January 1, 2020

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Today is Jan 1…just like yesterday but the year changed. Well, I guess the decade changed too…I was awake until a little after midnight…mostly because of all of the fireworks…but this may have been the first year in a decade I was not already asleep.

The only thing consistent about the New Year has always been, I am sick, getting sick or just feel like shit for a couple days.

I no longer write checks (maybe 1 or 2 a year) so it’s not likely that I will screw the year up on checks. Resolutions are just self-defeating…just make up your mind to make changes ANY DAY, and just do it…why wait until New Years Day?? I mean, is there anything that needs to change on this day that can’t be changed any other day without the social pressure??

365 (366) days to start fresh new year…again, you can start this any day and do it for 1 year!

I don’t dislike everything related to New Year’s Eve/Day, I like that it’s another reason to get together with people you love…I like that it’s a day to eat good food…I like that it’s day off from work…I like that most places are CLOSED…mummer’s parade

Categories: Around the House

mother’s tree

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There have been a lull in my postings over the years. The biggest one was right after the front porch was ‘covered’ but before it was ‘finished’ and screened in. Part of that was because of all of the things that I needed to deal with my mom’s passing and everything that lead up to it…so I may not have added this tid-bit! I may have to go back and see, but I don’t remember making this public.

My mother passed away on April 13, 2016 from Melanoma. We were all there when she left this world…it’s been 3+ years and it still feels like it was yesterday and I miss her like crazy! But anyway…mother’s tree!

The first Mother’s Day after her passing…I barely remember, but 1 year later on Mother’s Day 2017, I really wanted to do something with some of her ashes and our front yard needed a tree where one of the Holly Trees was when I bought the house. So Jen and I set out to find a maple tree that was perfect and we ended up driving all over the county looking for that tree…Baltimore Pike Hillside Nursery, then to Mostardis and then eventually Wedgewood Gardens, where we found our Thunder Cloud Plum Tree.

Over the years, I had planted a couple maple trees, the first one was probably too small when I planted it and the second one, well, turns out I over-fertilized it. So I wasn’t sure anything would take there!

I mixed some of mom’s ashes in the dirt hoping that would help it take…and it makes it literally Mother’s Tree!

This past spring it gave us fruit…well, 1 cherry sized plum. We were told that this tree would only flower and not produce fruit.

Categories: Around the House

Not sure what brought this on…

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WARNING: this post is very personal!

It could have been the conversation I was having with Mario yesterday about the court systems making weird decisions about custody agreements and who has to pay how much to care for those kids…or was it going through Tommy’s DVD collection and remembering a couple conversations I had with Judy (that had nothing to do with these thoughts…just a trigger)

I have heard my step-mother say MORE than once….he was raised by wolves. My father is an emotional degenerate because my grandparents were “wolves”…ok, I get he didnt have the best upbringing (heh, the irony)…but tell me that I need to grow up and be a responsible adult. Guess what…I have done that, and that makes me the black sheep! At around 20 years old, I stopped getting into trouble, I worked full time and pretty much paid my own way. So if I take responsibility for my own actions at 20, what is your excuse? You left home at 17, went in the army…but have NEVER taken responsibility for your own actions. You are now in your 70’s and you blame me for our ‘estranged’ relationship. I have tried over the years to get closer to you (and I DO have some great memories from those times)…but over the years, I am the only one in this relationship that has tried to reach out, do some things that we have in common. But it seems that since my mother has passed away, you are even more distant…and you haven’t been with her in almost a half century.

You always made me feel like it was a “package deal”…if you weren’t her husband, then you weren’t our father. and then it was “you kids”, we were never individuals…

I was actually in my late 20’s when I realized that my actions are my own. I started waking up happy and not angry. I started doing things to really improve my life…and those decisions were mine…every day! So wolves…just an excuse for bad behavior!

I let go of trying to have a relationship with you! I do not hate you, I’m not even angry, I just don’t want to put any energy into feeling anything good or bad.

Categories: Around the House

baby trees

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I love this site! If you are looking for any kind of tree, I highly recommend using the site for research…and if you buy, they do a great job getting the trees to you fast!


https://www.fast-growing-trees.com

Rogue inspected the package when UPS delivered it! Both trees in one box…liking it!

This one is a Autumn Blaze Red Maple Tree, I got the 5-6′ version of this because I really want it to take and we had better luck with the mother’s tree in the front yard when we got an older tree! (I don’t think I blogged about the “mother’s tree“, but I will because it’s an important little ‘cloud plum tree’, I will link this page when I write that story…)

and this one is a Weeping Willow…I got a smaller version of this tree because they are water trees…and this one is now planted about 10-15′ from the creek, so I am hoping that it will be happy from day 1!

You see my measuring stick?? Isn’t she cute?? I will have her measure again in the Spring! This should be fun!

Categories: Around the House

Cleanup, raking and grass seeding

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I went and picked up a truckload of firewood…they haven’t cut the whole winter of trees because of employee issues as well as equipment problems, but I was told that they would be out of firewood by the end of October, so I need to go grab another load (probably next weekend).

So now the cleanup begins…lots of pine needles, lots of pine mulch, lots of holes that need to be filled in (the rain made for softer ground)…yep, Kev’s guys worked in the rain!

I started in the back because the dogs need their space. I wanted to get the pine needles wrangled into one space and since there are 2 big holes from the stump grinding, that’s where it will go after I fill in the crop circle with pine needles and then top it off with 6-8 bags of top soil…and grass seed!

