I may chat about my books, what I'm writing or reading, or just general thoughts. You may read posts about my cats or just my crazy life in general. Comments are welcome, if anyone wants to interact with me. Maybe we can share war stories, whether it's writing related or just about life in general.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

An unusual lizard sighting

Wall Maintenance

Last weekend we were having a crack repaired in our block wall.  The mortar between a few blocks had cracked over the last ten years.  This is probably wear and tear due to weather extremes here, but my husband is a perfectionist and this bothered him so he was out there in the hundred-degree heat helping the guy with the repairs.



 Zebra-tailed albino lizard

During the course of this, he spotted this albino lizard in the desert seeking shade under a bush on the other side of the wall.  We’ve never seen one of these in the ten years we’ve lived here, but it sounds like they’re common.



 Zebra-tailed albino lizard

Naturally, I ran for the camera so we could get some pics.  We take pictures of everything around here.  My camera gets well used.

Later I came in and looked this lizard up on Google.  For more info on the zebra-tailed lizard, check out Wikipedia.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Innovation



We all have to get creative at times when it comes to fixing things because - face it - sometimes you have to do it yourself.  If you don't you may wait a very long time to get something done, if it ever happens.

This is the repainted door we were working on

Recently, this was true of the garage door. (the fire door between the garage and the house).  We needed to get the springs replaced in the door so it automatically shuts itself since it's a fire door.  It has to pass house inspection and that's something on the list.  We had the door taken off in October to be repainted.  We've waited for someone to come and put the hinge springs back in place since then.  We finally decided to tackle that job ourselves since it wasn't happening any other way.

What an ordeal.  What would take some expert five minutes took us half the day.  This is no easy job when you don't know what you're doing and have never done it before.  But we persevered and finally could cross it off the "to do" list.




This is the spring mechanism we had to insert the pin into.  There is one at the top and one at the bottom of the door.


 Of course, over the months one of the springs was lost.  Nobody would sell us just a spring.  We had to buy the whole mechanism.  So we put on the thinking cap and made our own.  These pins don’t exactly look like a spring, but are more like a finish nail.  They are designed to hold the spring in place, putting tension on it, so the door will close automatically. 

Naturally, we didn’t have any nails the right size, so we cut a finish nail off and with great effort got it in the hole.  And guess what?  It works!
  
Unless you've been through it, there's more to consider when selling a house than you'd think about on an ordinary day.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Breaking the ice



Have you ever wondered where that expression came from?  I did so I did a bit of research and found this expression came about in the 1500s and had to do with the navigation of boats through ice.  In the 1700s, it took on the meaning we use today, to break the social awkwardness between two strangers.



 Koki

I think this is finally what’s happening with my cats, Raven and Koki.  As you know, if you read much of my blog, Koki is a female cat I rescued as a wee kitten nine years ago.  She’s been the baby in the house until I adopted Raven from PAWS in February.  She hasn’t taken to him well.  In fact, Koki seems insulted that I even brought him into her space.



 Raven

This past week they’ve taken to chasing each other through the house upstairs.  They hang around up here now and he’s not even waking me as he used to by licking my face and biting my toes.  He’s too busy trying to make nice with his new-found friend.

I’m actually happy to see this – finally.  I didn’t know if it would ever happen and I hate to say much about it since I don’t feel it’s the norm yet.  I’m hoping this behavior keeps up.  I intended for them to be friends from the moment I brought him home.  I was disappointed that Koki was disgusted with me.

This interactive play will keep both of them in shape and younger longer.  Maybe entertainment is coming my way.



 Dark desert skies behind the house

On another note, we finally got a few sprinkles late one evening.  We’ve heard thunder all around for several days, but the rain passes us.  The humidity is up and it’s very hot here, but at least it’s dropped down to the low 100’s.  Some evenings it’s actually cooler outside than in the house, or so it seems to me.

One thing about the desert, there aren’t many time when it’s pleasant weather-wise.  Usually it’s burning up or freezing cold.  I won’t miss that one thing about living here.  The thing you learn is that there’s no perfect place all the time, no matter how much you wish it could be so.



 The desert behind my house - remote and harsh, but beautiful

If I had never moved to the desert, I wouldn’t have Koki and Raven now because this is their birthplace.  It’s been worth it just for that reason alone.  Fate brought me here to find them and give them a loving home.  I’ll never be sorry about that.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The work goes on

House construction two doors down the road

This is true with the house they’re building two doors down the street and with the stuff around our house.

Several people stop daily to walk through the new house.  They are usually looking at anything new and not just using the port-o-potty at the curb.  Who wouldn’t use the bathroom facilities before they left the house remains a mystery to me.

The new house is really coming along now.  They started putting the stone on the front last week, but it’s a slow process.  The rest of the house will have stucco.



 Stone for front stacked to right .  It actually has moss on it, which won't last long in the desert, but these people are from SLC and have no idea...YET

The inside has the Sheetrock up but it’s not textured yet, so there’s a lot to do on the inside before anyone can move in.  We walk down before sunset and take pictures occasionally.

They finally did get doors on the outside entrances/exits, but the house isn’t locked yet.  The doors still have to be painted.



 
Look at this beautiful front door.


The new owners will be sorry they put this big window in the front of the house.  This is the west side and is extremely hot in the summer.  This looks impressive on the outside, but this room will cook and be very hot in the summer.  This is their casita.  Perhaps they’ll keep that door closed off to the rest of the house unless a guest comes to stay.




