Wednesday, March 26, 2008

"Before" Pics.

Inspired by Z's recent photo-heavy post, I snapped these after working in the yard a bit today. Hoping that the drought will cooperate (i.e., go away) and these will be the "befores" next to some lovely, lively shots of the abundance ("after") that is my garden.

This is the start of a hellabore (not sure if I spelled that right). I bought it at one of the nurseries last week, just before I rescued a couple others from the dumpster at BSBS. Ah well. Live and learn.



These are going to be raspberry bushes. I haven't put the blackberries in yet- mostly because I can't decide where to put them.



I have cut these forsythia down to the ground three years in a row now, and they just keep springing back. this year I said fuck it and left them alone, and now they've taken over half the house. But they sure look nice, so I don't really mind.





This old Jack Daniels barrel is right outside the kitchen door, so I planted it full of herbs. I want to keep them as convenient as possible for the b.h. while he cooks.
I've got flat leaf parsley, sage, lime thyme, and mint in there. Also had some African basil, but the frost two nights ago seems to have killed it.



The hollyhocks are the only thing coming up in the flower garden right now. I also put a knockout rose in that back right corner, but I'm waiting to see what comes back from last year before I plant anything else. That sack is full of pecan hulls, which the crows have enjoyed immensely (and noisily) for the last two mornings. Can you see the hole they pecked on the right side of the bag? Yeah. Might be time to make my first ever scarecrow.

Where Have I Been?

Jeebus- It has been a week already, hasn't it? Well, Let's see... Thursday I went to work at the bar, then at the Big Stupid Box STore, then home for two hours, then back to work at the bar. Slept for four and a half hours, got up and took the b.h. to work, then back to the BSBS. Busted ass there for many, many hours, managed to zing Middle Manager Jim (He made a reference to the fork lift as a "dork lift", because in addition to being fat and bald at twenty-six, he is also incredibly clever, and I looked him up and down and said "Nah- that thing couldn't lift you," and walked off. Got some raspberry and blackberry bushes on super sale, stayed late to help L with a giant azalea order, then went downtown to get coffee at the Jittery Joe's Roaster and wait for the b.h. to call.
At the roaster, I ran into a very good friend who I never see anymore as he lives in Atlanta and has a real job. We sat in my favorite glider chairs of all time and talked about life and love and important stuff. He is going to Afghanistan in May to train police officers (he is not in the military, he is a cop in Atlanta, and let me just say that if all cops were like him the world would be a much, much better place). I hate that he is going and I get a little ill just thinking about it, but it will be great for his career and as I said, he is fantastic and is the kind of guy you want training other people. It was incredibly serendipitous that we ran into each other. I wish we could while away more hours like that again.
The b.h. called a while later. He had to go to band practice, so I picked him up from work, dropped him at his practice space, and went home. I cleaned the house as best I could, ran the dogs, and ate and showered before heading back downtown to the Caledonia. The boys from J. Roddy were already there, so I hung out and talked to them about their tour for a bit before Lake City went on.
It was Drummer Dave's last show with Lake City, as he has gotten a "real job" and will be heading out to Boulder this week. They kicked much ass. After that, J. Roddy tore up the stage. About three songs in, one of the Lake City guys leaned over to me and said "I'm really glad we went first." He was right. Regardless of what a fantastic set Lake City had had, I would not wish on any band following J. Roddy and the Business. Everyone that I had harangued into going was very happy that they had. Two of the managers from the Forty Watt came by, as well as the tour manager for The Hold Steady, who I later overheard heaping praise on Zack (J. Roddy bassist). This is an excellent development. I am crossing my fingers for those boys. The Empties also had a great show, and when it was all over the b.h. and I headed back to Casa del Outside In with The Business for the traditional post-show pizza and beer.
I woke up early on Saturday (my blasted body is just doing that now, whether I like it or not), had some coffee, saw the Business boys off, and called the b.h.'s mom to go shopping for plants. That was an adventure. We got lost, three times, made calls, got directions, got lost again, made another call, and finally found the nursery. It is owned by a former UGA professor. I wasn't thrilled. His wife had a black eye (I know there are a million ways that can happen, but it made me feel weird), and all of their signs were misspelled. Plants that were virtually identical had varying prices. We got what we came for and left.
Crap. I have to get to work. More later.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Planting.

