Monday, June 25, 2018

Wild Thangs

If this morning's commute is any kind of a precursor of events to come this week, hold onto your hat!  I had to stop for:  wild turkeys; BEAR CUBS; porcupine; deer; grouse.  While four of the five are reasonably common, bear cubs are not.  I was laboring up my mountain (CLOSE TO HOME) when I spotted what I first thought were obese Labradors.  While I was tsking their owners for a) letting them get to that state and then, b) letting them run loose, a tiny voice in the back of my brain pan said - dogs : no / bears : yes.  They scampered into the woods before I got close enough to see their beady eyes.  Which is probably a good thing, as they seemed young enough to still have their mama close by.  After hearing the story about a woman (on the same mountain) having her car attacked and totaled by a cow moose with a bad attitude, I was in no mood to hang around to see if she would come along.

I got so much done this weekend!  Woot, woot, woot!  Of course, only about half of it was on The List, but it still counts.  Because I added, then crossed off all the extraneous stuff.  I do not consider it cheating, since you asked.

The weather was sort of crummy on Saturday, as the Big Rain forecast for our area dissolved into dribbles on and off all day.  I did a drop-off run to the local food pantry (reducing the clutter in my laundry room significantly, as it's the only safe place to store food stuffs in a house that contains the Flying Sausage, aka Butters), picked up 100# of poultry feed from the local supplier, then headed home and hit the ground running.  With help from my neighbor and his trusty chainsaw, all the sumac trees were taken down in the section of the chicken yard that was fenced off for grass rejuvenation.  Then another hour was devoted to clearing the debris, followed by another hour of yoinking weeds, then another two and a half hours were spent with shovel, pickax, trowel and iron bar, trying - to no avail, alas - to dig out an oak tree seedling and move it to its new home.  After following a large tap root (with no extraneous root system) for more than a foot and a half, the root zigged east and south and there was no way I could extract it.  I was quite unhappy about it, as I love trees and had hoped to move it out of the flower bed close to the house to the new, grassy oasis in the back.  At least I have a hole ready for a potential tree.  I will have to start keeping my eyes open for a likely candidate.

By the time I threw in the trowel/shovel/pick/rod, I was mud from head to toe, as rain drizzled on me the entire time.  The temperature on Saturday didn't rise above 60 degrees, so it was pure heaven to go inside and peel off the wet clothes, shower and put on nice, dry everything!  The dogs spent a contented day, gnawing on their marrow bones and watching me labor in the rain from the dry coziness of their sofa. 

There were many other small things ticked off the list - repair mirror chain, put a new layer of shavings in the duck hut and nesting boxes, switch poultry waterers (which I can now fill from my rain barrel!!!), weed the garlic, repair another window screen, etc., etc.  I hit bed early and didn't move until 4A.

Sunday, I was out by 6:30, as there was more rain forecast for the day.  I made four wheelbarrow runs, clearing out all the weeds I pulled from the grassy plain in back.  I also noticed that the platform on which I had balanced my rain barrel had partially collapsed from the weight.  You know those times when you do something sort of half-assed and you know it's half-assed and will probably end in a bad way, but you do it anyway because you're in a hurry/lazy?  I did manage to prop up one end with part of a cement block and will have to wait until it's empty again (how ironic) to fix it.  I am sure we will now be inundated with rain because I need it empty.

I then loaded my car with various flotsam and debris that I have been collecting and zipped off to the transfer station.  Where they were having their coffee and couldn't help me unload.  Harumph.  I was then off to Marianne's for my farm stint.  We weeded and fertilized everything in the greenhouse (she has fist-sized tomatoes!), admired her ducks and then headed in for an iced coffee and a nice chat.  I really do love these 'work' days.  I was back home in time for the rain, so focused on the inside of the house.  I did get my mirror chain rehung - I love it so much, Joyce! - and then vacuumed, swept, cleaned bathrooms, and made a grass fed beef/Marianne's mushrooms ragout with GF mushroom noodles for dinner.  Yummo!  I did not bake one thing this weekend.  I'm sure the barn guys are in shock (or mourning), but I took the day off.  My latest favorite DVD series is New Tricks and two DVDs arrived in Saturday's post!  Huzzah!

