Monday, March 24, 2008

Spring Has Sprung!

It was a beautiful weekend here in Northern Virginia - mostly sunny, temperatures in the low- to mid-50's, a little wind. I spent a large chunk of Saturday out in the yard cleaning out old leaves, gathering up 750,000,000 little $#%& spiky seed pods from our messy sweet gum tree, and generally trying to spruce up our 0.3 acres of property the county says is worth more than our house for tax purposes.

Yes, here in Northern Virginia, the plunging price of homes is causing fits for the county government, which depends largely on property tax revenue for its operating expenses. In order to keep the revenues up on dropping home assessments without actually increasing the tax rate, the county tax authorities have kept the overall assessments pretty much the same by hugely inflating the value of the land on which the house is built to compensate for the decline in the value of the house itself.

What kind of crock is this?

Don't bother answering, I already know.

I also looked into building a nice, spiffy new fieldstone wall around my garden least until I found out what the stone would cost: nearly $500, delivered, to build 28 linear feet of 14-inch high wall. AARRGGHH!! (or blergh!, as The Mistress of the Dark would say). For that kind of money, I can drag a lot of irregular stones up out of the woods, build an ugly but perfectly functional wall, and spend the money on more herbs and flowers.

Who'd have thought rocks were that expensive?

The weather should continue to be nice and springlike this week, at least until Saturday when more rain is predicted, so I'm sure I'll keep feeling the impact of spring fever as the flowers bloom, the trees and shrubs bud, my thyme plants perk back up, and the lovely ladies shake the mothballs out of their tank tops and start worrying about their summer bikini figures. I'll keep an eye on all that for you.

Last thing for today...we visited our newest granddaughter yesterday and had a great time. Here is a picture that proves she's really part of this family: while grandma and grandpa smile for the camera, Leya is showing her opinion of the whole thing by blowing a very loud raspberry.

That's our girl!

Have a good day. Enjoy spring if it's springing where you are. More thoughts tomorrow.



The Mistress of the Dark said...

Blowing raspberries is such fun. And yay for springlike weather! It seems like forever since it was WARM!

Amanda said...

Leya is so cute! I tried to teach Aaron about blowing raspberries but the funny thing is that he likes me to do them and never learned how to do it himself.

Mike said...

You and I will have to get together some afternoon and come up with a fair tax system that nobody will complain about. It shouldn't take too long. After we do that we can kick back have a beer and congratulate ourselves on how smart we are.