Monday, April 24, 2006


The plant lust is firm upon me.

I think I need more grapes. Lots more grapes. Say, at least 2 of each that grow in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin. Hmmm. That may equal about 6 plants, max. Note to self: Look into this. STAT. Must have grapes. And blackberries. Must plant hardy blackberries. Ordered them last year, but due to all the other Northern gardeners wanting the same thing, lost out. Apparently these and these are on back order from last year, although they may come in this spring. Must find another dealer, erm, supplier. Either that or track down the others who actually got some of these and pilfer from their yards. Note to self: Look into assembling head-to-foot black garb, with ski-mask for Operation: Worthy Righting of a Grievous Wrong.

And remember the recent snip-snip of the Furry Ones? Remember how I feared reprisals once they were back in full stride? Yeah. I was right to worry. Last Thursday, during the weekly roaming through the house prior to vacuuming, I was picking up all the crap that descends to the floor, under the influence of children and gravity. I bent down to retrieve a bunch of plastic grapes that I spied trying to hide under our bed. (Again with the grapes; it's a sign, I tell you.) These had apparently migrated from the pile of kitchen toys in the basement play room along with a plastic potato chip, searching for a better life, maybe with an eye to starting their own survivalist compound. As I was already down on the floor, I decided to see if there were any stray socks or what-have-you further under the bed. Yes. There were several. And a very large set of keys. Charles's main set, to be precise, the one with car, house, and school keys. Thing weighs about 1/4 lb and doesn't fit into most pockets. It is also not endowed with the means to crawl, hop, or roll across a carpet and waaaaay under a bed. Precisely in the middle of waaaaay under a bed. Nope. One or the other, (or both) pets had moved the keys from the top of his dresser to waaaaaaaaaaay under the bed, where they would have languished for months, had I not gotten on my belly and looked beneath, doing the sock round-up, brought on by the skulking grapes.

Taking notes, Leigh-Ann?

It was a completely glorious weekend. In the spirit of trying to pack in as much family time before the starting of the Great Pursuit of The Advanced Degree and Spring Saturday Soccer, we headed out to a lake and took the kids fishing. We caught a tree branch and 2 rocks, each resulting in the loss of hooks, weights, bobber, and bait. The brightly colored bobbers all remained in place (one up high in the tree, two in the water, snagged on the rocks), taunting us, until we gave up and left the scene. Sara was thrilled. Colin, who has actually caught fish on prior fishing trips, was not. Still, the first picnic lunch was had. Sadly, the bathrooms were closed for the 'season'. Good for bladder control training.

Finally, my favorite church message board writer seems to be back with this little gem: This Blood's For You! Love, Jesus. Much better than the months of phrases, like: Come in for a faith lift and God answers prayer-mail.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fear not about getting more grapes. A little snip here and there will produce a shoot ready to reproduce. They also will spread along a fence, etc. We got 5 gallons off the 2 bushes along the deck the first year they produced. However, the squirrel also love they along with the cherries--these green, yuck.

We have a few blackberries--Himalaya and evergreens. Will spare you a few this summer. Himalayas are the more sweet and larger, but NOT native to Oregon, therefore must be destroyed by treehuggers.

The Ole RF-er

3:27 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

try Jung seed company. There's two in/around Madison and they do mail order (which is how we get our loot) & their stuff is always high-quality.

3:50 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

because I can leave well enough alone, here's a link to the grape portion of their online catalog.

3:51 PM  
Blogger Lisa P said...

I got around to your emancipation entry.
Check out the reply.
YEAH!!! for you!

4:06 PM  
Blogger moegirl said...

I feel the hiding of Charles' keys represents an intentional act of revenge by the furries for the snip-snip. I would guard your personal property closely!

I too, am I reader of church signs as well as bumper stickers. A church near my Mom's place is all about the brimstone and hell fire. With signs like "Are you on the road to hell?" welcoming stuff like that...One of my favorite bumper stickers was "George W. Bush, the President Quayle we never had" (personally, I would prefer Quayle...but then almost anyone is preferable at this point)

4:27 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Dad- I think you have concords, right? That's what I planted. I am now deep in the throes of wanting masses of different varieties, like Noah, the ark guy. As to the blackberries, most die past zone 5-6, hence the special breeds by folks, like Stark Bros.

Teri- Jung's is one of the nurseries we pass in and out of Madison each week. We are making our annual 2 wagon pilgramage in about 2 weeks. I'll see what they have on hand. In the mean time, I'll check out the online site. Thanks lots, my darlin'.

Lisa (Hi Honey!)- Thanks for the update! I MISS that conference. I have tried to get info on it online, but nothing doing. I need to e-mail who ever in in charge of CME to send a brochure. Maybe next year. (I e-mailed you last week, hope it went through.)

Stacy- I agree. What next? As long as it ends up under the bed, we're OK, but if not, where? Under the dresser? The back of the closet? There's a lot of places a devious pet can hide things. Love the bumper sticker. I'm loving living in a liberal part of the country, again. I cross the border to WI and all the pro-Bush stickers turn anti.

4:52 PM  
Blogger brooksba said...

I'll ask my dad if there are any types of grapes he's had specific success with living in this latitude. I think he usually has Concord Grapes. Although we've found wild grapes growing in woods nearby that thrive! I know that he planted four vines about three years ago and has had two years of great results from the Concords. But he also makes sure to prune them WAY back each fall.

My mom has raspberries (red, white, and black - are those blackberries then?) and they have taken over the plot in the backyard and more some. They're hard to get rid of.

