. Magic School Bus. 15% of it, I may have to start looking for underground bootlegs or something. Special Unit 2 and The Sentinel, since SyFy has given up on showing, you know, actual science fiction shows. But 10% of it probably won't be rerun at all - like the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympics that I still hadn't watched. The latest Mars landing. Science Channel's Neil Armstrong tribute. Worst part? It's premiere week, plus new SyFy shows are running, so I've lost the newest episodes of Alphas, Warehouse 13, Hawaii 5-0, and NCIS. Part of those we can maybe find online, but some of it is gone for good. There should really, really be a way to move things between hard drives. I can do it on the computer, which isn't that different from a TiVo hard drive. Heck, our DVD-R recorder could split a recording into multiple parts, so surely they can find a way to program that into a TiVo. Very handy for keeping small bits of shows (music awards, Olympics) and getting rid of the rest. Or, for the Olympics when I had to tape 6 hours to get the one hour of event I wanted, split the recording to delete the other 5 hours and make some room. So, a fresh start. Maybe this time I can keep from having it sit at 98% full for weeks at a time.

Friday, August 24, 2012

School, Week 1

&aIn other news, Bob started school on Tuesday.  First grade.  His first experience with all-day school, cafeteria food, and other things.

It's supposed to be a good school; private, a bit expensive, there are uniforms (basically business casual), etc. Lots of talk about honor, respect, honesty, etc. The expected never-ending requests for donations of time and money, I'm sure. And it seems okay so far, but there have been a few glitches.

For example, no one apparently explained lunchtime procedures, either to us (we've had 3 hours of "orientation" so far) or the kids (unless Bob didn't hear that part). So, Bob didn't know that there were separate lunch lines, and he ended up with nacho bar instead of a sandwich on Tuesday. He'll survive. A talk with the teacher this morning cleared things up, but this should be in the handbook, I think. I can't answer Bob's questions if I don't know the answers.

Also, unfortunately, we've already had to find the Lost & Found. Even more unfortunately, I don't think our Lost thing will ever be Found, which means that (probably - I'm hoping for recovery) someone, not to sugar-coat it, stole my kid's Snuggle Puppy backpack clip on the second day of school, and that said Someone is one of his classmates.

Yes, it's my fault for putting Snuggle in Bob's backpack pocket for a first week security blanket, and Bob's for not zipping the pocket. But still. As near as I can tell, it had to fall out in his classroom, with the teacher and other people around. We looked in the hallways, cubbies, and classroom. No luck. Teacher hasn't been overly helpful (I get the impression she's not friendly with the parents, but I hope that's just me being defensive and tired and anti-social this week) regarding lost Snuggle, either. Wich leads to my supposition that some other little kid saw Snuggle, liked him, and absconded with him, knowingly or not. Sucks majorly. So much for honesty and integrity and all that.

Also, the Lost and Found? It's a cheap pop-up hamper in the main hallway. No sign, so we had to ask three people before we figured it out. No supervision, so honestly if someone sees a nice item in the hamper, they can take it and no one would ever know.

So now, I'm off to search the Internet for a Teenie Pillow Pet dog for less than $15. Which sucks more because I got ours on clearance after Christmas for something like $2. But it's my fault he's lost, so I'll replace him.

Freak out Follow Up

So, last time on the amazingly neglected blog, I was dealing with the Dali/Coin conundrum, and vision issues.

The Dali issue was not so traumatic as I expected.  That day turned out to be bicycle day at Summer Camp, and an extra half hour racing his friends around the parking lot meant that Bob didn't give a fig about missing Dali or the coins (whichever ended up being the actual program).

The eye issue is an ongoing thing.  Bob had a two-hour checkup with an optometrist who specializes in pediatric patients - which meant having his eyes dilated, and whatever the doctor used was heavy-duty stuff, because he was still dilated a week and a half later.  And that led to my mother worrying that his eyes were still dilated.  And yes, we called the doctor, who said "drop by" the office (which is a 40 minute drive, so "dropping by" isn't that convenient).  We dropped, occupied the waiting room chairs for 20 minutes, and an assistant took a 20-second look to tell us that it's fine and can take up to 10 days to go back to normal.  And why couldn't they mention the 10-day timeframe the first time around???  Who knows.

