Sunday, June 19, 2016

Dog Days of Not Quite Summer

Sometimes, just before sunset, the whole forest glows in a wash of gold. I took this at 9 p.m.

It's become an almost embarrassing routine up here on Flat Top: Water plants, eat breakfast, do dishes, make bed, walk dog, take on the Project of the Day. Lunch, dishes, upstairs to read. OK maybe nap a bit. Then back to the projects till 6 p.m., when we walk Nick again. Shower, dinner, dishes and feet up with a cold beer. OK, maybe the cold beer starts a bit earlier. Never underestimate the value of a cold beer in the shower.

Don't judge too harshly. He was a labor of love.
The latest project was building a 5-foot-tall, moss-stuffed bear. He sits outside the guestroom, welcoming all who come see our corner of the world. As soon as I put his head on, I had great regret that my silly little project was just a bit too over the top. Then he grew on me, so he's here to stay, assuming he can weather the storms.

We broke up the routine the other day just slightly, adding a 3-foot-long rattlesnake to spice things up. I was watering the bear-adjacent plants, back and forth, back and forth over my little wooden "bridge" on my mulched pathway when I noticed something under the bridge. Yup. Mr. Rattler was curled up underneath, and we suspect he was taking a nap with a full belly, because he hardly moved when we gently removed the bridge and shot his ass. We also suspect he had a full belly, because our neighborhood chipmunk who lived nearby has not been seen since. A few days earlier, Mason and I had watched that chipmunk for at least an hour as he ran out to the bird feeder, stuffed his cheeks, and hopped back to his bear-adjacent hole in the ground. It was hot out and watching him for a good hour was the highlight of our day. Damn snake!

Native azalea Gregory Bald.
Well look at that. It's time for that second walk. Nick's staring at me with intent. Not sure where he hides his watch, but that boy knows the schedule. It's a grueling routine, but someone's gotta do it.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Farewell to a Fine Friend

We didn't let her see the sign that said "Cash for Junk Cars."
Pretty certain I saw some glistening in Mason's eyes today when we had to say goodbye to an old friend. Our 1992 Dodge truck hadn't run at all for a month or so. Last week, Mason made one last effort to rescue her, but it failed. So we made the call. On the bright side, we scored $200 for our pain and suffering. So, cheers, old truck! You had a very, very productive 10-year run with us. I suspect we won't replace you anytime soon, unless someone's got a really good deal for us.

In other news, after an exceptionally dry spring, it finally rained here today. All afternoon. Yup, you saw it coming: another nap! When I woke up, I whipped up some homemade beer cheese soup that could break all records for fat content.

I'm still not making any new friends, am I?