Meanwhile, behind the scenes at the trailer…

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Wow, y’all. I did NOT realize it’s been two months since I posted. I had such blog momentum going — and then New Orleans ruined me, and then I realized that the trailer had made me lazy. And there are so many more stories to tell.

Let me catch us all up a bit. (This is as much for me as it is for you!)

My tiny family is here in our tiny trailer so that my husband could have all of his landscaping paraphernalia in one place. Four trucks, three trailers, two Bobcat machines (an excavator and a skid-steer), and all of the implements, tools, spare parts, and me and a dog — well, let’s just say that all of this didn’t fit at the old place. Here, Frank has three acres (and still not enough truck parking!) and a barn (that is filling up fast!) and is as happy as I’ve ever seen him.

While all of this was coming together, I wasn’t sitting on my hands. I haven’t talked much about my unusual skill set in the blog — in fact, I don’t think I’ve mentioned it at all — but thanks to a wonderful combination of factors and occurrences, much was happening behind the scenes. Continue reading “Meanwhile, behind the scenes at the trailer…”

When the starlings return to Geauga County….

Alison was smart and posted her event on Facebook, so we have the date. March 19th is both St. Joseph’s Day and the day the swallows return to Capistrano….

Strangely, Alison and I both had birds in our respective houses that day. We determined they were starlings. Hers got lucky and escaped. We’re not sure what happened to mine.

I’ll connect you to Alison’s blog (check it out at https://old-pretty-and-slightly-broken.home.blog/ — she has a lot of fun stuff there, mostly not bird-related!), where she will regale you with the whole process she and Paul went through to evict their Birdie. They got creative, and that may be why their bird lived to fly another day.

My little guy probably wasn’t so lucky. I haven’t found Birdie, so there’s always a chance, and I also know there are spaces I haven’t looked yet.

I had taken the dog out that morning and was standing by the gate waiting for him to do his thing when I heard a noise. I stood there for a second, trying to figure out where this noise was coming from. The house is empty — and yet that’s where the sound was coming from.

When I turned my head, I saw a little black starling flying and flapping against the patio door, trying as hard as he could to get out. Leaving the dog inside the pen, I headed toward the house to see if I could help the poor thing.

I knew this would get interesting and it did. As I moved to open the patio door, Birdie flew toward the window. As I shifted toward the window, Birdie flew upstairs. And I don’t go upstairs without someone else present: there’s quite a bit of stair damage that I avoid. We’ll deal with it eventually.

I stood there for a while longer with the patio door open, frustrated and hoping Birdie would change his mind and come back downstairs. I thought about leaving the door open — but I didn’t want to have to figure out how to remove the squirrels, chipmunks, gophers, opossums, and raccoons that would have wandered in because I was trying to remove one bird! I wished Birdie well, closed the patio door, locked the house, and retrieved the dog.

I’ve been inside the house several times since then and Birdie is nowhere to be found on the first floor. I hope he found a way out upstairs or was able to fly up the chimney. Poor Birdie. I leave him in St. Joseph’s care.

The trailer has made me lazy

Now that the weather is getting nicer more often, we’re busier in our lives — and planning to start actually demolishing the inside of the house. I have a goal of being moved in around October, even if I may not have a second floor by then.

The trailer has created a “situation”, however. I’ve become complacent and comfortable. Frank and I have places for what we need in this tiny space, and now it takes effort for me to move toward the next step.

Take something as simple as income taxes as an example. I know exactly where the files are for last year to reference as I prepare this year’s filing. Have I walked the 50 feet or so to grab them out of the house? No. Something that simple, and I don’t want to go fetch. Continue reading “The trailer has made me lazy”

Haunted…

Maybe I picked up an entity on the ghost tour. Since I’ve been home from New Orleans, my mind keeps ending up back there. I may be haunted. I know this visit affected more than past visits did…

However, this is not a travel blog. Life goes on and I carry my NOLA within my heart and soul always. I’ll leave you with lyrics from the end of Poco’s “Heart of the Night”, a song that runs in my background a lot:

“I’m so glad to be back in New Orleans.

Please don’t wake me, don’t shake me, if it’s only, if it’s only just a dream,

‘Cause it’s the only place I can face that makes me feel so right,

Below that Dixie moon and lovin’ you, in the heart of the night…”

(Perhaps “haunted” is too simplistic… “infected” might be more appropriate….)

Thank you all for letting me trip away.

A giant game of Tetris

It seems like we’re always moving something to move something else, to move something else.

