Thursday, June 30, 2005

I am enjoying the ease of using for posting photos.

It's adequate for anything I do on the web, and I haven't begun to look at all its features.

If I could just find the USB cable for the camera, it would be easier still.

UPDATE: Aha! Got you, little device!
Law, law. Just go visit this post by Radley Balko.

(Will I ever overcome my desire to call that man "Boo"? Can it be that offensive to be called "Boo Balko"?)

Possum on the patio

Possum in pine on patio with orchid

Possum in the patch

Possum in the tomato patch

(at least it's not a squirrel)

It's been since 1999 or 2000 that we've had tomatoes like these.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Gratuitous bird picture, using lower resolution and changed settings, according, ahem, to the camera instructions

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

One of Lyman's baseball buddies' wives is expecting a baby, going into forced induced labor tomorrow. They're in Jackson, MS, tonight.

Lyman said, "I bet they're on nins and peedles."

I'm fond, but I also like that Spoonerism.


Possum perches on pencil midst posies

Forest face

There was a little possum and he lived in a tree.
He lived in a tree by me ...
I am speechless.

Daniel Craven, Esq. (I always like that pretentious touch), our lawyer, has a brief article in the Summer 2005 edition of Condo Owner magazine titled "Communicating During Troubled Times."

A key point that he makes:
There is a difference between what owners want to know and what they need to know.
Says it all, doesn't it?

UPDATE: The last line of the piece is eloquent:
In conclusion, the key to better relations, especially in troubled times, is communication, communication, communication.
Esquire Craven, I couldn't have said it better myself.
I learned something from these beans.

My oldest brother called on Sunday to chat.

He said, "I remember when grandmother would serve beans that were half shelled and half not."

"Are you talking about field peas and snaps?"

"No, I'm talking about plain string beans."

He was talking about home-canned string beans.

Well, rats.

We made a mistake, maybe more than one, and they're all mine.

You have to remember that this canner was made somewhere between the forties and fifties. I don't have a manual.

I forgot that you should leave the petcock on the valve until the pressure goes to zero.

There's no broken glass, and the mess is small, but our poor little beans lack about an inch of liquid.

But the seals are tight!

Yack. Such good beans.

Lyman also thinks the gauge might be off.


As Lyman says, "Some people can, and some people can't."

UPDATE: Put them in the refrigerator and eat them soon, they say. I can go for that.

And do a cold pack next time.

Monday, June 27, 2005

I'm stalling.

It's been over three years since I used the pressure canner. It's a big old Presto thick-walled model that Lyman's mother gave us.

It works perfectly well, and the gasket and stopper are fairly new.

The whole process makes me nervous for no good reason, but I grew up with the legends of the exploding pressure cookers, too.

UPDATE: That's all set up.

Now, hot pack or cold pack?


UPDATE: Hot pack. Some of these little fellas aren't youngsters.


Aren't the tomatoes pretty?

Sunday, June 26, 2005

I believe Lucy is preening Charlie. Do say.

I understand, honey. I like to touch him, too.
Here is good news!

We are able to can three pints of tomatoes today -- first time since 2002.

Our crops have been wretched for a few years.

UPDATE: And a question for you:

We are growing a nice lot of Italian flat green beans this year, faster than we can eat them.

I would like to can some, and know they'll have to be canned under pressure. Is it my imagination that you should always fill your pressure canner completely with jars? That you should not do just four or five at a time? Or did I make that up?

UPDATE II: Presto says no, it does not have to be full.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

"Fabio, honey, what should I do?"

"Stroke my manly chest and lose yourself in my less than luxurious hair."

"But, but, there's Lyman, and Lucy and Charlie, and Patricia and ... hmmph."
Uh oh. We just gave the list of the board of directors and their numbers to my father-in-law.

I hope they want some sweet corn. Or maybe they'd like to open his condo first.

UPDATE: I can hear it. Director says, "My lawyer says..."

Big Daddy says, "Lawyers? You want lawyers? I breed lawyers. Two sons, a grandson and a grandaughter coming. What now?"

UPDATE II: Uh oh. He just gave it back.
The introduction to Mr. MacDonald's book, Condominium (1977), reads this way:
It's a very dangerous thing to go so long between hurricanes. It just causes a larger number of incredulous people -- nonbelievers.

