Archive | May 13, 2012

Using what we have

We have, right now, a lawn service for mowing (cheaper in the short run then buying a mower, and we have a rather large yard). We also had a delay in getting them to mow this spring, so we then had a need to rake because our lawn was drowning under the cuttings.

We have, also, a small garlic garden by the loading dock (doesn’t everyone have a loading dock?) which T. planted from Chinese-food-store garlic last autumn. The garlic is doing very well, but it was getting a bit choked with weeds. It needed mulching.

A=B = garlic bed mulched with grass cuttings. Using what we have. I love it.

This weekend, I also planted some alyssums, a bay tree, and a lavender plant in pots on my patio. And I finished planting the butternuts. Meanwhile, T. raked grass and played with his new sickle, knocking down weeds the mowing service didn’t get to.

We still have a double handful of plants to put in the ground that we bought this weekend: we gave [personal profile] capriox our little play house for her goats, so we’re going to plant the resultant square of dirt with raspberries, pansies, groundcover, and alyssums.

Having a yard is a lot of fun!

Unrelated: I am going to have reason to send a bunch of letters/postcards soon. I am looking for small-business greeting cards that are pretty and $5/less a card. Want to sell me some? Know someone I should look at? Drop me a line.

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Breeding Plan

For [personal profile] clare_dragonfly‘s Prompt.

Addergoole has a landing page here.

Ambrus brought sandwiches to the table, listening as Regine and her brother pored over her charts and notes.

“The idea, in each case, is to find individuals who are, although half-breeds, exemplary of certain characteristics of each ‘breed.'” Regine pointed at a series of symbols on one page. “Thank you, Ambrus. Falk, don’t forget to eat. So we have, for instance, this gentleman…”

“You can hardly call him that.”

“I need his services. I will call him whatever it suits him to be called. His Name is ‘The Traveling Salesman,’ and it appears that he has made a life and a reputation of, ah…”

“Ah, indeed.” Ambrus might not be able to read much off of his mistress, but her brother was not as blank. He was embarrassed, and mildly titillated.

“Housewife’s helper?” Ambrus offered his former Master’s term.

“Exactly, thank you, Ambrus. Yes. He’s a very popular salesman on his route, I’ve been told.”

“What, exactly, does he sell?” Falk scrambled for safe conversational footing and found quicksand.

“Ah, marital aids, among other things. I’m not certain he bothers with a pitch or a product, these days.”

“And he is…”

“…exemplary of certain Daeva traits.”

“Traits you want to replicate?” Falk was, Ambrus was learning, more than a bit of a prude. He sat down to watch the show with a half a sandwich.

“Well, yes.” Regine deigned to show an emotion – amusement. “I’d say that would be a very useful trait for our project, if it breeds true.”

“And… Jezebel, Regine? I met her last night at Lady Maureen’s. She’s…”

“Exactly what we’re looking for. She will have no problem spreading her legs for money, after all.”

“And so you want to breed the child of a whore and a gigolo.”

“I’d be careful where you use those words. You might offend somebody. Yes. The gigolo and several different women of negotiable virtue, as well as… have you met Aza?”

“Aza?” Falk pursed his lips. Ambrus smiled around his sandwich. He’d met Aza. She was a beautiful, quiet, artistic woman – a florist and a painter. “She seems shy” was Falk’s opinion.

“She is an artist. I believe their child will be something special.” Regine smiled at her charts. “But I believe many of these children will be something very special. I am eager to see how they turn out.”

Edited to add: I meant to put a footnote on here and then I forgot.

Jamian of Addergoole is Aza’s son by the Travelling Salesman. Ivette is his daughter by Lady Maureen; Joff is his son by Jezebel.

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Making Friends, a story of Science! for the Giraffe Call (@Anke)

For [personal profile] anke‘s Prompt.

After Re-Engineered and Engineered.

“Jason’s up to something.”

Liam paced back and forth across the command center of their base, his cane thumping angrily.

“I can tell he’s up to something.”

Cara and Alex shared a glance. Of course Jason was up to something. He’d taken over an island. He had carnivorous roses. They were waiting for him to gengineer sentient seaweed and start expanding his one-man empire.

Jason had, before he defected, been Liam’s fair-haired boy, his protégé. Cara and Alex, perpetual hard workers, perpetual second fiddles, could do nothing but watch their boss now, as he paced and obsessed. And they couldn’t touch Jason…

“I, ah.” Cara wasn’t like the shiny people who came through. She didn’t shout “eureka.” She didn’t brag. She tried not to laugh maniacally. “Well, a couple of my birds made it in, and brought back some genetic samples, boss.”

“You have genetic material? How did you get it?”

Wordlessly, his senior assistant pointed at her “birds.” The sandpiper, which was sitting in its cage, pecking at clover, was her most efficient model – half bird, half courier device.

“We modified her primary courier to shunt fifty percent of all gathered material to its carrying pouch, and then we modified it to prefer foliage, especially sap.” Viji, her favorite intern, was new and very enthusiastic about everything. He’d learn, she hoped. He’d have a lot of potential if he survived his first year with the team.

Liam stared at the bird, with its transparent stomach. “And what did you learn?”

“He’s still breeding his plants.” She pointed at a series of DNA maps on her light box. “He’s gotten rudimentary brains into some of them.”

She stepped on Viji’s foot before he could reveal what else she’d gotten from Jason’s work. They almost had the duck-footed cottage ready, and now it would have its own floral armament. They could wait to show it to the Boss until it was complete.

“We think he’s trying to breed friends.” She pointed at one particular sequence. “Kind of like Namae Sauter’s tree-girl, but with less free will.”

“And I know what’s missing from his formula… so we should probably watch out.”

“What’s that?” Liam leaned forward over his cane. “Ah… shit. I see.”

Cara nodded. Namae had started from human zygotes. Jason would probably need the same.

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