Dutchman's Breeches (Skylands)
This morning I woke up at 5:00 a.m. to the glorious song of the wood thrush! In my last post I remarked about how it wouldn't be long now that the trees were fully leafed out, and as it turns out I was correct. There is nothing prettier than the song of a wood thrush. Clear, distinct, and melodious. I drifted back off to sleep listening to it.
Yesterday the tile in the laundry room got grouted and the utility/slop sink was set. It looks so much better than the old one which really had seen better days, say 1988! We've been trying to bring our house up-to-date a little at a time. We still have the carpeting to replace later this year, but that is not going to be fun at all. We have a lot of furniture that needs to be moved completely out in order for that to happen.
I haven't gotten to the wisteria yet. Maybe later today I'll walk down and see if I can get some shots. I did want to note that my lilac bush did bloom this year.
This bush is special because it started out in life as a tiny shoot off my mom's lilac bush in her yard in the Adirondacks. We brought it back and planted it together the first year we lived here. I lost my mom in 2007 and she didn't get to see the little sprig flourish and bloom. It first bloomed in 2011 but we were on vacation in France and by the time we got back it was done, so I really didn't get to see it actually blooming. Last year it didn't bloom at all. So I was very excited to see a few flowers on it this year. It's not full of blooms, but at least it's something!
We had quite a few lilac bushes that towered over my head when I was a child in Hyde Park, and the scent always takes me back there, just like this particular bush reminds me of my mom. I miss her so much.
Today I have to do some thinking and planning for our weekend trip to the shore since we leave tomorrow. Since the dogs are going with us (please let them be good!) I have to think of everything I need to take for them as well. It's a bit like parents loading up young children but instead of diapers I pack poop scoop bags. Instead of formula I pack dog kibble, canned food, biscuits, water and food bowls. Alex will take "Pink Bunny" as it's his favorite toy to carry around. Also a few chew bones should be added into the mix.
We are cooking Saturday night dinner so we also have to prepare our mise-en-place and pack it to go, and I need to bake the Chocolate Raspberry Brownie Torte for dessert.
I might blog from the shore via my iPad, but I don't really know if I will or not. I'm just going to go with the flow of things.
Posted by Lynne Robinson on 05/16/2013 at 07:07 AM
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I really don't have much for you today, so you're going to get a little of this and a little of that. As you can see by the photo above, my view on the world has turned to green. The trees seemed to burst into full leaf nearly overnight with our rain last week. Sometimes they fill in gradually and it seems to take forever, but this year they seemed to need to make up for their later than usual start. My tomato plants that you can see have not been potted and put outside just yet because our temperatures this week are dipping into the mid 30's and flirting with frost. It's kind of hard to imagine the pool opening that is scheduled for Monday.
I forgot to mention the hummingbirds. They arrived right on time about two weeks ago and somehow remembered exactly where the feeder was. The rose-breasted grosbeaks made an appearance at the front feeding station yesterday but I have yet to see them on the back yard feeder. They only stay a few days and then they are off to other locales. We had so many little white-throated sparrows a few weeks back singing their sweet little peabody, peabody, peabody song, but they too seem to have been just passing through. The cardinals are singing their heads off and I love having them around. I am still waiting for the wood thrush and now that the trees are fully out I shouldn't have to wait for long.
The fox has been back. I always know when it's in the front yard because Bella goes nuts. She hates the fox. If this is one of the same foxes that visited before and distributed mange amongst the dogs, then bark away Bella! If it is the same fox, it looks like it's a lot healthier than before. The only part that still looks bad is its tail.
Figgy is leafing out and has been living outside now for about a week. We did bring it into the garage last night because of the predicted (but didn't happen) frost. She seems to have survived the winter in the garage just fine. The leaves might not be quite large enough yet to cover Adam's parts but they are looking good.
RIght now the crabapples are about done and the dogwoods are blooming. Wisteria is also blooming right now and I need to take some photos of it just growing wild, hanging in the trees. I don't have any in my yard but down by Green Turtle I noticed some right by the road the other day. Azaleas are also pretty showy right now.
I mentioned last week that I was knitting on a project. It's a market bag for my sister. I made myself one and loved the pattern and the end result so much that I wanted to knit another one and asked her if she might like one. Here is what mine looks like, and you'll be glad to know I didn't have to take the other one completely out. It's coming along but I haven't worked on it very much in the past few days.
Now that the roof is finished there is a small project in the laundry room that is being tackled. We needed a new slop sink and faucet and are ripping out the old fake tile wallboard and having actual tile put in behind and around the sink. Then we'll need to paint the whole room, but I' m not so sure when that will get done. You see, our schedule for the next month or so is going to be a bit crazy.
On Friday we are leaving for the shore since we have had an invitation from friends Andy and Linda to visit them at their shore house for the weekend—dogs and all! The last time they invited us was the weekend that Sandy hit so we are hoping for good weather this time. They've only just finished the repairs on the house since the damage that was done by that superstorm and we'll be their first guests. I hope the dogs behave. We're anxious to see how water dog Bella likes the ocean.
Monday is pool opening day and Rick has business and an overnight stay in Philadelphia, returning home on Tuesday. Wednesday we have the pool deck and sides of the house being power washed. Thursday brings Rick's Mom (also named Lynn but without the "e") for her visit of ten days. After Lynn leaves on June 3rd we have a week and a half before we take off to Cartagena. So you can see what I mean! After that things calm down again until September and we can kick back a bit and enjoy the summer in full swing.
