Thursday, December 29, 2016

An Overplayed Hand

Because of the ice storm we experienced, our friends across town asked if we needed assistance with the cleanup_ helping right fallen trees, cutting branches, and stacking logs and brush that would be hauled away at a later time.

Conveniently, they have a man who works for them once a month in the garden, and has done that now for several years since he lost his job at the plant where he had worked. Our friend said, “he has a family and really needs the work and charges $100 for the day. If you could use him, I know he would appreciate it. Also, if you want you could feed him lunch.” $100 for 6 hours amounts to a healthy $16.66/hour, but that would be helpful for us all. Agreed, and she would call to make the arrangements.

Jamie arrived at 8:30 and to our surprise with another person in tow, and without first having asked if he could bring someone else. He was a young lad, his nephew, and so we thought why not, two more hands would be helpful and he could probably use some money for Christmas

My husband and I worked right alongside, and the morning went smoothly and with good progress despite the young man (whose only job was to pick things up and stack) would pick up a few things, then stand back and watch until urged by his uncle to do a little more.

When we called it a day, and Jamie said he could come again tomorrow and also the following week for a few days, we were pleased and thankful. We handed both him and his nephew their money. Jamie looked at the folded currency, counted it, looked up at me while shaking his head and said, No.
What’s wrong?

With indignation, he said, Not enough! I want $30 an hour.


$30 an hour. That’s what I get when I do other jobs.

We were told it was $100 for the six hours.

They told you that?! No! No!

Astonished and silent as my husband and I looked at one another. We said we would go get more money, turned and started toward the house and heard him say, “Wait, for you I will do it for $25.”

After they were paid and they left, we called our friends and told them to call him and say we wouldn’t need his services any longer. They were appalled, embarrassed… could not believe what had happened. My friend said, Teachers don’t make that much! Electricians don’t make that much! We are so sorry.
Listen, it is not your fault

We all make mistakes. But this person clearly overplayed his hand.

As of today, three trailer loads gone and the place is beginning to take shape. A little bit each day, one day at a time, and she will be looking great once again. Patience.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Seasons greetings

Psalm 19:1
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Seasons greetings!
May your New Year be filled with much joy, 
good health, and many blessings!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Winter Storm_ the Worst Storm in 46 years

December 1 evening sky
afternoon December 5
Tuesday, Dec 6, a dusting
Wednesday morning. It began to rain, a gentle one, but with temperature at the freezing point Ice began to form and it continued throughout the day. 31 °F. Water sidled its way around and to the ends of the already formed icicle, elongating and fed to exaggerated growth.

The following morning the rain had stopped, and we awoke to a beautiful winter wonderland. Ice sculptures. Yet untold was the continued damage of what was ahead. Our hope was that the worst was over.

Five days now without power (but thankfully we have a generator), night time temperature in the mid 20's, the thick ice clings and branches are heavily burdened. Snapping and popping, but a loud hollow thud signaled large branches plummeting from the weight of the ice. Surprisingly heavily ice-laden ornamental grasses stood erect. Tree limbs splayed and touched the ground, severed tops of many, an oak broken in half from the weight of its foliage, some trees literally uprooted, and all of this with no wind. Reported: it was the worst storm in 46 years.

The highways had been impassable as Douglas Fir, oaks and soft maple trees lay stretched from one side to the other and with power lines mangled among them and dangling from utility poles. On the first morning we cleared the branches from our long driveway to the street and sawed and removed as much of the trees as possible in order that vehicles had access.

Much like crystal, the sun reflects and dances upon the surface of the ice that encapsulates the branches, grasses, and all plant life for that matter. Thankfully the last few days offered several hours of sunshine amidst the chilling 32 degrees and offered some melting of the ice.
Dec 13, the Super Moon
Dec 14

Acer Griseum 'Paperbark' Maple

tree service will have to remove this top some 30 ft high

this old maple got hit hard

Dec 15

Dec 16
Laburnums uprooted and will try to stake this one with guy wires
top of the Beech

favorite lilac uprooted, but we have another
it took down the deer fence
another beautiful maple grown from a seedling
ice sculpture
Coral Bark disaster

fruit trees look fine
Yoshino cherry will be trimmed
neighbors greenhouse
"yes, it's a sad, sad situation"

ice aglow

I can't hold this up much longer

evening, Dec 17
Sadly, the photos do not represent the reality of what we have experienced, but the beauty in the garden is always there. As I sat writing yesterday just before sunset, the sun peaked through the fog and it appeared as someone had flipped a switch and in one amazing moment had electrified the entire garden. With a single stroke the sun painted a magical and sparkling fairyland.

Once the ice is gone, cleanup will begin. One day at a time is our motto as branches and limbs will be cut into smaller pieces, stacked and hauled away. Trees are resilient and with proper care and pruning now (cleaning jagged ends and tops), most of them will respond by spring and over time be beautiful once again.