Sunday, May 29, 2016

Deal With It

How many times has someone said that to you?  Deal With It.  Or if no one ever has, how many times have you overheard it said?  Or saw it in a movie?  Lots I bet.

Well, for me it is an everyday mantra running through my head.  Every single day we have some situation or issue to deal with.  Big or small, no matter, things must be attended to.

On the small scale we had terribly dirty pond water to deal with.  For some reason this year it has been a lot harder to clear up.  Finally we flooded it out for about 24 hours and it was beautiful.  That was yesterday.  I can see from the window that it's not quite so clear this morning.  Hopefully it won't take long for the Muck Buster to do it's thing and whatever else Terry adds to the water.  We were enjoying watching the fish chase each other up and down the water way.  My favorite frog just enjoys sitting on the island I added last year.  He never moves while I work around moving rocks and weeding as I talk to him about whatever is on my mind.  I just love him.  You can see he has helped to create lots of babies that are getting bigger and I am enjoying watching them grow.  I sure don't know what I will do with them all if they make it!!  I suppose when they start developing legs I'll have to net them and cart them down to the river.

My daughter is tearing out a perennial garden in the front of her house.  Even though it's not transplant time we went ahead a took this ground cover that I hope will spread into the rocks we put around the pond on one side.  I was so happy to see this peony is surviving and blooming.  Peony are of my very favorite bushes.

the last and most serious issue I have had to deal with is realizing that it is time to say goodbye to Junior.  The other two dogs have been staying close to him whether he is in the house or outside.  Here they are laying in their favorite dirt spot, even though there is plenty of grass.  They love this spot that they created.  Junior has been one of the best dogs we have ever had.  I can't think of a time that he has done anything that made me mad.  I am grateful that this is not an emergency situation. It's just time.

Please don't comment condolences.  Junior has been struggling and I have made peace with the decision.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Trippin' Over My Own Feet

Yup, I'm kind of out of commission.  I did what my mother called Tripping Over My Own Feet.  But let me back up for a moment.

We had 1-1/2 weeks of crummy cold and rainy weather.  You know, the kind that grass and weeds thrive in.  So when Tuesday was sunny and warm, I trotted over to my daughter's house to dig out some plants that she wanted to give to me before she rips them out to put in a patio. Digging them out, prepping a new spot in my garden, and planting the new additions after a long winter's nap, so to speak, was pretty tiring.

Then my sis called.  Wanted me to go to the grocery store.  By this time it was 3:30.  Nope, not today, but I complied and trekked out to McDonald's for her.

Now, let me tell you that I suffer from Sciatic issues.  All that bending and digging aggravated it A Lot.  But still, I insisted that the geraniums on the front deck needed water.  On my way up the stairs, I tripped on the top stair which launched...yes launched my body forward.  Since I had water in my right hand, I broke my fall with my left.  The LAUNCH part bent my left hand backward.  I ended up spraining my wrist, thumb and pinkie finger. I'm feeling the sprain all the way up to my left shoulder.

I have been sleeping on and off for two days.  This fall zapped my energy!! I think all of it went to my left side to assist the healing process. I'm 64 and I'm thinking it takes me longer and longer to bounce back from this stuff.  I took the brace off today just to see how I'm doing.  The welling is down but still can't go without it. But I'll show the Universe...I will NOT be kept down.  I'm going out today to see what I can do with one good arm!!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Bird is the Word!!

May has been a really busy and somewhat stressful month so far. I think a "Stuff" post will be in order pretty soon.

In the meantime, here are some of my favorite bird visitors, though I can honestly say I love them all EXCEPT the Evil English Sparrows.

We have a Grosbeak family that has been coming to the feeders and to the pond.  Here is a male eating Cherry Suet, while a juvenile male is at the feeder next to the suet.  We have seen the female at the feeder as well.  The other day a juvenile female was bathing in a rain puddle next to the pond.  I wonder if they are a family.

