Dear Double R

My wife and I have decided to turn our little guest house into a b&b. She wants some kind of frenchy decor, and I want something easy to clean, like a state park bathroom/toilet bunk bed…..you know, so I can just walk through with a leaf blower and a water hose and VOILA! clean. So please convince my wife I know best!
Yours truly
Mr. Make it easy

Dear Mr. Easy,

I could easily tell from the first two words on your letter (My Wife) who is the boss in your family. Just the simple fact that your “guest house” isn’t being turned into a welding shop, motorcycle garage, music room, man cave (but then again there would have to be a man in the family for that), fishing shed, workout room with punching bags and bow flex machine, beer joint (complete with neon signs to point the way to the bathroom down the hall), or any other manly space is proof enough that you DO NOT know best! And even if you did know best, do you think that I would for one minute believe you would do the cleaning? Have you ever done any bathroom/toilet bunk bed (interesting concept) cleaning in your life? You probably couldn’t clean your way out of a pasteboard box, let alone a tastefully decorated Bed and Breakfast!

I bet your idea of making it easy is plopping in your Barco-lounger with a cold one (probably Buckhorn or Keystone) and watching foreigners play soccer while your lovely French decor loving wife slaves away swabbing out the bathroom/toilet bunk bed! I bet you don’t even have a leaf blower, let alone a water hose, what would you do with either one from the Barco-lounger?

If I was your wife I would…..

Ruth

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Rain Rescue

It was a beautiful Texas Summer Sunday Morning. Custom made for fishing on Lake Marble Falls. So we decided to blow off boring, sweaty chores and wag our little boat to the ramp. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, the fish were biting (hopefully).

After a few  minutes of prep (organizing gear, having coffee, getting food and refreshing adult beverages loaded into the cooler), we were off to the lake.

While Lake Marble Falls ain’t the biggest or grandest lake in the Highland Lake Chain, it is our fave. Why? A few reasons.

1. Location. It’s boat ramp is the closest to the house. We can leave 98 and be on the water in 40 minutes or less.

2. Smallness. Although smallness of a lake bothers some people, it suits us fine. Smallness usually means less jet skis, ski boats, kayaks, bass boats, pontoon boats, yachts, ocean liners, and the like. No matter where you are on the lake you can see the bank on both sides of you. It’s basically the river with dams on both ends to stop the flow a bit. Everyone (who’s anyone) goes to the bigger, more advertised (and therefore better?) lakes in the chain. You know~ the ones with boat up restaurants and bars, water playgrounds, and giant marinas. That’s fine with us. Hell, even the folks who live in the city of Marble Falls go boating elsewhere.

3. No waiting at the boat ramp. Usually. We try to get there before the families teaching the kiddos how to ski arrive on the scene. Sunday before church lets out is the best. I like to think it’s because all the boaters and fishermen are in their allotted pews, singing hymns, listening to the preacher, & thinking churchy thoughts. But the real reason no one is on the lake before noon (on Sundays) in Texas is because of the fact you can’t buy beer until 12:01 p.m.(noon) on Sundays. Planning ahead helps with that.

We got there early, launched our trusty boat, and headed to our new favorite fishing spot. His first chunk brought a big old channel cat out! I was so excited! Of course he was excited too, but didn’t dare show it, he is a man after all. The morning proved pretty lucky for fish, we were bringing in keepers right and left. It was great. It was fun. It was great fun.

Then the clouds moved in.

At first they looked innocent enough. All puffy and fluffy and beautiful like a summer cloud should be. One looking like a lobster, another like a penguin. I love clouds and enjoy viewing them. Especially after last summer when there were no clouds at all, none.

They drifted across the lake and I was mesmerized by their beauty. I watched them build and was totally focused on how fast they churned and towered overhead. It was very relaxing and enjoyable….

Oooh, a sprinkle. Isn’t this fun, honey? It’s cooling us off and it looks so neat hitting the lake. Too bad the fish have stopped biting, but I’ll bet right after this wee shower they will turn back on. Hand me a beer and let’s enjoy the rain shower. After all, didn’t we wear our swim suits for a dip later? This is better because….. well, it’s better because…..

