EJ’s Mother’s Day Gift (And Mine)

I didn’t get around to posting yesterday, but I hope that the mothers had a wonderful Mother’s Day. I am aware that Mother’s Day is very difficult for many women, so I especially want them to know that I was thinking of them yesterday.

Mother’s Day is one of my least favorite days. because I don’t have a good relationship with my Mom and my first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage just before Mother’s Day. While I understand the idea of honoring older Mom’s, it seems to me that it’s the Moms with younger children who could really use a day off and some pampering. If given the opportunity, I will babysit grandchildren on Mother’s Day so that the young Mom could get away for some relaxing time. That’s just my opinion.

At the end of last week, EJ bought five fruit trees–three cherry trees and two apple trees–because they were 30% off at our local nursery. I joked that they were his Mother’s Day gift. The morning-glory plant I bought got killed by three days of frost so EJ bought me another morning-glory. We waited until the frost warnings ended before we planted anything. Hopefully we won’t get any more frost, although we read that there is always a risk of frost in our area until the end of May.

Three cherry trees

Usually we try to have restful days on Saturdays, but EJ had to get the fruit trees planted and I had to plant my morning-glory before they died. EJ planted his apple trees with the others near the big rocks, and the cherry trees across the driveway not far from the large park bench. I planted my morning-glory near the deck.

We saw Miss Madeline Meadows climbing the post and trying to look into the blue birdhouse, so while EJ was planting his trees, I put chicken wire fencing around all the birdhouse posts to try to keep birds safe from her. She has gotten so bloodthirsty that I am contemplating re-homing her. We really like her, but it’s really bothering me to keep finding dead bodies of beautiful critters. I also put fencing around the deck for the morning-glories to climb and also to keep Hannah Joy from trampling them. I can’t wait until the morning-glories start climbing the fencing, making a flowery hedge around the deck.

My hanging birdbath

I couldn’t find my pedestal birdbath so I ordered one from Amazon. I ordered a hanging birdbath to try to keep Madeline from ambushing unsuspecting birds. It arrived on Friday, and I hung it on the post with the blue birdhouse, thinking Madeline wouldn’t be able to reach it, especially since the post has thorny roses climbing up it. But, of course, Madeline did climb the post. Grrrr.

Sunday I transplanted another wheelbarrow full of lilies along the driveway. I also scattered more wildflower seeds. The day was sunny and warm and the work made me overheated so I took frequent breaks in the house with the fan turned on me. The temperature did not reach 70 degrees and I thought, “Oh, boy, if this weather feels too hot, I’m totally not going to survive the warmer summer temperatures.” Sometimes I suspect that I must have snowman DNA because warm days make me melt.  EJ said that many of his co-workers who were born and raised in this area begin complaining that it’s too hot when the temperature hits 70 degrees so I guess I’m where I really belong. EJ promised that if we ever move again, it will be north and not south.

There is some sort of tiny insects that keep swarming us when we go outside. For lack of identification, we’ve been calling them “gnats” but I think they are actually a little bigger than gnats. Whatever they are, they are very annoying. Warm weather would be much more pleasant without insects.

I hear that downstate is getting a lot of rain, but we have only a tiny chance (20-30%) of rain tonight and then no rain until the weekend. So this morning I filled the wheelbarrow with old straw that I had raked out of the coop (which was still moist from the last snow/rain we had) and I covered the wildflower seeds along the driveway with it to hold in the moisture, which is what the nursery lady suggested I do when I bought wildflower seed last year. The land in our area is primarily sand, which doesn’t retain moisture. Sometimes when I work in the yard, I can’t help humming the children’s song I learned years ago in Sunday School

The foolish man built his house upon the sand,
The foolish man built his house upon the sand,
The foolish man built his house upon the sand,
And the rains came tumbling down.
The rains came down and the floods came up,
The rains came down and the floods came up,
The rains came down and the floods came up,
And the house on the sand fell flat…

Hopefully, our house built on a sandy hill won’t ever come tumbling down. At least, living on a hill, we won’t ever have to worry about flooding.

Chicken shoes drying in the sun.

This morning I finally got out my favorite cheerful yellow chicken work shoes that I wear in the summer when I do my poultry chores. I shook them, sprayed them with spider spray, and then shook them again just in case spiders had moved in over the winter. I kept imagining wolf spiders, brown recluses, black widows–or, really, any type of spider–in my shoes and I didn’t want to stick my feet in them until I was absolutely sure they were spiderless. You can’t be too careful. I wasn’t sure if it would be healthy to wear shoes that had been drenched with toxic spider spray so after giving time for any spiders in the shoes to all die, I took the shoes outside and sprayed them with the hose. Then I hung them on posts in the sun to dry. I think they will now be safe to wear…unless spiders moved in while the shoes were hanging on the posts.