I awoke this morning feeling virtuous.  I also awoke way too early because someone (SLIMMIE) managed to get my bedroom door open and I was wide awake at 2:30.  I put in two hours on my sweaters (yes, I am knitting tandem sweaters because I am certifiable), then cleaned up the kitchen, washed eggs and made my lunch using the swag I picked up on Sunday:
Spinach, beet microgreens, my lettuce, cilantro
microgreens, shaved sweet onion, Kalamata olives
I also made a kale/spinach quiche over the weekend for lunches.  Speaking of swag - I swaggered past the only large mirror I own and was abhorred to catch a glimpse of myself - egad.  So a strict food regimen has been handed to me by me.  Swagger, indeed.  More like, Run!  Run away!  If nothing else, the exercise would do me good...

Thursday, June 21, 2018

My next life (or the Big Plan B).

In my next life, I would like to put my name in to come back as a handyman.  I am very over having to wait for others to get things done.

I started rounding up someone to reinstall my fencing in April.  It is almost July and it's 1/3 done.  I'm not complaining about the quality of the work, as this young fellow is doing a splendid job with the existing fencing (which I was told had to be completely yet another local 'expert').  The posts are pounded solidly in.  The fencing is pulled as taut as possible, straightened and reclipped.  But holeymotherofzeus, it's moving at a snail's pace. 

El Blimpo (aka Linden) has gotten out three times, the latest being yesterday.  There is nothing like pulling into the driveway after a harrowing commute to find your fat sheep mowing your lawn.  With the dogs barking like lunatics (legs crossed) and the above-referenced young fellow pulling into the driveway behind me, it was touch-and-go getting fatboy back through the gate, with all the external factors - stranger, noisy dogs, cars in the road.  After getting him safely back to where he belonged, I did a perimeter check and he had either squeezed under or climbed over a section that had not been fixed yet.


The deposit has been mailed to the chimney people.  I had called the insurance company and, yes, they would cover it. deductible was less than $200 below the estimate.  I have to pony up the dough.  This will entail my taking apart my bed, dealing with the fleece and taking vacation time.  I sure know how to have fun!  I am not in a hurry, as I still have to come up with the balance and that will take some finagling.  While I have my bedroom in tear-down mode, I am going to try and get someone (hahahahahaha) in to replace the ceiling fan and, while I have a live body, fix a dead outlet and remove the VW sized microwave/fan combo from over my stove and replace it with a hood.  I guess I had better start now, as it seems to take months to actually get someone to show up.

On a positive note, Layla and her new person are going gangbusters!  It is a veritable love fest, from all accounts.  This makes me so happy.  I have rebuffed two other foster offers, as I am still making up with my two petunias.  Butters has finally relaxed slightly, but he is still clingier than usual.  As is Lovey.  At least she has lost her worry lines.

I have taken this weekend off, as far as going to VT or anywhere else, for that matter - other than my work-for-vege stint at the farm.  This means that the to-do list has reached chapter book status.  I'll try not to wear you all out with my Monday post...  There is a slight chance of rain (pleasegod) so I have an alternate (PB) list for the inside.  It's time to make the rhubarb BBQ sauce, a rhubarb kuchen and Scotch eggs.  I believe I am covered, no matter what the weather.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Another 6.

