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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo is loitering around over an extra cuppa coffeve this morning because he really doesn’t much feel like mowing the lawn. I think it has something to do with watching his beloved Nat’nals blow several perfectly good opportunities to win against the Cubbies last evening and turn the game into a humiliating blowout defeat.  I’m getting close to panic-mode with this team. I really am.

And speaking of panic, did you see where the UK Guardian has decided it needs to turn the volume up to eleven on its “climate change” reporting rhetoric?

The Guardian has updated its official style guide to more “accurately” address the seriousness of climate change, the British publication announced Friday.

In an article explaining the decision to readers, environment editor Damian Carrington said Guardian reporters will hereby be advised to use “climate emergency, crisis or breakdown” instead of “climate change,” “global heating” instead of “global warming,” and people who used to be described as “climate skeptics” will now be branded “climate science deniers.”

“We want to ensure that we are being scientifically precise, while also communicating clearly with readers on this very important issue,” Editor-in-Chief Katharine Viner said in a statement. “The phrase ‘climate change,’ for example, sounds rather passive and gentle when what scientists are talking about is a catastrophe for humanity.

Orwell smiles.  Control the language and you control the debate.  Note particularly how skepticism, which is supposed to be the bedrock principle of scientific inquiry, is mutated into anti-science wrong-think.

Well, call Ol’ Robbo a knuckle-dragging troglodyte, but I’m sticking with my skepticism.  The simple fact of the matter is that nothing about the Earth is static and Ma Nature has been fiddling with the thermostat herself for time immemorial.  (Could Mankind have some kind of impact on all this? Maybe.  But I’m willing to bet it’s most likely round the margins.)  The other simple fact is that the “climate science” at issue here appears to be absolutely full of holes: bad data (the sets are too small and I’ve read horror stories about some of the collection methods), inconsistencies, frauds, hidden calculations, and (it’s all modelling anyway) failure to conform with actual events.

As I’ve said many times before, this whole biznay is about politicks, not science, and specifically globalist authoritarian politicks.  The devil with Mizz Viner and her  catastrophes for humanity.

Whelp, enough grumbling.  The cold, hard fact is that Ol’ Robbo’s lawn ain’t gonna mow itself, so I better get myself in gear and git her done.

UPDATE: Done and done.  And because we’re having our first real hot stretch of the year, Ol’ Robbo flipped on the porch ceiling fans and is relaxing with a tall glass of iced coffee.  Nectar of the Gods, as I’ve said here many times before.  The fastest way to Ol’ Robbo’s heart may be a glass of wine, but a glass of iced coffee on a hot, summah-like day will get you mighty far, too.

Oh, and as I was standing about on the driveway waiting for Mrs. R to stop fiddling with her phone and pull out so I could finish clearing off the clippings, I got to say in my best Duke voice, “Get goin’, sister!  We’re burnin’ daylight!”  She didn’t think it was s’damn funny, but my day is more or less complete now.



Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Yes, it’s actually still Friday, but it’s also Ol’ Robbo’s day off.  So rather than frowsting all morning, I decided to haul my carcass out of bed early and go take care of mowing and trimming the stately grounds of Port Swiller Manor before this weekend’s expected rains set in.  Mission accomplished.

(Speaking of which, Ol’ Robbo recently saw an article proclaiming that Lawns Are Eeeeevil and Must Die! Die! Die!  What the author actually means, of course, is that middle-class suburbanites are evil and must die, die, die, only xhe’s going about it incrementally here.  Sod off, Swampy.)

So does this mean that Robbo gets to sleep in tomorrow morning? Oh, ha, ha, ha!! Think that raspberry bed is going to clean and weed itself? Not bloody likely!

In the meantime, lynx-eyed Friends of the Decanter may recall two weeks ago that I mentioned possibly posting some pictures when my peonies started blooming?  Well, I do.  And so as I made my way round the yard today, I took my phone camera along with me:

Peonies first.  I bought a number of specimens years ago from some local hippy nursery via the Innertoobs.  I can’t remember the name of the nursery, nor was I clever enough to save the varietal information about my purchases (I was young and foolish in those days), so I can only show them to you and not offer any meaningful identification.

Here’s one.  Of the various strains of peony, Ol’ Robbo much prefers the “single-flower” type as being the cleanest and most elegant.

