Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A Day in the Life, or Tool Time

Had new dishwasher delivered yesterday, & old one, which we had pulled out ear-ligh in the morning, picked up. Spent afternoon connecting hoses until too dark to work--we had to cut the breaker that included the lights on that end of the kitchen in order to work with the electrical system. Finally gave up & went off to watch Olympics. Hon. Son #1 was hoping a fight would break out between the Italian Ice Dancing duo (sounds like a messy way to eat dessert) that fell the night before, but no such luck. They actually did rather well, but the ire was palpable.

D connected the wiring this morning before leaving (while dressed for work--thank God I finally cleaned that floor.) That left levelling and fastening it into the cabinets for me, which worked out well. Gave it a trial run to check for leaks; all connections appear to be holding but I may reroute that outflow hose as there's a lot of excess & it apparently isn't supposed to be cut. I'm edgy about the connection at the disposal because I worry the vibrations could knock it off--of course, the only time that happened to us was when Hon. Daughter #1 dropped one of her fishbowl marbles in there. Anyhow, a load of dishes ran without water getting sprayed everywhere & no sparks flew out of the motor so I guess we can call it a job well done (cross fingers.)

Hon. Son #1 chainsawed down a laurelcherry in the backyard for me. After ice storms 2 years in a row it was pretty badly bent & I didn't want to chance it coming down on its own at an inconvenient time. Laurelcherries are evergreen (though not conifers) and they take ice storms worse than pines do--the broad leaves don't help matters. We've had to take out a couple of smaller ones already. As they volunteer like gangbusters we figure they'll be quickly replaced. Every so often I go out back and pull a bunch of seedlings to keep them from taking over. We still have one or two good-sized oaks out there I'd like to keep.

This particular tree was a good 4-5 inches in diameter at base (one of the older ones in the yard, unfortunately) and I'm guessing over 20 feet high though I'm not good at eyeballing. H.S. #1 cut it into several sections for ease of movement so I can't tell for sure now. It was sloping at about a 50-60 deg. angle. It's a good thing we haven't had an ice storm this winter or I'm sure that would have brought it down.

Got a good up-close look at a squirrels' nest as a result of this enterprise--I was anxious to have the tree down before things warm up too much and they start breeding. Workmanship (worksquirrelship?) was pretty impressive. They just look like bunches of leaves in the treetops and you'd expect them to blow down in a stiff breeze, but they seldom do. (We've seen this happen once, to a nest with a couple of pink babies who did not survive the accident--alas!--but that nest was built farther out on the branch than most I've seen. There were plenty of better places in the yard to nest, so I just figured the mother squirrel was young and inexperienced, or lacking in good squirrel sense.) Anyhow, this nest incorporated some leafy green laurelcherry twigs that formed a pretty strong framework. Shaking it wouldn't dislodge it. I pulled a good bit of it apart to satisfy myself there was no one hunkered inside (needn't have worried) and it took some effort. Was sorry to give the squirrels extra work, but better now than in midsummer with a litter on board.

On the subject of squirrels, one of them had the dogs pretty fascinated earlier today. It was coming down the tree with something rather large & white in its mouth, but turned and headed back up when it encountered three of them all attention at the base of the tree. Baby went out to have a closer look & reported the odd item to be a plastic bag. Nesting material? Or did the dogs interrupt a nut-gathering trip? Not to inconvenience the squirrels or anything, but I'm not crazy about the idea of them running around with Trashus humanus plasticus in their mouths.

Finished assorted laundry & mending, plus a few rounds on a rib-knit beanie for H.S. #1. Had to go out and retrieve 3 dogs who decided to take themselves for a walk after H. S. #1 neglected to close the gate after coming through with a wheelbarrow. Planning a couple of vest projects for which I will have to drop in at the knit shop for a consult. Also need to do some serious interior painting, or at least get the primer up. Then there are those stacks of wood parquet sitting in the dining room...and I really ought to strip the kitchen cabinets...& then there's the bathtub...& the back porch...& should we paint or side?

Is it any wonder dinner's never ready on time & something always needs dusting?


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