Sunday, September 23, 2012

It's Heeerrrreee..........

20 degrees this morning!!  Yep.  Friday night the local tv stations ran a banner across the bottom of the screen warning of the hard frost, saying this would end the growing season for the year.  Ya think?!  Yeah....we in the north country take our freezing seriously.

So I guess it's time to cut down the perennials, empty the planters and put the yard ornaments and lights away.  Good bye, Summer.  Can't say I'm sorry to see you go.

Anywho, it's been the regular doings around here.  Baking a lot more, spinning somewhat and knitting.  Though it's been a chore to force myself to get at the last 2.  Don't know why.  Maybe other things on the brain.

I have got to get pictures posted.  Got plans to put a lot of knitted goods up for sale on Etsy.  Though I'm not thoroughly convinced.  I did open a "shop" 4 years ago.  Sold for one season.  Now I've been reading comments on the forum; actually, I've been keeping tabs on this site for all these years.  Don't like the fact that there are so many problems encountered by the sellers.  And it takes so long for them to get resolved.  But then a new crop of problems pop up.  And it seems Administration moves at a snail's pace.  I don't know.  Lots of problems, lots of complaints.  Something I seriously do not want to encounter.

 So, I'm considering other options. But time is flying by.  And I sell only for the Christmas season.   We'll see.

I did order a sewer's dress mannequin last week.  It should be here sometime this week.  It sure will help display the sweaters, shawls and vest I want to sell.  It'll definitely be better than trying to get good pictures laying these things out on the floor or the bed.  Never works well.

Today is lasagna for supper with cheese cake for dessert.  Both of these are very time consuming.  I gotta get at it.

Hope you all are getting ready to hanker down.  "Got yarn??"

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Can You Say "Hibernation?".........

It's coming...definitely coming.  As we drive down the 2-lane highway, the trees are more and more turning crimson.  What a beautiful sight.  This morning, I sit contemplating if we will put the A/C's away this weekend.  I think so.  39 degrees this morning.  Daytime highs predicted from high 60's to high 70's for another week.  The fans should definitely do the job, should some very warm air find its way into the house.

Daughter had her "sleep-over" at the sleep institute Tuesday night.  Her doctor is concerned that she has sleep apnea.  We arrived there at 7:15 yesterday morning to collect her and hear what the sleep doctor had to say.

Why, yes.  She does have sleep apnea.  And from there, he described the results of her testing, what can happen if left untreated, how the machine works, etc.   So, from there we went to the medical apparatus department so daughter could be fitted with the "Darth Vader" head gear.

I need to interject here that upon hearing the results, BH asked me as we were driving home, "I'd like to know how many people who go for this test are told they don't have sleep apnea; that there must be another cause.  I'll bet everyone who submits to this overnight test is told they have the disorder".   To which, I absolutely agree.  C'est le vie.

An hour later, we're walking out of the office with travel case in hand, holding all the paraphenalia.  Now we just need to stop at Walmart to pick up distilled water, a surge-protector electric bar, non-alcohol baby wipes and baby shampoo.  All tools for the cleaning and operation of the aforementioned head gear.

Back at her apartment, I hooked everything up, reminded her how to clean all the pieces, how to put on the aparatus, blah,blah,blah.  And we left for home.

Oh, I forgot to mention.....we stayed overnight at her apartment.  I talked BH into coming with me.  Sometimes, I just get anxious about being alone.  He didn't fight me, he readily agreed, but I know this is not his thing!  He does not like sleeping at other people's homes.  So, needless to say, neither of us got a good night's sleep. 

Daughter and I were talking about this in the technician's office.  The tech asked me "do you think you should be tested for sleep apnea, too?" (It seemed the question was dead serious).

"Ehhhh, no.  I know what's causing my not getting a restful sleep.  Anxiety, too many thoughts running through my head, and not sleeping in my own bed".

Thanks anyway.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Definitely Not My Week........

So, after dealing with the "invaders" last week, we were looking forward to things getting back to normal.  No sign of anything.  But I still have all the lights on when we go to bed.  Except for the bedroom.....but the bathroom (right next to the bedroom) light stays on......til the sun is high in the sky!

I'm getting better.......the lights don't go on now til about 7:30.....vs. 6:30 last week.  Someday.....

Anywho, I finished the first blue cabled sock, put the toe stitches on stitch holders and tried it on.  Yep.  Needs to be frogged.  The heel is too small and tight.  Don't like how the gusset is stretched to the max.  And because the foot is long, very difficult to scrunch up the sock to put it over the foot.  Damn!!

