Sunday, July 29, 2007

Butterflies all over

I went to get my camera so I could show off the bracelet I made this week, but I was hijacked by some unusually amenable butterflies (names are links). They really do like bergamot and buddleia, and oregano. It's glorious here, more bumblebees than you can count. Still too hot, though.
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Eastern Tailed-Blue

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American Copper
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Atlantis Fritillary

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Two-Spotted Skipper

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This one I haven't figured out yet. There are also Monarchs and cabbage whites and pale yellows
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And daylilies and frogs.
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I can't begin to do justice to the hummingbirds, them with their special-effect flying and dysfunctional family life. There is chittery cursing everywhere and deeply-involved dive-bombing high-velocity chittering UFO's. Flying knots. I worry they will be so intense they'll forget to miss my eyes.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Update update

I finally wrote something about the archaeological field school, to which I return tomorrow night for the last week. I have been having a decent time despite spending this week at work instead of in the field. It has been sickeningly hot (which I am handling worse and worse) and I am glad Doug and everyone survived. All cats are well and the archaeologist's lady has been getting better after her lumpectomy. Every time I move my right arm I think of how glad I am to be healthy right now. Aches and pains, yes, many, though MUCH better once I remembered to take Ibu or aspirin first thing in the morning as well as after the damage of the day occurred. Opinion now suggests the muscle spasms in back were stress-related, since they got better on the the dig and went away altogether in Quebec. I have not had them back this week, though it was very definitely low-key semi-productive at work.

More soon, perhaps tomorrow.

Monday, July 09, 2007

On vacation

For the next two week sI am on vacation. The weekdays will be spent digging, and I will likely be blogging them from New Hampshire Underground. Any crafty things will probably get put here. I do wish I would sleep later henceforth, lovely and quiet though it is. And the cable internet was a wonderful surprise.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

A nice damp 4th

Well, I caught up on blogs (be sure to catch the sensitive artistic rendering on New Hampshire Underground). Then I finished weeding the small flower garden in the front and mulching it with well rotted horse-manure. The soil was dry enough to pull some excellent long grass rhizomes out, though bindweed needs something like a Mohole-borer to actually reach roots. I need to plant some more mid-season daylilies or something.The cosmos has self-seeded from last year very nicely.

Then Doug and I dug a small adjunct pond near the main puddle. This is in pure clay (this year I really will make pots out of it) and since it has been so dry it didn't quite fill while we were digging. It was noticeably wet and heavy with very clean worms. We called quits after four little cartloads of dirt apiece to a dip in the location sort of near the compost heap. Which cartloads were small but pulled up a short hill were quite heavy enough. It will be a nice size.

I wanted to work on "deep" and tidy up the loose at the bottom. Doug kept saying it wasn't going to rain, so he gets to try to tidy the bottom now that it's wet. I haven't said I told him so but he knows.

I should mention, because I forgot, that last Sunday we killed and ate Spike. My friend the ThD/DVM was here. She knows how to kill and gut things. I know how to cook. On the one hand, both of my parents and 99.99999% of the human species throughout history have eaten things they knew before the things became groceries. On the other hand, even though he was tasty and I know eating him is reasonable payback for a LONG life for a chicken (16 free-range months, with rapine and pillage), and good except for one minute of angst, I just was not entirely happy about consuming him. It was good chicken, not "the best I have ever eaten," though (it tasted, well, like chicken). Now it is much quieter here; Faith only crows a reasonable amount and doesn't attack anyone. It remains to be seen whether the hens grow back their feathers.

Anyway, after several nice rests and cans of seltzer, we bottled wine. I got to
use the new corker which really is nice. The wine, however... I made a batch that stayed in the carboy for two years after I moved here. It tastes strange to me, oddly grapey and as though someone had used Welch's grape juice. By the time I bottled it I had forgotten what kind it was (I know. Keep better records. I mean to use sunscreen and eat a more balanced diet too) and I thought perhaps the taste was a result of its cavalier handling. I have about a dozen bottles left; it's better it you leave it open for about three days; aerating helps some and is slightly faster. So for the first wine kit after this semi-debacle (I wonder if it would be tastier mixed with orange juice? Or grenadine? [Or run through a still?]) I took care. Unfortunately I didn't go with one of the Cabernet kits I have used before; I tried a Zinfandel . It tastes remarkably like the batch I made three years ago and mistreated. I think I really don't like kit zinfandel. Live and learn. I wonder how much I can unload at the dig?

It began to rain. We needed rain. I am sorry for all the holiday makers and campers-out at fireworks displays, but we needed rain. About 2/3 of the tadpoles have apparently transformed and gone, but we need the puddle to stay wet for the adult green frogs and the newts. To say nothing of my neglected perennials.

Then I washed up and we went to see a friend's new apartment, which is in a
house not an apt. complex, in Nashua. Nashua is Far. It is lovely (hardwood floors, interesting walls) and much more tranquil than her old place, where she could hear when anyone flushed the toilets somewhere down the hall. Curiously, I was not much company and kept zoning out. I must really be in crappy shape, as Doug was lively and
cooked the steaks. Our friend apologized for the cancellation of the fireworks, but I was okay with it, pointing out I had come to see her new apt., not fireworks.
She was pleased. It was pleasant. She killed us at Skip-Bo. I tried to stay awake all the way home.

Doug says the new pond has a frog in it already. Who says there's no need for
affordable housing?

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

And continues well

The operation went well and nothing untoward was found outside a well-encapsulated slow-growing malignancy. Summer can continue.

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The weather seems to vary between God-awful hot and rather on the cool side. I like the cool side, although it is sometimes unnerving to have to wear a long-sleeved shirt in July.

As a way to deal with my anxiety over Deb (I think the archaeology boss's wife can have her own name) I thought about talismans. I made her one, realizing that the best ones always give people only what they already have, though one hopes it will enhance the quality and make it easier to draw upon. Since Deb does InformationTechnology in a public school she can always use more:

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and the lily pads are the ones in the back yard.

I had another crown prepped and my tooth keeps hurting.

My boss is often on vacation and I am working (ineffectively) on inventorying the Bibles. Next week I will be on vacation. This is a good thing, because my office work ethic is flickering out. Inventory by yourself is really slow.

I should craft more and play Solitaire less.