Saturday, June 18, 2016

Stump Flowers

I've been neglecting this space, sorry about that.  Not up for writing at the moment, either.  So here's an updated picture of the stump flowers I just took.  Compare to the picture I posted two posts (and almost a month!) ago and you can see the growth.  I think I'll dump the rest of the pictures on the garden blog.


Saturday, June 4, 2016

Holy Cow!

This is what one-quarter of a cow looks like in our freezer.
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Some time ago a friend asked if we would be interested in going in on a cow.  We had talked about it previously but now it was time so we jumped at the chance.  Grass fed, corn finished, and from Door County, Wisconsin.  The cow had been picked a while ago but it took some time waiting for the cow to fatten up for slaughter, so we've been waiting for several weeks.  Then I got word earlier this week, it's time!  Our friend went up to get it from his dad (who lives up there and also had a share of the cow) after work yesterday and showed up here late last night to drop off our quarter of the cow.  It is a shared quarter, meaning we have front and back cuts of meat.  I was told over 200 pounds, though it appears lighter.  Still, we paid a good rate across the board for good beef that includes several kinds of roasts and steaks, stew meat and soup bones, and over 40 tubes of ground beef between one and one and a half pounds each (in a box at right under tenderized round steaks, among other cuts).  Kate took inventory this morning, but we still need to get it sorted better in the freezer.

Well, that's one less thing to think about now for quite a while.  And it makes grocery shopping easier, too.  We had this in mind when we bought the freezer and I'm glad it is now full of meat.  Should be a lot of fun grilling this summer.  Yum!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Plant Day!

DSCF4730I took the rest of the week off for a little spring vacation, and with the holiday weekend I have six consecutive days off!  I've needed it for some time now.  I haven't really given myself one or two bigger projects this time off, but I do have a list of lots of little things to get accomplished.

Today was forecast to be rainy almost all day so I wasn't thinking I would get plants in at all.  Instead, it was a beautiful sunny day until storming for a short time mid to late afternoon and now is clear and nice again.  We got some hanging baskets last weekend, now I needed to buy more pots and plants to fill them.  Kate wants the tree stump out back filled and that's what I set out to do.  Plus we had our pot out front to fill and space for some perennials by the porch.  That space has some plants that were in pots last year.  It's quite the hodgepodge of perennials in that corner and they will probably have to be separated eventually.  I was a planting machine this afternoon.  I managed to use up all the new and all the usable pots we had, and I still have 4 marigolds to put somewhere.  They'll probably end up in the flower bed in front of the two perennials I planted.  Also, the white bucket on the stump has a seed pod for cucumbers.

DSCF4738I think most of what I got are perennials.  And no petunias this year, for a change.  When my wife got home she was asking me what they were but I have no idea for almost all, but I kept the tags.  I picked out plants that I found pleasing to look at, colorful - or will be, and could handle full sun.  I did not purposely look at what anything was called, I don't know enough about plants for it to mean much to me.  The plants in the pot out front are part sun/part shade and I had a couple of the red ones left over that are in back that I will keep an eye on.  In fact, now the games begin... with the bastard squirrels!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Cheers, Wisconsin, we’re No. 1!

This story has been out for about a week now, but I read this editorial this afternoon in today's edition of our local paper, The Wisconsin State Journal, while in the waiting room for our dentist after work today.  (Yeah, that was fun, too.  I might write about it later, but anyway.)  Our city of Madison is number 4, and our state of Wisconsin has 12 of the top 20 cities.  Twelve of the top 20 drunkest cities in all of America.  Surely nothing to be proud of... but that's not how we roll.  I hate to say it, kinda not really, but this editorial hits the nail square on the head.

