can we go back to the yelling?

one of my neighbors is outside right now having sporadic coughing fits. actually, it kind of sounds like the pattern and type of coughing some people have when getting high.

i listened to their dog whine pathetically for about an hour today. he was tied up outside and they were inside. i like to leave my back door open when the weather is nice so i can have fresh air, but of course this means that the sounds, and occasionally the odors from next door are all the more potent.

my next house will have more privacy.

the task that i put off for five years has now been completed.

Six years ago, I moved into my house. There were large beds beautifully mulched with pine straw.

The next year, i knew i needed to mulch. I was lost, though. I didn’t know where to start, or where to get mulch, or how much to get, or who to ask.

The beds were never mulched. They grew weedy, and the large L-shaped bed in the back completely disappeared.

This morning, I measured my back yard and the big bed– which I plan to bring back– by walking it. I have written these measurements in my beautiful Molskine notebook to keep for all time: 64′ x 36′ for the back yard, that’s 2300 sq. ft. 64′ x 18′ for the side of the L bed, that’s 1150 sq. ft. 36′ x 10′ for the bottom of the L, that’s 360 sq. ft. I have about 1500 sq. ft. to mulch in the back.

The good people at Barnes Supply on 9th St. tell me that one of their bales will mulch 100 sq. ft. to a 2-3″ depth, so I have ordered 16 bales to be delivered Friday. Any extra will be put to good use in the front beds and elsewhere.

Now, why did it take me five years to figure out how to order mulch? I guess when it comes to gardening, I’m in the slow group.

update: The Barnes delivery guy, Gary, called me around 1pm in the truck with my mulch, unable to find my house. I hope my co-workers were entertained by our ensuing conversation, in which I lead him from the intersection of Duke and Markham all the way to the little white house with a silver Beetle parked in front. Gary was pretty entertaining to talk to. He felt the need to extoll the virtues of their mulch over that of Lowes during the lulls in conversation. I guess Barnes feels the pinch of the big box stores.

My ‘hood in the Old Home Tour!

As many of you already know, my neighborhood, Old North Durham, is being featured in this year’s “old home tour.”:

To pre-empt the first question out of everyone’s mouth: no, my house is not on the tour.

The tour is Saturday, May 6th. Mark your calendars!

Or better yet– volunteer to be a docent!

I did this last year when the tour was of downtown Durham, and I had a fantastic time. As my shift went on, I learned more about the building I was station in, because people would tell me what they remembered about it. Docents also get to take the tour for free.

From an e-mail that just went out to my neighborhood e-mail list:

bq. Catch the trolley on a lovely May day on North Mangum Street and take advantage of this chance to visit sixteen Durham showpieces. For the Historic Preservation Society of Durham

shake body!

i’ll admit that i’m not a huge fan of amercian hip-hop these days. african hip-hop is a different story.

“Naija Jams blog highlights ‘Shake Body’ video by ChiiDo.”:

there’s no doubt that this is african music, after the intro. and the dancers are fantastic. i don’t watch a lot of videos, so this isn’t saying much, but definitely one of the best videos (or bits of film) i’ve seen in a while.