ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today's visit to the bookstore was frustrating.  They have removed the entire "new books" section from speculative fiction and shuffled everything into the shelves.  There are still new books on tables and racks but not sorted by topic.  Apparently, this move is very popular.  It also means the bookstore is dying.

Why?  Because the people who shop that way -- looking at everything, and especially hunting for a bunch of stuff by the same author to buy all at once -- tend to be people who visit a bookstore once or twice a year, in which time the turnover will be high.  For those visiting once or twice a month, they've already seen everything except what arrived the last week or two. It's extremely tedious when you have to dredge the whole damn place every time looking for a needle in a haystack, even if you love books.

We complained.  I pointed out that if you make a bookstore unappealing to me, that is painfully bad service.  But it also means the store no longer appeals to major bookworms, that so many have quit coming it means the remaining customers are dabblers who apparently like it this way.  I pointed that out too.  But it's probably far too late to fix.

*sigh*  The past is a foreign country, and right now I'm homesick for when bookstores were soft quiet places full of BOOKS and didn't come with a hunk of electronics literally blocking the path into the store so it has to be sidled around.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
We went to visit my parents today.

This started with a trip to Danville Gardens, where I picked out three flats of small plants, another of gallon-sized plants, and a bag of tiny houseplants.  Lots of annual flowers for pots, some herbs, a couple different flavors of peppers that I'm going to try growing for Doug, a few perennials, a batch of tiny succulents I plan to plant in a saucer, and a couple of epiphytes.  There were also gardenias, jasmine, and bougainvillea in bloom, which we admired but didn't buy because they're greenhouse-only plants.  

Doug spotted a kinetic sculpture, basically three pendulums on a rack that can be set swinging.  He wanted to check the price, I thought it'd be too expensive, but it was only $99.99 which for garden art that size is a ridiculous bargain, and kinetics usually cost even more.  So I said, "Get it!" and we did.  :D  We still need to get a paver to put it on.

Mom picked out a western hat woven in shades of light and dark brown, very nice.  While we were looking at roses, I happened to spot a perfect Blue Girl, which despite the name, is actually supposed to be lavender.  They often aren't, but this one was the color shown in catalogs -- a pure, clear lavender.  \o/  Also it smelled intensely sweet.  So I grabbed it and put it in the cart for Mom, who is thrilled with it.

Another really cool thing: they had a huge roll of plastic sheets, for free, that you could tear off to line your trunk and protect it from muddy pots.  Brilliant.  In fact we saved it to cover the dining room table, because not all the plants would fit on top of the washer in the foyer.

Supper was also awesome.  We went to a different restaurant this time, Rich's Deluxe.  I'm not into salads, but I know what an awesome salad bar looks like, starting with they had mixed-leaf lettuce not just chopped iceberg.  Fresh bread in baskets.  A really great appetizer platter.  And lobster ravioli on special for $9.99, which was not as I expected a bit of lobster in a cheese filling, but rather hunks of lobster inside the pasta plus  whole shrimp and hunks of crab in the sauce. I think the sauce is an acquired taste -- a mix of marinara and alfredo which I'd never had before.  Kind of good, but unfamiliar.

Later when Doug and I were in Champaign, I found a ceramic pot glazed in the shade of blue-green you get from really nice copper glazes, for $12.99 which is about half what those usually go for.  :D  So this year I'm breaking from my usual tradition of giving Mom her Mother's Day flowers in a plastic hanging basket (which they now have all over the garden) and using this instead.  Should be fun.  But now I need to buy more potting soil because I have less than half of a big bag left, and I just got a ton of things that'll need potting up in bigger pots than they came in.  Plus whatever flowers I can find that'll look good in that pot -- probably white ones and some coppery coleus, because almost nothing blooms in that shade of blue-green.

Awesome day, aside from both of us being exhausted.  This was after  we spent 20 minutes this morning horsing the very heavy new tool cabinet out of the truck and into the house.  We got it onto the trolley, and even up the first step on the patio, but it jammed at the front door.  I wound up using a lever and fulcrum to raise the trolley wheels high enough to clear the threshold.  Physics is your friend.  ;)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today is sunny, breezy, and pleasant.  I took some pictures this afternoon.  I also cut weeds out of the septic garden and put more weed killer on the cut ends. 
ysabetwordsmith: Text -- three weeks for dreamwidth, in pink (three weeks for dreamwidth)
Here are a handful of trees and shrubs native to my area that I don't have and would like to acquire. I'm always watching for ways to improve my habitat.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Text -- three weeks for dreamwidth, in pink (three weeks for dreamwidth)
[personal profile] ari_the_dodecahedron found the link to the Plant Finder.

These are the trees and shrubs that I currently have growing in my yard here at Fieldhaven. We're in central Illinois, which used to be Zone 5b and is now Zone 6a. The tree that attracts the most species insects, I have several of: oak. If I remember right, we planted red oak, white oak, bur oak, and pin oak. That means my yard is hospitable to at least 342 species of winged peoples. :D I feel accomplished now!

