In garden news, the potatoes are coming up nicely. The tomatoes need a lot of care, so it’s touch and go with them. Onions and chives are on target. The lettuce, contrary to last year, is being really difficult. It looks like it might surge forward soon. I hope so, it’s been a long spring.

The basil croaked, which really surprised me. The other herbs are doing well and spreading rapidly. I’m psyched because our cooking gets so much mileage now out of them, and we now know the power of saving herbs for later in the winter. The garden is teeming with earthworms, which it wasn’t last year. I guess word has gotten around that this plot is active.

K and I have a huge amount of plants in moss packets ready to plant, hopefully this will start the serious attack of garden goodness. Oh yes, and we have a new blue hose with a purple multi spray attachment that rocks the mike. Our major challenge this year is keeping the weeds, which have mounted a massive attack on all fronts. My back is killing me, and the thistles ruined my gloves, requiring me to get a fresh pair. Sheesh!

Frankie has taken to bullying Blink, the older and weaker female cat. It’s gotten to the point where Blink is always hiding and skulking about, and it’s driving K and myself up the wall. In all other ways Frankie is a honeybear, but when she doesn’t get her way (such as wanting to get a walkies outside and we say no because the landscapers sprayed the grass with pesticide today), she acts out on Blink.

We’re really not happy with our vets. We took Frankie in for a respiratory infection, and they decided to give her the latest round of shots because we hadn’t been in to update them. This was in addition to the antibiotics they prescribed. Now, we hate giving Frankie her shots because she becomes weak and sad for three days, and it’s heartbreaking to watch. So for them to give her the shots before we could protest, when she was already feeling crummy because of an infection. Well, the vets are on my poop list. I’m going to go empty my wallet somewhere else. Frankie hid under the bed and sulked for days, and it made me mad.

On the bath front, my aunt gave me an awesome array of bath salts from Pretty Baby, and some cool dude bath bombs from Lush. Alas, I’ve used up the gift boxes and I emptied out my main store of goods the other day. Not having the requisite ability to meditate my cares into valuable cash and prizes at a certain level is of course, intolerable. But understandable, since my stress levels have been off the wall the last month and a half.

Actually, I have a whole stash of bath bombs I’ve been holding onto for karmic reasons, which I’ve been unable to touch. The victims I’ve planned these for will no doubt benefit, but for me it means lean times. So K and I made a brief run and I picked up some more of my faves. There’s this pine-volcanic gravel bomb that does the trick nicely, and I’ve been jonesin’ to make use of that kind again. Stimulates my brainstem nicely, and I’m glad to have it back.

Picked up the third Age of Bronze, titled “Betrayal Part One”. It’s as good as always, and I read through it so quickly it’s sad. The Trojan War is finally starting to heat up, as both sides start to maneuver their pieces into position, while the personal stories of the characters continue to develop in interesting ways.

Of particular interest to me is the diplomatic mission to Troy to regain Helen and avert the war, where several people reveal their character in really cool ways. I never get tired of Odysseus’s trickery, and I have to say Palamede’s honesty is starting to win me over. Paris’s cowardice, arrogance and treachery are really going too far. Troy is doomed.

K has been getting the hiking bug, and after a long search she finally found a pair of boots she could deal with. REI had nothing but high priced, weird and poorly manufactured junk. That surprised me. LL Bean just didn’t pass the muster. So we hit the local Ranger Surplus, because I needed a new pair of jungle boots and a new pair of fatigues. K was skeptical, but she found exactly what she was looking for there. Durable, support, reasonably priced, and not made cheaply.

I swear by my army boots and fatigues. My old desert storm boots and fatigues have been slowly falling apart this last year, despite my best efforts to milk them further. I’ve worn the fatigues for twenty-one years, and the boots for eleven. The service, when it comes to the basics, knows how to make long-lasting, hardy equipment and that’s no joke.

The boots breathe and stand up to anything while giving you support and protection. The fatigues cover your legs with cool/warm air as necessary, and they protect you from terrain, foliage and insects like nobody’s business. Plus the pockets are awesome. I’ve carried empty beer bottles in all four at the 9:30 Club, saving my friends and me the hassle of throwing them out while the music is raging. It’s good to have a new set. I feel it’s appropriate, in a way, with the way my life is going.