Thursday, March 15, 2007

Spring cleaning

Yesterday a friend and coworker took the day off to wash her windows.

Off and on throughout the day I felt guilt. My immaculate Mom washed her windows twice a year. Once when she put the storm windows on and again when she took them off. When we were first married, I did as I was taught, dutifully washing the windows twice a year in our first mobile home and then in subsequent homes, until...

I started work full time and still had all the family at home. There wasn't time, or at least I didn't make time for that particular chore. Kim and Doug were big help in those years. They did a very good job of washing windows, even better if I paid them good wages. But, they grew up and left.

Last night, a friend for many years, who is about ten years older than I and dealing with health issues, emailed a short note thanking me for a card. I am sure she won't mind me quoting part of her note:

"Continue to go and do as much as you can and as long as you can. Don't worry about cleaning the house, cooking, or anything that looks like it might keep you from having more fun elsewhere."

Well, alright then!

Monday, March 12, 2007


Dan is working to clear back along a hedge row in our meadow. There is excellent brome grass but the hedge are in desperate need of trimming. He wanted me to be there this evening while he cut down a particularly big Hackberry tree that was leaning out over the grass. This picture is looking straight up into the tree. What it doesn't capture is how it is leaning.

He cut a notch on the side he wanted it to fall toward and then cut through the entire trunk from the back side.

Here is the end result. We didn't realize a large hedge branch had broken with a storm and fallen over into the tree. That medium sized hedge branch is strong enough to keep the Hackberry from falling. Dan doesn't want to get too close to the trunk because if it does start to fall, the truck may come out backward. While I was there, both trees would pop and groan, but it did not look as if the big tree was going to fall. Thankfully, it's fairly remote and there should not be anyone near the area. This is actually a dangerous situation.

Note: I had a meeting last night, so missed it, but Dan said the tree finally fell. OW asked as to the actual name of my "beloved" buzzards. Check here for more than you probably want to know.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Monarch Butterflies

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Chip, our neighbor, is the founder of Monarch Watch, and an internationally known expert on Monarch butterflies. Recently, he led a team from Kansas University to the winter nesting spot of the Monarchs in Mexico. (There is a blog of a similar trip in 2004 on their website) It was there that this picture was taken. It is amazing to realize these tiny creatures will soon, if not already, start their trek northward to reproduce.