Down time

I woke up early, wandering around in the apartment, I couldn’t find my glasses. I remembered, my husband and I had been out late in our back yard, burning a bunch of “sensitive” paperwork in our old camp stove.   I roused the dogs and we went outside to look for my glasses.

The moon was so bright, it lit up the cotton ball clouds like a lava lamp. I strolled right out and found my glasses sitting on the old oil can we use for an end table, next to the wooden bench we found standing along the street with a FREE sign on it.  Our outdoor living room set!  

I had spent a couple of hours yesterday, still routing out old paperwork from my filing cabinets, and  I had a stack a couple of inches thick – old bank statements and other personal records, just “sensitive” enough to make me too paranoid to chuck it in the trash. We have a good pile of wood from our big trees – those late Winter storms really cleaned the dead  stuff out of our sycamore trees. It’s mostly sticks, but we have a few branches as big around as my leg, my husband had to cut them up with the chain saw. 

So I set up a little fire yesterday afternoon, and last night we got our tea and set out there for about two hours, rolling 8 x 11 sheets into little logs, stuffing them in among the sycamore scraps. Every now and then we added some dried rosemary to kill that burning paper smell.

We’ve had a long week. It is that time of year when the yard demands attention. I finally waded into my lemon trees and cleaned off all the old rotting lemons. I never had such a bumper crop, can’t get over it. I picked and picked, as soon as they started turning yellow. I squeezed about a dozen pints of juice, and we used lemons for drinks and meals for a  couple of months.  Still I have buckets of rotten lemons.  

So this year I’m pruning the daylights out of those trees, try to get rid of some of the lemons before they are made. What a job – did you know,  lemon trees have nasty spines, all over the branches?  I don’t know how many times I’ve climbed in to one of my lemon trees and gotten stuck in there, trying to figure out how to get out again without getting poked. I really cut into them this time, I made a little space inside so I can climb in there next Winter and get those lemons. 

The biggest ones are always on top and hard to get at. I found one up there yesterday as big as a grapefruit. It had grown wedged in between two little branches, I had a heck of a time getting it out of there.  Of course it suddenly rolled right out of it’s little cradle and smacked me right in the head.  It was sad to throw all those lemons away. I hope I made some progress in thinning them out, but the trees are still covered with those incredible smelling blossoms.

I can’t stop pulling weeds. My husband keeps scolding me, reminding me that Arthur will surely kick my ass, probably about 4 am, but I can’t help it.  Sticker heads wave at me from every corner of the yard, taunting!  In some neglected spots they’ve crowded out long standing flowers, even some of my pink valerian has drowned  in the weeds. As I walk out to the laundry line, I can’t help but bend over and yank out a few handfuls. The dogs get impatient – I stop playing ball to rout weeds around the gates. Can’t help it, I feel they will rise up and swallow the house if I don’t do  something.

Of course, other stuff is growing good too – there are more apples on our trees than I have ever seen before. I have  to thin them too. I already thinned the peach trees, it was hard, but I did it. Last year there were too many, and they didn’t get very big, or very sweet. 

I put out the bug traps a week ago, and within a couple of days they were swarming with fruit flies. I think I’ve seen a few coddling moths too. The wind messes up the traps, dries out the molasses and vinegar bait, so I today I have to go out and dump them, wash out the dead  bugs, refill. I think these traps help, I got a lot of fruit last year, although it was small, it was not as bug-infested as years past.

I need more traps, I need to figure out some other plastic containers besides soda bottles.  I might try the celophane ziplock bags I get with my coffee and other foods like rice. They are made of tough material and have a flat bottom, I think I can make the type of  trap you buy at the store for bees and flies. I’ll keep you posted.

Yeah, Arthur is in a horrific mood this morning. I think he’s trying to break my neck. On  mornings like this, I have to get out the old heating pad and prop my head with a pillow.  

I am hoping these clouds will turn into something – the last rains only made MORE POLLEN. The black  walnut trees outside my windows are glittering with tassels. My nostrils burn into my brain, the front of my head feels like an old house with the wind blowing through. The other night my husband rolled over in bed and  asked, “what’s that irritating squeak?” It was me, breathing.

A nice shower would go a long way toward cleaning all this pollen out of the  air, off  trees, cars, etc.  But of course will also bring more weeds. 


Okay Arthur, I promise, no pulling weeds today. 




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