Thursday, April 29, 2010

What is the What

"What is the What" is what I'm currently reading.
It's not my normal genre of interest, but recently I've realized that my knowledge of the tragedies in Africa's history is limited. My friend at work offered to let me borrow this book, so I hope Valentino Achak Deng's story will help me to better understand.
So far, the storytelling is amazing and I'm hooked.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's that time of year...

Garden Time!!

Last year, our garden did AWESOME! I never got around to doing a final garden roundup post last year and now I'm so excited about our new garden that I'll just do a quick summary:

The tomato plants rocked it so hard that we didn't cut them down until November-ish and they still had about 100 green tomatoes on them. It was crazy how long they kept producing!! We doubled the number of tomato plants in the garden this year.

The brussel sprouts were a major energy and space suck. They took up so much room and we couldn't even eat the sprouts once they finally matured because they got attacked by spider mites at the very end. The vegetables appeared good, but under every leaf there was a smashed spider mite. We tried to rinse/soak them off to no avail. So we nixed them this year.

Okay, enough of the past, let's get to the good stuff!

We decided early on last year that we were going to need more garden space in the future. So we talked to our super-duper landlord, Larry, about putting in another raised bed. In typical Larry-form, he offered to supply us with all the materials and even go get dirt in his "garden chariot."

Here's Jason and Larry, off to the landscape shop in the mean green garden machine (according to Jason, power steering with no power brakes makes for an interesting ride).

The old raised bed is about 3x7. Our new raised bed is 7x10. That's almost twice the size!! Here is Jason spreading the dirt in the frame that he and Larry built.

Once we had the new bed set, we went to the local garden store and picked up seeds, starts, compost, and fertilizer. I created a plannogram (thank you retail days) to figure out where we should put everything.

Then we layed it all out in its respective places and set to planting starts and seeds.

Here are both beds after we put it all in the ground.

What is really cool about our garden this year is that we got a lot of the starts from other people's gardens. Krissy gave us chives, scallions, garlic, onions, and a baby rhubarb plant. Larry gave us the big rhubarb plant from his garden and some tiny lettuce starts. We traded some parsley back to Larry for the favor. I can't wait until we have more friends and neighbors to share with!

The down side to all this is that it hasn't stopped raining since we put the garden in, thus no sun. I'm a little worried that the plants are going to drown in manure if it doesn't warm up and stop raining. Manure works best when "activated" by heat. When there is no heat, the manure won't decay properly and we could end up with moldy roots. Not good.

But I was outside today staking up the peas with a dismantled, repurposed easel...

...and noticed that the beet seeds are starting to sprout, so that's a good sign!

So for the record, here is what we have growing this year:

From last year's garden -- parsley, rosemary

From other's gardens -- rhubarb, scallions, chives, garlic, onions, lettuce

From starts -- tomatoes (8 kinds), strawberries, purple sage, spinach, romaine lettuce, salad mix, snow peas

From seeds -- green beans, beets, parsnip

Here are things that didn't make it in the main beds, but will hopefully go into containers or old tires (these work great here because they conduct heat to the veggies, we never did this in the South because it is so friggin hot that the plants would probably spontaneously combust):

Watermelon, cucumber, tomatillo, bell peppers

Until next time, happy gardening!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

From renga to renku to haiku

You only live twice:

once after you’re born

and once before you die.

~ Bashō

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Space Between You and Me


So far away - not just me - you did it too

You give me yours, I'll give you mine

Couldn't find time to get closer when we were closer

Even then, we were life-years apart

The bridge was burned before we built it

Looking back across the chasm - I don't recognize you

And you never knew me anyway

I thought the more you knew, the less you would like me

I never got the chance to withhold - only to withdraw

As I rearrange the mess in my head - I realize there is a lesson to be read

Sights and sounds pull me back down another year - I was here

Whipping past the reflecting pool of you and me

I'm not sure if what I see is really you or me - we never took our masks off

Now so many channels - we don't need the bridge we burned

We just need to care, no matter where we are in life

We all suffer the pain and strife

You never told me everything would be okay or that you were proud of me

Now I don't know

Can we go back?

Probably not

Can we stay the way we are now?

