December 27, 2013 - Chop, Chop!

It doesn't seem possible that the end of 2013 is near!  The year has gone way too quickly for me, but I guess time flies faster as one ages.

We had a nice Christmas holiday.  The kids came for a simple Christmas Eve dinner, and presents were opened at that time.  I told them I'd done my duty by hosting the Thanksgiving feast, so I planned on taking it easy this year and enjoying Christmas without all the fuss and fancy.  I set up a build-your-own taco bar and let Costco provide the desserts.  I sat myself down and enjoyed visiting with the family, and it took just minutes to clean up the mess, with only one load of dishes for the dishwasher.  I think I'll make this a tradition, only I would prefer a soup and homemade dinner rolls menu rather than tacos, which were Mr. Granny's choice.

We had some excitement to watch the entire Christmas week.  Our next door neighbor had a professional tree trimmer come and prune her four big sycamore trees, and the two huge English walnut trees.  They really cut the sycamores back drastically.  I'm not so sure it's the best way to do it, as new growth is in the form of weak water sprouts, but it seems to be the accepted way of pruning these giants.  I must say, they are quite ugly in their new nakedness!  On the other hand, I was impressed with the walnut tree pruning.  One of those trees casts morning shade on about half my garden, and had many dead branches that would break and fall onto our property with each windstorm.  I had one fall on my head once, so I had to be especially careful about gardening if the wind was blowing!  Now the garden will get a lot more light, and my body should be safe from falling limbs.

 A worker in the walnut treetop.  Hi, up there.....high up there.

 Walnut trees looking so much better.

 My garden will appreciate having so much of the old growth removed.  I don't think the squirrels will be too happy though.

The last of the four sycamores being pruned.  Or stubbed.  They all end up looking bare naked like the one in the background.

 I wish I had a better photo of all the wood that was removed from six trees.  Her entire front yard is covered about 6' deep or more, with just the driveway left open for the cars.  Even the "lighter" pruning of the walnut trees left an unbelievable amount of branches.  The branches are covering her hedge, and overflowing into our side yard.

This one, as viewed from the bedroom window, looked a bit too close to our house.  I had to go out to see if we had any damage from it, but it missed the house by about 6".

I figured they would be in today with the big chipper to begin clearing up the mess, but they must be taking a long holiday break.  

December 3, 2013 - Thank You, Robbie!

Robbie, from Palm Rae Urban Potager, has been kind enough to give me the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!  Thank you, Robbie.  You also inspire me to add color to my vegetable garden by including flowers for the pollinators and for our personal enjoyment.

Upon receiving this award, I'm supposed to tell seven interesting things about myself.  That's been done many times before, so I won't bore you by being too repetitive.   I'm also supposed to list the blogs that have most inspired me.  I've decided my list will not be passed on, as these bloggers that have most inspired me in the past, are no longer blogging.  I miss them all so very much, but they will always be remembered.

They are, with the date of their last post:

Liisa at May 10, 2013
Caffeinated Mom at July 19, 2010
Momma_S at August 6, 2010
Robin at August 1, 2013
Ribbit at  July 29, 2013
EG (Jeff) at (evidently still active for invited readers only, which doesn't include me)

Gosh, I sure do miss them.

December 2, 2013 - Well Blow Me Down, or Throw Me Down or...

Knock me down.  Whatever.

I was out trying to clean up the latest pine mess from the last wind storm.  I had the big garbage can, and I should have known better than to try to move it without first closing the lid.  As I pushed it forward, the lid swung back toward my feet.  I tripped.  The can came crashing over.  I fell.  Face first.  Right onto the lid that was now on the pavement.  My nose has several cuts, it throbs, and I'll most likely end up with two black eyes.  I hope I heal by Christmas.