Early morning note from a friend: I just saw Dylan Ratigan (MSNBC) eviscerate faux-dem Dan Boren (Oklahoma 2nd Congressional District) this morning. He gutted him with criticism over congress critters, taking millions from health care lobbyists and then gutting the competition of the public option. Boren didn’t ever realize what hit him. I just wish he’d get primaried or leave the party - he’s a disgrace.
Ally is in my kitchen doing mise en place for potato salad for 75. Give her a sharp knife and she can chop and slice as fast as anyone on the food channel. It would have taken me hours back in my good days to do what she can turn out faster than greased lightning. That’s fast.
Grandson Tyler said on his Face Book page: “… can’t wait to deploy”. Ordinarily one might ponder over that, and maybe worry, but he just loves what he’s doing in the Air Force and he does want to deploy. He’s a respiratory therapy technician and loves his work. And he loves the CCATT school he is attending right now to prepare him to air transport injured servicemen back to the U.S. He certainly has found his niche in the Air Force and is doing very well because of it. They are giving him extraordinary opportunities that he’d never have in civilian life.
It was coldlast night. The wind changed to the north and brought in more fall weather. Ringo and I had to pull up the covers. The folks in Oregon and Washington are getting what one could describe as normal hot July weather in Kansas as we get theirs. Climate change.
Drew is coming home this weekend to help his dad celebrate his 56th birthday and his Aunt Ally her landmark 55th. YAY! The bank where he works is open seven days a week and although he gets a couple days off a week, they are rarely consecutive days. So, we’re lucky when he can manage to come home.
The trees in our yard have grown like Jack’s bean stalks and almost engulf our house, as was our intention when we built here. I always wanted to live in a tree house and it feels I am in one now. The pin oak I planted 30 years ago is enormous and probably the tallest of any pin oak in town. It resides comfortably at the end of a septic tank lateral and never has shown any signs of iron chlorosis as do many pin oaks in this area. Happily, it gets a daily dose of iron, magnesium and nitrogen to keep the leaves dark green and healthy.
Some of the cotton woods are tall and spindly, but I expect they will be huge some day as they can live to be over 100 years old. They like to keep their feet wet and there seems to be an abundant supply of water to meet their needs. They are crowding out the two ginkgo trees that need more room to grow. The bald cypress is beautiful and huge, like the one I planted and left behind at our 8th St. house. Ally’s Japanese pagoda is heavy with beautiful blooms that glisten in the sunlight. The swamp oak that Brit, Ally and I held upright during a terrible wind storm is going to be huge. We may have to move the house to the north to give it more room but then we’ll run into a magnolia, dogwood and sunburst locust. Alas.
I like to watch trees grow. Most of the trees that were here when we built are now over three times as tall as they were back in ‘76. I planted 400 seedling trees on our acreage …most didn’t grow, but many did. There will be some magnificent bur oaks, walnut and maple trees here one day. I spotted a seedling bur oak this morning that Ally can move to the farm next fall.
On the other side of the coin, we have to deal with cottonwood “cotton” in the air compressors, on the decks, in the window screens, and in the house as we come and go. Some days it’s all over us and we sieve it out through our teeth. We’re going to lose two Austrian pines to beetle disease. And, I’m going to remove a spruce that is heading south as well. Two juniper trees are looking sickly. And..among others, I never could get dawn redwoods or pecan trees to grow here.
One of the nice things about having such a wide variety of trees, as we do, is that for one of Lindy’s science classes, his students used to find our yard a haven for one of his year end projects. During his time at EHS, they would flock here to gather leaves and ask for help in identifying species. Most found it easier than the alternative of providing skeletal remains of a critter. One year, a couple of students waited until the last minute to complete their project. They boiled the bones of some animal and it fell apart on them, rendering it worthless for their assignment. They were in our back yard with flashlights at midnight…with me in tow…frantically picking leaves from trees and scribbling information on scraps of paper. They passed the class. Those were good days. I miss Lindy…and the kids.
Thanks for tuning in…