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Showing posts with label fall. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fall. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 3 comments

The World's Cutest Pirate 2.0

Six years ago, Mason was the world’s cutest pirate.

Well, Charlie has to try to do everything Mason does, so…


The kids at church did a “reverse trick or treat” (in which the kids dropped off treats for the seniors) at a local assisted living center over the weekend, which explains the background. Charlie, of course, charmed many of the residents with his sunny disposition and curiosity. I was surprised that he mostly kept the headscarf on.

His granddad is still ready to plunder some booty, if he gets the chance…

Friday, October 20, 2017 1 comment

Four O'clock Charlie

Image source: openclipart.org
Of course, I’m riffing on the classic M*A*S*H episode Five O'Clock Charlie here, but it’s not terribly humorous at the moment.

After last week’s “July in October,” this week has been more seasonable. It was cold enough, yesterday morning, that I had to start the furnace. But it seems like, with fall actually feeling like fall, Charlie decided to level up in Sleep Fight Club. He has developed quite a few techniques for keeping himself awake lately, including slapping himself over the head and the classic refusing to sit still.

Then, when we finally get him to sleep, he wakes himself up around 4 a.m. and howls until someone comes and gets him. Wife has been bringing him into the bedroom and letting him lay with us… which might have been a mistake, because now he expects to sleep with us.

Needless to say, neither the wife nor I have slept well this week. Charlie likes to flip and flop, and we’re constantly worried he’s going to roll off the edge. One of us bails for the living room, not that it’s much more comfortable on the couch or a lounger.

Worst case, I’m traveling on business Monday through Wednesday, so I’ll have a couple nights in a quiet (I hope) hotel room. Maybe he’ll settle down and go back to sleeping all night. Maybe pigs will fly out my, um, jet exhaust.

Monday, November 10, 2014 4 comments

Piling On

The last few days have been the good part of November—sunny, cool, perfect for getting outside and doing stuff.

Sunday afternoon, I hunted for the rake… and I could have sworn it was in the garage just last week. Oh well, I was able to lay hands on the leaf blower and a really long extension cord, and got to work on one section of the back yard. It wasn’t long before I had a big pile of leaves, and let Mason have at it:



Very soon, he insisted that I jump in and join him.

Deep in the heart of autumn

Oh… why not. It’s been quite a few years since I’d buried myself in a leaf pile. Laying in the leaves, I took a shot of the deep blue sky:

We won’t see skies this nice for a while

So we played in the leaves until it started getting dark. He complained mightily about having to go in, of course, but maybe we’ll have another shot later. That arctic blast is on the way, and things will get cold in a hurry after tomorrow.

Saturday, October 26, 2013 8 comments

Weekend Roundup: Sliding into Fall

Last night brought frost to FAR Manor, the first October frost in three years. It’s all downhill from here:



I committed myself to write reviews for three books I’ve read in the last few weeks, so I wrapped those up last night. Links go to Goodreads:


They’re all good, go check 'em out!

In my own writing endeavors, I’ve finished up the first part of The Lost Years. I need to get cranking on the next part, which is sort of plotted out in my head, but The Sorcerer’s Daughter is the priority at the moment. I’m going through +Helen Howell’s beta comments, which were more encouraging than I thought. I figured I’d have to rewrite all of Chapter 2, but Helen said it was the first half of the chapter that needed work. So if I can get that fixed in the next few days, maybe the editor can get it back to me and I’ll still be good for that November launch.

And, this song has been stuck in my head on auto-repeat all week:



I bought the album so I could play the song at will, because that usually kills the earworm, but this one is a little tougher to shake loose.

My shoulder is getting better, finally. I need it to be 100% NOW, though, since it’s firewood season. I have to remember to bring in wood with my right arm and use my left for opening doors, the opposite of how I usually do things, to not hurt it. And I’m nowhere near ready to sling a chainsaw around for an entire afternoon. I started to hit a depression last week, but I think it passed. I don’t need that on top of everything else.

Thursday, November 01, 2012 9 comments

On the Georgia Road 6 (#FridayFlash)

With some of the things my online friends up north are dealing with this week, I got in the mood to write another one of these.

