You know you have cabin fever when…….

you agree to “host” a round of crazy, misbehaving, pugnacious, sassy stuffed animals with names like Bongo, Nibbles, and Super Pickle! Each person on the list gets a visit from these fluffy visitors (and sends one of their own)  and gets a chance to show them a good time, introduce them to their friends, take them sightseeing, etc., while making a photographic document of the event! We then post the fun on our blogs!

Javajunkee came up with this insane- in- the -membrane idea and guess what! I’m so lovin’ it!

Yesterday afternoon my little YooHoo was sent all the way across the country right down the road to visit with 2LazyDogs !  YooHoo is a pink-tailed lemur who likes candlelight, walks in the park and fine wine. I hope Shari knows that she also loves to PAR-TAY!! If she’s not careful, little YooHoo just might hook up with the first handsome guy she meets and end up staying out all night.

yoohoo

This is YooHoo.

She’s a sassy girl with the look of innocence. Don’t let those big eyes and coy smile fool you. She’s a BAD GIRL!

And she likes to tease dogs, so I HOPE she doesn’t cause too much trouble while she’s visiting  her first hostess!

Have fun, YooHoo and BEHAVE!


I Only Wanted Some Coffee

coffee

This morning I got up to make coffee, turned on the water in the kitchen sink and ..nuthin’.  Ahh, the pipes are frozen…again. This happens every winter.frozenpipe

I trudge down the cellar stairs, plug in the old blow dryer and stand there, pointing the warm blast of air up onto the frosty plumbing. I left the faucet on so I can hear when the pipes thaw and sure enough, in a few minutes, I hear that blessed sound…running water. It’s just the way we do things here at the old farmstead.

 Funny the things I’ve gotten used to living here. Like never flushing anything other than poo and pee and single ply TP down the toilet. When one lives with a septic system, one learns that wipeys and tampons, and other normal potty detritus is forbidden from the flush. I learned not to clean the toilet with Clorox since chlorine bleach kills bacteria; not something you want to do to an aerobic system.

I’ve learned to live with drafts in the winter and overheated upstairs bedrooms in the summer. I simply turn on fans and lower shades when summer’s heat makes sleeping hard.

I’ve learned that one doesn’t run the water for more than an hour or so at a time lest the pump overheat or the well starts to pull mud up from deep below ground .

 I live with cluster flies in spring and fall, as well as Asian Beetles aka LadyBugs by the thousands! I am used to the cardinals beating themselves bloody every spring when the attack my sunroom windows. They think their reflection is another bird invading their territory.

 I’m used to deer eating every rosebud from my bushes and every rhododendrun bud as well. My hostas get attacked by marauding woodchucks and rabbits nest under the spreading yews, waiting to chomp down every edible green thing they can find.

 I live with a loaded .22 at the back door. Any woodchuck or rabbit caught near my vegetable garden is fair game. I don’t care what they do on the other 68 acres of mine but these 2 acres of backyard are mine to protect from hungry packs of herbivores! And I’m a damn good shot! The crows and turkey buzzards love me when I throw a dead rabbit out into the field for them to consume. It makes my daughters upset to think that their mother can so cavalierly kill an animal. I can. I grew up in the country when pragmatic decisions like that are made every day.

 So frozen pipes, while annoying as hell, don’t really faze me at all. It’s part of life “on the farm”.

 Just let me have my coffee first. Please.cuppa

Uninvited Critters

My sweet woodstove

My sweet woodstove

My wood stove is getting a good workout for the first time in many years.

Like so many young homeowners in the late 1970’s we purchased a wood stove for our country house and me, the young wifey was responsible for the care and maintenance of said appliance. I stacked, toted, and occasionally split the lengths of firewood and was in charge of making sure the fire was up and roaring early in the morning to take the night’s chill out of the house. I cleaned the ashes out daily and disposed of them in the garden to boost the soil for the vegetable garden I planted each year.

Needless to say this wore thin once the price of wood continued to creep up and the cost of heating oil came down. The wood stove sat, unused for almost 15 years. Until this winter.

Divorce is nothing if not a creator of realities. Where before I had the steady income of my own business and that of a husband, I am now dealing with divorce settlements which, If I am very frugal might last me till I am dead. Perhaps not in a falling economy and the fear of living on tea and kitty kibble made me learn to economize in surprisingly creative ways.

 I lit the wood stove about a month ago for the first time in years and suddenly I felt that intense radiant warmth from it that I had long forgotten. Sitting by it on a cold day when the wind has sucked the warmth from my fingers and toes and no wooly cardigan is sufficient to take away the shivers in my body I settle down with a sigh of contentment.my pile o' wood

 I didn’t even mind the woodpile and the carrying of logs to the log ring on the porch outside the front door. I gathered fallen branches from around the edges of the fence line and stacked them for kindling in a basket by the door. The smell of woodsmoke is like perfume to me.

