Tuesday, October 6, 2015


This is a quickie post to document the yard at the Little Blue House Junior BEFORE. These pictures were taken on different days, even different months, so clearly I'm already doing a poor job in terms of documentation. OH WELL.

Da house.
The day we offeeshully owned da house. Plus dogs.
Front bed.
Other front bed!
Stone circle surrounding former tree.
Mangy bed on side of  house. By the time I started working
in the yard, they all looked like that.

Sneezy survived the relocation unscathed.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Here are some things about Boston!

Fun facts I've learned since moving to Massachusetts.
  • Boston smokes too much. 
  • Boston is friendlier than it thinks it is. Cars actually let you into traffic, or stop to let you cross the street.
  • Nobody's in a hurry to get off the train.
  • Luckily, there's actually time to take your time getting off the train.
  • Standing at the top of the stairs is a thing?
  • Apparently "stand on the right, walk on the left" is not a thing. This would get you killed in D.C.
  • The Boston area is awash in ice cream. Had I known, we would have moved here long, long ago.
  • Every menu has fish and chips and steak tips.
  • Nobody can tell you what steak tips really are.
  • The fried fish at the lowliest pub is generally better than any in D.C.
  • Also, fried clams.
  • Raspberry-lime rickeys are a thing.
  • Roast beef sammiches are a thing.
  • At Chinese restaurants, white rice doesn't come with your meal, but you often do get rolls and butter.
  • Nobody gossips about national politics. "How about that Boehner resignation?" is likely to get you a blank stare.
  • Summer is fabulously bearable.
  • Dunkin Donuts is ubiquitous.
  • Italian bakeries are not rare.
  • The ocean is RIGHT THERE.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Potato Queen and Mulch Boy: Boston Edition!

Does anyone even remember that there was a Potato Queen? It's been so long since I wrote, I forgot what the masthead looked like.

I don't feel guilty for the silence though. We entered 2014 hoping that it would demonstrate marked improvement over 2013, which was chock full of hospitalizations and family crises. Alas, 2014 decided to do its best to make 2013 look like a cakewalk. And so we find ourselves in July of 2015, wondering where the last year and a half went.

Actually, we know where it went: to the hospital, for four extended stays. To the ER, at least seven times times. Even once to a nursing home for rehab (an experience that can only be described with extremely graphic profanity).

All this to say that Mulch Boy was very sick and it wasn't pretty. There were three surgeries--one planned, one emergency, and one to put everything back together after a long and difficult recovery. There were infections and drains and IVs and open wounds and 911 calls and crying and swearing and pretty much everything short of pianos falling from the sky on our heads.

The good news is, Mulch is in one piece and well. It was a very long road to wellness, and I think we'll both carry the emotional scars for a while.

But 2015 has been about healing those scars and putting our lives back together. We've started that by moving up to Boston this past winter to be near family and have a fresh start. That's meant squatting in a one-bedroom apartment while we sold the Little Blue House in Virginia and look for a new house up here.

And now, finally, we are almost settled: The Little Blue House in Virginia is sold (long live the Little Blue House), and three weeks from now we'll be moved into...  ANOTHER Little Blue House, in Peabody (PEEbuddy unless you want to be corrected), Massachusetts.

Alas, that means no garden this year. But I am thinking of Moe and Forky, in storage in Maryland till moving day, and beginning to imagine us in our own home again, plotting where the vegetable garden will go, scouting the best location for blueberry bushes, and looking forward to that first cup of tea on the porch.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Who wants to buy a little blue house?

PROBABLY anyone who ever read this blog thought the Potato Queen had dropped off the face of the earth. In fact, I'm still here! But last year was a terrifying and horrible year that sent this blog into hibernation. A long story for another day.

But I'm back now... in Boston! Yes, Mulch Boy and I have just relocated to the Boston area. And as a result, the little blue house in Falls Church is for sale. Know anybody looking?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Things I Learned This Summer

Poison ivy is very bad.

It hurts quite a lot. There are blisters. Do everything you can to avoid getting it. Expect to look as though you've been in a knife fight for weeks.

There is a direct correlation between the number of times your various loved ones end up in the hospital and the number and height of weeds in your yard.

Can we all just think about the flowers and the vegetables, just this once?

If you don't plant cucumbers, you get no cucumbers.

This should be obvious, and yet somehow I was surprised.

One day at the beach is not enough.

Again, file under "Obvious."

If you completely neglect the garden all summer, you will still end up with potatoes.

(Assuming you planted them, which we did.)

The Sudafed they sell on the shelf is nothing compared to the old-school version you have to sign for at the pharmacy counter.

It's worth getting put on the meth-cookers' watch list if you have bad respiratory issues and are trying to avoid bronchitis like me.

There's always next summer.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Alas, my toof and my garden

Since the last time I wrote, it's been nothing but rain, rain, rain or unbearable heat here in the DC metropolitan area. Neither of these conditions inspires me to get outside and do something about the legions of weeds that have overrun my vegetable garden and flower beds. Thus, every day I pass them by, but not without painfully observing what a wreck they have become.

Still, I now have an even better excuse to continue my neglect: oral surgery. About a month ago, I found myself in the dental chair, bracing myself for another root canal. Only this time, the endodontist got halfway through the procedure and discovered that this particular molar (tooth #30 for anyone who actually finds that meaningful) was doomed: cracked at the root, its chances of survival were slim to none.

That's how I ended up at the surgeon last Friday, getting poor ol' #30 extracted (i.e., drilled out of my head) and some bone graft put in and then stitched up to heal 3-4 months before dental implant surgery. Meanwhile, for two weeks I have been instructed to eat only soft foods, not chew on the right side, and refrain from strenuous activity. OH WELL, WEEDING!

I should reassure anyone facing this kind of surgery that, really, it's not that bad, and I say that as someone who cannot tolerate narcotics and cannot be sedated and so must be conscious for the entire procedure. Just make sure they shoot you up with anesthetic and you'll have nothing to fear. Also, the endodontist taught me to wiggle my toes while she drilled; it gives you something to concentrate on other than the "SQUEEEEEEEEE" of the drill. Better yet, get to work on inventing a drill that doesn't make that noise: there's a fortune to made there, not to mention the benefit to humankind.

Anyway, I'm currently taking it easy, watching the yard go to pot, and entertaining myself with the thought that the gap in my teeth is bringing me one step closer to fulfilling my goal of becoming an Old Mountain Woman (first two steps were cornbread and canning). Now, where do I get myself a corn cob pipe?

I bet she makes a mean cobbler.
One step closer.