16 February 2009

Oh my aching garden.

Last spring, we put in a raised garden beside the front steps, under the tall arched window. A pair of heirloom gardenias, grown from cuttings from some 100+-year-old plants in Wilmington, went in. Because the timing was poor, we were unable to move the Japanese maple from the middle of the yard, so we left a nice space for it.

We moved the tree yesterday. I'd dug around the drip line the week before, cutting the shallowest roots. So then we had to dig deeper and cut more roots, and lever and pull and cut and dig and, well, you get the picture. Finally it was freed, and we shoved it into the wheelbarrow and deposited it in the raised bed. (By we, I mostly mean Ben, of course. My upper body strength is non-existent. But I got to use my leg strength and low center of gravity to tilt the tree so he could reach the roots under it.)

I hope it survives its rather rude upheaval. We only broke a few smaller branches in the process. It's the roots that have me nervous, but it's almost growing season again, so hopefully it'll be OK.

I also got a new cell phone, and it's quite fun. It's got a full keyboard and a decent camera and pretty fast internet. I was trying internet on my 2-yr-old RAZR, but it was painfully slow and the browser sucked and it was ... far less than optimal, even for a phone. This new Samsung Propel thing is kinda nifty, and I dig the slide feature. It's not as satisfying as flipping the phone closed with a snap to signal the end of a conversation, but it's better than the stupid bar phones. Sending email and text messages is a breeze with the full qwerty keyboard. (Spellcheck didn't underline qwerty. It underlined spellcheck, though.) Checking email, looking up maps with the mobile GMaps application, and even doing Blogger (though I haven't tried that at this point; it sounds tedious to try to do anything longer than a few lines) on my phone! It's amazing!

Downside is that surfing the web on your phone eats battery like mad, especially if you like a bright backlight. (I have mine set to 2 or 3 out of 5.)

I'm reading a book called Sharpe's Havoc, a military historical set in Portugal in 1809. It's a rollicking tale so far (about 1/3 through). I wonder if there are any historicals in English (translated, even) set in the German kingdoms, confederation, or empires. I'd even read one in German, if I had access to a good enough dictionary. I don't know English military terms.

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