Simple Saturday

Nice to have an afternoon where I could just sit out back and get to reading my latest book for a few hours – would love to finish it this weekend if at all possible. I am finding it to be a enjoyable read. We did have a massage earlier in the day, which was nice. Even had another friend come over during it but she didn’t stay long, which in a way was also nice. The timing of that getting over was good as my boss called a little while later wanting to go over some of the text of the proposal we’re working on. Basically my section is too long so I needed to pare it down some. But what do you get rid of? Don’t want to ax something that may be important. Well, I’ve come to the realization that we can only do the best that we can, if we lose this project, well, I’ll have to find something else to do, even if it is a bummer for me. I can only control what I can. Probably wouldn’t lose this job on anything I wrote anyway – most likely it would come down to cost – doesn’t everything?

Now I’m heating up some more panko chicken dinner for us, while the annoying neighbors kids next door keep screaming as they belly flop and splash into their pool.

While putzing around the yard I noticed and was pleased to see some of our pumpkins are starting to sprout from their seeds (Sean Connery’s progeny – Sean Connery being the name that the pumpkin had that the seeds came from – we didn’t come up with that, the steward of Sean did). I also noticed some strangely colored butterflies (but didn’t get a chance to see up close unfortunately) and even a hummingbird visiting the fuchsia! Maybe tomorrow I’ll be lucky enough to catch it again. Maybe I’ll finally pull the grill out too.

Flower Survey June 2019

Just a sampling of some of the flowers growing around the house 🙂 Click on one if you want to see any of them a bit larger. Like I said, just a sampling!

Bit by the Garden Bug

The Ladydoc's handiwork on display.

I never really considered myself a gardener. When I was younger I couldn’t have cared less. I can remember my grandmother yelling at me because my basketball (we had a hoop against the garage at the time) would inevitably bounce over and squash something that she had been growing. And I didn’t really seem all that bothered by it.

But then somewhere along the way I decided to try my hand at just growing some basil. Not sure when or how the idea took place, but I actually found myself liking to watch things grow.

Then the green thumb bug hit me. Little by little over time I would try my luck with various easy to grow herbs. I felt accomplished as these things grew and truth be told, I preferred the ones that basically grew themselves with little help from me.

I got to share my gardening with the Ladydoc. Just like me years before, she never really had a chance or a thought to grow anything. Probably felt didn’t have the knack or the time or the space. Come to find out, she discovered that she likes it now too. There’s something zen about working with the soil and communing with nature (does dirt have to be so dirty though?) We might not be the greatest at growing edibles but we’ve had some success. We really seem to hit the mark with flowers these days. We even increased our level of difficulty by trying to grow various species. Not all were successful, but the ones that have lasted have become established and are starting to fill in certain areas of the property. My original vision was just to have something pleasant to look at after coming home from a long day at work. Come to find out, the Ladydoc seems to have a knack for arranging all different species into various pots that give the place a feeling of being alive and all the colors of the rainbow. She really is the Container Gardening Queen. I’ve created a monster as she loves the more plants we get. We have plants in the ground, plants in raised beds, and plants in various pots about the decks.

It’s not perfect. I’m not very good at weeding and admittedly it’s that fact that I find the least enjoyable, as I’m sure most people do. Sometimes I don’t seem to water things enough. There’s the antics of squirrels and chipmunks. We decided not to use harsh chemicals because environmentalism and animals and all that. I think they seem to appreciate it as witnessed by the various creatures that pay us visits daily. Strangely, they don’t seem to go after the edibles in our raised boxes – not sure why, but pleased about that. I guess we came to some sort of agreement, you’ll all get other treats, just as long as you stay away from these – – Garden of Eden anyone?

It’s funny how the little things in life can give so much joy. I do enjoy the sense of accomplishment I get when we see a flower bloom finally after waiting a few months, and I suppose the bees and butterflies appreciate it too, and it’s great to see them flit about playfully. Lately we’re trying to grow pumpkin, along with the usual lettuce, tomatoes, squashes and herbs. The pots are filled with various perennials to last throughout the season. The funny thing is we never grow basil – Ladydoc doesn’t really like it. The herb that got me started in the first place.

