Friday, June 28, 2013


I think I'm finally out of the worst of the grief funk from losing Sadie. I still miss her a ton, but my heart has finally accepted that she is gone. I actually got off my hindquarters and rode my bike to work and back three days in a row. That is a first in months. I also learned today that Lucy made friends with a female German shepherd dog today and the spent most of the day palling around. We weren't sure how long it would take for her to warm up to a girl. Still no word on the house and I welcome a weekend without house stuff. Oh, and I got the July schedule figured out without having to screw anybody over covering 24/7 with four vacations and a vacancy. We are all going to have to pull through until we get that spot filled.

House hunting is not as fun as I thought it would be. There are lots of disappointments out there. A break for the weekend is fine with both of us.

This is nothing what my haunter freind Dave has gone through, but wow. Grief really does a number on a person.

-written by someone who works with the dead.

Our new Lucy, with whom I've been bonding. Her Breath stinks, but I kinda like it. 

What's He Building?

I like to have this on rotation for working out in the garage on the haunt on cool autumn nights. I always think of Pumpkinrot's Neighbors when I hear this piece.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

House Hunting Woes

So the mister and I are house hunting. We don't want a huge mortgage, a decedent 3 bed 2 bath home with a larger lot for gardening. There is very little in Boise that meets our criteria. We finally thought we might have found "the one" and had our inspection done yesterday. Kyle and the inspector spent 3+ hours going over the place with a fine toothed comb. They were in the crawlspace a really long time and finally emerged with photos of their findings. Now note that the seller had said that there were no known water leaks or damage to the home, none. The boys found otherwise.
Here's a puddle of water on top of the vapor barrier with 3 inches of mud underneath. We are both less than thrilled that the seller outright lied on her disclosure. There were muddy footprints all over down there indicating that she had to have known there were people coming and going from the hatch in the guestroom covered in mud.
Here's more died mud on the ducting that someone duck taped to the plumbing! Note the water marks on the piers. There was a lot of water down there.
Here is an example where the soaked insulation had been torn out, again it had to come out right through that hatch in the closet. No replacement of the insulation had been made.
Lastly, the guys discovered that the plumbing isn't Pex, its polybutylene, the new "asbestos". Apparently the stuff was banned in 1992 and instantly bursts with no signs of compromise. All of the plumbing is this stuff. Most insurance companies won't cover your house if you have it. 

I know, really ballsy right? Make sure to have a thorough inspection done if you find a house you like. This could have cost us thousands of dollars. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Water and Sun

 Walter Pagels dwarf water lily
Volunteer Moulin Rouge sunflower blazing in the evening sun

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Carnivale 2013 at the Idaho Botanical Garden

Thanks to Amber Conger, the Idaho Botanical Garden, the Red Light Variety Show and more, Boise gets to have a really entertaining garden party with belly dancers, family friendly numbers by The Red Light Variety Show, food, drink, and style. This was the third year of the event and I went loaded up with a bunch of camera gear and the company of Kyle. When we got there the party was in full swing and the entertainment was about to begin.
There was a large crane set up with the aerialist's silk. Katie Ponozzo of the Red Light Variety Show kicked off the evening. I found a spot on the edge of the circle and found that my 90mm macro was perfect for the spot. I had the sun to my back and blue sky above the silk. Really, all I had to do was point the camera at Katie and if I didn't cut her arms or legs out of the frame, pretty much everything came back spectacular. 
 She's a powerhouse of a performer, I've never seen such a talented performer so up close. I grew up in Chicago and went to the ballet many times, but sitting in the huge theater almost makes the experience feel more like you're watching the dancers on TV, the Red light performances are much more intimate. That and since I've done yoga on and off since I moved to Boise I am very aware of the amazing amount of strength, awareness, and control is required to do what they do. 

I know, that wasn't anywhere near enough of Katie, but we have lots more to cover.
Lynn was a bit more difficult to shoot because she was up on the crane bed itself and I didn't want to be an ass and walk in front of the spectators. She can do amazing things with hula hoops.
 I believe this is Brecca and I know we have James here. This bit was about sword swallowing and there is no way to convey the hilarity of their performance. The best part were the little kids next to us that thought she really was swallowing swords. I was laughing so hard over both the performance, and the kids totally freaking out.

