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…””

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”

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…”

I’m more flexible than I thought…

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Making the bed in the trailer is a exercise in, well, exercise! The heart rate goes up, I break a sweat, sometimes there’s counting of repetitions, and swearing is a must.

Some of you might have had to make the top bed in a bunk, or perhaps your bed was in a corner, where you struggled a bit getting the clean sheets on the wall side. This takes it all to a whole new level.

Because it is a bump-out, there is only one open side to this bed. The head, foot, and one side are all against walls. Tight against walls. Continue reading “I’m more flexible than I thought…”

The Great Furniture Miracle

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We’ve had everything in storage tents on the property for months now, and we know that many of the items in boxes are completely ruined because of the rainy summer, fall, and now winter. The furniture was in a separate tent, which was the wrong tent when I bought it. I thought I was getting a little plastic garage-in-a box, where you insert Tab A into Slot B for a bunch of metal tubes, and then you cover the skeleton with a vinyl shell. I ended up with a party tent, with the same metal skeleton, but instead of a one-piece cover, the cover is several vinyl pieces that you can use in various configurations to just have a roof or have sides, too.

In other words, not sturdy. Especially when you get a foot of snow. Continue reading “The Great Furniture Miracle”

Brrr, it’s cold…

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We’ve been going through the same really cold snap as half the country these past several days. We had snow, then rain, then more snow, then below-zero temps just like many of you. It got cold enough to freeze the heated water hose from the house to the trailer, so we haven’t had water for two days — but the temps are projected into the 40s and 50s over the weekend, so that will help.

Frank has contracted to plow at a hospital/medical center when we get about an inch or more of snow, so he’s finally been busy in January. He was out most of Saturday night doing a clean-up, and I agreed to shovel out the driveway before he got back. I bundled up and headed out around 6:45 a.m. Continue reading “Brrr, it’s cold…”