Home alone...

Jul. 21st, 2017 07:37 pm
jennlk: (Default)
it's weird.

J is at the annual picnic, which I have skipped, yet again. The seats in his car and my back do not get along -- a Chicago trip (especially coming home after a con) is about as much time in the front seats as is comfortable, and annual picnic is about twice that. Driving would be worse, I think, as the headrests force my head into an uncomfortable position (he replaced the passenger side headrest with one from an earlier model, and it's much better)*. I'd like to go to the UP and see people, both those who live there and those who are visiting, but....

DB has run off to Chicagoland with a friend and her aunt to see a concert. Don't know which one, or where; some K-pop band, iirc.

The birdbath was knocked over this morning when I went out. I suspect one of the raccoons missed a jump. :)

Frog count is 8 in the pond plus at least two tree frogs.

I had intended to get some work done in the sewing room this week, but have been thwarted by cats. Either Ji is outside or Belle wants to "help". sigh. Belle will only get worse when DB goes off to Western in September, I suspect.



(* let's just say that when I replace my car, it will not be with an Escape. The seats don't fit me, and Esme doesn't fit in the back....)
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J put the pump in the pond a couple of weeks ago. I've already cleaned the pump once, this time it was mostly leaves and some algae -- no dead frogs this time. The kids tell me that they've seen a couple of frogs, so they didn't all die when we got the freezing weather after they came out.

The daffodils in the front flowerbed survived the hard freeze quite well, and are currently almost all in bloom (there's a couple of late starters that are just budding right now). The daffs by the lilac are farther behind. The blue flowers in the bed by the house are in bloom now as well -- they don't attract as many bees as the crocuses did. The stuff in the East bed is just coming up now (other than the reticulated iris and the one giant crocus that the squirrels didn't dig up), but it all seems pretty healthy. We'll see how the bloom season goes.

The trees are budding, but no actual leaves. In yet another reminder that we're about two weeks behind town, weather wise, the forsythia has just now started to bud, while the ones in town are flowering. I keep forgetting that, and wear a jacket that's too warm for where I'm going.
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Froggies!

Jun. 16th, 2015 12:54 am
jennlk: (Mink Frog)
Yesterday, (Sunday) we got over 2 inches of rain, according to the birdfeeding bucket that was laft outside. Today, when I got home from FCB rehearsal, there were at least two different froggies sounding off in the pond. Right now, there is a firefly creeping across the screen, blinking as he goes.

ION, it did not rain on our party. Whee!!! We had set up the tables in the garage rather than the backyard so that we wouldn't have to cram everyone into the house if it did rain, but the rain held off until well after midnight. J and I managed to get the tables and chairs returned to church between cloudbursts on Sunday, so the only thing that go wet was us. I got soaked to the skin -- J was a bit drier, but he was under a porch roof locking the hall while I was putting the tailgate back on the trailer....

Well then.

Apr. 16th, 2015 01:32 pm
jennlk: (Mink Frog)
So I seem to have solved the "leak" in the rill. Yesterday I was outside doing yardwork, part of which was pulling some of the weeds & grass that had grown up between the rocks. They pulled out very easily, from essentially mud. I thought that was weird, because the old leak is only about halfway up the rill, and there's no real way that the top of the rill should be soaked from that (water doesn't wick up dirt/sand piles that well, after all). I poked at the rill, and noticed that there was a small puddle behind the weir at the top of the hill. So I moved the flagstone that's over the weir, and realised that the water was splashing over the back of the weir because the bio-filter bag was so badly clogged. I pulled the filter bag out, weighed the fiber filter down with some fist sized rocks, and replaced the flagstone. That was over a day ago, and the water level has not dropped more than one would expect from evaporation.

I suspect that we'll still rebuild the rill, but it's not as critical.
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No snow. Yet.

Nov. 18th, 2014 08:01 am
jennlk: (snowman)
But it's a very good thing that I put the heated birdbath out yesterday (and took the timer off the outdoor circuit it's plugged into, which also has the pond pump). It was 10F when I got home from rehearsal last night, and was 5F when I got up this morning.

