Sunday, March 23, 2008

Way Out West

The LW spent part of the afternoon with Aunt B. and came home smiling. It was a good thing to see and a relief for me. Last night when the dust had settled around the house, I reminded the LW that there was cowboy music over at Javalina's. It was a cool evening and CP could be out and about without too much clothing holding her back. The decision was quick and in no time we were on our way. It was a smallish crowd, but that made it all the more fun. I actually got to take some photos although there was another chap there doing the same thing. We all had a blast and Slim, the upright base player, came over to talk to CP after the gig and put his huge hat on her tiny head. Upon seeing that huge hat on top of this tiny head, I couldn't help but laugh out loud. If you're in the area, you really should check the calendar on the Javalina's site, and show up. It's a good gig for seeing local, and not so local, musicians. It's also a really good gig for parents with small kids. There's plenty of room to run in the parking lot.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

First Memorial Service

I've never been to a memorial service until today. My parents had me at a young age, so there haven't really been that many funerals in my history. Today's service was for a good friend who I knew through the gardening program. He was a good man with a good family. He was always on the go (to the point of us having to guess which part of the world he was in every month) and had just finished selling his business off to his two sons. I wish that I could have choked out a few words at the memorial about him being able to smile through pain and laugh through hardship, or how much of a calm and brilliant person he was...... but I just couldn't. I was so damned sad to see that this wonderful presence was gone. Some day soon, I hope to be able to tell his sons that they come from great stock and that I am proud to have known their father, but it'll have to wait a little while.

His time for the "golden years" was cut short, but as discussed at the service, he made the most of the time that he had and enjoyed life. I came away saddened that I had only known him for a few years, but I was reminded that not to make every year a golden year is just crazy. I think that he recognized early, as I have, that we're only on this rock for a short time. Not maximizing the enjoyment of the time we have is, as my grandfather says his father used to tell him at an early age, "burnin' daylight".

On the trip there, I thought of how few times in our lives we gather all of our friends near to say hello and to enjoy their company in one big ball. Weddings maybe and then funerals. This, to me seems a little bit silly. At one of these events, we're too busy putting together the shindig to enjoy it and at the other, we're dead. I told the LW that we should have a party some time soon and celebrate the living in our lives. After saying this, I feel lucky to have heard the LW remark that we'd have to rent out some place, because our yard isn't big enough for all of those people. Enjoy today, it's the only one you'll ever get.

Friday, March 21, 2008


I just heard this assessment on the radio and think that everyone should give it a listen. He talks about the money we owe, what it takes to keep our lives oiled, and puts it all together so that you can begin to see the where and why of things. It reminds me that no matter what happens in November, we're in for much of the same.....

Eight Diapers

The LW just told me that CP pulled eight diapers out of the bag and counted them all in sequence. She can almost get all of the alphabet and is making sentences as well. uhhh...yeah...... 22months old. Other big doin's in the bathroom this week too. Poopin' in the potty every now and then. I wish that we'd had a little potty a long time ago. I was just loath to buy another plastic potty device. Silly me.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Two Wheels

I was reading some of Chile's posts this morning and the wife and I got to diggin' around. We found these things:

Clever Cycles A & B

There's some really cool stuff out there and CP may be breezing along on something like this some time soon.

So, You Think You're Not Buying It.....

Well, it appears that if you walk down the isles at WholeWildSunflowerOatsMarket and pick up some things, then you may as well be buying those powdered orange noodles in the blue box. The LW just sent me this link. Boca, Naked, Odwalla, Earth's's all there.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Missed Harvest

I walked by a row of sugar snap peas yesterday that were just beautiful and as tall as I am. This morning, I found out that the owner of this garden plot that is so full of life, has passed away. He was a great friend and a wonderful gardener.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

In the Garden

This afternoon, CP and I spent some time inside the little garden fence. She spent quite a bit of it taking dirt from one of my rows and pouring it over the fence and onto the back of whichever chicken happened to be standing closest to her. At one point, I was finally prepared to plant butterbeans. To most of the world, they're known as lima beans or Henderson and Sieva lima beans depending upon whether you want them to climb or stay low to the ground.

