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Thursday, September 15, 2022

Ducks a growing and sun room getting done.

 Cullman, AL

If you are squeamish stop reading now.

A couple of years ago a small feral showed up at the house.  I could not get within 5 feet of it.  But she was always close to Biscuit.   They would nap together and roam the yard together.  Biscuit loved that cat.   I would put food out for Biscuit and he and the cat would eat out of the same dish together.

After about a year we could see the cat was very sick.  It's breathing became labored.  She stopped eating.  I purchased some soft cat "soup".   She took a lick or two and walked away.   Still I could not get near it and if I tried the poor thing would scamper away as best she could.   I hoped she would go off into the woods and die.

Then it was gone.   I knew it had died.   Months later I saw this piece of dried-up substance out in the front yard.  I kicked it over and saw whiskers and one black and white paw.  I knew it was the caucus of the cat.  Obviously Biscuit found his friend and brought her back home.    

I picked it up with a shovel and put in back in the woods.   A few days later there she was in the back yard.  This time I buried what was left.

Two weeks ago I was mowing the grass.  There was this:


The skull of a small cat.   No other bones.  Just the skull.   Biscuit once more found and brought his friend home.  Ok.... I give up.   Her remains now "live" on a shelf on our porch.  

About the porch.    Finally, the installers arrived with the CORRECT windows.  I love the way it looks.



We thought about placing vinyl click in place tiles on the floor.  But first we need to lay felt paper.  It took us two days working a bit at a time get that done.




After laying the felt paper we decided to lay indoor/outdoor carpet instead.   Then after both having aches and pains we decided to have it installed.   That's the plan. At this time.  Maybe.

Our 6 week old ducks are growing fast.  And eating a lot.  But now they are prevented from coming on to the porch to leave their messes



We've given up on having a garden.   We are not up to the task of tending to one.  I am sure some creatures will be disappointed next Spring.


Until next time.



Saturday, August 13, 2022

Not everything goes as planned

 Cullman,   AL


Yup, we had 9 ducklings we were wondering what to do with.   I posted on a FB neighborhood page that we had free ducklings.    I was mildly surprised with a gentleman contacted me that he would take them.  He has property with a pond and wanted to surprise his granddaughter.


It took two separate nights of catching 6 in our fish net.   Mama duck was not amused. She flew at him and nipped his hand.    But all is well.   He captured 4 one night and came back and got 2 more.  

We are left with 3.  That is fine with us.    Penelope has her baby. (Actually an egg she hatched that Elsie laid)


And Elsie has her two.     


They are growing so fast.   Already know to come up near the porch and wait for food to be thrown out to them.

About the porch.  Readers might remember that we had the framing done in April to enclose the porch.  The windows and doors had to be custom made.   We got the call two days ago that the windows were in and they would be here today to install them.

The windows were to have screens with sliding glass enclosures.  When they arrived, we realized something wasn't right.   They took one window out of the packaging.   Nope.... they were made to be installed like this:


Our window openings need windows like this.


So.  Nothing done today.   They said they would put a stat order on them.   I should hope so as these took 5 months to be made.    Disappointment?   A little.   But on an up note, I originally thought I wanted the windows to slide the long way.   Now after seeing these Len and I both decided we wanted them to open and close like normal house windows.   So I am really not complaining.   Sometimes we just get lucky.   

Until next time.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

More than we bargained for.

Cullman,  AL

We continue with hosting Boondockers Welcome but notice a downturn in reservations.   We've only had 3 in the last few weeks.  Another arrives on Saturday.  Then NOTHING for the rest of August.   The first two weeks of September one site is completely booked.  The other open.

Len has been having health issues.   His left leg has been aching and it got to where he could hardly walk.    I took him to the ER on Sunday.   They did X-rays and Ultrasound.   Blood clot still there.  They said to follow up with his doctor.  Since he had appointments at UAB on Tuesday we hoped the rheumatologist would be able to help.    She gave him a prescription for prednisone.   It has helped a lot.  He is walking much better.   But will be seeing family doctor on Monday.

Our family has grown.    Our duck family has increased by 9, giving us 13 total.  Two ducks Elsie and Penelope were nesting.   Elsie had 15 or 16 eggs.   Penelope had 4.  Something got into Penelope's nest and destroyed her 4.  She continued to sit on just stones.   I took two from Elsie and placed them with Penelope.   

What a surprise when I went out the other morning to discover that Penelope and had hatched one.


