In the Garden

tomatoI’ve had gardens on the brain lately because I’m hoping to get one of the community garden plots this summer. I’ll turn my paperwork in next week and see if any are available.

I found this great website to help me plan everything out. It’s called and it’s got this really neat program that helps you place and account for each plant. It explains what each plant’s requirements are for space, sun, fertilizer and other details. There’s also an application that shows you how many of each type of plant you are planning, when to start them (inside), plant them (outside), and harvest them. It’s very cool.

I’m relatively new to gardening, but I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time. I wish I could start a garden in my yard, but that’s not going to happen = too many trees/shade.

This is a very ambitious summer project, but I’m looking forward to trying. I have about 25 different plants chosen right now and many, of each of those. We’ll see if they all happen.

I hope there’s an update in the future.

clean… and refreshing!


I’m on an email newsletter from Method with is a environmentally-friendly company that supplies mostly cleaning products, but there are a few other things as well. There are a few things of theirs I really love like the dryer sheets and the hand soap. I’m very concerned about what gets put down our drains because though individual chemicals might not be harmful, put them together with something else and you get… YUCK! Probably something you don’t want to mess with!

This particular newsletter had a link to a blog-entry by one of the company founders: Adam Lowry. He was invited to D.C. by the Obama-Biden Transition Team to participate in a panel of sustainable business executives discussing the future of green business and a green economy.

This is sooooo refreshing. So reassuring. So positive. So different from the last eight years. Wow a pro-active administration that is trying to help the environment and people at the same time. And not just helping big businesses of friends get bigger, richer and more corrupt.

And this panel happened BEFORE Obama was even inaugerated. They were already putting ideas together that will hopefully benefit everyone.

Yeah, I really think this guy is going to do some good. Though Obama can’t do it all on his own; Congress can still get in the way when they feel like it. Checks (and balances) aren’t bad – unless they are just out of spite.

And I can finally take a deep, refreshing – and hears hoping soon it will be cleaner – breath.

Tea drinkers unite!

I love tea.

Hot tea, cold tea. Both in the same day.

I notice that it is often, but not always, the tea drinkers verses the coffee drinkers. And within the tea drinkers it’s those that add “pollutants”, (ie: sugar) and those that do not. (It’s probably the same for coffee drinkers).

I’m of the additives are sacrilege side of the debate. I like to drink tea, not sugar. If I wanted that, I’d drink soda. On occasion I will add creamer (usually soy) to hot tea, but only occasionally and only Twinings’ Lady Grey or Everyday tea.ladygrey

I’m learning to enjoy green tea as well as black, though I much prefer Twinings Jasmine Green Tea to anything else.

I grew up on Bigalow teas. Mostly Constant Comment and Lemon Lift, but these days I’m a big Twinings fan. However my friend Peg brought some others back from her trip to Ireland last summer and I’ve found two new ones I love: Bewely’s Clipper Gold and Robert Roberts’ Luxury Kenyan.  clipper-gold

These are all hot teas. Though most I’ve been known to drink cold as well. This summer I plan to explore som more cold teassq_ft_luxkenyan and we’ll see what I find.

arigato gozaimasu!

So Andrew had me take this picture to send to his in-laws in Japan, to say thank you for some Christmas gifts. Risa’s mother knitted the sweater and made the flannel pajamas. He wanted the dogs in the picture too, which was hard because they kept moving around. And with the light shining from behind, most of the pictures came out blurry at first.

I like this picture because he labeled everything.

arigato gozaimasu

arigato gozaimasu

the girls gang up on Lou

Aggie’s been having lots of fun with Lou and Ella around (Risa and Andrew’s dogs). Lou has known Aggie since he was a very young puppy and has especially bonded with her. He’s into bondage and loves being pinned by the throat, by Aggie.

Pin me! Please pin me!

Pin me! Please pin me!

In the picture, Lou is obviously the one belly-up. Aggie’s got him by the throat and Ella (pink collar) swoops in to take advantage!

putting real numbers together : read them and weep – really, I’m serious. Weep.

Actual History and Reality:

These graphs are from

National Debt

National Debt

Double Whammy: 50-Year Record on Sept. 22.    $10 Trillion on Sept. 30, 2008.

The gross national debt compared to GDP (how rich we are) reached its lowest level since 1931 as Reagan took office in 1981. It skyrocketed for 12 years through Bush senior. Clinton reversed it at a peak of 67%. Bush junior crossed that line on Sept. 22 and hit 69% on Sept 30. That’s the highest it’s been since 1955.   (sources)
Bush did three things to skyrocket the debt from $5.7 trillion to $10 trillion:

1. He lowered taxes on the rich (by far the biggest item).
2. He invaded Iraq instead of winning in Afghan-Pakistan (another $600 B).
3. He deregulated Wall Street speculators. That bailout has now “invested” $1T

National Deficit

I actually do look forward to seeing if the trend seems to hold for the next administration. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t.

We’ll see.

new roommates

Last night my brother officially moved in with the puppies (Lou and Ella, or LouElla). He flew back from Philly, having moved his wife in – she begins work next week, I think – and drove back to Columbia, late last night.

It will be very different having someone else in the house. Not trouble, just different. The sounds and feelings of a house change when you’re sharing space.

Getting out the door was really hard this morning – both times. Before the morning walk I was trying to get the trash out to the corner and Oliver (neighbor’s cat) slipped in, as he always does. The only good thing was that Lou and Ella were in Andrew’s room with the door shut. Otherwise, I’d have never caught him – he’s hard enough to catch as is.

When I got back I had to let Lou out of Andrew’s bedroom before he tore through the door. But that wasn’t a big deal.

But as I was trying to leave for work, I was followed constantly by the Posse. Jenner is all for hiding from them as much as possible, so I have to make sure he’s secure before I feel I can leave them all. Plus I forsee that Runner, the dog that lives upstairs, and LouElla will be having whining/barking/howling wars because they don’t like to be left behind and then they egg each other on.


On the other hand, Lou and Ella are very warm to snuggle with and it’s going to be COLD! tonight…