Saturday, July 26, 2008

PhotoHunt: Hanging

Thought doing the weekly PhotoHunt might be fun. (Actually, I've wanted to do it for a couple of weeks now, but couldn't find a good picture for the themes. That's probably not how it's supposed to work.) This pic is from the Andy Warhol museum in Pittsburgh, thought it fit the theme quite nicely.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I Don't Like My Wordle

The latest craze seems to be the Wordle. By "latest craze" I mean a few of my favorite bloggers have done it. Since JD did it I don't really have to, but I did anyway. Here's what I got for my blog:

I don't like it because it seems boring to me. I'm not really sure what I was expecting, but I think the fact that the biggest word is "know" basically says it all. Borrrring.

I thought maybe if I took my resume and made a Wordle I'd like it better. Not so much:

Don't judge a blog by its Wordles. I'm going to keep checking, and maybe eventually I'll get a kick-ass Wordle.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

iPod Meme

I saw this meme and thought it was interesting. Lately everything I write just ends up as an unfinished draft, and I can't quite get a complete post about any single thing done. So I thought this might be interesting, and would motivate me to get my iPod over to the computer for some much needed updating.

I followed these rules, but I did delete some of the questions. (Just the ones that pertained to dating and generally being single.)

1. Put your music player on shuffle.
2. Press forward for each question.
3. Use the song title as the answer to the question.

To make it more interesting, I also did a google image search on the song titles, and used an image from the first page for each one, without using any album covers or pictures of the artists.

Q: What does next year have in store for you?

Seven Seas of Rhye--Queen

(On the Greatest Hits album, I decided to look it up. The Wikipedia description of it is pretty interesting.)

Q: What do you say when life gets hard?

Those Bold City Girls--The Shins

Q: Song that reminds you of good times?

Afternoon--Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers

Q: What do you think when you get up in the morning?

The Ballad of the Little Man--World Party

Q: Song that reminds you of your first kiss?

Bob Dylan's 49th beard--WILCO

Q: Your favourite saying?

Only the Stones Remain--Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians

Q: Favourite place?

Men Just Leave--Glen Phillips

Q: Most Missed Memory?

Is Anything--The Judybats

Q: What song describes your best friend?


Q: Where would you go on a first date?

Madonna of the Wasps--Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians

(My shuffle seems to always go heavy on Robyn. If you don't know him, go here, and about halfway through he tells what this song is about. That's pretty much Robyn in a nutshell.)

Q: Drug of choice?

Nothing Left to Borrow--The Jayhawks

Q: What song describes yourself?

Train Going Backwards--Dramarama

Q: What is the thing you like doing most?

Cruel To Be Kind--Nick Lowe

Q: The song that best describes the president?

The Everyday Story of Smalltown--XTC

Q: Where will you be in 10 years?

Anna Begins--Counting Crows

Q: What is your state of mind like at the moment?

My Old School--Steely Dan

Q: How will you die?

Motor of Love--Paul McCartney

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Too Much of a Good Thing?

I was so proud of my little garden. My first one at this house, my chance for my own home grown tomatoes. I was proud when it just looked like this:

And I was ecstatic when a few weeks ago it looked like this:

Tomatoes apparently love hot, humid weather. So a few short weeks after the picture above, they have taken over the garden.

I've spent the last week trying to rein them in. For the ones that originally had cages, I've been feeding some of the longer vines back through the cages. I added a bunch of wooden stakes and tied vines to them. The tomatoes that are next to the peppers have completely overshadowed their neighbors, so I really tried to pull them back and give the peppers some room. I trimmed some of the non-producing vines (the technical term for them is "suckers" I believe) and removed the withering leaves. I've done everything I can think of to tame them. Everything, that is, except thinning them out. They are covered with green tomatoes, and I just can't bear to destroy any of them.

I'm not sure how I will actually be able to pick any of them from the center,though, since the plants on the outside edges are already as tall as me (I'm 5'8".)
The back half of the garden looks pretty good, despite the wall of tomatoes that borders it.

And I'm such a dork that I took some close-ups of some of the other veggies. Do you want to see those too? I thought so.
Oddly shaped, although I'm certain delicious, green pepper:

Crazy fast-growing cucumber, that I swear has doubled in size each night this week:

I don't want to speak too soon and jinx it, but it seems that the bunnies have stayed away so far. It could be from the lavender planted on the edges of the fence, or the Pro-Tec along the whole fence. Perhaps I should also credit my Bunny Patrol:

Got any good recipes for tomatoes?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Good to Know

I've been out of town handling family things and unable to post for a few weeks. I am working on writing something about that, which may or may not ever get posted. But one thing I did want to write about was some of what I've learned in the last 2 weeks. If you know of anyone who is caring for a terminally ill person, or dealing with the death of a loved one, these things are good to know.

1. Food is good. For some reason, the idea of taking food to people seems old-fashioned. I suppose since it's easy to get take-out, or order something for home delivery these days, bringing food might not seem necessary. But trust me, it is SO welcomed and needed. During times of crisis, the last thing you are thinking about is food. You don't even feel like ordering out, let alone cooking something. Sometimes you don't even have an appetite. But if someone brings you a roasted chicken, you'll eat it. A neighbor even brought us some take-out pasta, apologizing for not having made it herself, but we didn't care. We ate every bite of it. From now on, I am going to try to take food to anyone I know that is going through serious family illness or death. It's such an easy thing to do, but it really does go a long way.

2. Send a card. Or write a note. Or call. When you feel overwhelmed, confused, sad, angry, exhausted, or whatever, it makes you feel good to know that your friends and family are thinking about you. Don't assume that they know you are, make a point of telling them. A short note, a card, or even a voicemail message to let them know you care is critical to their well being during tough times.

3. Be specific. I know I've said it many times to people, and I always mean it: "If there is anything I can do, don't hesitate to call." Funny though how 99.9% of the time, they never call. While it is still nice to hear that help is available if you need it, most people won't call and ask for it. So if you can, offer something very specific instead. ("Can I call some caterers for you?" Can I bake some cookies for the wake?") It's hard to think clearly when you are dealing with so much, and often you don't even know what help you might need. Even if it's something that seems minor, it probably will be a big help.

4. Hospice rules. Everyone I've spoken to that has had an experience working with any hospice organization seems to agree: they are incredible. The kind of work they do is unbelievably difficult. It most definitely takes a special kind of person, and unless you love it you probably don't do it for long. All of the people that we dealt with were patient, kind, caring, and really supportive. If you ever have a chance to give back to a hospice organization, do it. It is a very worthy cause.