Earlier installments in this series:

#1: the commuter
#2: interstate patrol
#3: lake property house-sitters
#4: Relocation Center
#5: college campus



“The State DNR’s Tourism division has announced that their third annual Fall Color Tour is scheduled for the week of November 8th. The day trips run all week, and wind through the north Georgia mountains. Buses leave the North Springs MARTA station at 10 a.m., and return by dusk. Lunch is included, and travelers are encouraged to bring a small cooler and snacks. The overnight trip leaves at 10 a.m. Saturday, includes accommodations at Amicalola Falls State Park, and returns to North Springs mid-afternoon on Sunday. All meals are included, and each passenger may bring an overnight bag. For details and reservations, see the DNR website at the bottom of your screen.

“The mountains are beautiful, but the people who live there aren’t watching the leaves—they’re getting ready for winter. In tonight’s segment of ‘On the Georgia Road,’ Sean McKinzie travels to White County, where local residents are busy this time of year. Sean?”

Cut to: Sean, exterior, woods. Chainsaws snarl in the background. Sean raises his voice to be heard above the noise. “Hi, Marcia! When you have to depend on your own resources to make energy, wood is the Number One choice! It literally grows on trees, after all!”

Cut to: exterior, people stacking firewood. Sean voiceover. “Residents tell me their first frost came early last week, and that’s lending a little urgency to the winter preparations. With gardening season officially over, the focus has mostly shifted from food to fuel.”

Cut to: exterior, local road. A large tree lies across the road. Man in foreground, talking to Sean; men and women in background sizing up the tree. Title: Johnny Long, local resident. “Our host, Johnny Long, put things in perspective for us.”

Fade to: Johnny Long, gesturing toward the fallen tree. “What do you see there?”

Sean: “A tree down, across the road.”

Johnny: “Yeah. Well, we see enough firewood to keep a house warm for half the winter. It’s blockin’ the road, too, but that’s not what’s important. What’s important is we get this cut up and stacked.”

Sean: “Where do you get the fuel to run your saws?”

Johnny: “We got a little motor-sickle. We take it down to Gainesville and bring back groceries and a couple of five-gallon cans. That’s plenty for saws.”

Fade through: sequence of clips. Tree being cut up and removed, shrinking with time. Sean voiceover. “In less than two hours, a fallen tree became several stacks of firewood, plus a few large sections of trunk. While two people cut it up, others were hauling away cut pieces, splitting what needed to be split, and stacking the rest.” Cut to: Sean carrying an armload of cut wood. Continue voiceover. “We got pressed into service as well, and maybe we helped more than we got in the way.”

Cut to: interior, small barn or large shed. Women and men working at long tables, preparing food, setting up jars. Sean voiceover. “The focus is mostly on fuel, but there is still some food to put away.”

Cut to: interior, woman. Title: Sarah Adams. Sean voiceover: “This is a neighborhood cannery, and everyone pitches in. Sarah Adams explains what we’re looking at.”

Sarah: “Today, we’re doin’ the last of the apples and pears. Now that we’ve had a frost, the persimmons are sweet enough to use, so we’ve gathered a couple bushels for jam. We had a pretty good year with the scuppernongs—”

Sean: “What’s that word?”

Sarah, laughing: “Scuppernongs. They’re a domesticated muscadine. It’s a kind of grape. We’re doin’ those today, too.”

Cut to: baskets of fruit. Sean voiceover. “Ms. Adams says that a month ago, during the height of the garden harvest, the cannery was running full-tilt from morning into the night. Come winter, stews and soups will nearly always be on the dinner table in Unincorporated areas. Empty a few jars of meat and vegetables into a Dutch oven, and set it on the woodstove in the morning. By noon, you have a hot meal.”

Cut to: exterior, firepit made of concrete blocks. Rebar forms a grill across the top. Pots on the grill. Sean voiceover: “For safety’s sake, cooking and sterilizing happens outside. They burn pine in the firepit, saving the oak for heating the houses. Cooked food is taken back inside and put in jars, then the jars come back outside for final processing.”

Cut to: exterior, house. Solar panels on roof, windmill standing idle. Sean foreground. “Ms. Adams let me know that they were not self-sufficient, as far as food goes. Hunters might bring in game through the winter, but they don’t or can’t produce items such as flour, coffee, beans, citrus, and so on. So, they make grocery runs on occasion, and visit the library. There, they check out books, or load their readers with eBooks over the wifi, to keep them occupied through the winter.

