We were tired going into this weekend, sick of early morning watering sessions and dealing with monster weeds, roasted by the sun or soaked by erratic torrential downpours and eaten alive by bugs, straining backs and shoulders hauling rocks and putting our fence back up, exhausted by the huge number of tasks ahead of us with our August long weekend event as the deadline for getting it all done…. People think we’re crazy. But, as Richard just pointed out, we chose to do it. We want to do it because we want a gorgeous yard. What we didn’t plan to do, and thought we’d prevented when we dealt with similar problems 3 years ago, is to dig up our septic field. We certainly didn’t want to be doing this just after we levelled the entire area with new soil and seeded it with very expensive grass! And now, neighbour Jonathan in his backhoe is on trench number three in that nice new lawn, to the depth of Richard’s waist. The septic has been pumped out and the blockage or break traced to the field out back, so that’s somewhat of a relief. Yesterday when the drains in the basement backed up (after 3 loads of laundry), our first fearful thought was that the depth we dug out of the hillside beside the house, followed by heavy equipment and fully loaded dumptrucks driving over it, had cracked the pipe that leads from the tanks to the field at the point closest to the house. I’ve been babying that area along for two months, trying to combat the weeds in the cheap topsoil. We even re-seeded two weeks ago to fill it in more. So it really would have been tragic to drive over that with the backhoe treads and dig holes in it. I’d be crying right now. As it is, we’re both kind of in shock. This can’t be happening!! Even more frustrating than the work (not to mention expense!) that’s gone before this being ruined, is the fact that with only a month until our event, and more importantly, only a week or so until the tanks will be full to overflowing again, Richard feels we cannot go on our annual holiday to visit the Lunds on Marrowstone next weekend. This would be our tenth year in a row. We look forward to it so much because all we do is sit around and relax. It’s really our only vacation most years. I need it so badly – my new boss arrives right after the weekend and my job is going to get 3 times busier and potentially 10 times more stressful, so the timing of this holiday couldn’t have been better. Now I feel sick. And sad. I hope they find the ‘T’ in the field and the blockage quickly and don’t have to dig the whole damn field up and replace it. I don’t want to know what just having the septic guy here for over 6 … Continue Reading →

Nesting Season

Yesterday morning I was eating my breakfast in front of the kitchen windows when I noticed two black birds (sparrows? starlings?) come fluttering around under my eaves. They spooked when they saw me through the glass. I saw twigs and thought, oh no, they’re going to nest under my eaves. In a second I was out my back door to check, but there wasn’t any sign of a nest. Back inside, I moved to a different vantage point where I suddenly noticed more twigs, sticking out the back corner of my barbecue. Hm. My slow brain goes back to Tuesday, when I cleaned a few strands of garden debris out of the BBQ when I made lunch, and believing the only openings were slits too small even for rodents, had chalked it up to the last windstorm. I went outside again to pull the twigs from the back just as the birds arrived again and aborted a BBQ landing! I opened the lid, and saw this….

Winter Blues

Snow is falling, a fresh dusting over layers that have been building since late November. It lightens my heart to see the world so clean and white, shapes rounded, contrasts stark, trees elevated to mythic presences in the whirl of snowflakes. But looking out my window this morning isn’t easing the ache in my head, the tension across my shoulders the way it has been. Maybe I’m spoiled, so much snow so early in the season. Despite more than a foot of snow on the ground, both Richard and I watch impatiently, hoping for that really big blizzard to obliterate all. Instead, the temperature fluctuates oddly, spectacular icicles form one day and fall the next, weeks of snow melt in showers just long enough to compress into an inch of ice on the driveway, hidden beneath the next week’s new dusting. I think it’s because both of us in our working lives are in similar fluctuations that we’re feeling so dissatisfied with the weather. That we’re hoping for cosmic intervention. A snow day.