Archive for the ‘spring fever’ Tag

04-13-15 Journal – So It Begins for 2015!   Leave a comment

My bout with Spring Fever continues  at a clip.  It happens like this every year and every year I tell myself I’ll keep things under control. I’m afraid this will be the year that convinces me I don’t have a prayer of keeping things under control.  I will probably continue to overwork and overspend like I do every Spring. 

Yesterday the sun came out, the air was warm, and I was fired up after a few cups of ever-so-strong coffee. It was time to get out the old jeans and boots and get down and dirty in the garden.  As I do every Spring I begin my chores in my herb garden.  Pulling out those dead plants that didn’t survive the Winter, cleaning up debris, and preparing the soil for replanting.  It appears that my normal winter losses were much less this year than in the past. Having that three feet of snow cover for most of the winter offered the plants a great deal of protection.

It felt good to be outside working and after a couple of hours I had a huge amount of dead plants and debris to dispose of.  I had lunch and then decided to just keep on going.  I use cold frames in the Spring to start a lot of plants to help increase the length of the short growing season. I’ve discovered over the last few years that certain plants like jalapeños will produce almost twice as much due in a large part to those three extra weeks spent in the cold frames.

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‘This one lasted five years but is now on it’s way to the bonfire.’

One of my older cold frames was badly damaged by the heavy snow this year.  It was crushed under the weight of the snow which completely shattered the glass cover. I was forced to remove it from the garden and discard it.  Then it was off to Lowe’s to purchase some pressure treated lumber and hardware so I could begin construction of a new cold frame.

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‘The required hole was dug and I was ready for installation.’

An hour later I had the cold frame completed and installed and with just a little landscaping and digging to finish the job. I was pleased with the results and I look forward to at least a minimum of five years of use.

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“Ready for the plants.’

Another hour of cleaning the other parts of the garden and I was getting tired.  It was time to take a hot shower, pour myself a brandy, and relax on the deck.  The cat and I got seriously lazy awaiting  the arrival of my better-half from work. 

It was a great start for 2015 but a lot of work remains to be done.  I’m really looking forward to getting the garden  preparation completed and to begin planting.  If today was was any indication I know one thing for certain, I’m going to be more than a little sore in the morning.

I may need to restock my Tylenol supply very soon.

04-04-2015 Journal–The Spring Fever Virus!   Leave a comment

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Sixty plus degrees.  That’s all I have to say about yesterday.  I’m just about over this stupid virus that’s been kicking my ass for the last two weeks. Combine that with the warm weather yesterday and guess what you get.  The largest most contagious case of Spring Fever ever experienced.  I guess the longer and more oppressive the winter the more intense is that first burst of Spring Fever. Man I’ve got it bad.

I spent a good part of the day yesterday just wandering around the yard in a T-shirt with no gloves, no hat, and no parka.  As I slowly strolled between the remaining piles of snow I could see that blessed light at the end of the tunnel and no, it isn’t a train coming toward me it’s Summer.

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I couldn’t stop myself from going with the feelings and actually started cleaning up the winter debris strewn about the yard. I picked up tree branches and pine cones of which there were thousands.  I’ve never seen so many freaking pine cones in my life and they will certainly require an major investment of my time to pick them all up. That should tell you just how bad my Spring Fever really is that I’m actually looking forward to doing it.  I find that a little disturbing to say the least.

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I then decided to get my riding mower out of mothballs and ready for use this summer.  I filled it with gas, checked the oil, and reconnected the battery.  I was just standing there enjoying the warm air when I was overcome with love for that stupid tractor.  I hate to admit this but I found some rags, soap, and car wax, and went a little crazy.  That tractor got a hot bath and a good scrubbing, was dried off, and waxed to a high sheen.  How sad is my life?

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I need to pace myself a little better or I’m going to lose my mind.  I actually found myself drawn to the seed packet display at Walmart a few days ago.  They were silently calling to me to buy, buy, buy.  I maintained what little control I had left and just “Said No” and walked away. Unfortunately my better-half is worse that I am when it comes to Spring garden purchasing.  We both need some sort of twelve step program to help us through the next two months and to keep us from overspending like we do every blessed year.

I just received a giant package in the mail today and had to help the mail carrier bring the box into the house.  It’s the new part I ordered a week ago for my sweetheart, the mower.  Now she’ll be even prettier than usual as I cruise around the yard making the neighbors oh so jealous.

Eat your hearts out people, if freaking Spring Time.

