Saturday, May 31, 2008

In the Garden Today

Spring is finally here, though unusually cool, which has put us behind about a week or two in terms of spring blooms and growth. Despite that, we've got a lot of activity in the garden. Here is what's up in the garden today:

Astilboides tabularis

This thing gets HUGE leaves. Lots of garden catalogs carry it, but you still don't see it in many gardens. Great impact plant!

Hosta 'El Nino'

If you know me, you know I love my hosta. This is one is particularly gorgeous. Its leaves stay this great grey-blue color all summer long with the creamy margin. Beautiful!

Hosta "Paradise Glory"

Another favorite hosta of mine. This variety has a fast growth rate and really makes a statement when it is at peak during the summer. The outer margin stays a dark green and the inner variegation turns bright gold-green. Wow!

Hosta "Sum and Substance"

This is an old standard and is the largest gold hostas on the market. The leaves can get to be about 20 inches across and the clumps up to 3 feet high by six feet wide. AMAZING! Himeko, the hosta lady at the farmer's market, said to me last week that seeing Sum and Substance makes her feel strong and full of vigor. I concur.

Poppies. Poooooopppppies.

No, these aren't the opium poppies that the Wicked Witch sent Dorothy. These are just the old orange poppies that every grandma has. I especially love poppies in this condition. The flower heads are all fuzzy and nodding. If you've ever had the fortune to actually see one go in to bloom, the fuzzy outer coating of the flower head actually kind of pops off as the flower bursts into bloom. Not sure if that is how they got their name, but it is cool to see if you can.

Here is what's going on under the deck right now. The lamium are going completely mental, the irises are looking good, the clematis is making its way up the obelisk, the Endless Summer hydrangea is starting, the astilbes and huecheras are growing. This all just seems to have happened in the last two weeks. Very fun.

Arisaema (or Jack in the Pulpit)

Hi Jack! I love these thing. I remember being fascinated by them as a kid too.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


I made it through a rough week or so at work without killing or even hurting anyone, even though I wanted to. I really thought about sending off a few of the choice greeting cards at Junkmail These are the cards we wish we could send.
So, to lighten my foul mood, I went to Pilates tonight and listened to song on the way there and back that instantly lifts my spirits. It is a dumb song, but makes me happy every time I hear it.
It is: What Have I Done to Deserve This? Pet Shop Boys and Dusty Springfield. I love our dearly departed Dusty. Look for her greatness starting at 1:38. I think MNMom and I should do this at Karaoke night, only I get to wear Dusty's blond wig. Okay, we both can.

Reason #4533

As I've mentioned before, there are lots of reasons to love Curt. Another one just happened. So, as I'm here reading my e-mail, Curt is watching something on TV and preparing dinner. Suddenly, he says loudly "I'M RICK JAMES, BITCH!" And I have no idea why.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Craft Attempt Deux

Blogging pal Kirelimel has been crafting it up on her blog with a cool red afghan and a cute pink bunny. So, I decided to make a Stupid Sock Creature. He was fun to make, aside from piercing and subsequently tearing my fingernail with the sewing maching needle. OUCH!

Friday, May 16, 2008


I only know one other person as consumed by the concept of parasitic twins as I am and that would be my employee C, the benevolent. Naturally, I was thrilled to be able to drop off this story at her desk the other day: Embryonic Parasitic Twin Removed From 9-Year-Old Girl's Stomach. Love it.

Go California!

I know you've all been waiting for me to weigh in on the California Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage. Or, maybe you haven't. Anyway, I'm pretty pleased about it. Generally, here's where I stand on the issue:

1. I was completely ambivalent about gay marriage until Curt and I had to pay an attorney lots of money to draw up expensive papers to get the most basic rights and protections that are assumed with a legal marriage contract- financial power of attorney, spousal inheritance, medical power of attorney, etc. This rubbed my cheap Lutheran-raised sensibilities the wrong way. We still have to get something drawn up that says Curt has control of my corpse should I die. And, just in case you're wondering, let it be known I want to be cremated, unless someone wants to taxiderm my ass and prop me up in your house holding a tray. At least make me useful.

2. I have no particular desire to get married in a church or feel the need to have my commitment to Curt sworn before God or witnessed by friends. Our commitment is already in place and doesn't require anyone in particular's blessing. A new toaster oven, perhaps. Blessing, no. I am only interested in the legal rights and benefits assumed in a legal marriage (or civil union or whatever you want to call it). For the more fervent church goers, let me remind you that the laws of this country were not written by God. The Bible perhaps, but not the laws.

