Sunday, 29 July 2012

The Country of Zirconic

Andrew, my sister's son, established a micronation in his man cave, in 2009. I helped him set up the Facebook page for it. He's done a great job working on it, dutifully holding elections twice a year. Somehow he always wins as Prime Minister. ;-)

As the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, I invite you to read the new micronational wikipedia entry on The Country of Zirconic.

I love these two items from the Constitution:

8. All citizens are allowed to be of any sexuality. They shall not be judged based on who they are attracted to.
9. All citizens are allowed to be of any religion. They shall not be judged based on their personal beliefs.

Have I mentioned he's 14?

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Morning Sun

In a couple of weeks, my fluffle-upagus turns one year old! There shall be a picspam. In the meantime, this is a picture I took this morning.


Thursday, 19 July 2012

My Backyard

I'm sitting in my backyard, with a glass of grape juice. My belly is full of barbecued pork.

Tonight was my best barbecue yet. I stacked the pyramid of brickettes, doused them with starter fluid, waited a minute as per the package, them lit them. I set a timer n my iPad, so that I wouldn't be tempted to start grilling too early. I grabbed potato salad from the fridge and ate that. Then I started watering my plants.

I'm surrounded by growth. The catnip is blooming with little pink flowers. The white nancy has white flowers. The cherry tomato plant has three wee green tomatoes. Two of the green pepper plants are budding.

All on its own, the biggest morning glory plant is twining around a trellis. It's actually a little freaky that it just knows to reach out and hold on.

The timer went off. I arranged the charcoal more evenly and went inside for pork. I came out and placed it on the grill. Then I continued watering my plants.

I turned around. Charlie was standing behind me, chewing on grass. Oh, that cat. I didn't fully shut the screen door behind me, it turns out. I exclaimed, he stopped chewing and ran back into the house, I closed the door.

Then I grabbed clippers and cut handfuls of grass. I brought them inside, where Charlie and Chloe immediately descended upon the blades. I suppose I rewarded Charlie for being naughty. Well, Charlie is a cat. He did what cats do. He ran inside when caught, instead of making me chase him all over the yard. Cats need grass for digestion. He got grass. I came back out, carefully closing the door all the way.

It's nice and cool here. Not swelteringly hot, not freezing. I have wooden wind chimes clicking in the breeze. I bought them in New Brunswick, before I ever had an occasion to use them, because I was on a feng shui kick and they are feng shui chimes. I kept them for at least 11 years before I had a place to hang them outside.

The first piece of pork turned out well. A little burnt on one side, but still very edible. The charcoal was still hot, so I went inside and grabbed the other piece of pork from the package. I grilled that while I ate the first piece. Now I have leftovers for tomorrow.

Charlie must be done with the grass. He's sitting at the screen door, meowing at me.

This backyard of mine ... this is my own little bit of bliss.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Butter'n'egg it is

I didn't go on a weed killing rampage after discovering I had a noxious weed in my backyard. If it was good enough for my grandmother, it's good enough for me.

I did removed some of them, but have decided they can live along the fence. I'm slowly establishing patches of good grass that I seeded myself, to keep the weed population down. I did a lot of yardwork today.

I've reached the point of deciding I have enough plants. No, really. See, it hasn't rained for a few days. Without rain ... I have a lot of watering to do!

Yesterday I bought a garden hose and nozzles. Then I discovered that the faucet in my backyard is set really close to the stucco. So close that I can't attach a hose - the outer ring couldn't move against the stucco. Good thing I put the receipt where I could easily find it.

I've given up trying eradicate the grass and weeds in between the stones out back. Now I'm doing damage control. I think that next year, I'll hire a landscaper, so that the blocks can be moved to the shady area, and some rounded stepping stones can go in. So I'm not going to spend more time eradicating when it will all be gone in a year. I'll just use the weed whacker to keep things from getting too wild.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Gardening oops

Back in May, I noticed this plant popping up in my garden. I thought it might be a weed. A few questions here and there, and it was identified in a gardening forum as a wallflower.

Name the weeds

"Cool!" I thought. "It's not a weed after all, and it will look so pretty when it blooms!"

Only it never bloomed. I eventually mowed most of them down. They spread rapidly through the backyard.

In the last couple of days, there was a blooming.


"Cool!" I thought. "That's a butter'n'egg like in my grandmother's garden!" I felt moved and needed a moment, as I travelled back in time to my grandmother Anderson's flowers. How she always encouraged my enjoyment of her flowers on her farm. How she would send me out to gather wildflowers for baby and wedding showers that she hosted. I'd never connected my garden to her, but now it was plain to see another way in which she influenced me.

It was a very lovely moment, to have a reminder of her in my garden, without even planning it that way.

I should perhaps have not looked up this plant online. Because it turns out that it is Linaria vulgaris, aka yellow toadflax, aka ... a noxious weed as defied by the province of Alberta and the city of Calgary. Not prohibited ... but that explains why I have so many of them. Sigh.

Two roses!

Two roses! by angelamermaid
Two roses!, a photo by angelamermaid on Flickr.

Friday, 6 July 2012

My rose bush has officially bloomed!

Via Flickr:

Home Ownership

I bought the house knowing that the furnace was 30 years old. That was part of the price - old furnace. The home inspector said he didn't think it had been serviced ever. A Groupon for furnace cleaning and maintenance appeared that week and I bought one.

Dude was just here. He confirmed that it's never been serviced. The ducts were "disgustingly filthy" and he couldn't do too much work on the furnace until they're cleaned. The Groupon gives me a 10% discount on duct cleaning so I booked another appointment.

He did check the heat exchanger and it isn't cracked "yet". He recommended I get a new thermocouple and wrote down the details, so that I can save some money and buy it myself. Then they'll install it when they come back for the duct cleaning.

He said the filter has been changed in the past, but not recently. He replaced that, and showed me how I can replace it in the future every 4 months. The amount of dust that came off the old filter was so disgusting that I'm surprised I didn't have an asthma attack right then and there.

He estimates the furnace has about two years max left. I've known all along to be budgeting for a new one, so I wasn't surprised or upset.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Happy Canada Day

Happy Canada Day by angelamermaid
Happy Canada Day, a photo by angelamermaid on Flickr.

Yes, that's my tattoo!