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Sunday, May 2, 2021

Timber!!

 Only it was not quite as dramatic as that.

A sad farewell

This was minutes after the first pic

About 20 minutes later


All that's left.  My tree is now
the pile of chippings in the background.


He's such a cutie.  I'd adopt him, 
if he didn't already have great
parents.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

What would Sigmund make of this?

 

I'm worried, too, Siggy.

I'm not sure what is causing all of the wacky dreams, but boy-oh-boy have I been having them!  The latest would have even Sigmund Freud running for the white coat with long straps.  It involved my frustrated attempt at rounding up a dozen or more inch-sized albino giraffes into a manila envelope.  It may be the result of my sudden reading/listening flurry -  "Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead, "Wild Silence" by Raynor Winn, while also listening to a series of Sue Grafton novels, topped off with a James Herriot autobiography about his RAF days.  It's a curious stew.  

My life seems to have evolved into a curious stew, as well.  I have become the Stuffy Queen - my stuffies are selling out at the salon I frequent to get my one indulgence - my pedicures.  They have a busy gift shop area that is frequented by mothers and grandmothers.  I've also picked up some interesting courier gigs from Marianne - a chocolate run that netted me two, just-made chocolate-covered caramels and a large chocolate bar as 'samples'; and a rather hair-raising trip to a specialty food source for goat cheese, smoked Gouda and herb-infused jarred capers.  No samples were proffered, alas.  The hair-raising part came as my GPS seemed to go feral, telling me to turn left, then turn left, then turn left.  That put me right in the middle of a large truck-driving school.  I took some satisfaction in giving the lads a little taste of what it will be like when they are on the road with small automobiles., but I was relieved when I worked my way out of the course and to the front of the right building.  Which was on the right.

My outdoor work has been limited by the ceaseless intervention of winter.  We have had the occasional warm, sunny day, but they are interspersed with high winds, rain, sleet, and snow.  I am hoping the upcoming week (after Tuesday's dip into the 20s) will finally push into spring before it's summer.  I am happy to report that the bluebirds have set up house in the bluebird house.  Since the weather is still such crap, I've been putting out (gourmet) bird food every morning.  At one point, I had a cardinal pair, crow, mourning doves, sparrows, gold and purple finches, chickadees, juncos, and nuthatches on the deck.  I thought Slimmie would levitate at the sight.

In other news, I finally was able to coerce the scheduler to get me into a slot for my next hip replacement.  I used my most winsome manner, with only the slightest quiver of the voice, to invoke her sympathy.  It worked.  Either that or the fact that I inundated her with phone messages until I was an intolerable nuisance.  In any event, I'm scheduled for surgery on May 18 and Team Sisters have been lined up.  I can't wait.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Extreme Haute Couture ahead.

Don't say you haven't been warned...

Odd perspective - looks like to chartreuse peg legs.

Behold my 'Battle Dress"!  I was off to tackle the various and sundry piles that are the rites of spring.   The dazzling socks are 'tick repellent', although I will probably have to re-treat them this year.  I am determined to NOT get Lyme's this year.  Perhaps the color, alone, will repel them.

On Friday we had this:


We had piled up about five inches of snow before it turned to sleet, and then to rain.  By Saturday morning, it was gone - just a foul memory.  April, she is cruel.  I took Peanut to the vet for his monthly allergy shot.  When the vet tech came to the car to pick him up, Peanut launched himself into the guy's arms.  He was taken aback, given that most dogs hate the vet's office and all vet personnel.  Not my P.  However, he was greatly subdued on his return, having received a shot in the ass for all his love overtures.  We then made our way to the farm to pick up our vege order.  Lovey was so relieved and happy to see us - she takes guarding the house very seriously.

I have appointments today, Wednesday and Friday, with a cheese run for Marianne tomorrow.  At least it will be easier to keep track of what day it is.  I'm going to pull out my copy of "Ugly Little Greens" to see if I can come up with a recipe or two that call for nettles.  It looks as though I am in for a bumper crop this year (as in every year) and I'd like to make something more than soup.  If any of y'all have nettle recipe ideas, do share, please!

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Curiouser and curiouser.

 

I figure it's one of three things:  gremlins, a secret trapdoor into another dimension OR all of the planets are lined up, giving me the big cosmic raspberry.  Exhibit A:  I spent hours trying to find my third leg (aka Canie).  Hours.  It was outside, leaning against my car door.  I had not been out by my car for two days.  Canie was missing for less than one day.  Exhibit B:  This morning, I made two cuppas with my trusty Nespresso cheater pod - the kind into which you put your own coffee and reuse, a small step in the right direction.  This afternoon, I have only the top half.  The bottom has vanished.  Cue up the spooky music.