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Colleen said...

Well, Diana, not that you spoiled the furry ones' plot to get all the humans running around like maniacs tearing up the house looking for lost keys, they're going to come up with something bigger and better. Be very afraid! hee hee hee

We had our first picnic of the season last this past week-end also. We were at a farm though. Ahh, the great outdoors!

I've been meaning to ask you a plant question, Oh Goddess with the Green Thumb---what is a good indoor plant that does well in "indirect light"? I have a cute plant stand in my hallway, but my ivy plant hated it there (I knew it would, but it looked great there at first). The location is across from Lauren's room, so it does get some light, just not sunshine beating down on it. What might you suggest? I could research it on-line, but I'd rather get advice from a pro like you!

Those church signs are hilarious! I'm sure it's difficult to come up with creative ideas. Gotta give 'em credit for trying.

9:38 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Beth- Funny that you should mention the invasiveness of raspberries. They seem to be invading our place to one side, by a grove of trees that follow a dry creek bed. Apparently it's a nice place to perch and feed, if you're a bird. (Blackberries are different than black raspberries, but related.)

Colleen- Hm. I'm not the best with houseplants, but I'll try. As I recall, African violets are good indirect light plants. I think cyclamen are too, but they always rapidly suicide on me. My phaleonopsis (sp) orchid seems to like indirect light and takes little fussiness. Ferns and such are always good in shade. My ivy actually likes indirect light. Don't know what kind it is. Colin brought it home from school last year and it is growing on the sill of the pass-through between the kitchen and dining room. Beware of plants you get at grocery stores and the like. Nearly all the ones I've come home with on a whim, have had some sort of disease, like scale or mealybugs or something, that become apparent a few weeks later. Guess that's why they were on sale at the grocery store. If you had the time, you might stop by a plant store and see what they had on sale. OH! Begonias! Forgot about begonias. I like tuberous ones better than wax ones, but both like shade and have pretty flowers, and I've been able to keep them going for several years at a time with minimal care. Plus, they are widely availiable this time of year. (Hope this helps.)

8:50 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Love the church message board sayings.

The church up the street from us has finally outdone itself. During Easter week, their message board said "WAS YOU THANKFUL TODAY?" It took several days for some clever-boots to fix the grammar.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous kismet said...

I saw a variation to your church board that said "God answers knee-mail" which I thought was kinda funny.

Blackberries, meh! They are overtaking my yard if allowed, can't imagine deliberately planting them! :)


10:33 PM  
Anonymous Colleen said...

Thanks for the plant advice Diana! Kind of surprised me that you're not that knowledgeable about house plants. You have written about your loft with all the plants, so I just assumed you knew a lot about them. I've been reading up on some of the varieties you mentioned. You pointed out ferns which do well in shade. Maybe that would be best for my location. I'm thinking my hallway seems a little more like shade than "indirect light". Wish me luck!

11:44 PM  
Anonymous Leigh-Ann said...

I don't drive, and I rarely leave the house as I don't have an outside job, so I've got no keys for the pets to steal! Here I thought I was spending my life as an underachieving lazy-ass, but now I realize I was just planning ahead. Yay me ;-)

1:49 AM  
Blogger Emanuel Ben-Zion said...

I don't even have the time to read everything, gahhhh!!! I am still around, skimmng like a mad woman, will read attentively as soon as stupid translation is finished or I throw myself n the river, whatever comes first. Now you make me want to eat grapes and I'm not even all that fond of them. The power of you!

7:45 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Jamie- Cringe! Around here, there are too-numerous-to-count signs with errors like "lot's" but fortunately nothing quite that egregious.

Kismet- I know! I beat them back for ages when living in PDX. My mum had this (I kid you not) massive 20' high x 30' wide blackberry bush at the end of the drive. Now that I'm living where they aren't hardy, for the most part, I find myself missing the buggars. I'm sure I'll be ruing this in a few years and I'll find that I'm the one to blame for the invasion of cold hardy blackberries across the upper Midwest. What we do for pie. And jam.

Colleen- Mucho luck. I'll probably be better with the house plants when I don't have small-handed ones to chase and can devote some time and attention to them. Now, If they can't live with a watering once every 2 weeks, well, it's their own damn fault for being so needy.

Leigh-Ann- See, you are just amazingly good at planning ahead. Now, have you seen your favorite pair of earrings lately? Your watch? That stash of chocolate you had hidden? Better check on those. And your house keys and green card. Hey! Where's Flippy? Oh, yeah, safely stowed at the horrible hospital for a wee bit longer. (Whew) Hope she's doing ok.

Manny!- You've changed! Been to Sweeden for that sex-change? Please, please, PLEASE don't throw yourself in a river, at least not one with lots of chloroflorocarbons and shit like that. You'll grow 34 heads and won't have time to do anything with all your hair; at least if they are like our rivers, where it's fine to take your kids fishing, just DON'T let them consume any of the fishies. Come to think of it, though, 34 heads would let you do all you have to do and still keep at least one sane thought in at least one head. Sort of like Zaphod on steroids. Much love, dahling.

10:21 PM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

Oh shut up. Not nice to make fun of the mentally inept.

9:40 PM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

I don't know what is funnier, reading the post or the comments? Maybe both. I'll have to be careful reading blogs up at the counter, it's okay that my co-workers think I am insane but the customers might wonder when I start cackling with glee.

I agree with "Manny" by the way, I am wanting to eat grapes as well now and I don't like them. And oh is my mouth watering over the thought of Blackberry pie. Yum.

2:57 PM  

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