Saturday, May 05, 2007

Phy Ed, or what I call gym class

Bob has decided Thomas needs to lift weights. We dusted off the old--very, very old--Bowflex and got to work. Bob made me exercise, too. I hated every flippin' minute of it. Give me Richard Simmons any day.

As you can tell, Thomas loved it. NOT.

"Does it LOOK like I'm having fun?"

Our Ducks

Here are Fred and Ethel, still with us. We think that they are nesting at the next door neighbor's house under their shrubs. They like to visit us each morning and evening for some grub. We bought a bag of corn. They come up to the back door now for their dinner. They prefer bread, but we only give that to them every couple days.

Thomas and I discussed the fact that they won't eat here if they're nesting in our yard, and he said he preferred they nest somewhere else because he liked to feed them. So we've marked our calendar (May 2nd) the day they stopped hanging in our yard all day and started making their morning and evening appearances. Should take 26 days, plus or minus.

We have enjoyed sharing our back-yard home with the ducks tremendously.

Now, I need to find I Love Lucy on TV because Thomas still has no idea who Fred and Ethel are!

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Thinking Blogger Award

I am a recipient of The Thinking Blogger Award. Elisheva at Ragamuffin Studies tagged me. What an honor! Thank you so much.

To participate in this, I must follow three rules.

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.

2. Link to this post (the original) so people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.

3. (This one is optional.) Proudly display the Thinking Blogger Award with a link to the post that you wrote.

It is now my duty to choose five bloggers that make me think. I have been stewing over this since I was tagged. This is very difficult because I read a lot of blogs and I do so because they make me think. How do I only pick five??? I love all the blogs I read and I don't want to exclude anyone. Sigh.

Well, here goes anyway. I sure wish I could include my entire blogroll -- seriously.

1. Carrie Bartkowiak.

2. Steph at A Room of my Own.

3. Gherkin Pickle at Wicked Pickles.

4. Carole at Mt. Pleasant Classical Academy.

5. Audrey at A Small Corner of Nowhere.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

We've been adopted

Meet Fred and Ethel. Five nights ago, we found Fred and Ethel in our back yard. We live four houses from the lake, so they were out taking a stroll. Apparently, they liked our place. Ethel did, for sure. She stayed, Fred left.

The next night we fed Ethel bread. As we were feeding her, we heard "honk, honk, honk" and she started honking and walking away. This honking went on back and forth until the two love birds found each other. They were now in the front of our house. We thought they'd be on their merry way, but no, they came back. They got within two feet of me and three of Thomas. Thomas filled a shallow bucket full of water and Ethel jumped right in and took a bath in front of us. We fed them a few more pieces of bread and went in the house to watch them from the window. They waltzed all around our back yard, but settled in the jungle area.

The next morning, Fred was gone but Ethel was under Bob's car. He made a lot of noise so she ambled along out of his way. She took turns hiding under our other car and our neighbor's car (The neighbor that speaks to us )

Later that night as I was washing the supper dishes, I heard "honk, honk, honk." I looked out and there was Fred honking at my window. I grabbed Thomas and out we went. We followed Fred's honking until he met up with Ethel in the back. Again, they settled in the jungle area. This time we were prepared. We had purchased corn pieces from the store and fed them. (If you feed a cat, they'll keep coming back. How about a duck???)

Ethel isn't leaving. This has gone on for five nights. I hope she's nesting back there -- that would be wonderful for both Thomas and I to witness. I haven't spotted a nest yet, and she's still pretty active walking around. She should give 8-12 eggs and won't sit on the nest until they've all been laid. Then it's 26 days of waiting. How cute would it be to see ducklings?

I'm trying not to invade on them too much. We feed the ducks all the time at our lakes, they have bubble gum machines to dispense cracked corn. I figured that must be safe if the city put them up.

Anyway, if they're gone tomorrow, we've had a blast with them. It really seems as if they are in love. lol

Sunday Night Drivel

First off, my apologies for my snarky post about sending Thomas back to public school. I get very vocal about things that, well, rub me the wrong way and I also have a kind of wonky sense of humor.

What a weekend. I know one of my readers doesn't like mention of my neighbors, but I'm going to talk about them a bit. The nasty man who assaulted me almost one year ago April and his wife left town for the weekend. What a celebration that was for us! It was heavenly to be able to be free in the front yard. This is the couple that watches every single move we make. (I know I sound paranoid, but I'm not about this.) I washed the driveway down and I even swept the gutter out.