 Here's the pretty window on front that faces west.

Here are the inside doors yet to be installed.


The work in our garage has come to a halt as it’s in the triple digits here now, and even though the garage is insulted, it’s hot out there.  It’s impossible to bring all of that stuff inside to sort for donation, sale, trash, or keep.  I’m still doing a little at a time, but can’t stay out there without becoming a drowned rat with sweat running down my back and dripping into my eyes.

We spend a lot of time on the internet looking for property and watching the wildlife in the yard.

This morning is the first time Raven has actually sat down like a normal cat and tucked his paws under him.  Usually when he wants to get down, he just falls over from a standing up position.  I wish I could catch that on video.  I’ve never seen a cat do that.  He has quite a few quirks.



Raven, my gorgeous little man I love to death!

He’s also starting to bite me on the head in the morning to get me up.  Good grief!  He starts playing in my hair and then trying to bite my scalp.  When I swat him, he just purrs.  What a silly little guy.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Orioles are eating us out of House and Home.


First there were two



I’m so glad to have this big hummingbird feeder this year because we have quite the flock of orioles around – more than we’ve had in the past.  They used to suck the small feeder dry in a couple of days.  This big once holds four-plus cups of nectar.  The only drawback is that it’s very hard to put back together after you clean it because you can’t see to line up the little notches that hold it.




Then there were three



 And then four females - I was thinking it was the girls day out.


 And then the male showed up

We go through lots of sugar feeding these birds, but they’re so colorful to watch.  They’ve been hanging out in our trees and dipping down for a drink all through the day.





 Here are the girls taking a dip in the birdbath

Another thing I find astounding is the orioles and the hummingbirds can drink this nectar hot.  They have no problems sharing the feeder.  It got low the other day and this oriole came to sit on the patio chair and stared at me through the window, as if telling me I needed to fill the thing up.  Usually, the hummers do this.


Here's the female scolding me

These birds are fascinating and fun.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Mysterious Chiming

Our chiming clock

On Sunday afternoon, the chiming wall clock we’ve had for years started working again on its own.  We heard a chime upon returning to the house.  This clock hadn’t worked in months.  A hand came off and we need to have it repaired.

We had it at a cabin we used to own where we’d go in the summertime when it was so blasted hot here where I live.  My husband found it at an estate sale years ago.

Today, after I fed the cats, I noticed Raven staring at this clock and the ticking pendulum.  After that, I noticed there was a hand on the floor (we kept the one that came off in a small compartment behind a door you open to set the pendulum).



 Raven always looks at me with the expression, "Who, me?  I didn't do anything."

There’s a half-wall there, but this cat doesn’t jump upon anything yet.  He doesn’t know he can and I’ve never caught him up there.  There’s a possibility he jumped on a chair nearby and then made a leap for the half-wall.  Perhaps he saw the brass pendulum and decided to check it out.  The door doesn’t close very tight.  Cats love anything that moves.

So the clock is working again, chiming away on the hour and half hour, except it’s fifteen minutes off and one of the hands is missing.

If Raven didn’t start the clock, we have a clock fairy that came to visit.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

I’m in love with a devil




My little boy is a very small devil, but he’s so loving I can’t say no to him.  Look what he’s done to the cat tree?



 It's down to bare wood at the corners - bad boy!

I always let the cats freely roam the house and always have let them do what they like to their furniture (the cat tree).  They leave my furniture alone and are good about that.  The problem with this attitude is that we humans have to repair the damage to the cat’s furniture so it looks halfway decent in the house.  This is done around here about once a year (if I’m lucky), but is especially important now that the house is for sale.  Not everyone you meet is an animal lover and understanding about them.

Time flies so fast that it seems like repairing the cat tree is always on the calendar.  I’ve never had a cat this destructive, or this loving (to say something in his favor).  I guess his good naturedness wins out and he gets away with a lot.



 This bad little fur ball wore himself out

He was chewing on my arm constantly, making a mincemeat package out of it, so I decided to shop the infant’s department in Walmart.  I have never had any kids of my own, but the idea struck me that he needed a teething ring.  I bought one of these with varying sides for him to bite on (from soft to firm) and that seems to have solved the problem (knock on wood).  My arm is finally healing after months of his bites.



 Koki looking innocent in the dining room.  Unfortunately, I can't get a pic of her attacking me.

However, Koki is a very jealous cat and decided to attack me yesterday for no reason.  I figured she was taking out her fury because I was paying too much attention to the boy.  I give all three cats attention, but you never know what goes through a cats head at any given time.  Now I have a new wound, but I clipped all their nails after that.

On a better note, another lizard showed up to take up residence behind the shudder on the front of the house.  Koki is very pleased about that.  She thinks her friend is back.  I guess when you’re an inside cat, what else do you have to look forward to each day?  I hope this one interacts with her as the last one did.

The real estate people who came over last week loved the house and gave us some ideas on price, etc.  We busted our butts cleaning around here and most of it probably needlessly.  We need to get an appraiser in here next.  This is still daunting since we have no idea where we’re moving yet.

From the desert, it’s a bit cooler.  Thank goodness for that.  I watched fireworks outside from my patio until about 11 PM.  It was a nice 85 with a soft breeze.  I didn’t want to come in.  That was heaven compared to the 105 we’ve had recently.

Work still goes on with the new house two lots down from us and in the garage.  I’ll post pics of the house next time, but not the garage, which is a disaster.  The front door on the new construction arrived and it’s gorgeous.