I am happy to report that Layla went out on trial (rescue speak) on Saturday.  From getting no interest at all, she was totally mobbed by Saturday morning.  Of course, the adoption venue was an hour southwest of me and still, not a flat road to be had.  Once Layla takes her Dramamine, she is fine for those long rides.  I had gotten permission from the board to allow Layla to be taken on trial from the venue - no sense adding another hour's drive or five to the process - and we had to sneak out the back, there were so many people lining up for her.  Sheesh.  But the woman who has 'hopefully' adopted her is perfect.
I will miss this pixie.
Then it was a two hour drive up to Vermont, where I had to divide what little time was left between my parents and younger sister (up for a day and a half) and my middle sister and her son and grandson.  Then back to the ranch.  When I walked in the door, Layla-less, Lovey and Butters went wild.  All the gates are gone, my house seems twice as large, we are back to our routine and everyone is happy.  I will not forget her, though.  Besides the fact that she was the most adorable and loving dog, I will be sweeping up piles of long, white dog hair for years.
Bathed, happy and clingy.

Having left the house at 9 and pulling back into the driveway at 5, it was another workday.  I decided I was too knackered to tackle anything but laundry and invited a neighbor over for a glass of wine under the pergola.

I took Sunday 'off', as in refused to leave the house - except to deliver baked goods to the barn and feed the farm cats - and, wouldn't you know, we got a spike in the heat, with temps soaring into the low 90s.  So much for tackling the rest of the garden.  Luckily, I had plenty to do inside.  First and foremost, was to track down the source of the sweet smell (gak) of decomposition emanating from Slimmie's room.  I figured he had missed a mouse and I had to practically take the room apart to find it.  It, of course, had crawled under the five-shelf canning unit that was NOT on rollers.  Sigh.  Breathing through my mouth (double gak), I had to take everything off the shelves and maneuver the unit out, scoop up the offending corpse and double-time it out the back door and down to the woods.  Then it was back in, de-scent the carpeting and area the best I could, move the unit back, wipe it down and restack all the cans, boxes, etc.  It took an unscheduled hour.  Well, the hour had been scheduled for staining my plant stand for the deck.  Just another Plan B.

A few things were ticked off the list, but it wasn't a very fruitful weekend.  We have not had a measurable rain for weeks and the ground is parched.  Today is another heat alert, with high temps and humidity, so I was up and out early, watering what most needs it and filling Apria's wading pool.  There is a chance of rain this afternoon and I hope it happens.  If I can get both rain barrels filled, I will have less of a chance of emptying my well.

Progress is being made on the sweater from h-e-double-hockey-sticks.  I finally reached the bottom of the plain knit and am now doing....god help me...inches of 1x1 ribbing.  With the equivalent of fuzzy thread and long toothpicks.  What was I thinking???  Still, I do love the yarn, skinny little thing, and I love the color.  I should be able to wear it by next spring.
Lace weight Merino yarn in "Lettuce".
Slimmie is again snugged next to me in the morning, although he now hooks a claw or two into my clothing so that I can't get away.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Making hay while the sun shines.

I met up with my sister to take advantage of the Members Day at the glorious Clark Art Institute, in Williamstown, MA.  It just happened to coincide with one of the most glorious days, weather-wise, that we've had in a long while.

C and I have a family membership to the Clark, and we try to get to an exhibit whenever possible.  This is problematic, as she is burdened with the daily care of our parents and I am burdened with the full time job, plus my furry family and homestead upkeep.  However, this was a special occasion, as the museum, which was usually closed on this day, opened to members only. 

We enjoyed one of the new exhibits - The Art of Iron - and we are saving the second (Women Artists in Paris - 1850-1900) for our next meet-up.  We perused the gift shop and enjoyed a glass of complimentary lemonade while lounging around their reflecting pool, the expansive views calming our minds and temporarily muscling out other worries.  It was absolutely wonderful.
Left to right - dog collars and bear muzzle.  I think
the first collar would look fetching on Peanut Butter.

Beautiful iron bull

An ornate lectern and fancy

How's this for a coffee mill?

Lovely ironwork tree against the
beautiful grounds

Reflecting pool

Lovely architecture
 We only spent about an hour and a half, but it was just what the doctor ordered.  Both of us left refreshed, souls nourished, world problems on their way to be solved.

Monday, June 11, 2018

On a scale of 1 - 10, I'd give it a 6.