Later that day Elsie hatched 3.   By the next morning she had a total of 8.   Later that night there was a 9th.    The next morning, I found one dead by the entrance to the nesting box.   I am thinking it might have gotten trampled.   

So now we have more ducks than we possibly can accommodate.    Want one, two, three?



Did not take them long to find the pond.


Things are settling down.   It appears they finally have our Generac whole house generator situation resolved.

The replacement door is installed in the walk-in tub.

We were notified it will just be a few weeks and the porch will be enclosed.   Then we will have to make a final decision as to what we will be doing to cover the decking.

The washer situation is also resolved.   Whoever did the original plumbing in the house put the hot water on the right and cold water on the left.   They put the right colors on the knobs to correspond with the installation.  Red on Hot, Blue on Cold.    However, the installer who hooked the washer up assumed hot on left, cold on right, which is the usual method, not realizing ours is backwards.   The service person changed it around and PRESTO.  It's working beautifully. 

Almost time to leave for the Senior Center and listen to music (Len unable to dance right now) and get our $1.25 lunch.

Until next time.


Oh almost forgot.  Our Fiber Optic high speed Internet was installed yesterday.  LOVE IT.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Catching up Part 3

 Cullmam  AL

While staying with the nephew in Woodstown NJ, as a Thank You we took nephew JR (Norman), wife Vadra their son Ryan and my sister Debbie to dinner.   I am so disappointed.   I swear I took a picture of the group.   Nowhere to be found on my phone.  How could that happen?

On Monday we were to meet with our Financial Planner.   (Hey : who can really plan anything with the way the market is at this time).   Our meeting was in the afternoon, so we made plans to visit friends before.   Having a bit of time, I called my last cousin on my Dad's side.  Mae is almost 92 and lives in a senior complex.   She was so glad to see us.   Mae and I talk via phone every couple of months. Again, no pictures.

Then we visited Dan and Carole that live in the same area where we were meeting the Planner.  I remembered to take a picture.  Can hardly believe it.


We've known both Dan and Carole for years.   I worked with Dan.  We went to the same church of Carole.   When I felt the time was right, I introduced them.  I guess I did a good job.   Married more than 25 years.

After a nice visit we met with the Planner that we have worked with for about 32 years.  Bill was a young "kid" then.   We were much more Spry.   He has never steered us wrong.   We thought it was time to move some funds into a safer avenue.  Time will tell if we made the right decision.

Tuesday morning and time to head on home.  After stopping for our last coffee at our favorite C Stone. WaWa we were on the road. We overnighted in Bristol, Va.  A long drive.

Back home:   When the girls were here, we noticed a brown spot out near the shop. Then it was gone.  Then it was back.   Then it sat up.


Then it ran up to near where we were sitting on the porch before running off.


It appears at least one groundhog has moved in.   It one, there are more.   We've not seen any sign of them again.

We used to see deer on our property quite frequently.  Since Biscuits arrival that has ceased.  Until recently.


We see this lady often.   We know way.  It's been a few years since we've had a garden.  This year we planted watermelon, honey dews and cantaloupe.  What was left of this cantaloupe explains everything.


One morning this week I looked outside.   Surprised to see a wild turkey walking across the front yard.  I grabbed my phone to get a picture.  No luck.   That fella walked fast into the woods.


Due to rising costs, we've had few RV guests during the last few weeks.   We had one arrive yesterday and I see he is getting hooked up now to pull out.  We have two coming next week for one night each and not another one until September.   I am sure campground's have been hit hard in this recession.

Things are settling down here on the Homefront.

Front Porch.    We understood it would be 5 to 6 weeks after they did the framing back in April.  Len called them after 7 weeks.  They said they told us 5 to 6 MONTHS before the custom doors and windows were ready.   That takes us to October.  They called me this week and said they are expected to be in by end of August.  He told me they no longer do enclosures because of the difficulty getting windows and doors made.  They only do carports, etc.

Generac Generator:    We've had issues with the generator since day one in December.   The crew has been here multiple times as has the gas company.    It is supposed to kick on every Saturday at 11 to charge the batteries.   It would work one week, the next week it wouldn't.  Installers put a new regulator in it this week.   It came on this morning.  We will see what happens next week.

Walk in Tub: The door on our walk-in tub split.   It took about 3 weeks to get the new door in.  They came this week and replaced the door.

