Monday, May 31, 2010

Holy Crap, I'm 29

Some of the illustrious people I share a May 31 birthday with:

Walt Whitman

Clint Eastwood

John Bonham (he was the drummer from Led Zeppelin, but if you didn't know that already you can't be my friend anymore)

And The Idiot Gardener...who's more infamous around these parts than any of the others...

Since many of you wished me an early happy birthday last week, don't worry about me shaming you into saying it again!

Although I am lonely, sitting in the corner, in the dark all by myself on my birthday. I've got a candle and a cupcake. And someone took a bite out of my cupcake.

And call your mother, she's lonely and sitting alone in the corner in the dark waiting for you to ring. What kind of a horrible person are you???

Yes, I am being kind of silly this morning, but I'm allowed. Because it's my birthday! People can do whatever they want on their birthdays, right?

I bet it was this guy's birthday that day:

Only problem is, there no major tennis tournaments taking place in North Carolina today for me to streak at. And I can't do handstands.

Hm...what else can I do?

Maybe I can party with Charlie Sheen??

Oh...nope, I can't. He's in jail again.

I guess I'll have to settle for enjoying the sunny, hot weather, and have some good friends over later on.

I had a fantastic weekend, by the way. In case you missed the post before last, Chuck and I went to Virginia for my birthday this past weekend.

We visited the University of Virginia campus, and we went to Jefferson's Monticello and Madison's Montpelier estates.

You may or may not know this about me, but I'm a U.S. Revolutionary Era history nerd. And I hit the houses of U.S.President No.3 and U.S. President No.4 in two days.

Monticello IS my Graceland, people.

Anyway, I'll be posting the pics in a few different parts so as to not overwhelm! I just am not going to start today, because I want to spend my birthday doing other things besides writing.

Although, it doesn't look that way, does it? :)

This is a clip of a Led Zeppelin concert, Greensboro, NC. May 31, 1977. John Bonham's 29th birthday (what a coincedence!)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Kid Rock

All right. I want to hear a chorus of 'Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!'s and I want to hear them now.

Isn't this the cutest damn thing you ever saw?

The goat I mean, not me. Although together we're insurmountably adorable.

I mentioned this before, but awhile back, Chuck used to be in the Marine Corps. He got out in 1983 when I was 2. When I say awhile back, I mean awhile back. He's kind of an old guy compared to me. Luckily...

A friend of his from the Corps named Kim, and her husband Fred, stopped by on their drive down to Georgia. Awesome people. Really enjoyed their visit!

We all went over to another USMC friend's farm about a mile away from here, and hung out with a bunch of people.

The farm owners' goat just had two kids. Everyone went to check it out (because that's where the entertainment is in rural NC).

My friend Maggie (who I guess we can call The Farmer's Daughter), convinced me to hold the baby goat. Baby anythings freak me out a little...I always feel like I'm going to break them.

She said, 'Hold it just like a cat.' I'm glad I decided to hold it! This city-girl's becoming less city-slicker every day, thanks to a little help from her friends.

I asked Chuck if I could have goats, and he said no. Goat-pooper.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Some Milli Vanilli Action!

But unlike these guys....

...MY rain is real!

No rain-synching whatsoever.

Of course it doesn't photograph well, but that cloudy haze just outside my back porch is rain!


I can hear each blade of grass in my backyard screaming a multitude of 'thank you's.

There's a tropical-esque system hanging out off of our coastline...luckily it's not going to turn into anything serious.

And even more importantly, the rain isn't going to mess with my birthday weekend! Supposed to be sunnier than a solar flare.

But today? Blame it on the rain!

Friday, May 21, 2010

I Guess It's Too Much To Call Them 'Third-Week-Of-May-Bugs'

*sinks to knees and shakes fists at the sky*


Junebugs. Japanese Beetles. Feasters of Flowers and Foliage.

I found this one snacking on the last of my bearded irises. Actually I found two, but the other one drunkenly high-tailed it when I caught them.

When I first started gardening, I tried Junebug traps. Which actually work, in case you're interested. But with every Junebug that perished in the trap, there were ten more happily chewing away at my roses. So I don't bother anymore...

Captain Obvious says 'Junebugs also mean that June is coming!'

June. The month of sweltering heat and the start of hurricane season.

