Sunday, August 30, 2020

signs of the end of August but not necessarily the beginning of fall

yellow butterfly ginger

We got an easy pass from both storms heading this way last week. Marco barely made Cat 1 hurricane then fizzled back to a tropical storm before it made landfall Monday night in Louisiana and Laura, which strengthened into a Cat 4 and maybe even a Cat 5 hurricane which made landfall Wednesday night pretty much near the border of Texas and Louisiana for which we are grateful, not that it hit them but that it didn't hit us. We got neither wind nor rain from either storm but we also didn't get a break from the heat and humidity. And I have to tell you, I am tired of sweating! I stand outside for 5 minutes and sweat is beading up on me and by that I mean wiping it off my forehead sweat. If I engage in any minor activity for 10 minutes or more sweat is dripping off me and when I come in I continue to sweat for at least 10 minutes! It's probably too much to hope for that we might have an early fall but the clump of pampas grass at the other end of the street is starting to put out its plumes,

the snow-on-the-prairie is blooming in the pastures (I called it a field and my retired farmer neighbor corrected me...fields are for crops, pastures are for livestock),

the tallows are starting the slow shed of their leaves.

and of course it's cotton harvest time.

Did I mention we won't be having our annual open house this year in December? Because of the virus, of course. None of us are thrilled with the prospect of visitors in close quarters, having to insist on masks. The other art/craft show that people we know participate in is also not happening, well, not live. The Height's Artisan Market is going virtual this year. The organizers are building a website and inviting artists to participate. Each artist will get their own page with up to a dozen images and a link to their selling site, website, or email and each artist will be responsible for handling any sales. We've never done the HAM which is only one day as we are always committed to the open house but they invited us to participate and I accepted. So to that end, I was working on my website again this week and only have the two gallery pages and the news page to update, also get my images ready and sent in.

And Friday I finished boxing up two pieces to send to the gallery for their anniversary show that will get sent out on Monday. And I'm sort of starting to move the glass related stuff out of the house and into the new room over at the shop, well, one box of jars of frit and powder anyway.


My sister is still slowly packing and moving boxes from the old house. She's sort of down to the stuff she wants to keep but doesn't know where she's going to put it all. I imagine a lot of it will go in the shop until she can get herself a small storage building. The realtor wants to put the house on the market mid-September so there's a new urgency to get the rest of the stuff out and the house gussied up a little and we haven't even started on the yard yet, moving all the yard art and plants in pots and digging up other things she wants to take not to mention the estate sale the second weekend in September to get rid of as much of the stuff that she isn't keeping as she can. We spent the afternoon over at the old house Friday moving from room to room emptying them completely and moving all the boxes and stuff that are going with by the garage door and the stuff for the sale to the eat-in kitchen. We got the bedroom and the guest bedroom and more than half of the extra room done, emptying the closets and taking down the rest of the pictures, hauling box after box and stuff not in boxes and pictures through the house to the staging area. Saturday the bathroom got cleaned out and another car load moved.

I don't really have anything to report about the pandemic besides more people are dead and more people are infected and the CDC, under pressure from Trump who is over the whole thing and wants testing stopped, announced, unknown to Dr. Fauci while he  was having surgery, that non-symptomatic people who have been exposed to COVID-19 do not need to get tested. They are exactly the people who need to be tested so that they can self-isolate if they test positive and not spread it around. And of course Republicans continue to claim that this whole pandemic thing is made up by the Democrats to scare people into not voting while they themselves engage in voter suppression. I'll wait another week and will probably go bi-monthly from now on.

Friday, August 28, 2020

going forward

I didn't watch any of the DNC but I read enough via social media to know that it was positive, uplifting, and inclusive and that Biden and Harris will make a genuine effort to heal this country and address some of the social problems and try and get back in the good graces of our allies, repudiate Putin and all other dictators, and try to win back a place on the world stage as well as reversing the most grievous actions of Trump and his administration.

I didn't watch the RNC either and again I read enough on social media to know that another 4 years of Trump will be the end of this nation unless Democrats can get veto proof majorities in both houses of Congress which is unlikely but hopefully we will have the majority in both houses. Last night he pulled off his biggest fuck you to the nation and democracy by staging it on the White House lawn, the people's house and our tax money are not to be used for partisan politics, blatantly  violating the Hatch Act while he claims to be the LAW AND ORDER president. And the Republican response? Eh, nobody cares.  

an aside here,  how long do you think it will take these same republicans to cry foul if Biden does even the least most minor illegal thing Trump has done or if he starts issuing Executive Orders. 

