Someone Start Dancing

Starting the blog over against my will feels a bit like being alone on a dance floor when you don”t know how to dance. Just waiting for anyone to move forward and move the spotlight so that I can exit.

I have no idea if this will even work. Or if I’ve lost the old one with this edit. I think not but…well, we shall see.

“Women named Lucy are always being imposed upon but, Lucia, there’s a name for an amazon, for a queen.”


An End of (Some) Things

Well, a lot can happen in a short time. A week ago I was informed that he was “not happy” and a divorce was pending. Yes, it was stunning news. No, I had no idea though a few days prior my suspicions were high. So this blog under this name will have to retire, I guess, or be renamed. Really not sure what my options are…

Conditions are amicable, generally. He chose a terrible time – selling the house, I was starting a job search, he may promote and have to move…but the last one – at least he did it now and not after I’d moved to a new part of the state so there is that. I am pushing hard for calm, and pleasant outlooks. I can fall apart later when I have a house and job. Right?

Add on that my laptop is in for repair (by a sweet friend) so I am forced to use my wee tablet which does at least have a wee keyboard outrigger. Still, it is clumsy and slow going so this will remain brief. If anyone has info on how to best deal with a blog change like this please pass it along…retitle and keep content, all new site, what? I have no clue. Sigh…onward with my packing, though. Another load needs to go to the storage space…

Good Lord, Has It Been That Long?

Oh, the dust bunnies are piled up in the corners here, no? Well, let me just offer a few reasons…my laptop died. And Sarge’s old one has a lovely Latitude keyboard “known issue” where your cursor just jumps around for no reason so writing anything more than a few sentences was a ridiculous feat. So I had to get a keyboard and mouse…

Then it was suddenly summer and Sarge was gone for a few weeks – and the garden was coming on like mad. And the puppy…dear GOD, the puppy. A royal PITA, frankly, as she is VERY dominant and needy all at the same time. She won’t stay in the barbed wire fence, either, low crawling like a mofo and managing to get all 80 lbs of herself through.20180630_174704

Ah, and then there was the swimming pool turned into a swamp ordeal…that took a few weeks and a lot of work to battle to submission. And then there was Twitter. Yep, I have spent far more hours there than I really ought to but it is an instant gratification thing – a few sentences and you are done. And I’ve managed to find one or two very nice people and handy to know types. So there is that.

Meanwhile…Sarge has been getting in great shape and taking care of dental appts that were needed. He has Plans that demand he be in top form and I applaud him. My own fitness took a dump when my arms started going awfully numb. Yes, I went to the doc. And yes, he declared the same old cry of “carpal tunnel” AKA “pay my Vette loan”. Look, I KNOW it is a nerve issue higher up than that – maybe ulnar entrapment but I am betting higher still. I think it is an issue with the axillary artery but no one wants to hear about that, do they? And yes, I had a lovely heart ultrasound and blood work that show I have few issues with the latter and nothing to show any major troubles. The higher BP also makes me think the problem is in the transverse scapular area – if I pop my shoulder just right in the rear sensation is better. So it is either nerve and/or blood constriction and I’ll be damned if I am risking my hands to save someone from doing it the right way the first time. I need to get someone to perform a proper CT angiogram, I think, too at least get a proper visual…well, pfft. It’s all BS – in the end I am too old to be fooled by a young surgeon who doesn’t have to face the consequences for a wrong decision. He didn’t even pay attention when I said that there was relief when my shoulder popped. Dude, that’s called a fucking CLUE. When he handed me a stretching band to alleviate that shoulder pain I knew we were done.

So a lot has gone on over the summer. And this vast beauty was hauled into the house – 38 lbs and 38 inches around. It was perfect inside. He was so proud.


