Summer in the city

More phone camera downloads.

Last week I rode around town a bit after work, ending up at the new Keep Indianapolis Beautiful green building. The three wind turbines (as seen in the shadows) were spinning wildly, making for an odd park bench experience. A guy on a bike asked me for a smoke, and I resisted the DQ across the street.

Harrison lounges at the vet. He’s no longer limping nor sneezing, and he was neutered last week! After a testicle location complication, all is now well and as soon as the hormones are gone I can try bonding him with Vegas. Or Arliss. Or how did I end up with so many white rabbits? Joey looks tiny now by comparison.

Pippen approves of fresh greens in reusable shopping bags.

David on a Tyvek mission. This was part of the porch prep–blowing all the paint dust created by the wire grinder with an air compressor. No official decision yet made on painting the pimple. My votes outnumber his, but he seems to think his voters are stronger. I didn’t think this was an electoral college, but I may be able to filibuster with strategic planting.

Your vote needed: paint the thingy?

The house as purchased, with unruly yews and seafoam-green interior to the porch (it could not be removed from the inside brick and the whole thing had to get painted, sorry folks)

The house yesterday, with primer (I kept calling it Powder)

The house today, with two paint colors applied. Trim work has not been done yet, which will be white where you still see the gray primer.

So do we paint that thingy sticking out from the front of the bricks? I think it’s a block put in where a drain used to be, and I won’t tell you who thinks it should match the trim and who thinks it should be brown like the bricks around it. What is your vote?

The house wall was supposed to be a gray but it came out peachy, though this picture at dusk isn’t the clearest. The brown was supposed to be darker and redder. I still like it, though! I took the paint chips out in the sun to decide but still got a surprise.

Foliage to follow, once we remove the rest of the roots.


I am behind. A couple of weeks ago we went camping and caving at Mammoth Cave Nat’l Park with friends. Highlights: a challenging cave tour requiring helmets, headlights, kneepads, and a girth less than 42″ to fit through tight openings (the belly crawl through the Keyhole was messiest). Sleeping in a leaky tent in an all-night storm. A bird pooping on me while I napped in a chair. The Fire Masters mastering the fire…

David and I are thinking about going back in late fall to try another in-the-dirt tour. With a new dry tent.

Remember the other day, about two posts ago, when I mentioned we get a lot of packages shipped to our house and I felt guilty about all the packaging? This arrived that same day from Amazon:

You could have mailed adult humans in those boxes. And the lids to the gray storage containers arrived separately in another big box!

Check out the steamy action shot: David made a yummy tomato sauce the other day from tomatoes and basil in our backyard. Not enough are coming ripe currently so I supplemented today with tomatoes from the Farmers’ Market held in the park a block away.

No, we don’t have cabinet doors yet.

Goodbye, Josie

I found my piggy Josie had passed away this morning. This was rather a surprise, given that her cagemate, Cappy, is very frail and less than two weeks ago I thought I was losing her, but she’s hanging in there. Both are quite old but Josie (aged six or seven) had been maintaining her weight and acting just fine, while Cappy has lost a LOT of weight, rattles when she breathes, falls over and cannot always right herself, and has progressive paralysis on her left side and difficulty eating. But Cappy’s still hanging out this morning!

Josie just looked like she’d gone to sleep in the corner, and I didn’t hear any response from the other animals during the night so I don’t imagine it was a particularly loud/distressing event. Josie had surgery last October for ovarian cysts and duct growths, unidentified white spots all over the uterus, and cervical cancer, and my unfortunately extensive experience with piggy cancer has taught me that we usually get a year of quality life after such surgery (it seems to spread), but it’s worth it because they bounce back quickly and are happy and healthy in the interim. My best guess is that she may have had a cancer recurrence and the “maintained” weight may have been tumors. But who knows. I’m so happy that she had been acting fine and was not outwardly ill–it’s all about QOL.

Josie lived with roomies Greta and Cappy for many years, just Cappy more recently as Greta left us awhile back, and had come from a guinea pig rescue in Illinois. Here she is after her surgery last year and with her pals.

Now to figure out how to keep Cappy company. I will move her into a bit smaller cage and maybe I can put her next to the bunnies. I haven’t been down to a single pig in years.

Want not? Waste not!

Recycling may not be the most efficient use of our resources (compared to reducing and reusing), but it beats landfilling the unusable “trash” you don’t want. In the last several months I’ve gone from curbside recycling of #1-2 plastics, aluminum, and glass (and newspaper in the litterboxes), to these items plus junk mail, plastic bags/case wrap, cardboard, paperboard, styrofoam, packing peanuts, phonebooks, and #3-7 plastics. All in a city with a crummy recycling program.

This is one of my visits to Indianapolis Recycled Fiber, where dumpsters and bins accept all those weird things your curbside recycler won’t. Except molded styrofoam, which I’m still saving to make it worth a trip to the place in town that will take it. Anyway, IRF takes odd things like phonebooks (no, you can’t recycle them with newspaper or junk mail) and plastics through #7, plus they are on my way home from work. Indy now has added drop-off points for cardboard and paperboard to some of the plastic/glass/aluminum/newspaper spots, one of which is two miles from home. I take packing peanuts to the UPS Store and plastic bags and case wrap go to Kroger, both of which are on the way to the city dropoff. Convenient dropoff on the way to other errands is important to me because we have a small house with no shed/garage space available for recycling collection, so I need to unload the recyclables frequently lest they take over the front porch or annoy my S.O. too much. (He has begun bringing home quantities of cardboard and plastics from jobs at clients’ homes, though I did not ask him to do so!)

In the reuse category, American consumerism made me collect all this crap over the years that ended up in my garage when I moved (this is less than half the pile), and so I committed to finding new homes for all of it. I have used Freecycle a lot in the past, but for mass quantities (and the annoyances Freecycling can bring) nothing beats a well-attended yard sale.

My mom came down this weekend and though I don’t think it was her original intent to help me sell my crap, she did help and it was a reasonably fun productive day in the hot sun (and a shade canopy!) with another friend selling her stuff. My friend had a lot less and is about to move to another country, so she had a better reason to be getting rid of everything! I made a decent amount of money at the community sale, which was held at a church and collected a booth fee which was matched and donated to charity. At the end I declared everything free and had to take very little back with me (for which I will still find a home). I had brought three full vehicles–SUV, minivan, and full-sized pickup!

Reduction: I fight the battle against collecting stuff every time I go to the store. I have been better in recent years about not buying things I don’t need, but I’m not immune to it. Living in a smaller house with very little storage forces the issue more acutely for me, and in the end I save money too. Now I need to focus on buying items with less packaging, and collecting all the recycling on the porch is making me aware of the packaging quantities, which is starting to guilt me into doing a better job during the purchase phase. There’s still the dilemma: having items shipped to our home is theoretically better for the environment than driving to the store to get it (and probably reduces impulse purchasing too), but now we have all these boxes. I wish I could find someone who wanted them!

Most comprehensive list of where to recycle anything in Indianapolis is maintained by Keep Indianapolis Beautiful