One Who Guesses Right

Portrait of an articulated skeleton on a bentwood chair
Portrait of an articulated skeleton on a bentwood chair, circa 1900. Courtesy of The Commons, Flickr.

Dear Internet,
The 12th Doctor was announced today.  I’m not sure how I feel about the selection but as I said on Twitter, it’s not so much they went with a white male but the beeb, the show, Moffat – they have this AMAZING opportunity to take the show into new direction, pushing boundaries and make the show worth a damn! But no. Moffat on why no female Doctor, “It didn’t feel right to me, right now. I didn’t feel enough people wanted it.”
That has got to be one of the most cowardly statements ever published.  Will I stop watching? More than likely not.
Today was a good day! TheHusband and I got up early, there was no leaping from the bed but early it was, and made some serious head way into the great weeding with the before illustrated below:
The great weeding has begun!
The great weeding has begun!

After two hours and stuffing to the gills a 96 gallon yard waste container, our yard looks exactly the same! Well, not exactly – the weeds between the bricks in the walk are gone. So there is something. TheHusband and I keep going back and forth on how to take care of this mess, knowing really if we spent a few a hours a day working on it, it would be fantastic. And knowing who we are, it’s not probably not going to happen.
But we continue to be optimistic.
After cleaning ourselves up, we headed over to antique row, which is a series of antique stores located in the old warehouse district south of downtown. This area, along with other blighted spots, are getting their own gentrification so now instead of it being a sketchy area to park and shop in, the streets are getting nicer and better shops are moving in.. The row has now doubled to contain six distinct antique and speciality stores, such as one store that specializes in Mid-Century Modern and another that does specializes in reclaimed materials. Reclaimed from what, we’re not sure, but it looked too high falutin for us.
Our needs were pretty simple: Look for Fiestaware, furniture, and a few other odds and ends we need for the cabin. We might as well been shooting for the moon. Several weeks ago, we lucked out when we found Fiesta plates at a local thrift store near our cabin for $1 a piece. At every antique store we visited this weekend, they were selling between $10-30 a piece. Now I know some of this stuff is worth the price, but selling contemporary pieces for vintage prices is a fucking dick move! We saw this in a lot of things we picked up, items that were retro made to emulate vintage looks but priced as of original. I Instagramed some choice pieces but overall, our time at the antique row was a bust.
I also feel like I’ve combed through most of the thrift stores and antique markets in our areas and either we’re not getting the right days or I’m missing something. It’s become pretty frustrating.
We ended our pretty busy day out with dinner at one of our favorite restaurants and we both tried something new. The evening was wrapped up with True Blood and some other mindless television before crashing.
So mood – how was my mood. For the most part of the last few weeks, my mood has been pretty steady even and the Klonopin at night has helped taken the edge off. But the edge is still there and sometimes I can feel it like a serrated knife against my chest.
I am so fucking tired. Of being tired. Sometimes I feel like all I do in inhale enough caffeine to keep me functioning for the moment and then I inhale some more. I feel like it’s a lost cause and I want to get off of Lithium so badly but I’m more afraid of the ramifications of going off the drug cold turkey.
Lisa (Day #11)

This day in Lisa-Universe in:

Unfucking Throbbing Manor

Recently, I saw a bit of Tumblr posts on Twitter scroll on by from Cat Valente, which the titles lead me curious and curiouser down the dark rabbit hole that is Tumblr. I was fine with this since the occasional tapping of the Tumblr vein never really hurt anyone and Cat’s posts all pointed to the nirvana – a blog called Unfuck Your Habitat.
After perusing the site for a bit, it took me a minute to figure out that Unfuck Your Habitat builds/uses the same methods as The Fly Lady, only in a more OMGBBQ and animated gifs heavy way, with a teensy dose of profanity. Which if I’m honest amongst my close friends here on the intarwebs, I’m moar likely to use something where “fuck” is sprinkled liberally about and the cherry on top are vaguely obnoxious animated gifs say over a site that seems to be geared towards, well, women I’d like to strangle on a daily basis.
The premise is simple: You find something you want to unfuck and you unfuck it. It can be as small as simply taking the steps to making your bed everyday and laying out that day’s clothes the night before or even just unfucking an area that is always in a cluster and working on keeping that unfucked on a more regular basis. In an related but not kind of way, I’ve been working on unfucking my emotional/creative life for the last month by meditating every morning for five minutes and then writing for 7 minutes before I begin my day. And by “begin my day,” I mean pour coffee down my throat in order to become human.
Continue reading “Unfucking Throbbing Manor”

Le mie passioni, parte 3: Gardening

(Le Mie passioni,  Italian translation of “my passions,” is a an occasional series of things I really, really love.)

Magnus coneflower (foreground) and phlox peppermints, July 9, 2011.

As we slip-side towards the middle of July, summer is finally taking hold of us here in Michigan after a long, desolate winter and a very odd spring. I explained to TheHusband recently that my need to be outside and doing something, anything is more towards getting rid of the cabin fever syndrome that is still a carryover from winter, when we could barely leave the house, then actually wanting to accomplish (despite best intentions) something on our grounds. Sad, but true.
Our veg garden, photo taken from the garage roof, 05/24/11.

