The outdoor propane grill at our house sits outside the kitchen on a covered porch. We use it all year round because meat tastes really good cooked over an open flame. But that first cookout of the summer is always something to look forward to. Today was the day! We got some good hamburger meat from the grocery store, along with corn on the cob, a couple of big potatoes, and whole wheat buns. We went all out. The hamburger was doctored u[ with my husbands special spice blend, and the potatoes were thickly sliced oiled and spiced as well. It all went onto the grill for our summer cookout. There may be nothing better than fresh food right off the grill. I love summer.
Home again to do some work around the house, mowing, laundry, and the like. Later in the afternoon in the heat of the day I talked my husband into joining me for a float in the creek. I blew up the inner-tubes with the hand pump, we strapped them to our backs, hopped onto our bicycles to peddle the half mile down the road to the swimming hole at the far bridge. After climbing down the rocks, we splashed into the cool gurgling clear water of the mountain creek. We floated around in the big eddy under the bridge. Pleasant and peaceful, watching fluffy white clouds drift by in the clear summer blue sky. One can day-dream in the drowsy afternoon, bright sun radiating summer heat, cool water washes all your cares away. This is my happy place, lazy summer days, floating on the water with the one I love.
My parents have had most of the damaged trees cut down in there yard, to avoid having the fall and damage the house or worse. The yard gets a lot more sunlight, but I can no longer have a place to hang my camping hammock. I am also planning a camping trip to Big Bend over Thanksgiving week and have been wondering how the whole hammock camping thing would work out there, in the desert. Solution: portable hammock stand! I found one I could afford, but it needs a additional custom attachment for hanging the bug net and possibly the rain tarp. My husband and I came up with a fabulous idea using PVC pipe and eye hook bolts. So after some measuring, cutting, gluing, and drilling, the hammock stand can support a camping hammock. It sits a little low to the ground for my taste, but it works, and I can now use it in places where there are no usable trees. I’m looking forward to trying it out at my parents house, as that will be a good test run for actual camping later. It gives me a gratifying sense of accomplishment to have an idea in my head, design it, and then make a finished product that works the way it was intended to. Marvelous!
I drove home this morning and found that my husband made strawberry-rhubarb pie for my birthday! Oh YUM!!!! The sweetness of the fresh strawberries mixed with the tang of the fresh rhubarb does a delicious dance on my taste buds. Throw a scoop of real vanilla ice-cream on top and it’s heaven in your mouth. It’s even better when you know that the strawberries came from a local organic farm and the rhubarb was grown by a neighbor in their garden Yumilicious all the way around! Happy Birthday to me, you only turn 48 once!
Spring, oh how I do love Spring! The grass is green and growing tall, the flowers are blooming, the trees are leafing out, the birds are chirping, building nests, and laying eggs, the insects have returned, the sun is shining, and the days are growing longer and warmer! Soon there will be afternoon naps in the hammock, and days spent floating on inner-tubes in the swimming hole. Today I got to mow the lawn for the first time this year! The first mow is always joyous for me. The smell of the cut grass brings happiness to my psyche, walking barefoot through the yard brings peace to my soul. I put on a bikini top with shorts and slather myself in sunscreen, my feet get stained dark green, and I get a nice work out walking back and forth until the lawn is somewhat tamed. Body, heart, and soul sing the songs of Spring, of green growing things. Life is sweet! Happy 13th wedding anniversary to my wonderful husband!
It is getting to be the time of year where the bird feeders should start coming in at night so the do not become bear feeders, but I haven’t done it yet… The other day when we woke up the bird feeders were empty and all askew. I knew it wasn’t a bear because bears just bend the whole the metal pole over and sometimes destroy the feeders. I figured it was raccoons, I have seen their intricate hand prints in the delicate fresh snowflakes on the porch stairs. So last night as we were settling into bed, the cats went crazy at the front window, we cautiously looked out expecting a bear. My husband flicked on the porch light and what we saw instead was a whole raccoon family living it up! They were all fat and fuzzy with their black ringed eyes and striped tails. They were climbing on the feeder pole, pawing at the feeders, walking across the porch and balancing in the railing. It was hilarious to watch their antics as they realized they were caught and started exiting the scene of the crime with their waddling gait. The cats eyes were bugging out of their heads as they watched too. Nothing like a little wildlife excitement just before bed.
After another visit with Squeaky, my husband and I decide to go for a drive down some roads neither of us have traveled before. We are actually looking for a nearby state park just for the fun of it, but without a map or GPS. We are just following our noses. The road follows a small busy burbling creek. I watch as the cold water hurriedly tumbles over rocks and logs. The stream and road diverge and we pass a wetland, still brown and grey from the past winter, but Red Wing Blackbirds dart unseen, but distinctively heard among the tall brown cattail stalks from last year. Past the bog, is a hemlock forest, dark and dense that gives way to a deciduous forest branches still bare, but with early spring forest floor plants poking their timid greenness up through the brown leaf litter. They will all flower and die back as the trees leaf out. We pass some houses with unique artsy alcoves and adornments, then a gated driveway with signs to discourage trespassing, then more forests and wetlands. Eventually we do find the park we were looking for and drive through, looking at all it has to offer. We want to come back on a warmer day to hike the trails and paddle the lake. Our little Hobbit Adventure was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon together.