Looking out the kitchen window after lunch, I'm thinking of taking a quick break before returning to the Monday Rural Olympic tryouts. I've cut 3.2 seconds off my time running from the washer in the basement to the clothesline outside. Early this morning I practiced my garden flat hustle. That's taking all the plants I covered or put in the garage in anticipation of low nighttime temperatures. Pulling milk jugs off pepper plants and covers off the tomatoes is a two step exercise. Step in the mud and lift cover off plant. Then there's balancing flats of plants from the garage to a table in the sun. I score a 9.9 on technique for hauling plants in wet cardboard trays that have turned to rubber. In between washing clothes, I set plants and sow seeds in the herb gardens (5). Most of the time the Pooch is content to watch the activity from a safe distance-either in the sand pile or next to the rock pile surrounding the silver maples. I erect barriers around young plants when the Pooch steps on one of my sage plants. I string white nylon cord over seed rows as a warning. The Pooch crawls under one white string to get at catnip growing wild at the end of a row. I flick him with my thumb and forefinger, yelling, " Get out of my garden you bum." He gives me his the whatdidIdo look.
Hanging wash, he strolls over meowing. It's the, I'm hungry meow. I let him in while I finish hanging blue jeans and T-shirts. When I come in he's already on his back on a chair in the studio with his legs up in the air. He hears me walk over to check on him and wags one paw, yawns and closes his eyes. I feel the Pooch bump into me as I watch a red pickup truck with yellow flashers and two red flags on the bumper pass by on the highway. I guess that was a short nap, I think to myself when the second part of the procession drives by on the highway. I assumed someone is moving a house. I'm partially correct. It's an old mobile home. I'm about ready to go back outside. I give the cat a few treats. I look up and see a hummingbird hovering near the window of the rear entry of the house. The kitchen and rear entryway form a protective cove. There's a white wire with a hook hanging from the previous year. The hummingbird approaches the window. He appears to be peeking in the window at the bite size crows and hummingbird nest of horsehair I find on the lawn while mowing. "Pooch, they're back," I exclaim. In the back hall closet are three washed and clean hummingbird feeders. I grab the largest which holds a quart of nectar. I mix sugar and warm water(forget the red food dye-they don't care) and shake the quart ball jar vigorously. I've gotten good at pouring from a ball jar into the narrow neck of the feeder. I forget that the hook is almost out of my reach and spill sticky water trying to hang the plastic and glass jar. Finally, after getting a five gallon plastic pail to stand on, I've got the first of three feeders up and ready for the gang. I learned that multiple feeders keep the insect size birds from fighting over territorial feeding rights. Wow, summer is almost here. I can plant my corn soon.