Monday, March 26, 2007

Marching out of March

I've been ill.

Took a class at the gym Friday night and it was a tough class. It kicked my butt. I thought I must have overdone it something fierce. Such a gym guy.

Then came Saturday where it hurt worse. Saturday afternoon where I had to lie down for a few hours. Saturday night where... how to put this delicately... "I needed to stay near home".

Same for all day Sunday.

Sunday night I took an assortment of pills to make things stop and make me sleep. Finally I slept. For about 13 hours.

Feeling much better, thank you.

Here's the view of the newly painted garage from the archway at the front of the drive. Looks almost summer ready.

And below is a photo of the orchids still in bloom since January. To be unpleasantly honest about the orchids, we do nothing special to them or for them. They sit in a shady area all year long and get some water now and then. Come January (as the Christmas tree makes its exit) they bloom and bloom and bloom. Oh, and behind the orchids, that's the new color of the garage. Lyle has spoken to the landlord about painting the house terra cotte with brown trim to match the garage. She seems agreeable to the idea. Probably because Lyle told her it would shame the neighbors.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Oranges Schmoranges

Nothing rhymes with oranges.

The orange tree in the backyard is in bloom. Spring has arrived at last! Strangely, Spring seems to have arrived on or near... the first day of Spring. Odd for California. Usually Spring arrives in February or January.

With Spring comes the night blooming jasmine that is so amazing - when it's about one block away. Next to the house, you'll sit by a closed window with your eyes burning wondering why the news isn't carrying anything about that nasty ammonia spill that must have happened right outside your door.

But the orange tree is all together different and perfect. Not too strong a scent and it doesn't travel nearly far enough.

If you've gone to Disney's California adventure and taken a turn on "Soaring Over California" you know just the scent they pump into the room when you glide over the orange groves.

With the back doors to the house open and the wind blowing just right, the orange blossom smell can fill the back bedroom and drifts down the hallway to just before the guest room door. If the wind isn't blowing just right, you have to go out and stand with your nose in the tree. Either way, we are apparently going to have MANY oranges this year.

Almost everything we've planted is thriving in our yard. I am most pleased that almost everything I'VE planted is doing well also. I don't have high expectations. I am not a gardener. But my lettuce is looking quite nice in the front yard. Am I saving any money by growing my own produce after you factor in how much water I am using to make it grow?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Fancy front yard

If you think I'm going to put the "before photo" at the top of the post and see that awful picture first thing, you are wrong.

A couple of After & Before pics of the front yard.
After, this is the area next to the driveway, where the passenger door would open.

Here is how it looked when we moved in.

Here is the parking strip in front of the house - AFTER.

This is how it looked BEFORE. But not when we moved in... when we moved in it was stacked 6 feet high from sidewalk to street full of garbage the previous tenants were throwing out. Ugh.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Is your baby gay?

Okay, so I just read this FASCINATING article at Radar online.

Though I hold very strong opinions and beliefs about a lot of topics, this is not a place I intend to turn in to a pulpit.

That being said, this article raises a lot of really thoughtful questions about genetic testing and choices parents can make.

Conservatives opposed to both abortion and homosexuality will have to ask themselves whether the public shame of having a gay child outweighs the private sin of terminating a pregnancy (assuming the stigma on homosexuality survives the scientific refutation of the Right's treasured belief that it's a "lifestyle choice"). Pro-choice activists won't be spared, either. Will liberal moms who love their hairdressers be as tolerant when faced with the prospect of raising a little stylist of their own? And exactly how pro-choice will liberal abortion-rights activists be when thousands of potential parents are choosing to filter homosexuality right out of the gene pool?

So, if you're in the mood to think (though I rarely am) check it out.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Yard & House

So this last weekend we set some sort of temperature record in Los Angeles. I recorded 95˚ at our little corner of heaven.

Lyle took the dogs out rollerblading in the morning on Saturday and Sunday and came home both days to tell us to close up the house because it was going to get too hot.

IMPOSSIBLE. I've been waiting "all winter" for it to get too hot. So I left it as it was... and then about 4 in the afternoon, man! Was it ever hot!

The front and back yards are pretty much done and I promise to go out and take pictures and dedicate some space to all that very soon. In the meantime, here's what else we've done...

The first photo is Chandra enjoying some sun on the back deck. Yes, here legs are really that white. That is why she out in the sun with only her legs getting any real sun damage. I think she lasted about half an hour.

We finally got the garage painted a color we like. After trying to cover the pinky color it was with a bright yellow (looked like a daycare) and then an ugly green (looked like a military target) we bought a light terra cotte that was still too pink. Finally we had it remixed into a darker color that matches the kitchen inside and the other wall in the backyard that we had painted a few months ago with leftover kitchen paint.
Here is the backyard garden and stream area. I was allowed out of the house and purchased some more plants. Mostly vegetables. i love harvesting what we've grown. So above is the pretty picture. Below, is the same photo with indications of what I planted this weekend. Did you need to re-read that? I PLANTED. I had dirt on my hands. I dug a hole in the ground. I was OUTSIDE.

The other thing we accomplished this last week was the LAST wall in the back bedroom got painted. This was the wall that was planned to be a hot pink patterned mural feature wall. After we painted the two window sills hot pink we changed out minds and nothing more was done. So, 9 months later I saw a dark blue wall in a magazine and announced, "That's it!"

I bought paint on Tuesday afternoon. I painted on two coats Tuesday night. On Wednesday I finished it in the daylight (very important to be able to see it). On the weekend we went out and bought two new nightstands and a new dresser. The room feels so... what's that word? Grown-up. Weird.
Above, Lola models next to the new nightstand.

Here, Lola shows off the new feature wall color, it's called Indigo Midnight.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Sad news

For those who read this and weren't contacted by Rachel herself, on Tuesday Rachel had to put her cat Kiko down. It was very difficult and she is understandably quite sad.

If you'd like to read her blog entry you can go here.

Of if you'd like to e-mail her:

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Oh the glamour...

Today they delivered a palate of rocks and two scoops of raisins, now wait, make that gravel. Two scoops - as in two scoops of a front loader. Those big yellow things you see working on construction sites.

The REALLY BIG rocks are to go around the planted areas of the front yard and in the parking strip area between the sidewalk and the street. Some may end up in teh backyard.

The gravel, we have been buying in 10lb bags from the local hardware store. And buying. And buying. 6 at a time, 10 at a time, 20 at a time. We've even taken all they had on hand one day. So I am certain we can dispense it everywhere in a short time. Mark my words, it probably won't be enough because that's the way things work around here.

Oh, and if you look at Lola watching the nice man deliver the rocks, you can see the top of the fountain in the new front yard.

Someone is gonna' be very sore, very soon.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

I swear we only had ONE drink...

Went out last night with Lyle and Brad. Actually we started at home. Okay, Brad and Lyle started at home. I took them out on a tour of a coupel of lovely neighborhood bars over in the Silverlake area of town.

After repeated attempts by Lyle to get me to take his picture with oddly dressed men, and me telling him that my phone camera doesnt have a flash and won't take good nightime photos, I finally relented and grabbed this little video of us returning to the car. After our third bar. It was finally light enough to capture some of the magic...