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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Good Tuesday Morning

Good morning!  It's another GORGEOUS day in northeastern Minnesota (oops, just remembered to pull some butter out of the refrig to soften - be right back).  'Kay, that's done.  Gonna do some baking today.  All based around rhubarb, of course.  Hey, random thought:  is rhubarb only an "up north" thing or do y'all have it in the south (maturing much earlier, of course)?

Where's my camera - there's a cat in the cedar!  Hang on!  

Does Bonzi in a cedar = Bonsai?

"Hmm, I'm pretty high up", she says!

Headin' back down.  Thank goodness for claws!

Anyway . . . !  My four consecutive days in the office last week went by faster than any four have before.  ZOOM! and they were gone.  Dunno why - there wasn't anything unique going on.  I even managed to get home at the "regular time" most of the nights, my social calendar being slight last week.  ;)  On Thursday night, My Girl asked me to come to her house in town for dinner.  A couple of months ago, she moved from her single "nothing special" rental to an ADORABLE old log cabin rented by a new girlfriend.  Two bedrooms, back porch, huge yard, the whole nine yards . . . and yet, still right in downtown!  After dinner. we sat on the back porch while she played her acoustic guitar for me.

An aside about small town living:  when My Girl told me about this new woman she'd met and who would be her potential roommate, I asked the usual questions whenever she mentions someone new:
  • Is s/he local?  If so, who are the parents?  (Gawd, I sound like such a mother!)
  • What's his/her "story"?
  • Where does s/he work?
When I found out that this new friend worked at the same resort as The Peanut & Bunny's mama, I quizzed the mama.  "Oh!  She's GREAT!  That woman is as SOLID as a ROCK!"  Okay:  she passed.  ;)  (And, she really is wonderful I see as I get to know her.)

On Friday, I got an early phone call and bribe to get me into town early (i.e., when I SHOULD be getting into town!):  did I want to meet above-mentioned mama and The Peanut and Bunny for donuts and a visit?  YES!  

We met at the library before we went to the (most amazing in the world and only open in the summertime) donut shop.  When I parked, I recognized the vehicle of my first nannying family, so I knew it would be a double-bonus morning for Bopee!  It was really adorable:  when I walked into the library and stopped at the front desk to drop off my returns, I saw The Peanut and this other little girl (who's gonna be - gasp! - SIX in September!) huddled together over a pile of books in the children's section.  The little girl, who I'll call Ruti (because that's what her parents called her in utero:  little rutabaga), looked up and got her shy, sweet big smile and said to The Peanut, "It's Bopee!  Let's get 'er!"  They both came running over, and, as I dropped down to my knees, they both ran into my arms for some love.  (Awwwww!)

Fast-forward past the library visit, and The Peanut and her family (minus daddy who was at work, of course) and I were leaving.  As we passed the rest rooms, the mama suggested that The Peanut go potty before we left.  I pushed the mama out the door to get settled into their vehicle with Bunny and took The Peanut to the bathroom.  We were chatting away in there and then, as I helped her hop off the toilet, I got a spontaneous, "I love you, Bopee!"  Ohhh, my heart!  :)

Anyway, if memory serves, I was home right after work on all three of my remaining town days, and I actually got something done those evenings (which are usually a moot point).  All outside work and all lawn/yard care.  Fully suited up against the bugs, of course.

Happily, the bugs HAVE gotten better from the intolerable state they were a week or so ago!  Even though I STILL don't have the canopy for the bed (they FORGOT TO INCLUDE IT with the rest of my order - ARGGHHHHH!), I've been able to sleep the last few nights without having to duck into the not-very-breathable-but-nearly-bug-proof tent I made over a portion of the bed with sheets hung down from the ceiling.  Matter of fact, I was able to work outside for much of the day yesterday in shorts & a tank and just a smattering of bug dope!  Starting around 4:00 PM, though, the blackflies came out in massive numbers, and I had to dive into my bug jacket which is protective but anything but cool.  I figure I maybe sweated off a pound or two in it, though.  ;)

My three days at home (2 "off" and 1 "working from home") have evolved into a fairly equal division of 60-minute increments once I "start my day".  And, it's a great balance for me when it's either hot or buggy (or both!) outside.  I'll set the timer and do 1 hour of work here at the computer for my business, then reset it for an hour's worth of work outside or around the house.  That repeats all day until I've got no more oomph at night.  I focus on the outside work during the less buggy parts of the day and then inside jobs in the evening (dishes, cleaning, vacuuming, etc.).  It's a good arrangement because if it's hideously hot (okay, so, for me, that's anywhere above 75 degrees) or buggy OR if my eyes are bugging out at the computer over a particularly brain-intensive job for work, I know I'll have a break in a very short time!  The down side is that I never feel like I have any days "off" anymore, but it's balanced by the fact that I *am* at home those days!  And, right now while I'm really making an effort to get on top of things, it feels necessary.  But manageable.  And still good.  :)

