Monday, June 20, 2011

The Insane Cat Posse

One of our cats is very vocal. The others are too, in various degree, but Panthera is always letting us know something. He's a solid black shorthair. He did have one white eyebrow hair until recently but he lost it. He is once again completely black. Every morning before sun up, or at least before we really plan to arise, he starts asking to go out. 
It starts with a plaintive meow from the floor. Then a meow and "chirring" noise as he jumps onto the water bed. He strolls across the head of the bed, near our heads as well, and about halfway around the bed and then returns across our bodies to his starting point and back off the bed with a resounding thump.
If we ignore it, there is another noisy leap onto the bed and the tour repeated, stopping to nuzzle our hands, or maybe even nose my face.
The last move is usually to get back on the bed, walk across our heads to the bookcase headboard, and leap to the top of it to perch like a gargoyle above my head staring at me.
This is where I usually give up. He has been known to do a cannonball onto my belly.
We don't usually let it get that far, we know what's coming, so if one of us rises for any reason at an early stage, we go ahead and let him and the tabby, Simba, out. Of the other two, Salem, the alpha tuxedo cat, is rather blase about it. He will eventually deign to go out, but his style is to come over to one of us later and stare us into submission. The siamese, Meixa, (pronounced Meeka) isn't allowed out anyway. He is our young rescue kitty, and is very skittish. 
At some point after I've been doorman for the various cats going in and out the races begin. 
The culprits are one of the other cats who has returned, and Meixa. One chases the other from end of the house to the other. We're in a mobile home, currently, so it's pretty much one long run from end to end with a longish hall included. 
One chases the other one direction, and they reverse coming back, bouncing over anything in the way.
Somehow they manage to sound like much larger beasts in the process.
Stampeding buffalo, or wildebeests, come to mind.
Cats are about stealth, aren't they? And not that large.
But they manage to put on their snow boots or something.
They can really stomp.
I've been outside a few times when it happens. I swear the walls and ground shake.
If you happen to be reclining in the track, look out! You can get trampled!
I call them the Insane Cat Posse. However, it is usually only two of the four involved at a time. The combination changes, though Meixa is usually one of them.
Adds some excitement, if we needed any!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Hot Stuff!

Hey, I can relate! 
No, that's not me in the photo, it's a "found" shot online. It wasn't credited, so if it's yours, let me know and I'll credit it.
However, I rode the Shadow over to the new house yesterday, midday, and, yeah, it was like that! 
You know how you test your iron skillet for being hot enough by seeing if a few drops of water will dance on the surface? About 3 p.m. yesterday it was me and my Shadow skittering across the surface of the highway. I don't know what the outside temp was, it probably would have made it feel even worse, but the thermometer in the shade on the house porch said 100 degrees F. when we got there. 
It was less  than a half hour drive, but it didn't take much more to make me feel baked out like a dried out snake skin!
We moved another load of lumber and we did a cleaning of the house. That was, I admit, mostly Cat sweeping and mopping with assistance from Michael and I.
We sign the lease tomorrow and start moving in the inside stuff. 
We already have taken several loads of lumber, outside stuff, and a couple of loads of books. 

My fabled office trailer renovation is on hiatus till after we move. It's together enough to make the trip now. The portable building that is our workshop will need a bit of beefing up before moving. It barely made it here. It's sound enough, but the skids and some of the under framing won't take another move as they are now. So, it's going last. We'll take a few more days to make those repairs after we move the rest, if we can manage the wasps long enough.

The ride home near sundown was downright pleasant, though! I'm trying to stay inside and hydrated today.

It's confusing. It was in the news a couple of days ago about the sun going into a "no sun spot cycle". So, today I find an article about how that means we may be entering a "mini ice age." Then, in the same site, I find another article about the same thing happening a couple of years ago and how that was responsible for more warming. Hmm.

Well for now, stay cool!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

On The Move

We're moving! Packing up our books, and books, and books, and oh yeah, other stuff. It's time. We've been in our current place for five years or so. It's fine, but I have a chance to do a Permaculture design on this six acres near Lake Bastrop.
It's a short move, eighteen miles or so. It has a very nice house on it already, and handy outbuildings. The owner is fine with us moving my (nearly rebuilt) office trailer, our workshop, hot tub and so on out there.
July 1 is the magic day!
Of course, I won't be there that day. I'm flying to Oregon to my daughter Melanie's wedding party the end of June.
Wouldn't it be nice if it all got done while I was gone? Looks more like we'll have to get it all done before I go, sigh.
In the midst of it all I'm starting the plans for the project, consulting with the owner on what she wants and adding in our own ideas. 
I'm excited!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Sting

 One of these guys has rendered me hors d combat for the day. Yesterday  I was stung for the second time in a week. The local red wasps are in an aggressive mood lately. One got me on the ankle last week as I walked past the shop. A couple of days with a swollen ankle and achy joints and it passed with only some residue of itching. 
Then yesterday, I was re-installing the new window in my office re-build, when another one apparently decided I was too close to the nest and nailed me on the elbow. 
I moved away rapidly, the window fell without breaking, luckily. I immediately applied an ammonia compress to the wound. The pain subsided rapidly, but I didn't sleep too well. When I woke this morning the elbow was burning and itching like I had left it in a nest of fire ants all night. 
I did go out early and get the window into place. I bundled up and worked till the wasps started flying again, then quit. It was too hot to work with the long sleeves, etc. anyway. Sitting around the rest of the day with herb poultices and baking soda on my arm. Taking Benadryl, etc.