Monday, March 22, 2010

Public Service Announcement: Guest Post


Hello Y'all.

The following is a guest post, written by a gent named Erik. He emailed me and asked if he could promote the National Cherry Blossom Festival along with the National Museum of Crime & Punishment, located in Washington, D.C. It's one of the places I wanted to go to when 'Pup and I visited Washington, D.C., several years ago...alas, it was closed (as were many places that summer, including the Treasury building and the Ford Theater, dang it!). Would be nice to travel there again, but alas.... probably not to be. (tho, you never know)


3/18/2010

Cherry Blossom Festival in DC

The Cherry Blossom in DC is home to The National Cherry Blossom Festival (501(3)(c) non-profit). The festival is a two-week, annual event that celebrates springtime in Washington, DC as well as the 1912 gift of the cherry blossom trees and the long lasting friendship between the people of the United States and Japan. The event begins March 27th through April 11th, with a parade on Saturday, April 10th beginning at 10am.

Prior to this intangible peace treaty, 19th century imperialism drew clear lines of separation between these two great nations. Through it's strict policy of isolation, Japan remained untouched by western ways until the Treaty of Amity (1854). Although, feelings of mistrust and resentment continued to ride due to early U.S. Naval Leaders gunboat diplomacy upon Japan. In order to lessen tensions and restore peace, mutual Cherry and Flowering Dogwood tree offerings were given.

DC Attractions include multiple festivals, museums, monuments, and more. The National Cherry Blossom Festival, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) organization that coordinates, produces, and supports creative and diverse activities promoting traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty and the environment, and community spirit and youth education. It's also begins peak season for an influx of tourists to Washington, also brought in by the thousands of historical landmarks, museums, and other buildings. Some of the most popular DC Tours include Hop-On-Off Double-Decker Bus, Discover DC Segway Safari, & Arlington Cemetery, and Washington DC After Dark.

The National Museum of Crime & Punishment, located in Washington, D.C. contains excellent depictions of historically famous crime scenes along detailed information concerning past wars, forensics, organized crime, and more. Feel free to stop by our website and get a preview of some of the most notoriously famous crime scenes in U.S. History. There's plenty of information on featured exhibits in our crime library along with a vast amount of Crime Data at our Forensic blog.

This is a public service announcement, no compensation was offered or required..

Friday, March 19, 2010

Smokin'

I miss my dad. Next month will be the anniversary of his death and it's hard. I keep thinking about how I'd have loved for my dad to come and visit and sit in my garden and enjoy the shade (Though, just now... it looks too bad for me to want to picture him there). I wouldn't even mind if he smoked his pipe.

Heck, I'd even pop for some Fuente cigars (he liked a good cigar every now and again), make some iced tea and buy him a book or two. If only I could see him outside, reading and communing with the cats at his house again.

You never get too old to miss your daddy.

The Wannas vs the Needas

Okay, retail therapy is going to be a little circumscribed this year as a combination of less income and higher prices and the need to replace about 60% of the plants in my garden (seriously, I'm making a list, and it's getting really depressing), means that I'm going to be more and more dependent on finding a good sale on everything from Mother's Day presents (making my mom's present this year..shhhh) to maybe finding some affordable solar lights to replace some defunct ones.

I'm beginning to thing, as well, that shopping online might be better for me than doing it in person. 'Pup wanted some ear buds so he could listen to music at work, and the ones he had at home.. well.. he wanted to use at home. I found some at Wal-M@art, and while they weren't VERY expensive, the ones in the link are..well... 3 pairs for about the same price I paid for one. Dang.

On the other hand... 'Pup did want them NOW, not in a few days.

So, he NEEDED the ear buds..but WANTED them now. Could have saved a little by buying them online. But saved time in a real store. Still, I'm going to do some shopping now... 'Pup wants some other things, too. And I wanna few things...

Anyone know a good place to get some well made, kid sized garden tools? I do have a reason for them, and not just for a couple of neighbor kids. But more on that, later.

