Sigh. The Alps are a distant memory … it’s all about home projects now … except for the black bear


So much for fun in Europe; the trek is now squarely in the rear view mirror and on the domestic front there are routine home chores in need of attention. Gotta get stuff done before Daves I and II and Jane and Cheryl and Emma and Georgia (with their parents in tow) come knock-knock-knocking at my door.

Oh, and there was the matter of an intrusive black bear.


August 13, 2018

Ellen/Reid: It’s taken me a bit to get back in the swing of things. I’ve really been beat which might owe to travel. I was down for the count for 24 hours on Friday and just haven’t made it all the way back. But it’ll come. 

Now it’s time to turn attention to the deck. The architect dropped off the plans that the city has approved in my absence. Things look pretty good. There’s a funky pergola and some side slats that should offer some privacy. Hopefully the builder can do a reasonable translation of what’s on paper. Looks as though the composite decking will be a custom order and I’m not entirely sure how long that will take. I’m prepared to spend a few extra bucks on the sub-structure since I’m not a devotee of wood, especially in a climate like this where there’s a lot of rain and humidity that can speed degradation. 

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Okay, so there’s a nice view now and then as I futz around in the back yard.

Also in the works: replacement of turf around the garden boxes with a layer of crushed granite that is mined very close to Brevard. The pieces are very small and will be held in place by a metal edge that will be pounded into the ground. This should make traipsing through the garden a little cleaner on the shoes and a little more esthetically pleasing. We’ll see. It seems the gardening is never entirely done. Always tinkering here and there. Next up: the blueberry box will be extended by six feet and a few more blueberry varietals planted which apparently helps cross pollination. The raspberries, though, are about to really explode. Robbie needs plenty of berries to make jam. Something is, however, munching on the tomatoes although I’ve not seen slugs or other bugs. But there is enough produce to make BLTs and that’s all that matters. 

There was likely a first encounter with a black bear. On Saturday the solid iron support for the bird feeder was bent in half and the feeder emptied of sunflower seed. No raccoon or other animal has the strength to twist metal to their will. So I hammered the damaged support back into shape and attached it to the post with stronger screws, for what that’s worth. In a way it’s too bad that there wasn’t a bear sighting (on my terms) since that would’ve been a story worth telling. Robbie takes her feeder down every night since there are active bears in her north Brevard neighborhood but this is the first time a bear has made an appearance in my ‘hood. Maybe it was just passing through and stopped by for a snack.

We head to New Hampshire in early September for Chianna’s wedding. We found some cheap $229 flights to Boston and that will save a tedious 18 hour drive plus hotels up and back. She and her fiancee John will have the ceremony in a farm field so here’s hoping the weather is pleasant. Rain would be a disaster. But either way it’ll be fun.

Then the next week it’s on to Omaha for my 50th high school reunion. 50 years? It just doesn’t seem at all possible. Honestly, it hadn’t been at the top of the radar, given the hectic schedule in Europe and the New Hampshire wedding and with Des Moines folks visiting in early October, but Ralph has pressed me to attend and it will be good to be in Omaha for a few days to see old (sic) friends.

My community college classes start next week. For some reason, my writing class is at 1:30 in the afternoon while the news writing course isn’t until 7:00 p.m. I’ll have to drive about 25 miles to the Flat Rock campus, which is just south of Hendersonville. Not sure how many students I’ll have but will find that out tomorrow when I meet with the faculty liaison. 

Alright, over and out. Got some shelving in the shed calling my name and it won’t get done sitting here on the couch. Although sitting on my duff isn’t entirely a bad thing.

Love, Dad

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