Yes, another weekend of Plan Bs.  You'd think I'd be used to it by now, but still I carry on.

Most disappointing of all, was the fact that Layla's potential adopter backed out at the last minute.  An entire week of answering questions, scheduling and rescheduling, yada yada, and they left a voicemail message (called late at night so there was a very good chance I would not answer the phone, cowards!) saying they decided "it wasn't the right time".  Good lord.  I have a feeling it was because she isn't "a breed" and their last dog was a little purebred something or other.  Whatever.  Obviously, they did not deserve her.  I picked up some giant marrow bones and treated all three (and me, by default) to a blissful Sunday afternoon of gnawing.

On Saturday, I left the house at 8:15 and pulled in the driveway at 5:15.  The dogs are starting to demand I show some ID when I walk in the door - honestly, it's as bad as working six days a week.  I didn't set up my farm work on Sunday, because I didn't find out I'd be home until that morning. This gave me the opportunity to overwork on Sunday - see?  I didn't remember and no one reminded me.  I am not safe on my own.

Fence work is to start this week.  Supposedly, but I will believe it when I see it.  In the meantime, I picked up a mineral block for the sheep and they were thrilled and it will keep them occupied for at least half of the week.

A neighbor very generously gave me plant starts from her lovely garden.  At 5:30 on Sunday afternoon.  Sigh.  I had just spent from 8:30 - 5:15 weeding and planting and cleaning up.  I watered her plants well and put them in shade.  I hope they can hold up until I can squeeze in time to plant them.  We had spent a lovely 20 minutes in her peaceful backyard with a glass of wine (from 5:30-5:50 on Saturday -- see?  I'm now micromanaging my social time...) where we both bemoaned the fact that, since we are single, have homes, work full time, we never have time to do anything except on weekends.  This proves my theory that people may listen to you, but they don't hear you.  Ergo, she shows up at the end of my weekend with six plants that need to be put in the ground.  I still don't know where I'm putting four of the six plants, but I guess I'll figure that out.

Saturday night I baked a rhubarb pie, using a Martha Stewart recipe that was easy to adapt to GF.  It sure was a mess, but YUM!  Of course, it was a mess because I followed the recipe for a normal 9" pie crust and all pre-made GF crusts (as well as any type of baked good) is much smaller.  So you can be sure you are paying wa-a-a-a-y more for it than a regular pie crust (or any baked good).  Nevertheless, it was delicious.  I will make another for the local library's Pie a la Mode celebration during the Fourth of July parade.  Maybe I'll go crazy and make one of each - GF and normal.
Thank goodness it was on foil AND parchment,
or I'd be eating it off the baking tray...
I also did my variation of Hawaiian burgers on Sunday, in my effort to spruce up my eating habits on the weekend (as in a balanced meal).  My version consists of ground pork, minced scallions, ginger, allspice, s/p, grilled and topped with reduced Balsamic vinegar and a grilled slice of pineapple on top!  I added grilled asparagus and oven baked sweet potato fries.  I forced myself to forgo pie for dessert...

The garden is finally taking shape - this is the latest ever.  However, we do need rain - badly.  I think I may have jinxed us by putting in a second rain barrel.  I have enough rain in the original barrel to water the garden judiciously for another week or so.  There isn't a solid forecast for rain in the next 10 days, though.  Let's hope they are wrong!
You can see how close the truck
traffic is.
About 90% of the worst weeds are gone.  Three
areas are going to be covered in weed cloth/cardboard/whatever
so that I have a fighting chance next year.

Currant bushes are laden with future fruit!

Biggify to see the blueberries.
This seems to be a good year for fruit (excuse me while I turn around six time, rapidly, counter-clockwise, speaking Dutch and twirling a baton - just to take the jinx off that last statement...)

Friday, June 8, 2018

I didn't want it to end.

