Summing up summer


Cooling night air flows through the window screens and brings with it the sound of summer’s end, crickets and katydids. During the day, I hear the throaty voices of goldfinches. They have found my thistles.

No, I didn’t pull them all out like I’d planned. So, I’m enjoying the birds and the purple blooms, and yes, I’ll probably have twice the number of prickly pals to contend with next year. I’ll take the good with the bad.

Although we are planning to build a rabbit hutch, I’m still holding off on a pet rabbit until our gerbil population is gone. The four gerbils that are left have passed their average life expectancy and seem to be very fit.

When we last changed the bedding in their cages, they aggressively tore into the empty toilet paper tubes we gave them to gnaw on. Blackie, the male, was able to leap out of the “holding tank” he was put in while we cleaned his quarters.

Healthy and long lived as they seem, we have begun to dream of ways to do away with them. Only dreams, we would never really be able to follow through.

Since the short stay of four kittens, we’ve had another kitty visitor – probably six weeks older than the others. He stayed two nights and fit in very well. He had to adjust to a harness since we didn’t want him to wander off and tied him, and of course he wasn’t allowed inside – (tough old Dad!) He hit it off with our dog, Lydia, which immediately gave him the one up on passing our standards test.

Most cats don’t relish being around dogs. Vice versa, a lot of dogs don’t care about befriending cats. But Lydia seems to take to the ones we’ve had around, particularly kittens. I say it’s the unfulfilled “mothering instinct” kicking in.

If this little guy can just charm an approval out of Daddy (who already rescued him from a tree), he will be known as Lloyd.

Saving for the vet bills will be no small matter since Lloyd will have to be declawed and neutered if he is to live with us.

Dad came through and put up a new clothesline which I’ve needed for years. I’ve been using a makeshift, “Rube Goldberg”, affair (to quote my dad) that I strung from a hook on the house to the kid’s playgym. It left a lot to be desired, but I like the idea of hanging out washing – (I’m sure it depends on where you live whether it’s desirable or not).

I’m hoping there will be some sunny, fall days to break in the clothesline. Its first test will be to hang the biggest blankets I can find over it and make a tent. That will make me a happy camper at the end of the camping season.


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