Sep. 18th, 2017 09:04 am
jennlk: (snapdragon)
Yesterday (Sunday) was the Cemetery Walk at church -- the cemetery associated with the church has graves in it from the 1830s, and the church historical society writes skits involving some of the people there (it's somewhat interesting to get comments on an early 1900's character from people who actually knew her...). In conjunction with that, the service was "Old Fashion". I was song leader, and the first note I got asked only if I could wear old-fashioned cloths(sic), I was soooo tempted to wear the grey plaid 1953 dress (Mum bought it off the rack), but then I realised that I didn't have the proper undergarments for it. The last time I wore it (25 years ago!) it was still a bit big for me, and the lack of a girdle wasn't a problem. Now, I need something under it. Instead, I added some trim to last year's 1900s jacket, "de-steampunked" the skirt, and found the straw boater. There are now notes on the jacket and blouse for things I need to fix before next year.

I fixed the leaks in the rill -- no holes in the liner, just water finding 'down' where J hadn't expected it. I also planted strawberries, including the pair of runners that were 'doing a runner' and escaping from the old strawberry bed. That was Friday, and yesterday there were deer tracks through the new bed -- they hadn't stopped to nibble anything, but there were hoof prints!

There are many birds bathing in the birdbath and the pools in the rill -- I refill the birdbath twice a day, and the rocks next to the bathing pools in the rill are usually splashed. Crows and jays fling a lot of water around. :)

Anna-cat was parading around with a mouse in her mouth late Saturday evening, and Sunday we found where she had left it -- under the kitchen table, where it would be safe. (Ji doesn't eat stuff that he doesn't catch). DB took it out to the pyre, aka the brush pile. The pyre already has a bunch of dead bird & mice in it, so what's one more?


Aug. 30th, 2017 07:31 pm
jennlk: (stompety)
So Western "misplaced" BC's application -- they were changing the admissions procedure, and his (and a handful of other) applications got lost in the shuffle. He'd been emailing them every week (once they got his transcript from WCC), and had been getting generic "your application is under consideration" responses until the last one, where he got an extremely apologetic 'unfortunately, your application was misplaced. we have now found it and will be processing it quickly'. A week before classes start. Um, yeah. He replied and said "No point in rushing now. I won't be attending until January anyway." So he's off to WCC for another term -- Calc, Physics, Geology this time around.

I've still got residual itchy spots from the allergic reaction that went systemic. No new patches in the last day or so, so I think it's on the way down. Probably doesn't help that I keep going out and pulling weeds. There is one stem on the rose bush that has blooms on it, and another that's already turning for fall colors. Gotta love all-season roses. :) The hibiscus in the E flower garden had smaller flowers than usual this year -- I suspect because it got overrun with milkweed and Queen Anne's lace. I'll have to weed those out sooner next year.

We're off to the Bridge Walk(s) on Saturday. Mackinaw should be amusing -- they're closing the bridge entirely other than shuttle buses and emergency vehicles, and closing I75 for a dozen miles in each direction from the bridge. It's the 60th annual Bridge Walk, and they're expecting more people than usual. Whee?
  • FCB is now done for the season. Last concert for the season was last night. There was a reasonable turnout, especially considering that the city had the concert listed as being at the other Riley Park. It wasn't too hot, although I hear that the people in the front of the band were pretty roast-y -- they were in the sun, as the back few rows were not. I contributed an extra bin to make the collecting of all the folders easier. DB was going to come to the concert (he'd been out of town for the other public concerts we did), but they got new lights for the auditorium and he had to go help install them.

  • DB got some really nice pictures (through the screen door) of the hawk that's been "skreel"ing in the backyard for the last week or so.

    And a shot of a squirrel being very flat and still while the hawk was on the other side of the rosebush.

    Theoretically, he's going off to Western in the fall, but due to procrastination of various types, he didn't get his application in until July and then WCC dragged out sending his transcript over, so he still hasn't heard whether he's starting classes in September or not. And he's barely started to figure out housing. sigh.

  • I did some heavy duty weeding and such on Friday and Saturday, and by Sunday I had some lovely contact dermatitis welts from the milkweed and sea holly and Queen Anne's lace I brushed up against (despite long sleeves and gloves, and scrubbing off with abrasive cleanser). Prednisone and Claritin for the win. blargh. Still don't want to do much, though, and certainly not going back out to weed in those flowerbeds for a while. Fortunately, I was pretty much done anyway.

