Thursday, July 29, 2021

The Scam

 Scam calls have reached a new level.

Tim answered the phone and I heard him say, "What? I don't know what you're talking about. (pause) This is the first I'm hearing about it. (pause) What? We don't have a transmitter." 

Me, eating my sandwich: "Tim, who is it?" 

He shook his hand at me in a gesture to be quiet, and continued on in the same vein. 

Me, still eating my sandwich: "Tim, do you know who you're talking to?" 

He hissed, "The neighbor!" and made the 'shush sign' again. He continued on just like before. "I have no idea what you're talking about."

Me, not finished with my sandwich" (probably would have been if I wasn't talking so much) "Tim, is this a scam call?" 

Impatiently, he said, "Talk to my wife," and handed me the phone.

Someone using a voice scrambler said, "This is Christine, your neighbor over on 4th."

Me, holding my sandwich: "We don't know any Christine over on Fourth."

Voice: "I'm asking you nicely to turn off the transmitter you have aimed directly at my house."

Me, incredulously: "Who the hell is this? You're using a voice scrambler and you're either nuts or this is a scam, but if you've got a problem, I suggest calling the police and reporting us. I'd sure be interested in what they have to say about this situation." 

Voice: "Now, I am asking you nicely..."

I swore, Weaver. Sorry. But I had a sandwich to eat, so I swore at them, and told them to call the police. I hung up and they called back again twice more, immediately.

I didn't answer. I was eating my sandwich.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Time Stands Still

 I collect clocks, the old fashioned keywound or weight driven clocks. To me, there is nothing more homely than the ticking of a clock, the gentle chime, or the serious 'bong' or even the 'cuckoo' as the clock reminds us that time is passing. I love sitting in a quiet house surrounded by ticking, letting my mind wander all around.  

Except that, suddenly, for reasons that I can't even tell you, every darn time I turn around, one of them has stopped. I wonder if it's humidity. One seemed to be a bit off kilter, and has been ticking away properly since I straightened it, but really, I have no explanation for the others. 

It really is irritating though.

I have a saying: 'The more keywound clocks a woman has, the less likely she is to know exactly what time it is."

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Hillbilly Elegy

 A while back, I watched the movie 'Hillbilly Elegy'. It was okay, and as I watched I thought, 'I know people like this.' I was happy to see the little boy grow into a successful man, overcoming many disadvantages to get there, with the help of his fiercely loving 'Mamaw'. 

The other day, I was looking at used books, and I saw that they had the book, and for $1.29, I bought 'Hillbilly Elegy'. 

I am dumbfounded by it. 

What the movie could never pull together was all the background, the things that explained 'how' and 'why'. Life in Kentucky seeps into life in Ohio, and we accept that without ever really understanding how or why that happened. 

 Yorkshire Pudding touched upon heredity in a recent blog post, and I must say that really, I was perhaps a bit more dismissive than I should have been. You see, I am quite different from my parents, and I've always been that way. I remember being a small child in the middle of a livingroom. I have no idea how old I was, but I was not yet in school, It was just my sister and I, so I was not yet four. My parents were fighting, and my father slugged my mother who sailed across the room and crashed into the television. She leapt to her feet and ran to the bedroom, slamming the door and crying loudly. 

And I remember sitting in the middle of the floor with my toy and thinking distinctly, "This is wrong." Where did that come from at such a young age? I couldn't tell you. I can tell you that it was the first time that I remember it.  It was not the last time. 

So the one thing that I know is that I think quite differently than my parents did. I paid a pretty heavy price for that in my relationship with them. Differences were not tolerated. There was right, and there was wrong. They were always right thinking. I was always wrong headed, That was their opinion anyway. 

I remember once, I was home from on leave from the Army, and I had arrived home in time for supper. My father began to rant about the Equal Rights Amendment. I said, "But Dad, all that is saying is that if a woman does the same job as a man, she should get paid the same. It's just fair." 

My dad looked at me in wide eyed rage. "You sound like a goddamn feminist!" 

And I said, "My God! You're just figuring that out? I'm wearing combat boots!" It struck me as so funny that I burst out laughing. 

My father was so outraged that he left the table. My mother was outraged that I would be so disrespectful of my father in his house. 

That's how it was. You could never disagree without being wrong and so we just were not close. 

