This week has been Camelot as far as the weather.  One freezing night, but not enough to hurt the garden, the flowering and newly leafed out trees.  All of the rain has been past sundown and by 8 o’clock the sun has reappeared.  It is indeed a congenial spot.

     The painting contractor has finally appeared to put the finishing touches on the basement, the ceiling has been painted with two coats, the can light assemblies assembled with lights, the fans and pool table lights rehung, the bar top given two coats so far of oil based clear finish.  Today on day two, they started the finishing of the log siding interior walls and repainted the inside of the exterior doors leading out of the walk out wall.  Reinstalled an outdoor drainspout that they did not install properly when they stained the exterior last summer and it blew down.  We are within a week of being able to mop the floor down there and move in the bedroom furniture, the couch and futon that will be in the rec room side, and hang the flat screen TV that will be down there.

     The puppies continue to try to establish dominance of each other.  Though Meeko is 10ish pounds lighter than Ranger, she will shoulder bump him out of the way to be the first dog out the door.  They had a vet visit on Tuesday for shots and it appears that Meeko has a heart murmur.  We are hoping she will outgrow it, as there is no way we would call in the health guarantee on her, requiring us to return her to Pennsylvania and to await another litter to be born whenever that would be.  We had them both micro chipped while we had them at the vets.  Both do well riding in the car, sometimes on top of each other, at other times at opposite ends of the back of the SUV.  We have had several leash training sessions on populated trails this week and Ranger seems to have finally caught on.  Meeko is still either resisting or pulling depending on the moment.  She is also fairly skittish and overreacts to the wind, a car noise, or a barking dog.  She does not want to meet new dogs that are larger than she.  We hope this is just a function of having been born and raised 14 weeks in the midst of an Amish community with no motor vehicular traffic, in a pen she shared only with her litter mates and alone for at least several days.

     After two years of mono filament around my garden it no longer keeps the deer out, they go right through it, so I tried stringing old VHS tape around the garden.  When strung firmly, it vibrates in the slightest breeze and allegedly scares the deer away.  During the day, it glitters like mirrors and that is supposed to keep the squirrels and crows out.  Almost as soon as I finished and came inside, the wind picked up strongly and the next morning, the tape was fluttering in long ribbons and tangled in every stake and weed in and around the garden.  I guess I am going to have to go with a couple of strands of solar powered electric wire, but I want to get a 3 foot wide weed free barrier around the beds before I do that so that I’m not having to weed eat under it.  I thought the garden was going to be easier this year, just weeding and planting, but I guess not.  I think I may rent a mini tiller to do the band, layer newspaper several layers thick and top with a hefty layer of straw or mulch then put the fence stakes right through that layer.

     Knitting and spinning have been a non priority since we added the second pup.  I continue to work on the same two projects that have been on the needles for 5 weeks.  Spinning has virtually ceased as it requires me to hold my left hand at head height and my shoulder is still bothering me if taxed at all inspite of the cortisone shot earlier this spring.  I guess it will never be right after 34 years.

     I have read several books in the past two months, the Hunger Games trilogy, the Girl with the Dragon tattoo trilogy, 11/22/63, and several others, but I can’t say I recommend any of them other than Sharyn McCrumb’s “The Ballad of Tom Dooly.”

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