04-11-2013   Leave a comment

It’s raining here in Maine this morning and I’m hoping it’s Mother Nature’s last and final gasp of the winter.  Listening to the weather forecasts for the last few days was too depressing for words.  They were calling for sleet and a few inches of snow this morning but thankfully they were mistaken.  A light coating of sleet that melted away almost immediately is something I can live with.

My better-half was up early to deliver her son to the bus station.  He visited us for three days but now is on his way to somewhere in NY state for the wedding of one of his friends and then back to Los Angeles.

I was wondering to myself before his arrival just how he’d react to the new grand baby.  It was fun watching the transformation from being my better-half’s son to the uncle of his younger sister’s baby boy.  Babies have that special ability to take you out of yourself and your everyday worries and to really enjoy the moment you’re having with them.  He was totally disarmed by the whole experience and found himself swept away by the baby and the new relationship they had begun to build.  It showed a side of him I’d never seen before and I was glad to see it emerge. He was able to spend a lot of time with the baby and the bond between them was strongly made.

Things should quickly get back to what we call normal around here.  Getting ready for Spring and the garden are at the top of our To Do List for the next few weeks.  I’ll be off to Lowes to purchase paint and primer this week and hopefully the new room will done by midweek next week.  If I time things just right I should be able to put the finishing touches to the room and then immediately move outside and get busy with the yard cleanup and garden prep.

We’ve already started talking about a few weekend photography trips to the northern part of the state.  The Attagash region is a few hours north of here and is truly a beautiful place to visit.  Hundreds of lakes, small and large, surrounded by thick and dense forests.  Wildlife is plentiful with a million opportunities for excellent photographs.  I love getting away from all the trouble with the economy, politics, TV, talking heads, cell phones, and any other BS you can think of.  Peace, quiet, wilderness, and calm.  It beats any kind of drug you can find anywhere.

04-08-2013   2 comments

I can hardly believe that it’s sixty-five degrees here in Maine today this early in April. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and I find myself doing yard cleanup and loving it.  I didn’t put on a normal summer outfit like shorts and a t-shirt because I’m not a total idiot.  All you have to do is walk into a shaded area and you’ll realize almost immediately just how cold it still is.  I’m  dressed in long sleeves, jeans, and a light coat.  I’ve learned the hard way in past years when I dressed too lightly and ended up with a Spring cold that took forever to go away.  My better-half has been complaining for the last couple of days about her cough, runny nose, and scratchy throat.  I think she’s about to come down with something that I’m sure she’ll pass right along to me.  Isn’t true love wonderful? Just one fantastic perk after another.

We both felt the immediate need to rush out to one of the big box home improvement stores yesterday to begin our Spring spending spree.  It’s never too early  or too cold to begin loading up with seeds, plants, yard tools, and the occasional yard gnome.  We both realize it’s way too early in the season to start this nonsense but we can’ seem to stop ourselves. We apparently aren’t alone because the store was crowded with shoppers filling their carts with anything and everything imaginable.  I managed to escape the madness with an expenditure of just a few dollars less than a hundred.  Madness I tell you, just freaking madness.

After returning home my better-half immediately changed clothes, grabbed a rake, and began working furiously in the yard.  It would have been useless for me to try and stop her so I didn’t even make the attempt.  I found a really comfortable chair and placed it on the deck where I could watch. There’s nothing much better than loafing and watching someone else work. She’s got Spring Fever so bad she’s almost out of control and I won’t be the person who tries to slow her down. She can become dangerous when fooled with.

After raking for an hour she finally gave it up and returned to the deck where I’d been saving her a seat.  She lasted about thirty minutes longer than I thought she would. We enjoyed the sunshine for another hour and I do believe we got a pretty good start on our summer tans.  It eventfully became a little too chilly for comfort so we grabbed up the cat and returned to the house.  It was a nice start to better weather but we’re still a long way from actual warmth and real sunshine.

I’ll be returning to the woods later this week with camera in hand to begin my search for a few of those illusive creatures that escaped my notice last fall.  Patience usually pays off in these matters or so I’ve been told. I love being out with Mother Nature without two feet of snow slowing me down.  Another week and the snow will be history and the fun summer can begin.

03-31-2013   1 comment

I hope your Easter celebration went well.  I usually don’t celebrate Easter since I’m not much of a believer.  If you don’t celebrate it religiously what remains is kind of ridiculous.  Rabbits, colored eggs, egg hunts, and all the other nonsense tend to make me a little crazy.  My better-half loves to celebrate Easter and regardless of my feelings she goes a little overboard (big surprise) every year.