The fun summer shower got old in a hurry. The (at first) cute and friendly little cloudburst quickly turned into something scary and it freaked me out. I tried to act cool (my husband was not phased in the least ~ his biggest problem was his lighter got wet and he couldn’t light his cigar) and fish. Ever been in a boat during a hard rain? It might be okay for a few minutes (after all we have been in a drought for the last 4 years and every drop counts) but I must admit after about 15 minutes of cold drenching rain I wasn’t having fun anymore. Sure, we were safely tied up against the bank. Sure, we weren’t in any danger of a major rise on the lake, and there wasn’t any wind or lightening to speak of, but still. I can take a shower at home, and I came here to fish!

My first problem was that I got cold (I’m wimpy that way) the hot summer sun was hiding behind a very large juicy cloud, with more large juicy clouds building all around. Then the boat started filling with rain water. Should I say something to the captain? Should I casually suggest he turn on the bilge pump before our belongings start floating around our knees? Should I act totally bored with fishing and mention a few chores at the house I really need to address before it gets too late in the evening for doing chores? What to do?

The boat ramp was a mile away around the bend of the lake, and it was raining very hard as far as the eye could see. I really couldn’t imagine him driving our little boat thru the torrential downfall that far (especially since we don’t have a windshield (or wipers)). It was plain to see moving from our little safe spot along the bank was out of the question at the moment. Perhaps it would blow over and the sun would come back out soon. Maybe… Please?

I decided to take a cue from him and just sit tight. I kept fishing (at this point a total waste of time, why would fish care? they live in the water!), and tried to make a sandwich (another exercise in futility ~ what with the rain soaking the bread and turning the Miracle Whip into runny goo). I finally just gave up and sat there like a drowned rat. I stopped looking at the sky and went to my “happy place” (which is usually on the lake fishing).

He finally turned on the bilge pump and removed a bit of water. The big cloud drifted off and took its rain with it. Things still weren’t looking too promising weather-wise, so we decided to head for the ramp and go to the house. Great! The fish weren’t interested in our big fat worms anymore so why not get out of the lake while there’s a gap in the rainclouds?

So off we went. We only had about a mile to go, but before we got to the first bend, the bottom fell out of the sky. Again. Only this time big bolts of lightening and dreadful crashes of thunder accompanied the cloud. I was shook up. Scared. Skeert. Whatever you want to call it. My husband was calm as usual, despite the fact his lucky fishing hat was wilted and dripping rainwater from the brim onto his unlit cigar end. But he kept on driving the boat in the right direction.

That is until he suddenly swung the boat around and started heading back to where we came from! I tried to act like this was normal, riding around in circles in a thunderstorm on a lake in an aluminum boat. No worries. But I couldn’t do it. I had to ask WTF? He pointed at a giant ocean liner of a ski boat that had floated out from its slip into the middle of the lake. It was huge, it was drifting, it was all alone. He had to do something!

I must admit my selfish will to live kicked in at this point. I voted to just leave it to fate and go to the boat ramp. After all, it was giant, in a very narrow part of the lake, there was a dangerous storm overhead, and it wasn’t our boat! Why did I care if some yahoo didn’t tie their boat good enough to the dock? Why should I care if their boat filled with water and/or drifted across the lake? I was cold, scared, and ready to get the hell out of Dodge.

But no, we had to rescue this boat. Okay. Let’s do it….

We had no plan. He soon formulated a plan but didn’t tell it to me. We tied our rope to it and tried to tow it to shore. It ran into us a number of times. We finally got to the slip it drifted out of only for the both of us to be blown away by the stormy wind in the wrong direction. What a slippery wet struggle! What danger! What a pain taking care of someone else’s boat!

We did finally get it to where it belonged. My husband hopped off our boat (onto the dock), guided the ocean liner into it’s slip, and tied it off. Meanwhile, me & our boat (without its captain) drifted away into the storm. I can’t tell you how bad it felt to see him standing there getting further and further away!

