In short, I spent the weekend on massive yard cleanup. I even dug out the roses that had died back the rootstock. (Dr. Huey may be a nice red rose, but not nice enough to keep, especially since it's a once-bloomer.) I ripped out all the overgrowth and debris in the beds, removed tons of grass, the self-seeded spengerii asparagus that was choking some roses, divided and mostly reset the iris, severely pruned the roses, cut back the climbers in the apple trees, pruned the apple trees, sheared back some of the shrubs, and got rid of a lot of dead branches from various roses, bushes, and trees. The difference is amazing. I still need to cut up the trunk of the volunteer almond tree (firewood!), cut off the barked limbs from the silk tree, work on the back yard, and rip out the Banksia Rose Jungle (which I am seriously thinking of paying someone to tackle). The difference is massively impressive. When I got through, I started sowing seeds of California and corn poppies in places, to make a spring meadow.
The rats have been eating their rat chow and leaving droppings everywhere. The rain ruined a lot of the chow trays, and during that time, the tree rat went back to gnawing on the silk tree bark (grrr!). So I refreshed all the bait, and keep hoping they continue eating their yummie kibbles. They should be declining and getting lethargic by now. I think one is in a pile of wood and debris, because Ming keeps making growlie noises at it.
Somewhere, in the middle of all this, I even found time to go check out the Outlet Center in Gilroy, as I'd been wondering what outlet centers were all about, for a while. I can't say I'm impressed, but then, I've never been a lot into shopping. The best stop was the garlic and hotsauce store. ;-) For that, I will go back. And La Cruesset, which is one of the few places I actually bought anything. (I admit to being an iron cookware junkie, and the deal was amazing.)
And on Sunday, between yardwork binges, I had a friend over for tea to let her detox the fact that her husband died two weeks ago of a heart attack. They'd only been married 6 months, and she kept muttering that he was only 56 and seemed healthy, and she now realizes what it's like to lose your best friend. Said she understood how I felt when Jana died, now. We talked for a few hours, and then I sent her own her way to finish the yardwork.
Definitely a full weekend.