 I am always so excited when the Orioles stop at the feeders.  Here a male is eating oranges that I place in a suet feeder.  We have seen the male and female come together.  Recently there have been juveniles visiting as well.  I saw a juvenile at a puddle by the pond.  It is usually pretty difficult for me to get pics of the Orioles.  They are usually fraidie cats and fly off with the least little noise. This family visits frequently and don't seem so afraid.  I like to think they are the same pair that have been coming every year and have become comfortable with us.  I don't put a syrup feeder out for them because they don't seem to use it, but they love the oranges. Later they will eat from the Hummer Feeders.

We are blessed with Blue Birds again this year.  I have two of these houses in our area, plus a few cedar houses.  The Blues seem to prefer these round boxes.  We had a pair lay eggs in the other house...then abandoned it leaving the eggs unattended.  After two weeks I emptied and cleaned the box. then I noticed a pair with two babies coming to the feeders.  They usually come to the feeders about a week after leaving the nest. Also they are hanging around the OTHER round house and now the mother is sitting on another brood.  Can't figure out what is going on because I never say the parents in that box before.  Anyway, the father is sitting on a branch of a dead tree we debranched but let stay to promote the woodpecker population that hunt for bugs there. His two babies are sitting on one of our poles I like to refer to as our totems.

We have the usual variety of birds visit the feeders.  We have Cat Birds nesting in the Honey Suckle next to the house.  Cowbirds, Titmouse, Nut Hatch, Chickadee and others I might have forgotten to mention here all visit.  I make an effort to attract the Wood Peckers that I love so much and put out bread for my beloved Crow.  Three visit all the time.  I don't know why I love them so much, but I do.  Of course we have visits from Hawk and I love them too. I haven't seen any Hummingbirds yet.

In 2014 we relined our pond. We planned to re-landscape it so that there would be a minimal amount upkeep which really means weeding. The first year was pretty much the relining effort and a new privacy fence on that side of the yard.  Since our back yard is about 250 feet long and Terry and I did it ourselves it was slow going.  Last year most of our summer consisted of cloudy was depressing and we didn't get that much work done in the back. We did enclose the back porch and believe me THAT was an accomplishment.  However, I feel really confident that this will be a great summer with perfect weather and we will get the replanting done.  I am off to a great start already.

Last year I added a little channel area to the pond.  I planted some grasses there.  Last week I got a picture (top left) of the fish using that area to spawn.  Before I took the picture there were about 4 times as many fish, but I scared them out of the picture.  The frogs have been singing their throats off and you can see they too are giving us billions and billions of babies (top right).  You can see them along the entire pond area.  I think the pond is about 20 x 30.  Our water lily are doing well.  We planted 7 more this year.  I can see them sprouting, but have not yet reached the top of the water.  See those ducks?  No, I'm not going to tell you we have ducks.  Well, I guess we do, but they are of the plastic variety.  Terry bought 3 at a garage sale and they have been floating with the flow of the water created by the filter system.  I must admit that I like them.

I never tire of bird watching.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

21 and Cutting the Apron Strings

Today is Corey's 21st Birthday.  This is a great pic of him with his mom.

Corey has lived with us most of his life, but has also lived with his mom at various times. It may be a weird situation, but it works.  Terry and I have been his parents for the most part.  His mom has been his friend.  The one he can tell things to that he would never talk to us about.  The one he could go to over the years for advice about things that grandparents would never understand.

I recently realized what "cutting the apron strings REALLY means".  It brought forth a lot of feelings I never had with his mom.  It's not a bad thing! There is a certain sense of responsibility that I no long feel.  I have no need to wake up at 4 AM to be sure he is up for work.  He does not want me to pack his lunch and guess what !?!  He can do that very well his self.  From going to the store to buy what he putting it in a bag each morning.  I still do his laundry if I think of it and want to, but I no longer feel like I SHOULD do it.  He works 12 hours a day so we don't expect him to do anything around the house, but he will if asked or if he notices he can help in some way.  A couple of months ago he was going to move into an apartment.  Maybe he just wanted to see if he would be approved, I'm not sure.  Anyway, he told us he would stay here for a while.  Maybe the prospect of paying off his car may have more appeal. He's 21 and learning the answers...with new questions popping up all the time.