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Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

Wild Wallflower

A few weeks ago, I discovered a mysterious stranger in my front yard. (Wait, it wasn’t creepy!) I noticed a large plant enthusiastically outpacing the rest of the yard’s late spring residents. It was obviously Something, but what? Rather than give the plant a chance to bully its way to King of the Garden I dug it up, put it in a pot and gave it a home in the back yard. Whether that home would be temporary was to be determined. What the heck was it?

I can now answer that question. (I’m sure many people would know what it is straight off the bat but I did not. Learning, it’s a beautiful thing!)

Meet the (checks the plant ID app, which is probably right?) Treacle or Wormseed Mustard plant. This is Erysimum chieranthoides, also known as a Wallflower. And here I thought that was just a metaphor.

I am Mustard, hear me rawr!

It is weedy in looks and habits, which doesn’t typically bother me that much, but it’s also a wee bit poisonous and very bitter. Most animals avoid feed contaminated by this plant’s seed. Sounds unpleasant. I’m afraid I will have to say thanks but no thanks. 

Also, my helpful app has another poem for us. It’s not actually about this plant but what the heck. Enjoy!

And then along my picket fence

Where staring wallflowers grow–

World-wise Old Age, and Common-sense! –

Black bonnet, nodding slow.

— Henry Lawson

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This could be a different plant altogether. Mustard? Canola? Photo by Mak💛💙 on Unsplash

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Courage

“You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.”

― Aristotle

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

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Today in super excellent ideas I’m giving away for free: I’m pretty sure that turning used F1 tires into premium-branded garage flooring would be a no-brainer.

What Does F1 Do With Used Tires? – One Stop Racing

How much would a superfan pay to walk on Lewis Hamilton’s or Charles Leclerc’s or Max Verstappen’s tires? I’m going to go with A Lot.

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Photo by Lorenzo Hamers on Unsplash

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“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

― Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

We can do better. We must do better.

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Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

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Sososososososohappy right now!

/ahem

After 60+ hours without power we are back online. So happy about that, and feeling very appreciative of all the electricians and other workers who made it happen, and the first responders who kept us safe in the meantime.

We spent most of the storm sensibly safe indoors but if you’re interested in images of the derecho that affected almost half of this country’s population, check out these links:

The Weather Network – Schools close, local state of emergency declared after deadly weekend storm

The day after: Post-storm photos

#OnStorm – Twitter

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I’m thankful for the friends and neighbors who offered to help, and for now knowing how to use a generator and rebuild a fence. 

Aside from items like a BBQ, water heater that runs without electricity, and fireplace, I’d say the most valuable storm supply awards go to:

  • rechargeable power packs, 
  • long heavy-duty extension cords, 
  • shelf-stable snack and other foods, 
  • ice packs, 
  • good neighbors,
  • backlit e-readers and 
  • a good data plan. 

We also have a bunch of nightlight/emergency lights, the kind you leave plugged in but can also work as a flashlight. Those were invaluable (not least because our only real flashlight runs on (currently dead) C batteries which we don’t have). Our lantern crapped out on us, but pro tip: a flashlight under an opaque white container or lampshade works surprisingly well. 

The experience certainly gives me added appreciation for what’s “normal,” and the fact that we’re able to get back to it after just a couple of days.

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Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

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Still no grid power; we’re some of the 175,000+ people in the area who lost power during Saturday’s major storm. About 165k of us have yet to get it back. No standard internet, of course, and cell data is hard to come by as well (some day I will have enough data access for blog photos but that day is not today… or yesterday… or maybe tomorrow?). Trees, light posts and and power lines came down here, there and everywhere. We lost several major transmission towers and lines as well, which is complicating the recovery process.

And yet, life without (much) power continues. 

On the down side:

  • Opening the fridge and/or freezers has become a process in advanced risk assessment.
  • It’s Monday, and my internet-based, data-intensive day job is calling (not literally, because, you know, no power, but you get the picture). We’ll see what I can do here from the Land of Olde Time.
  • Mr Man is very tired of grinding coffee in a mortar and pestle. He is currently measuring the progress of civilization in terms of how long it takes to do simple (yet obviously critical) tasks like this one.
  • I reallllllllly wish I’d downloaded the next Murderbot book before all this happened. Note to self: stop putting things off, just in case. Also, keep your batteries charged and your backups up to date.
  • No estimated time for return to normality except that this will be “a multi-day process.” We’ve decided to remain optimistic, because why not.

On the plus side:

  • The city and power company folks are working very hard. Go them.
  • We’ve been talking about replacing that fence anyway, and its current level of horizontality is a persuasive argument on the side of yes.
  • A generous neighbor has a generator we’ve been able to use here and there, and hope to keep our food storage safe* and battery packs charged. 
  • We still have hot water, a BBQ, fireplace and our lives. Feeling very fortunate in that regard.

* To my brother with expertise in this area, I remember your warnings about spikes in food-borne illness after disasters. We’re being careful!

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This is a placeholder post to keep my daily streak alive, in case the very dramatic storm currently overhead cuts the power. Crazy wind! Giant raindrops! Emergency notifications! Flickering lights!

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Photo by Andre Furtado on Pexels.com

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My Day So Far

Photo by Louis Dupressoir on Unsplash

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Another Tuesday, another day when I am both inspired to reach dramatic new heights* and, after an intensive tour of the data mines, reduced to the mental status of a child. How appropriate, then, that today we have a Baby Yoda coloring book by the talented Martin Gee.

The Unofficial Baby Yoda Coloring Book

Enjoy!

* A girl can dream.

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