Laura Parkinson (stormfeather) wrote,
Laura Parkinson

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Bits and Pieces, Odds and Ends

I've been bad about updating recently, so a few quick n' dirty updates about various things. Although not as dirty as I'd like. Unless you include digging in the dirt for gardening and such. ;)

I was going to label this "my body," but figured that'd be misleading. Frankly, the past few days I've felt crappish again. Not horrid but.. I think I've overdone it in general, pushing too hard, too fast after being in a slump for a couple months, and immediately after having been ill and headachy for four days (and not eating enough). It probably doesn't help that I want to rest and feel better, but I also want to get stuff *done* now, since I've let it go too long. So I'll feel a bit ill, go lie down and rest for a bit, then when I start to feel better I figure "hey, I'm feeling okay now, I'll go get some more stuff done!"

Last night I had a scratchy throat and a bit of a queasy feeling that made me suspect I was coming down with a cold. Today the throat isn't as bad, nor is the stomach, so I guess maybe it's just allergies really acting up. Still, I could do without it, thanks very much.

I haven't got done as much inside the house, but I've been trying to bring the outside back up to snuff. My main sorrow is the pond, which I've been slow about getting back to its glory, although I at least have the filter and pump working well again and clearing the water up, and have filled it back up about to capacity.

I really want to find a few specific plants, plus more stuff for my flower garden once it's cleared out. But because of feeling less than spectacular (see above), I haven't made it out too much. I did pick up a few things though. I have two hanging baskets of... er... I'm not sure what honestly, hanging out front now. (They look something like miniature petunias, at least the flowers do, in their shape).

I installed a new mailbox and post out front as well (which my father actually picked up himself, I made the mistake of mentioning I wanted to get some in passing, and he apparently took it as A Hint, which it wasn't meant to be, and I'd really rather have chosen them myself). I'm... not totally thrilled with them. The mailbox may not have been cheap to buy, but it's cheap in construction, you can't even get it closed, and if you do somehow get it closed you practically need a crowbar to pry it back open. Not sure if I can fix that or not. The post is also a bit off-kilter, although that's my own fault in intallation, and it's not the type that I like. (It has the mailbox sitting completely in front of the post, rather than on top of it. I just don't like that, call me crazy.) And the mailbox is too big... between the post style, and the mailbox size, the mailbox ends up jutting a bit past the curb. Blah.

Ah well. Around the mailbox I've planted two lavender plants and a few lavender seeds. I'd also like to get some more lavender plants, in case the seeds don't grow right. I've also added Allysium (I think that's the right spelling) seeds around those, in carpet of snow (white) and royal carpet (dark purple) varieties. If they grow, it should be nice, but we'll have to see. Now I still need to wash down, maybe even repaint the white brickwork in a circle around the mailbox/plantings, and trim back the two bushes in the front of the house, as well as refresh some of the white rocks surrounding said bushes.

In the backyard I've gotten my herb garden more or less planted (could maybe use another rosemary plant, and another thyme plant or so), although a lot of it is seeds, and they were planted late enough that I'm hoping everything will grow alright. *sigh* Wish I'd gotten motivated sooner but... if wishes were fishes and all that. I have sage seeds planted, parsley seeds, one poor lone chives plant and some chives seeds, an oregano plant and some oregano seeds (my lone remainder from the previous herb garden(s)), a thyme plant, some sweet basil seeds, and a rosemary plant.

I need to get my mint garden more under control as well, but it's thriving. I also planted a plant of what was labelled as "chocolate mint" out there, and am having to constantly beat back the ravenous spearmint and peppermint surrounding it. (Mostly the spearmint. DAMN does that grow fast. Kudzu, but with a minty flavour.) But at least it seems to be growing well, not wilting like I've had some mint do when transplanted into the garden.

I've gotten a lot of the mint out of my flower bed now, with some left remaining. When I say "a lot," I mean about four or five lawn-sized trash bags' worth. Did I mention that crap grows like wildfire? I need to get the rest cleared out soon though. I already planted the gloriosa (*squee*) daisies in a large pot, but today I also picked up two plants of "Stonecrop - Dragon's blood" (which I'd had previously just under the label "dragon's blood") ready to be put along the border. I saw it, and couldn't pass it up, because I really liked it as a border plant when I had it before.

Now I still need to find some strawberry plants, and some purple pansies(1) to go around the birdhouse in the back yard, which is also surrounded by the type of white brickwork around the mailbox. I still have black raspberry bushes (which are still big and bushy and already getting little green berries) out there, and two blueberry "bushes" (which have never taken off, and have only produced a few berries, and the ones I had growing on there seem to have mysteriously disappeared. Which annoys me, but I'll be generous and assume it was birds).

1 - Sad but true fact, when I started typing "pansies" my fingers automatically started typing in "penises" instead.

The dog? Is driving me crazy. She wants to be out ALL THE TIME. And since we don't have a doggy-door, this means that someone has to let her out, and then TRY to wheedle her back inside at some point. It's tempting to just let her out for hours at a time, but with the heat, and with her having a fairly thick coat, I don't want to do that. Blah.

