Archive for the ‘yard care’ Category

When I took the last sip of Carlo Rossi Burgundy in the duplex I was renting in about 1989, I had no inkling that I”d have that bottle with me in a duplex I owned 22 years later. It moved when I moved: from 326 S. MacArthur to 521 S. Glenwood to 1213 Interlacken to 428 W. Vine, and today it moved to my WELCOME Room office of AeroKnow Museum at the airport.a bottle of good cents

a bottle of good cents

It came to the airport  because the thought of someone breaking into my home and stealing this investment of time and memories was more than I wanted to live with. At best the burglar would have taken it. At worst, he or she would have dropped it to the floor from where it sat on my bedroom chest of drawers since 1997 and left me to filter the valued metal alloy from the shards of broken glass — pretty much what I’ve been doing recently, metaphorically speaking, as I approach the big SIX FIVE.

It came to the airport also because putting every penny I brought home from purchases here and there was not filling the bottle fast enough for me. I was determined that I would not go to a bank and exchange a $20 bill for the equivalent in pennies. That would be cheating.

At this time in the blog I concede there is nothing artistic about the process, I do not intend to write a poem or folksong about it, proclaim the name of Cheeses (when I talk to myself I call myself Cheeses as in CHEESES, that was stupid of me!), talk about restaurants, silver dollars,  Facebook, how much I love Chicago or Fort Monroe or Ft. Wayne, Indiana or Manitowoc, or the Shymansky family (my sister Dorothy’s side) Johnny Appleseed or Vachel Lindsay, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and yardcare. I’ve been ticking off these items on my categories list so I can suggest to readers this post is about them . . . . . and thus court additional readers who pay attention to blogs when these categories are mentioned. NOW . . . . . . . where was I?

the bottle and the barefoot boy with cheek of tan

Oh, yes, I remember. . . . The photograph of the boy behind the bottle is of the same boy ahead of it when the picture above was taken.  If I was three years old, the year was 1950. I will post more about the picture as I approach September 5. Suffice to say now that I show that picture to darn near every visitor to AeroKnow Museum. My goal, starting this morning, is to give visitors who don’t care to share heavy dough-re-mi with the museum will lighten their pockets of pennies. I want to fill this the bottle by my birthday.

There’s a nearby donation jar for those who care to be extra-nice with larger coins and folding money.

So if you find yourself of mind and spirit to see this bombastic enterprise in the weeks ahead, please bring pennies. The dollars . . . . almost . . . . won’t . . . . matter.

Live long . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and proper.


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Backyard Bonsai is a concept I believe I have created. I’ve read nothing about the art of pruning trees, not to fit a pot in a greenhouse or  sun room , but to fit the backyard. Most homeowners consider their “Ponderosas” in two dimensions: front to back and left to right. For my home, a third dimension must be considered: the dimension of UP. Three lines of only God knows what traverse the air from telephone pole to the upper floors of my residence, the second half of the duplex I own. This spring I decided that the four random saplings which, over the past four years,  had grown from seeds falling from maple trees in adjacent yards could not become entangled in those lines. It was time to  cut back, and I did

Hewey, Dewey and Lupe



Huey, Dewey and Lupe are the three young trees given the most drastic treatment.  Today they stand about four feet tall, and I aim to let the grow no more than six feet tall. I HOPE to prune them as they grow laterally. The three were well over seven feet when I trimmed them to this, and I won’t be surprised if they don’t live through the summer. I intend to pay more attention this year, to allow minimum growth skyward. 

Dorothy is not so close to the overhead wires, so I pruned less.

Also part of the backyard enterprise this year is something I like to call Natural Dirt. It is the return of wood to earth, not by sending it away in garbage trucks but by moving it to part of the BACK back yard and letting Mother Nature do her thing.

Natural Dirt, Part 1

Since moving my aviation collection out to the airport two years ago, I’ve found myself with a lot of wood from cabinets and shelves, totally useless at the airport or at home. To expedite this material’s return to its natural element and to avoid creating unattractive piles of old wood, last year I dug down no more than two feet in a little-wandered part of the yard and deposited it there, covered it with  raked leaves. and that’s where it is making Natural Dirt today. The other part of Natural Dirt involves branches and leaves.

The BACK back part of my back yard is where all plant surplus — trimmed green and long-demised — is deposited. From this effort, I intend to harvest natural dirt I can use in my gardens. The use of fuel and Springfield municipal employees and their vehicles to drive residential streets picking up large paper bags full of yard waste seems utterly ludicrous to me. When I first purchased my home, I was a contributor of paper bags of yard waste, but I decided to take care of it myself after asking myself why I was paying for a service I did not need.

In the meantime, spending up to 45 three or four times a week, mostly in the early morning, working on my yards has proven a blessing and sense of tangible accomplishment which I have not felt banging my head against a wall of overwhelming tasks SCREAMING for my attention at AeroKnow Museum. This is the first time in two years that I’ve spent more than two minutes on the back side of my home in more than two years, and I’m enjoying it a lot. I can see progress made. And since I’m not knocking myself out during any visit, I deliberately stop early so that I can look forward to coming back the next day or the day after.

Life goes on.

Live long . . . . . .  and proper.

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