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Ze Mystery, She is Solved

Ze Mystery, She is Solved

I have a raccoon.

The hand print gave him away.

He has done significant damage to my chimney – as referenced in the picture – but only screwed up the insulation, not the wiring. Plus, there was some fecal matter, but not oodles.

What the nice man from Varmint Masters (really liked the guy – Stanley tried to eat him before he was put in time out in my office) said was that the office was a perfect location for the raccoon. He could hide in the sections to the side, where the ceiling drops off.

Here’s a picture of the ceiling:

Off to the right, where the ceiling drops down, is where I heard the raccoon. (Nice to know I’m not nuts.)

Getting rid of said raccoon is not a cheap process, but it’s worth it if I don’t have to hear the footprints on the ceiling and the scrabbling around.

After he or she has been caught, the chimney will be flashed in metal all the way around to prevent this from happening again. The last step is to sanitize the attic.

I was warned that when the raccoon was trapped that it wasn’t going to be a silent experience. He would not be a happy camper. As long as I KNOW what those noises are, I’m okay. It’s the spooky 4:30 AM sounds that bother me.


Thoughts on My Neck of the Woods

Thoughts on My Neck of the Woods

What’s the best thing about your neighborhood? What’s the worst?

I was thinking about my neck of the woods the other day. My neighborhood is old which means that it’s a compendium of first home buyers and original home owners.

We don’t have an HOA which can sometimes be a bad thing. The good thing is that an HOA doesn’t make idiotic decrees. 

What I love most about it: the mature trees. I’m a tree person. I love trees. I love Texas Red Oaks, Live Oaks, all the gorgeous trees that grow easily here. I also adore magnolias, but they’re less common here. (I didn’t know that oak trees have to be 20 years old before they produce acorns. Ever since last year I’ve been drowning in acorns.)

I love that it’s quiet, for the most part. I love watching all the dog walkers and all the different breeds of dogs. (Stanley is less a fan.)

I’m not so keen on the coyotes that roam nearby or the idiots with rifles who shoot at the occasional deer. Even silver linings have clouds.

Your turn. What the best thing about your neighborhood? What’s the worse?


I Covet…I Yearn

I Covet…I Yearn

This is the Roomba i7+. It is $949.00. It looks like it would be worth it, but it’s just on my wish list for now. Way down on my wish list after a new bathroom and kitchen floor.

However, it does something no other Roomba does. It empties its own dirt tray. That’s the ONLY thing bad about a Roomba. It’s a pain in the wazzoo to clean those things. However, I LOVE my Roombas. I run them about three times a week and only use the regular vacuum once every two months or so.

Here’s a great review video about the new version: 

Oh, and if it’s something you want to buy for Christmas, here’s the link.

(I’m still lusting in my heart. Sigh.)

The Force of Memory

The Force of Memory

At the risk of sounding like the worst housekeeper in the world I have to tell you what Stanley did this past weekend. He found two socks. They might have been under the platform bed which I don’t move at all, but it does elevate and I do clean under it. They might have been under the dresser. I don’t move that, either. Or they might have been behind the computer workstation in the bedroom, but I do move that. Frankly, I don’t know where he found them. (UPDATE: Mystery solved! I had tucked them in the back of the unit that houses the bedroom IMac. I also found one of Flash’s t-shirts there. I have NO idea why I didn’t put them where they were supposed to be. I guess they were destined to be found by Stanley.)

You see, they were Flash’s socks.

Poor Flash had an allergic reaction to grass (which is one of the reasons I xeriscaped the back yard) and had to have ointment put between his toes every few hours.

They still had the diaper pins on one end. The pins were there because sometimes I pinned them so they’d stay on his legs. Sometimes I pinned them to the t-shirt he’d wear. I picked up one of the socks and just held it for a moment. I wasn’t surprised when I started to cry. Or felt like my heart was breaking. Stanley has been a blessing in my life, but he was never a replacement for Flash the Wonder Pooch. He’s an adjunct, another creature to love.

Holding those socks brought back all the worry of those weeks while we battled the infection on Flash’s feet. Flash had lots of issues and they were all medical and all expensive. If I had to do it over again, however, I would, because he was a great dog, a wonderful companion, and a fantastic teacher of life’s lessons.

I suppose, in a way, that the socks are a lesson, too. Value the past, but live in the present. After a little while down memory lane I took off the pins and let Stanley chew on the socks. He chews on everything and the socks were just another “toy”.

Stanley, waiting patiently while I fold the laundry.


I May Be Losing Control

I May Be Losing Control

I was making the bed this morning – which meant that after I made the bed I had to use the lint roller on the bedspread – when I looked up. There was Stanley, occupying the white chair, checking everything out. He couldn’t wait to play, but he was being King of the Castle until I finished. 

I think I’ve lost control.

Stanley is terrified of the zapper I have in the corner of the kitchen area. We are having our annual influx of gnats – especially prevalent after heavy rains, and they’re being zapped by the zapper. Every time it goes off, which is regularly lately, he jumps.

Last night he kept running up and hiding behind me. I reassured him that it wasn’t a bad thing when he heard the zapper, but he wasn’t mollified. So, last night I got suckered into saying, “Do you want to sleep with me, little one?”

Of course he jumped right on that offer. Surprisingly, he occupied the lower half of the bed, didn’t wake me and we both overslept this morning. I did wake up in the middle of the night, but we cuddled for a few minutes and I went back to sleep.

All of this explains why I needed the lint roller on the bedspread. The dog is the cutest thing, but he sheds. A lot.

I played with him a little before going to work. I had to take a break to take him outside, then play a little more. I gave him his B-O-N-E and he was ecstatic for about fifteen minutes, until it was time to play again. Oops, nap time. Picture me dictating while slowly rubbing the tummy of a very sleepy dog.

I have lost control. I am no more alpha dog than I am Bugs Bunny. My life pretty much revolves around a twenty pound scaredy cat/ferocious warrior dog. He screams like a banshee when he’s separated from me and makes the most bizarre sounds when someone strange comes to the door. It’s not a bark, it’s the sound of someone supremely pissed off. The young man who delivered my groceries yesterday started laughing. “I’ve never heard anything like that before,” he said. I was holding onto Stanley for dear life. He would have joyfully taken a piece out of the guy if he could have gotten close enough. 

The other day I was cradling Stanley in my arms and crooning to him like he was a baby. I caught myself and realized that I was doomed. Let’s admit to one thing, shall we? Stanley doesn’t pay the mortgage, but he might as well. I’m living in HIS house.

Sigh.