Yesterday, workout, downstairs. Find Angelic Daughter in the laundry room, putting dripping wet clothes into the dryer.
Accuse her of pressing “pause” on the washer to speed the job.
Put dripping clothes back in washer. Press “drain and spin.”
Hear horrible grinding noise, followed by normal spinning noise.
Washer switches off. Lid unlocks.
Voila, DRIPPING WET CLOTHES.
Apologize to Angelic Daughter for false accusation. And for tone in which it was delivered. BAD MOTHER.
Accept that the washing machine is broken. Oh, YAY.
While considering which card I can scrape enough credit off to pay for repairs, decide to do the yard work, still all sweaty from the workout, ensuring one shower, not two.
Agenda includes tree trimming, and raking out one section worth of Creeping Charlie from the “lawn.” The crab tree by the deck reliably blooms profusely each May. Mike was much better at shaping it than I am (it helped that he was 10 inches taller than me). My efforts this spring resulted in a wedge- shaped tree, high at the back, sloping down to a sort of newsboy-cap brim, instead of the lovely globe Mike used to achieve.
Got out the ladder and the long-pole trimmer. Nipped those dopey-looking branches sticking up at the top, that I couldn’t see last time because the blaring sun was in my eyes. Cloudy morning today, just right.
As I nipped and snipped, I noticed a bloom of bugs coming out of the tree. Buzzing. Bees! Yay me! Saving the pollinators!
Except when I got around to the other side and looked up through the branches, I saw something like this:
And the “reptiles,” as Dr. Maturin would call them, crawling all over it didn’t look like ordinary bees. For starters, they were mostly black.
Abandon tree trimming until species of reptile is identified by shape and nature of nest.
Just then, neighbor, also out to do her yard work, calls to me, identifying what I have come to refer to as “nasty viney weed” on her side of the fence, but technically still on my property. Yes, of course, pull it out!
Never one for half measures, she takes a blowtorch to it.
Walking over to observe, I notice that there is a proliferation (oh, my, aren’t we full of vocabulary today) of nasty viney weed (nightshade — eeewwww!) strangling about a third of the woodsy perimeter of my yard, where it reliably appears each year, and where I laboriously pull it out a few times a every summer. Ineffective, but there’s too much good stuff near it to use the blowtorch method. Repetition of the laborious pulling is the key. Clearly I have been slacking on that.
An hour later, with two yard waste bags full of nasty viney weed, about 15 mosquito bites on each cheek (not talking face here) and a plethora (oh, my, proliferation AND plethora – alliterative vocabulary, how impressive) of scratches from the sharp needles of the spruce trees I had been rummaging around under, pulling nasty viney weed out by its roots, it’s shower time. No Creeping Charlie removal.
Washed and rinsed (but not spun), I make a spinach and Swiss omelet using fresh spinach from my garden.
Time to consult the all-knowing internet vis-a-vis reptile nest. Find that ‘the bald-faced hornet constructs a papery nest with a cap on top and a hole in the bottom, which will grow in size as the colony grows. This is an aggressive species with a particularly painful sting. Do not attempt to remove on your own. Consult a professional.’
Sigh. Calculate how much MORE credit I can wring from that card.
Consider leaving the nest undisturbed until it freezes because ‘the colony will die in winter and the nest will not be reused,’ but it is in the crab tree, close to the deck, and near the vegetable garden.
Contact reptile removal company. How much? That much?! And you use insecticide to kill them first (yes, ma’am, see “particularly agressive, painful sting,” above) then you come back a few days later to remove the nest?
You’ll keep that nasty wasp killing stuff off my veggies, right? And you won’t kill the good bees and butterflies that come to the front garden I planted specifically to attract them?
This morning, instead of raking Creeping Charlie, I placed the soaker hose around the squash growing in the former chicken run, while waiting for the call with the “window” of time when I must wait again for the reptile remover.
And the washer repair guy isn’t coming until next Friday.
Washer, wasps, weeds, waiting and words.
At least I like one of those things.
Waiting, watering and writing, I remain, your resigned-to-her-fate,