Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cold and wet

The weather has sucked big time this week. Okay, we could use the rain, maybe, but it is cold! I don't like the cold- I put up with it in the winter, because you have to in Maine. But May is supposed to keep getting warmer, not revert to frosts and temps in the 40s! We've had to turn the heat back on and I'm still cold. Bah.

J has to work this Saturday again, why, I do not know- his boss has decided to torture him I guess. He usually works from 6- 2:30, now his hours are going to be 5- 2. He likes just a half hour lunch, but has to take an hour off. To be into work at 5, means he gets up at 3:30, so goes to bed at 7:30 or 8. Ridiculous, I say!

Anyway, he had Wednesday off- it rained all day, so we still do not have our garden rototilled, and our pumpkin babies are outgrowing the peat pots. The dogs get filthy, and I don't take them for a walk in the rain. Sorry, but I don't, not in cold rain. They have a big yard to run around in and get filthy.

The only heartening thing this week was the beef stew I made last night. I am going to have a bowl now, and perhaps warm the cockles of my soul.

At least I won't be whining here anymore.... right now.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Okay, I think I'm ready for company. J normally has weekends off, and would have helped clean, but he has to work today due to the holiday. Ms M and Mr C should be here shortly, and J gets out of work at 2:30. so he won't miss much but the preparation!

A lens popped out of my computer glasses last night, and in my zealous vacuuming, I forgot to look for the tiny screw. Oh well, I probably couldn't have found it anyway- I can't see it, and I patted the floor down last night with no luck. Thank goodness I have a nice big monitor and don't need to have them- it's just easier on my eyes if I'm on for a long period. like playing Guild Wars.

Of course, the weather is turning a little iffy today, it couldn't have been hot and sunny for our company, could it? As long as it doesn't rain a lot, it will be okay- It's just that the 3 dogs will be in and out and it's hard to catch them and dry them off when they are excited. Or anytime, really.

Back from feeding the dogs, did you miss me? Boomer comes in and does his annoying yip yip yip, and I try to get him to be quiet, since I don't want to reward the yipping. Finally Rosie weighs in with her moaning husky talk, wooooo wooooo and they get their food. I add water to the dry food, mostly to slow them down, and they lick each other's faces afterwards to make sure no drop is missed.

We use Canidae, and I like it- Rosie's coat has always been shiny and she doesn't smell doggy. Even after they changed their grains last year and some people said they had problems then, we never did. Although it is more expensive, you feed less of it, so the price really works out to be close to a supermarket brand. Plus, less food going in, less coming out the other end.

Have you seen that ad for a carpet cleaner, where the lady tells the little dog to use his inside voice? I feel like that with Boomer. When he yaps at me, I tell him no, and he slowly subsides to the floor and mutters in a deeper voice. Sometimes. We're working on it, he's only what? 9 months old now! He's got time, Rosie is a year older and still isn't all 'grown up' yet. I told J the other night that Boomer would probably have been much calmer as an only dog. He is very anxious that he gets/has/does everything and more that Rosie does. Good thing she is so mellow most of the time. I am anxious to see how Mabel the beagle does today.

Well, this post rambled a bit more than usual. I think I better let it end.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A girl

It is a year for the fillies. Our niece, Francesca Violet was born May 20, sharing the date with her, let's see, first cousin once removed. As far as I know, that is it for the baby crop this year.

A lovely warm day here today, already 81 at 11:30. I have windows open and maybe this old house will finally warm up for the spring.

Doing laundry and hanging it outside is always pleasant, although the two chains on the dog gate between the porch and the line slows me down a little. I am washing the slipcovers in preparation for Ms M and Mr C visiting this weekend. Our couch has a company slipcover, and another on top for the dogs. It's just easier that way, trust me.

Taking a break now, and will pot up my hanging baskets for the porch later. That's always fun.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Finally, a sunny day that was fairly warm! It's been the kind of weather that warms up pretty well outside, but doesn't warm up the house. I must admit we turned the heat on last night, but J has a nasty cold, so that was the excuse!

One of my cousins (first cousin, but a generation apart in age) had a daughter born today. His first child. but the 3rd girl out of 4 grandchildren for that branch of the family. On J's side, his nephew's wife is due tomorrow with their first child. Another niece had a little girl in April- will it be 3 for 3 this year?

Tomorrow is also Shoeshine's 30th birthday, which just doesn't seem possible! And no grandchildren in sight for us yet. Ms M is the only married one of the four, so she is carrying all the weight of family expectations right now (pun intended).

It so interesting watching babies grow and to see what kind of personalities they have. Especially when they are not yours and you bear no responsibility for their quirks. Besides the genetic peculiarities that is. Strange how some traits are so strongly recognizable through the family. Besides premature graying, webbed toes, a well developed sense of humor appears in our families often.

