24 September 2010

A House and Yard

We moved into our first house six weeks ago, and the landscapers have now come and gone. When we arrived, there was a shed and some trees in the backyard, along with the remains of some old landscaping. The lot our house sits on is on a corner, and one of the streets immediately winds around, so our lot is sort of like a peninsula with street on three sides. This means that everyone could look right into our backyard. Not anymore!

The landscapers put some quite large wax myrtles along the back there. Building a privacy fence was not really an option, because with the yard facing the street, it is considered to be a front yard by the city. That means the fence can only be four feet tall. Plus, solid fencing can be very expensive! So we have a deer fence, which will keep a dog in when my parents come to visit or if we get a dog of our own, and is almost invisible. The plants provide the privacy. Most of the plants that were put in flower, too! There are lots of daylilies (which are edible--you knew that, right?) and azaleas, along with gardenias and camelias and all sorts of things. There are also three very tall holly bushes, to match the holly that was already in the front yard. Free Christmas decorations!

The front yard, like almost everyone's front yard around here, has a couple of pine trees. Unfortunately, ours seem to be the only ones not producing pine cones. I guess we'll have to go rooting in the neighbors' yards if we want them, and we do want them. They're nice for decoration, but also useful as kindling for the fireplace. My husband occasionally makes candles, and pinecones covered in leftover beeswax are excellent fire starters.

16 September 2010

Papal Visit to Edinburgh

As I was watching the live video feed from thepapalvisit.org.uk I saw the His Holiness go out to meet schoolchildren in the street after arriving at the archbishop's residence. It looked like this was a spontaneous decision made by the Holy Father--the guards and his entourage appeared briefly confused and were almost running to catch up with him. It is wonderful that he went out to meet the school kids. Many of them were obviously tremendously excited about it, waving their Scottish and Vatican flags enthusiastically.

The live webcast is great because there is, at least at the moment, no commentary. The music they're playing right now while running highlights from earlier is kind of annoying, but since there is no commentary it's not a problem to mute it and add your own music.

Incidentally, I still love the Holy Father's red shoes. I like the combination of the white outfit and red shoes--it's what I wore at my wedding. I also love the new tartan made up for the papal visit to Scotland. I'd love to have a shawl made of that.