I have at least six knitting projects whizzing around in my head, causing so much noise that I haven't lifted a needle for days.  I need to focus.  Sigh.  While trying to locate a certain set of double pointed needles in the craft/office/chaos room, I pulled out a drawer in my stacking organizer to find....my collection of pom poms, a wool kit that must be at least four years old and... about a quarter cup of cat kibble.  Obviously, mice toted each piece up to the second from the top drawer.  Offerings for the Pom Pom Gods?  It boggles.

I've got a nice arrangement of forced forsythia branches/flowers on the table.  The bushes are covered with dust and don't do well on their own.  I'm hoping that the stems will root and I can transplant them between the willow hybrids.  The dust is horrid.  The town finally came by with the sweeper - after it rained, of course, so that they only removed a fraction of the dust that coats the road.  They're nothing if not incompetent.

I had put on my 101 Greatest Motown Hits cds and Lovey and I realized we do not shake our booties like we used to - my swivel is lopsided and she has a bum knee.  But we do our best.  Peanut covers his head.


The Nerve Center now sports ear drops and cotton wads.  Peanut is suffering from his usual seasonal allergies.  This involves two wrestling matches a day.  At least I am getting some exercise.  He gets his monthly allergy shot on Saturday, bless him.

I had to move the bluebird house, due to the collapse of the tree section that was its base.  This, apparently, has not met with the approval of Mrs. BB.  I hear Mr. BB doing his trilling best, trying to convince her that it's a good place to raise a brood.  She better decide soon - the wrens are due any moment and they have found the BB house to be hunky dory the past two years.  I've noticed that we have a plethora of red breasted nuthatches.  I find them entrancing - they are tiny and fast.  

Tomorrow is my second vaccination shot - I will be happy to have that under my belt.  I have a sizable list for the local big box store involving potting soil, grass seed and possibly some dahlias.  I'm trying to decide if I should go before or after the shot.  I'm not afraid of dropping over with side effects, but the first shot made my arm pretty sore and I have to trundle sacks around.  Of course, I could just push my cart to the car and stand there, leaning heavily on Canie, looking helpless.  It would be my luck that everyone in the parking lot that day was over 80.

Yesterday, I spent a couple of hours with Marianne, as she baby-sits her granddaughter on Mondays.  We figured that we'd have more of a chance to talk - once she gets to the store, she's lucky to have five minutes to spare.  Lucy and I hit it off after a bit - she is a vision of Pre-Raphaelite beauty at almost two.  When I left, she was standing at the window, looking very sad and giving me a little queen's wave.  I almost turned back.  I had taken her a prototype of a new stuffie (you can't hold me down!) which she seemed to like.

The leaves are starting to be visible and, while the nights can be pretty cool, the days are mild.  I have one rain barrel set up - the one near the chicken yard, huzzah!  How nice to not have to schlep water from the far end of the house every morning.  

I have started the spring clean up, which translates into making a variety of little piles.  I need to divide my Japanese irises and dig up and move a lot of the day lilies.  I started a tray of shishito peppers and will plant arugula and salad greens in the cold frame this weekend.  My favorite organic farm has started to offer a limited variety of spring produce on Saturdays, so I am heading up for scallions, kale, Swiss chard, mesclun mix, and spinach.  On a side-rant - the way they set it up is to have you order online, then you pay when you pick up.  Apparently, they got royally stiffed at the last pick up.  We now have to put payment in an envelope with our name on it.  Really?  This husband/wife team has slaved away for 37 years on this farm to grow wonderful organic produce for us and people think it's fine to not pay them?  I am so steamed.

The shearer has not called with a date yet - I hope it's next week, as this is turning out to be a busy week.  I will try to be more diligent about getting posts up, but I am not always trustworthy.  I am now off to see what has been going on in your exciting young lives!


Thursday, April 1, 2021

Oh, haha.

 

I don't know if it's visible in the photo, but it is snowing.  Mother Nature's idea of an April Fool's joke?  I ain't laughing.

Also visible is the world's slowest-growing Amaryllis.  Thanks to limited natural light sources, I have to bunch up my indoor plants in two areas.  This is my small plant area.  The back of the house is where the gigundo plants live, bless their hearts.  

I am referring to this spring as the season of cosmic whiplash.  I have my disreputable down barn coat, rain jacket and medium weight jacket lined up by the door.  As are the high boots, low boots, rain boots, garden shoes and Yak-traks.  I have worn all of them at one time or another in the past week.  That doesn't include the couple of days that I celebrated the freedom of no socks and no jacket.  Good golly.  This uneven weather has made it a challenge to get anything done outside in the garden.  I did get a little raking done and hauled off the birch tree that used to house the wrens.  I knew it was rotten but had no idea how rotten it was.  During one of the many gale-like events we've had this spring, it came down with a crash that had all four of us jumping out of our respective beds.  