Watermelon Ol 38

I am not a melon fan, generally, so he has been eating the massive harvest of cantaloupe and now these are coming ripe…just look at that beast! And then there were the whole two peaches the ancient tree provided…

I’d cut it back hard in the spring but a few very cold days made the blooms fail so I was glad to get any at all. We split each one so we could taste them and it was like what you dream a peach would be…drenchingly sweet, flesh just soft but not stringy. Oh, it was sunlight caught in your hand…20180725_194346

And the tomatoes…enough so that I was begging him to take them to the office, to the neighbor, to anyone that would have them. I made everything I could with them but at least they have slowed a bit – one bush was ridiculously huge. I shall save those seeds but now I know they need a cage of rebar. 20180724_074839

Did  mention the cantaloupes? I’ve two in the fridge and three on the counter. He took three to the office yesterday.

Add to all that the idea that I might have to leave this lovely and idyllic home for a different place in the state. Promotions sometimes demand that. In truth, we think it might be for the best, anyway. But…oh, I do love this place…I have been trying to accept that we got to enjoy it for as long as we have and it was a real treat to me to spend my days with each sunrise and sunset on my face, the winds always blowing on the hill. But I might also enjoy not having the reminders of the sadness…of seeing my dear Kota in every corner, of knowing there – there she lay down last, and there – there she scratched her final message to me. No…it might be a good thing to leave that behind along with much else.

Soon Sarge heads to Georgia to tie up some loose ends of his inheritance – if you know anyone who’d like an overbuilt old home in N. GA with a garden and proper chicken run…well, it will come available soon. In one way it hurts to let it go – the history, the last link. As much as I mourn this home he must mourn that one trebly so…but I am trying so hard to move away from holding onto things and places – to being more open to what life brings and not hate or fear change as I always have. Change has always been due to misfortune or mishap. I do not trust it. So it is a hard hurdle to just accept it as it comes…

I am watching the hummingbirds at my feeders, dancing in the air, fighting for the plenty provided. They also serve as a reminder to not hold so tightly to what I have as I might miss something I need more…but this place…this sky…these trees…if only I could pack it all up and move it along with me…a suitcase of land, a pop-up book of a house…well, it cannot be helped. And the world is uncertain! Anything could happen – anything at all.


Spring: the 3 Outfits Per Day Season

Ah, Spring in Texas…you just never know what you will get so you dress for Idaho in the AM, NM in the day, and the Sun by 3p. I wanted to get the winter things packed up for storage a few weeks ago but glad I held off. However, I think we are now well into the warmer weather so those heavy things can get packed away again. Amusing how some of the bags never were opened. I like to use those ziploc storage bags that you shrink with the vacuum – they go into a tidy storage bag with handles that you can stack and tote. Very handy. For some reason I never thought to get them out of the closet and into the storage space. This year, though…

I had wanted to get our attic fan thing installed over the winter while it was cool. That didn’t happen, of course. So now I have to find a handy man that can get it done because the live-in doesn’t seem interested in the task. I want to use the damn thing to keep the temp in there to a reasonable 95 or so. I also want to flip the bedroom furniture placement so that I don’t listen to the drone of the AC units all night. Lord, it makes me nuts. Sarge hardly notices…

It has been an absolute whirlwind of a year thus far – it feels like I’ve no time to just rest and think. Getting the puppy did not help in that regard. She has been a CONSTANT worry since she is an escape artist – yes, even through barbed wire. We just edited the fenceline a few weeks ago and she is still getting through. So…more strands will have to be added. Mind you, I did indicate same with the polite wifey “wouldn’t it be easier to just ADD a strand than move them?” query. Sadly, an entire day’s work was shown to be for naught. Well, we did get a lot of mesquite cleared which is always good. Still…so now we have to get some cattle panel sort of fence, cut it in half and mount it at the back fence where the neighbor dogs draw her attention. Then add one or two more strings of wire to the rest of the property. We assumed her size would end that escape ability but she can low crawl like a Marine. Sigh.

Anyway, we used to allow her to sleep outside for a few hours or just prance around the field but no more…on the leash for most of the time which means essentially the 6a wakeup and the irritating march in muck boots and robe. She is just too damn smart.

