Sunday, July 06, 2008

Summer Casting It's Spell Over All

On our property, there are few flowers that grow well. Black
eyed susans, daffodils and some hyacinth. In spring, the occasional tulip pops up. We have a lot of sand and clay so most anything pretty is store bought in a pot and aside from a small bed and some flower boxes that's the tally around here. We excel in growing vines and lush bushes all over. Lots of ivy and, although they have thinned dramatically, we once had a whole section of the driveway(the endless driveway) filled with lovely ferns. They were a favorite of my late FIL Jim and, sadly, we've managed to ruin them by raking them out when we had blue stone in that section. Ferns have an underground lace network that does not like to be disturbed by things like raking. If you could see under the ground there would be a network that looks like fishnet under ferns. Sadly, I didn't find that out until the boys had done many rakings. Of all the things in the yard that are nice to look at there are only two things that make me really smile. The wild cherry and a bush that no one can name. It has very tiny pink flowers( I mean really tiny) in the spring followed by small green oval berries all summer and slowly turning to bright red larger oval berries in the fall. The bush is an object of many family stories and amusing conversation. It grown over the part of the driveway nearest the house and I can see it outside my kitchen window. Since it has a weeping branch effect, it tends to grow over an area where the guys like to back up their cars and so, of course, the bush gets in the way and needs trimming. I came from the "loves the lush green jungle-don't want to see the neighbors anyway" school of gardening. We are far enough away from all neighbors that it doesn't matter socially anyway. My boys are from the guerrilla slash& burn school of gardening. The trick is to get the loppers, cutters, chain saws, and pruners well hidden from them. Once in a while I fail at my task and then all hell breaks loose. Several years ago Roger took the loppers to the bush. He was just going to trim......I believe I may have threatened him with something physically painful if I saw him near it again. Harsh words were spoken...harsh! The BIL Bob decided to give it a haircut a while back- I wept, but for the sake of peace said nothing. Only angry glances in his direction and sniffles with the occasional whimper and growl. The main reason I couldn't really get too mad was that in the weeks previous to his haircut something strange happened. After 20 years of living here and feeding the squirrels liberally, peanuts, corn, seed, etc, they decided they would like to try a diet of the green berries on the bush. Not only did they eat the berries they, quite literally climbed inside the bush, picked a weeping branch and slid down it thus shucking the entire branch of berries and leaves. This was not only a squirrel delicacy but apparently oodles of fun. The news travelled fast in the squirrel Daily Times. Swarms of squirrels filled the bush and decimated it. Pieces of branches flew and landed all over the driveway. In the begining I thought I could simply chase them away with angry shouts and a broom. Wrong. They came in numbers. They would launch themselves from the top to bottom like a cartoon. They sat up at the top and reclined(seriously) on other branches and waved at me, cheeks stuffed with green berries. Our house became Six Flags over Squirreldom. All of this took place in late spring. The bush recovered somewhat and had some little pink flowers. I just resigned myself. This year-no squirrel assault....insert dark creepy music...until last week. I was washing some cups and enjoying the view out the kitchen window when who should be waving at me from the top of the bush? Yeah....furry, gray, possessed, overstuffed little vermin. The only bright light is that they seems to have only wanted a few berries and only a few squirrels this year and so far they are not swinging from the far. I'm sure they have put in a call to the relatives so I'm resigning myself to just living with the horror. It's hard to get mad at the little beasts when they make me laugh out loud while sliding down the bush. They do everything but scream WHEEEEEEEE!

The second spooky happening is in the house. Last year the guys put in a new ceiling fan upstairs in our bedroom. The old one was making noise and seemed shaky so up went a bright, shiny new one. It has a remote control and a brain. It reminds me of Hal in 2001-Space Odyssey. It turns itself on and off at will. A couple of nights ago I awoke to what seemed like a hurricane in the bedroom. I was shivering and got up found a quilt and wrapped myself in it. Not a clue where the remote was and didn't want to wake R in the middle of the night but I knew that that fan was on the twister setting. When I woke in the morning...da da dahhh...the fan was off. It does this all the time. The intellectual side of me knows that it's receiving an infrared signal from some other remote located almost anywhere. The neighbors, whatever. Very frustrating. Our ceiling fans assist us in cooling the house down really well even in areas where there is no air conditioning. Works really well-when it works....I may have to have a chat with Hal and see what his demands are. Maybe he doesn't like being dusty. The thing could use a cleaning. It's one of those things that fall into my personal cleaning category of "if it's over my head I don't see it. lalala" Now and then I look up ad find I'm horrified.

Falling into the Good Things category is Turner Classic Movies. A channel I knew would be wonderful before I even had it. I have watched more wonderful old movies in the month we've had it than seems possible. What a great channel. Ted still sucks for trying to colorize classics and glomming onto the entire stash of MGM and Warner movies for himself but I can learn to live with it the same way I will learn to live with the festival of hairy lunatics in my yard.
On the reading front, I am still working my way through the Jack Valenti book and enjoying his years in Hollywood more than his years in Washington. I did just finish a total escapist novel called "Garden Spells" by Sara Addison Allen. I think it's been out for a while but she's new to me. Her new book "The Sugar Queen" is out now and I hope it's as good. If you want to dream away an afternoon read Garden Spells-If you liked "Practical Magic" by Alice Hoffman you will enjoy this book. It's kind of similar and very light, fun, and the best character is a fruit-throwing apple tree with a wicked sense of humor. Since we all know my obsession with apple trees how could I not love this book.
Today I will begin sewing another row onto the Lavender Passion and I have some ironing to catch up with and pants to hem(yes, still)
Don't know why but Blogger seems to like to space thngs the way it wants to so I'm sorry for the layouts lately.
Hope you have a great day and the weather is less hellish than here.


Terry said...

"if it's over my head I don't see it. lalala" I subscribe to that theory too, but it bites you sometimes. We had a house years ago with wonderful chandeliers and sconces with sort of shallow frosted glass bowls under the light bulbs. I was showing them off to a friend once and turned on the dining room light only to see silhouettes of many long dead flies in the bottoms of those little bowls as we gazed up.

I wonder if the little green berries on your bush have hallucenogenic properties for the squirrels? Woo hoo!

Terry said...

PS - re Blogger photo spacing. I have found that if you drag your photo to a particular place in the text it will stay there. For example, if you drag the image of the book down to the paragraph about the book and put the cursor right at the beginning of the sentence before you let up on the button, it should stay there and the text wrap around it.

Finn said...

Hi Dee, thanks for the reading suggestion. Looks like a good read...which I could sure use right about now. Big hugs, Finn

Gerrie said...

The squirrels are visiting our neighborhood. We seem to have an influx - they are lounging on the electric wires and fighting in the trees.

Are you sure the remote is not under your pillow? I love our fan with the remote, but I wish it had braile because some times I want to change the setting in the middle of the night and I get it wrong.

Darcie said...

LOL You're entertaining, Mz. Dee! Hugs from ND!

Cindra said...

Everything over my head Stretch takes care of. Nice to have a tall one in the house. He "prunes" the bushes like the men in your house! I hate it!
Have a video camera ready next time those squirrels take a vacation outside your window. That would be a winner on YouTube or America's Funniest Video!
I read Garden Spells and now, thanks to you, I have her next book on my hold list at the library!