Cut to: exterior, Sean close-up. “And so we learned that, with a little foresight and a lot of teamwork, it’s certainly possible to survive—even thrive—through a Georgia winter.” Camera zooms out. Sean holds an armload of firewood and several full quart jars. “On the Georgia Road, I’m Sean McKinzie.”

Sunday, September 30, 2012 2 comments

Weekend Fall Mason Blogging

Fall on Planet Georgia is a great time to be outside. After a long hot summer, it’s nice to be able to sit out on the patio with a fire to keep the bugs away. And Mason’s all for being outside…



We went to the corn maze last weekend. He had a blast, running full-tilt boogie through a very complex maze. This wasn’t the kind where you could always get through it by turning right at every juncture.

That way!



Seems like every time we go outside lately, he wants to go into the woods and pick blackberries. We have to keep telling him they came in June and were gone in July. While we have some in the freezer, the persimmon tree just above the mailbox is starting to drop little sweet-bombs:

Snack time!

These are, as far as I can tell, a variety called Fuyu. They’re not the ultra-pucker type, so we’ll find something to use them in.

Oh, and the in-laws have two pear trees. They’re Kieffer pears, which are very firm and have a tough peel, and are meant for cooking or canning. I picked up several bags of good pears off the ground, and the wife and I canned eight pint jars and five quart jars of preserves. She wants me to pick up another bag, to make pear relish. I cooked a few in my crock pot at work last week, just to smell up the office.



We went to visit the wife’s older sister (the not-nutty one) yesterday. With her last kid in college, she’s downsizing and selling her house. We brought home some outdoor furniture, but Mason saw a huge spread of pumpkins at a nearby church and about went nuts. So we got a couple to carve, and Mason found a very strange looking gourd:

So ugly it's cute (the gourd)

He wasn’t too thrilled about the anthill over at the table where they collected the money, especially since one chomped his foot, but a little cream on the bite and he was fine. If only all the hurts he gets in life can be fixed with a little cream and sympathy…

Snippet dropped by on Friday, on the way to see her mom near Jacksonville, with her new boyfriend in tow. Her dad (who’s okay) also showed up. I got a good fire going on the patio and we all sat out there and yakked until we realized we’d forgotten supper. She’s coming back by on Monday, when it’s supposed to be raining heavily. Here’s hoping they get here and gone okay… they’re in his parents’ new car, and I’d hate for something to happen to it. :-P

Friday, November 05, 2010 2 comments

The Final Harvest

… of 2010, at FAR Manor, anyway. The frost is on the way tonight, and we had some frost up on the garage roof and the cars this morning. Fortunately, the foliage and fruits weren’t affected. I’m guessing about three pounds of surprise chow here.

Green tomatoes

We put the big ones in the window, hoping they’ll ripen. The smaller ones I diced up and made over a quart of green salsa. I’ll post a recipe if it turns out to be edible.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010 No comments

Wednesday Wibbles

Wibble: (UK, Internet slang) Meaningless or content-free chatter in a discussion; drivel, babble.

A lot of little stuff has been happening lately, none of which warrants their own posts…

Hey, DoubleRed might have moved out! Her computers and “stuff” is gone, just the furniture remains.

• • •


Mrs. Fetched opined last night that Snippet might be pregnant again. AAAAARRRRRRRRGH!!!!! But she asked The Boy this morning and he says she isn’t. whew On the other hand, other people say she is. AAAAARRRRRRRRGH!!!!! That would be worse than the elections last night. Both of them need to get fixed, pronto.

• • •


Possible scorpion on doughnutOK, click on this picture to get the full-sized version. Tell me that’s not a deep-fried scorpion embedded in this doughnut. Mrs. Fetched says it’s a blob of chocolate. She’s welcome to eat it if she’s that sure. (I used a +4 closeup filter on this.)

• • •


After downgrading from the iPhone, I dug the old iPod 5G out of the basket it was languishing in and put it back in service. One of the things I find I missed about it (without realizing) is just how good the battery life is on that thing. I had it playing pretty much all the way up to Michigan during that 13-hour drive in September, and it had plenty of juice in reserve. It wheezed at work on Monday, and it surprised me until I realized I hadn’t charged it in about a week. Fortunately, I still had the iPhone charger on my desk. I’m thinking about replacing the case with something that doesn’t obscure the screen and deaden the click wheel.

