Walks and Storms

Thank you, my readers, for indulging my “thinking” posts. Now that I have poured out those thoughts, I can get back to writing my regular types of posts.

It is now September! Yay! I can’t wait for cooler temperatures and brightly colored leaves! I have a couple of friends who live in Australia where seasons are “backwards.” That twists my mind a bit. When I begin sharing pictures of colorful Autumn leaves, they are sharing pictures of beautiful Spring blossoms. While June, July, and August mean HOT to me, it means COLD to them. While I am shivering in December, January, and February, they are going to the beach.  Also, they are ahead of us in time so that when I am saying “good night” at the close of one day, they are saying “good morning” to the beginning of the next morning. The world is an interesting place.

After two weeks putting it off because it was either too rainy or two hot and humid, I finally got the lawn mowed last week. The grass was longer than I usually let it get so it was a bit of a chore, made even more difficult in places where the mower sank into mole tunnels. However, I got the lawn mowed and it looks nice.

EJ has been walking with Danny and me every day–ever since the doctor told him he really should. Last week JJ decided to try to walk with us every day too. It’s really nice to have my guys walk with Danny and me. We chat about this or that as we walk along, as people do. Sometimes one or the other of them chooses not to, but mostly everyone has been faithful to go on our daily walk. When it’s just me and JJ, he talks about his cancer and recovery, and his frustration about wanting to get back to “normal” life, and yet he doesn’t feel up to it. I have always felt the “in-between time,” when a person is recovering from an illness but not totally back to full health and strength, to be a very difficult time.

These are what the flowers look like.
These are what the flowers look like.

On our daily walk, we always pass an empty lot where a trailer was torn down earlier in the summer. There are orange dandelion-type flowers growing there. We thought they were Indian Paintbrushes, but I looked it up and they look more like Hawkweed. I think they are beautiful. I asked EJ to retrieve some of the seeds for me so maybe I can plant them in my garden. He took a very small handful, which he says is enough but I say isn’t. I always threaten to “steal” a few more seeds, and he always exclaims “You can’t do that!” Sheesh, it’s not like I’m going to dig up the plants  or anything, I say. I just want to get a sandwich bag full of seeds. I’m not robbing someone’s prized garden flowers, I am taking the seeds of weeds that will get mowed down. But I always forget to get the seeds or I let EJ talk me out of it, so it’s merely a fun “argument.” So far, that is.  I laugh that my guys get so appalled that I would consider getting a few more seeds.

There seems to be an overabundance of grasshoppers this year. Or maybe they are locusts. I think it was last year that I researched the difference between the two, and discovered that, basically, “locust” is a stage in the life cycle of some grasshoppers. DifferenceBetween.com says

“The difference between these two is primarily based on the behaviour of swarming and the presence of hopper bands. In addition, the population dynamics are directly involved with a particular grasshopper species being a locust species. The stage of the life cycle, abundance of food, number of individuals in the population, behavioural ecology, and morphological indications are the main factors that should be aware of in order to identify a certain grasshopper species as a locust species.”

Grasshoppers!
Grasshoppers!

I think that is interesting. As we walk, many grasshoppers (or locusts) hop, hop, hop out of our way so that they resemble popcorn popping in a pan. Yesterday a large grasshopper hopped onto Danny and clung to his side. EJ gently removed it, assuming it would hop away as soon as he brushed against it. Instead, it clung to his hand. He shook his hand, and it kept clinging. He shook his hand again and still it hung on. EJ had the worst time trying to get it to fly away. I just stood there and watched him and laughed. After the ‘hopper finally flew off, EJ said, “Well, that didn’t go the way I expected.”

When I go to my herb garden to pick herbs, the grasshoppers always fly every-which-way and I shudder at the thought of returning to the house covered from head to foot in clinging grasshoppers. Maybe that wouldn’t happen, but you never know.

Today is Labor Day, a national holiday in the USA. Usually on this day people have cookouts or one last little vacation before the school year starts. Yesterday EJ said that if we were wanting anything from the store, we better get it that day because a lot of businesses and stores are closed on Labor Day. We discussed how we were going to spend our Day. On the one hand, the idea of doing something “fun” is appealing. On the other hand, the actual preparation and traveling feels too tiring. I keep telling myself that one day we will all have our energy back. Since storms are in the forecast–some could be severe–doing anything outdoors is not really a good idea. Although we could do it BEFORE the storms hit, but….meh. We decided to take a trip to the grocery store and get a few things–like jugs of water and pet food and picnic type food that we will eat at home while we watch storms. We always have fun going to the store together because we discuss what to buy or not buy and crack jokes. We are simple folk who are easily entertained. 🙂 We bought a watermelon, potatoes for potato salad, and maybe I will make a zucchini pie from the zucchinis our neighbor gave me the other day. He said they have lots of zucchini growing in their garden and have been having lots of meals and desserts made of zucchinis so he can spare some. I suggested to EJ that we should plant zucchini next year.

We thought EJ had used all his vacation days so he could be with us while JJ was undergoing Chemo and surgery. However, he discovered  a month or two ago that he still had a week of vacation days left, so he took this week off. He is hoping to get some projects done this week in preparation for winter. I’m not sure how many outdoor projects he will be able to complete: Some forecasts predict rain just about every day this week while others predict rain on only a couple of days.

Maybe, if it storms, we can leap in the car and go stormchasing and get some cool pictures. We don’t go if the weather is dangerous, but JJ and I have fun driving through the storms. JJ enjoys while I take pictures of dramatic clouds. However, we have only one car right now and when EJ is at work, we are grounded. However, EJ is home this week….

Here are a few pictures of JJ and me stormchasing in June 2013:

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6 Comments on “Walks and Storms

  1. You live in beautiful surroundings Teri and I love to see the big storm clouds. Must be an simple person also because I love the simple things in life…. I don’t really don’t love locusts handing on my hand or whatever part of my body. Yak I would do the Help-Me-Dance right away…. Tell JJ he will be going to have his strength back and feeling more and more himself just a little while longer and it is going to be fine. He is already up and about during the day and walking that is a lot more than he did before. Love you all enjoy this Labour day and EJ week off. ❤

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    • Simone, have I ever told you how much I appreciate and look forward to your daily comments on my blog? You are so faithful. I think we would have such fun if we lived close to each other. How thankful I am for Internet and FB because we would never have know each other without it. 🙂

      I confess that I gave a little scream when a grasshopper came a bit too close for comfort while we were walking. And I try to reach far over to clip some herbs I want rather than walk through my herb garden and set the grasshoppers hopping.

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  2. Last summer we had neighbors who had four fat hens that wandered freely around the neighborhood. They ate up all or most of the grasshoppers. It was really nice.

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    • We had neighbors too blocks down who had chickens in a cage for most of the summer. The cage is empty now. I think they took them to a fair. Too bad. They could have let them go in town to eat the grasshoppers too!!!

      Like

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