Thursday, July 31, 2008

Masked bandits

Aaargh! I didn't get to enjoy the fruits of my own labor!

I planted four fruit trees one and a half years ago. Each was multi-grafted to produce four varieties of each fruit. Last summer the squirrels got the few fruits they produced. Or so I thought.

This summer, there were only a few apricots and European pears but many Asian pears and loads of plums. More than enough for me and the squirrels, right? I was willing to share but got short changed.

Fruit was gone before it was even ripe. I managed to pick a few plums to ripen on the counter. But the Asian pears were gone way early. I got nary a one. Maybe the squirrels invited all their distant relatives for dinner. But I had other suspicions.

One tell-tale sign was poop in my back yard. We don't have a dog and these weren't from the neighborhood cats or squirrels. Another sign were the broken branches. Unless squirrels got way fat and lead footed.

Then about 8pm one evening my headlights spotted them crossing the street about two blocks down the hill. Four raccoons. Big healthy ones. The rascals!

Fruit season is over now. I'd probably paid more just for water for these few fruits than they would've cost in the grocery store. I am scheming to keep these bandits out next year.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Nancy mailed back my first check and envelope. The one that took two months to reach its destination.
It's all my own dang fault! In the interest of making a smaller earthly footprint, I used a pre-addressed envelope from somewhere. Stuck on a stamp, a return address label, and another label over the previous address and I was good to go. Wrong!
USPS directed it based on the pre-printed bar code instead of looking at the address on the label. The envelope was covered with markings and cancellations from the many detours that envelope took.
Tripped up by technology. Next time I'm being green, I'll know to cover up or cross the bar code out.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I almost lost my spot in Nancy Crow's workshop.

The balance was due 6/1. My check went in the mailbox outside my office building on 5/27. But it hasn't been cashed. If that were still the case at the end of July, I planned on calling her.

She beat me to the punch! 7/16: Nancy left a message to the affect that she hadn't received the balance and she could give my spot away! Oh no! My plans! My reservations! My aspirations! It was late, but I left a voice message plus e-mailed her.

When we connected the next morning, she graciously promised to hold my spot. Whew! Another check in the mailbox directly outside the post office within hours. With five days for mail from California to Ohio, I e-mailed her yesterday to watch for it.

She replied that both checks arrived on 7/21 with both envelopes date stamped 7/17. How is that? Did my first check need a travelling companion? Did they somehow meet up somewhere? Did my snail-mail mantra work? Is someone up there testing me?

Any how, I am enrolled. I am going. But just in case, I am blessing the trip and workshop with another mantra. Other blessings gladly accepted.