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Monday, May 01, 2017

May Day!

I hope you all took advantage of the nice weather last week.  This week isn't going to be great, but the rain will do everything good.  Today is chilly here, 45 degrees at mid-morning - but the good news is that we haven't had any snow showers yet.  It could happen - early May is always fair game for one last little snow squall.

We were inspired to re-do the steps from the turn-around area in our driveway to the walkway in front of the house.  When we came here some 20 years ago, I thought steps up from where people usually park their cars would be much easier to navigate than walking up the steep driveway, so we had a long flight of gentle steps built.  However, hardly anyone used them, and the white railing needed to be painted every couple of years to keep it looking nice, and that is not something either of us enjoys.  Plus, Fred worried snow would damage them, so routinely shoveled them.  It became too much bother for so little use, so we decided to make a change.  My first intention was to remove the hedge next to them and make it all into lawn. But then I changed my mind and began building stone steps.  One thing we seem to have an abundance of is stones around here.  They seem to surface in gardens and around the roots of trees as they mature, especially in our woods on the hill above the house.  Over the years, I've used a lot of them for walls, a patio and walkway. Now I'm doing it again.  I got started this weekend and hope to be able to find a day or two this week when it isn't too wet to work out there.  I have flowers that will need attention, too, so there's plenty to do.

We put the railing sections down by the road this weekend, hoping someone would want them - at least the pressure-treated wooden spindles, but there were no takers, so we'll have to dispose of them.  I think we'll use the old steps on a bank above the house, but won't need a railing there.

My daffies next to the house usually bloom early, but they are very late this year.  However, the one's by the lilac tree are doing great.  I love daffodils - they were set out here by my mom when she and my dad built this house, and she looked forward to them every spring.  There should be some daphne in the woods by now, too, but we haven't been out there to find it.  I used to have some in the puckerbrush near the house, but haven't seen it yet this year.  It will no doubt show up in due time.  It's hard to spot - likes to hide.  The fragrance gives it away, though.

I noticed this morning a large section of our ancient lilac bush broke off during the winter.  It had new leaves budding, but the base was mostly rotted, so we won't try to save it.  Lilacs are tough, and there's still some strong sections left.  

Now I need to get ready to go to our W. Danville History book meeting.  We are making progress, but it is slow going.  We know we can't cover everything, but we hope to gather enough of the highlights to make it an interesting read.  We continue to gather stories and photos, and move ahead.

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