Monday, April 28, 2008

Bloggers Beware . . . XP Antivirus I have found that comments added to my blog by the users Jojosho and Akinol link to and automatically upload of the aobe mentioned spyware. A scan is completed of your system that provides false results, for example worms, viruses, etc. Do not open comments from these users. Delete them. Here are some links I found with more information about this spyware. Informational: This link walks you thru the removal process> Pretty helpful if you know just enough about computers to be dangerous: Informational: There is a multitude of other references when you google xp antivirus. If this warning saves one fellow blogger, I've done my job. Good luck and happy blogging. bfarr

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Planning for Departure

Getting closer to our travel date. I have a tendency to start planning early and TOM just rolls his eyes. I purchased a new cosmetic/travel case today. I plan to build the ultimate travel/first aid kit. As TOM and are not as young as we used to be is it conceivable that one of us (probably me) will get hurt while participating in one activity or another. When we were in Belize 2 years ago I fell in a cave...not a pleasant experience and injured my knee. Anyway, this year I am going to be prepared with the basics. I found this kit list in Conde Nast Traveler: Compartment 1 Personal medication (bring 50% extra) Cold and allergy medication Throat lozenges Nasal decongestant spray Cold and flu medication Tums Pain reliever Hand sanitizer Compartment 2 Eye bandage Antibiotic eye drops and ear drops Sterile eyewash Cotton swabs Earplugs Disposable thermometer Scissors Small flashlight Surgical gloves Lip balm Compartment 3 Band aids Small nonstick dressing Surgical tape, not surgical tape, white electrical tape. Good thing we didn't need it ;-) Burn gel Burn dressings Antiseptic swabs Spray on dressing Ace bandage Steri-strips Sutures Needle holders Syringes Surgical blade Anesthetic Triangle bandage Compartment 4 Insect repellent Insect bite treatment Hydrocortisone cream Water purification tablets Sunblock Oral rehydration packets Dextrose tablets Motion sickness tablets Post Trip Note: No injuries on the trip (I had been in training for quite a while in preparation) However, TOM did get sick so that put a damper on several activities. Highlighted items were those that we actually had in the kit.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Hiking the Pine Mountain Trail

TOM and I went hiking yesterday with our boys and a girlfriend on the Wolfden Loop. We got an early start and saw only 1 group of three hikers on the trail when we started. The trail was in pretty good shape and not too damp in the low areas. The weather was nice and we had a great time.It's been a long time since we did a family activity like this. We stopped for a couple of photo ops along the way. I wish I had brought the tripod so that I could have taken a picture of all of us together.
I was starting to get tired and on the walk back I stepped wrong and turned my ankle. After resting for a while I was ready to go and eat lunch. The round trip took about three hours. We were all quite hungry by the time we got back to the car.
The sandwiches were delicious. The drinks were as cold and refreshing as the water running in the creek. The day was good. We were all pretty quiet on the ride home. I was ready for a nap. But before I did that I iced my ankle and hit the ibruprofen. It definitely paid off. The ankle was stiff this a.m. but it loosened up. No bruising; although there is some swelling. These beautiful flowers remind me that the entire day was worth it.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I found this plan last year and plan to use it as a starting point for our meditation garden. In the area where the bench is located in this illustration will be the back corner of our garden. Other modifications will be made as well.

This is the list of suggested plantings for our part of the country:
A. Eastern redbud (Cercis Canadensis); Alternative: Silverbell (Halesia Carolina) or other small accent tree
B. Hearts-a-bustin (Euonymus americanus); Alternative: Winterberry (hex verticillata) or other specimen plant with winter interest
C. Sugarcane plumegrass (Saccharum giganteum); Alternative: Other tall grass
D. Spoiled horsemint (Monarda punctata); Alternative: Narrowleaf mountain mint (Pycnantheum tenuifolium); non-native options include lavender, sage or rosemary) or other medium-height, scented, woody or herbaceous plant
E. Pussytoes (Antennaria plantaginifolia); Alternative: Non-native options include thyme or other groundcover plant
F. Prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis); Alternative: Little bluestem (Schyzachirium scoparium) or other small grass