I have never driven our boat. I am perfectly happy as a passenger and first mate. I can back the trailer into the water, handle an anchor, tie us off to webby, bug-infested tree stumps, make lunch, get hooks off fish, clean said fish, anything except actually drive the boat.

I can’t say that anymore.

Needless to say I had to learn and learn quick. In a thunderstorm. With no one to coach me (he was on the bank wearing the frown of the century). Dang! Let me tell you it was one stressful situation, but I took a deep breath, swallowed my panic, and focused on driving a boat. There were giant rocks just inches below the surface, stumps, and hazards (both real & imagined) everywhere. The wind had blown me into the middle of the lake. It was weirdly scary but I did it. I managed to glide up to the slip and pick him up without any destruction or calamity. I must admit I was rather proud of myself (I also learned it is a thankless job ~this boat driving).

I gladly gave him back control and we started toward the ramp. The sun came out in a big way. The wind died down and we got loaded on the trailer without a problem.

There’s a commercial out there that sells cars. The catch phrase is, “It’s what you do when no one is looking that defines who you are.” If that’s the case my husband is a caretaker of the finest caliber.

Me? I’m a nose miner.

 

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Dear Rude Ruth

I’m a recently unemployed lady anxious to start up my own upholstery business from  home. My husband doesn’t want the mess of a “sewing room” in his Mother’s house (that’s where we live until we can get on our feet) but I will need somewhere to spread out and work, plus meet and impress clients.

While driving to town the other day, I happened to notice some portable buildings for sale along the highway. I stopped and looked around, and decided that one of these was for me! Choose your size, write a check, and in a few days start enjoying your new career in comfort.

My question is this: Since they only come in a “shell” form with no interior finishing, what are your suggestions for tweaking one into an upholstery shop?

Sincerely,

Ready To Sew

 

Dear Sew Ready,

Have you (in your haste to make a profit) considered where you might put this portable “Upholstery Palace”? Have you thought about what your darling and generous Mother-In-Law might think about a tacky, half-finished, cheap siding-clad, leaky roofed, sitting-on -cinder-blocks (with the usual skunk family residence underneath) answer to your prayers? Perhaps you were going to park it on top of her lovingly tended rose garden? Under the tree in the backyard where your husband was conceived?  In the driveway where she parks her Edsel?

I wouldn’t blame her if she buys it for you then crams both you and your silly sewing machine in it and has it hauled away!

Ruth

 

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Christmas Cleaning

It’s coming on Christmas

They’re cutting down trees,

they’re putting up reindeer & and singing songs

of joy and peace…….

where’s that river when I need one? (Thanks Joni Mitchell )

 

That’s right, it’s finally time for The Umteenth Annual Living Room Scrub Down. I’ve waited all year to do it. I have to clean and make room so I can work in my Glorious Christmas Decor so we can get on with the Season in style.

First I  move the couch away from the wall and sweep (or rake) out the scorfus balls, dust bunnies, cat toys (which are not always of the “made in China” variety ~ I thought I smelled something dead last June, but it faded away, now it’s just a lump of sparrow feathers long dried to nothingness by indoor climate control), a blue sock, three straws, someone’s car keys,and various other sundry, hairy dusty things.

Under the hubby’s recliner I find candy wrappers, tiny marshmallows he uses as ammo in his marshmallow gun, some rubber bands (?), a handful of renegade popcorn kernels (including “old maids”), and a .22 bullet. An odd sticky brown puddle long dried up & coated with cat fur completes the scene.

Under my recliner is nothing. It’s as clean as a hospital O.R.,or as my Aunt O would say “You could eat off the floor” under my chair.

