yard art

i have a fascination with sculpture and other large objects that are covered with living moss, vines, grass, and other plant life.

so, i have this big back yard, which is largely unused. it’s a maintenance nightmare, and i get very little satisfaction out of it.

i did get a pool like christa’s, so next summer, i’ll have that going on. it’ll reduce the amount of grass i’ll have to mow, and it’ll give me something nice to do with the yard.

i’d like to leave open the possibility that i might have a vegetable garden.

so, i have these two old rocking chairs and the base of a small old table. all three have been out in the elements for so long that they’re no longer usable as furniture. i could take ’em to the dump… or…

what if i put them back in the back yard and invited the vines back there to grow on them?

my self of the past is an annoying housemate

you know how people sharing a space will have temperature wars? one person is cold, and they turn up the heat… the other person gets too warm, or feels strongly that to save energy, we must keep the thermostat at 65, and so turns it down…?

in march, i got a new heating and cooling system, complete with a programmable thermostat. i recall spending a good deal of time programming it (gleefully, i would imagine); going into this winter, there was already an elaborate program in place for heat.

apparently living in a cold house while the new system was being installed skewed my idea of what constitutes “warm”. the lisa of december 2005 is having a temperature war with the lisa of march 2005.

i wake up in the morning, and raise the temperature to 67. halfway through my morning ablutions, i raise it again to 67, the “day” program having kicked in and brought the temp all the way down to fricking 62 degrees. (lisa of the past had a different work schedule from lisa of the present.) i come home from work and raise the temperature. and raise it again a few more times during the evening as new phases of the program kick in. weekends are worse, of course.

what _was_ i thinking? i swear, i am wearing layers. socks, sweaters, sitting under a wool blanket while watching tv. still, brrr.

obviously, i need to re-do the programs; it’s a tedious task, which is why i keep putting it off.

all of this makes it occur to me that my self of the past has done some other annoying things that my self of the present is left to deal with. she stored items for goodwill in the basement, knowing full well that when it started raining again, they’d get wet. guess what? it’s raining again. *the drought is officially over;* my basement floor is wet again.

my self of the past probably could have kept better care of the back yard; it might not be such a mess if she had.

but i dunno, she did some good stuff, too. she cleared all the crap out from under the bed, so now i can clean under there. she bought some nice furniture, and did a lot of painting and stuff.

in the end, i suppose it may not be mentally healthy to think of my self of the past as a _separate person._ it’s just that i really do not understand how she could stand the thermostat set so low.

this hurts me more than it hurts you

i took today off, and did the bulk of my christmas shopping, plus some grocery store trips.

i bought ingredients for the “everyday italian version of chicken piccata,”:http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,1977,FOOD_9936_22319,00.html which i guess i will make later.

after walking so much today, my foot hurts. rather a lot, actually. right now i’m sitting on the sofa, watching “The Triangle.”:http://www.scifi.com/triangle/ i think the foot, it needs the rest. owie.

somewhat inappropriately, i am considering “a new pair of boots.”:http://www.zappos.com/n/p/dp/7804157/c/3.html for those keeping track at home, it has been several months since i bought some new footwear, but my last purchase was rather major.

but i probably have no business buying anything like that until my foot heals completely.

one of the presents i bought today was a tie. i don’t think i’ve ever bought a tie for anyone before. it was a startling experience. knowing that the recipient is very conservative (and yes, actually _needs_ a tie), i felt it would not be a good idea to get him, say, a pink tie, or an orange tie. A bold pattern seemed risky. This narrowed the field considerably. A price check at Nordstrom sent me scurrying to Hecht’s; I had no idea that ties might actually be that expensive.

Dear readers, you’ll be fascinated to know that in the end, I settled on a tasteful medium blue Calvin Klein with a reasonable pricetag and a subtle pattern.


now is the time of year when we are eating, eating, eating. i made christmas cookies this weekend and yes, ate a few. tomorrow is the department luncheon at a restaurant. due to dinner at federal tonight, including a milk stout (yummy!) i am feeling very full right now, and a little headachey, which is what makes me think of it.

plus, i am watching cooking shows. how does that woman in “everyday italian” make such rich food and stay so tiny? it’s weird.

my friend from virginia (who needs a better nickname here, but i can’t think of one) came to visit this weekend. he’s an appreciative audience for the small amount of cooking that i do while he’s here, but i find i am not very good at coming up with ideas for things to make. “everyday italian” and “30 minute meals” have gone into the TiVO. it probably wouldn’t hurt for me to build up my recipe collection, anyway.

he also looked at my foot, the only person to do so besides the doctor. the bruising was at its peak, and he proclaimed it to be “corpselike” in appearance. i felt vindicated. i really did get hurt! i wasn’t faking. since no one really saw me when i was limping, it kind of felt as if the whole thing was invisible.

trosa tree!

maybe all tree lots are like this– i don’t remember ever buying a tree at a lot before.

i went to the “TROSA”:http://www.trosainc.org/ tree lot at northgate tonight and bought a smallish tree that is just the right size for my living room.

once i selected my tree, a whirlwind of activity involving at least three different TROSA employees commenced. first, two women put my tree on sawhorses, whipped out a chainsaw and made a fresh cut on the trunk (so it’ll drink water more readily). then they wrapped the tree in netting while i pulled my car around. they lined spacepod’s hatch with paper, then three of them wrestled the tree into the car.

they all loved spacepod’s jingle bell wreath.


so far, all i’ve put on the tree is lights. the lights are mostly what i like, anyway. maybe i’ll just leave it at that.

good and bad things about working from home.

Yesterday, I worked from home all day.

Good Things:

1. Opportunity to discover that Loco Pops now has White Chocolate Peppermint. It’s quite tasty and has little bits of peppermint stick in it. It was a little too sweet for my tastes, but most folks would not mind that, I think.

2. All cat, all the time.

3. Evening commute is much less stressful. Also, less time consuming.

4. Widescreen laptop is much nicer than display at work.

5. Better snacks.

Bad Things:

1. It’s way too easy to get Loco Pops.

2. Interaction with other living beings limited to felines.

3. Realization that my normal evening commute is stressful and eats a lot of time in the evenings.

4. Desktop emulator is just slow enough to be exasperating.

5. Fewer opportunities to wear cool shoes.

House of Yum

The “BPAL”:http://blackphoenixalchemylab.com/ labbies timed my Yule shipment perfectly. It arrived yesterday, around 11am, a moment when I was wondering just how my week– and month– was going to go. Was I grounded? Would I be entertaining my weekend visitor with a bare cupboard? Oh, the uncertainty.

So here’s what arrived: the single yummiest shipment of oils I have ever received in o these long months of BPAL collecting.

* *Lick It!* — “What else could possibly be more lickable at Yuletide? This is a candy cane perfume, minty, sweet and sugared.”

* *Gingerbread Poppet* — “Warm, cozy gingerbread spiced with nutmeg, clove and cinnamon.”

* *Snow White* — “A chilly, bright perfume: flurries of virgin snow, crisp winter wind and the faintest breath of night-blooming flowers.”

* *Sugar Cookie* — “Affectionately nicknamed ‘The Devil’s Bake Sale’.”

* *Beaver Moon* — “Because it was too hard to resist, BPAL