It's a shocker, I know, that I'm finally here. What's MORE of a shocker is that I'm up with hot coffee and beginning to write at 6:39 AM! Maybe I'm making up for yesterday when I didn't wake up until noon after 13 straight hours of sleep! Last night, I got just over 5, thanks to Dosie (the cat) who was tearing up and down the board walkway that connects the two decks, right underneath the bedroom window this morning. How can 6 pounds of cat sound like an elephant when they do that?! Then, of course, just as I was plodding downstairs to show her that I'd left the front door open a crack, specifically to avoid being wakened by animals wanting to go out or come in, she came scampering UP the stairs! Sigh. Kids!
I was just reviewing the pictures I've taken in the past several days to remind myself what to post about, and there's a lot! But, you won't get it all right now: tooooo much. Last Tuesday was the day my dad, Papa Pea, came out and when I started making some real headway cleaning up the front yard and prepping for it the summer. Within this past week, we had our first real day of spring . . . and then it was summer. I kid you not. One day of spring, yep: that was all we got. Cold, cold, cold and then HOT (by my warped standards, anyway).
Last Wednesday, I shut down the outside wood furnace and made all the appropriate adjustments necessary to transfer production of the house's hot water to the water heater (which just serves as a hot water storage tank in the wintertime when it's heated from the boiler). The mosquitoes arrived but not in droves, thank goodness. I haven't had to wear a headnet or bug dope yet. No blackflies, either, but I hesitate to jinx things by even mentioning that! I also refilled the batteries. Papa Pea had taken a look at them when he was here (I had some concern about the sulfuric build-up on some of the terminals) and cautioned me that they off-gas and, therefore, lose more of their acid/water balance as they age. So, I need to keep a closer eye on that. We also discussed a new physical layout for the batteries when I get my new ones: as I've mentioned before, the 24 large, deep-cycle batteries are place three deep and eight across, and the depth is too much to allow for any sort of personal physical comfort when maintaining them.
We northeastern Minnesotans put our hummingbird feeders out around the 15th of May, and I thought I saw a quick glimpse of one on Sunday, but I couldn't be sure. At any rate, I got their sugar water made and out on Monday, and I saw the first . . . and then a couple . . . little guy(s)/gal(s) yesterday morning.
My days before, during, and after the upcoming holiday weekend are gonna be a whirlwind of activity: my oldest girlfriend and her family are coming from their home in St. Paul to put the second story on their cabin, just 9 miles east of me (keep your fingers crossed for good weather!). She's a physician's assistant, and her hubby is a physicist, so their schedules are tight. Due to that, they'd planned this trip last fall and booked me to nanny for their two little ones - ages 2 1/2 and, let me count, 9 months - for five of those days. I begged off from the Saturday & Sunday of the Memorial Day Week(end) so I could be in my gallery in town, hoping to grab the first of the season's tourists. AND, my uncle and his wife from California might be visiting over those same days . . . so it's gonna be a BUSY time!
I've really kicked it into overdrive concerning my business, too, and my days "off" seem to be more productive than my in-office days. While I'm not necessarily complaining, the problem with being in my office is that friends know that I'm in my office! So, getting things done there seems to be a bit ineffectual. I think I'm going to start trying to change that by keeping the door to my office closed. If that doesn't work, I'll have to start putting the word out that I really can't be visited. And/or just really limit those visits. It's my own fault, I know: when they say, "I really shouldn't be tying you up!" . . . I tend to respond, "I know, but I never see you!" So, WHY am I complaining? Yes, I am in charge of my own schedule: I need to learn to put a cap on things. ;)
But, following a COMPLETE waste of limited time in the office last week, I've made the first two of my three consecutive days here at home count. I've put myself on an hourly schedule, and it's all about my 60-minute timer. I'll do one hour at the computer on business work, then one hour on Swamp River Ridge work. Rinse and repeat until the end of the day when I'm exhausted. Usually around 9:00 or 10:00 PM. BUT, I am getting things DONE, and that feels good!
My "around the homestead" accomplishments these past days have been based around the good weather: laundry out on the line to dry, high-pressure washing of the second and larger slate walkway, planting a border of lily bulbs in an area susceptible to erosion, intense vacuuming (while the sun shines & charges my w-e-a-k and desperately-needing-to-be-replaced battery system), keeping an eye on the chicks (haven't lost one yet although I did have to perform an "emergency procedure" on a very pasty vent Sunday night), weeding, pruning trees, putting rock borders around perennials and trees, and more general clean-up of the front yard. Even though there's no substantial green on the trees yet, I could already mow some of the grass . . . which I think I may start today.
I took a short walk in the woods the other day to see what I could find poking up through the duff: wood anemones only, so far. The unopened blossoms are particularly pink this year.
The ticks seem to be out in force already, though: while at The Peanut's & Bunny's house for dinner last Friday night, I had to rather suddenly excuse myself to the bathroom as I sqeaked, "Excuse me, I have SOMETHINGCRAWLINGUPMYLEG!" Their dad just said, "Mmm. Tick." I dropped trou in the bathroom and The Peanut came zoomin' in to say, "Can I see?!" Yep, first tick of the season. I showed her how to CRUSH their hard shells to make sure it was d-e-a-d! Then, last night as I was sitting here in this chair in the library crocheting, I felt something drop onto my neck. Yup, another one. (How many of you are starting to itch and creep out, reading this?!) I'd felt something in my hair earlier in the evening but couldn't find anything . . . I suspect it was the tick. Yuck. BUT, I'll take ticks ANY day of the week over (shudder) spiders. (As I look overhead to make sure there isn't one ready to fall down on me. Spider, not tick.)
I took the new header photo last Thursday as I headed into town, less than a mile down the road from home. At first glance, I thought, "Oh, a baby!" I was even a little hesitant to stop to take the picture, wondering where protective Mama was. But, then I realized that it was just a small yearling: freshly kicked out of the nest. Cow moose (meese?) keep their calves through the whole first year until they calf again in the springtime: then the 1-year old gets kicked to the curb to fend for him/herself!
So, with that, it's time for pictures. Let's see what I can find of interest to post.
|I took this picture a week ago last Monday to show how things were starting to green up. Yes, that is snow in the right-hand side of the picture. But, it's - finally - all gone now.|
|The soft needles of the Tamarack (aka American Larch) are starting to pop.|
|Finally, I'll leave you with a picture of the kitties, curled up on the afternoon sun. I love it when they cozy up together!|
I hope you have a terrific Wednesday!