Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Pair of Maroons

We need to get with it.  Every week or so for the past few months we've been hearing a soft beep-beep-beep.  We thought it might be a smoke alarm, nope.  Not the dehumidifier either.  Not Durwood's oxygen concentrator.  Last week I got it.  Twice now Durwood's phone has been dead, he's plugged it in to charge, and he's called me when it wouldn't work because he didn't think to turn it back on.  Aha.  It turned off because it had run dead out of juice.  That was the beeping.  He mentioned the beeping last night, but this time I remembered so we checked his phone.  It was off and there was no green in the battery icon.  Aha.  Mystery solved.  Now if we can just remember that that's what those beeps mean...  I don't have a lot of hope, we're just not technologically wired.  Too old, I guess.  I farmer-ed again today.  Durwood went to Stein's yesterday and bought a packet of shallot sets and 2 pots of red impatiens (there was a coupon).  We had one empty pot on the patio so I tilled up the soil with my trusty trowel and planted the bulbs, cute little oniony things with a bit of green showing already.  I guess they grow bulbs like garlic that you can peel off parts of, parts with papery skin to separate them.  We shall see.  I'm looking forward to harvest time.  The basil is definitely coming up.  This morning when I went out to fill the birdbath and pick the helicopters out of the planters I saw definite green.  *nods*  That's good.  I'm thinking of making pesto hummus once the crop's up to picking size.  (Oh, I never told you, I wanted to make  pesto a while back but didn't have any pine nuts and didn't want to buy any because they're so expensive so I used toasted walnuts.  Dee-licious.  Couldn't really tell the difference.)  I got the lawn mowed last night after supper.  You know, I kind of like mowing the lawn.  I clocked it with my pedometer once and it's just over a mile walk and it takes me about an hour.  I go up hill and down dale, around birdfeeder crooks and dog tie-out and all manner of planting beds thinking, waving to passing neighbors and neighbors' kids (hi, Kelly!) and watching what's going on.  Like I said, I like it.  I was taking a short rest in the Emma's chair (a rejiggered Adirondack chair) on the patio and got to watch a male hummingbird stop for a drink at the feeder not 6' from where I sat.  Durwood was out there a bit later and he said the bird flew right up to him and hovered for a minute, checking him out.  How cool is that?  He saw an oriole last weekend but I haven't seen one.  I suspect our neighborhood's a tiny bit busy and a bit too far from their preferred cover and nesting sites for more than infrequent visits.  We do seem to be the preferred eating spot for Mr. & Mrs. Red-bellied Woodpecker; we see both of them daily, him with his jaunty red head most of all.

May 16--Iran, Helmet.  Wink and Lenny Frasier fought pitched battles against the apple trees in Grandpa's orchard all that summer with either leaky buckets or dented cooking pots on their heads to protect from enemy bullets, falling apples and dive bombing jays.  War was in the news nearly every night and then Erik Swanson from down the road got deployed so everyone listened carefully to hear how it was going.  No one was surprised that the boys played war but they hadn't expected the boys to pretend to be Iranian or any other Middle Eastern type soldiers.  Grandpa said he'd fought "the Battle of Frasier's Orchard" when he was a kid too, pretending he was in the Wild West.  Dad's enemies were the Huns and Japs.  My brothers fought Commies out there in the shade of the gnarled trees.  Mom said she didn't believe in fighting and besides the fallen apples drew bees and wasps and she was done getting stung.  She'd sit in the wagon on the gravel drive that scribed the edge of the orchard and wait for us to carry the baskets of apples, ripe ones from the trees in September and then the late windfalls when it was applesauce-making time, to her.

Oh, I like that.  We should have plenty of apples to whip up a few batches of sauce if the volume of blossoms on the parking lot trees behind the privacy fence are any indication.  The eye doctors don't seem to harvest them and they don't mind if we pick the ones that overhang our yard.  I get a dozen pints or so every fall; that keeps us in sauce over the year.  The last couple years I've bought a bag of pears at the Farmer's Market and made some apple-pear sauce.  That's the best, I think.  It's great with a dollop of plain or vanilla yogurt plopped on top for a snack or after lunch treat. Happy day!  Go out and bask.

1 comment:

Aunt B said...

You are a girl after my own heart. I always loved to mow the lawn when we lived in Dallas. There's something so satisfying in seeing how neat it looks when it's all finished -- and how good it smells. Nice to read about all your "farm" out in the back yard!