I put the fence back in place until the I can get all of the pine goo out…which may end up being next spring because of vacation and then planting trees and more grass seed and then it may get cold in the “fall”. (maybe)

I also did a little fixing in the side yard…between the trucks sinking and tearing everything up, there are alot of spots that need filling in. I will probably wait until spring to plant grass seed…

We go on vacation in a few weeks so I need to set some things into motion, but not get to far ahead of myself. I want to plant a weeping willow and and Autumn Blaze Maple Tree near the bamboo line for water control and shade.

Categories: Around the House

7 trees

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This was a big decision and I hate taking down trees, but the Cyprus gum tree was falling a few pieces at a time (Kev’s tree guys called it the widow maker)…and the (6) 75-100′ pine trees were not as healthy as they looked. Originally I wanted to remove just the 2 in the yard, the branches have been falling more and more over the winters and summer storms and the squirrels starting to damage them, but Kev looked at all 6 of them and said that I should remove all of them, that they are too close together, they are damn near as high as they will grow and that storms will start dropping them. One of the main reason has been that the pine trees have been hard on the dogs over the years, the sap gets between the pads on there feet and then hardens making it painful and impossible to remove.

Here are a couple before pictures. the first one has the cyprus gum tree on the left and all 6 pine trees…2 on each side of the shed and 2 behind it.

See my little 10’x10′ shed?

They needed to squeeze the bucket truck between the pine trees and the neighbors shed…there was an inch (no exaggeration) between the truck and the neighbors shed. (I was impressed, so was the neighbor). Fran had also hired Kev to shred the stump in his patio area, so we were both out there watching the entire thing unfold….

You can see in this picture that this tree was either sick or dying. Just about every branch they removed had rot in it.

Once the cyprus tree came down, they needed to bring the crane in to move the logs to the front yard. I asked them if they could be super conscious of the electric wires and the fios cables (since I was working)…

Tomorrow, I plan on going down to Kev’s yard an getting the first load of firewood and doing some cleanup, I want to use some of the shredded stuff to fill in the pool hole and take some after pictures. So maybe more pictures tomorrow…

Categories: Around the House

It’s working!

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After I finished putting down the rubber mulch nuggets, I wanted to be sure that this was really the fix before I bought anymore to finish it up…so for a few weeks and a few rain storms later, I am convinced! I have mosquito relief!

Last weekend I decided to fill in the pool hole, so I placed an order on homedepot.com for 800 pounds of fill dirt, while I was on the website, I also ordered a landscaping border to keep the rubber mulch in. Of course when I picked up the order of dirt, they did NOT have the border in stock, so I needed to wait until it was shipped to the store (picked it up yesterday after my bike ride with Mike).

Today’s goal of putting the edging in place and adding more rubber mulch has been accomplished, as well as getting the (20) 40lb bags of dirt out of the truck! I think it looks great!!

Categories: Around the House

Fire Table

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Sitting on the front porch feels like we are down the beach…so we have decorated it that way. The first thing that we added to start the trend was a slice of driftwood. When we moved the outdoor light to the outside of the porch, there was a big hole left in the siding, so instead of replacing the siding, we did this…

There have been some really nice evenings that we have got to enjoy out there, but there were still a couple things that needed to be done to really make it feel like the beach. I had done the first coat of paint when Scott finished things up…but a second coat was still needed…and I was NOT motivated to do it. And a firepit…we needed a firepit! So I bought a firetable.

…that was the motivation to paint. I swear as soon as I locked that thought in BobbieAnn called and was finally able to schedule us in. Sisters Painting

Before…

You’ll have to stop by to see the after…

Categories: Around the House

One Project leads to another…

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I set out this morning with a small list…yard guard, replace the hose and spread rubber mulch…I knocked over the firewood rack, moved the trash and recycling cans, raked out all the monkey balls and moved a couple cinder blocks from under the deck before I could even start the mulching.

While I was putting away the rake and doing the cleanup, I thought, I should put Jen’s bike in the shed…I squeezed it in, but I seriously need to do a cleanup/reorganizing in there. While standing there in the shed doorway, I was thinking what ladder would be best to fix the window in the kitchen that has the spider hotel/restaurant.

The storm window opened from the top and a spider set up a web trap between the storm and the inside window. Even though watching this spider for a few years, it started to block the view from our animal sanctuary…but if I want to fix this, I need to also clean it…which meant opening it from inside the house, climbing up on the countertop (had to clear it off first) and getting the vacuum in there. After it was cleaned…inside and out, I recruited Jen to help me move the windows into place and get them locked in…her up on the countertop and me up on the ladder outside. Spider evicted!!!


I went ahead and cleaned the outside of the windows with a towel and a squeegee…

Next project…clean the other 5 windows

Categories: Around the House

Mosquito relief??

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Every time I walk out the back door, within 5 minutes, I have just as many mosquito bites. There is a creek that runs through the back yard, but it’s not sitting water so I don’t believe that is the source so I have systematically set out on a seek and find…checked for anything that would hold water. I put a couple mosquito water disks in the gutters. (And I also tried an organic yard guard spray). This did not help, so I looked further and possibly found the issue.

Under the deck, it looks like there are canals every couple inches apart (I will take some pictures before I set off on today’s project). When it rains, the water from the deck drains and creates these gullys and I believe the water sits long enough to let the mosquito population increase.

Before:

After much research, I have decided to put rubber mulch under there for better drainage. We stopped at Lowe’s yesterday and picked out the color (Brown) and today is the day that I start this project.

I hurt my back last week and I am not at 100%, so I may just do this in spurts because I don’t want to reinjure. But I want to start out by “Yard Guarding”, I also want to replace the back yard garden hose that runs under the deck and move the firewood rack. (There are only a few logs left…so I may just push it over to give myself working room).

But first, I need to go stretch and cover myself from head to toe in bug spray…

After: Kinda… I need to get a few more bags

and we can’t forget my helpers

Categories: Around the House