Nobody outside of DC cares. That's their attitude. And the Republican Party has no platform this time around, you know, the document that tells us what they stand for and what they would like to achieve. Apparently Trump is their platform, just Trump and you know just use the whole 2016 thing, whatever it is he wants to do. Basically Trump's whole platform is 'I am the only guy that can fix what I broke'. We're supposed to trust the repair to the guy who broke it.

The RNC was full of stunts from the dictator's handbook...the massive array of flags, the citizenship ceremony of a small but diverse group that didn't know this was going to happen, the pardon, the parade of family members and token others (black, latino, women) singing his praises about what a wonderful caring guy he is 

this is the same guy who had peaceful protesters in front of the White House tear gassed and forcibly removed so he could take a stroll for a fake photo op but yeah, what ev

and how much he has done for them as if we haven't seen and heard with our eyes and ears the lies and cruelty of the Trump administration, demonizing anyone who isn't on board as only he and the people that support him are patriots, and then the fear fear fear, fear of what the country will become unless he is president. 

He paints a dystopian picture of America under Biden...civil unrest, crashed economy, a pandemic out of control, constitutional rights under attack...without acknowledging the fact that this is the current picture of America under his administration. Seriously, he thinks we're that dumb, and unfortunately so many are, but there are indications that this schtick that worked so well last election is falling flat this year. Not with his core cult followers or desperate Republican politicians or the old white men who are desperate to keep the power they have always enjoyed, but with the more moderate Republicans and Independents that voted for him last time. People are tired of the lies, of the division, of the hate and cruelty, of his whining and constant blaming of others, of his ignorance and petulance, of the disregard for the Constitution and the traditions and the laws of this country, tired of footing the bill for the vacations and travels of his entire family and this was reflected in the all important, for Trump, ratings. People didn't watch and in fact last night had the worst ratings in the history of the RNC. The novelty has worn off.

As Heather Cox Richardson wrote in yesterday's newsletter re the old white men desperate to keep the America where they have power over all other Americans: “But that world is passing, whether they like it or not. Even if Trump wins in 2020, he cannot stop the future from coming. And while the United States will not meet that future with the power we had even four years ago, we will have to meet it nonetheless. It will be no less exciting and offer no fewer opportunities than the dramatic changes of the 1850s, 1890s, and 1930s, and at some point, Americans will want to meet those challenges.”

I think I'll end here on that hopeful note, that it come sooner rather than later.

Monday, August 24, 2020

week 22 and week 23

Trump's new doctor on the coronavirus response team, Dr. Scott Atlas, a radiologist (he reads x-rays) who has no experience in public health or infectious diseases or epidemiology but he is a regular contributor to Fox news and he is happy to promote Trump's view of the pandemic.


From Heather Cox Richardson's newsletter on August 17th (paraphrased) - we lost 1500 people to covid-19 today and an average of 1,000 a day for the previous 17 days. A report in the NYT noted that there were more than 200,000 more deaths in the U.S. since March than in a normal year, suggesting that the death count from the pandemic is currently about 60,000 lower than is accurate.


While previously there has been little evidence that antibodies from the coronavirus would protect people from re-infection, a fishing vessel with 122 crew members recently returned from 18 days at sea after one of the crew became ill enough to need hospitalization and over 100 other crew members were infected. The three crew members who had antibodies as the ship left port were not among the infected indicating cautiously that coronavirus antibodies do indeed protect someone from infection. And while this is a very small 'study' that has yet to be peer reviewed, this is important information for vaccine development. 


Two vaccine candidates, the one from German company Pfizer and the other from the biotech Moderna, are entering late stage testing and plan to recruit 60,000 people to test them. Both these contenders, as well as others in the something like 160 different vaccines under development, use specially engineered RNA genetic material to instruct muscle cells in the body to produce a distinctive 'spike' protein found on the surface of the coronavirus. This genetically engineered technique has been in development for a couple of decades and has yet to produce a single vaccine of any kind that has been approved and released for use. The problem with this approach, imo, is that it permanently changes your genetic code and offspring can inherit the changed RNA. This technology is so new that they really have no idea what long term effect the changes in your genetic code will cause or cause to later generations. This NYT site lists the vaccines underdevelopment and groups them by type. 


