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26th-Aug-2014 08:47 pm - cast your love on the clothesline
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Seen at Vancouver's Greenhorn Espresso Bar:
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vancouver tuesday 006

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21st-Aug-2014 10:09 pm - patience = peppers
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September 2013:
Christmas pepper seedling

January through July behind the cutCollapse )

August 2014:
christmas pepper 001

christmas pepper 002

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13th-Aug-2014 03:38 am - Women being awesome
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My current gig at the Western and Southern Tennis Open was the kick in the pants I needed to get the long-overdue better camera. Here are some of the shots I've been taking with it:

Sara Errani Sara Errani

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Cincy Open marshal
A marshal, aka security, aka making sure only properly credentialed folk run up and down the stairwell to the player areas and media center.

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I spoke too soon about the French hollyhocks -- they've all produced blooms now, except for one, and that one is one of the larger, healthier-looking stalks, so who knows if it offended the bees or is simply taking its longer, even sweeter and perhaps every-other-year time than all the others. Even the one growing diagonally. (I laced some of the others to the fence for support, but that one looked runt-y enough that I hadn't bothered.)

In the toiling and spinning department, I'm waiting to hear back from various contacts about this and that, doing a fair bit of homework, and inching along in the never-ending quest to turn things right:

when at first you don't succeed

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2nd-Aug-2014 01:36 pm - hello, August
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Dog at the door

It's 96 F (36 C). I am dripping, and not just because I sloshed a bunch of dishwater onto myself while scrubbing and rinsing pots. Praise be for air conditioning, and running water, too.

It is, as ever, the usual scene here: the more I pay attention to the house, the yard, the writing, the lettering, the studying, and so on, the longer the lists grow and the twistier the learning curves, and the more I yearn to address the little details I currently don't make time for. Scraping at x. Clearing out y. Saving for z.

In the meantime, I'm getting some things done here and there. I'm now listed at the Haiku Registry (on the task list since 2010). I updated part of my website. I cut and sanded boards ...

cutting boards

... and prepped for other projects. Onward!

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(1) Amendment 1 is ultimately a power grab by Tennessee's legislature:

Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.

This is the legislature whose shenanigans have repeatedly embarrassed us on a national scale (cue, Don't Say Gay). It frankly should be given as little rein as possible, especially when it is essentially trying to override the rights to privacy discussed in great detail in Planned Parenthood of Middle Tennessee vs. Sundquist.

(2) For the amendment to pass, it must collect a majority of votes not only among those voting yes, but also in relation to all the ballots cast in the governor's race. Put another way: this November, it will be important to vote for someone for governor (even if you think Haslam has his next term all sewn up), because each vote will raise the threshold of yes votes needed, and thus improve the odds of defeating the amendment.

P.S. My mood is "irritated" because there are plenty of other things I would rather be working on, and there are plenty of things the damn lege should be working on, such as directing funds toward food deserts. From an article by Shelley DuBois:

"it's important that we talk about how we can do things that are not always punitive to mothers who have issues going on. Sometimes we must also do things that are positive," said Rep. Harold Love.

The punitive law he's talking about refers to a controversial bill the legislature passed last month, effective July 1, that will enable law enforcement officials to prosecute women whose babies test positive for illicit drugs.

One positive step, Love suggested, would be a bill that took a portion of the money the state collects from soda taxes to build grocery stores in areas that lack fresh produce. Women's health, he said, ties directly into resources available in the community.

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30th-Jul-2014 11:21 am - nurture amplifying nature
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My allergies were out of control when I was a child, which meant I stayed indoors as much as possible, so I'm just now learning things that are probably obvious to other gardeners my age. This summer has really shown me how much the size of the container affects the growth of a plant. I'd been trying to get by mainly with the shallow and small pots and planters I'd had on hand, but this year I sanitized some larger ones (and splurged on some quality soil) and lo, the lone survivor from last year's batch of Christmas peppers is finally bearing fruit:

Christmas pepper plant

(That's one yellow pepper among a crowd of ripening-into-purples. Nature is weird and cool.)

The big pot vs. smaller pot demonstrations appeared in the form of basil (not pictured) and cucumbers. This cucumber vine (with a chopstick as its stake)...

lemon cucumber plant

... was sown at the same time and in the same box as this lot (I couldn't resist transplanting it when it was clear some thinning needed to happen):

lemon cucumber plants lemon cucumber plants

(And yes, they needed water. I took care of that after snapping the photos.)

That noted, I hear that lilies prefer being root-bound, so I dithered some about repotting the calla lily we received last fall. But I'm going to be away a fair bit in August, and I'm trying to improve the odds of things staying hydrated without investing in major installations or complicated rigs, so I decided the lily should at least go into a pot large enough to accomodate a wine-bottle nanny. Plus it was kind of neat getting a look at the roots:

pot-bound calla lily

And now to those indoor things. Ars longa...

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From Dorothy Wickenden's Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West (Scribner, 2011):

Sam [Perry] doted on Marjorie, his firstborn, treating her like a son. Every year she accompanied him on a weeks-long hunting expedition. As one newspaper account described her, "Wearing a heavy flannel shirt and chaps, like a cowboy of the plains, she has ridden through the wildest regions of the state, shooting deer and bear and even an occasional mountain lion." One year she returned with a bear cub she named Perrywinkle and kept in her parents' backyard in Denver. (As an older woman, when her two favorite dogs died, she skinned them and used their pelts as rugs.)

(On a side note, there is nothing like reading about pioneer wives to snap me out of a pity party right fast. Good God, what those women endured.)

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21st-Jul-2014 01:52 pm - Malva sylvestris
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Harvested seeds from my healthiest French hollyhock (aka mallow) plant just now. If you'd like some, send me your address (comments are screened) and I'll drop some into the mail. They need full sun and don't necessarily flower the first year (I've got three plants without flowers and five with, all from the same packet of seeds, but planted/transplanted at different times, and over-wintered in different-sized containers). In theory, they don't like being transplanted, but the healthiest plant started out by the side of my driveway last fall, was dug up and lived in my study over the winter, and then moved to the other side of the house this spring. (I left the two biggest plants outside over the winter, well mulched, etc., etc., but the winter was too damn long -- nothing in that row survived other than the crepe myrtle offshoot.)

French hollyhock (aka mallow)

French hollyhock

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From Timothy Beaton's profile of Charles Clary in Nashville NATIVE:

Appropriately, his largest and most ambitious piece was constructed in tribute to his mother, the woman who put the first crayon in his hand. The piece took six months to complete, and the final product sprawled across 240 square feet in an eight-by-forty-foot installation.

The number of towers reflected the number of days from his mother's cancer diagnosis to the day she passed: 204. It included seven seventeen-by-seventeen-inch towers representing the seven-month period, and twenty-six twelve-by-twelve-inch towers for the twenty-six-week period. There were also another 172 towers of varying sizes that completed the piece.

"It was something I had to do. I didn't let myself say, 'This is exhausting.' You're alive, and you're telling a story."

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