Wild life

Dec. 22nd, 2010 08:33 am
likethebeer: (cold)
There's a young deer in my backyard right now (I wish I had a camera, but don't, unfortunately). It's just hanging out there, standing at the base of a tree. Looks like a first year - it has some size to it, but no antlers (if it's male). It's the size of a greyhound, I guess (but a little meatier).

Interesting. We're not used to having deer just hanging out there. They'll walk through (or run), but not a lot of standing.

Anyway, thought I'd share that.

oh boy

Dec. 15th, 2009 09:15 am
likethebeer: (Default)
The heat in the house is sort of shaky - it's coming on, but not like clockwork. I'm nervous about leaving this place alone for too long for x-mas. Have to ask mda to call Thermo-Dynamics today!
likethebeer: (Default)
I finished the last, large chunk of the Great Cardboard Project of 2009 - removing 7 years of cardboard boxes that were in the bottom floor of our garage. A couple of weeks ago, it was a pile that was about 7 feet tall, and about 6 feet x 5 feet wide at the base. I broke everything down and either brought it to recyclers over the weeks, or tied it up & put it out by the curb. I've got 1 pile left for the trashman next week.

I'm trying not to look upstairs in the garage b/c I'm sure that's just as insane. Still, it's cool to be able to open our 2nd garage door, which we haven't been able to open in about 2 years (that helps, b/c we have to fix the other garage door, which isn't opening right now - lost a spring). And to be able to see more of the floor. And to not have paranoid fears of the whole place going up in cardboard flames, or just being buried in cardboard that we'll never be able to get out of. Now I've got to figure out what to do with the piles of styrofoam from all those damned boxes. Can't figure out if it's still recyclable. I don't think it is in this town anymore.

Interesting post, I know.
likethebeer: (Ceci n'est pas une peep)
A male cardinal just came by my window to check things out and see if there was anything he could eat. It was so cool. He flew up to the window, and I could see him looking very intently, left, right, up & down, for stuff he could munch on. He managed to get 2 little things (little caterpillars maybe?), looked around some more, didn't find anything more, and took off.

Because I'm backlit, the cardinal didn't notice me at all. I think this is as close to a cardinal that I've been as an adult - about 3 feet away. It makes me so happy that this window isn't all cleaned or swiped.
likethebeer: (Default)
No, really: a fire. In our woodstove. I forgot how to do that. And I forgot the frustration when I can't do it. Of course, my face smells like wood smoke, but I was so determined to get this damned thing started that I did not care at that moment while I was puffing air into the pile of wood.

This is the first winter that mda & I have been able to use our woodstove since 2004-05. We had a chimney fire in Dec. 2003 and were advised by someone who was there, in early 2005, to not use the woodstove until we got a good chimney liner. We got a liner a few months ago, and we've been exploring this idea of a woodstove all over again.

Ok, there are political things going on, so lighting fires in woodstoves is probably not the most exciting thing to be discussing.
likethebeer: (Default)
Spiders. I'm watching one crawl around a little confused - it can't seem to settle on a place, and it's certainly not working on a web. And yesterday, I took, I think, a wolf spider out of the bathtub. I had to catch it in a plastic butter container & dump it outside while trying not to squeal. The Wikipedia article tells me that they're not poisonous to people, but damn, they're big (this one was about 2 inches long).

And I suppose the mice will start to come in soon. I've put up a barrier in my cat's room so that she doesn't run out to a little attic area, but that's where she catches the mice. I suppose that if she hears one, she'll knock down the barrier to get at it. I'm fine with that - she's good at it.
likethebeer: (Default)
It's geeky, sure, but very cool to us: we got a new chimney liner today. A concrete liner, which should last for years. This is exciting to us, in large part, b/c we'll be able to use the wood stove now for the first time in 4 winters. The winter after we had a chimney fire, and I mentioned to someone who came to our house during that fire, and mentioned we were still using the chimney. He was totally freaked out, b/c he noted that we had cracks in the mortar, which was just setting us up for a major fire hazard. So I had to tell mda that we really couldn't use it until we got a liner.

So, for the last few springs/summers/and falls, we've sat around contemplating the need for a chimney liner and never quite getting around to it, or only calling the place in Sept. (we move like molasses, as you can see). mda called the place in June or so, and they came out with an estimate in July, and back today. Worked most of the day. They've got this thing that puts in concrete and vibrates it so that it went into the cracks in the mortar. Then did some sort of lining to make it, they said, kind of like porcelain - smooth so that creosote won't form as easily. Then they put on a new chimney cap.

