Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A little visitor

A young doe visited me tonight as I sat on the patio.  It was just dusk.  I was sitting quietly enjoying the fragrant flowers when she wandered into the backyard, nibbling the hanging plants.  It wasn't the first time I've seen her here.  Monday night as I rolled the garbage can out to the curb in the dark, she and I startled one another as I discovered her cleaning out the bird feeders in the front yard.  She knows where they all are.  She made her way to each one in the back tonight as I sat not moving.  She even nibbled at the hummingbird feeders, but found them not to her liking.  A real bonanza was found where one feeder had been blown out of the tree by today's strong winds, providing a nice stash of sunflower seeds on the ground.  She was a bare 10 feet from me.  She looked directly at me several times but went on feeding.  But when a mosquito landed on my arm, I moved to brush it away.  She didn't run right away, but watched me awhile and then walked away slowly.

If I'd followed my earlier instincts, I would have had a camera in my hand.  The yard looked particularly pretty tonight and I had almost gone inside for my camera earlier, but hadn't.  I almost need to keep that camera with me all the time.

I'm going to have to hang those feeders higher.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Not sporting

My home is a sports-free zone.  It seems every day of the year has a HUGE sporting event that has everyone talking and making predictions and getting emotionally worked up.  Not me.  I OD'd on sports during my previous marriage.  My ex was a sports addict and followed everything - some things with great passion while others with mild interest, and yet others with great disdain (but nevertheless followed).  We had VCRs and TVs all over the house recording events.  We all knew well never to make any mention of a score we may have heard lest we spoil the game or match he planned to watch later.  We attended so many hockey games and it was important that I understand all the rules and the subtleties of the game (yes hockey does have some subtleties).

After we split up, I began to eliminate sports from my life.  First unconsciously and then more deliberately.  When watching the news, I either switched the channel or turned it off as soon as a sports story came on.  Sometimes that is easy since sports is confined to after-weather time slots.  But sometimes sports is big news, like who got drafted and who won in the World Cup (Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Playoffs, Stanley Cup, March Madness, Wimbledon, U.S. Open, World Series of Poker, ad infinitum).  But I avoid what I can, and I certainly never spend time actually viewing a sporting event on TV myself. 

It's remarkable how eliminating something like that from your life frees you up for other things.  I realize now how much of my time and attention was devoted to someone else's passion that was not my own.

I'm not obnoxious about it.  If friends or family are celebrating their team's big win, I congratulate them.  I remember the excitement and fervor of those big events.  Back in the day, those were times for parties, food, gatherings, fun.  Yes, I enjoyed those times, even if I didn't care much about the game.

But now, my home is a sports-free zone.  And it feels more like my own space this way.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sorry no photos (UPDATE - photos after all)

UPDATE:  My brilliant son, one of several, managed to retrieve everything from my laptop hard drive, even though the laptop itself is DOA.  I'm posting a couple of my favorites from the party here.  Others may still be seen on Facebook at the link below.

 I downloaded all my party photos to my laptop and the next day the laptop was fried.  It's a long story and at the moment I'm not sure if I'll retrieve anything from it.  Luckily, I had already posted the best party photos on Facebook.

I use my laptop mostly for photos and surfing while I watch TV, so the only thing I lost was a lot of photos, and mostly recent ones.  And as I thought about it, I realized that most of those needed a good culling anyway and I had already posted my favorites here on the blog or on Facebook.

The party photos can be seen here on Facebook.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The one thing you can't control - the weather

Have been executing the plan: Wednesday fnished up some things in the yard, yesterday cleaned the house and even did a little more in the yard, today I shop and prepare some of the food.  Tomorrow morning I'll pick up cakes and catered food.

I've had my eye on the weather forecast for a week and it has gradually gotten worse - heavy rain tomorrow and temps in the low 60's.  Honestly, we'll see just how bad it is.  These storms have been intense but brief.  Hard to say if that's what we can expect tomorrow.

Yesterday it rained in the a.m., cleared up and was sunny until about 4:30.  This morning there is no rain, but cool temps, with rain predicted later.  But tomorrow the coldest and wettest of the week.  Well, we have the covered patio and indoor areas.  It could be crowded, but I don't think we can count on seating people in unprotected areas.  Jenn and Zach will come over tonight and we'll figure it out.

One way or another, we are getting ready to party.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Well, I didn't know if I could do it or not, but it turned out I managed just fine.  Even the part where the instructions said two people were needed, I did it alone okay.  The only problem I ran into was misalignment of the preset screw holes.  One that was on a cylindrical upright was off by about 1/8th of an inch.  It was a place where the bench fastened to the pole.  No amount of tugging on that thing made any difference.  I finally to some metal cutters and nibbled both holes in the front and back of the seat just to allow the screw to reach the hole.  It was still tricky, being on a curved surface, the bench wouldn't reach around.  But by twisting and skewing, I finally got all screws on all sides of the bench firmly fastened.  I would have finished the job in one day except for that glitch.

Today I finished the upper part.  The upper apron and cross slats served to really straighten the whole unit.  I just finger-tightened the slats on the top as a huge thunderstorm was rolling in.  I'll do another round of tightening on Wednesday.

Rain is predicted for Saturday, our party day.  But I suspect it will just make things pleasant and cool.  I'll set up many chairs indoors and as many on the patio as I can, but won't try to put people anywhere they might get rained on.  I'll eliminate tables as we are crowded, and people can hold their plates on their laps.  It will be just fine.

Now I have to get busy with cleaning the house.  I've neglected it for a couple of weeks while working intensely outdoores.  And I've tracked in dirt and bark in the process.  So cleaning starts tomorrow.  I'm taking three days off work this week, so I should have no problem getting everything done.  Just follow the plan.

Here's is a shot of that cool arbor  I have some hanging pots full of gorgeous flowers to hang up there.  And I'm looking for some cute cushions for the seats.  The location where I have it is very hot in the afternoon, so, I'm thinking I might weave some lengths of cheesecloth through the upper slats to filter the sunlight to my hanging plants.  I'm also posting a photo of the new flower bed right by the patio.  It's long and narrow and very colorful right now.