  • We've had no appreciable rain for three weeks or so, and many plants are showing that. I've been watering the new roses and the stuff I moved in the spring, but I need to water the strawberry beds -- they're pretty much just dry compost dust at the moment, and I really should move new starts from the old bed into the new one this week. Fortunately, not a lot of tall weeds in or near the strawberry beds.
    The fill is mostly in, the framing is in (12x12 pavers to provide chipmunk proof drops and pools; edging bricks for pool edges) and is surrounded by rocks and peagravel. We ran the pump for about 45 seconds to make sure that the pump could deal with the height (it's about 24" taller than the old rill) *before* putting the felt and liner down. There will be flagstone on drop edges as well, so that the water isn't just sheeting down the uprights.

    I picked up a small water feature pump, and it may stay in the pond once we get the rill finished -- DB says we should set it up next to a shallow paver so that the birds can 'shower'. We'll see.

    We hadn't gotten any measurable rain since Memorial Day, so early this week I watered the strawberries and the east garden. I needed to water the east garden because the ground was so hard that I couldn't pull weeds out -- they'd just break off at ground level. I've been going out in the morning (before it gets hot) to weed, as I need to wear long sleeves to weed in that bed (there's a couple of things in that bed that give me welts if I don't!). This morning I went out and filled the garden cart with weeds, then came in because the clouds were getting really dark. But that cloud didn't rain on us. The next one, that wasn't nearly as dark, did. And did it rain! No thunder, but over 3/4 inch of rain with high winds. The willow tree lost a lot of leaves and a branch, there's a few other branches down in the yard, and the rose bush was very bedraggled for a few hours, but it's bouncing back nicely.

    Speaking of plants bouncing back, the bleeding hearts have done quite well at that. I really need to find somewhere else in the yard to plant them. Maybe along the hill down to the box elder, where there's a lot of shade in the summer (bleeding hearts are shade plants, and melt in the summer sun).
    This time, probably 2 tons, based on the trailer tires. They were really flattened out, and the wheels were tilting a bit. They didn't have to go far, so there's that. J took out the rock 'wall' he'd laid along the north-south road (the kids who used to cut across the easement while racing have at least stopped trying to cut the corner), and we moved the rock to a pile. We figure it'll make good habitat. DB came out to help. I really don't want to have to put in a proper fence, but if we start getting people cutting the corner again, we may have to put in a few panels of short rail fence, which will at least be something easy to mow/trim around.

    There has been no progress on the rill, and we really need to find a small pump so we can aerate the pond. I may just see what the hardware store has for small pond pumps. There are at least four species of frogs and toads in the pond -- there are four distinct calls, and a couple that could be either be variants within a species or a different species altogether.

    Some of the oriental poppies in the side garden became food. I saw one blooming (a pretty variegated coral & white), and then the next day it was gone and the stem nibbled off to about 8inches high. :( But I did find a lot more when I was weeding out there on Friday. Maybe they'll bloom before the deer/bunnies find them.

    The peonies and irises are blooming madly, and the shasta daisies we got from the neighbor a decade ago have diversified into a gradient from white to bright pink. The blue columbine in the front flowerbed has a few buds on it, so it survived getting whacked by a few shingles. There's an entire collection of Sweet William in the wildflower bed - ranging from magenta & white to pale purple & white. I need to weed and thin that section. And move some irises this summer.

    There are a few strawberries in the strawberry bed, which I find pretty impressive, because this variety of strawberry stops reliably producing after 2 or 3 years, and this bed is older than that.
    Now they're on to the south side of the roof. (Thursday saw no roofing done, as it rained just enough to make and keep everything slippery.) The south side is easier (no dormers or porch roof), but there's a lot of vent stacks to work around, and a bunch of roof/attic vents that are being removed so there are holes to be patched. Still, they should finish today. Sunday when they were telling us that we were going to get storms, J and I pulled the ladders down. Then the storms were somewhat less severe than originally predicted (to be fair, the Weather Service downgraded the predictions as the day went on). However, we got a lovely out-of-nowhere storm with 30mph winds on Monday afternoon, so it was not wasted effort.

