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Showing posts from August, 2010

Ain't no Mountain High Enough, Ain't no Valley Low...

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... Source OurAmazingPlanet.com, Exploring the wonder and beauty of planet Earth through exclusive news, features and images.

Seeking

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... From time to time, I look at the search queries that brought people to our blog. And I never fail to be delighted by these lists. Here are my current favorites. arboreal critter meaning apologies to cats baby lizard in my closet bees carrying dead away bees carrying pollen bees that kill trees big hairy big hairy spiders can a lizard bite give me hepatitis? can we cut down only half of our mulberry tree? creating tiles for eurydice handprinted wallpaper haunted mulberry tree hot naked ladies how to catch wild honey bees? how do you like our owl? i am the biggest stupid i need someone to talk to about my problems for free if im allergic to fresh tomatoes can i touch them lisa laugh make styrofoam look like wood "point reyes" "rocks with holes" pulley system to get grocery upstairs serious slug problem shorebird + "blue legs" slime mold safe to eat squirming worm strand board garage walls man cave tidal woobie sweater toddler accidentally ate co

Off the Rails

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... Someone over at the Old House Web's Forums asked for a closer look at the plate rail in our dining room. Seeing that we live in Earthquake Country, I suppose displaying anything on this tiny shelf is probably a bit foolish. And now that I've written that, I guess I'd really better go dig out the Museum Wax, and glue down our antique thingamajiggers. (For those wondering, you're looking at cookie molds, unspecified mashers, and a sock darning egg. I'm not sure what the nutcracker-looking thing might have been used for.) Plate rails make a dandy home for our extensive collection of vintage shoe-lasts. Remarkably, neither Robb nor I have tried our hand at shoe-making. We do have a friend who is an incredible cobbler, and who makes utterly beautiful custom footwear . Robb and I are stupidly pleased with how well our odd-ball possessions fit into our little house. So, here you go, old house folks! Here are more detailed photos of plate rail th

The Daily Cute

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... This is the sight which greets me each and every morning in our back yard lately. Our boys eat their breakfast and go back to bed. Lisa calls it The Post-Prandial Nap. To me, it's The Daily Cute.

Bring a Little Nature Indoors (Exclamation Point)

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... Today on How's Robb, we'll be sharing our secrets for orchid care. If you follow our advice, you will buy plants based on whim, and totally fail to consider the requirements of your orchid collection. After murdering a number of beautiful and expensive plants, you will eventually stumble across an un-killable orchid. This is akin to playing roulette with your eyes closed. When friends who are serious orchid collectors give you plants, thank them profusely. Then go home and promptly forget all their names. Maintain a regular six month schedule of re-asking for the Latin names of your plants. Write them into complex spreadsheets, and then forget where you filed those, as well. Move into a new home and park all your orchids in the back yard. It may take several tries before you find the best corner of the yard for scorching the crap out of your plants. When your orchids do come into bloom, bring them inside. They will look splendid on the dining room table.

Before and After

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... It's almost a year since we bought our little 1925 cottage, so it seemed like a few before-and-after photos might be in order. Here's the dining room, before we bought the house. What made us love this house so much was how little it had been "updated." Nobody had perpetrated the 1970s on this classic Craftsman Cottage. In fact, the last major updates all seem to have been from the 1950s. Unlike some of the re-muddled houses we looked at, there was very little to un-do. Here we are, a year later. We've had the floors (lightly) re-finished. Robb ripped out the ugly green carpet in the hallways. I've re-surfaced the ceilings and re-painted all the front rooms. We matched the original paint colors of the front rooms, which has made more than one friend have a "Oh My Goodness! This is the same color as my Grandmother's house" experience. We bought a somewhat antique (probably 1950s repro-Colonial) dining room set on Craigslist

Buying Rugs from the Devil (Dingos)

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... As a birthday gift to Robb, and a huge household splurge, I bought some rugs. Through Craig's List, I had found a rug collector, who sold rugs under the moniker Devil Dingo Rugs . Randy (the Head Devil) has a staggering assortment of Middle-Eastern rugs , on sale at surprisingly low prices. He doesn't have a store, so we set up a time to view rugs, and he drove a van-full of rugs over to our house. He also brought the eponymous Devil Dingos. Cute little Devils, aren't they? In the end, we bought three hand-made Iranian (Persian) rugs. This one was made by Qashquai weavers, in southwestern Iran. According to Randy, this rug is 40-70 years old, and is a Kazak design, woven in the Fars District, in the Zagros Mountains. After this month, there's going to be another embargo of imports from Iran, so rugs like this will become more scarce. We love our new-old rug. So, apparently, does Randy. He admitted that he was very sad to sell this particular

laying low

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... Please forgive the lack of blog action. I've had very little energy of late.

The Cats have the Flue

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... This is our fireplace. This is our kitty, Linguine. This is a big pile of soot on the floor. Why are you showing us this soot? Why all these crummy photographs? Oh. I see. The feral cats have climbed up inside the chimney again.

On Vacation

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... In celebration of Robb's birthday, we took a little trip up the California coast. It was a splendid vacation, and hopefully I'll find a moment to sift through all the photos I took.

"I've Been Meaning To Ask You."

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... Today is officially Ask A Nosy Question Day! Have we talked about something on the blog, that left you wishing for more information? Are you curious about the status of Robb's recovery, the house renovation, or what's going on at the theater? Wondering what we've murdered in the garden recently, or how the feral cats are doing? Do you have a pressing question about honeybee biology? Here's your opportunity to emerge from blog-lurkerdom! Ask away!

Trouble in the Hive

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Today, when Robb and I inspected the Elizabeth Taylor hive, things looked wrong. The texture of the comb was strange, and we saw pinholes in the cappings on the brood comb. We have no idea what this material on the bottom of this frame is. It looks a bit like some of the propolis (plant based glues the bees create) that we see in other parts of the hive. But what are the bees doing? Here are more of the "pin holes." Also, the capped brood is scattered all over a mostly empty field of wax cells. Ideally, capped brood should be all clumped together. More of the same. It looks like there are dead pupae in some of these cells. We're really concerned that this hive may have been infected with American Foul Brood. This is a very serious disease of the hive, and we need to find out what California law says we have to do. Some states require that beekeepers burn infected colonies. Some mandate treatment. Our internet searches offer no clues about what th