 

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12 Comments on “EJ’s Mother’s Day Gift (And Mine)

  1. You are industrious TJ and I totally get the shoes getting hosed out – I had a centipede in my bathroom over the weekend – I was so stunned, I couldn’t even scream. I hate our weather right now – this is the third day of solid rain, though it stopped and a pale sun is peeking out. But we have a rainy day again tomorrow, so you are lucky you are escaping the rain your neck of the woods, but not escaping the frost. There is no happy medium. When reading about your cat killing the birds, I have to share a story and will post about it today or tomorrow when I figure out what I want to say. My friend Evelyn sent me a message that a 4-5 foot black snake slithered up into the robin’s nest. Ate one baby, had the other baby in its mouth when Evelyn came outside to put out their dog and she picked up the snake, but it into a flower container and a piece of glass over top and took it to a woody area the end of the street. One chick remains – she felt very sad, so do I, and you will too as you enjoyed reading about those little birdies.

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    • Awwww. That is so sad about the birds. 😥 I’m glad she was able to save at least one. The Jewish people have a saying, “Save a life, save a world.” I understand this to mean that if you save a life, you save all the descendants of that life too, as well as all the person’s creativity, support, encouragement, etc., that changes the world.

      Your friend was very brave to pick up the snake. Eeek! I would not be so brave! Maybe I would throw rocks at it from a distance, but I wouldn’t be able to pick it up.

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      • I feel badly too TJ – I want to mention it in a post, and Evelyn was quite upset about it today when she wrote me and sent a photo of the snake. She had sent me today’s photo and one yesterday of the three chicks, and I guess I may wait to see if she sends me one with the remaining baby and take it from there. You and I are bleeding hearts when it comes to animals and I think others will feel badly as well. People were enjoying watching the chicks’ progress. So, I’ll play it by ear I guess.

        That is an interesting way to look at saving a life – perhaps the robin chick who lives will return there to raise its young, though the nest was not very far from the ground … Evelyn could peer into it to take pictures and she is very short. Can you imagine how scared the remaining chick would have been?

        I could not have picked up the snake and it as 4-5 feet long … I would have had to call someone or an exterminator. That snake would have climbed up the deck railing to get to the babies, not accessed them by a tree. Sad.

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      • I do too – I personally would not want to be Evelyn going out tomorrow morning. A blogger who follows me is a photographer in Sweden. He photographs mostly birds, all different kinds as he lives near a marshland. So, he’s been fascinated with the robins since I did the first post about the eggs and who would arrive first: her new grandson or the robins. So I sent him a message on his post today about the robins … he likes snakes and often photographs them. She took the snake far enough away so it would come back but he says they have a keen sense of smell. Hope he doesn’t return for the other chick. This guy has grass snakes often on his hands – he says they don’t bite. I’d be scared. (I hope I didn’t tell you this story already – I just looked and it appeared I did not – it may have been Evelyn I told about the snakes … I’ve only mentioned the babies died to the photographer John, you and one other woman who does not like spiders and snakes …).

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      • You hadn’t told me about the snake guy. I hope the snake doesn’t return for the baby robin. That would be awful.

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      • I wasn’t sure so had to check our conversation and didn’t see it. This guy is very nice – his name is John Jonasson and he is Swedish and somehow found my blog, likes nature photography and posts a lot of waterfowl pictures. But he goes out on these excursions on his bike and stops at marshlands and then takes pictures, often of snakes. He found a wounded snake a few weeks ago, and he said he thought the end part of the snake had a broken spine as the snake could move. He thought it was injured and took it home with him and put it in a high brown cardboard box with grass and a branch and some water but it didn’t get any better so he took it the vet and had it euthanized. A true animal lover. He often photographs the groups of snakes if he finds a nest and had baby snakes on his hands – I guess the grass snakes won’t hurt you. He had liked all the gosling and robin photos, so told him about the snake and that’s what he said and he also said a snake will go after a bird nest if it sees chicks in the nest and can climb 25-30 feet up a tree. Didn’t know that – made me feel sick. I don’t see any snakes around here. I was going to write about the big centipede in the bathroom and took pictures of it and how I trapped it under the plastic bowl but decided against it … after the baby robin’s death. It is under the dish til it dehydrates – they need water to survive. It can stay there til it gets crispy! 😉

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      • I do NOT like snakes…although I have a peace treaty with garter snakes. We had several in my garden downstate. I rarely saw them. If I did encounter them, they always quickly slithered away. So I was ok. I called them all Nachash, which is “snake” in Hebrew. I’d say, “How are you today, Nachash?”

        I’ve seen a few garter snakes up here in Northern Michigan–one on my deck, a couple on my porch, and one in the grass. Our treaty is still in effect, but I will never get too close or pick them up.

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      • Perhaps I should have that same kind of peace treaty with spiders and centipedes and I would not be so terrified of them. This one is still under the plastic dish in my bathroom. It is alive, maybe not kicking, but it is alive. Because it has no water source, it will not live.

        I don’t know how Evelyn could pick up that snake and deal with it – maybe adrenalin when she saw the baby bird in harm’s way. I could not even have dealt with it with a rake.

        Sadly, the nest is empty and I am going to write a post about it … I want others to know because some others did comment on the baby robins’ progress. So sad, just another week and they could have been able to fly.

        Nature is wonderful but sad sometimes as well.

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      • Yes and it comes around midnight tonight. It is worrisome as it comes with winds as well and the trees are saturated – hoping they don’t pull out of the ground. I will be glad to be rid of this unsettled weather.

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