What’s been going on around here lately

I have some thoughts for a couple of posts I haven’t had time to develop yet, and a couple of books just about ready for review. I thought about making some headway on one of those posts, but then decided to just have a chat. 🙂

One focus of our life right now is a row of trees in our back yard. 52 trees, to be exact, that caught something called “blight” and are in the process of dying. You can see them when they were healthy in a couple of photos I shared when we had spiffed up our patio a few years ago.

This is looking to the left from the patio.

This was the view from the right:

These photos were from a Memorial Day picnic, and Jim was defending us from bugs with his electric flyswatter. 🙂 As you can tell, we don’t have much of a back yard, which bothered me a bit when we first looked at the house. But, we decided in our stage of life that we didn’t really need a big back yard, and there was less to mow that way.

These are the trees now:



A few years ago we noted a few brown patches in the trees, wondered if it might be a problem, decided it was just a part of the trees shedding their old foliage. But we were wrong.

Now, of course, the problem is how to get them cut down. We’ve had guys coming by dropping off business cards offering to do it for months now. Jim called one of them, but in three weeks he has only cut down 15 trees – keeps asking us for money and then disappearing for days after we give him some. (Grrr!) So we’re trying to deal with that situation.

We’re planning on putting up a fence when all the trees are down. One unexpected bright side of removing the trees is that it’s creating much more room in the yard. We didn’t realize just how much space they took up. Plus when we get a fence up, it will still provide privacy, but it won’t be as tall as the trees, so we’ll get more sunlight and our plants back there should grow better.

So, though I’ll miss our lovely green bower back there, I think everything will work out well in the end. Once we can get someone to cut them down. 🙂

Oh, and that swing in the first photo, that I had just gotten as a Mother’s Day present just before that photo four years ago….now it looks like this:


I was SO disappointed that it didn’t hold up well in the weather. I had wanted to have it taken to the dump, but Jim said he thought he could refurbish it – make a wooden seat and back and treat for rust and paint it. I think that’s the best idea: I’ve looked at new ones, and just don’t like any as well as I liked this (except for high-end ones that were too many $$$).

You can see behind it a few of the trees that have been cut down. The guy is supposed to take care of the stumps, too, but I’m not holding my breath.

By the way, the rubber snake on the swing is to help keep birds from using the patio furniture for their restrooms. 🙂 We keep a few on the patio chairs. It seems to work except when they’ve gotten used to them, so it helps to rearrange them or add a new one every now and then. They’re only $1 at Wal-Mart, so not a bad investment.

In other news…Great-Grandma has been a little sick lately. She had a cough and was having trouble eating because she couldn’t coordinate breathing with swallowing. You don’t think about needing muscles to cough, but with her losing muscular ability over the years, she coughs but can’t really bring anything up. Now she’s pretty much only coughing when she’s lying flat, when we change her, but it sounds worse. She’s had a low grade fever off and on. The hospice nurse was out yesterday and has called in some cough medicine and an antibiotic, so hopefully she’ll be on the mend soon.

And, finally…my husband peruses various “deal of the day” types sites, and recently came across a little battery-powered vehicle for Timothy. We thought about giving it to him before his birthday, then for his birthday, then decided to wait on it. We just gave it to him last week. He was so excited – he loves anything on wheels and figured out how to use it right away. He calls it his “mower” because it’s shaped like Granddad’s riding lawn mower. I was trying to get him to look up and smile when I was taking this picture, but he was distracted by a neighbor on his riding mower. 🙂


Such fun! I wish I could upload a little video Jason made of his driving it the first time and giggling, but my WordPress account only allows YouTube or Vimeo videos unless I want to pay extra. :-/

He keeps amazing us with words and activities we didn’t know he knew.

For his birthday, Jason asked Jesse to blow up some balloons and put them in the pack-and-play. He played in there for ages – and they’re still there, two weeks later, and he plays in them every time he comes over. I’m amazed they’re still holding air.


Well, I guess I’d better get back at the responsibilities of the day. Nice visiting with you!

5 thoughts on “What’s been going on around here lately

  1. Hi Barbara! What a shame the trees need to be cut down. They are so beautiful in the old pictures. Your little Timothy is such a handsome little man! You are so blessed to live close to him. Thank you for the peek into your days, I enjoyed the “visit.”. Have a blessed day!

  2. GOodness! It seems like he was just born! My how he has grown. I know what you mean about trying to get a job done… even paying to have it done. So many people only work when they absolutely have to. ((Sigh))
    Can’t wait to get back to blogging regularly. My mind needs to take on something else. 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  3. Oh we had the exact same problem with our trees. The first year we just thought it was a dead branch or something. But then it spread. And thankfully we are friends with a “tree man” who told us we had to get those branches cut off and removed post haste or else it would spread to all of the other trees! So we had someone come out right away and chop off all effected branches and that seems to have saved the day. Horrid tree disease (when you really love your trees!). Hopefully you’ll get the situation under control and DONE with soon!

  4. Pingback: Friday’s Fave Five | Stray Thoughts

  5. Pingback: Friday’s Fave Five | Stray Thoughts

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