Comparatively speaking, I feel as great as this owl does today. I’m not hurting and haven’t taken anything for pain, muscle relaxants, etc. I don’t know how long it will last, but right now, I’m declaring victory!
I actually felt well enough to take Amber out for a long walk this morning. She’s to the point where we don’t need to put the leash on at home. If she strays too far, I can simply call her. If I’m lucky, she’ll come. If not, I can push the green warning button on the shock collar remote and she comes right away. We haven’t had to shock her for anything lately, except once for dive-bombing the cat with too much enthusiasm.
The past two weeks seem to have been a lot better, as far as getting through to Amber what we would like, and having her actually comply. This doesn’t mean things are calm – far from it; but we’re living in tandem more now, rather than having to fight our way through the day quite so hard, ending in complete exhaustion.
She is doing two new things lately – I throw her toys into a clear plastic bin in the corner of the office. Rather than go get a toy as she used to, she picks up the entire bin, allowing toys to fall out as she carries the bin across the room, and then sits down and chews on the bin. I have to admit she may get this from me. Half of the time, I covet a DISPLAY, rather than the items ON the display, in a store.
The second new thing is that, while she spends less and less time on the back porch, when she does, she has started either eating or scratching off the white paint on the boards that comprise the side of the porch. We have three spots now that are down to the bare wood. I can spray those spots, but I don’t think there is enough Bitter Apple in the world to keep the whole porch covered…
She has oodles and gobs of chew toys of all shapes, sizes, colors, and squeaks. She tires of them quickly, whether she has access to all of them at once or just one at a time. We play ball with her on the porch and in the front yard, take her out multiple times a day to take care of business, walk, explore, and play. She takes a short nap in the mornings and one in the evenings, and – otherwise – is a perpetual motion machine with teeth. It’s a good thing she’s loving and sweet….
We’re going to do errands in a bit, and then I’ll TRY to do some very gentle yard work, if my back is still cooperating. Such a pleasure to move – get up and down – without pain!
I hope that you are having a pleasant day, too.
This is the back of the scarecrow mailbox decoration. You can see where I tried to blend in the mounting hardware tube into his legs and the straw coming out of his jeans.
This is the front. This piece was fun to paint, trying to make his overalls look like denim.
He definitely makes it look as if fall has arrived, although we’re having two weeks of temps into the 90s in the afternoon with strong sun. They’re saying that by the end of next week, we could actually see some more reasonable fall-like temperatures. We’re really ready.
Since my back has been in protest mode lately, I’ve leaned toward comfort food, rather than eating my low carb food. The low carb foods can be really good, and I don’t feel deprived, but they aren’t comfort food.
Today I’m taking my last day off. To that end, I asked my husband what he has been missing most. He immediately said, “chicken chunks and soup over rice.” And so it shall be. I also got some double stuff oreo cookies as my official send off back to being a grown up.
I’ve decided it doesn’t matter anymore whether my back hurts. I’m going to get back to doing what I know I should – gentle stretching and eating right.
If someone could come up with low carb, low sugar comfort food, he or she would be a gazillionaire.
Today’s project was to clean the hummingbird bird bath we built at the beginning of the summer.
After looking at what I was taking out, we quickly decided that we needed to get out the pressure washer for a bunch of it. I took the more delicate stuff inside, but we cleaned the shells, the rocks, and the bricks with the pressure washer after I turned off the pump and got all the water out of the bird bath.
We built this (adapting it several times before we got it right) so that it works with a flapper valve in the bath itself. Water is added through the holes we drilled in the PVC pipe. We attached a trash can that has a toilet part that turns on the attached water hose when it senses the water level is too low. It runs until the sensor is happy and then shuts off. This keeps everything good without our having to worry about it, plus keeps us from using a lot of water.
We really enjoy the SOUND of the water. That, in combination with the wind chimes on the porch right next to the deck make a really relaxing place to stretch out, read a book, play with the dogs, cook out, etc. One thing the bird bath doesn’t do, though, is clean itself. When I started cleaning it this morning, the whole PVC pipe had black gunk on it and some of the holes were plugged. The rocks and bricks had the black stuff, too, and it was pretty gross. I spent into the afternoon, getting everything cleaned and put back together.
