Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I recently got a little distracted by current political debates, especially since I had the rare opportunity to participate in a CNN televised

"undecided voter" panel after last Thursday night's Austin Democratic debate between Obama and Clinton (see my souvenirs above.) It was particularly interesting that I was the ONLY woman of their five panelists. It was still really fun.

Anyway, I had finally realized the Texas primary vote was actually going to count for the first time in forever, so I started doing bunches of research, which ended up with my slightly neglecting my cauliflower. Husband Kurt and I even got our butts out of the house to vote early.

The cauliflower will be okay if we eat it tomorrow, I think. We ate the red leaf lettuce--third harvest--tonight! The chopped-off broccoli is sprouting pretty little leaves and TINY florets, too.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Our first cauliflower

is almost ready to eat! The lettuces are ready, but I'll give them another day or two. It's amazing: this will be the third full lettuce harvest, all from three teensy plants. I think tomorrow we'll prepare the second long, raised bed for the Spring veggies, which I'm told we need to wait another couple of weeks to actually plant.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Judge Lynch Today: Be REEEasonable

The judge repeated this at least twice, drawing out the first syllable of "reasonable" at this afternoon's last joint pretrial hearing for Michael Scott and Robert Springsteen. He was urging--I mean "suggesting"--that the defense attorneys for both Scott and Springsteen follow his experience of being a "common sense advocate" rather than just filing tons of briefs.

What seemed to have initially prompted Lynch's irritation was Springsteen's team's having filed fifteen amended motions for discovery. "In 35 years, I've never seen that," Lynch said, adding that he wanted succinctness. Alexandra Gauthier, Springsteen's attorney, countered, "But this is a complex case." Lynch replied, "not THIS complex."

Lynch denied Scott's motion to consolidate--trying the two cases together--but praised Garcia's work on his legal reasoning in attempting to get it.

Otherwise, there was lots of back and forth about discovery issues. The defense still wants copies of some of the State's evidence and the State says the evidence is available for the defense to inspect but that they're not required to provide copies.

Michael Scott's Trial Date Set for May 19th

Judge Lynch said he wants jury selection to begin May 15th and the actual trial to begin May 19th. After today's hearing, Scott's defense attorney, Carlos Garcia, said he would be ready for trial by May and expects the trial to last 3-4 weeks. (One more status hearing--for Scott only, not Springsteen--is scheduled for March 19th.)

More details from this afternoon's joint hearing in a little while. Overall, it was just more of the same from the last joint pretrial hearing.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I do plan to go to Wednesday's scheduled hearing

--supposed to be final joint pretrial hearing--for Micheal Scott and Robert Springsteen. I really hope it's not postponed for the third time and that a concrete trial date will be announced. Last thing I heard was that Scott's retrial would happen first.

Dog Windows

Husband Kurt said he would eventually build two more of these, but for now here's our one excellent Husky fence window!

Glorious Austin Sunday

I'm thinking I should try transplanting some of the front yard's sage into a pot in the back yard, joining my small plants of potted thyme (top) and Greek oregano (bottom.) Then I'll know no dogs have walked by and peed on it...

Today I did lots of front yard (xeriscaped/no vegetables) weeding, which was lots easier than usual because the ground was moist and the temperature perfect. Also, the evil nutgrass is not back in full force (yet.) I didn't even wear my hat half the time, and I'm usually a bit of a mole about the sun.

In the back yard, I removed the largest, most hole-filled cauliflower leaves because it seemed like bad feng shui to leave them attached and they were also blocking the lettuces from the sun.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I just realized that not everyone is as excited about empty garden beds as I am

right now, so here's a closer pic of the pansies I planted at the edge of one of the new Spring/Summer raised beds-in-waiting--a little lonely but still prettier to most people than my glorious dirt.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

New Spring Garden Beds Built Today!

Although we did the five-layer newspaper & weed-fabric passive grass-killing technique (above) for 5 months, when we uncovered half of it today to start creating our spring/summer garden beds, we found that some of the Saint Augustine grass was STILL thriving! Not allot, but some. We cursed it, yanked it, and moved on, shoveling & mixing dirt and compost around to create two new long, thin (about 2'x12') beds (below.) I also added John's Recipe Ladybug organic fertilizer to these empty beds, but this time I followed the directions and did NOT erroneously add an acre's worth.

We decided to tackle only half today & make the other two beds next weekend. I planted a couple of pansies at the end of one bed so it didn't appear so bare for now. We can't really successfully plant any veggies in them for about another month or so, at which time we'll try some varieties of squash, peppers, and tomatoes--probably more herbs, too.

The broccoli we ate isn't likely to do much more at this point except grow a few tendrils, so I planted one small arugula ("Astro") in the middle of the chopped-off broccoli and one cilantro on the edge (below.)

Kurt also planted a small cedar elm tree beside the old cottonwood stump. It's the skinny, leafless thing in the middle of the photo below (between the green and the carport pole.)
I'm sure it will get prettier soon...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

First Homegrown Broccoli Dinner!

Here it is! The broccoli was finally ready to harvest today. It was delicious, slightly sweeter and more delicate than I've had before. We ate some of it raw but roasted most of it with a little olive oil, garlic, lemon, and parmesan.

The two cauliflower plants, which so far have consisted solely of huge leaves, are finally producing little cauliflower heads! I doubt they'll be ready to eat for at least another week, maybe two...

This compost container we have made and placed right outside the back kitchen door is clearly not beyond infiltration from a determined husky head (note the fresh broccoli pieces.)

However, she quickly gets bored with her broccoli prize. It's not apple, peanut butter, or bison, after all...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Joint Scott/Springsteen Pretrial Hearing that Had Been Scheduled for this Afternoon

has been postponed yet again and is now scheduled for 2/20/08. I'm glad I checked the online docket before heading downtown for my inevitable parking ticket.

A Bit More Info Regarding Laura Hall's Latest Status

Laura Hall still remains in county jail. According to the Third Court of Appeals website, Hall's appellate attorney, Ken Mahaffey, was granted his February 1st "Motion for extension of time to file brief" and now his "Status Appellant brief due" date is 3/03/08. Who knows how long it takes from the filing of that brief to oral arguments?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

KVUE Reports Laura Hall's Parole Request Denied Today

I just caught the report a minute ago, so here's the link. According to Clara Tuma's online report, Hall will not be eligible for parole again until February 1, 2009.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Veggie Garden Bed 14 Weeks Ago and Now

Today's broccoli and cauliflower leaves are so big they block the view of the lettuce and dwarf the raised bed itself.

So far, this first experiment in vegetable gardening has rocked!

Next missions: Spring plantings, pier/beam repair, and exterior house paint.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Cat-Themed Garden Progress Report

The broccoli heads are still small but steadily growing! Recently I've had to cover them during the nights' freezes and once forgot to uncover them the next day, so they're catching up on some sun now.

My feline director of photography insisted on getting herself in the photo here--I did leave the little garden gate open, allowing her inside.

The next two photos show her true colors. Apparently chasing a pecan across the weed fabric surface--cat hockey--is far more entertaining than chasing a pecan across any of the many other surfaces available in a backyard. Ripping the weed fabric in the process is simply icing.

Fortunately, we put down the layers of newspaper and weed fabric several months ago, so this method of passively killing grass to prepare for a Spring garden bed has probably already worked. Now I just have to keep rescuing stray torn-up newspaper pages from the back fence corners.