Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Homeless Cat -- Now Spotacus' Legacy
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 > Homeless Cat -- Now Spotacus' Legacy

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Wanderlost

Texas Hill Country

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Posted: 09/25/20 12:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good gravy, but Autumn actually showed up! Temps are down in the 60s at night and 70s/low 80s during the day, which is not the normal September temps here. I'm actually having to wear light-weight long pants. Sheesh. Wonder if this means I'll have to wear a long-sleeve shirt and socks in October? Hey, I'm used to wearing shorts in December, for cripes sake... On the upside, we turned off the air conditioner and have a nice breeze blowing through the house.

We've had black-headed vultures parked on our garden shed for several days now. WLToo was in the garden and smelled something dead, but couldn't pinpoint where. I finally suggested he look in the rain barrels to see if something fell through the mesh top and drowned. Yep. He had to clean out all the barrels and dump the raccoon corpse out where the vultures can finally clean it up.

Well, this morning we had at least 17 vultures, six of them turkey vultures, cleaning up the remains, and two crows in the nearby trees. I was surprised to find out that vultures make noise. Sounds like a small dog snorting.

Czarny crouched on the deck railing beside me as we watched, not about to get far from us. Only after the entire flock left did Czarny decide it was okay to take me for a walk around the deck rails. He walks the railing as I stroll along. It's pretty cute.

Our temporary neighbors (the vacation rental just below us) arrived yesterday and were a mite noisy, but had calmed down long before our bedtime. Don't hear anything right now, so they must be out and about. Otherwise, it's a lovely autumn day in the Hill Country.


"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Czarny, black cat

magnusfide

On the Road Again and Again and Again...

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Posted: 09/25/20 08:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Czarny sounds like a great buddy. We're glad we don't have a vacay rental near us. They've been banned in our county because of noise and party problems.

I'm surprised the raccoon didn't figure out how to get back out of the barrel. Ours are pretty smart here. We call them Hairy Houdinis.


First law of science: don't spit into the wind.
Bacon is the duct tape of the kitchen.
Magnus




Wanderlost

Texas Hill Country

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Posted: 09/28/20 11:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Since tourism is the mainstay around here, there are more and more vacation rentals cropping up. For years now, over 60 percent of the houses here have been permanent residents, with the remainder vacation homes. I suspect the percentages of vacation homes/rentals to permanent residents just might be about to change. Be interesting to see how that all falls out.

We have a mesh top on each barrel. This is the second time a raccoon has fallen in and could not get back out through the mesh. I think it needs a better top...

It's a lovely sunny day, but the wind is howling from the north. High will be about 74, but with the wind so strong, it feels kinda nippy. Looks like a long pants day.

We cleaned and put the pool cover on yesterday, hoping to retain some heat (and water), and then maybe the solar heating system can bring the pool back up to swimming temperature. With the wind, most likely won't be today... Don't think I'll be lounging on the deck, either.

Well, off to do something semi-useful. Later, y'all.

magnusfide

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Posted: 09/29/20 10:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Semi-useful. I like that. I had to go down to the strip mall today. Tourists were everywhere because of the leaf color beginning to change. Glad we don't have vacay house rentals like Air BnB here. The next county over has them and they've been huge problems. The police have to constantly intervene. We have a state park with cabins, campground and lodge. 3 motels. They are kept quiet and orderly by their management.

Wanderlost

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Posted: 10/16/20 10:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, the last couple weeks heated back up, and with the pool heater and the pool cover, the water got back into the mid-80s, so we got in some really good workouts.

Then, last night, a cold front moved in. Low was in the low 60s and today's high will only be 70, with a 20mph wind. So the pool's not going to be warm enough for a few days, until the temps warm up again. I'm wearing long pants again. Sigh.

Meanwhile, we decided to get an elliptical machine, so we can continue to work out inside when it's too cold to be in the pool. I like how it doesn't affect any joints, so Spousal Unit will be able to use it, in spite of his severely arthritic big toe. As in the pool, I'll just turn on my audio book and work out through 3 or 4 chapters. Who knows? I might even be able to get off this plateau and start losing weight again.

Even though it's windy, Czarny is loving it outside. He's been charging back and forth between the north porch/deck and the grass over to the Class A, in general being silly; even insisted I take him for a long walk around the house, garage and Fifth Wheel (brrrr). Just now came inside for a drink and a probable nap.

I was back volunteering at the library a couple weeks ago. That went well, just me in the back room, checking in and quarantining books, then cleaning everything I touched -- even interaction with the two staffers was from quite a distance. On Wednesday, the library emailed all the volunteers that a staffer had tested positive for COVID-19 that day, and the library is closed for two weeks. Gave the dates the staffer was on duty, but not the times, so I have no idea if she was there during the time I was working. Given it's been over two weeks since I worked there, and I feel perfectly fine, I'll just stay home until next week to be sure. Not like I had anything special to do off property, anyway.

As part of the continuing saga of sorting through SU's late mom's stuff, I've been researching her high quality costume jewelry for values. I print those off and include in the bag with that item, so our local thrift store can decide whether to sell it locally, or sell it online for what would no doubt be a much higher price. All the thrift store proceeds go to our local community resource and recreation charity, and I'm firmly in the "get as much as they can" camp. Even so, they sell most stuff at about 70% less than it goes for on various auction sites, and they really turn over inventory. Anyway, doing the research has been quite fun, and I've been astonished at how collectable some of this stuff is. When I'm not self-quarantined anymore, I'll haul it over, then celebrate that extra square cubic foot of space we'll have...and just might have another volunteer job, doing this research for them.