I worked three hours of strike yesterday, and DB did another hour after that. I would have stayed, but I had FCB rehearsal 45 minutes away, and I needed to stop by home and swap the props in the trunk for a bari sax. There's still some work to be done today, mostly sorting of flats and random bits of wood and corralling of tools and screws.

I think I'll stay inside today, where it's warm (other than a trip in to pick up DB & some milk). And put away all the stuff that's accumulated in the last couple of weeks, as well as the paper goods left over from the musical (I'm hanging on to them until January, when they will be used at OneAct).
- despite two days of near or above freezing temps, there's still ice in the pond, even though we added two inches of water on top of the ice (the water level had dropped due to evaporation when the rill was running in 20F weather). However, it's mostly a floating sheet, and should be completely gone by later in the week. It's not supposed to drop much below freezing until Thursday night, so we should be able to get the pump out. There were birds bathing in the rill even when it was cold -- they seem to prefer the running water to the still water in the birdbath (which has a heater & a thermostat so it doesn't freeze unless it gets really cold).

- yesterday's bonus "cello" performance at church was not horrible. It could have been far better (it could have been far worse, too). I needed some actual rehearsal time with just the pianist, so I could get her tempo changes. It helps that I'm used to singing with her, and am familiar with how she bends tempos, but still....

- I've been swapped down to alto for some of the Christmas music. The soprano part is just too high for me, and while DS would prefer to sing alto (less stress on her voice), she can sing the soprano parts.

- DB managed to hold off a cold for most of November (didn't have time, between the show and then finals), and so was sick over the holiday break. OTOH, Assassin's Creed IV was fresh out, so he and SR spent much of their weekend playing that. And Skyrim.

- Thanksgiving was quiet. Just the four of us for dinner, and I skipped most of the fancy sides. Salad, cranberry bread, roasted potatoes&apples, ham. With pumpkin pie squares for dessert. We forgot the crescent rolls, so we made them Friday and Saturday. By Sunday, we were pretty much out of leftovers -- there's a plate of ham shreds in the fridge, but many of them are too small for anything but putting into salad or soup.

- We got the tree up and decorated (we had to rearrange the living room to make a spot for it), and JO dropped by with the wreath we'd ordered, so it's beginning to look like Christmas is coming. Kid pix will be the weekend after next, so there's no need to start the letter yet. :)

- Sometime last week I strained my quadriceps. again. And a couple of days later, my knee started complaining. So back into the knee brace. mutter. Do Not Like. I like pain less, so there you are.

(no subject)

Oct. 14th, 2013 04:01 pm
jennlk: (goldfinch columbine)
Apparently we've got a full-out wildlife habitat in the backyard. Early this afternoon, I heard a wild flurry of birds taking off from feeders/shrubberies/trees. I looked outside, but didn't see anything that could have caused it. About 10 minutes later, I glanced outside and there was a hawk bathing and drinking in the shallows of the pond. Well, yeah, that might make the mixed small birds (aka "lunch") scatter. I expect the froggies are all well-hidden as well.
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(no subject)

Aug. 19th, 2013 06:50 pm
jennlk: (Mink Frog)
The froggie count is now eight. I think there are more, but I have only actually seen eight at one time. There are three different species (mink, leopard, pickerel) in the pond, and some toads and tree frogs live in the yard. Today I was out doing the frog count, and a chipmunk popped out from under the ornamental grass next to the rill and stared at me. Yesterday, a squirrel meandered past me on his way to the birdseed on the ground (the jays and sparrows throw seed off the feeder platform as they eat).

I played Esme for the first time since she came back from the shop, and the first time in nearly a month -- there are some new pads and they're a little leaky. That was a bit disconcerting.

I pulled a lot of blanket flower out of the east garden today. It rather takes over, and I was tired of it being the dominant flower in the bed. There's still some out there, and it will be back next year anyway. Next up, I need to thin the sea holly. ick (it's got pokey leaves *and* flowers, especially once they've dried out a bit). The milkweed in the NE garden got pounded by the hail last week, and many of the stems are falling over. I may go out and put the peony rings on them, just to keep the leaves & seedpods off the ground.

DB has band rehearsals T-W-R this week in the afternoons. Of course, it's supposed to be hot. OTOH, we need to move SR up to campus this week, and it's supposed to be even hotter in MP than it is here. OTOOH, she's doesn't have Band Camp this week, and by the time DB and the high school band step off in the fair parade on Saturday it's supposed to be much cooler (and fair parade uniform is T-shirt and shorts anyway).

