Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday this isn't!

Some blogs I have visited in the past participate in Wordless Wednesday when the idea is to post a photo that needs no words of explanation. But this isn't Wednesday, it's Tuesday. So how about I institute "Ticked off Tuesday" when the notion is to show something that has me really ticked off!

This is the sight that greeted me this morning when I opened the garage door to take the dog out.
There have been more deer than usual around this season and I have seen them browsing in my side garden during daylight hours which is unusual. But this! This means they are on the driveway right next to the house. I leave the outside lights on at night for security purposes and not for the equivalent of dinner by candlelight for the deer.

When I first saw the destruction I thought I would just pick up the plants and poke them back in and smooth down the soil. But now that a few hours have elapsed and I am more ticked off I don't think that is what I'll do after all.

I'll have to ponder my next move.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Another tale from the compost bin

Behold, we have a new compost bin. Last year sometime we had a storm with winds that broke limbs off the trees. One branch landed on the lid of the compost bin and made a hole in it (see photo below). For months and months we just carried on with the bin in that condition. After all this would allow some moisture into the bin as we had not always been good about remembering to keep the contents moist and that was slowing down the process.

But the downside of the hole was that chipmunks or squirrels would get in and choose some tasty morsel to eat from the array of kitchen vegetable scraps and the like. They would drag it out and sit on the lid and have their picnic. The next morning our dog, the tracking labrador, would go straight to the bin area to sniff out who had been there overnight. Despite the fence we had erected to keep him away, he would thrust his head through the fence and attempt to rescue the tidbits left by the picnic party. A few weeks ago after one colorful throwup on the driveway ten minutes after he had visited the compost bin zone I decided I had had enough. Despite it being well into fall I headed out to the stores to see if I could buy a new bin. And I did find one.

Here you can see portions of the disgraced old bin. I delegated the chore of putting together the new bin and emptying the contents of the old bin into the new bin and headed out to my quilt group sewing bee. No sooner had I arrived than there was a call on the cellphone from my son to tell of the treasure he had found at the very bottom of the compost bin.

Yes, the lost sink stopper! For a number of months I had been wondering what could have happened to the sink stopper for the second kitchen sink. There have been a variety of people through my kitchen in the past several months and I thought someone had carefully put it away for me and I really must take the time to search for it. But all my quick searches had come up with nothing. Until Saturday.

Now, you'd think that having found this treasure it would have been triumphantly carried inside, cleaned and returned to it's rightful place wouldn't you. But when I got home after dark and asked where it was I got a vague reply; "it might be in the wheelbarrow in the garage or it might still be outside". So this morning I had a hunt and yes, there it was, waiting quietly in the piles of leaves on the ground to be found for the second time.

We decided to locate the new bin outside the area that the dog goes (he has an "invisible fence") to make it much less possible for him to browse who has been visiting the bin overnight. Here you can see it is close to the bigger compost area where I dump the big loads of leaves and plant materials. The open pile takes much longer to break down. I am trying a new system - I have a fenced enclosure divided in half. One year I will fill one half and then leave it to "cook" while the next year I fill the other half.

So there is plenty of material to create new "tales from the compost bin". And in the meantime, as you can see, I have a lot more raking and gathering of leaves to do before the winter weather settles in.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Changing time(s)

I am maybe trying too hard to find a common denominator in photos and cobble together a posting. But I'll give it a try.

The Halloween basket above is a sign of the changing times that mean we had only two rings of the doorbell on Halloween bringing us a total of six "trick or treat" visitors. A few years back I decided to add decorated pencils to my treat basket to accommodate the children who might not want all that candy. My sons scoffed at me, but you know what?, the children take the pencils. This year all six of my visitors took a pencil and a piece of candy. The leftover pencils I can save for next year but the leftover candy? I was just pleased I had not bought the Costco size bag.

This was a pretty, misty scene as I was opening the blinds on the morning of November 7. We have had so much rain and wind that the fall colors have not been as spectacular this year as in past years.

With the end of daylight savings last weekend came the realization that the evening walk with the black dog might not be as safe as it is in the summertime. While browsing in the L.L Bean store we came across this mini lantern that we thought we'd try hanging from the dog's collar. Thus he will be more visible to traffic when we are walking after dark.

He does not seem to notice the light even though we have it set to flash as that uses less battery and is also more of an attention getter. It does take a lot more organizing to go out for the evening walk now. Getting the harness and the light on the dog is the first challenge. Then, since it is quite a lot cooler as well as dark, I have to kit up with hat, gloves and coat, then stuff the pockets with the baggie, keys, phone and remember to grab the flashlight as I set out.

Oh yes, times have changed.