Friday, August 31, 2007

Hectic Electric

If "may your life be interesting" is a curse, should I go around saying, "may your life be boring"...? As opposed to "have a good one", that is. Yesterday there was NO electricity from the time I got home until sometime in the night after I went to bed. I kept thinking, maybe I can find out why online-doh! and, well, if I can't blog, I can play my game- doh! I reached for the internet more times than I reached for a lightswitch... now what exactly does that say about me? That I'm an internet addict who sits in the dark?!? I played with kitties. I read. I napped. I was majorly disgruntled. I drank some beer (wouldn't want it to get warm, and arrrg I thought my days of buying ice were over!!). There was a 150 acre fire way further up in the mountains- I never even smelled smoke so I guess being bored and 'gruntled is better than evacuated or homeless! I ended up the evening in candle light on my porch reading Little House on the Prairie. I felt I could identify with the Ingalls clan. HAHA not! I'm way more spoiled and not racist. I mean, it's a very historical children's book, and white peeps back then were pretty darn racist. They are still fascinating books, and I do love 'em. Just gotta recognize that people have come a long way, in more than just electricity.

Then, today, another adventure. Darling Clarence had an abccess! Oh joy! It ruptured and there was the grossest hole in his leg I ever saw. I almost tossed m' cookies. So he got surgeried and stapled and a lovely hat!
I think he's still stoned from being knocked out. The vet very kindly agreed to take half payment now and half next week when I get paid- $458.00 total. It's better than the time Pheonix seemed to be sick, and had an overnight stay, for $800 just to find out he was, "just sick, sometimes they get sick just like people". AARRRG. I tell ya, when he dug up some fish graves from the last power outage (no life lost this time, praise Jesus) and sampled the remains, he stayed home and was sick for a day. Just like people sometimes do. And he was fine (except for the FOULEST breath ever!). When I was getting Clarence, and all his medicine and stuff, the nurse said the vet WANTED TO TALK TO ME. There was a little plastic chair to sit on and I felt like I was waiting in the principal's office. I almost asked the nurse if I was in trouble. Turns out the doctor wanted to tell me in person that he has a LOT of fleas. I was indeed in trouble, but much appologies and promises of flea medicine and I was allowed to escape, bad Mommy!

Anyway, Clarence is gonna be just fine, I have power, hallelujah, and it's the weekend!!!!! I get saturday off since monday is a holiday and it's my regular day off. WOOOOT! Although I'm a bit worried that when Clarence's drugs wear off and he finds out he has to wear the bonnet for 2 weeks, AND stay inside, AND have medicine squirted down his throat- well, I may need more beer. Or some of Clarence's painkillers. HAHA EEEW. I don't remember animals getting painkillers before, so I think that's pretty cool. Anyhoo, much gaming to catch up on, gotta find a less rump riding piece of plate mail. May you all have a boring weekend. :P

P.S. Oh yeah I tried to WRITE a post yesterday, like, on PAPER (?!?!) with my big fat hand shadow an' all, and the magic was so not there. When I have my cabin in the woods far far away, there will be solar and wind power dangit!! And a phone line, omg...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Autumn Already?

I was just reaching for my beer while the photos were loading, and there was a GNAT in it! I spooned it out, and it is very much alive, now having drunken good times on the kitchen counter. Anyway, I watched An Inconvenient Truth today, and it took me about three hours to calm down. When I say I'm a tree hugger, I don't just mean green party, I mean, wrap my arms around the trunk and smash my cheek to it's bark. Have you hugged a tree today? Someday I may write a side blog, something like, "dark side of the mountains", or, more accurately, "dark side of the hermit". But for now, let me share with you what cheered me up right good. I went outside and walked around with my kittes, breathed in the warm evening.
There are sneaking signs of autum. Ain't this leaf gorgeous?? All opalescent and magical. Really just captivating. I love fall so much. Though the hundred degree weather told this leaf that the battle of the seasons isn't over yet. But far better than the colorful leaf previews is THIS, very soon to arrive, wonderful bounty.
Not Clarence, he's wonderful all year 'round! Let's zoom in a little.
Oh, Clarence, c'mon, show me what you have. I'm not going to take it! That's right, sweet darling. Such a good boy!
Yes, the season of acorns. These are the best toy ever!! Last year was our first autumn here, and we had no idea there is a three week hailstorm of these things Ka-BAMing off the roof. There was a solid layer of crushed 'corns on the street. The kitties LOVE chasing these, except for poor Lilly. She can be a little clumsy, mighty hunter though she is. And somehow these things always bounce right between her paws and smack her right in the nose! Poor darlin'! I'm going to collect a bucket full of these to save for the lean times of the year. There's only a few green ones here and there now, so I think I have a week or two. Kitties: they're like furry prozac. Same with nature. I wish you all beautiful leaves.
P.S. I can talk about my cats again right? Without being some crazy eccentric?? :P

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

WoW, man

After a long hard day at work I thought I should do some yard work, so I did. Then I got all tired and sweaty and decided that 10 hours of work is enough!! So I went to my alternate reality, my escapeism. It was a beautiful day in Winterspring.

I don't know about the plate mail thong, though. I mean, not just a thong, but metal?? And there is no way that "armor" is going to protect my thighs. Ah, well, it's fantasy land. Just past the snow line were these cool mushrooms, and some red grass. (Gad, steel wedgies!)

Everything was peacef- OMG!!! Zombies!! There are scary zombies in my dreamy escape world! AAGGGHH! Noooooo! My one weakness. I tried to watch this "reality" show called Ghost Hunters the other day. Even though it was super duper cheese factor 5000, it still... scared the crap out of me. They recorded some EVP's (electronic voice phenomena, a term I think they made up just for this show) and that was it for me. No more watching that. I made CommonLaw hold me to sleep even though he wasn't going to bed yet.

I can just see it, me in the future, with kids: "Mom! There's a monster under my bed!" Me: " OMG! Run!!!!!" After rescuing kids I will board their door shut and they will sleep with me until they're 18. But wait. I'm a Paladin, a holy warrior with special zombie fighting skills! So I took out them there skellies. And even better, check this out.

I have a friend who is undead. His name's Kal, and he lives in Colorado. Uh, in the real world. And he's not really an animated corpse. Maybe when I have kids, I can teach them to face their fears. Or to not judge a book by its cover. Or, maybe just that it's okay to have a night light, and Mom's a little, uh... special. At least they'll have a parent who plays video games with them!

Monday, August 27, 2007

M' Chair

This chair is really ugly, I know. But it's my favorite. I like it more than one I spent 400 dollars on. It IS relegatd to the porch right now, but that's only because of the one room cabin living space. My $500 loveseat (matches the $400 chair) is out there too. This ugly, circa 1970? yellow chair is just really dang comfortable, um, when there's an extra pillow on the seat and another extra one for your back. It needs a little reupholstery, sure. And re-padding. There may be mummified cat barf on the underside. But it's what's on the inside that counts. Not the cat barf, the frame. Barrel style, I think it's called, and I love it.

In fact, when my mom was selling her house, and everything was all moving chaos, I dumped this chair in the goodwill pile. 13 or so years in a place and you accumulate a lot of memories, but also a lot of junk. I was moving into a studio, smaller than my current 284 sq ft, and I was also moving out of my childhood home. Boxes and boxes of things that probably could have been saved, went in the give away pile. Then the move was all over, and I was in my very first rented place, well, that my Mom wasn't the landlord, or that wasn't on wheels in a friends yard for $200 a month. I had no car, but lived close enough to work that I could walk, and my first walk home to my new place passed a thrift store. And there was my chair. Dirty, stained, covered in cat fur: five dollars.

Holding back tears, I ran inside and paid for it, demanding a "sold" sign just in case someone might have designs on it. Like any one would, HA! But at that moment it symbolized saying good bye to the last in a procession of over twenty homes in my first two decades alive. It was good bye to the security of a place that really felt like mine. I went and got my bffl, fellow hermit who was less than amused, to drive his truck over and pick it up with me. I got some laughs for this, but I am so, so glad I got my chair back. Until I get my very own home that I never have to move from, I got my chair. Cat barf and all, chair sweet chair.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Yardwork at Dusk

When the next door neighbors moved in a year ago, from the city, they cleared out a huge chunk of forest around their house and up the hill. This is the view standing at the property line. It was clear cut style; they took out everything, old trees, saplings, bushes. Yuck, I thought, being a tree hugger and all. Lately though, I've noticed that it gets darker about an hour later at their house. And I found myself a little jealous. Here's my "yard", and this is one of the less snarly tangled parts.

And so I needed a good, green party excuse to do some heavy duty trimming at my place. I thought, well, we don't let fires do what they're supposed to anymore. Fires are supposed to keep the forest clean, really, but we humans try to stop fires at all costs. So I'll do what fire can't, I decided. I'll take out all the scrawny saplings, the dead bushes that are coated with fallen leaves, and trim the lower dead branches of the big trees. And I think two cups of coffee will keep me going until it's practically dark and I can barely see what exactly I'm clipping away at.
Then this stump can look like a monster, scaring the crap out of me and reminding me that the weekend is for hitting the couch, not yard work. At least not when the monsters come out- I mean, when it gets dark. Good plan, good plan.

Oh yeah, also, if you mention liking yard work, you will have more yards volunteered for you than you can believe. Don't say anything about cash, though, unless you want them to retract the offer.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Try, Try Again

"For the last thirty years, he'd been alone but for his dogs, yet he had not become eccentric as did most people whose primary relationships were with their pets." -from Twilight Eyes, Dean Koontz
ACK! Direct hit! Losing cabin pressure! Taking on water! Aaaaggghh, I just read this yesterday!! And by a guy who gives the hero in almost every one of his, what, fifty books, a golden retriever so that he can assign multiple pages to praising these dogs. The pot is calling the kettle black, but it doesn't mean the kettle ISN"T black. There is no denying it. But I can stop if I want to! See, no kitty pictures at all today!
I was thinking the other day about wine connoiseurs. I just don't know how they can tell what's a good wine and what's a wine that comes in a cardboard box. In a blind taste test, I mean. And then I realized: I am a GIANT coffee snob! I can tell if it's been sitting for over half an hour, if it was made in unclean equipment, if it's burnt, and of course if it shared a container that was EVER used for that flavored crapola. I can tell you that a french press makes a fabulous brew, and that hand poured through a single serving filter has to be done very precisely: pour half cup of hot water through for the "sweet", then the other half for the bitters, and you have yourself a hell of a cup. So, wine drinkers must really dig the stuff, and while I enjoy it, it's far from an everyday thing like coffee.
Then I started thinking about how the fresher the roast, the better, and I really ought to give home roasting another shot. Plus I'm cheap, and green coffee beans cost half as much. So I gave it a whirl, and it went much better this time. Still not perfect, but, well, practice and all that. It's funny, I thought you would bake the beans, but actually you fry 'em.

The beans, when green, keep as well as rice, so you can store them a long time. Good to know in case I'm ever stocking a bomb shelter, 'cause you KNOW I aint closin' the hatch with out my coffee! This is how the pionneers did it, and that just makes it even cooler (green beans, not bomb shelters, HA!). However, attempting to get your campfire to 475 degrees would be trying. Especially since you wouldn't have had your coffee yet. I have an electric stove and I had trouble, sheesh. I started at 6, but by seven minutes the crack hadn't happened, so I turned it up to 7, which I think I'll start it on next time.

The crack is when the beans suddenly start popping, like the sound of a pencil snapped in two. Perhaps named after the "crack" of dawn by grumpy settlers? Oh yeah, and you have to constantly stir them, seriously, DON"T STOP. This is to try to get an even a roast as possible.

The beans start shedding a papery skin, called chaff, and within a minute or three after the crack, when they're what ever color you like, they're done. Less time makes lighter, more acidic roasts, longer makes darker roasts. I should warn you, when you hit the crack, haha that sounds funny, these suckers start SMOKIN'. Heavy, billowy smoke, so you'll want the kitchen window open and the hood fan on. Unless you're at your campfire. At this point it starts smelling a lot less like hay. That's what they smell like when green. Weird.

Now, when the beans are the color you like (this is maybe medium light) and you turn the stove off, you're gonna want to cool them off fairly quickly, or they will keep cooking. And you'll want to get rid of the majority of the chaff. This was fun for me, and it's quick and easy. I turned on a fan outside (you don't want this stuff blowing through your house) and poured the beans back and forth between the pot and a colander, in front of the fan. The chaff blew away after just a few transfers, and the beans were cooled. Like threshing wheat, cool, huh. Now, you can grind them right away, but it's recommended that for optimum flave, and that's sooo what my snobby taste buds are after, that you wait for 24 hours for the excess CO2 to dissipate. Yeah, that's what I'm gonna call it next time I pass gass. My CO2 was just dissipating. Not that I do that.

One other thing: set aside a special pot for this. I got some sweet Cuisinart pots for my birthday and wasn't going to designate one for coffee, so a nine dollar Kmart pot will have to do. Unless you like that flavored stuff. Then you might as well use your top ramen pot, make some new kinds of flavored coffee. Yeeek! Well, there yah go. Didn't even mention my kitties (that so doesn't count).

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Neverending Story

That movie was one of my childhood greats, I probably watched it hundreds of times. Well, this one scene from it came to me this morning as I stumbled from bed to feed the cats. It was the buttcrack of dawn, as my honey so delicately puts it, almost pitch black but not quite. I fed Sebastian, and opened the door for Pheonix, who was mewing his tiny voice, unexpected from such a handsome boy; if you didn't know him you'd expect a much bigger, deeper meow. And all of a sudden it was like the part of the movie where the young hero, Atreyu, finds his strength and runs with all his might for the portal that is guarded by two massive sphinxs'. Sphinxs' that blast lightning from their eyes, killing you instantly if you're not pure of heart.
Because mixed with Pheonix's mews were other tiny cries, and there was MAGGIE, who ran for the doorway with all her little heart!!!!!!!!! She barreled forward at full speed like her life depended on it, slid sideways when she hit the hardwood floor, and recovered to meow and purr and get some love and greet her sister and then eat and eat!! I couldn't believe it!! I still can't believe it!! I seriously questioned my awakeness. Holy crap!! Just... can't believe it!! The greatest gift the universe could give!! It said, what IS this ruckus peeps are raising about a kitten? I was just testing hermitgirl's tear ducts, after Bambi 2 they seemed to be broken! Did I mention... holy crap? I can't believe it?? I am the luckiest blessed person on the planet.
I can't- well, we got that part. Just, I didn't believe in happy endings. They're only in silly fairy tales. Certainly not a real life thing. But I guess, sometimes the story does end the way you hope it will. Thank you universe, thank you people who care and say such kind wonderful things, and Maggie... you are so, SO grounded.
OMG. There's just not enough exclamation points to express the insanely thankful joyous lucky yay that is in me.
But I'll try.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


CommonLaw looked for three hours today. When I got home from work I looked for another three hours. I should have called in sick, no, I should have looked all night, no, I should have been smart in the first place, hmm. The bizarre thought crossed my mind while I was falling down another too-steep mountain side for the second time, cobwebs smearing across my face, that it was like an Indiana Jones movie. Except without the entertainment, adventure, or happy ending. There were grape sized THINGS dangling from my arm and chin, things super glued to me by spider silk, and I was trying not to panic when they WOULDN'T WIPE OFF.

My legs are criss-crossed with bramble attacks. I finally wised up and changed into pants after the first hour. I was trying to be slow and quiet and not intimidating as I called and called and slipped through the crackling leaves. I occasionally burst into tears, then probably wiped my eyes with poison oak juice, as a couple of those plants took me by suprise. After having all day at work to ponder the awful fates that could have befallen a scared and lost kitten, the hours in the forest straining to listen, climbing cliffs on all fours, and shaking from exhaustion were kind of a relief. A mind numbing, self flagellation, cold kind of comfort. Actually hot, I was sweating buckets, got a heat rash that itched bad.

And I gave up, for today, reason number 114 to hate myself, but I got a good scare. Scarier than rolling my ankle on a loose log; I'm lucky I was wearing my hiking boots. Occasionally when hiking I stop and look around, take in the big picture, plot my course. And in the third hour today, I did a forest scan, and there was a face watching me. Way up the mountain, so that I had to look hard to be sure. At that point I really did go cold. I froze with a sudden gripping terror, my heart lurching from my test and my adrenaline surging. It wasn't a trick of the light, it was a big pale face staring intently at me. I almost soiled myself. I have never seen a human on the mountain, but just the idea scares me more than seeing a cougar or other predator. I've run into coyotes a handful of times, and they pretty much go their way while I go mine.

For a long minute, felt longer, we just stared at each other. Then it moved, and it was a dog. Two dogs actually, that finally gave a woof at me, not in a friendly way, but before either of them or I could do anything, one dog suddenly gave chase to something. This added a whole new nightmare of what ifs in my mind for Maggie, and I used the adrenaline they'd given me and tore up the hill after them. I had a 18 inch saw on my hip, in case I had to do some serious bushwhacking, and at that point, animal lover or no, I might have used it on them if they had found Maggie. Well, maybe not- I'm glad I wasn't put to the test. They out ran me no problem, but stopped at an open ridge where I could see them, and that they had no prey.

I kept on for another half hour, but it was getting dark, and I kept spooking myself, jerking my head up to look behind me for faces, and I chickened out (reason 115). I don't know if I can forgive myself. I've lost too many cats in the last few years, to poison, or internal ruptures, or just disapearing, but this is somehow the worst. I barely even knew her, was just getting to learn her personality, her individuality. She's just a young one. And when my other ones were stolen from me it had nothing to do with making a dumb mistake on my part. Yup, goin' to hell, my new mantra. I know I'll have to make some kind of peace with myself, but I won't stop looking, and praying and hoping yet.

Thank you guys so, so very much for your words and thoughts. Sometimes crap just happens, that's life, I know. I just wish it wasn't, ya know? So I would like to give thanks for some things (is that selfish?) to try and balance out my turmoil: having a running car, the ability to make iced coffee without worrying that I'm going to melt all the ice I just bought for the cooler, and most of all, you, m' peeps. And a prayer: please, universe, please please let Maggie be okay.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Have you seen me?

I am going to hell. Not one of the lowest circles, like for child molesters, but lower than identity theives. Lower than drunk drivers for sure.
I've been taking Sebastian for mini field trips, just right outside, letting her get to know the place. She always stays by me, coming back every minute or two to rub on my legs. In the big scary fascinating world, I'm the Known. And Clarence, when he is around. Since she lets me pick her up now, and pet her and cuddle her, I thought she was ready for the field trips, and she is. And just lately Maggie lets me pet her and cuddle her and, occasionally, pick her up. So today when I took Sebastian outside to "get her ya ya's out" (her super kitten energy) Maggie was, as usual, crying at the screen door. So I thought, I'll take Maggie with us today. I wasn't quite sure she was ready, but honestly, I didn't want to listen to her whining meow the whole time (I am such a jerk).
It was going fine, I didn't let Maggie go more than two feet from me, and everything was grand and sniff-tastic. Then the kid next door suddenly appeared, at the end of his driveway, swinging and banging the crap out of a piece of wood against a crate (really not blaming the kid here). The kittens were terrified. Sebastian went only a couple feet and I grabbed her, then turned toward Maggie. Didn't see her. Heard her, though, and thought it was going to be another episode of Maggie-under-the-house. I put Sebastian inside, then turned toward Maggies mewling, and was shocked to see her twenty feet up the hill in the forest, crying loudly. I panicked (dumbass!) and went crashing towards her, well, the dry leaves made it sound all loud and I'm sure not putting her at ease. In the space of ten of my paces, she was more than 80 feet from the house, running crazily into the dense second growth, faster than I had any idea she could go.
I climbed the hill as quick as I could, looking down to not slip in thick layer of duff, another smart move, and when I made it to where I'd last seen her, she was gone. I stood still. Tried to listen, but all I heard was my neighbors, using a leaf blower, backing up their V10 diesel, complete with the "beep beep beep", dogs barking. I stood there for over twenty minutes, calling and straining my ears. Nothing. I decided to start moving, even though it was loud and probably scary. I spent the next three hours combing the mountain, and for all I know I walked right by her but she was hiding in terror. I went back to the house three times, once for water, once to get Sebastian, who was the best helper ever, covering at least two acres with me, calling for Maggie. Then at dusk I took Sebastian back, got a flashlight, and tried again, hoping Maggies eyes would shine back at me. I even found where the skunk lives, scared him right out of his stump, again lucking out and not getting sprayed, but no Maggie.
I wish I believed in fate. Or a deity, and I could tell myself, "things happen for a reason", or "a higher power is watching out for her". But all I believe in is taking responsibilty for one's actions. I'm broke? I'm a slacker for not getting a second job. I lose a kitten? I should have realized it was a bad idea to take her out, she wasn't ready. CommonLaw, having just listened to the story when he came home, said I was really good at beating myself up. I wish I could say that Maggie snuck out, and it wasn't my fault, but I'm the adult, the caretaker. I took responsibility for her, and screwed up. She's just a kitten, now lost in acres of forest full of raccoons, coyotes, and phantom pumas.
So all I can do now is berate myself, and pray that she somehow, miraculously, stays safe and finds her way home. Weird, huh, that I may not believe in a specific deity but I believe in prayer. And, that there's a circle of hell with my name on it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Black and White

Cameras can be dangerous. I don't mean, people getting caught doing things they shouldn't, like running red lights in view of a traffic cam. You shouldn't be doin' stuff you don't want to get caught doing! Ok, I'm sure there's exceptions to that, but I'm not going there.
Parents, I know you care about the safety of your children, so you might not want to let them have a camera. At least not until they are old enough. Let's see, I'm 28, so... maybe 30?

I managed to slip out the screen door, behind the lazy boy ( a must for any mountain hermit's front porch) and get about four feet from this skunk. And what the heck posessed me, I asked myself, while creeping further forward. There's just something exciting about being that close to a wild animal, a critter that, sure, I know what they look like, I've seen them before, but this close? Never. I didn't even know that their faces are all black. I imagined, like cartoon skunks, the stripe would go right down between their eyes to their nose. And their heads! Puny as hell! At the point where I was noticing how cute its brown little feet were, I slipped and knocked the lazy boy into a spin.

But never fear! It was too scared to turn tail and do the nasty, it just turned tail and ran, thank you Jesus!! (Just watched a documentary on Tammy Fay, don't ask. Ok, sometimes you'll watch anything! And I like documentaries!) Anyway, I figured I better bring the cat food in for the night ( gee, ya think?) but there were only like three crumbs left, and I thought, ooh, I know, I could move the plate and get a better picture when it comes back! Hmm, I'm thinking maybe thirty is too young and dumb still. Maybe forty. So yes, that's what I did, only next came a raccoon. Aye yi yi! A big ol' sucka, not the same one as last time. At this point, visions of rabies shots were dancing in my head, and, feeling like I'd used up my woodland creature luck for the night, I got the hell outta dodge. I didn't even try for a not-aimed arms-length shot.
Okay, yeah I did. It just didn't turn out. Maybe it's just ME that shouldn't be trusted with a camera. Hey there, cougar, show me your smile! AAAGGGHHHH my arm! Yeeek okay there's some sweet dreams for me. I can't promise that I'll learn anything from this... except maybe not to let Netflix make suggestions for me.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Ahhh, Hawaii

I went to Hawaii. That's where I was yesterday. Haha, I wish. No, I've been having "fun" trying to get my photos from my old computer to my new one, and all I've managed so far is my trip to hawaii. I guess that's some of the cream of the crop anyway.

I mean, if you don't go to Hawaii at least once in your life, you're missing out on probably the best place on the planet. There's meadows full of wild orchids for cryin' out loud. There's green and orange and blue geckos all over the place. There's sea turtles, and perfect sunsets everyday.

It's a lot funner than trying to get pics off a 2000 iMac. Umm, who makes a computer that can't copy anything on to disc? I'd be happy with floppy disc even. Or maybe there could just be a cord that plugs my two macs together?

Considering I spend hours every day on my computer, you would think I wouldn't hate them so much! I need another trip to Hawaii, haha. Everyone is so mellow and relaxed, and they probably don't have stupid computers because, one, it's heaven, and there's only good things in heaven, and two, they don't need to take pictures of it, they just look out the window. Okay, I'm going to get back to my feeble attempts at getting some more pictures. Or packing a bag and getting a plane ticket.

Wow I bore my own self even. It was a toss up between slappin some pretty pictures down, or Sebastian's field trip. Ha! That's tomorrow! Until I get a real life, maybe more of both!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Frontier Life

When I decided I wanted to "live off the fat of the land", it wasn't only for romantic escapeism. It's affordable! I've been reading about off the grid living for a few years, dreaming up ways of escaping the 9-5 (7-3). I actually discovered blogs only three months ago when I was googling "pioneer women", and found the truth about calf nuts instead. Renting a place with a yard, I'm finally able to practice some things, like growing food and wine making. Which is a dang good thing because if I had just quit my job, bought a chunk of land, some tools, seeds, and a chicken or two, I think I'd be pretty hungry right about now. And sober, haha. I'm afraid the wine has mold, so... I'll have to try again.

This is my first onion. The first piece of food I grew my very own self. It's a little bigger than a pea.

I have a hose. I can't imagine having to haul water or dig a well like the pioneers. Only one in three families made it, but for a free 160 acres, I would definitly try. Hey honey, put some water on, we're having onion soup. What? You can't taste anything? I put a whole onion in there! Back then spring was called starving time.
And seriously, are cucumbers supposed to do this? It's like one of those long skinny balloons, slowly inflating to it's full thickness at the stem end, still puny at the other end. Hey! No, there's no other food! Drink your onion water! This cucumber is mutated, I'll have to eat it and see if it's safe. Stay away! Yup, practice is a very good thing.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Coffee- best left to professionals

Just thought I'd share with you the header that my blog WOULD have, if it would ever stop saying "loading" and move on to "done".

Omg, somebody used the regular coffee grinder for flavored coffee! Omg the grossness. There is a little tiny lingering flavor of yukk every time I brew some up. I could just grind the beans at home, for even fresher tatse, but I'm much too lazy for that. In fact, for the real deal in gourmet delish, I should roast my own beans. My Dad does, and it's sooooooo good. You would think it would be, well, at least not hard if not easy, but... I managed to melt a spatula when I tried it. And, unaware that I had added plastic flavoring to the roasted beans, I... I... Oh gad. Yes, truth be told, I ground those beans up. I thought the black smears on the bottom of the roasting pot were from the beans, not the spatula. All I smelled was burnt something, and I thought it was the chaff that comes off the beans in black papery wisps and scrolls. I... I brewed a cup of these terribly contaminated coffee beans. And I tasted it. Eeeeeeeeek!!!! At least then I could finally tell that it was so wrong, and I didn't actually consume any. Also CommonLaw walked up wielding the now deformed spatula and asked me what the holy heck. Hmmm, I couldn't have noticed that before I brewed the stuff? Gad, and I love coffee so much I drink it black (when ice cream not option). Sheesh.

I got off work early today by some fluke, and after much much self cajoling I convinced myself to drive to the courthouse instead of straight home. It was the curiosity that won me over, really. I managed to interact with several people on subjects I know nothing about, only blushing once at my own dorkiness. And I succeeded in finding a little bit more about the zombie nest house. I now know who owns it, what it's appraised at, when it was built, the square footage, etc, but no juicy details about why it's empty and being reclaimed by the earth. The listed owners have had it for 17 years... and they live about 20-30 miles away... but that could be as of 17 years ago, the most current info I could find. So, I started googling them, the address, no luck, strayed to the hearsay and googled "meth lab my town"... lol no luck there either. Then I got distracted and started googling myself; turns out I am a latin singer with a legit record deal even. Also I "get what I want"... cool! Anyhoo, I am just getting started on this house thang, it certainly is a long long shot in the dark, but as a learning experience it's awesome.

Oh yeah, also at the courthouse I so looked up the place I rent haha! Oh the nosy interesting information one can learn from public records! I know when Landlord bought this place (2005) and how much for ($275,000 for 284 square feet on 1.631 acres). Juicy!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Crazy Cat Lady

I'm not saying I have feces four feet deep in my house like a woman in the 'hood who was recently busted for having 83 cats. There IS a litterbox, but we clean it everyday because, well, living in a one room cabin how could you not? And as I mentioned, I very much look forward to the days when Sebastian and Maggie, yes, we FINALLY settled on their official-oh-crap-we're-keeping-them names, can s**t in the woods like bears. But there are these little signs that maybe I'm not... quite... your average kinda gal.

Things like my car. Tell tale Lilly prints, in the dust here...

...and in mud there. Little things that catch my eye when I'm driving, and instead of thinking how much I need to wash my car (I really really do) my breath catches, my chest feels funny, and a sloppy lopsided grin plasters itself to my face. I think to myself, "what a wonderful worl-" SCREEECH oops wrong thought, I think, "Man I love my kitties". Does anyone notice these things when they see my car and think, "whoah, cat lady" ? They might not have before, but I'm afraid the catmobile is now official: my rear window guardian.

OMG this toy was made in China! By Hasbro, not Mattel, but I guess that closes the deal. I can never touch it again, so it stays forever. Haha, like I would move it anyway. And besides, my honey stuck it there for me, so he did most of the touching of possible lead paint. I can't imagine plastic having lead paint on it, though. Whatever. I now wave my flag proudly. Crazy Cat Lady of the Mountains. Now I just need a good, raggedy, fur covered bathrobe to answer the door in.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Oh! You are sooo caught buddy!! Eating the kitties food, and, it looks like, finishing off my case of beer, too! Yeah, she was not impressed by my mountain paparazzi action. And I didn't have the heart to really try to scare her off 'cause she had a hurt paw. :( Is that a large woodland creature or what? Then my honey stormed out all arms a flyin' and loud voice a yellin', and when that didn't work, broom swingin'. And then the hose. I felt bad for the raccoon, but on the other hand, I don't want her eating my cats OR their food, or becoming human dependant. It's a tough world, ya know? Hard to balance compassion with "the right thing", whatever that is.

Except, for me, today was christmas in Jul- August. It was like all the lights were green, and the stars were aligned, and herds of butterflies descended from above. They did, too, all over my garden. One for every leaf, and sometimes two! It was so cool. I didn't have to work overtime, I got a present in the mail (!mom! thank you! I now have my very own bobbly head cat in my car's rear window heehee) and came home to a clean house, loving kitties, and the aforementioned flutterbys. I almost cried three times (!!!) 'cause I feel so incredibly spoiled and lucky to have peeps who care. Oh boy, I'm tearing up again! Must be something wrong with my eyes. And to top it all off, this:
Yes, that is ice cream in my coffee. The angels sang, and the cats danced in the moonlight, and the humans rejoiced, for Dad said, "let their be temperature controlled food", and there was. And there was loving family, and awesome friends, virtual world and physical, and I'm just so stoked I could pop.
Thanks, everyone.