    Saturday, J put in gable vents. Those things let a lot of air move through, and just doing that should cool the upstairs quite a bit. Then the ridge vents go on, and those should help even more. Putting the gable vents in included bonus 'can you climb this 30' ladder and pound on this for me' action -- J was creeping around in the attic (120F, dust & fiberglass everywhere), so I can't complain too much. Still, not my favorite thing to do.

    Monday, we packed up the car with two saxophones, three music stands, two instrument stands and three people, and wandered off to Franklin (MI) to play in the Brigadoon band. The Franklin Community Band officially disbanded about 8-10 years ago due to dwindling numbers, but a friend from the Farmington band recruits a small group to play for Franklin's Memorial Day celebration. I took both the tenor and the bari because I didn't know which they'd need more. DB came along with a tuba mouthpiece -- it was surprisingly easy to get him to do so "hey, d'you wanna come play an old sousaphone? It'll only be an hour or so." "sure.". J came along to take pictures. (I saw him chatting with a reporter, so DB and I may wind up in the local paper.) I played tenor sax, and played TSax, baritone (treble clef), and 2nd Cornet parts, depending on what I had music for and what was needed more. In retrospect, I should have played bari on one of the marches -- it has a tricky tuba part, and DB was flailing, and it's one that I transcribed the bari part from the tuba part a few years ago. It's been two years since DB's played sousaphone, and other than that piece he did really really well. He said the hardest part was getting used to the weight -- the Franklin sousaphone is probably 80 years old, and is tightly wound plated brass. He said that he wouldn't want to march with it. :) (I suspect it's more tightly wound than current fiberglass sousaphones so that it's easier to wear.)

    This year's recipient of "I don't remember planting this" is five oriental poppies in the side garden. They haven't bloomed yet, so I don't know what color they are.


    May. 24th, 2017 05:32 pm
    jennlk: (mink frog)
    So the roof is coming down and going up. The old shingles are being removed and hauled off to the skip (by me, mostly); and there are new shingles going up. All while dodging rain, as one does in late May.

    Also yesterday, I dashed off to town to say goodbye and good luck to the Theatre Guild advisor/director, who is moving to Hawai'i with her partner. I missed saying farewell to the middle school band director because it was at the same time. I'll have to track him down some other time. OTOH, I got to put my farewell note in the newsletter. :) It was somewhat distressing how difficult it was to get someone in the Music Boosters to write a farewell note -- he's been in the district for over 15 years, and every band kid has played for him; but getting anything other than a generic 'goodbye and good luck' out of anyone was a struggle (then again, that's why there was space for my comments). DB missed the Theatre Guild banquet because he was working the middle school concert; I had him convey my best wishes. :/

    I planted the pansy I got on Mother's Day yesterday. It took me 20 minutes to clear out the ground cover in the bed where I wanted it to go. While doing that, I found that the sedum that I'd planted there was not gone, just overwhelmed.

    The multifloral columbine in the front flowerbed has so far avoided being squished by shingles, and is looking quite nice -- lots of small dark red with creamy white center flowers. The coral bells haven't been quite so lucky, but they're just a little flattened. The bleeding hearts in the other front bed are quite battered, but they often look like that at this time of the year -- a hard rainstorm will often flatten them. I'm not too worried about them.
    Saturday and Sunday, J and I moved that ton and a half of block. This time, it's in a wall. It got pretty squishy at the base of the wall, where it's just tamped dirt -- we got 2.5 inches of rain between when we laid the first course on Saturday evening and when we got outside Sunday afternoon. Now we get to figure out what goes inside the wall, other than "no chipmunks". I am creaky today.

    The weeds are getting ahead of me again -- I can either move block or weed, and moving block has been winning or the weather's been unsuitable for weeding. Last week, when DB and I unloaded the block, it was 80+F; two days later it got up to 59F with drizzle.

    The van is visiting the church parking lot, as there's a skip in the driveway -- the roofer starts tomorrow, weather permitting. He's expecting materials (shingles, OSB, ridge vent) to show up later today. (We've been in the house for over 20 years; can you tell? New floors, new appliances (and we're semi-looking at new fridges), new roof.)
    Work progresses on rebuilding the rill. Yesterday, DB and I moved nearly two tons of concrete, 30 pounds at a time. (the blocks for the back of the rill had to be moved out of the trailer. each block weighs 17 pounds. and then there were the 14 pavers at 40 pounds each.)

