Charley Girl | Jane Boursaw Photo
Charley Girl | Jane Boursaw Photo
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(The continuing adventures of Charley, the little black cat that Tim sent me the day after he passed. Read all about her shenanigans here. -jb)

This week’s installment of The Adventures of Charley finds our little black cat sitting where my keyboard is usually located on my desk. Remember back when it took her forever to get up the nerve to hang out with me at my desk? Now every time I fire up my computer, she’s right here – and wanting to be as close to me as possible. Which I really don’t mind a bit.

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I keep thinking I should figure out how to add another platform, specifically for her, next to my keyboard. Well, actually, if I just cleaned my desk off, she’d have plenty of space to be near me.

I’ll get to it. Maybe I’ll get to cleaning Tim’s desk off sometime, too, but that’s entirely another issue.

Charley Girl asking why I don't clean my desk off | Jane Boursaw Photo
Charley Girl looking perturbed at my desk clutter | Jane Boursaw Photo

When she’s not crowding my space, she’s taking catnaps.

Charley Girl loves to cat nap | Jane Boursaw Photo
Charley Girl loves to cat nap | Jane Boursaw Photo

And since the weather’s been chilly, we were both happy to fire up the woodstove. Look closely and you’ll see her lounging behind the stove.

Charley Girl behind the woodstove | Jane Boursaw Photo
Charley Girl behind the woodstove | Jane Boursaw Photo

Here are a few pin-up cat poses a la Betty Grable.

Charley Girl in her Pin-Up Cat Pose | Jane Boursaw Photo
Charley Girl in her Pin-Up Cat Pose | Jane Boursaw Photo
Charley Girl in her Pin-Up Cat Pose | Jane Boursaw Photo
Charley Girl in her Pin-Up Cat Pose | Jane Boursaw Photo
Charley Girl in her Pin-Up Cat Pose | Jane Boursaw Photo
Charley Girl in her Pin-Up Cat Pose | Jane Boursaw Photo

As for me, I’ve been working through various house things and wishing Tim was here to help me (well, and just wishing he was HERE – it’s been a year and a half, and some days I’m right back at Jan. 5, 2022).

This week’s project involved getting rid of the rotting burn barrel in the middle of our circle driveway. Actually, if Tim was here, we’d still have that burn barrel. Every farm family on the Peninsula had a burn barrel back in the day, and Tim and I have always had one, too.

The idea of sending your trash off for someone else to deal with has always been a foreign concept to us (although I do have GFL trash bins at the bottom of my driveway now). Growing up on the Peninsula, we all dealt with our own trash, whether it went to the burn barrel or a brush pile on the farm after an orchard was trimmed or removed.

But I grew weary of looking at that ancient burn barrel and decided to get rid of it. I’m guessing the Peninsula Township Fire Department frowns on burn barrels these days anyway.

That barrel was packed with ashes and all sorts of whatnot, so the process involved shoveling out as much as possible (too heavy to move), drilling holes on the sides near the bottom to let the water out, breaking off the top of it (it was crumbling), and then hauling it down the hill to – you guessed it – be tossed into the GFL bin at the bottom of the driveway.

Lovely, isn’t it? And I somehow managed to not get tetanus in the process.

Jane's rotting burn barrel | Jane Boursaw Photo
Jane’s rotting burn barrel | Jane Boursaw Photo

It was pretty gross. But also a little compost-y. There were worms living in the bottom of it, which I transferred to my little flower/herb garden by the house, which, by the way, now has a yoga gnome looking after it.

Garden Gnome looking after Jane's flower/herb garden | Jane Boursaw Photo
Garden Gnome looking after Jane’s flower/herb garden | Jane Boursaw Photo

And now that the burn barrel is gone, I’ve decided to turn that space inside the circle driveway into a rose garden. My mom always had roses, and I’ve always wanted one, so why not?

The bushes to the right in the photo are Grace Rudd’s grandmother’s raspberries. Or perhaps great-grandmother? Let us know, Grace.

She brought them over and Tim planted them, so we now have fresh raspberries, which is heavenly. They’re staying, naturally. Stay tuned for more progress on the rose garden.

Jane's soon-to-be rose garden | Jane Boursaw Photo
Jane’s soon-to-be rose garden | Jane Boursaw Photo

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever.

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

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