Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Time To Mow The Dandelions

Field of dreams ....... I call it field of dandelions!

Time to mow the dandelions. Too wet and looks like it will rain most of the week. I guess we can see just how tall the grass will get.

Last week I cleaned out the beds around the pool fence. I had help from my friend, Andrea. I had already started and had decided the easiest way would be just to dig it all up and then replant. I found it easier to get all the tiny little shoots of grass and, of course, the dandelions out. There were vine roots to deal with and some small trees to remove.

All neat and ready for a pool scrubbing and filling. Even though it is cold enough today to have a fire going. This is 120 feet of digging and replanting. If you are wondering why I don't mulch it ..... I don't want the wind and rain to wash that mulch into the pool. Once a year I have to weed, but I would be skimming debris every day!

Took the day off today. The rain and the chilly temps make a fine day for watching Law and Order. Law and Order is great for napping. The original Law and Order. I have seen every episode, so if I doze off for 10 minutes, I still know what is happening when I wake. I am all rested and ready to tackle another project tomorrow.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Nature or Nurture?

Nature .... or nurture? What makes a person the person they are? Genetics? Education?

I don't the answer. When your children are young, you are responsible for their actions. For how long? At what age or level of maturity are the parents no longer held responsible? Your children are always your children.

Is there evil in the world, or are some people just evil? How does a person become evil? Are they born or developed? You see it all the time, siblings raised in the same household who turn out so differently. Are the differences a reflection of the nurture? You see adopted children who will begin to look like their adoptive parents as they begin to grow.

As you may have already guessed, I am struggling with a dilemma in my family. I would like to think that age and experience has given me the knowledge I need to make any decisions or to take any actions. I don't know that it has.

I have been pondering it in the wee hours of the sleepless mornings and all I can say with any conviction is that my heart is broken for a little girl that I love so much.

I have had my Bible open in my lap all morning, looking for answers. I don't have any so far ....... but I am listening.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Mr. Murphy Is Still With Me

 Such a blue sky. The sun did shine and the winds were almost non-existent. My trees leafed out overnight.

Spent the entire weekend outside. I pulled weeds, tossed seed and mulched, and mulched, and mulched.

Apple blossoms to be. I love to walk the grounds when they are in bloom along with the peach trees. Smells heavenly.

Lest you are thinking that pesky Steven Murphy was in hiding ....... the weekend was filled with his antics. Thursday is the day we mow. Friday sometimes, depending on the weather and whatever else may interfere. Most of it was done on Thursday, but two big fields were waiting Friday. I did all my areas and prepped the trees and such, so I was able to work on my vegetable garden.

He Who mows went about the business of tackling the wide open fields. I didn't pay much attention to what he was doing, caught up as I was with planting and such. He finished and then rode up in my used to be car, the VW bug (He Who rides is not a walker). "I lost my hearing aids while I was mowing."

He commandeered my golf cart and rode off in search of them. I wondered why he would even wear them while mowing .......... He searched until dinner. Dinner was a silent affair. I had to shout and over enunciate to communicate with him. He got a towing call, the volume on his phone is piercing.

Upon his return, as the sky darkened, he actually found one of the hearing aids. Amazing. Made me think that Steven Murphy had done his bidding and would soon be on his way.

Saturday dawned with the promise of a beautiful day. I made the coffee and as I sat sipping, He Who tows arose and left on a call. Shortly after leaving, he called, "Did you mean to leave the water on all night?"

No, I did not. I went out to see that even the parking lot was wet! I had been watering two gardens and my potted plants when I was distracted by the arrival of Martha and Tom. Gussie, Martha's Norfolk Terrier, and I have a relationship. Had to stop and have a love fest with him. His whole body wiggles and he makes excited noises a he licks non-stop. Totally forgot I had sprinklers on. Huge mess.

To add insult to injury, my insurance statement came in the mail. Not only will the insurance cover nothing until the deductible is met; only $56 out of the $100 I paid for an office visit will be applied to the deductible. I am beginning to think I should just set a place at the table for Mr. Murphy.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Steven Murphy Struck Again

Who is this man called Murphy, with his laws of misfortune? I ask that as I sit here having been marinated in Diet Coke. The real thing. In Hillbilly Mom's neck of the woods they call him Even Steven. I suppose that could be his first name, as in Steven Murphy ........

Not too long ago I was inspired to create my own garden window. I took a 24" three tier covered wire shelf and attached it to my little kitchen window with cup hooks. I carefully drilled holes in the bottom of the ice cube trays for drainage and filled them with potting soil. Formulated for seed starting, the bag proclaimed. I searched, but found nothing that would act as a tray for the water under the trays so I just created one out of foil. I will admit to certain amount of bragging. I could water the top tray and it would drain down to next tray and then the next. I am so very clever. It worked great and I got a lot of seedlings going.

After transplanting some, I decided to set some little clay pots in place of the ice trays. As I sat in peaceful oblivion a couple nights ago, there was suddenly a crash in the kitchen. I rushed in to see that the entire contraption was in the floor surrounded by potting soil and broken pots. Too much weight, my own fault. The potting soil was wet. I had watered it just hours before and the pots were a tragedy. I salvaged nothing. The dogs were of two minds. The male ones hid, but Toni Louise has the curiosity of a cat and decided to romp in the mess. After a sorry job of cleaning it up I went to bed deciding to tackle it in the fresh light of day.

Upon arising, I swept and mopped and did a much better job of cleaning. I was inspired to tackle the laundry room and the work table of He Who once dabbled in stain glass. I had set it up several years ago for him  to have a place to work should he want to. It became a catch-all. It seems to grow daily. While doing this, I found a stash of bungee cords. In my new/used fridge the tray in the freezer door is lacking the part that holds the items on the shelf. I decided that a bungee cord might work and set about installing said cord. Took several tries to find one that fit it tightly enough.

