Wrestling with Rocks

My rosemary has a new demographic – red finches.  Think they’re house finches but they could be Cassin’s Finches.  Nice combo of color with the goldfinches.  Other than the convention a few weeks ago that attracted 26 finches, I’ve normally had the six or eight stalwarts at my bird feeder.  They’re pretty fluttery but I think today there are four red finches plus the eight gold.

I would rather wrestle with rocks than vacuum, so I’ve been out in our gorgeous weather (70°) working on rock steps to my spa deck from the bedroom patio.  (I haven’t vacuumed the mid floor in months ‘cause I have a heavy vacuum cleaner upstairs, and one downstairs, that I had bought for my mother, but for the entry level I have to schlep one, which I don’t do too often.)  I have been attempting to create regular steps, near the patio, a 3” rise and 20” run, and near the deck, 4” rise, 16” run, with the boulder in the wash between them.

To move the large center rock (circled) I borrowed a couple of kids (I have a friend who teaches at the nearby high school, and I asked for two burly boys, who I picked up after school, and returned, and yes, I paid them), one of whom looked like a sumo wrestler who said that he could bench press 285!

I moved the rock below it (in the rectangle) myself with the help of a long steel bar (which the kids used too), borrowed from my neighbor, used in Arizona to break up caliche.  That rock may look small next to the big one, but it felt like I was trying to move an elephant or a whale, a leviathan.  I was outclassed by the rock; think the rock was Heavyweight but I’m only Bantamweight.  It’s not only about breaking nails; I smashed two fingers (rocks will collude like that), I wore through the first knuckle of my leather work gloves, then through my skin,  my arms are scratched as though I have been wrestling a bobcat, and I have a lovely bruise on my left arm.    The waistband of my jeans was soaked and somehow I got scratches on my legs through the jeans!  I should finish tomorrow.

A roadrunner visited me and posed for a photo.  (He/she always tilts his head as if expecting a tidbit.)

Unfortunately, the jacuzzi stopped cleaning itself.  I only use it when my granddaughter visits (she loves it), but the control panel didn’t work.  So I called the guys who used to maintain it; they got the screwed-in panel off (which I couldn’t do without an electric drill) and assured me that I did not have packrats chewing up the wiring, but the pit for the control unit had flooded with the excessive rain we’ve had and  I did need a new thermostat board.  Sounds more expensive than replacing wiring.  Had to call another guy for that who came today.  He checked it out and will fix it tomorrow but didn’t give me the bad news ($) yet.  This house is way too complicated for me!

Wow, the bobcat chasing my cat does give me a rush!  I was sitting on the chaise lounge outside this evening, reading my mail, after eight hours of “rocking”, and my cat was on the spa deck watching a rabbit outside the fence when she did a double take and then became a blur, up the spiral staircase with a bobcat just behind.  I, of course, went for my camera, and asked it to pose.  (They’re so cute!)  It did, and actually walked closer (two yards from me), but then it was behind the trellis next to the staircase, so I didn’t get a good close up.  (Plus when I get excited like that I tend to jiggle the camera.)  Here’s the best shot.  Cami was not only inside (I had left the kitchen door open, the weather was so nice), but on the counter, a no-no, with her tail furred out.  Phew!

This is the best season to be living in the desert.

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2 Responses to “Wrestling with Rocks”

  1. leslie sawyer Says:

    Careful, they had a wild bobcat here that also had rabies and attacked a man who fought it off and is taking rabies shots. good thoughts your way, lesie

  2. Lynne Says:

    Yeah, the pool guy told me about him. Thanks for the heads up.

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