Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Noises in Another Room

If you own pets (or children, for that matter), you know that any noise in another room is inevitably bad.

I just heard one a few minutes ago. A sort of dull, crashing sound. I got up to investigate and saw the grey stripey flash of Pooty as he sped from the kitchen. Bea was also scuttling in her 'no rear wheel drive' way. Apparently she was acting as look out.

So, what had crashed? Just a fake plant in a pot that sits on the open space above the kitchen cabinets. It's there to catch dust so it doesn't just drift down when the a/c is on. It was now on the floor.

How did this happen? How did a cat achieve the top of those cabinets, which are easily 9-10 feet high (I need the big step ladder to reach that space). Especially, how did a cat who knows fear of the squirt bottle (I don't even need the actual bottle anymore. I just hold my hand in the 'invisible gun' position and make a squirty noise. Cats scatter and cower and call the ASPCA) get up on the counter and then on top of the cupboards? This is no-cat-land if ever there was any.

Our house is full of such spaces. The designers, evil bastards that they were, put in enormously high ceilings (they aren't called Cathedral Ceilings on a whim, only no Rose Windows) and where they didn't feel like building the walls all the way up there, they left 'display area'. This is a nice term, like 'palmetto bug'. It means "big flat area you can't reach without scaffolding where dust and dead bugs will collect for YEARS". To the cats, they are Everest. They are the Source of the Nile. They must be reached because they are THERE.

And whatever else is THERE, like expensive glass vases or cheap silk plants, must make way.

I don't know how he got there, or why, after 11 years, this was the night he decided to make his assent. Those cupboards have been fairly safe for a long while (one reason is I have fat cats. Fat cats do not climb onto high shelves. There is a plan here, folks.) But the Pooty has been skinnifying due to his thyroid problem, and even though he's gained weight on his meds, he's still svelte and lithe and able to levitate his kitty ass into places where no kitty ass should be.

Of course, the fat cat plan only works just so well. Ophelia, easily the fattest cat in the house, still gets up on the bathroom counter to demand drippy water from the sink. If I do not get up at 5:37 am to gratify her wishes, she wanders the counter and knocks things off. Now, she's fat, so sometimes the thing she knocks off the counter is herself, and the sound of 16 lbs of cat hitting a tile floor in a cloud of combs and lotion bottles will ruin one's morning sleep anyway.

Still, it keeps her off the cupboard. I guess the next step is razor wire.

The Fence is Back

Yup, they got the last boards on it this morning. Not one of those pre-fab fences, oh no. This one was built board by board. My fleeting view into another world has once again been sealed off. The independent homeowner is protected from the encroaching subdivision once more.

Oh. This is Florida in January. Don't be a hater.

Monday, January 28, 2008

This Just In

There are new fence posts along the opposite side of the retention pond. It looks like the fence will be replaced.

More breaking news as it happens.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Look Out Any Window

I've lived in this house for about 14 years, going on 15 soon, longer than I've lived in any house in my life. When I first moved in with The Husband, the front room of our house was his office/den area. Over the years it has slowly transformed into a library/sitting room. I've sat many times looking out the front windows of this room.

Our house sits directly across from a (dry) retention pond. Since we've lived here, the opposite side of the retention pond, which borders on another neighborhood, was guarded by a wooden privacy fence. It separated those individually built houses from this subdivision. The street on which those houses are placed dead ends at the drop off. This area used to be a citrus grove (back in the 80s) and the retention pond didn't exist then. Many of those houses did. The fence was unpainted and unstained, just an ugly, tilted, dark wood prefabricated fence.

The fence is gone today. It was there this morning, and this afternoon it is gone.

I've never seen the houses on that side of the fence before. I never walked across the weeds and grass to climb the other side, like I would have when I was 12 or 13. I can't recall even having driven on that little dead end street, which connects to the two lane road off the highway and winds around the little lakes into downtown Eustis.

I'm trying to explain why this has unsettled me so much. I don't feel bad about it. I'm not upset. I just have this new view I wasn't expecting, this new place outside my familiar window. I can see a driveway and cars I didn't know were there -- the fence hid them. I'll see the people when they have parties (I've heard them during Superbowl Sunday and New Year's Eve, yelling and laughing, but I've never seen them.)

I've been waiting to see something new outside my window for a while now. I just thought I would be in a new house when it happened.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

For the curious

The site feed can be found at the bottom of the blog. This is a template and I don't know diddly about XML or CMS or ABC or whatever the hell they use to make it. Scroll.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Some People Need Practical Advice

This sign is on the bookshelf in front of this book at the Wow Factory in Mt. Dora.

If you can't read it, it says:

Sorry, gents, due to health-code regulations, you may not try on this book. Besides, you'd probably be disappointed.
I didn't touch the book. I was afraid that there might have been one guy who necessitated that sign.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

10 feet further South

I moved my computer out of the bedroom. Yeah, I know, it's a whole 10 feet south, in the library, but that's where it is SUPPOSED to be.

I love my laptop. I love lounging on my bed with my laptop. But, it is not a good place to write. It is an excellent place to goof off, however.

This week has been a bit more slow for me. The initial panic cleaning is over, and I'm not yet up to doing Big Projects, so I'm doing maintenance cleaning and Little Projects and some serious goofing off. It was a big deal to pull my ass out of the bedroom. I have a long history with bedrooms.

Like most kids, I lived in my bedroom. I didn't take my toys into other parts of the house -- not allowed, really -- so I played in my room. I had a TV in my room at a ridiculously early age (like, 5) because my dad won a little b/w set in a contest and my parents didn't need it elsewhere in the house. So, I got it. I have had a TV in my room ever since.