Oh well, I get to enjoy the last part of it next weekend with four days off for my birthday! Having a birthday on May 31 in North Carolina gives me an excuse to have a last hurrah for spring.

Chuck and I are going to go up to Virginia to see Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. I'm so excited! We're also going to visit James Madison's house at the same time, which is about 30 minutes away from that. Be ready for some pictures!

I know that there have been many posts about visiting Monticello on Blotanical, but maybe I can capture something differently than everyone else. I have a knack for that. :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"Give It A Whirl, Girl, Be Like the Squirrel"

You may have noticed that I love to post pictures of birds, as well as gardens.

Birds are my little wild pet buddies. I don't mind spending the money on their food, or nectar for the hummingbirds. I don't have pets or kids (and you see both of those on leashes these days), so what else would I spend money on?

I also love squirrels. I could watch them perform their crazy antics all day long. Amuses the hell out of me.

However, I can't stand when the squirrels eat my expensive birdseed. I'm sure I'm not the only person that has this problem. Listen up squirrels! I work my butt off all day at work, and you just sit there all day and look cute. And you expect me to feed you???

I was constantly yelling out the bathroom window like a crazy person everytime I saw one of those little bastards on my bird feeder. And not just ON my birdfeeder, IN my birdfeeder. All you would see was a tail poking out of the lid.

The squirrels were starting to look like Jabba the Hutt.

My husband came up with a great idea. We had seen squirrel baffles for sale, but he made his own.

He decided to wrap flashing around a tall wooden pole. The pole was too tall for them to jump onto the feeders from the ground, and the flashing was put on so that the overlapping ridges were facing downwards. We have no mature trees or fencing in the yard, so they couldn't jump down from anywhere.

The next morning after installation, we went outside. It had rained the night before. Lo and behold, we could tell the squirrels had been foiled!

There were muddy, sliding claw marks coming down from about halfway up the pole. The sight of that was hilarious. We wished we would have seen it happen, and taken pictures.

The squirrels finally gave up. Or so we thought.

On Sunday morning, I noticed a squirrel sitting on the grass, eating seeds that had been dropped. I got my camera ready, and watched from the bathroom window.

He did try to climb a running start!

...and here he is, sliding down the can almost hear him squeak, 'Damn it!'

I kind of feel bad for the little guy, but my wallet doesn't.

I just noticed that my birdbath is sitting on my firepit in the pics. Chuck has to move things when he mows, and doesn't always put them back. I shouldn't have said anything, and just let you wonder why.

My title comes from the White Stripes song 'Little Acorns.' I'm leaving you with a clip from the documentary, 'It Might Get Loud'. It's about Jack White, Jimmy Page, and Edge...they get together and talk about their influences. If you love music, watch this movie. Cool as hell.

Friday, May 14, 2010

"All I Can Do, Is Just Pour Some Tea For Two.."

Awhile back I wrote a post called Don't Rain on My Parade.

I was very unhappy that it was raining on my day off, and whining about it.

Well guess what? Karma's a biyatch.

We are rapidly moving towards drought conditions in Coastal NC, if we aren't in it already.

Everything looks like crap most of the time. The wisteria wasn't as beautiful or plentiful this year. The azaleas looked good for about 3 days and then started wilting in the heat. Our grass looks like dookie. And I use the term 'grass' loosely, because it doesn't even resemble the stuff it's so burnt up.

My southern magnolia! Oh, that poor thing. Usually it's very drought tolerant, but this year it looks sad. Magnolias normally drop quite a few leaves, but this year mine's on it's way to being bald, and only has one flower on it. Last year it had made it up to 5 flowers.

I'm trying to water as much as I can, but I bet they're gonna put a ration into effect soon.

I'm about to start calling on some of my Native ancestry and do a rain dance...

There are a few things in my garden that are looking good (or were, because I took these a few days ago).

My "Bell'Aroma" hybrid tea.

It always looks best in May. After that, it gets double-teamed and decimated by japanese beetles and black spot disease. I can't believe it comes back so well every year.

Chuck bought me an azalea for Mother's Day last year, and this year the blooms on it were so beautiful!! Very unique ruffle, cool spots on the inside of the flower (sorry I'm not very technical in my description). I caught them just a little late with the camera, they were fading a little...

