Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

My state government office encourages participation in Halloween activities. I went dressed as a dude. Wore the costume home on the scoot. I only got a couple of waves. People are so cranky! How do you not smile when you see this?


Happy Halloween, everybody! Scooter life is rad.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Budster, workhorse

Grocery run

Tried out the cargo capacity of The Budster today. $130 worth of groceries is no problemo for my ghetto version of a trunk.  Would love to get some sort of foldable crate to attach to the rear rack. Then those after work quick stops at the market and perhaps even a Home Depot run would be a cinch.

I am taking a motorcycle driving course this weekend so I can learn how to be a Motorcycle Mama, or really, a Scooter Sweetheart.

Scooter life is rad.


Update: I took the two-day basic motorcycle driving course.  It was very hard.  In addition to balance and throttle, motorcycles have that whole issue of shifting.  There is a lot going on at one time.  I did all right though and aced the written portion and only went outside the line of the slow-speed maneuver box on the driving portion of the test just a little way, so they passed me with flying colors.

I think that I am a much safer scooter driver now.
November 27 update:
I officially have my motorcycle endorsement on my driver's license!  Because I took a qualified course, I didn't need to do the driving portion of the motorcycle test.  I went to take the 25-question written test today and I actually failed on the first try.  (There was one question about how many parts are there to the driving portion of the test: what do I care - I don't have to take it!)  But I tried again and passed.  So, Hooray!, now I can officially drive a motorcycle on the street.  I just need a motorcycle.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The East Bed

It has been forever since I posted.  This fall has been the busiest I can remember, mostly because Drew and I are coaching the new East High Mountain Bike Team.  It is fun and rewarding and about as time consuming as a part time job.  But that is not what this post is about. This post is a celebration of yard work.  Finally, after two years, I found a few weekends of nice weather and planted the east flower bed in the back yard.

Yeah, pretty exciting, I know.  I'll bet you are sitting on the edge of your seat, as eager to see the flower pictures as you were to look at your first adult magazine.  But really, this is a big deal.  You will remember that when we put the addition on the house, we pulled out rocks from under the vinyl fence and made a raised bed.  That was in July 2010!  I have been dreaming of getting this bed done since then. 

So the before pictures:

Taken 8/14/2007.  This first one made me cringe a little.  This is taken from where our garage stands now, looking back toward the house before we built the garage and the addition. Of the three trees along the vinyl fence, only the middle one remains.  One died and the other was moved to the front yard.  I gave the one left of the hot tub away, and the one in the silver cattle trough planter is the Ginkgo biloba from our wedding, which you will see in the final design.

Taken 5/17/2010.  This second picture is on day 2 of work on the big addition.  You can kind of see the red boulders under the vinyl fence, and also my cute workin' man husband.

Taken 5/13/2011. And the last two are the flower bed the way it was after the majority of the construction was done on the addition.  The rocks are out where they should be and the area behind them was backfilled with amended top soil.  That is how the flower bed sat for two years.  Not that we weren't doing landscape projects.  Last fall we added sod, laid the flagstone path, and added rock mulch, so the east bed never made its way to the top of the the to do list.

During the bed's two year "rest", the rhubarb and strawberries were there temporarily until I could get their permanent home in the back 40 fixed up.  I periodically added an inch or so of topsoil around the base of each of the two trees so as to not smother them while gradually bringing the soil level up to the top of the rock border.

Then a few weeks ago, after the temps came down some, I decided that the time had come for our sorry looking east flower bed to get its act together and start acting like the beautiful growing place it could be.   I began preparations for planting day by taking out the two old lilac bushes you can see in the last picture above.  These had been in another spot in the yard when Drew bought the house in 2001.  They were scraggly and mature at that point, so I suspect they were 30 or more years old.  As much as I love the smell of lilac and hate to kill a hardy plant, they were too big for that space and we have no where else to move them to.  I did save one newer lilac that I think has a smaller mature size.  It is in the back 40 with the rhubarb and strawberries.

I also planted the right hand side of the driveway with some sea oat grass donated by a friend.  I'm not sure I'll stick with this planting.  Need something taller.
Then, I went to the store. Fun!!!  I had designed the bed with some different plants, but Home depot didn't have the ones I wanted and I liked some of these others very much, so here is the plan I ended up with:

Two weekends ago I planted everything and last weekend I added the drip lines and mulch.

It was fun, dirty work.

I really like the way the mix of colors and textures came out, and our wedding Ginkgo is so happy to have a mulch blanket and friends to grow with.

 The big tree is a hawthorn we planted in September 2007.  The little tree is the Ginkgo.  There are three purple leaved ninebark bushes along the fence. They will grow to be 4'x4' and hide the vinyl while repeating the color of the neighbor's purple plum trees on the other side of the driveway. (Thanks cousin Ruth for that idea.)

The next three shots are close ups so you can see the plants better.  

This is the north end. Marigolds in front remaining from a temporary planting this summer.  Lavender and coneflower at the base of the hawthorn.

The middle section has a ninebark at the rear, bushy pink and green foliage spurge in front, and three airy gaura between them.  Gaura is a favorite of mine.

On the south end we have the Ginkgo tree on the left and the ninebark at the back. There is a standard Shasta daisy and small snowcap Shasta daisies, plus the silver foliage of western mugwort.  I shoved a red hot poker in the back corner because that poor thing has been living in a pot since I drug it up here from my old place in 2004.  It deserves to live after that prison sentence.

So all in all, I think it turned out beautifully. Now it just needs to fill in and be so stunning that people will not be able to take their eyes off the flowers and therefore will not notice the neighbor kids' sniper tower in the background! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hello Buddy Scoot!

I got a scooter!

Genuine Buddy 170i. He/she (I have not bonded with it enough to know its gender) has got a 170 cc, fuel injected engine.  I debated between the Stella and the Buddy, but in the end, Buddy's large underseat storage and ease of operation won out over Stella's fantastic retro looks.

Brand spankin' new!  Picked it up today from Salt Lake Scooter Co.

 Going out for Buddy's first errand.

Buddy's first trip was to Papa Murphy's tonight to pick up a pizza.  I am happy to report that a large pie fits nicely in the underseat storage compartment.