Poor Ranger got a dandy ear infection and had to go to the doc. He, like She Who Cannot Be Named, kicked himself a lovely hematoma on one ear. It will be $600 to fix it. Well, assuming we have the $130 blood work done to ensure he could manage the surgery. At nearly 12 yrs of age one really has to weigh that cost. After all, Artik must get spayed soon and then she will have a horrendous surgery bill for her hip in about 6 months or so. I dislike making these decisions. I am capable of cold calculation when required – being raised with nothing makes it easier to judge what is sensible and what is not. But it is still difficult.

We had company for a week and then Sarge was gone to a meeting for a week so a lot of things I wanted to get done didn’t…and I was so frazzled with the puppy duty that I just had no mind left…and now my head wants to give me some sort of freaky jerky throbbing pain – no reason, not constant, not positional…just HI! ZAP! OW! Now snap your neck like a zombie! And then…nothing. I was fine most of the day yesterday and now today it wants to return. I had a similar issue a long while back when I was very sick for about a week (I thought it was a sinus infection gone to hell) – I didn’t know it at the time, of course. I was unwell one day and then about 4 days later I groggily realize Sarge is home from work…I thought it’d been a day, maybe, of bed rest. Anyway, it was a similar pain then – much worse, and I went to a doc in the box to get something to help with the pain. They couldn’t see any reason for it but one said there was an obscure possibility and prescribed Prednisone against it. Currently at an impasse with my Primary doc I suppose I will have to fight to find a new one.

Sarge has been back on the Peloton and doing well – I have fallen off the wagon, so to speak, having had little time for anything lately. It bothers me a bit but I also know I just damned well haven’t the energy for anything else. I barely get enough sleep now that the puppy isn’t kenneled at night – she is awake at 6a if not earlier so if I don’t get the SLEEP at 10p then I am simply not capable of much in the day. Bitch and moan, I know.

We’ve company next weekend so I have to get the house in order – I slacked on the  chores with my head hurting and all the vet trips. I have to get some shelves up so I can restore the craft room to a semblance of clean and then plan a nice meal…we tend to not have company so it always feels like an Event. I have been trying to clear tables and floor of crap to make cleaning easier – a little at a time I have put things where they belong or gotten rid of them. I plan to see if my guest wishes to have any of my former work attire – she works at a dress up daily job and might be able to use them. I don’t think I will ever do that again and could use the closet space. I might miss a few pieces – I tend to get very singular items that I really like but…the fact is that I simply won’t wear much of it again.

Sarge has also been taking classes to get his degree and any spare time he has is taken up with that. I am very proud of him, though. He stays on top of the assignments and has maintained a 4.0 even with some very tough math classes. Very. I think he will be done in January. The school he chose was very nice about giving credit for all the classes and training he has taken over the years so it cut his obligation down a LOT. He has his good friends taking classes there, too.

AH – on a more useful note – I wanted to mention here (so I could find it later) that one of CZ’s pals commented on good Sceptre cans for water – someone mentioned these and I ordered one to try them out. On appearance it gets a 9 out of 10 – it still had a bit of flashing on the handle portion from the molds but nothing bad. The rest of the container was nicely trimmed. I will fill it up and leave it sitting to see how it holds up for a month and then load it up with some Aquamira to keep the contents stable. A great price, really. Next month I’ll probably order a few more to keep on hand. We have a lot of water already but you never know.

Speaking of water – that damned pool has been an utter pain in the ass lately. It went green on me and I had to get on top of it but damn, what a lot of work. More shock, more scrubbing and MAYBE it can be usable in summer. Fact is the damned thing is old, needs resurfaced and tiled and a new decking added. The systems are really nice but all it takes is letting the chlorine get low or having some crud get in it and you are in a world of pain. I wish I had the cash to refurb the damned thing but…so it goes.