I also really have to watch her when small animals are around.(2) Have had a couple rabbits in the yard so far this year, but they've managed to get away before she can catch them. I was working on the mailbox a bit more yesterday though when I heard her dive into the bushes and heard a shrieking, and had to dive in and pick her up and carry her inside the house, then investigate. I'd thought by the noise that it was a young rabbit that didn't have full lung-power yet, but it was actually a juvenile blackbird that couldn't quite fly yet. I carried it outside to the back of the yard and let it down out there. I hope it's okay.

The hornets haven't been as noticeable as usual, so I'm not sure if they still have a nest near/in the yard or what. I do however have at least 2 frogs in my pond (and did have some tadpoles as well, haven't seen them for a bit). I interrupted them in the midst of what appeared to be some Hot Amphibian Lurve action the other day, but I'd thought it would be a bit late for that. Oh well.

2 - It was at this point in my typing that the dog came into the front room to non-subtly hint that she wanted to go back out. I rest my case, guv.

I've been on a weird kick lately to go back and play some stuff I've played before. Most recently it was Lost In Blue, which meant I had to find that (tiny tiny) DS cartridge before I could finally sate the cravings, which just wouldn't go away. That I can at least understand, since it's still a fairly recent game, and one I really enjoyed a lot. But now for some reason I've been aching to replay Monster Rancher: Battlecards for the Playstation. o_O Have managed to avoid breaking it out so far, but we'll see how that goes. I also did a replay recently of Tropico 2 on my laptop (all the campaign chapters, and the different scenarios), but that's also understandable since it's a really cool game, and I go back to it frequently anyhow.

Other than that, I've picked up 3 new games recently as well. The first two are for the DS - Brain Age, and Big Brain Academy. Both are fairly fun, but since there's no real time limit or unlockables for BBA, it's already really wearing thin. Brain Age may keep me hooked longer as far as playing for a bit every day goes, but it also has some annoyances with getting it to "read" numbers right, or "hear" some words right. (I too am also having trouble getting it to understand the word "blue," although it's better now that I've taken to pronouncing it more like "Baloo.") My latest brain age was 26, so that's not too shabby.

The other game I picked up was Gallop Racer 2006. Now, sad as it may sound, I love this series in general. It's a horse racing simulation, where you not only race the horses, but have a sort of training/breeding thing going on as well. It's hard to explain in such a short blurb, but I find it a lot of fun. Or at least usually. I've picked up each installment as it comes out so far, and until now had had no real problems with each new game. Oh, there were a few things they changed now and then that I'd rather they left alone, but they also added new aspects, kept things fresh, etc.

But this latest installment? I've played it once so far, and that's it. If I believed in using game stores as a rental service (aka buy the game, try it, if you don't like it return it) it'd be going back to the store. They took out the option to basically have your own "stable" and have multiple horses at once, or some of the other things you could do like eventually add new buildings that gave you new services (and usually some sort of extra edge in races). And they also changed the layout of gauges and such for the races just enough that it's really annoying to try to keep an eye on everything now. I am SO not happy. Now next game I'll have to definitely nose around and see what it's like before I actually purchased it, which isn't something I've had to do with Gallop Racer games in the past. *fume*

Oh well. I've still got to finish some other recent games anyhow, like Kingdom Hearts 2, and Suikoden V. Gah, so far behind! Damn these retro cravings adding to the problem!

Hrm, other than what I've already mentioned, there's probably not much else to talk about. I did actually go to the local "Heritage Days" festival on Sunday, but frankly? It sucked. I should have listened to my inner wise-man, I'd been planning on not bothering to go because it hasn't been spectacular (but not horrid) in past years, and I had stuff I still wanted to get done. But no, I figured "well, that might just be laziness disguising itself as self-advice," so I went. Ugh.

There were noticeably fewer stands set up this year than in previous years. So much so in fact that the entire first "block" of the downtown mall where the festival usually starts was empty this time around. And usually it's been a fairly even mix of food stands, craft stands, and other stuff. This time around it seemed like it was almost all food, with a bit of entertainment mixed in, and much less (and crappier) stuff in the "crafts" department. I ended up only buying a Polish and Italian Sausage for my father, some hot dogs for myself, and some doggie treats for Lady, despite her driving me to distraction in general. And I threw a dollar in the case of a busking performer singing along with a guitar, if for nothing else than for the name on the sign set up in his open case with the money = "Grateful Ted."

Oh yeah and if you don't like loud noises at all and don't even like to hear balloons popping? "Fire in the hole!" is NOT the phrase you want to hear as you walk past the Revolutionary War period "encampment" set up partway along the festival route.

Oh right, and since I don't think I'd mentioned it, my father got home Sunday afternoon (while I was at the festival, actually). He said it all went alright. He didn't seem completely enthused. I still think he's nuts, but was nice and didn't harp on it.

Okay, that should do it for now, if for no other reason than the fact that I'm tired of typing. Bleh. And hot. They need to cut down the heating system on this globe planet thingy.
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