Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Glorious, just glorious!

I can't think of a better way to describe Memorial Day.  Once some morning clouds, possibly some fog, left the area, the sun came out blazing.  My little spot on this Earth actually climbed into the upper 80s for a little while.

I did take my camera out to try to get some doggy pictures, but I could see absolutely nothing on that screen at the back of the camera.  You've read my feelings before, I'll never, and I use that word "never" very infrequently, buy another camera that doesn't have a view finder.  I snapped the button a few times with the lens aimed roughly at the dogs, but all I got to show for those snaps were no dogs, dogs' tails, a foot or two, and even a couple partial heads. 

So no Golden Gator pictures today.

Speaking of cameras, there was a feature story on the morning news about the difference between taking pictures with a Smart Phone or an aim/shoot camera.  The verdict seemed to be the ultimate destination of the picture was the difference.  The aim/shoot camera apparently takes better pictures for people who print them out to save them, but Smart Phone was just as good for people who just emailed them and kept them in their cameras.

I don't have a Smart Phone, and since I still have 98 minutes of the 100 I bought last December for my prepaid phone, a Smart Phone is probably not in my future. 

My phone does have a camera.  Judge Judy says if one is in an accident or something, a picture is worth a thousand words of recollection in court.  I wonder how it works????

But let's get back to that beautiful weekend.  We succeeded in all our planned tasks and even some that weren't planned.  The vegetables have all been planted and close to a hundred flower seedlings were freshly planted.  The lawn has been mowed again and should be fine until the coming weekend.  Of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't mentioned Gator Daughter's super Memorial Day cookout feast.

June starts tomorrow and the early indications are that, for the most part, our very wet April and May will give way to a nice month.  How can it go wrong?  Summer starts in about three weeks.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Weekend

Another holiday weekend is upon us. Memorial Day. That's Monday, May 30th this year, officially celebrated on the last Monday of the Month. Memorial Day was created to honor those who fought and died during the Civil War. It since has been expanded to include all wars.  We all will take some time to honor those who have served, and their families and loved ones, to make our great country what it is today.  We'll also be hoping their efforts aren't being lost as we move forward in time.

Memorial Day has other significances, as well. Here in Maine, along with the parades and celebrations for the service men the day is also a family day to celebrate the coming of summer. Summer cottages get opened, large get-togethers of family and friends have giant cookouts, Old Orchard Beach opens for the season. In fairness, much of OOB is already open, but this weekend makes it all "official."

Earlier in our history, Memorial Day was celebrated on May 31st.  Congress changed many holidays including Memorial Day to the fourth Monday of the month in which they were celebrated to ease the hardships on businesses with midweek closings.

Like many other families we'll have a cookout, possibly, depending on the weather, both Sunday and Monday. The Gator Ladies will do some light work in the gardens Saturday and we'll just "pig out" Monday. 

Gator Wife and Daughter will plant our vegetable gardens.  We're a wee late this year because of the weather.  They have been able to begin the preparation process, however.  The beds have been tilled and some new soil added.  We love the fresh veggies once they begin arriving later in the summer.

I hope you have a super Memorial Day Weekend. We will.


Monday, May 23, 2011


At least it'll be warmer this week!  Starting tomorrow.

Jump ahead to Thursday eve:  I don't think this week is quite what was expected.  At least yesterday was super.

And my lawn is mowed in case we get more showers/thundershowers through the weekend.


Monday, May 16, 2011

I hope you like lousy weather!

The less than nice weather began with rain Sunday.  It is expected to  be with us right through the week.

Monday:  Yep!  Rain and showers.  Is there anyone who would not welcome the sun's return?

Tuesday:  Yep!  Rain and showers. 

Wednesday:  See Tuesday.

Thursday:  It sure did rain this morning.  I got soaked in just the 20 steps from my exercise place to my car.  But the sun tried to do some good during the afternoon.  Closest we've had to sun all week.

Friday:  Now looking forward to Sunday when there's a chance we'll have a full day of sun.  Today and Saturday, though, might have some peeks of sun but that old chance of showers, possibly some thunder showers, remains in the forecast.  Sunday is the day!  (But then more less than great, except warmer, weather is forecast for next week.)

