Thursday, June 26


So I finally got to see something of the Pacific Northwest when I visited the Portland, Oregon area last weekend. The purpose of the trip was a CB gathering. Okay, so we claimed we were celebrating the summer solstice, but I don't recall one person dancing nekkid under the moon the whole weekend, and I think I would have remembered, so clearly that was just a thinly veiled excuse to party.

I got in late afternoon on Thursday. Earlier in the day while I was waiting for my flight I had received a text message from Wapak telling me that she was there waiting for GP and that I should hurry up. Yes, because I have any control whatsoever over the airlines. Does anyone? But I told her I was flapping my arms as hard as I could. So I get to PDX and text Wapak saying that "I am in Portland" to which she responded, "are you in portland yet?" And it went down hill from there. I responded that yes, I was in Portland, but (at that point) still on the plane. And then, because I like to dot my i's and cross my t's, I confirmed that I was in the Portland that is in Oregon. Wapak wanted to know if, since I hadn't deplaned or whatever the term is, if they were supposed to move the party to the airplane. Frankly I didn't think there was room and suggested baggage carousel 8. She told me to be on the lookout for CBs as I left the plane and I was. I was on the lookout as I got off the plane. I was on the lookout as I left the gate area. I was on the lookout as I got on the escalator leading to the baggage area, and still again when I arrived at the location where I expected my bags to show up. Still no CBs. Then my cell phone rings and it's CMS asking where I am. And I responded "at baggage carousel 8" which she seemed to find very funny. Once she stopped laughing she explained that they had been so busy talking that they didn't see me get off the escalator and WALK RIGHT PAST THEM. Ironically, she was there because she was the one who knew what both JenB and I looked like and could pick us out of the crowd. That was a successfull plan.

As the weekend went on, there was much frivolity and merry making, making Mary merrier, one hopes, but as far as I know no marrying, merry or otherwise. Except possibly in Powell's but we never got the whole story on that. At one point our hostess went off (well she went off on several occasions, ostensibly to procure more ice, and we'll just let it go at that) in the company of, I think, JenB. Don't let Jen's sweet face and quiet manner fool you; it's all a facade. They called back to the party to see if anything was needed or wanted and, well, you've already heard that K.L. requested and received her very own pony. I can't remember if GP wanted a camel or an elephant, but whatever it was she got, she seemed happy with it. I, on the other hand, came out way ahead of the pack on account of I got ...

And even though there were plenty of weapon wielding hunks to go around, I did not share. So there.

Friday, June 13

The Cotton-Tailed Caper

So, the mesh fencing stuff referred to in the on-line listing as "poultry fencing" is on order and should actually arrive today or tomorrow. Not that this will do me much good as (1) I'll need help getting it up and (a) my help has limited free time, (b) I'm going to be away for several days myself in the coming week; also (2) there isn't that much left to protect at this stage. Still no signs of snacking on the crook necked squash. I'm starting to wonder if the rabbits know something I don't since they are leaving those plants alone. Fortunately tomato plants, the green parts, are poisonous so they haven't gone after those. Also which, I keep the bottom-most leaves trimmed away in an effort to limit pests of the insect variety. So those two are doing fine.

I couldn't find any more zucchini plants anywhere, but I did locate some seeds which I have started indoors. Please note that I'm learning from my mistakes, here. I put some potting soil into an over sized wine glass (really, more like brandy snifter size) and stuck some seeds in it. I've been misting it since to keep the soil moist and Houston we achieved sprouts. I'm going to let these puppies get fair sized before I transfer them NOT to the plant bed (still learning here) but to some large pots. Of which I am considering the idea of putting up on stilts. And behind a barbed wire fence. But I'm not bitter, no not me. I haven't yet resorted to the measures referred to in this NY Times article . Or to be more precise I haven't resorted to measures that require a permit to carry.