J's been laying new concrete (see?). He's nearly done with the floor, but then he has to move everything back in. I'll help some, but a lot of the stuff is things that I don't know where they go, or are too big/bulky for me to handle.
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So I was going to work in the garden today. Except that it rained. All day (OK, from at least 0645 (when I first woke up) to well after noon). I went out to get groceries this morning, and there were a pair of slugs chugging along the driveway -- don't usually see them on the asphalt.

And then, fortunately after J got home on his bike, it stormed, hard. With Hail. And not just little bitty bits of ice. Golf ball sized. Not round either. Water in the pond was splashing 6-8 inches up between the hail and the rain. The kids went out and scavenged big bits of hail -- DB even went out while there was still (small) hail falling to grab a really big one. SR found one shaped a bit like a (Peeps style) bunny. J took pictures.

The ditch in front of the house (which usually doesn't have any water in it except during melt when the culverts are still frozen) was full of water, and the pond is overflowing. Yesterday, I was thinking that I might want to put some more water into the pond. That won't be necessary.

So maybe I'll get into the garden tomorrow.
I put out the heated birdbath. It seems that there is indeed a leak in the pond somewhere, so I unplugged the heater and the pump. But the birdies still need fresh water, and with the temperatures below freezing since Monday afternoon (and looking to stay there through Friday afternoon), I figured I'd best dig the birdbath out. The red winged blackbirds have arrived en masse -- there was a large flock (70-80) swarming around the feeders yesterday. There was also a bluebird.

The squirrels have figured out how to access the hanging tube feeder -- actually, there's a couple of ways. In one, the squirrel jumps onto it and wraps himself around it, using his back paws in the lower feeding ports as support while he digs birdseed out of the upper ports. In the other, the squirrel leans out to the feeder and pulls it toward the deck, using his front paws to get food out of the lower ports. The birds prefer the second method, as a lot of birdseed spills out of the feeder onto the ground....

(no subject)

Jul. 27th, 2012 10:31 pm
jennlk: (Default)
Elder Urchin successfully moved. yay. Student housing has come a long way since I was a student. Apparently, the complex is mixed housing -- undergrads, grad students, and the 'general' public. She's closer to campus than she was, and there are sidewalks all the way.

Spent about 45 minutes pulling QueenAnne'sLace out of the east flowerbed, where they were blocking the view of the hibiscus *and* the sea holly. There's a lot of dead stuff in that garden. Some of it is to be expected, because there's a lot of cornflower and california poppy out there, and they die back once they've flowered, but the second flush never started. But it rained last night, and again today, and it was cloudy and cooler today, so stuff may actually come up soon.

I am going to take some credit for the rain, as I dug out the sprinkler and watered the vegetable garden on Wednesday. We're still way behind on rainfall, though.

Current frog count is 12 plus three tadpoles. There's a leak in the pond. We hope it's in the hose, not the liner. I think it's too fast to be the liner. We'll see tomorrow, after the pump's been off for 12 hours.

(no subject)

Jul. 27th, 2012 10:31 pm
jennlk: (Default)
Elder Urchin successfully moved. yay. Student housing has come a long way since I was a student. Apparently, the complex is mixed housing -- undergrads, grad students, and the 'general' public. She's closer to campus than she was, and there are sidewalks all the way.

Spent about 45 minutes pulling QueenAnne'sLace out of the east flowerbed, where they were blocking the view of the hibiscus *and* the sea holly. There's a lot of dead stuff in that garden. Some of it is to be expected, because there's a lot of cornflower and california poppy out there, and they die back once they've flowered, but the second flush never started. But it rained last night, and again today, and it was cloudy and cooler today, so stuff may actually come up soon.

I am going to take some credit for the rain, as I dug out the sprinkler and watered the vegetable garden on Wednesday. We're still way behind on rainfall, though.

Current frog count is 12 plus three tadpoles. There's a leak in the pond. We hope it's in the hose, not the liner. I think it's too fast to be the liner. We'll see tomorrow, after the pump's been off for 12 hours.

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