Sounds like Sarge has finished his ride which means time for me to make the breakfast. I’ve been up for 3 hrs so that’s reasonable. BTW, have you seen this amazing video? The damned reading is long and a bit irritating but if they all get strung up for it my life will be better for it. He references this one from a few years ago and I wonder that it didn’t make the rounds a bit more but you never know…

So there you have it – a lot going on as usual. Just about nothing interesting, though. Life. Just life…

Just Another Title On My List

We have a running joke here about me and my rather diverse knowledge base. I am a data scrounger – I have many interests and have stocked away many a useless fact. (One that surprised me is that my favorite word for it – factoid – means a wrong fact! Had to stop using that term, damn it.) ANYWAY…so when I come up with an answer to something the guys tack on a title – I have many, now. Meteorologist, Numismatist, Epidemiologist, Librarian, etc.

Yesterday I added mechanic – which I actually already owned but, hey – I can re-up my license. The beloved Excursion has been unused for a few months due to a surging issue in the diesel engine. No issue with start, etc. Just an in-motion surging. A bit of research and I had two options – one dealt with a non-start issue and I was holding off on it. No, this one said the ICP – AKA Fuel Injection Pressure Sensor. Now, most things in a diesel engine are under, behind, or otherwise hidden by the turbo. I feared the same for this but it turns out the part in our model year was just under the turbo pipe so just a bit of wrenching had it off. Sadly, someone steered us wrong on the Internet (I KNOW!) and said it was a 1 1/16th deep socket. Nope. 15/16th. So guess which one we didn’t have after buying the other? Thank goodness our elderly neighbor has EVERY tool a man can gather in 80 years. He loaned his socket and it was just a few splices of wire (yes, we replaced the pigtail, too) and inserting the part and there you go.

Now, I had forgotten that it was also giving off a whine at acceleration that would hold pitch then fade – it was not the turbo. Turns out that it was a radiator cap/fluid issue (so far) in that the lack of proper fluid and pressure on the cap allowed the water in the fluid to boil which then had the fan kicking on in an attempt to keep it cool. So the key now is…determine if the lack of pressure/heat caused damage down the line like cracked head gasket damage. Fingers crossed!

Sarge is test driving it now and meeting a friend to pull the codes if any and to test the pressure. I wish I could have joined him but I had to be handy for a rescue ride. Turns out he is getting the car washed, too, which is nice. It was in dire need. I suspect she will ride just fine, now. Lord knows we had the engine overhauled like crazy not long ago. Anyway, all this to say that soon we will sell her. Insert a very sad face. I LOVE that truck. LOVE. But the damned thing can’t be towed, it won’t fit on any UHaul frame, and I won’t take it cross country and risk an Incident if I cannot tow it back. If I had plenty of $ I wouldn’t care. But…I don’t. So…She is my spoiled baby. Time to sell her and use the $ against something new and under warranty that can be trusted cross country and that will fit on a Uhaul tow option as needed. Sigh…the good news is that people want the dang things so we can probably get a good price for it. The interior is still quite good.

I am considering the new Expedition. Nice size, all the new stuff that I have never had, and no worries. Mind you, when I say new I mean a low mileage used one from the last year model because I never pay full price on cars. At this point we don’t have a car payment and I dread adding one. But Sarge says it is time. And I guess it is…

It is also time to sell his motorcycle but he has had no serious bites in his low key advertising. He will start with the more serious advertising shortly, using contacts at Harley Davidson to get the word out. She is a beauty and very low miles with every single nice thing one could want – including the passenger space. IMAG0655

The weather here has been nuts – quite warm and lovely but now gale force winds and a bit of chill. I have no idea how I can put my seedlings in the garden at this point. Assuming that he can even get it tilled in this weather – it is at least dry…would you like to see the plan? Garden_Plan

There you are – the tomatoes will be in containers to ensure consistent watering and maintenance. They might take up too much room, otherwise. I have to get a few trellis-is-is built but there will be time. I just hope to save some cash on the produce bill as that is a main source of grocery expense these days.