Well, Czarny wants to go for another walk. Later, y'all.

magnusfide

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Posted: 10/17/20 06:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's been cold here. Glad to hear that you're helping the thrift store. Herself also volunteers at the local thrift store and helps sort the incoming. She says the clothing is usually the worst and they just throw it out. The thrift store supports the local ministry outreach to feed the poor and provide free medical care.

They get plenty of exercise equipment, dishes, kitchenware, costume jewelry, appliances, old stereos, bric a brac, old phono records and whatever else the inheritors of an estate do not want. They will also get some nice furniture on occasion. Herself brought home a nice "rice poster" bed for the guest room. She paid them more than they were asking because she felt it was for a good cause.

I was able to get my hands on a Wagner cast iron pot from that store as well as a Griswold waffle iron.

Wanderlost

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Posted: 10/19/20 12:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It warmed back up, so much so that we might be able to get back into the pool again today or tomorrow. That jerry-rigged solar pool heater, with the pool cover, are doing a great job of retaining heat. That's good, because that elliptical machine is killing us. Where we can work out for an hour or so in the pool and not really feel it, five minutes on the machine is about all we can take in one session, and that's on the lightest setting. Wow. We'll be working our way up a little at a time.

Since we live in a vacation area, where a lot of high income folks own vacation properties and/or retire here, our thrift store has a higher class of donations than the typical thrift store. My family has scored some amazing stuff there, from older to mid-century high class/quality furniture, to Wagner and Griswold cast iron, to dress clothes for unexpected functions, to the Fiestaware we use, etc. I frequently have seen items at an estate sale show up at the thrift store, and have helped heirs clear out and haul to the thrift store when they can't be bothered to have an estate sale. It's worked out beautifully for the local charities and folks who can buy higher quality stuff they could never otherwise afford.

Czarny's been literally bouncing in and out today. He nearly tripped me a little while ago, which I don't need. Nothing like an exuberant cat having a great time.

In fact, it's way too nice to be inside. Think I'll let the cat take me for another walk. Later, y'all.

magnusfide

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Posted: 10/19/20 03:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm happy for your thrift store. If you are already a tourist destination then it seems your full time residents are accustomed to dealing with non-locals.

Our area would not care for high income part-time residents as in the past they had an attitude towards the full time residents. That attitude was that local residents are their personal servants and staff and should serve their whims for restaurant cuisine, disregard for noise in the neighborhoods, speeding, drugs, etc. That attitude didn't go over well at all here. It's why the counties around here banned vacation rental homes in established neighborhoods.

Most of our full time residents are retired military and educators. All have worked hard in their lives. They are not impressed with the bank accounts of part-time residents. They don't care for the "rich kids" unruly and lawless lifestyles either. The currency that works well here is to be respectful of everyone. We like it here but it's not for everyone.

Wanderlost

Texas Hill Country

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Posted: 10/22/20 02:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That's exactly what we've experienced here, Magnus, including the noses down at our local cuisine. Most of our full time makeup is also retired military, educators, and medical. It's sometimes amusing, more often a tad irritating, to have some city type waltz in here acting like we're less educated/worldly than that city punk. The reality is we've lived far more exciting and diverse lives than the ones looking down on us, and we landed here for the peace and quiet. We rather cherish how quiet it can be out here, when the tourists aren't here in such droves.

The county depends on tourism, though, so here at the lake we have lots of vacation rentals. In the county seat, they restrict vacation rentals, especially in the older neighborhoods and the more densely packed ones, simply to keep parking issues at a minimum. It's working so far. The county seat will probably go over 100,000 population in a couple years, so big city issues have already cropped up, and the city and county commissioners are only now understanding that they can't keep doing the small town things.

I'm glad we're well away from town, even with the tourists mucking up the weekends all summer. More of us than not have sufficient acreage to not have to listen to our next door neighbors' antics -- although I really enjoyed the mariachi band just down the hill and across from our fence late last summer...

Czarny's back on the porch with yet another grasshopper. Between him eating all but a leg, and the bitty ants hauling away said leg, the hopper population is way down.

One thing I've not seen this year at all are the dung beetles. With all the deer, fox and raccoon poo being deposted all around, one would think we'd see them frequently. Maybe I'm not looking at the right time.

Still have several hummingbirds hanging around, although they're not feeding near as frequently at the feeder. I guess we have sufficient hummingbird appropriate plants to keep them going until they finally migrate.

We were supposed to have the monarch migration through here this week and next, but I've not seen any. Other butterflies, yes. Really makes me want to move forward on the hummingbird and butterfly garden, but the big expense there is the deer fence we'll have to erect before even trying to plant, and it won't be cheap. Sigh.

The shrub rosemary is already starting to bloom. It blooms normally from November into January. Absolutely lovely bluish-light purple blooms. We didn't know this variety even had blooms when we planted it -- we were just trying to cover up a flat rock ledge in the middle of the lawn -- and now they are our favorite plants. We do absolutely nothing to them and they thrive, and the deer don't eat them.

It's warm enough to go swimming now, so I'll do that. Later, y'all.

magnusfide

On the Road Again and Again and Again...

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Posted: 10/22/20 02:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don't forget to watch the Orionid meteor shower. They peak tonight.

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