So this morning I picked a size larger needle, re-wrote my directions for the cable ('cause I still want cabled socks) and casted on the stitches.  Worked 3 rows of ribbing.  Have not frogged the other sock yet; just didn't have the heart right now.  Nor did I have the energy to rip and wind all that yarn.

Checked the bank account to make sure all the bills were posted.  Egads!!  4 of them.....all big payments  were posted twice!!!     Our account is in the hundreds of dollars!!!  Checked and double checked the bills, the check register....printed out  the statement and went up to the bank. 

Yes, they are aware of the problem.  There was a glitch in the computer system...not on their end.....but on the "Fed's" (Federal Reserve??  I didn't ask).  The report the bank receives from the "Fed" had the double deducted payments on lots of accounts.  The bank officer assured me they are working on it now; we will not be charged overdraft fees; and their phones have been ringing off the hook with other customers.

She did advise me to keep checking our account to make sure that all the payments aren't deleted.....I would have to pay the bills all over again.  Why, thank you.  Thank you very much.

Yesterday was the day I would put the zipper in the long-ago-finished-sweater.  Yep. That was the day.  Got out all the sewing gadgets and supplies, the zipper and straight pins.  Laid out the sweater; put the first half down on the grograin ribbon.  Whaatttt??????  The zipper is 2" too long.  omg.  I must've included the collar when I measured.  Damn!  Now I have to buy another zipper next week when I go to daughter's.  Put the sweater and sewing paraphenalia back.

Every night this week, I planted in my brain that the next day would be house cleaning day.  And that next day has come and gone....every day.  No house cleaning.  The kitchen gets cleaned up; the bathroom sink, tub and toilet get cleaned; the TV screen gets dusted off; the bed gets made and linens changed regularly.  That's it.  No more dusting, no vacuuming, no rug shaking, no dustmopping, no floor mopping. Ehhh, what the hell.

I notice I've been sneezing a lot lately. 

Grandson texted me he's coming over today after school and staying for supper.  Pulled the stuffed pork chops, extra stuffing and buttered noodles out of the freezer.  Gotta get to the store for more stuffing and applesauce.

Then I'm going to sit and knit on the new sock.  I'm exhausted!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

We're On Our Way!........

So Tuesday we had to go to daughter's.....her remote to her brand new flat screen TV......doesn't work!  That's right...2 weeks old.   Doesn't work.  Nothing.  Like it's dead.  Not making connection with the TV.  I called the company....seems we need to test the remote with an am/fm radio.  Okkkeeyyy......I tell the rep we're an hour away from her and her TV, and she doesn't have a radio.  It will have to wait until next Tuesday when I see her again.  Call the service department then.....with the radio.  Aaarrgghhh!

But that's not the topic of this post.  We had an hour to kill before picking her up from work.  BH says "let's take a drive around those apartments again."   We did.  Then he says "let's go to the office and pick up some information."   We did.  The manager explained the layouts, the rent, the amenities.  And she said "I can show you one of the apartments if you would like to see it."   And we did.

Holy crap!!  OMG!!   This is it!  This is where I want to live!  Like tomorrow.  Beautiful place; 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, huge living/dining room, all appliances including full size washer and dryer and A/C!  A little deck off the living room.   I was in heaven!  Underground garage, with storage units, and a car washing station.'s a 55+ ONLY building!  No young families, no little children, no 20-yr olds rooming with a bunch of buddies.   Now!  I want to move now!

So BH agreed this could be the place.  We make plans.  1 1/2 years from now, we are moving.  2 more winters here; 1 more complete Spring and Summer.  Then come Spring 2014, we will be in our new apartment.  In the meantime, there's down sizing to do, totally clean out the old farm house, and pay down bills.....a lot of bills.   But we can do it!  So, with our "eyes on the prize".....we both agreed to an austerity budget.

I am soooo happy I can hardly contain myself.  Can't wait to tell all the kids..."we're moving into an apartment.  The house is being sold".

BH and I have been talking about this for the last 2 years.  When do we think it'll be time to give up the house;  what would be the determining factor.  Health?  Financial?  Tired of the constant upkeep and "have-to's"?   I think the events of last week really made up his mind.  He was kind of not sold on the idea of apartment living, worried he would have nothing to do, no where to roam, take a walk, have the privacy of his own land and home. 

But with the flooding this Spring, him having to move 3,500 pieces of firewood out of the basement, clean the basement, stack all the wood back in the basement, begin logging again now for next winter, cutting the grass every week (6 acres.....done with a push mower!), the problem all last week and all the other interruptions and necessary deeds.....he's ready.  Thank the Lord!

