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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Blueberry bonanza

Once I found out that blueberries thrive under pretty much the same growing conditions as azaleas, I knew the days were numbered for the hot pink azaleas along the east foundation. Just a matter of time. The azaleas are already half dug out, and yesterday I stumbled on a rack of large bargain-priced blueberry plants at - of all places - the supermarket! I already have some of the small kind (Sunshine Blue) in another area, and they seem to be thriving, so I'm feeling pretty confident that these new larger ones (3 each "Blueray" and "Elliot") will do fine too. And I'll enjoy a longer growing season. So, of course, will the birds.


Kids and grandkids are back in Newton, after a memorable three-week stay in Russia. C, who has just turned 9, kept a detailed journal and I can't wait to see it. Photos are starting to trickle in. Here they are in the Kremlin, sketching the Tsar Bell.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Fire, fire!

I won't bother with excuses. But, for one thing, I've had no phone, hence no internet (DSL) for over a week. Yesterday the Verizon guy finally came, and, after several hours, reported that the line was working, but that I'd have to get a new phone. (Old one, and also the new Zoom router/modem that provides my wireless connection both zapped by lightning, it seems.) This accomplished, I wait the requisite sixteen hours for it to charge, bringing us to this morning.

Ring! Ring! (unfamiliar sound - the first call!)

Me: Hello?
Voice: This is the alarm service calling about the residence of H.B. The fire alarm at their home has gone off, and the fire department has been dispatched....
Me: Eek! I'm her mom. I'll run over there right away!

False alarm, thank goodness, and as I expected. There was some water damage in the basement during the recent Nor'easter, and concrete workers were there creating a lot of heat and dust. H and D were both there too, as it turned out, and the most pressing issue was figuring out how to turn OFF the alarm, which alternates a piercing siren with a loud, disembodied male voice that shouts, "Fire! Fire! Clear the area immediately!" It took quite a while to silence the thing.

Never a dull moment over there.