logo, this one created by the wonderful Carol!
And speaking of logos, I could use a Thanksgiving/ Turkey themed logo for next month, if anyone’s feeling creative.
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What I love the most about living in the country (though we’re not living there yet, and it’s not like middle-of-nowhere country) is the complete and utter randomness. I walked through the back yard yesterday, and I’d be walking along and then it would be like “Oh, look. A brick. Right there in the middle of nowhere, for no apparent reason. A brick.” Or a chunk of cement, or a golf ball – apparently the owner’s kids liked to hit golf balls into the back forty (why is it, I ask you, that it’s spelled “forty” and not “fourty”? That just doesn’t seem right, and every time I need to type it, I have to debate with myself the correct spelling) and they’re all over the place.
Here are some pictures of randomness for you.
Random pile of bricks in the yard. What were they going to use them for? I don’t know. Maybe to finish off the driveway? Maybe to edge a flower garden? Make a walking path? It’s a mystery!
Frying pan in the front flower bed.
“Maaaa! What should I do with the roll of rusty wire fence and the cinder block?”
“Put it by the magnolia tree of course!”
“I put a random brick by the wood pile, Ma.”
Set of wheels by the wood pile. Maybe they were on the wood pile wagon and just fell off?
Not so random – they put these bricks here to step on when it rained very hard and the yard got a little swampy. We’re going to replace them with stepping stones at some point.
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So, Friday afternoon Fred got home from work ready to head for the new house, only to find that I wasn’t up for a trip to the new house. Apparently something I’d eaten had disagreed with me, and I was laying on the couch, sleepy and nauseous and gassy (oh my!). Since the tractor was being delivered at 5 and the roof guy was supposed to meet him at the house at 4:30, he headed out there, and I said I’d come out if I started feeling better, knowing that probably wasn’t going to happen.
Surprisingly enough when he called to check on me a few minutes before 5, I was feeling a great deal better, so I jumped into my brand-spanking-new car and headed out to the house. I arrived just as the tractor guy and his wife were getting there, so I went into the house to drop off a few things (a cooler of ice and some bottled water), looked around a little, did a “Ours! All ours!” dance, and went back out to watch the tractor guy instruct Fred in the finer points of tractoring. I made awkward small talk with the tractor guy’s wife (she said she’s more of a town girl than a country girl; I pointed out that we’re only about five minutes from one city large enough to support a Wal-Mart, Lowe’s and a thousand other stores, and about ten minutes from another, larger, city so we weren’t missing out on too many conveniences), and then the tractor guy and his wife headed out.
It was really too dark for Fred to do anything with the tractor, so he spent about 45 minutes putting the various tractor implements away, put the tractor away, and we headed out for dinner. There’s a small restaurant not more than half a mile from the new house that we decided to try out. It ended up being REALLY good food and very inexpensive, so we’ll definitely be going back there.
Saturday morning we were up and out of the house a little after 9 (with Maddy in a carrier at my feet – we were planning to be at the house all day, and I didn’t want to have to drive back to Madison to feed her and check on her. Luckily she’s portable, so I loaded her and her toys and litter box and food up and took her with us.). We’d intended to be at the house as soon as possible, but we needed to find a certain gas station that has diesel fuel, and GoogleMaps showed us the general direction of where it was located, but we couldn’t seem to find it and Fred’s car was running low on gas, so we turned around and went to the gas station by our house. Fred gassed up, got something to eat and a few sodas, and asked for directions to the place that sells diesel.
Apparently if we’d kept going for another few hundred yards, we would have found the place. So Fred filled up the gas cans and we headed to the house. We unloaded everything into the house, and Fred went out to hook up the mower to the tractor, and I put Maddy in what will be Fred’s bedroom, shut the door, and started cleaning the upstairs bathroom.
Seriously, I thought it might take me an hour, hour and a half, tops, to clean the bathroom. It took me three hours. THREE HOURS. Three hours and a ton of cleaning rags and half a bottle of Pine-Sol and toilet bowl cleaner and shower cleaner. I scrubbed every inch of that bathroom, and by the time I was done you could have eaten off any surface in that bathroom.
When Fred came in to tell me something or see what I was doing, I said “I would really, really, REALLY like to pull down that plastic stuff around the bathtub and put up tile.”
He looked at me as though I were brain damaged. “Well, yeah,” he said. “I thought we’d decided we were going to do that.”
