Tuesday, September 28, 2010

We've been robbed!!

We returned from a great stay at the beach this past weekend to find we had been robbed!  It's not quite as bad as that sounds.  But it is bad for our wine crop.  A bevy of birds have been having a feast on our wine grapes and have taken MORE than their fair share.  Just look at these poor clusters of Pinot Noir.
I went outside with my mini air horn and tooted it a couple of times, then realized that the neighbors would probably not appreciate hearing it every half an hour or so.  Clapping my hands and running through the rows is another option, but these darn birds are pretty crafty.  They just fly to the neighbors trees and wait till the noisy lady leaves the vinyard, then they return to continue their demolition.

The grapes are way behind in ripening this year and we are not sure they will get to the needed brix (sugar content) to harvest.  So, maybe these birds are just saving us the work of cutting the clusters and throwing them away.........

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Nate's a character

My name is Nate and I’m responsible for the landscape planning and the gardening crew at Hillside Museum. I’m a hard worker but things don’t always work out as I planned them. People tell me they like me because I’m a down to earth, humble kind of guy. What they don’t know is that my self confidence is at an all time low right now.

The 100 year anniversary of Hillside Museum is in one week and the grounds need to be in perfect shape. The whole town will be taking part in this celebration. Some are volunteering their time by working in the gardens, on the hiking trails, and around the grounds. The Program Director of the museum, Rennie, has told me my job is in jeopardy if the celebration preparation is not “up to her standards”. As you might imagine, we don't see eye to eye.

My Great Great Grandfather was the gardener at Hillside 100 years ago when it was a residence. This job has passed down in my family for four generations. If I blow this, it will be a disgrace to my family, and I can't let that happen. I try to keep a good balance of work and family in my life, because both are important to me. I live with, and take care of my mother, who has Alzheimer’s disease. Neither of my brothers will help, so it’s up to me to take care of her, and it is getting more difficult each year.

I’ve never told my family this, but I was in love once in college. She was the girl of my dreams and I thought we were meant to be together forever. But she rejected my marriage proposal and caused me to almost leave college. I will never put myself in that position again. You just can’t trust women.

So, I put all my efforts into developing my trade as a landscape architect and when I can, I work in the greenhouse with plant propagation. I’ve developed several new plant hybrids that I was planning to show off at the celebration next week. But, someone may be trying to sabotage my work and make me look bad. At least I think that is it. Or maybe my skills just aren’t that good after all.

And then there is this girl in a portrait that is hanging in the museum. I swear every time I walk in, her eyes follow me around the room. I can't help but wonder about her and what her life was like back then.  The portrait is dated 1909, but she looks like she would fit in right here, right now. What a beauty. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Flash 55 - Hillside

Nate stepped onto the front porch, coffee in hand, breathing in the morning smells. He didn’t know which would do the trick this morning, the coffee or the warm country air. Maybe both would be needed  to sweep the nighttime cobwebs aside.

One week until the big event, and Rennie was putting the pressure on.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Blog Tag - You may be it!

OMG - I've been BLOG TAGGED! This has never happened to me before.  I'm IT!  You may be next!  Thanks to Dayner, I'm about to reveal my secrets.

1.  If you could have any super power, what would it be?                     
Invisible woman - cause then I could be anywhere, watching what was going on without anyone noticing me. Just think of all the writing material that could generate!

2.  Who is your style icon?
Apparently Barbara Bush, since SOMEONE said my dress for my stepdaughters wedding looked like something she would wear.

3.  What is your favorite quote?
 I have three that are equally important to me
     a.  Spoken by my stepson, at the age of four as he slid on his bottom down the stairs, crying, "Suzie hit me back!"
     b.  Spoken by my stepdaughter looking glum at age 6, "I'm bored,  B.O.A.R.D."
     c.  Spoken by that same stepdaughter sitting in a chair in front of the oven when asked what she was doing, "I'm watching cookies grow."

4.  What is the best compliment you have ever received?
"You can take the mundane and make it interesting."

5.  What playlist/cd is in your cd player/ipod right now?
In my car -Blackhawk's Greatest Hits

6.  Are you a night owl or a morning person?
Definately morning - I can't keep my eyes open after 10PM.

7.  Do you prefer dogs or cats?
Cats for sure - my two cats are 16 and 17 yrs old.  They have the best personalities!
8.  What it the meaning behind your blog name?
In my previous married life, I was called Parrot, a play on my last name and my love of talking.

Ok, I'm tagging the following if they want to play:

Gullible   http://gullible-gulliblestravels.blogspot.com/
Walk       http://wayfarerwalk.blogspot.com/
Jana        http://youhavetobesomewhere.blogspot.com/
Ann        http://annlinquist.wordpress.com/

See Dayner's revealing responses at http://dayner.wordpress.com/

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Flash 55 - Playing Chicken With Cars

Most drivers are considerate as I walk along the country roads. They courteously move over to give me room. But today, two cars passed me taking up both lanes. They honked at each other but neither slowed. I was given the option of standing still, hoping there was enough room or jumping into a culvert. Grrrr....

Friday, September 3, 2010

Come Walk With Me

Come with me on my morning walk around the block.  It's 2.5 miles around, so there are plenty of interesting things to show you.  But first the essentials - hat, phone, key and my Road ID.   I originally bought one of these Road ID wrist bands for my husband who rides his bicycle around the backroads of the country.  It has his name, address, phone contacts, and allergies listed on it.  Since he doesn't carry a wallet with him when he rides, this is A Must!  I got one to wear when I walk, just in case something goes awry.  Check them out: http://www.roadid.com/  (They make them to go on your shoe too!)

So, on to our walk.  We are out in the country as you can tell by the first stretch.

My first greeters are two charming little ones.  They actually live just across the street, so they greet me leaving and returning.

Down the street is a horse stable and several pastures. Not as many horses boarding now as there were in the summer. 

Just past the stable you can see this field and pond through the fence.  There is a blue heron sitting in the water. (Trust me)

He's trying not to be too interested, but he watches me from his porch anyway.

This is the longest stretch of road.  I'm breathing hard by now, 'cause it's been uphill for awhile.

These three always help me up the next hill.  They run along the fence, encouraging me with their barks.

The newest church in our neighborhood.  It's very stately.

This one has a Great Dane big sister named Ella.  She must have been sleeping in today.


There are some grand old houses. This one is 100 yrs old and has been beautifully refurbished

Also some interesting ones.  They just cut the shrubbery from around it, and gave it some paint,  so you can now see its charm.

Then there are the neglected and sad ones.  This one lost its owner to a foreclosure.

Frank is always sitting at the front of his garage, watching the traffic go by.  It is just across from the county fair grounds, so there is quite a bit to see.  He always has a "hello", but not usually a smile.

We've turned a corner again, on to the downward stretch.

Part one of a duo we have named TBone and RibEye.

This is the scariest one along the way. He acts like he wants to rip my head off!  I can't imagine what would happen if there wasn't a fence.

Llamas!!  There are four of them and they are usually very curious when I walk by.  Today...... not so much.

Home again.  Hope you had a good work out.  I know I did.

Have a great and safe weekend!