Saturday, February 27, 2010

Possibly more than you want to know about how my weekend is going I will not say a lot about it, but make it a brief Public Service Announcement. I bought this thing a year ago and couldn't muster the courage to try it, so it occurs to me that others may have the same misgivings.

I was sure that it would cause a burning sensation like the ones I got as a kid, when swimming pool water went up my nose. I hate that a lot but, much worse, I thought it would resemble the sensation of drowning. No way. Pass.

I had to be miserable enough to give in and try it, and o! I found out I'd been wrong. So wrong. Using a neti pot feels wonderful. It needs repeating at intervals over the day, but it feels so good that I don't mind. Maybe it will shorten this cold/allergy/whatever is attacking me.

Happy weekend.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Got cats? Got box springs?

Whose fur this is, I think I know.

We had two problems. One was that Very Hairy Cat, otherwise known as Downyflake, tore open the underside of the box spring (a misnomer - they rarely, if ever, put springs in them anymore) to crawl up into. After living over the years with several cats who discovered this, I'm pretty sure that it's a favorite cat-thing to do. We tried to block access with a messy and dust-collecting little village of boxes which, obviously, didn't even work.

The other, more superficial problem was that the ugly bare box spring showed. (Last photo, inset.) We gave up the bed skirts, for both access and cat-related reasons, long ago. Neither our light summer blanket nor the heavier winter comforter dangles down far enough to cover it.

I honestly don't know whether I read this idea someplace, or made it up myself. But it occurred to me that:

nice sheets over the box springs would disguise their upholstery, and ...

putting those nice sheets over the undersides of the box springs -- i.e., sheeting them upside down -- would block Downy from his little cave.

So we did, after as much fur removal by hand and vacuum-cleaner as we could manage. This should work on any size bed. I individually sheeted each of the 2 twin beds we have pushed together to make a king-size, and used plain ones of a generic color to blend with the linens and the room, but there are plenty of ways to use the idea with anything, from K-mart's cheapest to designer patterns. Here, there's not much point in trying to make it look all HGTV-y since the stored items under the bed are still exposed. It looks good to me. This is a hard-working living space.

With cats.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Broccoli Diaries

The snow didn't harm the broccoli plants, but that didn't amaze me. They'd thrived through lots of nights at 5-10 degrees below freezing, 'teens-to-20's f.

What surprised me was that we're still getting below-freezing nights most of the time, and ... sink me, if there aren't florets starting! Now. Buds have appeared in three of the plants. The biggest one is pictured below, sharpened for clarity.

And I now own a book called Vegetable Gardening in Florida. This isn't Florida but advice that general books give for normal places just doesn't work in our coastal-SC summer heat. I don't yet know if it will solve any of my problems but I can already say that, if i'd read it first, these buds wouldn't have surprised me at all.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Once every 20 years

February 13, 2010
7:00 - 7:30 AM

An inexpert panoramic

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow and shirtsleeves. Kind of.

All right, two long sleeve shirts are a couple increments heavier than "shirtsleeves." But this is a strange snow "storm".

At 6:45 PM, I went outside to lock up the car. A few raindrops had fallen on the walkway.

I was not uncomfortably cold, even as I was dressed, in a double layer of longsleeve shirts, and sweatpants. No coat. I dawdled, petted a grumpy Scooter The Cat, who flopped onto the damp driveway and rolled to Cute me into letting him in. I apologized to him for not bringing out the key to his downstairs foyer.

If I could be that comfortable without a coat, I figured that any snow we got would be late-night, after the temp dropped.

At 7:00 PM Larry looked out and said, "It's snowing."

The car was already coated.

We both ran for our cameras. And I discovered something totally cool. Last year's snow flurries barely showed up in pictures, but night photography makes all the difference -- the flash captures the flakes in midair!

But this is decidedly strange. I was out there, again, coatless, snapping snowfall pix. My hands got cold but i was otherwise not too uncomfortable, even hanging out on the porch for a photography session.

Check out the snow layer that built up on the car in only 15 minutes! If it rains later, it will all wash away, but the radar sure looks like more is coming. This might be interesting.


UPDATE -- 10:00 PM :

Friday, February 05, 2010

We want to avoid confusion.

We're terribly afraid that you won't know what this is.

So we're calling it something that it's not.

But we're doing it very clearly.

So you won't be confused.

Thank you.