P.S. OMG, the landlord even called, and it WASN'T anything bad! Holy wow! Maybe it's that meteor shower, all those shooting stars/ wishes from around the world and all different people... I hope they all got as lucky as me. Maybe I'll make one more wish, that Ms. Raccoon be healed.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Ghouls and Goodies!

Jeeee hoe-suh-phats! Yes, I actually say that, haha. That's what I thought when I woke up yesterday and looked at the clock. Three red slashes clawing out the first half of the day. I did a double take, thinking it HAD to be eleven-eleven, not ONE eleven. Gasp! And then I had breakfast (lunch) at my Dad's house, and we talked the rest of the day away. It was great, but sheesh! Gonna be one of those over way too quick weekends.

Dad had a great story to tell me, well, one of many, that lead to some great ideas. It seems he has some friends who found an abandoned, distressed property, and by doing some research here, some legal consulting there, a little loan action, and they were able to buy the place for 25 grand in back taxes!! Holy smokes! As a fixed up place it's worth more than half a mil! My eyes are popping out of my skull and my exclamation key is wearing out!! SO, I am soooooo going to do more research on that haunted house two doors down! Oh my goodness, and I was reading in my garden today, and I heard all this banging around, like construction, coming from that very direction, and I thought, no way! I didn't want to go waltzing up the driveway to see if it really was that place that was the source of the noise, which now I think about it is DUMB because I could have had my curiosity allayed by simply talking to the people, but being a shy hermit DORK I didn't. Doh!

No, I had the brilliant idea of climbing up into the hills and approaching the place from the back woods, all sneakily like a spy. Jeez, it sounds even more ridiculous as I write this, ah well I'm laughing, albeit at myself. And I tell ya, it's like the haunted creepiness rolls out in waves from that house, so that even the forest feels different than the forest just 50 yards away at my house.

Seriously, it's been neglected for so long that the canopy is dense and ancient, and no fresh young saplings liven up the place with lime green leaves. The branches down low are dead and bony, and I cleared at least 20 cobwebs with my face. It was scarier than phantom mountain lions, the thoughts of zombies and ghouls. I saw an ancient, faded, half burried baseball cap and was dead certain, no pun intended, there would be a skeleton close by. There wasn't, but even the birds were silent, holding there breath in anticipation of some grisly discovery. And why are animated corpses more frightening than lions? The fear of the the unknown, I guess, the believable seeming safer. This is what happens when you read Dean Koontz all morning and then go exploring abandoned properties. Which, I discovered, was as forgotten as ever and not the source of the hammering. Having satisfied at least that question, I quickly returned to my own yard, throat parched from my silly overactive imagination, and so very grateful for my kitties having accompanied me.

Aaaah the sun, banisher of demons! And even with all the vibes from that place I am still going to persue it, because I'm sure a little feng shui would really perk the place up. And maybe an exorcism or two.

P.S. And holy jeehosafats criminently gasp!!! Teryn at Ten Minutes to Naptime picked me! Me? Me! A rockin' Rosie the Riveter blogger award! AH!!!!!! Now I have to actually learn how to make links so I can put Teryn's link here!! LOL!! Squirming with delight and probably blushing to high heaven!! EEEEK the joy!!!!! :D Well by golly I award her right back! Oh my this is better than ice cream in coffee after sleeping in and having new books to read. I have to go run around the house like a little kid now. 'Scuse me while I do that. While giggling. HEEEHEEE!!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Lovely Lilly and a Lichen Lapel

"Berry Turd on a Log with Lichen" Or maybe it's moss. I should really know this.

Haha, even nature turds are pretty. And look at this lichen/ moss clump here. I could wear that in my hair! (sans any turd action, of course) It's gorgeous. It could be a prom dates corsage! I could pin it to my lapel! (There is such a thing as reading too much. This is when you SEE words instead of hear them. I still remember when I was 8 and I asked my Dad how you say "triumphant". Well, with lapel I wasn't thinking before I spoke, and Mum and Brother clearly heard me, in my twenties even, say I was going to put it on my "lay-pull" like maple)

And always giving anything pretty a run for it's money, the lovely Lilly. Ooops. She yawned. This is how insanely spoiled she is: I leave my car window down on PURPOSE. Just for her. It's only until the kittens are spayed, and able to go outside, because until they vacate the cabin Lilly refuses to lay a toe inside, and I want her to be comfy. She only has to wait a few more weeks because we want it done by the time we hit Arizona in the beginning of september. Just wondering, why isn't there a pill for lady cats? There's birth control for FLEAS, for cryin' out loud. Best flea control on the market, I think. No nasty chemicals on my darlins' skin, and after a few cycles there's no mo' buggers. Then you're done! Expensive tho...anyhoo.

Last but not least, found Spence Jr upright when I got home today. Hangin' with Alfred the corydora. Isn't that a hilarious scientific name? I just call 'em catfish, but just in case anyone who knows this stuff is reading... (my honey). You know, Alfred had a best buddy cory, and they were inseperable, until Spot died. Maybe Alf n' Spence Jr will be bachelor buds?

'Cause I don't think Spence Jr plays for the other team like the other angels.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Sad Fish

This angelfish is not dead. Or dying. He's depressed. I don't blame him. See, there were three angelfish. A third wheel is never good, and when eggs come into play, three gets ugly quick. The other two repeatedly drove poor Spence Jr away, even though he wasn't after the girl, just company. It got pretty serious, and we put a divider in the 100 gallon tank, to give the lovers some space. They were too busy attacking any fish who came near to relax and nurture their spawn, see. But how could Spence Jr understand this? His brain makes a pea look like a softball. He became despondent. Enter the Guarami.

