April 6, 2019:


The income taxes are finished and were taken to the Post Office yesterday to send out via certified mail, which now costs nearly $16 for two 8 1/2 11 envelopes with return receipt. Yikes! But worth it because I have proof positive once I get the little green cards back that the returns were delivered and received. And just in case, there are tracking numbers that I can also tap the U.S. Post Office for to verify that delivery was made. In these times, it's better to be safe than sorry

I have been working in little bits and pieces outdoors whenever a window in our crappy weather has presented itself. Today, however, was the first day where I was able to spend an extended period of time outside. First, I cleaned up areas on the sidewalk and driveway along the edges where pine cones and branches tiny branches blown off during the seemingly wind storms we endured over fall and winter 2018-2019. After resting for a bit, and removing the winter hat, gloves and jacket, I moved to the back yard because I'm sick of feeling sick to my stomach every time I look at it through the patio doors in the dining room and window above the kitchen sink. This winter left it a true disaster zone. I worked steadily raking small areas and filled two trash can size black trash bags full of debris blown down from my arborvitaes and neighboring trees over the winter, in addition to about half a ton of nut shells. The nut shells are my fault because I feed all the neighborhood squirrels. They are so entertaining, and very smart! I also made a small dent in starting clean-up of the flower beds, where the "mild" (ahem) weather and thawed earth has encourages perennials to start popping through, whether I'm ready for them or not!

All in all, a somewhat decent start to making a larger dent in clean-up operations. I worked outdoors about 4 hours off and on. I didn't want to overdo it, and truth be told, I'm pooped! It's humbling to not be able to work as long or as hard as I used to. I can get it done, but I have to take lots of rest breaks so it takes quite a bit longer now. Good thing I'm retired


Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Fourth of July (Hooray for the USA, Happy Birthday!), Heat Wave Continues, Trellis for Front Yard

Hola!  First and foremost, I wish everyone a Happy 4th of July.  Depending upon whether you date Lady Liberty's age from 1776 (Declaration of Independence), in which case today we are celebrating the 242nd year of our country's birth, or from 1781 (Articles of Confederation forming the United States signed by the original 13 states) if she's fudging on her age a bit, and is a frisky 237 years young today!  Whoop whoop!

It's hot as Hades here again today.  No relief for the wicked?  Maybe we're all being punished these days, certainly feels like it in this neck of the woods.  Unrelenting heat wave after heat wave, each worse than the last.  The air is so thick and still this morning you can literally see it slicing if you swipe a butter knife through it!  'truth!  So thick, it's hard to breathe, even standing still.  I delayed cutting the front lawn until 7 p.m. last night, hoping to catch some marginally cooler air as the Sun started its descent in the western sky.  Didn't work.  After 45 minutes of cutting I was sweating like a stuck pig and covered in yechy!  It took me 15 minutes to scrub myself down in the shower, it was so thick.  It seems no matter how much liquid I drink, the sweat gets thicker and ickier the hotter it gets.  There was no breeze to speak of last evening, nothing to even pretend you're cooling off! 

This morning I was out by 6:30 a.m. to sweep up the grass clippings from last night and contemplate whether I should trim or not.  I really should trim, but it's not going to happen in this weather.  The Sun is full up now above the house and the front will be drenched in sunlight until around 7:30 p.m. this evening.  I didn't want to pull out my grass trimmer this morning at 6:30, taking my neighbors into consideration!  I limited myself to sweeping, a silent activity.  I worked for about 40 minutes and gave up.  I had to come in and take another shower.  Geez, and I can't even use the waste water to wet down the garden beds, that's the worst of it, sigh. 

Now it's 10:30 a.m. and I'm hearing some brave soul out there (on the 4th of July???) cutting their lawn.  IN THIS HEAT AND HUMIDITY.  That person is mad, I tell you, mad.  Or under 20 years of age. 

I may have mentioned somewhere in my last few posts that I was thinking about buying something, possibly a trellis, to add some "pop" to the large blank space.  I spent some pleasurable time window shopping online, and I actually bought one!  It came in pieces, and I assembled it recently in my living room:

All the parts, spread out in my living room.

Assembly in progress.

All assembled and ready for outside!  You can catch glimpses of my egg collection
and my collection of pink elephants inside the china hutch - tons of storage below, too.

It's 75" tall and 28" wide, so it will give me some much-needed vertical interest on that side of the house, and the white will show up well against the siding above the lower stone veneer on the house.  It was purchased from Home Depot, the Wellington PVC trellis.  The total cost was $57.27 including tax.  Shipping was free. 

Keeping a running total, the cost of my outside curb appear updates is now $359.67.

The trellis is now outside in place, but I'm not going to show any photographs of it until the great and final "reveal" of this summer's curb appeal project.  Because of a hiccup that I'll write about in my next post, I won't be able to wrap things up until the 3rd week of July as it now stands. Darn it all, $%&^@%^*!.  Yes yes, I know - patience is a virtue...