Here’s another, perhaps my favorite because it’s so very, very delicate-looking.  Somehow it always makes me think of the Moon:

Here’s a third.  Note this variety has the sort of pom-pom thing in the middle.  I believe this is an example of what’s either a semi-double or a bomb flower.

I’ve another couple of specimens that were originally a single plant which I discovered hiding in the raspberries when we first moved in, dug up, and separated.  They’ll open in the next few days and are a deep rich pink double-flower.  Rather too showy for me, but if you float a couple of them in a glass bowl full of water, it makes a very nice table centerpiece.

As I mentioned previously, it is, in fact, high time that I dug up all of these plants and separated out their roots.  Come next year, I’m going to have a heck of a lot of specimens.  Anybody in the neighborhood want one? I’d be happy to share!

Also, while at it, I snapped a couple of roses.  This first came from my parents’ place up ta Maine.  (Again, I’ve lost the varietal information.)  I brought it down years ago.  It gets cranky in the hot Virginny summah, but is happy enough at this time of year.

Second, this is the Double-Knockout that I transferred from porch pot to garden bed two falls ago.  It’ll go on doing this all summah with very, very little maintenance, which is why I like it so much.

I have a second D-K from last year which is just a bit behind this one, plus two other unknown specimens also from Maine that haven’t opened yet.

And while I’m at it, here’s this year’s D-K installment (it’s become my accustomed Mother’s Day present to Mrs. R) nestled into its pot at the top of the porch stairs under the wisteria.  (I don’t even take it out of the container it came in, just stick it on in.)  Again, it’ll keep serving up buds all summah long.

So there you have it.

The next likely bloom arrivals will be a climbing tea-rose I have out front and various clematis scattered about.  I’d be happy to post pics of them, too, if anybody’s interested.

UPDATE:  Raspberry Bed Status: Reformed.  That I even got around to cleaning it out at all this year means that I’m way ahead of the game.  Which is a nice feeling, especially as I don’t get it very often.






Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo is sitting on the back porch this dank morning, enjoying an early cup of cofeve and contemplating the day’s chores.  The grass has reached the stage where it really could stand to be cut twice a week, it’s growing so fast, so skipping even the once a week cut is not an option.  Alas, it rained last night (indeed, it’s still sort of drizzling now), so this is going to be an irksome job today.

Ol’ Robbo’s push mower has an optional rear-mounted clippings bag.  I never use the thing because you have to stop about every five minutes to empty it, but instead am content to just let the clippings mulch back into the turf.  This works fine most of the time, but when it’s wet out like this I have to stop about every five minutes anyway in order to dig all the clippings out of the blade well where they’ve got all jammed up.  Most annoying.  (I’m also convinced that one of these days I’m going to slip and fall and accidentally shiv myself with the weed-sticker I keep in my back pocket for this purpose.)

Speaking of mower blades, in true middle-aged fashion my brother and I got talking about them when he and his family were here for Easter. It turns out he has a rather elaborate system of switching out his – while one is in use, the other is off being re-sharpened.  I gather he switches them fairly frequently, too.  I’ve never done this in my life, and my immediate thought was that it would be a waste of money.  Am I, in my ignorance, violating some provision of the Guy Code here?  I can’t say I’ve noticed anything particularly wrong with the cut I get but now I’m starting to feel a bit paranoid.

Well, enough of both rambling and cofeve.  As the Constable of France says to his colleagues in Act III of Henry V before the Battle of Agincourt, “Now is the time to arm.  Come, shall we about it?”


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

A crisp, clear, blustery day today at Port Swiller Manor, which for some mysterious reason feels more like September than April – a patent absurdity when you consider the tons of pollen and legions of maple seed pods I had to clear off the driveway this morning.

Another patent absurdity is the tornado warning which Youngest tells me was inflicted on her school yesterday afternoon when the thundershowers came through.  According to her, they were all hustled into the halls and made to sit there for about 45 minutes.  What nonsense: None of the cells Ol’ Robbo saw (and the school is within about five miles of here) looked anything like severe as they came over.  Prudence is one thing, pusillanimity another.

