Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Photos, Tidbits & What-Not

It feels like a while since I wrote an entry that wasn't either "Look! I made another video!" or "Here's the news story that's making me angry today." ...And that's not to say that this one won't turn into something like either (or both) of those! (g)

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April 11th, family and friends came together to celebrate my maternal grandparents' golden wedding anniversary. The 10th of April marked their 50th year of marriage.

Then. . .

& Now. . .

Happy Anniversary!

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Tax Day Tea Party--

Wednesday, we went to Fairhope Pier, where a Tax Day Tea Party was gathering. We only caught the last bit, but it was long enough to at least get a feel for the atmosphere. There was a pretty good crowd, though I felt the younger generations were somewhat under-represented. This wasn't exactly a surprise-- and possibly (partly) an issue related to scheduling-- but still, it would've been nice to have seen a few more people my own age or younger.

It was good to hear some common sense and to be reminded that it does still exist outside my circle of family and friends. I'll definitely at least consider attending any local tea parties that may be planned for the future. (Just don't get me started on the completely biased coverage of the tea party "movement". Suffice it to say that apparently it's only a glorious, wonderful, oh-so-American thing to protest if you are protesting the media-approved issues. Otherwise-- you're just anti-government-- or, even worse, anti-CNN.)

Side note: Quite a few people had brought their dogs with them to the "party"-- Of course. Like I said, these were people with common sense. ;o)-- including one woman who had five Westies. What a handful!

After the tea party, we had pizza (yum!) and spent some time photographing and filming around the pier and park.

We saw a few squirrels:

And a sun dog:

We hung around until after a fairly spectacular sunset:

In fact, if you like, you can see part of that sunset for yourself (if you haven't already):

Sunset Fast-Forward from Michael Johansson on Vimeo.

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Patio and the Yard at Large--

Donald and I put in some more hours working in the yard this weekend, with the result that the patio is finally completely covered. We managed to get the shade cloth up before the heat really set in, so I'm counting that as success. Oh, and we also put up the little "roller"-style shade cloth thingy that we got to block the sun coming in from the west (so we can enjoy the shade in the late afternoon, too).

So far, it's working just as we'd hoped, providing us a shady haven from the blistering sun. Of course, the past couple of days haven't really been too bad to start with. Highs in the upper 70s with a steady breeze aren't much of a test. The real challenge will come along in July or so, when the mere act of breathing outdoors makes you work up a sweat.

For our next trick, we'll put up some railling (for charm) and lattice (for privacy/shade) on parts of the patio (well, unless we tackle the pump house first). Both of those jobs involve more priming and painting. (Everything seems to require priming and painting. It's a wonder the whole yard isn't white with spatters of paint.)

With all that fresh shade just outside the kitchen door, I ended up spending most of yesterday yarding. (Hey, these days any noun can be a verb-- even if a perfectly good verb is already in current use. Like, for instance, I could've written that I was "working in the yard", but that wouldn't have been nearly as trendy as "yarding" or-- ooh-- "efforting to put the yard into order".)

So, like I say, I was outside most of the day. Among other things, I planted some monkey grass (which I suspect may actually, technically be liriope, but "monkey grass" sounds more interesting) to edge a new bed on one side of the patio, hauled a couple loads of branches I'd pruned from trees around the yard (down to our burn pile), dug, pulled, and sorted an overgrown bed of perennials and weeds, and potted some montbretia (salvaged from the messy bed). There is still much work waiting to be done, but I suspect it will have to wait a little longer. I'm taking a day or two off from yard work-- or at least from the "down on my hands and knees" variety.

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Last week, I sorted and "rolled" (?) the spare change that had been accumulating for (probably) years. I think it came out to be over $80!

In the process, I spotted two "special" pennies-- a Canadian penny (which just happened to be from my birth year) and a "wheat penny" from the 1950s.

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If you've seen all the videos I've posted on Vimeo, you know that Trixie goes crazy when we use the water hose. (Yes, she still does that. It's getting to the point that it's annoying, in fact.) Well, she did it again, yesterday, while I was watering my newly-planted monkey grass. She of course got wet, and-- also of course-- proceeded to make a beeline for the red soil that I had earlier used to fill in a few low spots in the yard. If you know anything about dogs (particularly pesky Eskies), you will by now have guessed that she flopped onto the ground and began rolling in the dirt. *sigh*

Here she is shortly thereafter:

Doesn't she look happy?

Oh well. She still has some puppying to get out of her system. (I hope I hope I hope. Please let this by puppying. And please let it work its way out of her system, sooner rather than later.)

I guess she's worth a little extra trouble. ;o)