Other Garden Elements:

  1. Stone-edged patio (patio surface can be pea gravel, concrete or flagstone)
  2. Waterfeature (bowl or fountain)
  3. Boulder
  4. Bamboo fence, 2’ x 6’ panels
  5. Bamboo fence, 2’ x 4’ panels
  6. Bamboo fence, 2’ x 2’ panels
  7. Candle lantern (or solar light)
  8. Stepping stones
  9. Entrance
  10. Bench

Sunday, April 13, 2008

TOM has finsihed the steps up to the garden area. All that's left is to design the compass rose (for the step), fill to level, and plants. Maybe even a fountain. I saw a solar fountain on TV that would be really neat. Maybe a bench of some sort.

Taking the rest of the weekend off. More next time.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Phrases you can be without in Costa Rica

One beer, please Un birra, por favor Where is the bathroom? Donde esta el servicio How much? Cuanto Turn on the [taxi] meter, please Ponga la maria, por favor
Rainy days. . .

Not much going on today. It's 2:00 and I have only been out of my room a couple of times. On one trip out, I saw this very brave squirrel sitting on the back fence (we have two dogs and four cats, two of which are very good hunters). Anyway, he looked so cute I just had to take a photo. So here he is . . .

Maybe tomorrow will be more productive.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Meditation Garden continues to come together. I have pretty much given my husband carte blanche to do what he wants back there. Pretty suprising because I have very specific ideas about the projects that we work on. He really seems to be enjoying it tho and it's a great way for him to relieve stress.

He got home early and poured the foundation for the compass rose that will be the step up to the 'garden'area.

The compass rose was his idea and will be about 48" in diameter. Now we just have to decide on a design that we both like and is relatively simple to construct. Stencil and paint would be easier and provide more detail than a tile mosaic. Historically, they are blue/green/red on black background.

Here are a couple of examples that I found as a starting point for our design. I especially like this one, but TOM thinks its too busy. This would be very challenging to recreate, but I like it as a starting point for our design.

TOM likes do I. Much simpler design and would be easier to replicate. This example is made of slate which will definitely hold up to the weather.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

(I Like to Think) I Saved a Turtle Today!

I go for a walk each day, either during my lunch hour or in the early afternoon to get energized for the rest of the afternoon. Anyway, our campus runs along the river and is a nice place to walk during the spring and fall. In the summer it's a too hot.

Anyway, I was on my way back to work when I spotted a small turtle on the path. Fearing for his life (he was about the size of a 50 cent piece) I picked him up and placed him in the grass on the river side of the path. The rocks in the river are a favorite sunning place for a plethora of turtles. I love to watch them stretch their necks toward the sun as they rest on the rocks.

I pulled this photo from wikipedia until I can post one of my own :)

Update: I took my camera to work today, but the river is up and the rocks used by the turtles sunning are currently submerged. Better luck next time.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Our Bottle Tree:

A bottle tree is a southern garden tradition. The idea is to put bottles on a tree to trap evil spirits. The evil spirits enter the bottle and then they can't find the way out. During the heat of the day, they are destroyed. The bottle tree will be part of the meditation garden that we are building in the back corner of the yard.

We need some fill (about 4 yards, maybe more) and we will need to get creative about how to 'pave' the garden. Do we buy some nice slate, used recycled bricks, or make stepping stones out of concrete? Buying recycled bricks could be almost as expensive as the slate and making stepping stones could be quite labor intensive. I will have to do some more research on our options.

The bottle tree has been moved into position. We plan to cut a door in the back fence to access the area above the retaining wall; as well as hanging lattice panel as a base for some flowering vines ... maybe bouganvilla (sp) or frangipani (sp)...somthing that is pretty and smells good. All this is going on while to plan vacation. I may have to start a new blog for our home improvement projects . . . or maybe not. I have a hard time trying to keep up with this blog.

Later . . .