So far I have planted a knockout rose (at the base of a large electrical pole in the yard that somebody, not naming names Wyatt and KG, has been digging at), two C0lumbines, a blue rose (I had never even heard of, much less seen one, so of course I had to buy it), sage, flat-leaf parsley, basil, bay, fennel, two early girl tomatoes, green beans, three kinds of thyme, mint, and a few ornamentals that i can't remember the names of. I haven't put a ton of work into the yard, but it is starting to shape up nicely. The roses look like they might bloom at any moment, and the bulbs I planted a couple months ago are finally coming up.
Just now I got an e-mail from Peggy Plants: "Team: temps in the mid to upper thirties this week. Pay attention and pull in any plants that might be in danger." Or something to that effect. Fuuuuuck.
Thing is, I know better, but I can't help myself.

Zen.

I went in to work for two hours yesterday, but there wasn't much to do so I left early. I knew the b.h. would be working for several more hours yet, so i slipped over to Thym3 After Thym3, a local nursery, to try to find a birthday gift for his dad.
The place was a little overwhelming, frankly. I spent a good hour or more wandering around, and finally settled on a Winter Jasmine for his dad, while picking up some African Blue Basil (kind of peppery, in a way- it is beautiful and tasty), Orange Thyme (smells like it sounds- I can't wait for it to get big enough to snip some and throw it in a soup), Lime Thyme (the b.h. is particularly fond of limes, and the plant is also beautiful and healthy- I split it when I got home), and a couple of very small ornamental perennials. Hope fully the drought will let up so I can get some more, but for the time being I am being very conservative. When I got back in the car, I was in a fantastic mood, and it was still quite early, so I decided to venture out a bit further and see if I could find G00dness Gr0ws, another locally owned place, out in L3xington. It couldn't have been a nicer day. There were scattered clouds, it was breezy and warm but not hot, and I cranked up the radio and cranked down the windows and drove. I stopped for gas in Crawford, bought myself a c0ke, and continued on until I saw signs for Lexington. When I got there, I simply pulled over in front of a small government building, hopped out, and asked an older man who was smoking outside where to find G00dness Gr0ws. Two quick turns later iI was there.
The place is beautiful. When I got out of the car and walked up the driveway, there was a woman quietly snipping some ornamental grass in pots on a table. Everything there was neat, orderly, and looked individually cared for. We chatted for a minute and she pointed me toward what I was looking for. I picked out some bay and fennel for the herb garden, as well as a Pee Gee Hydrangea for the b.h.'s dad. I got a couple of very nice shade perennials, too, and an ornamental grass that looks similar to bamboo that I will plant in a particularly tough spot next to the house. The woman ( I supposed that she was the owner, based on our conversation) told me that it could be quite invasive, but since I have failed to grow anything in that spot successfully in the three years we have lived in this house, I thought Id risk it. In all I probably spent an hour and a half wandering around the place, and honestly if it weren't for the fear that I would spend all of my money i probably would have stayed longer. I wrestled the hydrangea into the back seat, climbed in, and was pulling out of the parking lot when I looked up and saw one of the women waving at me.
I waved back enthusiastically, thinking what a great experience that was. Then I pulled back out onto the highway, humming happily and rolling the window down. Another woman in a truck was driving toward me. She rolled her window down and stuck her arm out of the window, gesturing wildly. Just as I was thinking what an insanely friendly place Lexington was turning out to be, I realized that I had left the rest of my plants, as well as a long-sleeved shirt and a catalog, on the roof of the car.
I stopped in the middle of the road. They were all intact. I started laughing out loud and waved back at the woman in the truck. Potential disaster averted, I returned to my exuberant singing and driving.
I went into town and got a cup of coffee at the Jittery Jo3's Roaster. I sat outside in my favorite chair (an antique metal glider- they have two and I covet them), listening to a selection of old R&B and Soul that my friend MT gave me on the iP0d, swinging and reading and generally enjoying the hell out of life. This is Spring in Athens. This is why I came here in the first place.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Light Days (But Not in a Panty-Liner Way.)

So this week should be much easier than last week. The b.h. has taken both Wednesday and Friday nights off because his band is playing. This means that not only will I also be sharing in the fun social atmosphere of two rock shows, but he will work for me on Saturday night, which leaves me with only one bar shift this week. Woo Hoo!
Plus there's the J. Roddy show on Friday night. Sweet.
Forgot to mention the insane weather that occurred while I was "getting my hair did" on Saturday. Shayne and I were chatting it up at the shampoo bowl, without a care in the world. When we returned to her station next to the floor-to-ceiling windows, it was raining and hailing sideways in the parking lot. The b.h. had left three messages on my phone, telling me that tornadoes had been spotted nearby and to stay put wherever i was.
I did. it was pretty freaky for a minute there, but nothing much happened- except a giant rainbow, which was neat.