• • •


Looks like our first frost will be Saturday morning (forecast low of 30°F). I'll have to gather the volunteer tomatoes Friday evening and put them in the kitchen window; maybe they’ll ripen — and if not, I guess we’ll have fried green tomatoes. If I’m going to ride the motorcycle to work (and it will need to stop raining first), I might as well bite the bullet and put the second liner in my jacket. Not to mention the wiring for the gloves.

• • •


NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) started on Monday. I’d love to participate, but I’ve talked about why I can’t before. This year adds a new reason (besides Mason): I want to finish White Pickups this month, so that’s my informal NaNoWriMo goal for this year.

• • •


Mason in vampire costumeHallowe’en was kind of a bust this year, despite the near-perfect weather — we only had one group of kids come by, so there’s a pretty good pile of candy left in the bucket. Mrs. Fetched took Mason and his parental units to the outlet maul, where the stores were dishing out candy to the kids. Mason had a vampire outfit, pictured here, but he didn’t like the collar and kept pulling it off. He also managed to lose a shoe, so maybe he should have gone in drag and been Cinderella instead. :-P

• • •


With all the people at the manor, the septic tank has once again filled up and needs to be pumped. I might go into the office tomorrow just so I can walk to a working bathroom.

• • •


And that’s all the news that is news at FAR Manor.

Thursday, October 28, 2010 3 comments

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 2 comments

Fall Colors of FAR Manor

Aha — Picasaweb does have a way to embed a slideshow!

This is what things look like around FAR Manor right now. If it wasn’t for all the crazy stuff going on, it would be my favorite time of year…



Sorry about the Flash trash, but you can click on the pic to see the full-size shots. Oh, and Tumblr has a nice slideshow, but no way to embed it.

Thursday, October 08, 2009 4 comments

A bad sign becomes a good sign…

Some longer-time readers may remember when the developers got too close, about a month before I posted the first episode of FAR Future. What a difference 2-½ years and a housing crash makes, right? Then and now…

New subdivision, May 2007 Defunct subdivision, October 2009


The developer put up a sign, mowed down some trees, cut a few roads into the land… and went Tango Uniform. The banks are trying to get their money — all their money — from a prospective buyer. I got two words: Fat. Chance. I suppose if they hold on long enough, they’ll get it… but in the meantime, they’ll be on the hook for the property taxes. Meanwhile, it’s an attractive nuisance of sorts: people hunt the place, and I’ve been sorely tempted to ride the motorcycle in and spin a few doughnuts. Last year, the cops busted some Gwinnett County folks who had started farming the former farmland… unfortunately, their crop was “a green leafy substance” aka The Evil Weed. Seems like most of the drug and gang issues we have here involve a Gwinnett County connection, although that didn’t cross my mind at all when I set the action (at least the early action) of White Pickups there.

Speaking of plants and weeds, the fall wildflowers/weeds are doing their thing now:

Fall flowers

I took these during a walk yesterday afternoon, as well as the overgrown sign, using the new 100-300mm lens. A couple little girls bouncing on a trampoline in the front yard stopped to talk to me and ask me what I was doing. I figured a parental type would be shortly outside, wondering what strange man was talking to their kids, but I was spared a potential grilling and went on my way.

Mason had his first-month checkup yesterday. He’s gained nearly 3 pounds, and is pretty healthy beyond the usual infantile afflictions. He has thrush, which looks like some milk got stuck to his tongue, but it’s already responding to the medication and right now his biggest problem is constipation. That’s pretty miserable for everyone within earshot, but fortunately it’s starting to (ahem) pass. He’s one of the most enthusiastic babies I’ve ever fed… I recorded some of the noises he makes when he’s chowing on the bottle. Have a listen…



And right now, he’s “sound” asleep. I hope he forgives me for this when he’s older.

Saturday, November 15, 2008 5 comments

Saturday, and I’m Parked

Caturday Night FeverYou would think it’s the middle of November out there: chilly? damp? windy? Check, check, check.

