Happy Anniversary???

So today is our 35th wedding anniversary. It is a much cooler and far more pleasant day today than it was on that day. I swear it was the hottest day of the year. We got out of the car at the church and it felt like we walked into a furnace. Well, I am not sure if it was that bad, but it sounds good. I really wasn’t all that hot, but the photographer kept going off about how the men in tux’s needed a fan going. Having the fan going caused the candles to burn faster and since they were purple and not a standard color they were not dripless and so I am thinking that there just might be some residue of that wax left in the carpet on that stage. Good grief!!

I really was not intending to take any trips down memory lane today. I brought it up because from the way the day is going, I am not sure how many more anniversaries there will be. Yesterday we went to a gathering for James’ oldest sister and her husband as they were celebrating their 50th anniversary, which technically is a bit later this month. This morning James was all out of sorts to the fact that Paulina asked if he had slept well last night. We finally dug out of him that he wanted to get out and do something, as in mow the lawn, but it was damp and foggy outside and he couldn’t get started at 6 a.m. as he would have liked. (Not sure if that was a serious comment or a dry joke.) He is mowing now at 2 p.m.

Cutting in the tree

So in the meantime, he decided the tree branch that has been hanging by a bit of bark way up near the top of the tree just must come down today. He called the local electrician/plumber/appliance salesman and begged to use his boom truck. I had told him to lay off because he does not rent out that truck for all sorts of reasons, but somehow James always gets his way. Well I started off watching this process then quit then finally stepped back in to call it off. Even after he had cleared several branches to get to the one he needed to cut, he continued to diddle around up in the air with a chain saw. As soon as I heard a break I gave a yell to let him know to quit. It went something like, “as long as you haven’t killed yourself yet, you should quit, it is enough.” Myron had been teasing him if he wanted the tree shaped like a bear or a porpoise. I think we were all ready for him to get down. The picture to the right shows him on the broken branch. It was damaged in December in the ice storm and the poor thing has been hanging ever since. It took three cuts to get it out of where it was wedged in.

Now that he is on the mower, I waited for him to mow under the clothes line so I could hang out the one small basket of items that should not go in the dryer. I had said I would not do laundry and hang it out today just to give my back and hip a break. Well I waited and waited and finally I went outside and stood on the other part of the lawn so he would have to mow under the clothes line. He stopped and said I should move because he will use the hand mower there not the rider. Why is it that some days you just want to beat them?

Well he did take the broken branches to the dump and he cut up some of the trunks. Perhaps it would be a good night for a fire pit. Maybe if we do that some of the bugs will leave the yard. Some time we will be able to do that with the grand kids here and they can eat hot dogs and marshmallows straight off the sticks cooked over the fire and they too will have great memories of being at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. We were hoping to do that this weekend but we were all too tired and it was a little too wet. That’s all for now, catch you later with more on the sale and the birthday.

Outside work on the list: tree trimming

Our row of ask trees

Pickup load of trees

Today James and I bit the proverbial bullet and did our yearly tree trimming. Yes, I know it is a little late in the season and probably was not the best thing for the trees, but we were mostly taking off dead branches and where we took off live branches it was with the idea that we wanted to take some stress off the tree. It is so dry here that the grass is visibly drying up. Fortunately we have a fairly high water table, but I have to wonder how long that will last. At any rate, it was an all day event. We filled the pickup before noon then stopped to have lunch with Paulina. We joined her at the Drive In because she was waiting for a pool representative to show up at noon. It ended up he was delayed, but I didn’t mind not having to figure out food for lunch. We took the load out to the dump ground after we got home and started on the second round.

Apple tree before

Apple tree after

We finished all of our trees and went to my mother’s yard and did the apple tree. For that we only took out three branches that were totally dead, and as we did it, we were really careful not to disturb the branches with apples on them. At one point it was a little scary because there was not a good angle to be had and I was not sure who would be hit by the falling branch. Probably the stupidest thing we did at the apple tree site was not clearing the ground so that we could jump away quickly. We ended up leaving part of a dead branch in place because removing it could have hurt one of the best new branches on the tree. Thankfully everything went pretty well. The worst was when I twisted up my knee while reaching down to pick up the little twig mess.

