Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Drivin the bus

Gettin up at 5:30 AM has its advantages. I'm sure everyone knows about the early bird gettin the worm (and how that phrase is such a cliche [what does the late bird get?]), and how it's said you can catch quite a picture-perfect sunrise at times and how neat it is to watch the day "wake up." Those of you who roll out of bed at an early hour know all about such pleasures.

I have a new job as a school bus driver and if you are old (or young) enough to remember when you rode a bus to school, perhaps the driver of your bus made an impression on your young (or old) mind. I'm hoping it was a positive experience. I only rode the bus my junior year of high school, just long enough to be impressed by two unique bus drivers who showed me how a sense of humor can help get you through a bad day. Those two bus drivers were a pleasure to know.

So far, I've not had any bad days as a new driver (unless you count forgetting to pick up a kid on the first day), but I know they're coming. I think I learned a new lesson about "bad days" this gardening season - that there will be bad times in the garden, and that even though you might lose most of one vegetable to blight or bugs, it usually evens out that another vegetable will do more than you expect. And so it was this year "in the garden." (To borrow an expression from Ms. Tina.)

Bad - Late Blight of Tomato

Good - Golden Zinnia

Good - Monarch Butterfly (Male)

Lesson: Two goods outweigh one bad.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Near Miss

I could've been in heaven (or purgatory, or, oh my! surely not there!) the other day, how I avoided a head-on collision is quite miraculous, thanks in large part to oncoming traffic knowing what to do, and there being room for them to drive on the shoulder of the road!

It all started quite innocently when I decided to pass another vehicle on a three lane section of road that allows passing only in the two right hand lanes (depending on your direction of travel of course). The other driver was in a full size pick-up truck, I was in my wife's 2007 Chevy Malibu (recently purchased). When I accelerated to go around the truck, he sped up and I had to fall in behind him again. The road narrows back into two lanes with other passing opportunities further ahead. I waited for one and when it came, guess what the truck driver did? Yes, he sped up again when I tried to pass him! Two oncoming cars were able to avoid hitting me head on!

I was finally able to squeeze back into my lane of traffic, between the truck and a little white car. Further up the road, at a stop light, the driver in front of me got out of his little white car and the truck driver got out of his car, and they both walked up to my car, wanting a confrontation. I politely told the truck driver had he not sped up while I was trying to pass him, the terrifying (to me) incident would never have happened. I rolled my window up, proceeded around the little white car, and drove off into the sunset.

The sun really wasn't setting but I like dramatic endings. Although it couldn't have ended much more dramatically than it did. Why do you suppose the driver of that truck wanted me to have a head on collision? I was not speeding (except when trying to pass him after he sped up, he was actually driving under the speed limit when I was following him, that's why I wanted to pass him in the first place, plus the fact that I was in a little bit of a hurry because I was on my way to a drug screening test and I had to pee!), or driving recklessly.

Oh well. I guess it's just one of those things. One of those things that never happened to me before now. C'est la vie.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Say Nothin' Saturday

Update: I discovered late blight in my garden yesterday, 8-16-2009. I'll harvest as many heirlooms and cherries as possible. I was inundated with phone calls this morning, 8-17, from folks wanting to know what they could do about late blight in their garden. Unfortunately, this late in the game, there's not much anyone can do.

Or say a little.

Late blight is causing severe problems here in the northeast, especially late blight of tomato. Luckily, it's not found its way into my garden. Which doesn't mean I'm not completely immune. Millions of wind-borne spores could show up at any time between now and when the rest of my tomatoes ripen. We've only picked four heirlooms and are still waiting for many more to ripen, hopefully the remaining winds of summer will be kind and carry any and all nasty spores far away from my garden! And yours!!

This gorgeous pass-along plant was a gift. I embedded a large size photo just to show off its beauty. Thanks Ms. Tina, it finally bloomed!

I'll say no more.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Sun + Flower = Sunflower (Or Pretty Things)

Yeah, it's been a while. But it's not that I was bein lazy; I told a good friend it had something to do with not feelin very "bloggy" lately. I suppose some of y'all know that feelin as well. Have you ever experienced a summer season that didn't quite feel like summertime? I don't know what happened to our summertime weather. I'm not sure if we've even had a 90 degree day yet. And it's August already!

I like pretty things. Pretty things besides flowers. I think women have a much wider selection of prettier things to adorn themselves with. If folks wouldn't stare and think I'm weird, I'd paint my nails, including those on my toes. The bracelet I'm wearing was made by a crafty acquaintance I met on the Web, Ms. Jean May, owner and proprietor of Jean May Originals, she knows how to make pretty things for men.

This is a pretty bug. Can you identify it?

Tiger Eyes® Cutleaf Staghorn (Rhus typhina 'Bailtiger') is pretty.

Cosmic beauty?

Evening music can sound pretty, and look pretty too.

There are a couple of pretty things in this picture.
Can you see them?