Thank goodness for humor- I can't imagine living with people who can't find something funny to say in just about any situation. Of course, when it's teenagers who are talking, it can be hard to see the humor in the moment, but months (or years) later it can be recalled fondly.

While talking to my parents today, I mentioned weeding my flower gardens, and how I always underestimate the time needed and number of weeds. I told myself to plant my new flowers in existing beds- DO NOT START NEW GARDENS! My mother said she is downsizing her gardens even more. She concentrates now on the garden around her fish pond that she sees from her porch.

J and I have many, many projects around here, some started, some almost done and some we haven't thought of yet, I'm sure. However, we find we are slowly clearing out the attic, and empty rooms upstairs, now that the kids are all gone. I'm not saying we don't bring new junk home, but we tend to be a little more selective/realistic about the odds that we will actually use something now.

So, as our lives are beginning to shrink just a bit, others' are expanding with new homes, new spouses ( niece's wedding in July) and best of all, new babies. I can't wait to see how little Heidi, Leah and the one no one has met yet will fit into and change our families.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sore Sunday

My goodness, we got a lot accomplished yesterday. We were able to get rid of some ancient monitors and TVs at a hazardous waste/recycle day- Combined with a local one two weeks ago, we safely disposed of 7!

Then we swung by Home Depot to leave eggs for J's coworker and got a bargain on 2 slightly damaged picket fence sections. They will become a little kennel corner of the back yard, for times we want the dogs out of the way while working out there.

Next, J's chain saw was put into action removing a multiflora rose that was way out of control. The Rose That Ate The Hedge! The first year I noticed it, I thought, oh that's pretty, it can stay. The next year, I thought, hmm that thing spreads quickly, doesn't it. Last year, I saw a 12 foot cascade of tiny white flowers that conpletely hid the high bush cranberry that was supposed to make up the hedge.

So, yes we needed a chain saw. The base of one of the roses was a trunk that was 4 inches in diameter! An invasive plant, indeed. Our small pickup was overfilled-twice- with wicked sharp thorns and sprays that were more than 20 feet long in some cases. We had gloves, of course, but I wore a tshirt and look like a wild cat attacked my arms. Not to mention punching myself in the eye when the tiedown slipped out of place. But the front looks much better.

Lastly, we were getting ready to play some Wii tennis (we are both PRO status now, yay!) When we saw a woman running to our door. She told us that one of the pasture horses was grazing the side of the road. We have about 6 acres of pasture that a neighbor keeps 3 or 4 horses on each summer. In return, he cuts that, and an adjacent hay field for us. He keeps most of the hay, and we get a dozen bales for the hens, and banking the house.

Anyway, J gave him a call, while I went down to catch the horse. That was very easy, considering she walked up to me. I think she was hoping for a snack. Anyway, we walked back to the gate, which had a broken post, and I got her back in without the other 2 escaping. The owner showed up soon and they fixed their post, I presume. We went back to our tennis.

So, it rained last night and is still gray today. We are moving slowly today with muscles complaining, at least mine are. Which is why I am writing instead of getting dressed, which I will go do now. sigh.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Green, green grass

I mowed the entire lawn today, getting everything caught up. It's rough around the edges, but the huge lumps are smoothed out, and I disturbed many bees on the dandelions. Sorry, bees. You still have the azaleas.

Before mowing the dog yard, I had to patrol for hidden obstacles. Like the logs from our woodpile, a milk jug, legs from an old wood stove(no, I don't know why Rosie likes them either)and many pieces of chewed plastic flower pots, oh and two Dragonball Z doll halves.

I still had many popups to plague me however. I missed a couple of tennis balls, a sneaker, and one of those cast iron stove legs. And by 'missed' I mean picking them up- I hit them with the mower- except for the stove leg. Thank goodness that lay flat and I had the blades up a bit.

So I expect tonight our house will be littered with grass blades as well as shedding fluff.

Did I say I got a new desk chair on Sunday? Well, if I didn't never mind- I returned it Tuesday. The arms wouldn't work for me. I went to Longfellow's, my favorite nursery and spent my gift certificates on some perennials- two hollyhocks for the porch posts, a white bleeding heart, sage, and, something else I can't remember right now. Plus I picked up petunias and impatiens for my hanging baskets. No gargoyles this year, the pickings were slim in that department.

I keep singing green, green grass to the tune of red, red wine- I just figured out what the tune went to ! :) Oh well, both color songs anyway, and once more, thank goodness no one listens.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

It has been a soggy weekend, but a very satisfying one. On Saturday, we went to the wedding of our neighbor's daughter, a very nice time was had. It was a simple, moving ceremony and so nice to touch base with folks I haven't seen for some time.

All 4 kids called, of course, for Mother's Day, Shoeshine surprising us by calling first, from Colorado, two time zones behind his siblings! In fact he called while I was speaking to my mother, so I called him back.

