May 20, 2018:


Yesterday Prince Harry married American Meghan Markle and I couldn't get enough of the royal wedding. What a gorgeous dress, the bride was radiantly beautiful and the church at Windsor - oh my goodness, the flowers alone were soooo beautiful. There's nothing like a good love story to make one appreciate how precious we can be (and should be) to each other.

I'm glad the weather was perfect yesterday for the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding. I can't say the same for around here. Spring keeps teasing and then going away. This morning I woke up to a "balmy" 47 degrees F outside, rain, damp, and I turned the heat back on! It's May 20th, the heat. should. not. be. on. Period.

Last Thursday, however, was beautiful. I was able to get a goodly amount of yard and garden clean-up done over several days last week. I also took some photos of my flowering tree anchoring the north corner of my house and made the current collage. I think it's an ornamental cherry, and on the the other end of the house, I think that's called a purple sand cherry? I'll have to check that. The blossoms on the tree do not have a distinct fragrance, but the purple shrub that wants to be a tree (despite my hacking it back, back and back yearly - I'm losing, by the way) has myriad blossoms with a distinct fragrance. I can't decide if the scent is too beautiful to bear or too awful to smell, it certainly can be overpowering!

This coming week will be the third cut of the grass this season. We had rain late Friday night and then for several hours earlier this morning. This rain, on top of the rain we had over four days the prior weekend, and the grass is growing like nobody's business! I don't mind doing the grass, though, as long as it's not too hot, too cold, not raining, and not too windy. I'm not picky at all, am I...

I still have a lot of raking out of areas that suffered from snow mold over the winter, and have not yet really tackled cleaning out the north flower bed in the backyard. That will be a chore!

But Memorial Day weekend is coming. This coming Saturday I will be out with a friend (who has a nice large van - goody!) stocking up on potting soil, top soil to fill in never-ending low spots in the yard, grass seed, and lots of plants! For some reason, this spring seems busier than those in prior years. I can't figure out why that is...


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Storm Damage

Hola darlings!

What a day.  I'm exhausted!  This morning I had to leave the house extra early to catch the blood bus to go to the hospital to get a blood draw to check my "blood thinness level."  LOL, that's what I call it anyway.  I can never remember the correct "initials" for what it's measuring - it has to do with clotting factor since I'm on "Coumadin" better known as Warfarin -- rat poison.  Yep, that stuff. 
INL?  IHL?  IML?  Whatever.

Anyway, in addition to the storm damage I was able to see via the flood light outside my patio door last night (a ravaged backyard), this morning, as I was headed down the stairs from my bedroom I happened to stop at the stair landing and look out the window there -- and saw, much to my horror, a view something akin to this:

What doesn't show from this photo (taken shortly after I arrived home this evening) is the damage to my neighbor's fence nor the sheer size of this larger than a small tree limb that came flying down yesterday from my giant Chinese Elm out back.  Damn! 

But I didn't have time to try to move it, besides I was also dressed for work, complete with jewelry and dress shoes  -- I had to leave the house at 6:35 a.m. in order to walk to the bus stop in time to wait for the particular bus that would deliver me just a couple blocks away from the hospital lab shortly after 7 a.m.  It's about a 10 minute walk to that bus stop; and, since you never know when the buses might be running early (or late), you have to be there ahead of time, just in case.  Fortunately, this morning, while it was brisk (about 45 degrees with 30 mph winds whipping out of the northwest -- that "cold" front that came through yesterday afternoon was a DOOZY!), it was clearing from the west and north and I got to watch an absolutely incredibly beautiful sun rise to the east, about 7-10 miles away, because where I live sits on top of a ridge or plateau that has a spectacular view toward the east, where Lake Michigan lies (although we can't actually see the water).  The clouds piled up this morning out over Lake Michigan to make "mountains" that have often been mistaken for the real thing, even by long-time residents!  And then the Sun climbed that extra fraction of a thousandth of an inch and BAM! - LET THERE BE LIGHT!  Glowing on "mountain clouds" fire oranges and reds and yellow light that I could instantly feel raising the temperature in the chilly air around me.

Thank you, Goddess, for that spectacular sun rise.  I sure needed it.  Things have been somewhat grim around Maison Newton lately.

I chatted with the neighbors whose fence had been damaged earlier this evening - their HO insurance is taking care of "tree" removal and fence repair, and they wanted no part of accepting money from me to reimburse them for their damages, despite my offers to do so.  Fortunately, no gigantic tree limbs crashed into their house (or into mine, for that matter).  Whew! 

Photos I took tonight when I got home of the havoc caused by that cold front coming through yesterday -- sure is a big honking mess!  These photos don't show the full reality of it, but I'm not that good a photographer to do close-ups and such of overblown rain gutters, glogged street gutters and such, in addition to dents in siding, leaves plastered all over the place, etc.

These photos were taken between 6:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. tonight (September 18, 2012);

Hundreds of these dead branches and twigs were blown off the trees in my backyard during the storm front
that came through just before 4:00 p.m. on September 17, 2012.
Just one of hundreds of very large bare dead branches that came down from the trees in my backyard during the storm that swept through on September 17, 2012. This branch is very long, maybe 25 feet long, but not very thick!  Thank Goddess!


Deck, viewed from the west.  As you can see, the west and north sides of the house took the brunt of the storm,
but no area actually was "spared" from debris.  Right now, My roof and my covered rain gutters are clogged
with storm-blown debris.

The front of my house, including garage entrance, faces east (toward Lake Michigan) but you can see the
storm-blown debris piled up, nonetheless.  My driveway is 30 feet long and is littered with similar.
It will take some effort to clean it up since I will be using manual "broom" and "rake" power to do so!
Looking toward the north fence line.  One secton of fence was blown "apart," you can see it where the birdhouse sits on top of one of the posts.  I was able to shove it back together tonight but it will have to be reinforced with metal rods and nails.
North fence line, lower yard.
Neighbor to the west's damaged tree.
Looking toward the west fence line from the north side of the deck.  The plastic arbor didn't blow down either!
Not sure this is saving "the best for last" -- it's a rather large branch caught in the
V or "crotch" or "delta"  area of the gigantic Chinese Elm :)  Oh my!

What is most amazing of all, besides the lack of trees or large parts thereof actually crashing through mine or my neighbors' roofs, was that my plastic deck table, chairs and crank-up umbrella were still standing on the deck in their exact spots from the last time I left them (Sunday afternoon, before I ran inside admitting defeat by yellow jackets (wasps) hunting for food and human sweat).  One plant holder had been knocked over - by a large fallen limb - and I rescued that last night and put it back upright. A decorative element whose base was planted into the rock-hard ground on the north side of the dec was also knocked out of the ground and laid on to the deck, I left it laying where it fell.  It will have to wait until the weekend to be cleaned up and put away (it's now that time of the year, anyway, despite the storm). 

So, except for the inconvenience at this particular time of having to try and marshall the strength and time to do clean-up, I am very grateful to have escaped further damage.


  1. You mentioned about damaged gutters. There are ways to repair these. If it’s drooping or sagging, I suggest you remove the spike and replace it with something much stronger, and move the bracket to the right or left but at the same height. About the dents on the sidings, use a screw and pull it until the dent pops out. Then, remove the screw from the sidings.

    Allyson Sunde

  2. Oh! Seeing those tree branches knocked down on the ground makes me think how bad the storm had been! But I hope the damage was only limited to your backyard. It’s quite had to imagine the damage it would’ve done to your house, had those tree limbs or branches been flung out farther. Stay safe!

    Rolando Glover @ EcoPure Restoration