We had hummingbirds this year, but it wasn’t a stellar year, with the really cool spring with lots and lots of rain and cooler than average summer. Not one hummingbird got in the bird bath, so it’s a really good thing we like the ‘water feature’ aspect of it. We decided, since the birds aren’t using it, we would add a ‘glug’ of bleach to the water to hold down the gunk some. With my luck, the birds will NOW decide that this is a neat place. I’ll have to add a “NO SWIMMING” sign…
While we had the pressure washer out, I sprayed off the upper level of the deck and cleaned a few trash cans that needed attention. I’m looking forward to getting more serious with the washer when my back is feeling cooperative. I LOVE that thing!
Yesterday and today were the annual Greenwood Community Yard Sale. There are products outside the stores marked way down, there are fund-raising sales by non-profits for various causes, and garage sales all over the city and county.
We went to one sale yesterday put on by a storage facility where someone apparently went too many months without paying their bill. I got the wicker and macrame (?) thing in the pic above. The duck is large enough to serve rolls or biscuits in, or to put a stack of napkins, or in the bathroom to hold washcloths, etc. You could put a votive candle in the ‘bottle’ with the handles, or aroma sticks with nice-smelling liquid, or…. The macrame basket with the rope handle just spoke to me. I have no clue yet what I’ll do with it. :0) ALL for $4.00.
I found this wonderful guy today. He’s BIG – some two feet tall, but he squashes down quite a bit for storage. I simple love snowmen, though I’m not fond of driving in the snow. He’ll have a prominent place on the buffet from Christmas through the 1st of March. He was just $5.00.
We also got a nice water hose, a roll-around chair for the office, and a square for the shop – all three for $23.00.
My husband likes auctions. I would rather be shot in the foot than go to an auction. I don’t have the patience needed for the item I’m interested in to come up for auction, only to be outbid, after spending half of the day there waiting. I love yard sales where you can breeze in, walk around, seeing what the price is for each thing, either grab it or pass it up and then get out of there quickly.
I told you my husband and I are opposites, not even using the same salt. This is one of the many examples of why it’s amazing we haven’t killed each other in the 48 years we’ve been married. We’re certainly never bored, though.:0)
My husband suggested we go to town to get KFC last night because I was hurting. On the way home, I told him I knew I was really spoiled and that I loved it. He said, “It’s because I’m spoiled and I love it, too. You’re the best thing that ever happened to me.” Definitely a keeper.
Amber was 6 months old September 7th. She weighs over 62 pounds and is still growing like a weed. We expect (hope) she’ll stop at 80 pounds.
Since she’s been having trouble with digestion, we’ve been trying different things (while going through courses of probiotics.) I’ve been researching, since she wasn’t doing well with the changeover from puppy food to the dry food we gave Molly and Bambi, either. I decided to try grain-free food, and so far, it seems to be the answer! We’ve been able to stop the probiotics and stool firming meds. She really likes the taste, seems to be much more comfortable and happy. There are a BUNCH of grain-free dry dog foods, so we’re trying now to find one that is offered in large bags. (The 11 pound bags just aren’t good, as she eats over 4 cups of food per day now.)
Right now we’re feeding her Rachael Ray grain-free, but we got another brand we’ll start soon. It comes in a MUCH larger bag. If she weathers the brand change well, we’ll switch to that and then stock up before winter. We hope that we can change her over to the food we get from our vet eventually, but she’ll either mature enough to handle that or she won’t. Time will tell. We’re delighted that we seem to have found a good solution for now.
We also got a shock collar with remote control. I generally don’t like these, but I have to admit it’s the answer right now with Amber. She’s a very independent, stubborn thinker with really strong desires and a deaf ear when she chooses, which is often. With the shock collar, we are mostly to the point that we give the command, reward her if she does it, warn her with a tone if she doesn’t readily comply, or a shock (rarely now) if she continues the bad behavior. It’s as if a miracle occurred. She now realizes that we MEAN what we say. We’re not just playing. We don’t want to say the same thing over and over. Usually, she adapts her behavior now when we SAY it, or failing that, when we warn her. Amazing and wonderful!
Because she’s behaving better, she spends more and more time with us, whether we’re inside or out, something she really enjoys. It’s all working together to make a healthy, happy, better mannered dog, and relieved, happy two-leggers!