3. I don't believe that gays being allowed to marry is the biggest threat to the institution of marriage as it exists today. What is? D-I-V-O-R-C-E. If you hate the thought of gay marriage on religious grounds, but aren't concurrently proposing a constitutional amendment banning DIVORCE and gay marriage, you don't get to talk to me about the topic. For cripes sake, DIVORCE breaks the VOWS you took before GOD to be committed for the REST OF YOUR LIVES. Straight people bail on their VOWS all the time, well about 53% of the time anyway. Don't be a hypocrite and rally against gay marriage more than you rally against divorce. Just don't.

4. Churches have every right to say no to blessing gay unions. Duh. We're not asking for that. We're asking for legal recognition, not church recognition. I don't recall any law in this nation that forces churches to do much of anything EXCEPT to stay out of politics in the pulpit. Otherwise taxes need to be paid.

5. Constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage piss me off. I can't even carry on a reasonable conversation about how f*cked up it is to use the constitution to restrict legal rights. We have LAWS against things. We have amendments to grant and ensure rights for ALL Americans. Show me an amendment that restricts rights for one demographic only to ensure rights for another demographic. No. We ALL have free speech. We ALL have the right to bear arms. Blah blah blah blah blah. Now I'm pissed.

6. Curt and I have been together for 9 years and plan to grow old together. We live in the suburbs, have jobs, have gardens, have dogs, travel. We aren't shoving "it" down anyone's throats. (Haters, do you know how funny we find it when you say that?) If a nice, boring, middle-aged, long-term, committed couple doesn't meet your particular standards for marriage, then you suck- and not well, I might add.

Well, that was nice.

Today at the feeder

Rose Breasted Grosbeak

Sweet! We were very excited to have a first sighting of this beauty at our feeder. He hung out for about a half hour picking at seed. (This is not the exact bird, but a photo provided by another web site.)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A friend sent this to me. I thought it was funny because I often suggest that opening a big can of Whoop Ass all over an offending party is universally a good problem solving tool. Then I do the Karate Kid crane pose for emphasis. I'm a geek.

Monday, May 12, 2008

How cool is this?

You have got to love this story. One high school girl wins the team title at the state track meet. How fun is that??

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Last one, I promise

I said I wasn't going to blog any more about America's Next Top Model. I lied; but this will be the last one, I promise.

Crazy, tranny, "I am the next Tyra Banks" mess Dominique got sent packing after producing this picture in which she looks more manly than the man. This girl is the one who a few weeks back didn't know the difference between racism and disrespect. So glad she's gone. See ya!

On a positive note, plus size model Whitney is in the final 3! Go fat girl! I've got to ask though, is size 10 fat? I don't think so.

So much for aging gracefully


Recall all my moaning and whining about wrinkles, spider veins and other unpretty signs of aging? Well, about a month ago the Star Tribune had their annual Golden Gavel auction, in which their advertisers post products in an on-line auction and the public bids on them. On a lark, I decided to place the minimum bid on an Arctic Micro Laser Peel- basically the least harsh of the laser peel options- from the Skin Rejuvenation Clinic. Much to my surprise, I won the damn thing with the minimum bid. Sweet and scary at the same time.
Yesterday was the big day for my consultation and, if I'm a good candidate, my peel. Dr. Mark looks me over and we start talking about the options. Holy crap! There were a lot of options! The peel would help with the fine lines and wrinkles, but wouldn't help with the spider veins on my nose or the oil glands that have come to the surface on my nose and cheeks. So, for a small amount extra, he would laser those off before the peel. All of this, by the way, was sun damage, probably from my misspent youth in the carst topography of northeast Iowa. So, fair skinned children, tan looks good at 14, but not so hot at 40, or 42, as the case may be. Wear sun screen! I recommend Wexler Skin Brightening Daily Moisturizer SPF 30.
My other concern has been the ever deepening furrow between my eyebrows. Because of it, I tend to look upset or angry even when I'm not- and I do get comments about it (the looking upset, not the furrow itself). I thought about letting my unibrow grow in to try to cover it, but alas, the furrow would only look like an arrow pointing out the unibrow. So, I consulted with Dr. Mark about it. We decided upon, you guessed it- botox. Yes, I did it. Botox. No, I will not be a hideous mask like Priscilla Presley. I just got it in the muscles that allow me to scowl and knit my eyebrows together. I will still be able to move them up and down, thank you. And, as an added benefit, because the muscles pulling my brows down will be relaxed, I may even get a small lift in my brow so I won't look so crabby all the time. Sweet.
The treatment of the spider veins and glands was amazing. The veins were gone immediately. There is a chance they may come back eventually, but I was completely thrilled by the result. The micro laser peel was a little more intense. I held a hose blasting super cold air at my face while the doctor hit me with the laser. It was painful, but in the strange way, like little rubber bands snapping, and smelled like burning flesh (because it was). It only really got sensitive in the area around my mouth and eyes. After the procedure he covered my face in this stuff resembling Vaseline, which I have to keep on for the next few days, and sent me on my way.
Today, I look like I have a sunburn underneath my greasy Vaseline-ness. Later today and tomorrow, I should start peeling. Fun. By Monday, I'll still be pink and a little flaky but should be able to go back to work. Hooray!!