“Before we move in, though,” I said.
“Yeah, of course.”
Whew! The plastic stuff around the bathtub is just to protect the wall, and it’s pretty ugly. Not only ugly, but there was soap scum an inch thick on it. So basically I spent a lot of time scrubbing down a plastic wall that we’re going to be ripping down before we’ll have a chance to use the shower, anyway.
Also, the mildew was so bad that it’s gotten under the grout around the tub and as much scrubbing and digging as I did, I couldn’t get the damn stuff out. DAMNIT.
The upstairs bathroom, after:
This cubbyhole, I think, would be perfect for a linen closet. I’d love to put a wall up here and build a linen closet from the hallway (on the other side of that right-side wall), but I’m sure I’m the only one who feels that way, and also it’s probably beyond our beginner’s skillz at this point.
Once I was done with the bathroom (which will be the spud’s/ guest bathroom, by the way), Fred and I took a break and had lunch. I went out and admired the back forty, which he’d spent a couple of hours mowing. It had been bushhogged last week, but the idea at this point is to keep it mowed every couple of weeks so we won’t need to have it bushhogged again.
When lunch was over, I headed back inside to feed Maddy and once she was done eating and I’d played with her for a little while, I put her back in the guest bedroom and went downstairs to start on the downstairs bathroom.
And there went another two hours of my day. The master bathroom was, if possible, even dirtier than the upstairs bathroom, and I ended up having to scrub the shower down three times (yes, even the plastic walls, which we’ll be replacing with tile), and the outside of the tub was pretty bad, too.
But like the upstairs bathroom, you can now eat off any surface in the bathroom without fear.
I took a break for a while when I was done with the master bathroom, went upstairs to see what Fred was doing (puttying holes in the guest bedroom) and told him I was ready to try driving the tractor. I went out toward the back forty so he could disconnect the mower from the tractor, and waited for him to bring the tractor to me.
And then I drove the tractor! It was a little confusing at first, but I got the hang of it pretty quickly, and drove all over the back forty while Fred watched and snapped some pictures.
I turned the tractor back over to Fred – who was visibly itching to get back behind the driver’s seat – and went back inside to clean the last bathroom.
The third bathroom – it’s just a half bath – off the computer room took me maybe half an hour to clean, since there’s not much to it.
I thought about starting to clean the kitchen, but it was starting to get late, I was running out of cleaning rags (of the two 24-packs of rags I’d bought at Lowe’s last week, I’d used all but three or four on the bathrooms), and I just didn’t wanna clean anymore that day. So I went out and watched Fred clear up some of the brush around one of the trees in the back yard, snapped a few pictures, and went out on the front porch to sit in a rocker and read.
After I got bored with reading and rocking, I went upstairs and hung out with Maddy until Fred was ready to go. I packed her up in her carrier, we grabbed a bunch of stuff we needed to take home with us (trash, dirty cleaning rags that needed to be washed), and loaded up the car and headed for home.
We unloaded the car at home, I threw the rags into the washer, put Maddy in her room, and then we headed out to eat dinner. We decided to try a “country cooking” restaurant not far from home, and while the food was very very good, there was only one waitress working, so we had to wait forever for our food. Not the waitress’s fault (we left a good tip; I ALWAYS leave a good tip. The one thing about working as a waitress for my very first job is that I will, for the rest of my life, leave good tips.), but I don’t know that we’re going to go back there real soon.
Saturday evening we watched TV and were planning to stay up until 11 so we could make sure the spud got home okay, but I whined and bitched about how tired I was, so we went to bed and talked for a while, then said goodnight, and Fred went to wait for the spud and I went to sleep. I fell asleep pretty quickly, too – apparently the spud rolled in about ten minutes before 11 (which is almost unheard of – she tends to push it up to the last minute) and I didn’t even hear the garage door go up.
Sunday morning I’d intended to sleep in a little, but I woke up a little after 7 and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I got up and did all my morning stuff (clean the litter box, do laundry, open the door to Maddy’s room and greet her, encourage her to follow me downstairs), then took a shower and was actually ready to go a little after 8.
We left the house at about 9, Maddy in tow, and made a few stops. We stopped at Lowe’s for work gloves for me, Fred’s new favorite store for a couple of bird feeders (me), a hat (Fred), and some bird seed (the birds, obviously. DUH.). We got to the house, unloaded, and Fred went out and worked on getting the post-hole digger attached to the tractor, while I got Maddy settled and started cleaning the kitchen.
