Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I can't do a whole post and not even mention Honey, I just can't.

She's totally indifferent to the birds. I thought she would like them, but apparently only long enough to determine that they weren't going to feed her, and she’s now on to bigger and better things, like duck jerky.

Houseplants, and plants that are trying to get in.

We're lucky enough to live on the second floor of a building with several exactly second-floor high leafy trees directly outside. This is great because it mediates the sun (which can be brutal) our living room gets from about 3 pm till sunset, and makes it possible for me to iron my clothes in a bathrobe every morning without also letting everyone on the second floor of the building across the street watch me drink coffee.

I've been keeping my houseplants on a table in the kitchen next to a window that essentially opens out on a big tree. Since there's a 2 foot wide ledge that has some tree cover, I started putting down bird food and a mini-birdbath, since fresh clean water can't be easy to find in mid-Los Angeles. Anyways, a family of wrens found the goodies, built a nest, and for a few months we had these supercute little baby birds hopping around on the ledge. This grew to about 9 wrens that now spend their days in a bird-gang, hopping around in the tree and splashing water on my kitchen windows. I seriously love to them to bits and the sound of birds frolicking has got to be one of the best parts of waking up. The good part is that they're still terrified of humans, so walking into the kitchen generally causes a massive volley of kvetching and some tree - rustling (I was really worried that they would get tame from being so close to our daily life).

The other day I opened the kitchen window to refill their water and realized that at some point over the last few months the fig tree that’s providing most of the birdbath cover has evidently decided that my kitchen is a better environment than its present locale. It appears to be moving in. My first instinct was to air-layer it and make a clone, cause I collect plants like some people collect movie ticket stubs - instead of "oh, remember the night we saw the Dark Knight?" I'm generally more like "remember how we were on that road trip through Texas and I made you park the car along side the courthouse so I could take a cutting of that huge cactus? See - it's rooted and in bloom now!" Which, I'll admit, causes storage problems, but I really really like the idea of having a tree reaching into my kitchen. I feel like the Swiss Family Lindsay or something, so I started misting its leaves with distilled water when I mist my other plants, and aside from Cameron thinking I'm insane, I like it. It's stuff like this that keeps me sane in this city.

What it looked like about 6 months ago

Directly out my kitchen window

Looking up from the birdbath
Birdbath and fig incursion - you can't even see any other buildings.
There's a bird there, its just blurry. I had to be all sneaky-like to get a picture.

Souvenier plum trees from Big Sur

Sarracenia Leucophylla peeking out of its terrarium

Monday, October 13, 2008

The never-ending flu

I got a flu shot on September 22 and I've had the flu since the 23rd. Today (Oct 13) is the first day I haven't had a fever when I woke up. I have no voice, I can't taste or smell anything - yesterday I ate a lemon wedge and when I didnt get any flavor I tossed some balsalmic vinegar on my tongue and nada. My mouth appears to be made of volcanic rock.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

It never ends...

Watching Alabama football with Eric, & eating his pompoms.
everything I've canned so far.
The awesome-tastic memory foam bed

We found a lump on Honey's side this norning. I guess maybe a lymph node? I think it's been there for a while, and none of the other ones are swolen. Woo Hoo a trip to the vet is in my future.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Arthritis & Pictures of Honey

Dumbo Hun


Lets hope no other doggies in the LA area get arthritis in the next month, ‘cause all the library’s book on dog arthritis are on my coffee table. Hon has osteoarthritis in both her knees. We started her on Glucosamine and vitamin C, and we’re adding more leafy greens and cold water fish to her diet. Fortunately, I seem to have the only dog around who thinks collards are just as good as a steak. We started with just a grocery store bottle of glucosamine, but I got a bottle of Cosequin on the recommendation of a friend who’s also a vet tech. She’s also on an NSAID but we’ll wean her off as the G/C takes effect. Last time she was on one of those it made her liver enzymes go all wonky. I got her a new memory foam bed, cause the jumping onto our bed isn’t going to work very well much longer. We have some of those doggie stairs but she just ignores them. The bed, however, seems to be a hit. I brought it in this morning and set it on the floor and within 8 seconds and was all curled up, and Cam says she still hasn’t moved 3 hours later. Hopefully that made up for me going to work this morning (I’ve been in bed for 3 days with the flu, and she got to sleep on me for like 96 hours straight. I think she expects it now).

Honey between Eric & Cam


Licking Becca

She was ok with me being sick.

I got ‘retro homemaker fever’ and decided to start canning fruit, and it turned out surprisingly well. So far I’ve done spiced peaches, a spiced blend of peaches, nectarines and plums, and cranberry sauce. I’m really excited about the cranberry sauce, it’s my normal recipe that’s really good anyways, but it’ll have 2 months to mature before we eat it. Like a really long-term marinade. I got the Ball Home Preserving guide and there’s a recipe for BBQ sauce, something that LA seems to be sadly deficient in, and I was going to give that a shot, but the flu had other plans for me. So if anyone needs a Golden Girls synopsis, seasons 1-5 are fresh in my mind.

2 weeks ago, making & canning cranberry sauce.