I never ever drop any crumbs while relaxing in front of the two-ton Sony Trinitron watching The Voice (too much talk ~ not enough singing) or some other highly entertaining and commercial-filled TV show. Not once has any morsel hit the floor while I’m daintily crunching on tortilla chips and salsa, or Ritz crackers, an apple and/or cheese. Never has there been any under-the-recliner evidence of the clipping of my toenails (in the most ladylike of fashions). I never spill a solitary drop of Three Buck Chuck on the floor between the wee side-table and my lips (leaving behind a tacky purple stain no amount of Mr.Clean will eliminate). Nor do any crumbly brownie bits fall between the chair cushions to the stick-on tile below. I am perfect. I am tidy. I am perfectly tidy. You could almost say Hyper-tidy! Almost….

I’ll have to store the cow hide rug that graces the middle of the room for the Holiday Season. Something about slayed and flayed livestock just doesn’t fit in with my cheerful “Winter Wonderland” decor. (Oddly enough it was a Christmas Gift.) I’ll take it out to the deck rail and give it a good beating with the broom, returning the dirt to the yard. The window sills and windows will get their annual Windex Wipedown, and I’ll hide my non-Christmasy knick-knacks and paddywacks for the nonce. The Budgie Bros will have to do without their living room window perch, but if it’s anything like last year the Christmas Tree will be a great substitution.

Under the coffee table is five pairs of shoes. All mine. Two pair of Birkenstocks, my Texas Longhorn house shoes (stolen from the hubby), a hideous pair of orange Crocs (old style) and my long lost pair of pink Vibram Five-fingers. I thought someone had stolen them! Here I was blaming perfectly innocent visitors of stealing my silly “toe shoes” when all the time they were hiding in the cobwebs beneath the coffee table! Shame on me.

After a bit more sweeping and vacuuming (with numerous coffee/snack/beverage breaks squeezed in), I’ll try to find the mop and employ it on it’s annual swabbing of the floor just in time for Holiday Decorating. I’m giddy with anticipation!

 

Posted in Cleaners, Company's Coming? Yikes!, Fun with Floors, Holidaze, Rugs, The Lived-in Living Room | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Front Porch Decor

The front porch is finished. It is a marvel of DIY genius. It makes 98 look like a spring chicken again. It is everything I knew a front porch could be. It shades us all year long and welcomes awe-struck visitors with grace. Yes, all in all I would say the front porch is a success!

However, the seven-year-old “zero gravity” lawn recliners that once looked so darned wonderful and indulgent sitting in front of the old mudroom look painfully shabby on the new & improved front porch. And when I say shabby I don’t mean shabby chic (all the rage for a few years around here), I mean white trash shabby (which will never be the rage around here). Sure, they are still (or almost still) as comfy and relaxing to lounge in while drinking an afternoon adult beverage, & they are still a decorative color of (fading) black, but something’s just not right. Maybe it’s the sun-parched vinyl fabric that’s starting to fray? Or perhaps the rusty grommets? Or is it the weather-beaten bungie cord that has not only stretched out from use, but was ravaged by a busy parrot when no one was looking, and now has multiple granny knots holding it together so the unsuspecting lounger doesn’t crash to the ground (and spilling that all-important beverage in the process)?

opie

A nice innocent face, yes? Opie’s his name – chewing’s his game.

My husband thinks it might be the wooden arm rest covers that (when new) were a pretty wood, but now (after falling off and being screwed back on) look lame. Can I help it if the replacement screws were a wee bit too long and penetrated the wood on the topside where they have a nasty habit of poking the unsuspecting lounger? Could I grind those sharp, pointy points down? Sure, I guess I could, but for some reason I haven’t gotten around to it. So much so that the sharp pointy points got bored with poking arms and dulled down to friendly metal nubs. It did take a few years, but now they are fine. Tacky? Sure, but still doing what they do best (in the back yard under the trees out of sight of passers-by).

chairs

Granny knots, screws, flaking gray paint, what’s not to love?

noodles

If they weren’t tacky enough, the addition of cut up water noodles to avert scratches added to the classiness.

So, what to do?