Dr. Robert H. Simpson, Former Director, National Hurricane Center, Miami, Florida
Not that I spent a lot of time planning what I was going to be when I grew up, but I can't remember a day that I planned to be a mother of disparate tropical birds.

Michael has been in, laughing at me and his little brother and sister.

I tapped him on the shoulder and said, "When I married your father, Jason was 18. I thought I was beyond this."

"You can't escape it," he said.
My sister's delay in coming has resulted in an unexpected benefit -- I've picked up a brother! They'll both be coming in a couple of weeks.

Since Charles prefers more privacy than can be offered in our house, I spent some of yesterday morning talking to Joseph Stone, owner of this house.

During part of the interval between his father's death and Joe's return from New York City to renovate the house, I lived there for six months. In fact, during one of his visits, Lyman and I fed Joe in his own kitchen.

He has worked hard at the restoration, and behold, has a lovely small bed and breakfast. Charles will be staying in the detached cottage.

We hope to have the benefit of Joe's performance on the piano. He is quite a good player. He's also a collector of antique maps, etchings and books.

Joe, Lyman and I have all been busy these past ten years and fell out of touch. It was a pleasure to talk to him again, and I expect even more from seeing him and his lovely house.

Julep time!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Odd what constitutes a nightmare now.

I dreamed this morning that I opened an attachment that unleashed virulently delirious pop-ups on my computer -- an almost kaleidoscopic display.

Which of course meant that I couldn't use it, which, in turn, left me nothing to do but housework.

Did that work?

Why, yes, it did.

Thank you, hon.
I lost my full signature on my posts. How did I do that? How do I fix it?

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Continuing the book meme that I hadn't consciously begun to follow, we have about 70 feet of books in this house, give or take a couple.

Lyman ditched his law books, so those aren't included, though we kept Black's dictionary. That does include cookbooks, gardening books, other reference and literature.

Like Kate, I try to keep acquisitions down through borrowing. I like books, but I also like space to walk, to dance, and to sew (one day, again).

I left most of my humanities collection in Oregon, also a good many books in New York.

To a desert island, I would take my translated edition of Proust's Remembrance of Things Past, an untranslated edition, a definitive French grammar, a definitive French dictionary, and a Bible, and pray that I could finally get through that sucker.
Happy Birthday, Peg Britton!
I finished reading Ward Just's An Unfinished Season last night.

It is the first book I have read by the well-respected author, a coming-of-age novel set in Chicago environs in the '50's. One could go into a bag of tricks and bring up comparisons to other such writers, and talk about his device of not using quotation marks.

Having given up most literary criticism years ago when I left the big school, I'll leave that to others.

I can say that at my age, these novels of young men or women struggling with their identities don't interest me anymore. I like a good whodunnit now, though I would read Mr. Just again on another topic. This was his 14th novel.

Coming-of-age reading to me now is standing in the drug store aisle of Wal-mart reading the ingredients in anti-wrinkle creams.
The headline of this story in the Baton Rouge Advocate today doesn't look nearly as odd as the 48-pt headline strung across the top of the business page in the print edition.

Think about that:

LaCAEDA gets own budget line in 48-pt type.

Looks like it could be a typographical error, doesn't it? I might think about altering my acronym.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

It gets worse.

Mr. S, our resigned member, called last night and informed us that he was both set up and threatened with legal action by these godforsaken people.

Daddy, I won't even have to make anything up.


This should be the cover photo, don't you think?

(I'm seeing a good many views of this photo. If it's yours, let me know. I'll be glad to give you credit.)
Because I am ticked off enough, mean enough, and feeling helpless, I am going to take up the challenge of writing about "that terrible night last September."

Just last night I ordered "Condominium" from master John D. MacDonald.

That will help to get me started.

Quoth the Craven (as Lyman says), "Nevermore."

My daddy wanted me to be a writer.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Have I told you recently that I love my husband and his sons? Be so informed.

Here's a small reason why:
"Lucy, leave Charlie alone. Go do something else." And she listens.
Yes, I know it's very small. Would it be love otherwise?
I am continually amazed by the president of the board of the condo association.

We were told by the property management group that to be reimbursed for the carpet in the seaside bedroom that was taken out after Ivan, and that we replaced at our expense, that we would need to send a receipt for our expense to the president (I don't know, honey, beats me), which she would approve for payment.

