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Home Sweet

I've just returned from a 20-day, 4-vacation visit to the midwest. It's good to be home, even if my arrival here was accompanied by a few too many reminders of just how much needs doing around here.

The new driveway was indeed a pleasure to drive down, albeit one accompanied by the unwelcome sight of gravel washed across the bottom of it. The driveway contractor warned me I'll need to add some loam along the sides to keep the blacktop from crumbling along the edge, but I suspect my driveway drainage issues will not yet be 100% resolved even with that. They are remarkably lessened, which is a real improvement. And the driveway itself is great. Now to help it remain so.

The grass was as tall as I feared it would be, and then some. It was already long when I left, but 10 consecutive days of wet meant there was a significant lack of mowing opportunities then. Here's hoping it dries out enough for mowing soon. I'm already wondering how much I'll have to use the weed whacker on, or whether my mower will be up to tackling knee-high blades of green stuff.

The garage showed signs of one or more return visits from the little red squirrel. Hmmm. I really must figure out how it's getting in, and seal or cover those points of entrance. But even knowing that the squirrel had been around, it took me most of five hours to investigate the flamingo loft above the garage. It had shown every sign of being squirrel-free ever since the one time the door was left open and the little red squirrel had a fine romp up there.

I wouldn't have gone up to the loft tonight if it hadn't been for the fact that the phone wasn't working. As in, none of the phones were working. The connection into the house was fine, so I couldn't just submit a repair form without also incurring a hefty service call fee and repair bill. I tried unplugging all the phones, and testing each outlet with the phone that worked when I tested the line into the house. No luck. I used Skype to make another phone call or two. debgeisler suggested I start by replacing the phone jack I broke a couple of months ago. Even though the phones had worked for at least a few weeks after that, fixing the known weak point seemed like a good place to start.

I kept rethinking phone locations. Had I forgotten one? Why, yes, as it turned out, I had. There's a phone in the loft above the garage. I headed up the stairs. Sure enough, the squirrel's been there. In addition to the obvious droppings, a few things were knocked askew. A few things including the receiver on the phone. I set it right, then picked up the handset. Instant dial tone. One problem solved. Here's hoping the little bugger didn't place any calls to its squirrel cousins, the black & red bush squirrels in Malawi, Tanzania, and Zambia.

Massachusetts had one more welcome home prezzie awaiting my arrival, one more I really would have just as soon done without. My throat started feeling scratchy within a couple hours of my arrival, and my eyes are beginning to burn along with a build-up of sinus pressure. Ah, those pine trees with air bladders are at it again. I'm glad to have missed the first few weeks of their pollen season, but it's clear I didn't miss nearly enough of it.

Fun, fun. Joy, joy.

Okay, it was. It really was. And I'll deal with everything here, too. Eventually. With some values of "eventually" that equal "tomorrow," others that equal "this summer," and so on.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 6th, 2006 05:06 am (UTC)
so far
our big fat farking grey squirrels haven't chewed through anything important. thank ghu.

They've made channels in the insulation of our roof / joists, but they removed themselves once it got warm. This fall I will try to catch them once i hear them, I'd rather deal with taking them to Minor Park (MO Dept of Conservation said that I needed to remove them at least 15 miles). Their first suggestion was that 'well, if they're invading your property you can kill them," and I said, "Well, I cannot do that. I'm constitutionally unable to do that. they're just squirrels looking for a warm, safe place to stay.' I'm sure the agent just thought 'WHATEVER".
Jun. 6th, 2006 06:54 am (UTC)
Welcome Home!
Jun. 6th, 2006 02:03 pm (UTC)
For What It's Worth...
Sue Grandys & her husband Chris Conroy (I don't think you ever met him) were just up in your neck of the woods about three weeks ago.

Also, while up in Winnipeg I ran across a toy shop called Toad Hall and thought of you. I've got at least one photo of it; would you like me to send it to you?
Jun. 6th, 2006 05:04 pm (UTC)
Re: For What It's Worth...
If Chris does or used to do something with comics, yes, I met him back in the way back depths of time. Hope Sue and Chris had a good time out here.

I first became aware of Toad Hall Toys when decadentdave and Don Bindas gifted me with one of their wooden train whistles, again, back in the way back depths of time. I've shopped there most of a dozen times in the years since. Thanks for thinking of me!

Since moving here, I've been to Rockport once, but have not yet managed to visit Toad Hall Bookstore. My very first Toad Hall souvenir from another Toad Hall came from there shortly after Jan and I named Toad Hall and moved in. Jack and Jerry brought me a Toad Hall Bookstore T-shirt on one of their maniacal driving visits, IIRC.
Jun. 6th, 2006 06:58 pm (UTC)
Re: For What It's Worth...
Yeah, he had a piece in one of the Reed Waller benefit comics. You might also know him through Steve Brust, 'cuz he roomed there for a while (and then he and Nate Buklin switched positions...)

Chris is also pretty much the guiding force behind "Channel Surfing Wipeout", since he does most of the camera work & editing.
Jun. 6th, 2006 02:46 pm (UTC)
Had I forgotten one? Why, yes, as it turned out, I had.

*snicker* May I suggest that you consider unplugging that puppy unless you're going to be spending a lot of time in the loft...just in case? (Of course, now that you have a known cause for the problem, that will probably be the *first* one you'll check from here on out.)(And aren't you glad you don't have to use Skype to keep in touch with the rest of the world?)
Jun. 6th, 2006 05:12 pm (UTC)
I don't spend that much time in the loft, but I do like being able to hear the phone ring when I'm in the garage. Maybe I'll just swap it out for a phone that isn't so easily knocked off the hook.

The real answer is of course to outwit the squirrel. Mankind doesn't hold the winning record in that contest, alas.

Skype served me well enough last night, and then some. But, yes, I'm old-fashioned enough to enjoy the comfort of a working land line.
Jun. 6th, 2006 05:00 pm (UTC)
Glad you had a good holiday. I hope to drop in on you the Monday afternoon after Concertino, June 19. If that turns out to not work for you then zap me an email or leave me a msg at the con hotel, Crown Plaza, 508-791-1600. I am looking forward to seeing Toad Woods and its Lady.
Jun. 6th, 2006 05:13 pm (UTC)
A post-Concertino Monday afternoon visit sounds ideal. I'm looking forward to it!

Hugs returned. Always.
Jun. 6th, 2006 08:19 pm (UTC)
I feed the squirrels at the birdfeeder. The cats and I like to watch them, too. I don't know how much good this is for entering buildings, but you can keep rodents from eating things by mixing chili powder in.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


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