I Spy

Wednesday was a slow, unmotivated day. Thursday was just the opposite–I was busy all day long from morning till evening.

As usually, I got out of bed and took care of all the pets, then watered the gardens and trees we planted. Yesterday was payday so in between moving the sprinklers, I paid bills. When I finished watering and paying bills, I went grocery shopping at our local store, which is just a couple of miles away. When I arrived home, I lugged all the groceries in and put them away.

Our freshly mowed lawn.

I knew that there was a chance of rain this weekend, beginning on Friday afternoon, so I figured that I better get the lawn mowed even though I dislike doing it in the afternoon, the hottest part of the day. With the dry weather, I’ve only been mowing every other week. Even though we only mow up around the house, it takes me a couple hours. I usually begin in the front yard, then I stop, refill the mower with gas, and take a break before I mow the back yard. It is exhausting, and I dream of having some sort of tractor with a mower for summer and a snowblower for winter.  It’s not in the budget yet. Even though mowing is hot and tiring, I love the look of a freshly mowed yard.

When I finished the lawn, I took a short break before going out to gather eggs and then starting supper. I made steak, coleslaw, and corn-on-the-cob. I love corn-on-the-cob and it was on sale at the store. If we expand our garden next year, we would like to try growing our own corn. I’d also like to try watermelon and cantaloupe.

This morning my body felt tired from yesterday’s labor. I could also feel soreness from my hands and knees from falling off the porch yesterday when I went out to move sprinklers. Fortunately I didn’t break anything this time. The chance of rain is slight this afternoon (20%), but higher this evening and tomorrow (30% to 50%) so I decided I was too tired to bother with sprinklers today.

The mornings lately have been cool–so cool that I wear a jacket when I go out to do my chores. I remembered that as we were buying our house, our loan officer told me that Lake Michigan often acts like an air conditioner. In the afternoons the temperatures heat up, but I revel in the mornings’ coolness.

Since it was sunny this morning. I decided to risk doing laundry and hanging clothes out to dry. When JJ lived at home, I had to do laundry about every other day because he needed clean uniforms for work. But now that he’s moved out, I only have to do laundry once a week. Well, I do wash a load of towels twice a week so we don’t run out. I got all our clothes hung on the line, but as the morning progressed, clouds began to move in so I decided to wash the last load–towels–in the drying. I didn’t think they would have time to dry before the (slight chance of) rain, and my clothes line was mostly full already.

Vacation Neighbors live at the bottom of this hill.

It is always very pleasant hanging the clothes on the line. I always enjoy drinking in the beauty around me as I hang the clothes and enjoying the peaceful nature sounds. Well, usually it’s quiet and peaceful, but this summer has been noisy with Orcs chopping down the forest across the road. This morning in addition to the Orcs, I also heard machine noises from our Vacation Neighbors, who are obviously at their cabin this weekend. I figured the guy was mowing his lawn, but it sounded much louder than normal this morning. I’m so used to our quiet, peaceful Enchanted Forest that the noises seem deafening this summer. I wondered…was Vacation Neighbor mowing his lawn or was he, also, an Orc? Gasp! Was Orc-ness contagious like zombie-ness?? Usually I am totally uninterested in spying on my neighbors, but I was in a playful mood this morning. I left my basket of wet clothes at the clothesline and skulked through the forest to see if the noise I heard was our Vacation Neighbor’s mower or Orc machines. We live on top of a hill and our Vacation Neighbors live beneath us at the bottom with a steep forested slope between us. I stayed at the top and tried to look down, but there were so many trees that I couldn’t see anything. However, after I finished hanging the clothes, Hannah wanted outside so I walked her down the driveway and saw Vacation Guy on his riding mower. He’s not an Orc after all.

I read an article today about a tree found near the tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific oceans that lures birds to themselves and then murders them for no good reason that scientists can discover. That’s interesting and rather scary.

The breeze dried the clothes quickly. As took them off the line, I heard the sound of machinery from the direction of the Vacation Neighbors. It sure sounded like Orc Machinery and the guy should have been done mowing by now. Either the Orcs are cutting down trees on the other side of Vacation Neighbors or they are cutting down trees further down the road so it sounds as if it’s coming from the direction of Vacation Neighbor’s.

In between tasks I sat in my chair, drank, coffee, and worked on this post. I glanced out of the window next to me and spied a beautiful black and blue butterfly in the landscape rocks near the house. I took a photo of it and then tried to identify it. I think it’s a Red-Spotted Purple. It sure is beautiful.

I had sort of planned to make a trip to TSC for poultry supplies today, but I didn’t feel up to it so I just puttered around home.

Hannah’s strawberry patch

This afternoon I walked Hannah down the driveway to the Magic Box (where delivery people leave packages for us in the Winter when they can’t make it up the driveway) and back. Hannah spied a patch of wild strawberries and she paused to eat the tiny ripe berries. Hannah eats everything–old straw from the coop, various critter poop, grasshoppers, strawberries, dead rodents. Much of our walk involves me trying to keep her from eating things. But I stop to let her eat the strawberries each day.

Madeline carrying the chipmunk

Radar showed a huge mass of rain headed right for us–it couldn’t miss!–so I decided maybe I should go out to the coop and gather eggs an hour earlier than usual so I wouldn’t be caught in it. As I got out of my chair I glanced out of the window and spied Madeline, our serial killer cat, trotting by with a chipmunk in her mouth.  Suddenly Madeline dropped the rodent and it began to run with her after it. I can’t do anything about dead or mostly dead critters, but I can rescue still alive ones! I ran out in my socks, shouting “No! No! No!” to Madeline. She is really quite timid, but she was in pursuit of her victim so she’d run off a bit as I shouted at her, and then return, circling around. The chipmunk scurried toward the Xterra while Madeline went under it. The chipmunk hid for a short time in the hubcap and then ran under the Xterra where Madeline was waiting. It was like in those movies where the people are walking toward where the viewer knows the serial killer/monster is hiding…Somehow the chipmunk escaped and ran across the grass, up the hill, and into the forest with Madeline chasing it. I tried to keep myself between Madeline and the chipmunk, continuing to shout “No!” to scare Madeline. Hannah heard me shouting and was in the house barking frantically. I lost sight of the chipmunk but saw Madeline looking up into the tree, so I stood my ground for a moment or two to give the chipmunk time to get away. Then I telepathically thought to the chipmunk, “I did my best. You are on your own now. Be more watchful next time….”

I got my chore boots on and went out to the poultry pen. As I filled the drinking buckets with water, I spied Madeline trot past the pen on her way to the garage. She wasn’t carrying any chipmunks so I think it got away.

The rain went south of us and then disappeared. Bummer. Well, there’s always tonight and tomorrow….


7 Comments on “I Spy

      • You’re welcome TJ – I read it and thought of your more-recent post. We are scorching down here – I won’t say “wish you were here”. 🙂


      • Me too – I am going to go out and take the hose out of the garage – big ordeal, it is in two pails, and clean off the A/C unit and just a short walk – ugh indeed! Almost ready to have Fall. Take care and don’t spend too much time outside tending to the garden … share that wading pool with the ducks! 🙂


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