I was ordered to sleep in today because, hoo-ray hoo-ray, she had a day off.  I was told in no uncertain terms that we’d be sleeping in as long as possible to start our day. I was certainly okay with that. I offered to make her breakfast in bed but she declined and then directed me to get dressed so we could get out of the house and spend a part of the day in the sunshine. That sounded good too so I did. We finally rolled out of bed and what do I find waiting for me but an Easter basket with enough candy stuffed into it to feed a large family.  As usual I had nothing for her because I’m what you might call an Anti-Easter person. She wanted to celebrate the holiday and I was making sure we celebrated her day off as well.

She began preparations for our Easter breakfast which I immediately put a stop to.  I told her to get dressed because we were first going out for breakfast and then to the beach.  We drove along the ocean to Old Orchard Beach and stopped for breakfast at one of our favorite spots and it was terrific.  We had a window seat and were able to watch everyone as they arrived in town to walk the beach with their families and pets.  It was obvious that everyone was more than ready for the long winter to finally be over.

The breakfast was excellent and the place was crowded with people enjoying their Easter Sunday.  We stopped back at the car, grabbed our cameras, and hit the beach.  When I say everyone was out I wasn’t kidding. People, kids, dogs, and even a couple of horses were sunbathing and some were even crazy enough to walk in the freezing surf.  It was just wonderful.  We stayed for a hour or two after taking some really cool photographs of our day.

After returning home we just spent some quiet time together and then made the obligatory telephone calls to family and friends.  The sun was still shining so we brought the grill out of storage and reinstalled it back on the deck.  I marinated and grilled two gorgeous steaks while she prepared a couple of salads and baked potatoes.  The food was delicious and when we finished eating we cleaned up the mess and plopped on the couch to relax.

It wasn’t long before she began to yawn and I knew her day was almost over since she had to be up early for work.  She was happy and contented and obviously enjoyed her Easter celebration a great deal. I as always was grateful for our time together which is precious to me.

It was a great day and the perfect way to start our changeover from Winter to Spring. I hope your day was even better than ours.

03-19-2013   2 comments

Well, we’re buried under another foot of snow and I’m beginning to hate it.  Mother Nature’s taking it upon herself to be annoying and there are a few hundred thousand people here in Maine who are no longer amused. Today was spent sitting in the house and looking longingly out the window for one ray of the ever illusive sunshine.  After a few hours of that I was ready to fire up the snowblower and get to work.  After clearing the snow I returned to the house to again sit and look out the window until the snow again piled up.  Today that is my life.

Around 2 pm I retired to the man-cave for a few hours of computer time and some quality time with the cat.  He was no help at all so in frustration I returned to my dry walling project.  I set up an area in the garage and began to cut the drywall panels for the room remodel.  What a mess.  I finished enough panels to do about half of the walls and called it a day when I realized the longer I worked the more mess I was making. Falling back to an always available old saying, "all things in moderation", made it easy for me to clean up the area and walk away.  My better-half, that burley female construction worker (sarcasm), assisted me in carrying the panels up to the second floor which was a real backbreaker for both of us. I felt a little better about returning to my snow watching after having accomplished something today. From weather reports it appears the storm will be lasting  until sometime tomorrow so I’ll be snowblowing well into the night. Oh joy!

Fortunately my Harry Potter-2 X-box game arrived two days ago (thank you Amazon) and I was able to spend an hour or so creeping around Hogwarts castle looking for trouble.  It’s was a great way to clear my head and relax (at least for me) for a little while.

Tomorrow the snow will stop, the roads will be cleared of snow, and I can get back into my spring time mindset.  I can’t let this snow ruin my Spring Fever feelings. 

03-14-2013   Leave a comment

It’s another day I’ll spend washing joint compound dust from my hair. My better-half and I are quite the drywalling team it would seem. We worked like a well oiled machine today which helped keep the remodel ahead of schedule. The construction has really accelerated with the completion of the hardwood flooring.  I always knew that installing a drywall ceiling was going to be a real bitch and I wasn’t far wrong. We were able with the minimum amount of difficulty to get the ceiling installed without a major incident or loss of blood on my part.

As I’ve said many times before I’m really clumsy and every job I’ve ever done requires a quantity of my blood to be sacrificed. Today is the first time in many years where my sacrifice wasn’t required. I’ll be putting the finishing touches to the ceiling tomorrow with the taping of joints and final application of the joint compound. Over the next week I should be able to complete the walls and then prepare for primer and paint.  Hooray!

