Work and play


Despite overnight rains, the Mowing Man “civilized” our immediate landscape, and we pushed forward on the chore front.

We made a dinner outing to celebrate with friends, and could see the sunset from a different angle across the lake….

What a great way to close out the month!

Making our move


Suddenly, I feel I’m out of the whirlwind of parental schedules, and, whoa!, it’s Mem Day weekend aka Decoration Day. An NPR person mentioned on the morning news that only ten percent of the USA’s WWII vets are still around. We left one behind today (eyeing his garden to figure out the next task to undertake) to head north, and see if the UP is as hot as downstate.

OTR* comment: Ah, traffic enforcement is underway. Let’s make our highways safe this holiday weekend!

LATER: We safely rolled into our destination, opening the cottage to discover, well, the usual few surprises, nothing major.

* OTR = on the road

Mom takes up Cocoa


Today is Mom’s big day, although she really doesn’t want to talk about being twenty-nine and holding (three times over, plus), although I’m not sure that’s why she’s studying Cocoa (dog: woof; cat: meow—trust me!). Cleverly, we arranged for special desserts for both lunch and dinner, a grand success! (Thanks to Grand Traverse Pie Company and a supermarket bakery and the MSU Dairy Store!—I’m not baking in this heat!)

Maize in its place


In the heat of the afternoon, The Botanist was on a roll, and I helped out. He had shovel-weeded a strip of the midsection of the garden during the morning when I was erranding. So, we made periodic forays into the bright and brilliant sun to plant four (count em’!) rows of sweet corn.

His method is fascinating. First, remove the weeds (duh). Then a quick raking to bust up any clods and remove any plant matter hanging around from the shovel/hoe weed removal. Next, set up a string so you can make a straight row (VERY important). Now, take a hoe and make a narrow trench beneath the string. Drop a kernel (powdered with brilliant fuchsia chemicals) every eight inches or so. Next, the really fun part: water in the seeds, carefully, without letting them get washed down the row (of course, it’s not quite level and drains to the edge, to deal with heavy precip events). Next, grab the hoe and refill the trenchlet, cleverly tromping the soil with your size thirteens (is it critical to have big feet to be an exceptional vegetable gardener?), packing it around the seeds, so they are trapped with the moisture and germinate faster. Do the next row, or retreat to the shade and recover from your labors.

And scare away the robins that are trying to peck at the strawberries!

Summer pro and some cons


Ah, the searing Midwest summer. Love that heat/humidity combo. We’re tickled there’s a breeze to temper it. And the shade of the moraine locust. Even those tiny leaves can create sunlessness.

The bonus, however: the strawberries are just beginning to come in!

Northbound, Mem Day and more


Checking out most of I-75’s midsection, from the perspective of a moderately laden passenger vehicle. Saw cop clusters, but none interested in us (thankfully). A late start meant we saw the extended summer sunset for many Ohio miles, including this triplicate cloud formation to the west.

Produce production project


I made the next step in the tomato prep this morning before the oppressive heat arrived (meaning bright sunshine). I got the newspaper down, using the weed-control method The Botanist prefers. We shall see how it works here in the Sunny South (rather than the Midwest, where The Botanist operates).

It may be that soil pH issues are exacerbated by the decomposing newsprint here…and not there?


Given the sunlight angles, it’s not surprising that the tomato plants are threatening to take over the sidewalk again. We exercised our ability to mobilize and have installed a wee fence to see if we can keep access to the front door open this year.

Naming gaming


Yellow columbine, with a nod to KW.



This is older, but: PEX.

My conclusion: the “ex” ending is hot in product naming.

And secondarily: capitalization is flexible.

NEX is from Sony’s αNEX series of cameras—Sony’s impressive counter to the micro four thirds lines offered not long ago by Olympus and Panasonic.

Plex is software we’re using these days to replace cable, which we dropped over the winter (even though it’s a legit biz expense for Someone).

PEX is “cross-linked polyethylene” pipe or tubing. Think snap-together plumbing in the Great White North. Don’t ask what it may be leaching into the water (I tell myself).

Plex and PEX aside, my new camera lust* is the αNEX line (especially this one). Nif-tee!

* This in spite of the fact that we have three fine up-to-date digital cameras, including the iPhone.

In motion


Late mid-morning, the Guru said (something to the effect of), “Wanna walk over to the Bot Garden?”

I was tickled! Since we’ve been there last, they’ve opened the canopy walk, which is just that, a sidewalk in the air (forthcoming pictures, I expect). Another revamped part of the garden features this new cascade. Love the stop motion from the fancy-cam! Hard to believe that I’m standing a mere two hundred feet from Piedmont Avenue.

The Google Earth satellite picture is current enough to show this new architectural wonder! (Although without water.) And you can see the canopy walk arcing through the trees—it’s the gray question mark shape.

We stopped for a late lunch on the way home, and got over eight miles, to use the Marquis’s phrasing.

I have two enticing pictures from today’s excursion that I think are good candidates for my home page. I picked the one that you have to study to be sure of the scale.