I think that Doris wins. I'm not sure what, though :).
What you can't see from the photo is that the bottom end of the ladder she's balanced on is being held up by Sister Natalie, who is not quite standing in a rather tall American Pillar rose bush and leaning against the flaking asbestos garage. The VERY rickety and elderly wooden step ladder in the bottom of the picture is balanced on only one leg and is being held up by a) the gutter and b) me. Every time she moved, the whole roof bowed alarmingly and I had visions of having to pick her out of the seedlings on the hot-bed below.
As it was, she backed down very gently, dropped her putty-tool-thingy on my foot and transferred herself inch by inch across the rotten plank that the ladder was braced on, on to the step ladder. Then she paused there for Far Too Long as I propped her up, discussing with Natalie whether they were going to take the long ladder up and put it across the pond to divide the water lilies.
Which they did.
Just another day at the ranch.
Ma will be seventy two in June.
In other news, Leo and I arrived home yesterday with nine (NINE!!!) new chickens. Two barnevelder hens and seven chicks, of whom I think that at least three are girls - using my not-always-correct chicken sexing method*, which Kitchen Witch can tell you more about.
Today we cleaned out chickens, planted out a few early peas in a space in the greenhouse, did some invoicing, spoke to the solicitor about taking proceedings against the people who aren't paying us (and now don't even seem to be answering the phone, which IMHO is just ridiculous for a large company). The amount outstanding is quite big and it's going to make a difference to our house-renovation plans if we can't get the money out of them. Gah. The business will be okay - but it really pisses me off that we just start to feel that we are catching up with ourselves and then something comes up that knocks us back again. I suppose everyone feels like that - and I don't mind Acts Of God**, but I resent being screwed over by someone else who is profiting by it.
B is off again tomorrow, for the whole week. I am debating whether to take off to Ma's again, but haven't decided yet. The minuses in this situation would be that often, if I space my visits too close together, the high level of chaos wigs me out pretty badly - and my not-coping-very-well adds to everyone else's stress. The pluses are that Ma and Natalie and even Pa, a bit, are enjoying Leo so much and he them. It makes me really happy to see them all. And also, I get some help with him.
He has started having the screaming hab-dabs EVERY SINGLE NIGHT at bed-time - all the time you undress him and re-dress him, until you start spooning rusk in. I thought at first it was overtiredness - but it doesn't seem to be.
Anyway. That, I think, is all. We're having an early night, because B has to be off at 5.30 tomorrow morning.
* I reckon that generally speaking, the girls grow little back-packs at the top of their wings before the boys, who feather up more evenly. This is not always correct. But as a rule of thumb, eight or nine times out of ten will do it.
** Like the fact that the shower plumbing that B and his dad laboriously put in the week before last is now leaking, inside the partition wall that Vic has so neatly tiled over, and all the tiles on the bathroom floor are now loose. And there was water coming through the sitting room ceiling, until B twigged what was happening and turned the valves off.