Another Poor Trip Log, Different Trip

Just hint of the unfathomable destruction from the Slater Fire (2020) from our view driving over Greyback Road. There are no words. I was stunned and the further we drove, the worse it got. There are spots where as far as you can see, there are just sticks — the remains of the trees are just sticks. You can’t even believe it’s real. There were moments when it looked like bad CGI. So heartbreaking.

The weekend after we went to Chicago we went to Orleans for a family wedding. On this trip I also took few photos and fewer notes.

(photo by Aileen Wilder, amateur Photoshop by me, hehe)

The wedding was beautiful and fun and a wonderful celebration but also very rainy with mud. It was great to be with family and so fun to see all the kids having such a great time together.

(photo by Bob Hughes)

The canopy was rigged at the last minute using a covering for a greenhouse — but it was magnificent.

Back at the house, the dogs in a rare moment, at rest. Photo and amateur Photoshop by me.

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Poor Trip Log

We went to Chicago to visit friends. Well, I went to see friends. Bob went to have adventures.

The trip went as well as you could want. The travel went smoothly. Our lodging had plenty of space and a great location. We all had a great time catching up.

If you were going to complain, it would be about the first morning when it was cold and raining sideways but that was over quick.

I didn’t keep track of any funny stories and took hardly any photos.

One of the highlights was the Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise where you cruise around and the guide tells you all about the buildings in the downtown skyline. Super interesting. One and a half hours and you know how there’s always that one person who can’t resist talking the whole time? Not on this tour. Everyone rapt.

We also went to a Cubs game. I am not a huge baseball fan but I wanted to see Wrigley Field and it turned out to be fun. Since I spend so much time at soccer matches it was interesting to see how the rituals of a different sport played out.

That was the trip.

I am still trying to get the yard under control. Every spring I mildly panic because the work seems so overwhelming and it is particularly crazy this year due to all the rain. I finally managed to out in the berry patch to get it cleaned up and look what I found!

Lots more coming in soon. This is my favorite when we go from a few berries in a bowl to more than we can eat.

Also while I was out there one of my earbuds fell into the berries. I had to crank some loud music to the highest setting and then crawl around on my hands and knees with my face in the dirt and brambles in my hair.

I found it!

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Whose Shed Is It?

One night the Raccy with the mangled tail stuck his head in for a peek. Decides to back out.

This place belongs to Stinky.

Another matter that is overwhelming me is my apple tree. There are so many apples, and it’s leaning, and the branches are flopping. All the helpful tips online are from people who have property and orchards and stuff around to stake or prop up a tree. They are not considering the urban home with one measly little apple tree and nothing but a drawer filled with toothpicks and rubberbands to problem solve with.

Also, no spoilers but I am catching up on the latest season of Stranger Things. I love the content warning: fear, language, disturbing images, gore … and


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Things I’m Overwhelmed with At The Moment

Check out this cool car I saw downtown. That’s like two parking spots. How do you think they garage it? When I was in 5th grade my friend’s mom had a car like that only gold.

  • You’ve heard it before: my photos. I have a particular way I organize my photos which is not particularly organizational and I don’t want to change. But also I don’t know what’s what. Now I’ve been on two back-to-back trips and there are zillions of photos and I can’t decide what to do with them.
  • Ants — we have just enough ants to know there is a problem but not enough ants to find out where the problem is. I have been creeping around the kitchen with a flashlight looking in all the cupboards and corners.

Ticket partner and I were on TV. That was the best part of the game. Our poor team is pretty sad this season.

  • The yard. Oh my. Another oldie but true: I either have weather and no time and time and no weather. I love the rain. I’m not complaining about it but it seems like when I finally have time to get out there, it’s too wet to work. The weeds are tremendous. I am looking at the weather for the rest of the week and thinking I might fiddle with my schedule a bit and come home early on one of the nicer days and get some work done.

This is the park-n-ride when I arrive. I have been parking in the same spot since I went back to work during the pandemic around February 2021 — and I arrive the other morning and there is someone in MY SPOT. The whole parking lot is open – why my spot?