Click the text for the whole article!  Written by Ben Bromley.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

May This-And-Thats

DSCF4729It's been some time since I just typed and let things out.  In fact, I haven't really felt like writing anything in a while, I guess.  Other than my Ace Frehley LLP post, I've mostly written just to post pictures to keep up with our garden and spring flora.  Starting to type and not knowing exactly what will come out can be - and has been - fun and interesting.  And, well, life is ever forward so shall we get started?

  • I reached out to 8 contractors, heard back from 6, and received quotes from 3.  We know who we want to hire for the roof project, but as of now we are waiting for the quote for the porch project from the same company.  It will affect how we go about financing, if we do just the roof right now or both projects.  The roof project is the highest priority for us, the porch will be pricier.  Neighbor Dave tells me the porch was being built at the same time his deck was, about 1973.  He also said he knows it was not permitted, and after taking a closer look at the construction, there is no doubt in my mind no permits were pulled and no inspection took place.  It's not in danger of falling apart, but no inspector would approve of the building method.
  • I used Bayer Season Long Weed Control on my lawn a couple weeks ago.  I've been sold on the product since it finally got rid of many tiny weeds in my front lawn last spring, I think.  It's the kind of thing that you hook up to the hose and spray the lawn.  I did my full front and back lawns, and I even did a strip of my neighbor's lawn beside our driveway.  I've had issues in the past with crabgrass and other weeds coming down her side and getting into my yard.  The only thing is I got a little too close to a couple peony bushes, a small one of ours and a very large one of the neighbors.  The plants got all curly and sick looking in just a day and they remain that way.  Thankfully it only affected a part of my neighbor's plant, but I think our peony is done for this year, though I do think it will come back.
  • Before I forget, Kate was in California a couple weeks ago for a work conference.  This has happened before in years past.  It's during the week so with work and chores it goes by quick.  Then, just as the cats and I start getting used to her not being there - she's back.  It freaked Basil out quite a bit last year but he seemed to take it better this year.  I was also glad to have her back, even though we both seemed a bit testy with each other for a few days for some reason.  We also have an anniversary coming up, kind of a milestone one, too.  No, I don't think they're related, but I do have to start looking for some kind of gift!
  • Spring is finally here.  I was so anxious for it to be here this year.  I want it to be comfortable without a coat outside and I want to get the outside fully cleaned up and ready for summer.  Aside from some of the usual projects, all that is left is plant shopping and that will most likely happen next weekend.  We had frost warnings the last couple nights and the high temperatures still are not enough to have all the windows open comfortably.  I hope we get some of that all-day open-window time before it inevitably becomes central air time.  For the time being, the heat remains on.
  • Another thing about spring, and this year especially, the lilacs burst with blooms and at the same time the lily of the valley is starting to peak.  I brought in some of each yesterday making the the house very floral scented.  We had to put them in different rooms to spread it out a little.  They both smell so nice and are so fleeting in spring we must enjoy it while we can.

Well, when I sat I only had a vague idea of what I might say and look at all the stuff that came out.  Now, I better wrap it up before it gets too much longer.  I'm sure I'll have forgotten something, I always do, but I also don't want to make a post so long no one reads it. 

It will be another summer of projects and activities so I'm sure I won't run out of anything to write about anytime soon.  Thanks for reading.

Ta ta for now.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

For Mothers And Others

I went with my wife and her sister taking their mother out to a very expensive elegant brunch at Mariner's Inn this morning for Mother's Day.  I went because my brother-in-law went last year and yes, again this year.  I don't really mind my mother-in-law, but it's not mother-in-law day.  I was happy to be there for my wife even though we've been on each other's nerves a little bit since she got home.  She had spent the work week in California at a conference.  I texted my mother, who lives farther away, this morning.  Seems she's been a bit sick so just planned on laying low today, anyway.  Feel better soon, Mom!

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Last night we grilled our first brats of the season.  We do not fear the wurst!  We have had the grill out earlier but for burgers.  The brats were very tasty and I'm sure I'll eat lots again this summer!

