Monday, April 20, 2009

Beautiful Monday

I just thought I'd post an update. Lots I should be doing but sitting here at the computer looking out over the back patio and the lake beyond is nice too. It's a wonderful spring day today. The sky is cloudless and the temperature is perfect. That's a huge change from yesterday which was pretty nasty. On the up side I won't have to water the garden today.

Speaking of the garden it continues to do well. I even have a few cherries on the cherry trees I have yet to plant. I wonder if they will survive the transplant shock? I guess I'll find out. With any luck the three new trees will be in the ground this week.

Most of this day so far has been used for exciting things like laundry. I also got a start on a new drawer I needed to build to replace a broken one in one of our houses in Orlando. I have some drawers to build for another project so this will be a learning experience that will pay off down the line. With all the things I've built over the years you'd think I'd have had to make drawers before but I haven't. It doesn't look too hard to duplicate the broken one. I guess time will tell if that is overly optimistic.

The weekend was a pretty good one. We had a friend come visit and I think they had a nice time. I know we did. We did some shopping, ate WAY too much at the Sam's Town Seafood Buffet on Friday night, played some poker, you know, just hung out and had fun. Oh and we watched Mamma Mia, that was a fun movie. Musicals are not usualy my favorite things really but this one was just fun. I thought Meryl Streep looked great in it, and that was before I found out she's nearly 60 now!

Poker actually went well this weekend, good enough to make me cautiously optimistic that maybe it's turning around. The number of available games seem to be picking up and that seems to be leading to more loose, beatable and thus profitable, games. My bankroll is increasing steadily and it won't be all that long at this rate that, if I can find higher stakes games, I'll be able to move up to play them. That might have to wait for a trip to Vegas though but we've been thinking of doing that this year.

What I'd love to do is drive out to Vegas taking my time and playing in cardrooms along the way in Oklahoma and Arizona and possibly other places if I can find likely spots. It's a long drive even from here in Hernando, around 1500 miles I think. Playing my way out to Vegas over the course of a few days each way would make it easier to take than just driving the whole way as fast as I could which would mean a solid two days in the car....yuck. That plan appeals to me but it means I have to do it alone as Connie couldn't really get enough time to do all that as the whole trip would then take at least 2 weeks. What will probably happen is that I'll drive out and Connie will fly out and meet me in Vegas then fly back after 5 days or a week or so. That gives me time on both ends and allows me to say out there as long as it's profitable enough to pay for itself and I'm still having fun. I hope it comes together as it sounds like fun. I'll wait until later in the summer when it's too hot here to enjoy being outside much though. Vegas will be hot anyway and I'm used to being there in the heat anyway since it seems like that's always when I visit. Good thing the poker rooms are all nice and well airconditioned (and now all smoke free...yippee).

Well I guess I have put off work long enough. Time to go work on a drawer.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Early Spring in the Garden

Living here in Northern Mississippi I can see that spring is going to be my favorite time of year. Winter is over. Not that I minded having a real winter. I actually liked it, even when it got down to twelve degrees, even when it snowed. Spring here is much more noticable than it was in Central Florida.
In Florida my favorite season was fall. Of course fall didn't really come there until mid-October. Then it finally started to get a bit cool after nearly six months of murderously hot summer temperatures. I liked nothing more than a walk on a crisp fall evening after a hot day when you could feel the cool edge creeping in. It gave you hope.

Spring does that here. There is so much color to spring here. In the pictures I'm going to post you'll see a bit of spring color even in the small portion of my yard that is in the pictures. You'll see one of our Dogwoods that has been blooming for a couple of weeks now as well as a couple of other plants I can't put names to.

Most of my spring veggies are in and well started. I've had a couple of disappointments the main one being the strawberries that I bought from Lowes that are just doing nothing. I thought the first batch got taken out by a cold snap when I started them too soon. That can't be what is keeping the second batch down. I'll be looking for a new source for strawberry plants I suppose. I really want to grow strawberries.

Here is a view from the back patio looking out at the area where most of the gardening is happening. I've got some blueberries and fruit trees in another area on the other side of the house but this is where the veggies will be growing.

Those are tomato plants on the wall to the left of the compost bin. There are two cherry trees and a peach tree waiting to be planted, those are in pots on the left of the picture.

I'm starting small with just 4 beds for veggies. Using the Square Foot Gardening method though those 4 beds give me 16 sq feet each to plant in and that gets in an amazing quantity of plants in a small space. There is one bed yet to finish, the shorter raised bed in the center. It is going to be an herb garden. The bed on the right is primarily peppers with some onions and carrots. The other two are pretty much an assortment. You can see one of the Dogwoods in the background of this picture although it's not the best picture of it.

Here is a view of the area looking from the front of the lot toward the back.

This is a closeup of the bed with the peppers in it. The taller boxes in the right rear corner will be carrots. They are not strictly up to speed with the Square Foot Gardening thing, they should have been 12 inches square but I already had them built for something else that I didn't end up needing them for. Might as well recycle.

That, for now, is springtime in the garden here. It's an evolving process and not only is it fun but gives me something to write about here. Now you know what I've been up to.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I've always kind of been a bit of the type to spend time reflecting on my life. I suppose many, if not most, people who have journals of any sort are. I find myself doing it more as I get older. In part it's probably because there is more to reflect on.

