Wednesday, April 29
I never, or at least not yet, developed any handicraft skills. I did beadwork when I was a teen but I'm not a carpenter of anything like that. I haven't fished since I was a teen either. I don't have many friends and with the ones I do have we don't "do" things. At some point after meeting Tara and her mom I started seeing the things Bonnie was doing with gardening and somewhere along the way I heard about native plant gardening. I've talked about it before but the basic idea is you plant things that live where you live and they should survive, even thrive, with little effort on your art.. It is the lazy man's gardening. If done properly it is also a habitat building form of gardening meaning you create an environment that is beneficial to insects, birds, rodents, water use and run-off. HUGE positive impact on the world around you with minimal effort. And no chemicals needed, usually.
This is my new hobby. I love studying the plants, I like looking for the plants for different parts of my yard, I like the work involved and the results are great. When the first buds and flower heads come out I start getting really excited and can hardly wait for the first flowers. When the flowers are here I stop and admire, often. When fall & winter take them away I study the bark of the perennials and the evergreens and anxiously await spring again knowing the stuff I planted last year will be more spectacular the next spring.
Everybody who has read Tara, Jai & Julia - a Nuclear Blog knows we planted a tree for Julia. Quercus Alba (Swamp White Oak) which should be a good tree for climbing once she gets about 10 yrs old. When Mike from GroWild came out we wandered the yard and he made suggestions. One thing he made me realize was that I hadn't done anything in the front yard. The majority of my planting had been done in the back. At the same time my 2 Rose Verbenas came out to play. These little plants were pint-sized plants I bought on a whim during last summer and OMG! These things have come out with the most brilliant, most boisterous purple. I am hooked. So, I planned for a couple weeks and went to a garden store near me to get some sun loving plants including more verbenas.
Today is my first day as a SAHD and I decided to try and put some stuff in the ground. I started with the verbenas. I plants three parallel to the driveway and three on the opposite side (adjacent to the neighbor's drive way. I bought some thyme seeds which will, if they grow, be on the property edge in front of the mailbox. Behind that will be some oregano, sage and lavender. I expect to get a few more things go fill in near the mailbox. The postal delivery drivers will get a nice mix of scents and sights when they deliver to us.
Yeah. I finally have a new hobby.
Now playing: Booker T. - Get Behind The Mule
Monday, April 20
Jon was a college classmate of mine.The 2009 Pulizer Prize for a distinguished and appropriately documented biography or autobiography by an American author, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Awarded to “American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House,” by Jon Meacham (Random House), an unflinching portrait of a not always admirable democrat but a pivotal president, written with an agile prose that brings the Jackson saga to life.
Also nominated as finalists in this category were: “Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt,” by H.W. Brands (Doubleday), a richly textured and highly readable exploration of the inner Roosevelt, presented with analytical acuity and flashes of originality; and “The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century,” by Steve Coll (The Penguin Press), an epic tale extending far beyond Osama Bin Laden and the calamity of 9/11, rooted in meticulous research and written with an urgency, clarity and flair that entertains as easily as it educates.
Sunday, April 19
1604 8th Avenue S., Nashville, Tennessee
Why It Rocks: Five years ago, Grimey's Records outgrew their space and moved into its current stylized, three-pedimented building, which it shares with Thirty Tigers music marketing and distribution upstairs and popular venue the Basement downstairs. Grimey's is definitely the meat of this sandwich, with an amazingly broad selection (for its size), very affordable prices, and history as a stalwart of indie cool in a town that's known for a very different kind of music scene.
Fans Say: "Best store in Nashville (that doesn't deal exclusively in country music). They've got a real good selection of new/used vinyl, indie and import CDs, DVDs, and books. And they probably do some of the best in-stores anywhere. Pound for pound, it's one of the best in the country." -- Bob Mehr (music writer, The Commercial Appeal)
Friday, April 17
MTA will display one of its new 60-foot hybrid buses on-site to promote the use of public transit to help improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion. The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) also will have a booth with staff members available to talk about the Music City Star, car pools and van pools.
The free, city-wide event runs from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. and features different sections of the park representing different areas of the environment, such as air, water, recycling and sustainable living/land conservation. The local festival includes family-friendly games, activities, food and live performances.
Friday, April 10
Years ago I started seeing Doris Kerns Goodwin on TV and whatnot. I was impressed, I thought, if my history teachers had been this cool I probably would have learned something. The Obama-mania started and she, being the author of his favorite book, was everywhere and I still liked her but figured I should check out the books to see if the hype is worth it.
It is. She is a wonderful writer. History books just aren’t this entertaining and its sad b/c there is so much to be had. Kerns had unique access to Johnson and that serves her well with fleshing out the man behind the title. She makes him seem real. She points out some very strange idiosyncricies and yet again, shows me that you’ve got to be messed up in the head to want to do this job.
Johnson intrigued me b/c I was so curious how a southern, white man could be so instrumental in getting the civil rights bill past. She answered that. She also answered how he screwed up with the Vietnam War and how that forced him out of public service.
I would recommend this to anyone interested in modern presidential history and I think you will also see that Obama is not only influenced by Team of Rivals but also Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream.