Not much to say for two weeks, really. Last weekend, we did yardwork for the first time this year, including sowing rather a lot of grass seed. Of course, this Thursday, it poured buckets, resulting in a little stream going into the neighbors' yard across the planted area. We still had standing water in the yard as of this afternoon. We want to get more grass to help with the drainage, but because we have no drainage the grass seed gets washed away . . . . Chad did spot some mesh to go over new grass seed, and if this lot doesn't take, we'll give that a try.
We also browsed some garden shops. We've pretty well decided to replace the horrible everyellow [*] in front of the bay window with a dwarf burning bush, and the spiky red triffid next to the front path with heather. We'd like a couple bushes or dwarf trees (~6') to put between the patio and the neighbors' yard, as the former owner's roses refused to bloom and have been dug up; some azaleas looked promising, but we haven't made a decision yet. Of course it's supposed to snow tonight, so there's no rush to decide.
[*] It's like a small conical evergreen, except a sickly yellow. As it's been yellow since we moved in, I have to assume that it doesn't actually have a horrible fatal disease.
In other yard news, the power company finally came to trim the trees along the back line of the yard. We'll have to see how it looks when it leafs in, but it's likely that we no longer own a piece of darkest Mordor.
Yesterday we went on a housework binge. Look, the tops of the counters and tables are now visible! I'm absurdly happy about this, but we'll see how long we stick to the plan of keeping them clear. Then we went to a joint birthday party for our cousins Z. (now four) and C. (now two). We got them books, of course; Z. got Diary of a Wombat, which is the cutest thing ever, and C. got a small board-book version of There's a Wocket in My Pocket!. We had a lovely time—played with Z., talked with family, watched the kids get sidetracked from opening more presents by playing with the presents they'd already opened, admired their new playhouse (and swatted away the mosquitos that are ALREADY OUT!).
And right now I am waiting for the laundry to be done and resolutely ignoring the New York State income tax forms that need to be double-checked. We owe the state money anyway, so they don't need to go out tomorrow. (We're getting a healthy chunk of change back from the federal government, so those are going out tomorrow—and I'm annoyed at myself for not doing them much sooner—as is a form changing the amount of money I have withheld from my check.)
Oh, and new dog game: take one of these toys. Stick some bone-shaped biscuits in the holes. Give to the dog. Watch her chew the protruding bits off, at which point the rest falls into the interior and she freaks out trying to get at them.
Boggling literary link of the week: the original draft of Barry Hughart's Bridge of Birds is online (under "Features"). Much of the plot is the same, except the first-person narrator is the nineteen-year-old . . . Master Li.
Like I said, boggling.