Last year was a fairly good crop of Hendersons, but the Fordhook 242s didn't do very well. I called my paternal grandmother in Mississippi to keep her up to date with all things in the garden, and when she found out that I planted Fordhooks, she exclaimed, "my my son, that's them big'ol thangs, I never did like them...". If they're not good enough for granny, then I won't plant them again. It'd just be plain stupid to go against the wisdom of 78 years of farming, flower planting, and growing vegetables. She still gets a kick out of hearing about our two short seasons here in the desert and always seems thrilled with whatever we have growing.

I wet the soil with the drip system and got out the garden rake to use George Brookbank's quick way of figuring seed spacing. He takes the rake and digs it in along the row he wants to plant, then continues down the row repeating this. It makes nice little holes for seeds and if you need 3" between seeds then you just use every 3rd or 4th hole. I asked CP if she wanted to take a break from emptying all of the soil from my garden and help out. She replied with a nod and we were off and running. I put the seeds out in my hand and dropped a few into the evenly spaced holes with a "padumpp" sound. Soon the little fingers were grabbing seeds and dropping them into the holes that I pointed to with a little high-pitched "padumpp" sound that bordered on a joyful squeal with the departure of each seed from her fingers.

I kept looking around for her mother, but knew that these images were fleeting and that I'd only have one shot at them. Disrupting her to bring out my camera or to get her mother to come watch would have changed what was happening. It was a beautiful scene and I hope that old age won't steal that memory from me some day. She repeated this at every little hole until we emptied the packet. In all, we planted about 6' of beans and will probably plant more so that we can put them up for winter. I hope that I've planted the seeds for a little green thumb.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


CP was sad to say goodbye to her grandparents on Monday when we dropped them off at the airport. She really enjoyed her visit with them and kept them plenty busy and very impressed most of the time. We went to the park, watched the old warplanes that were in town for an event, and visited the Desert Museum. It was a great visit. Sometimes family visits (on both sides) can feel like an obligation..."smile honey, be nice", but this one was a real joy even though I was sick most of the time. CP couldn't get enough of the newfound attention and took full advantage of having some new playmates. It really took the heat off of the LW and I and we were able to take a breather.

Tomorrow is March 12th. I met my lovely girlfriend on this day, about seven years ago. We're married now, but she's still my lovely girlfriend.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Not So Rosy

It's a good thing that the Shrub and his merry band of miscreants have all of this election hoopla going on right now to cover their butts in the media while the story from David Rose in Vanity Fair hits the pages. It made me sick to listen to the story on DN. I can't believe how this wanker of a president that we have can say "Yur wit us or against us" and then give the ok to supply weapons to Fateh through back door channels. What smelly little pieces of poo this man, his vice president , and his secretary of state are. This on the heels of our congress giving a free pass for illegal wiretapping. Don't think that there wasn't some GSA contract blockage dangled around on that one. Where's Molly Ivins when we need her.

In other news, I finally came around to the LW's way of thinking on letting the chickens into the garden. They're out there now digging around in the soft dirt and tearing up the weeds and the last little bit of the lettuce before we plant this week. All of our seeds are in from SOC and SSE, so this week I'll be out in the dirt playing around. Dirt therapy....if I could bottle it up and sell it. The flowers in the front yard are all trying to pop at the same time. This will be good for when the in-laws get here tomorrow for a visit.

The whole house smells like ham hocks right now. I finally decided to get them out of the freezer and work over the last bit of the pig from two years ago. We'll have BBQ pulled pork and some split pea soup tonight.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Blooming Sinuses & Bye Bye Project Diesel

Oh, it's that time of year again. Everything blooms at once here in the desert and sends the small cavities in my skull into a fit. It's not really a lot of fun, but usually dissipates after about a week or so. This does make working and managing CP a bit tricky.

The little 81 Datsun diesel that could is on the block now. I've admitted failure on this project and dealt with it. Now it's time to move on. It's a good little project and will make someone a very nice little biodiesel burner...just not me. There's not enough time in the day or money in the bank to make this thing work.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Potty Chair & Farm Trip

Well, Aunt Carie gave CP a potty chair on Friday and yesterday she put it to use. It's funny to be so excited about a kid peeing in a round receptacle, but it was hard not to jump up and yell. We're pretty happy about it and look forward to seeing her move into regular washable undergarments. I wish that it had happened a lot sooner, but 22 months isn't bad.

Yesterday we loaded up Oma and George and headed down to the Agua Linda Farm for a visit. We recently signed up for the CSA and wanted to check the place out. CP enjoyed seeing the flowers and the baby goats and we enjoyed just getting out of the house.