August?

It’s August already and I was just getting used to July.

To commemorate the day, Diane went to the dentist for her annual cleaning, and I stayed home to haul more refuse to the burn pile. Because I’m making so many trips, the burn pile is way bigger than legal for burning, when burning is once again OK. Like when it rains.

Speaking of rain … it kinda did that today. Not enough to measure, but enough so that a normal person could tell it was falling from the sky, not ricocheting off the sidewalk from a power washer, which I was using at the time. That was late in the day, of course, long after the burn pile runs.

Part of my clean up effort was on the west side of the garage where hardly anyone ever goes except the stray cats who come to visit. I think they live out there in the brush. Well, I removed a considerable amount of that today, along with some more, yes more, blackberry vines. Those things are just everywhere. The ones down by the burn pile come in handy, however, because they have tons of berries which I pick and eat as I drive by on the mower. I used to do that with the one raspberry vine until I accidentally mowed it down. I could usually count on that one vine giving me at least 10-20 berries each year. Same for the loganberry vines. The latter seems to be dwindling away, however. I think the 10 foot tall filbert tree growing in the row may have something to do with that. It was planted a few years ago by an angry squirrel. Our neighbor has an adult filbert tree from whence come the nuts the angry squirrel plants. Our other neighbor has a huge walnut tree but the squirrel has yet to bless us with a fledgling walnut tree.

He does, however, find plenty of time to plant oak trees everywhere.

Another way I celebrated August 1st was to get a head start on Christmas decorations by decorating the remnants of the rhododendrons out front. What prompted this was the discovery of a very long string of plastic bead-like garland that has been sitting on a lawn chair beside the garage for the past 3-4 years. It was placed there because it had, for some odd reason, been left on the kitchen porch making it fair game for every cat in the neighborhood to claim it as their own. It smelled pretty bad. Bad enough that I was originally told to dispose of them, which I kinda did by getting them off the porch. So, they’ve been sitting out there through countless rain storms and seem to have been washed clean. So, I strung it up. Kind of festive, don’t you think?

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When Diane discovers that I’ve done this she will probably make me take it down for the same reason she won’t let me leave our Christmas lights up year round. “It’s just not time,” she’ll say, but I think the remaining branches look at least a little bit dressed, now, instead of sitting out there all naked. It just seemed like the right thing to do. You can also see that I repurposed one of the branches as a hose hanger. Here’s a better picture for you, in case you want to see how it’s done…

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The first person to notice my decorative efforts was our neighbor with the walnut tree, to our east. She’s pretty old, and pretty stooped over, but she gets around just great. She came up because she was having trouble with the new phone they got for use on their Comcast phone line. Apparently various people claim to have left messages which Muriel said they just haven’t received. I thought I knew what the problem was so went back to her house to confirm my suspicions. Since having their Comcast Triple Play they’ve never set up their voice messaging. So I did that for her. Sadly, I’ve been over there before helping get her email set up, but never thought about the phone. Once it was set up we discovered that she had 31 messages waiting. We listened to the first one and she was amazed, as was I, to learn it was from last December. I ran her through the drill of getting the voice messages to a point where she could listen to them, then left her with instructions to go through them all and make them go away.

Another thing I did today was replace one of the sprinklers in the flower beds. Apparently someone, or thing, bumped it hard enough to break the PVC below the ground. So, I got out all my spare PVC parts and found everything I needed, except for one. I regret not taking a picture while digging through the parts because I had them stacked all over the sidewalk, that I would later power wash, while looking for the pieces I needed. Not having all the necessary parts served as an opportunity to visit ACE and, perhaps, see brother Jack, which I did. He even helped me find the part I needed. I even got a bunch of them that may come in handy at some point in the future.

It’s always good to see Jack. Too bad brother Jim doesn’t live closer so I could visit with him once in a while. He should move, but he won’t because the really important members of his family all live in Nampa. I totally understand but still wish he was closer. I miss watching him sleep while he’s watching TV.

Now it’s time for me to eat supper so I must end this. Diane went shopping and got me a baguette, one of my favorite things, so I’m going to go make a 3′ long ham and cheese sandwich.

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