Long story short: Bob has, as far as the optometrist can tell, micro-strabisimus in his left eye, meaning the focus is a bit off or out of sync with the other eye.  She prescribed 2 hours of eye exercises a day - things like stringing beads, putting toothpicks into a straw, tracing things, etc.  That was easy to do before school started, but this week has been a mess.  Trying to fit this into the evening, along with dinner, homework, bedtime routines, and play time, is a serious headache.  I hope it gets better as we get the routine fine-tuned.  We go back for a follow-up in 5 weeks, and if this hasn't worked, I don't know what the next step is.  Google results mentioned surgery, but that was for cases caught a bit younger and suddenly - since Bob's vision last year was 20/20, I'm not sure how something sort of sudden compares to a case that may not have been so sudden.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Another reason to freak out

Yeah, the blog's been ignored this summer.  Serious lack of computer time, since the computer is upstairs and a certain kid doesn't like to be downstairs alone.  And the Kindle Fire, while internet-capable, does not work well with Blogspot.

So.  Today is NOT my day.

Small issue:  we're signed up tomorrow for a program at the campus art & archaeology museum.  Which, thanks to lousy luck, starts at the same time that summer camp is ending, and it's a 20-minute drive/walk from one to the other, but we can leave camp early in a pinch.  But the issue: the schedule I picked up at the museum this spring says the program is supposed to be about coins, while the schedule online says the subject of the day is Dali.  Bob (not his real name) is interested in the antique coins, but not so much with the Dali.  So, I call to double-check, and am told that it's Dali.  Crap.  So, I get to tell Bob that we're not really going to the museum tomorrow, and he'll probably be grumpy about me "ruining" his fun.  Ah well.  We're still doing summer camp, plus pajama party at the library in the morning, so it's not like he's at home staring at the ceiling.

Big issue (Big Big issue.  Freak-me-out issue referred to above):  Eyesight.  In short, mine sucks royally, and the one thing I was really really wanting was for Bob to not inherit the crap eyesight.  We've been going along fine until now.  He had his first optometrist visit last fall, 20/20 in both eyes, everything's fine.  Passed the amblyopia screening at school with no problems.  Then, Monday, he had his annual visit to the pediatrician, and didn't do so well in their quick-n-dirty vision screening.  Right eye fine, left eye "blurry." 

So we say "Uh oh" and called our optometrist after we got home.  He spent an hour with her this morning - got his pupils dilated, nifty little digital pic of his retinas, the whole shebang.  Right eye, still good.  (Okay, a touch of astigmatism in one eye, but still.)  Left eye, not so much.  Still blurry, but oddly, the optometrist can't see anything that would make it all blurry.  So we're getting sent for a second opinion.  Joy.

I will NOT Google this.  My Reader's Digest/Discovery/anatomy class medical education is enough to worry me as it is.  If the eye itself looks fine, but the brain is getting fuzzy pictures, that makes my medical non-education think that it's maybe something else, like problems with the optic nerve or whichever part of the brain is in charge of visual processing.  And neither of those can probably be fixed with glasses. 

The really odd part is that he hasn't mentioned anything, and he's a bright enough kid that surely he would have said something about reading being hard.  Because he's been reading like a fiend all summer - Magic School Bus, Magic Tree House, he's discovered all my Calvin & Hobbes and Foxtrot books, plus anything he can find about the Titanic, or other shipwrecks, or Dr Ballard.  Of course, he's also a bit of a hypochondriac at times, he comes home from Grandma's house with a limp to match hers, and a cough to go with Grandpa's.  But this seems too consistent.  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Can I freak out now?

Tomorrow is El B's last day of kindergarten.  He's been sad for days, and I think I may have to schedule a little freak-out time for me.  He's loved this school (it's a preschool mostly, French-immersion, and this was their first year with a kindergarten class), he's learned insane amounts of French and loves his teacher.  This fall he'll be changing schools and starting all-day school, and he doesn't do transitions well.  (Neither do I, apparently.) 

