planting peas

As I mentioned, we started working on the yard today. Stanley chipped and shredded leaves and branches and I raked and picked up trash. We’ve barely made a dent in what we have to do, but it felt so good to be working outside today.

And, finally, I planted peas, both green peas and sweet peas. Meant to do it on St. Patrick’s Day, but didn’t get to it.

This year, I bought the Burpee “Money Saving Garden”—which is a bunch of packets of vegetable seeds that, if you plant them and they grow, provides more than $600 worth of vegetables for $10 (and a lot of labor). Or so they say. So I was looking at them to see which ones needed to be started now for planting later—but Burpee neglected to provide any sowing instructions whatsoever. Not one word about when and how deep and spacing, etc. Zilch! I looked on their website to see if I could find any planting guides, especially for the tomatoes which I know need to be started early, and found nothing. Nothing in the box, nothing on the seed packets, nothing on the envelope holding the seed packets, nothing on the website ... very, very annoying. I wrote to customer service, which is not open on Saturdays or Sundays, so we’ll see if I get a response. And looked stuff up on the internets.

The crocus is really pretty this year, and the squill, which is not as prolific as it has been in the past (click to enlarge).

crocus and squill, March 28, 2009

crocus March 28, 2009

There are lots of wood hyacinths sprouting, and tulips coming up and even daffodils, which I thought had all died out since there were hardly any of them last year. The tiny lilac we planted last year looks very healthy, good sturdy-looking buds.

The puppies got a lot of yard time, which we hoped would tire them out a lot but, of course, it didn’t. Ruby managed to get a stick in her eye last week, which caused her eye to turn all pink and nasty and required a trip to the vet. It was an ulcerated tear of the cornea and required applications of goo several times a day. It’s looking a lot better—she goes back to the vet for a check on Monday so I hope everything is okay.

The Amazing Jumping Mutt Bingo, March 28, 2009Bingo gets impatient—she is an amazing jumper, especially in the house when she’s trying to eat grain moths. (click to enlarge)

Ruby and Bingo on March 28, 2009Here are the sweeties again. Ruby is 10.5 months old and weighs 50 pounds and Bingo is 8.5 months old and weighs about 55 pounds. (click to enlarge)

Earlier in the day the were in the yard while we were inside. I glanced out the window and thought, “Oh, that’s a pretty dog ... hey, wait a minute, that’s Ruby, oh my god ... ” She’d managed to pull out of her collar and free herself from her tether. She was headed toward the front yard next door. Stanley flew out the door to get her with me close behind—but, for a change, she came when she was called so we didn’t have to con her into getting close enough to leash her. We decided today to put up a wire fence in part of the back yard which is large enough so that fencing half of it would give the pups a huge space to run around in. We wouldn’t worry so much about her running around off leash if, first, we didn’t live on such a busy road and second, she didn’t completely lose her mind when running all out.

My Cuisinart Brew Central coffeemaker died. It lasted nearly four years, so I can’t complain too much. I thought it wasn’t working right because it needed a new charcoal filter because it kept doing the auto clean cycle instead of brewing coffee. So I ordered the filters, replaced them, no dice. There is something blocking the tube thingie that sends the hot water through the drip thingie in the top. Stanley tried to fix it, but no luck. So, I ordered another one.

But not just any Cuisinart Brew Central. Nope. I’d been coveting a red one I saw in a Williams-Sonoma email a few months ago—a pure red case. And it was on sale for $39.99—about $30 cheaper than the cheapest models I could find on the tubes. It was a long, long four days until it arrived and I realized I don’t like coffee made with a French press much because it’s not paper filtered. Like my other Cuisinart did before it died, Red makes great coffee.

More work was done on my teeth, prepping two molars for crowns. Despite copious amounts of Novocaine, it hurt. Not nearly as bad as getting the abscessed tooth dealt with—nothing else in my life so far has been as painful as that was—but definitely not even close to pain-free dentistry. I think I have four more crowns to go, then partial dentures for the gaps, which I opted for over bridges and implants as I am not a millionaire and they’re back teeth anyway.

The prep work and bone surgery and two crowns are going to cost me around $4,000 when done. The grand total is going to be in the $10K-$12K range. It’s pretty amazing that less than two hours of work cost me nearly $1,000. I hope dental care is included in Obama’s health care plans—as the hygienist repeatedly told me when I got my teeth cleaned prior to received my estimate, bad dental health can kill you. Especially when you get the bill.

We went to see Lisa Lampanelli at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston on March 7. I’d never heard of her (I guess I’m a stick in the mud), but Maureen and Ben love her so Maureen got tickets for Stanley, Dad, Jeff, Ben, Holly, Maureen, and me to see her as a Christmas present. Had a great time that evening, and laughed at some of Lampanelli’s stuff which wasn’t so mean as it was filthy—she’s billed as the Queen of Mean. Some of it I couldn’t really hear. A lot of it was carrying on the joke too long—move on, next ... although I enjoyed the evening immensely—the dinner afterward as well —I don’t care if I ever see her again. Heard all the slurs, been there, done that. And it was an awful lot of money for less than an hour of entertainment. The funniest part of the evening was Dad’s reaction to how much it cost to park downtown Boston on a Saturday night ($28). He would’ve fainted had we been in New York City instead!

We had dinner at Maggiano’s Little Italy—very standard, Italian food like you make at home. It was quite good. It was a comfortable restaurant with interesting speakeasy decor, and kind of loud. You get lots of food—even the half order of linguini with pesto sauce (which tasted like it was accidentally doused with clam sauce first) was large enough for me to have leftovers for lunch the next day. What was disappointing about it is you couldn’t get chocolate lava cake, or any chocolate dessert, without sambuca or some other alcohol saturating it—I asked for it without the alcohol and they said they couldn’t do it, so you know that stuff is not made to order. But still, it’s a good restaurant to go to for having fun with family and friends.

We had a Bingo Orgy weekend. Went to Natick in time for bingo at the Elks on Thursday evening and I won $10 for a door prize (so did Stanley). The next night, at the bingo for the Ashland Fire Department, I won $100 on the hourglass. Saturday was a bingo break because the one we tried to go to wasn’t there anymore. On Sunday afternoon, we went to the St. Cecilia’s bingo and I won a $20 door prize and then another $100 on the layer cake. Lest anyone thing this is my norm at bingo, we’d gone to several bingos in Massachusetts already where I won nothing. But who cares—it a fun way to donate to charities. But so nice when I win!

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