It’s been an up and down week here

Frogs at my old pond

On the walk along the stream near my home, there is a ditch next to the open grate bridge. It’s at least a foot deep, maybe more. It washes out with big rains but it’s been there a long time. It’s next to the shoulder of the road. If a car tried to pull over too far and hit it, there would be damage. During the hottest part of the summer the water level drops but there is always water there. Last week for the first time I saw tadpoles. They weren’t there last year, but some frogs laid eggs and they hatched. For a few days I would stop and watch them scurry around. I would tell them how pretty they were and what wonderful frogs they will make. (Yes, I talk to tadpoles!) Yesterday on my morning walk, I saw that the street crew filled it with macadam killing all the taddies.

The deck guy was able to get two other guys to show up (hallelujah!). They put the beams up for the pergola. He couldn’t do that alone. There is still significant work to be done but he was hopeful he’d have them both for another day. I’ve gotten to understand the steamier side of the construction trade but that’s a post all by itself.

My dry eye kicked up again this week. It’s painful and annoying when it does and it’s always the worst when allergy season collides with routine dry eye. I’m trying a new doc next week. I’ve read about new treatments (I’ve tried most of the old ones available and they are very temporary) so I’m hopeful.

We are getting a new tree planted on Saturday. It’s exciting for me as it’s off the side of the deck. I will surely be dead before it’s completely grown but I’m hoping in a year or two we’ll get to enjoy seeing it from the second floor. We planted a tree last year and it’s doing great. I am amazed at the amount of growth in a year.

And we had another angry person kill a large group of innocent children who had nothing to do with his pain and a segment of the country doesn’t think it’s about the guns. It’s harder to drive a car than it is to buy military grade weapons. Thoughts and prayers seem to be the national “go to.” They are useless.

It’s been up and down, good and bad, but life continues to go on.

70 thoughts on “It’s been an up and down week here

  1. It really was an up and down week, wasn’t it! The pain and anguish that resulted from the shooting in Texas just continues to reverberate into this week, and I can’t imagine it will subside any time soon. I have no patience for the arguments, weak as they are, for refusal to even discuss common sense gun safety revisions to the existing laws. I think as a people we really are not altogether reasonable once we dig our heels into a position. And then your little tadpoles killed? The joys of the natural world are often what keep me from utterly losing it! So this is really upsetting. Your beautiful tree is a wonderful highlight, however, and I hope it gives you must pleasure over many years!

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    • People forget that automatic weapons were illegal under Clinton and after that law expired (why would you have an expiration date on a law?) killings shot up again. There are statistics to back it up. Yes, we do entrench in our own point of view but I don’t remember such deadlock like we have now.

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  2. Since I was behind here in Reader, perhaps everything is done by now regarding the deck? It sure is dragging on, but you have the new tree to brighten your spirits. What kind of tree did you end up getting? I haven’t seen tadpoles in years. When I was a kid we had a forest, meadow and creek at the end of our street and we used to catch tadpoles and bring them home to live in big pickle jars. My mom would say “once it gets back legs, it goes back where it came from!”

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    • Not a chance on it being done yet. No matter what date the contractor gives us, he can’t meet it. We are planting a maple today. It’s a smaller one that doesn’t get wingdings. It’s usually best to leave wildlife where it lives. Kids usually lose interest.

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      • Boo for the delayed finish of the deck and hopefully you’ll have enough Summertime left to enjoy it. Yay for no wingdings – they are especially bad this year … every so many years, a phenomenon occurs to make them more plentiful, There are a lot of maples in my ‘hood. Yes that is true – kids are more interested in electronics … or maybe dinosaurs.

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  3. A beautiful tree on the back lawn of the building where I live was cut down this afternoon. It was planted just before I moved here 26 years ago. I have no idea why it was cut down. It’s like losing a friend.
    Good to hear there has been some work being done on your deck. I wonder if the contractor is paying the worker for the time he was waiting around for the boss to show up?
    Glad you had a bit of time with the tadpoles. Do you think you might have a small pond in the future?