So I am reading Hillbilly Elegy, and as I said, when I watched the movie, I thought, "I know people like that." Reading the book, however, is a whole 'nuther experience. I realize that I come from people like that. My husband comes from people like that. I see our siblings. I see him. Most humbling, I also see myself. 

I can change myself, but I will also always be a product of my upbringing as well. There will always be a deep seated stubbornness, a refusal to yield. There will be always be wariness. A strong streak of avoidance. A fierce pride and a knee jerk rejection of assistance These things are not necessarily bad, but they also not are not necessarily good, Sometimes they can be both. 

I am seeing myself in an unflattering way, 

This book packs a powerful punch (no pun intended). As I read on, I begin to understand our nation a bit better as well.

I know that Mrs. Moon read it, and I know that Sue just picked up a copy as well. What about the rest of  you? 

Monday, July 26, 2021

How does your garden grow?

 I started out with six avocado trees. The biggest one was growing at an amazing rate, once four inches in one week. It really took off in the greenhouse. I also had an hibiscus tree to get done. 

I bought my pots and the soil and began the work of repotting them, carefully teasing apart the roots and putting them in their new homes. 

I sat on the floor of the greenhouse keeping a wary eye on the corner where the snake makes his way up through. He did not put in an appearance. He's really very respectful about my boundaries: He's welcome to the place when I'm not there. When I open the door and stamp my foot, he needs to make himself disappear. 

Seven pots of plants stood, and I watered them and left, shutting the door behind me for the week. 

This week, I have four that look as if they will be fine. The biggest one will probably not make it, although I am hopeful. No leaves have dropped...they just droop sadly. A more depressed looking plant you have never seen. 

But four plants are better than no plants, and I am glad for them. 

The garden is giving produce now, and three large zucchinis came home, I have stuffed one for supper.  Charred jalapenos atop your venison burger? Rare and lovely treat. I also have my first cucumber!

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Weekend life

 We are at camp today. I am not sure why I always sleep so much more soundly here, but I do.

This has been an awfully long week of ten hour days.

On top of that, a legal matter which matters a great deal to our family and has been delayed multiple times due to covid has finally been resolved. We were pretty sure but you never want to bet on anything once the law is brought into it. We prevailed. Tim was there. I went to work but got texts. After years of dealing with it, it is resolved for once and for all. We are all thankful.

But by Friday, I was seriously dragging. It seemed as if the day would not end, but it did (as all days do).

I left work and drove to the retirement property. Tim and William had a nice fire going. We cooked over an open fire, set off a few fireworks, and Tim and William went four wheeler riding.

I spent time in the green house nd after a sound sleep, I will be spending the afternoon in the garden.

It is a good day!

Thursday, July 22, 2021

The Moon

 Half the world seems to be underwater, the other half is baking in the sun. Hot, wet, or  on fire. That seems to be our choices at the moment. 

I am watching the moon rise. It is nearly full tonight, a waxing gibbous moon. Tomorrow we will have our full moon. I look at it, big and orange. The strange color, they tell us, is because of all the smoke in the atmosphere from the huge fires burning out west and in Canada. 

Tell me...what does the moon look like where you are tonight? 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Animal in the House

 Last night was a divide and conquer sort of night. I worked until 5:30. My sister was on call and coming to spend the night. Tim was hard at work, doing some body work on his truck that he couldn't get done last week because it was pouring down the rain. 

He put a prepared casserole in the oven after he got home from work, and then he got involved in what he was doing. I got home to a casserole ready to come out of the oven. 

My poor sister, who was on call, got a call before she even left work. 

So, we had supper and Tim finished saying, "I've got to run to Auto Zone." 

I said, "Care if I run along with you. I need coffee and a bag of sugar?" 

Tim said, "I'd rather you just drive yourself. I want to get this job done and I don't want to get sidetracked." 

And so we headed off. 

Now we like to avoid using the oven on hot days, but yesterday it really was kind of unavoidable. The kitchen was hot, so when Tim came back, he opened the door in the mudroom and the one to the kitchen as well, to allow a cool breeze to circulate. When I came back, I snarled a little, inside my head, because I hate that. The kitchen door has a screen for pete's sake!

So I put stuff away and puttered around like I do. At some point, I was walking out of the livingroom into the foyer and a little gray cat came tripping down the hall past me in an unhurried way and walked into the kitchen. 

