Forsythia and frogs

On my lunch hour this afternoon, I tagged along with Ron while he ran an errand at the bank. When we got there, I noticed that the forsythia hedge was trying to bloom a little bit. I hope the cold this weekend doesn’t ruin them.

Here’s a cool Web site about a green-design residence that’s being built in Wisconsin. There’s lots of stuff on here about alternative building techniques and stuff. Plenty to keep you occupied all afternoon. John Miggins, alternative power expert and all-around good guy, sent me the link.

We just hired John and his crew to install a radiant barrier and a solar attic fan in our house. Ron took some pictures of the radiant barrier as it was being installed:

Radiant barrier installation

Radiant barrier

It’s made out of this stuff that looks like that bubble-wrap packing material we used to pop when we were kids, only instead of being clear plastic, it’s this shiny, hologram-looking material. It’s the same stuff they use to make sunshades for car windshields … and we know how effective those are, because we use them in our cars to improve our gas mileage in the summer. (The air conditioner doesn’t burn as much gas if you park in the shade, crack the windows, and use a sunshade to keep the car from getting ridiculously hot to start with.) If I’d been thinking on my feet, I’d have asked John for some scraps so I could cut them to size and Velcro them to my car’s other windows this summer. Maybe I’ll just make some curtains instead, like the ones you put in VW Microbuses. The Starlight Express would be cute with little curtains in the windows. 🙂

Speaking of cute, I got a picture of one of our bees the other day. I love our bees….

Bee

My mom says a bunch of frogs were singing in a creek near her house in Southern Illinois when she got home from work this evening. They must have known a storm was coming. She and Dad have a few acres on the edge of town, and they get all kinds of wildlife. Their neighbors have big ponds that attract Canada geese — she saw about 50 the other day — and she said she was coming around a curve yesterday near her house when she spooked a herd of about 17 white-tailed deer. (Well, I assume they were white-tailed, anyway. That’s the only kind I’ve ever seen in Southern Illinois.)

The weather is supposed to be rotten this weekend, and I have assignments to cover all day Saturday, but if my schedule and the weather will cooperate the next weekend, I might try to sneak out of town and go play in Makanda. If the frogs are singing at Mom and Dad’s, they’re sure to be out in full force in Giant City. Wonder if the stable is open this time of year? A ride through the woods would be lovely. I haven’t been horseback riding in ages.