Archive for July, 2011

Drink Up

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Tuesday nights are for Drinking Liberally with about 14 democrats. This has been going on for years although I have not regularly participated until Al reminded me yesterday that the group was changing to the Red Lion and I made an effort to get to the meeting. All day I sweated over raking and watering my yard. I put the yard waste bin and my regular garbage bin out at 9 pm so I won’t worry about that in the morning. I painted the bench and the associated wall on the shop earlier today and realized it needed a second coat which may not completely cover the gray. It looks bright but not as cheery as some pastel color but my arm tired so it may remain until my muscles recoup. I will know better in the bright daylight tomorrow. The squirrels scurry and tail talk in the branches of black walnut above it chewing the rind and dropping bitsĀ  in the process creating a mess where they could just as easily go away. But then I planted and watered those trees and will not ever consider cutting them down. Anyway I brushed off bits and repainted several times before I went to the beer party. There is an area higher than I could reach and if it is noticeable tomorrow I will haul out a ladder and finish the job. In spite of the eighty degree temperatures my yard is cool because of the trees and I enjoy sitting out there to eat and drink.


Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

The fresh air at 6 am was a bit too cool but the dead leaves and grass had to be raked up and sent off to the landfill. The helpers I had on Thursday filled my yard waste bin and it won’t be picked up until next Wednesday. I raked the extra stuff into piles in bare spots but my hands wore out so I didn’t get it all done by a long shot. The warm sun sure felt good though. After the crew pulled the weeds the adult lit a propane torch and burned off the dried grass around the fence. Such a great job the fire did. One helper came along with her to prevent the flame from getting into the cedar fencing. Can’t help but be proud to see how clean and neat the chipped rock now looks. Fire is great friend when used properly. I smell the evidence of neighbors’ barbecue. Not for me. I make do with already cooked ribs and nuke for supper. I got cabbage rolls from Freddy’s and are they delicious! Credit for the variety of delicious food goes to my new big black refrigerator/freezer. When I mopped the kitchen I moved the stool and got a sliver from it. I can’t understand how a tiny speck of wood can hurt so desperately, but it does. Oh well, another item on my list of woes. Still a short list compared to all the good stuff around here. You should see the height my Lodgepole pine is getting. I think it wants to get to the moon like I do. And that is just one of my trees I admire from my sun room.

All Day Friday

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

No USFW staff work on Friday so I suggested that I would be at McNary National Wildlife Refuge for the day to document the number of visitors. It had been decided that we needed some basis for decisions regarding future Fridays. As it was four people came in between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm – hardly a rush of the public that had occurred on occasional days in the past. I enjoy the education center. It is a restful place to contemplate the displays we have and to think about those most appropriate for the future. Because it is fifteen miles from major population centers any folks we can inform and encourage to spread the word are helpful. We have good outreach to schools and consequently have many classes visit as education on school days. We have a person who schedules those so that there are volunteers to staff learning stations to teach the kids as much natural science as we can demonstrate. Now most volunteers who come as staff spend most of the time documenting the birds they see in flight and on the water. I on the other hand study the resources in the Center that will expand visitors’ knowledge of the nature we have so wonderfully at our disposal. Today a visitor brought in a part of a nest and some paper wasps that live on our buildings. I don’t always think of wasps as people friendly – especially since my lip swelled up like a tomato when I was stung by one I surprised inside the stems of the lovely flower of a sulfur buckwheat. No doubt I would be furious enough to retaliate if a monster began to examine my particulars. No such adventure was in store for me today. I did however research the wasp sample brought to my attention. I labeled the specimen and bagged it for future visitors to view. I am no E.O.Wilson but I am fascinated by parts and colors as I know others are also. Now there is a display of real wasps that live with us within the confines of the Education Center. All in a days work, even if is was Friday.

Diligent Workers

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Weeks ago I knew I would need help to remove weeds from my crushed rock driveway. I pulled some every morning but my back ached and fingers hurt all the time so I hoped to get assistance with the job. About a month ago a woman called me in response to my request for help. A phone message yesterday mentioned something about Thursday. Fifteen kids, ranging in age from 4 to 12, and three adults arrived at ten this (Thursday) morning and boy did they go to work! They pulled what they could and an adult used a propane torch to burn out the dead stuff along the edges. They brought their own tools in three big SUVs. What a neat front yard I have now. I asked about the group and was told it is a 4H club and from experience the H’s stand for head, hands, heart and health. From a casual remark about blessings, I surmise it is organized for community service although not necessarily through a church. They appeared to have a good time so I will keep their contact for a future call for help.

