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Happy Memorial Day

May 29, 2017

“No accomplishment of real value has ever been achieved by a human being working alone.” – John Maxwell  

I read this quote this morning as I was checking email, and I think it is so true, especially as we honor our soldiers on this memorial day.

I have mentioned John O’Leary several times in my posts. I receive his weekly motivational email.   Although I think they are all quite good, the one today is excellent and quite appropriate for this Memorial Day.    Here is a link:  Let’s all pack someones parachute!

I have been getting some emails and even a text or two from friends who have recent damage on their Japanese maples.     This is usually squirrel damage. From time to time squirrels, and occasionally raccoons will strip the bark off of Japanese maples. Usually the damage is more superficial, but it still looks pretty bad and is more damaging on young trees.  It also depends on how much they strip off of one limb.  For some reason this bark stripping tends to occur more in late winter to early spring, although I have gotten three questions in the past two weeks. One theory—and that is all it is, is that female squirrels do this prior to giving birth to relieve the pain—I guess it takes their mind off of it! Another theory is that they use the bark in their nests or they are searching for food. Whatever the reason, once they start, they often come back and do more damage—much like a woodpecker has its favorite tree. Using a tree wrap in the area, hanging scare devices or spraying with a repellent can all give limited help.  Why they prefer Japanese maples over other trees is a mystery to me.

Unfortunately I did not spend much time gardening today. I cleaned, and cleaned and cleaned some more. My living room is not quite dust free, but close.  It also is beginning to look like my living room again. I got more things put up in the kitchen and we started hanging up some art.  We did as much as we were going to do by 4 p.m. when I got ready for our first dinner guests post kitchen remodel (even though we aren’t 100% through).  It was great fun having space to put things and cook in.  My gardenia bush out back is absolutely loaded with blooms and it fragrances the entire deck. I cut some to bring inside and they are glorious.   It was nice being able to entertain again, and I always enjoy visiting with good friends as much as the preparing the food. I am LOVING this kitchen and can’t wait to get everything back in and all my art work up.  Even cleaning up was fun and the kitchen definitely got christened, since Clay smoked a huge brisket and they have grease everywhere. 

It was nice having 4 days in a row off.  Clay and I worked like trojans every day and it shows inside.   I think they must know Clay personally at Home Depot since he made so many trips recently. My garden would have like a little more attention but I did do a little outside and I do have freshly mulched beds.

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