I dodged chicken house duty this morning, ironically after I’d “suited up” for the ordeal. After grabbing some cereal, Mrs. Fetched decided I needed to make the rounds of three banks… two deposits and one payment. The payment involved down to the next town down, where there happens to be a Best Buy. DoubleRed is having grief with her laptop (she thinks $800 doesn’t qualify as a cheap laptop, but whatever), but at least it’s under warranty and she was able to shovel her schoolwork over to her desktop system. Her preparations cost me all of 10 minutes, which was no big deal since I had to be at the last bank before noon and (even with the slight delay) I figured to make it before 11:30 anyway. So I dropped off stuff at banks, she dropped off her computer with the Geek Squad, everyone was happy. (Well, DoubleRed isn’t happy about her laptop going back to the garage, but whatever.)

We got back, Mrs. Fetched got back, then it was off to get a mattress set for the upstairs bed (in what used to be The Boy’s room). I was going to turn that room into a library, but I suppose I still could… I like to read in bed, anyway. I also went out and had a look at the tomato plant — it was pretty well dead, but there was one last handful of yellow pears on it. I’m putting in at least a dozen of these next year… since they’re a heirloom variety, I saved a few seeds already and will have at it next year.

Daughter Dearest is coming home for the weekend, although she’s getting a late start… looks like she’ll get here around 7pm. Then we’ll probably go to El Rio to eat, because that’s like her favorite place in the world and there’s no good (and cheap) Mexican restaurants around Reinhardt. Speaking of Reinhardt, she’s seriously considering transferring out after the year’s up… a couple of nearby public colleges have been named, but I think the big problem is that the music students seem to be more like the drama students (if you get my drift).

I need to start some bread tonight for a church thingie tomorrow. I’m trying to decide whether to make challah bread or rolls. Probably rolls; it’s easier to scale up and people don’t have to break off pieces that way. And P.O.D. wants me to solder the F-connector back onto his old TV tonight.

Somewhere along the way, I tuned in Obama’s first weekly address on YouTube. I couldn’t help cringing when he said “make no mistake,” because I heard that too many times from Bush-league, but after that point the address went from fluff to meat. I hope he’s serious about the energy policy… it’s good to hear a political type really seeming to get the point that we need to stop talking about the post-petroleum world and start building it (and putting people to work building it certainly won’t hurt). The question is: can we make it happen?

Saturday, November 08, 2008 9 comments

All Fall Down [UPDATED - new pic]

Autumn vistaClimate change seems to have pushed Planet Georgia’s peak color season from late October into early November. I posted some shots around Amicalola Falls exactly three years ago today, but I took these pictures a couple days ago and (much) closer to home — during my Thursday afternoon walk.

Looking north across a pasture, you can see color on the foothills… of course, the mountains themselves are hazed out.

Fall colors on a dirt roadThis is really the best time of year to be outside on Planet Georgia. The temps are pleasant, there’s still some light in the afternoon, and it’s just pretty when the sun filters through the trees. If you’re doing anything strenuous, there’s usually a breeze to cool you off.

The only downside is that the days continue to get shorter, and we’ll have the stark greyness of winter.

UPDATE: Because there’s more than one day to fall…

Green and yellow treesEven closer to home — just off the corner of the house, in fact — we have a couple really tall trees that were giving us 2/3 of a stop light. There’s a Japanese maple nearby that was deep red last week, but the wind cleared most of the leaves off. But who wants to stop?

Sunday, November 02, 2008 5 comments

Charge It!

After church this morning, I got accosted by one of Mrs. Fetched’s cousins. “I hear you’re supported Obama,” he growled. “What of it?” I shot back. “Blah blah smear, blah blah talking points, blah blah I don’t see how you can support Democrats and be a Christian.” At least he didn’t trot out the “he’s a Muslim” bull$#!+.

“I don’t see how a Christian can support the party of the Pharisees and money changers,” I said, with more than a little heat. I’m not good at confrontation, and the in-laws are Olympic Squbbling Team gold medalists. “Remember who Jesus threw out of the temple.” He sputtered and tried to turn it around, and I just walked away. I wish I would have just laughed in his face when he started. I let Mrs. Fetched know about it; she said, “he’s so much like his dad” (who was a old white rural Georgia boy, need I say more). I have an idea who put his wind up about me, but with no proof I don’t need to name names in public (or even blog-ic). Look, if you really believe that the other guy is the better choice for rational reasons (i.e. no fear & smear), whether for the country or even your own wallet, I don’t have a problem with that. But if you want to question my patriotism (or my Christianity) for my choice, we have nothing to say to each other.