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    • No pond. I couldn’t see it from the second story back end. We have a walk out basement. There were some lovely flowering trees at my last job site and they were cut down. Not sure why either. Some people do not like trees. They consider them “dirty” especially if they drop leaves on their car.

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  4. We have a pond in our new yard, and I thought of you the second I realized there is a bullfrog living his best life inside. Yesterday, I found out there is a family, well, at least that’s what I think since now there are 3. I will tell them you said “hello.” Yes, I talk to them too!
    No words about Texas. My heart is shattered.

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    • Bullfrogs? They are the loudest of the frogs. We had to rehome the two we had at our last house because of the noise. We had a lot of the greenies, smaller and more quiet frogs. By all means say hi from me to any frog in your pond. Texas, sigh. It seems the younger they are the more it hurts.

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  5. Glad you got the posts set and with the new tree coming you’ll be feeling positive as you wait for the rest of the construction. Sorry about your aquatic wildlife – that is too bad. I’m sorry to say I know all about dry eyes and how they affect your daily life. I love that the eye drops I take to live with my Glaucoma also cause the dry eye syndrome so then I take more eye drops to combat that and around the circle I go on a daily basis. The news of the recent shootings just brings the entire conversation back around. Can we hope for people to learn and listen this time? I’m not real hopeful, but I’ll continue to pray someone can bring this discussion around to where people can act so we never have to hear of this type of travesty again.

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  6. The politicization of tragedies is why we’re doomed to repeat the same types of events over and over again (in addition to changing true history). I apologize, but I really need to say this for people who aren’t aware (of the law) that military grade weapons are not available to the general public. There is more detail that can be explained (if anyone is interested), but I’ll just leave it at that.

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  7. Congratulations from this tree hugger on the planting a side of deck tree! Makes me want to dance. Not surprised you talk to tadpoles and happy that you do. Sad they filled up their small place in the world… we just can’t leave anything alone. I am reading in comments just now that two showed up. It’s exasperating dealing with what’s going, I know. Hang in there, Kate.

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    • I work on “letting go” a lot. I mean A LOT. Every finished date he’s given has been blown. We no longer believe him. He’s doing a good job on the deck itself so if we survive the slowness and unorthodox stuff, the result will be (should be) great. This is a two week job that was supposed to be done in April. Next week will be our 6th week of work. Fortunately we moved ahead with some landscaping and that has gone really well. This Saturday will be the last of the big stuff. I’ll post pictures once there isn’t a pile of trash in view.

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        • It is 7:45 a.m. One worker is waiting but the contractor isn’t here yet. He said he may work a few hours on Saturday. We smiled nicely and said “sure” but in my heart I was saying “get the damn thing done!” I wouldn’t be so nuts if he wouldn’t have said it was a 2-week job. We are finishing up week 5 and there’s a lot of work yet. Setting realistic expectations is the cornerstone of sanity.

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          • I am frustrated and angry just reading what he is doing to you. I have a good realization of how you are feeling. We had a terrible experience with the painters that did the outside of our house that I haven’t whined or ranted about to anyone yet. But my blood boils when I read about the guy doing your deck like it boiled when they started to paint. I wanted to get rid of them but you know all the reasons why we didn’t. I hope by now you have someone there doing some work. We had someone who knew how to roll paint on stucco (just three outside walls) after the first painters job started doing weird things. I sure didn’t want them back… they didn’t do it right the first time! Cha-ching.

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            • I had inside painter for the high walls. They were fabulous. About 7 guys, done in 5 hours. They were my first contractor experience here and they spoiled me. We’ve had some significant movement on the deck this week. He was able to get 2 guys to help. They don’t (none of them) work full days but it’s better than having him work alone. At this point (maybe after the release of writing about it) I’m letting it go (mostly). It looks really nice and I have to work with that. You can be sure that I will interview contractors differently from now on. Even doing that, what they say rarely happens.