And speaking of pusillanimity, Ol’ Robbo stumbled across a grass snake as he was messing about in the garden, the first he’s seen in several years.  In fact, I nearly stepped on it. The rational part of my mind said, “Perfectly harmless, good for pest control, more afraid of you than you are of it, etc…..”  The irrational (and majority) part said, “AIIIEE!!! Snake! Run awaaaayyy!!”  No doubt a Freudian psychiatrist would tell me I’ve got unresolved daddy issues, while a Modernist would tell me I’m a homophobe.  I don’t care, I just really hate snakes.  Brrrrr……

Odd that I should have seen it today and right out in the open, because Easter Monday found me deep in tiger country, hacking back the forsythias to within about a foot of the ground, and there was no sign of it then.  I also lavished them with a heavy feeding of phosphate-rich fertilizer.  We’ll see if that has any measurable effect on their bloom next spring.

Meanwhile, the peonies are all heavy in bud (complete with those little ants that like to swarm all over them) and ought to be opening in the next week or two.  Perhaps I’ll post some pics.  When they broke ground this year, several of the plants came up in perfect circles of stems with bald spots in the center, a clear indicator that I’m finally going to have to dig the damn things up and separate out their root masses this fall, a task I’ve been putting off for years.

I’m still fretting about the jasmine, which don’t look outright dead exactly, but which sure don’t look all that enthusiastic about joining in the spring spirit.  I know from experience that they get going late, especially on the edge of growing territory where we are, but still I fret.

On the other hand, Mrs. R has been putting in yeoman’s work tending to the pachysandra bed out in the front ditch, and I see that we actually lost quite a lot fewer of them than I had originally feared.  (All the casualties were within a couple of feet of the street itself and I’m guessing the winter’s road salt was probably too much for them.) We only planted them late last summah so they’re still pretty widely spread out, but hopefully they’ll start to fill in this year.  My general impression of packy is that once it gets itself established, it’s practically indestructible.

And speaking of such, I’m seeing a lot of Virginia creeper spreading around this year.  I don’t understand some people’s objection to this vine.  It’s fast-growing, produces beautiful five-bladed leaves that turn a smashing red in the fall, and doesn’t tear into cement like ivy does.  I encourage it to grow wherever it isn’t going to interfere with something else.

I put the hummingbird feeder up this week, not that I expect any immediate visitors but more by way of an advanced invitation.  I am reasonably certain that we’ve had the same hen come in for several years now, and last year two others appeared as well.  (They spent most of the summah squabbling with each other.  Hummers are very territorial.)

Well, Ol’ Robbo must be off to do some makeshift repair on his Weber.  One of the brackets holding up the grill has rusted out and fallen off so I’m going to try and jury-rig a bit of coat-hanger by way of replacement.  Fortunately, this is something that Mrs. Robbo would not notice in a million years, so there’s no danger that she’ll fuss at me about it.  (I am of the use-it-up/wear-it-out school of thought, she much less so.  You should hear some of the disagreements we have over the state of some of my clothes, for example.)

UPDATE:  The jury-rig worked out perfectly, especially as I was using an extra-heavy piece of hanger. (Not a word to the Missus, please!)  Also, our landscaper guy dropped by for a visit.  We’re getting him to do a little rock work for us, but it’s always a slippery slope to stroll around the yard and say, “And how much do you think it would run to do this project, or this project, or this project……”  We’re actually pretty good about staying within a realistic budget for the yard, but at least it’s fun to stare at the estimates he comes up with for our more lavish fancies and drool a little bit.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo is patting himself on the back this morning because he actually made the effort to go out and cut the Port Swiller Manor grass last evening after work ahead of today’s forecast showers and thunderstorms.  So Ma Nature is free to throw her weight around all she likes this afternoon as far as I’m concerned.  (Not that she will now, of course, the fickle hussy.  I’ve heard exactly one clap of thunder this entire spring so far.)  Also, as we’re still in the Octave of Easter, today is a Bacon Friday for me.  So Ol’ Robbo is in a pretty durn good mood overall.  With that in mind, how about a bit o’ random?

♦  Not that I touch on politicks much here, but I must say I’m a bit surprised that Creepy Uncle Joe Biden decided to throw his hat in the ring for the Donks’ ’20 nom.  I suppose the Establishment figured he’s their best hope, as She Who Must Not Be Named will shortly be radioactive and there’s not much else available on the bench.  I’d be even more surprised if he actually gets it, as the Jacobins seem to have completely hijacked the Party and will eat him alive.  (My guess at this point would be an eventual ticket composed of some combination of Crazy Uncle Bernie and Kamala [nickname not repeatable on a family blog] Harris. In sane times, we’d be looking at another McGovern/Mondale-level blow out, but I’m not so sanguine about that just yet.)