Lyman called the accounting company the other day (the people I write the checks to for association fees), and she told us that the president had spoken to the contractor, and he said it wasn't time to write those checks to owners.

Can you be a bitch, a boor and a bozo at the same time? I guess you can.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

I told you so.

PhotosUSB 011

This was my daddy.

He was a modest man, and not of this new and welcome generation of fathers who feed and bathe babies and put them to bed at night.

But he was a terrific father in times of trouble. We miss him.

He shocked me something fierce when he said that he, too, had read Anna Karenina.

How about that Vronsky?
I received the greatest piece of good sense from my high school freshman English teacher, Susan Cochran, yesterday (she's in the address book).

I told her that I have been putting off this transfer because my mother is in the old book.

"Put her in the new one," she said.

I'll put both my mother and father in -- Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Lee Davenport. That works.

I always liked her.
Happy Father's Day, y'all!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

One year for Christmas, my mother-in-law gave me a gift of an address book. It was a good gift , and I used it.

Lyman brought me another book many months ago. The book needs changing. There are two serious changes needed. My mother is dead, and P. D. sports a mention.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Thursday, June 16, 2005

What in the world has gotten into Lucy? She's being nice today.
Sharon Syx, Gail Weldon, Andrea Cross and Daniel Craven are people that you don't want to know, associate with, or hire. Leave them be.

Oops, let's not forget David Sharpe.

Alabamans beware.
My father-in-law is craving the coast. I doubt he's stepped foot in sand for 30 years, and he wouldn't be caught dead in a swimsuit, but he's itching to go.

The board is putting him off. Bad board. Bad board.

He is 86.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

We received another catalog for In the Swim yesterday, that ticks me off.

We filled in our swimming pool two years ago. If I want to swim, I'll go to a friend's house, and put a buck or two toward the chemicals.

I have called these people and told them to take my name off their mailing list. Little as it shows, I don't like waste.

The girl I last spoke to took my catalog or identity number and I thought that was the last of it.

Not so.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

If repetition is the rule for parrots' learning language, then Charlie's first phrase will be "Stop that, you little biddy!"
Ahem. I shouldn't write this, but here goes.

We have two four-drawer file cabinets in the corner of the office. I cleaned the tops of them off yesterday. There were two food pages from the Baton Rouge Advocate up there. One was dated in May of 2000 and the other in June of 2000.


Monday, June 13, 2005

Lucy needs training in discretion.

This afternoon, while she hung over the side of her cage in her vulture pose, she practiced her "emergency scream." That's the one that makes you think she might have gotten hung up on a toy or is being chased by a tarantula or something.

She has begun using it more frequently in the morning to get me up -- after the telephone rings and door knocks and straight-up rawwks fail.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Funny thing today.

Around four o'clock Lucy is tired, and sometimes hangs off the back edge of the cage next to the window, dozing and observing, perhaps fantasizing or dreaming, whatever tired birds do. I call it her vulture pose.

Charlie went down next to her, and did his best to stay with her. Like a puppy or a kitten with an elder he was antsy, and preened and poked at the mintons, and carried on like a small child.

Lucy didn't attempt to correct him.

We're making progress.

To this point, however, the boing is off-limits.


Lucy and Charlie are not getting along in this picture, despite appearances.

The little buggers do better together when I'm not around. I can arrange that.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

I am joining the large chorus of satisfied customers mentioned in this article in praise of Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser.

I bought some months ago on Jordana's recommendation. Trust a mother of small children to know what will clean well.

I have been using it on smudges and marks on the walls. It works great without soaps or solvents.

Friday, June 10, 2005

My, here are older friends.

UPDATE: Not so bad.
These people are my new best friends.
Here's a lovely little ice cream story from Smiley Anders:
As a very young child in Natchez, Miss., one of my earliest memories was of the ice cream man.

Our ice cream man drove a horse-drawn wagon (really) and rang a hand bell.

He always showed up during my nap. It was also my exhausted mom's nap time, which could have kept me from my daily ice cream fix. But fortunately we shared a house with my grandmother, Camille Druetta DeMarco.

When I heard the bell, I would immediately sit up in bed and wait for Grandma to open the door and poke her head in the room. Moving very quietly so as not to wake up my mom, I'd get up and follow her outside to the ice cream wagon.

