Yep, it's true: dogwoods and daffodils are blooming. Bees are zinging/buzzing around, the sun is shining except when rolling purple clouds skitter through the sky. Critters are restless, even my two indoor cats want out into the backyard in the evening, then roll in the grass or climb the trees. Birds are searching for nesting sites, the squirrels play tag through the tree limbs. Wonderful time of year!
And yet for all my happiness here, I can't help but be saddened daily by the awful sorrow Japanese people affected by the earthquake are suffering. Such devastation leaves most of us speechless, as we simply watch mute at what they are going through. I know that I could never show such resilience and stoic determination. What an amazing culture they have, truly something we Americans can learn from during our own trials and tribulations.
Yesterday I had my two asphalt driveways sealed again; now that should not have to be done again for several years. I'm still debating having a large silver-leaf maple cut down in my front yard. The roots are above ground, really causing issues with mowing; and at some point, deeper roots could get into my sewer line to the street. But...late husband planted that tree many moons ago; and I hate to kill a living tree, just don't want to see the empty space where a beautiful, living tree stood. I will probably not have it cut down this year, maybe next -- it's also expensive, probably between $300-500 for such a job here. Decisions, decisions!
Otherwise, life is good here. I either take the dogs to the wooded park (like today) or wait till around 6:00 to walk them in the neighborhood. The streets are so hot it bothers Oscar -- especially when summer truly heats up. I may start taking them early in the morning, right after my breakfast. That way the streets will be cool, and we can walk as long as I can hold up!
Of course, mowing has already begun. Usually our mowing season runs from mid-March through early October. Then the leaf raking starts! It'll take me a few times to get back in physical shape for the mowing -- my back/arms/shoulder muscles were sore after I mowed this past weekend. One good aspect of the mowing: it builds strength in upper-body muscles, which helps with lifting things. I just dread the awful heat of summer though, which means I have to be careful not to overdo with mowing.
I promised myself last summer after the small veggie garden failed to yield any produce (due to poor soil here), that I would not get excited about gardening this year. However, I did want to try the topsy-turvy planters for tomatoes. I bought one the other day, and planted a Husky Red Cherry tomato plant in it. I hung it off my back porch, will see how it does. If it lives, then I may get a couple more, as well as a pepper plant. It's inexpensive and easy to take care of, no stooping and bending to the ground which is hard on my knees/back. We shall see.
Here's a photo of the planted tomato (click to enlarge):
And this is what the dogs have doing during the mild, sunny days:
Oscar being lazy, sleeping in the sun on the back porch (I will soon do some touch-up painting on those planks that are peeling from the rain)
Rambo is hardly ever lazy; he's always out exploring in the back yard or whatever it is dogs do outside! My cheap clothesline is also visible at the far right corner of this picture; I am using it now that the weather is so nice.
And with that, I'm outta here for this time.