Frank ventures outdoors while I attack the hedgemonster.

I had been promising Melissa I would trim the hedges all weekend long. “Ok, TODAY I’m going to trim the hedges *mumble*inalittlebit*mumble*,” I said on Friday, Saturday and then again on Sunday. Something always conveniently seemed more pertinent at time.

But on Sunday, I finally decided it just needed to be done.

As I changed into work clothes and acquired the hedge-shears from the backporch, I had an idea: Why not bring Frank outside with us? He has been getting progressively more belligerent about dashing outside if we aren’t careful to blockade the lower two feet of the doorway when we come in or go out. His acrobatic antics have gotten humourously complex as well — the other day when I had the kitchen-guy (Steve) over, he came in the house toting a large toolbox. Frank dashed around me, jumped up on the couch, over the toolbox, and then ran between Steve’s legs!

I’m not really sure WHY Frank wants to get outside so much, but it kind of makes me think its an instinctual thing. He’s been getting a vicious case of cabin fever lately. I can appreciate that, having worked in a windowless office for 2 years. Usually when he runs outside he either prowls around the front porch, or crawls around to hide underneath the overgrown hedges that sit just beyond the porch.

The hedgetrimming went well. In fact, I found it quite fun. I think it appeals to my meticulous Virgo nature. I had NEVER trimmed hedges before, but I kind of had a rough idea of how it works. Shears aren’t exactly high-tech electronics after all. By the time I was satisfied with the first hedge’s appearance, my technique was pretty solid. Unfortunately, I had forgotten to wear workgloves; A fact which became quite evident as I took a drink of water from the oversized Taco Bell cup. Blisters seem to have a slightly different sensitivity to…well..pretty much anything.

The second hedge didn’t go quite as well. Mostly because the hedge itself looked like crap. It was definitely the “ugly one” of the twin hedges. I was able to get it trimmed down, but I’ll have to go back and work it over some more once it heals up a bit.

Frank really enjoyed his time outside. Everytime a loud car or bike would drive by, he’d immediately run back indoors. He prowled all over the front and side yard. He chased little white butterflies and moths, which was really funny to watch. He would dash at them and then make a flying leap to attack them with his front paws. At one point he actually had a moth pinned to the ground by its wings! Since then, we’ve become a little more relaxed about letting him run around outside. I guess he’s old enough that he knows where his house is and is aware that “it’s bad to move in front of things that are big, loud or move fast.” During this whole experience, I was very aware of the obvious parallel that I will re-visit once again in about 10 or 12 years: The process of starting to relax the death-grip on your child, and allowing them to slowly gain independence. I think I did pretty well with this. I know Frank appreciates it. I’m not too sure about the Moths though.

On an unrelated note, I was the featured blogger for this past issue of the Richmond News Review! If you act quickly, you could be the next winner of the iPod Nano!