Friday, June 26, 2015

Tale of a Tree - and what a tale to tell!

While we were visiting the grand baby we received a text message from our house sitter asking if we had dug around one of our trees. What? We asked her to send a picture.

How very odd! Our Blue Spruce seemed to have sunk about three feet into the ground.

Uh oh!

Just before we left for our San Francisco trip I turned on the irrigation system for the first time this season. Apparently something terrible had gone wrong with the system. Mr. Dreamy called the sprinkler guy and he stopped in to check on the system. Nope. Not his problem. All is working as it should.
Our next thought was that we had a leak in the water line that runs from the well to the house. However, our housesitter dutifully checked on the pressure on the tank, and reported that the pump wasn't running.
So, perhaps the sinkhole was an aftereffect of our rainy spring and most recently, a 3 inch rainfall in less than an hour.
When we arrived home we looked at our sunken tree and scratched our heads. It didn't make sense....
until Mr. Dreamy checked the historic aerial photos on Google Earth... and talked to neighbors... and found out that the existing farmhouse on the property was located in that area, and was burned down in 1993 prior to the construction of our home.

Aerial photo from the 50's.
The farm house was located to the left of the drive.
No buildings from this photo remain.

Current satellite photo.
If you look at the new house relative to the trees
which appear in both photos, 
you can see that the farm house was behind our home.

The firemen were invited to practice and the burned remains were pushed into the earthen basement and covered with soil. Over the years things began to disintegrate, allowing the soil to compact or wash away with all of our rain. We have a bonafide sinkhole in our yard!

When I put lights on the tree at Christmas, I needed a pole to get to the top.

Mr. Dreamy begins to excavate.

We took turns digging where the tractor couldn't reach.

The hole grows deeper.
The dirt pile  grows taller.

Getting deeper, still...

Getting wider...

More digging...
The tree was finally pulled out of the hole.

A new hole is dug.

The tree gets planted.

There is a bit of difference in height!
Our next step will be exploring the sinkhole. We have found some "artifacts" - nothing spectacular, however!

From upper left, going around clockwise:
broken plastic fork
bit of bone
plastic mouth piece for a small cigar
bottle cap
piece of a china bowl
castor wheel
metal top of jar
pieces of glass

From upper left, going around clockwise:
plastic binder "hinge"
crackled glass piece (due to the heat of the fire, perhaps?)
A small table leg - maybe a TV tray
Small pieces of 'wrinkled"
remnants of a can or package - some writing is visible
a thick piece of white porcelain - part of a toilet?
piece of metal
remnants of a carpet
a beer can
ham bone
and in the center, 
a nail
base and element of a light bulb

Lower portion of a squeeze mop

We will continue to explore our mystery sinkhole. We are curious as to what we night find. 
Wouldn't it be lovely to find a hidden treasure trove?
Probably not gonna happen!
The next challenge will be filling the hole, and ensuring that it doesn't happen again!

Thursday, June 25, 2015


My eyes went wacky today. I was playing pickleball, and noticed that I was seeing what looked like negative afterimages one would see after looking at the sun. But, since I had reached for a high shot, and had been briefly blinded by the sun, I just figured my eyes were taking their time getting back to normal.

Then, as I walked back to the car, I noticed some blurring in my peripheral vision, on the bottom edge of my left eye. I figured my sun glasses were smudged, and I trudged on to the car. However, once I got there, I realized the blurring was actually alive. I was seeing fractured shimmers, with pretty colors. It almost seemed like I was underwater, looking up at the sunlight playing on a windy surface.  Wow! thought I... how strange!

This is kinda what it looked like:

I figured that maybe, just maybe, I was dehydrated. I had just played about six games of pickleball with only one break. I grabbed my bottle of water and began to guzzle it down. The shimmering continued as I began the drive home, then it began to progress across the field of vision of my left eye and only the least bit on the right. The vision on the periphery improved as the fractured shimmers progressed toward the center of my vision in my left eye. As I drove there was a moving, crooked line of color down the center of my vision - enough to blur the white line of the road, but not much more. How annoying! How strange! And...  how (just a tiny bit) frightening.

By the time I walked into the house, about 25 minutes after first noticing this strange effect. It was gone. I hate it when things like this happen. Do I call a doctor about something that is no longer a problem? And next... what doctor do I call? Is it a problem with my brain? Is it simply my eyes? Do I see an MD, or an eye doctor? Do I wait to see if this happens again? Oh, what to do?!
I finally decided to call a local optometrist. We Dreamers had recently decided to switch to a small, local practice, but had yet to make an appointment. I explained what was happening. The receptionist explained that they had no openings until next week, but she put me on hold, and evidently talked to the Optometrist. He would make room for me within the next hour. So, off I went, feeling a bit weird about seeing a doctor while having no symptoms.

I really like the Optometrist. He was very interested in my symptoms. He was very thorough. After listening to my description of the vision impairment, and examining my eyes, he inquired as to whether I had a headache. Nope. Well, maybe just a little. Then he explained that I had experienced an ocular migraine. I had a migraine aura, without the headache. It can be brought on my bright lights and dehydration. Hmmm.... spot on! I consider myself lucky. If I must have a migraine, I'd much rather have it my way!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Today's Post is Brought to you by the Color Purple

Storm moving in...

Ominous, purple clouds...

Baby's nursery with a purple mountain valence 
made by a happy Grandma....

Purple gardens...

Purple makes me smile.

 What about you?