Wednesday, January 31, 2024

out of pocket

Here it is the last day of January and the birds think it’s spring. Saw a wren check out a  bird house and I’ve heard a cardinal and mockingbird singing their little hearts out.

My dwarf redbud tree in a pot is putting on buds. I noticed the first 10 petal anemone bloom a couple of weeks ago and today they are in full bloom.

Last Monday the power blinked off and on a few times so I had to restart the Mac mini which I had not done since getting it up and running, just putting it to sleep. When Greg was helping me set it up he recommended having a password to get access which I created and wrote down. Fast forward to Monday when I restarted it and it refuses to accept that password. Greg was helping me figure out what to do but we ran out of time and so I’ve been offline since and our next opportunity when both our schedules allow isn’t until Friday morning. (I’m doing this on my phone.) I have no idea when this will be resolved but I figured being offline for a while won’t hurt me. Anyway I still have my mobile device so I won’t be totally MIA.

The rain gauge comparison was a wash since it would only be accurate if both our tubes were exactly the same size which they are not. A bigger tube (mine) would hold more water at the 2” mark than a smaller diameter tube (his) would at the 2” mark.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

sexing a cat and dying trees

It turns out that the girl kitten may not be a girl. Her markings are very similar to Momcat’s but where Momcat’s predominant color is dark gray on light gray, Girlcat’s is darker. Since s/he is the most wary and will only let me pet her/him while s/he is eating and because this kitten never walks around with her/his tail upright like the other two little boys and Momcat and because her markings are so similar to Momcat I assumed s/he was a she. 


But Thursday night, Robin was out there with me while I was feeding them and we both got several quick glimpses of her/his rear end and it certainly looks like s/he has balls. That coupled with s/he has almost identical markings and color to Robin’s boy cat Noodle, is making us think she is really a he. So Friday evening I put a little food down in the shed so that I could get around behind her and try to sneakily lift up her tail and get a good look. Let me just say it was dramatically unsuccessful. I guess I’ll find out for sure next week when I try and trap that one first.

The rain is over for now and we're back to our normal winter weather...lows in the 40s, highs in the 60s. Today we have a blue sky day. It was overcast yesterday but I got out there anyway and started cutting back some of the dead foliage and have three piles to pick up, filled the garden cart with other tree debris including four of the sections of that big limb that fell earlier. Picked up the last handful of pecans and added them to my tally for a total of 201 pounds from my three trees.

Speaking of trees, there are two tallows beside the driveway and the first killer arctic vortex of 2021 nearly killed both trees, and did kill others around town. 

More than half my two trees did leaf out in the spring but they have been struggling ever since as every winter since we have had temps in the 20s and teens of different durations with less and less leafing out. Earlier in the fall we had a man cut out the dead wood in both trees but now it looks like this winter with just four nights in the 20s and teens that another half of the one on the right has died. After our three days of rain last week, last Friday I noticed that two of the trunks are covered in this white fungus. I’ll wait til spring to see if any of it leafs out but we should just go ahead and cut it down.

And speaking of rain, my neighbor Gary thinks my rain gauge is wrong because it always shows more than his and our other neighbor’s gauges which always measure the same. He only showed about 5 1/2” of rain to my 7.5+”. He’s probably right which bums me out if I can’t rely on it. I’m going to take my tube down to his house with two or three inches of water in it and pour it into his gauge and see what it says.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

rain rain and warmer temps

Apparently, if you don’t have a blogger account you still cannot get to my last post even if you click on ‘yes, I’m an adult, take me to the page’. OK. But that’s not the most interesting part to me. According to my blog dashboard I have only 37 page views in two days (as compared to 150 for the previous post), meaning that either most my readers do not have a blogger account or else they were put off by the ridiculous adult content warning. Heads up, there was no content that went against community content standards unless you consider me dealing with gushing water out of a broken pipe in 40˚ weather an hour or so before sunset and cussing a blue streak to be sensitive content. Blogger did tell me if I wanted to change my title (or remove the forbidden content of which there was none so it had to be the title) I could republish the post without the warning. Eh, why bother.

So onward I go. Momcat showed up Monday late afternoon after being missing the previous two days. She’s done this before, not show up to eat for a day or two. She’s the least wild of the four, in fact, not wild at all. She rubs up against me, loves to be petted, allows me to pick her up. I think she was someone’s pet who got dumped when she turned up pregnant. My sister had managed to get her fixed and released her back in the yard before she died and the vet was supposed to clip one of her ears but they didn’t. Anyway, she can’t get pregnant again but she is definitely done with the kittens. She’s very vocal, growling and hissing at them and pushing them away if they get too close. She’s really kind of a bitch.