Enter the Internet. You know, that place you shop when you can’t find what you want at the local stores and aren’t afraid of a little shipping costs?
I wasn’t sure what I wanted but I did know it wasn’t going to be plastic, modern looking, Aluminum, or cheap. What I really wanted was the old-timey metal glider and chair set that graced my granny’s patio. Unfortunately, that metal porch glider has long since rotted away and rejoined the earth from which it was mined. And the chairs? Lost to a long ago garage sale I’m sure.

I did a quick Google search and found this:

I'm old! I'm metal! I'm in North Carolina!

I’m old! I’m metal! I’m in North Carolina!

And these:

Please order us! We want to be your chairs!

Please order us! We want to be your chairs!

It was them! Or it was their cousins! And that glider? It may have well have been Granny’s. I had to have them!

Upon further research I learned this business will gladly and quickly restore their glorious inventory of metal lawn furniture to (almost) factory condition, all you do is pick out the pieces you want (from a zillion choices) and choose your colors! So easy! So convenient! I have to do it.

And I did.

I chose a cheerful yellow and white powdercoating, paid the fee (shipping included) and waited a short six weeks for delivery.

They arrived last week. They are the most cheerful, brightest yellow ever with adorable white inserts, new hardware, and so cute they’re almost too cute! And comfort? The old-timey gliding action takes me back to my childhood of sitting on Granny’s patio eating watermelon and watching the world go by. They are something out of The Andy Griffith Show. I am almost tempted to get a guitar just so I can hang out on the porch in my glorious metal rocker late in the evening and pick a tune… almost. I will for sure eat watermelon out there this summer!

chairs

They added just the right punch of color and nostalgia. I love them!

I need to add a few tweaks/tables/plants, but for the most part, the porch is done & decorated. There’s something about nostalgia and front porches that just do it for me. And now, thanks to my generous (with both time and love) husband and the kind folks at www.retrovintagepatio.com , 98’s porch is the envy of the neighborhood!

porch

A glorious welcoming approach to 98. Bring your watermelons!

On to the next project… A giant toy barn for the hubby.

Posted in 98's Remodel Saga, color, General comments, Made in America!, Porches Patios & Decks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Decorating a Motorhome

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would have even a pop-up camper in my life, much less a motor home. But as fate would have it, my husband found one he liked. The size was good for towing a boat & the price was right so he bought it. I must admit at first I was skeptical about owning a giant fiberglass box with a steering wheel, couch, toilet and stove in it, but after looking at it and witnessing his insane enthusiasm over the benefits of owning an RV, I was convinced it was the best thing ever!

It isn’t the biggest, grandest bus-like pusher out there (it’s only 24 feet long) but still has it all. The passenger seat is like a queen’s throne, and the bathroom’s “throne” is like… well, like a motor home’s throne. Our new caravan is 12 years old, but looks factory fresh. It has a TV (on the dashboard), a pristine kitchen, quaint living room, roomy shower with a big tub, storage galore, large outdoor canopy, and a queen-sized bed. Who could ask for more?

I wonder who?

The day he brought it home I secretly started thinking about new decor for our new toy. The color scheme is rather bland considering the interiors of most the RVs we looked at (loud, brash, vegas-style carpets, gold trim, lots of mirrors, leather couches etc.) yet it’s tasteful. Almost too tasteful. In fact, upon entering one might think they were walking into an Old Folks Rest Home or (gads!) a Funeral Parlor. You know the look ~ softly muted colors designed for peaceful (eternal) rest. A sofa of flowerdy grayish beige, curtains of beigeish gray and grayish-blue/beige carpet. Combined with blonde woodgrain print on cardboard walls and cabinetry, a grayish-beige shower curtain and the look is complete…completely boring. What to do to liven up this ship?