Another fun-filled afternoon at the manor. But instead of chickens, I had some wood to split (which was therapeutic) and load up. Two huge trees went down in her dad’s pasture, and we’re getting firewood. We didn’t even have to cut the first couple loads… her dad and a guy living in one of the rentals (the one who just got carted off to the Cinder Block Resort) left it there for us to just pick up. Mrs. Fetched came down to help load up after I finished splitting; we looked at what hasn’t been cut yet and I said, “this could last us all winter if we can get it cut up.” She nodded.

Since we’d had a big breakfast late, we didn’t get around to lunch until 3:30 or so. We finished up at 4, and we had Charge Conference at church at 5. In a Methodist church, Charge Conference is when the congregation officially approves the next year’s budget, appoints new officers (or re-elects the old ones, dangit)… and of course, it’s an excuse to go downstairs and eat. Being the lay leader, I get to deliver a “lesson” (mini-sermon). I quoted John the Baptist telling people to share their extra coats and food with people who didn’t have any, and — given the economic situation — challenged everyone to “share their stuff” with people who didn’t have it. To my surprise, everyone applauded… first time that ever happened. Probably because I kept it much shorter than my typical blog post.

Long Day

Too long. Good thing we turn the clocks back tonight; I needed even more than the 25 hours we get today.

After Mrs. Fetched’s helper ended up “forgetting” about a minor detail like keeping up with his probation, he got carted off to jail. Smooth move, Ex-Lax… you got a wife with a baby on the way and you pull that kind of stunt? Forget about The Boy helping; on Saturdays even the crack of noon is a little too early for him. So… “all we have to do” (a phrase I absolutely dread hearing from her) “is open up the half-houses.” This took us well past noon, then her dad decided he needed to do some miscellaneous stuff — which for him means a stream-of-consciousness waste of several more hours. By 4 p.m., I suggested lunch would be a good idea and he agreed.

wood stackMeanwhile, there was a bunch of wood cut up in the pasture, waiting for “someone” to gather it up. Mrs. Fetched needed to do something else in the chicken house, so she suggested I start loading up the wood and she would join me when she got finished. So… about an hour later, DoubleRed came down the chicken house road in her little Rio. She asked me if I needed help; I said, “sure, park your car across from the gate and come on over.” We didn’t get all the wood, but we’d got as much as we could deal with at the time, so we ran up to the house and unloaded it. One piece was a little large, and I got the splitter. DoubleRed was telling me a story of how her mom tried to get her to split some firewood once, and rescinded the idea after she nearly chopped herself and her brother. I drew a bead on the log, took one whack, and it came apart.

“Show-off,” she said.

“I got a lucky shot that time,” I reassured her.

This picture isn’t all of what we got — we put some in the garage to save a little time for the night-time armloads — but some of the stack was already there. (The top of the stack comes about to my chin, for perspective.) This should last us at least a week, maybe two, and there’s plenty more where that came from. Our burn rate averages about a stick an hour.

As we were on our way back to get DoubleRed’s car, we saw it coming up the road the other way. Mrs. Fetched had finally remembered that we had to shoot a community chorale — singing an English version of Brahms’s A German Requiem — and we had about two hours before it started. We got showers, fresh clothes, the cameras, and away we went. We managed to get through it without changing tapes… but we were down to the last one or two minutes. Whew! Supper, groceries, putting Crissy the Complete PITA Dog back in her pen (and blocking her wormhole she’d dug to get out)… and here I am.

Maybe if she doesn’t have another chicken house freakout tomorrow, I’ll be able to bring more wood home (and split the larger pieces).

Can we set the clocks back… oh, 24 hours? I want a real Saturday, the kind that doesn’t involve chicken houses.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008 5 comments

We Pause for a Cloud Break

I really didn’t want to write more about the Big Gooey Kablooey today. Fortunately, after a rainy day (the first in at least two weeks, so it has been seriously needed), God gave me something else to post this evening:

Clouds after rain

I was admiring the sculpted clouds among the puffballs, when I reached a place to pull off and get a picture. I see a big arm coming out of the sky, either pointing south or offering up The Mother of all Spliffs. :-P

Heh… I suppose that was appropriate, given that I thought of a Crosby, Stills, and Nash song when I saw the cloudscape:

How come I have to explain,
People are worth all the pain?
I just wanna see the love in your eyes
After the storm has passed you and gone.