May I just say “OY”? That kitchen, I looked at it, and I swear to god, it looked perfectly clean, but once I started cleaning, it became apparent that it was going to be a whole-day thing. And it was. I spent all day cleaning out cupboards (things I found while cleaning out the cupboards: a “Sno-Motion” snow-cone machine, Magic Chef dehydrator, pizza (?) pans, a framed gardenia picture, a corn cutter & creamer, about a thousand straight pins, and a key to a GM vehicle), wiping down the front of the cupboards, crawling around on my hands and knees and cleaning the bottom cupboards (and wiping those down as well), pulling out the stove and cleaning behind it, and the side of the stove (nas-TAY), and at the very end, I Swiffered the floor four times before getting down on my hands and knees with a soapy bucket of hot water, a thousand cleaning rags, and scrubbed the entire floor twice.
(Fred helpfully said “You didn’t really need to clean the floor, since we’re having them redone!” HE JUST DOESN’T GET IT. HMPH.)
People, if you love me, you will go pull out your stove and clean behind it, and clean the side of the stove. Because that shit apparently gets quite nasty (who knew?!). Just call it your good deed for the day.
Also, at one point I had to stop cleaning and go outside to help Fred dig a hole for the mailbox post. It’s a two-person job I guess, at least if you need to dig a hole straight down on a hilly area. Fred actually held the auger while I ran it (don’t ask me how I ran it; I just followed the directions he yelled at me). I noted that Fred likes to stand FAR too close to the tractor while I’m behind the wheel, making me want to yell “The tractor is a wild beast, mate! I canna control it! STAND BACK!” (I imagine yelling that in a Scottish accent, for some reason)
When I accidentally (or should I say “accidentally”) run Fred over with the tractor next weekend because he’s standing too close, you can consider that above paragraph foreshadowing.
The second pass with the Swiffer. Just as dirty as the first.
Side of the stove. Ugh. I’m pretty sure it could have been much, much worse, though.
More clean kitchen.
When the kitchen was done, I told Fred (who was upstairs painting the guest bedroom with primer) not to walk across the kitchen. He was ready to take a break, so we met on the front porch and rocked for a little while. He said he was going to try to get the guest bedroom walls completely painted with primer before we left, so I told him I was going to get the bird feeders filled and hung up and then read for a little while.
(I’m such a slacker compared to him!)
I realized, as I wandered around the back yard looking for a place to hang the bird feeders, that I needed (a) a stepladder, because there were no low branches to hang the bird feeders from and (b) chains to hang the bird feeders on, because all the branches were very thick. I ended up hanging one bird feeder from the post that holds the laundry lines and the other on a stump of a branch sticking out of the side of the cedar tree. I sat and watched for a few minutes, but no birds showed any interest, so I went off to the front porch to watch traffic and read.
The back forty, after Fred cut it.
The black Momma cat we first saw about a month ago was back Friday night. I gave her food and water and she ate some, but didn’t appear to be starving. I’m afraid she might be pregnant again, because she’s not nearly as skinny as she was. Then again, maybe her kittens are weaned, and she’s just gained back some of the weight she’s lost. Anyway – does she look like a bat in this picture, or what?
The mailbox (the previous owners didn’t have a mailbox; they used a PO Box instead).
Daddy longlegs on the door Saturday.
Daddy longlegs on the back of the house Sunday (probably not the same one, unless he got into a fight at some point between the two pictures and lost a few legs).
I didn’t know what this was, so asked Fred. He thinks it’s a Katydid. It’s kind of scary looking, if you ask me.
Home sweet home.
Probably wishes he had a less slackery wife.
I don’t know if I like these curtains or not. I just can’t decide!
Does leaving out cat food and water for the neighborhood cats (and possums, most likely) make me a crazy cat lady?
The cement slab where the dog run was. We were talking about putting a gazebo on it, and then we were talking about putting a hot tub on it, but I don’t know that we’d use a hot tub all that much, so we’re talking about putting a deck over it. We haven’t decided, though.
Cedar tree avec bird feeder. Too bad this tree’s coming down; I’m starting to like it more and more.
Yes, the laundry lines are going to need to be restrung.
Dirt Dauber? Wasp? I don’t know. Alls I know is that they SCARE me with their buzzing and their flying around.
