Twenty-nine Days and Counting

Hum… it’s been a long time since I made a post.  I either have to do this or retire my journal.  I have conceived a bunch of posts, but did not follow through. Perhaps life will be a bit kinder and minimize my procrastination.  Ha!

Life has continued without my journal.  We were quite busy refurbishing “The Drive-by House”, and it is quite lovely now and hopefully occupied by it’s new owner.  My parents house looks better than I ever remember it being and is on the market.  Two major remodels plus lots of other rental work and life has finally calmed down somewhat.

One of our happy red-spotted toads.The Red-spotted toads that always breed in our pond were back in force this year.  It is the true awakening of spring at our house when we hear the toads singing in the pond.  I imagine due to the extremely dry weather, there were fewer places to breed.  Thus, at one point Jim and I counted 10 toads in the pond.   This is a 300 gallon pond maybe 4 feet in diameter.Love in the pond The tadpoles have been thick and we have seen a few little toads (about the size of a pinky fingernail)  hopping around the yard.  We have also seen more ravens than normal drinking from the pond, but I don’t know if that is because it is so dry, or if they are having toad-snacks.

As lovely as the toads are, Jim and I always love knowing there are snakes around.  We both like snakes.  However, when they are rattlers and they take up residence under the porch and hang out all day right by the next to the porch, that is a bit too close. So, a call to Dusty the rattlesnake wrangle and our little buddy is now living with Dusty.  He  (Dusty) does a bit of movie stuff and from time to time needs a cute rattler.

But, what about 29-days and counting.  Jim has been quite preoccupied with his latest motorcycle endeavor — The Motorcycle Cannonball.  This is a 14-day cross country rally (meaning set routes, check points, specified start and finish destinations and points for doing wrong) from Newburgh, New York to San Francisco.  That does not sound too bad as Jim and I have ridden thousands of miles.  The rub… the bikes are pre-1930 motorcycles.  This is an honest-to-god 45 – 50 MPH, hand shift, kick start bike.  Suspension?  In the sprung seat.  Jim and our friend Jimmy Allison from Roswell (below) decided last fall to enter this event.  We are 29 days from leaving for Newburg (trailer the bikes their, ride them across the US and trailer them home) and we have yet to hear a sound out of the bike.  It is getting closer.. but still needs a log of work.  You might ask, why it takes so long.  We get daily boxes from England, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, The Czech Republic and from across the US.  Then there is the fabrication of parts for the unobtainable.  And to make it “easier”, there are no manuals.  Jim is mostly having fun and enjoying the challenge but do I need to mention he does not sleep much.  Then there is Jimmy.  He was building an Indian but I won’t go into those details.  Jimmy is now going to ride Jim’s backup bike.   Even though it does not have wheels, handlebars, a tank, etc, it is really farther along than it appears as the engineering was done (mostly) in tandem with Jim’s primary bike.  But, there are only 29 days left and I am skeptical about Jim’s bike.

You may ask, what am I going to do during this adventure? We are hoping that I can ride in the sidecar we have for the bike and perhaps I’ll even ride the bike a few days… we’ll see.  Some of the days, over the Rocky Mountains, there is no way the bike will handle the sidecar (at least that is what we think.  Who knows???)  So, perhaps on the back (really scary), or I may be more than happy, by that point, to be in the chase vehicle motorhome.  You can check out the route and find more info at motorcyclecannonball

And how am I spending my time?  Not a lot of photography.  I find it takes more concentration than I am yet ready to muster.  So, I’ve been puttering in the garden which as been quite lovely.  The veggies are coming along, although planted quite late.  I’ve also been reworking parts of the garden which were in great need of some TLC.  Poor Jim, he really feels the stress when he takes a break to help me rebuild a rock wall.  But, in typical Crain household fashion, I agreed to open my garden to the Master Gardeners for a tour the weekend before we leave for the Cannonball!  So much work to do.  Luckily the tour was touted as a “real life” garden tour so we hopefully have set the expectations correctly that we’ll never be on the cover of House and Garden.  Here is a picture of one of the reworked areas.  Still need to complete the planting and mulching but the rock walls are in much better shape.Enough of this.  I am hoping to keep up on my journal a bit more and hopefully make some posts from the road.  I hope your garden is providing an abundance of food and that life is bringing you more nourishment than you need.