How's that for bits of this and that?
I took my camera for a walk around our yard after the rain the other day.
Here is what I found of interest.
When I mowed the yard unfortunately I had to mow some violets. I have never seen so many violets in our yard!
A Busy BumbleBee
Blooming "Orange Goo" Fungus
Remember last year? This time I caught it as it was drying up, but still creepy.
Rick found these mushroom gems growing in their same old spot.
Now that I've said yes to a trip to Cartagena, Colombia I need to brush up on the little I know language-wise in Spanish. I can speak enough German and French to get me into trouble, and a smidge of Dutch, but Spanish? Nope.
When we took our trip to San Miguel des Allendes, Mexico a few years back I spent some time before we went with the Rosetta Stone software for learning Spanish and did pretty well. But of course, now that I haven't spoken any Spanish in a few years I've pretty much lost all that I knew, which wasn't that much to start with. I can speak in pleasantries with como está, buenos dias/noches and the usual please, thank you, etc. And, the important one: asking for a glass of vino tinto.
Our roof is original to the house which was built in 1998, (oops, I meant around 1988: see Rick's comment below) so it had pretty much come to the end of its life span. Superstorm Sandy helped us out by ripping chunks of shingles off on the back side of the house. When the insurance adjuster came he said our roof was in such bad shape that more damage would be done by patching it than by replacing it. So, Sandy paid for the back side of our house which helped out a lot. Roofs are expensive! Plus, ours is a hip roof and labor costs more than a more normal roof with less pitch.
~ Where is she going with this?? ~
The crew working on our roof are all from Ecuador. They are a happy bunch and hard workers. They dangle from the peak of the roof on their ropes like monkeys on a vine. And by that I certainly don't mean any disrespect nationality-speaking, only that they look about as at home on their ropes as monkeys do on their vines. They speak a little English, but not much. They sing while they work.
When one of them showed up at the front door, I said ¡Hola! in a perky tone of voice and was quickly rewarded for my efforts by a rapid dump of Spanish. I'm sure he could tell by the blank look on my face that ¡Hola! was the extent of my extremely limited Spanish, and that he had lost me with hello. He switched to broken English and asked if they could they please have some water.
The whole process of taking the shingles off was pretty interesting. They tented the house with large pieces of fabric screening and slid the shingles down to the ground as if on a big slide. The noise they made as they slid sounded like the sky was falling and the dogs didn't like it one bit. I ended up putting them down in the basement where they were happy to stay. All day long I couldn't hear myself think and it was hard to concentrate on much of anything. First from the sliding shingles, then from huge booms that shook the house as the packs of shingles were dropped on the roof. After that came the pneumatic nail guns.
They worked from 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Like I said in my previous post, they cleaned up pretty well by running a magnet over the grass and driveway to pick up the nails and blew pieces of shingle and other debris off the decks.
Here you can see the new shingles against the old ones on the sun room and the garage. We think the darker color looks really nice, and we hadn't realized how much red was present in the old shingles. The new ones are high-definiton too, so they give a 3-D effect.
I will be glad when it's all over and done with! To be continued … hopefully today!!
Posted by Lynne Robinson on 05/10/2013 at 07:16 AM
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Blog + Rut = Blut
I know I haven't written much lately. Every time you visit you just get more photography. When I look back each day in the On This Day category in the sidebar I am reminded of some of the witty things I used to have to say. It also reminds me that I had more people following me and commenting. I'm not really sure why I don't write much anymore. Maybe because I really don't have much to say. The days go by in a blur of daily chores (grocery, walking the dogs, etc.) and I figure no one wants to read about that, plus how much can you really say about any of those subjects?
I think I've lost my voice. Every time I sit down to blog no words come into my head. My fingers sit listlessly on the keyboard until I hit the "close" tab on my blogging program without writing a word. Am I depressed? No, I don't think so, but maybe. I have no reason to be.
I pick up my knitting and make mistakes, resulting in tinking backwards to undo what I just did that I didn't want to do. Today finds me contemplating ripping the whole project as it exists to this point, (about 1/4 of the way finished) completely back to nothing and start over again. (sorry, sis!) If I weren't such a perfectionist and instead of trying to fix my little gaffe had kept on going, chances are no one would notice. Except for me that is, and therein lies my problem. I'm going to try again to save it when I'm done here but I don't hold out much hope. Damn.
Same thing happens lately when I start a book. I can't tell you how many books I've checked out of the library in the past few weeks only to take them back with only the first few pages read. None of them grabbed my interest. I pick them up, I put them down. Unread.
We are experiencing re-roofing interruptus at the moment. The roofers came on Tuesday and got the main roof of the house ripped off and back on again. The garage roof and sun room roof have yet to be done. Yesterday they didn't come because we had heavy rain (which we sorely needed). Today it's raining again, so no roofers. Not sure about tomorrow either weather-wise since they need one whole good day without rain to finish. In the meantime they've left all their ladders and assorted paraphernalia around. They cleaned up as best they could but we still have bits of shingle everywhere. Kind of a mess.
We managed to get our new cabana up this weekend by the pool. Photos coming as soon as the rain and the Blut is over.
Thanks for listening.
Photo: Grape hyacinths and buttercups w/azalea at Skylands (where else??)
Posted by Lynne Robinson on 05/09/2013 at 09:40 AM
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