I am giddy with excitement!  I hope this year and a half fly by.  I hope God gives me all the energy to organize, declutter and prepare for the move.  I hope our budget stays workable.  I hope the house sells fast when the time comes.   I hope my curtains will fit the windows in our new apartment!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Bats in the Belfry.......conclusion

So now it's been 5 nights and no sign of the horrid invaders.  We have plugged, taped, insulated and sealed every hole, crack, crevice, vent and pipe we can.  We have moved furniture, swept behind those we couldn't with a broom handle and yardstick;  taken down curtains and checked under blinds and shades.

I am still skitish and apprehensive.  There is a light on in every room from dusk till the sun is high in the sky the next morning.  My eyes still dart everywhere as I walk from room to room.  This may last a week or two or a month or two.  Or never alleviate.  It's sad to be captive in your own home.

From the inspector/exterminator we learned this:

Bats usually don't enter a mobile home.  It's very rare.  They're mostly looking for high places to roost.  (Really??  Hmmm....I think we should change our name to "Murphy")  This does nothing for my peace of mind.

Bats can enter a hole as small as the tip of your pinkie finger, or a space no bigger than 1/2".  Check the tip of your pinkie finger......yep......that's right!

They get in between walls as well as the usual attics and ceilings.  They will hibernate all year long, coming out when they need to drink.

Unlike mice, they don't chew their way through anything to create an entrance, but rather enter through an existing opening.

They will lay dormant in your house until they need a drink, which could be 3 weeks or so;  then come out of hiding, flying around, looking for that drink.  Therefore, the statement from that yahoo who told me "they'll be dead in 2 days" was definitely wrong!

July and August are the worst times.  The young are getting ready to leave the "nursery".  The mother will follow them in flight.  If the young fly into a pipe or space, mother will be right behind them.

Once they leave a nest or nursery, they will return to the same spot to roost.  So getting them out of the house doesn't mean you got them out.....they will come back if they can.

They will not fly into a person or attack you unless they feel threatened.  When they're chasing you down the hall, they're really not chasing you, but looking for a way out.  Again.....does nothing for my peace of mind.

Bats can fly through an 800+ sq. ft. home in......10 seconds!!

Signs of invasion are poops the size of mouse droppings.  But mouse droppings will squish when rubbed with your fingers; bat droppings will disintegrate like dust and you'll see evidence of bug wings and such.  Also gray streaks running down the outside or inside walls.....urine.

Putting up "bat houses" outside is a good deterent to keep them from finding ways into your home.  Ehhhh, yeah.  I'm not sold on the idea of providing a place for them to roost.  I'd just as soon they find somewhere else....far, far away.

And that's pretty much it.  I pray that my anxieties will ease very soon and things will really get back to normal around here.  Although, I may never be able to watch another "Batman" movie.......ever!!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Bats in the Belfry......part 2

So Wednesday, after taking daughter to an appointment and back home, I leave for our house.  Thinking, thinking.....always thinking.  There is the opening behind the interior wall where the drain hose and water supply hoses are connected.  It's an opening about 30" high and 28" wide.  Above the 30", God only knows what's up there.  This needs to be closed off.  What kind of sheet-wood do we have laying around?  How should we cut the holes for the hoses?  What's the best way to close it off and still have easy access in case?  How am I going to present this to BH to make him agree to do this?  (I know he's very, very tired and doesn't want to deal with it anymore).

After a few minutes home and a cup of coffee, he and I are talking when I spring the latest idea on him.  Right away he thinks of some wood he has and he wants to get at it right now.  He finds the exact piece, wide enough, just need to cut about 12" off the bottom.   So we proceed......

He figures out the holes to be cut; I tell him I know where the box of screws are for attaching.  We gather some insulation, steel wool and duct tape.

2 hours later we're done.  It's sealed.  I'm a happy woman!  Now we sit on the deck and wait for the exterminator, discussing questions we want to ask him.

3:30, the Inspector arrives with an assistant.  We explain in detail what's been going on and what we've done.  We ask questions.  This guy is very understanding and gives us a lot of information, some of which is not exactly what we wanted to hear!  And he proceeds with the inspection; we follow behind, hanging on every word.