Sunday:  I'm not sure just what day (see above) Sunday is.  Sure didn't start out the nicest.  No rain in sight, but the clouds are keeping that temperature down, at least in the morning.


Friday, May 13, 2011

The Golden still likes the outside

Well, I'll be darned!  Blogger finally let me in.  Apparently some work being done on the blogger main place caused some people to be locked out of the space they occupy.  I'm not complaining, mind you, this is a free service and I respect that.  It's just that I couldn't get a later date on my generic post because of the blogger internal problem.  Now it seems that all is well once again.

And once again we're faced with a weekend, but this one will start the rain coming that the forecasters say won't leave us until late in the week.  They say it won't be a steady rain but rather mostly off and on showers after a near all day event Sunday.  And, as usual, not everyone will be getting that rain or showers.
Gator Golden has truly enjoyed the outside lately.  She likes the weather, likes having "mommy" out there working, and especially likes the freedom of not being tethered. 

Enjoy your weekend.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A fun weekend, Part II

Two months, a lot of it on a tether whenever outside and much of the time inside, and a little girl gets herself a little out of shape.  Last weekend Golden's sister came for her first visit in more than two months.  GG wouldn't be allowed to run and play if she came earlier and it would have been a little unfair for one to have freedom while the other was confined to a leash.

That began to change last weekend as GG finally got her much appreciated visitor.  But, her condition forced to her to take several resting moments.  Thankfully, GG knew when she should take those rests.
A pooped pup

You may see that the hair is growing back on her hind leg where she was shaved for the surgery to repair her knee.  The knee had torn a cartilage when she slipped on ice while running full speed back in February.  It was surgically corrected and, if you look very closely, you can still see the scar on her knee.

She rested a few minutes and then was soon back to exploring the yard with her sister, but she sure did sleep well that night.


Monday, May 9, 2011

The girls were happy to find each other again.

The weekend wasn't at all like the weather forecasters predicted.  At least on the swamp, it was nice and sunny with very reasonable temperatures.   
Sunday, while Gator Wife and Gator Daughter were planting some new green stuff in front of our house, Gator Golden (left) and her sister had a chance to explore together.  I think here they're trying to find a place to hide.  Or, perhaps looking for their 'bosses.'  It was the first time since February when GG injured her knee and then had March surgery to repair it that the two girls had a chance to play together.  When GD's dog first arrived, the two Goldens were ecstatic to see each other again.


Friday, May 6, 2011

We like family good news!

What a gorgeous start this Friday had!  The sun is blazing and that portends a potentially warm day.  Like all such great beginnings, though, the weather folk left us with the possibiliy of some shower activity later today.  I think, though, that's mostly in the mountain areas.  I hope my 'think' is correct.

Gator Wife had good news Thursday.  She had been diagnosed with breast cancer a year and a half ago.  She didn't mess around with it and immediately had surgery; and because it was diagnosed as early as it was, the surgeon was reasonably certain she had gotten rid of all of it.  That didn't stop three cancer doctors, however, from carefully monitoring her.  She has gone through several treatments and visits in that year and a half.  Thursday, one of her doctors released her from further visits and turned the whole process over to the other two.  GW had already been told those two would be monitoring her for at least five, probably more, years.

Nevertheless, one down and two to go and it was a most happy day.

Now the weekend is here and it'll be a busy one around the homestead.  I had mentioned earlier this week that we had begun the process of replacing some green bushes along he front of our house.  Weather permitting, they'll find their permanent new home, possibly Sunday.  There'll still be a huge void out there as we totally cleared it last fall.  Once the currently new ones are planted, we'll plan the next stage.

Also, like a goodly number of folks in our section of the world, we'll have to spend some time on the lawn.  It has greened beautifully, but at the same time, it has grown.  I'm not sure this is my favorite time of year.  The lawn is beautiful; but I'm not looking forward to the weekly mowing.  We probably should mow twice a week for the first month or two, but the price of gasoline has caused some changes in those thoughts.

