Tag Archives: backyard

Our cat is weird.

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Lord Dudley Mountcatten enjoys his outdoor time, though he’s still restricted to the leash. Our walking excursions usually consist of me standing and him sitting, but fresh air is fresh air and now that the weather is warming up he’s constantly howling to be taken into the great outdoors. Does he avidly explore his environs?

No…

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He face plants on the lawn and stays that way. His Lordship is an odd bird, what can I say?

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Walking a cat can be challenging, predominately because they don’t actually want to walk.

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They want to crawl under things and sit which leaves me with a plethora of butt shots.

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Free, to pee.

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I didn’t pee on my garden before I read this, but rest assured I shall be passing it along to my husband who has been known to relieve himself off the barn porch.

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I have never in my life urinated on a lawn and I don’t plan to start now. But men can be very dog like when it comes to marking their territory as evidenced by this photo of a conspicuous patch of dead lawn adjacent to the barn porch.

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Apparently that goes for grass as well.

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They’re my bumps and I’ll scratch if I want to….

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(Title should be sung to Lesley Gore’s ‘It’s My Party’ melody for full effect)

This is a scraggly flowering plum tree my husband transplanted to our backyard a few years ago.

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It’s hanging on to life but isn’t nearly as full as it used to be…. so when I saw a brown tail moth web in one of the top branches, I carefully gloved up, cut it out and burned it.

If you’ve never heard of these evil little bastards, read on…

The browntail moth caterpillar has tiny poisonous hairs that cause dermatitis similar to poison ivy on sensitive individuals. People may develop dermatitis from direct contact with the caterpillar or indirectly from contact with airborne hairs. The hairs become airborne from either being dislodged from the living or dead caterpillar or they come from cast skins with the caterpillar molts. Most people affected by the hairs develop a localized rash that will last for a few hours up to several days but on some sensitive individuals the rash can be severe and last for several weeks. The rash results from both a chemical reaction to a toxin in the hairs and a physical irritation as the barbed hairs become embedded in the skin. Respiratory distress from inhaling the hairs can be serious.

The browntail moth is an invasive species found only on the coast of Maine and Cape Cod. This moth is an insect of both forest and human health concern.

Browntail moth caterpillar on a tree

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I’ve been covered in their nasty rash multiple times before and trust me it is beyond awful. No amount of Benadryl, cortisone or calamine lotion can relieve the itch. It’s like poison ivy times 50 and makes you want to take a wire brush to your skin. So when I say I was careful? I was careful. Gloves, long sleeves, limited contact and proper destruction.

But still….

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I got a mild dose and am completely miserable.

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Both my arms, stomach and back are speckled with rash because once those little microscopic hairs find you and you take a shower? You’ll gladly take sandpaper to every inch of your flesh.

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Once more unto the bleach…

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I was back at the outdoor bleaching again this weekend, following trails of green algae with my spray bottle and pressure washing attachment.

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Spraying in the corner of the deck left me absolutely soaked and I wouldn’t be surprised if my hair has blonde streaks now. But everything looks fresh and clean again… so mission accomplished.

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While I was at it I cleaned the furniture as well.

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We used to store this set in the barn during the winter but since the man cave conversion it’s been riding out the snow in situ and was in dire need of a cleanse.

P.S. no worms were harmed or relocated during the making of this post.

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Please, just finish something.

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You’d think with all the free time my husband has since retiring projects would be finished in no time flat. Hell, 10 years ago he built a two story barn on nights and weekends when working full time, but now that there’s nothing definite on the schedule? Everything gets started and nothing gets finished…. which drives me absolutely insane.

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Last week he started redoing the back yard stone wall.

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He squared one corner and then stopped, leaving my rose bush dangling precariously.

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It’s hard to tell from the photo but the rose that our neighbor gave me in honor of my mother when she passed, the one that’s bloomed beautifully for years… now has a channel of air on the right side where the dirt and mulch used to be. I keep threatening to fill it back in but the husband hollers he’s not done with the wall.

So finish it!

We have a small home office with two desks. Mine is free and clear and organized, his? Not so much.

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It’s cluttered with stamps he started identifying, first day issues he started researching, price tags for a yard sale he’ll never get around to having, random old coins and airworthiness directives from a job where he is no longer employed. And while I try to ignore that mess, it’s a bit harder to ignore this one –

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The strategically placed pile of boxes, bags and packing material that accompanied the multiple loads of crap he belched up from the cellar two months ago. He says he’s still sorting and going through them, but he’s not and probably never will.

Sigh.

I’m too type A to work this way. I start something, I see it through and move on. It really makes me wonder how I’ve let him live this long…

🤣

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Worms do not like bleach.

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Yesterday I started a chore I’ve been putting off for two years. After a month of (not so) subtly hinting the husband could help me, I gave up and did it myself. Armed with a spray bottle of bleach, multiple scrubby sponges and a pressure hose attachment I attacked the shady sides of our vinyl sided garage.

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Naturally I forgot to take a before photo…

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But this is what I was battling, and trust me it’s a workout. Green, moldy algae discoloration that didn’t want to let go.

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It’s the result of kicked up ground water, stuck grass clippings from my husband’s giant lawn tractor and a lack of direct sunlight drying the rain.

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The woodchucks tunnel under this door and have ruined the surrounding lawn… but patches of loose dirt that became muddy with bleach soaked water yielded an interesting result.

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Worms.

Here a worm, there a worm. Worms everywhere … wriggling out of the ground in protest. Clearly they did not enjoy a bleach bath.

Sorry worms. It had to be done.

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*Following photo for Boo who wanted to see my pressure washing attachment. *

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Junior is back.

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Momma Chuck has been visiting off and on for a few weeks now and while I’m not sure if she’s moved back in under the man cave/barn… it’s a distinct possibility.

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I threw out some carrot shavings for her yesterday when low and behold…

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Junior showed up as well.

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Last year when Momma had her babies, there was a runt who was constantly by her side. We worried that he wouldn’t grow big enough to make it through the winter, but it looks like he did.

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Although having a pesky teenager following you around could get old quickly.

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Have shovel, still traveling.

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More trees were replaced/planted yesterday…. this time as far away from the house as is possible.

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And after all the rain we’ve had, I don’t think watering them will be necessary for a while.

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There’s a reason none of the trees my husband plants in our far back yard live and it’s called clay. While there’s nice topsoil near the house, our property slopes down to the woods and eventually to the banks of a river…. and around here that means clay. Saturated with water in the spring, cracked bone dry in the summer… but that doesn’t deter my husband. No sir.

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Two of these beauties were purchased and planted.

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Marrying an eternal optimist makes for a lot of work.

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Whether theses trees will last any longer than the previous elms, oaks or apples he planted is any one’s guess.

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