Monday, December 27, 2010

What's in my head today?

I haven't gotten a telephone call from my steel fabricator yet, calling to schedule my back steps installation.  I am antsy.   My head is full of backyard project dreams.  I have tried staring at various telephones, willing them to ring.  Alas.  The holes for the recessed footings are filling up with leaves.  They are like backyard booby traps:  if you didn't know they were there you could easily step in and break an ankle ...  although really they are knee deep not ankle deep.  Can you break a knee?

I do still need to clean off the tops of the steel plates; they have a little concrete residue on them.  I'm told it will scrape off with a putty knife, and then to use the garden hose and a dish scrubber.  But it's too cold to do that task these days.  For me, anyway.  Now if installation was scheduled, you can bet that I'd be out there in rubber gloves.

The colder weather has made the wild birds that I feed a little demanding.  They are plowing through the seed in my feeder.  I have chickadees, a pair of tufted titmouse, a female cardinal and sparrows.  Yesterday I had a huge ladderback woodpecker on my squirrel-proof seed feeder.  He could sit on one perch, and crane his neck around to the other side where his weapon-like beak would spear a nut.  Sort of a feeder hog.  I put out my spiral in-the-shell peanut feeder for him, but as long as I watched he didn't see it and figure it out.  I forgot about it this morning -- the squirrels will have a field day with it today! 

The water in my birdbath was frozen this morning.  As I waited for the dog to come in I saw a little sparrow sitting on the rim -- pecking at the ice.  Suddenly cold wasn't an issue for me.  I got a pitcher of water and went out without a coat to pour in the fresh water.  Scampered back in the house and watched and waited.  It didn't take the little guy even 2 minutes and he was back, drinking thirstily.

From the pouring of the footings, I have a large area of exposed dirt in my yard -- of course, right outside my back door -- that is where back steps go -- that has become a mud slide.  Yes, we had rain this weekend.  We needed it, and I am grateful for it.  But oh the mud.  And the large mud loving dog.  And the hardwood floors.  La la la la la!  I have had to just close the virtual door to my kitchen in my mind.  Until the mud dries, there's no point in mopping.

I did spread out my last bale of straw over the mud yesterday, in an attempt to contain it.  Wouldn't that have been a smart thing to do the day before it rained??  It's not as though I didn't know rain was coming.

And because all conversations about rain turn to rain barrels... of my five rain barrels, two of the backyard ones are currently not even under downspouts!  Oh the horror!  They have been cast aside... waiting for their fabulous steel supports.  The hose on the front barrel had come loose but I have repaired it -- so theoretically it should have caught rain.  I haven't checked it.  And the two huge blue barrels from the Earth Day workshop are steadfastly working.  It will be okay.  There will be more rain.  :::grin:::  Seriously, if these are the worst of my worries...

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