Home > Archive: May, 2024

Archive for May, 2024

Sunday stuff

May 13th, 2024 at 12:42 am

Today was one of those days I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do. The sun was in and out, but mostly it was overcast, which nixed the idea of yard work as it was kind of on the chilly side without the sun's rays.

I have a press release to write for one of my volunteer gigs, but I just wasn't wanting to focus on that. Instead, I tidied up a bit (housework always comes last around here), did some laundry and took a late afternoon walk, and then a friend of mine offered me some of her pineapple coconut cake left over from Mother's Day, and so I walked over there and caught up with her for about an hour before walking back home with the cake in hand. (I brought her some lentil soup I coincidentally made today also.)

I bought a 40 lb bag of sunflower seed and put my bird feeder back up a few days ago. I just hope it doesn't attract any bears. They are frequently seen passing thru yards in my town, or marauding bird feeders, but that is nearly always in the heavily wooded north side of town. There was only one time a bear entered my area. I guess it was 3 years ago, and that bear wound up getting shot by a trigger-happy, off-duty detective who claimed he shot it in self-defense. (That's why he went back in the house from his deck to get his gun and go back outside to shoot it. Self-defense? I don't think so, and a lot of people were very angry about it, especially since it orphaned her 2 cubs, who were rounded up and taken to a facility.)

Anyway, being in the center of town south of the interstate makes it somewhat less likely bears would venture into this area. You don't want to have feeders up if they do come around, as it will encourage them to remain the area and lose their fear of people.


Monday meanderings

May 6th, 2024 at 02:48 pm

Yesterday was a rainy day so I was able to apply a special nutritional treatment to the drip line uner the canopy of my giant hemlock, which has been ailing for a while with the wooly adelgid.  You're supposed to apply it right before a rain. I hope it helps. I have plenty of the stuff to last all summer in treatments spread 2 weeks apart. I feel guilty that until last summer, I had mostly ignored the plight of this tree, but I definitely would not want it to die. I believe last summer's treatment killed the wooly adelgid and I do see new growth on the tree. Crossing my fingers.

The other day I was working out in the yard, as I often do, this time near the road trying to clear out and plant an area extending from my mailbox down about 50 feet. It is all woodsy on my side of the road and my house is set back a good 100 to 150 feet, depending on where you're standing. I noticed my neighbor across the street emerge from her backyard awkwardly carrying a large tree limb with her teenage daughter. They crossed their yard, then the road, and were headed to my wooded area fronting the road.

I called out hello and said please don't dump that in my woods. She pretended not to realize it was my property and asked how far down my property extended. It extends the whole way to the corner, I told her, so they carried the tree limb back and dumped it near a small brook on their side. Which I guess they should have done in the first place. It amazed me that I should even have to say this to a neighbor.

Super annoying to have neighbors with no concept of what it means to live in a community. They have always done their own thing, from their neurotic, barking dogs to the fireworks they force others to listen to, to the unbagged trash they put out that always ends up on my side.

At some point I realized the painful tendon below my left knee had become chronic, so I've lowered the weight I'm lifting at the gym, started wearing a heat pad at night and am wearing a brace this morning. It can be frustrating as you get older not to be able to do as much physically as you once did, but it's important to recognize when your body says stop.

I also started taking a few free-with-membership exercise classes at the senior center. The tai chi didn't work well as shifting my weight from one leg to the other and doing some gentle lunges was very hard on my knees, so then I tried a chair yoga class for general stretching, which was better. This week I'll try chair pilates and see if i like that any better.

I submitted my application for enrollment in Parts A and B of Medicare last week, and this week I'll be working with an insurance agent to select my Medigap (Plan N, Cigna) and Part D plans. I pretty much know what I want but just want to study the plans a bit more. The agent talked me out of high deductible Plan G because, she said, they increase that deductible by a few hundred dollars every year, making it harder to get any covered benefits. Something I may not have thought of if I hadn't worked with an agent.

Last Friday I took my father on a second historic barn driving tour, this time in the southern section of my hometown. I would pull over when possible and read a brief description of the barns from a website that has inventoried all the historic barns in the state, with their addresses.

After that I decided to bring him to a new-to-me Himalayan restaurant in town, and we both really liked it a lot, so we will be returning there.

Saturday I participated in a litter cleanup at a beach about 40 minutes from here.

Yesterday I descaled my electric tea kettle, did a load of laundry and some other general tidying up around here. It is gradually brightening now and soon I'll be headed to the gym and then to a friend's to exchange some plants: a pot of my gazania daisies for her mayapples, which I'll dig up as she injured her foot. They like shade, so I'd like to put them under a large mountain laurel in back. Someone from my garden group is gifting wild geranium (cranesbill), so will be picking that up on Wednesday.

I planted some yellow squash and cucumbers from seeds, on a heat mat, and 5 of the 7 have germinated. I will give the extras to dad; with his vision problems, he can't see the seeds well enough to plant himself, but I'll give him the seedlings to plant instead. Conveniently, I can open the bathroom window where they are growing and put them out to get full sun on the roof over my garage, then bring them in for the chilly overnights. The gentle breeze of <10 mph will also help strengthen the stems of each seedling so they don't flop over in the slightest breeze. I plan to plant them in my raised beds by Mother's Day. I'm also trying to germinate some cardinal flower after having stratified the seeds in the freezer and fridge. I may have less luck there. Doing the same with monkey flower and ironweed.