Sunday, November 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I planted these guys a month ago, don't even remember what they are, an annual I picked up at Shannon to perk up the peony bed. They had buds at the time, but took a month to open.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Growing from the cracks in the sidewalk or patches of dirt on the concrete. Suddenly. One day seedlings, the next, six feet tall.
In the case of the front area, it's growing out of the broken pipe that's apparantly some kind of sewer vent. It makes Steve crazy that this thing is growing out of there. But it's huge and I love it. Nature, claiming its bit of the city back. The roots are shallow and I'm sure the next "tropical storm" will just knock it over. And that will be the end of that.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Last year the lawn went balding too -- it was really bad. So we turned it over in the spring, added compost, replanted, the whole kit and caboodle. And yet, once again:
There are differences. It is in a slightly different spot. And it's a good month and a half earlier -- the balding happened in late October last year -- I have a picture from late September and all is verdant. But I can't help but think it's the same problem. What am I doing wrong? If it was the whole lawn I'd say more water, or not enough sun. But it's not the sunniest part of the lawn, and not the shadiest either. And it's not like half gets more water than the other half. I thought maybe it was where Enzo pees (and there are definitely dead spots in those areas), but it's a bit too spread out for that.
I'm trying to overseed right now, and I added a little fertilizer and a sprinkle of compost for, well, I don't really know why, I guess I figured it couldn't hurt. Fingers crossed.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
The garden. It needed some serious cleanup. I recall this happening last year too -- sometime in August, I totally losing momentum on my little patch of green. In any case, here's the tragedy, my good friends the cosmos, leggy and straggly and just all over the place, those cool little red guys, like their "bad friend" aiding and abetting. And the Peonies, developing the mildew I'm now used to this time of year:
Here's the after. Everyone trimmed back and tied up. Radically. Peonies completely cut back. It's kind of stark now, but I know it's just plain going to be good for everyone. Not that there still isn't a lot of fixing up to do, but at least it doesn't look like it just got out of bed.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Ode to the Steed
The Steed is a solid friend -- not a nimble bike, but an indestructible heavy protector. Safe for potholes. We spent 2000-2006 together, the longest I've ever owned a bike, let alone a bike in NYC. It became mine for $40 at someone's stoop sale -- she threw in a pair of shoes with the deal. When the steed and I lived in Greenpoint, the bridges were my main commute, and the steed got me home safely after many a late night downtown. I used to hang my groceries from the Busy Bee off the handlebars and I'd carry all however many pounds up three flights of stairs to my fourth floor walkup. When I trained for my first marathon, the Steed and I would ride to Central Park so I could do my long runs. When I worked at Human Rights Watch, the Steed was always parked out front of the Empire State Building. When I was in grad school, it was always chained to other bikes at John Jay. When I started at JackRabbit, it was always locked to the bus stop post out front of the Brooklyn store. We rode together downtown on 9/11 to try to be useful. When I met Steve (my husband), the Steed was parked downstairs. It survived many a harsh winter, and hot summer, and never complained about the elements. Almost every part on it that could be stolen was (wheels, seatpost, chain, even the pedals), hence the thief-deterring paint job, worn to shiny on the top tube by the kryptonite chain.
Eventually, the seatpost ended up fusing to the frame -- bad for me, because it was just a little bit the wrong height. The steed helped me train for my first triathlon -- we did our laps of Prospect Park, and no matter how heavy, it is a fast bike, and we not only kept up with the training group, we were always at the front of the pack. When I got my road bike, I felt a little bit like the girl who dumped the guy next door for the quarterback when prom-time came around. And the Steed did not take well sharing me with my speedy Felt. It lashed out and hurt me, first by gauging a hole in my leg where the bolt for the seatpost had been while I was training for the tri, then by tightening up my hip flexors on my commute from Sunset Park, the primary suspect in turning my hamstring tendons to hamburger meat. That was when I decided the Steed had to find a new home, and it was heartbreaking. I contemplated donating it to be a ghost bike (the white bikes that are monuments to victims of NYC bike fatalities), but then Terry needed a commuter bike, and that seemed like a better solution. Now the steed gets to ride the speed bumps on the Williamsburg Bridge once again. But with this portrait, it will be with me forever.
The steed now hangs on the living room wall, above the computer where I'm tying right now. Here it is in situ:
Sunday, August 3, 2008
My boys, and that view.
We got to hang out with Cyrus.
Enzo city dog turned water pup. Fetching sticks. Wet dogs don't get to go into the house.
Enzo found a favorite spot under one of the trees on the cliff. Dug himself a little nest, and this is where he hung out most of the time.
Sunset at high tide.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
But here's what's really important:
Steve built us a dining room table!!!
The top is a piece of galvanized sheet metal from the shop. The base is original wood salvaged from the house. It's beautiful.
Enzo is really tired. Manhattan wears him down. Doesn't it all of us?
Friday, July 18, 2008
This guy below just kills me -- it's growing out of a crack between the brick patio and the chain link in the back, by the ugly fence. Not quite as hardy, it's still doing a lot better than some of the seedlings that were planted in nice rich soil with plenty of space. Go figure.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
The echinacea are tireless. Pictures don't do justice to the orange centers, contrasted against purple petals...
In front, the hydrangeas are full-force, and you can see a little bit of the planter heaven that is now over in that part of the world.
And there's the "fence cover" flower box, which I'm really proud of myself for. It does a nice job of patching the "hole" where there are no vines in the fence, a little visual interest, and a nice mix of spiky upright stuff (I am loving the red pom pom guys), and then gazania and little daisy guys too.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Our future bedroom was once a kitchen. The windows were bricked up to counter height, and the project of the moment is to restore them to their original size. Our buddy and contractor Steve Creighton (aka Whippet) helped out, since we don't know what we're doing here.
We had to take out the old brick. That was fun. I even got to swing the rubber mallet.