Garden of Benign Neglect

When we moved, I put my container garden in the backyard, watered it a few times, and walked away.

It seemed to do OK.


I didn’t stake the peppers, and they’re growing across the ground.

Green Peppers

Red Peppers

I was going to cut the jewel weed (I think) down, but the Korean melon had wrapped itself around it. The melon is flowering but not fruiting.

Clingy Melon Plant

The basil hasn’t bolted yet, which is also strange.


While outside, I also found a bunch of mushrooms (four or five clumps of this size). Good Man raked them up and we threw them in the compost pile!


Damn Those Rabid Penguins

So this weekend, Good Man and I went to Antarctica to celebrate my birthday. A pack of rabid penguins started to chase me, foaming at the beak. I ran away and was gaining speed, until I slipped on ice and went down hard. I cried in pain, had trouble standing, and realized I was in trouble.

Only one of those sentences is true. (Hint: Penguins can’t have rabies.)

What is true is that I spent my birthday (yesterday) getting a lumbar X-ray and discovered that my tailbone is fractured.

(How is happened is rather boring. I was baking bread and the smoke detector kept going off. Good Man had turned it off three or four times, so I decided it was my turn. I got one leg up on the chair, but when my second leg went up, the chair went out, and I landed on the hardwood floors on my tailbone.)

Luckily, unlike the Great Birthday Toe Break of 2008, Good Man can drive!

I thought I was going to be OK, and I iced and rested for a while, but the pain grew worse and I started shaking a lot and couldn’t stop. I felt really cold. That got me worried. So Good Man took me to an urgent care clinic (not the hospital), where I was told they couldn’t do an X-ray, because it was Sunday.

“I must have missed that part of the Bible,” I replied.

The doctor laughed, looked at Good Man and said, “Usually when people are in this much pain, they are mad at me. She has a good sense of humor.”

Turns out that they had smaller X-ray machines on site, but not the kind I needed. So I was sent off with some prescriptions, and I spent the evening double fisting Tylenol with codeine (T3) and 800 mg of Ibuprofen, after a very painful car ride.

Yesterday we went to the radiology clinic and I burst into tears when I realized that I was going to have to get on the hard, high bed for the X-ray. After I started crying the rather bitchy nurse changed her tune. “Oh honey, did you hurt yourself?”

No, you dolt, I get off an X-rays. It’s my fetish.

I was sent home with a CD of my X-rays and a few hours later got the report that the tailbone was fractured. Happy birthday!

Do you know what you use your tailbone for? Everything.

Chuseok for Foreigners? What Would You Serve?

Since we now have a dining room and inherited a dining room table and chairs with this house, I decided to invite some friends over for Chuseok dinner in two weeks.

This was not my best idea since the house is still pretty much a disaster, but I guess I’ll need to at least get the kitchen and dining room in order, hmmm?

Most of the people who are coming are Korean food virgins, or they’ve had bulgogi and not much else. As far as I know, none of my guest have dietary restrictions (except that I don’t do beef most of the time).

Readers: What would you serve to a bunch of Korean food virgins for their first Chuseok? (Keep in mind I’m the only one who will be cooking, although I can make Good Man my sous chef.)

The Happiest Squirrel

There is a squirrel living in our catalpa tree, eight feet from the ground.

When Dad was here, we were doing some work on the front porch. I saw the squirrel tear around the corner of the house. It leapt up onto the catalpa tree, ran around the trunk a few times, then threw itself at the ground. It then bounced across the street.

The same squirrel loves running back and forth along our dogwood tree. It will pause when it sees us watching from the office, then start up again.

A few times I’ve heard it scamper along the edge of our roof. Up the dogwood, across the roof, down the maple it goes.

We were mowing our far too long grass (sorry, neighbors, thank you for not calling the city on us). Some blue chips came out of the mower.

“What’s that?” I asked Good Man.

He picked up a piece and examined it. “I have no idea. A strap?”

A few days later, our neighbor told us he saw our squirrel with a four-foot long piece of blue webbing. He said the squirrel was determined to get the webbing into its nest, but lost about two feet of it.

“That squirrel was so excited,” he said, “It was the happiest squirrel I’ve ever seen.”

Books, Home

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Rosemarie Urquico

We’re slowly unpacking.

And in the office closet stands the bookshelf my dad built me when I was ten. It is now crammed full with books, along with CDs and a few lone DVDs.

The books are in no particular order. A book about hiking and another about the history of zero sandwich a Kabuki graphic novel. A few spines over, Plato: Complete Works leans against a signed copy of Foxfire.

The kitchen still isn’t unpacked. It’s hard to cook. The blinds are still in their FedEx boxes. I’m living in three shirts, one pair of jeans, and a skirt. The dining room table is covered in papers I need to file. The house is a mess.

But I have books.

And it’s starting to feel like a home.

Good Man Gets His Way. Sort Of.

Larger Upstairs Bedroom Before

Smaller Upstairs Bedroom Before

Good Man wanted to paint the bedrooms upstairs red (pink). I teased him. He accused me of being like his kindergarten teacher.

I told Good Man I would feel like I was living in a stomach. He eventually decided we could paint the entire upstairs the same color as the office. However, after painting the first floor (except the kitchen), Dad and I knew we’d need more paint than we had.

We mixed the remaining Sashay Sand (about 2 1/2 gallons) with the remaining Gorgeous White from the living room. I knew the Gorgeous White wouldn’t change the Sashay Sand color much, and would instead just stretch the paint.

Dad and I also decided to sneak around behind Good Man’s back to give him what he wanted. Sort of.

We painted the end walls Sherwin-Williams low-lustre Cashmere in 6305 Rambling Rose. We then painted the rest of the walls the Sashay Sand. It turns out I still needed to buy one more gallon of Sashay Sand for the second coat on the main walls!

We managed to keep Good Man out of the upstairs for three days. On the third day, when we were just finishing, he popped upstairs.

He saw the walls, a big grin on his face. “I like it.”

“Your red! Your red!”

“I know. I knew you were going to do it.”

“How? I didn’t tell you.”

Good Man shrugged. “Maybe I overheard you and your dad talking.”

Whaaaat? You usually don’t pay attention!”

“I don’t listen, you get upset. I listen, you get upset. There is no way to win.”

Dad roared.

The really great thing about the accent walls is that the darker color makes the room look more square than it is.

Larger Bedroom

Long Hallway to the Larger Bedroom
(Taken from the Doorway of the Smaller Bedroom)

Smaller Bedroom

Built-In Shelf Detail

Since we didn’t have any living spaces set up (because we were still painting) Good Man was computing in the dining room. This photo was taken in the evening, westward sun streaming into the dining room and reflecting off of the floor.

Good Man Likes Getting His “Red”

Good Man Having Fun

Alien Good Man

Happy With Our Sneaking Around