I don't usually do book reviews because a) I rarely have time to read and b) I rarely can find something that I love when I do have time.  So, I turned to my bestie, Sylvie - she of the impeccable everything.  She gave me a reading list and, since I still don't have time to read a real book, I have been borrowing them on CDs from the library.  The first book was Winter Garden, by Kristin Hannah .  It started out a little slow for me because I was not impressed with the daughters and felt like shaking them silly through most of my commute.  Then the mother started to take more of center stage and, by the end, it moved me tp tears.

Next up was News of the World.  I can hardly find enough words to convey how much I loved - adored - this book.

I was overcome with disappointment when it ended because I could have listened to it for weeks on end.  I am going to buy it, but I'm not sure whether to buy the printed book or opt for the recorded book.  I will have to say that the narrator truly enhanced the quality of the story, although it didn't need enhancing - wonderful characters, developed skillfully and believably until it was hard not to feel this was a real story.  Her language is so wonderful (sorry for all the 'wonderfuls', but it is) that it's almost musical.  It's rare that the spoken or read word can conjure up such vivid visions for me.  I cannot recommend it highly enough. 

I'm now listening to Watership Down, a classic I have not read in years.  I do have to be careful with all these great reads, however.  If I reach the parking garage during a particularly good passage, I will sit and listen and forget I have to hie me upstairs!  I've made it by the skin of my teeth more than a few times!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Inner Magnet.

Do you have those days when your inner magnet has you so firmly attached to a comfy surface that you are almost forced to rip your pants off the sofa?  It has been very un-summer-like the past few days (sorry, Joyce) with morning temps in the low 40s.  This has me unable to fully summer-ize my bed linens, closet and anything else.  The only thing I have done, is to put up the summer sheers in the living room windows.  I find myself waiting for the other shoe to drop, weather-wise.

This kind of weather is very confusing to me.  In my mind, I know what lies outside - the war of the weeds, the endless to-do list - but the chill in the air is telling me, "cocoon! cocoon! hygge! hygge!", so I curl on my chair with my furry heaters clustered around me, swaddled in a woolen shawl, latest knitting on my lap.  The magnet is fully engaged and I swear I heard my jeans rip when I finally wrenched myself up and into action this morning.

The seeded "No Chicken Zone" off the deck

Rain barrel in situ.  Now, all I need
is, as the Navajo say, real male rain.

The rhubarb explodeth!
We have had overcast, drizzly skies with very little real rain.  I need a gully-washer to fill my brandy-new rain barrel so I can quit hauling 5 gallon buckets of water over hellshalfacre for the poultry!  The rhubarb is particularly lush this year and I have been raiding it every other day.  I have discovered rhubarb juice and there is no looking back!
Bunny and the Girls are plotting their
invasion of the Chicken Free Zone.
Trying not to hyperventilate over all the clearing of the flower beds that needs to be done, I am, instead, enjoying the beauty that has been able to overcome the weeds.
My all-time favorite flowers.
As far as what little garden I have this year, it's holding its own, but I have noticed that the voles are already digging fox holes.  Anyone have any non-toxic anti-vole advice?  I may resort to traps.
Cucumbers, a stray sunflower, lemon balm
and a few piddly onions that braved the winter.

Four tomato plants, because I have to,
jalapenos and one sweet banana pepper.
(Notice Sweet Sandy's OK irrigation system...)

Two kinds of kale and collards

The herb bed mostly survived - the
golden oregano is wild, the sage held up and the Greek
oregano is holding its own.  I planted cilantro
and parsley.  Dill, chives and lemon balm are
rampant throughout the garden.
Even my darling, dear Meyer Lemon tree is starting to perk up. 
If you biggify, you can see new
leaves and flower buds!
Inside, I finished one of my favorite fast projects - the hanging hand towel. 
I am using it for the dirtier jobs because I am having a hard time getting this baby dirty...
I did manage to dry my clean eggs with it,
but mostly I like to look at it and sigh with
Even Princess Pea realizes how special it is and guards it from Slimmie, who likes to rub his face on all things fabric.
She works for biscuits.
I may be losing my little guardian, as there has been a flurry of applications to adopt her.  We have our first meet-and-greet this Sunday.  It's going to be hard to let her go.

