Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Gay Marriage

I do support it.

Thank you Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Iowa aAdd Imagend now Maine for remembering what equal protection under the law means.

Today's movie quote: Sally Cato: [before a fox-hunt] Well? Shall we to the hounds? Auntie Mame: [muttered] Yeah, I'd love to meet your family. "Auntie Mame" of course.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Stupid Stupid Rain

This has been quite the rainy April here in Boise and I can only think it is good for the fruit trees, the garden and clearly, the plate-sized peonies growing in my front yard. These were planted quite some time ago by a previous owner and I gladly followed the wise advice of a neighbor not to touch these bushes. Each Spring they come back - pink or ivory - in such spectacular fashion they take my breath away as if for the first time. So I won't fret being housebound even though I'm aching to plant my transplants and get my summer vegetable seeds started outside. It's just as well since local legend admonishes us not to plant such stock "before the snow is off Shafer Butte" which is the crest of our still-snow-pocked local ski hill. Shoulder season = can't ski, can't garden.

Today's movie quote: See blog title. "Impromtu"

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Office Space

With all the rain preventing us from our preferred Sunday plan of hiking around the new Owyhee ("ah-wah-hee") Wilderness area - specifically Leslie Gulch just over the border in Oregon - I decided to do to Mister's office what the deluge is doing to the outdoors: namely turn something from blue to green. The colors in this house when we bought it ranged from orange faux texture in the living room (a subject worthy of a future blog so hideous was the treatment) to primary colors in the rooms downstairs. It will be two years in August that we've lived in this beautiful 1945 ranch house and we've tried to tone things down as quickly as possible but I've avoided Mister's office as if it was a paper-strewn, cobwebbed, basement office.

Covering the desk with drop cloth contained the paper hurricane part of this nightmare but I had to call in Benjamin Moore to perform a good old fashioned exorcism on this baby blue.

In what may be a first for me, I actually picked out the color (HC-110, Weathersfield Moss) on my first try. This color is perfect. Warm, soothing, masculine. The poster on the wall reads "You write what you're told - Thanks Corporate News - We couldn't control the people without you". We saw this same poster while visiting Bozeman, MT and Mister loved it so I ordered it online and gave it too him for Christmas. It's by an artist named Erik Larsen who takes old 40's era propaganda images and reimagines them in light of contemporary issues. Perfect for a journalist's home office I'd say. And just in case that message isn't enough to get a working stiff through the week, there is always the comfort provided by the watchful eyes of Messrs Williams and Marley. I like to think they are telling us it's okay that we can't make music; they made enough for everyone.
Today's song lyric: Welcome to the workin' week. Oh, I know it don't thrill you, I hope it don't kill you. Welcome to the workin' week. You got to do it til you're through it so you better get to it. Elvis Costello

Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Canal Runs Through It

I've posted previously about the canal that runs along the base of our property but some details are in order. It has been back "on" for some time now which is to say that water is a big deal in the Intermountain West and must be cherished. This is why we are killing all the grass in our front yard and planning a new Xeric landscape so that we can focus all our water needs on the food-producing parts of our garden. Mister installed a new pump this weekend and is currently writing "I will turn off the pump" 100 times on the chalkboard. I killed the previous pump in the same manner (i.e. leaving it on without water flowing through it) and now we've pretty much learned our respective lessons.
Ours is the only property along this stretch of canal that has a bridge which you can just make out in the lower right corner. It comes in handy for hauling stuff in or out using Mister's 1979 Ford pick-em-up truck. But mostly it's a gathering point for the neighborhood kids of all ages who use it to dare each other into the (very cold) canal or as a platform for throwing sticks their dogs have to fetch. I always imagine the dogs making the "Scooby gulp" before plunging in.

Today's song lyric: Take me to the river. Drop me in the water. The Talking Heads

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Slash and Don't Burn

This is a slash heap created by the clippings from our fruit trees. There are actually more clippings not pictured so we've got our work "cut" out for us. Back in the day, Idahoans would burn their slash heap and the former owner actually left a ten-footer behind saying we were "all set for a bonfire." I must say this conjured up visions of pagan/voodoo rituals in my latent Irish/Southern heart and I was all prepared to dance around a ring of fire under a full moon with a Dick Chaney doll in my outstretched hand. It is probably for this very reason that slash burns were outlawed in Ada County years ago. So we had to haul all that junk to the dump in Mister's 1979 Ford pick-em-up truck using our trusty canal bridge of sighs. Combing through the pile as we hoisted it into the truck bed revealed less slash heap and more garbage pile comprised of all sorts of non-organic materials including a small child's desk. It only now occurs to me that we might have checked for the child as well. Sorry Junior.

Now that we have control over what goes into the slash heap, we can safely run the smaller branches and twigs through the chipper/shredder for a beautiful wood-chip mulch to use around the property. The larger branches will be sawed down to size for use as kindling to start next year's fires (in the lawfully prescribed fireplace). Now we just have to find the many many hours it will take to do this work. In the meantime, slash heap as garden sculpture anyone?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Black Dresses for Bleak Days

This is how my dress came back from the cleaners which bothers me on two levels. Firstly, it's a waste of resources to make this big cardboard hanger stuffer which I now have to return to them for reuse. But more disturbing is that the dress now officially looks better on the hanger than it does on me.

I wore this to the memorial. I haven't attended many memorials - not because I haven't lost so many already, I have - but rather because circumstances always prevented my going. But I can't imagine anything could compare with Andrea's service and maybe that's because no one can compare with Andrea. Her husband and sister set the tone and her mother, so sad, spoke with such composure it really set a high bar. All the friends spoke of decades-long friendships and I just kept wishing I'd met her sooner and that I had her still. I try to remain grateful for the nine years of extraordinary friendship we shared but when you have something so sweet, don't you want the whole dessert? With the thoughts of her suffering over and the planning for memorials done, all that's left is the missing part. I miss my friend and always will.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Flights of Angels

Just a series of photos today. I'm leaving tomorrow for L.A. and Andrea's Memorial service where I will see a lot of friends who will help me as I say goodbye to one.

Here is the canal that runs along the base of our property and from which, as soon as we finish installing our second new pump in as many years, we will use for irrigation.
The Elliot Blueberries we planted last week.

Who needs calla lillies? The lilacs are in bloom.
One of the two swings left behind by the former owners. At some point we are made to feel that we have to put away childish things but I've become quite fond of this swing which is a great place to rest for a moment before making the trek up that hill again and it has a wonderful view of the lilacs and the canal beyond. A new favorite spot for me.
With apologies to Joyce Kilmer, I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as my cherry tree. And speaking of poems, I watched "Sylvia" last night and yech. If only she'd noticed the oven at the beginning of the film, I could have those two hours back to actually read Sylvia Plath poems. In a sad coda to the Plath/Hughes relationship, their adult son, who sounds like a very cool guy living the life of a biologist in Alaska, killed himself recently.