When we were bringing items here from the old house, we stored some smaller furniture items and four wardrobe boxes of clothes inside the house-to-be-remodeled instead of in the storage tents. This was a double-edged sword. Things still got damp, just not as badly as the tent stuff. As we’re getting closer to ripping into walls inside the house, we have to move much of this into the barn. (…So we can move it back into the house later — this is getting tiresome!)

The clothes were easy, actually. At least a boxful went straight to Goodwill. (Some of these were examples of truly laughable fashion choices: why exactly did we keep them?!) Eventually, all the clothes will have to go back into the house and upstairs. I have no intention of carrying anything upstairs that I haven’t worn for a while(or looks that silly!) with the exception of some seasonal items.

We’ve kept a manageable amount for both of us on a small clothes rack inside the barn. It’s nice to have access to it all again: you get used to being able to select an item from your closet, which is generally wider than the 9-inch-wide space inside the trailer. I don’t want or need a walk-in closet, yet choosing from the same five things was getting boring.

I also discovered and moved a bunch of odd-sized knick-knacky things found inside the house, too. I had been looking for our flag all summer, and there it was, with Frank’s grandpa’s old skis, a hockey stick, and two wooden porch candles for Christmas. They make an unusual vignette in the barn now, waiting to be popped up in the loft with the suitcases and a lamp just sitting there in the way.

It seems like a decision has to be made every time we touch anything: do we move it, give it away, set it aside for trash, or keep it? Why is it even there? It does get old, yet apparently this was a muscle I needed to develop.

Taking something into the barn to keep it may not be the end of the issue, either. We have moved the washer back and forth in the same 10-foot area to be able to work stuff around it, and to move the excavator, and to move the truck, and to move the truck back in, and… you get the idea.

It’s the biggest game of Tetris ever. And no real end in sight.

…”In the heart of the night…”

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I had sooo much fun in New Orleans, and while I meant to post from there, I’ve actually been home for several days, still basking in my NOLA glow….

While I was there:

— I imbibed. And imbibed. And imbibed. I may not need to imbibe maybe ever again. To my credit, I did nothing regrettable, forgettable, or editable. And I was never hungover!

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Continue reading “…”In the heart of the night…””

… “To miss New Orleans” …

That’s part of a line from a song sung beautifully by Louis Armstrong about a hundred years ago. (Okay, it was from 1946, so only 73 years ago. Close enough.) It seems that long since I’ve been there, although it’s only been 19 long years.

I’m spending the next several days there, for business and for long-awaited pleasure. I am over the moon.

I’m convinced that I’ve lived in this beautiful and exotic city in another life. From my first visit for Mardi Gras in 1987, to my next for New Years’ crossing 1988 into 1989, to the long dry spell to a second Mardi Gras in 2000…. I will miss Mardi Gras by one day this year, yet the city in its hangover recovery is quieter and vibrates a little less frenetically, more laid back. They’ll still give me a great birthday weekend.

Continue reading “… “To miss New Orleans” …”

A mousie in the housie

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There are things I have to get used to now that I’m living in the country. Stink bugs, mud, horse flies — and mice. Mice are cute, especially the little fakery above, but I don’t want one as a companion!

We had been moving boxes around and apparently one of us brought a critter into the trailer. I think I would have seen it somehow as I was pulling clothes out of boxes, but maybe not. It’s possible that it just ran in when we had the door open. It’s more probable that this one little guy squeezed through a tiny hole somewhere or under the barn garage door to escape the cold.

Continue reading “A mousie in the housie”

Can we get closer?

I’ve described the size of the interior of the trailer as small. I swear I’ve met myself turning around inside the thing. (I know I’ve met myself inside the shower! Scared me, too!)

When we’re not working, whether away from here or doing projects, Frank and I spend time together inside the trailer. By together, I mean side-by-side on the one sofa. Good thing we like each other.

We’ve always been close and enjoyed doing things together, yet we weren’t sure how this experiment was going to go. We hoped we had what it took, but as you know, until you’re in the situation, you just can’t tell. Continue reading “Can we get closer?”

Moving right along…

As time goes along, we’ve been able to do one or two things to move in the direction of rebuilding the house. First, we have to empty the house.

When we came here, besides the two storage tents full of stuff and the tent of furniture, we put certain items into the house to keep them clean and dry. These were things like our few file cabinets, some office stuff, stereo speakers, carpets, and box after box (after box) of tools, screws, and extra parts.

(I’ve already told Frank that he can’t make fun of all my Christmas stuff, when he has waaaay more tools, screws, and extra parts.) Continue reading “Moving right along…”