Monday, April 27, 2015

A Quiet Life

Piping Plover
Things are quiet here, waiting for the warm weather to set rolling. Any time it seems nearly warm enough I go for a stroll on the beach or a putter around the yard.  We went out to Hyannis the other day and took a look at the Kennedy Memorial and the Korean War Memorial (both in the same general area) and a walk on the beach, where I saw a piping plover. It's a killdeer relative and a protected species who nests early in the season. Nesting areas are blocked off on all the beaches until the babies are up and out of the nest, which is quickly because piping plover babies are like killdeer babies and are up and around right away. I have always seen the blocked nesting areas, but had never actually caught sight of a plover. They are quite small, and match the sand perfectly.

The bicycles are going in for a check up Wednesday afternoon. The lawnmower is still with the repairman for its tune up; the overwintered geraniums still in the basement. Since I put mine downstairs in the dark to overwinter in dormancy they will in no way resemble my brother's gigantic pink geranium that spends indoor winters in front of a south facing window blooming continuously, but I am hoping to save myself a few bucks by using them for more than one summer. This week I should get my basil started in the house so that it has a head start on the weather. I can't decide whether or not to pick up my rosemary plants yet, or if it's time to replace the sage that died over the winter. It looks like the epazote that proved so hard to get started for the last two years self seeded with a vengeance in one of the patio pots. I've moved it out to the garden in the herb area, but now I am wondering if it will take over the garden.

 In a week or two my driveway will be graded to improve drainage, or at least get rid of the worst of the hills and hollows. Even the grading is costly, so paving it will have to wait a bit longer. I'll have plenty of fresh mulch delivered at the same time to save on the cost and can get the big stack of saved newspapers out of the kitchen and over the weeds currently trying to take over where there is not enough mulch. Five or six thicknesses of newspaper (just the newsprint, not the colored advertising sections) under the mulch works a treat for weed control. The newspaper blocks sunlight but lets water through, so the weeds decay into useful compost and everything looks beautiful with a fraction of the hard work of pulling the weeds. I have a lot of effort and a bit of money tied up in shrubs and perennials, so the mulch is needed to protect my investment.

I've been doing very little knitting. I developed a trigger thumb and to avoid unappealing treatments I'm wearing a brace until it heals. The brace is not very uncomfortable, but slows my knitting down quite a bit. I've put off picking up my sweater-in-progress to work on in case the brace may change my gauge and thereby change the size of my sweater. I've been able to do a little on a pair of socks and a shawl, both more than half finished.

With the cool and damp weather Roxy is feeling a bit crotchety. She likes to get up on the sofa at night, but lately does not want to jump down first thing in the morning.  I imagine she's developed some arthritis and is stiff and sore after a long sleep. Once she's moving around for the day it seems to bother her less, but it's clearly a sign that her age is catching up with her.

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