    J yanked out one of the volunteer junipers that was too close to the rill -- it was crowding the old rill, and the new rill will probably wind up being a bit wider, and shifted a bit -- so the rill looks even weirder now. The pump is currently running, despite the leak (I just water the pond every morning when I go out to feed the birds), but the rill is just naked liner on a stepped bed of sand.

    We made a detour into appliances in the course of getting the block, and came home with a new washer and dryer. People tell us that we probably won't get 20+ years out of the new ones, but they told us that about the old ones too, and they're still going strong (we got them when we moved to Ypsi in 1993). The washer lid should probably be replaced, but other than that I think they'd run for another 5-10 years. (They might stop working tomorrow, too. One can rarely tell with these things. J's debating whether to pass them on through FiA or Stockbridge Outreach (they're better than no washer/dryer), or just disassemble them for the motors and recycle the metal.)
    So, we've known for a while that we have at least one raccoon who climbs the post to the "house" birdfeeder and flips the top open so he can get the birdseed inside it. I don't know if it was a different one last night, or if it was pissed off, but last night it ripped the plexiglass side out of the feeder. There are grooves cut in the wood of the feeder for the plexi to slide into, and the wood on the outside was split right off.

    We've had that feeder up for 15 years at least, repainted the roof of it at least once, replaced a roof panel once, and it was finally done in by a brat of a raccoon. I was able to wedge the side in, but I'll have to replace the feeder, probably today.

    In other news, Wednesday afternoon I went out to weed, and was almost thwarted by dry ground. The east bed dries out quickly, and the weeds I was trying to pull have lots of very fine roots that don't like coming out of dry ground. I had to work each plant out, rather than just pulling like I can when the ground is soft. And then it rained Wednesday evening and Thursday, so it should be easy to work. It's also not even 50F, and that's too cold for me to weed.

    Wednesday evening I went off to Saline HS to this year's collaboration concert, even though I had no kid on stage. Damien was directing, and I thought that Saline's bands were very good at Festival this year. (It's really odd, going to a concert that I don't stack-and-rack afterwards.) It was a pretty good concert -- SHS had invited Livonia Churchill HS out for this year's concert. I don't like LCHS' director (bad experiences at Festival), but I can't deny that she's a good director and good with her kids. Damien did HR Reynolds' O Magnum Mysterium with Saline's band, and it was gorgeous. (Ok, I'm biased because I really like that piece anyway, and any chance I have to revel in those glorious chords I'll take.) He then did Saint-Saen's Pas Redouble with the combined bands. The FCB had just done this piece with a guest conductor, and he had added in an accelerando at the end. Damien apparently liked it, because he had the mass band do it that way. :)
    The state of the garden:
    • the sea of daffodils in the NW bed is fully in bloom, even the doubles are blooming. It has become evident that one of the things I need to do in that garden this year is divide the daffodils. I'll just spread them out in that garden. The next time I do it, I'll have to find a new garden to put some of them in. Maybe over by the forsythia, where the only early things are a few hyacinths and species tulips.

    • the strawberries are not happy, but I think we've got enough healthy plants that we won't lose them all. I should probably keep an eye on them, and go trim off the flowers so that they'll put their energy into growing rather than fruiting.

    • the garden by the side door is now in its "blue" stage -- the purple and white crocuses and the white snowdrops are done, and now it's grape hyacinths (which are a very blue purple), bluebells, squill, and chionodoxa.

    • the fritillaria in the east garden is actually blooming this year. Last year the flower buds got caught in the late freeze, and they never opened. There are a few species tulips blooming out there, but I expect more by the end of the week. I need to divide the reticulated irises this year because the clumps are getting awfully cramped.

    • there is a leak in the pond. quelle surprise. It's not too bad - I only need to top it off every couple of days.

    • we have a new crabapple tree in the backyard. It's replacing the rowan that never actually rooted, and came down in the windstorm last month.

    • we can actually see the daffodils by the wellpoint from the house! With the big lilac and the tallgrass by the wellpoint cut back, we've got a view. The early bulb bed by the lilac has been extracted from the grass that had overgrown it while J wasn't mowing under the lilac, and I expect tulips later this year.
    Gosh, I hope so.

