Archive for May, 2013

I Hate Deer

It is Victoria Day weekend and the traditional time to plant the annuals for the summer.  Unfortunately we live in Deer Paradise.  There is no hunting of any deer in Comox Valley.  So every deer on the island has migrated to our valley for sanctuary.  We are infested with them.

Of course they get hungry and move through our properties, immune from any punishment, and able to eat flowers and exotic plants at their leisure.  Let a home owner rush out to defend his garden with a bat and some do-gooder would report him for animal cruelty.  They are like swarming rats, just better looking.

As we plan our garden we must look for plants that smell so bad the deer avoid them or, as our neighbour did, build a high wall around the yard.

This is so bitter because we live in garden heaven.  We could plant the most luscious flowers and plants, but each night at about 3 am these roving rats(deer) would come and hoover them down.

So we must select annuals that we would not ordinarily wish to use in our garden.  If we plant a Peony we must surround it with Marigolds.  If we want Iris we must build a net or surround with petunias.

Blaine suggested a solution a few years ago.  Sit up each night with a sling shot and frozen Ice pellets and shoot them at the deer as they came in.  No dead bodies and no evidence of bullets for the animal loving gestapo to find.  Unfortunately what he missed in his plan was me sitting in the back yard at 3 am.  Not going to happen.

So we plant Marigolds and Petunias and Verbenas and Lobellas and Zinnias etc.  Not bad flowers but noted that they do not smell sweet so Deer do not eat them.

We put the flowers that we love in the hanging baskets so the rats cannot reach them.

As Pat says, apparently, I am opinionated.  Still would it not be nice to enjoy a little local venison?????

A boring Blog

I have over 250 blogs. Every one of them concise in sharing my opinion or observations on the world or my life.  However tonight I have a forced blog.

It is Friday night.  I prepared a simple pasta with Italian sausage and a salad left over from Pat’s evening out with her club last night.  I put on Romantic music on Sonos as we enjoyed our meal and sipped our wine.  The dishwasher had been running and signaled that it was finished as we sat drinking our wine and gazing out at the golf course at the end of the meal.

I immediately offered to help in unloading the dishwasher (apparently glasses of wine makes me supportive (again remembering we are listening to the Romantic music)).  Pat sent me off to write a Blog to get out of her way.

Hence the forced blog

So here is my blog for today.  I went to the fitness club this morning and had the great joy of beating the lady that normally books my favourite machine into the sign-up.  Very polite sign-in as she said “good morning” and I said ” good morning Rosemarie”

Over the last 2 years we have quietly fought this battle of who gets there first to book this cross trainer.

I pick this particular cross trainer for my cardio session  because I read McLeans Magazine as I work out and this is the only cross trainer (there are 8 in the club) that does not have a light behind that reflects on the page. The other 7 versions  line up in front of the many TVs but mine is in the corner looking out on the parking lot.  If I work out on the other machines I have to constantly adjust the pages to avoid the reflection from the shiny pages.  A minor yet irritating issue.

I am convinced Rosemary picks my machine purely to bug me as there is no reason to differentiate from the others and she never looks out when using it.  When I beat her in the morning and am on my machine she easily picks one of the others and chats with whoever is next to her.

I am convinced she is evil.

I wake up on my fitness days at say,  6:30 am, and contemplate if I should first go to pick up a paper and head on to the club in the hope she has booked her time and follow her, or go early and try to beat her. We work out the same days. Monday , Wednesday and Friday.   If I do  go early she glares at me and the next day she shows up 5 minutes earlier.

Every time I go to the club and return home to find Pat in the shower she asks how my daily contest went.  This has gone on for 2 years and Pat finds this amusing.

Today was perfect.  I actually lay in bed this morning at 6:40 prepared to concede today’s contest.  Arrived 10 minutes later than normal.  Now I park in front of the Community Centre and Rosemarie parks in back.  I know this because when I am on my machine early I see her drive in to the parking lot in her Hyundai Sante Fe.  Those mornings I watch her walk up to the door and glare at me through the window.

This morning, as I said, I was 10 minutes later and fully expecting to take one of the other machines.  As I walked to the sign-up desk she came in the back door a few seconds later.  We offered greetings.  I was wondering if she would skip the sign-in and rush into the club to book our machine.  But no, she signed in and followed me in as I booked the machine on the board.  Then she booked one of the alternatives, where she seemed perfectly happy. (but I know she was smoldering with anger over the lost 10 seconds on the drive to the club)

This was like winning a game on a home run in the 10th inning.

Pat tells me I am crazy.   But you take your victories as you wish.

There were a number of other good things about today, but that was my highlight.

And Pat has finished the dishes so I can close down.

What a Day

Now it may seem that I go on and on about living in paradise but this is one of those days.  Sunny yet comfortable so lots of time in the garden.

When we first looked at these properties we drove up our street and all the lamp posts had hanging flower baskets.  Made the street look so beautiful.  It turned out that the baskets were paid for and maintained by the golf course.  They had a truck come around every second day watering the baskets and adding fertilizer.  The second summer after we moved here the golf course cancelled the program.  Turns out the cost was over $250,000 a year and because there are no fees charged to the home owners, no way to recover.  So we have spent the last 4 years with no hanging baskets.

Last fall I talked to our neighbour and agreed that I would put up 2 flower baskets on the lamp pole dividing our property.  The biggest problem is that the baskets are 12 feet up so not handy for hand watering.  I tapped into the lawn irrigation system and ran a 1/4 ” line up the back of the pole to 2 drip heads in each basket. So every time I water the lawn the baskets get watered.   All I have to do is find a way to fertilize them every second week.

As I was up on a ladder doing the plumbing a car pulled in below me and a guy asked if I was doing the neighbourhood.  I explained that it was a personal initiative and he asked for details.  Turns out he lives down the street and says he is going to look into it himself.  Who knows, maybe we will have the street all adopt this and return to the community we had before. (I doubt it)

Note in the picture the baskets are new so few flowers but eventually they will drape down.  Later in the summer I will update the picture

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Phone Apps

I do not have a smart phone.  I gave it up and went back to my flip phone because a)the charge lasted longer b)it was easier to answer and use c) fit into my pocket d)cheaper.  But I do realize that I am missing out on the millions of handy apps that are available.  Turn on lights in your home from anywhere, bring up the heat prior to coming home, checking itinerary on trips etc etc

I just read about an App that, while I would not need it, would be handy for many of you.  Imagine you are flying in a small plane and the pilot suddenly has a heart attack.  Assuming you skip the app about helping the poor guy there is an app you can call up to teach you how to fly the plane and land safely (assuming the plane is big enough to have an auto pilot)  Not  a problem for me as I think I can still manage a plane.

If it is just a small plane I can envision you desperately dialing up and downloading the app trying to remember your credit card number as the plane spins and plummets to earth with you screaming that you wished you had a simple flip phone that would let you quickly dial for help.