Thursday, April 30, 2009

Scented razors?

This evening I was folding and putting away laundry. While placing folded towels into the linen closet in the bathroom, a label on a package caught my eye in the back of the cabinet. What I could see read “Mango-papaya.” Now I have nothing personal against either flavor, but when presented with a choice of scents, I never pick mango or papaya, so I couldn’t imagine what the package was. I pulled it out and it was an unopened package of ladies disposable razors that I had recently purchased. I had missed the mango-papaya when I plucked it out of the bin at the store. It turns out the handles are scented. I opened the package and sniffed the handle. Sure enough, mango-papaya. Now who in the world thought women needed their personal shaving experience heightened by a scented razor handle? I am pleased to report it is not so strong that it clings to the hands when used.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

One thing leads to another

Today was a one-thing-led-to-another day. It started two mornings ago when I discovered something had taken down the suet feeder during the night, dismantling the chain that hangs from a high tree branch in the process. It would require the really big ladder that was in the garage to reach the remaining chain. All the chain sections and the suet basket (empty, of course) were scattered on the ground below. Understand that this was not one fine continuous piece of chain--it was lots of short pieces cobbled together with S-hooks and open links.

I couldn't remember to ask Terry to get the ladder for me yesterday when he was around, so yesterday I fed suet on the regular feeders, which have bottoms of eighth inch hardware cloth. One of them had a hole in it, and I had been thinking about adding window screen to the bottom of part of those feeders so I could feed white proso millet in them. Indigo buntings especially adore millet and we have lots of those right now. I made those modifications while Terry was grilling steaks for supper last night. I used the air nail gun Ben gave me for Christmas for the first time. Let's just say I am really sorry I waited until I was 51 years old to get that fine toy. All the birds were pleased with the millet added to the feeder. Unfortunately, the red-winged blackbirds are a little too pleased.

This morning, Terry brought the ladder around to the front porch for me. I like my ladder a lot. It is very sturdy, has all sorts of configurations, sort of like a Transformer, and is weight rated for 300 lbs. We bought it to help us put the Christmas tree together and decorate it several years ago, but it gets used way more than that. It is tough to wrestle it into some of the taller configurations though. I managed to get it flipped open to act as an extension ladder and propped it up against the tree with the chain hanging in it. I strung all the chain together and made sure all the links and hooks were clamped and hung it back up. I noticed some of the limbs on the tree, a Foster's Holly type, variety East Palatka, that's close to 60 years old, were hanging too low over the porch. Before moving the ladder, I fetched a couple of pruning saws and my biggest loppers and did some amputation. I got the ladder back down and decided I needed to prune some over the steps, too, but would have to wait until Terry came home from lunch to move the ladder down the steps. In the meantime, I began to ponder how I could thwart what I was pretty sure was a raccoon raiding the suet. My suet is pretty tasty stuff and the birds go crazy over it. It consists of oatmeal, lard, crunchy peanut butter, cornmeal, flour, and sugar. I have tried to fix the basket on the end of the chain so that it will not come off. The critter will have to maneuver it out of the cage, and will at least risk falling on his head if he tries to climb down the chain. It gets smaller closer to the suet. I know the raccoon sits in the wood all day dreaming up ways to outsmart me.

After lunch, Terry moved the ladder and we trimmed some more on the holly tree. By then I had decided since I had the ladder there, I might as well clean out the gutters over the porch, so he moved it back up there, and that's what I did this afternoon. Somewhere in there the red-winged blackbirds got very bold coming to the feeder. I would spray them with the nozzle on the hose and they would fly away but come right back. I found a Canadian dime on the front porch when I was washing the gutter trash off; a souvenir from visitors sunning themselves last week. The ladder is still out there. I may clean some more gutters tomorrow.

This evening I pulled out the new walk-behind mower and gave it a test drive. It did pretty good, and I really like the electric key start. I am not sure it is going to have enough oomph to run up the sides of the railroad track like the old one did in its heyday. I am going out to get my big line trimmer ready to go to work tomorrow. I have hopes someone will show up with a fellow who will run it for me.