At least he'll have summer camp with his current teacher, plus weekly get-togethers with some of the kids in his class.  And  hopefully a couple of his favorite classmates will be going to the same school we're sending him to. 

But for right now, I may need to freak just a bit.  I just have to find somewhere to send him while I have a little panic, because he's also a worrier.  Oy. 

I'm so not ready for him to be six, or in all-day school, or first grade.  The world really needs a pause button.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Just a little garden/flower update.

The delphiniums survived and are blooming, but they're drowning in a sea of coreopsis, so I need to move something this fall.  The perennials are doing well, the so-called annual snapdragons survived the winter, and we're knee-deep in volunteer tomatoes.  The only things doing well in the garden are the volunteer potatoes and maybe the peas.  But, I didn't plant enough peas, so we've basically got enough to snack on in the garden (18 plants isn't enough),. 

Also, I ate two pods of peas this weekend, and I think I'll have to add peas to the list of foods I can't eat raw.  Pretty sure it's Oral Allergy Syndrome, from what Google came up with.  Certain foods, if I eat them raw, make my mouth itch.  So far, the list includes carrots, apples, peas, cherries, and a couple others.  Peas are new, cherries were added last year (after I found Rainier cherries on sale, darn the luck).  In other words, all the cheap, easy-to-find snack veg are off-limits right now.  If it gets to the point where watermelon and broccoli are included, things will be dire.  Cooked foods do'n't bother me (another signs of OAS).  I g uess it's time to go see an allergist.

Anyway, I planted some things last night:  2 gallons of cranberry ice dianthus that I got for Mother's Day (which had already bloomed when I got it), the last two annual dahlias that were getting leggy in the house, 3 green bell peppers, some nicotiana, cucumber seeds, watermelon plants, and canteloupe plants. 

The mailbox bed is full of volunteer marigolds, zinnias, and cosmos, but they're all runts.  Not sure if it's a fertilizer issue or a water issue.  The primrose is looking more like a weed - it's planning a coup.  The delphinum seed never came up, but the peppers (bell, some dwarf) are ready to harden off.  The watermelon and pumpkin seedlings are all leggy and scrawny, but I'll plant them if I can find a spot.  Can't hurt.  Need to start the milkweed and figure out what went wrong with the delphies.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Holy Cow

Just watched the season finale of NCIS (will watch LA tomorrow) and holy crap.  It's going to be a long long summer.  And as far as I've heard, David McCallum just signed a 2-year contract, but even knowing that, who knows what's going to happen to Ducky, much less everyone else. 

I hate cliffhangers.  I've had too many shows get cancelled and leave me hanging. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Garden Failure

This year's actual garden (as opposed to plants in general) is shaping up to be at least a partial failure.  I've planted spinach 3 freaking times in the past two months, and what's out there now would maybe be enough to feed a small gerbil with no appetite.  I don't know why it won't grow, but it's making me angry and frustrated.  The only thing I've actually grown and eaten so far is about 6 radishes.  Spinach and lettuce are failing spectacularly, and the peas are iffy.  Something snacked on part of the first batch, and the second batch is just sort of stalled out.  I may blame the weather - it was a freakish 90 degrees on March 30, which may have done in the spinach.  And it's going to be upper 80s the rest of this week, so I'm not sure planting more spinach right now would do any good.  I'm ready to rake up the first round and replant with fresh seed, but I don't know if it'll grow enough before it gets hot to be worthwhile.

The big plan was to have at least something from the garden for El B's birthday party at the end of May.  Not gonna happen, I don't think.  The peas are blooming and may be ready by then, but there's like 15 plants, and 20+ people in the family.  One pea each? 

This sucks.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

More gardening

I should never sit down with a clearance garden catalog. 

Thanks to Gilbert H. Wild's spring clearance sale, I've got $70 in plants sitting in my kitchen (because the$12 in butterfly weed (the "fancy" name for orange milkweed) is already in the ground.  Nine different irises, 3 dayliles, bleeding hearts, butterfly weed (asclepias) and one dahlia.  The box was delivered Thursday, and DH dug the new flowerbed today.  I'd planned on putting the iris and at least part of the bleeding hearts in front, but the front iris bed is too shady, so they're all going in back.  One bleeding heart may go out front with the jonquils, but I'm not sure it'll be wet or cool enough there.  At least two are going with the hostas out back, possibly all three. 

