When I left you last week, Alexa was playing soft piano music as we drifted off to sleep. I think I’ve already told most of you, but, well, what do we all know about skunks, anyway? Why is one under our house, and why did he/she spray? The female will spray a male if she does not care to mate with him, I have learned, but hey, it’s August. Not mating season, right? So, predator?
The next morning, I go in search of possible skunk entrance and find:
Holy crap! I show Larry my photo and we begin to strategize. But I know what I’ll do. Call a friendly neighbor who happens to be sort of a genius engineer. You know, the kind who will plan and build, by himself, seismic reinforcement for his house? A little skunk burrow shouldn’t wrinkle his brow.
He comes over, measures the hole, returns with a 2×4 whittled to size, soaked in some preservative, a shop light on a wire, and some super-strength vinegar. Advises the purchase of a Nest camera, which will digitally catch the perp, and I’m ready to deal. Meanwhile, I have the inspiration to sift cornstarch on the path. Anybody goes in there, I’ll know it.
Now, a week later, no sign of any traffic into the hole. No smell. Did the vinegar and the light do the trick? Larry sits across from me working on the Nest camera, which has helpfully just arrived. We’ll mount it by the garden . . .
So how’s it going, two weeks in on the surgery? Um, we’re both tired. But the bandage is off the knee, he’s in rehab (physical, that is), still hoping to be golfing come October. I’ve been doing a lot of work outside that Larry would normally do. And here’s the thing. When we began this live-in-the-country gig, we did everything together. Standing in the back of the pickup pouring water onto the new driveway trees. It’s dark but it’s light because the moon is full and it’s magic. Like that.
But over time, we began to assume roles. When there are branches to saw from a fallen tree, Larry does it himself or gets Mitch, a guy who works for us sometimes, to help. He straps on the backpack and sprays blackberries. He tills his garden. Grows squash and potatoes and tomatoes.
I do the laundry. Plan and cook the meals. Can or freeze the squash and tomatoes. Of course, we both do both, sort of. Like dishes, for example, although dishes are not the same.
But now, today I went out in the morning to check on the chicken’s water and found that I’d left the hose on all night, watering a rhododendron. OMG, I’m horrified that I’ve run the well dry. (Don’t worry, I didn’t). But the chicken’s watering system had run dry — and needed to be cleaned. That chore done, I weed-whacked the orchard fence and dead-headed the dahlias. I had to haul the trash bins up from the road and into the barn.
When I looked up, it was noon. I had forgotten. I like this work.
Of course, I can’t do this alone, but I mean to pull on my boots more often when Larry has both legs under him again.
Changing the subject, neighbor Terri had the inspiration to bring Larry some of her vast puzzle collection to pass the time while he mends. Good idea! He’s motored through one thousand-piecer, but this?
He finally had to play the color-blind card and walk away. So there it sat on the table and what could I do. Can’t just walk by, and so. Pretty soon all my thoughts about strong-woman farming drifted away. I made peanut-butter cookies. Sigh.
I said earlier that we’re tired. I’ve been having a fight with my devices — having to do with compromised passwords, or so my computer tells me. And I have an appointment tomorrow with SimplyMac, who will, I hope, inform me that I don’t have to change every. single. password. If someone in DesMoines is using my information on a different computer, I say, have at it. Maybe you can get Hulu to work for you.
Yawn. Must stay up until 9 pm. I’m listening to a book — have you been watching Chair? So there’s a bit in the show about David Duchovny. I looked him up, and found his novel Truly Like Lightning. Wow. Read by the author. I’m loving it, thinking I’d like to read it, as well. Of course I know I won’t. But so you know, yeah.