Saturday, February 13, 2016

Feckin' Formality in the Garden

Two years ago I had the old cement slab patio removed and a flagstone one installed. It had always been a dream to have flagstone on the patio area and then on the paths spreading into the garden. I love a wild garden but with structure. Sounds weird eh, but that's me. I like conformity but there's a wildness about me. Much like English secret gardens bordered by brick walls, sheltering perennial beds flopping hither and thither over their edges.

The pergola posts remained and their bottom brackets showed, miserably. It was not what I wanted, at all ! SoI decided to build post bases to finish their brutal looking bottoms. Boy o boy did i learn about lumber.

A 2 x 4 is NOT actually 2” by 4”, it is 1.5” by 3.5” (if you're lucky). I measured using the ole 2 x 4 STANDARD and came up sorely lacking. Evenings were spent in the basement cutting trim with me dads saw on a 60 year old mitre box relying on the 2 x 4 STANDARD. The bases were nailed and glued in place. HA! I thought, this should be easy to complete. Little did I know I was lied to.

Two trips to the lumber yard for trim and it still wasn't finished. Sitting back I wondered what the feck did I do wrong. I work with numbers all day long so it wasn't like me to make these mistakes. Talking it out with me buddy at work I discovered STANDARDS had changed. O really? So there is no such thing as a 2 x 4? Nope was the response. Feckin' wonderful!

I won't say how many trips up and down the stairs I trudged, or the extra journeys to the lumber yard, or the tubes of No Nails, by the way did you know there is Exterior and Interior? I didn't and used Interior for an exterior job. I shall see how they survive the winter.

In the end I was pleased but I'll know more in spring when joints have breathed or split or cracked. In the meantime I'm pondering a class action suit against lumber associations for lying about their standards. After all when they sell you a 2 x 4 you expect a 2 x 4! I have a feeling I won't get too far with that.

Feck' eh

Friday, February 05, 2016

This winter scares me

This winter is scaring me. The warm temps and lack of snow is wrecking havoc in the garden. I walked it this eve and there are daffy's showing; scillias are up 3-4”; and there are buds on the bare hellebores. There is absolutely snow cover in the garden. I can't remember when this last happened.

Winter bird song is absent as they have found homes in the woods. I haven't heard nor seen Chickadee's, Junco's, Doves, Blue Jays, Cardinals or Nuthatches. The bird feeder, usually an all night diner for the feeding frenzies of our fine feathered friends, has become a squirrel suck 'm back eatery. Come on guys! Leave some for the birds! But alas there are no birds.

I drive by the Tay every day and it's free, flowing wild without ice. The level is at a typical April level after snow melt. Today the public docks are near road level. I don't like this. If we do receive snow and I'm saying SNOW, 2-3' in the next month or two, what will the level be come spring. Two years ago it flooded the park between me home and the river and that was a once in my lifetime experience.

The one highlight of the walk about was spying maple sap leaking out of a broken branch. It shone in the sun, frozen in time. O how I wanted to snap off a bit and savour the sugar but being of hobbit height I couldn't reach. Perhaps I'll find a ladder in the morrow.

natures sweet syrup
oozes from a broken branch,
squirrels lick their lips 


Friday, January 29, 2016

Don't no

I've been researching my family tree's in anticipation on my journey to the motherland. I was focusing on me dads family but of course I'm like a butterfly and flit back and forth to me mothers side. I had thought the Moss's arrived from Scotland, born in the moss bogs between Scotland and England but noooo the earliest I've found so far is from Ireland but that works for me !  I knew all along I had an infinity for the green isle and the name Moss is so befitting as I have a thing for green. ;)

While researching I found a birth certificate of a great grandfather on me mothers side. I read it and had a moment. I wonder why after 69 years from his birth he needed one. But the emotional part was when he filled out the Birthplaces of his parents. How very sad is that.

Don't no. No other description or hints, just Don't no. How he, a very proud farmer, must have felt when filling in the form, I can't imagine.  I'm sure his heart ached as much as mine when I read it. But thanks to the great wide web and me dogged determinedness I will find their birthplaces and hopefully his soul will rest knowing they aren't forgotten.

Friday, January 22, 2016

A Magical Morning

A brisk winter morning
spent seeking the Fab Five
before duty called me to leave
such a wonderous sight
only to discover there was more.
I stood surveying the skies
checking off the list of Mercury
so dimitiive under the brightness
of Venus that held her own
beneath Saturn, then followed its
brillance upward to Mars diminishing
in the dawn light while Jupiter
was still bright in the heavens.
The more was the gentle falling of frost,
ice crystals softly and silently fell
on to the earth; naked branches
soon glistened, ground snow was
became a carpet of crystals, 
and I inhaled natures magic...