Saturday, January 31, 2009

Home Improvements

In case anyone thinks Steve is just on vacation while he's in TX I thought I'd post some evidence of his progress. Maybe he'll chime in with a few more details later. He did describe the joys of wall texturizing in his post on Jan.14th so check that out. Click in the center of the slide show just to the right of this column and it will open up the album, click "slide show" at the top left and you can see full-size photos with the captions.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Caught the robber!

It's been awhile since I've posted anything - not too much exciting going on in the foggy, cold northwest! I do have to stake my claim as a successful trapper however.... This rascal has been stealing cat food, shredding the storage container and the panel that covers the cat door in the shop, scaring fish in the pond (and swiping one occasionally I suspect) for several months. Earlier efforts at trapping were unsuccessful but I think the cold weather made the pot of cat food more appealing. All I can say is, I'm glad I never met this guy in a dark alley.

Look at the photo closely - that flat panel is the trigger - it used to be attached to the cage, but not anymore! There was also a little tuna can in the corner (it held the bait) it used to be attached to the cage by a couple of wire attachments too - not anymore. The trap is made out of bent wire fencing surrounded by a layer of chicken wire.... not anymore! The 'coon tore away the chicken wire and excavated a hole big enough to bury a chicken in his unsuccessful attempts to get out.

A lively 20 pound 'coon in a wire trap is a handful - especially at 7:30 in the morning when you have to get to work. Bless his heart, my neighbor Jim offered to take the critter upriver and "give him a new home." I hope it's far enough away that he's become someone else's problem and doesn' t come back here. I hate to think of the alternative. There's certainly something appealing about a raccoon - they're smart, they're cute, they have "hands" and eat the same things we do... well, close. I haven't eaten much cat kibble lately! I guess I admire their ingenuity and stamina... 'just wish this one would demonstrate it somewhere else! Respect aside, if he comes back he's getting turned into a hat! Adams Taxidermy just set up shop only a mile down the road!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

News from the Republic

Howdy y'all! I'm taking a break from taping dry wall. I'm painting several walls and taping and mudding some dry wall.......I look like the abominable snowman. The weather here is very variable in temperature. We have had some days in the 80's and a lot in the 60-70's and a few cold nights. It has been sunny for the most part. Over the weekend Kendra, Skot, and Mahoney helped me cut down some dead trees. Had a nice time and fed 'em a steak dinner.

I miss the wife but I won't head home until I get the painting done and some other projects done unless the house sells in Oregon. We had another offer from a guy who made and offer last May. The guy offered 40,000 less than he did we declined any further negotiations.

I enjoyed the end of football season and watched most of the games over the bowl season. I bought a big screen HD set from Kendra and really have enjoyed it.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Happy New Year everyone!

What a busy holiday we had. I barely got out of Oregon ahead of a pretty nasty storm, and was very happy to arrive in the mild Texas winter weather. Two weeks few by with the regular holiday festivities and a little bit of work on the place. Steve will be there for another month or two, painting, tractoring, cutting down trees..... fun stuff! I'm supposed to be keeping up with the chores here in Oregon, but the weather isn't "conducive" . . . though my little weather station says "sun" it's misting right now, and it's all of 41 degrees (we're expecting a high of 50, while San Marcos is expecting 61 - cold for them!)

I've got a nice fire going out in the shop to warm it up and will be working on storing all the Christmas lights I took down yesterday. It was a very modest display compared to past years, due to the fact that it was just me putting it up, but I did come up with a new display for one of the flower beds.... a tomato cage turned into a tree surrounded by silk poinsettias. The "tree" was so thick with lights that it looked green during the day and my neighbor actually thought I had planted a small tree in the tub!

One of my hobbies while in TX is trying to outwit the squirrels. I thought I had it this time, with a very clever Rube Goldberg type of pulley arrangement for hanging the feeder. Steve said two days after I left they had it figured out.... apparently launching from the tree and flying over to grab the feeder, somewhat like the Flying Wilendas!

I'm proceeding with packing and tossing preparatory to an eventual move. How did we ever accumulate so much STUFF! I don't think I could have ever managed to put my life into a covered wagon and head west. It would have taken several wagons!