    We got over two inches of wet sloppy "snow" yesterday, and then it dropped below freezing, so there's a lovely crust of ice on top. Paved areas were pretty much too warm for the snow to accumulate, but not so the grass/flowerbeds/decks. It's melting quickly in the sun, but the side deck is in the shade of the house and the sunlight won't get to it until afternoon. And they're telling us to expect temps near 50F today, upper 50s tomorrow, and upper 60s on Sunday. Yeah, it's April.

    The cranes were picking birdseed out of the hanging birdfeeders this morning. Unfortunately, they're still very aware of movement inside the house, so I was unable to get pictures. :(

    J put the pump in the pond over the weekend, which is good. What was not good was that he unplugged the heated birdbath to do so. I had to go out with a pitcher of hot water (to melt the snow/ice mess) and then one of tap temperature to fill the birdbath.

    Last Saturday, while J was off at Robotics competition, DB and I went out with pruning shears & a pruning saw and cut back the lilac. The idea is to cut the whole thing back to 6"-8" and let it grow again -- it'd been ignored for 15 years, and was way overgrown, to the point that it wasn't flowering very much, and had a bad case of powdery mildew and the lichen that old lilacs get. We left the big trunks for J and the chainsaw (because I didn't know where it was). J went out on Sunday afternoon to deal with it, and the chainsaw wouldn't start. Maybe this weekend.
    - The concert went well. The guest conductor was impressed with the band and its musicality. He is, however, hopelessly immured in academia, or simply mis-spoke, when during his comments to the audience he said something about there being nine community bands in Michigan. Nine in Oakland County, maybe. I can rattle off at least nine without looking anything up! All new music for the next gig, including (as usual) a piece that's missing the BariSax part. Hooray for MuseScore. ;/

    - DB was unable to attend the concert, as they had a spring cleaning day for the scene shop -- after the four months of OneAct (including hosting a round) and the two months of Robotics, it was a bit disorganised in there.

    - the weather has mostly settled out. Today is clear and will be warmish, tomorrow is supposed to be warmer. And then we start the April Showers portion of the year.

    - the cranes have been getting noisier about "their" territory. I don't think they'll ever charge, but they sure do make a lot of noise, and one of them mantled at me the other day when I surprised it. The finches are getting their summer color.

    - I did get into the garden last week. Only once, but that's better than I've been doing. The milkweed and daisy stems are now cut back and a lot of grass has been pulled. The giant crocuses in the side garden bloomed last week. The bunnies ate the small irises in the east bed, as they do.
    The cranes are still hanging around in the backyard. They're usually pretty quiet (not much to worry about if you're a 3.5 foot tall bird), but today they were answering the civil alert siren test.

    I have mostly finished cutting back things in the garden -- the larger daisies still need to be done, as does the blanket flower, but leaving them uncut all winter doesn't do them any harm, it just looks ragged.

    The tree is up but undecorated. We may get to it next weekend, we may not. DB will be working a show Fri & Sat, and I may be working the recount. That depends on the outcome of the suit filed against the recount petition. If it's on, I go in at 8am Wed and we work 10 hour days until the count is done. Including weekends, because we need to be done by 14 Dec. Training is Monday afternoon, and we find out then whether we're actually doing the count.

    My back has been being variably cranky for the last month -- I think it will get better if the weather ever stabilises.
    (the one I detailed a few months ago), albeit with a few modifications. The upholstered recliner is still downstairs, and will be moved upstairs after Christmas (the accent chair from the living room is in the den, rather than in the library at the top of the stairs where it usually goes for the holiday season). The mattress is actually under the futon, although that required J building risers (even a cheap mattress is 7.5 inches deep, and the base angle of the futon-as-sofa is 4.5).

    The dresser from the nook went off to Goodwill -- it was SR's college apartment dresser, and then KM used it for a while, but we really have no need of it anymore. When DB goes off to an apartment, he'll either be moving out (taking his current set) or we'll buy him another dresser. It's not worth trying to store it somewhere.

    I had a pretty shelf unit that I picked up at IKEA a couple of years ago, because I liked it and it wasn't clear how long they'd be making it. It's been sitting in the basement, still boxed, ever since, but now it's in the den, replacing a smaller unit that was crammed full. It looks much better, and I've even gotten a few more things out of boxes (from a few years ago when we redid the bookshelves upstairs, not from when we moved!).

    We bought a Xmas wreath (from the Scouts) on Saturday because we were out anyway and remembered -- we don't usually get into town on the weekend, so I figured we should do it while we could. The wreaths are good for a couple of months, so putting it up now rather than mid-December shouldn't make any difference.

