Thursday, July 17, 2008

The year the (would be) garden got away from me

This, my friends, is what the south side of our house looks like. It's been buffeted by the elements, as you can see, and Brian and I haven't agreed yet whether we are going to paint the whole house ourselves or see if we can hire someone else to do it. I say we paint it ourselves, but I want Brian to take the lead. As for the hundreds of black-eye susans, they planted themselves, after skunks dug up that side of the yard foraging for slugs. I assure you the other three sides of the house look a little better than this side.

In the foreground, an example of the blackberry bushes that took over the garden. I just gave up and planted a few tomato and basil plants amid the flower gardens, where the poppies and lilies of the valley have all but pushed everything else out.

Nathan Bech (left), the 33-year-old West Springfield Republican who is challenging our longtime Democratic Congressman John Olver. To his right is former Greenfield City Councilman Isaac Mass, Bech's campaign director, and Theo Taylor, a college student who's working with the campaign over the summer. Bech has got a great Web site. But he's really got his work cut out for him; Olver has held political office since 1969, when he left his job teaching chemistry at UMass and ran for state representative. He's been our U.S. congressman since 1991 -- and never lost an election.

Here's a photo with a water stain on it, unfortunately, of my late dad and me with Olver after the grueling annual 10K race in Shelburne Falls.

I really like this car one of the assessors drives in Pelham, seen here outside the Rhodes Building, where the selectmen hold their meetings.

Oh, this is some of the vintage china I compulsively buy at tag and church sales.

Carrie at The Body Tailor showing me how to kneel on a Swiss ball. Can't wait till she shows me how to STAND on one, but I'm not even close to being able to balance on all all fours on it yet.


  1. Hey, are you running Shelburne Falls this year? I just registered. I will likely leave my quads somewhere on that insane hill!

  2. I swear you have the best blog.

    Here's my favorite sentence (and probably Brian's least favorite):

    I say we paint it ourselves, but I want Brian to take the lead.

    Does Brian have more experience panting houses or is he just better at the sort of thing? Maybe you'd just rather not worry about the technical details. It's not so complicated but preparation - specific knowledge, scraping and caulking - does make a big difference.

    I used to paint houses in the summer around and about Amherst. Most of the paint jobs were contract for the College. I was in high school. Bill Van paid me $5 hour. Many of the jobs were exterior, much of it white with green shutters.

    Scraping is a drag but you need to remove loose paint before you apply new paint. You also need to consider what kind of paint is on the house now (oil base, latex or stain) before you know what to buy. It looks like a blue stain but that's from far away. You might consult with a few experts.

    You can save 1000's by doing it yourself but it will take time. Maybe if you recruited some more workers Brian would be more interested in taking on the lead.

    It's a good year for a challenger like Nathan Bech but it's never a good time for a Republican to try to win a seat in the Massachusetts Congressional delegation. All of our congressmen are Democrats. Have you ever noticed the size of Olver's district? It's gi-normous. I hope Nathan has some money so he can buy name recognition, otherwise he's wasting his time, IMHO. Tell Nathan that if he wants to continue funding an indefinite war in Iraq he might as well put his head between his legs and kiss his arse goodbye. (Is that ok to say here?)

    That's a really nice photo of you, John Olver and your dad. It looks like John was doing some food prep.

    Check this out, some fairly well known liberal bloggers and putting on their own Meet The Press live by webcast. Friday 1PM ET is the premier. Watch it here:

    Does anyone give you a hard time about your old tableware collection? It's the kind of thing you love collecting and having and people close to you don't understand why.

    Is there a cuter personal trainer than Carrie?

  3. Eliza's mom, I highly doubt I'm going to run that race this year. Bet John Olver will be there though. O'Reilly, you've left a heap of good comments. If it weren't for the scraping, I swear I would just paint the house right now. Maybe I'll suggest to Brian that Nicky could help a lot. I'll check out that blogging event and whether it's netroots nation, which someone had alerted me to. As for my collection of dishes, I would say it's underappreciated. And Carrie IS the cutest --and nicest -- trainer ever.

  4. I love your dish collection and wish I could beat you to some of those tag sales! I have some really cool things from an Aunt who let me pick something out of her china cabinet when I'd visit. It made us both happy then and I think of her when I look at them now. I plan to do the same someday.

  5. Mary -- I am looking forward to leaving my dishes to Ana. I also love that idea of telling my nieces (and nephews, if they're interested) to pick a piece they like and start their own collections!