Trump and his good buddies HUD Secretary Ben Carson and the My Pillow guy are promoting a new snake oil cure for the coronavirus...oleandrin, a botanical derivative from the poisonous nerium oleander plant. Oleandrin, known by scientists as cardiac glycoside, is the chemical that causes oleanders to be toxic. The company that manufactures it says it has properties similar to digoxin and can treat cancer and though lab studies show that it has some anti-cancer activity in cancer cell lines, there have been no clinical trials in humans showing its effectiveness. They also claim that it can be used to treat heart failure, Hep C, AIDS, and COVID-19 but there is NO scientific evidence to support those claims.


Trump, without providing any evidence as usual, is now accusing the 'deep state' at the FDA of deliberately delaying coronavirus vaccine trials in an effort prevent a vaccine from being available until after the election.


Days after the FDA put a hold on the emergency authorization for blood plasma treatment for the virus after top health officials warned that evidence of effectiveness of the treatment was too weak Trump, desperate for a cure or a vaccine before the national election, has pressured the FDA into reinstating the emergency authorization. 


In another attack on the FDA, Trump's White House, tired of complaints that there isn't enough testing, has taken away the FDA's authority to regulate COVID-19 tests. What this means is that there will be no quality control, no agency demanding proof that the tests work and are reliable. What this means is that any 'approved' lab can manufacture and sell tests without any studies or documentation that they are accurate. Plenty of profit for the labs though.


It turns out that wearing masks not only protects other people, they protect you as well. Researchers and scientists have found that wearing masks limits the amount of virus that gets in your body resulting in milder symptoms and allowing the body's immune system to cope instead of be overwhelmed. 


After cutting the CDC out of the coronavirus case and death count information and having hospitals send their data directly to the HHS for political reasons, a move that drew criticism from public health officials, the Trump administration is reversing this policy and returning the responsibility for data collection to the CDC and they now claim it was only an 'interim' change while the CDC worked on building a 'revolutionary' new data system. 


Current US statistics as of today 8/24/20, 14:25 GMT: cases – 5,876,637, deaths – 180,621. That's an average of about 12,000 deaths a week for the last two weeks. My state, Texas, is, today, #2 after California for the number of coronavirus cases and my county has now jumped up to 1,112 cases and 39 deaths with about half the cases still active.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

bingo, storms, and flowers

Everybody got their 2020 bingo cards ready? Anyone have two hurricanes at one time headed for the Gulf Coast for August? Tropical Storm Laura and imminent Tropical Storm Marco (still just a tropical depression but strengthening) are both being tracked to hit the Gulf Coast. Marco almost dead on for us, Laura to the east possibly just days apart. 

Yay us! They're already going on about hurricane preparedness.

We got an unexpected 1 1/2” of rain in about 2 hours yesterday. I think the forecast was about a 10% chance. So I've been out rethinking my little earthwork which didn't work to keep the rain water away from the slab and working on it some. I have the pile of dirt that I saved when Rocky took out the big brick planter by the front door. It's full of rocks which make it good for this purpose I think so I shoveled many shovelfuls of dirt to build up the area beside this section of the slab so water hopefully drains away because this is in general is one of the lowest parts of the yard and water collects there, employed miscellaneous materials to create a sort of skirt to deflect the water pouring off the roof line when it rains hard even with the gutters and downspouts. Of course this is just one small section of the slab that I worry about but ya gotta start somewhere. So this is my hurricane preparation. Water diversion.

not pretty but hopefully effective

The storm today came with some high winds that, big surprise, knocked dead branches out of the pecans and oaks. It also keeled over two of my banana trees. That makes three since one of them had already keeled over weeks ago. And all three were blooming but only one was making fruit. These trees have gotten so tall and the banana blooms are so heavy, especially with fruit, that I'm not surprised the high wind bent them over. I planted the initial three small to little more than a sprout trees on the edge of the drain field, maybe even on the edge of the drain field and they have grown really tall. I don't imagine I'll have a single one standing but for the newest if a hurricane comes this way but they will grow back and quicker than you might think.

My sister has taken up residence in the new house. Her and the Demon Duo spent their first night last night in the new house. So half the transition is complete. The other half is getting the old house ready to sell and selling it. My sister told me a few years ago that she knew she would be moving one more time before the 'final' move when you get relegated to a care facility. Hopefully we will be some of the lucky ones who can live and die at home. No idea when where or why, just a certainty. Well, now we know when where and why.

