Monday, March 31, 2008

Tomorrow is Michael Scott's rescheduled final pretrial hearing

before a projected May 19th retrial start date. I'll be there tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed it isn't postponed again at the last minute.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Great yardwork weekend

Variegated Society Garlic

Three other new Society Garlics

I spent hours pulling nutgrass--a subject deserving its own post--the past few days, so I rewarded myself with five new Society Garlic plants in the front yard and several blue plumbago plants in the back next to the spring veggie beds. I'm drawing a complete blank as to the name of that maroon-leafed (cat and dog memorial) bush between the plumbago.

The tiny green things you see spaced horizontally from left to right, starting at the pansies, are the beginnings of the spinach I seeded less than 3 weeks ago.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fantastic hardy native groundcover

Some people consider horseherb (Calyptocarpus vialis) a weed, but I think it's an amazing groundcover. It thrives in sun or shade (although it's not crazy about full sun all the time), doesn't grow tall but stands up to being mowed or trampled on, transplants easily, and doesn't require much water. Its springtime little yellow flowers are pretty, too, which is one of the reasons I've chosen so many other purple-blooming plants for contrast. Also, bees and butterflies seem particularly attracted to blue/purple blooms. A good thing!

We have worked long and hard to create a xeriscaped front yard--it's more like a huge drought-tolerant garden than a typical front yard--with no grass to mow
, and horseherb is our primary groundcover. We're now working on spreading the horseherb in the back yard near the veggie beds, too. Someday there will be no pesky grass back there either.

No reversible error found by 3rd Court in Pitonyak appeal: conviction upheld

I've been out in the yard allot today and just now heard about Colton Pitonyak's first appeal attempt being denied.

Third Court of Appeals Opinion

Well worth reading is the summary within the Court's opinion, which is a clear, detailed narrative of the case, even if you don't care to read the entire opinion.

Monday, March 24, 2008

More front yard early blooming

Indigo Spires Salvia

Sage--the herb, not Cenizo, "Texas Sage"-- is technically in the Salvia family, too.

Pansies (not drought-tolerant)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Another Michael Scott pretrial hearing is rescheduled

Although I'd checked the online court docket this morning, I was immediately suspicious that today's hearing might not be happening when I drove to the courthouse and didn't see any television trucks. I waited around the empty 8th floor alone until a newspaper reporter friend showed up and buzzed Judge Lynch's scheduling coordinator, who said that today's hearing had been reset for April 1st. Sheesh.

So the reporter and I sat down right outside the courtroom doors, sharing dentist referrals and generally catching up. The courtroom doors then opened and Judge Lynch himself emerged and asked us if we'd heard about the change. We said yes, and the reporter asked Lynch why all the other reporters knew not to show up this afternoon. Lynch smiled and said, "Y'all must be out of the loop."

Lynch further explained that they're still sticking to the May 19th trial start date and that today's hearing was reset because Michael Scott's attorneys had filed some motions Friday or Monday and the State needed time to look at them.

I thought it was nice of Judge Lynch to take time to talk to us. I'd never seen him up close and without his robe. Surprise! He's human. And he has really blue eyes.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Michael Scott's final pretrial hearing is scheduled for tomorrow

but it won't be another joint hearing with Robert Springsteen. Scott's retrial is expected to begin with opening statements on May 19th. At the last hearing, Scott's attorneys said they would be ready for trial in May so I'm not sure what's left to cover tomorrow, but I plan to attend anyway.

Monday, March 17, 2008

John Adams

I highly recommend HBO's new mini-series, "John Adams". I'm not a big history buff and I usually hate period pieces, but I watched the first two segments last night and (much to my surprise, really) was riveted!

Ordinary people with everyday concerns and obligations being so ordinary and yet so extraordinary--it was relevant and inspirational.

And as a Daughter of the American Revolution, I felt a renewed sense of awe and
indebtedness to my ancestors and all other patriots since.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I'm transforming the winter veggie garden

into a spring/summer herb garden. We ate the last little broccoli second-efforts and tossed the big cauliflower leaves in the compost. In their place, I planted a few small sweet basil plants (top right by the lettuce), cilantro (bottom left), and Greek oregano (bottom right.) I planted seeds of each herb around the plants themselves plus some Genovese basil seeds along with the sweet basil seeds. Inspired by this new experience of sowing seeds, I also planted some spinach seeds in the new spring bed. This is my first try ever growing anything from seed and it seems so strange that anything edible could emerge from such tiny dry morsels.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hiding behind some overgrown Nandina bushes,

we discovered this lovely patch of rotten wood siding. That's the reward for our much-needed pruning of a bunch of ugly shrubs--exposing a bunch of ugly rotten wood and peeling paint. Okay, the paint is peeling in plenty of other places too, but now we've got a more urgent need to fix the siding and repaint the whole house.

At least we had already added some strategically placed flashing at the roof edge to prevent future rain-runoff damage. Now I guess we start the daunting task of finding a qualified and trustworthy carpenter. I'm allowing myself to get excited about the prospect of new paint colors anyway!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Current status of Laura Hall's appeal

According to the Third Court of Appeals website, Hall's attorney, Ken Mahaffey, filed a motion for extension of time to file brief on March 3rd, and that brief is now scheduled due April 2, 2008. I have no idea when/if oral arguments might be scheduled, but I'd be interested in attending.

Playing the waiting game for spring veggie planting

I'm following the local organic farmers' advice and holding off a few more weeks to plant any spring/summer veggies. Last weekend we weeded both the empty, waiting spring bed and the winter bed, which is still producing red leaf lettuce, cilantro, and tiny broccoli florets.

Monday, March 3, 2008

The season's first blooms of our xeriscaped front yard

are these three (top to bottom): prairie verbena, unknown-not-planted-by-me, and silver bush germander. These are all very low-maintenance and very drought-tolerant, and the verbena will bloom all the way through late Summer. If anyone recognizes the middle one, let me know: it has come up on its own every Spring since at least 1990 but I've never known what it is!