I ventured out of the house yesterday! The oppressive darkness and heat seems to have abated somewhat, at least I plan on convincing myself of the factualness of that desire, because my chair and I need a break from each other, or one of us is going to say a few things or five, of which I am sure we will regret.
So with being up and around, I decided to do a stroll about and see what makes me go humph, that’s nice. Something I can take back inside with me to ponder upon when the sun dims again and I am overcome with the need to shelter in place with my treacherous chair and my dreams of Idaho.
I wish I had been able to capture the swarm, well okay just three, hummingbirds that were hovering on and near the porch as I walked out the door, but I was too much in awe of their dance, flitting from here to there, to even consider looking away long enough to take a picture. My daughters are creating a haven for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds with all the blooming plants they are putting in. So fairytalesque to be invaded by hummingbirds. Their nests are so tiny.
They finished planting the front bed, sort of. The strawberries, the beginnings of the herbs, and flowers of course, have joined the trees and the day lilies. The lilies will make a nice natural fence when they fill in completely. But the artichokes will not be available until next fall or winter so wood stumps have been used to mark their future placement. My son likes the look of them as decoration, and I do admit they are more pleasing to the eye than a rock or a stake would have been, but I suspect a hidden agenda on his part, like perhaps any wood that removes itself from his pile to be split is a good thing, I’m just saying, however, I am sure he was being sincere if he says so..wink wink.
The city has plans to replace the sidewalks so removing the grass from the parkways is on hold while we wait and wait and wait. Still, it would be just my luck to give up and begin the work, and then voila, they will appear and dig up anything we’ve planted.
The decrepit fence below also needs to come out, and the work of digging out a trench for the concrete footer of the new solid tall fence for a bit of privacy has begun. However I have to go to the city and apply for a permit to change the fence, and I am so terrified of the thought of actual human interaction, that this might be as far as this project gets. I wonder if you can apply for a permit through a letter? Geez, I am such a hermit. So I will just put this off until after they replace the sidewalks, which does look to be never. Saved! There, so glad that’s settled, and there is no need for communication with the others, outside over there.
Notice how I am doing my part for the drought and letting my grass die. It is really not that I am lazy and only care to water haphazardly. It must be that I am truly civic minded and such, thus restricting water use. It is so refreshing when I can find an excuse for my sloth. Hopefully by the time the drought is over I will have finished removing all the grass except a small patch upon which to play croquet during a picnic. Otherwise I really am going to win the bad neighbor award, and that is really not very nice 😟
I have given up the dream of buying new double-pane windows, there are just too many other necessary projects which are demanding resources to be greedy about the quiet they would supply. For quiet does not rate above plumbing and roofs and electrical and paint and heat and food and college and dentists and transportation and so on and so forth.
So my challenge seeking daughter is removing and repairing the existing broken down windows. That does mean she has to rebuild the rotting, frequently termite damaged, frames. But like I said she loves a challenge, and therefore is stepping up to it. When she finishes this one it will be one down and six left to go, if all she does is repair the ones that either won’t open or close. I am so looking forward to being able to open the living room windows for they are in line with the late afternoon breezes and the eastside bedrooms.
The blackberries below are finally beginning to travel. I have been pleasantly surprised by their revival, considering the abuse the few bits that have survived have had to endure, being moved from place to place, clinging to life in their frequently forgotten pots. I don’t expect much in the way of fruit for at least another year, and with the constantly looming possibility of moving, I am satisfied just to see them alive.
Hummingbirds are fond of blooming aloe so I can stand at my kitchen window and watch them feed. Almost makes doing the dishes desirable, almost.
My big brother gave me this tree as a house warming gift when my husband and I moved in many many years ago. My brother is a splendiferous gift giver. He listens when you talk, really listens, and then he surprises you with one of the desires of your heart. For I had just been rambling without intent as I showed him around when he came to visit, and must have touched upon how I would like to have a flowering pink crepe myrtle outside my kitchen window, and what do you know, he not only purchased one for me, he had it delivered along with the workmen and instructions of where they were to plant it. On my last birthday he was in China, but he left instructions to have bonbons and a book come my way. Shucks I really need to tell him how special he is…..yep!
So my flowering parkway trees began with a gift from my brother, which was then continued by my husband. There are so many memories in the trees on this property that it is always difficult to walk away, knowing that they might get cut down. But as I have said before, I will not stop planting or planning, it gives me too much pleasure in the today. I will face tomorrow when it comes around the corner and surprises me, as it is so often prone to do.