A few more blooms...

the rangoon creeper also likes this heat and is putting on another flush,

my other althea which didn't have an open flower the other day,

and much to my surprise I spotted this green milkweed, maybe spider milkweed, growing in my neighbor's ditch when I was walking the dog, surprised because I didn't think this type grew around here. Fortunately she's as bad about keeping her yard and ditch mowed as I am so I'm keeping my eye on it as it goes to seed because I want some.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

cleaning, organizing, and the summer yard

I cleaned the back bedroom where I sleep this week. Took me two days top to bottom. Well, two half days. I didn't sweep the ceiling or mop the floor (though that's still on the agenda, the floor, not the ceiling) but I did vacuum the walls, cleaned the chair rail and baseboards, wiped down and oiled the furniture, wiped down the floor lamp, wiped down the fan blades and washed the glass shades, washed the windows, wiped the tops of the picture frames and dusted the few things sitting out, vacuumed the floor. I managed to knock one of the supports for the curtain rod on which hangs the lace curtain I got in Portugal out of the sheetrock and now I need anchor screws to hold it back in place.

Pam shows up every morning at the new house, bringing another load, cleaning, organizing, starting to find permanent places. Monday we rearranged the bedroom furniture...again but now we both agree, it's in the best arrangement. Yesterday we moved the grandfather clock...again and again we think it's now in its best place. She has two chairs with matching footstools that have been in the family for a couple of generations and I may be getting one set after she gets the new loveseat she wants for the living room. It will go in my back bedroom where I had been wanting to get a recliner for there so two problems solved. She's supposed to get her internet connection on Friday and then she will be in residence, bringing the Demon Duo with her.

We finally got some rain last night, a little over an inch. Unfortunately it won't have cooled things down as we are supposed to get up in the high 90˚s again today but at least things don't look so sere, at least this morning anyway. The sky has turned that pale blue as if it's been bleached by the summer sun but the days are getting noticeably shorter, the nights longer, the sun is moving to the south as it sets casting shadows on the street earlier which Minnie and I are grateful for when we take our walk in the evening.

The yellow butterfly ginger is starting to bloom,

the altheas aka rose of sharon have been blooming but not as profusely as other years.

The zinnias are looking tired, their foliage getting spotty and brown.

The Texas star hibiscus, our native hibiscus is still giving me the occasional flower to my surprise,

the flowering senna is still blooming,

and the yellow bells as well, they actually like this heat, and I spied this bumblebee pushing its way into the delicate flowers.

This is the time of year when all we can do is wait patiently or impatiently for the weather to break.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

moving day

Well, moving furniture day. Pam won't take up residence til next weekend after the internet connection is installed. Still a few things on the punch list so the fixit guy is coming back Tuesday. The last water leak got fixed Friday morning and that was the end of my tasks towards getting the house.

Of course, Saturday was our hottest day so far and humid to boot. It was at 84% around 8 AM down to 51% a few minutes before noon but Pam's daughter, son-in-law, and grandson rented a Uhaul truck, her granddaughter and significant other came in from San Antonio to help and my daughter and son-in-law also showed up and between them they loaded that truck up twice and got just about all the furniture she's keeping moved into the new house. 

It's sort of arranged or rather everything is in it's proper room. Plenty of packed boxes still to move, all the kitchen stuff, the pictures and other decorative stuff. I have two things to bookcase she has been borrowing and a small art nouveau/art deco buffet she isn't keeping. In fact most everything she isn't moving to the new house is just getting shuffled around to various family members. I'm getting the buffet and the bookcase, all the guest bedroom furniture, another small buffet, and a couch and chair has been divvied up between my daughter and the twins. We don't get rid of furniture in this family, we just shuffle it around although some miscellaneous stuff will go in a garage sale.

Did I mention it was hot outside? The white ginger is suffering. It's usually the first of the gingers to bloom and is mostly done by the time it gets this hot but it was late to start blooming this year and sparsely at that. I had already got the shade cloth out and tied it to two stakes at the back with the intention of going out everyday unless it was overcast and drape it over the ginger for the midday hours when it's in the sun and then undrape it but I never remembered until it was already in full sun and shriveled so today I pounded two more stakes in the ground and created a canopy which I will just leave in place until fall.

And I'm back to watering parts of the yard, setting up the sprinkler every day. That 6 1/2” of rain we got a couple of weeks ago is a bare memory. It is just suffocatingly hot out there and no breeze at all. The dog likes it though, for a few minutes anyway.

