Tuesday, April 26, 2011

To serve turtles

Something we've done regularly over the years is to rescue turtles who are misguidedly attempting to cross roads. We're up to about (?) 7 or 8 of them now. Usually, the errant turtle is leaving one piece of habitat for another, and if there's a decent lagoon or patch of marshy wood nearby, we simply relocate him/her to it.

Sometimes the turtle isn't misguided at all, merely desperate. Today's was leaving his now-destroyed home, a former wood on our route to the post office. It's now been flattened for development. I guess the economy is picking up. The turtle did not seem very excited by that. S/he was crossing in hope of finding a new home, but the other side was also no place to be. It used to be a delightful goat farm and orchard. It's now Orchard Acres, or some such development name.

So we placed the turtle carefully in the passenger-side foot-well, where he had little choice but to wait with skeptical patience while we mailed packages, and grocery shopped. At home, the milk did wait in the car while Larry walked the turtle to the edge of the woods, fairly far from the road.

Scooter can be counted on to supervise all activities in his territory.

What the bleep are these people doing now?!

An hour later, no sign of Turtle of the Day, so we will hope he likes it in our local wood.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The thing that is hid bringeth He forth to light -Job 28:11

I do hope my readers are having a happier Easter than the Big Ass Sandwich Company is having.

This eatery is ... was right down the road in my little town. This morning we got detoured around a roadblock with lots of emergency vehicles flashing lights ahead of us, and wondered what was up.

Turns out the building burned in the early morning.

And revealed some .... undocumented .... poker machines. In the attic. Their charred remains lift their faces to the morning sun.


But, really, I mean, it's an old building and I'm sure that some previous owner just left them there in the attic when they became illegal a few years back.

Yeah. Yeah, that's it.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Yard. Work.

A mass migration of Easter guests is coming, and for some reason, I actually looked at our front yard, as though seeing it through the eyes of a visitor.


It's hard -- OK, it's impossible -- to stay ahead of weeds in this climate, and I'm really OK with kind of a casual natural look. But it did look like the house of people who've ..... had a rather difficult year. And there were things that I had not only ignored this year, but ignored ever since we moved in 8.5 years ago.

Like the dead fronds on these palm thingies. We actually did not want to trim them the way some people do, which is to denude the bottom each year and raise the new growth by yearly increments until it looks like a tree. But taking out dead fronds keeps the live ones healthier, and so this long not-done job thinned the plants out an awful lot. But that was an awful lot of dead material. FIVE packed wheelbarrow loads. It's not a big wheelbarrow, but, still.

Did some edging with the electric edger. Some other edging work required a hatchet.

Larry had to interrupt our edging program to do a fire ant treatment. The white powder is there on a fire ant nest, to kill them. I really really hate fire ants. Anyone who's ever endured the stinging, itching misery of fire ant bites hates fire ants.

I've cleaned up the paving around it, but this hard-to-use patch of quasi-garden under the stairs will stay as is until we get something that can survive in almost no sunlight. Weeds obviously are OK with it, but the plan is a nice flowering shrub surrounded by rocks.

In the background you see our exciting new doormats! Sprucing up is all work and no play if you can't buy something.

This tree planted itself in the bottom of an unused planter. I don't know what it is, but I like trees, so I pulled it out, filled the planter with dirt, and replanted the tree. A few prunings of its scraggly shoots and twigs make it look more like an intentional planting than like a weed that grew in an abandoned container. I might find something similar to put in the other empty planter. Tomorrow. If I have time. Guests start arriving tomorrow evening and there's lots more to do than that, so we're taking the casual approach.

My muscles are sore, which means I've done a good job. Having sore muscles is like carrying around a clipboard. It means you're really accomplishing something, whether the results bear that out or not!

Joyous Easter to all!

Saturday, April 09, 2011


A quick visit from my North Carolina brother this weekend. There have been many over the past year but this was the first time he came by himself, since the early weeks after Mom died. He had some errands to run and then he and I went to Goodwill to look around. I bought bodice-ripper romance novels to resell and a nice sweater.

Larry thought that Dad, bro. and I should have an old-fashioned family supper, so he stayed home and my bro and I wandered next door. Dad made dinner for us. I asked if he wanted help. He said no. He almost always says no. My bro and I sat in the living room while dinner prep sounds came from the kitchen, along with that early evening golden light that you get when homes come to life again at the end of the day, and the background noise of whatever was on the kitchen TV while Dad worked. I sat with my book. My brother dozed off. He'd been awake since he left NC at 4:30 AM. I couldn't concentrate on my book. I kept thinking, It's like it used to be, years ago. We have parents taking care of things while we wait to be called for supper. When Dad came to door and said "Feed!" we gathered at the table and held hands for the grace ritual and were a family of three, but really, as we held hands across Mom's empty place, and even afterward, we were that family of four.

But I have the soul of a cat and I do not like change.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Not a summer person

There are people who love summer. Possibly, even, most people love summer.

I admit it's kind of a luxury to have so much of it, and have it so long, that I can legitimately dislike what other people crave through their longer, colder winters. But normal people seem to resemble the following :

(You can zoom this by clicking it, if you like.)

All pretty self-explanatory. Each thing there, you like or you don't like. I don't.

The one item that inspires a rant, though, is flip-flops.

What is this Universal Worship of flip-flops?? Who decreed that we're all supposed to just adore them??

In my version of the feminist era, we took Women's Studies classes in which we studied ancient foot-binding and compared it to crippling pointy high heels, as being ways to hobble and thereby disempower women.

Yeah, 6-inch spiked heels are back but my concern is the so-called "comfy" shoe.

The %&*$ing shoe that has no back. Everything from bedroom slippers (Yeah, those are just REAL warm and cozy) to sneakers is abundantly piled on the shoe department shelf in backless styles.

Play tennis in this tennis shoe. Go on, dare ya.

Flip-flops are the same. An insecure shoe that's under, not on, your foot. Scuff along! Clench your foot with each step, to keep the shoe on. I mean, you're only a chick. You don't want to run or jump, or defend yourself, or chase that purse-snatcher at the mall, or pretty much do anything except be fashionable. In my opinion it's yet another conspiracy by The Patriarchy!

Really, the flip-flop cult has gotta end.