    On Sunday, I played at church, and then came home and cut back perennials. The bleeding hearts are cut back, as are the peonies and the goldenrod. I left the dead nettle and the painted nettle because they're still green! The daisy stems should be cut back too, but I'd already filled the garden cart twice, and it's supposed to dry out again on Tuesday afternoon. I brought the garden decor in, other than the gate, which may or may not get into the garage -- it'd be fine outside, so it just may stay out.

    The hawk has been lurking in the garden this morning. He looks wind-ruffled and damp. But he's still alert enough to sense me moving around in the house, so I haven't gotten a picture. :(


    Nov. 17th, 2016 08:07 pm
    jennlk: (stompety)
    So that happened. But life goes on. (I suspect it helped that I was locked away until 11pm, and then I came home and went to bed without turning radio/TV/internet on.)

    Last weekend, J and I ran off to Chicago for WindyCon; where I saw people I don't see often enough (which is unlikely to change, unless we move, and then it will be a different set of people we don't see often enough).

    In band news, I have had to transcribe yet another BariSax part, this time from the score. mutter.

    We still have not had a night cold enough that there's been ice on the pond -- there've been a couple of days when I've had to break ice out of the birdbath, but not enough to even warrant getting out the heated birdbath. I spent an hour pulling grass and cutting back the Russian Sage in the northwest flowerbed in preparation for the snow we may or may not get. (If I leave it up, we get a lovely drift across the end of the driveway; if I cut it back, the drift is less than halfway across the driveway.) They tell us we may have snow this weekend. We shall see. The larkspur plants that are blooming will be dismayed by snow, but everything else seems to be settling in for chilly weather.

    Thanksgiving is next week. I have no idea what we're going to have for dinner. DB says ham, so I guess that's what we'll do. It will be SR's birthday on Thursday, and I haven't gotten her care package in the mail yet, so it will not be there in time. BadMom moment. I have gotten her presents, though (most will not be sent to her because she'd have to bring them back). so there's that.
    There was a skin of ice on the birdbath this morning, although the pond was unfrozen. I brought in the hummingbird feeders, as I haven't seen a hummingbird in two or three weeks. The farmer came through to harvest the soybeans in the field early this week, and since then has been through with a disk and a spray rig that I've seen -- he probably came through with a planting rig while I was gone one day, planting winter wheat or rye. I won't know which until it comes up.

    There was a last flush of blooms on the hardy hibiscus in the east garden -- some of the stems that came up very early this summer set buds in mid-September, and a few bloomed before the frost got them. I spent about 90 minutes out in that garden, pulling grass and weeds, and there's probably that much more work out there. I still have to finish the NE garden, but between the ants and whatever weed I'm allergic to out there, I'm a bit leery of it right now. I'll wait for the next frost.

    I've been going in to file books in the K-2 library. Thursday I spent 3 hours there, and could probably do that every day if I wanted to.

    I have gotten as far as pondering a costume. I really need to get started on that -- I'm going to be gone much of next week, as Mum and I are heading south on Wednesday (I'm going as far as western NC and driving back, she'll be going on to FL with her sister, then flying back to MI).

    Natter, again.

    Oct. 5th, 2016 12:46 pm
    jennlk: (white daff)
    I reprised my role as music librarian on Monday, and missed about 20 minutes of rehearsal digging through the files looking for tuba parts for the Tuba Cavalry (SB was sitting in because all the regular tuba players were not going to be at rehearsal, but because they were last-minute no-shows their music was not in the building). OTOH, I found the proper tuba & barisax parts for Semper Fi, and a proper BSax part for another piece, and a complete second page for Victors, so it was time well spent. And now the 4th tuba folder (currently unused, but we're expecting AW back after football) is complete.

    In football-that-I-sort-of-follow, CHS is undefeated on the season. No performance hangover from making it to the State Final last year, apparently. CMU is playing poorly, after starting off the season reasonably well -- Coach made a comment that he'd rather be doing chemo than lose like they did in the rivalry game last Saturday (and he knows chemo, having been finishing it off during the season last year). SR was streaming the game, and said it was horrible. (I was watching the Tigers game, which was better played but the results were the same -- a devastating loss.)

