Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday Musings

about living life in the country at this time of year...

After last Saturday's front yard roadway cleanup, with the big pickup of broken branch pieces and a bit of leaf raking, here are some thoughts this new season brings for us when living in the country.

Chipmunks with their black striped backs are bouncing about the property, sharing their food finds with several very large black squirrels. We hear them chit-chattering together, and can they ever be noisy, like bickering neighbors sharing in the land of plenty.

This might sound terrible but even when one loves observing rodent action on their property; we have been warned by the locals on the damage capability chipmunks can create when their tunnels follow against the concrete home foundations. They can actually chew through it weaken its structure rendering it unsafe.

As for squirrels, their counterparts, they tend to get into attics in these parts, living in attics year round, nesting included.

In order to be proactive for protection prevention to our home, and also due to the fact they are constantly eating all of my bird seed and taunting our dogs in ridiculous ways (urging them to run away in the hope of catching them, or worse yet, EAT them, I found this squirrel food and I bought it with one intention in mind.

Since we never had so many black critters hanging about last year about this time of year, I'm going to walk up to the top of the (country) block in the forest and hang it up in a tree to attract all the local squirrels, keeping them all
away from the main residential homes in our acreage area, and yet keep them near enough so they can continue to dwell in the natural forest habitat they are accustomed to nearby, obviously keeping them well fed at the same time.

I was super excited to watch two very large deer sauntering across the road about 400 feet in front of our vehicle. What a good warning to slow down and become more vigilant after dawn for the deer venturing about for their nocturnal evening set before them.

Funniest thing last year was to find out our parish priest hit a deer on his way up to say mass when a nearby farmer rushed to the scene on the roadway. His biggest question of the day was to find out about what would happen to the deer, never mind the vehicle damage or the shaken driver before him. He asked; "Well sir, you have first dibs on the deer and if you don't want it, I will take it!". Imagine! His freezer was full all winter.

Last week we had rain and I swear we did NOT bring it home with us, but perhaps our jumbo jet carried those clouds here for all in our local area.

It rained hard and then after the neighbors had boasted about enjoying 80 degree temperatures in our absence, following the rain, we had icy white grounds and snow for 36 hours.

Crazy weather, this must be spring here in the east.

And then, just when we wondered what happened to this supposed spring season before us, the sun did begin to shine this weekend and all of our local farmers were busy on their tractors, out in force, turning over their fields.

A rather unpleasant odor continues to fill the air, a scent like rotting grounds or some such thing. Good thing we've already experienced this type of stench before in our former home while living in the country. I think we can handle it.

Ahhhh - the smell of country air!

Our girls are hanging out at the barn tonight. There are two more new horses to ride named; "Chippy and Chestnut", plus the owner wants to try out an Appaloosa named "Solomon".

I had to snicker as she usually changes all new horse names soon after purchasing them to something biblical, but this one is a first that came with a very biblical name and responds well when called. I think he's a keeper myself.

These young gals of ours are in their glory with improved weather and more opportunities to be near their beloved horse friends because the spring season of public horse trail riding has just begun again, and they are being hired once more as trail ride helpers. Even our young eleven year old has been offered a spring/summer job, (permission granted by mother here) for her to be hired as a barn/horse helper when able to work off all of her lesson fees and upcoming summer horse camp opportunities.

Life skills and learning the value of the dollar are intertwined in all of their actions up there. Love it!

Up ahead, ground clean up followed by carving and digging out new flower beds with my oldest son at the helm of that labor intensive project.

We also have three "shade master trees", one "blue spruce" and one "small pine tree" in the front flower beds against the house that must be moved this year, so this is another looming gardening project with a deadline to complete soon.

Oh, and this son is working a short evening shift tonight. Requests have been made to render him even more hours each week towards a fatter paycheck. He isn't into horses like the girls so no more local job opportunities are coming his way (smile) any time soon.

In just a few short weeks he will turn nineteen and the goal is for enough savings by summer to purchase his own car. Until then, we drive him to work, back and forth for for every shift. If this weather keeps up, perhaps he can pump up his bicycle tires and get some spring physical conditioning happening. (wink) Before that longer term goal is realized, he'll just continue to be content with accumulated deposit amounts into his savings account, with a bit of pocket money aside from it dedicated to his habit of hitting up the lunch truck with his pals and paying his monthly commitment for his cell phone bill. And so will I. :)

The lawn tractor and mower were serviced before winter kicked in, both ready for a lawn shaving cut this weekend.

Yes, only a run to the gas station is necessary for completing the start of this new season's task.

Imagine the thrill of a GREEN lawn after a WHITE winter! But, better yet, imagine a GREEN lawn compared to a BROWN icky apres snow winter. So nice.

Hello Spring! .....

I'm so looking forward to escaping our den to linger for longer hours outdoors.

Oh yes, I am so ready for spring. Aren't you?