Grandma loved ice cream herself (when Natchez got a Dairy Queen, a trip there was a Sunday afternoon ritual), so getting an Eskimo Pie or a cup of vanilla for me gave her a good excuse to also indulge.

We'd eat on the front porch, then she'd wipe my sticky mouth and hands with a damp washcloth and put me back in bed.

Mama never caught on, and when I dawdled over my post-nap snack of cookies and milk, she figured I was just a picky eater.
Thank you, Mr. Anders.
This is cheery news, especially for owners who do not have the beachside glass in their units, lo, these nine months since Ivan.
When I was in the third grade, as part of a recital I participated with several other girls in a Balinese-style dance using artificial candles.

So, when both birds wanted to be held today, we did a little ensemble performance with birds instead of candles. With a better dancer it might be quite pretty.

They're both very busy right now straightening their feathers.

Mama nuts.
Here's a short story on a local turtle farm.

It's an enterprising American who can sell something to China in these times.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

I am staggered. The president sent this communication to Mr. S:
I am truly sorry that you found it necessary to share what we were trying work with you on to "get you on board" in this learning process. Didn't work I guess. Maybe things will get better. This is what the board is trying to help you understand that we all share these ideas on the concept of board protocol and insights.

I must say again - - if you really want to "get on board" and be a voice within the frame work of a team effort - - please please try to get the feel of how the board concept works. I and the other board members will continue to have hope.
So Mr. S should be complicit in silence and deceit? He is of better fiber than that.

Quite a gal. Quite a gal.

You know, she never signs or dates anything. I wouldn't claim the drivel either.

UPDATE: This "I and the other board members ..." bothers me.

My training is that one should put the others before oneself as a matter of courtesy. But I must suppose that courtesy is no element of this composition.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I have never heard of such ugly behavior as is being exhibited by the board of our condo association.

We received notice today that our new member has resigned. He doesn't have the time to put up with bullshit. He travels all over the country all of the time.

Lyman won't let me name names. There are people that you should avoid in your to day to day congress with society. Two are in the Birmingham area.

UPDATE: Please allow me to compose myself. Ahem. Ahem.

On 5/31, there was a board meeting by teleconference. At that meeting, the board determined that we would change from our present property management company to another on site of the complex.

There are distinct advantages to the change, in that the new management company would be devoted to our complex. At a party during our meeting weekend, Lyman spoke to the man who would be our representative with the new company and was impressed. It is not his fault that the owner of the company sold her proxies to the board for the contract. That, dears, is another issue.

Mr. S, our new board member, prepared an e-mail for the membership informing us of the events at the meeting. He was asked to hold back until the current contract holder could be informed. He did so.

It so happens that the new contract had not been finalized when Mr. S sent the e-mail. That information was not passed to all members of the board, including Mr. S.

The Craven lawyer called Mr. S to set up a meeting. They met for breakfast. The Craven requested that he be allowed to review all communications prepared by Mr. S for the membership to avoid legal ramifications. Mr. S agreed to let him review any communications that might touch on legal issues, but said that otherwise, he would pass on such information to the membership as he deemed fit.

Mr. S then received a call from the president of the board asking him to be available for a phone call. The president then drove to the treasurer's house so she might have a witness to the conversation. She proceeded to tape the conversation.

Madame president informed Mr. S that his decision to not allow the Craven to review all of his communications was "totally unacceptable". She gave him what Mr. S called a "verbal reprimand". She told him he was violating "official board protocol". There is no such protocol in the Bylaws or Declaration of our association.

She then told him that she had spoken to all other members of the board (except for Mr. C), and there would be a teleconference about what "to do about Mr. S".

The treasurer then berated him, telling him he should not be communicating board information.

Mr. S says, "No one is going to tell me with whom, when and what information I can provide to my fellow owners."

That's the gist.

Apparently there is a good deal more, which Mr. S suggests might best be related over drinks at someone's dining table.

I am fit to be tied.

I have backhanded out of control managers before, and I'd like to do it again, several times over.

UPDATE II: We received with our association bill a summary of the owner's meeting in May. It contains two pertinent lies.

Where is their sense of shame?

Or more to the point, what the hell is the matter with these people?

There must be some underhanded money somewhere.
Here in the Peaceable Kingdom, things have been fairly quiet today.

The big noise of the lawnmower kept both birds on the highest perch until the boy passed near the window when both flew off at the same moment. They quieted down after he left and have been fairly social today.