So, yesterday, I got a client's brochure (designed last year) reformatted and sent to the printer for a batch of new copies.  The first proof will be waiting for me to approve when I get into town later this week.  I always prefer to see how it will come off the press before I order ALL the copies!  (I've learned that the hard way.)  That took the majority of my business time yesterday but, for the life of me, I can't remember what the rest of the time was spent on!  Outside, I got a lot done:
  • A couple of days ago, I locked the five chickens I got from Papa Pea last fall (six, originally, but I lost a hen in late winter) out of the chicken house and let the 10 chicks (now gawky tweens) have the entirety of the space to themselves.  They'd outgrown their brooder about a week before, and it was TIME!  Yesterday was the first chance I had to really adjust everything to suit their small size, though, and it felt good to get those adjustments made.  I should get some pics of them to show their growth progress, shouldn't I?
  • The two slate pathways leading from the front and side doors and then converging into one wide path are lined with trees and shrubs that I planted after moving here to Swamp River Ridge and (the ex) finished those walkways.  Yesterday, I got almost ALL the trees pruned at the bases:  high enough for the lawn mower to get nice and close to their trunks.  Also finished clipping the winter's dead stuff off almost all the shrubs.  Everything is fully leafed out now, so I can see the branches that really ARE dead!
  • I got a bit more weed-whipping done, too, but that continues to be a battle.  Either the rechargeable battery in the unit has passed its prime or I have the wrong cord for plugging it in and it's not recharging.  Or, it's just not as heavy duty as I thought I remember it being.  I think I'm just gonna have to break down and haul the big, gasoline-powered brush cutter / trimmer down from upstairs in the garage.  ("But the rechargeable one is so much smaller and lighter!", she whines.  Perhaps that's why it doesn't work very well, too!)
  • Spent a lot of time watering the hanging baskets and outside plants.  We haven't gotten any rain in a few days, and the ground is DRY.  Cleaned up the small deck off the kitchen and finally moved the grill to its new space.
  • Threw tennis balls innumerable times for Maisy.
  • Got a load of rugs washed.
  • Lastly, ensconced in the heat of my bug jacket and full head covering, I got out the pick axe (yes, that is NO exaggeration - I felt like I should be mining for gold or working on the railroad!) and shovel and dug two holes for planting two new trees along above-mentioned slate walkway.  As I said, the ground is dry and hard.  And rock-filled.  But, I got a very cool-looking Siberian Peashrub and one of the ten new Juneberry saplings planted and staked.
Do you know what a Siberian Peashrub is?  I'd never seen or heard of such a thing until a week ago Sunday when Mama Pea and I went to the local discount nursery.  It has the coolest looking leaves and a hardiness zone of 2 / -50 degrees, so I snapped it up!  It was the only one there, too.  I'll take a picture of it later today for you.

And speaking of pictures, I'll leave you with these:

How many of you get to enjoy American Goldfinches?  The males, currently in their breeding plumage, are STUNNING!

I'm eternally dreaming about my to-be-someday camera with a zoom.  I have it all picked out but noooo money.  Until then, these amateur photos will have to suffice.

Week before last, My Girl and I met for lunch at the local fish market.  Their deck is protected enough that we got to sit outside in the sun for the first time.  Not a bad view, eh?

One of the last times I stopped at the P.O. to pick up my mail (I usually make it about once a week), this BIG package was waiting.  What the heck had I ordered?  I couldn't remember a thing!
Whoo-hooo!  It was my most recent order of audio books from the library!  Yep, this is how I ROLL!  :)

I'm currently reading this book (in the house) - LOVE it and will look for more by this author!

And this classic (in the car - which can only play cassettes).  Double bonus from these two books set in Ireland:  I'm boning up on my Irish accent!  ;)

And, with that, I'll leave you and get on with my day.  I've spent a couple of hours here already this morning!  ON with it!


  1. I ended up commenting on your previews post twice-sorry I MEANT IT FOR THIS ONE.

  2. well ho-lee cow you have been busy! I wish I could see SRR, it sounds like you are really getting it all spruced up! As far as the Rhubarb - I'll say a big "NO" to it being in the south. Lots of people might say "yes we do!" but any rhubarb grown down here doesn't even begin to compare with the northern stuff. I remember big old stands of rhubarb taller than I growing up and you can't find that down here:)

    I am loving the big box of reading material, that's right up my alley. Glad to hear the bugs are slowing down just a bit, that can make outdoor chores as bad as doing them in 100 degrees down here, yuck!

    Speaking of cameras, what type of camera would you recommend for a beginner that wants to take nice photos but is just starting out? I have the standard little purse size Canon PowerShot but someday hope to have the time to learn a bit more, although it wouldn't happen for at least 6 months says the checkbook LOL


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