Saturday, September 29, 2012

Yard Sale in support of the Rinehart family [Oct. 6]

Official yard sale site is:

Click to enlarge.

Please mark your calendars for our annual neighborhood sale. The homes listed above have joined together to host a fundraiser. Our neighbor Hannah Rinehart passed away recently and this activity will help collect donations so that her husband Mark can meet medical costs related to Hannah's extended stay in the ICU.

To make financial donations at any time, please visit
Operation Appreciation is a 501(c)(3) charity that supports the members and families of the Georgia Guard, of which Mark is a member.

Click to enlarge.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

DeKalb drug disposal event [Sept 29]

DeKalb County encourages its citizens to surrender unused or expired medication at any of its police precincts on Saturday, September 29th, from 10 am until 2 pm.

Click to enlarge

This Time magazine article discusses why flushing is not the best way to dispose of old medication.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Free curbside recycling for all

DeKalb County Commissioners have voted to make the recycling program free for all residents. The AJC reports that
The current recycling rate has already added 16 years to the 70-year life expectancy of the landfill. Continue reading @ AJC
New subscribers still need to contact the sanitation department to be added to the pick-up (404-294-2900 or

For additional information on DeKalb's recycling program see the County's recycling brochure (pdf file). The County accepts all grades of paper (from plain to glossy, from junk mail to phone books to cardboard), all glass, and CLEAN plastic containers (coded 1-7). Pick-up is on Wednesdays.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Atlanta Gas Light worksite on Wood Trail Lane

The Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) worksite on Wood Trail Lane is in full swing. The project will replace older pipes to ensure safety and continuity of service. We first heard about this project last fall (October 2011 MANA community meeting).

Ongoing work at Wood Trail Lane. Click to enlarge.

AGL shared the information below for distribution to our neighbors. AGL representatives will attend the MANA community meeting next October 22.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Can't touch this

I believe this critter will eventually become an American Dagger Moth.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wasp Wednesday

Wasps, bless their hearts... no one ever has anything good to say about wasps. While it is true they can sting, many species just mind their own business when away from their nests and are not overly aggressive unless threatened. So here's a little information about a few of our most visible wasps in hopes of reducing the chance of a negative encounter.

N.B. CDC has a document on how to deal with insect bites as well as an identification key to stinging hymenoptera (wasps, bees, ants). CDC also offers this link on how to handle insect stings (how to administer first aid, knowing when to seek additional medical assistance, etc.).

Let's start with the pretty blue mud dauber. This is a solitary wasp who, among other things, catches and feeds black widow spiders to its babies. [In case you wonder, yes, we do have black widow spiders in the neighborhood so please wear gloves when working outdoors]. The blue mud dauber nests in underground cavities built by other wasps or by its spider victims.

Pretty in iridescent blue, but fear not, only ~1" long.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Summer's to do's

Of course you don't have to do anything right this minute; these are things to, you know, ponder...

Roof maintenance: (1) check for loose or buckling shingles and address the problem if it exists to prevent moisture infiltration and ensuing damage and (2) clean gutters and trim tree branches and climbing vines that overhang your roofline or gutters (this will reduce clogging once leaves do fall).

Other outside jobs to cross off the to do list while the weather's still warm: power washing, washing trashcans, cleaning windows, painting windows/trim  as needed

Sharpen lawnmower blade: because we still have a few more months of cutting to do (and if you do it now, the blade won't be completely dull next spring)

Driveway repairs: because cement and other repair materials need warm temperatures to properly set

Check for outdoor faucet leaks that not only waste water but could lead to bigger problems once freezing temperatures arrive. If you don't have some already, add faucet covers to your shopping list.

Need to declutter? Set aside a box to effortlessly start collecting items for the neighborhood yard sale [Oct. 6!].

Fall landscaping projects: Start thinking of what you would like to do. Autumn is a great time to plant perennials because we usually get good rainfall and the weather is milder, which helps ameliorate transplantation shock while allowing time for the plants to settle in a bit before transitioning into dormancy. Hardscaping and other heavy lifting is also more pleasant in cooler weather.

Fall gardening: Urban farmers should be thinking of fall and winter crops. Here's a planting guide for our area, includes spring and fall planting dates.

Furnace maintenance: Conduct routine maintenance, because it's nice to know the furnace WILL go on when cold weather hits. This is also a good time to check filters and replace as needed.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sad news

As reported by the AJC, our neighbor Hannah Rinehart passed away.

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Update: From the Hope4Hannah Facebook page:

Thank You everyone for your prayers, kind words and love that has been shown to the Rinehart and Johnson Family.

We know that many people have asked about arrangements for Hannah Johnson Rinehart. Here are the details:

Viewing is 5pm-9pm on Friday & 9 am to 11:45 am on Saturday

Ingram Funeral Home in Cumming, GA.
210 Ingram Avenue Cumming, GA 30040
(770) 887-2388

The Funeral service is at 1 pm at North Lanier Baptist Church in Cumming, GA.

829 Atlanta Highway
Cumming, GA 30040
Phone: 770.781.LIFE

Please visit as more details will be made available.

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The yard sale is still scheduled for October 6, and donations will help Hannah's family take care of expenses associated with her extended hospital stay. See

To sign up for the yard sale, visit Please sign up by September 22 to allow the volunteer organizers ample time for advertising.

(Some of) The mushrooms of Medlock Park

Seems the rains and weather have made for a perfect combination and our local fungi are fruiting madly.

These photos were taken around Medlock Park in the last few months, unless noted. Alas, no information is available as to common name or species but if we have mycologists in the audience, please help identify them and your name will be added in lights (well, pixels anyway).

July 2011
August 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Second-guessing summer: must be September

Dogwoods are blushing.
Sassafras is flashing some orange.
They say this is the best time to prepare filé.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A lovely pool party

Thanks to Emily and David Mann for doing the lion's share of organizing and grilling for the MANA pool party last weekend. MANA contributed drinks, stuff for the grill and enough King of Pops to go around.

Thanks to everyone who helped set up and break down the party and entertainment, and to those who brought side dishes and stuff for the grill and helped get tables and grills there and back (shout-out to Stephen Perras, Kathryn Firago and Tom Wellnitz!). The weather was lovely, the pool was refreshing and uncrowded, and the food was delicious. We had a great turn-out, with lots of toddlers and children.  It was a great opportunity to meet new neighbors and catch up with old friends. What a neat place we have here. See you at the 2013 pool party!

We devoured them all! Nice touch, Emily :)