But what I do mind are the uninvited critters that make their homes in the woodshed and even on the logs themselves! I was restacking some wood which had fallen from the woodpile last week when I decided to neaten up the woodshed. I picked up a tarp that I had place over the potting table and as I lifted it the the tiny clay pots stacked so neatly  came alive ! Mice, dozens of them began pouring out of the flower pots! A veritable fountain of mice erupted, jumping and running and flinging themselves off the table in search of cover! I shrieked! My skin crawled! I ran, flinging the tarp as I gasped in horror at the scene!36_mice_wide1

I can handle snakes. I grew up in Florida where snakes are just part and parcel of the landscape. But there are two things that skeeve me the fuck out and that’s mice, well rodents in general, and spiders! The other thing about burning wood is the fact that spiders live under the bark of the wood so that bringing wood into your house also brings those disgusting creatures into your house! I have seen them creep out, those loathsome black wood spiders, then run under the baseboard where they wait for the can of Raid I haul out to kill their asses!  I feel horror in imagining them crawling out and setting up house in MY house!

wolf_spider_lrg

Florida Wolf Spider

 When I was a little girl living in a Cracker house in Central Florida I used to sit on the toilet in our house and watch as these giant wolf spiders spin webs in the corner of the bathroom. They were as big as a small child’s hand, these loathsome creatures and that’s where I learned my fear of spiders. My mother wouldn’t kill them because they ate the cockroaches!  Ah, my childhood. What a time that was. Imagine having to do your business in a room where no sane person would venture, your little legs dangling there while you pray for a fast poop so you can get the FUCK OUT!

 I have since returned to the woodpile but I carry a long stick with which I pound the woodpile to send the critters  a warning before I pick up the first piece of wood. So far, so good.

Change Is Good

A recent comment from Dobeman made me start wandering about the way others have seen me this past year or so.

As some of you may know, I am waiting for the final divorce papers to come through any day now.  It’s been three and a half years since my ex walked out my  door and into his girlfriend’s. I grieved and ranted and stopped functioning for over a year and then I decided that that was bullshit and decided to live again.

 I never expected to meet someone so easily. D’Bear and I met July 13th of last year and we’ve been a “couple” ever since. He lives three and a half hours away from me. We each own our own homes. We aren’t planning on changing anything major ’cause this arrangement suits us. We’re two peas in a pod. We are silly and loving and living a life I only dreamed was possible.

 What is it about me that has changed these past few years? Hmmm… let’s see.

  1. I no longer refer to myself as “Pat”, the name I got stuck with when I moved north of the Mason/Dixon Line in 1974. (Previous to that I was known as “Patty”. Gag me.) Now since the ex’s girlfriend is also named “Pat” I use “Trisha” since Patricia is a little too formal for me. I’m not a formal kinda gal.
  2. I have learned that I am once again still a sexual human being! Yeehaw! Sex is fun!! You just need the right partner!! Who knew?
  3. I no longer have someone to nag and/or bully into doing things around here. It never worked anyway and it only served to piss me off. Now when the garbage needs to be taken out or the fields need to be mowed or the car needs to be serviced I simply take care of it. I always did anyway. Now I just skip the first step!
  4. I am no longer afraid to go to the toilet in the middle of the night to find myself sitting in the toilet water getting my ass wet because the fucktard I was married to couldn’t be bothered to put the seat down in THIRTY FUCKING YEARS!
  5. I eat healthy foods now ( most of the time) rather than the crap the ex wanted on a regular basis. Thanks to this my cholesterol has gone down over 40 points!
  6. I have purple stripes in my hair!
  7. I dress better. This is because I am with someone who gives a shit! Before I could have worn the sexiest thing on the racks and the ex would never have noticed… or cared. If you aren’t a classic car or a meatball sub you don’t get much attention from him.
  8. I’ve learned a lot about wine. D’Bear is a wine connoisseur and I am building a kick-ass wine cellar now! I love it!
  9. I’ve learned that I can live very cheaply and still be happy. Good thing since my money options have gone to the dogs. I sold my business two years before my marriage went totally to shit and haven’t been able to regain the financial stability I once had. C’est la vie!
  10. I can love again. It’s great! I learned that I am NOT unlovable or so flawed that no one can love me.  D’Bear loves me!

So , yeah, I’ve changed. My ex used to tell me “You’re not the girl I married! You’ve changed!” Well, DUH!! I grew UP! I matured! I evolved!

 Him? Not so much.