Start at the top, he says.  They can get in here, here, here.  They nest, they hibernate, they incubate......all year long.  You want to seal this, this and this.  Then he gets the ladder and goes on the roof.  I tell him about this horrible screeching noise a few weeks ago, sounding like metal scraping metal or fingernails on a blackboard....that went on for about 15-20 minutes.  Yeah, they could have found a way between the walls and that's what I was hearing.  Anywho,  he inspects all the vents on the roof.  There's openings.  You want to seal these and put screening over the vent openings.  If all this doesn't alleviate the problem, then continue at the bottom of the house......replace all the skirting.  He was very thorough and while some of his statements peaked my anxiety, we were armed with much more information and the necessary actions that needed to be taken.

An hour and a half later we said our good-byes, thank you, thank you's, good luck, make sure you get that taken care of now, and they left us.

We've been sleeping with all the lights on since Sunday, and I have to stay up as long as possible, till I can't keep my eyes open, before we go to bed.  BH stays up with, I mean stays in the room with me......he dozes in the recliner while I watch TV.  I wake about 5:00am and he dutifully gets up with me.  We sit in the family room, watching TV, sometimes he dozes, until the sun is up in the sky.  Then I can confidently turn off the lights and start our daily routine.  And open the windows.  Yes, all the windows get closed when the sun starts to set in the evening.

Thursday, we had some errands to run.  Hardware store....more duct tape, more "Great Stuff", more steel wool.  It was hot Thursday.  And we were exhausted.  We agreed BH would get on the roof Friday to take care of the necessary repairs.  And Friday, he did.  While I went from room to room with my tubes of  "Power Grab", sealing up every crack, space and hole no matter what the size.  I don't care if you couldn't get a sheet of paper through it, it got sealed.

And I made supper.  First time we've had a decent meal since Saturday. Had "take-out" 3 times, and of course, BH was on his own one night.

Today I woke up at 4:00am.  Decided to let BH sleep in.  Turned the light off in the bedroom.  All the rest of them stayed on.  Thought I would do some spinning.  Maybe that would calm my nerves.  It helped some.  Still walking around, eyes darting, still aprehensive.  But I keep telling myself I've got to get over this.  Little steps.......

To be continued...........

Bats in the Belfry??......a series

Not quite.  It's been bats in the house!!  Yep.  Sunday morning, 3:30am; getting up to go to the bathroom; walk into the kitchen to see what time it is;  walking back down the long, dark hallway to the bedroom; turn around for something, I forget what, and here they come!!!!........2 of them flying faster than I can run......diving and weaving.

I am screaming like a banchee;  I fall next to the bed.  BH jumps up.."what's the matter???"   BATS!!  THERE'S BATS IN THE HOUSE!! I am screaming at the top of my lungs.  He's holding me in his arms.  "It's ok, it's ok; calm down."   OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! WHERE DID THEY COME FROM?  HOW DID THEY GET IN HERE?!

I am hysterical.  I'm now sitting on the bed, he still has me wrapped in his arms.  There's a window directly across from the bed. guessed it.  "There's one behind the blind, I can see it"  I'm saying low, voice quivering.  "Ok, I'll get it; calm down"  he says.

"What are we going to do, what are we going to do"  I keep saying, wringing my hands, eyes darting here, there and everywhere; still shaking, still hysterical.   "I can't stay here"  I keep repeating to him.

"Do you want to go to Julie's?"  he asks.   "yah, I think I better".

So he walks me out to the car.  "You need some clothes" he says.  "No, no, I'll just go in my pajamas".   "I'll go get you some clothes. What do you want me to get?"      I tell him where to find some pants and a shirt.  "Do you want you're makeup bag?"  he asks.   "No. No".   "OK, call Julie".

I get out the cell phone (I did grab my purse as I'm flying out the door).  Turn it on.  "Oh shit....the battery's almost dead" I tell him.  "Where's the charger?  I'll get the charger" says he.

Call our daughter.  It's 4:00am.  She's not answering.  "I'll just go there.  I'll call when I get there" I tell him.   She lives an hour away.  It'll be easier to wake her up at 5:00am.

He gets all I need and off I go.  "Call me when you get there", he says.  "And call an exterminator this morning". 

In the pitch black, all the way on a 2-lane highway, no street lights, and fog!   Fog as thick as "pea soup".   Fog as thick as the last scene in "Gone With the Wind"; fog as thick as something from a horror movie (which I never make a habit of watching).  All the way to her town.......1 hour away.  The longest hour of my life.

Stop at McD's for coffee, call daughter.  She answers.  I tell her what's wrong, I'll be at her apartment in 15 minutes.