♦  Speaking of benches, Ol’ Robbo is bitterly disappointed that his beloved Nationals are finishing up April as a .500 club.  This is troubling both because the NL East is so competitive this year that every game is probably going to count come September, and also because we seem to be picking right back up with the same mediocrity we displayed all of last year.  Is it too early to set my hair on fire and call for the sacking of Dave Martinez?

♦ How are the Gels, you may ask? Doing well, thankee.  Middle Gel is in the thick of freshman finals right now, and later will be going back for “May-mester” to take statistics, a task I do not envy her.  Eldest is just finishing up junior year classes and will be coming home next week to drop off a load of junk before heading back for her own exams.  As for Youngest, the college search is ramping up this spring.  We’re mostly looking in-state, but we’ve also got our eye on Miami of Ohio.  Want some fun facts about the place? My great-grandmother’s family lived in the area of Oxford, Ohio from about 1800 until the mid-1950’s.  In fact, a couple of them were alums of the school, I believe.  They had a house in town that was eventually bough and torn down by the University as part of its expansion.  They also owned a mill outside of town along Four-Mile Creek that served as a stop on the Underground Railroad until the end of the War.  (They were stout Scots-Presbyterian Abolitionists, the lot of them.)  The Mothe always insisted that Great-Granma ‘Rilla was crazy as a loon and that it was her family’s blood which gave all of us descendants our own peculiar taint, but the history is pretty neat nonetheless.

♦  Speaking of gels, did you see the article about the Scottish Maritime Museum being bullied by vandals into ceasing to refer to ships as “she”?  That reminds me of one of my very favorite lines from “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”, where Spock says simply and elegantly as the Enterprise clears moorings, “Take her out, Mr. Saavik.”  Oh, and I suppose you also heard about Kate Smith being unpersoned by the Yankees?  If Ol’ Robbo ever found himself in Yankee Stadium – not that I’m likely to – I’d be belting out “God Bless America” at the top of my lungs during the 7th Inning Stretch, and be damned to these thugs and bullies.  Oh, and while I’m at it, a trio of Murrland Congress-critters is now trying to get rid of the statue of Robert E. Lee at Antietam.  Ol’ Robbo is old enough to remember when airbrushing people out of history was the study of Kremlinologists and was considered a Bad Thing.  I’m also old enough to remember when Orwell’s “1984” was considered a cautionary tale and not a how-to manual.

Anyhoo, enough of that.  As I say, I’m in a good mood today, so how is it that three out of my four bits of random are so cranky?  Well, you’ve got to keep your eyes open and your wits about you these days, but at the same time, illegitimi non carborundum.  (They hate that, by the way, bless their hearts!)

And now I’m off to go see about some of that bacon.  Sweet, sweet, delicious bacon……………

UPDATE:  Well, Ma is coming through, it would seem.  The first of the afternoon t-showers just rolled through and it looks like another one will be here in just a few minutes.  So I’m about up to seven claps of thunder on the year so far.  Now if Ma really likes us, she might just rain out Youngest’s softball game tonight, not because I don’t want to see her play, but because I’m so comfy where I am right now….





Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

A soggy Saturday morning here in the neighborhood of Port Swiller Manor after a night of steady, and at times heavy, rain.  Despite that, Ol’ Robbo heard not a single clap of the thunder my phone “app” had been promising all day.  (And believe me, I would have heard it:  I’ve been sleeping terribly these past few weeks.)  In this, I am quite disappointed.  Back in the days of his misspent yoot, Ol’ Robbo used to be quite frightened of thunder and lightning, but now I revel in them, and get excited whenever they turn up in the forecast.  (And no, unlike G. Gordon Liddy, I didn’t need to lash myself to a tree to overcome my fears.  It just happened.)


I gather we get to try again tomorrow but I’m not getting my hopes up too high.

Meanwhile, in anticipation of last night’s said rain,  Ol’ Robbo was out yesterday with his new spreader reseeding some of the sketchier patches in the Port Swiller lawn.  I am not by any means one of those suburbanite warriors who slaves away over each individual blade of grass in perpetuation of an unacknowledged but nonetheless vicious neighborhood struggle for status and prestige.  (This isn’t just a hipster, bourgeoisie-hating urbanite meme, by the bye. My old next-door neighbor was one of those fellahs and kept his lawn immaculate.)  But there reaches a certain point where the creeping bare patches and weed to grass ratio demand that I do more than just mow every week or two.  I determined I’d crossed that threshold this spring, so steps are now being taken.  We shall see what happens.  Truth be told, I fear I’ve already left it too late for my feeble amateur ministrations and that professional help is going to be needed, but I’m just not ready to start spending coin on that just yet.