I need to find something that likes shade and looks pretty to go out front; the beds are mostly shady, but the front of the house looks so bland.  At least the native-perennial bed by the driveway is colorful.   That primrose is planning a coup, I know, and the coneflowers are all ready to bloom.  One coreopsis is already blooming, the other two are still thinking on it.  I plan to extend that bed down the rest of the driveway and put in more native/butterfly stuff.  Put one asclepias there, and plan to start some from seed to go there as well, if the primrose will back off.

True "garden" news: the first peas are blooming, but something's eaten about 1/3 of the plants, in spite of the pinwheel and yellow-marking-tape flags.  I hung a bar of soap in the garden tonight - it kept the deer away from the hostas last year, so hopefully it'll keep the rabbits away for a while.

Also - raccoons like bananas and apples, but not celery.  And possums are just flat-out ugly.  'Coons may be varmints, but at least they're not bad to look at.

Monday, April 23, 2012

2012 Reading List

Invincible Iron Man andKeeping up the tradition, here's the list of What I've Read This Year

  1. Mourning Gloria, by Susan Wittig Albert (1/xx/12) I like this series. Yes, things and characters are changing, but not so much that it feels wrong (see my complaints about the recent changes in the Sneaky Pie/Harry Haristeen series)
  2. Mastiff, by Tamora Pierce.  Probably the last of the Beka Cooper series, darn it.  
  3. lots of stuff that I can't remember right now
  4. Nurture Shock: new thinking about our children
  5. AustenTatious Crochet
  6. Murder Unleashed, by Rita Mae Brown.  non-Sneaky Pie.  As I recall, focused heavily on the mortgage-implosion fallout.  Again, too much focus on a "political" issue for my taste, it leads to too much soap-boxing that doesn't quite fit the story.
  7. The Good Old Days: They were Horrible
  8. Anthem for Doomed Youth, by Carola Dunn (1/30/12) Blast, now I'm caught up with this series. It's dovetailing nicely with watching Downton Abbey on PBS, though.
  9. Changes, by Mercedes Lackey
  10. I've Got Your Number, by Sophie Kinsella.  I like her books, espeically the Shopaholics.  Good fun reads. 
  11. We Need to Talk About Kevin, by Lionel Shriver.  Very disturbing, and I am not going to see the movie. 
  12. Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All, by Paul Offit.  Should send this one to my sister.  I can't believe he's gotten death threats; or maybe I can.  Lots of information, but not too technical.
  13. UnSpun: Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation, by Brooks Jackson.   Very good, especially for an election year.
  14. How I Killed Pluto, and Why It Had It Coming, by Mike Brown.  Someone to share the blame with Neil DeGrasse Tyson. :)  Another good one, interesting, not too technical.
  15. Faith, Hope, and Ivy June, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  16. Anastasia's Secret, by Susan Emily Dunlapp.  YA fiction about Tsarina Anastasia and the Russian (Bolshevik?) revolution.  
  17. Witch and Wizard, James Patterson.  Tried to read it, couldn't get into it.  
  18. Christopher Lowell's One-of-a-kind Decorating Projects
  19. Butterfly Gardener's Guide
  20. Below Stairs, by Margaret Powell.  Cover claims it was the inspiration for Upstairs, Downstairs, but Jean Marsh has always said it was inspired by her family history (and Eileen Atkins' family).  Still interesting, so I blame the cover-blurb writer.