Did I mention the 2 deer we were given? Or was it three? Anyway, once again this season was kind and we have a chest freezer stacked with venison. I buy a bit of chicken or fish to offer variety but we eat 90% of our meals with that venison. We gifted our benefactors with about 10 lbs of ground meat as a thank you. It was welcomed as I suspect they don’t bother paying for the service like we do. I could do it all but that is so much work and it turns out to be about $1/lb for processing and shrinkwrapping. AND we got some great sausage out of it which is always nice.

I’ve been sick for two weeks – going into the 3rd – with that nasty sinus crud and terrible cough. I had fever a few early days but then it just settled into this nasty mess. Sarge brought it home but, as usual, recovered fairly quickly from the worst of it though he still has a moderate cough. We have, as it proper, kept from the public and hope we’ve not passed it along. When I did leave the house I was very careful to tell everyone to use their hand cleanser after our interaction.

Artik is growing like a weed – likely 70 lbs now. Time to get her groomed again though thankfully her fur sheds a majority of the dirt she gets into. And does she get into it…she loves to dig but restrains herself to a few smallish holes. She loves to chew but keeps to sticks and toys. So it’s all good. The other night she scared the crap out of me, though. She was in her kennel at bedtime. Sarge was nearly asleep and she was passed out. Just when I was settling in to sleep she let out a perfect wolf howl. PERFECT. Followed by a few hoots. Now, she has NEVER howled. Hardly hoots. It was the strangest thing. She was obviously dreaming. Sarge just stiffened and quietly asked me what the hell that was. I tried to not make a sound as I didn’t want her to wake and get restless. At any rate she is always keeping us amused.

As for the rest of life…well, politics is bizarre and I am a firm Q Anon watcher. A majority of what he has posted has been my opinion for some time. Not that there was anyone willing to do anything about it. But the most striking thing I suspect is coming is a closure of all the Creature From Jekyll Island banks and a return to the gold standard. We have a federal credit union account and I’d advise opening one as I strongly suspect they will be the only banking option for a few months. Sounds nuts, yes. But I am pretty certain it is the ONLY solution. It also points to the really strange market fluctuations as TPTB try to game it and/or save what they can. Anyone who is smart has invested in property or other durable goods. I am comfy on our current status though the fuel supply could be augmented.

So there you have it…nothing much else. Well, I did learn to sew a French seam today and it is lovely. So there is that. Stay alert, stay stocked, and be well.

Time Goes By

I was reminded the other day to post more often and when I arrived here I could not believe the entire month of January was missing. I felt certain I’d written something but…perhaps not. And now…now I must write on a different laptop.

My hard drive surrendered the ghost – or enough of it to render it useless – but I was at least smart enough to have a backup of the files. Sadly, Carbonite does not alert you that any folder/file over 10GB has to be selected manually. So I have tried to do manual downloads of that data but it is slow and I begin to wonder just how much I need it.

The only issue now is that this Dell has a “known issue” with the cursor jumping willy nilly during typing. Whether the space bar solder got too close to the trackpad or it is a bad driver no one seems to know. So tomorrow will find me buying a mouse and keyboard to save my sanity. Indeed, I wonder about finding a cute PS2 to USB connector so I can use the beloved MS Natural keyboard. That appears to be an antique and – ridiculously expensive. Sigh…at any rate, that jumping cursor makes anything more than a paragraph quite the endeavor.

It was a rather quiet Christmas. My father chose to return to Florida which was, in the end, a blessing for us. I don’t know that he ever intended to stay as he never really looked for a place. Rather, he looked for a brief time and then surrendered. I think he enjoyed our home but not the constraints. At any rate…we were both unwell off and on during the month of January and now we are back at it – Sarge having brought something home and I having picked it up. At least we are a few days apart in symptoms so when I am laid low he will be in recovery. I hope.

Before I am quite unwell I decided to get some potting up done – I managed to keep a few herbs alive all winter (quite the feat, really) and am so glad I’ve been able to enjoy them in a brutal season. But now they are out in pots, enjoying the spring weather. This, of course, means that we will see a late frost. Always the way, no? I await the drying out of the garden so that I can begin on that – it needs tilled under but right now it is a heavy and wet mess. Best to let it be a few more days. I intend to fill the (42 x 24 ft) space with as many vegetables as I can as the 3 deer we were given this past month are all in the freezer, now. If I can grow a majority of our produce the grocery bill could be halved.

