Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all our friends and family.

Well, we did have snow.

So far, so good. The lights still work and nobody's been electrocuted.

Mr. Bunny says: help get me outta here!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What does a gardener do in December?

He rakes the snow off the front yard, that's what. Or at least a small part of it.
As usual, the birch and plum trees didn't lose their leaves until the first snow. When Pat and I started to put up lights on Saturday, I noticed that most of the snow had melted right where we were going to put up Christmas decorations. What a great idea, why not get a head start on spring and rack the leaves first. After all, leaves are the mortal enemy of turf grass and doggy suprises are no fun either. We'll talk more about enemies later. I didn't go over board on the raking. The big part of the front yard still kept it's snow. Besides, there is always the possibility that Pat will call the garden or Christmas police on me.

This year we decided to concentrate our light fixtures near the house. Light fixtures is the correct term isn't it? Or should I be calling Mr. Penguin just that, Mr. Penguin? We brought the boys out with us. Bob likes the cold and snow, Fred, not so much. While the boys are cute to look at, they are next to worthless in helping us. They don't have thumbs and the deer with the movable head scares the snot out of them. They aren't so fond of Mr. Penquin or Mr. Snowman either.

Three years ago when we strung lights around our Charlie Brown tree, we were the only people in the neighborhood that did anything in the back yard. Now both our neighbors have stuff in their back yards, and the little tree isn't so little any more. Next year I'll have to use a ladder.

While we were plugging all the lights in, I had a revelation. We all have run into friends, aquaintances, and relatives who think the PRC (chicoms to those who wish) seek world hegemeny. Some think it will happen by military domination. Some think they will buy us out by buying our debt. I know the answer and I got the pictures to prove it. The answer is Christmas light connections. All those Peoples Liberation Army factories making Christmas lights for us. Someday, and it may be sooner then you think, tens of thousands of middle age men and women are going to go outside, plug the lights in and cause a nation wide meltdown of the electric grid. You wait and see.

Man, I can't wait for the next garden show to keep my mind off such things.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Let's get some plates.

So Pat says that she wants to go shopping for plates for her birthday. That calls for a short road trip to Newell WV (that's West Virginia and it's 2 hours away). It's the home of The Homer Laughlin China Co. maker of Fiestaware. Now this place is the Mecca for people who like plates. I'm telling you, there must have been a zillion plates at this place. That and guys standing around with 3 day old beards, baseball caps and cigarrettes hanging from the lips. Allright, I'm only kidding about the cigarettes, because there are no smoking signs all over. At first, I thought that maybe these guys worked at the place. Nah, I was wrong. These guys were just husbands without a sense of humor or adventure. Boy, I dug right in with Pat. We went to the seconds room first. There were piles and piles of plates and stuff. There were big plates, not so big plates, medium plates, and small plates. There were round plates, oval plates, triangle plates, and square plates. There were really big bowls, big bowls, you get the gist of it. And there were a ton of people all thinking the same thing: the plate I want is at the bottom of the pile.
You can hardly tell the difference from first grade and seconds. The people there are very friendly and they have places where you can stash your stuff and go back for more.

Pat did mention that we had to cross the world's scariest bridge to get to WV. Now, all bridges scare me. Some more than others, so I'm thinking, how scary can this bridge be. Well my first hint was that you have to use side streets (or what passes for side streets around here) to get to the bridge. For crying out load, this bridge crosses the Ohio River and I gotta use Otis to get to it. My second clue was the wood hut that is the toll booth. Well, I paid my toll, looked at the bridge wondering if I could ride the Aztec to the bottom, just in case, and drove , eyes focused in front of me, to the WV side. The only thing Pat said was, I told you it's the scariest bridge you've seen. Judge for yourself from the pictures.

The turkey and the Weber

Well, it's Thanksgiving and once again it's time to see if Jim can grill a turkey in the Weber. This year everything went right. Or was it was blind ass luck? You be the judge. Either way works for me. The turkey was 13 lbs. and cooked in 2 hours. Oh ya, it snowed today.

The last holdout

This is probably the last of the flowers from our yard till spring. Winter is on it's way and I'm not King Canute. I took these pictures on November 17. We still had a stella d'oro day lily and a geranium thinking that it was summer. The burning bush is in it's magnificent glory. The back yard still looks pretty cool. That bright do in the middle of the last picture is what passes as the sun in NE Ohio from November through April.