My only complaint is because they were here at 8:30 with their big f-ing truck, I couldn't really get out to do anything in town and while they were here, it was kind of hard to get anything done, since they were tramping all over the place. So mda & I were sort of stuck and spent our time going, "Ooh! They're putting in the concrete! Oooh - it's all getting squished into the mortar between the bricks! Oooh - look at that chimney cap!"

dorks. yeah.

But after all that, it was less than 1 day of things that had to be done. Oh, and money, which still makes me nervous, but what are you going to do? It's a house aka moneypit.
likethebeer: (Default)
And, oh boy, my town's flooding makes the news. Because the water's just not going away:



It made the AP, even:

I drove down our road this morning, the part that's been flooded since June 9. The water is slightly lower than last time I drove down there, a week ago. I wasn't afraid of washing away this time, in other words. But I still scared up the Blue Heron and my car smelled "lake-y" when i got to work.
likethebeer: (Default)
It's in our ravine on the east which, according to mda, was dry the other day. I don't know how deep it is because I don't want to walk into it. It's probably a couple of feet deep. Our basement is still dry, but I asked mda to be ready to bring his sump pump back from his job in case we need it. It turns out that he already brought it home because things have been drying there.

I can only think that the pond appeared because the water table is so high (and we've had flooding just down the road) that the water has begun to percolate over here. So we'll see what happens. Since both mda & I are aware of it, we'll try to keep an eye on it.

I took a couple of pictures of it, but you can't really tell what you're looking at. There's water, but no way to tell how much in the photo.

We do have a little pond to the west of us that appeared since yesterday, but that's just inches deep.
likethebeer: (Default)
mda saw one yesterday hanging out on a tree branch near our back yard. He told himself it was a cardinal until he got his binoculars out. Then he read up & learned that Scarlet Tanagers also like fruit, so he bought more oranges (he thinks that maybe the STs stopped by b/c they noticed the Orioles taking advantage of the fruit - and I saw an Oriole this morning - Yay!). Haven't seen a ST myself, but you never know.
likethebeer: (mesmerized)
Two male Baltimore orioles were sitting outside on our little wooden deck yesterday. mda had put a pumpkin out there a few days ago (we'd had it in our house - it wasn't gross) and the orange of the pumpkin attracted the orioles. They took turns hopping on it, and occasionally taking a taste out of it.

So we got out our oranges, cut them up, and put them out for our visitors. They're so pretty. They'll probably be here for less then a week (if past experience is any indicator). Haven't seen the females so far, though.
likethebeer: (headed for trouble)
has entered our world. We're both disturbed.

No big leaks yet, but, like, 2 inches of ice on a portion of our roof. mda was working up a solution but there's nothing we can do at the moment, unfortunately. He's got ice tape, but we can't use that right now since this stuff is already up there.

Our roof is so freaky, that it's been difficult to come up with an approach (a new roof connects to an old roof w/shit for insulation so the snow melts, then freezes; and it's difficult to access the insulation portion of both roofs). I don't have the heart to tell him that I spotted a tiny, brand new drip in our BASEMENT that, all things considered, might be from stuff coming down from the roof, along the studs, and ending up going through the floor/basement ceiling.
likethebeer: (Default)
I was reading an article on Salon (I've renewed for a year, but hope to continue to scope out things) entitled, "Love and Sex with Robots". The author wrote, "We've let machines trespass into nearly every corner of our lives, Levy points out. Robots are making our cars and our computer chips, they're fighting our wars, they're cleaning our floors and our rain gutters and our pools."

I thought, "Wait! Cleaning our gutters? I gotta see this" (there was a link at "rain gutters"). I was taken to the iRobot Corporation (which is kind of creepy if you've read some of those stories--or, shit, seen the movie). And they've got something called the Looj that cleans your gutters. I'm got to this website and saw there was a movie available and I had to watch it. And I was watching and laughing saying, "oooooh. That's so cool." Their basic model is $100. I should check this thing out some more.
likethebeer: (Default)
We've never had ND (bird afficianado) to our house when this bird has been singing. mda calls it the R2D2 bird. He has a long song (the bird, not mda), perhaps 5 minutes. He sings a phrase, repeats it, then sings another one, repeats it, and this goes on and on until he goes through the whole cycle. Then it starts again. We saw him tonight in the trees, but weren't able to see much in the setting sun, although he has a narrow tail, a thin bill, and he's lighter on the underside.

In other news, mda heard the wipporwill the other night!


likethebeer: (Default)

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