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

It’s Ol’ Robbo’s considered opinion that Old Man Winter has blown his last, icy breath in the neighborhood of Port Swiller Manor for the year.  Therefore, today’s project is to move all the plants we brought inside last fall back onto the porch.  These include four ferns and a potted palm, all of which are currently strewn about the house.

Remarkably, all of them survived this winter, even the one squirreled away on top of the freezer in the laundry room.  We’ve tried this stunt before, with inconsistent results. Why we got complete success this time (*hastily touches wood*), I really couldn’t tell you because I’m unaware of anything we’ve done differently this year.

Anyhoo, I’m going to move them out today and let them sit for a week or so to acclimatize, then I’m going to cut them back in anticipation of their spring growth.  (Some of them are a bit lopsided from being jammed in corners.)

Also, if I can summon the energy to do so, I may toodle over to the local nursery to pick up this year’s double knock-out rose.  A few years back, I brought one of these home for Mrs. Robbo for Mother’s Day.  We put it in a big pot at the top of the stairs to the back porch, where it flourished all summah.  In the fall, I took it out back and planted it in my garden among the peonies and the legacy roses I had brought down from my parents’ house in Maine.  I’ve done this every year since.  It’s a terrific rose, ridiculously easy to maintain and blooms like a maniac all summah long, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone interested.

One other thing I need to do is find some shade-loving specimens that look good in pots to place on the porch.  (The ferns mentioned above go in hanging baskets.)  I tried hostas last year, which I quite liked, although Mrs. R didn’t think much of them.  The porch (which is covered) faces northeast so its front gets minimal direct sunlight.  It would be nice to find something flowery, but I know that probably won’t work out.

Meanwhile, it’s juuuust a bit too early still to assess what made it through the winter outside.  While the clematis are already shooting out, I don’t yet know if my jasmine survived.  As I mentioned a few weeks back, at least part of my new pachysandra plantation out front is mort, but percentages are as yet unavailable, although I’ve a feeling it’s going to be worse than I thought.   On the other hand, the boxwood and ivy I have in urns on the patio look just fine, even though I never got round to wrapping them in insulation last fall or even pulling them in to a sheltered corner.

We have other spaces to fill, too – the half-whiskey barrels out front, the pots down on the patio, a new round of herbs for the porch, but I’ll let that wait another week or so.  (And it’ll be only a week or so – my brother and his family are coming here for Easter and if I know Mrs. R at all she’ll insist that everything be locked down beforehand.  It was only with a supreme effort that I convinced her that no, it’s still too early for power-washing the outside spaces.)

UPDATE: Garn! Duly toodled, but the nursery doesn’t have roses in yet.  It’s still mostly perennials and groundcover at this point.  (You may say that perhaps Ol’ Robbo should have called first.  To which I say call? CALL?  I’m a guy! That’s not how this works! That’s not how any of this works!  You’ll be telling me I should ask for directions next.)

UPDATE DEUX:  Good news, everyone!  Pottering about, I stopped to have a good look at the jasmine.  The old bark on the main stems is starting to split, which indicates to me that all is well.  Huzzay, huzzah!

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Yes, it’s the first really “springy” Saturday of the year at Port Swiller Manor, with a high expected to get up into the 70’s.  Okay, there’s a front coming and it will be cold and rainy again tomorrow, but still…..

Ol’ Robbo took advantage of his day off yesterday to put down a layer of weed n’ feed on the lawn.  I’m not crazy about this sort of thing, both from environmental as well as personal health concerns (God alone knows what toxins I was breathing in), but it’s been such a very long time and the lawn is such a mess that I felt the need to step in.  My only fear now is that when the stuff has done its job weeding, there’ll be nothing left to feed.  (I plan on an aggressive plan of spot reseeding this year, so at least this will help me see what I’m dealing with.)

