Saturday, May 31, 2008

What is thy bidding, my Masters?

After three years at Lewis and Clark and a very difficult internship, Matt has finally got the skills for which he has worked so hard.
Yes, Matt has become a Dark Jedi!
You have been well trained, my young apprentice, they will be no match for you.

Excellent. Everything is going as planned.

You have found a promising disciple, my apprentice.
The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.
Strike me down with all of your hatred, and your journey towards the dark side will be complete!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Atlas. A very large dog.

Memorial Day weekend was--what else--very cold and gray. A bit misty too. While waiting around to start prepping for the tour (see next post) I took pictures of Chris' good looking dog Atlas. He didn't really like having his picture taken and I had some lighting challenges because it was so dark, but I got to learn about the manual features on my camera and get some good shots.
When it is wet like this the fur on his ears gets really crimp-y.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

First Harvest 2008

Though the spinach isn't growing very quickly out back, this Winter Provencal Mix I bought from Territorial Seed is thriving out front in the wine barrels. It needs to be thinned.
After thinning.
The Harvest.
To be eaten.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Garden Update--a cold May

It has been a very cold spring. Things are taking forever to grow which frustrates me. Even factoring in how slowly things are growing, it turns out that I started my tomatoes and peppers about 4-6 weeks too late. They are very, very small. So today I rode my bike to my local nursery--the one that isn't a big box home improvement store--and purchased five tomato plants two peppers, and six basil plants. They fit nicely in the basket on my bike and I rode them home, feeling very Portland.

Spinach. This is supposed to be a plant that likes cold weather, but it isn't growing at all.
One of my columnar apple trees.
My peas! And the trellis I built for them.
Pepper plants.
Three tomatoes. I put two in Leo's plot. I also ran out of cages, so that one in the front will have to fend for itself now.
Over in Leo's plot: tomatoes and the basil.
The potatoes are starting to emerge.
Asparagus! Getting taller.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Ghost images on Boyd's camera

Imagine if you will, Internship, a crushing experience, mentally and emotionally, one which has taught me I'm not as strong as I thought I was. One of the many things that has helped me through it is the internship class.
I hear bad things about the other internship sections, but ours is all right. Boyd, our internship professor, is an ornery guy, but even that has grown on me. And as much as I hate to admit it, his advice on clients is often, maybe always, right.
So, when he left the room so we could do evaluations of the class, we stole his camera and took pictures of ourselves.
Observe:This is Andrea picking her nose, Brandon eating, and Ceej envying Andrea.
Delishia (right) is pretending to be Dr. Boyd, and the irony is that she'll be a Dr. herself in a couple of years.
Jocelyn and Andrea.
Me with Ceej. I'm doing my Stephen Colbert pose.
Jocelyn, Andrea, Brandon (holder of the world record for longest arcade video game played on one quarter; look it up), and Ceej.

This is Denise, Sarah, and Laura. They make up the mature side of the class. Notice no fingers up anyone's noses. This is Ceej, me, and Delishia. I can't stand posing for photos, so I just put on the cheesiest smile possible. The food in front is for our last-class-potluck. I brought chicken and jo-jos and chips with seaweed.

Hey, let's get all of Boyd's advisees together. Let's do something crazy for this shot. I suggest putting a leg up, like we were showgirls. It'd be funny. I put my leg up, Andrea grabs my leg and all three of them hoist me up. I reflexively did my SC pose, but this one reminds me of Borat being held up by his son.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

It's easy to get rid of your ant problem. Find out how.

Back when we first got together, Matt refused to kill any bugs. He would pick them up and put them outside. Though not a frequent participant in insect genocide, I've been known to dispatch them every once in awhile. Especially ants. Once they start coming in, it's hard to get rid of them. And they just keep on coming, so you can't put them all outside.

When confronted with a bug killing situation Matt would always point out that his friend Laurie never killed bugs, but put them outside. This information would cause me to roll my eyes. Luckily, one day we were at Laurie's house and she mentioned the ant problem they were having and that thankfully her grandmother had given her a very good remedy to get rid of them.

"Sweetheart, Laurie says she gets rid of ants." I said very happily.

Matt isn't much a fan of ants, so I think he was thankful that Laurie not only had stooped to killing ants, but also that her grandmother had an effective remedy. We're working on a preventative solution here; we've planted members of the mint family all around the house. The ants supposedly don't like mint and will stay away. While we are waiting for that to work, we use this remedy when the ants do come exploring. And now you can too. Follow along with the mugging for the camera as you learn to make your own ant bait.

Matt points to the ingredients. You need one part sugar and one part Borax.
I just made up a whole batch and put it in a clearly labeled jar. No, no Matt! Don't drink from the jar! Looking at the Borax label, it doesn't seem like something you would want to ingest, but it also doesn't look highly toxic, either. I'm not so sure about pets. Probably best to keep them away.
Matt is holding a plastic version of a baby food jar. You will need as many baby food jars as you want traps. Obviously, dispose of the baby food and clean out the jars first.
Place two-ish teaspoons of the sugar/borax mixture in the baby food jar.
Tear off a piece of paper towel big enough so you can fold it over once or twice and set it in the jar. The paper towel should be at least big enough to cover the sugar/borax mixture.
Place it on top of the sugar/borax mixture.
Take some water. Yes, you can drink this.
Pour the water onto the paper towel. You want to turn the borax/sugar mixture into a sort of sludgy mess and wet down the paper towel. You don't want a swimming pool in there, more of a marshy swamp.
It should look about like that.
Set the trap wherever you have ants. Then wait. They will discover the trap and spend a few days there. Then, after a week you will be left with a few dead ants in the trap and no ants running around your house. It's kind of weird, but that's how it happens. Every time. You can then pick the traps up until the next invasion. Or you can just leave them hanging around in case any opportunistic ants come around. Kind of like when Indiana Jones walks into the temple and sees all those skeletons of people who came before.
Laurie's grandmother died this spring, but I will be forever grateful she passed along this remedy first.