High Speed Fibre Optics Internet:    At last.  Notified we are on schedule to have ours installed August. 3.   Can't wait.

Washer:    Old washer died.  Got a new one.   What a problem.   Will only work on HOT water.  Even when I set it for cool or warm, it is hot.  Sometimes too hot to touch.  Some loads will not get done.  Stays on 11 minutes left for hour or more, then back to 43 minutes.   I shut it off.   Lid will lock.   I have to eventually let it sit for hours and try to unlock again.  Tub half full of water.  I pull out the soaking, hot clothes and drape them on back porch railings until dry enough to put it dryer.   They are sending someone out of the 27th.   I HATE THIS WASHER.


One good thing.   While in the northeast I was walking by the car and saw our remote for our security system laying on the ground.  It had broken off Lens keychain.   




When we got home we called ADT.  They had someone here that afternoon.   We got a new keyfob and he reset our alarm system.  Thank you ADT.

Think I am now caught up.

Until next time.





Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Catching up Part 2

Cullman, AL to White Hall, MD, to Lebanon, PA to Woodstown NJ 

and back to Cullman in one week


With the girls here for a few weeks we were always busy.  They LOVE to go out to eat.  Rattlesnake Saloon once, Golden Corral twice, Chilis once, and gosh I forget where else.  



Our time together ended too soon.   They had to be back in Maryland by July 11.  We left Cullman on Thursday the 7th overnighting in Wytheville VA at a motel.


We arrived in Maryland on Friday.  After spending the night, we first went to Hanover PA.  We do this every time we are in the area.   Hanover is the home of many food processors and their outlets.   

We like to stock up with cases of canned goods.   Chicken soup, chicken gravy, chicken stock, baked beans, Lobster bisque.   If we were going directly back to Alabama, there would be lots of frozen food bought too.

Next stop was Lebanon, PA where daughter Terry and SIL Steve live.  This was on Friday.  Steve plays in a band and Terri had made arrangements with a friend to meet up at the venue.   That was OK.  Our friends Jim and Darlene were nearby.   Plans were made to meet up for dinner.  I love the salad bar at Ruby Tuesday.   Our local one here closed during COVID.   The one up there is open.  So Ruby Tuesday it was.

Darlene said she wanted to go over to Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse, PA, near Lancaster.  On Saturday Darlene, Terri and I spent the morning there, stopping for lunch.  None of the guys had an interest in going.  Okay with us!


Terri and Darlene.


Sunday morning early we left PA so to attend our old church in Upper Deerfield NJ.   We let no one we were coming.   We were joyfully greeted by many.


The two nights in NJ we stayed at my nephew JR and his wife Vadra and son Ryan.   We were glad to get to spend some time with them.

But before we went to their house, we visited our old house just around the corner from the church. This young couple has done miracles with the house.   

Those who have followed my blog might remember that daughter Terri bought the house when we went fulltime RVing.   A couple of years later she relocated to PA.  The house was sold to people that all but destroyed it before it went into foreclosure.      It sat empty for a couple of years.  Then along came Jessica and John.  We could not be happier with what they have accomplished.

The house when we lived there:


The house now


We had a fishpond that the trashy owners filled in.    Jessica and John put in a new pond.  


I took lots of pictures both inside and out so I will remember how grateful I am to this nice couple.

This is getting lengthy.    I still have more to catch up on.  There will be a Part 3.

Until next time.

Monday, July 18, 2022

Catching Up Part I.

 Cullman,  AL

 

Yes, we've been somewhat busy.   But not with Boondockers.   Since mid June we've only hosted folks from Boondockers Welcome one night and another for 4 nights.   We had reservations but all cancelled due to cost of gas and fuel.    We only have 3 reservations on the books.  Two next week and the other not until September.   Very unusual.

The same time the couple stayed for four nights our Granddaughter Tiffany, her husband Neal and their 3 children were here from Texas.   Look at this pic.   One RV held two retired folks, the other 5 people and a dog.  Can you guess which held whom?   Doesn't matter.  All having fun.


Son Lennie and DIL Lois invited all of us to lunch on July 17.    I surprised myself and remembered to take a picture.


On July 18 our granddaughters Charlotte and Abby came for their annual visit.  Daughter Amy decided to bring them down by train.  She rode with them overnight from Baltimore and planned her itinerary to return on another train shortly after.    The train was scheduled to arrive at 10:30 am in Anniston, AL, an hour and half drive from here.   She notified me that it was delayed and expected arrival was 2:30.   When we got to Anniston around 2, she texted it would arrive at 3:30.

