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Blue Northers and a Texas Perspective

Blue Northers and a Texas Perspective

Texas is huge, as you know. We have several climate regions. We have blizzards in the panhandle and snow in various places. However, we do not have much of a winter in San Antonio.

I have, in various books, described San Antonio as the belly of Texas. It might even be considered the nether region. We’re protected from violent weather that hits the coast by being inland. We aren’t in Tornado Alley. We have all the best weather, never mind that it gets to be 100 degrees in the summer. Several areas in the country that freeze in the winter also get summer scorchers.

This year we had 50 degree weather in October. I pulled out the sweaters – which is really no big deal. I simply walked to another section of the closet. 🙂 I’ve been wearing this bright red chenille sweater every week. Every time I wear it I have to take a crochet hook and pull all the loose yarn to the inside. I think it’s cuddling with Stanley that does it. When the chenille sweater is in the laundry I wear another sweater, leg warmers, and sometimes fingerless gloves. I HATE being cold and I’m cold whenever it’s below 60. I am a wuss.

This morning I was awakened at 4:30 by the most gawdawful sound. I’m a heavy sleeper – once I fall asleep – so I had a dual alarm installed in my house. Both alarms were going off. I woke in that sleep disorientation. What the hell is that sound? Is it the TV? What’s going on? Thankfully, I grasped the situation pretty quickly and answered the call from the alarm company.

“Do you need me to call the police?”

“No, I just need you to hold on while I turn off the alarm.”

I actually made it to the keypad without my glasses, managed to turn it off, and read the display. It said my front door was open. I cautiously opened my bedroom door, walked to the end of the hall and peered into the living room. No, it wasn’t open. With the alarm person on the phone with me I made it to the front door – still without glasses, which is a miracle in itself. I pushed against the door. It was okay. I opened the door. The security screen was okay.

That’s when I was informed that the cold and the wind could set off the sensors. I kinda/sorta doubted the nice lady on the phone because it’s been colder than what it was this morning and nothing happened. I went back to the bedroom, got Stanley (who was having a cow at this point) and took him outside. There on the patio were several shingles. Okay, then, it’s time for a roof inspection.

This week a blue norther is supposed to hit the northern part of the US. I commiserate with those of you in the path of it. Although I’ve lived in Canada, Syracuse, and Chicago I froze in all three places and that was just during normal winters.

Sending warm fuzzies to all of you in the path of this storm. Hunker down, heat up. And good luck with your burglar alarms and your roofs.

The Raccoon Saga Continues

The Raccoon Saga Continues

Just a quick note to tell you that the nice varmint man came by this morning (and amazed the plumbers. All the guys congregated around the raccoon that Waylon had trapped).

Picture a 35 pound female raccoon. This little darlin’ was HUGE. It was twice as big as Stanley. It’s illegal to set them free because of the danger of rabies so, unfortunately, she was dead. (I really wish they weren’t so cute.)

I couldn’t help but be thankful that she didn’t have babies in my attic. (No pictures. The poor thing was too graphically dead.)

Bad Rehearsal, Great Play

Bad Rehearsal, Great Play

The other day I told you about the Great Raccoon Caper. I mentioned, in passing, how expensive it was. Think 4 figures.

When I went out to the garage to do the garbage yesterday, after the trap was set, I noticed that water was coming from under my car. My first thought was radiator. Nope. It was the water conditioner. So, I called Culligan and out they came this morning.

It was the resin tank leaking. The resin tank is not a cheap bit of equipment. Mine went out of warranty in 2017. It turned out that it was the O-ring on the top of the resin tank. So, that was only a few hundred dollars.

However, the water pressure was 90 when it should have been 70. I have replaced the PRV (pressure regulating valve) three times. It is evidently going out again. When it goes out for good you don’t have water, so I called the plumber.

Please, Mr. Plumber, come out and replace the PRV, this time with a brass one that can be adjusted when it starts to go out in a year or two.

Of course, said Mr. Plumber. We shall bop out there on Monday and only charge you slightly south of $500.00.

It’s the first week of 2019. It’s already been mucho expensive. I’m thinking that this is like the old saying, “Bad rehearsal, great play.” 2019 is going to be my best year ever, y’all.

So that’s how I’m going to see these shenanigans.

I am deeply appreciative for the lovely people who have helped me this week. Rob, from Culligan, has been great ever since I met him in 2017. Jerry, my plumber, is one of the best people in the world. I like and trust them both. Waylon, of the raccoon trapping company, is a genuinely nice guy, too.

I would much rather have had NO raccoon or leak or PRV issue, but isn’t it nice to know super people? And I’m not kidding about the BEST YEAR EVER!

PS – Stanley is still recuperating. He was apoplectic about Culligan and was shunted off to the back yard for the duration. You could hear him from the front yard. Stanley was able to bark and whine to the max and has been treated to cuddles and cookies ever since.


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?