During the course of the day we used the chain saw and a couple of different clippers. I have this habit of using the clipper and standing directly under the branch I am loping off, so most of the time it ends up hitting me in the head. Fortunately none of those branches are very large. I even tried to cut my forehead a few times when I walked into branches jutting out and one time when I leaned into the saw as it was propped against the swing set. I swear I must have a blind spot at the edge of my glasses. Luckily my large sunglasses act as safety glasses. Well enough for now. It will feel great to cross tree trimming off that list.

Yard work during vacation

The flag is blowing as the blinds flap on our “vacation house.”

I used to complain that when you gave a man a chain saw, he went crazy with it. Poor trees. Later, I learned to run a chain saw. Poor trees. Now since we don’t have a working chain saw, or a large shelter belt that needs trimming, I stick to a hand-held saw and trimmer tools. Still is Poor Trees.

The tree that took the biggest hit. You can see where the branch was removed. Now we can mow without being attacked.

Today, June 8, because I need to be finishing up a sermon for Sunday, I decided to trim the Russian Olives on the north side of our Herreid house. I can with all certainty say this really is starting to feel like a vacation house. I am just about ready to paint everything in blues and whites and put sheer curtains on all of the windows so the wind can blow in when we open them at night. It is just so peaceful here.

The peonies are beautiful this year. Our fountain is in the background.

We have spent most of this week on yard work so the house really looks atrocious. I also need some better cleaning utensils (swiffer, mop, etc..) to get things dusted and smelling less like a musty old house that has been closed up for six months. My bedroom smells of dust and I wake up not being able to breathe. On the other hand if it would be really bad, I would probably be working on it rather than enjoying the day on the porch.

I let the large blinds down and the breeze is slowly moving them in and out. The wind is pretty low today, thankfully. About the only down side is that the chimes don’t ring. Last fall we had the roof of the lower deck fixed and there isn’t any air flow where the chimes hang. Maybe the best fix will be to put them in a new location. I love the sound of that chime because they are big and it reminds me of bells on an organ, or the sounds some churches send around town in some places.

Roger stole my chair and decided to take the nap I wanted to take.

I would much rather be lying on my swing today, but that needs sewing. My sister Kathy has been telling me what to do to fix it, and has even threatened to do it for me, but I would rather be fussing about it on my blog than putting thread into a needle and doing anything constructive.

Strawberry tires. Thanks to Createityourself for the idea. I hope I have that correct. We still need to paint the tires. James wants to make them the color of the Olympic rings.

Mostly today I have been watching the garden grow, literally. I know people say some things are as exciting as watching…paint dry. I could add: grass grow, water boil. I do enjoy watching things grow especially a vegetable garden. I was out twice today to inspect ours. We had a wonderful rain last night and now I noticed some of the cucumbers are cracking through the crust. I can’t wait to pick them.

The peppers are in cans between rows of potatoes. In the distance are onions, carrots, beets and cans of tomatoes.

The sugar peas coming up as seen through the fence. The wind makes a great humming sound through the fence. So peaceful.

Pretty much the only pumpkin plant that survived. I did replant those.

The replanted cucumbers are just starting to pop up.

The first of the gourd plants. Hopefully those actually grow this year.

Here is what Paulina did with a gourd a couple of years ago. Hopefully she can have lots to play with this fall.

I am also anxious to see what the peppers and tomatoes produce. Canning kettle here we come. Also farmers market with all of the beets I have planted. Again I may need to learn a new canning trick. My family now is hungering for the vegetable soup that my mother used to make. I believe Victoria has that recipe in my Mom’s own handwriting, talk about a family keeper. We all wondered how she managed to get that, her response was that she asked. Duh, who would have thought of that?

So enough for now. I will add in a few pictures of the things I have mentioned. This evening might be the time for coffee on the porch, haven’t done that yet.

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