There's been more posting over on the Garden Blog today.  Kate has been busy weeding and harvesting the spring onions.  And, just because I like to see the growth that comes with spring, there is another tour of our yard posted after the break on that post.

That's over at the Garden Blog, give it a look!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Latest Listening Pleasure 24 - Ace Frehley

I've gotten several new CDs recently, among them:  Andrew Bird released 'Are You Serious.'  Al Jourgensen came back with Surgical Meth Machine and an album by the same name.  Also, I just got Rob Zombie's new album called 'The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser.'

Ace Frehley has also recently released a new album of covers and old favorites, 'Origins Vol. 1.'  He recorded songs he grew up with and that have influenced him.  Among several guest musicians, including Slash, Lita Ford and John 5, is Paul Stanley.  For the first time in 14 years Paul and Ace perform together.  They play on the song 'Fire and Water,' originally done by the band Free. The video for that song was released on Tuesday.  I must admit, as a Kiss fan I'm loving this little reunion.  And the rest of the album is a lot of fun, too.

Listening to Ace so much recently has reminded me of when I saw him back in November 2009.  I did write about it here back then - over a few different posts, but long before I had started wrapping that stuff up into LLP posts.  Well, now Ace is officially on that list.

Here's a video from that November 7, 2009 show at the Majestic Theater here in Madison.  'Parasite' is on the new album, studio recorded for the first time by Ace (along with 'Cold Gin').  Not my video here, I was a person or two back and dead center stage.

Previous LLP Posts...
LLP 1 - Pain
LLP 2 - Nightwish
LLP 3 - Die Antwoord
LLP 4 - Pain part 2
LLP 5 - Andrew Bird LIVE
LLP 6 - Nightwish part 2
LLP 7 - Paramore
LLP 8 - Newsted
LLP 10 - Nightwish Imaginaerum Movie
LLP 11 - Kiss
LLP 12 - Rick Springfield
LLP 13 - Hyrax
LLP 14 - In This Moment
LLP 15 - Faster Pussycat LIVE
LLP 16 - Sebastian Bach
LLP 17 - Cradle Of Thorns
LLP 18 - Amaranthe
LLP 19 - Lindemann
LLP 20 - Halestorm
LLP 21 - Garbage LIVE
LLP 22 - Arcade
LLP 23 - Nightwish LIVE
LLP 24 - Ace Frehley

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Disappearing Contractor

I have been getting estimates for a roof and a porch project we are planning.  I had a meeting scheduled this evening, in fact.  It was a rather odd meeting.  I was going to leave this comment at their website, but didn't even trust giving them my information for that, but I also didn't want that writing to go to waste so here it is (making me write more):

- - - - - -

Strike number one, Crystal, at 608 286-xxxx, called 8 times without leaving a message.

Strike number two, after I finally called that number back and let her set up an appointment she made sure to say at the end of the call to make sure that my wife and I are both there.  That tells me they are going to want to leave with a signed deal, and be persistent about it.

Strike number three, after discussing my porch project to a befuddled representative, I said never mind, if that's not what you do then let's talk about the other project, a new roof, and we did.  He said he would get up there and get me a quote and went back to his car and left. 

I find this all rather funny, how about you?

You know, I don't even trust this website.  I shall not submit this to you, but perhaps call you out on my own site.

- - - - - -

From first shaking hands he acted like he was not told about the porch part of the equation.  It was not what he normally does, even though his business had 'remodeling' in the name (a local contractor affiliated with the larger company).  After he repeated again that this is not normally what he does I said well, then I wouldn't be inclined to hire you for it, let's talk about the roof then, and we did.  He said he was going to get his ladder to get on the roof and take measurements to get me a quote.  I wandered the back yard for a few moments picking at weeds, never did hear a ladder.  I walked over and looked up the driveway and he was gone.

Kate and I both were very surprised, bemused, and then even amused at the whole encounter.
Your Home Improvement Co is certainly not mine.
That's that, then.