Archive for the ‘Homelife’ Category

As long as I am up there

November 2, 2011

Beautiful fall colors. 75 degrees. Windows open … especially the ones I am staining during the first two of a three-step process.

Keeping up with the leaves a bit at a time seems to be a better strategy than half killing myself in a marathon of gathering and bagging. The front yard and most of the backyard took little time this morning.

Spent time on the roof as well this morning. Tomorrow’s forecast is for moderately heavy rain, and piles of leaves and pine needles needed to blown out of roof valleys and off of the gutter screens. Leaks and stained ceilings are not in our decorating plans.

A neighbor lady walking her dog looked all around our yard for the source of the blower noise. Her reaction was amusing when she finally located me on the top of our house.

The bathroom skylight always gets a thorough cleaning as long as I am up there.

Immense enjoyment

June 27, 2011

Several years ago we just happened to be at the Missouri Botanical Garden when the bottlebrush buckeyes were in bloom. One of the walkways was an avenue of the blossoms. Never had seen them before … anywhere.

This spring, a bottlebrush buckeye bush appeared at the back edge of our property. Where did it come from? Immense enjoyment.

Bottlebrush buckeye

It’s cold in here!

February 23, 2011

So, last week we had unseasonably warm weather, 60s and 70s. A pretty nice weekend followed.

But yesterday and today turned cold, a penetrating and uncomfortable cold. Guess which days we were scheduled to have the last of our single pane windows replaced. Big windows. Much energy loss winter and summer.

With the replacement process, we are very open to the elements.

It’s cold in here!

Yesterday this was open:

Today, this is open … usually no plastic sheeting. They are at lunch.

A modest demolition pile.

But my office is warm. Heat’s off, but between me, the lights, and the computer,  things are toasty! A little heater stands by, but so far unnecessary.

Nevertheless, I look forward to waving bye-bye to the men cluttering up our domain.

“It’s a deal!”

February 1, 2011

First the freezing rain, then the freezing drizzle, and soon the snow accompanied by high winds will arrive. Anywhere from 7 to 20 inches are expected, a major storm for this part of the country.

My first trek to the driveway was to push around a few inches of ice crystals. The consistency was that of sugar. Better to keep up with it from time to time rather than wait for the storm to pass.

When I came in for a break and rest, I set the oven timer for two hours, an appropriate recovery interval before I would return for more shoveling.

A moment later there was a knock on the front door. “Would you like me to keep your driveway clean throughout the storm?” There, with smiling face, stood our neighbor’s son.

“What compensation are you looking for?” I asked.

“I will return three times for a total of 25 dollars.”

“It’s a deal!”

His family has, perhaps, the only snow blower in the immediate neighborhood. This is contrasted with the area we grew up in, Minnesota, where one is more than likely to be the only one without a snow blower in any given neighborhood.

The work is being supervised by is father, and I envision a budding business being set up for several winters coming.

But I still think I’ll purchase a snow blower. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I imagine there is an offender looking at the snow through his narrow window. He can’t see far, just as far as the adjacent wing in his housing unit.

I wonder what he is thinking as the snow swirls among the buildings. This coming weekend could be his last as he approaches his execution date on February 9.

And for the rest of us, a snow storm is coming.

It makes for interesting days

January 4, 2011

Retirement sure gives one some odd days. Today was one of them: early morning quiet and meditation time, a couple of hours on the torture machine in the basement, getting some photo prints made with a 25-free-every-month card that came with a camera purchase, having a slow leak fixed on a tire … for free since I bought the tires there, picking up a Lionel locomotive from the repair shop following 64 years of trouble-free performance at Christmas time each year.

Certainly can’t complain about any of that. It makes for interesting days in this wonderful world of ours.

Anyway, back to work on Thursday.

“A hawk!,” I thought.

January 3, 2011

It was the second day of the new year. Watching a football game at dusk, I noticed a large bird fly into a tree at the back edge of our yard. “A hawk!,” I thought.

Running upstairs, I got a much better look. What I saw didn’t resemble a hawk’s profile. The top of our china cabinet always holds a pair of 12 power binoculars. Taking a closer look, an owl!

We grabbed the new camera, a Christmas present from me to her, and attempted to catch a picture. The flash fired. Glare off the glass. How could I turn that off? A moment’s fiddling got it turned off.

On our lower level is a door to the patio. A good shot from that vantage point looked like a real possibility.

Walking out the door … luckily the motion detector didn’t kick on the flood lights … I was able to keep a tree trunk between me and that lovely bird.

I peered around the tree and squeezed off a picture. Zoomed in at 10x should give a nice look. The camera gives off a soft beep, just enough to attract the full and undivided attention of the owl.