  21. The Uncommon Reader, by Alan Bennett.  What would happen if the Queen of England found a bookmobile and started reading a lot?  Interesting in an alternate-universe kind of way.
  22. Beauty and the Werewolf, by Mercedes Lackey.  (4/12)  Another one of the 500 Kingdoms fairy-tale retellings.  I like these. 
  23. Wolverine
  24. The Big Cat Nap, by Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie (4/22/12)  Better than the last few, but again with the focus on one theme.  This time it was car insurance & repair fraud, with side trips into high-dollar drag racers. 
  25. All 6 Kit stories from American Girl  (4/25/12)
  26.  Wolverine: Lifeblood. (4/28/12) Too bad it's a never resolved cliffhanger, thanks to contracts. 
  28. Invincible Iron Man vol 4: Stark Disassembled
  29. The Summer of Riley
  30.  Invincible Ironman vol 5: Stark Resilient
  31. Sky Dragons, by Todd McCaffrey (11/4/12) - definitely not up to standard

  32. When the River Ran Backward, by Emily Croffort
  33. Among the Imposters, by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Shadow Children series #2) (11/5/12)
  34. American Pickers Guide to Picking
  35. Beautiful Mess (Diamond Rio)

The Year of the Accidental Potatoes

So, time for another garden update, since we spent most of the weekend working on the garden/yard. 

This year will be the year of the accidental potatoes.  We tossed some soft potatoes in the compost over the winter, and apparently nothing ate them (we've seen coons and possums frequently), because the crazy things sprouted in the heap.  We decided to experiment by transplanting them to the new raised bed that DH built this year.  So far they're doing good, in spite of a weird leaf thing that I'm blaming on tarp-contact (we've had 3 or 4 frost warnings when I've covered the garden).

We also have volunteer tomatoes in the heap, volunteer cantaloupe and sunflowers in the first raised bed, and the mailbox bed is totally populated with zinnias, marigolds and cosmos that seeded from last year's plants.  And then there are the snapdragons, supposedly annuals, that survived the freakishly-warm winter and are blooming like gangbusters.

So.  UPS delivered some replacement plants this week (Gaillardia from QVC last summer, courtesy of Mom), and I've got an order from Gilbert H. Wild in process (9 irises, 3 daylilies, plus asclepias and bleeding-hearts - I fell for their clearance sale catalog), so I needed to get a spot ready for them.  Yesterday DH put together the wheelbarrow and we hauled compost to the flower beds in the front yard.  We dug out a ton of weeds and some landscape fabric, and worked compost in to a couple of beds.  The gaillardia is in the ground now, and the blue whats-it from last year that came back got rearranged.  Don't remember what the blue flowers are, but I thought they were annuals.  But then, that's what the tag on the snapdragons said.  Go figure.

There's a bed ready for the new irises, assuming they can handle partial shade, and the front iris patch will get divided and spread out.  They aren't blooming this year, but a few did last year.  I'd guess they're too crowded and need some better dirt, since they're growing in half-mulch now.  The second iris bed, though, with the random Hy-vee iris from the old place, and the irises I rescued from under the shrubs, is going great guns and bloomed like mad.  Most are dark purple, but the Hy-vee iris is more blue, and I love it.

The garage bed is still crap.  Too much clay.  The snapdragons are okay, and I stuck two marigolds and two zinnias there today.  The violets are doing okay there, too.  The hostas got moved to the back yard, and I'm tempted to let the daylilies and the odd purple weed have it - the purple-weed seems happy there.

The driveway bed is doing great, though.  Everything survived, and the primrose seems to be working on a coup.  It's reseeding itself with passion, and I may have to start getting tough with it.  So far there are three coneflower (2 "Magnus" and one generic), 3 coreopsis (2 Baby Sun I think, and can't remember the third, but it's blooming and happy), and what may or may not be the black-eyed susan I planted last year, or possibly some of the coneflower seed.  Today I added some dianthus and seedling dahlias, and I'll probably toss some portulaca seed for kicks.  It's going to be mostly native flowers, and mostly butterfly-attracting plants.  Although Missouri primrose is yellow, and what's blooming now is pink.  I think it's evening primrose.  And it occurred to me today that my colors for that bed are kind of clash-y, what with purple coneflower, yellow and yellow/red tickseed, dark pink dianthus, pink primrose, and then yellow snapdragons.  Oy.

The perennial bed in back is okay, only one plant died over the winter.  Both delphinium survived, although one is too close to the coreopsis, and the shasta daisies are going to bloom.