    DB and I counted 14 frogs yesterday, and then we moved, and three frogs that we hadn't counted jumped into the pond. And then we noticed a Big Frog in the rill. So the frog count is now 18. Whee!

    I've spent the last three days pulling weeds in the NE garden, and I think there's still a day's worth of work out there, maybe more. There's a poke-y weed out there that I'm mildly allergic to, so I have a lovely arrangement of itchy things on the inside of my right arm, where the long sleeves ride up as I reach for weeds. Should dig out the shirt with extralong sleeves & thumbholes before doing more weeding.....

    Tomorrow I need to ponder - with fabric in front of me - a Halloween costume for the concert. Currently, I'm thinking I'll add skirt hikes and a ruffled petticoat to the taffeta skirt from last year, and a longer jacket, and go more steampunk than it was last year. The other thought is to build a new pirate-y jacket (I was never happy with the old one, and finally put it in the rummage a couple of years ago). The theme this year is "Area 51", so I could go in that direction, but that will require perusal of my pattern stash to see what I have in the way of space-themes (the music selection is skewing heavily toward space movies - quelle surprise).
    and, just to be contrary, there's an Easter Lily blooming in the side garden. It's the one that DB brought home from work at Easter. I planted it, as one does, and watered it when I watered the rest of that garden. The main stems died back in June, because it had been forced into bloom early and was thus done early. Apparently, another stem grew (tucked under the peony and larkspur in that area of the garden), and I didn't notice it because it was just another shade of green. I was wandering through the garden after a week or so of not (working on other gardens, out of town), and saw something that I thought was a milkweed pod that had burst, but it wasn't quite the right color, and then I got close enough to actually see what it was. We'll have to see if it blooms again in the spring, or if it's going to be an autumn lily.

    The bitty frogs are getting bigger and a bit braver, so it's easier to count them -- they don't sproing for the pond as soon as you get close. One day last week, some animal fell into the pond -- we think it was probably a dog -- the pond grass is all knocked over in one section, and the frogs were really skittish for a couple of days.

    The Indigo Rose tomato that I planted has ripe tomatoes on it, finally. They look better than they taste -- not that they taste bad, there's just not a lot of flavor there. The other tomato plants are also bearing, although the yellow cherry has a lot of split fruit on it because of the wildly varying levels of rain we've been getting.

    Last weekend, J and I ran off to Cheboygan and Mackinaw City to do the BridgeWalk with friends ([ profile] jebra and others). We couldn't really do it when the kids were in school, because they had to be in school on Monday, and were usually busy over the weekend anyway. It was a fun trip. We went up Saturday, and Sunday we spent touristing around Mackinaw City -- the icebreaker museum was open, so that was our afternoon sorted. Then it was up at 4:15 to eat first breakfast and drive to Mackinaw for another round of breakfast before we caught a bus over to St Ignace to be there at 7am when the first walkers went off. We finished sometime before 9am, and got our BridgeWalk certificates (#3314). Then we went back to the state park and struck camp, and then to the bridgewalk in Cheboygan, followed by another breakfast and then home. It was fun, I expect we'll do it again.
    The FCB is having a big concert on June 26, the culmination of the seasonlong celebration of the band's 50th anniversay -- in Orchestra Hall, home of the DSO and a really, really nice performance space. We have big name guest conductors coming in (H Rob Reynolds and Ronnie Wooten). Monday we had H.Rob come in to work on the pieces we're doing with him, and Saturday is a 6 hour workshop where we'll work on bits and pieces of the other things, as well as discuss logistics and get our badges & parking passes. There's a concerto with a bass trombonist on the program as well, but I'm still not sure which movements from it we're going to do.

    Tonight, we get a different band-packing experience, as we're playing at Nardin Park UMC's Summer Music Series. A short gig (only an hour or just over), but we have to schlep everything over there and back again. In concert dress, not summer uniform. I'll be packing trousers to change into, because load-in/load-out is hard enough without doing it in a full-length skirt.

    In other news, I've gotten a few strawberries -- not many, because it's been so dry. The peonies are just about done, the irises are done, so all that's currently blooming in that garden is blanket flower, larkspur, and the poppies. Lots of stuff budding, though. The rosebush next to the house is pretty well covered in deep pink roses.

    SR says that she's seen a pair of orioles at the birdbath, and the kingbird is still hanging around.


    jennlk: (Default)

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