Yard Work, Food, Liquid Nitrogen, & Softball

Greetings and solutions to you all, wherever you may be this glorious day. It’s glorious, for me at least, because I was able to attain a vertical position this morning, and walk to the bathroom without having to shuffle my feet. And, my depends was dry as a bone! Mornings don’t get much better than that. Actually, I don’t wear depends, yet.

Over the past 4 days I’ve been pretty busy clawing crab grass from the ground around the tree I decapitated next to the garage. The tree has multiple stumps jutting into the air that display the potential of being a prime location for a bird condo. The truth of that has yet to be formalized into an action plan because none of the local builders have returned my calls. I can only surmise that none of them like birds, or they have no interest in participating in a plan to build a bunch of little condos that might only require half a piece of 1/4 inch plywood and some scrap wood for trim. Maybe a little paint, too.

Here’s what’s left of the tree …

IMG_0291Can’t you see an array of little bird houses perched atop the stumps, at various levels? Sure, it wouldn’t be practical because it’s too accessible for the cat, but still … It would be a good exercise and might make someone’s Pintrest page. Who knows? Maybe there’s even an example out there somewhere, but I’m not going to look.

Here’s some of the debris I removed from around the tree … there’s a sidewalk under there …

IMG_0292To obtain all of this required that I deconstruct the home of a herd of rats that apparently call this area home. They had tunnels running all over the place, especially around and under all the tree roots. Fortunately, they weren’t home while this was going on. From the looks of the place, they left in a hurry at some time in the past because there was food on their little tables. It was all dried up, though, so it’s been there a while. I suspect that Breezie, the pushy cat, had something to do with their desire to relocate. Her, and all the other cats that make their way to the back porch area to get a free meal we put out for them every day.

Speaking of meals, here’s one I had a few days ago …

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It was quite good.

Last Monday, as I’m sure you are all aware, was Memorial Day. I was up at the crack of dawn to help our Lions club put out flags, like we do every holiday. Then I had a reasonably priced breakfast sandwich at Sunshine Pizza. Bob Krenz rode with me as we did our share of the flags and we were done first so we got back to breakfast in record time. Bob is a WWII vet who served in Europe. One of those Purple Heart guys. We had a great time putting out the flags, then picking them up again in the afternoon.

All my free time right up to this point in time was used to play in the dirt, removing grass. All by hand, I might add. On my little hands and knees. Additionally, with the exception of a few morning hours, that’s ALL I did on Tuesday, between rain showers. Yesterday was especially festive because thunderstorms passed through and dropped tons of hail on me as I worked. I stayed dry, however, because I was wearing a heavy-duty rubber rain coat with a hood. Oddly, it’s easiest to pull grass and weeds right after, or during a rainstorm because the dirt isn’t so clingy. I was wearing kneepads, too, so my jeans didn’t get all muddy. It was a real mess out there for a while, but I stuck to it. Diane was working at prepping food for today’s Community Meals event while I was playing in the rain and instinctively knew I was out in it. The only part she got wrong was the cowboy hat. It’s great in the rain because it’s wide brim keeps water from running down my neck, but I didn’t wear it because I needed the rest of my body to remain reasonably dry so I wouldn’t catch pneumonia. That would make Diane a bit cranky, I’m afraid.

The missing morning hours on Tuesday were spent with a trip to see my new dermatologist in Portland. I go see these specialists once in a while because I just love the way liquid nitrogen feels on my tender skin. This one didn’t disappoint, either. He checked me all over and burned off maybe 15 spots on my face, ears, and neck. Thank God the spot on my scrotum was deemed to be insignificant. I’d’ve had a stomach ache for sure had he attacked that one.

We can right back home after the doctor visit so I could get busy in the dirt. Diane insisted, even though my once pretty face was all spotted up and felt like it had been lashed with a fistful of stinging nettles. The dirt was a good diversion.

I got to quit early yesterday afternoon because the St. Helens High School softball team played their first bracket game for the Oregon State OSAA Championship. Out of 16 teams they ranked #8 and played #9, Marist. St. Helens was the home team, but because of the rain, the game was moved to the Hillsboro Stadium complex. We went because Lydia was moved up from the JV team to play with varsity. She wasn’t expected to play, and she didn’t, but she was smiling the entire game. Had one of the outfielders been unable to play, she was there. Jennie and Cedric rode with us to the game so we got to visit. Cedric, I’m sure, went along for the ride because he knew there were going to be lots of girls at the game. He wasn’t disappointed.

Here they are all lined up on the 3rd base line for the national anthem. Lydia is in the middle somewhere …

IMG_0077… and here she is, #25, warming up between innings …

IMG_0078Officially, Lydia is the only freshman playing with varsity during the state playoffs. Abby, the other freshman selected, fell and tore all the ligaments in her wrist so won’t be playing anything for quite a while.

The game was pretty tight for the first few innings, a display of defensive excellence on both teams. By the 5th inning it was only 2-1 for St. Helens, then our girls figured out the incredibly effective change-up thrown by the Marist pitcher. She had our girls swinging away before the ball was 3/4 the way to the plate. Pretty frustrating. Bunting proved to be a crucial aspect of success, and our girls did it to perfection. Still, they had trouble advancing runners beyond 3rd base with the exception of the two runs.

Then came the 5th. Marist was shut down quickly in the top of the inning, then our girls came to bat. They bunted, hit, and walked the bases full with 1 out. The next girl popped up, for 2 outs. Then the hero came to the plate and hit a line drive double down the right field line. The right fielder let it get passed her allowing the runner to get to third, clearing the bases for a 5-1 lead. It was pretty awesome, and that’s the way the game ended.

Now they must play Sandy, the #1 seed, tomorrow. It would be nice if the game was also in Hillsboro, but that’s not a guarantee, just an option. That decision won’t be made until tomorrow. Two more wins and St. Helens plays for the trophy. What fun!

Going back a ways, here’s a photo of when we were placing flags on Veteran’s graves at Bethany Cemetery last Saturday …

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That’s Roger (Army), Beth, Bill (Marine), and Doug (Army). Beth is the organizer who has all the cemetery maps and makes sure we know what we’re doing.

Today I’ve decided to stay clean just as long as I can because I will be helping at Community Meals this evening. Diane left at 1000 to get things organized for the evening meal. I’ll go later to eat and help clean the place up.

Now it’s noon, and I’m going to follow Panzee’s lead and take a nap. Seems like the right thing to do.

One thought on “Yard Work, Food, Liquid Nitrogen, & Softball

  1. Friends, as you read through the left and right turns in above ramblings….sincerely, you know how my days progress…

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