So without further ado, here's a Before shot, noting the blue siding, naked flower boxes, and a matted surface that could be called a lawn only by the generous, the blind, or the flatterers.
Here is the After. Note the complete lack of blue. There is the privacy lattice and flowers in the boxes. The roses and climatis are doing really well, growing and blooming like mad. The transpanted day lilies are blooming as well. The lawn still isn't all that green with grass; there's lots of other stuff growing in there too, but I've never been fussed by that. Something that is a bit harder to see is the copper rain chain hanging just beside the chimney. We are pricing out doing the evestroughing, and will get the chain properly hung.
Here's one of the day lilies.
Here is Curtis supervising my post run stretching, coming over to tell me I'm doing something wrong. Or to pet him.
RunMeter was out to lunch during my run. It said that the 30 minute run was 6.4 K. NOT! I was running very easy, maybe 4.5 K or so at best. Here's a screen shot of part of the run, which explains why it thinks I ran so far.
I felt a little heavy during the run, with slow feet. Stretched well after, although later in the day my left calf isn't all that happy with me. Maybe it's all the gravel shoveling trying to raise up some sidewalk slabs that had settled.
Fair warning! There is only my feeble attempt at ornate flowery shit after this. Stop reading, unless you're into that. During our writers and bloggers meet up we were asked the part of writing that we hated. Mine is doing the ornate flowery descriptive stuff, with allusions, similes, and adjectives, or maybe it's adverbs. Whatever it is that describes nouns. Bah. See? I don't even remember what little grammar I once knew.
One has to know that 5 out of the 6 ends are sharp, but when they're amiable you'd never know. The soft rumbly purr is very soothing when they sit on your lap. Sometimes when I'm lying down stretching I like to grab them if they're nearby and give them a forcible cuddle. Sometimes they pad away, other times they sniff the sweat and start rasping away. That alone would convince anyone they have no taste buds in their tongue.
When we rescued Curtis from MEOW he'd been on the street for most of his life, perhaps all of it. It was obvious where some matts had been cut out. More remained in the coarse and greasy feeling fur. He loves being combed, even as we were pulling on the knots and matts. We'd do a little and stop, to show him that we would stop when it got to be too much for him.
The fur on his head, neck, and chest was cleaned up fairly quickly, and he would work on that. However his back and flanks stayed coarse and somewhat greasy, even after we'd had him 6 or 7 months. Steady combing with a bit of judicious snipping had removed fur clumps that gradually filled in again. Then he started working on it too. I don't think he had known where to start, or maybe he thought there was no point.
The big change happened as summer began. We call it the Big Shed. A few strokes of the comb would produce a cloud of fur. Static made it cling to the furniture and our clothing. We went through several lint rollers. They weren't designed for cat fur, I don't think. Certainly not long, fine, orange fur. We combed every day for weeks, sometimes twice a day, working especially on his gradually rotunding flanks, back, and the very soft and fluffy tail.
Working on his tail is a bit tricky, since he likes to have us work on his other end. He squirms around, making it difficult. Almost suddenly we noticed his fur changed. I think we combed out all the old tired fur, leaving just the fresh new growth, unstressed by life on the street, nourished by love, and the good food that he is so ungrateful about. What cat turns down salmon? What cats get lamb, venison, turkey?
Now you feel fur all aligned the way it should be, glistening with a silky softness that does not disguise the muscle underneath. The orange stripes have come in to provide a beautiful background to his deep, intent, double amber eyes. Warm cat fur is one of the smells of summer for me, evoking a memory of flying a kite while lying on my back, looking up into an infinite blue sky. A gray and white cat named Fuzz on my chest or looking for prey nearby. Listening to the sound of a big old radial airplane engine.