The next major item is a chicken coop for the eggs. I want to do it right the first time, though. I have, at least, selected a good spot and we need to just choose a shape and size. I prefer a large run to avoid issues and a moderate roosting area. I hope to select for eating as well as laying – a chicken every few weeks would be quite nice. We do have many predators, though, so it has to be built well.

The little monster that Sarge chose to ease the heartache left by the loss of Kota grows like a weed.

All the recent snow photos of her looking in her element are…well, somewhere in the backed up data, sadly. In about 6 months we will have to decide on her surgery for her malformed hip socket. Just now it doesn’t seem to bother her too much – she stretches her hind legs way behind her in the mornings and I wonder if it isn’t an instinctual method of ensuring it is in position. Sooner than that she will have to be spayed. Poor thing – I wish she could be a mommy someday but that is not possible, now.

She is extremely intelligent and quite dominant and opinionated. It takes all I have to not lose my temper some days. I call her the Non-Listener. But she IS getting better. Mostly.

Och, this laptop is the most uncomfortable thing ever. It has sharp edges right where one might rest your wrists. Instead, you have to maintain that pianists pose of hands spritely dancing, wrists high.

It was such a harsh month of weather that I find myself, even as I type this, looking out the open window and enjoying the small breezes coming through. It was nothing but freezing temps, rain, snow, and high winds almost the entire month of January – and December held much the same. I had to bundle up 4 times a day to walk the hellion and then clean the floors over and over with the caked on mud and grime. I can understand how the pioneer women must have felt with rammed dirt floors – what a never-ending mess. Even now I am considering just moving everything out-of-the-way and swabbing the decks like a sailor. Ship shape in Bristol fashion, as they say.

Sarge has had little time to do anything on his list which has remained unchanged since November. I decided I’d might as well start tackling them on my own. Some things I cannot manage but many I can with enough time and concentration. But his college studies take up most of his remaining time off work so I haven’t had much room for complaint. It is vital he gets that work done.

But as he focuses on that I begin to worry about our little piece of heaven here…is there future encroachment to come? Will the blessed view be tainted with new buildings? Will the young inheritors choose to sell the family land rather than care for it? So we keep in mind the awful thought that we might have to sell to ensure we get our investment back. With the world being as hazardous as it is – the economy is uncertain. Sell now? Or wait and see? Did we overpay for the place compared to what others might offer? Nothing is certain, anymore, and I think sometimes that this is better than nothing – than being caught with no safe space if things go very wrong.

I hardly know what to say about the world these days…I track a certain Anon person who offers glimpses into terrible mirrors. Even if wild speculation I hardly think it all false. No, there are terrible people with mighty power and they wield it like a scythe. Anything is possible and I know better than to doubt it entirely. Instead, I just try hard to plan ahead, ensure we have what we need, and pray it all goes smoothly. A lot of pieces appear to be in motion and it takes very little to make it a wreck. I keep remembering a piece on Facebook about 3 years ago – maybe 4. It was a military person issuing a retirement message, perhaps. But in it was a sense of Now Is The Time For All Good Men…it felt then like a message – those in the dark, waiting, were told to light their torches and start the march to the light. It was a cue to action, I felt sure of it. And just wish now that I had made a copy of it. Because it seems as if a legion of individuals have been embedded, silently enduring terrible deeds, knowing that they would be called one day to take their position on the line.

I feel it deeply – that good people are working very hard to save what is left after a generation of ruination. But it will be ugly – no one will let go their position without a fight and any price to keep their power will deemed Worthwhile. I believe half of what I see – lies are everywhere. But I will watch – it is what we are charged with as citizens – to watch, take note, and aid when possible. One never knows when their name will be called. Be ready.