Must be something in the water

I've always said they grow 'em strange in Wisconsin. Here is more proof. I'm curious what denomination these folks thought they were. Very, very odd.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Who's the Cutest Birthday Girl?

Today is Claire's approximate birthday! She is 3!! We don't know exactly how old she is, but we do know she was around 8-10 months when we adopted her two years ago. Hooray! Isn't she cute!!??!!

A Great Day "At Work"

I was sort of "at work" today. However, instead of going in to the office, about 20 of us went to do an all day Habitat for Humanity build in St. Paul. This is my fourth build since starting at the Lutheran company. I love this stuff. We all, of course, know that Lutherans are generally very nice people. But, did you know that the nice Lutheran company that I work for just finished a five-year donation program totaling $100 million dollars, which helped to build 500 homes per year? They also sponsor world-wide builds. My employee C, the benevolent, is going to New Zealand in October for 2 1/2 weeks on a build. Sweet.

We got to work outside framing the homes. It was a lovely 70 degrees and perfectly sunny. I didn't embarrass myself this year by trying to cut lumber. Last year, it was not so pretty. The old saying "measure twice, cut once" for me becomes "measure twice, cut once, throw board into scrap lumber, grab new board, repeat." Sad really. Where's a nice lesbian to show me how to use the power tools when I need one? So, today, I got to pound nails, which I can do with some proficiency and lift things, which I can also do. Hooray. I am useful. And charitable. Even better.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Things I Learned in Decorah This Weekend

1. 1 butchered pig = 40 lbs of ham, 20 lbs of bacon, 18 lbs of bratwurst and various poundages of ribs, roasts, hocks, etc. all equaling 221 lbs of freezer cramming pork. Oh, and lest I forget, the pork came with liver, tongue and heart. That makes me sad.

2. I will never understand the infinite patience of good parents. If I were a single mother, I would be the one you see in the grocery store smoking a Marlboro in a tube top, cut-offs and flip flops, filling my cart with Ho-Hos and Sunny Delight, talking on my bedazzled cell phone and screaming at my three children- all under five years old- to grow up. (You are a saint, RJ)

3. If you show up at the right time at the Cheesecake Maven's house, she will, in fact, let you lick the cheesecake batter off the beater and scrape the bowl of not one, but two big kitchen aid mixers. (Department of Health- I am certain that she boils the stuff afterwards and soaks them overnight in bleach.)

4. There really is no limit to the amount of Mabe's Pizza I can eat in one sitting. It is embarrassing really.

5. Have low expectations of table service in small town Iowa. For example, here is our conversation with our "waitress" at Mabe's Pizza (see #4 above)-

Me: Let's start with an appetizer of buffalo wings.
Waitress: Okay.
RJ: Are the buffalo wings really spicy?
Waitress: I wouldn't know. I don't touch the things.
Me: Okay. We'll take them anyway.

6. RJ will still laugh at me when I unintentionally say really gay things like "Oh gosh. Make sure I remember to call Curt to see if the window dressings got put in this morning."

7. Technical difficulties really put me in a funk. I gave RJ my old computer, and it would only work with the monitor in windows safe mode. Hhhmmmppffff!!! I had to call our friend SJ, who is a bigger computer nerd than I am, to come to the rescue. (Did you figure it out??)

8. Gardening just 150 miles south of lovely Golden Valley really does start about two weeks earlier and ends two weeks later. Makes me nutty. RJ's and Cheesecake Maven's gardens were already looking great. Green envy.