April 30, 2018

An Anniversary of Sorts

We've been here a year now, actually a year and two weeks. I forgot to post about it on the actual year date. In a way, it seems like we have been here for years. It no longer seems strange to turn off the highway at our new exit, the pastures, ponds, cattle, and goats no longer seem strange and new. The view out our windows, when I remember to look up, doesn't fill me with awe that it is really ours. It's still pretty, especially now, but I'm used to it.

We love our new little town.  I haven't met anyone yet who wasn't friendly and welcoming.  We're on first name basis with the people at the post office, the water department, the library, and the grocery store.  There are actually two, tiny grocery stores, but we usually go to the nearest one.  I've been to the other one a couple of times when the near one doesn't have something and it seems they carry exactly the same items.  There are a couple of dollar stores, a couple of restaurants in town, and several fast food places at the truck stops by the interstate.  The best shop though, is the quilt shop.

The town's population is just under 1900 people and of course there are houses popping up everywhere outside the city limits.  It's still just a 1A school though.  There is one traffic light, and it is a single blinking red light.  During peak traffic, there might be three cars waiting at the light.  The library just became computerized, but it's pretty laid back.  No fine for overdue books, and if the librarian knows someone's name (and she does), she doesn't even need to look at their library card.  When we first moved here, the library still had pockets in the back of books that people signed when checking out a book.  The biggest event in town is the Christmas parade and the next biggest is the tractor pull in July.

We're further from the interstate than we were before, but because we are on a hill, we hear the traffic more here.  We're closer to town than in our last place, and a couple of neighbors ride their bicycles to town regularly.  I'm not sure I could dodge all the potholes and dips in the road, but traffic wouldn't be a problem.  However, I usually need to take the truck to pick up some kind of building supplies.

Building has cost more (a lot more) than we anticipated, it takes longer to get things done (six and a half months for them to get the final electric meter in so we could start wiring, and five months before that to get the first wrong meter), and we are still living in our fifth wheel. At least we aren't in our first little travel trailer. I think if we were still in that, we might not be speaking to each other now. Still, it's a small fifth wheel and most of our stuff is either in boxes in the attic or still in storage.  Several neighbors told us they lived in their trailers for a year and a half before finishing their houses, and I hope we don't beat their record.

After the electrician installed the meter and did the wiring in the garage half of the barndominium, Hubby has been doing the home side. He does a little in the evenings, but mostly on weekends when there isn't something else going on. This past weekend, he wired on Saturday and finished the siding on the porches on Sunday. I should be out there caulking right now. Or mudding the closet. Or finishing the terracing. There's always something.

We've decided to put in mini-split hvac units even though every local company who made bids advised against it. We've both researched and compared mini-splits to central hvac and it seems the best choice for this barndo, considering the amount of insulation we will have and the passive cooling configuration we have.  The smallest central unit would be too big for our space and then be inefficient.  That is the next big project, and it will make it easier to work on the barndo this summer. Last summer, the heat kept us from working past June and then it was hard to get started again in the fall.

I hope by the next anniversary, I can say we have lived in our home for xx months!

April 08, 2018

Rebuttal from Buddy T. Cat

The two leg species continues to confound me. First you take me out of my wild, scary, and exhilerating hood, civilize me, confine me, beg me to adapt to my new situation, and then squawk when I do adapt. Me-ow! Outside, I had mice, rabbits, and lizards to chase and catch. Inside, I have ... you.

Now to set the record straight, I do not sleep all day. Dad leaves his computer on and that is why I spend so much time up stairs. I just rush over to the window and fall into a deep, fake sleep when I hear you, Mom, clomping up the stairs. I have found my peeps kits online. There is a big online community of cat bloggers and we teach each other.

 Did you know there is a linky for the number of two legs you outwit every day? There is a point system too. 60 points for eldery, 40 points for senior citizens, 20 points for young adults, and 100 points for children. Bonus points for drawing blood or making one fall. I'm also learning French from my new bbfs at The Swiss Cats. They still get to go outside and come in when they want to. Did you catch that? When they want to. I don't think they have owls and coyotes at their house though. Je suis tellement envieux. Did I get that right Pixie?

