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?


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…


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.

Vaccums, Sprinklers, & Lawn Mowers

This is my 365 blog entry since Thanksgiving 2011. If you are obsessive, and do the math, it will be readily evident to you that I haven’t written one a day. The only time that happens with regularity is when we are traveling someplace. Then dailys are required so those who wonder can travel with us vicariously.

Vicariously. That’s a nifty word. My brother, Jack, taught me that word in 2010. I’m sure I heard it before then, but never associated it with anything I do so didn’t give it much thought. It was he, Jack, who suggested daily reports when we took our USA Tour after retiring from my day job so he could travel with us vicariously. So I did that. All those blog entries were created with Apple’s iWeb which ceased to exist in November 2011 so the only copies available are on my computer. I might just start putting those out there on this and just change the dates.

Jennifer gave me today off so I could rest. She said I’ve been working hard and deserved it. I agreed. So, while resting I vacuumed the house and we rearranged the living room. We did this mainly because Bob, Steffani, and Maryssa are going to be here tomorrow and it’s an unbreakable rule that when company is coming you either have to paint the outside of your house, or paint three rooms, or clean and rearrange everything so it will look different from the last time they were here. We actually clean fairly often even when visitors aren’t expected, but when they are it gets done twice as hard.

The livingroom remake includes addition of the ‘new’ rug Diane purchased. Looks good. After Diane was happy with my work, she sent me outside to fix the in ground sprinkler that someone ran over. It’s the one at the end of the driveway in an area that has no pavement on it. People aren’t supposed to drive there, but they do it anyway. I don’t know who did it. Might have been me. So I cast no blame on anyone. It just happened. While fixing it I moved it away from the driveway about six more inches. I don’t know if that’s enough. We’ll see.

When I finished fixing the sprinkler I was released to, finally, mow the yard. I was going to just do the front, but wound up mowing and bagging the entire front and back yards. I finally finished about 9:15 pm. The moon was bright, but just a sliver, so I had to use the mower headlights on the last 1/4 of the back yard. I’ve always wondered why riding mowers have headlights. Now I know.

Now I must go shower and remove the stench of mown grass from my body. Then I will plead with Diane to dress my blackberry and apple tree wounds. Next year I will not sustain those kinds of wounds because I’m going to remove the low hanging fruit bearing limbs and eradicate the blackberry bushes. I’m also going to remove a forsythia thing that just sprouts willy nilly out of the ground, and another flowering bush that’s about eight feet tall and is composed mostly of dead sticks.

I forgot to mention that, while rearranging things earlier in the day, we saw a doe and two spotted fawns stroll through the yard. Very adorable little creatures. We’ve seen lots of deer, and evidence of deer who eat the flowers, but never tiny fawns. It was a special treat. They looked almost exactly like this, but different because this isn’t our back yard. I got this photo from the web. But, these are pretty much the same size as the visitors.


Now I must go. Hope everyone had a pleasant Saturday.