The Birds are Migrating North

Here's a photo of seven of them who flew over late this afternoon (you can only see six in the photo as the 7th was trailing too far behind to be in the photo). They are all the same size, rather loud and flew in precise formation. I wonder where their summer breeding ground is.

Cold and Rainy Morning
Looks like another day stuck inside. It's in the 40s right now and raining. Yesterday I lay out where the new hedge will go, but didn't even start digging up the beds. It was far too muddy for that. I also need to get some compost or humus to dig into the holes.

There are over 25 compact holly bushes there, plus three variegated euonymous (one on each corner, plus one next to the steps) as a contrasting bush. The holly bushes were slightly freeze damaged from last weekend, so I got them for $2 each instead of the regular price of $6 each. Not a bad deal, if I say so myself. It's not supposed to rain this week so perhaps I'll get the installation done in stages after work.

Here's what the spoils from yesterday looked like before unloading the car. I even planned ahead and put a tarp down to keep the mud and water off the carpet. I probably wouldn't have thought of that except that I happened to see the tarp sitting behind the other plants in the garage.

Here's a shot of the perennials out of the bunch (minus the holly and a raspberry bush). There are two artemisia, six creeping phlox, five nandina, two sea pinks, two dwarf coreopsis and two Mediterranean heathers. The heathers will go into the backyard with the nandinas while the rest of the plants will be in front of the house in the new bed I haven't finished digging yet.

The day actually ended sunny, but very windy and cold. I did get the lawn mowed (well except for the swampy spots). I even washed the mower down afterward. I really need to change the oil in the mower, but it was too cold to mess with that today. I will work on that next weekend and lube all the appropriate places. At the end of the summer I'll get the John Deere guys to come out to do a proper tune-up. Sure, I could do that stuff myself, but I figure that for an investment like the mower it doesn't hurt to pay a little extra and make sure it's all taken care of properly. That way I won't have to buy another mower for 20 years, which is fine with me.

Headline of the Day
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

My New Pet!
I have a new pet! I feed him and talk to him and keep him warm. He lives in a little bowl on top of the dryer. I finally activated the sample of Carl's Sourdough that I got in the mail several weeks ago. In a day or two I'll have a fully grown starter and will probably bake myself some biscuits or bread next weekend. Every few days I'll have to feed it, but it will also do just fine in the refrigerator unattended for a week or so. I'll also take some starter and dry it for storage, just in case I kill this batch.

Over the next couple of months, I'll work my way through my bread cookbooks and try most, if not all of the sourdough recipes. I'd like to find a recipe for bread that I use regularly instead of paying $3 a loaf for store-bought bread, which is ok, but not spectacular. If I can find a recipe I like and it isn't too much trouble to bake at home, I can have better bread and have fun too. How's that for cheap entertainment, plus it will make my house smell *wonderful*.

Here's a photo of the starter after its second feeding and just prior to its final feeding. It got all kinds of bubbly.

I am starting to weed out my belongings. I have come to the conclusion that I have far too much stuff. I am starting with the computer parts. I really don't need four modems. Technically I don't need any, but I'll keep one of them. I'm also going to label the miscellaneous cables to things I still own and discard the cables I can't identify. This ought to get the stash of computer stuff down to a single box, instead of three boxes. Mitch is going to help me go through the miscellaneous bits I can't identify tonight and help me decide what I should keep and what can go.

After that, it will be time for the various boxes of detritus from my life. I don't know that I'll throw out much of that stuff, but I will at least organize and label the boxes. I could start scrapbooks, but so much of the stuff doesn't work in a scrapbook, like programs from various concerts. I may invest in some acid-free boxes like those sold at Exposures. They also have some really nice photo albums and frames, should I ever get around to getting that organized.


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