Four of my banana trees are blooming but only two of them are producing fruit. All four trees will die now, I lost three last year because they also bloomed, but new ones are coming up all the time.

There was a giant swallowtail sipping nectar from the mexican bird of paradise this morning but this was the best picture I could get because it was in constant motion. Even when it was feeding it's two top wings shivered.

I had intended to clean the back bedroom today but I'm sweating just sitting here typing so probably not. Maybe tomorrow. Plus I got stung by a wasp first thing this morning when I went to open the garage door and announce to the world that we were up. I guess it was on the door somewhere and objected to my lifting it up. It really nailed me and now I have a red swollen spot about 3” x 1 1/2” on the inside of my arm just above the elbow and it's still zapping me a little bit now and then. That's the third time I've been stung this year. I usually just leave them alone because they are pollinators and they mind their own business but this is just too much. I tolerate getting stung once a season but they have pissed me off now.

No covid-19 report today. I only have one or two things that I've noted so it can wait another week but suffice to say, infections are still increasing, deaths are over 170,000 and counting, testing is declining, there is still no go-to treatment and still no vaccine though there are several promising things in trials. Trump is still having his so called pandemic press conferences, now with a new doctor, a radiologist, on the pandemic response team with no experience in public health or infectious diseases or epidemiology but he does echo Trump's talking points, which are really just an excuse for him to complain and whine and to lie about and denigrate his opponents, his substitute for his rallies he can't have anymore. Yawn. He doesn't seem to realize that this old worn out routine isn't working.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

egg rolls and the nitty gritty

I decided about a week and a half ago that I was going to make some egg rolls. What spurred me to that idea was seeing part of a short video on FB of my neighbor's granddaughters doing just that. So I bought a package of egg roll wrappers with the recipe that would make 16 – 18 egg rolls and gathered everything I would need and Sunday I spent the lion's share of the day doing just that. Chopped and mixed and cooked all the vegetables, added the flavors to the meat and cooked it and then mixed it all together ready to start rolling it all up. Opened the package of wrappers and peeled one off and while it seemed kind of thick, what did I know? I've never done this before. The recipe called for a tablespoon of filling. Really, that's all? I added a little more and continued on. Got to the end of the package and I had 8 egg rolls ready to cook. I did think it was kind of odd that there were only 8 wrappers with a recipe for 16 egg rolls but there was nothing on the package to indicate how many wrappers were inside. So I covered the filling and put it in the refrigerator for when I got more wrappers on Monday and then I walked the dog and stopped to talk to my neighbor whose granddaughters' video I had watched and told her about my 8 egg rolls. No, she said, there's more than that, are you sure they weren't two stuck together? No, at that point I wasn't sure but that was how they peeled off with no hint that they were two stuck together.

Anyway, I bought two more packages of wrappers Monday and got busy. And yes, there are 16 wrappers in a package and they peeled off easily. I kept slowly increasing the amount of filling when I decided they must have meant a heaping tablespoon of filling because when it was all wrapped up I had a total of 30 egg rolls, 8 from Sunday and 22 from Monday. I cooked the first 8 Sunday and we had them for dinner but they were a little chewy because...two wrappers y'all. The rest I have frozen and bagged up for future frying and consumption.

So, down to the nitty gritty on the house. The skirt is up on the house, the punch list is almost done, both hose bibs are in, a slow drip where the water line for the 2nd hose bib tied into the main line under the house has been identified and scheduled to be fixed today, there is a leak at the meter and the plumber says it's on the city side so I called them this morning, and Rocky got the bracing on the small porch done today. 

Edit: the city water maintenance guy came out this morning and nope, the leak is on our side where the new water line to the house got tied in so hopefully that will get fixed today as well.

Saturday furniture starts getting moved in though she won't take up residence until the following weekend. For all I have been dealing with the stuff on the outside, she's been dealing with the stuff on the inside...the punch list, the transferring of electricity accounts, the wifi hook-up, the touching up the current house here and there as well as deciding which of her stuff to keep, which to give away, which to put in a garage sale which is overwhelming all in itself.

