My father stopped by and we got Mr. W's lawn tractor running. It had been giving him some difficulty. When I was little, I very much wanted to be like my father. First, I wanted "a tail". It irritated the daylights out of me that my father and my grandfather each had a tail, but I didn't. I expected mine would grow eventually. It never did. The good news is, I learned to appreciate what I DO have - figured out how it's way cooler than a tail, even. But I always thought I'd at LEAST grow up and fix cars, weld things, and make lawnmowers run. Today I had my vicarious small engine thrill for the year. Best of all, we don't have to push pull or tow the very new lawn tractor back to the place I got it from - which is good since we don't have a trailer to tow it back with! And when one invests in a big birthday present for one's spouse, one expects it to last more than a half a year, frankly!
While he was here Dad also got me started on my next for the birds DIY. Ready?
A SQUIRREL BAFFLE! (Click for larger image - baffle is under feeder)
(Also known as a Yoshi Torture Device)
This bird feeder was made for us by our friend (and my 5th-or-something-like-it cousin, actually) Mike's brother Dwayne. Mike took down a pretty good sized oak from our old house to use in making boards for work he was doing on his home for his wife Donna. I suppose really the work is for both of them, but then Mike, like Gene, could probably live in a 10x10 foot hut and not really care that there were cracks in the window and dust bunnies like mountains under the bed, so really, it's for Donna. Anyway, once the boards were milled, Mike had his brother make us this feeder out of some of the board as a thank-you gift for the tree. He got quite a bit of lumber out of it. We could have cut it up for firewood, but it was so straight and so big and so perfect that it deserved to be lumber, not cord wood. Now we have this bit of our old house with us! But I know all about bird feeders and squirrels, so I copied, sort of, my father's squirrel baffle.
To make the baffle, I punched a hole in the center of a six-inch aluminum vent cap, which I then attached to a two foot long piece of six-inch vent pipe using sheet metal screws. The whole thing then slides down the pole and rests on top of a hose clamp that's been screwed onto the pipe the feeder is mounted to. Squirrel jumps up, hits the baffle, and tumbles to the ground. My father's is a little different, but he's had it for ages now and has never seen a squirrel in his bird food. I hope it works. Yoshi is pretty sure the whole thing is just there to torment him. I can't wait until the squirrel finds it. He thinks it's torture now? Just wait!
After Dad left I went shopping for FISH! I got two Shubunkin goldfish and one orange Oranda. They are adorable and I love them. I named them, even.
(Spot, Fido and Rover)
This is probably like naming your food, because I assume something will kill them off before long. I mean, seriously. They are fish, living in a pond, in the backyard. What could go wrong, right?
(Rover and Spot snacking)
For now, I have Fido, Spot and Rover. Since these are fairly simple names, when one gets knocked off I can just sub another fish for the dead guy, christen it in honor of the deceased, and move on. This is my hope. Sadly, I have already become ridiculously attached to their finny selves, most particularly to Fido.
(Fido, Faithful Finny Friend)
I already love him, very much. And you can see that he simply adores me. Or he's just happy for the food. I prefer to think it's love.
Uh oh. Poor Yoshi. All this fish love and baby chicken nonsense and bird feeding and bathing and garden and pond making - very little of which involves him - has finally driven him to the end of his rope.
(Yoshi's hitting the bottle)
Maybe time for the boy to have a nice hike and a little fetch time. Tomorrow, I promise, Yoshi. Right now, momma needs supper and then a nice movie and some knitting, and eventually an eight-hour nap!