We went out to do errands and Sectaurs called later, we spoke of some projects we each have planned. I wanted to know if he can help me with some decorative tiles for our porch posts, and he needs a shade for his cubicle to block glare. Symbiosis!

The girls had a shopping misson and it was accomplished- sandals for Ameranth were found, after much trying on of footwear. It's hard to find her in-between size sometimes, and the shoes need to be man-made materials, due to her vegetarian practices. That and her ADD makes shopping frustrating at times. Ms. M persevered and kept her on track for the other items on her list as well.

Thanks to Ms. M and my hubby, who both gave me shopping funds for garden items. Now, annuals, perennials, or decorations? J votes for gargoyles!

Oh, and our lawn tractor is back, ready to roll as soon as the grass dries out.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Little bits

I just found out that while Maine is the fifth state to allow same-sex marriages, it is the first to do so with the Legislature and governor both approving, and without involving a court ruling. So again, Yay Maine.

When I commented to my family about our lush lawns of dandelions, my brother sent recipes using them. Our reply was that we don't eat them, we grow, show, mow or blow them!

It would be impossible (well, for us it would be) to get rid of the dandelions in our grass, since we are downwind from 7 acres of pasture where they grow freely. We have long since embraced them as a lovely addition to our landscaping.

I ran out to take a picture of the lawn, that I mowed 3 days ago, which apparently coincided perfectly with the dandelion bloom.

This one shows the aftermath of the bloom- see all the little white puffs on the lawn, behind Sectaurs and Ameranth?

And yes, aren't my kids colorful too? They're adults, I can just enjoy them.

Happy Mother's Day to me!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Same-sex marriage bill passed

Maine's governor signed a same-sex marriage bill into law yesterday. Yay for Maine. 5th state to do so isn't as cool as being the first, but it's still awesome. And we're ahead of NH and RI in New England.

I know opponents are hoping to get this delayed for a voter referendum, but I hope they don't. I'm pretty live and let live, and gay marriage does not threaten my marriage at all. Plus I'm pretty sure that quite a few of the abusive, mean-spirited, deadly relationships we read about occur within a church-sanctioned union. Which, by the way, ours is- church sanctioned, that is- not the other stuff! It meant a great deal to J's mom that we get married in a Catholic church(he is, I'm not) so we did. It was a short ceremony, since we didn't have the Mass, but it made it legal in his folk's eyes, so, meh.

I saw this on a blog I follow yesterday - - and sent it to my kids. Now I have the tune stuck in my head, not knowing any of the words, except the chorus. It's a good thing I don't sing in public. LOL

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Spring is sprung

It is spring in Maine- warm days, wet days, and the black flies are out! I wish I had a picture of J and me digging post holes with our netting headgear last Sunday. We still got a few good bites, and for those of you unfamiliar with black flies- those first bites of the season tend to swell, and smart! I hate them getting in my ears and nose the most.

Poor Rosie's big stand up ears get hit hard. She runs when she sees me coming with the bug wipes, but last year the vet had to shave her ears to clean them up. She and I always have clouds of them around us, but Boomer seems to be ignored. Maybe because his ears are smaller and fuzzier?

On a sad note, Saturday night we had a massacre in our backyard, all but two of our hens were killed. When I let the dogs out about 5 am, they were too interested in one portion of the fence. After getting my glasses, I saw a dead hen on the other side, and another body 10 feet away. I trudged out to remove them, and found feathers of all colors strewn about the grass. I suspect a weasel was involved, since the 5 bodies I found had wounds only on their necks, and weasels will just drink the blood. It might have been a joint operation with coyotes or foxes though, since we are missing 6 bodies, after finding two more later on.

Boomer did find a head across the street later on, and only by introducing him to the horses in the field was I able to get him to drop it. Now, in our defense, the hens had been out loose for more than a month, without a problem. I took the old fence down on Saturday, since we are redoing it, and maybe the visual barrier being gone was the final straw. So, two very nervous survivors are still giving us an egg a day each, and we are shutting them up each night.

The pile of carcasses was a problem- these were big hens, and we didn't want to dig a hole that big. When we occasionally lose one(thank you, Rosie) we will take it down to the woods and leave it as takeout for whatever animal wants it. But this was too many to do that, and I wasn't feeling generous. Really- kill one to feed your babies, but all of them?

Anyway, we put them in two garbage bags, then noticed two toes and a beak poking through the black plastic. Doubled that one up, and the toe still threatened to become visible, so we put them in trash cans, and emptied them quickly when we got to the dump- excuse me, transfer station. The workers there like to keep an eagle eye on what goes in the hopper, so we were lucky this was cleanup weekend and they were busy checking stickers and directing traffic. Not that it's against the rules to dump a hen, but still...