It’s been another weird weather day in Maine and it starting to get old. The morning started out after a night of rain as gray and dismal and typical for March. Just a few hours later the clouds parted and the sun peaked out for an entire fifteen minutes. It appeared we would have a really beautiful day but I was wrong again. As we were working I walked past the window and looked outside a few minutes later and it was snowing a freaking blizzard. It wasn’t quite white-out conditions but it was snowing hard and fast and beginning to accumulate. I got back to work and forgot about the weather for a few minutes and an hour later, no snow. We’d come full circle back to cloudy, dismal, and gray.

This Spring Fever is starting to work on my head and I’m getting the urge to do things I shouldn’t even be thinking about this early in the year. We were shopping in a couple of local stores yesterday and it was all I could do to stay out of the garden centers looking for plants, seeds, and everything  Spring. I’ve got it really bad and I fear it’s only going to get worse.

Local retailers are not helping to be certain. There are beginning to receive and display their Spring product lines which is going to force me to stay out of the stores for at least four more weeks. I’ve been fooled in years past when I started buying seeds and plants early which all later died a horrible death. I learned a lesson but the Spring Fever craziness won’t get out of my head. Thank God I have this remodeling project to keep me busy for a few more weeks and it should carry me through into the beginnings of Spring.

My better-half has been on a work-related shopping spree today in between times of helping me with the drywall. She’s in charge of an MDA breakfast tomorrow and she’ll be preparing sausage, eggs, and french toast for fifty or more people. I love that she never hesitates to offer her time and efforts to charities but I just don’t know where she gets the energy. Her energy level has always been amazing and much higher than mine could ever be. I’m sure the event will be a huge success.

I have a few more things to do this afternoon then a nice long hot shower and and some good comfort food to round out my day. I started rereading a series of five ebooks that I purchased some time ago and I’m looking forward to an hour or so of reading. I should sleep well tonight and be ready in the morning to do it all over again. Spring is coming and I need to get these winter projects finished.

Posted March 15, 2013 by Every Useless Thing in Just Saying

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03-10-2013   Leave a comment

Today I’ve just finished washing joint compound dust from my hair, hands, and clothing.  I love working with drywall not only because when finished it looks so good but that you don’t have to wait for days to see the results of your efforts.  Almost instant gratification that you normally can’t find too often.

I made a medium sized mess and was only working on finishing the interior of a small stupid closet.  I’m using this closet to reintroduce myself to drywall finishing.  It’s been a number of years since I last worked drywall and I’m trying to get my "touch" back.  Overall I was pleased with the initial results and this will surely give me enough confidence to complete this remodel to my satisfaction.   It’s just so damn messy and being a "neat freak" really doesn’t help.

The clocks have just "sprung forward" which almost always triggers my Spring Fever issues in a big way.  On top of that the temperature today was in the low fifties which is like tropical weather for Maine in March.  I know the chances of more snow and cold weather are likely but dammit this sure feels good.  If the wind had lessened just a bit I’d have made my way out onto the deck with the cat and enjoyed a few minutes of sunshine.

I made another trip to Lowe’s today for more supplies and a chance to get out of the house for an hour or so.  I think Spring Fever is affecting everyone.  I actually saw a guy wearing sandals and a pair of shorts.  He must be insane, it’s March for God’s sake.

The MDA volunteers were out in force and offering baked goods, smiles, and anything else that could get money from my wallet to their pocket.  I ask myself the same question every year.  How many hundreds of millions of dollars have been collected over the last twenty or so years for MDA?  You would think by now that research that well funded would have shown some results. I’m just enough of a cynic not to believe all the hype that’s put forward on that damn telethon and would like someone to tell me and show me how much of those millions actually reached the researchers. Until then I’ll support only local initiatives where strict accountability is easily measured.

My previously all gray cat just just pranced by with a dusty white stripe down his back. He must have been in the closet nosing around and picked up some dust.  He looks a little like Pepe Lepew from the old cartoon show. I suppose I’d better sweep the closet one more time and the cat as well.  He insists on getting his nose into everything but that OK because he has me to follow him around and clean up after him.

Posted March 11, 2013 by Every Useless Thing in Just Saying

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03-05-2013   Leave a comment

This day is just about over and it’s been another day of continuing preparation for the drywall installation into our newly redone bedroom.  It’s taken most of the winter to strip out this room and redo the electrical, framing, and flooring but at least now I can finally see the effing light at the end of the tunnel. For the first time it’s not a train rushing towards me going a hundred miles an hour.