Monday, June 4, 2018


I have written myself a note that I will NOT work myself into such a state on Sunday, that I am comatose at 7P.  I am sure that note will get lost in the mail between now and next weekend, but I always have good intentions.

Saturday was spent mainly in the car.  I had to take Princess Pea (aka Layla) to an adoption event an hour away.  This entailed rushing around like a crazy person to get sheets on the line, doing chores, moving the sheep to another bit of greenery, taking down the electric fencing, giving PP her Dramamine for the trip, trying to look less bedraggled than I was and heading out through weekend traffic into a shopping strip mall.  Only marginally less loathsome (in my mind) than an enclosed mall.  When we arrived (PP having only thrown up a little) right on time, no one from the rescue group was there.  I am learning that they operate on Island time.  Or Rescue time.   And this is nothing against these great people, as they all give up their weekend/weekdays to help dogs find great homes.  I just need to relax.  (hahhahahhahheeehehhee)  It was a little chaotic because the pet store was also holding a vaccination clinic.  Princess Pea did her darnedest to prove she is the sweetest dog ever, walking on her hind legs, little front paws waving.  She did have some mild interest - and you'll have to excuse me because I am going to go on a bit of a ranting aside...

What is with people?  Why on GGE do they recognize that she is adorable, trained, loving, sweet tempered and then totally lose interest because she's a 'senior'?  Seriously?  And what?  She's ten, she's a small dog, she's healthy.  She can live another 5-8 years.  When I adopted the best dog in the Universe - Scrappy Doo - he was 9.  And he was a medium-large dog.  I had him in my life for almost another 9 years!  These senior dogs are perfection.  And, if not perfection, they deserve special treatment.  They deserve the very best of EVERYTHING.  I am, of course, glad that none of these people adopted her because, clearly, they don't deserve her.  I'm done.  For the moment.
Seriously, what is not to love
about this dog?
Unfortunately, due to a large list of things that had to get done, PP and I were only able to stay for an hour and a half.  I did get to meet a few of the rescue volunteers that I had never met in person, so that was nice.  Another Dramamine for the trip home - she is such a little trooper - and I dropped her off, picked up Mr. Butters, and headed for a local humane society another 40 minutes in the opposite direction.  I had placed an order from and it had been erroneously delivered to them.  Apparently, automatically pulls up and delivers to the last address, even though that address is used, say, once a millennium.  Anyway, the humane society was very nice about it and held my package and gave me a credit for the inconvenience.  They are a great group to deal with.  I took Butters with me because he needed to get out of the house and Lovey is still struggling with her torn CCL.  Butters is a very good traveling companion and it was nice to have some Mom/Pup one on one time.  I retrieved my box, was impressed with the facility and staff, and headed home.  Butters and I took a short detour to share a small soft-serve ice cream cone (he got the cone and half of the ice cream).  Back at home, I ticked off a few of the to-do's on my list and spent a lot of time watering.  At the top of that list was adapting my second rain barrel.  Done!
A converted Kalamata barrel -
the chicken's water will smell
like a Greek salad for days!
Sunday was the last firehouse breakfast with the Boys, then off to Marianne's farm for my work-for-vege.  She went to a graduation, so I was left with my task of weeding the greenhouse and got to revel in the beauty of the place.  It sits high on a hill, with a sweeping vista.  It is quiet and there is nothing but birdsong, some lowing of the Highland cows and distant chicken noises.  It is pure Nirvana.
On the way to the greenhouse

There she is!

View from the greenhouse, orchard

Hugelkultur beds, through the
orchard, to the pool.

Barn with raised beds with
strawberries - be still my back!

