Sunday, February 28, 2010

1000 Photographs

Late last year I started taking photos with a new DSLR camera. This morning I took my 1000th photo with the camera.

I probably have 20 or 30 photos out of that first 1000 that I like enough to keep around. I wonder what I'll think of those after another thousand...

Saturday, February 27, 2010


We got a quick but impressive drenching and I managed to snap this picture of my younger daughter doing some serious puddle jumping.

But that was yesterday. Today's weather made working in the yard possible, if muddy. I took a couple of before shots and then merged them into a panarama:

(Click to see a larger version)

From left to right:

Compost area, extra hay from chicken run, laziest pomegranate on the planet, stub for automatic sprinklers/waterer, shovel, existing 32sqft garden box armored against squirrels and birds, lime "tree", artichoke, garbage can used to store a big bag of DE, more junk.

We're looking to redo that whole area starting this weekend. We did some work today, but I think we'll get much more done tomorrow (if I didn't just jinx us...) and so maybe I'll post some "during" photos...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Lizard Brain -- Or, Dear Author...

"Dear Author, Thanks for your query..."

I recently received a rejection letter for this book I've written. The book itself began as a Nanowrimo project and it was targeted basically at my two daughters (both under 10 years of age). That it was rejected was not a shock at all. In fact, in a way I'm incredibly happy.

You see, I suffer from this affliction where I just don't want to be in the position to fail. I think I've read somewhere that it's called Lizard Brain (yep, lots of Lizard Brain stuff on the Internet). Where you are so afraid of failure that your mind comes up with ways to sabotage you or stop you from even trying.

So that's why I'm so happy. I sent in my manuscript. I really did it. Yes, the cover letter was poor (sabotage!) and I'm still not convinced that publisher would have been a good match for the book, but I'm calling it a victory because I actually *did* something.

My next cover letter will be much better. My next submission will be to a better publisher. The next draft of the book will be better. Take that, brain!

Monday, February 22, 2010


The hens are working overtime lately, keeping up with nearly 3 eggs a day.

In other news, we've fed them quite a few snails and slugs recently, so I'm just waiting for the kids to start wondering about what's going in to those eggs...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Spring Already?

Ok, so it's not exactly "science" but we have our own method for predicting weather, and it's at least as valid as looking for rodent shadows.

Today our three hens each laid one egg. While that's not very exciting in and of itself, the very same thing happened yesterday too!

So, for the first time since, I think, late November or early December, all three of the hens laid two days in a row.

Pffft. Groundhogs. Who needs 'em?


Now, give me a good hedgehog and I'm right there with ya! Cute lil' guys...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lawn (again)

This weekend I spent some time in the front yard trying to fill in these terrible "bald spots" in the lawn where we had our water main dug up/replaced over a year ago. The grass never really grew back in those trenches, even though I filled them and added grass seed early last spring. Don't get me wrong, the grass sprouted just fine, but it didn't live very long and soon the dandelions moved in...

Meh. I'm trying again this year.

But while I was out there I realized our side lawn consists of exactly 0 parts "lawn," 2 parts dandelions, and about 9 parts other weeds. I think it's about time to admit defeat and just dig the whole thing out.

The question is, what can I put there? We don't have a very formal system of rules for front yards in our neighborhood, but a garden is not really possible. Between the animals (cats, dogs, squirrels, possums, raccoons, birds) and neighborhood kids, the plants wouldn't stand a chance.

Gravel/Rocks? That's ugly and sad.

Sod? Pavers?

Maybe some kind of raised bed flower thingy...

I'd love to just widen our very narrow driveway, but that's expensive to do right, and seems like a wasted opportunity.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

364 more?

Starting a "photo a day" or 365 Photo project is harder than it sounds. Sure, you take a picture every day and then you post it. Easydashpeasy.

But what if you're at work or in the car during the shorter daylight hours we have in Winter in the northern hemisphere? What if you don't walk past anything interesting during the day? What if you are tired of taking pictures of every square inch of the poorly lit interior of your house?

Seasoned (and by that I mean "skilled") photographers, of which I am not one, (obviously) can find something whimsical or dramatic even in their own linen closets. Alas, our linen closets seem to suffer from an extreme deficiency of "interesting."

I know that I'll pick up more skill as I take more pictures and maybe eventually get to the point where I'm able to post something interesting each day. That day has, however, not yet arrived.

But, we did find this thing sprouting in the back of one of our cupboards.

So that's officially my first photo. I haven't decided where I'll post the other 364. Probably on Flickr or something.