Hopefully not

Can we move forward and break the chains of the past?

You tell me

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Happy Anniversary!!

Today, Jason and I have been married four amazing years! It doesn't feel like that long, but I also can't believe it's been that short either.Our souls have been together for eternity -- it just took some time for our human forms to catch up!

Here's some pictures from way back when we were just two crazy kids with a dream.

The happy newlyweds.

Matron of Honor (my mom)

Best Man (Grampa Peck)

New families:

Grampa, Jason, Donna (momma), me

me, Jason, Jim (dad), Terry (mom)

Moments after the "I do" part

It was Jason's day off. We wore jeans and Bob Dylan t-shirts. It was a tiny wedding in a subcourthouse in Bedford, Texas. Took about 20 minutes (including the judge's stand up comedy bit). Cost about $55 including name change, marriage certificate, and small ceremony. It was a special time for us - sweet and simple. Wouldn't trade it (or any day of my life since) for any thing in the world.

I love you Jason! And always will!

I can't wait to see what the next four years brings! And the next four after that, and the next after that, and after that...

P.S. Have a great first day at your new job, baby! I can't wait to here all about it!

Friday, April 16, 2010

It's all about the look and feel

This just came across the wire from a fellow print and web production specialist and I'm still laughing my ass off!!

Silliness for a Friday….

What do you get when you combine Lady Gaga, a love for typography, and abundant facial hair? "Neutra Face," a design-minded music video that is racking up views on YouTube. The project, which hirsute creators Jason Kinney and Mark Searcy describe as "a bearded Poker Face parody" remakes Gaga's hit as an entertaining ode to Neutra, the popular sans-serif typeface.

The video is a kind of tribute to a tribute, as House Industries created the Bauhaus-flavored typeface in homage to the midcentury architect Richard Neutra, whose name the company licensed. That detail may have escaped Kinney and Searcy. "'Neutra' is actually pronounced 'NOY-trah,'" they note on their YouTube page. "But that escaped our knowledge in the fits of fun we were having doing this project. Word."

This video does a great job of parodying issues I deal with everyday in the production world.

Bold. No bold. Serif. Sans Serif. Condense. Expand. Italic. No Italic. Opacity. Transparency. Vector. Layers. Compressed. Flattened. Rasterized.

And yes, I am a font snob.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Cold Hands, Warm Hearts

Well, it's April.

It's still cold.

It's pretty funny, though, because the weather was so beautiful all February that we thought we would be getting an early Spring. Psshhawww! Now, I just hope Summer comes. I've heard that the worst thing that could happen here is that Summer will never come. We could end up in a Fall/Spring/Winter quagmire with NO SUMMER AT ALL!! Coming from the blazing hot South, where we didn't have a real winter or two, but never Summer -- I just can't even imagine such a thing!

For now, we are just trying to stay warm and convince ourselves that the "sun will come out tomorrow." But I wouldn't bet my bottom dollar! (a little Annie humor, ha!)

Fortunately, friends and family have been the perfect tonic to warm our hearts.

We hang out with Krissy and Dread at least once a week. They're really good pals to us! Just look at the giant schnozz on that guy!

My mom was here in February for my birthday! It was the best present ever!

Then she brought dad back with her in March. They also brought a little sun with them. We were actually able to have some beers and reubens outside!

Then our bestest buddy and mentor, Bennett, came out to visit us from L.A. We took him on our usual Columbia River Gorge tour. I think he enjoyed the change from the big city hustle and bustle. I mean, really, how often do you get the chance to just sit, think and contemplate life in L.A.?

Never, that's how often!

Rooster Rock Park on the Columbia River.

Multnomah Falls

Then, my friend and colleague, Kimberly and I celebrated her birthday down by the river after work. Little did I know that we were going to the corporate watering hole...just can't seem to get away from it! But we had a great time and didn't run into any co-workers...must do that again!

You may have noticed in our pictures, that flannel is our fabric of choice these days. Even the Pooh has staked his claim on this one that was a hand-me-down from Jason to me and now to Clancy.

So dear friends and family, thank you for helping to fight off the frost that threatens to freeze our souls.

We may have cold hands, but we definitely have warm hearts!