The other night I went outside to water and the furry little ... deep breath ... was sitting there in the middle of the yard STARING AT ME! He doesn't even scurry away anymore, which I think is just insulting. He just sat there the whole time I dealt with getting the hose out and turning on the water. Amnd it, he could at least have had the decency to look worried. But no, he just sat there as I turned on the spray pointed, initially, at the tomato plants. And then I had an idea. Heh heh heh. I reached up and twisted the spray setting from "gentle shower" to "atomic blast stream" and jerked the barrel suddenly in ol' Flopsy's direction. Got him right under his little cotton tail and goosed him clear across the yard. Bwah ha ha ha. No, I don't feel a bit guilty about it, so there.

And he came back! Really, he was back for more last night. The flop-eared little ... was thumbing his twitchy little nose at me. Clearly this called for desperate measures. It just so happened that my FPDU (as Ms. Merry calls it) had followed me to the patio doors. She was hunkered down in tail twitch position staring out at the intruder in the yard. Now, Kelly isn't as young as she used to be but she's still pretty spry and in her day was known to bring "gifts" to the door on occasion. So I decided to see if she still had the stuff. I slid open the door and she padded out on pussy cat feet towards the edge of the patio, crouched down, and ... proceeded to munch on the grass. No, no! I look out and Mopsy is still there, hysterical. Hysterical with laughter. Oh yeah, he's worried now. Okay, maybe he wasn't ROTFLHAO, but I'm sure I detected a chuckle.

Okay, clearly Kelly needed a little reminder about those ancient hunter instincts she's supposed to possess. Instincts she remembers just fine when she's pouncing on imaginary dust motes inside the house. So I pick her up, yes, I did, and I CARRIED HER OVER TO THE RABBIT. Who finally had the grace to look a little nervous scampered just a few feet away. Didn't actually RUN, mind you, but did at least move to what he may have considered a more advantageous position. At this point Kelly starts to get a clue that maybe I'm expecting something from her and wriggles out of my grasp. And now the chase is on. Around and around and around the yard they went. No, the rabbit really did make a run for it with Kelly close behind. They did several circuits of the yard before the bunny wised up and made for the back of the shed. Not only did that slow Kelly down a wee bit it's also the location of one of Bugsy's favorite egress points. So he got away but Kelly got some exercise out of it and I've showed that I will not be trifled with. I know he'll be back, at least until I get the fencing stuff up, but Kelly and I fought the good fight and made a showing. We saved face. And tomorrow's another day.

Thursday, June 5

Where's Elmer Fudd When I Need Him?

The rabbits are winning. Actually, I think there might be just the one bunny visiting the yard now. It's a very small one that's still capable of wriggling through the various barriers I stuck around the fence two weeks ago. At any rate most of my veggies are history. Except, curiously, the crook neck squash. The zuchinni is gone and the peppers with it. This means that if I want to have a garden this year I'm going to have to roll up my sleeves and get serious.

A friend recommend the plastic mesh stuff pictured here. It's called poultry fencing and is supposed to be better than wire. Certainly it has to be easier to work with, I would think. And it won't rust. So I'm off to the hardware store this weekend to get some. It come in rolls 2 and 3 food high, and 25 feet in length. No, I don't know how much I need. I think I'm going to just concentrate on surrounding the individual plant beds first and then if that goes okay I can move on to bunny-proofing the whole fence.

And while I'm at it I need to get something to replace the railroad ties currently bordering my tomato patch. They've gotten a bit nasty on the underside, kind of rotten and attracting the sort of icky things that like rotten wood. So I'm giving that some thought too. Ideally I'd like to do something with real stone or brick. Not that fake hollow stone stuff; I want something fairly sturdy. Of course that would mean having to cart the stone through the house to the back yard. On the plus side, it being stone I would only need to carry it as far as the back deck. If it's rock it should survive being tossed over the side of the deck rail, don't you think? Or I might try something like this:

Mind you, they aren't saying exactly what "this" is, but it's not supposed to break down, dry out or become brittle. Sounds a whole lot like plastic, doesn't it? Stay tuned.