TheHusband and I have been at gardening odds at each other since the snows have melted: He’s only interested in working in the vegetable gardens while I distinctly remember that I wholly promised with all my heart to work on the flower gardens to get them cleaned up and prepped for the season. This may not seem like a bad trade off until you take into consideration that we have nothing BUT flower gardens: There is not a single blade of grass, in sight, on our entire property. The previous occupants was a gardening maestro, even my mother-in-law noticed that under all the nearly rotten foliage were rare and expensive plants. The problem, however, was that the previous occupant planted them willy nilly, perennials on top of perennials with the ground cover filled in with creepers such as nettles, English ivy and archangel to fill in the holes, that it is literally a needle in the haystack to get to the good stuff. Our job, my job really, was to sort out the rot, figure out what is underneath the weeds, the creepers and the trash to see what was left behind.
Wisteria to be composted.

Our first forays into the gardens in the spring, we got easily overwhelmed with all the work that needs to be done. We slowly cleared out English ivy tap roots that weighed in as much as 30-40 pounds and were settled along the brick of our garage, I pulled wheel barrel after wheel barrel of ivy that was settled around the urban garden landscape and part of our backyard. TheHusband chopped down and uprooted junk trees and bushes that were strangling the more expensive flora and blocking out their sun. But it seemed for every weekend worth of work we did, we discovered that more work had to be done.
While our veg garden beds were laid out years ago, the wood used to build the containers is all rotting and will need ot be replaced next year. English ivy is so dominant in our yard that it is also strangling the vegs and before we build the new containers in veg garden, we’ll have to till the fuck of the land to cut up all of the English ivy roots. For weeks now we’ve been hiding in our house, attempting to ignore the wild jungle that is our yard. Every once in while, one of us will kick the other into action to go out and do something in the yard whether it is to water it, tend to the vegetables, chop up some compost or weed.
But again, the more we do, the more overhwlemed we become and the cycle continues to repeat itself. TheHusband suggested a week or two ago that we just say fuck it and hire a landscaper to have them clean out the weeds, the creepers and the ivies and get it looking good again. If that didn’t work, if it would be far too time consuming or expensive, hire them to tear the hell out of yard, till it back to the soil so that we could start afresh, design it the way that we want it. All of this costs money, something we don’t have right now as unexpected costs keep becoming, well unexpected. And personally, I don’t see the point of hiring someone to come do the work we can do it ourselves. Yes, granted, it sucks; it’s getting to be unbearably hot, but if I can weed a fairly large section the yard in under a few hours, think of how much I can get down with a few hours a day?
And I don’t mind the weeding – there is a zen like state I fall into when I’m out there working. I took a stand and pointed out that part of this problem was our own fault: If we only worked a few hours a week on it, instead of few hours a month, the amount of work would not seem so terrible. So we’ve decided that I would be in charge of the weeding and the planting and TheHusband is in charge of all the removing and the chopping. After my declaration of war against our garden, I spent the last week, a few hours after work each day, working steadily on our front yard. It is beginning to look clean but definitely more bare with the ivy and the creeper gone but now we can fill those bare areas with non-aggressive plants and other pretty flora. I’ve also discovered brick pathways, long covered up by the ivy and extra dirt, that there is a method to the previous occupants madness and it is up to me to decode it.
I’ve also realised, as I keep working outside, that I like weeding so much because not only is it to some degree meditative, but that it is also very much like being Indiana Jones. I keep finding so much stuff in the ground, besides trash, such as Indian arrow heads, broken pieces of random pottery, hat pins, old gardening tools, and accouterments. I keep a little bucket for non-composting items that need to be removed and it sometimes is a virtual treasure trove of strange and wondrous items.
I thought about creating a new Tumblr entitled, “Things found in my garden.” I’ve stocked up on wife beaters, 45 SPF, hair ties and even bought a pair of Crocs. My pasty skin is getting brown for the first time in years and freckles are appearing on my face. While our vegetable garden may not yield much this year, our fruit bearing cherry tree is struggling and the yard looks like a war zone, soon it will look beautiful and I can say it was all done because of me.

Throbbing Manor – Gardens

TheHusband and I have been trolling Home Depot, Lowe’s and Mendard’s almost every weekend looking for garden/outdoorsy based things, impatiently waiting for the weather to break so we can start work on our yard. On one hand, we’re extremely lucky as we have no grass. No grass means no lawn mower needed! Instead, we have English Ivy and a yard that was landscaped an inch to its life. On the other, the clean up (since the flippers did not pull any of the plants not destined for hard snows and winters) is going to be long, tedious and incredibly overwhelming. I’ve got nearly a dozen planters, filled with various dead plants that were left outside all winter long, sitting on our veranda making it look like a dead plant cemetery.
While most of our friends have been hard at work on their gardens for prep for the upcoming season, we’ve been a little lax on that. But even in our laziness, flowers and buds have started to bloom. I took my DSLR (Pentax K-X) out for some fun yesterday afternoon, using the standard macro lense coupled with the toy camera filter (a digital filter available on the camera), took various shots around our front yard. You can see the entire stream here. I plan on updating that stream more as the spring and summer days progress and you can get a better sense of our gardens.
Birdbath in our front yard.
Mixed crocuses.
Veranda bank wall and water spout.