Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010...Summertime

It's turning out to be an interesting summer, so far.

My son-in-law, Chuck, got fed up with work at Deffenbaugh industries and was contacted by a previous employer from Wyoming who wanted him to come back to work for them – they have years of work ahead of them up in North Dakota at a big oil field. Chuck worked for oil riggers and drives the big trucks and is a very responsible worker. He decided to take them up on their offer and will commute from Kansas City to western North Dakota on a monthly basis. While he's there, they will be working 7 days a week for 12 hours a day – so it won't leave him much leisure time.

So now, it's just my daughter, Beth, and my grandson, Zachary and me. And we discovered that we have a family of skunks nested under the front stoop and possibly under the garden shed. This presents a possibly smelly dilemma. How do you get rid of skunks without getting sprayed? We really don't want to hurt the mother and 4 little babies – we just want them to move across the street into the forest that lies between our house and the interstate about a half mile away.

I really need to do something to fill up the space under the stoop. A few years ago I had some rather large wasps that built a nest there and the mail service wouldn't come to my house until I had them exterminated. The problem is that I have a courtyard out front that collects rainwater and the courtyard wall doesn't allow it to drain. Over the years, the water has apparently undermined the stoop and found a way out leaving a small cavern. So, as one thing leads to another, I need to shoo the skunk family away, find a way to either stop the rain or establish a new water course out of the courtyard, and then re-pour the walkway and stoop.

Maybe I need to eliminate the courtyard - or at least the courtyard wall. I've always wanted to pave the front yard so that I would have plenty of parking and no mowing. Maybe I could build a big fortress wall all around the property and then pave it all and have a hacienda type garden.... On the other hand, maybe I could just out-wait the skunks and let nature take its course.

Meanwhile, back in the swamp, which is what we call a good portion of our back yard, the rains keep the low area nice and sloshy. It's hard to mow back there unless you get a run at it and splash your way through it. I've thought about planting a bamboo forest to suck up the water, but I hear that it just keeps on spreading and taking over the whole neighborhood. It would eliminate the need for mowing, but I would probably have to hack my way through it to get to the back fence.

Life is interesting and there is always something new and exciting to discover. I like to think of myself as sort of camping out here in my Missouri home. That way, each little trial and tribulation seems really insignificant because other than the few problems now and then life is generally pretty comfortable here.

I wonder what the summer will bring next? It's hard to outguess the fates.

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