That's my life in a nutshell. Eat, blog, sleep, chase my peeps. I'm not trying to kill you, just keep your reflexes quick and you should be okay. If not, c'est la vie. By the way, when are those grandchildren coming? There's a new linky next week.

I Think My Cat is Trying to Kill Me

For over a year, Buddy T. Cat has been a full time house cat. At first, he kept an eye on the door waiting for a chance to escape, and he did escape once at the duplex we rented while our barndominium was being built. He ran outside and then stopped when he realized he didn't know where he was. I guess he thought he was going to be in his own backyard. While he was considering his options, I managed to scoop him up and get him back inside. Once we moved here, he got out a couple of times and evaded us by hiding under the cars. For the past few months though, he seems to have come to terms with his confinement. We can open the garage door, tell him no, and he sits where he is until the door is closed again. The perfect cat.

He is still sweet and cuddly and greets us at the door when we arrive home. We've never had a pet that loved me more than Hubby and I'm afraid it's gone to my head and I spoil him rotten, especially after all the dogs we have had who ignored me the minute they saw Hubby. Buddy follows me everywhere and watches me while I work. He meows when he wants up in my lap and goes to his bed when I say no. He spends most of his day sleeping in the window and keeping an alert ear for the sound of food being put in his dish. Until recently, when we worked late in the evening, he went to bed when we turned the light off. In fact, if we worked too late, he came over to us, sat down, meowed, and stared at us until we got up. Then he ran to the door hoping we would follow and turn off the light.

But recently he has become deviously playful. Or maybe just plain devious. He still sleeps in his window most of the day, but his nocturnal habits have changed. Several times I have turned off the light and in the quiet I can hear his collar bell as he runs around the garage. Then I started hearing things being knocked off shelves. Every time I heard that, I ran into the garage just in time to see him sauntering over like he just woke up. Just one time I caught him in the act. He had climbed the ladder we left propped against the upper shelves and settled into a spot he cleared among the stuff we had there. After that, we made sure the ladder was moved at night.

But still the night noises continued. Now it sounded like something was rolling across the floor until it hit the wall. It took a week, but I finally figured out that one too. Hubby's router table is on wheels and is normally kept under the windows in the garage. I have to move it out a couple of feet so I can open the window. It's when the window is open that I kept hearing that noise. One night after hearing the noise, I managed to open the door soundlessly and walk around the corner. There was Buddy on the window sill, looking out into the night, and the router table was tipped against the wall with a upturned wheel still turning. I don't know if he is pushing the table to the wall and jumping on it to get to the window sill or if he jumps on the table and rides it over to the wall. And this from a cat who used to freak out when something with wheels rolled near him.

But here is the kicker. Lately, he loves to lay in wait for me, crouched down low with hind legs ready to spring when I walk by. Then he takes off like a shot and does a couple of laps around the room. I used to fake scream to gratify him, but now he is better at it and really has startled me a couple of times. Most of the time, he is so obvious that only someone with worse vision wouldn't see him. So I started walking slowly when I saw him crouching near a corner, stop, and say, "I see you." Then, he would stand up and walk away. Maybe I should have let him continue with his fun. Because now, I think he is seeking revenge by trying to kill me.

When I walk down the attic stairs, he tears down the steps behind me, passes by me, and then swerves in front of me. And sometimes he stops right in front of me. Once when he stopped in front of me, I couldn't stop and caught his chin as he was turning to look at me. But it didn't stop him. Since we are still building and there are no counters or worktops, we tend to put whatever we are working with on the stairs instead of on the floor. At our age, it's easier to reach over to a stair step than bend down to the floor to pick up tools. His favorite place to attempt to kill me is in front of whatever is on the stairs.

I told Buddy if he killed me there wouldn't be anyone making sure he had food, water, and a clean litter box.   And Hubby would leave him out with the owls and coyotes.  He just looked at me and ran up the stairs to plan his next attack.

April 04, 2018

Public Service Announcement - for Women Only

If an unidentified someone (out of the two of you) leaves a yellow highlighter in his pocket, and it goes through the washer AND dryer, do you know what will happen?

It will make little yellow dots on your clothes. Not his. Only yours.

Life isn't fair and neither are highlighters.