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🌻 Well, well, well
If it isn’t the Funkyard
Hi strangers! Thought I’d stop by your inbox for an overdue check-in. What’s new?
Over here, it feels like nothing has happened, yet everything has happened. Let’s see… In July, we got Samson a puppy. His name’s Gideon. He is very, very sweet except when he eats things that aren’t food (like a few days ago, when we noticed a few strange leaf shards on the floor… from my air plant, which I had left on the coffee table. the rest of the plant has not been found.)
In August, we got both pups’ DNA test results. Soo exciting. Samson is quite the mutt: 30% Siberian Husky (!!), 22% Bluetick Coonhound, 16% Boxer, 15% Pit Bull, 9% Jindo, 8% Bulldog. Gideon is 47% Pit Bull, 37% Australian Cattle Dog (aka Blue Heeler), 5% Weimaraner, and 11% “supermutt.”
We don’t know how big Gideon will get. He’s about 40 lbs now (Samson was already at 70 at his age). The DNA test company (Embark) estimated he’ll top out at 55 lbs based on his breeds, but they also estimated 76 lbs for Samson and we know that’s not right (he’s over 90).
Allergy season was rough this year… for Samson. Our vet spun us in circles, telling us first that dogs don’t really have seasonal allergies and it was probably a food allergy, then telling us the opposite; telling us we’d have to do a hypoallergenic diet test for a year to figure it out, then telling us 8 weeks; telling the allergy medicine they gave us could only be given temporarily, then that it could be a permanent solution… What gives? We played along with their ever-changing advice, and now the seasons have changed and, surprise surprise, no more itchy Samson. (But do we need a new vet?)
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We tore out our back deck after a couple feet busted through rotten edges, and are working on re-building. We’ve alternated between wanting to do it ourselves, to wanting to hire someone, to remembering we wanted to do it ourselves rather than pay $18,000 (the actual quote we got!). In the end, we decided to do some ourselves but not all, and just this morning, a concrete company came out to dig the big holes and pour our new footings. After Andy cut out some of our fence and they drove their big auger into the backyard and started working, they discovered there are just ROCKS 12 inches below the ground and the whole job was a no-go. So… tbd.
But wait, how was the garden this year, you ask? The Funkyard that we’re all here for? Oh. Umm. Garden? Oh. That. We definitely did a lot of “yard” “work” that felt a lot like doing all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.
[Sidebar: Definitely googled “Red Queen Hypothesis” to try and find the exact wording of that quote and was surprised when I did not get what I actually wanted. Ecologists know.]
It was very, very dry this summer and we discovered neither of us are particularly good at consistently watering. So, a lot died. Our prairie plants lived but looked terrible, our eggplants and tomatoes and herbs and other veggies, it seemed, bolted or died. We pulled a lot, a lot, a lot of weeds and they just kept coming. Nothing ever looked nice. After 2021 we wanted a mulligan to do it better, and I’m calling the same for 2022. Third time’s the charm?
We’re still playing lots of D&D and slowly working through Mad Men. Our two Star Wars RPG (D&D: Star Wars edition) campaigns came to a close, and we played through another game called Kids on Bikes (think D&D: Steven Spielberg kid-hero edition) which was very fun. I’ve been doing Orange Theory. My parents visited (twice!). We went to St. Louis, and Madison, Milwaukee, and Escanaba, plus Tennessee (Gatlinburg) for a family reunion, and Tennessee again (Memphis) for a conference. Went to the Kansas City Renaissance Festival. Watched a lot of Chiefs games. Rented pontoons at the lake. Went to Worlds of Fun, the local amusement park. Went to a convention for the TV show Supernatural with a friend (and watched a lot of Supernatural).
Somehow I’ve written 105 things this year, which seems impossible given that it’s only week 45. Here’s a smattering of highlights:
2022.11.01 Rising star in astronomy: Yvette Cendes (Astronomy Magazine)
2022.09.16 Startup strives to solve stormwater surge problems (Marquette Today)
2022.08.29 What it Took to Get the Monarch Listed as Endangered – And How Citizen Scientists Helped (Science Near Me blog for discovermagazine.com)
2022.08.26 Why you should trim your beech trees in September (Holden Forest & Gardens)
2022.08.26 Can I save my beech tree? And other beech care questions, answered (Holden Forest & Gardens)
2022.08.24 A Dynamic Mathematician (Colgate Research)
2022.08.05 19th Century Citizen Science Shows How the Climate Has Already Changed (Science Near Me blog for discovermagazine.com)
2022.06.22 Garden Partners Unite to Save U.S. Forests (BGCI Cultivate)
2022.05.19 Jillian Paulin ’23 Earns Goldwater Scholarship for Study of Dark Matter (Colgate University News)
2022.05.11 Beyond bonds (Discover for Marquette University)
Work has been going well. I’ve been staying plenty busy but, at least for the past few weeks, not too busy (OK, before that, I was way too busy — which is why you haven’t heard from me and I let the plants die). It feels like business is growing without actually taking over my life, which is wonderful. I’m currently working on closing up as many projects as I can for 2022, and looking ahead for fun things to work on in 2023. If you know anybody that needs a science writer (or a team of them), please send them my way!
OK fam, that’s all for today. Have a great week!
Take care please,
Need a writer who knows science? Let’s talk.