Tar and Abby

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Wizardly visitor

Now Hobbit Habitat has a road, a horse, a carriage and a wizard. An adventure may be brewing. The gnomes are in hiding. They are not sure of this tall, gray man. He may turn them into toads!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Federal Land, federal water, marijuana

Out here, in the West, a lot of land belongs to the federal government and that includes water.

Perhaps you heard about the cause celeb rancher in Nevada who had a problem with federal grazing rights after an endangered tortoise caused changes in the rights. (And then stepped all over his cause with his horrifying remarks.)

Out here it is time for the 'other side' to complain about federal land rights. Some farmers, who use irrigation water for their crops, are finding that federal water may be restricted because marijuana is still illegal in the federal sense.

What a tangled mess we weave.
Full story here

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Always handy to have a kid show up

Youngest decided to come home for the weekend so we put him to work. He is pulling out a piece of carpet. The carpet kept the aspen tree from sending roots thru the liner. Tar is still helping.

Tar helping with pond work

Next stage in pond demo.
I have to remember -
- we are going to sell this house in a couple of years and this neighborhood is attached to a wonderful school so young families will be our market. A pond is not safe for them.
- because of rampant plant growth Abby would drown if she fell in.
- Tar has degraded the sides so much (frog hunting) that he fell in twice. Just a matter of time with Abby (especially if Tar gooses her while she is standing next to the pond).
- Next place we will be able to plan for goofy dogs and future grandchildren.
- To everything there is a season :-)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

How to turn a blue state red

Washington is a blue state on all those political maps.
Red, on this map, means high danger of avalanche. Grey means no data. I have two kids going over to Seattle this week. We won't even talk about volcano zones.

Friday, April 18, 2014

What heck are you doing with my eggs!

The gnomes are helping the Easter Bunny get ready for hopping.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Winter lessons - for gnome gardens

Two holes where I had to remove trees that died over the winter. The little green 'bush' and grass has been replaced. Most important lesson - is gnome gardens need water over the winter. Where the roof dripped into the gardens all survived. Where things were protected being under the roof line they did not. More lessons on the gnomes own blog here - http://thegnomegardens.blogspot.com/
Otoh I have lots of excuses to go visit all the nurseries in our three towns that cluster around the rivers here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Dress code proposed for parents -

This cracked me up --

"Broward County School Board member brought up the idea during a meeting after noticing parents dropping their kids off at the High School while wearing saggy pants that exposes their underwear and curlers in their hair.
“We have dads showing up in sagging pants, It’s hard for me to tell a child not to show up for school with hair curlers, pajamas or short shorts if they see parents wearing them. Parents need to lead by example.”

I used to drive the whole block to elementary school, a mile away. I had to drive high schoolers for zero hour (7am) as there was no bus that early. I know I did not wear pjs... but I was also not groomed to the max or even the minimum.

Original story here

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Gnomes are ready for invaders!!

I've ordered this from http://www.whimsicalfairygarden.com/index.html
The shop is outside Atlanta and called Sleepy Hollow. Wonderful fairyhouses and bird houses created by a former Disney artist.

The gnomes are worried.
I've already turfed them out of one of their habitats.
Could hobbits, dwarfs and wizards be next?
(Don't tell them I've already got a dragon...)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Facebook your way to *better* service?

A restaurant in NYC checks out the folks who make reservations via the interwebz. Most of my stuff is under the dogs' mother and only Facebook has my real name - which I use to keep track of the kids.
The gnomes use it to send pictures to their favorite garden nursery but that would just garner me good beer.
story here

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Peter Rabbit vs real rabbits

This is something I've thought about for years.
Ever since I started buying childrens books before we got married.
Do anthropomorphized animals in children's books confuse kids about
real animals? Would my child walk up to a bear in the woods and expect
to have tea with it? (You can find all sorts of things to worry about when
you are a parent....)
And here is Scientific American with an article on it. Turns out there was
something to my thoughts.

"The researchers say for children to appreciate animals as organisms with their own life histories and behaviors, the creatures should be presented in a biologically realistic manner. We don’t want to deny Peter Rabbit his tea. But maybe kids should also hear how a rabbit’s long ears probably help them detect predators. It’s a true story."

Otoh. I grew up to respect bears. Our children now know the difference between Peter Rabbit and real rabbits. But I do wonder about the books I buy all the grand nieces and nephews (I *am* the Book Aunt.) The books I write and illustrate for them. Just a bit. Maybe a disclaimer... and Abby thinks a squirrel as the protagonist in a book is just plain silly.

Full article here

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Gorilla Suit for Sale

The girls are having their first garage sale this weekend. We donated much stuff to the cause to be split amongst them.
Youngest donated his gorilla suit.
The sign says:
Gorilla Suit

Size - 5'11" college freshman

Guaranteed to attract attention at football games.

Has no discernible effect on win/loss record.

Can be transferred to the University of Washington if you really have to go there.

Price _______

(two heads, two feet, one hand)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

solar power fountain

Since the pond is being filled in I've been putting up alternate water sources around the yard
for critters (including The Squirrel - don't tell Abby). This is a solar powered one that is working
on a high overcast day. In regular sun it sends up a pretty spray.

Put it next to two containers of creeping jenny. The rocks are my attempt to keep The Engineer
from frying them with his flame thrower weeding method. Will have to add some around the
water tub.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

update: explosions and car theft

Safe, natural gas blew out a tank on the Columbia River. The blast was heard 20 miles away. We live
37 miles away. One thousand people evacuated. Nobody killed which is probably why we didn't make the national news. We'll take it.

In other news - Eldest girlfriend's car was stolen in San Jose, CA where they live right now. Eldest's bike already stolen. Eldest niece and her family had their car broken into and everything stolen when they were moving to Sacramento. I sense a theme here. I don't think the family has ever experienced this must crime in such a short amount of time.