When I was a teen, my room was my cave, my sanctuary, my most holy of holies. When I moved in with my dad, I took the master bedroom and the teeny tiny master bath, and he took the rest of the house. This was reinforced when my brother and the so-very-much-ex-sister-in-law moved in. My room was my sanctum and I guarded it carefully (just shy of buying a separate lock and key for it, too, because of said ex-sil and my nieces).

So, having a house of my own, where my stuff could be ANYWHERE, was a weird idea 14 years ago and still is kind of strange. 28 years of conditioning doesn't vanish that fast. I've tried, oh I have tried!, to keep the bedroom just for sleeping and getting dressed and other bedroomish activities, but inevitably I drift back into it. During the Great Depression, I lived there, hardly ever coming out. So, when I retreat there, it makes The Husband nervous.

Well, I'm in the library now. It's a step.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Count Down

The Husband will be returning for a few days' visit this Friday. That pretty much sums up my whole week.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

First Week

First week accomplished. Nothing in particular to report -- my house is much cleaner, my life is very quiet, and I go to bed exhausted every night. The Husband will be back for a 4 day visit next weekend, including two days at Tokyo. Bosszilla was out of town all last week, but there were some long-distance nuclear firebreath episodes. I was not in the line of fire, but I'm sure there will be memos on Monday. I might show up early, just in case.

In other news, am I the only person to notice that, aside from commercials about nasty awful people, stupid people are becoming much more prevalent in TV commercials? I don't mean the usual stupid people who use Brand X and are dressed in clue clothes (you know the clues -- bad eyeglasses, out of decade clothings, some physical characteristic not in keeping with TV people beauty laws, usually fat). There is an Arby's commercial that's caught my attention. Two young people sitting by a lake, obviously romantically inclined. Both are pretty, both look 'normal'. The girl gets a wild hair and decides to go skinny dipping in the lake, running down the dock and pulling off her shirt. We would expect any guy with a hormone or a brain cell to be tearing after her, hopping on one booted foot while trying to peel off his jeans.

Not our hero. All the word 'dip' means to HIM is Arby's, and he takes off for the car to drive for his favorite fast food, leaving his confused and wet date in the lake. Anyone with a brain knows you can go skinny dipping in the lake and then get Arby's AFTERWARDS, and be very gooshy romantic licking Horsey Sauce off each other's lips. The only good thing I can say about this commercial is that this character is very unlikely to reproduce.

This leads to a couple of conclusions -- only stupid people who never have sex eat Arby's, or eating Arby's will make you so stupid that you will pass up prime opportunities that include beautiful people of your preferred gender throwing their naked bodies in your direction. Either way, I think I'd be more likely to AVOID Arby's. The risks are too high.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Leseee, Where Was I?

Back home now since Sunday, whirling in a constant circle of 'Things That Must Get Done'. It's a lot -- more, it seems, since there's no Husband to carry the icky parts like cleaning cat boxes and taking out the trash. The MIL did yard work and hacked the hell out of the crepe myrtle trees (she does this ever year, and every year they look scalped, and every year they come back more beautiful than before. She thinks it's proper pruning. I think it's stubborn cussedness.)

Today I'm going a little more slowly through my chores, as I try to bring the really dirty house a few inches closer to the light. There are theoretical buyers looking for houses out there somewhere, and I have to be able to show mine off to best advantage. (That isn't cynicism, I swear. Ok, maybe a little of it is.)

Right now, I'm looking at about 4 months of being here while The Husband lives in his room and goes to school. A reality check says it may be more like 6 months, but I'm trying to be optimistic.

Back to vacuuming.

Friday, January 04, 2008

My Mind and Where Ever It Is

It isn't there alone.

I'm right now listening to the Weather Channel. The announcer is talking about the storm in California, and directing a warning to anyone wanting to cross the passes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, so she's talking mostly to Californians...

"If you have to go that way, put on your chains and be prepared...your tire chains, of course."

And I'm pondering in what way she thinks anyone could misinterpret what she said...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Had to Be There

Tonight, as we sat in traffic on 285 trying to not drive THROUGH Atlanta, I noticed in my boredom that there were many, many furniture stores all in a row. One in particular caught my attention. Under the business name (which was something like "Underpriced Furniture" or something equally catchy) was this little promise.


If those three words don't make you snigger and ponder the possibilities, then you probably should never talk to me in person.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Words, No Music

I've spent a part of today doing what I do every year -- setting up my reading list for the year and looking over what I managed to read last year. I read 37 books last year -- not that outstanding, but more than 2006 or 2005. Each year I try to read 50 books, and since I started counting in 2004, the closest I've managed to get is 43.

But I have high hopes for this year. With The Husband living in Clemson for at least the next few months, I'll have a lot of time to fill, and I intend to fill it with reading. I read much more before I got married, simply because I spent a lot of time alone.

So, here's next year's list of ambitions.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008


New Years Eve was spent at a friend's house -- not in the way we had planned, which was with much food and wine, some board games, music and celebratory nonsense, but more quietly since a family emergency had forced one friend to travel to a parent's house while the other stayed to care for family here. So, there was food and wine and games, but on a smaller scale involving sitting on the couch playing City of Villains until 3 am. Still, a good way to spend time.

And now the final round in the Move the Husband project is upon me. But I feel like I've talked of nothing else for days, so enough of that.

Now there's a shiny new year staring at me, with massive changes in its pockets. No matter which way I look, some major part of my life is going to change. I've been waiting for it to happen for almost a solid year (I'm naming 2007 as The Year Of the Big Wait).

I've made a few resolutions -- nothing much new there, the usual things about eating and exercising and reading and writing. I'm now focusing on living day-to-day.