Storms and Power Outages

I had checked AccuWeather before going to bed and it mentioned that we were headed into a storm around 3:00 AM in the morning.

I did hear a bit of it during the night and when I awakened to go to the bathroom in the early hours, quickly realized that the electricity wasn’t on. I took Stewie for a walk and spoke to a neighbor who said that it was only our side of the street and east. I saw that a side street was cordoned off and that they were working on the issue at hand. Supposedly, we are supposed to be back in business by 11:00 AM or so. Good thing I don’t have a morning Zoom on Fridays in the summer.

The din of the generators is almost overwhelming as we sit on the patio. It is 9:53 and the noise stopped and I turned my head toward the pond and saw that the waterfall had started up. Good thing for that as the generator we own is not in our possession but rather a hostage in a divorcing situation.

The heat is ramping up and I must remember to reset the damn thermostat we have as it will have returned to the 1960s (would you believe) and the daily routine of raising and lowering the temperature will be totally off. Just to be careful, I will do that right now, before I forget.

Okay, done. I have already picked up a lot of twigs on the lawn, Mary Kay has as well. I am thinking that the ground is dry enough that I can use our battery powered blower and clean off the patio. The harsh winds blew all the excess materials from the locust and maple trees and rather than have Stewart lie in it and bring it in the house with his fur, I would like to deal with it. The harsh winds knocked down my grapefruit tree that is almost a meter in height. Speaking of Stewart, he has collapsed on the living room floor, victim of our almost three mile walk. For the first time in his life I am seeing signs of aging.

It is to be in the 90s today. I have an appointment for an adjustment at the chiropractor’s and well, the rest of the day, I am hoping to chill. Let’s see how that goes…

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Milkweed and Poison Ivy

Milkweed in bloom

The milkweed is blooming.

This morning, Mr. or Mrs. Monarch came to visit, stopping on the beloved coneflower, checking out the clematis, and sweeping by the milkweed. I was not fast enough with my iPhone so I went in the house to keep my digital SLR on the patio table in case… I need to be more vigilant as I am sure it is not the last time I shall see the monarch. The hummingbird has been omnipresent but I keep wondering why we have to have a skittish bird, afraid of our every move. If I tell MK to turn her head, the hummingbird often doesn’t take a drink of nectar and flies away.

I pulled out a few plantain from the back lawn yesterday. They mar the look, lol. I have Creeping Charlie in the back forty and I have questioned removing it all. For now, it is there in all of its minty delight. I do not want it in the flower beds, so that has been pulled. I have seen that in some ways, the strength of the grass has pushed the Creeping Charlie into a standstill. We shall see.

Today, I thought I would don my high boots, put on some Pandemic latex gloves, and attack the two poison ivy plants I have under the forsythia. I hope to do that shortly.

I have a banana peel that will get cut into bits and thrown on the soil around the rose bush, hoping to make sure it remains healthy. I threw the coffee grounds on the foundation of the house. Yesterday, the Pest Controllers working down the street were apparently stopping at all the neighborhood homes to offer discounted services. I turned them away, telling them that I neither wanted pesticides nor their service. They said that they had plant based ‘chemicals’ but luckily my work fighting our ants has been working. We shall see, it is a constant struggle but never one that has pushed me to call a service.

Okay, poison ivy here I come.

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Stewart and a beautiful summer day

I don’t know if Stewart is just showing his age, but when he gets back from our three mile walk, he is woofed.

He still spends plenty of time running around, but he seems exhausted after our walk. He is eight years old going on nine, so maybe it is time to slow down. The old way we learned about the difference in age between dogs and humans would put him at about sixty something or so. According to that method, he is still younger than I am.

The caterpillar that we spied, the one we think is a monarch, has not been seen since that first sighting and I don’t see evidence of more of the milkweed being eaten. The milkweed has just started blooming and we did see a large butterfly way in the back of our yard but I couldn’t tell if it was a monarch or not. The coneflowers just started blooming and the water lily that we have had for a few years started opening. The water lilies close up in the evening and last a few days. I am looking forward to seeing it today.

The weather is cooler than it has been, to the point that the air is off and the windows are open. Unfortunately, this also means that malbor is out as I write this from the patio. I hear his gasps for air, coughing, and the habitual loud noises as he pulls his cart of Monsanto-inspired poisons to make his yard pretty. Our Monarch Waystation yard is a total contrast to his chemically induced floral and lawn displays.

Yesterday, the landscapers were here and trimmed the hedges. Unfortunately, they also stepped on my eryngium and daisies. The eryngium is a new plant and the daisies were having their best year ever as they adorn the pond. I am hoping that they will rebound a bit from their issues. I made sure to water the hibiscus and eryngium that are the new plants up front. I am determined to make that dry as a bone plot of land more likely to maintain the floral adornments we have put in.

Okay, Zoom…

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Back to normal?

One has to wonder, are we heading back to normal or is this just a tease before we get knocked down once again?

I took my Pandemically induced three mile walk with Stewart today and we walked by the local swimming pool, the one that was closed last summer. It was loaded with kids, kids from Coho, the local swimming club. It seemed like normal. As I walked through the parking lot, it seemed like normal. The question is, is it?

Time will tell.

It is clear to me that as with politics, fake news, lies, chronic evil, and systemic racism, people say one thing and often do another. I have little confidence that people are going to behave.

It is still prudent to keep one’s distance and to slowly move back into whatever normalcy we can find.

Our family activities are most assuredly changed forever. Getting together with dinners will happen, but with less frequency, I am sure. Our family tradition of birthdays has pretty much gone by the wayside. We always had a family dinner and now, we are lucky to settle for cake. Many birthdays were not celebrated at all. I am not complaining. Things have to be what they are. We have to be careful and not follow the ridiculous behavior of so many who view science as some sort of mythology not to be followed, and yet drink their own special brand of Kool-Aid and trust in the teachings or dictums of someone they choose on some Internet site.

It is a beautiful day. The Lindens have clearly begun, some further ahead then others in their donations of that special fragrance that so few people know. The privets have pretty much finished and I am so surprised to have found that even they have fragrance.

Okay, Zoom time it is.

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Anderson Japanese Gardens

It was a scorcher of a day with the bluest sky ever, no clouds, and clearly no chance of a rainstorm. We got in the car with our friends, yes, with our friends, and went to Rockford. I remember several years ago reading that of all the wonderful things in Illinois to see, the Anderson Japanese Gardens were on that list. We went last time in the spring. This was interesting as it was summer and the differences were huge. Nonetheless, it is still a beautiful place to go and the Zen of the gardens were giving us a peace that is clearly needed. Being able to get out with friends after the Pandemic, is amazing.

We walked the gardens, a little less than a mile, enjoying the nooks and crannies, the water with its tremendously huge koi, and the waterfall. We were fascinated by the usage of mundane things like hosta and bushes with tiny flowers that really don’t fascinate me and yet when you put them all together with a Japanese artistry, it all works!

We ate lunch outside, barely escaping the harsh sun, just a few days after I had visited the dermatologist to have some questionable things removed. As it turns out, I didn’t have to have them removed, but given that my father fell victim to skin cancer, I am a bit paranoid.

Our friends were delightful. It was so much fun seeing them in a non-Zoom setting. We had met them before going to Germany with Holy Cross Church of Libertyville, where our good friend Randy directs the choir and plays the organ. They also went to Germany, and since our return, we have had a small group of those of us who went who meet via Zoom.

The ebb and flow of friendship is fascinating. Some are with you forever, some come and go, these are keepers. We had a great time and look forward to more adventures.

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