Scottish Highland cows
Why is it that it's so much more fun to weed someone else's garden?  Of course, their farm is organic and planted on permaculture principles, so I am sure that has something to do with it - nothing like a well-organized, beautiful farm to make labor such a joy!  I managed to get four trug-fuls of weeds pulled and picked up my swag (shiitake and oyster mushrooms, microgreens, tons of mixed greens) made a stop and then hit the ground running when I got home.  I did more laundry in anticipation of an upcoming rainy couple of days, weeded a large bed, took down the fencing around the duck village and moved it into position across the chicken yard.  Two years ago, just as the grass started to come back in the yard, we got about two weeks of torrential rain, followed by high temperatures and drought.  It was enough to kill all of the grass.  I am now in the process of cordoning off portions of the yard so that I can bring the grass back.  Not an easy process, due to the nature of chickens (scratch everything to death!)  I also finished setting up the rain barrel, got the laundry off the line and helped my neighbor load his truck with a bunch of metal crap that had been getting on my nerves for years.  This is shaping up to be the year of the Great Clean Up.  Let's hope so - it feels so, so virtuous and good.  I did not get pictures of my modest garden or the reseeding process because my arms were too tired to hold up my phone.  Egads.  The dogs and I had our dinner and a nice round of DVD viewing, before I went comatose at 9P.  The rain started at 2:14A (yes, I know it precisely) and the temperature this morning was 44!  Quite a difference from the 80 of yesterday!  The rain was very light and there wasn't much to show in the rain barrel (I will get a pic of it posted this week), but, still, when I plant the grass seed after work tonight, it should be enough to give the new grass a boost!

Friday, June 1, 2018

Armored up and OMGIF!

Who knew tick-proof clothing was a thing!!  Thanks to a link to an article that my sister sent me, my eyes have been opened!  I am now tick-proof up to my knees.  A pair of tick-proof pants are ordered and, once armored up in my tick-proof gear, I can face a trip to the compost pile...
And in my favorite color - nuclear green!
I have also discovered that Cedarcide, a naturally based cedar oil spray, seems to be doing the trick, as far as repelling ticks from the dogs.  I spray it on my hands and rub them all over.  They enjoy the process and we all smell like your sweater drawer.  Woot!


I am no longer chortling out the familiar cry - TGIF! - as my Fridays seem to always be challenging.  This week I have had to step in for an admin in the Home Office who has (and much deservedly) taken a few days off.  She is the admin to a Nob.  It's been a very long time since I've had to work with a Nob and I can't say absence makes the heart grow fonder.  But, being the good worker bee that I am (celebrating 20 years of being a good worker bee for more-or-less the same firm, at least 20 years being in the same place), I have starched my upper lip and am holding the hand of, pandering to, and fussing over her Nob.  It's not an easy task for someone who loathes the bourgeoisie class.  Today is my last day of suffering through it and I have a healthy respect for all my colleague is expected to do, bless her.  Of course, the day is not over.

I also found out - to my horror - that a rather pricey order from was sent to the wrong address.  Apparently, instead of using your default delivery address - you know, the one you use EVERY STINKING TIME FOR A YEAR - they automatically ship to the last one used.  Which, in this case, was to a humane society that I donate food to every great while.  Shineola.  Now I have to call them and straighten it out and drive all the way over - a good hour - on my already over-packed Saturday.

THEN, when putting in another layer of cat litter into Slimmie's commode, out slid two mice.  One desiccated and one very much alive.  Slimmie had his head buried in his morning bowl of gravy bits and did not notice it zipping under his chair.  Even though I shrieked like a little girl.

THEN, it rained, which is a good thing, as it is dry as toast out there and I just put in four tomato plants.  It is not good, apparently, to the Little Princess (aka Layla) who refused mightily to finish her business after breakfast.  I am hoping that I don't get a little 'package' on my kitchen floor when I come home tonight.  But my hopes are not high on that score because... OMGIF.

(And added note - for some reason, Blogger no longer sends my comments to be moderated to my email address.  I am sure it has something to do with their perverse efforts to make any interaction between blogger and reader almost impossible.  Therefore, don't despair, your comment may be delayed in being posted, but I will find it! - And all your comments are greatly appreciated...xo)