My Novels

Monday, April 25, 2011

April Round-up

Looks like I mostly post once a month with a recap of the events that happened. So let's get started: it was a mostly good month, nothing bad occurred (in my world, that makes it notable).

The weather, as usual for spring in the south, was wild and unpredictable. Luckily for our area, only minor damage from high winds/tornadoes, and none at all in my city/neighborhood.

Most of the month was mild enough that I could take the dogs for long walks in the neighborhood instead of the wooded park. However, all the rain and mild temperatures started the grass growing, so I'm now having to mow at least every week. This will continue until late September, which means about a six month grass cutting season; that translates into high costs if I had to hire lawn care. Fortunately, I'm still able to do that myself--at least so far. The drastic heat of summer is the worst aspect; but I try to mow early in the day, even if the grass is wet.

The only bad event was a minor fall I had the other day while walking the dogs; I think I stepped on a piece of gravel (which had ended up in the street due to the electric company cutting tree limbs off of lines and dragging them across gravel drives, causing gravel to be on the street). At any rate, though my knee was bruised, it seems to be healing quickly - no doctor visit. Still a bit sore but I'm working through it.

Easter day was nice - had a family gathering at my nearby sister's house. Nephews' kids there, lots of fun, food and conversation. I did miss mother and my late husband; we usually had our family gatherings there, and I always have poignant moments now when we get together.

And now without further delay, pictures from April activities: (Click to enlarge)

This is how my back yard & front yard looked when the maple trees were shedding seeds, quite a mess!

And this is how the yard looked after I got finished with mowing...

Sore Paw gives Rambo fits -- literally turning flips because he can't get to Sore Paw (who is, of course, nonchalant!)

A quaint custom here in the South is rural cemeteries having "Decoration Day" every spring. This means all the graves are "decorated" with flowers by living relatives. Below are the decorated graves (right to left) of my uncle (mother's brother), my parents, and in the back, my paternal grandparents. Late husband & I, though cremated, will probably have a gravestone next to my grandparents - my great-great grandfather donated the land for the cemetery on the condition all Swanns could have free graves/space. I'm still undecided whether to have a stone there, or just have our ashes scattered. (I have husband's ashes in an urn in my home.)

A couple weeks ago I noticed the big cedar in my back yard had died. Have no idea what caused it to die and really hated that -- late father-in-law gave us that cedar when it was only knee-high!

Last fall we had a serious thunderstorm and I noticed a limb on a big pine in the backyard had fallen on a cable line. I contacted the electric company because I realized other trees along the middle of my block were all over the power lines. They sent out a couple guys, and after inspection, they said eventually they'd hire a crew to come out and cut the limbs back. This is the pine with a broken limb:

NOTE: No bird/squirrel nests in those two trees.

A week or so ago, the crew came out and I talked to them about the pine & cedar. The foreman said they'd cut both down free -- which I was happy about. Here's the last of the pine in the backyard with the 4wheeler/trailer they used to haul it to the curb.

Dead cedar on the street curb to be picked up by city later:

Look at that sunny corner now! Maybe I should start a late garden?!


My nephew's daughter modeling a blouse I gave her: it shrunk when I put it in the dryer after one washing! (It looks better on her!)

Other nephew's toddler discovering Easter Eggs for the very first time!

And at 11 months, she's starting to walk! And while her parents are obviously thrilled at this, I feel oh-so-compassionate for the child--the world she will inherit does not bode well for her and her generation. Which just made me very, very sad for them all.

Now this IS scary: But I took a close-up of myself at last. I thought it was time to update my photo on Blogger/Twitter/Facebook. My hair is darker, except for the gray on each side of my face. It gets lighter in the summer sun, but is mostly a dark blond. I can't wait for it all to be GRAY, and I will NEVER try to hide that -- I've earned every gray hair!

All in all, not a bad month. Spring & Fall are my favorite seasons, though each time they roll around I wonder how long I'll be here to enjoy them. I'll be 60 on December 3rd, IF I live that long. NO ONE IS PROMISED TOMORROW.