  • My list — I have a list that says to consolidate the lists. Other than that I don’t know where to start.

These are my shoes after the Great Mud Wedding of June 2022. The Bride, Groom, and family were beautiful. The event was super fun and hopefully I will have something about the trip up here soon.

I cleaned up the shoes this morning but I’m still not sure if they will ever be the same again. We shall see.

Finally, the current progress on Part 2 of the Project of Forever. Didn’t get much done due to travel.

14234 / 40000 words. 36% done!

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Wildlife Showdown!

I got a new fly-through birdfeeder and barely the first night and a raccoon was casing the joint, trying to see what it could get. You can barely see in the back ground.

Bad raccoon!

Then it heard (?) smelled (?) Stinky and came dashing over to see what that was all about.

But Stinky stood its ground with super smooth moves.

There was a full-on showdown but it’s not clear whether anyone won. Mostly a lot of hilarious posturing.

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Apples Apples

I don’t know how I always manage to be out taking photos in such ghastly light. Sorry.

The apple tree seems to have a million apples on it right now which is about 999,975 more than it can handle.

I have to keep an eye on it and read up on apple trees. Hopefully it’s smart enough to drop off a bunch itself.

But already we can see it’s leaning. We gotta devise a system to prop it up.

I’m sure YouTube will have more info than we know what to do with.

Last year we had 5-6 apples and they were delicious.

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Look Who’s Taller Than I am

This is Percy in their first year which was already 5 years ago. (GULP!)

And here they are now!

So many figs in our future.

We have a super busy couple of weeks coming up (or probably most of the summer) but I’m going to schedule a few posts to hopefully cover until I can get back to it.

The Project of Forever, Part 2 of 3:

11336 / 40000 words. 28% done!

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Across the Street

The bro house across the street was empty for a couple of years and now it’s an Air BNB. It can fit a lot of people so almost every weekend there are lots of cars over there.

I’m not complaining. So far it hasn’t caused any trouble.

This weekend there were 2-3 cars, 2 big pick-ups and 2 flatbeds – is that what they are called?

This morning I heard funny noises out front and peeked out the window and they were loading up classic cars on the flatbeds.

Not like olde timey cars and not like muscle cars.

Like slicked out 80s Chevy Monte Carlo or 80s Cadillac. (I don’t know cars, that’s my best guess.) I thought it was kind-of cool. There are a lot of car events around here so maybe that’s what they were up to.

This represents about 90% of the gardening I have done so far this year.

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I Have A New Tea System

I was inspired by my husband’s coffee system so I started a new tea system.

I make my tea in my cup. I use leaf yerba mate in a tea ball.

When the first cup is ready, I transfer the tea ball and boiling water into the travel mug. Then when I’m ready for more, it’s all ready to go.

I can’t believe it took me this long to try this amazing and life-changing approach to morning beverages.

Here is a view of the tea ball in the bottom of the travel mug but you can’t really tell. Trust me.

Last time I was in Orleans I left my travel mug so when I bring it home I’m going to adopt this new system at the office, too.

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All Birds Welcome

I bought another bird feeder — so now I have four.

The bird feeder store is a dangerous place. You go in with a thing in mind and end up with a nice man helping you load all your stuff into the car. I even bought “squirrel baffles” which the guy said would not keep squirrels out but would help with the rain.

Now my birds can stay dry while they snack.

See? It says Birds’ Choice. Is there a possessive apostrophe? I can’t tell. I hope there is.

I was disappointed that no birds showed up (while I was watching) for 2 days! But Bob said he saw Squirrel out there and the peanuts are gone.

Actually after I first put it out I was outside doing yard work and blue jay landed on top and checked things out but did not go for the peanuts. Is he really too big? The blue jays seem determined but maybe they don’t like this one. They still scare the other birds away when they pick up tidbits underneath.

They also appear almost instantly if I go outside. They know me as the lady who brings out the peanuts.

I have never attracted a hummingbird to a feeder. This is my third time trying over the past several years. I remain hopeful.

Progress report: project of forever, part 2 of 3:

9612 / 40000 words. 24% done!

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