In the meantime a woman waiting for another train was concerned about a kitten running around the depot platform.    She called her sister as she wanted to take the kitten with her.  Sister said absolutely not at her house.  


The woman left but the cute little kitten remained.   We picked her up and Len was holding her when Amy and the girls arrived.  They wanted to keep her.   Mom said no.  She could not take it back on the train.    We had planned to take Amy and girls to a restaurant prior to Amys return trip.  But since we had a kitten with us and it was hot we decided to eat at Arbys and Charlotte would stay in the car with the kitten and air conditioning.    It must have been raining kittens that day.  Running around the Arbys parking lot was


An even younger kitten.   Okay, she left with us too.

Amy checked the train schedule, and it was due at 8 pm.  It was then 5 pm.  She said she did not mind waiting at the station alone for the train.   I did not feel comfortable as it appeared to be in a bad neighborhood.  


 

There was no place to go inside to wait.  Just a platform and a bench.  And it was hot.  I told her we would take her to Birmingham station that was 60 miles away. She said she would be fine.  We left.

It was not 10 minutes later when she called me to come back.  She had been approached and asked for money.   Another man wanted to sell her drugs.  Another real loser on a bicycle came by and tried to pick her up to go with him.   And she had been notified the train would not be there until 11:00 PM.  She realized she was not in a safe area.   

We turned around and found her walking up the road away from the train station.  We gladly took her to Birmingham.   She went into the depot.  There were two security officers inside.  There were chairs and A/C.   We all felt so much better. She would be safe.

As for the cats.    We took them home.  With food and litter that Amy had picked up after having found the 2nd kitten.   Early Monday morning we took them to the County Animal Control shelter.  Being so tiny they would be adopted quickly.  

Sunday the 19th was Fathers Day and we all were back at Lennies for lunch.   Yup, this time I did forget to get a picture.

Tiffany and family left later that afternoon.  It was a treat having them camping here for 6 days.

Every year Charlotte and Abby like to go to Cooks Nature Musuem up in Decatur and McWane Science Center in Birmingham.   What is nice is that they are now of the age where we pay their admission and off they go.   We find a comfortable seat and rest.

Two of our ducks are nesting.   Penelope had 3 eggs she was sitting on but something got to them. Only shells remained.   So she has been sitting on nothing but feathers and stones for about three weeks.  I wish I knew what to do.    Elsie is in the nesting box on 16 eggs.  They both leave their nests for very short periods.    Charlotte kept checking on Elsie.   She put her hand in the box only to get stung by a wasp.


A trip to urgent care the next day and after a shot in the butt and meds the swelling went down.  She's decided to leave Elsie along.

Part 2 of catching up in a day or two.



Sunday, June 12, 2022

Out in Bloom

 Cullman,  AL


Our 143rd Boondockers Welcome guests left yesterday.    Great folks.   It was a four day stay that ended too soon.    Some things are meant to be.    They are from Carlisle, PA.   The first day here, I told them we knew people from Carlisle.   Our former pastor and his wife from Plainville UMC in NJ were from there.   When I told them the last name, Carew, they could not believe it.   Pastor Carew married them 40 some years ago.   The pastor and his wife were good friends of the parents of the wife of his couple.   Amazing.   

Pastor Carew passed while serving our church in NJ.  His widow remained as our organist.  She was the organist when Len and I married.   I got our wedding album out to show them the pictures we have of her.   What a treat.

Our 144th guests will arrive later today but are only reserved one night.   Then on Tuesday our granddaughter Tiffany and family arrive in their RV and will be here until next Sunday.  Next Saturday granddaughters Charlotte and Abby arrive via train for their annual visit.   Good times ahead.

Keeping us busy is the yard.  

Magnolia trees in bloom




All kinds of blooms



Raspberry and Blackberry bushes starting to produce.




Still working to clear MORE brush to give to MORE grass to mow


It had been very dry here and the pond was down several feet.    


It rained, rained, winds blew and rained some more earlier this week.   It made for a full pond and good fishing for our recently stocked fish.


Biscuit is doing well.    Even if a bit bored.


He did give Len a lovely Fathers Day gift.


I don't know where he ever that the idea that Len ever picked up ANYTHING after him.  Never happened.

Until next time.   Here we are: