Saturday, May 31, 2008


I almost spoke too soon... after another marathon DSL fix-it session (two guys for 6 hours this time, and they didn't show up until Thursday), we thought all was well. Oh, the relief! The zippy page loading!

But that comfy, fluffy feeling was missing again the next morning, along with the DSL.

Yesterday it only took two fix-it hours (times two guys) to restore sanity. And so far, so good. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Young whippersnapper: It's your router that's the problem.

Me: No, it isn't.

(He argues. I prove that it's not the router.)

Young whippersnapper: It's your computer that's the problem.

Me: No, it isn't.

(I contend that it is statistically impossible for all three computers to fail in the exact same manner at the same time.)

Young whippersnapper: I don't know how to fix this, so I will call in someone smarter, on the pretext that he has a laptop and I don't. And since you have argued with me, I will erase the dial-up program from your computer.

He didn't really say either of those last two sentences, but that's what he did.

Various Otelco DSL repair guys were here for five hours yesterday. It's only partially fixed. What that means is, if we want high-speed internet, we have to go sit in the junk room and hook directly into their cable. Guy #2 said our router was fried, but then he couldn't get the new router (that he was trying to sell us) to work either.

He said they'll be back "probably Tuesday or Wednesday".

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Thunderstorms with lots of lightning knocked out our high-speed internet. Posting will resume whenever it gets fixed... I've gotten spoiled and have lost all patience for dial-up.

Also, I missed most of the American Idol finale. (Storms + Dish Network = no TV.) So my teeth are still busy with their gnashing.

In the meantime, you can check out Last Friday's Ark, which I forgot to link to earlier.

Keep your fingers crossed that I don't get the same repairman as last time, who did not appear to ever have been on the internet.

Monday, May 19, 2008

In the woods

Blue-eyed grass, Sisyrinchium sp.

Ragwort (Butterweed), (Packera sp., aka Senecio).

Carolina Larkspur, Delphinium carolinianum.

Coral Honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens.

Oxeye Daisy, Leucanthemum vulgare.

Pink Phlox, Phlox carolina.

Cynthia, Krigia biflora.

Fragrant Sumac, Rhus aromatica.

Wild Petunia, Ruellia strepens.

Why does Susan's Coral honeysuckle bloom so much earlier than mine? (By a good two months).

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Old soap

Earlier this spring, I attended a gardening convention held at Landmark Park in Dothan, Alabama. The old Martin Drug Store was moved there from Enterprise, and reopened four years ago. An operating pharmacy from 1898 to 1983, it's now part museum and part ice cream parlor.

You might guess which display I gravitated towards: the historical soap! None of it's for sale, alas. More of these than I'd realized are still made today: Cashmere Bouquet, Octagon, Grandpa's Pine Tar Soap, Palmer's Skin Success Soap. I'm not sure what happened to the others... soaps with charming names like Sterne's Carbolic Soap, Drexel's Wonder Soap, Flotilla Floating Bath Soap, and Packer's Charm Soap.

According to the book Boiled Peanuts and Buckeyes, the people at Martin's "were notorious for not throwing anything away and keeping meticulous records. They held onto every receipt, medicine bottle and cosmetic that ever entered the store... They had the most comprehensive collection of pharmaceutical artifacts in the nation."

I can recommend the Peach ice cream!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


"You need to get more chickens," my sister told me. "I miss the Chicken Chronicles!"

Somehow we still haven't managed to get any more chicks this spring, though we had intended to. We have only two hens, an Easter Egger and a Marans.

The Marans (named "Dumpling", shown here), bucking common chicken wisdom, is laying more often now that she's older. She lays an egg almost every day. The Easter Egger (Americauna) is a slacker. Her eggs are larger, but we're lucky if she graces us with two a week. And they've lost their pretty green and blue hues, fading to practically white. Maybe she's just tired.

The number of eggs from two chickens is really more than enough for just the two if us. But a whole flock is fun to watch, plus they keep the yard free of ticks (if you can keep them out of the woods long enough). Stay tuned... we may yet get a few more this spring.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Acoustic Cafe

Some friends and I were treated to a tour of the Acoustic Cafe Amphitheater, which is situated on an rocky mountain near Hayden.

You know Steve Masterson must be a nice guy, when you learn that he puts on a music festival that's located, more or less, in his yard. I haven't been to the festival yet, but it sounds like good music and a lot of fun. (Check it out at the link above - it's string music that draws people from across the country on Memorial Day weekend.)

Buster, who loves to walk.

Wild Four-O-Clocks, Mirabilis nyctaginea.

I kept thinking that some of the rocks looked like bald heads covered with green toupées. This one even had a nose and ears.

Indian Pink, Spigelia marilandica.

Skull tree.

Delphinium alabamicum
Alabama Larkspur, (Delphinium alabamicum), and a cat whose name should probably be Groucho.

The other very beautiful, but very shy, dog.

Left, Purple Cliff-brake, (Pellaea atropurpurea).
Right, Yellow Passionflower, (Passiflora lutea).


Ragwort, aka Butterweed, (Packera sp., aka Senecio).

Four-leaved Milkweed, (Asclepias quadrifolia).

Solomon's Seal, (Polygonatum commutatum).

Heavy metal cricket.

Carolina Spiny-pod, Matelea carolinensis. Aka Carolina Anglepod or Carolina Milkvine.

More good rocks.

Nettleleaf Sage, Salvia urticifolia.

Whiteflower leafcup, Polymnia canadensis. Grows right on top of the rocks.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A little behind

We found a burrow that looked lived-in, and set up the game camera to spy on the occupant. There were not as many photos as we'd expected though -- not enough to prove this an active burrow. It's possible these armadillo passers-by are just checking it out. (Who knows, maybe the previous resident left behind something tasty!)

I believe these pictures represent at least three different individuals. The last one looks like a mama about ready to pop. Which reminds me, Happy Mother's Day!


Between various volunteer "jobs" and some large wholesale orders, I'm like that first armadillo above: a little behind. Got to make soap like a crazy woman next week!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Put upon

This poor little Trillium decumbens (Trailing Trillium) made the mistake of growing in an area with an overabundance of grasshoppers. It looks a bit frazzled. I feel the same, when thinking about everything I need to get caught up on in the coming week.

Stormy weather washed out the traditional best-sales-day of our last spring craft show Saturday. But like one neighbor observed, it could have been worse -- the tents could have been upside down. One bright spot was meeting an artist whose work I'd previously admired on her Etsy shop. I spent some more of my George money on one of her pieces similar to this one.

I'm thinking of trying Etsy myself, for one-of-a-kind soapy things, or the "bargain bars" that I normally sell only at shows. (We call them "cosmetically challenged" soaps because we hate to call them ugly.) Just one more item to add to the list of "things I should probably be doing instead of blogging"...


If you like the creepy crawlers, check out the Circus of the Spineless!