Call BH.  I'm here.  "I'm going to Home Depot to see if they have some kind of sonic repellent", I tell him.  He says he got the 2 bats out of the house and he's been checking all around (my hero!!)  He also tells me he's been searching in the Yellow Pages and gives me the info.  I call the first one at 6:30, it's a "24-hour" service.  I woke the guy up.  Telling him what happened, he's yawning, searching for answers to my questions, blah, blah, blah.  "If they don't find a way out in 2 days, they'll be dead" was his attitude.  "They'll be dead!?", I repeat.  "They'll be dead".  So I agree to an inspection; he says he'll get back to me at the beginning of the week to set up an appointment.  This does not allay my anxiety one bit.

So, 7:30, daughter and I go for breakfast, then to one of the hardware stores.  Of course.  The kid tells me they have nothing.  Off to Home Depot.

Yes, they had something....mainly for mice and bugs.  "I'll give it a try" I hurriedly tell him.  5 sonic wave emitting devices,  a roll of screening and a can of "Great Stuff" aerosol spray foam insulation.
Drop daughter off at her apartment, and I'm on my way home.  Like an army battalion that has just been re-enforced with more ammunition.  I'm ready!

When I get home, BH informs me that he found another one behind the shade in the bedroom.  Not what I wanted to hear.

Armed with screening and "Gorilla" duct tape, the battle begins.  Screen the exhaust vent in the kitchen; screen the vent on the defunct furnace; screen the vent on the A/Cs;  duct tape around the pipes on the wood stove (also notice that there is a 1/2" gap where the pipe meets the ceiling and there is a terrifying amount of creosote pieces on top of the stove.......this is NOT a good sign!)  Tape those pipes up like they can withstand an earthquake! Tape the edges of all the screens that look suspiciously loose.  Duct tape all noticeable gaps anywhere!

BH tells me he was searching on the internet.  Bats can enter a space as small as a dime.  Not the information I wanted to hear.

Sunday night we spend "sleeping" in our recliners in the family room.....all lights on.   Monday morning we feel much more at ease.  At 7:00am, BH says he's going to lay on the bed for a hour.  Okey dokey.  I'm putzing around the house.  It's 7:15, I walk into the utility room......THERE IT IS!!  Another one!!  I run into the bedroom "there's another one in the utility room"  and I proceed to run down the hall, noticing that it has now flown into the family room - around the wood stove, and I'm out the door!  "Where is it?" yells BH.  "By the the woodstove"  I'm yelling through the screen door from the deck.

He got it.  Through the day, I'm walking gingerly throughout the house, making noise, checking here and there, always on the lookout.  So far, so good.

Ah, but after supper, dusk is approaching.  My anxiety is rising with every minute.  The house is getting darker inside. I'm getting very nervous.  "ummm, ehhhh,  uhhhhh, I don't want you to think I'm being ridiculous, but I'm really nervous about tonight"  I tell him.   "Do you want to go to Julie's?"  he graciously asks.  "ehh, yeah".   "If you're feeling uncomfortable, go to Julie's; I'll be ok, but go now before it gets dark".

Quickly I pack my bag, grab my knitting, kiss him, tell him to be aware and careful.....and off I go.

Call him Tuesday morning.  Yep.  2 more flying behind him in the evening while he's on the computer.  Yeah....I'm going to call more exterminators.  One service answers with "you're call is very important to us.  Due to the increasing amount of calls , we may not be able to return your call for 2 or 3 days.....leave your name and number".   I do, but continue the search.  Call another service.  Tell the gal what's going on.  "We'll have the man in your area contact you".  (This is a state-wide service).

3 hours pass, no call.  I call them.  I'm agitated and irritated; I let the receptionist know this.  She puts me right through to the guy.  "Where do you live?  What's the next largest city near you?  Oh, I only go as far as xxxxx.  There's no one that takes care of your area".

Now I'm pissed.  "Why didn't she tell me that 3 hours ago; I'd be looking for another company!"   After giving him the 3rd degree, I call the answering service back and inform her what the guy told me.  She's very apologetic; puts me on hold.  Comes back and tells me she has contacted the owner directly and given him my info.  He will be calling me back today, she says confidently.  Yeah.  I'm not holding my breath.

I call another service.  Yes they take care of our area.  The earliest someone can come out is Tuesday.  I make the appointment.

8:00pm, I get a call from the owner of the other company.  Oh geezz, I've made another appointment.  He tells me he can be at our house tomorrow (Wednesday).....definitely!   Let me call my husband.  BH says go with this guy.  Call him back, set up the appointment.   Wednesday.....Hallelujah!!!

To be continued..........