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August 31, 2003
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Assessing the Yard

I got Jet at 5:30, but, luckily, he went back to sleep. I slept next to him and I know he woke up once, but he went back to sleep when he found me there. So we didn't actually get up unit nearly 8:30. John was grateful to be allowed to sleep in until that late. He made the bagels while I tried to nap a little longer, but I ended up just taking a shower and getting ready for church.

Church was good. Afterwards, Jet wanted to run around on the lawn, and struggled and fought all the way to the car and even after we strapped him in. So we just let him loose and let him run for a good, long while. Then we took him to the grocery store, and it was a battle all over again, as Jet wanted to go certain places, get certain things, and throw certain things into the cart. So it was crying, screaming, kicking, and having a typical two-year-old fit. We finally had to just strap him into the cart and let him cry it out, rather than having him shot-put one pound cans of beef stew all over the store.

Finally, when his time out was over, he asked John to pick him up and just rode John for the rest of the shopping trip. He fell asleep on the ride home, so I guess he was just tired. I was tired, too. So I slept with him until 3. We had some lunch, and Jet got a corndog for the first time in a while. He ate some of the crust with mustard, but then asked to have it peeled, and ate the dog part of it only then. I had a tomato, chicken, and cheese grilled sandwich. It was really yummy with the garden tomatoes.

We then wandered around the yard, assessing what needed to be changed. We pulled up a lot of dead bushes, pulled weeds, and trimmed the trees to reasonable levels. It was a mildly overcast day, and I wasn't thinking too well. I got bit by mosquitoes a couple of times, when the clouds covered the sun. I guess it was cool enough for them, and I just wasn't thinking 'repellent' the way I should have. Jet didn't get any bites. I'm glad of that.

We did find a dead bird. There hasn't been the usual flock of little birds around the house, lately. No birds in the fields around us, or even in Erie. No crows to eye us in parking lots, or starlings to swoop the intersections for moths in the twilight. Nothing. It's kind of spooky when I really look for them, for the hawks that feed on them. I think that the West Nile Virus has taken a lot of birds, already, as it was shown to do on the East Coast and mid-West when it went through there. It's kind of sad.

When I see something fly by, it's usually a butterfly or grasshopper or cicada. There are lots of very happy bees in our sage and lavender. The plants are flowering like crazy now, and the bees are very happy to work there. They visit my tomatoes as well, once in a while, which is good for the fruit production. The tops of one of my current tomato plants, which hasn't produced all that well up to this point, is just covered with fruit, now. I hope that the spraying for the mosquitoes doesn't affect the bees. They're so susceptible to pesticides.

Dinner was simple. Leftover chicken with pasta and sauce. Caprice salad from the tomatoes outside, basil and half a ball of fresh mozzarella. We should eat the rest of it soon. Jet sat with us for dinner, and ate half a block of dry ramen. He hasn't had it for a couple of days now, versus when he might have had it multiple times a day. So I feel okay giving it to him when he'll actually sit down with us to eat. That's pretty good. I don't think we can make him go cold turkey, but we can give him enough variety that he can cut down on just that for his meals.

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