We are having a bit of a problem with critters. We have several woodchucks, raccoons and a rascally rabbit or two as well. They are eating my squash, nibbling my corn and gnawing my sweet potatoes and I don’t like it one bit. I have some otherwise normal friends who have a live and let live policy with our furry friends but I am not quite so generous of spirit. I want them gone. I could drop them a note but I have reason to believe they would ignore it as they have ignored the used kitty litter, the human urine, (don’t ask-please) the radio and all of the other polite means I have used to get them to decease and desist. I am getting ready to pull out the big guns. Unfortunately, I have no big guns, at least none I can use here as we live too close to our neighbors and I fear shooting one of the ones I like.

Do I sound grumpy today? I am some. I didn’t sleep well last night. I stayed up to watch the Obama speech on health care. I was appalled at the behavior of some members of congress. I don’t care which side you support, that was just an embarrassing display of poor manners.

On a happier note. I now know that my maple trees have tar spot. It sounds terrible and looks worse but it apparently does not harm the tree and we can still tap in the spring. I just got Bruce a used arch. As I went tree shopping in the neighborhood, looking for trees I could tap in exchange for giving their owners a pint or two of syrup, I was horrified to find only a couple of healthy trees out of the twenty or so between my house and the school. There is another disease hitting some of the trees that looks less benign. The leave are stunted, curled and drying. It is the second year with it and I fear the worst.  Do any of you have any ideas about what the problem could be? I am going to call the Count Extension Service today and see if they have any information. I hate to spend the money on an arborist but that’s the next step.

Bruce brought home a tractor catalog and left it lying innocently on the coffee table. Why do I think I am being set up for something? If he suggests a movie and dinner out I will know something is up. He does in fact both want and need a tractor but he really only needs it for a couple of weeks a year. I think he should rent it when he needs it and same a bucket of money. If we own it, we have to house it (need a new shed) insure it (new policy), maintain it (more tools) and deal with requests to lend it out. If we rent it, we can dispense with all of that and just enjoy it then send it on home, rather like the perfect grandchild.

Fall is here. It is 5:45 and still dark. My favorite part of summer is watching the sunrise while sipping tea on the deck. Now it is too cold to sit out in the morning and the sun is coming up just as I am waking the girls. The day has started and the sun will have to rise without me.

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