I burned the small brush pile yesterday because apparently the ambient temperature wasn't making me sweat enough. It was actually on part of the field behind the house but we keep it mowed back there. Anyway it was the remnant of the burn pile before we moved it over to the shop yard and stuff would get tossed on it now and then being too lazy to haul it to the back of the truck to haul over to the active burn pile and I expected it would eventually compost down but trash weed stuff grows up around it in the summer and then dead stuff has to be dealt with in the winter and there is the Wild Space at the back end of the property anyway which is basically a giant brush pile so I torched it. It will need some consolidation and burning again but now it can be mowed over.

And Joe picked Kamala! People are either thrilled or griping that the ticket isn't progressive or left enough. I think it's a strong ticket that is progressive and center enough to court the moderate republicans who are sick of Trump. Too far left and we would lose those voters. It took Trump all of 20 minutes to call her 'nasty' which only goes to show how rattled he is. He knows how strong, intelligent, powerful, and capable she is, he and Ivanka both have donated to her previous political campaign, and we also know how much he hates women who won't take shit off of privileged white men. I'm seeing a lot of joy and hope on social media. It's a nice little boost but now the real fight begins. There's been some speculation that Trump will ditch Pence in desperation for Nikki Haley to counteract Joe's pick of Kamala.

83 days!

Monday, August 10, 2020

week 21

Either there hasn't been much virus related news last week, what with the election and voter suppression blatantly going on grabbing all the headlines, or I just haven't been very diligent about it, being overloaded with all things Trump and the GOP but I did note a few items.


When asked about the 160,000+ and counting deaths from COVID-19 by a reporter, Trump's reply was...”It is what it is.”


Dr. Birx warned that the virus is in a new phase with the case count and deaths rising as it has become extraordinarily widespread into the rural areas now as well and the urban areas where it first manifest and she predicts 300,000 dead by the end of the year.


Methodist Hospital in Houston is reporting some success with a new drug. From the article: Methodist was the first to report the rapid recovery of patients on ventilators and those with severe medical conditions after three days of treatment. The drug is called RLF-100 and is also known as aviptadil. It has been approved by the FDA for emergency use at multiple clinical sites in patients who are too ill to enter the FDA’s Phase 2/3 trials.” 


Researchers at Duke University created a simple test  to analyze the effectiveness of different masks. The study results were published here.


A NY Times article stated that 97,000 children tested positive the last two weeks of July so, of course, some states opened their schools and in Georgia a school that opened for all in person classes, the very next day had teachers and students in quarantine and now has 9 new confirmed cases and they have shifted to online classes for the next two days while they disinfect and reassess. I don't know why the authorities are claiming that children won't be contagious. Everyone knows children are little germ factories and they take everything home to mom and dad. 


My county is still climbing, now at 711 cases and 25 deaths. Up from 636 last week.


Current US statistics as of today 8/10/20, 21:10 GMT (last week's totals in parenthesis): cases – 5,234,420 (4,735,249), deaths – 165,970 (157,265) though how accurate these numbers are is anybody's guess considering Trump is trying to control the numbers by having all data sent to HHS instead of the CDC.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

weird expectations and dad has had it

Some minor progress was made on the website, very minor. Added my gallery rep to the 'contact us' page and deleted some pictures off the server. Of course the two main pages that need updating are the gallery pages which I have not touched. I'm trying to figure out where to add a link to the etched glass pages so that the work of my career in architectural glass is still accessible to those interested in checking it out but not a focus of the website. Other than that, I haven't done much the last few days. Tabor asked about web software that doesn't involve writing code but those, like Wix, that come with templates where you just plug in your photos and info also want to host your website and they charge for anything other than basic and I already have my website hosted by Earthlink and I'm not interested in switching servers. I will probably just find someone to code a new gallery page the way I want it and then create any new pages myself using that as a template.

Pam and I and daughter Sarah went to an estate sale Friday. It was a huge house, over 5300 sq. ft., masks required, and we arrived about an hour after it opened and were surprised to see so few cars. We felt safe enough as it was not at all crowded and so we got some entertainment that was not reading or watching TV. But omg! the prices they had on things. Like little framed 5” x 7” watercolors for $80 each.

Lots of dead animal heads...

and feet.

A mounted moose head they wanted $800 for, an admittedly very nice teak table for $800 and teak chairs to go with it for another $800, other wood chairs for $100 each. They had some nice antique furniture that was priced comparable to what you would see in an antique store, so not outrageous but no bargain either. There was a 9' x 12' oriental rug for $2,000 (the lady said it was $8000 new), jackets for $20 a piece, sets of china for ridiculous prices especially considering no one wants old people's china these days, a bag of old cookie cutters for $20,

and a framed Muhammad Ali memorabilia for $5,000!