See that monster of a Ficus below. Ye gads I dislike that tree. Yes it is my fault, but still, if it didn’t provide necessary shade to the backyard animals and the frolicking children, I would attack it without remorse. This tree has been with me since my teen years. It lived in a pot in my bedroom. It was small and cute, and sometimes sported twinkly lights. So what happened? Ten years ago it was found neglected and dying in a junk heap behind the garage. It was decided to put it in the ground. Obviously a big mistake. I so want to trim it a bit, but every decision to demolish or prune something has the outcome of waste that needs to be disposed of, and with only two greens waste bins, every weeks trimming and such needs to be considered. Presently I am torn between a full frontal attack on the rat hedge or a minor pruning of this beast to get it off the crepe myrtles in the parkway. I do not want to do both and create piles, for it took us months to clear out the piles which were here when we moved in, and most importantly, piles attract critters.
Speaking of rubble, I was delighted to see that my daughter has taken a sledge to the built-in barbecue congesting the path between the two back yards. It served no purpose other than a built in cave for the nesting of unwanted visitors. She did leave the slate counter and enough of the walls so that a roof can still be attached over the concrete slab here. There needs be some finishing work done to the exposed ends and this bit of the yard will look better than it ever has. Which by its appearance now, says a lot about what it was like.
But, and there is always a but, I now have this pile of rubble to consider. I am still trying to come up with a way to use it somehow. I do so like to recycle and it would be an added plus to know that it once was a barbecue. I am sure it will come to me with time, or maybe it will never come, and the slow feed into the waste bin will remedy the problem….hum I wonder.
Then I come to Toasty the rescue kitty. She is beautiful, small and quite sleek, and she thinks she is ferocious. Which I suppose is a good thing considering the hedge rats I want her to dispatch.
I say she thinks she is ferocious because of how she stalks the chickens and the rabbit. She also stalks the dog, but our dog doesn’t get excited about anything, which must take a lot of the fun out it. In the beginning she would try and jump on the chickens , but now she just follows in her slow crouching way from a distance. I can only imagine why that is, but I surmise she caught the pointed ends of a chicken once. Just looking at Clementine’s scowling face below is enough to have me keeping a distance.
Chickens are not nice.
Then there is Bat Bunny. Why rabbits think if they stay perfectly still you wont be able to see them cracks me up. It is true that at night it works, and I have been scared spitless a few times when I came upon her in the night, and she scampered over my feet.
Toasty thinks she is going to catch her. She will creep and creep and once she is almost there the rabbit turns and gives her the stink eye.
That’s all it takes, and Toasty backs down in feigned disgust. Thankfully she is smart enough not to take on the rabbit.
Rabbits can be savage.
Now this is a good sign. Toasty can and should catch the rats in that hedge.
I have managed to cut back the honeysuckle vine on eighty percent of the back perimeter fence. It is very slow going as two to three feet fill up the greens waste bins. It is always decisions decisions when it comes to those things. Anyway this last twenty percent has me running a bit scared. For it is the rat infested bit. I was thinking of taking drastic measures and using the chain saw to quickly remove it from the fence, but I have visions of rats scurrying everywhere and me with chainsaw in hand. That would just not end well. So we did discover an electric hedge trimmer buried in the back of the shed, but that only seems fractionally better to me. Besides, I cannot take it all off at once because I would have nowhere to put the mountain of trimmings. I am just going to have to suck it up and continue with my piece meal hand held hedge trimmer approach. At least I did go out and buy new trimmers so they are very very sharp, and could cut one of those pesky rodents to pieces if it dared to get in my way.
Those pesky rats constantly ate the new corn shoots as they came up. My grandson diligently kept planting and as been rewarded not with a dense fort as was hoped for, but an unexpected healthy crop of corn instead. One never knows with life, and it is best to give praise and thanksgiving for whatever God chooses to give you, and I suppose my grandson will enjoy harvesting and eating that corn more than he would have just sitting in amongst it anyway, and even if he doesn’t, it is what it is, so what else is there do but rejoice and be glad in it.
What is it with bunny ears? Is it passed on through DNA? I think every person knows inherently to do this. Okay, I know, this picture was taken a while ago, but since I am practicing stress reduction through self indulgence, it has reached the time to go whole hog and share a grandmother’s delight. Sigh…..I think my hat looks far better on them, for sure and for certain. ❤️ Blessings Belinda