I recently read an article in Readers Digest about writing memoirs. It was a great article but I have no idea what month or even what year it was from. I don't even want to get into my method, if you can call it that, for reading Reader's Digest. I'll get them all read eventually, maybe.

Anyway that article struck a cord with me. Of course any article on writing tends to do that. At first I thought, but I do that in the form of my journals both online and my private journal on my computer. I used to do a hardback jounal written long hand but have not done that for several years. It was it's own form of relaxation that you just don't get when typing on a screen. I probably should resume it again.

After thinking about it for a bit I realized that journals and blogs are seldom really memoir. They can have elements of it but, at least the way I do it, it's closer to an ongoing autobiography than a memoir.

I have begun to toy with writing one or more memoirs but it's being a slow process. That's ok because what is slowing me down is the need to examine my life in more detail than I usually do and with brutal honesty. The brutal honesty part is harder than you would think. Harder than I thought anyway. I have come to realize that there are parts of my life that I can write in a memoir that I could possibly even post here. I really can't see any of it being worthy of trying to publish. There is more though that I'll be writing just for me to read, or at least to know I've written even if I never go back and read it. There's a lot that I wouldn't, or couldn't, share with many people, maybe not anybody.

I don't know what to come of it but if you know me you know I'm usualy my happiest when I have some sort of writing project in mind. For now that will probably be what is occupying me when I'm writing. Who knows some of what I re-discover about myself may leak out into entries in this journal. It wouldn't surprise me at all if that happened.

If you're reading this then you've probably been a part of my life in one way or another. I'd love you to write me an email sometime and tell me about some memory you have of me, something we shared together or maybe just the first thing you thought of when you read this. I think it would be interesting to see my life from the other side and I can't do that without help.

Help me....please?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Jeckyll and Hyde

The weather here, moreso I think than in Florida, tends to do sort of a Jeckyll and Hyde thing. One day it will be just gorgeous as it was a couple of days ago when I wrote. Then yesterday we had strong storms but luckily missed us with the worst of what they brought to other nearby areas. Today, after a cloudy start to the morning, it was a cool, clear, perfect spring day.

I'm not complaining mind you. Weather is as you find it and complaining about it isn't going to get you anywhere. That doesn't stop me from doing it if there are too many days without sunshine since my moods do seem to hinge on sufficent sunlight. I probably complained last year about the week here in Mississippi where every day was over 100 degrees too. I don't think I complained at all about this winter and the cold even though I came from Florida where it was considered critically cold if it got into the 50's.

It seems that here the days are more likely to start out cloudy and get sunny where in Florida they would start out sunny then get stormy as the sun heating things up caused seabreeze fronts most summer days.

I can't say that one place is better than another for weather, both have their advantages and disadvantages. I will say that spring in Northern Mississippi is a heck of a lot more spectacular than spring in Central Florida. Also it's nice that summer doesn't last quite as long here in Mississippi, even if it does tend to be a little hotter at it's hotest.

All I know right now is that the weather is, once again, perfect and I'm going to enjoy that while I can.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I wrote recently about reconnecting with an old friend thanks to FaceBook. I'm glad that worked out as it has and wouldn't change that but over all I'm wondering if FaceBook is such a good idea for me. I've gotten several friend requests from former high school classmates and have always accepted them gladly. The thing that has me wondering now is that after I've accepted the request I write to them and by and large nothing happens. I may get a line or two back once but if I respond to that then I get nothing. In one case it appeared that somebody was going to actually WRITE and we might really reconnect that way. Well that rather abruptly seems to have ended. Of course they might be busy but more than likely I think I was just not who they wanted to talk to. I'm pretty sure I'm right about that but won't go into the details right now. I'm glad for the one friend I was able to really reconnect with and actually get back together with in person. I'm very glad for the friends who I made online in the past few years who are there now and who are making an effort to keep connected. Overall though as it applies to high school classmates it appears to be a repeat of high school. I knew OF lots of people but never really knew them because for whatever reason I never managed to really fit in. The cycle of life just repeats itself I suppose. I hoped maybe something, me or something else, had changed but that doesn't appear to be the case. And so, it appears, ends the great FaceBook experiment....too depressing.

Wonderful Spring Day in Northern Mississippi

Today here in Northern Mississippi is what spring is all about. The weather is as close to perfect as it can get. The sun in shining brightly in a clear blue sky. The temperature is mild. It's been a good day to spend some time out working on the garden. I keep finding myself just staring off into space though, not thinking about much of anything most of the time, just enjoying the day.

Spring here is bringing lots of color. The dogwoods are blooming as are several other trees (If I knew what they WERE I'd name then lol). There are also Tulips around and other bulbs that have flowers this time of year. Things are turning green again.

I'm not sure if it's related to spring or not but Tux, one of the outside cats that sort of came with this house and who I've written about here before, has once again had kittens. It looks like five this time.

In the past she always had them under our airconditioner/heater unit. This time she seems to want to keep them tucked up in the corner of the house near the basement. I wish she'd take them somewhere more sheltered but I'm afraid to interfere because I'm afraid she will abandon them if I do. She is, and always has been, very skittish. Even after a year and a half she won't even think about letting me pet her. Sometimes she even hisses at me when I feed her. I'm such a sucker I do it anyway.