Vent.

So Stupid Redneck Sarah, my racist co-worker, was watering the plants when I got to work. Normally, this wouldn't be a big deal, except that I had stayed late the night before watering the exact same plants. So not only was she drowning the fucking things, but there's that whole drought problem that we've spoken about. It turns out that she had been told by both L and Elizabeth not to water that section that day, but she decided to do it anyway. I was furious. I told L and E that I was going to bitch her out. E seemed unhappy at that prospect, saying that she hadn't really put her foot down, etc. So I dropped it, seethed for half an hour, returned and apologized to both of them for getting so pissy first thing in the morning, and went on about my day.
Later I saw Barb, who had been there the night before when I stayed late to water. We had a quick discussion about it. She threw her hands in the air, gesticulating wildly. She went to speak to Stupid Redneck Sarah.
Stupid Redneck Sarah, in front of Elizabeth, claimed that she had watered the plants because "no one marked the watering chart" and she didn't know that they had already been watered. By "no one", she meant Elizabeth and me. E didn't say a word. Barb came back to me and told me what was aid. I freaked out. Audibly. About ten feet from Stupid Redneck Sarah.
The good thing is that Barb knows damned well that the rest of us wouldn't bullshit her, so she knew Stupid Redneck Sarah was lying to cover her own ass. I was still pissed.
And just so you all know, I am fully aware that this is all kind of silly, but I take the drought very seriously, especially since I am an avid gardener and I have had to sacrifice a lot of time and money and energy (and plants) because of the shortage, and when people like Stupid Redneck Sarah are that wasteful, it really pushes my buttons. I'm over it now. Can't you tell?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Small Surprises.

I was watering some plants in the greenhouse the other day when I noticed some new growth in one of the pots. It didn't look like the rest of the plant, but since I hadn't seen this particular plant sprout yet, I really had no idea what new growth would look like. I took the plant out of it's pot, gave it some water, let it drain, then put it back in it's pot and back onto the shelf. Moving along to the next plant, I found the same thing. And the sprout was exactly the same, though the plant was not. I looked around and saw that in fact most of the pots in this section had these very same sprouts shooting out of them. Then I looked up at a noise above my head. It was one of our resident birds, who had found a fresh pallet of bird seed on which to dine. The mystery of the sprouts was solved when he worked a hole into the bottom most bag and a shower of sunflower seeds came down around me.

Spring Bre@k has come to our fair city, which means that the unruly and unwashed masses have flown South for some ill-advised binge drinking and anonymous sex, leaving the rest of us to creep quietly out from under our respective rocks and gather together in town. There have been a handful of really excellent shows- Rob Veal and The Help spring to mind- and I have seen and talked to and waited on many friends that I don't normally get to see. It has been lovely.

On a different note, Wyatt just found a very interesting (read:muddy) spot in which to dig outside. The b.h. then found Wyatt in mid dig and had to take him directly into the shower. I can hear them in there now, the b.h. alternately saying "no... no..." and "stay." Wyatt is not fond of bathing. "Man, you're absorbent" was the last thing I just heard. Hilarious and very true. He looks like a fuzzy oversized sponge when he gets out of there, and it usually takes him about eight hours to get thoroughly dry.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Belated Hippie Arrest Story.

Saturday night we had a lot of rednecks in the bar. Most of them were fine- hard drinking, slightly dim, but fine. One of them was a very thin, very geeky looking hippie guy. He looked like a computer nerd in a dreadlock wig. I didn't serve him anything. Neither did S or J, my fellow bartenders. His girlfriend, who weighed about a buck ten soaking wet, downed three double Beam and C0kes- or Spankys, to those of you who know him- and a few shots. I would not have continued to serve her, but S is a rather saistic cocksucker, so there you go. Anyway, she was still standing when her bedreadlocked beau started falling all over her and her friend. He literally could not stand up, and he hadn't had anything to drink. i tried to talk to him, and tried to offer him water, but once I realized that he wasn't going to help me help him, I asked the door guys to get him out. I didn't want a dead hippie in the fucking bathroom at the end of the night (terrible odor, you know), and frankly this guy just wasn't my problem.
So two guys escorted him to the door and he was gone. An hour later one of the guys came back and told me that the guy had been arrested down the street. An ambulance had also been called. Probably best for everyone involved.
So at the end of the night, two of the guys from the band came up to the bar. the hippie's girlfriend was trying to close her tab, but she was too drunk to deal with it. One of the band guys was her friend and so agreed to take care of both her and her tab. He was apologizing to me and rolling his eyes while he propped her up at the bar.
"Yeah, so her boyfriend went to jail tonight,' he said, by way of explanation.
"I heard that."
"You know where we picked him up yesterday?"
"Lemme guess- jail?"
"Forsyth C0unty. Man he is stupid."
At that moment, another guy in the band came walking up. Turns out his keys went to jail with the hippie. Suddenly my night didn't seem so bad.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Three Strange Days.