Charlie did make the mistake of climbing onto Lucy's spiral rope toy, otherwise known as "boing", which earned him a near beating.

I've decided that the collective reference for the two birds will be "Bophus", as in "Bophus need to settle down" or "It's time for Bophus to go to cage." "Bophus need to hush." "Bophus will stay with Lyman while I go to the Riverwalk."

Lyman is right now ordering another boing. Bophus will have a boing.

UPDATE: See the rope bungee perches, or boings, here.
The PG&E falcons have all flown the coop.

No, we did not acquire Charlie because I was suffering from empty nest syndrome. Pudgy Lucy adequately fills a nest.

One of the fledglings was soon lost. Sure hope it wasn't Screamin' Willie. He was one tough little bird. The other three are out and about with Gracie and George. People are runnin' all over the neighborhood in San Francisco reporting sightings.

I'm signing off on the peregrines this year. It was an interesting run.
Since our mower is still in the shop, Lyman agreed to pay the young man who dropped by yesterday. He didn't come again last night, but turned up again this morning at 10:30.

When Lyman asked him how much he would charge to mow the lawn, he didn't state a price. "Pay me what you think it's worth," he said.

That's a risky proposition for a laborer, and one I wouldn't abide. But it might be the smart move in this case.

The lawn looks awfully bad.
Lee Ann Morawski has not posted anything since near that "terrible night last September," so I'm removing her from the blogroll.

Just let me know when you start again, Miss Morawski, and I'll put you right back.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Just a little exercise.

Compare and contrast this story noted by Hit and Run with this story noted by James Joyner.
I was writing a check to my favorite people in the whole world, the condo association, when a little voice plaintively said,"Janniis."

I finished the envelope, attached a stamp, and turned around to see Charlie eating Lucy's piece of zucchini, rather than his own. I moved that piece to his dish, gave Lucy the other piece and now we're in a zucchini-throwing contest.

"Food fight!"

They've found an activity they can enjoy together. Isn't that cute?
Charlie doesn't like the sink here for baths. Lucy does fine and often revels under the sprayer.

So yesterday I bought a spray bottle, set the short perch in the bathtub, set him on it and started misting.

He didn't jump down and run around, or try to climb onto my hand, but he honked and honked and honked. Oh, the complaining!

We'll work on that.
My sister is much better this morning. She'll look into coming in another two weeks or so.

Ken the Biker is going to do her work. He is one of those people gifted with the ability to do anything with his hands, and is trustworthy and fair.

He has a Moron Project of his own going. He is restoring a 1933 pickup, and can use the extra money.
From Smiley Anders today:
Thought for the Day

From Jess Walker: "Heredity is what makes the parents of a teenager begin to wonder about each other."

Monday, June 06, 2005

There was the call.

Her water heater has gone out and a sub-floor needs to go down before another one is installed. She was packed and ready to come. That's three trips running. She was crying.

We're both disappointed.

Thing is, she likes to come here.
Charlie and Lucy are birds of a different feather.

The birds go to their cages for the night at 9 p.m. Last night, Charlie was sleepy earlier, so he flopped down off his perch, walked over to my chair, and sidled up close for some petting before bedtime. The chile ain't shy.

Lucy likes attention, and is always happy for some shoulder time, but dislikes much petting or rubbing.

This morning, Charlie navigated his way up the swing to the top perch of the tower -- no mean feat, since the swing offers no grip on the arch. At the top he flapped his wings and crowed success. He's a funny boy.

Lucy is slowly adjusting to his presence, but needs watching. Charlie will stand his ground, but he's not as coordinated or fast as Lucy. Yet.

Friday, June 03, 2005

My sister is coming Tuesday!

Every time the phone rings I'm afraid that she has some new trial to stop her coming. I like my brothers fine, but she is something.

Because I'm smart and she's pretty (and pounds pavement like a madwoman), I'm rolling change to buy us both walking shoes when she comes.

"She'll be coming 'round the mountain when she comes, she'll be coming round the mountain when she comes ..."

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Let's all remember that Lucy is a natural redhead. And she's eaten a lot of chili peppers.

She can be a perfect snot.

Time-out, honey.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Oh, foot!

I just saw a Riverview Farms ad scrolling across the bottom of the TV screen. Sweet corn is ready June 1st.

You do know what that means, don't you?