Sunday, March 29, 2009

Home Improvement Spring Fever

After lounging around most of yesterday Shana and I got going early today. First stop - Jeff's Country Cafe for breakfast. We had not tried it before, and being fond of diners we could not let it go untried. We enjoyed it - the biscuits were good, with plenty of pepper in the gravy. One menu oddity was that you can order gyro meat with your breakfast. Otherwise pretty basic.

On from there to Bass Pro, one of our usual Sunday stops. Shana was looking at coolers; I was on a mission to get a hiking hat. As it turns out the camp chair Shana is longing for goes on sale next weekend, so I guess we'll be back then. We cruised by Home Depot to look at their storage bins (poor selection). When we came home we made a list of clothing and equipment we wanted to add this year. It's pretty short, fortunately. We are adding a week long trip to our usual schedule this year, so there were a few things that needed to be up sized or upgraded, but nothing terribly spendy. Good Old Amazon is sending the Rubbermaid bins that we'll be adding to our kit. Our old kitchen and pantry bins will be swapped over to tent equipment and general campsite bins, replacing an old hamper and laundry basket that had been pressed into service for those functions. That will get every thing into rain proof containers at last.

Every spring Shana and I are seized with our different forms of spring fever. We both have an increased interest in outdoors activities, of course. On the home front we head in radically different directions. Except for expressing a preference for particular styles of landscaping or colors of flowers, Shana has no interest in gardening. She wants the yard to look nice, but takes little pleasure in making that happen. That's my area, and I am happy to do it because not only do I enjoy it, but also it frees me from the dreaded annual cleaning of the garage. Shana loves to throw things out; I tend to hang on to things just in case. I'm happy to see a tidy garage, but I want absolutely no part in the process. I point to the things I am willing to throw out, and move the plants that have wintered in the garage to their outdoor homes, then I run inside to do ANYTHING else.

I planted cannas in the front yard last year, thinking their luxuriant foliage and long flowering period would be ideal. I had chosen two old fashioned varieties for their vigor and foliage color, but they turned out to be too big for the space. The Red King Humbert grows to 6 feet tall, and the Richard Wallace, while shorter, is amazingly vigorous. From 24 medium sized rhizomes (12 of each) I have enough now to generously fill a bed about 50 feet long. This summer they should be beautiful. In a few weeks we'll choose some more domesticated-looking flowers for the front yard.

Until I went to San Antonio I though we had reached the limits of aloe Vera and my giant specimen while huge, would get no larger. Apparently this is not so. This creature is headed to the territory of Man Eater. I have not watered it all winter, and kept it in the garage, where it got pretty good light but cool temperatures. I expect some epic growth this summer. This may be the last time I move it without help or rollers. Even though it had not been watered for months it is still really heavy now, and it's basic pointyness makes it unpleasant to handle.

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