Monday, September 30, 2013

Walt could learn from the Blue Jays

I have been too busy to blog as I have been catching up with Breaking Bad so that I could watch the final episode last night – which I did.
I found the ending to be entirely satisfactory and all the chickens came home to an appropriate roost. I am guessing that Baby Blue will be biggest selling single on iTunes for the next few days. Badfinger will be pleased.
I just don’t know what to say about Breaking Bad. It is certainly in my all time top 5 – and is quite possibly Number 1. I will need to think about this for a while.
Bryan Cranston was just mesmerizing as Walt – and the badder he got – the better he was – if you get my meaning. 
The photo shows our Hicks Yews installed. I have set up a trickle watering system so that they will get a good start. This is as much as we are going to do this year and will have another look next Spring.
JoAnn our gardening person says that the squirrels have vanished because there is a hawk-like critter in the area. This would be the Buzzard who ate one of my Northern Cardinals last week. She says the Blue Jays warn the squirrels. Isn’t that nice. Walt could learn something from them.
Cate is back from Europe tonight and I have washed her car and made her favourite Thai Chicken soup. The ironing is up to date. She will be pleased.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The leaves are falling in droves

The leaves are falling in droves now - so I finally ordered my leaf blower from Amazon. It also sucks and mulches. It is electric as I hate messing about with gas and oil. I am at an age where stupidity is setting in and I could easily self-immolate - so need to start taking precautions.
The tree lopping man came today and disposed of our old dead tree. He also dug the hole for the Yews which arrive on Friday. This took a long time as his machine broke down half way through the job and he had to go and get new parts. He took it in his stride and I am guessing this is a frequent occurrence.
He used the same machine for stump grinding and for hole digging which I thought was pretty special. I enjoyed it a lot as I had never seen a stump ground before.
If this was in Australia my mate John would have done all this with his chain saw – but he is a natural lumberjack and is entirely fearless. He has only fallen out of a tree once and did very little damage.
Cate is in Paris and last night had dinner with Molly and Gaston. Tomorrow she goes to somewhere in Spain (Malaga?) to see her sister and brother-in-law.
We are starting to think about when Molly and Gaston and the baby (yet to arrive) can come to Indianapolis. Cate spent some time preparing them for the trip and explaining that Indianapolis is so not like Paris – except of course that we have McDonalds.
I have used a photo of the tree in the process of being lopped. It is a very bad photo -  but will give you the flavor of the occasion. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

They may wear out our grass

The flags are planted in our garden because our garden lady arranged for this to be done – prior to digging holes for our Hicks Yews. We are having 30 of these installed to create a border on the shared lot between us and the people next door. We own about one third of it – but there is no indication of where the boundary is.
There are a whole bunch of people because it is a big old house that has been converted into condos. Each person has at least one dog. They stray onto our side of the lawn and this upsets Cate for fear they may wear out our grass or (shudder) do things.
I only remembered about that this morning when the garden lady rang to say that the mechanical digger would be here on Wednesday to dig a trench.
I am looking forward to this as it will be the most exciting thing that has happened to me since I arrived in America. I don’t suppose there is any chance I will be able to drive it.
Today I had injections at the local pharmacy for influenza and pneumonia. They have these clinics in big pharmacies where you can go for minor ailments and to have injections. This is an excellent system because to get to see a doctor here is a major exercise in logistics – and certainly not something that can be done in a hurry.
I managed to find a gas station that had a working tire pump – and fixed my tire – briefly. The tire warning light came on again so I guess I have a slow leak. I got my handy dandy 12 volt pump today and used that fix the problem temporarily and will go to the tire place tomorrow.
Meanwhile we have decided to go to Australia in October and have also decided where we are going for Christmas with Gwenyth.

Monday, September 23, 2013

I can't afford to lose them

The utility companies have planted little flags all over our back lawn. These indicate where the gas lines and water pipes are. They have also painted spots on the grass.
I don’t know why they have done this but do hope that it is not because they are going to turn our back lane into a highway to Kalamazoo. I am sure we will find out in due course.
In the meantime I have not seen any squirrels for days. They do not hibernate so they have not vanished for winter - but perhaps as it has turned cool they are just sleeping in.
Or perhaps they are trying to avoid this – it is a very bad photo but I think it is a Rough-legged Buzzard – and it has just finished eating one of my birds.
Unfortunately I think it was a Red Cardinal – of which we have very few - and can't afford to lose too many. 
I would have much preferred that they eat those sparrow-like birds – of which there are hordes.

Friday, September 20, 2013

I am grateful for some things

My tire pressure warning light came on so I called into a gas station to check on things. I could not get the air hose to work so had to go and ask the man. He told me to put four quarters in the machine and air would happen.
Why did it not occur to me that air would cost something – after all this is America – everything has a price.
Then I discovered that there was no pressure gauge on the hose so I asked the man. He said they did not have a gauge. I said how will I know what the pressure is in the tire. He told me I should have a gauge of my own and no he did not sell them.
The next gas station only charged me three quarters – which is good because the air worked but the gauge was broken. The man behind the counter was not interested in my problems.
The next gas station had a hose and gauge – neither of which worked. On the bright side – it did not cost me anything.  
I came home and ordered a tire pump from Amazon. This will run off my 12 volt outlet in the car. It cost $12 and will be here on Tuesday.
In Vienna they actually had gas stations where the attendant filled up your car and checked the oil. Here the attendant behind his bullet proof glass will not even fart in your general direction.
But – the supermarkets do have excellent grocery packing services - and I am very grateful for these.