June 2004

Here's the secret to strawberries: patience. We've been patient with our strawberry plants through the simple expedient of completely ignoring them for three years and they have now grown and taken over the entire raised bed. When all the other vegetables died off last year, the strawberries secretely began their expansion plans until this spring, they were hanging over the side like the hanging gardens of Babylon. We got bowls and bowls of strawberries out of that little 4X8 patch.

We started with six teeny plants from Home Depot.

First year, maybe one berry. Second year maybe one soupbowl full. Third year – Jackpot!

Not only that but this year, they have started bearing fruit again! A second crop! Sadly, we'll miss some of them since they'll be bearing fruit while we're on vacation but the house-sitters can have them I suppose. Payment for feeding the dog and the ferret.

It's no wonder I can't lose any weight with all this fruit (and its obligatory sugar coating).


There's a scene in “School of Rock” where Jack Black is lecturing on the history of rock&roll and he's standing in front of the chalkboard which contains a great detailed diagram of rock history.

Anybody know where I can get a copy of that diagram?

No particular reason – just think it's cool.

Mel's sister is having a nice round birthday (multiple of ten) soon and so Mel, her mom, and her SIL decided to take the aforementioned sister to Dallas for the weekend. They left early Saturday morning and got back late last night. Everyone seemed pleasantly exhausted.

She had a great deal to say about it but it can adequately be summarized with the single word: “shopping”. And they didn't go to The Bass Pro Shop. Go figure.

They stayed at the Gaylord Texan hotel which, from all accounts, it quite fabulous with bellhops and everything. And a life sized stuffed horse in the lobby. Yee hah!

Apparently, it was a whirlwind trip that was worth taking. Everybody had fun. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we had fun of our own – it involved watching a number of movies on TV and shooting off fireworks. To each his own.

We bought our first fireworks of the season Saturday. I'd been thinking about it and when the kids mentioned it, I stopped at the first stand we came to. I can recall my Dad used to do the same and he'd spend about $10 on the same amount of fireworks that we can get for $10 now – in other words, while everything else in the world has increased in price since the '70s, fireworks seem to have stayed the same or even decreased in value. That's good news for me and all my fellow pyros.

As we stood in our driveway in a cloud of smoke, who but the school board president should come strolling by. She studied us carefully – she knows who we are since Mel is a PTA mom and Evan occasionally hangs out with her son. At least I hope she gave me points for providing adult supervision. I mean how many parents really supervise that sort of thing?

It wasn't even all that hot this weekend so it was that much easier to enjoy ourselves. Both kids have a favorite and it seems to be those little paper tanks that shoot sparks and firecrackers out of their barrels. Then they both like to take a sparkler and torch the spent tank until it's a smoldering wreck. Evan used to have some little green army men but those have long since been melted and burned.

We'd better get it all out of our systems soon, we're leaving on vacation in the 3rd and won't have a chance to shoot any fireworks on the actual holiday.

ARRGGH! I hate it when this happens. I woke up this morning with the deep-down-in-my-soul certainty that it was Saturday. Of course, Mel wanted to know why I wasn't getting up and then the truth hit me.

Boy, that's dissappointing!

In that classic Southern tradition Vacation Bible School yesterday, they apparently went over that old line from one of the Gospels (notice how I don't actually know which one) where Jesus said “I will make you fishers of men”. In order to drive that point home, they took dead fish, painted them with a heavy coat of paint, and smushed that with a piece of cloth thus making a little picture of the fish.

I'm glad I wasn't in charge of that craft project. Stinky. It must be dissapointing to the fish to get to fish heaven and realize that they gave their lives for such a purpose and not to provide a meal for someone.

Oddly enough, the picture itself doesn't smell fishy.

Tonight we finally decided to start painting Evan's new electric guitar that we built. We took it all apart and bought some spraypaint. It is the color of my truck (coincidentally).

Should look good when we're done. Photos to follow.

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