Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Half Moon, Blue Sky!

Awesome picture of the moon with a deep blue sky.  Too bad my blogs watermark is smack dab in the middle...

Hello Down There!

I spent some time on my roof this past weekend, which I am not a big fan of.  Performed some pre-winter checks, preventative maintenance and repairs.

Years ago when we removed our wood stove, a piece of sheet metal was glued to the top of the chimney to prevent rain and snow and the elements from getting in.  Well, the seal had long since dried and there wasn't much holding the sheet metal in place, so it needed some attention.

While I was up there I also re-chalked the numerous cracks running through the concrete top.  It too was all dried out.  With fresh chalked applied the issue of the cracks worsening due to water getting inside and freezing is greatly reduced.  It definitely needs to be repaired properly sooner rather than later but for now this will suffice. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Crafty As A Fox

We had a 4-legged visitor this morning, and what an absolutely beautiful animal it was!

The chickens alerted me to his presence with their distinctive, something's amiss, carrying on's!

The good news, from what I saw, he didn't seem interested in the chickens or at least he wasn't near the coop or fussing with them.

I opened the window and began to clap in an effort to shoo him off.  He did scoot but didn't bolt.  He made a long slow arch to the driveway side of the house.  Looked like he was thinking about crossing the street but something scared him back.  By the time I got to the downstairs window that overlooks the driveway the dude ad caught, what looks like a bunny, and was devouring it.

This dude is welcome anytime, so long as he leaves the chickens alone and continues to catch and eat rabbits and other small unwanted critters.

He wan't having an attempt at a closer photo opt, nope.  He heard the slighter slowly opening, grabbed his breakfast and took off into the woods.

I Sew I Sew It's Off To Work I Go!

Pool closing season is upon us and I hope to be closing our's down soon, real soon!

In preparation for this upcoming undertaking some repairs were needed to the cover.  These items were noted back in the Spring when we removed the cover, several seams have come apart, UGH.

We bought the cover back in 2004.  Although, it's faded quite a bit all in all it's held up and done a fine job.  However, I wish they would have used sturdier stitching, as there are many sections showing wear.

So, since Sunday was a rainy day, down to the garage I went with needle in hand.  I unfolded the cover and located the problem sections.  Using a heavy duty fishing line, I began the task of sewing the holes - knit one, purl two or something like that.

TA-DA!  Shown is the pool cover's underside and the end result of my sewing technique!

Time will tell if my time and effort were well spent.

Looks like another big pool expense is in our near future!

What A Difference!!

I did a little side work this past Saturday for a family friend.

She had some old and very overgrown shrubs along the front of her house.  I suspect they were some forty-plus years old and not tended to or pruned in that same time.  They were blocking the windows on either side of the front door and growing out into the walkway making access to the door a challenge.

I made the recommendation that something should be done with them and I told her I knew just who to call too.  I was very surprised when she said "Okay"!  So, I jumped at the opportunity and with loppers and chainsaw in hand I went to work

Before -

After -

I cut the evergreen shrubs back, leaving just the stump and some short branches.  The plan is to pull these dudes, four in all, right out of the ground with a friends truck and some chains.  This is a future task.  The two rhododendrons I cut back drastically. New growth should begin all over and it'll fill in before you know it.  Same with the azalea.

The homeowner can now see out her front windows without obstruction, more sunlight will come into the house, especially the basement windows on the far side.  The pachysandra too will now get more light, as will the rest of the beds.

I'll pull the stumps this fall, then come Spring we'll reassess and look to plant new shrubs and annuals.

I'm Batman!

The bats have been out and about all Summer long.  We notice them out just before night fall and they go all night long.  They're constantly flying over the pool and our backyard. Counting them is difficult but suffice to say there are at least two or three.

Here are a couple cool shots.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Another Unique Pool Critter!

What a find and a rare find at that.  A Spotted Salamander!

These secretive animals spend almost their entire lives hidden under rocks or logs.  Only coming out at night to feed and in the Spring to mate.

Although, on the smaller side at about 2.5", this dude had a full, plump belly!

I remember when I was a kid that we'd hunt for this critters in the Spring in the hopes of catching a glimpse of some.  We'd head down to the neighboring stream in early March.  Usually on a rainy night following a full moon. That's when they'd come out to mate.

There were times when we'd spot one or two. Even when we didn't I recall finding their jellied egg clusters affixed to branches. Sadly, today they're becoming harder and harder to find, which is why finding this dude in our pool is an encouraging sign but it also reminds me of another place and time.

Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, It's Off To Work I Go!

This message was waiting for me on my grease board at the office when I returned from a little vacation back in August.

Even though I wasn't out as long as you'd think based on this message, it's nice to know I was missed.

MacGyver Would Be So Proud

Yamaha riders are a unique bunch and pretty creative, if I do say so myself, hehehe!

I took this picture, that shadow is me, of this Yamaha.

I've circled, in red, the interesting aspect of this bike and where the creativity comes in.  It's what's referred to as "highway pegs".  Highway pegs are simply forward pegs used to give the rider a different sitting or cruising position for their feet.

I could be mistaken on this point but I believe this type of motorcycle typically does not have forward highway pegs.  They can be purchased and installed, which I've had done to my Yamaha.  However, this person used a tree branch, which runs through to the other side, as his highway pegs.  I didn't look close enough to see how this was secured but I suppose it works.

They do make a noticeable difference on long rides.

Well Hello There!

Tending to the pool yesterday at lunch time I spied this young mouse holed up in one of the skimmer boxes.

Due to the heat and humidity we've been having recently the pools water level is extremely low.  This allowed said mouse a dry place to hide.  However, that was short lived as I began adding water.  It wasn't long after that this dude became water logged.

Subconsciously, I said to myself that if he survives the next couple of hours until Emilie got home from school I'd let her know knowing that she'd jump to the rescue.  Sure enough it survived, barley, and Emilie scoop him into a 5-gallon bucket with a piece of bread and some leaves.  She's been keeping a watchful eye on him all evening and first this this morning.

Gosh darn it, wouldn't you know he's still alive.  We will NOT be keeping it and it will NOT be released here.  Rather we'll be taking it for a little ride...

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Another Town of Franklin Embarrassment!

Following field hockey practice last night Emilie came home with her new jersey, pictured above.

Do you see anything wrong?!?!

Keep in mind we live in the town of FranKlin.

Believe it or not the girls were the ones who noticed the error and brought it to the coaches attention, which means NO one in the recreation department, including the coaches checked and verified the order/shirts before handing them out, imagine!  On top of that, the shirts were NOT taken back by the coach, rather they're supposed to wear them at the upcoming first game of the season.

It's both embarrassing and appalling that the mistake wasn't caught sooner and that the girls are expected to wear them.  I'd rather see them in pinnies.

Kickoff Celebration!!

Our sister company resigned their partnership with the New England Patriots.  In celebration of the signing, the company had a kickoff celebration on Tuesday morning.

The cafeteria was decorated in red, white and blue, Patriot colors, with balloons and snacks.

Jonathon Kraft, the Patriots president, was on hand, as was alums Joe Andruzzi and Andre Tippett.  Also, "Pat" the Patriot and Patriot cheerleaders!

Jonathon, Joe and Andre spoke to the gathering and discussed the Pat's, their careers and predictions for the upcoming season.

The discussions were followed with meet and greets, picture taking and autograph signings.

It was a great take and nicely done!

New England colored popcorn -

Their (4) heavy Superbowl rings!  We were able to handle them, and as you can see don them for an awesome photo op -

Also their (4) Lombardy trophy were also onsite -

Of course a photo or two or three, with signed autographs, of me and the cheerleaders - 

Friday, September 04, 2015

The Peach

I was out back tending to the critters a short time ago when this BIG succulent and juicy peach caught my eye.  It was calling out to me - "hello friend", "pick me", "eat me" "you won't be sorry"...

So, I did what any home gardener would do.  I picked it and I ate it and I VERY much enjoyed it!

IT was heavenly!

Paddle Paddle huff huff huff

Caught the above shrew taking a dip in our pool the other morning.

Typically, the vermin have drown by the time we notice them in the pool.  Remember what the police officer had to say about Dinky (aunt Edna's dog, from the 1983 movie Vacation), when Clark tied him to the bumper of their car when packing, forgot him and then drove off  - "Poor little guy.  Probable kept up with you for a mile or so.".  Similr holds true for the rodents when they fall into the pool, as they paddle their little feetsies trying to stay afloat.

This is the first live critter I've seen in our pool in quite some time.

I didn't have time to fuss with this dude, as I was heading to work, so using the skimmer I was able to transfer it to a dry 5-gallon bucket to be dealt with after work...

Fond Memories of Childhood

Many wonderful memories of when I was kid revolve around Bubbling Brook!