They were only strange for me, because I spent the better part of each in a fever dream state, sleeping and sweating and snortling on the couch (Yes it's a fucking word. Because I said so). The show on Thursday night was fabulous as usual. One of the guys was a bit under the weather, so I took him back to the house to dope him up with Ther@-flu while the b.h. finished closing the bar and the rest of the band loaded out. We stayed up late, ate pizza and snack food and talked a bunch of crap. It was fun. I didn't even feel that bad when I woke up after only five and a half hours of sleep and had to go to work at the Big Stupid Box Store. I figured it wouldn't be so bad because I had put in extra hours on Thursday and only had to work four and a half on Friday. No sweat.

Except that isn't how it went at all. I got there and we already had a truck waiting. We had no sooner unloaded it than another truck pulled up, this one with a giant order of indoor plants, which all come wrapped in paper or in boxes and are much more difficult and time-consuming to deal with. Elizabeth and I were the only ones working. Luckily the weather was so crappy that the outside cash registers weren't open, so we were able to pile up the stuff that was waiting in the aisle while we rushed to get the shrubs out before the next order came. While we were doing that, another truck pulled up. I finished putting out the shrubs while she signed that order in, and just as I was finishing, a Slightly Senior Manager (there are many, many managers in a Big Stupid Box Store. They like it that way because it makes it easier to find somebody to point a finger at.) came bumbling through the garden center, barking orders at everyone in sight.

"This needs to be moved right now," he said, mustering as much authority as a man with barely any authority can when there are other people with nearly as much authority present.

"Yeah. We'll get right on it." That was the approximate answer that Barb gave him. Barb is more senior in management than Middle Manager Jim, but less so than the Slightly Senior Manager who doesn't even warrant a name here, since I never see him. Barb is a very hard worker, and though she isn't always on top of everything, she is at least aware of her limitations and leaves decisions to the people who are most qualified to make them whenever the BSBS rules allow. I like Barb. We all do. Unfortunately, Barb doesn't have the power to fire MMJ or he would already be gone. Barb has a sense of humor, too. More on that later.

Anyway, into the middle of all this mayhem walks a Big(ish) Cheese from my Parent Plant Company. I am absolutely calm because I knew he would possibly be coming by, and therefore I had stayed late on Thursday taking care of the minutiae that the Corporate Guys like to focus on: The pots were all facing the same way, tags out, colors striped, dead plants culled, etc. etc etc. I won't bore you with details, but you can imagine how mind-numbing the memos are. Guys in suits in air-conditioned offices making decisions about things they have little or no experience with is How Corporate America Works! (I should make a documentary with that title). We spoke to him for a few minutes, telling him how all the orders (from his company, mind you) had run late and how there were just two of us unloading four trucks, and how it was going to freeze this weekend so we couldn't even put much of the product out or it would die, etc. He seemed to understand. He did look alarmed at a half-full rack of cacti, complete with three dead plants on it, until we told him that we had moved the rest inside because of the weather. He took some pictures, walked around a bit, and left. We were still up to our asses (literally) in paper and house plants.
I was unloading some orchids and a customer came by. She was an older woman who had just moved into a new house, and she was looking to brighten the place up a bit. We talked for a few minutes, marveling at the beauty of the orchids. She chose one that I had had my eye on for a week. I told her so and congratulated her on her good choice.
"Are you sure?" she asked. "I don't want to take the one you want."

Very kind of you, I explained, but I am here to make money not spend it, etc etc., and I can't afford to take home everything I like or I would never get paid. I told her I was just happy that some one was taking it home to enjoy so it wouldn't sit in the store and wilt. She thanked me profusely and left to go find moss. A minute or two later I discovered another box of orchids. These were different than the others, with much more color, so I went after her to let her know. She was very surprised and pleased that I would bother to come and find her, and she did wind up choosing an additional plant from the new box.

