It’s been a while…again. Life has gotten in the way of fun shenanigans. Again.
The good news: There has been a deluge of rain the last week or so and the van hasn’t leaked!
The bad news: Gatsby’s ear tip has been bleeding for the last month, and while the house isn’t resembling a massacre scene like it did when Donky’s ear tip bled for months on end before he was diagnosed with vasculitis, largely every white surface looks to be stippled. And he has to wear what’s called a “No Flap Ear Wrap,” which he doesn’t seem to mind terribly, but makes him look like a character from Little Red Riding Hood. I keep calling him my little baboushka. He appreciates that, I’m sure.
It’s largely been work, and the rest of my time seems to go to training clients, grumbling with my sister about the ineptitudes (or corruption) of our judicial system (let me tell you, we’re having a rollicking good time with both probate and litigation issues regarding our mother’s estate and our father’s incarceration and seemingly-we’ll-never-get-to-it trial, even though the Slayer Law seems to spell out what should be happening, probate-wise at least, pretty clearly…..) and trying my best to keep the house clean and the lawn mowed. Oh, and growing grass. Yard grass, not the fun stuff.
I didn’t see it coming, but I am apparently at the age now where if someone were to ask me, “Keeks, what would you like to accomplish this summer?” the answer would be, “Gee, I’d really like to get the grass looking good.” Now, in fairness, there was a large carport in the backyard that was removed just prior to the closing on my new house up here, and left us with a 30’x15’ bare patch in the backyard. There was also a very oddly placed planter in the corner of the yard housing a bunch of strawberries and weeds, and once the rickety wood around it was removed it was marginally better, however still was a bunch of oddly placed strawberries. I waited until the strawberries had produced some fruit (I also showed my age with the delight that accompanied said production. Well maybe it wasn’t my age with that one, but the fact that I usually manage to annihilate most plants in my life. Seriously, I can kill an aloe plant, which is basically indestructible) for both myself and the under-the-garage-bunnies to enjoy, then Jack dug that square up and we dragged it (because that MF was HEAVY) to the other side of the driveway to let nature take its course, be it flourish or fail.
While we’re on the subject of the yard, greenery, and my usual plant failures, I want to go ahead and h̶u̶m̶b̶l̶e̶brag that my two tomato plants HAVE TOMATOES on them!!!! This is serious business. Just after Memorial Day, I planted two each of basil, lavender (I spelled that correctly on the first try this time, btw!), cherry tomatoes, and cilantro, and in the 6 weeks they’ve been in the ground, I have only managed to kill a basil plant thus far; but to be honest, the cilantro isn’t looking so good either. I saw a meme that said something (and I’m paraphrasing here b/c I can’t find it again on the Google) along the lines of, “Spending $60 to grow one head of lettuce that I could have bought at the store for $3.99,” and if that doesn’t hit home, I don’t know what does.
We’ll stick with the lawn topic, since that seems to be my pride and joy of summer 2023. Gatsby is finally off his tether and (sort of) learning where the invisible fence lines are! He is still wearing his secondary remote collar for now, since I can’t be sure he fully understands where the boundary lines are heading up to the street and we can’t have him bolting after a dog walking by, but he is greatly enjoying the freedoms that the back part of the yard provide. I myself am greatly enjoying the urine burns and shadoobies being dropped back there instead of right outside the back door. I like to call this area “Pooper’s Corner.” Our croquet course may have to be relocated closer to the house now, because it’s smack dab in the middle of Pooper’s Corner.
Up next on the docket is putting up privacy screens. We have decent(ish) enough neighbors, but I don’t need to see them. Or have them see us. I'd prefer not to hear them either, but I don't have enough money for a lot in the country. Hopefully we’ll get to that sometime before winter. The privacy screens, not the land in the country, although if I could figure out a way to make that happen, I would. In all seriousness, it will be so awesome to get those installed, because while G is understanding of where the back perimeter lines are, he categorically refuses to set foot on the new grass area because he thinks he's not allowed/isn’t quite clear where that fence line is. A visual will probably be quite helpful to him in that regard.
We’ve done some other maintenance things – put river rocks along the border of the house to cover up the weed garden we had there to start (finally, a garden I could have maintained). I had initially thought I’d like to plant stuff all along the border, but when I went in with a shovel, I found there was at some point a rock border that had just been neglected/overtaken. I was willing to just let the grass grow on up to the house, but there is also a cement border about 3 feet out from the house that also runs the perimeter, which would have made for awkward lawn mowing, so opted to just go back to what a previous owner had done and fill it in again. Realistically, that’s probably more up my alley anyway - I can’t kill them, AND I can paint them!
We’ve moved about 800 pounds of random debris from around our chimnea/sitting area, and now since that’s bare, I can plant some wildflower and mint seeds to start my own little English Garden, and connect it to the creeping vines and flowers that already run amok back there. An added bonus to this is not only can I just largely let them be (assuming that they even grow (see above mention of brown thumb)), but also that I can just mow into them like I do the vines, and just let them re-flourish, if you will. Theoretically. That’s how it goes in my head, anyway.
We’ll end this here, but I have just remembered one small highlight from last month, during Jack’s birthday celebration, but I’ll save that little anecdote for the next little in-between-fun-things-happening story.
Coming Soon: The Tale of Gatsby and the Baby Skunk.