Happy Birthday Nancy

Sorry for the long gap but it’s been incredibly busy.   Nancy’s birthday celebration was hosted by Tom and Tina and came off without a hitch.   Tina is the greatest hostess – preparing Nancy’s favorite foods and paying attention to even the finest details – Nancy’s favorite flowers for decoration and special personalized party favors.   We had a dinner on Thursday night at a great Chinese restaurant with (I think) 18 family members in attendance.   Chris came from NY/NJ, Simon and Amy from Alabama, the Sheronick’s from South Carolina.  The followup celebration the next day added local friends.   From my perspective it came off without a hitch.  Joey and Tom spent hours going over old photo’s and created a slide show on the big screen TV.

Chris and Vic spent a couple days with us and ended their visit with a couple days at Universal.  They’re coming back at Christmas so I guess they had a good time.

Nothing much else to report.  Still having a devil of a time making any progress in the garden.  The weather and critters seem determined to keep me replanting.   The highlight of my frequent visits to the garden is the bluebird continues to visit and now will actually land on my arm.   Doesn’t seem to have the slightest fear.   Yesterday my neighbor, Barbara and her grandson and his daughter came down and the bird hopped from one of us to the other.  Barbara brought some birdseed and he ate out of her hand.   Apparently bluebirds are omnivores because I see him catching critters in the garden and assumed that my rooting around in the soil was the attraction.   

Plenty of rain and the lake keeps rising.   A few inches more and it will top the lower level of the dock.   I haven’t seen it this high in years.   I’m hoping the high level makes the spec fishing better this year.  It should make the trolling easier in terms of hanging up in the grass and moss.

The Jay has landed

Whenever I go to the garden, the bluebird quickly arrives – often before I’ve even reached it. Usually when I go there I’m picking weeds which stirs up the ground and the critters living there. Apparently that’s Jay food. He will literally come within an arms length and has no fear of me at all. I just know one of these times he’s going to hop onto my shoulder. Hold it, breaking news – I walked over to the garden and he hopped right over on the fence and then on top of my head. Wow! He only stayed on a few seconds, probably because I jerked, but how neat is that. I have a wild pet.

The path job is officially finished – on time and in budget. I had to resort to cutting down a small pine tree to get the last 10’ or so but it was one I’d been planning to cut down soon anyway. Too close to the house. We’re having company this month and probably more before the year ends so I wanted to get it behind me. While I had the saw out I cut down the red grapefruit tree that had died on it’s own over the past couple of years. There’s some kind of nasty citrus disease that is killing off all the citrus without special resistance genes. I’m not going to replant since we can still get all the grapefruit we want from the remaining tree. It to has been afflicted/infected but not to the same extent.

This unusual hot and dry weather continues and is playing hell with anything I put in the garden. I keep restarting seedlings, nursing them up to transplant size and then watching them get scorched. Why not just wait until it’s cool enough? Because if the frosty season comes on schedule, the plants will not be big enough to survive. I need farm bill protection.

I was able to fish in the surf for the first time in almost a month.  It’s just been way too rough to even think about it.   Last week I did a long beach walk at low tide and studied the area where I normally fish to determine the condition and contours of the beach – locate the holes and channels which will attract the fish at high tide.   The beach contours change all the time, especially in the stormy season and you just have to know the topography to be successful and the only way to do that is explore at low tide.  I knew exactly where I wanted to fish so you can imagine my disappointment when I crossed over the berm only to see a guy and his wife fishing in exactly my spot.  Beach etiquette requires me to leave a minimum buffer of 100′ which put me far from the hole I had uncovered.   I had no choice but to get as close as allowed and hope for the best.   Just as expected, I caught nothing while this guy was having more than a little action.