More Garden Highlights

The last yard post was from the front of Redquarters. Now for a look in the back yard.

Shooting along the front of the back flowerbed. Roses, Aquilegia, salvia, spring Buddleia, and roses in a raised bed.

Yes, this is Texas, not England or western Oregon. This is 30+ years of trying, failing, and lots and lots of watering.

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Cheap Filler

I have final exams to inflict, er, ahem, administer today and tomorrow.

The shepherd is yelling “No mercy, my children!” Gnade (grace) also has some theological meanings as well, which can make the cartoon really funny if you think about how John the Baptist is usually depicted in medieval art. Or the Good Shepherd.

Yes, I have a really odd sense of humor. Continue reading

Violence Way Back When

Short version: there was a dreadful lot of it, far more than most people would like to consider, and it came with the colonists to the New World.

We moderns raised in the western world and mostly Christian-derived culture forget that in Days of Olde, and in most of the world today, the value of an individual depended on his place in society and in the family. For the vast majority of pre-modern and early modern people, that meant that you had no real value at all. And violence was an acceptable way to settle disputes, because strength meant right. A number of moral codes and institutions attempted to stop this or at least ameliorate and channel it, but hey, if two peasants beat each other nearly to death in a dispute over a hog, well, their families might have to pay the local lord for loss of their labor, but that’s just how things were. Continue reading

Some Garden Highlights

Spring has been running a month late, or it was until we were “blessed” with a string of 90+ F days. Even the birds that usually leave in April or arrive in April have waited until May to move on or come in. The plants likewise, other than the bulbs. They took their chances and bloomed on time, then got zapped by the hard freeze for their pains. The same hard freeze (20 F overnight after everything had started budding out) hammered a lot of the older roses, and they are slowly recovering and rebuilding.

Ketchup-n-Mustard is starting to bloom. This is the new plant.

More ketchup than mustard. This is the original plant. Note the attack salvia sneaking up on it.

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It is rather common for thunderstorms to cause forest and range fires. Lightning flashes down from the cloud, smites a tree or some dry grass, and foomp! Call in Smokey the Bear! What is less common, especially with grass fires, is for the fire to create a storm. That happened out here, last week.

It was impressive. It was awful in both meanings of the word. Continue reading

New Book Release: Merchant and Magic

It’s Alive!

Merchant and Magic

Tycho just wants to do his business, sell his hides, make a steady income, and get some of the fried foods his wife never lets him eat. Is that too much to ask?

Yes. Because his secret disability may be the key to solving two mysteries and preventing a war. Or it might cause one. Only the gods know.

This is the book I ran as chapters on the blog last year. The sequel has been started, but the Familiar books have shifted it. I suspect I need more research into the operation of the kontors and the relationship of the Holy Roman Emperors to the free trading cities vs. the other municipalities, so my subconscious mind is blocking.

Mages, Sorcerers, and Witches

Magic workers in the Familiar stories come in several flavors. Those with Familiars are all lumped as mages, even if what they do is closer to witchcraft or sorcery. But when it comes to cases, although most magic workers are aware of the basics of other traditions and working styles, they tend to fall into three groups, of which mages are the least common. Continue reading