From being taken there by mom and dad, bike rides to and from, even trailer rides all still bring a smile to my face today.  Wish we lived closer so we could visit more often, however, looking at the current prices perhaps we're the right distance away.  Boy have then changed, yikes!

Emilie's partial to the hard ice cream, me, well I prefer the soft serve - vanilla and chocolate twist.

Hoping to get one more visit in with Emilie before it closes for the season, which sadly is this Labor Day weekend.


"Say hello to my little friend" (what Tony Montana, aka Scarface, screams as he blasts the door with his "little friend" (a gun)).

Okay, so I'm not screaming and not blasting any doors.  Simply saying hello to my new little friend Mr. or Mrs. Skunk.

Like Mr. Woodchuck, this dude enjoys corn on the cob from Jane and Paul's Farm in Norfolk.

Made a darn mess too, digging up the lawn under and around the trap, trying to escape.  Over the years I've had terrific success in relocating skunks.  Never got sprayed.  However, since I no longer have a truck the only alternative I had was the trunk of my car and I didn't want to risk that, no sir.  Instead I unhooked the trap latches and let Mr/Mrs skunk free itself.

So long as it doesn't mess with the chickens we'll be fine.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

First Bell Pepper Pick Of 2015

I picked (15) delicious looking Bell Peppers tonight!

They got off to a very slow start and seemed to struggle most of the season.  I suspect that had we not been hand watering on a regular basis we wouldn't be picking peppers today.

Can't wait to give them a try.  Perhaps, a nice steak & cheese sub with peppers and onions <drool>.

First Tomato Canning 2015

JoAnne spent Sunday canning - first batch of 2015.

24 Quarts & 18 Pints!

Quite a batch for first run, not to mention that we've given many many tomatoes away to family, friends and neighbors.  We've also been enjoying delicious BLT's too!

Sprung An Oil Leak, UGH!

As we were preparing to head out for our ride on Sunday I noticed my bike had an oil leak, and a pretty good one too.  Fortunately, we noticed it before heading out.  Sure would have turned into a BIG issue had we noticed it in New Hampshire, over 3-hours ride away!

There was no way the Yamaha was going anyway.  Looked like I was out.  However, Deb, dear sweet Deb, one of our riding partners offered her bike to me!  A 2003 Harley Davidson Sportster, pictured above.  She instead rode "bitch" (on the back of Kevin's bike).

It was my first time riding a Harley and my first time riding a bike with forward controls and I LOVED IT!

Sadly, I had to give it back but I can't thank Deb enough, THANK YOU!

Break Time, phew...

This Hummingbird taking a quick break and quick it was. I was too slow to get a second pic.

Little lady blends in atop our cherry tomato plant perfectly.

Brown Fence, Yellow Flowers

Heliopsis, taller than the stockade fence and reaching for the sky -

Yellow Golden Rod poking through the fence slats -

Black-eyed Susan's content with blooms galore - 

Sky So Blue!

The weather, although humid, has been absolutely beautiful!

Makes for a terrific back drop doesn't it?!

The Crafty Pooper??

I don't know what's up with Trixie-dog lately, perhaps she's trying to tell us something.  Whatever it is she best get it resolved and resolved quickly as patients are running might thin with all of the two-legged occupants of the house.

Here she is taking a load.  Not only is she performing this task on the pool deck but also smack dab in front of the gate, why?!  I watched her march straight to that spot, squat and go.

She's also done similar but in the house.  On the rug.  In the front foyer of all places and in the kitchen. In front of the back slider.

Floating Thistle Seeds

It's that time of year around here where the Thistle flowers have turned to seed.

The wind has them floating and dancing all about.

The one below took a break atop one of our Zinnia flowers.

A sign that Summer is coming to an end, alas.

Find The Critter

This is a really good one!

Can you find the critter in the above picture?

A Wise Man Indeed

Like everything on the Internet, this too must be true.

A Little Elbow Grease...

I detailed the Toyota this past Thursday.  Look at her shine!!

A long overdue washing including under the hood, cleaned the tires & rims, buffed the headlights to remove the "foggy" glaze and applied a generous coating of Turtle was all over.  Finished with a through vacuuming of the inside, including the trunk.

As Autumn nears I'll clean the windows inside and out, apply some Armor-all to the leather inside then purchase a new set of Winter wiper blades.

She'll then be ready for the upcoming New England Winter, UGH!