Side doors leading to the computer room. I think we’re just going to put some simple steps there, unless I can talk Fred into a small deck.
Today, muscles all over my body are hurting. My quads and hamstrings from balancing on one foot on the ladder in the kitchen for so long (I needed the ladder to get to the top shelves), my back from crawling around on the floor scrubbing, but what hurts most of all is my right forearm. My right arm is my scrubbin’ arm, and god knows I did a LOT of scrubbin’ this weekend!
We’re not going out to the house tonight, because Fred needs to mow the lawn here, and then we’re going to Lowe’s to buy a refrigerator for the new house. The one we have here is too big and won’t fit in the space (we’re going to keep it and put it in the laundry room when we move, though), and we really need to have someplace to put our food while we’re working on the house for the next several months, so it’s off to Lowe’s we go.
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First of all, I made a movie of Maddy. This movie illustrates why Fred calls Maddy “Miss Squeaks.”
Secondly, Maddy is pretty much off the formula at this point and eating nothin’ but soft cat food. I’m such an enabler, though – ever since she started eating the soft cat food, she’d eat a little and then squeak at me, and I’d push the pile of cat food up into a little mountain so she could eat it more easily, and I’d say “Look, Maddy! Meat mountain! Meat mountain!” and tap on the plate, and she’d go over and eat some more. She was hungry this morning, though, and I was distracted, so when she squeaked at me I didn’t respond quickly enough, and know what she did? Did she sit there and starve? Why, no. She went over and ate the cat food that was NOT in a meat mountain shape. Apparently she’s able to eat non-mountainous cat food, she just wanted to put me through my paces.
In a few more days I’ll start introducing her to dry cat food and water and see how that goes.
“What’s brown and sticky? Give up? A STICK! Bahahahahaha! Heeheehee! Hahahaha! Oh, boy, that joke ALWAYS gets me! Hee! Hee! Heh. Hmm.”
She’s gotten very talkative lately.
More pictures hither.
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Reader yawny pet pics!
This is Gus, who belongs to Fran. Fran says, This is Gus, a Maine Coon Cat who is exiled in California. Sometimes he is too tired to yawn and meow separately so he combines it in a “meow-yawn” He has a very exhausting life. A me-yawn! Heh. Miz Poo does that, too, and it never fails to crack us up.
Sarabeth says, I’ve tried to catch my cat yawning. I’ve followed her around, watched her closely, camera nearby for a few days now and I’ve come to one conclusion. Cordie doesn’t yawn. She doesn’t yawn because SHE NEVER SLEEPS. She may close her eyes from time to time, but she’s really just plotting on how to shred and destroy something a little later on.
These pictures should give you an idea. She may look innocent in the first one, but I had just caught her sinking her claws into that roll of paper towels that she had STOLEN FROM THE KITCHEN. The second picture shows her true nature. Why do cats love destroying paper towels? WHY? Probably because it makes such a mess, the little brats.
Jennifer says, Chloe is the yawning kitty, Izzy is the one staring at her like she’s sprouted two heads. Chloe’s 4 years old, and Izzy’s just a little over a year now. They get along, when Izzy isn’t trying to copy everything Chloe does. I love how Chloe’s white patch looks almost like it’s heart-shaped.
Alicia says, Here’s a couple pictures of Max! He doesn’t have quite the same piercing stare as Mister Boogers, but I think they share the same sassy attitude. Heh – I think you mean Max doesn’t look as EVIL as Mister Boogers! In that second picture, the look Max is giving you as he lays in the sink? I’ve seen that exact same expression on Tommy’s face a million times. I can’t decide whether it means “I love you” or “Come over here and let me rip your throat out while I purr madly.” I keep my distance, just in case.
Megan says, Here is my cat Jimmy, yawning and showing us his broken fang. We took Jimmy in a year ago on September 22nd. He was a stray that we became fond of and thought we’d give a home. I don’t believe I’ve mentioned how much I adore orange kitties, have I? I think the broken fang gives him a rakish air!
Thank you to Fran, Sarabeth, Jennifer, Alicia, and Megan for sharing your pictures!
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2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: She seems a little wishy-washy about it. I think she might secretly like the book.
2002: (He always calls when I’m in the shower or eating. I think he has a hidden camera somewhere in hopes of catching me with my non-existent luvah-on-the-side Juan.)
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.]]>