Monday, September 29, 2014

Trail of Cheetos

Yeah, no, I don't know why somebody left a Cheetos-and-cereal trail on the flood wall.  Ideas, anyone?

ANYway, yesterday was a gorgeous day for a walk.  Even though we haven't had a hard frost yet, the trees are inching their way toward peak, with a few already flaming:

The shadows are long, even at noon:

 The creek is low:

The asters are blooming like fireworks:

And the light is golden in the woods:

I think by this coming weekend, the trees will be at their prettiest.  And after that ... well, we all know what's coming.  But for now we can pretend we don't.

Friday, September 26, 2014


I just got a call from an insurance company.  Looking at the caller ID, I thought it was a telemarketer and almost didn't take it, but then I thought the better of it. 

Turns out, many many MANY years ago, my mom took out a life insurance policy and named me, her youngest, as the beneficiary.  I dunno why either; probably one of my dad's bar buddies was selling insurance or something. 

Mom passed away in December.  The insurance company got wind of it.

They're sending me a check.  For

oh crap I probably shouldn't say it here, should I?  Beware of scammers and all that.

For lots of dollars.  Not enough to pay off my mortgage or anything, but enough to take a very VERY nice vacation should I so choose.

Out of the blue.

All I can think of is, many years ago, when my great-aunt Grace passed away and unexpectedly left my Mom a sum of money, and how pleased we all were for Mom. 

And now it's me.

Thanks, Mom! 


Beach baby, beach baby, there on the sand, from July to the end of September ...

I was accidentally listening to the classical music station the other day, and the announcer was introducing a symphony, and he starts talking about how the song Beach Baby used a portion of the theme and blahblahblah and I was all, "Beach Baby!  I haven't heard that song in YEARS!"

Turns it came out in *gulp* 1974.  When I was twelve.

So here ya go.  A blast from my past.  You're welcome. 

(Updated to add:)  And now this song is STUCK IN MY HEAD and I've been whistling it all morning, which ordinarily I would worry was bothering my co-workers, except ONE of my co-workers has suddenly developed the EXTREMELY ANNOYING HABIT of inserting the word "literally" into EVERY SINGLE SENTENCE so I'm pretty sure we're even.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Five dollar necklace

Huh?  Huh?  Is pretty, no? 

I found it at Charlie Brown's, which I hadn't been to in a while because evidently new people bought it and they ripped out all the walls and now it's just like one big open ... space, and it seems like the vendors all raised their prices, maybe because they're being charged more rent, and anyway, I was not impressed AT ALL when I went in a few months back because now it's just like all the other overpriced junk shops in the area, but it was raining the other weekend, and I thought, eh, why not, might as well just pop in and


five dollar necklace.

Lucky me.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Decisions, decisions

So!  Now that my sanity-saving fence is up, it was time to stain it.  I went to Home Depot last weekend, perused the options, and picked out a stain.  I didn't want something too dark; just something natural-looking.

Here is the fence, unstained:

I decided to stain the back side, facing the neighbors, first, in case I didn't like the color:

That right there is the world's sloppiest application of Thompson's Waterseal Waterproofing Stain in Transparent Woodland Cedar.  I'm not sure on the color:  Too dark?  Just right?  I might go with a lighter, or even a clear, stain on my side, but I'm not sure. 

Oh!  And in other house news, I've been willow tree shopping for a while now, because while the giant willow in my backyard is gorgeous, it is nearing the end of its lifespan and I wanted to get a replacement started.  I've been looking at garden centers and on line without finding anything in my extremely limited budget.  I actually started some cuttings last weekend, more as a science experiment just to see if they would take than anything else.  But then!  At Tractor Supply for an adoption event last Saturday, I had a chance to browse the garden area, and holy crap you guys, they were selling six-foot willow trees for TWENTY BUCKS.

Welcome to my backyard, little willow tree.  Ignore the cats; they're kind of jerks.

Oh, and I actually went BACK to Tractor Supply and picked up ANOTHER willow tree Monday night, because why not?  TWENTY BUCKS.  And then?  Last night?  I went back AGAIN and picked up a pink dogwood.   hahahahaha ALL THE TREES I NOW OWN ALL THE TREES.

Time to dig some more holes. 

Okay, okay, back to the main point:  The fence stain.  Too dark?  Too light?  Just right?  Enquiring minds want to know.

Monday, September 22, 2014

What lies beneath

The contractor who installed my fence has been doing some other odd jobs around the house for me.  Installing a new floodlight for the backyard (necessitated by hearing the nighttime yip-yip-yipping of coyotes in the distance a while back - NOT a sound you want to hear as a pet owner), replacing a wonky exterior outlet, etc.  I also asked him to do a little sleuthing.

