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Spring brings new life to the Ridge. It also brings some pretty dramatic weather. Today, we have had torrential downpours, sunshine, and now cloudy, grey skies. Grasshopper took this photo at bus pickup one day when the clouds were particularly dramatic. It looked as though someone had painted the sky.

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I’m sitting at the kitchen table today, catching up here and watching my boys work hard. Last year for Mother’s Day, I received a gift that will give for many years: an apple tree, a cherry tree, and a peach tree. This year, my CAT brought me a white peach, another cherry, and a pear tree to add to the orchard. Today, CAT and Grasshopper are digging holes for the new trees, hopefully before the next round of storms hits us.

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Meanwhile, the rest of our yard has finally sprung, much delayed by significant fluctuations in weather over the last few months. The first signs of Spring around here are the vibrant daffodils. I’m two for two on being out of town when it happens. Last year, we were in Texas and came home to discover them bloomed; this year I was traveling for work.

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We kick off the season with our annual birthday bash as the first shop party since CAT and I share April as a birth month. The party involves shrimp, Crawfish, Texas style BBQ, friends, and lots of laughs. Oh, and cake, of course. Here’s my masterpiece from this year.

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What most people don’t know is that our first spring was full of “surprise” flowers. We had no idea what to expect when we bought the house, other than the previous owner had sporadically planted rather than traditional planned out beds. Next come the irises. They are planted all over the front yard and we have a plethora of colors–yellow, multiple shades of purple, and purple and white (my favorites).

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We also have several peony plants that give us these beauties in multiple shades of pink. The start out very deep pink and slowly fade to a soft, almost white pink.

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Spring is also a time of heavy yard work. While most of the property is left to its own devices, we do keep a large area around the house mowed and some trails mowed down to the ponds for easier walking. During our first Spring here, we discovered many tree stumps and rocks in these areas. With the mower blades. On the riding mower and the tractor shredder. So they were in desperate need of attention. This means pulling the mower into the shop, climbing under, and removing the blades. I volunteered to take the second blade off my mower after watching CAT with the first one.

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The blades were in rough shape. Dull and lots of dings from hitting tree stumps and rocks. I’ve since marked the stumps so I can avoid them in the future.

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CAT went to work with the grinder to get them cleaned up and ready for some much needed mowing.

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While they will get us through this season, we’ll be buying new blades for my little mower next year.

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Then CAT went to work on the shredder. He uses this to maintain our field in the river bottom and to keep some nice walking paths for his lovely wife to use to go fishing at the ponds. This exercise involves using the tractor to lift up the shredder and bracing it on floor jacks to keep it from falling. Tank is helping.

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To be clear, Tank helping involves dropping a tennis ball at CAT’s feet and hoping it will get thrown.

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The shredder didn’t really need sharpening since the tool relies more on speed of the blades and less on sharp edges. CAT made sure the blade arms were loosened up, cleaned some of the grit and build-up out of there, and called it good.

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His and hers mowing equipment. No, we are not a normal couple–no monogrammed towels here.

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Happy Spring!

~Mouse

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