Planted the dahlias from last year, although I forgot to mist them enough, and I bought 2 dozen jonquils at a yard sale on Saturday - looked like someone was dividing theres.  $1 per dozen.  They're in the spot the front dahlias were in last year - the dahlias didn't like it, not enough sun.  I'll add some daffodils this fall, and maybe one of the bleeding-hearts.  The spot gets a lot of sun before the maples leaf out, so that should work for spring bulbs, I hope.

And that pretty much covers what's in the ground now, flower wise.  The garden has peas, radishes, potatoes, onions, shallots, garlic, and a lousy stand of lettuce and spinach.  I think that 80+ degree day in March confused them.  I know it confused me. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Garden update - March 2012

So.  First garden update of the year.

 The clematis survived; I'm surprised. It lived all summer in the lousy plastic pot it came in, and I figured I'd killed it. 

My amazing husband is 90% done with a "real" compost bin. Last year, we made do with the dozen or so random tomato cages we found in the back corner of the yard when we bought the house. No clue where they came from; the people who lived here previously didn't garden (and it shows!). Not sure about the people before them, but there was no obvious garden patch, the whole yard was grass.

After the bin is finished, we're building a 3rd raised bed. Some of last year's compost can go in it, and we'll fill the bin with new fixin's. Which we have a lot of. I'm pretty sure we cleaned up the leaves and stuff last fall, but we've been working in the yard the last two weekends, and the pile of compostable stuff is way, wwaayy bigger than we expected. And here I was wondering if I could cruise the neighborhood on trash morning and grab some bagged leaves. Doesn't look like I'll need to do that after all.

Planted spinach and lettuce already, had to go buy radish seed. The radishes and peas will be planted tonight (allergies willing). The heat mat I ordered for starting seeds will be here tomorrow, and I'll work up a system to start the bell peppers, herbs, flowers, and whatever else. I plan to start the peppers (mini bell mix), basil, rosemary, thyme, delphinium, zinnias (big purple ones), possibly cantaloupe and pumpkins, and maybe some others. Depends on when I run out of room in the seed-starting trays.

 And, allergy season SUCKS. Even with two kinds of meds, I was ready to dig my eyes out with a dull spoon last night. This will probably be the year I start seeing an allergist, because this is insane and annoying, and it's getting worse. Year before last, I started having oral sensitivities too - as of last year, I couldn't eat raw cherries, apples, or carrots, which are the three veggie-snack staples. And I think it's spread to celery and pears. If cantaloupe is added to the list, I will cry.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

okay, Blogspot won't post from a Kindle. bugger.

I can write posts in the "edit html" mode on my Kindle, but not the "compose" mode. And life is waaaaay too short to write html code on a twitchy touchscreen. I hag to go through two keyboard screens to get to the < and > keys. So much for that idea.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

My A-List is getting shorter

I've got a short list of authors who I love, and whose books I will buy essentially sight-unseen, in hardback, at (close to) full price. That list is getting shorter, though - Anne McCaffrey died last November, and I just saw Dorothy Gilman's obituary in the N.Y. Times (she died on Thursday; complications of Alzheimers, which explains the lack of books). She hadn't published a book since 2000, but I was still hoping for one last adventure with Mrs. Pollifax.

Not sure where that leaves my A-list - Mercedes Lackey is taking a break from Valdemar, Todd McCaffrey's Pern novels are plague-ridden (literally) and not (in my opinion) as good as his mother's, and Rita Mae Brown's Sneaky Pie series has gotten too forced-preachy for my tastes. I think that leaves Susan Wittig Albert and Alexander McCall Smith (what is it with authors and triple names?), although I should probably add Tamora Pierce to the hardback-worthy list. Probably a few others I can't recall off-hand, but the list is getting shorter.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

What a difference

One year ago today, we had 18inches of snow.

This week, temps are in the 60s. We've had two snows this winter, neither enough to even cover the grass. Very different.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Back in business

So, the blog has been neglected. I'll try to do better this year. If I can post from the Kindle, there may be more life here (and more swearing at the Kindle's non-keyboard).

P.S. - Jan, are you still reading here? Tried to check in on your blog(s) and I guess they're invite-only now?