I gaped after him.

I shot into the kitchen. Tim was just coming upstairs from the basement. Once again, he'd left the doors wide open. 

I said, "Where'd that cat go?"

He said, "What cat?" 

I looked under the hoosier and the table and saw no sign of him. "He's a little gray and white cat." 

Tim did a quick look around outside and found him sitting under a truck watching us.

So, we've HAD another animal in the house, but it was not me who let him in. 

It is a nice cautionary tale for Tim as well. He'll think twice about not using the kitchen screen door.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Get 'er done.

 Today, after church, Tim and I fixed a sandwich, ate quickly and then headed to the retirement property. I had two weeks of weeds to take care of in the garden. I am proud to say that except for the corn (which was low priority because it doesn't look like it's thriving and it is too late to replant it)  I got it all done. It will require extra weeding and care for a couple weeks, because those weeds got ahead of me but I made some great progress.  I also harvested our first zucchini and jalapenos. They were delicious. 

Tim was brush hogging and a sink hole opened up under the tractor. We could not believe it. Next weekend we'll take the dump truck up and (hopefully) pull it out. We don't have rain in the forecast until Monday the 26th. We need the break to dry things out. 

Those avocado trees I repotted aren't looking so hot, but I read a lot about plant shock, and hopefully they will pull through. 

Tim was brush hogging and a sink hole opened up under the tractor. We could not believe it. Next week end we'll take the dump truck up and pull it out. Hopefully. 

Some friends are moving away to be closer to their daughter. They called because they are downsizing, and they have some things that reminded them of me, and they wanted me to have them. I've never that happen before. I always wonder how others see me, and this will be a chance to find out. I'm very touched. That has never happened to me before.  

Back to work tomorrow. Mandated 10 hour days for the week, but life becomes a lot more bearable when we are not working a six day week. A two day weekend gives me not only a chance to catch things up at home, but also time to relax. I watched two more episodes of Downton Abbey. It's a wonder Lord and Lady Grantham can find people to work for them. The place is obviously cursed.  No such thing as a happy ending in that house!

I'm reading This Tender Land. Thanks again everyone for your suggestions. 

Sunday, July 18, 2021


 I didn't get to weed last week because we had the family reunion on Saturday, and on Sunday, it just poured all day long. The thunderstorms moved in, and there always seemed to be another storm behind that. The weather pattern continued all week long with just one cloudy day where it wasn't raining. With the long work days, I don't have time to take on any big projects. I can barely keep up with the routine tasks. 

Finally it was Friday night, and as I walked out of work, it was not raining, after some pretty heavy rains all day long. We were headed to camp, and to the garden. Our reasoning was that it couldn't rain all the time. I could duck in and do a bit of weeding when it stopped. 

Famous last words. 

It rained heavily all night long. We woke up Saturday morning to yet another thunderstorm. The storms rolled in one right after another. 

I did manage to get out to the greenhouse and repot 6 avocado trees from one big pot to the six new pots I got for them. This might be the part where they gracefully begin dying. That's what happened last time, and that will irk me if it happens again. The tallest one is up to my chin now and I'd hate to see anything happen to that. 

We had no sooner finished the green house last spring than hornets began to build a nest on the side of it. I'm kind of a live and let live person, I don't know what role they play in our world, but I assume they have one, and they weren't bothering anything, so I let them be. I did notice that the nest had tripled in size since I'd last taken note of it. I wondered if it was due to all the rain.  I grabbed the bucket we keep tucked under the eave to catch rain water for the drip irrigation system inside. I immediately got stung. I forgot how badly those stings hurt. We cannot have this happening with small children around. I took it as a declaration of war and counter attacked. After a brief battle with a spray can and a shovel (wielded gently) I claimed victory.

The hard rains continued and the thunderstorms rolled in, one after another. We finally gave up and came home. There is lots of flooding. The river and creeks are all high. There is a landslide where the saturated ground has just fallen off the side of the mountain. Roads are closed. 

Tim worked at one of the rentals with the tenant right at his side. Debris was 'hung up' and causing even more flooding. He came home soaked. He said the river had risen six inches while they worked, coming right over the tops of his muck boots. 

We decided to stay home and keep an eye on the creek. It was supposed to crest at 2AM.  We are lucky that we are on the 'right' side of the creek. The other bank is much lower and the flooding happens there first. We use that to gauge whether or not we have a problem. It didn't appear that we did, but the rain was still coming down. 

It is Sunday morning now. The sun is shining, the river has crested and all is well. Today, I will try to get two weeks of weeding done in one afternoon! 

Titusville is about about 20 minutes from the retirement property. They were hard hit. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Nothing to say really. Another round of thunderstorms came through last night. It got so dark in the afternoon that the solar lights came on outside. It is a strange thing to watch the world go dark in front of your eyes. It was violent, but went through quickly. No damage here, but elsewhere, there were a lot of downed trees. We got a break today, but more storms coming tomorrow. 

I've ordered two books from your recommendations, reserved a third at the library and put the others on a list to look for. Thank you, everyone. 

Still listening to a lot of music at work. I have discovered a group new to me, Lord Huron. It's always neat to venture off into something completely new to my ears. 

A dull life makes for a dull blog. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Hi ho.

 I've made mistakes in my life, but I can honestly claim that I have never had a lapse of common sense like this one

Suddenly, I'm feeling quite good about my own decision making. On that bright note, I go to work.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Weekend's End

 Fun time at the reunion. Bread was delicious. The musicians from Missouri didn't come, but it didn't matter anyway because we had to leave out early. Tim had a flat the night before and he needed to get the new tire picked up before the place closed up for the weekend. 

I now have six avocado trees. I took pictures, but am too tired to mess with stuff now. I find myself wondering just how many pits I shoved in that pot anyway. Makes me laugh. I've got the beginnings of an avocado jungle. 

The garden is doing great. I see my first little cucumber and I have two summer squash and at least one zucchini. The tomatoes are starting to blossom. Tim says in two weeks, we'll be up to our armpits in produce. That's a happy problem to have, isn't it?

I started putting together Iris' birthday gift. I'm very excited about it. I hope her parents don't kill me, but it will make very nice memories, I think. 

Rain in the forecast every single day this week. 

Condolences to England. It was a great game, as I understand it. 

That's all I got. I ate something that strongly disagreed with me at the reunion, so it's been a quiet day at my house. 

Book suggestions? I just haven't the heart to read The Bookseller of Kabul right this minute. 

Friday, July 9, 2021


 We are traveling today to Tim's family reunion. We will get there early, since it is Tim's lot to fire up the outdoor bread oven. He was taught by the master, our dear Uncle Hermie, before he passed, maybe 10 years ago. Uncle Hermie and his brother Harold built that oven long, long ago. 

People will come from all over, and they will come bearing bread dough. We will bake 30 or 40 loaves of bread and it will be topped with honey from Aletha's bees, or jams, a good share of them home made, and butter slathered on thick warm bread. 

It will be a day to visit with people you don't see every day. Usually, after everyone is fed and happy, there is music too. 

Last year was covid, People didn't travel for the most part, and we have lost most of our nonagenarians over the past couple years, so it's bound to be different, but what will be the same as always is the genuine gladness to see everyone gather once again. 

The weather is supposed to be sunny and nice for this celebration, which is lucky indeed. Starting Sunday, the thunderstorms are back, and we've got a seven day stretch of them. Last year it was a major job keeping the garden watered. This year? We have not had to water once. 

On an unrelated note: The music station that I listen to while I work plays a lot of bluegrass music. Little known factoid about me: I really, really love bluegrass music. When the kids were growing up, they haaaaaated it. Since Tim can't abide it either, I rarely get a chance to listen to it, so popping in some earbuds and listening to it at work is a joy to me. 

So....what do YOU think of Bluegrass? 

Have a good weekend, my friends. 

Storm Damage.

 We had yet another line of violent thunderstorms roll through yesterday, one storm right after another. Tim went a couple miles north to pick up truck parts, and ran into hail.

But at one of the properties, a tree came down, knocked an electric pole sideways (I reported the fact that the guy wire was on top of the ground back in April). The wires were ripped away from the house. That may be because of the tree falling, or the trampoline which blew in from three properties away. Who knows?) Those wires were laying across a vehicle. Power was off in the house which caused a flood in the basement once the sump pump quit. 

There was a burning smell in the house. The fire department came and gave the all-clear, and said they'd notify the electric company that there was a major problem. 

They didn't. 

This morning, the tree people came and were very unhappy to find that they had a tree in a live line. 