Big Quiet

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Today looks to be almost the exact opposite of yesterday in that it is quiet in the extreme. Oh the wind sneaks among the leaves in spurts and stops, so it is obvious that the air is moving. Squirrels scamper along the fence. I wonder how they manage that, my toes hurt just to think of it. But yesterday Dan came early to my Freethought and we went through some digital images choosing some that I want to roll over and over for fun on my D Frame. Jerry said he got tired of watching his after a while on his machine and I probably will also and for now I can watch or not. But back to yesterday, we went to a dinner theater where Amber Lettau, Amy and Jeff’s younger daughter played a fifty dollar hooker in several skits. She is a very supple individual and would simply flow through the man’s arms when he tried to pick her up. The man’s wife was coming to his hotel, unexpectedly, and the hooker had to go. Well, wrapped under the bed cover was as far as she went and the wife didn’t discover her until the hooker rolled over and flung her arm out. But it was funny and we were weak with laughter. Although after the play, Amy and Deb began to tell of some real episodes in their lives which were even funnier. It was a very good time. Dan and Deb drove to Spokane later in the afternoon to an airport hotel so they could catch the six AM Southwest flight home. Now from my lawn chair beside my shop I can hear trains warning at crossing and see flights going to various places, happy for folks who are going home and not have to be on the move myself.

Digital Photo Frame

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

My newest high tech machine displays digital photos continuously. At least that is the way it is set now. I inserted a chip with several folders of photos, one of family and one of plants. Dan set it to fade from one photo to the next after ten seconds. Pretty neat! Or Cool!  Whatever the proper exclamation should be! I used a folder as it is but I will arrange and rearrange or add or delete as I decide which I want to be rolling through. I have a few years of photos from Seattle filmworks that Danny will go through in the next couple of days to put on a chip I can put in the machine. All very exciting. We have shut down for today. It is bedtime and my eyelids are really drooping. I am tired all over and I noticed that my plants are drooping from lack of water so I must get up early and give them a drink. I especially want to nurture the native plants I have out front. They are arid plants but to give them a good start I will water frequently. I did not go to Freethought this morning so this doesn’t feel like Sunday and I will have to reset my brain digital to believe it. Good thing I don’t have stuff at the Refuge on my schedule. I backed off from that last week. Sorting old pictures will take time and lot of patience but exciting to look forward to. Right now I need my beauty sleep. Boy do I ever!

Together some

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

Tim and Laurel, Dan and Debbie, Michael and me met for early breakfast. Michael left directly to go back to Grand Rond to help June get correspondence out that would work toward her re-election to the Tribal Council. Tim and Laurel left for their four hour drive to Seattle. Both would be back to work on Monday. Dan and Debbie will stay the week to participate in Debbie’s class reunion. Debbie will also visit her brother and family in Mesa. Danny and I sat back and enjoyed the sun in my back yard for a short while. Although our visit was short it was memorable and snapshots will linger to re enforce good memories.

Sparkles Over

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Now we can pick up the trash left from the sparkles and pops that were lit up by folks with more money than patriotism. July fireworks are well promoted by the dealers who load a truck in Chinatown for destination where fireworks are legal. Richland codes limit fireworks to what made noise on the ground and spit sparkles up ten feet or so. Several homeowners on Abbot took turns or rather competed with their pretty little things. I have cheatgrass to pull or rake out or something. A bit of a breeze puffs through now and then but at 3 pm the sun is just too hot to encourage anything but siesta. For a month or more the sun will prevail and the brightest sparkle will be the sweat dripping from my pores. I admit it was a lovely fourth. Now let steaks and wienies smoke on the grill and let’s all burp onions and pickles discretely from behind our dainty fingers. My eyes sparkle above a full belly.

Fan Out

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

Forecast for next week’s temperatures is hot. Now hot for summers in Richland often reach one hundred or more. Those may occur anywhere from May 1 through August. For most folks that usually means turning on air conditioner units. I have an A/C window unit in my office but even with the thermometer reading 85 I feel no need, yet, to turn it on. I found a fan in the shed and brought it in – just in case. So far a cooling breeze comes across my open windows causing me to pull a thin blanket over me after the sun goes down. Maybe that will change. I came to settle in this dry desert area because the weather is nice and warm from February until November. For several months the temperature is such that I may use the electric floor unit in the living room on a very low setting with doors closed to my bedroom. I am happy to have warm summer days arrive. Time will tell if a fan is sufficient or if A/C will begin to put its nose under my tent.

Ever Content?

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

Five am comes at first light and is way too early to get out of bed. What is there to do at that hour? I try to roll over and find a comfortable position that will lure me back to sleep. Well tough. Once awake, I will stay awake. The leaves on the English walnut are close to my window but what is new about them to excite my imagination? A magic carpet that I could fly away with Winkin Blinkin and Nod to never never land? That’s Peter Pan and Wendy, although I think they would welcome my company. No, the trip would have to be over the moon and navigating would be tough because it’s in new moon phase, no light reflected from earth. So get up and look over the new spruce I got from Arbor Day Foundation. Happy little plants, all, especially with frequent watering. Make coffee. Hey no milk. Freddie’s doesn’t open until ten. Oh bother. A cool breeze wafts through the open windows. Weather forecasts hot temperatures all week. Will I turn on my air conditioner? Maybe, but the cold air gives me goose bumps. Too cold. Ambient air otherwise too hot. Is there no pleasing me? I will put on my skinny bikini and sit out in my shaded back yard and recall the dictionary definition of contentment. If I can’t convince myself I’m content, who will?