I’m not sure where I was going with this entry. I just wanted to share the garden love and maybe be a little proud of our tiny piece of work in the grand scheme. It’s not much, but its ours, and I think it looks nice. I wanted to showcase some of the work that the Ladydoc has done, as the place really looks nicer than anything I could have put together. She’s become better at this than I ever was! And I’m glad I could share that interest of mine with her as well, and that she could run with it, and make it better and better, for ourselves and guests to see and enjoy, and forget our troubles for a little while.

If Chipmunks Could Smile

We saw a very strange and annoying yet somewhat cute sight this morning while looking out the back yard picture window. We have a strawberry plant that is producing quite nicely but it’s hung up on a planter hanging by a hook type setup.

chipmunk
The culprit , AKA “Chips”, seen in an earlier encounter.

Lo and behold, a chipmunk had somehow gone up the stairs and took a flying leap into the container and was gorging himself on the ripened strawberries thus far – a veritable fruit buffet of such delights that I don’t think a creature could ever be so happy as that chipmunk.

“No doubt to relish in the spoils of its labor”

We purposely did this and placed the setup as so as to make it difficult for this to happen. We tried to get a picture of the crime but the little bugger would hide underneath the canopy of strawberry leaves.

And then, without missing a step, it fell right out of the pot (looked upside down to me) and into the waiting arms of the buffeting hosta leaves, and then was gone, no doubt to relish in the spoils of its labor. It was kinda cute though seeing the head pop out from under the leaves, and did I see a smile on its lips?

Trying Out New Old Things

Let’s try to get caught up on a few things that have been going on since the last real update. In no particular order: Last weekend just browsing one of those Buy Nothing Facebook Groups I saw this bike available. So I threw my name into the hat, and wouldn’t you know I got picked!

So I went to meet the woman giving it away and came away with this sweet cruiser. A little banged up and serviceable. I spent part of last weekend fixing it up a bit, getting rid of some stuff she had on there that I didn’t want, such as a broken rear view mirror. Overall it seems to ride pretty well. I saw that Somerville is having a Bicycle Committee Community Bike Ride today so I’m going to go down there with the group and really give it a go. I think this will make a nice companion ride to my old mountain bike. Great to have options!

In other news, in case you were wondering, I did finally get the blade off the mower and installed the new one. Cuts really nice now, should be great going forward.

Speaking of moving forward, the Ladydoc finally decided to get some real home improvement work done over the last week. Namely, redoing the bedroom with newly painted walls, and finally removing the age old carpet which had great hardwoods underneath. They needed to be sanded and buffed and all that but they were in great shape to begin with. I guess being under that carpet so long preserved it! Apparently most of the house has these hardwoods but the previous owners covered much of it in carpeting, which naturally has been left, at least up until now. Also went down and got a new ceiling fan that’s made of brushed nickel and looks pretty cool. LED lights and all. Still need an electrician to come in and install a recessed light that LD wants over a chair in the room by the window to assist in reading.

In the plants realm, I did break down and buy and plant a new butterfly bush to replace the one out back with looked like it was regrowing and then suddenly went kaput. Not sure what happened there, although I think one night last winter when it got crazily cold may have put it over the edge. Otherwise, everything else seems to be blooming like crazy, especially the rose bushes, columbines, and clematis. Also the raised box vegetables are really starting to grow now. I love it when a plan all comes together!

What else? Well, last night while going out to dinner, we did see a red tailed hawk just sitting by the road. Majestic looking creature. Sadly, upon closer inspection he had what appeared to be a recently deceased baby bunny under his talons. He stayed there for quite a while as folks got out their cell phones and took some shots of him. We did too, until we saw what he had done. I know it’s nature and all but it kind of put a damper on it for us. What can I say? We’re a little sensitive.

And finally, speaking of dinners, I did get a chance to take my mom to a place called Earl’s in Assembly Square last weekend. I must say I was impressed with the decor of the place. (We had gone there after visiting my grandparent’s gravesite). Probably the most stunning thing about the visit though was our waitress who legit looked exactly like Jennifer Aniston. She said she gets that all the time and dresses more like her for Halloween. Well, if Jennifer ever needs a younger double, she’ll know where to look!