See ya later.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day

Tap, tap...anyone there? I've been away for a while... so long that one reader even emailed me to make sure I was okay.

I'm okay. It's just been a hard winter.

I've missed several months of Garden Blogger's Bloom Days, some because I wasn't home (was with my mom last fall) and then...the weather turned and BIT me, big time.

Well, to be fair, it bit almost all of us, all around the country. It just felt lousy for all of us.

I lost a lot of plants, but not as many as I had feared. Some of the ones I thought were dead, are coming back. They are not what they were, and it may be several years before they recover fully.

So, here we are. It's Spring and things are starting to green up and grow. I can not tell you how happy I am to see things alive, after looking so very very dead.

To celebrate, let me invite you to share Garden Blogger's Bloom day, sponsored by Carole at May Dreams Garden. She has gardens from all over the country and some out of the US sharing what's blooming in our gardens on the 15th of every month.

Starting with the star performer this year, the Carolina Jessamine.... this plant came through the freezes like a champ. It is in a fairly sheltered area, between a structure and the house, near a window, so it was probably in the warmest place in the back yard.


The star of the front yard is the (?) Lipstick Salvia. It's blooming on some of last year's growth. This is one of the beds that I was able to cover, a little. It was further protected by the lemon grass....which got pretty badly knocked down, but seems to be alive under a mop of brown leaves (cut way back right now).

I'm happy to report that I have not one, but three of my roses in bloom.

The climbing yellow rose, Golden Showers, is going great guns. This is a very hardy rose and seems to have suffered the least, tho it was one of the more exposed roses.


As radiant as always, Belinda's Dream is beginning her first bloom of the year. She's an amazing plant, and the luckiest $5 find I've ever made.



The first rose I noticed in bloom was the little lavender colored one. I THINK I saw another rose, that may be the same kind. And, I've forgotten the name....again. It was something like "Pretty......something". I'll find it again.


My big project this past weekend was to clean up and plant the herb bed. Most of the herbs made it through.. it was also a bed I covered. I had 3 thymes that survived in smaller pots, and I replanted them into the ground. I have two new thymes as well, which give me an English thyme, French thyme, lemon thyme, a golden lemon thyme and one that isn't identified.

The pineapple sage and peach sage (non culinary) made it through, putting out new growth the last couple of weeks. In addition, I had a green sage that not only made it through in a small pot, but put down roots. I got a tricolor and a golden sage and planted them, as well. Only one of the echinacea survived the winter, so I replaced the two that died with the two new sages. The Texas tarragon is alive, I think. The roots are firm in the soil and there seems to be green in the lower stems. I hope it will recover, too.

The rosemary (upright), grew all winter. I am cutting in back at least 1/3, maybe a little more. Luckily, I have some co workers who are interested in the cuttings and using them to cook with, and a couple of the neighbors are using some as well. The marjoram is being trimmed back and it's joining the rosemary in some fragrant spring bouquets. At least one of the tutors told me her husband is now interested in meeting me, after the first rosemary chicken she made him.

Why he wants to meet me? I don't know. SHE cooked the chicken. I just cut the herb. Men.

I also seeded borage, fennel and a couple kinds of basil.

Still to plant: some tomatoes, bell peppers and peas along with some nice ivy geraniums.

Back to Bloom Day.

The dianthus was under cover and is beginning to bloom again. It's still way behind normal.


I've some blanket flowers two places in the yard, two plants in the rose bed, one of which is not doing very well, and two in the new triangular part of the herb bed. They should open any day now. I'm looking forward to it.


Two of the citrus trees, a blood orange and a mandarin satsuma are covered in buds. I may get some decent fruit setting this year. So far, I've gotten two blood oranges and three oranges from another tree. I have more hopes for next year.


And the peach tree has a bloom, and buds..and will have its very own post! Isn't it a gorgeous little bloom?