What Should I Do Wif it?……

  I must be freakin’ old or something. Today I met with a financial adviser, my second one so far. I am trying to be a responsible adult by investing my money wisely for my future. 

 

 My divorce settlement seemed adequate until I actually signed the papers and then my heart started beating too fast. I started waking up with a feeling of dread, that I would end up penniless in my old age.  I began to think I was foolish for not fighting harder for more of our marital assets. But I’m not really much of a fighter that way. Oh, I can fight if I have to, like for my kids, or my friends, but for me, not so much.

 

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( The ex’s girlfriend does NOT look like this. I refer to her (affectionately) as Fiona. )

 

 The new guy I met with today sounded young on the phone but I was not prepared for the reality.  

Calculating the numbers!

  He was young. Baby young. So young that I felt like I should ask him if he’d had a good breakfast. He was so young I was ready to ask him if his daddy was home. WTF? I was considering letting this whelp advise me on how to care for my future? What does he know of future? He probably only shaves every other week!

  He asked a few questions and told me he had already met my ex and “He sure is a nice guy!” (We live in a very small town.) That did it. I am definitely NOT putting my money in the hands of someone so stupid as to say such a thing to a soon-to-be divorcée ! The last thing we want to hear is that our ex is “such a nice man”. NO. He. Is. Not.    He’s a lot of things, but “nice” is not really one of them.

  I think I have two options: ask to speak with his superior and tell him the truth, that I am not comfortable with the ‘Child” or simply walk away and go to the first financial adviser I met with even though I wasn’t completely enamoured of him either. I am not totally ignorant of money matters so I can oversee my funds adequately either way.

  Meanwhile, anyone have any suggestions on how I can make a little money become a LOT of money? Hmmm?

Leaving La-La Land

Let’s see, since last I blogged much has happened. D. and I have spent all but a few days together, either at his place or mine. Last week he came down here and after spending some quality time on the mower proceeded to get violently sick and spent most of the next 48 hours in bed and/or near a toilet puking. My daughter had it two days before that and missed her first day of work in three years it was so bad!

I thought I’d managed to miss this one but the day after D. left I was sitting on my best friend’s porch enjoying a nice glass of Bogle zinfandel when all of a sudden I didn’t feel so good. I pleaded sick and left just in time! By the time I drove the few miles home I was sweating bullets and barely made it to the bathroom before I lost my stomach. The next few hours were horrendous. I didn’t know which end to turn which way! Luckily, as awful as it was, it didn’t last long and less than 24 hours later I was headed to Rochester.

 This weekend was our first anniversary of our first meeting. We celebrated quietly, just spending lots of quality time together, cuddling and making sweet love, drinking some good wines, eating some good food, chatting with friends, and enjoying the summer.

 On Saturday night we attended the Barbecue & Blues Concert and for only $3 saw some unbelievably great Blues bands and sat under the stars on a blanket rockin’ with a host of other blues lovers for several hours, just enjoying the music and the night and a cold beer. Perfect.

 

 

 

 

 On Monday we went to Letchworth State Park near Rochester and OMG, was it beautiful! Three waterfalls, views over the river ravines that made you want to cry they were so amazing, and the peaceful trails that took us all through the park which was enhanced by the stonework done by the CCC during the Great Depression.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to reality here when I returned to my home in PA today. The financial part of my divorce is final so I spent the better part of the afternoon arranging my finances, insurance, changing accounts into my name, etc. 

Later  I got to spend some time with my sweet grandson Cole. We rode the tractor out to the south field where we picked handfuls of ripe wild raspberries and he shoveled them into his mouth like a ravenous little monkey! I roasted a chicken with herbs and garlic, baked a couple of potatoes, steamed some broccoli and my daughter, Cole , and I had a good dinner together.It felt great just quietly enjoying my family.

Daniel remains in Rochester to get some work done there. We tend to focus so much on each other and neglect some much-needed chores at our homes when we are together so this will be time well spent even if it’s lonely. Hopefully we’ll be able to see each other in a week or so.

Please forgive me for having neglected you all. I missed reading about all your adventures this past week but I needed the time away from my computer. I’m sure you all know what I mean! I will be catching up a little at a time and responding to your (brilliant) posts as soon as possible.

Love to all of you!

Blisters, Sweat, and Black Flies

                                             

   I decided the other day that since my divorce may be coming through relatively soon that I may want to take a little advantage of “our” charge accounts. I wouldn’t normally be so grasping but the other day my STBE (Soon-To-Be-Ex) was bitching and complaining about how shitty his finances were, how his bills were piling up and the money “just isn’t coming in fast enough”.