 Kristen is probably my favorite belly dancer outside of Ingrid in Tuscon. Kristen does alternative belly dance and again, my photos do her little justice, watching her move is hypnotizing. I was lucky that the sun worked out by highlighting the performers and helping make them stand out while also showing the audience. We were in a nice ring around the stage.

 Here's Lynn again. I got a nice shot of her when she moved into the sunlight and caught her captivating smile. I really need to learn how to photograph the hula hooping work. I'll figure it out.
 Here's Kristen again. The folks in Red Light have multiple talents. 
Here are Lynn, Kelly, and Brecca. I had trouble and missed an earlier performance with Kelly and James. This was something new that I haven't seen the company do before and it was really fun to photograph. I got to play with shutter speed a lot.
Here's Katie again, this time showing us her ballet skills. James carried her out and set her down and wound her up with a key, she then came to life. It was a great blend of doing the "robot" ballet style.

Yes she is really on her toes, a LOT in this piece. 
This is Angela, I'd never seen her perform before. I believe this was a number done to the theme song from True Blood called Bad Things. I'd have gotten better photos if I could have gotten closer, but this shot shows the audience well. 
Taking a bow to lots of applause.
The night also included a steampunk costume contest, the theme of the night was Venetian carnivale with a steampunk twist. This lady took "Best Top hat". The strangest part of the night was how people reacted to me and my camera. People made room for me and complete strangers let me take their pictures. I don't think I would have ever thought to walk up to someone and say "smile" before, but it was really fun. No one asked who I was. It was strange. 

I told these girls "come on ladies, go for it!" How goofy is that? They were great though.
Amber made the costume contest trophies. I wimped out and didn't dress up.
 Costume contest participants line up for the red carpet.
 This guy had great moxie.
 I liked this couple's style and I wish I had gotten a decent shot of the guy in the blond wig and winged mask who did the most hilarious solo dirty-dancing thing down the red carpet to wow the judges.
 Waiting for the results.
 Amber with the wings and purple feathers is handing out the trophies. 
The winners!
I have no idea why Sabra (a super cool coworker of mine) didn't get in on the costume contest. She obliged me with a quick photo.

There was even more entertainment, but I never got the name of the belly dancing troupe, and we were old and lame and left before the fire dancers. We did have to let the dog out. Maybe next year.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Bees in the Garden

Five years ago we started to try gardening. We had a large yard and decided to think outside the box and plant vegetables everywhere. I went to the local nursery and asked if tomatoes would grow in a flower bed (yes, I understand how goofy that sounds now). They told me I could if it got enough sun and I proudly exclaimed that we were going to make really good use of the yard and skip flowers and only grow edibles. Thank goodness the people at Edwards taught me that flowers attract beneficial insects into the garden and ignoring them might not be the best idea. I left with two small flowering perennials that day. 

The thing we've learned over the past several years is that flowers attract a lot of good insects, but water is AMAZING for honeybees. Last year I was worried to have 5-6 honey bees drinking regularly. This season is so dry we have at least 20 at a time. I've gotten used to them and we've had no problems. We do need to teach Lucy to not bother them as she likes to snap at bugs. She'll learn. The first five are photos; videos follow to show the volume of bees we are getting. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Stock Tank #3

I am trying to patiently wait for Kyle to finish mowing so I can get this tank set up. More photos to follow.
It is early in the season. We have 5 fish left, floating water lettuce, dwarf pink generic water lily- divided into two plants, Walter Pagels white water lily divided into two plants, Black Taro, Pink Cana, underwater water sprite and two other oxygenators. Corkscrew rush needs to be re potted before putting into the lower tank. Obviously the planters need grasses to help shade and add movement with summer breezes. This is about 250 gallons of stock tank pond in all. I can't wait to find our new home and move this setup in a garden room corner.

We got two Black Moor goldfish that are currently hiding in crannies in the sheep tank.
I repotted the Corkscrew Rush, Black Colossus, and a pink Canna in plain clay kitty litter and covered that with aquarium gravel. This was my first time using kitty litter and I'm quite pleased.