Monday, September 24, 2007

Weekend in San José.

9-24-07 SHORT HILLS: We’re back from a weekend in San José. Jon and Siobhan’s house is getting an expansion of two bedrooms, bath, new kitchen with breakfast room, and small porch, but now they are camping in three rooms with no kitchen. It’s hectic. We decided not to stay there on our visit.

Saturday we took the boys to the Monterey Aquarium on a rare rainy day in September. I think everyone else in California was there at the same time, but they loved it. Saturday dinner was at the Sonoma Chicken Coop, which was not bad, but you can guess the nickname the boys gave it. After a busy Sunday, we came home on the red-eye.

The Monterey Aquarium was almost as crowded on the other side of the glass.

We had fun even if it was raining.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Better Late Than Never?

9-21-07 SHORT HILLS: Sorry about lack of recent posts, but there hasn’t been much to comment on here. The weather has been cooler and drier as we creep up to the equinox on the 23rd. I have done a bit more weeding and pruning. As the sun gets lower, the yard and house get darker and darker until the leaves fall. The tops of some of the trees show some fall color even here in NJ.

The surge report was another administration spin-cycle. It doesn’t matter if there are less attacks while the troops are in a particular trouble spot, as soon as they move on the insurgency will pop up again. It’s just a ‘Whack-a-Mole’ game in a bigger arcade. The military have to leave sooner than later, and when they do, the militants, terrorists, insurgents and sectarian fanatics will come out of the ground like creatures in some horror movie. Speaking of Move On, they got it right.

On a more serious note, the Mets have totally collapsed. If pitching and defense win baseball games and seasons, the Mets have lost both. The middle relief has been suspect all summer, but now the starters are unreliable and the closer is out. The errors are piling up and turned yesterday’s comeback win into a loss. How ‘bout those tantrums? Feeling the pressure? This team won’t make it to the post season.

Judy and I are off to San José for a weekend visit after a September of doctor visits and tests.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Soggy September.

9-11-07 SHORT HILLS: Rain, finally after more than two weeks of dry, sunny weather. Vermont is also getting much needed rain. It has been very humid and unpleasant outside. After a few minutes of weeding on Sunday, I was a soggy mess. I have done a bit more dead wood pruning, mostly rhodos.


Friday, September 07, 2007

Back in NJ

9-7-07 SHORT HILLS: The trip to NJ was uneventful, and everything seems to be in order here. The yard had a bunch of weeds, viney stuff probably grown from seeds in bird poop. After about an hour of weeding, most of them are gone. The yard in Short Hills is heavily treed and presents a contrast to the flowery Vermont yard. This yard has its own attractiveness even without the flowers. On a sunny day the contrast of light and dark, chiaroscuro, is striking but hard to capture with the camera. The camera doesn’t have the ability to show the deep shadow and bright sun side by side that the eye, or the artist, has, but here are a couple attempts.

Chloe seems comfortable.

I have been draining the pool of rainwater by slow siphon, have pruned dead branches from rhodos and weeded. There is more to do, but no hurry to do it.

In bloom: hosta, rose-of-Sharon, fall weeds—oops, fall wild flowers.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

We Bid Adieu to Vermont.

9-1-07 VERMONT: I think TSE was wrong. September is the cruelest month—we go back to NJ tomorrow. I have been doing end of summer stuff, including watering, for the last few days. I got all the fallen wood sawed up and moved to the back of the garage for splitting, cleaned the septic filter, repaired the culvert ditch, pulled the ivy vines off the chimney, set mouse traps, locked the windows, adjusted the water heaters, closed the flues, mended the fence and a dozen other things. We probably won’t be back until October.

Today was fallish, windy and cool even if sunny. We bring home lots of tomatoes and leave the pumpkins to ripen on the vine. The pond is down about eight inches now and the pasture pond is dry. Rain is needed. I’m putting in an order.

Yesterday Chloe was out in the pasture eating something and Nick saw her and went out to see what the deal was. He stuck his nose into what she was working on and precipitated a monster fight that went on for five minutes of barking, posturing and air biting. What was the prize? Fresh horse poop. They are not humans in fur coats, people. The turtle has reappeared again after no sightings for weeks.


As the sun sets, we leave glorious and exotic Vermont...