Todays Ramblings

Cats helping to blog

I was going to write about this weekends events or rather, lack of them but it is very difficult when both cats want to help. They are great company but they can’t type worth a damn and you should see their spelling. Oh well, part of the joy of having animals as companions. Lucky for me that Richie is not trying to get up here…

I got up early enough to watch Manchester United play against Wolverhampton Wanderers, top of the table playing the bottom of the table. It was a decent enough game with United doing just enough to stay half a step ahead of the other team. It didn’t help that Wolves had a player sent off and Man U exploited the gap created by the missing player. The end result was a 5-0 win  and it could and should have been more.


Yesterday, I watched Tottenham Hotspur’s play Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup and witnessed a Bolton player, Fabrice Muamba go down with a heart attack. In all of the years of watching soccer, I have never ever seen a player have a heart attack on the field like that. This guy is 23 years old, is probably in peak condition and this happens. It just goes to show that even the best trained athletes are human and subject to the same complaints as the rest of us. it was a very sad sight to watch them treat him on the field and in fairness to the camera director, we got to watch the crowds reactions which in many cases was as bad as knowing what was going on down on the pitch as many fans were crying and others just stood there in shocked silence. The players on the field all showed varying reactions and many were badly shaken by this horrible turn of events. We all wish Fabrice Muamba a speedy recovery and he is in our prayers.

Fabrice Muamba, then on loan to Birmingham Cit...

Fabrice Muamba- Bolton Wanderers

I have known of two other athletes that died while playing their sport. When I was at UT, there was an engineer who ran for a couple of miles every lunch time and had done so for years. Then one day, he collapsed and died on the track. The autopsy showed a malfunctioning heart valve. You have to wonder as to why all of a sudden, it showed up.

The second athlete was a soccer player who I knew through his younger brother. His was a bit different  and like the engineer, he had played soccer (football) all of his life and had headed lots of soccer balls in that time. Then one game, he headed one more ball and died of a fractured skull. The autopsy showed he had a thin skull.

Things such as this really bring home the delicate hold that we as individuals have on this life. What is even more frustrating is that these such incidents are all out of our control. They just happen as a part of the grand scheme of things that someone has planned for each and every one of us.

I spent time in the garden yesterday and today. I have finally started to mulch, something that I have been putting off. I should have done it before things started to grow as now, I have to very carefully place the mulch around the young shoots so as not to damage them. Six weeks ago I could have just placed the stuff over the entire garden without fear of damaging the new growth. Oh well, I’ll do better next year..

It will probably take most of the week to complete this project and with rain forecast for tomorrow, longer than that. Once the mulching is complete, the only major item is to freshen up the gravel walkways, a very simple project. With a garden, there is always something to do even if it’s just to pull a few weeds here and there, or blow of the patio where the birds always make a mess with their seed husks.

A lot of leaves have come down from the Oaks but there is still a lot more up there. No good even thinking about raking as I will have to do it again and again. I’ll wait till the new growth is here and then rake up the leaves and blow off the roof and gutters. My trees do not shed in unison with one another. For instance, the trees in the back of the house are almost through with the shedding while the trees in the front have barely started. This means that I can’t blow off the roofs and gutters untill the front ones are through. Hope we don’t get attacked by the worms that eat the new Oak growth and leave cobwebs everywhere like we did 3-4 years ago. The worst part of the Oaks is when they grow these things that look like Cattails. They get everywhere and turn the pond water a brown color and the only way to get it out in a hurry is to do a complete water exchange, something that I am not much of an advocate on.

Grapes and Leaves and Vines

Grapes and Leaves and Vines (Photo credit: Chris Campbell)

Years ago when I first moved into the house, I planted two grape vines against the fence at the bottom of the garden. Not knowing anything about grapes, and not bothering to find out, the grapes just grew masses of foliage which got into the other trees and generally it was a complete shambles. I finally kept them trimmed back but in all of the twenty plus years, they have not provided a single grape. Well, last year, they both died so I decided that I would try to do it right this time around. First, I attended one of the free seminars put on by the Natural Gardener on Bee Caves Road about growing grapes and this time, I built a proper support system with three poles set in the ground each one 8 ft from the next and then strung the wires 3 feet and then another 2 feet above it just as the instructions outlined. I have planted two new grape vines and will have to wait for at least two years before I can train them to grow across the wires. If I do it right and the grapes grow according to plan, I MAY get grapes on the third year. Wonder if I shall still be around to eat them but that’s another one of those things like the heart attacks that is out of our control…


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