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      Tuesday, March 31, 2015

08:15 AM - 03/31/2015

The topic: One of the crummiest things about the trim


Was the loss of the birds' nests. This really upset me. There are more trees around, but these trees were the perfect place for a nest. Because of all of the needles, they were fairly hidden and safe. No sun beating down and protection from the wind and rain and cold. 

And that's all gone now. Brian's buying some fertilizer spikes that supposedly will bring back the growth a lot more quickly. I hope so.

I'd made my concerns to the trimmers, but they had a job to do and a short time to do it and watching for nests wasn't in their job description. But one of them did come up to Brian with his hands cupped. It was a baby bird. He handed it to Brian. Brian handed it to me. Brian went back into his shop and found a small box and an old teeshirt and I brought it into the house, putting it into the extra room. Then I closed the door and came online, looking for advice. I contacted someone in rescue, but he didn't get it, he kept telling me to take it to a rescue place. This wasn't practical at that moment. I kept looking.

I found some advice and cut up fragrance and chemical free paper towels. Found a couple of plastic bowls to put the baby and the shredded paper towels and an old shirt of mine to cover it partially up so that the warmth would stay in. We have some high quaility kitten food that we'd got for Marco last year when he was losing weight. I soaked it in filtered water until it was soft, then used a hand blender and one of the many unused syringes I've gotten over the years from the vet. 

I heated up the food, washed my hands and started feeding this little bird every forty-five minutes to an hour. The advice I'd found is they don't need to be fed from sundown to sunup. The parents don't do that, so neither do the humans who rescue them. 

Anyway, I grabbed this video the last time I fed him. This was the first time I heard full on chirping from him. And the first time he spread his wings so widely. I'm really hoping he makes it.


06:04 AM - 03/31/2015

The topic: Well, with the trimming of the trees


Comes the lack of privacy. Our house used to be pretty blocked from view, but now, it's wide open. So, I'm thinking we should plant some sort of hedge on the bank. Not all the way at the top where it would bother the neighbors so much (anything we plant is going to bother them, they'd be perfectly happy with dirt, they like dirt, their backyard is dirt), but more along the middle, so when I look up, I don't look at the side of their house or the street.

Brian's mom has Oleander planted about eight feet back from the street at her house and it does a good job of privacy from the street, so I'd like to do that, but the problem is Oleander is pretty poisonous. Then I wondered about bougainvillea, but Brian said that's a vine, not a bush. We don't want something that climbs.

Any suggestions for something that flowers, is hedgelike and grows fast? 

I really want my privacy back.

      Sunday, March 29, 2015

05:39 PM - 03/29/2015

The topic: We didn’t realize the trees were dying


when there was a knock at the door last November or December.  The part of the trees that was dying was on the outside and since we didn't go that way (due to the road being incredibly potholed at the end), we never saw it. It was a man who owns a tree trimming company. He and Brian walked through the yard and he gave Brian an estimate. Brian was up front with him, let him know we didn't have the money to do this, but he would get in contact with him when we did.

The first thing Brian did was to order some insecticide spikes for the trees. He did this years ago, before the last time they were trimmed and the insecticide stopped the killing almost immediately.  He did what he knew had worked in the past. Then he watered the hell out of them. He had a hose going for two weeks, he'd move it from tree to tree.

It's been stressed by well meaning (ha!) folks that once a tree has beetles, it's doomed. 

You tell me.

The first photos were taken on January 8. The second set were taken yesterday morning. There was no change in the dead area in the months since the insecticide was applied. 

Clicking on a picture will take you to a bigger photo in my family album; clicking on that picture will open a larger photo.

So, do you think they're gonna die anytime soon? I'm not betting on it. 

But then, there are those who have no experience, but know someone who knows someone who said...and that makes them experts. Even though they've told you in the past that trees NEVER stop growing....(oh, yeah? Then show me a tree that's reached the moon. Go ahead, I dare ya.)



      Saturday, March 28, 2015

08:31 AM - 03/28/2015

The topic: I’m really sad right now


Birds are flying around from tree to tree. Nests are gone. 


