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Photograph of Robert Bruce Thompson Barbara Fritchman Thompson Diary

Week of 14 August 2006

Latest Update: Sunday, 20 August 2006 1:00 p.m.

Monday, 14 August 2006

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When I came home from work Bob showed me the hole he sprayed last night after dark where the yellow jacket nest was. Honey comb bits lay in large chunks out in the grass. The hole itself is at least half a foot wide or more. I am not sure how deep it is because I would not get close enough to look down in. He said he saw one bee around the hole earlier today and resprayed the hole again. 

What  I can't figure out is I have been mowing and pulling weeds in that exact spot as well as playing ball with the dogs all summer. They must have built that nest pretty darn fast or they were not in it when I was around it before.

I have five areas where I must have been either repeatedly stung or got bite/stung by some of the large bees. They swelled up pretty big by late afternoon and hurt like heck. The average size of each is about 6 to 8'' in diameter. I put ice on them last night and a topical spray before bedtime. Today they mostly itch though banging the one on my thigh against something hurts.

Last night Paul and Mary came over for a visit. Since Mary is allergic to the dogs we sat outside on the deck. Not long after they arrived we were sitting around in a very large sized circle of four chairs when we heard a rustling noise overhead. I thought I was one of the squirrels playing in the trees. A very large, dead branch came crashing down landing just between Mary and I on a little table we had our drinks sitting on. Paul moved his feet just in time. If that thing has hit one of us it could have done some major damage.

So, whichever gods or spirits I have angered I hope I have now paid my dues. Stung by bees twice in as many weeks and almost inpaled by a dead branch should be sufficient.

I did need to mow when I got home. You should have seen how I was dressed. Fortunately it is only 84 degrees this afternoon instead of 98. I had on long pants with the legs tucked down into my socks. Hiking boots. A thick t-shirt with sleeves that came down to my elbows, a bandanna tied around my head covered with a heavy duty ball cap. Yep, I burned up but I sure as hell was not going to get stung again if I could help it. However, I was still spooked jumping every time something flew around me, even a butterfly. When I got close to the area where the hole is I almost had a major panic attack.

I am reading Death of Dentist, a Hamish Macbeth. Hamish finds the body of the local dentist who has a bad reputation as a dentist. In the meantime the bingo club has their grand prize cash award stolen from the safe. Hamish thinks there is a connection but must convince his superiors of that fact.

The city workers put down a layer of tar and rock in preparation for the paving. Poor guys have not had much time outside. Bob did not want to walk them on the street for fear of getting tar on the paws and could not take them down back for fear of getting stung. Tonight I walked down through our neighbor's front yards since I knew Stephanie nor Mimi would care. Guess we will do the same thing tonight for last time out.


Tuesday, 15 August 2006

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No update.


Wednesday, 16 August 2006

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I met Nancy and Betsy for dinner last night. I was too late by the time I got home, played some ball with dogs, and walked them to bother with mail and a post.

Tonight I went to the gym. The swelling in the bee stings has almost gone down. My left thigh swelled up pretty bad Monday night but was better last night. I did mostly weight work rather than do a class with a lot of jumping around on my legs.

After dinner Stephanie and I walked then let the dogs play out front with the girls while we visited. The girls were holding the dogs on their leashes. They are so cute holding my 65 and 70 lb dogs on those leashes when they hardly weigh half that and are about as tall. 

I finished reading the Hamish and stared another Anne Perry, Silence in Hanover Close.  Perry starts this one off a little different, having Thomas investigating a three year old murder. Charlotte's sister's husband was killed in the previous book. Now Emily is confined to the house dressed in black as is the Victorian custom. Charlotte and Emily plot a way to investigate the murder by using Emily's gentleman friend as a was to infiltrate the rich since Emily is not allowed to call or attend parties.


Thursday, 17 August 2006

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Friday, 18 August 2006

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I had just come back to check my mail and post my journal page when Stephanie called to see if I wanted to walk. When we got back to the house Bob and the dogs went with me over to Stephanie's to visit and let the girls play with the dogs. A little while late Steve and Mimi came over with Shane. We had a good time talking and watching the kids run around.

Bob came in about half an hour ago with the dogs. While the temperatures are in the mid 80's it is still pretty hot and humid for them after about half an hour. I just came back in a few minutes ago. About the time I get cooled off it will be time to walk the dogs for last time.


Saturday, 19 August 2006

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The dogs let us sleep in until I woke up around 8. I closed the bedroom door to let Bob continue to sleep and took the dogs out. I read a couple of sections of the paper then decided to snooze a little longer on the couch until Bob got up which was around 9.

Today was  yard work day. First things first. Bob turned the landscape timber over where the yellow jacket nest was. They had built a huge nest in the cavity of the timber and down into the ground. After pouring gasoline down in the hole to make sure they were dead I filled it in with dirt. Last week when I got stung Bob kept saying I needed to wear long pants and boots when I mowed or worked in the yard. I tried to explain to him I get extremely hot and sweaty in shorts and that in long pants I would die especially when the temperatures were up into the high 80's and 90's.

Since this morning it was relatively cool at 78 degrees I did put on a pair of long lightweight knit pants. I wanted to trim the shrubs, dig weeds, etc. Not only to protect from bees but also from getting into something I am allergic to. The humidity is always a factor even on cool days in the summer. It was up around 50 to 60%. After I fixed the hole I grabbed the gas trimmer and started on the forsythia hedge that runs along bottom half of the drive between our house and the Green's. About the time I finished Naomi came out to see how my bee stings were. I asked her if she wanted to trim the tall shoots on her side and she said to go ahead. Her husband was outside doing odds and ends in the yard. I had him got the very tall ones I could not reach. Next I hit the smaller bushes in the front and along the side of the house.

I brought the dogs outside on the tie ups while I was raking and cleaning up the clippings. Jasmine came down with Missy to say hello. Bob heard the dogs barking and came outside to say hello. He turned to me and asked me if I had been hosed off with water. Nope, I said "see, I told you I get all hot and sweaty". Not a dry stitch on my shirt or my pants.

After cleaned up the mess from trimming I mowed the lawn. I need to edge but by the time I finished mowing I was too tired. It was going on 1 o'clock and I was getting hungry so I called it a day.

I think I will take it easy the rest of the day. The PGA Championship is on this afternoon and I have some magazine reading to catch up on.

Several times this morning it looked like it might rain. After all that rain we had in July, 7+ inches we have had less than an inch this month. While the yards is still green it is starting to fade with a few faint brown patches starting.


Sunday, 20 August 2006

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I sat up reading until 11:15 last night to finish the Anne Perry, Silence in Hanover Place. Definitely one of her best so far. I was really surprised by the ending. Next in line, a new Stephanie Plum but Evanovich.

This morning I did the usual house cleaning chores before Bob and I took off for our monthly Costco run. Now I have all that stuff to put away. We store a lot of the non-perishables in the downstairs kitchen cabinets. And, we have the big freezer for the frozen stuff.

I did not do anything yesterday afternoon but watch the golf match, rest, and read. I was pretty exhausted from the morning yard chores. It is hot and humid again today. The skies have darkened up like we might get a storm. If it does not rain by dinner time I will have to water the front plants.

Time to get some bills paid and check some web sites before I hit the couch for more golf. Bob needs to help me change the blade on my lawn mower from mulching back to catching at some point today. I have some short trips coming up plus a Fancy Gap night or two for observing should the weather cooperate. With the mulching blade I have to worry about how high the grass gets and it has be very dry especially with the thick Bermuda grass in the front. With the catching bag on I don't have to worry about mowing every four or five days.


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