Last night I helped my husband bring the ham radio cable into the house. He then did a LOT of soldering, matching up upteen pairs of wires within the cable.
Today when I was out walking Amber, he came out and said, “I told the rotor to move and it DID!”
I surreptitiously took this picture of him this morning. He’s now having the stuff sync up (whatever that means.) I guess it’s making sure all the equipment, both physical and electronic, are on the same page. Then he’ll start a scan that goes through the whole band width from lower frequency to higher, listening for someone talking. (This will take quite awhile, so he’s playing tug of war with Amber.)
He tells me that our new tower is in the 10 meter band. He has a short antenna on the roof for locals. The new one is capable of reaching people across the world from us, given the right circumstances.
Some people spend hours and hours contacting and talking to people all over the world. I don’t expect my husband to do this – unless he changes quite a bit. He DID bring a pad of paper and a pen so he can make note of the call sign and frequency of someone he contacts, so he can reach them again. He mainly did project in case of disaster, so we can find out what’s happening around us. He also loves a challenge. It’s also fun, so I’m hoping that he’ll spend some time just idly contacting folks. We’ll see. To me, it sounds like one of the old Flash Gordon movies with Buster Crabbe about a million years ago.
The big thing is, after months of work, it finally is working as it’s supposed to.
Mark one big project on our list DONE.
The two guys came up the driveway on the cherry picker, leaving the truck and trailer on the street in front of our property.
They had tricky negotiating of the cherry picker to get across the back yard and into the pasture area on the east side of the house close to the greenhouse.
You can see he had to go between the trio of evergreens (which we cut back severely) and the brick planter with iris in the planter and a metal bird flying on top.
One of the hardest parts of the job was getting into position to push the tower up. It took a lot of doing, with the cherry picker not cooperating at times, but he finally managed to put the edge of the basket (with him in it) right under the tower just past the antenna.
I don’t usually think much of tattoos – and particularly ‘sleeve’ tattoos – but this guy made me rethink the issue. He has arms that won’t quit with lots of muscles. Hey, I may be old, but I ain’t dead yet! :0)
They got the edge of the basket right under the tower and proceeded to slowly move away from the top, move the basket to stay under the tower, then move some more…
Here we’re about half way up. Each time they moved, they ran the risk of shoving the tower out of position. It could have been ripped from the iron plate that held one side to the concrete pad, but these guys are amazing.
It came up inches at a time while one of the guys and my husband tried to get it into position where my husband could attach the last bolt to hold the tower on the pad.
And the tower is bolted down! My husband immediately went through the barbed wire fence to secure the hardest guy wire to reach, and then the 2 others.
Here’s one of the guy wires. We have three, each 30 feet from the base, tied down securely, plus our dog, Molly, checking things out.
This is a close up of the tie downs on the guy wires. I then put surveyor’s tape by the stake, where the tie down is finished, and then as far up as I could reach on the guy wire so we can readily see them when we try to mow or weed whack. I’ll also re-spray the actual stakes with neon paint so they show up clearly.
This is the base of the tower with the last bolt in. Technically, we could get our cherry picker guys back if we needed to take the tower down for repairs or any other reason, but I hope we never do.
My husband is out now, figuring out how to support the two cable runs that go from the tower to the house – one for the rotor and the other for the antenna. I just helped him tape the cables to the first support. He ran the cables through heavy plastic tubing around each cable, then taped to a metal support pole. He’s going to make another support from angle iron to be attached to a telephone pole, and then may need one more before the cables come to the house. This part seems easy, compared to all that has gone before and the actual pushing up of the tower!
This isn’t OUR tower, but I wanted to share our jubilation that our tower is FINALLY up. (Pictures to follow as soon as the camera battery charges up again. )
We were afraid we would get yet another phone call this morning that the guys wouldn’t be able to come help us erect the ham radio tower that has been propped up by a jack and a large step stool for a couple of months or more now. As we were working in the office, we heard a large engine noise. It was a cherry picker!
They had a bit of trouble getting through the back yard and into the area to the east of the house where the greenhouse and the tower are. Then the cherry picker wasn’t happy with the lack of level ground, sounding an alarm and refusing to let one of the guys lower the basket he was in. They finally inched it over, working with it until it was finally workable again. They had to try several positions before they could actually get the edge of the basket under the tower just below the antenna in order to slowly push the tower up.