G has a major chip on his shoulder, because he's very vain. And he's beautiful, but all he knows is he's missing an eye, and he feels like a monster. He doesn't grasp the inner beauty concept, what with the grain of sand size brain and all. So he punks any fish that don't get out of his way fast enough. Poor Jr. He didn't even try to defend himself , he was so lonely and lost. G ate all Spence Jr's fins, until he couldn't even swim. I know, seriously, rated R fish tank here. He was just floating on the current, waiting to die, when we pulled him and put him in Dagger's little 10 gallon tank, along with a bunch of medicine. It was touch and go for a few days there, but when he started growing his fins back we knew he hadn't given up after all. And yet... a month later, and he COULD swim, but he doesn't. I guess fish can mend their fins but not their heart. I couldn't even bring myself to tell him the other two angels turned out to be lesbians. True story.

This is Maximus, our 25 cent feeder that is now pushing 10 inches, the fatty. He's the king of duuuuh. It's a good thing he's too big to mess with, 'cause if G bit him he probably wouldn't get it. At least he'll never get a broken heart.
PS Speaking of PS, saw a letter to santa today (yeah, it's still summer) and it said "PS: The light saber needs to be able to cut through things." MADE MY DAY. Maybe I should go tell Spence Jr that story, see if I can coax a smile outta him. I'm thinking, though, he might prefer some nice brine shrimp.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

One Dollar Question

Not million dollar question, just one: Would you pull a soggy floating dollar bill out of this puddle?

When my sister and I were kids, and supposed to being going to sleep, we'd ask each other hypothetical questions for hours and hours. The ones I remember most were something like, "If there were three presents, a big one, small, and medium, which would you choose?" Sister would answer, and questioner would make up what would be in the present she picked, then tell her what she missed out on by not picking the other ones. Ok, weird. We also looked through the glossy jewelry adds in the sunday paper, and would see which ones we "got", by which one had our initial by it. You know, the initial that corresponds picture to title and price... sometimes I think we stayed up past midnight giggling. Then when I lived with my sister AND brother, all of us in one room... well, I'm pretty sure we got some digruntled parents roaring in here and there, scaring us into quiet for... a few minutes. I wish I could go back, and be a better big sister, include my brother more (being younger by a bigger gap he got excluded a lot :(* ) not be such a *&%# to my sis as a teen. I was the oldest, and I think it went to my head. Well. At least they still love me. :P ... uh... right guys??

Anyway, the dollar question wasn't hypothetical. There WAS a dollar in this nastiferous puddle. And, it hasn't rained in months, I should add. Well, I was pulling onto a busy road when I saw it, so I couldn't just stop. My first response was, "money!" and then, "EEEEEW it's so not worth it". Of course, then I had hours to think about what a dollar could buy, and, I mean, I could WASH it. That's a free cup of coffee! So I got a stick, to fish it out, and went back. It was gone. I guess it was worth it to someone, more than to me. I really hope they found a stick though, 'cause that was some FUNK.

And, to balance out the gross picture:

I'm not sure if Mildred/ Sebastian/ Stinky terd was going to kill me, or the camera, but lil Mabel Anne smiled for the picture.
And then MSST went all cute and M.A. fell over backwards. I'm tellin ya, is there anything NOT cute about kittens? Oh yeah, duh. Sebastian's named after it.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Trees and Butter and Kittens, oh my!

Ok hell with it. I am embracing my love for trees, the photo taking part. Haha that's like tree-hugging my tree love. So what if you can't take a picture of the forest for the trees? It doesn't go that way, that saying, does it. Oh well, someday I will be a world renowned wild tree photographer, catching them in their natural setting, at repose and unaware of any human stalking. National Geographic will send me around the world for still footage, all expense paid, and the Smithsonion will have me as a well funded free-lance expert! Whew. Didn't some one say, if you're gonna dream, go big? Works for me.

Man, I got 2 rude gestures and one honk when driving yesterday, 'cause I had the right of way and apparently that really pisses people off, and guess what? All I saw was golden shiny fridge light. I smiled and waved, (okay, I did that 'cause secretly I hoped that would piss them off more, lol) and I'm still floating. Like my butter. Eeew. I almost wish I could push back the arrival date, because there is something so insanely awesome about have a guaranteed good thing in the future. I didn't even realize how hopelessly bleak and doom and gloom the future was starting to seem. Now, there's something concrete and positive coming, and jeeeez I sound like a whiner. I'm just relieved, that's the feeling. I'll leave it at that.

So CommonLaw didn't like the names Mildred and Mabel. He said they were too old lady, which was precisely why I liked them. They're antiqe and charming (gad I hope that's not offensive to old ladies, being antique, which to me means elegant and intricate and beautiful). Anyway, now the kittens are tenatively Sebastian (still a girl) and Anne. After little orphan Annie. Heehee. And Clarence is still Mommydad, and when he comes inside I say, "Aw, you've come to see your girls? Girls! Nannydad's here!" They come RUNNING!! Dun da dala dun!! With the stompity patter of clumsy kitten feet. My eyeball is bugging out with the cuteness. Lil' (stinky terd) angels!!