I’ve been patiently waiting for the snow to melt so I can dig out the fire pit and have my normal spring bonfire.  It’s the easiest way to clean out the garage and workshop of the winter’s accumulation of wood scraps and worthless construction materials.  It beats the alternative of paying someone to pick it up and haul it away.  I purposely have the bonfire each spring before the area dry’s out and the fire becomes a hazard.  As in most local towns they have a lame requirement for  burning permits and to that I’m forced to say "Catch me if you can". Everything right now within a hundred miles of this house is so wet you couldn’t start a fire if you wanted to.  I normally refuse to obey ordinances that make no sense and this is one of those occasions.  The last thing I need are town yokels showing up to give official approval to my fire.  Stupid government intrusions!

I actually find myself being effected by a disease known here in Maine as Early Spring Syndrome.  I forced myself to take my lawn tractor out for a short spin today to charge the battery and check it’s general condition.  It was all good until I got stuck in the snow and had to shovel it out.  ESS is a dangerously stupid condition that makes you feel good and ridiculous all at the same time.

I’m now sitting here in the kitchen having a coffee and watching my neighbor hanging her laundry on their clothesline.  This women and her daughters truly puzzle me at times.  I’ve watched over the years as they’ve hung their laundry out in ten degree weather where it freezes as stiff as a board. I must admit that a clothes line full of frozen bra’s and panties swinging in the wind can be interesting but it just seems pointless.  Now if they were hanging laundry on the line wearing just their bras and panties I might reconsider just how interesting it is. I watch in amazement as they stand in a driving rain storm to hang out their bed sheets and other unmentionables.   Am I missing something here?  Do they really know something I don’t?  I just haven’t figured it out yet. I may start taking photo’s of them in different seasonal weather conditions and publish a really strange coffee table book filled with my sarcastic and wise-ass commentary.  I love the idea but I’m almost certain they wouldn’t.

Well, it’s time for the better-half to arrive from work and I think she’s expecting a meal to be waiting for her.  Oh well, everyone wants something.

02-28-2013   Leave a comment

Another winter month coming to an end.  It’s hard to believe that it’s March already and we’re within a few short weeks of April and the beginning of another Spring.  Even with all of the snow, sleet, and ice we’ve had this winter it’s just flown by.

Since I’m the ultimate planner I ‘m already looking forward to gardening and how I plan on improving our garden.  You really can’t start too soon in Maine because our growing season is so much shorter than the norm.  Last year we had some successes with the garden and a couple of abject failures.  For the first time I planted collard greens just to see if they’d grow in this colder climate. OMG, a huge mistake on my part.  I didn’t realize just how freaking big those plants could get.  I planted only six plants and they just took over the entire corner of my growing frame.  I was so pissed I jerked them out of the ground and personally delivered them to the compost pile.  I wasn’t even smart enough to keep one or two to eat.  I’m guess I’m in need of counseling to help me manage my Garden Anger.

I like keeping a medium sized garden that produces well and anything that I deem a problem or an obstacle to my goals is gone, gone, gone.  I guess that’s why my compost pile is fifteen feet long and three feet high.

My biggest disappointment is growing tomatoes.  I love to eat them and use them in a variety of recipes but it seems that successfully growing them isn’t likely to happen.  Cherry tomatoes seem to do well both in the garden and containers on the deck but regular tomatoes, no such luck.  I’ve tried different fertilizers, had my soil tested and adjusted, planted a number of variations, all to no avail.  I even went so far as to buy a couple of those upside-down growing bags that were advertised on TV for a couple of summers. They were a huge pain in the ass to start with and never produced a single tomato.  Very frustrating to say the least.

I have a sizeable herb garden which always does well and supplies us with a variety of herbs for cooking year round.  I may try a few new and different things this year like adding additional garlic chive plants, a chocolate mint or two, and maybe two or three varieties of basil and sages.  It’s much more fun to experiment with your plantings when there’s no fear of the plants not growing as expected.  I’ve discovered that most herbs will survive almost anything except a lack of water.

Well, so much for my first taste of Spring Fever.  It all started with this little burst of warm weather today.  I feel as most people in Maine do.  We’ve had our long and snow-laden winter which was beautiful and all but it time to move on.  Very soon we’ll have warm weather, the smell of cut grass, walks in the woods, strolls on the beach, and vacation visits from family and friends who refuse to come to Maine in the winter.  Can’t wait!

Here’s hoping 2013 is as good as expected and even better than last year.  C’mon warm weather, you’ve been missed.