Monday, May 21, 2007

Cookouts, Lawn Mowers, & Birds, Oh My

Summer must be in the air. We spent the weekend going to cookouts and doing yard work. Yes, it just wouldn't be May without some form of dead animal on my plate. We had the usual cookout fare of burgers (cow) and hot dogs (don't ask). My 3-year-old, of course, loves hot dogs. We just try not to think about what's in them and just be glad that she's eating meat.

It reminds me of the old line from Meatballs..."The winner of today's mystery meat contest is...Jimmy, who guessed 'some type of meat'."

We also spent the weekend doing some yard work. My wife was nice enough to surprise me with a lawn service this year. My hours are so crazy that it's hard to know when I will be able to mow the lawn.

These guys will come every other week and mow the lawn. Of course, they will not mow it if the lawn is too long. I mean, hey, they're professionals so why should they mess with long grass, right? So yesterday, I went out and mowed the lawn so that my lawn service would come out and mow the lawn on Wednesday. This ranks right up there with my wife's practice of cleaning the house before the cleaning people come. At least the lawn service does the edging. Regardless, I think we'll be switching to a weekly service or find someone that will do it every 10 days.

We also set up a bird-feeder this year. Birds are really a lot of fun to watch. They will wrestle and fight over the seed, as if there wasn't a whole feeder full of it sitting right in front of them.

I see that I'm not alone in this hobby. Our 'cookout friends' also had feeders set up. It's interesting...when I was younger I would discuss things like rock groups, how much we partied the night before, etc. Now we're discussing what varieties of birds are in our back yards.

There are really only three big down-sides to having a bird feeder. First, my yard is full of squirrels. We bought this stuff called 'Squirrel Away' which is a spicy powder that you can add to the seed. This stuff makes Jalapeno look like cotton candy. The birds don't seem to mind it. Apparently, spices only affect mammals.

Second, the railings on my deck are covered with bird droppings. This is a really logical after-effect of the birds eating all that that I didn't foresee, however. Boy, it's fun wiping down the deck.

Third, it's a funny thing about bird seed. It's actual seed. I learned that hanging the bird feeder over mulch is a bad idea. The spill-over seed lands in the mulch and becomes a very resistant form of weed. I spent the weekend 'turning over' the garden since a bottle of RoundUp didn't even kill this stuff.

We also spread an organic weed killer over the seeds that hadn't sprouted yet. Apparaently, organic means "tastes like dog food" because our dog ate most of it as soon as he went outside. We realized this only after he vomited all over our living room. Fortunately, he's fine, which probably explains why the weeds were still there a few days later. I have since moved our bird feeder.

So, what would summertime be without burgers, yard work, and birds? A lot more relaxing, apparently.

See you next time.

P.S. - I was driving to work today and saw this bumper sticker...


If my brain explodes today, it's because I'm trying to figure this out. Help! Anyone???