Tim took the day off work to fix what he could, but there's a lot we can't be sure of until the power is turned back on. Which might be a couple days. 

More thunderstorms in the forecast, but it seems like the worst of it is over. 

Thursday, July 8, 2021

That Cat

 Sunday, when I came back from camp, I was carrying stuff from the car back into the house. I left the door to the mudroom open, and the door into the house open as well. 

I hauled a load of dirty laundry to the hamper in the bathroom. When I walked back into the kitchen, I was surprised to see one of my little cat friends sitting politely on the mudroom carpet. 

"Hello," I said, 

He stared at me. Then he looked pointedly at the bag of cat food sitting next to him. 

We'd been away for three days, so it was logical. "Are you hungry?" I asked. 

He watched me approach and pick up the cat food and then turned and headed out the door. I gave him food and fresh water in my Paddy's old bowls. 

He ate daintily. 

I returned to what I was doing. Later I saw him watching me from the corner of the house. 

Later, when I was doing the laundry, I looked at a couple bathroom rugs. The edges had disintegrated in the wash, and I'd replaced them. I hate to waste anything so they sat on the dryer waiting for me to decide what to do with them. 

I decided. 

I took a tub to the protected stairwell to the upstairs balcony and made him a little cat bed where he could keep out of the rain. 

I swear to you. I will not have another indoor pet. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

The Weirdo

 I think everyone has a story. Nothing is more fascinating to me than reading those stories, or better yet hearing those stories from their own lips. But (in case you haven't figured it out already) I'm a bit of a weirdo. Inanimate objects have stories too, even if, for the most part, we'll never know them. 

For instance, along a river, near the crumbling gate posts of a long gone mansion along the river, there is a rock, a large rock where the old driveway turned to the house. People have hiked that walk many times, paying no attention to that rock, but it has a story. Back in 1852 or thereabouts a 13 year old boy sat there waiting for his father after a hunt, fiddling with a gun and accidently shot himself dead. 

Up in our garage, we have a large piece of hand hewn beamwork that came from a house built in 1860. The cool thing about this beam is that it has been repurposed, probably from an old barn. You can see the old holes where the beams were pegged together in their previous life. Now...if you figure that the barn stood for 30 years, you take that history back to 1800. However, these beams are massive things. I'm easily looking at something that grew prior to the Revolutionary War, back before this area was settled, back when it was home to the Seneca Nation, which was part of the Iroquois confederacy. And when I touch this beam, I think of the hands that hewed it.  I think of its life as a tree, its leaves rustling as Indian hunted beneath it. The beam has a story, and I shall never know it. 

I think  that these stories are what make churches hallowed places. They hold the stories of countless weddings, baptisms, and funerals. They are repositories for generations of tears and joys, and (being that weirdo) I feel those stories when I walk into a place. I don't know them specifically, but I know that they reside there. 

The same thing with cemeteries. All those stones have a story. Some of the stories are very long, others, all too brief. But when I walk into a cemetery, I am mindful that I am standing the midst of stories that are for the most part, unknown, and those stories consecrate their place, to my way of thinking. 

So I walk around this world and I wonder about stories, about the long gone hands of the people who made this or that, or who walked on this ground before me, or the people who lived in the little houses along the river that we now own. 

Knowing this little factoid might make you understand why I found this little song so moving. 

Side note: European 'old' and America's 'old' are two different 'olds'. I marvel at your history every time I read a blog. 

Monday, July 5, 2021

Long Weekend

 We spent the weekend up at the retirement property, and it felt very nice to unwind. I spent a lot of time in the garden. It will never cease to amaze me how quickly weeds grow. I spent most of my time weeding. 
But weeding the peppers, I noticed that there are peppers on my hot pepper plants. 
And remember how I told you about the pesky woodchucks always chewed off my cabbage plants for the last two years? The roots must have remained because in addition to my volunteer potatoes, I've got volunteer cabbages, which was an exciting discovery. This one was smack dab in the middle of a row of onions. I decided to leave well enough alone. 
The gratuitous cucumber picture. This is week four. The three plants are have a bunch of blossoms in there. I cannot wait to see how they produce. My sister was amazed at the number of blossoms on my plants. The roots have grown even more than the leaves. I love successful experiments.

The avocados trees are holding steady at five. The big news is that I have a snake in the greenhouse. We have an agreement. I open the door and stomp my foot and he politely slithers out. I wasn't always so laid back about snakes. In fact, my screams were the basis of many comical family stories. After 3 years of working in the swamps, I stopped screaming. You can get used to just about anything, I guess. 

Another critter story: we have not had one woodchuck in the garden. It appears that we have reached a detente. I have not had to replant one thing. The fence remains unbreached. We may win this war without the need to fire a shot! win-win!

Walking back up to get a cold drink after working in the sun for several hours, I caught a glimpse of the little cemetery across the road. A man and a woman were returning to their car, holding hands. The woman stopped suddenly and the man turned to her. They leaned together and gathered strength to slowly continue on to their car, I felt as if I had accidently witnessed something that should have been witnessed by the silent stones alone. 

We are back home now. I saw a neighbor woman and said, "So was it a noisy weekend in the neighborhood?" (July 4th nearly guarantees that.) She said, "It wasn't bad. I don't know what your husband was up to though. That got annoying!" I looked at her astonished. I said, "We've been in Grand Valley all weekend. We weren't home." It was her turn to look shocked. I'm not sure what the racket was. She dropped the subject altogether. 

The shopping for lunches is done. So is the laundry. Tomorrow we return to work. 

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Kayak Trip


It looks like we will not be kayaking this weekend. I really wanted to go, but we've had some very freaky (and torrential) downpours. I am not an experienced kayaker, wise in the ways of the river. We would have been starting downriver of the the refinery, but we would still be navigating one tricky area. The water is brown and high right now. 

Tim has never kayaked and is convinced he will not enjoy it. I am just as convinced that he will, once he actually does this, however if we capsize and he drowns on his first trip out, he'll never go kayaking with me again. 

Note from above pictures. The business owners who rent out (and sell) the equipment to have these adventures posted them on line to warn people of the danger. The current was tricky, the water deep. They evidently were approaching the rock a bit more quickly than expected and as they tried to veer around it, the canoe turned enough sideways, pinned itself against a rock and then turned over and filled with water. The river current kept it pinned there.  

All aboard were safe. 

The canoe itself was pulled away from the rock using two come-alongs and the business owner paddled the undamaged canoe back to the business the following day. 

Saturday, July 3, 2021


 I listen to a lot of Pandora these days, specifically, Mumford and Sons radio. I'm not sure why that just clicks with me, but it does. 

Today, I heard this for the first time: 

Most of us have a relationship like this somewhere back in the years. 

We've got our three day weekend. I'm so glad. I'm on the run this weekend. Happy 4th of July! 

Friday, July 2, 2021

The Neighbor

 A vocal Trump supporter lives next door. We've managed to coexist without too much angst, but now he has a girlfriend, and they sit on the porch having their evening few and the neighbor feels the need to display his patriotism by calling out when he sees us. 

Yesterday, I was walking up the driveway, and he was sitting on his porch. "Hey, Deb," he said, "How's it going?" (His girlfriend wasn't there). 

I stopped and walked over to the fence. "Listen," I said, "We need to chat. We are not going to put up with this nonsense all summer long. There are a lot of people in this neighborhood that did not vote for your president. If you want, I can take you around door to door and introduce you to them so that you have other people to yell at. Here's the thing though. We have never said one word to you about all your signs. Not one word. We expected the same respect from you."

Long pause as we stared steadily at each other. 

He quietly said, "I can do that."

"Good," I said, and continued up the driveway. 

Late Edit: Just got back. I now have five avocado trees. This is really hilarious. 

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Cat Tale

 After having Paddy put down, I made the decision that I'm done with pet ownership. 


Losing my last two pets has been gutting, and I really just haven't got the heart to do it again. 

A couple weeks ago, I walked out the back door and there was a cat sitting in the driveway. Strays and ferals are common sights, but this one did not run off when he saw me. He sat there staring at me. I looked at him. "Hello," I said. He opened his mouth and gave a soundless meow. 

It was pitiful. 

I went inside and got a can of Paddy's cat food, and her clean food dish tucked under the sink. 

I set the food and water out, knowing full well that Tim would be very unhappy. Which was unreasonable, since I was not bringing the cat inside or anything. But he's funny like that.

Going, going, gone

 We finished the ceiling today. We have probably 1/2 of the drywall on the walls. We were able to take my sister and brother-in-law's dr...