Sunday, September 21, 2008 4 comments

Plants of the Moment

But first: happy b-day to both my parental units, Mom yesterday and Dad today!

Despite the drought, the plant life has managed to hold up reasonably well through the summer. Maybe the rainy spring gave them enough of a start.

Back in February, I mentioned diverting the kitchen and laundry drains into the back yard. We must have had a few seeds go down the drain — literally — because now there’s a clump of tomato plants springing up.

Mrs. Fetched was like, “Do you really want to let them grow?” Heck yes — I want to see what kind they are, if nothing else. I can’t blame her for moaning about it — the tomatoes have done very well this year and Mrs. Fetched’s mom is ready to yank her plants out of the ground so she doesn’t have to pick any more. It’s not just the tomatoes… her scupperdine vine got so laden it pulled down the tree she’d used for a trellis; I found a persimmon tree at the bottom of the driveway that’s weighed down pretty heavily; her fruit trees are doing very well too. Only one of my yellow pear plants survived, but it has done quite well despite not being staked… it just sprawls everywhere. But if these particular plants do well, and the frost holds off long enough, they'll be ripe around late October.

Flowers among kudzuOut for a walk on Thursday, I saw some wildflowers managing to grow among the kudzu.

The kudzu itself blooms, a pretty purple pyramid with a grape-y smell. But the blue blooms here were not of the kudzu; it was some other plant trying its luck among the tangle.

This kind of thing gives me a little hope. We’ve only begun to see how much our climate change is going to screw things up… but once we get out of the way, nature will adjust and fix things.

Saturday, November 17, 2007 7 comments

Thursday, October 11, 2007 9 comments

Ye Olde Placeholder

Not a whole lot going on at the manor tonight (or most of the week). I’ve been putting a fair amount of work into two of three personal writing projects instead.

As usual, I came home tonight to no supper — less usual, no Mrs. Fetched or Daughter Dearest either. Or The Boy, for that matter. At least he left a note about where he was (fishing at the pond). M.A.E. called shortly thereafter; she and her boyfriend were down at the pond with The Boy. She’s nine weeks along now, and has signed up for (and got) WIC and Medicaid. They came by, chatted for a while, then left. The Boy is making music with Cousin Splat and another friend. Then the girls showed up with supper — hooray! — but missed M.A.E. by not much.

The low tonight is supposed to hit the mid-40s (°F). Considering that we’ve had frost around this time in other years, this isn’t so bad. Things will heat up this weekend, at least figuratively, as Daughter Dearest has All-State tryouts on Saturday and her (OMG, it can’t be!) 18th birthday on Sunday.

Thursday, October 05, 2006 6 comments

Fall Plants

With the advent of cooler weather, the fall flowers (and weeds) are coming in. Some of the weeds are offering fairly decent bribes this time around, and the regular plants are also doing well. I haven’t done a pictorial in a while, so…

This bottlebrush (or whatever it’s real name is) is the centerpiece of the flower bed in front of FAR Manor. This is the best I’ve ever seen it; I noticed it this morning when the sun was shining on it as I worked at home. To give you a good sense of perspective, the tops are about seven feet high.


The butterfly bushes, on the other hand, have been relatively scraggly with their blooms this year. We get blooms in the spring and fall though, which is probably why we haven’t ripped them all out of the ground in self-defense — they’re invasive and would take over if we let them. Not that it’s all bad; they were nearly swarmed by butterflies today.

This is one of the better pods.


The goldenrod sprung up on its own, and is very bright this year compared to its usual muted yellow. It’s growing around the butterfly bushes, and everywhere else, and contrasts nicely with the blue of the butterfly bushes.


These weeds are offering us a cheerful bribe to let them live. The blooms are about the size of a nickel; I guess it’s some wild variant of a daisy…


…and they’re growing everywhere too!


Kind of ugly, but in a soft feathery way. I pulled up a bunch of these last month and a zillion more sprung up. They stand 3 to 4 feet tall.


Some other colors will come in soon. I especially like the muted orange of some of the wildflowers that will start showing off before long.

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