Today’s main task was cleaning out the ditch by the road. It seems a bit odd to still be moving big piles of leaves on the cusp of April, but the fact of the matter is that not only do oak leaves take a very long time to come down, they also take a very long time to decompose.  So I was basically dealing with about three months’ worth.  Then there were the sticks.  Mrs. R has long held the belief that anybody whizzing by at 45 mph can still spot a twig the size of a toothpick and will criticize us for it.  My standards for what’s worth picking up are…..less exact.

My forsythia is blooming, and surprise, surprise, although its flowering is hardly hearty, it is less anemic this year than the past couple years.  As I believe I mentioned last year, I think the lack of vigorous bloom is simply the result of Anno Domini, but I’m stuck with it for a while and must make the best of it.  Just as soon as the bloom is finished, I’m going to raze the hedge to the ground and thickly scatter whatever it is that forsythia crave.**

And speaking of yellow things, I’m seeing the first hints of change in the goldfinch plumage.  Once it starts, I’ve noticed it happens very quickly, indeed.  Ol’ Robbo loves him some goldfinch, of which he gets quite a respectable mob each year, probably because I’m the only one in the immediate vicinity (so far as I can tell) who puts out a special thistleseed-feeder for them.

Well, with any luck it’ll stay warm enough later that we can have our first dinner outside of the year.  That would make me very happy, indeed.

**Spot the reference

UPDATE:  Those of you who bet on March 30 as the date on which the rear-seat side-panels come off Robbo’s Wrangler until late next fall may now go to the window and collect your winnings.


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

It took Ol’ Robbo almost exactly four hours to get home from his office to Port Swiller Manor this evening, a distance of something like 14 miles altogether.  I believe this is a personal record for me.  Certainly I could have walked it fairly comfortably in that time.  I could also have handily driven to Pittsburgh, either of the Elder Gels’ schools, or to the top of the GW Bridge in Noo Yawk (with a pit stop at Delaware House, to boot).

Evidently, a tanker truck flipped over in my quadrant of the Beltway early in rush hour.  The system around here is just adequate enough to handle the ordinary flow of traffic.  When there’s a super-abundance or else a blockage at one of the many choke-points, the whole thing can go sideways in a hurry.

You would think Ol’ Robbo would be a jangle of strained nerves and seething anger after such an ordeal.  Certainly Mrs. R was expecting it when I got home.  But you would be mistaken.

For one thing, by great good fortune, not only had I topped up my gas tank this morning, I also got a large (as opposed to regular) size sammich at Potbelly’s for lunch, and stopped by the restroom before leaving my office.  So there were no especial, ah, material concerns to worry me.

For another, though, as I sat slooooowly making my way toward the river crossing, I found myself aware of great reservoirs of calm and patience inside.  I saw other drivers losing it around me, but for my part, I just watched the very pretty sunset, listened to the local mockingbirds, tried to be as courteous as possible to fellow stuckees, and let it all slide on by.

Our Padre has been hammering the theme of the Prayer Life for some weeks now during his homilies, particularly the importance of morning prayer as a means by which to put things in perspective (God first, others second, self third, to borrow the motto of the Gels’  summah Bible-thumper camp) before confronting the day.  Ol’ Robbo has been working particularly hard on this as part of his Lenten exercises, and it seems to be paying off.  As I say, I remained quite at peace.  And now that I’m home, I feel no inclination whatever to use the experience as an excuse to break my fast and have a “hardship” glass of wine.  (Well, okay, maybe a little inclination.  But still a surmountable one.)

It also probably helps that tomorrow is my off day, that it’s going to be quite warm, and that I get to try out my brand-new spreader to weed and feed the yard, which I’ve been looking forward to for some weeks now.

UPDATE:  Turns out Youngest got caught in the maelstrom, too.  Took her an hour to get home from school.  Took her two hours to get back to school for softball (which, fortunately, just consisted of cheering on the varsity game).  Our Baby’s first traffic jam!  She was incensed after crawling all the way to her usual Beltway crossing to discover that it had been closed and she was detoured back almost to where she had started.  Welcome to Life, kiddo….


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

This first weekend of spring, which is cold and very windy ’round Port Swiller Manor, finds Ol’ Robbo feeling he’s on the verge of sickyness.  So I believe I will give messing about in the yard a miss today. The wisteria can certainly wait to be cut back.

Instead, I will pass on a little bit of hard-earned wisdom:

During the muddy season, you can either have a dog or you can have clean floors.  Never both.  Accept this and you will obtain inner peace. Oooommmmmm……….


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