To make an excruciatingly long story as short as possible, she bought the damned white one for me. I was totally floored, and I tried to refuse it, but she wouldn't hear of it. I thanked her several times and then sort of ran away in embarrassment. Remember when I said I was socially awkward? Yeah.

When I told Elizabeth about it she smiled and said "Well hold onto that feeling, because in like two weeks you're going to lose all faith in humanity."
I laughed, but I know she's right. And it didn't even take two weeks for the wind to abruptly leave my sails.

The rest of the day was more of the same. We were busting our asses. Then we heard a rumor that it might snow. Elizabeth and I were both halfway out the door when the call came in, and we looked around, crestfallen, at all of the plants that would certainly have to come in if it snowed. Calls were made. Managers were summoned. Plants were racked. Then the SSM (Bob- I'll go ahead and name him now that he's been here twice) told Elizabeth that she had to go. No overtime allowed, no matter what. Somebody else would have to do it. Sweet. I was actually over on my alloted hours too, so I started wrapping up to go.
"Who's going to bring this stuff in?" I asked, disbelieving. You can't imagine the number of trees, shrubs, hanging baskets, and, worst of all, rose bushes we had out there.
"(Middle Management) Jim," replied Barb, smiling as she punched out. "Somebody'll have to tell him when he gets back from lunch."

I went home and crashed on the couch. My sinuses started acting up around nine that night, and by twelve-thirty I had what felt like a full blown cold. Slept all day Saturday, worked Saturday night (oh- remind me to tell you about the dumb-ass hippy what went to jail Saturday night), slept almost all day Sunday, and again all day Monday.
Monday evening I got an e-mail from Peggy Plants, my boss who I really like. There were several photos attached. The photos were taken in our store. On Friday. You know, Friday, the day the Big(ish) Cheese from the Parent Plant Company came in? He actually had the balls to point out that there were a few pots that were not facing the direction they should have been facing. He took photo documentation. And mailed them out to EVERYONE IN THE COMPANY. Another guy did the same thing on Wednesday when I wasn't there. Apparently he had waited until L and Elizabeth had removed some of the plants from outside so that they wouldn't freeze, then took pictures of the holes in the shelves where those plants had been, then spread out the rest of the plants for an "after" shot. What a fucking prick.
So yeah- there goes that whole "faith in humanity" thing.

Eeew.

Middle Management Jim texted a message to several of my co-workers at the Big Stupid Box Store recently, telling them that he was in bed with one of the cashiers. The integrity of my sleep is forever compromised.
On a better note, I am fairly certain that this is illegal, and I know for sure it's at least Bloody Fucking Stupid, so maybe he'll get fired.

In other news, Stupid Redneck Sarah is buying herself some new tits. Wow. Now if only they could surgically implant a brain while she was under...

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

24 Hours To J. Roddy.

Man, I can't wait. And this time I believe I have convinced a few friends to come along. (Yes Shayne, that means you. You won't regret it, I promise. Matt likes 'em, for fuck's sake! And Matt is like the Life cereal Mikey of Rock and Roll!)
So I went and bought an area rug today. It's seven by ten feet, and getting into my car was hilarious. I stopped to get the b.h. at work on the way back from the store and he had to sit in the back seat. Which was cool, because he got to do the whole "Home, Jeeves" bit and I love that bit.Anyway, it really ties the room together, if you know what I mean.
Jamie made me a Bloody Stupid Johnson hat. I love it and I have been wearing it for three days. This is convenient, because my hair looks like shit right now. Normally, I don't much care because I am not nearly as vain as I am lazy, and mostly I can't be bothered to keep it in any sort of... order, but right now it is completely out of control.
Here's hoping they come up with a BSJ sun hat so I can ride this right through the summer.

Woo Hoo!! I just got a call from the b.h. saying that he has got himself a ride home from work tonight, which means I have to run to the fridge for (gasp) a second beer. Sweet. I got this Harpoon I.P.A. the other day from Five Points Bottle Shop. It Rules. I also tried out a British ale- thrice hopped and quite tasty- called Wytches Brew or something. I can't remember the exact name right now and of course this is the one time when I've already taken out the recycling, so I don't have the bottle handy, and - oh fuck it, I need to go get that second beer.
Okay, I'm back. And I brought a muffin. And now I've dropped crumbs into the keyboard. Shit.
So did I mention how much I liked de novo dahl? Well I do. I honestly couldn't remember what they sounded like, because it had been so long since I had last seen them, but about one minute into their first song on Saturday night it all came rushing back, I knew I had bought a t-shirt from them for a reason. Yep, they rocked.
Okay, I'm gonna go read the blogs of people who have more to say now.
Later.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

More (Giant) Beaver Shots.