Gator Golden has made remarkable progress following her knee surgery last March.  She is now off the leash and is allowed to roam the yard at will.  Of course, she does wear an Invisible Fence collar which she respects.  She doesn't challenge that "beeping" wire.  Beeping is in quotes here because it could have a double meaning.  It beeps when GW gets to within three feet of it and the other meaning just might represent the expletive she thinks when she hears it.  She knows she has a few seconds to back away to stop the beeping.  If she doesn't, the she gets a little discomforting tingle from the collar.

If I can get an opportunity, I'll get a couple new pictures of GG this weekend to post here next week.  Chances are those pictures would be the only thing here for a few days.  I'm scheduled to spend part of Monday at Maine Medical Center where one of my two heart guys, the one who calls himself "The Electrician," is going to check my ICD, the combo pacemaker/defibrilator that's implanted in my chest.  My last electronic reading showed some abnormalities in the signal and surgery is required to make sure the device is connected properly.

I sure do hope you all have a wonderful weekend.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

For some kids, a trip of a lifetime!

As I look out the window this morning, I can't help but wonder just what the difference is between the rainy April and the rainy May, at least for the next few days, we have now.  I don't want to take anything away from the really nice weather we had over the weekend and during the first part of this week, but we need sunshine, not more rain.

I probably should point out, however, that my back lawn is as green as it has been for a few years.  In fact, much of my yard is green. 

There was a very nice interview on WCSH-TV this morning that awakened some memories in me.  Lee Nelson was talking about a school trip a bunch of kids and their teacher took to the Carolinas recently.  The teacher was describing to Nelson how some of the kids touched places in various locations that caused them to jump a little and they told the teacher they could feel the past events being depicted.

Wow!, I thought as memories of a trip my that Gator Wife and I took about 35 years ago with our two small children flooded my mind.  Among the many places we visited were the Battlefields at Gettysburg and the remains of the first settlement at Jamestown.  All of us had the same feelings those King Middle School kids had during their trip. 

At Gettysburg we could almost "see" the soldiers from both sides of the Civil War battling.  Even more, the sounds of that battle seemed to continue to echo as we heard them clearly.  It all probably affected GW and me more than the kids, who were under ten years of age at the time, but we just sat down and allowed our imaginations to take control.  I honestly thought it would be a once in a lifetime feeling and one that affected me greatly.

But it turned out to be only the first such experience on that trip.  A day or two later, we arrived at Jamestown and that same experience enveloped us as we toured the ruins in the old section of the settlement.  It wasn't a battle we saw but rather it was hardships and sacrifices of those early settlers as America, as we now know it, was coming to life.

All I could think about as I watched that interview this morning was how lucky and fortunate those middle school kids were to have a teacher or teachers who could develop the minds of those young people so that they could have that experience that will never leave them.  And how fortunate they were to have a school, community, and, most of all, parents who could make it possible to have it.

I'd bet that trip inspired a love of learning that never could have been accomplished in the classroom alone, in spite of having wonderful teachers.


Monday, May 2, 2011

May begins on a positive note

Last fall, we made the decision to eliminate all what I call "the green bushes" that lined the front of our house.  They had become very woody, green only for an inch or so below the outside and rather brown after being trimmed.  They were also very old and their times had come.  So we had them pulled out. 

The front of the house has looked rather bare since, but Gator Wife already had in mind how they would be replaced this spring.  She began the shopping and buying over the weekend.  To make the old man happy, she did get a couple of "green bushes," one for each side of the front steps.  They are about a third of the size of the behemoths they're replacing, but they'll grow beautifully.

She also got some of what I'd call "sort of bushy flowering plants" for more of the space,  She says she'll have some low growing green shrubs before she's finished.  From what she says she envisions, I'd say the front will look very nice soon.

The planting of what we already have will take place next weekend, but I'd be sort of surprised, weather permitting, if some of her new stuff doesn't find their new home during the week.

I also had mentioned last week that I hadn't yet converted the snow thrower into a lawn mower.  That, too, was completed over the weekend.  Our first mowing of the year has been completed and we've also spread the Grubex and fertilizer.

So, for us, it was a great weekend and the improvements are underway.

I'll be taking a little time off next week.  Next Monday will be the day I head to the hospital for a little surgery to correct a malfunction of the device I have implanted to keep my heart ticking.  The rest of this week, however, will be light duty and, of course, we have some rain in the forecast for some of it which will curtail the outside activities.