They couldn’t get any closer to the antenna without messing it up. (We had to put the wires on while it was on the ground. They had to be a certain length in order to get the right frequency. And the two sets of wires on the antenna weren’t the same length! I have no clue why it’s that way. We propped the whole tower up, moving it up inch by inch so that we could get it up high enough that my husband could run tests to be sure the antenna was working correctly.) That could have been undone in a second by the tower erection guys.
We had a couple of dicey times, where we all held our breaths, but they got it up. They held it in place while my husband put the last bolt into the plate that attached to the iron beneath the concrete pad. He then had to climb through the barbed wire fence to run the hardest of the guy wires. There were a total of three, and we got those tied down.
The wonderful guys left and we spent the next half hour taking things back to the shop. We still need to run the big wires that go from the rotor to the house and the one that goes from the antenna to the house, but the hardest part of the project is DONE!
Since I wasn’t able to find plants that I wanted for my fall garden, I planted some seeds and will hope for the best.
I planted some inside in a big planter starter thingie with a plastic top and it’s living on one end of our dining area table where it can get some sun. The others I planted directly in the garden, again hoping for the best.
I planted Bibb Lettuce, Simpson Lettuce, and Spinach inside, and planted those, plus radishes, carrots, and 4 celery plants I started inside. There isn’t anything to see yet, so no pics.
Since I’m aptly named the ‘Serial Seed Killer,” I may not get much, or anything, but I’m hopeful that ONE of the methods I used will be successful. Here’s hoping!
This photo lifted my spirits. I’m hoping it does the same for you today.
We had our fingers – and all other appendages – crossed that today would be the day we finally got the ham radio tower erected. Our hopes were just dashed with a phone call. They’ll try to get here tomorrow morning now…
My husband has wanted a good ham radio tower for several years now. We lucked out, finding a ham guy who had an old 45 foot tower for sale, plus the controller for less than the price of the controller itself. We hauled it home in pieces.
My husband repaired parts of it, got the controller going, researched how to do the antenna (different lengths of wire between the arms yield different band widths). We brought each of the 4 ten foot sections, plus the finished antenna, out to the far east side of our property, close to the greenhouse. He and I worked and worked to get the tower jacked up high enough to get the antenna attached so that he could test it to make sure that we were getting the band width he wanted BEFORE we pay to erect the tower. (We really don’t want to EVER have to lower it down and then pull it up again.)
We drilled, dug, backhoed, then did it all again until we finally got a hole approximately 3 feet on a side and 18″ deep. It took 33 bags of Sac-Crete to fill it up. (Thanks to our friends, the Taylors, for bringing a portable cement mixer and vibrator to help us make and pour the concrete for the pad. My husband made a heavy iron plate we sunk into the concrete, and then another heavy iron plate he attached to the bottom of the tower. One end of the plate is bolted to the one in the concrete. When the tower goes up, we’ll attach the third bolt to hold the tower steady.
We have three guy wires attached to the tower, ready to be tied to stakes we laboriously drilled holes for and then used a sledge hammer to pound into the ground. We have special attachment thingies to hold the guy wires to the stakes. Each stake is 30 feet from the base of the tower in prescribed places to make the tower as secure as possible.
We were really hoping to finish this part of the project today, but this is yet another one of the character-building exercises we’ve endured lately. We’ve waited several months, having trouble finding a company who could get their equipment up and into the part of the yard where we need them, and who gave us an estimate we could afford. We wanted to be super sure that there would be no problems, no accidents, no worries. Maybe tomorrow will be the day.
I really thought I knew about my numerous pet peeves, but my husband found a new one yesterday.
Instead of saying my name, or coming over to get my attention, he said, “PSSSSSSSST!” from across the room. I turned, ready to kill.
I can’t really say why it instantly caused such a negative reaction. He’s never done it before, and I’m HOPING that after I ‘explained’ to him that his life was in danger if he did it again – that he won’t.
I like him a LOT, but not enough to put up with THAT, apparently….
Bad things – devastating things – can happen. We can help each other rise above them, together.