Feeling better

Finally, after what seems like months, I'm feeling much better. I'm still congested, but my fever is gone and I feel like I have energy again. The weather is still beautiful - warm, if not quite as sunny as before, and if it weren't for this pesky work I would be at home digging.

This is headline news?

Survey: Many U.S. high school students bored in class

I'm glad that someone is being paid to research these things.



1. This is the kick-ass ant farm that I bought B for Christmas. It's been really neat to watch the ants alternate between furious digging and piling up in the corners for group naps, but I've become more and more disturbed by their captivity. They seem to be desperately trying to dig their way out of the box. Unfortunately, B is opposing their liberation in the front yard.

2. This is an onion that I forgot to cook. It started growing shoots, and I thought it was neat so I let it keep going. No matter which way you turn it, the shoots curl toward the sky within a few hours. Pretty soon, I'm going to plant it and see what happens.

3. This is the first sign of spring in my yard. It is the escarpment black cherry tree outside my kitchen window. The tiny purple cherries are not edible for humans, but birds love them. I am itching to get outside in the beautiful, warm, sunny weather and start working on a real garden, but I am waiting for my design sketch, and also waiting to feel like a human being again, rather than a self contained snot-producing factory. Every day, I drive past Barton Springs Nursery down the street and peer enviously at the crowds inside. I can't help but notice the packets of organic basil and chamomile seeds sitting on the kitchen table. Even the weeds in my front beds are starting to poke their heads up and make me think of sitting outside in the cool breeze peacefully pulling weeds and playing with earthworms. *sigh* Why can't I get sick in the winter?

Pun of the day

Heard on Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! referencing the shocking book I posted about last week:

"Yes, the book contains the word 'scrotum' which understandably makes librarians a little bit testy..."


Careful what you wish for

Remember last post how I wished I would just get sick and get it over with? How long does the flu last anyway?

I woke up at around 3:00 this morning croaking "Monster, get off of me!" Apparently, while still asleep, I convinced myself that Monster had somehow hauled his 85 pounds onto the bed and was sitting on my chest. On becoming fully awake, I found that it was only the crushing misery of the flu. The doctor was annoyingly cheerful about the whole thing. "Yup," she chirped, "the flu is going around. You can't really do anything about it, just let it run its course. I bet you'll remember to get a flu shot next year, huh?" Thanks. How much are you charging me for this visit?

Remember how I've been talking for months about taking a week off of work? It looks like this may be it. Not exactly how I was envisioning my vacation.

p.s. At some point, when I work up the energy to move, I have some random pictures to post. Because I know everyone is sick of me complaining about how miserable I am. I will try to stick to no more than one pity post per week.



I think I'm getting sick. But I've been thinking that for awhile. On Monday, I stayed at home and slept all day. On Tuesday, I had the three hour flu or something. I came home from work with a pounding headache, achy muscles, and a fever. I slept all night and woke up fine. Yesterday, I developed a sore throat, and this morning my head is slowly filling up with snot. It feels like it's about eye-level now.

This makes me impatient. I want to either get sick and get it over with, or to be well again. This in-between is driving me crazy.

Today, I was supposed to go see Barack Obama speak. But now, with my developing cold (or whatever it is), I don't think I'm up for parking downtown and then trekking a few miles to auditorium shores with 10,000 college students. I can still remember the smell when we went to see Ralph Nader in 2000...


The big news

So there is quite the uproar here at hippie central. It was announce yesterday that we were buying one of our biggest rivals, Wild Oats. Currently, we have about 190 stores. We just acquired 110 more. Wow. I think this is a good move. We just weren't able to grow as fast as we needed by building new stores one at a time. Of course not all of the 110 stores will stay open. For instance, there are two Sun Harvest markets here in Austin that are owned by Wild Oats. Both are small, dingy, and no competition for two Whole Foods and two Central Markets. I can't imagine that those would stay open for very long.

When the news came through yesterday, we were initially very excited (especially about the stock price). I've never been through an acquisition before, and it sounded exciting. It took us about five minutes before we started thinking "wait a minute, that's 110 more stores that need to be accounted for..."

I foresee some very busy days ahead.

Poetry Thursday

Question and answer in the mountains

They ask me why I live in the green mountains.
I smile and don't reply; my heart's at ease.
Peach blossoms flow downstream, leaving no trace -
And there are other earths and skies than these.

-Li Po



Is the word scrotum shocking? I don't find that it is a word I use frequently (or ever, now that I think about it), but it doesn't seem very offensive to me. It is the appropriate anatomical name for a part of the body, is it not? It is not a crude, offensive, slang term or nickname. So I guess I'm not understanding why a passel of school librarians are refusing to carry a copy of a (Newberry award winning) children's book that uses the term in a non-sexual way.

Since the book is for 9-12 year olds, the assumption must be that these children would not know that word. First, having ridden a public school bus for most of my childhood, I can guarantee that those kids know much more dangerous words than 'scrotum'. But second, why wouldn't a child of that age know the correct names of body parts? Am I missing something here?