06:39 AM - 03/28/2015

The topic: A fun day in store


There's something not nice going on with the trees.  Really tall pine trees and parts of them have started dying. There were a lot of things that went through our minds, the neighbors poisoning them was one of the first, since the worst are the ones on the property line, but the ones in front of the house have no problems at all. And it appeared that all of the trees that are in the backyard didn't have any problems. Just those three on the property line. But when we noticed the smallest of them in the backyard, the very last one in the line, was doing poorly, I came up with the idea that maybe it's not poison, but lack of water (because of the drought and the rising cost of water, we've cut way back).

Brian bought some things that you put into the trees to kill beetles, in case there are any, and the trees have been getting a lot more water than they had been. And they seem to be responding. But there's still the matter of all of the dead stuff at the top. We don't see it much on this side, but as you come down the street, on the other side, where the asshole neighbors live, it's pretty bad.  I haven't had much use for either of them since we came home from dinner at my in-laws one Thanksgiving to find Junior drenched to the bone - they'd hosed him, probably because he'd been barking; and he learned this behavior because of their grandson who used to come out to the fence and yell at the dogs, kick the fence and throw things at them. I quit talking to her when everytime we had a conversation, she's start in on me about the trees. I always responded to talk to Brian about it, but she kept after me. She's a slow learner I guess, but she's one helluva nag. I liked the time when Brian was putting up the wood fence when they were dogsitting for their daughter and the dogs rushed the fence, scaring the crap out of Marco, he fell from the retaining wall and broke his hip. Two thousand dollars at the vet to get it taken care of and eight weeks in a crate.

Brian gets wood and puts up a wooden fence so that the dogs (or anyone in their yard, for that matter) can't see into ours. Brian at first was going to attach the wood to the chain link and Mr. Asshole says "you can't do that, the fence won't bear the weight, besides it's my fence and I don't want you attaching to it". (They didn't install the fencing, it was there when they moved in.) Okay, explain this then. Why are all of the poles that the fencing attaches to on OUR side of the fence? But Brian didn't say a word, he just went down to Home Depot and bought wood that he'd just build the fence as if there was nothing there. Well, Mrs. Nagatha Asshole comes out and starts screeching at Brian "my view! my view! what about my view?" and then asks Brian "well, are you going to cut down the trees?"  Brian and Mr Asshole had discussed why this was being done and Mr Asshole's comment was "well, the did the dogs hurt your cats?" (My head voice was shouting "no, you stupid fuck, but they rushed the fence and our cats didn't know what they were going to do, it was new to them, and it scared the crap out of them and ended up costing us a buttload of money." My head voice loves expletives.)

(Yeah, all of this time I was in the extra room, listening, amazed that Brian was so calm.)

Finally Mr Asshole said "Nagatha" (that's what I call his wife) "Go in the house, Nagatha"... and Mrs Asshole went inside.


So, a couple of weeks ago we get a thing in the mail that the company that carries our homeowner's insurance wants to come take pictures of the house, inside and out. Brian's nervous that because of the dead part on the trees, there will be a problem. And he contacted the guy who stopped by last December. "It's time to do something about the trees."  And then he tells me "I hate to bring this up, but we're going to need to sell some of our stock to pay for this". I was hoping we could skip a year (every year since he quit the glass business we sell some stock - our retirement money), but it needs to be done.

All of the cats are inside and the cat doors are blocked. Rocky is already going nuts and it's only been fifteen minutes. I'm sure once they start working, he'll be happy to be inside (he's not happy with strangers, he learned Stranger Danger well in kitty school). And because of Rocky, the catdoor in the garage is locked for in and out, a baby gate is in front of that and there are two #38 containers pushed against the baby gate. In the laundry room, the door is locked for in and out, a big heavy litterbox is in front of that and I've got the lid to the litterbox (we use Sterlite containers) is between the door and the litterbox. Getting out will take some work. Oh, and the backdoor is locked so no one accidentally opens it to get into the house.

Brian put out a cooler with lots of ice and bottles of water for the workers. I need to clean the bathroom, because you never know if someone has to potty. 

This is going to take a couple of days because the guys are climbing the trees to do the work, no equipment was rented. 

The workers are here. Keep us in your thoughts that all goes smoothly. 

      Tuesday, March 24, 2015

01:12 PM - 03/24/2015

The topic: Katie update


She's hanging in there. The tumor doesn't seem to be growing as quickly as it started out, but that could just be wishful thinking on my part. I'm sure we've all been there. 

Anyway, I got some video of her eating this morning, you can get a good idea of her chin. 

I'm thinking she'll be with us for a little while longer.


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lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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