Before any changes could be made, I felt I needed permission from the General, but for some reason I was afraid to approach the subject of redecorating with him. Maybe it was because he was so enamored by it’s beauty, and immediately changing the look inside would be an insult to his splendid taste in motor homes? Maybe my brilliant and unique ideas of what an attractive motor home’s interior should look like would clash with his grayish/beige-yet-manly preferences? After all, he did pick this particular one out after an exhaustive search on both the internet and every used RV sales lot within 200 miles. He looked at a thousand and chose this one for a reason. Was it the Nursing Home Neutral interior that sold him on this particular RV? I can’t speak for him but I know why I liked it so much… it smelled nice. Or at least it didn’t smell overly used or abused.

I finally got my guts up and (during a shared bottle of chardonnay in the hot tub one starry night) asked him if I could tweak the inside’s decor just a teeny tiny bit. To my surprised delight the answer was yes! If I could have jumped out & dried off & started the project that night, I would have. But that was a bit impractical, even for me.

My mind was buzzing with ideas, I couldn’t wait to get started!

Neutralizing “Nursing Home Neutral”

My first cosmetic improvement was to add some very decorative, yet fake (plastic) tin ceiling tiles to the back splash around the never-had-been-used stove. I attached it to the walls with stick-on Velcro. Nails were not an option considering the “wall” is one step above cardboard (with some woodgrain paper glued on for that all-important woodsy camping effect), plus it was part of the agreement ~ no holes! Next I added some red checkered dish towels & hung a lace curtain in the tiny window to give the kitchen a little color. I was having fun, and wasn’t getting into trouble with His Majesty (yet).

In the living room I velcroed to the walls some colorful fishing adverts from my antique sign collection, a hotdog shaped clock (hotdogs and RVs just go together), and laid down a cute rug. The windows have structural headers that are skillfully upholstered in Funeral Parlor Style, and (for the time being) cannot be changed. They blend beautifully with the blonde wood-grain overhead cabinetry (which also cannot be changed), so for now I have no choice but to ignore them. I am still thinking about a slip cover for the Rest Home Reception Room’s sofa, but there’s time.

Next up: Bathroom!

Posted in color, General comments, Simple Decorating Truths, The Manly Perspective, Window Treatments | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Building a Front Porch in 2895 Easy Steps!

Weekend before last we had some help in the form of my step children, who came over for a visit and food and stayed for the construction fun. It is amazing how much two extra pairs of hands and eyes, two fresh perspectives and two loving senses of humor can make any crazy-hard job easier. They both got to measure, hold this, hold that, climb ladders, drive the tractor (lifting their dad up in the bucket) and just step and fetch it in general. It was great! I almost didn’t know what to do with myself. After all that, I’m happy to say we finally have structure! The four front posts are up, along with the sandwiched 3×5 rafter joists, rafter support beam and rafters. I must say it has been a long drawn out exercise. I knew it would take a while, and was prepared for it to take a while, but hey.

The plywood sheathing covering the old front part of the house is almost all on. That’s what we did this weekend.  That and insulate the attic.

I must admit insulation is a very important element of any conscientious homeowner’s remodel plan, as it was with ours. But insulation (the pink panther brand was our choice) is nasty to work with on the best of days. Especially if you have a raging case of claustrophobia like I do. The attic is roomy enough, if you are a mouse that likes dark, dusty, creepy, “don’t step anywhere except on a ceiling joist or you will fall thru the ceiling”, hot, no fresh air, what’s that scary lump in the corner?, roofing-nails-poking-you-in-the-head sort of way. I’m not that sort of mouse, but it was my job regardless.

After an hour or so of sawz-all time removing the last of the outside wall, the hubby raised up roll after roll of pink insulation for me to unroll after unroll on top of some ancient, collapsed insulation that was covered in mud dauber nests, oak leaves, old rusty nails, and dust. At first I thought I would clean all the nasty funk up, and did make an effort, but after a while I gave up and covered it with fluffy new pinkness, after all, who would know but us?

Of course I couldn’t stand up straight in the attic, and could only step on certain boards or risk certain peril, and those certain boards were hidden beneath the earlier mentioned ancient collapsed insulation laid by the ancient ancestors of the ancient inhabitants of ’98, but somehow (a few charlyhorses later) I got it down. It only cost a little blood (from a nasty nail in the scalp injury), lots of sweat (which I could spare), and a dab of cusswords thrown in for good measure. My body got re-acquainted with the crab-walk, an exercise I learned in grade school, and I remembered just how much fun it wasn’t.