 Then two days ago I was outside when this big pick-up pulled in the driveway. A very nice-looking young man came walking up the sidewalk and said ” hello, M’am. (gack!) My name is Chet and I was wondering, is that your farm across the street, ’cause I notice that the wood fence over there really needs painting?”  I told him that yes, it was sorta mine but that it really was under the domain of my STBE. He said that he comes through every year and does work for a farmer we know who is well respected in the area. (I was thinking that I would check that reference, if need be.)   He wanted to paint the fence and asked who he needed to speak with about it and I told him my STBE’s name and told him to go across the street to see him at our business there. He said he’d been there and that the door was locked, I realized that it was 12:15 and the STBE never misses a meal so I told the young man to go back after one o’clock.

This sweet-talking guy then offers to give me an estimate on my old barn roof and I told him to knock himself out as long as the estimate was free and he said yes, it was. He went down to look the old barn over and while he was gone I checked out his truck. The liscence plate said he was from Virginia! That explained the lovely southern drawl!

He came back and gave me a story about how it would normally cost me about $1600 to do a roof that rusty but he would do it for only $1200.  I laughed and told him that was about $1150 more than I had at the moment. He scratched his head, got quiet for a couple of minutes, and said something about how he had several can of that roofing paint on his truck and how he really wanted to get it out of there so he could pick up more barn paint in the morning and “hey, I tell ya what… ” he said, ” what would you give me to do it? I take checks and credit cards!”

 I swear the hair on the back of my neck stood straight up. This was a classic con game! I said ” I don’t make decisions about money that quickly so just leave me your card and maybe I’ll let you know.” He said “well, M’am, when might I be hearing from you?” and I said ” when I win the lottery!”

 Late that evening as I was having dinner with my daughter from across the street I recounted this story to her and she said ” That guy must be the one I saw over there painting today!” He must have  conned the STBE into hiring him! The daughter called her father and said ” hey, Dad, how much is that guy charging you to paint the fence?”  “$1200 !  You probably could have hired him for half that!”

 The next morning I went over and saw two older black men doing the painting from a truck with the painter’s name on it . The young man was probably off conning some other poor sucker into paying him top dollar for watered down paint. But I realized that my STBE was not worried about money as much as he professed! The fence is not the biggest priority around here!

So yesterday I went to our local hardware store and charged three gallons of deck stain and a couple of brushes. I plan to go back tomorrow and buy a socket wrench set and some garden hoses! Charge it!

 That was yesterday. I then scrubbed the deck with Clorox and Simple Green and a brush. It took 5 hours to get it clean enough. I let it dry overnight and today I spent 6 hours staining the damned thing! The flies were driving me insane and I couldn’t swat at them because I was sticky with cedar stain all over my hands!  It’s pretty big, 20’X20′ and then there are steps down to another landing and then more steps and rails and posts and uprights and risers and oh hell! I am so achy tonight! I finally got done!! It looks great!

 I went out a little while ago to admire my handiwork. The birds have already shit on it.

Boy, I showed him!

Limb-less

  It would seem that the STBE (Soon-to-be-Ex) is taking me seriously finally!        

  The tree branch has been removed. After some consideration of my options I decided that enough was enough. I called STBE and said that unless he did something about the branch I was going to call the most expensive tree surgeon in the area and have it removed, then bill HIM!

Not only did he come over with a chain saw but he brought two other employees with him. In about 15 minutes the limb was cut up into decent firewood size and the debris was hauled away. Gawd!  Why do I have to go through this crap.

Now some of you may be asking yourselves ” why didn’t she just ask him to cut the limb up?” Well, I did.

He pretended that the limb was news to him, that he had somehow not noticed it when he drove past my house 12 times.  He is very busy, he said. He will “get around to it soon.”  I know his “get around to it soon”.  I asked him three years ago to fix the hole in the woodshed roof.  I ended doing it last year. A shit job, yes, but at least it kept the worst of the snow and rain out.

When I posted images and wrote about this a few days ago I got some brilliant responses about how to handle the situation. Some of the more inspired ones are: “Maybe you could manage to pull it just a little ways… isn’t it only 20 feet or so to the middle of the road? I bet if you could get it that far the rest would take care of itself. “  and ” Hook a chain to it and drag it to one of those assholes driveway.”  Also I got ” Go thru the kids old toys and find anything with wheels; rollerskates, skateboards, wagons etc. Get them under the bulk of the branch and push that puppy into the middle of the street. Giving just enough room for YOU to get in and out of your driveway. “  All inspirations to me!!  But the one that sounded like the most fun was this one :”I say pour some gas on it, set it ablaze and roast some marshmallows.”

I love my readers!

 Now I can just lay my fat ass down on the couch and be a happy bitch! Cause sometimes we all need a nap! Ahhh, if only life was like this……….

Peace, y’all!