Finally, I am eternally frustrated at adults that try to keep books like this away from kids. They are deluding themselves about what they can keep secret. Wouldn't it be better to have an open discussion?



When we bought our house, the front yard was very landscaped. It has some huge boxwood bushes at the front (ugly), Some overgrown nandina bushes in front of the windows (ugly and invasive), and an insane number of crepe myrtles (ugly).

I made plans to rip out all the ugly. I had this vague idea of a beautiful cottage garden, with drifts of purple coneflowers and sprays of purple fountain grass and mounds of plumbago.

The guys replacing our siding did a pretty good job of killing the ivy that was used as a groundcover in all of the beds. They also managed to trample most of the nandina to death. A few weeks ago, we hired a tree service to come and do some pruning for us. While they were there, they ripped out a bunch of the crepe myrtles and the ugly boxwoods.

Unfortunately, I found that the vague ideas in my head were no match for the shockingly bare, shockingly large patches of dirt left after the tree guys finished their work. Suddenly, the reality hit me that I needed to plant something coherent. The one bed that I attempted last year came out pretty well, except that all the colors and textures clashed. But it was hidden behind a big bush. My bare patches are right up on the curb for everyone to see.

So I called in an expert. Pam (who has a very cool blog) came over and calmed me down and promised a design sketch and a plant list within a few weeks. I was almost weak-kneed with relief. Now, if I can just rope B into helping me with all the digging, hoeing, planting, and mulching that is ahead of us, I should have a real live garden this year! Pictures coming soon.

(Also, notice our house changed colors? I'm so excited! I hated that blue and red!)


I'm back!

Except I'm home sick from work today and my head is too fuzzy to write a very coherent entry. But here is a great new video from the Barenaked Ladies featuring a bunch of YouTube celebrities. The Numa Numa boy is in it!



I think I need a break. I'll be back next week.



I recently looked over my posts for the last few weeks and realized how boring they are. Nothing particularly interesting has happened to me, I'm a little overwhelmed by work and house projects, and I've been feeling a little under the weather (probably from winter plus cedar plus work and house stress). I guess I just wanted to acknowledge my boringness so everyone knows that I know. Or something.

Here are the books I'm reading right now:

Magic or Madness YA series by Justine Larbalestier
The Teahouse Fire by Ellis Avery (standard women's book club fair until it took an abrupt and unexpected turn to lesbianism - making it rather more interesting than Memoirs of a Geisha)
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (I'm generally opposed to Brontes, being more of a Jane Austen fan, but you have to read Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights to be culturally competent, right?)

I don't have time to write a review of any of them now, but I'm planning on it. Just as soon as I get caught up on work.


Poetry Thursday

From "You Flame-Foot!"

a blossom:
it breaks in a hollow
and yellows some loveliness there;
a climber alive in the branches:
electrified amaranth-
you came to me that way,
transparently, fragrantly,
a blossomer; we traveled together.

-Pablo Neruda


Snort laugh

Mimi Smartypants always makes me laugh, but I find her entry today particularly delightful.


Weekend guests

We had visitors this weekend.

They showed up in the driveway just as I got home from running an errand, and then followed me up the stairs and nosed their way inside the house. We named them Brown and Blonde (we're creative types, can you tell?) and then fell in love with them. Right up until Brown saw Bella and caused an Incident. Then B wasn't quite so in love.

Anyway, I spent most of Sunday morning hanging up posters around town before it occurred to me to stop by the vet's office and have them scanned for microchips. Sure enough, their owners lived in our neighborhood, on the opposite side of the valley. There was a reunion, and all parties went away satisfied. No matter how cute, four big dogs are more of a handful than I can deal with. (Somehow, I imagine Lee is cackling gleefully right now...)


Very cool!

This is what I would look like if Modigliani had painted me:

Thanks to J for the link


Hey, this guy is good!

He does an especially good President Bush.


Poetry Thursday

Trees in the Garden

Ah in the thunder air
how still the trees are!

And the lime-tree, lovely and tall, every leaf silent
hardly looses even a last breath of perfume.

And the ghostly, creamy coloured little tree of leaves
white, ivory white among the rambling greens
how evanescent, variegated elder, she hesitates on the green grass
as if, in another moment, she would disappear
with all her grace of foam!

And the larch that is only a column, it goes up too tall to see:
and the balsam-pines that are blue with the grey-blue blueness of
things from the sea,
and the young copper beech, its leaves red-rosy at the ends
how still they are together, they stand so still
in the thunder air, all strangers to one another
as the green grass glows upwards, strangers in the silent garden.

-D. H. Lawrence

In case you haven't heard

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, book 7, will be released on July 21st. You can pre-order from Amazon. Between the 5th movie coming out on July 13th, and the book coming out a week later, I will be having quite the Harry Potter fest this summer.