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              • Very little reliability AND integrity with contractors. I hate to be pessimistic. We have had some wonderful workers in our home but that was a rare event. When you see something like your deck looking very nice it makes all the bad feelings go away… or maybe it is just the relief that they are gone and it is over. I thought the deck looked beautiful when you posted photos. Must be like when women have babies… they forget all the pain! I don’t know, never had kids. Yeah, at some point you have to let it go or your stomach lining takes a scorching!

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                • I’m hoping for it to be done by the end of June now. It’s more realistic and if it’s sooner yay! It just mucks up my plans to get flowers and tomato plants started on the deck.

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  8. Glad you’re making incremental progress on the deck project. Planting trees is investing in the future-congrats on making a deposit to that life account. Sorry about the loss of frog habitat-it begs the answer as to the timing. It seems we just can’t seem to help but make things worse long range-be it elements of nature or keeping children safe at school. Sigh.

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  9. If we spent as much time worrying about who can get their hands on assault weapons as we do about what books we should keep our children from having access to, maybe something would get done. That was the one good thing about the pandemic’s lockdown – kids weren’t in school to be shot at.

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  10. Every single shooting hurts, but the ones in elementary schools carry extra agony. I would like to see every public figure who blocks assault weapon bans called out every time they go out in public.

    Sorry about the tadpoles. “Paved paradise/ put up a parking lot…” But I’m rooting for your trees. The city finally planted mine, but only 3 trees to replace the seven they cut down.

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  11. I hope the new eye doc can help. Eye stuff is soooo irritating – eyes are so sensitive. And good news on the deck and new tree. The house is going to be just as you want it soon!

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  12. I’ve been wrapping my head around trying to write a post about the latest tragedy, but everything in my head I and others have already said a million times. Your last paragraph sums it all up perfectly. I think talking to tadpoles is much healthier than trying to talk to gun nuts. – Marty

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  13. I bet your new tree will be as enthusiastic as the first one you planted. I’m glad you’re making progress with your deck. As for “tots and pears” they solve nothing. I want policy and action. All sane people do. It’s the crazies who stall about regulating guns– and use them irresponsibly.

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  14. My thoughts and prayers are with your deceased tadpoles . . . after the senseless destruction of their homestead.

    Wow! I feel better now. I’ve done my part. I’ve sent my thoughts and prayers and can go back to sticking my head in the sand while the world carries on as before.

    (Does Sarcasm become me?)

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  15. Amen to your last paragraph……I could go on but what good would it do – the gun lobby in this country is very powerful. People I know in other countries look at us and think we’re out of control. I think they may be right. Anyway, WOO HOO on the new tree! We finally had the five half bald 50 ft. high leyland cypress trees removed from our side yard. Now we’ll plant some REASONABLE trees – probably hollies. Planting a tree is a nice feeling – you’ll enjoy your new one from your new deck! That’s sad about the tadpoles….but I suppose fixing the road is important too…….well…..I suppose……. !!

    Hugs, Pam

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    • We are also installing 4 green giant arborvitae for screening. I considered leyland cypress because they grow so fast but they also grow so big. The ditch was a dilemma. It’s been there for years so why pick now to repair it. When I cleaned my pond I did it around the spawning season for fish and frogs. Being a taddie is a tough life. A very small percentage make it to frog-hood. Many get eaten by predators. (or cemented over)

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      • The leylands do grow fast but many get “bald” around the bottom and it’s just plain UGLY. That’s what happened to ours and they really didn’t do much for screening which is why we bought them. There are some wonderful arborvitae though – MUCH better for screening!!

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        • We bought a specific variety because it’s the most deer resistant. There is a huge arb hedge in our neighborhood that does not get munched down by deer so we are hopeful. Although, in a really bad winter I swear they will eat the house. Blue spruce trees are like that too. Bald around the bottom by about the 15 year mark. After going through a lot of different varieties of evergreen trees, Norway spruce is the only one I would plant. Most of the rest were touchy or subject to disease or just plain died for a reason we never understood.

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