Speaking of beds, after all of the finagling to make sure that each of my pampered furry kids had the perfect bed, Slimmie has now decided that the folded pile of dog deck mats that were plopped on the storage chest by the back door is his and only his.  It really does remind me of the parents who spend tons of money on special toys, only to have their child prefer pots and pans and a cardboard box.

I am trying to entice the bluebirds to nest in their box that has been transferred from the rotten tree to a nice sturdy fence post.  No dice, so far.  I am sure they will become interested as soon as the wrens have moved in.  I have gone through my yearly quota of sunflower seeds (80#!) and suet blocks (15!) and am now rationing the more expensive and less messy hulled sunflower seed mix that I usually save for the glamour birds of spring.  I did forget to take the last of the suet blocks in at night and was not totally surprised that it was missing in the morning.  I'm glad I have back-ups.  The bears are on the move!

This is also the time of year that I start out all dewy-eyed with the chipmunks, putting special treats out for the ONE that always pops up on the deck.  By the end of spring, I am cursing the horde that gorges itself on the chicken feed.  I will never learn.

On the subject of hordes, I am not looking forward to the horde of cicadas that are due to emerge this year.  I still remember the swarms of tent caterpillars that covered tree trunks, rocks and house  during the second summer I lived here.  At least they were quiet.  Of course, the 'songs' of the cicadas might drown out the incessant rumbling of gravel trucks rolling their dust tsunamis across the front of the house.  It's going to be a fun summer.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Ahh (ack!) Spring!

I woke to what was to be the third sunny day in a row - can spring really be settling in?  Or is it another Farch joke?   I could hear the piercing calls of the two resident male cardinals, voice-mapping their territories.  I had two cups of coffee!

While there is not exactly a spring in my step (hip number two is scheduled for an overhaul in mid-May), I was seriously contemplating work in my emerging garden.  With the dogs, cat, sheep, llama, and chickens fed, I snapped the ice tip out of the way on my cane, opened the door, stepped out on the front deck, tottered down the ramp to the garden, raised my face to the sun, closed my eyes and took a deep breath.  At the exact moment four dump trucks (two going in each direction) hurtled down the road in front of the house, kicking up a tsunami of road-salt dust, that proceeded to roll up my front yard.  My neighbor immediately fired up his chainsaw and commenced cutting down his woodland.  A school bus rolled by, kicking up more dust.  A dented Honda with no muffler roared by with the bass turned up loud enough to trigger the Richter scale.  As I beat a semi-hasty retreat to the house, I was reminded of that character actor that walked with a stiff leg and rapidly moving elbows.  Yeehaw.

I went back inside, shut the door and made a third cup of coffee.  And considered spiking it with something adult.

I resigned myself to enjoying the day on the back deck and, as I stepped through the sliding glass door - a very immature red tailed hawk careened past me and bounced off the glass.  I froze - along with the chickadees on the feeder.  He/she took a break on a nearby sumac tree to catch his/her breath and that started chicken hysteria.  I shooed him/her away, turned around and went back in the house.  I believe the chickadees are still frozen on the feeder.  I have put a load of laundry in to wash, feeling that it's the only safe thing I can do, presently.

It looks like spring will be ... interesting.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Fresh bread fumes and the joy of a really good book.

Perreca's has been around for 
over 100 years

Yes, I'm back in the bread delivery saddle!  It was very nice to be able to arrive at the bakery at the crap of dawn and still be able to see.  It was also nice not to have to battle slush, ice and snow.  As a matter of fact, it was so warm that I contemplated rolling down the car windows on the way back, but didn't want to lose the glorious warm bread fumes.  Perreca's is on a small side street dubbed "Little Italy", lined with brick-faced row houses and a smattering of little shops.  Italian pastries, small restaurants, a day spa (!) and Perreca's bakery.  Maria was happy to see me and we traded joint replacement war stories.  Perreca's is the kind of narrow, high-celiinged store that has all kinds of wonderful Italian treasures from floor to ceiling and all the signs are hand-written.  Oooooh, I love it!

I have been pretty much stuck on audio books for the past few years - it's the only way I can claim to multi-task (knitting/listening).  While I have listened to a lot of good books, the really good books are few and far between.  One of them was "News of the World" - as much as I love Tom Hanks, I have no desire to see a saccharine version of this wonderful book - and now I have a new one to add to my short list.  "The Thursday Murder Club" was highly recommended by the New York Times Book Review - which, in my case, is the knell of death.  I am so glad I listened to regular reader reviews!  I borrowed it from the library (hurrah for the Libby App!) and I managed to string it out to two and a half days.  Only because I didn't want it to end.  It has everything I love:  a great narrator, murder(s), fabulous characters that I felt I knew after the first hour, comedy, just enough plucking of the heart-strings, wonderful dialogue, a few red herrings.  I was quite bereft when it ended.  Then I listened to an interview with the author that was included with the recording.  There is another book coming!!!  O, frabjous day - callooh!  callay!