While I was up there crawling around in fiberglas, the hubby was……. well I’m sure he was doing something very important, although I did hear some sort of muffled ball game-sounding noises coming from the living room below, & I noticed some newly emptied beverage cans in the recycle bin later. Oh well, after a hard day’s work of raising insulation up using the tractor he deserves a break.

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Across The Bay

Our gear is ready

Our hopes are high,

The sun has yet

To light the sky.

 

A few more minutes

Until the dawn

We launch our boat ~

And then we’re gone.

 

To honor Dad

We fish today

Our boats will fly

Across the bay.

 

We’ll fish the holes

That he loved best

We feel his spirit

On every wave’s crest.

 

‘Specks and redfish

Flounder, shark.

We’ll clean our catch

And be home by dark.

 

We’ll rise and shine

For another day

And send our thoughts

Across the bay.

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The Loss of a Family Member

Literally. I lost him! He was last seen flying and bobbing in the wind, headed into the wild blue yonder.

Atticus Finch the Fabulous Budgie is gone.

He chose a really beautiful day to bust out the back door and wing his way into history.  I was minding my own business working in the stained glass studio with him chirping (what seemed at the time) happily on his perch across the room. I went outside for something, and when I came back through the door, he flew into my face screeching and flapping and swerving until he busted out the doorway. Up into the air he raced doing loop the loops in pure joy (or panic ~ I’ll never know) until he swerved and went into the oaks just outside the yard.

The rascal has never ever once indicated that he would fly away.  He seemed happy enough having the run of the house, but I guess he yearned for something more than a full food bowl, fresh water, music on the radio, toys galore, treats and attention. After all, he is a bird, and birds have needs. They need to fly in the sky, land in trees, face unknown dangers, probably go hungry and thirsty, get cold and lonely, and go on adventures just like the rest of us.

I frantically searched high and low in the trees I saw him go to. He was either hiding very well (for a bright blue bird) or had already vamoosed to a better locale by the time I ran out there. I moved his cage (habitat/jail cell/coffin?) to where I last saw him, and called and called and called. When my husband got home he walked the pasture with me calling him as well. Nothing.

That night a big cold windy wet storm rolled in and I spent a sleepless night imagining the worst. Dawn broke bright warm and sunshiney, but my hope was gone. There was a chicken hawk flying around the farm looking for a snack all day (it was a Sunday) and I was on pins and needles for Atticus’ safety. Perhaps he went to a neighbor’s house and they saw him and rescued him? Nope. No one had seen him. I was crushed.

I left his cage on the deck with the door open for two weeks. A curious wren went inside but didn’t stay long (was that huge cage really that horrible of a jail cell?). Some sparrows checked it out (maybe looking for their little blue friend who called to them daily from the wire dungeon) but soon flew away as well. No Atticus anywhere.

He was so cute and his happy singing and chattering and chirping and made me smile. I thought he was an angel. But perhaps his singing and chattering and chirping was in horror instead, and the thought I was an ogre?

Either way, I did my best by him, and loved him dearly. I hope he has flown to a better circumstance and is now singing in joy.

Bye bye birdie!

Such a cute little rascal. All the while planning his escape.

Such a cute little rascal. All the while planning his escape.

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Pets and animals in general, Life Lessons | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Ladder (Un) Safety

I got in a hurry.

I didn’t take the time to make sure my ladder was stable.

I climbed past the recommended rungs (actually I stood on the very top of a 6 foot step ladder).

I over reached with a caulking gun.

I lost my balance.

The ladder tipped out from under me.

I screamed.

I fell down.

I got hurt.

Warning stickers are put on ladders for a good reason. Heed them!

Youch

These are the ones I can show you (this is a family show after all).

ladder

Ladder safety. It’s real!

That is all.

 

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