I was determined. As I pulled it tight the door got away from me and slammed into a plate rack on the wall. Broke two plates. All this happened while I was dealing with a tooth ache, then having the tooth pulled. In utter frustration I just walked away from the broken plates in the floor and finished my original task. The day did not go well at all.

That was yesterday. It was fiercely windy and prevented me from working outside. I tried to discover an avenue of entry in the back yard. I did, but lacked the brute force to remove a steel door that was jammed in place.

This morning I was determined to break the spell of Steven Murphy. I convinced He Who Mows and Tows to remove the door. I gassed up my mower and raised the blade, the grass being tall enough to lose a dog in. I cleaned up the yard and then mowed it twice (blade up, blade down). Came in, showered and got myself presentable for  trip to town, Thursday being Senior discount day. I gathered all my deals and then headed home. I have two soda machines to fill and then I had big plans to mow my side yards and around my tender young tress. He who mows has been known to simply run them over.

Unloaded the car, came through the door, tripped over a dog, while another escaped into the store, dropped a bag ........ the bag had two 2 liter bottles of Diet Coke in it. It hit the floor and exploded. I was sprayed from head to toe with Diet Coke. In my ear! Inside my shoes! All over the floor, the table, the back of the recliner. It sprays quite a distance, that Diet Coke.

I sit here now, having had another quick shower, in different clothes. Afraid to attempt to mow, lest that pesky Steven Murphy still lurks close by. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

What A Difference A Day Makes

Saturday morning I took this picture of my peach tree. Tiny little buds adorn the limbs with the promise of peach cobblers to come. It was a beautiful day. Warm, almost 80 degrees. Balmy winds cooled my skin and deceived me into thinking my skin was nice and cool. I got a bit of a burn while chopping away at the soil in my garden beds.

Sunday morning ........ the buds were blooming! Overnight this happened! I was motivated to dig some more despite the forecast for rain and my aching muscles. I wanted to sow as many seeds as I could before the rain.

Rain we need. The snow lightly falling is a different story. Supposed to freeze tonight! This just wrong. I am snug under a blanket with dogs tucked around me, nursing a tooth ache. I have a date with the dentist tomorrow. I am not really looking forward to it, but will be happy to lose the pain.

Still no gate to the yard with the tall grass. You may place your bets and guess just how long it will take to get a gate installed, or a new door on the shed/carport that will allow me access to the yard. Still have to install the second gate to the dog park, scrub the pool and refill it, get all the plumbing working in the satellite bathhouse and clean it. The heavy rain last night left the roads in terrible shape. That will have to be addressed. All before Memorial Day. My gate is low on the list. Who wants to bet that I will be the one to fix this?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Daffodils and Mowers

Found my snow boots! They crush my toes, so I had them in the box to go to Goodwill ........ I bought them because they looked so happy and green and Spring-like. They are waterproof, so I decided to plant some daffodils.

A lone daffodil makes the frog so happy! Soon the morning glory will fill the pot and overflow.

I borrowed the daffodils from this garden.

They dance in the wind and promise that Spring is really here. Spring is the busiest time of year. So many pipes burst with the wicked cold winter weather. My job is to constantly remind (nag) He Who plumbs which ones are a priority. He Who is single minded when faced with more than one task. Never occurs to him that you can initiate one task and then go do another. The pool can drain while you mow ........ just sayin' ........

The rebuilt fence still stands sturdy and strong. Just one little problem .......... the grass is growing. The grass is growing at an alarming rate. Why is this a problem?  Why don't I just mow it? Mower is working just fine. There is no gate. The only access to the back yard is the back door.

I asked for the fence to be sturdy. It is. I did not specify that a gate be installed. I mean, I wanted a gate, just not the big double wide one that was there before. The one wide enough to drive through. The one that allowed a tractor in to ruin the grass I so lovingly tended. Just a regular gate, wide enough to fit a mower through.

I suppose I could maneuver the mower through the house and out the door. This does not appeal to me. Maybe I should just go buy another mower. You know, for the back yard.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Pet Cemetary

 The sun is shining, my fence is upright and sturdy, and I have soil under my nails. All is right in my world. I have laundry on the line, blowing gently in the wind. Five new trees are in the ground and cost nary a cent. I am determined to plant enough little seedlings to create a wind break for the newly restored fence.

I have been about my most un-favorite task. That would be poop patrol after a long winter. It always amazes me, the amount of poop that comes from such small dogs. I cover my right hand with a sturdy plastic bag that has been checked carefully for holes. I hold another bag in my left hand to hold what the right hand is picking up. It is better if you don't think about what it is that you are doing. He Who mows does not do this ....... ever. He would just mow over it and distribute it evenly throughout the yard. I am the Poop Scooper.

While patrolling my yard, I found a dead bird. This is the second one I have come upon this year. Last week I found my Cujo with the bottom half of a little rabbit in his mouth. He is a pretty smart little dog, but he does not know the command "SPIT!". He kept trying to come in the house with it, no doubt thinking to add it to his treasures he has hidden under the table by my chair. I am so thankful I saw it before he came in. Earlier this winter he tried to bring a frozen dead mouse in.

No rare disease has fallen upon the wildlife here, just Martha, the boy cat hunting. He does not eat what he kills. He brings it to Cujo. Martha and Cujo share a special bond. They attack each other and play endlessly. Martha allows Cujo to eat his cat food and at the end of the day, they groom each other.

I wish Martha would find another way to show his affection for Cujo!