The b.h. shot this at dusk today. These guys are starting to get used to us, I guess.

video

Saturday, March 01, 2008

The More Things Change...

K got in from New York on Thursday night. She brought her friend J, whom I had never met. They came straight to the bar from the airport, just in time to hear a really crap band play a really crap cover of Eric Cl@pton's "Cocaine"- a really crap song to begin with, in my opinion. So I took a break and got them and myself a drink and went outside where we could hear each other talk.
I haven't seen K since Halloween, and it was remarkable how little had changed, how I felt like she hadn't been gone at all. It made me think that I probably really need to get the hell out of this town. I swear we were having the same conversation that we had had the night before she left, and the night before that, and the week before that, and so on back to the time when I first met her.
Last night I met them downtown at eleven. They had already been drinking for hours, since some friends of K's got married that afternoon. We had a beer at one bar, then moved on to the 40 watt and then to the Caledonia. K wanted to give J the whole tour. There were good bands playing at both clubs, but we didn't hear much music because we kept running into people we knew (most of whom had not spoken to K since she left).
At some point, somebody brought up R0n Jeremy. I have no idea why, but it lead to me telling J the briefest possible version of the Night That I met R0n Jeremy story. It was amusing. I hadn't thought about it in ages.
Approximately thirty minutes later, my phone rang. It was T, drunk as fuck, calling from Chicago. He was at a work party (which explained the level of drunkenness). The first thing out of his mouth?

"Hey Bartender, can you e-mail me that picture of you and Ron Jeremy?"

Bizarre. I still haven't found it, but now that I've remembered I'm going to go hunt for it again.

A.J.'s movie is out now. I still haven't gone to see it, because it isn't playing locally, but I am trying to get to Atlanta. You should go. Like, all four of you. It's called The Signal, and I haven't seen it since they put the music in, but I'm sure it kicks even more ass. The Boston Globe thought he was particularly good. That made me really happy. Many reviewers don't seem to understand it. That makes me sad. For the record, I think the middle of the movie (it is in three parts) is hilarious. Hi. Lar. Ious.

In other news, I found several gray hairs on my head the other day. It's the stupid lighting at the Big Stupid Box Store. Don't they know that bar lighting is better for everybody? I called Shayne in a panic, but she was in NYC. Crap! I need a dye job. Badly. And a haircut.

In conclusion, the weekend was a whirlwind. I saw K several times, much drinking was done, and much talking, and I found myself not having much to say. I think it's time for a change of scenery. But the big question: Not where will I go, or what will I do when I get there, but What will I call my blog?

Itchy.

I planted a bunch of seeds the other day. Two kinds of tomatoes (reisentrube and another I can't remember right now), broccoli, lemon basil, fennel, dill, peppers (habaneros, jalapenos, cayennes, and poblanos so far) and cucumbers. I know that cukes are meant to be sown directly into the soil, but it worked last year and the earliest ones were the only ones that the blasted pickle worms didn't get to. On the flower front, I have zinnias, moonflowers, nicotiana, and hollyhocks (the ones I got last year should flower this year, so I figured I would start another batch- that way they'll bloom next year, when this year's are on break, and so on). I have yet to order new seeds this year, but I have my eye on a lemon pepper and a variety of cherry tomato called black pearl, which purports to have a "concord grape-like flavor when served chilled". Count me in.

I also put some onion bulbs in yesterday, and spent an hour ripping out some particularly feisty wild blackberry vines (we never get to them before the birds do anyway, and the thorns really suck) and cleaning up a boxwood shrub on the side of the house. My hands are pretty ripped up, despite the fact that I wore gloves, because again, the thorns really suck. But the area looks a thousand times better already, and now I get to plant something there that I actually want. Maybe lavender.

I have been itchy to get the garden going again. Working with plants is great, but it isn't the same when it's not in my yard. The great news is that I have managed to get a few real bargains because I was in the right place at the right time. The daffodils I salvaged from work won't bloom again until next year, but the price was right so I don't mind. I have yet to see which of my perennials survived the drought. Most of them are planted over the septic tank, though, so I have high hopes.