Saturday, August 19, 2006

Tidying Up

Things have been in a bit of disarray this week. Robb has been having back pain for the first time in a long while. Is this because he is going without the brace, or because he is starting to get more sensation in his back? We're not sure. He has decided to go back on one of the medications that he had stopped taking because he is experiencing more "spasticity" in his legs and butt. Robb describes the way he feels on this medication as "limp and spacey and a little bit shaky." But the medication does work. It decreases the spasms so his muscles work more freely. He can walk more easily and has less back pain on these drugs.

I hadn't been able find the cable that connects my camera to the computer for a few days, so I have a number of photos that I've not shared previously, among them these great portraits of the family that owns the Chicken and Waffles diner down by Jack London Square.

How about those atomic lights? The seats are upholstered with sparkly blue vinyl, of course! I love this restaurant, even if it is no place for a couple of vegetarians. Oh well, I'm not above picking the pork out of my greens.

I have been hacking away at the garden out behind our new scenic studios. What a mess!

The vines have actually pulled down the trellis. (I've managed to prune enough of this overgrowth to screw the center trellis panel back up on the wall.)

I've hauled more trash out of the garden than I know what to do with.

What I hope to do is create a garden of California native plants, and attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

Butterflies, hummingbirds and my co-workers, of course.

I'm not as excited about the other wildlife that occupies this garden. The whole place is undermined with tunnels, and they weren't made by moles. Oh no, these are large tunnels, and since I'm unaware of urban gophers, I'm going to guess that I've invaded a very active community of rats. I swear I heard scrabbling and squeaking last night as I was digging. I keep falling into these holes, and twisting my ankles. Sorry rats, but I'm going to be messing up your homes.

While I'm on the subject of vermin, I may as well share this image that I shot out of the car window. Robb watched the red light while I dug out my camera and took this photo. One wonders about the sign-writer's objectives. Are they trying to disgrace their landlords? Or are they bragging about their woeful housekeeping prowess? Or are they posting invitations, like the signs for graduation parties or wedding receptions?

Well, in any case, my experiences with urban nature are generally a lot more pleasant. Is this little fellow a garden friend or foe?

I wonder if he is attracted to the grapes that have overgrown the garden. (Does anyone know anything about pruning vines? I sure would like to hear about it, if you do. We've got huge, fat woody vines.) Given all the containers of chemicals I've hauled out of the garden, I have very little urge to eat these grapes. But they certainly are lovely to look at!

This morning, we spent some time cleaning up the apartment. We have laundry facilities in the building, but I prefer to hang my wash up to dry. I like to think that I am saving a teeny tiny bit of our planet's resources, each time I don't run the dryer. I used to joke about my washing looking like the Amish Laundry. The laundry line looked something like this:

Black. Black. Black. Black. One splash of freaky bright color. Black. Black. Black.

Over the years, color has been creeping into my wardrobe. Robb called this particular sight, "Laundry Day a the Buddhist Monastery." Nice.


Anonymous said...

It's sort of a twist on the Tibetan Prayer Flags on Everest!
Free association..but that's what comes to my mind!!!


Lisa and Robb said...

Don't the prayer flags get left up until they blow away or fall apart?

I'm not the most motivated house keeper, but I'm better than that!

Anonymous said...

Here I thought that I was the last person in the USA who hangs out their laundry. I love the fresh smell of clean air. Most of the subdivisions around here don't allow hanging out clothes. -Rose

Lisa and Robb said...

Geez, what's next? Subdivisions that arrest parents who don't drive SUVs or minivans?

(We dry our unmentionables inside on a rack, so as not to horrify the neighborhood.)

Lock Wench said...

Sorry to hear Robb is experiencing pain, but hopefully it is a positive advance.

As for laundry? The college professors that live kitty-corner to me dry ALL their laundry on the line...far into the winter! It cracks me up to see those stiff, frozen bras, briefs and even a girdle. Can't anything remain a mystery anymore??


Lisa and Robb said...

frozen girdles? yipes!

Anonymous said...

I have some suggestions for the garden area. If you have rats- be prepared to do battle. Perhaps you have very large moles or voles, both of which are hemopheliacs, (spelling?) and if thats what you have, you have to be bloodthirsty about this. Putting broken glass down the holes is a good way for the critters to eat or squeeze past the glass, cut themselves and bleed to death. Then when they die, you have the smell of dead critter. Not very nice either.
I think what you have are rats, and you must prepare to do battle. Dig up all you can, wear gloves, and a face mask. I know very well what you will find in those rat holes, and by the photos, you are badly infested. Even digging out all the dirt and lining the beds with heavy duty chicken wire won't do it (they will chew thru it)- you gotta put in formed hardwire cloth to make a difference. Shove very generous chunks of poison beneath the hardwire into any tunnels remaining when you do this. Cut down the grape vines, cause any fruit will attract the rats as well. There are actually plants that can be put in dirt that will repel rodents, and I gotta dig out my plant book to find out what they are. Good luck with the garden, I'm glad to see you fixing up the planet one bit at a time. I'll send you a birdhouse when we are settled here.

- Annalisa


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