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today I went out and cleared space to plant some morning glory seeds, then put those in the ground.

Although the weather forecast only calls for clouds, not rain, it is in fact still drizzling.  :/

On the bright side, a lot of the earliest planted grass seed is sprouting all over the streetside yard.  \o/ 
ysabetwordsmith: Artwork of the wordsmith typing. (typing)
These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Saturday Home Repair Progress
Saturday Yardening
Recipe: "Honey Cupcakes"
Friday Home Repair Progress
Poem: "Pesach Sameach"
Wednesday Home Repair Progress
Wednesday Yardening
Llewellyn Season is Open!
Good News

Three Weeks for Dreamwidth: see also [community profile] three_weeks_for_dw
Shock Rooms
Emotional First Aid
Officer Pink Recipes
Party Monitor Kit


Overall, the home repairs went well.  A whole bunch of stuff got fixed and finished.  Some other stuff is partially fixed, due to running out of time/spoons/materials or discovering partway through that it needed more work than anticipated.  (This is inevitable.  So's the running back and forth to half a dozen different stores.)  A few things turned out less than perfect, like buying new lights that were supposed to be bright blue-white that turned out a deep yellow, almost orange.  But perhaps we can find the blue-white bulbs later.  I have a working light in my closet, a towel bar that doesn't fall off if I blink at it, and other great stuff.  The situation is greatly improved.  \o/

At some point, I want to go through at least some of the stuff from the closet and sort the less-usable items into rag bag or charity disposal.  Now that I can see WTF I am doing in there.  In my copious spare time.  :/

There will be a Poetry Fishbowl on Tuesday, May 2 with a theme of "history written by the losers."  Please drop by then and give me prompts!


Poetry in Microfunding:
"A Hope and a Promise" belongs to Polychrome Heroics and has 6 new verses.  Saraphina enjoys a first aid lesson.  "Essential for Human Survival" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Cassandra.  Groundhog and Cassandra talk about whether to set aside dangerous things for a while.  "The Inner Transition" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies.  Stylet turns himself in to Valor's Widow.

Weather has been soggy all week.  The front has blown through, though, so today it is just cloudy and cold with standing water everywhere from all the rain.  We kept getting "flash flood" warnings except 1) it can't flash here and 2) the only warning you really need is when it starts raining upslope.  The fields will flood.  If it's also raining here, it goes over the road.  Pretty predictable.  The birdfeeders have attracted doves, grackles, some sparrows, and a blue thrasher.  Currently blooming: daffodils, tulips, violets, anemones, dandelions, white spirea, honeysuckle, spiderwort, carnations, marigolds, petunias, lantana, million bells, snapdragons, zinnias.  Onion chives and peonies have buds, and so does something in the white garden.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today our handyfriend replaced the light fixture in the foyer and in the closet.  \o/  

The six new mirror tiles are up in the bathroom.  Regrettably they are a fraction of an inch smaller than the old ones and thus don't line up at all.  :/  We have decided to buy six more tiles of the same brand, and plan on replacing the old tiles in October, when we can also redo the frame and do something about the background wall.

We also obtained a cheap, sturdy, serviceable towel bar. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today is gray and damp, but not raining at the moment.  We took advantage of not-raining-right-now, so Doug raked the last part of the old raspberry patch and I put down grass and clover seed. 

EDIT 4/29/17: I planted the last two wildflowers.

The mourning dove nest above the door seems to have failed, as I found two eggs on the patio today.  I am not displeased by this, as I don't like birds nesting in the gutters.

It has been raining off and on, sometimes heavily, for days and the fields are flooding.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today's accomplishments include:

* Picked up new printer from office store. 

* Found superbright tube lights in narrow pairs.  :D 3q3q3q !!!!  We're going to put two pair in the library, upgrading its lighting to brilliant, and one pair in the foyer, bathroom, and closet which do not require as much light.

* Bought six 12x12" mirror tiles for the bathroom.  Determined that fixing the mirror itself is feasible on this trip, but the area around it (where the cheap crappy wallpaper is coming loose) will need to wait for the next round in October.  Our handyfriend is having enough fun to have suggested a subsequent trip.  We are happy with this idea.

* Discussed the possibility of upgrading a bathroom window, currently covered with crappy plastic, to a textured glass pane instead of trying to replace the whole damn thing with glass blocks.  The feasibility of this will depend on the construction of the window, and would have to wait for later, but we were in a glass store and I saw their very pretty display of glass options so I brought it up.

* Looked at more towel bars and found that almost all of them have crappy unstable construction.  So I'm going to see if anything better is available online, and if not, we can get the boring but sturdy one we saw earlier.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This week we're patching up things around the house with help from some friends.  (Actually, one of them is doing most of the work.)  So far today ...

* One bookshelf has had its broken shelf repaired and others upgraded to metal brackets.  Another has been declared nonrepairable.

* Two chandeliers have been fixed so all the bulbs light up.  We'll need to get new candle sleeves for a couple of the sockets though. 

* Two wooden chairs have been glued and strapped to stabilize loose parts.

* An outdoor porch light has been fixed so it lights up now.

I may have forgotten stuff too.  Yay, progress!

EDIT 4/26/17: We went out to look at fixtures.  Bought a new showerhead for the back bathroom, which is dual-function stationary ring with removable handheld head.  Discussed possibilities for lighting but haven't bought anything yet.  After seeing the available options, I successfully lobbied for upgrading rather than just repairing the old fluorescents in the new part of the house.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today is gray and mild with a brisk breeze.  I planted four things in the wildflower garden before it started trying to rain.  Also Doug and I moved the big fallen log from the ritual meadow to the east side of the wildflower garden.

The first of the grass seed that I sowed in the forest yard is starting to sprout.  Yay.  Yay. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
A male cardinal was engaged in trying to peck my window open, for reasons best known to him.  Not wishing to have my window pecked open, I gave him a territorial whistle in his own language.  He looked up and cocked his head in a listening way.  I whistled again.  He flew off.  This is quite different than a bird's feather-ruffling startle flight.  I have successfully communicated "You should not be doing that in my territory" to a bird.  \o/ 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I just got the first message from one of my editors at Llewellyn Publications, and another one will be making assignments in May.  So far I'm talking about the Witchy Tips for the Witches' Datebook, September in the Witches' Calendar, and ideas for the Magickal Almanac. The Herbal Almanac isn't scheduling yet as there will be some changes to it.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (neutral)
Today I took just a couple of pictures.

This yellow-and-orange purslane is in a hanging pot by the barrel garden.
This yellow-orange purslane is in a hanging basket by the barrel garden.

Here is the plant tower on the septic cap.  It had a little globe that lit up from solar power, but the tower blew down in today's wind and the globe came off.  I'll have to see if that can be fixed and reattached.
This is the plant tower on the septic cap.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
While cleaning house, Doug found some misplaced bulbs, so I went out and planted those.

Today is sunny, warm, and breezy. 

EDIT 4/25/17: Round 2, I planted a butterfly weed beside the barrel garden and prairie onion in the septic garden.  Then I watered plants.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (neutral)
These pictures were taken yesterday, I just didn't have time to post them then.

Walk with me ... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today was sunny and warm again.  In various rounds of yardwork, I sprayed weed killer on the back yard around the old raspberry patch and under the mulberry tree, and pulled weeds around the forest garden.  I also put out my flat of wildflowers to get some sun, and brought them back in again. 

The certificate and sign for my Wildlife Habitat have arrived, so I'll need to find fixtures for displaying those.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Discord and Accessibility
Homeless and Homefree Characters
Poem: "A Realm of One's Being"
Sunday Yardening
Poem: "You Who Have Fed the Hungry"
Poem: "Her Wilderness Like Eden"
Poem: "Define Your Own Reality"
Saturday Yardening
Poem: "What You're Living For"
Friday Yardening
Today's Adventures
Thursday Yardening
Hard Things
Wednesday Yardening
Tuesday Yardening


The bonus fishbowl went modestly well, and I have posted a few poems from that.

Poetry in Microfunding:
"A Hope and a Promise" belongs to Polychrome Heroics.  Saraphina makes a new friend.  "Essential for Human Survival" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Cassandra.  Groundhog and Cassandra talk about whether to set aside dangerous things for a while.  "The Inner Transition" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies.  Stylet turns himself in to Valor's Widow.

Weather has been variable.  Today is warm and sunny.  The birdfeeders have attracted doves, grackles, some sparrows, and two blue jays.  Currently blooming: forsythia, daffodils, tulips, blue grape hyacinths, violets, anemones, lilacs, dandelions, white spirea, honeysuckle, spiderwort, carnations, marigolds, petunias, lantana, million bells, snapdragons, zinnias.  Onion chives and peonies have buds, and so does something in the white garden.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today is beautiful, sunny and warm.  I started by planting the contorta hazelnut.  :D

White spirea and nannyberry are blooming.  The peonies have buds, and something in the white garden has put up one big bud -- probably the allium.

EDIT 4/23/17: Round 2, Doug put together the plant tower, and we placed it on the septic cap.

EDIT 4/23/17: Round 3, I put protective covers over the contorta hazelnut, and planted the kousa dogwood.

EDIT 4/23/17: Round 4, I put a spiral cover over the kousa dogwood, mulched around it and the contorta hazelnut, and watered plants.

EDIT 4/23/17: Round 5, I put weed killer on weeds in the septic garden.

EDIT 4/23/17: Round 6, I picked up fallen wood in the ritual meadow.  Didn't get it all done, but moved most of the medium-sized pieces, some of which I used to refresh the border around the wildflower garden.  There is still one really big branch that will take more hands to move.

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