When I bought the house five years ago, there was brand-new carpet in the bedrooms and the hallway.  Very nice, but when you foster kittens, some of whom are still learning the ABCs of litterboxing, carpet is a pain.  It would be much easier if there was a hard floor in the foster room, and since my living room had a hardwood floor that was obviously original to the house, I wondered ... maybe there was hardwood under the carpet? 

Of course, there's only one way to find out - rip up the carpet.  Engineers call it "destructive testing" - ripping something up to find out what's behind it.  So I asked the contractor to cut some of the carpet in the foster room closet and see what was under it.

Would it be linoleum?  Some kind of crappy subfloor?  Would it ... could it ... be hardwood?  Oh, the suspense was killing me.  Finally, it was time to find out.

The contractor went into the closet and started cutting.  He pulled up a square of carpet and padding and handed it out to me.  Then he said, "Here, come take a look," and survey SEZ:

(inserting some spaces here for suspense)

(can you even stand it)

(here we gooooooo...)

Ding ding ding IT'S HARDWOOD!  The angels sang.   Looks to be in excellent shape, too, if maybe in need of some cleaning and refinishing.

Holy crap you guys, WHY do people carpet over hardwood? Whyyyyyyyy?  Wood floors are so pretty.

So!  I'm going to have the contractor pull up the carpet in the foster room ASAP.  Just so I can go in and gaze at all the wood glory.  As soon as the budget allows, he'll come in and refinish the wood, and then, down the road, do the other bedroom and the hallway. 

Oh happy day.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Diatowhatsis whatsis?

So, add this to the column of "Things I should probably not be admitting":

In addition to ringworm, my household also had fleas.

Yes, I flea-and-tick treat my cats.  And my foster cats. Religiously during the warm months, as my neck of the woods is Tick City.  And Pony gets treated year-round, due to his immune issues.

So, I treat all of the cats I can get my hands on, i.e., Pony, Soda, Tinks, and Bindi.

Who does that leave out?

Callie.  Meet the Flea Factory:

I can't get within five feet of her, thus, I can't flea-treat her.  And she DOES have fleas.  My other cats are unaffected, as they are flea-protected, but Callie and I are the only two animals in the house who are NOT flea-treated, and we both?  Are flea-bitten.

Aye-yi-yi this foster biz.

So.  I started researching flea control methods.  A fogger bomb was out, as were standard insecticides, because I have no way of removing Callie from the premises during treatment.  (Doesn't she look stressed, in that pic above?  DOESN'T SHE?  Little sh*t.)

And then, I remembered another blogger (if it was you; speak up - I can't remember WHICH blogger) had mentioned some kind of ... dust.  Some all-natural treatment.  Something ... earth.  Dia-something-something earth.

So I googled "dia earth", and up popped

Diatomaceous earth.

Turns out diatomaceous earth is one of those products, like vinegar, that will supposedly cure everything but cancer. And maybe cancer, too.  It's a talc-like substance that is evidently the remains of fossil shells blah blah blah snooooooze.

And it will kill fleas. And ticks.  And silverfish and bedbugs and whatever other little nasties are lurking in the carpeting.

Sold!  While at Agway a couple of weekends ago for an adoption event, I picked up a bag of it.  And spread it liberally all over the house.  And, because I do like to hedge my pets (typo and it stays) and I also like my toys, I picked up one of these:

I could not resist the graphic of the fleas merrily traipsing toward the trap.  "LA LA LA LA SH****T!"  Ha.

While the flea trap did not capture any fleas (I didn't set it up until a couple of days after I had spread the earth), I can say with confidence that the amount of scratching going on in my household has substantially decreased since I used the diatomaceous earth.  And I, at least, am no longer flea-bitten.  I can't speak for Callie, but she seems happier as well.  Diatomaceous earth FTW!

And I am curious:  Have any of you guys used diatomaceous earth?  For fleas or other uses? Of which there are about ten billion, at least according to the internet.  Do any of you actually ... eat it?  Or feed it to your pets?  Enquiring minds want to know.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

well, THAT was a real cob job

So, I got home yesterday, and the tree trimmers  were gone.  They cut out a sh*t-ton of branches, mostly right in the middle of the trees, so it kind of looks like a narrow tornado came through. 

Like this:


(That's not my trees, btw.  Just a VERY ACCURATE representation.)

They also bashed a big dent in the top of my mailbox and flattened the mailbox garden.  I tried to fluff the black-eyed susans back up, but they're not having it. Hopefully they'll rebound.

Oh, and they left nine million branchlets all over the damn front yard.  AND left a bunch of widowmaker branches hanging.

Sheesh.  So basically, the utility company, to which I pay some of the highest energy costs in the country, did a job that would get a regular company fired.

On the plus side, the front yard gets a bunch more sun now.  So ... yay?