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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Despite his ongoing tubercular condition, ol’ Robbo found himself up to the hilt in summahtime outdoor activities today.

First, congrats are in order for the younger gels’ softball team, who won their divisional pennant this season with a 10-2 record.  Alas, they were knocked out of the playoffs this morning in a tough 7-4 loss, a see-saw battle that had Self nearly doubled over by the end from all the shouting he had to do as bench coach.  The middle gel was furious with herself for hitting into the last out of the game, but hey, these things happen.

Then, this afternoon saw ol’ Robbo laying about forty bags of pea gravel into the newly configured path in his garden.  Regular friends of the decanter may recall that my plan this year was to, in effect, take the path of least resistance regarding said garden.  To that end, last fall I put down a heavy mulch of leaves from the maple and oak trees out front for weed suppression, and pretty much left Kong the Buddleia and the Konglings to run riot.  Well, I am pleased to say that the place is looking pretty durn dapper this season.  (Go figure:  In the years when I slave away trying to plan and coddle a balance of greenery, the place usually looks quite bedraggled.  Leave it alone and it snaps right into shape.)   The oak-leaf hydrangea along the back are at their peak.  One shady corner has been taken over by the foxgloves, the Family Kong are all now starting to break into flower, various butterfly weed, joe pye and goldenrod are coming up.  And the best thing? I really don’t have to do much about any of it.   It’s all hardy, drought-resistant and utterly uninteresting to any of the crop-leveling critters ’round here.  (Well, except for the hydrangea, but I’ve got them behind enough deer-netting to stop a cavalry charge.)

So now, as you might imagine, I’m pretty beat.  I believe I have juuuust enough energy left to pour myself an adult beverage, toss a match into the ol’ Webber and grill up something pleasant for the family to feast upon, after which I believe it’s moovie night.  (The choice, I understand, is between Independence Day and Captain America, and the battle lines seem to be forming between Mrs. R, who has found in Captain A a tasty new screen hunk, and teh gels, who want to see Will Smith making remarks about smelly aliens.)

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