And my irises are JUST about done now, but these giant purple ones are the last to go. They're bigger than my hand! :)

Cross your fingers for us that it rains soon, or I won't have too many pretty pictures to show!

I'm going to end this on a performance by Blind Melon on Muchmusic in 1995. Oh how I miss Muchmusic...MTV sucks.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Moth-er May I?

We were on our way out to [Step]Mother's Day lunch yesterday (we had a picnic in the park with my stepkid, it was a beautiful day!), and Chuck pointed out two cool moths. One was on our porch pillar, and the other was chillin' on the driveway.

This one looks like ice cream to me. My inner fat kid just wanted to pick it up and eat it. Bet it tastes like cotton candy and Peeps.

And this one looks like something out of 'Nightmare Before Christmas'.

I've never seen such crazy moths...they're just as pretty/cool as butterflies!

Thought I'd share :) Haven't been on much in the last week, very busy!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My Anaconda Don't Want None Unless You Got Sun, Hon

Working at Barnes & Noble, I see a lot of weird things, and a lot of weirdos.

This is my store.

There's one guy that comes in and talks about Johnny Depp a lot. Sometimes the guy has a fake British accent, and sometimes he doesn't. He introduces himself to me every time, like we've never met before.

There's another guy that comes in and orders a ton of weird books and movies, buys them and returns them. Repeatedly. He always comes in soaking wet. His money is also soaking wet, and very gross. I think he lives under a bridge.

And strippers? In a Marine town? We got strippers! I have never seen such crazy stripper outfits worn in PUBLIC as regular clothes. Who thinks, "I'm going to the bookstore for a few hours. I think I'll wear spiked, platform heels, and a spandex mini-dress with the butt cut out of it. Yeah! I'm gonna look awesome while I'm pretending to read."

It makes me say the phrase, "That person has too much time on their hands" about 10 times a day.

I was wrong though.

THIS person has too much time on his hands. And I thank him for it. Because I almost spit my coffee out laughing.

If you live under a rock (or just listen to classier music than I do), that's the song today's post title is from.

I find I don't take enough pictures of the plants that are in my sunnier gardens. It's hard to take a decent picture of the South and West gardens in the daytime, because of the glare of the sun. And at dawn and dusk, I'm usually doing something else.

*cue 70's porn music*

No, just kidding. Unfortunately, I'm usually working.

AND, the bane of my summer existence has arrived, which makes it hard to stand still and take pictures at these times of the day. Or, should I say BANES (is 'banes' a word?). Because there are two of them.

Biting gnats and biting horse flies (or 'deer flies' as Chuck calls them). Biting horse flies are irritating, and I spend more time swatting them than I do weeding or watering.

But gnats! Oh how I hate gnats. Also called midges, punkies, no see ums, and black flies. I, my friends, am HIGHLY allergic to these bastards, I mean bites.

The bites swell up like the Goodyear Blimp (do people use that analogy anymore?) and are the most itchy thing I have ever encountered. The worst part is, you can't see them, so you don't know they're treating your legs like a buffet. I will spare you the grossness of showing you a picture of the aftermath.

I did manage to get out a few days ago for a few minutes to take some pictures of my sun-loving plants!

This is my Goldflame Honeysuckle. AKA "The Best Garden Decision I've Made".

I wasn't sure about it the first year. It was kind of sparse, and got a lot of spotty leaves. I cut it back to the ground the next spring, and it came back AWESOME. And this spring? Even MORE awesome. That first cutback was the key, I guess!
The hummingbirds go crazy for this thing, so I'm very glad I put the trellis near our back porch.

This spring, I've decided to grow coneflowers for the first time.

My 'Ernest Markham' clematis is doing very nicely. The blooms are much bigger than last year.

The trellis needs to be fixed, I don't know what I'll do with this thing's a prune group 2. I'd probably have to cut it back to fix the trellis. Would that kill it? Or just set the progress of the plant back a lot? Sorry if that's a stupid question, I don't have much experience with clematis.

And here's a shot of my West garden (West it's The White House). I just put up those hanging baskets a couple of weeks ago. I really like them a lot. The hot weather is coming on so fast, that I think I'll need to be changing the plants that are in it very soon.

Ugh, I need to go outside and water. And I KNOW the bugs are waiting out there with a knife and fork.