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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Catching Up ... 

Hurm, so it's been a few days and only eight people have an opinion on the name thing. I guess I was overthinking it (not as much as some people might, but still ...). Now I guess it's either convince Evelin that option two is our best bet or break out Puffy, Xena, Quentin, Uma and see what we can figure out.

So what else has been going on over the past few days? Over the weekend, we had a good trip up to Philadelphia to visit friends and to pick up a cosleeper their little one has outgrown. J--- made a very yummy leek pie and napoleons, and Celeste got to chase one of their cats around ... a lot. Sunday, I spent a good chunk of time picking up sticks and otherwise cleaning up the yard. I also worked on taking out part of our fence.

A few owners ago, our house had a big stockade fence around it, but all that's left is a little bit by the corner of the house that hides our trash can and recycling bins and the stretch between our backyard and our downhill neighbor's. (The fences behind us and with the uphill neighbor aren't ours.)

The stockade fence was untreated cedar or some other wood, and it has been compromised by age, rot, vines, and time. A falling branch knocked a hole in part of the fence; a few errant tugs when I was pulling out the porcelainberry next door pulled a few slats out of place; another bit of the fence was leaning more and more every week; other bushes, trees, and vines were pulling bits of the fence in various directions. It was past time for it to be ... adjusted.

There are some segments of the fence that are basically a wall of English ivy (Hedera helix), which is an alien invasive but not a truly evil one like porcelainberry. Those bits, I think we can keep to one degree or another, but other segments have to go, giving us a very nice view of the neighbor's forsythia (Forsythia × intermedia) and some other bushes that I haven't identified.

Those other bushes are what are causing the problem for me now. They have a viney habit and there are ones that were spaced away from the fence that have trunks that twist around themselves for support. The ones against the fence, however, were supported by the fence and had to be cut back once the fence was removed. My quandary is do I cut them back to a point where they can try to regrow in a more twisted habit, or do I just cut back the floppy bits (most of which were flopping into our yard) and then see what happens. I know they are the neighbor's bushes, but they've given us permission to work on that portion of the shared property line before and I'm just trying to figure what's best for the plants ... I think, until I figure out what they are, all I can do is watch how they're growing and see what seems to be helping vs. what seems to be hurting.

Monday, the only big thing to happen was that I managed to find a way to get pictures off my phone without having to e-mail them to myself. (That method incurred some extra fees from my wireless provider and hasn't worked properly for a week or so ... a couple of tickets are open on the problem.) I'd previously picked up a Susteen cable kit, but the DataPilot software never could recognize my phone (a ticket's open on that, too). After crawling around Cellphone Hacks for a while, I discovered BitPim, which isn't perfect, but I can access the file structure on the phone and get photos off it very easily now. This meant that I finally could add a photo of Celeste from the College Park Aviation Museum to last Thursday's entry, as well as a photo of Evelin's queue as sent to Locks of Love.

Today (Tuesday) was a nice afternoon with Celeste. We went to the thrift store and found her a few books and a giraffe for her Little People farm. The giraffe was in a 60¢ bag with a Little People garbage man and a few police/safety officials, giving us enough cops to play CSI: Little People Farm, if Celeste wants. There also was small plastic blue kangaroo, which Celeste took too immediately, probably because of this book.

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