We were mystified. And this wasn't even in town but 5 miles down the road in the country with no other houses in sight. Makes you wonder who the hell they expected to show up. Even with 50% off on Sunday, this is stuff no one else in the family wanted.

I did make the blueberry crostata but not until Thursday.

I have some yard work I need to attend to, like trimming the little backyard and pulling the garden cart over to the burn pile across the street and dumping the contents, but I've already wasted the coolest part of the day and by coolest I mean the least hot part of the day.

Later...I did get out there and empty the garden cart and then picked up two more piles of debris and dumped all that on the burn pile but I did not trim the little backyard, maybe this evening. Then I came in and peeled my wet clothes off and am literally sitting in the house nekkid fanning myself while I wait til I stop sweating to put some dry clothes on (postponing my shower til after I trim the little backyard).

Got this picture this morning after setting out the seed. A few days ago, I saw a male cardinal come eat a few sunflower seeds and then fly up to a branch with a juvenile and feed him but the last several days the dad has not been feeding his junior who perches on the yellow ginger beside the elephant plant stand on which is the seed or the shepherd's crook which is on the other side and does his feather flutter while cheeping and dad has been ignoring him. Look here son, I can imagine him saying, I'm showing you where the food is, jump down and get you some because you are old enough to feed yourself.

dad lower left, junior upper right

My last post I used the new Blogger interface and I still hate it. Used to be I could drag and drop an image directly from my desktop to the post body. Can't do that now, when I try it opens the image in a new window in my browser. WTF! It took something like 7 clicks to put each image in the post. Today I tried the new interface again and it gives me an empty 'add image' window. Of course, that could have been my funky wifi which gets sketchy now and then. That's just one of my issues with the new interface. I hate that huge space between paragraphs, what's the point of that? And the labels, now you can only see 6 at a time and have to scroll through looking for what you want instead of the nice cloud on the legacy version. Everything is now more time consuming. This post is courtesy of the legacy interface and I am stubbornly going to use it to the bitter end. They are going to have to drag me kicking and screaming into the new version. Every time I try to use it I send negative feedback to the powers that be.

Well, I did get out there at 5PM, managed to get the trimmer started by myself, finally. It involved a lot of cursing. Trimmed the little backyard and around the flower beds in the big backyard and worked on an area where it is hard for the mower to get in until I ran out of gas. Came in, fed the dog, bathed the dog, walked the dog, and then bathed and made my evening cocktail.

I am done for the night.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

just about done and screwing up code

The AC and furnace have been installed in the new house, still waiting on the plumbers to come back and install the hose bibs and secure the water line under the house which they are supposed to do today (so far a no-show) but other than that my job is done. The walk through and the skirt installation are scheduled and I'm waiting to hear back from the surveyor for the final elevation certificate. And we are four months ahead of our drop dead date! Pam is slowly dismantling her house, some of the furniture she isn't keeping has already gone away to new homes, and now that the AC is in and on she'll start bringing small stuff over. The weekend of the 15th one of her daughters, son-in-law, and grandson are renting a Uhaul and they'll start moving furniture.

The other project, the shop buildout, is also almost done. Just some trim around the bathroom door, a couple of switch plates, and finishing a repair in the sheetrock.

I spent Monday and Tuesday working on the website. The new 'technique' page is done and published which took me nearly three days. The revised 'about us' page is also done and published though I may work on it more but for now it's fine. Not sure which one I'm going to tackle next, probably the 'contact us' page or 'news and events' though I have very little news and only one upcoming event in the fall. I'm working on the 'home' page but I need to create a new picture button for it.

I just saw a different little bird, yellow breast and head but not bright yellow, gray wings and back, skinny pointy beak, I'm pretty sure it's a warbler of some kind but we don't usually see them in the summer. They winter over here. I took this terrible picture through the window on high magnification.

I walked out to the back of the property Sunday and saw this looking west over the field behind our house.

And this is all I have unless you want to hear about all the times I screwed up the code on the page I was working on and how long it would take me to find the error and fix it. Yesterday afternoon Marc called from the other part of the house, 'lots of heavy sighing going on in there'. Maybe instead of working on a page today, since it's a yoga day, I'll just sort through all the pictures on the server that no longer show up on the website.

Or maybe I'll go make a blueberry crostata.