Our next-door neighbors with that yappy #$Q@ -- um, dog, mow their lawn twice a week and then the guy takes his blower and blows all the clippings onto the street. They end up back in the gutter, and since we have a dip in our driveway gutter part, it all collects at our house. So if the cops drove by, they'd think that we are putting our lawn clippings illegally into the street. It is illegal in our town to do that.

A good friend suggested I call the city and let them know that they need to inform the neighbors that it is illegal to do that. I worry about the karma of doing that.
What would they do to us in return? (Homeschooler paranoia speaking.)

The neighbors with the dog had Demon (not his real name) running loose all day. Yap, yap, yap, yap....if I were them, I'd go crazy listening to that all the time. I go crazy one house over. We can hear that damned dog in my house when he is in his house with each house having its windows shut. FWIW, I am an avid animal lover. I have volunteered at shelters and even done foster care work for homeless pets. I don't hate dogs.

Anyway, we started clearing our jungle/bank at the back of our property. Cutting tree sprouts, trimmed our pussy willow down -- and the woman stands at her back door and screams at me: What are you going to do with all that wood? I ignored her, threw it behind my shed, and walked in the house. Our plans were to build a fire pit and burn it. Well, after thinking about that, our other neighbors -- the people everyone in this neighborhood hates worse than us -- who are actually civil to us, would have problems with the smoke, so we decided to not do that to them. We went in search of the infamous tree deposit site that is run by our city. We drove a few miles in the country and did not find it. I'll be calling the city tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the lack of privacy in our yard has always driven me nuts since the new yappy neighbors moved in. They're out there all the time. They're seniors, and they have nothing better to do than have the perfect yard. (It's okay, but true gardeners wouldn't like their style.) Last year my husband planted six shrubs -- some type of cranberry -- that are very pretty, for privacy. And they're short. They do nothing to give us privacy and I expect they won't for several years. So I decided to get on the net and search. I found a very cheap solution! Bamboo fences. You can buy rolls of bamboo fence that is 6' tall from 25 to 50' in length. I could get some on Ebay for $50. I told Bob I was going to order some and he could get posts to attach it to. Then he'd be happy when snow comes because he could take it down.

It's a good think I didn't jump right on that. Bob decided that he would bite the bullet and BUILD A FENCE around our patio area. Twenty-five feet out from the house and four to six feet perpendicular to that. A nice L-shaped privacy fence. We went to the lumber store, priced it, and this project will be less than $400. And I'm hoping it will give me my sanity back.

Two years ago Bob threw out my outdoor swing. I had used it so much, and it had so much sun rot, that it was not functional. Every night after supper I enjoyed sitting on my swing, watching Thomas play, and then watching the sunset. It was my soul nurturing time. The swing went the same summer yaps moved in. I haven't been able to enjoy my back yard since. So I think this $400 fence is going to restore me beyond belief. I miss my quiet time outdoors.

And now I'll have some actual motivation to get my yard in better shape and my garden going very well. Yeah.

Life is good.

The weather here was gorgeous. Spring sometimes has the air that when it hits you, you just feel good. It can lift a mood quicker than anything I've ever experienced. We were bouncing and happy all weekend.

I made a big, long list of things that needed done around the house and attached it to the fridge. I worked fast and furious -- got the master closet cleaned out, lots of putzy stuff done, fixed my blinds that were broken, washed windows inside and out -- I worked my tail off this weekend. Well, it must have been contagious because Bob dug in, too. He fixed some things that had been driving me wonky since he broke them -- one and two years ago. My bathroom outlet is now not hanging three inches out of the wall and is where it is supposed to be. For that, Bob, I am very grateful.

I have lots to do on my list, but I'm feeling very energized. And I've decided to try to shift my perceptions about my neighbors -- because I do have a lot of anger. I'm just having a little difficulty finding the solution in how I need to shift. The dog people are just annoying and I really don't have anger, I just wish they'd train their dog. It's the man across the street that assaulted me that I'm having difficulties shifting my perceptions. He admitted to me during the assault/confrontation that he watched us all the time. That is just icky. So if someone has any ideas on how I can refocus, please share. I'm sure Mother Crone doesn't want to read another neighbor rant. ;-)