My plan was to try and trap Girlcat Monday and get her to the vet since at about 7 or 8 months she’s close to getting pregnant but it started raining at some point Sunday night and rained most of the day Monday. When I checked the rain gauge Tuesday we had had 3 1/4” of rain. And then it started raining again last night, was still raining when I got up, and midmorning the gauge showed another 2 1/2”, so almost 6” already this week. The side yard is underwater 

so I imagine the front is too. I haven’t looked out those windows yet. That tree in the center is the water oak next to the house. I don’t know if the picture really shows how immense it is.

I had intended to uncover everything on Monday but…rain, so I did it yesterday. The mustard greens and the cabbages look unaffected. That patch of white middle right is the clump of society garlic already showing new green poking through and the yellowish brown in the back is part of the day lilies. The brown sticks in front of the daylilies is the porterweed after I cut it back to cover it.

The pony tail palm did not show freeze damage for two years in a row so I guess I’ve finally figured out how to cover it successfully but everything else I covered; the porterweed, bird of paradise, bougainvillea, begonia (iffy, last year I brought it in, this year I covered it), the yellow trumpet flower; as usual are all freeze damaged but will eventually come back from the roots. Still need to trundle the smaller pots out of the garage for some sun and water but it’s too wet out there right now and still drippy though I’m sure they would have loved some of that rain.

While I was out in the little backyard, that area behind the fence upper left, this huge dead limb fell off one of the pecan trees, breaking up into 6 pieces.

It’s raining again or still which it is supposed to do just about all day. At least it’s a light rain because 6” in less than a week is a lot for the ground to absorb.

Monday, January 22, 2024

well, just fuck all

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Saturday, January 20, 2024

another boring post about the cold and kittens

Sitting here Wednesday morning waiting for it to get above freezing so I can go over and let the kittens out of the shed and so I can haul everything out and clean it up in there. There are 5 potted plants in there that my sister had moved in in anticipation of winter and while I put plastic bottles in 3 of them to prevent the kittens from using them as a toilet, they managed to do so anyway and dirt is spread out all around as well as kitty litter scattered from them using the litter box which they did mostly. We have two days of not freezing nights and then Friday night dipping back into the 20s. I have no idea if I’ll be able to get them back in for that one night or not. 

And so I went and opened the door to the shed wide and Momcat scooted out immediately and she was gone but the three kittens were very hesitant, like ‘what fresh hell is this’ but eventually they ventured out and back in and out as I was hauling the boxes and litter box out and two of the plants. Got my broom out of the shop and swept the shed out. My plan was to water the two pots thoroughly but the outdoor faucet is frozen so I’ll have to wait til it thaws out. Fed the kittens under the porch and then had to come back home for water which I took back over and put in their dish.


Slept late this Friday morning, nearly 8:30 when I got up, Cat snuggled up on one side and Minnie under the covers on the other. First thing fill the cat’s food bowl, fill the bird feeder, fill the dog’s dry food bowl, take my meds, and finally get my first cup of coffee.

Lots of plans for today, or rather, lots of things I could do today…clear the big back yard of the fallen branches, of which there are a lot even though I’ve already collected 4 cart loads (including a big ass limb that dragged our internet cable to the ground but fortunately didn’t pull it loose), from the wind of the last cold front and haul them to the burn pile, take one more bucket of pecans from the small box I held back to get cracked because now I’m thinking I didn’t shell enough, make some spiced pecans from a recipe my neighbor Gary gave me, sort through one or two of the tubs of my sister’s christmas ornaments and decorations because I have an idea to make a mobile or two or three with them; the ornaments, not the decorations though those need to be sorted and offered to her daughters and grandkids, like the embroidered, sequined, and beaded christmas tree skirt that our mother made. Or I could finally hang the rest of my crystals and finish clearing off the small work table. We’ll see what actually gets accomplished.

Now, one more cold night tonight and I’m sure I can get the kittens in the shed again and then next week I try to trap the little girl cat and get her to the vet to get fixed.


Another day gone by and I did get the kittens in the shed easily and Momcat but Momcat wanted out so I let her out. I did get the sticks picked up, two cart loads full,

I got another bucket of pecans cracked, I made the ‘spiced’ pecans which aren’t spicy at all and I sort of don’t even like them (1 pound pecans, 1/2 stick butter, 3 T worcestershire sauce, and 3 tsp seasoned salt baked at 250˚ for 1 hour stirring every 15 minutes - picture pre-roasting),

I did get fishing line tied to the last 7 crystals but didn’t get them hung because I need more cup hooks and the small work table is still cluttered and the tubs of christmas stuff are still untouched.

Last night was the last night below freezing for the foreseeable future and today and tomorrow are going to be high 40˚s cold but after that we are going back to our normal winter weather, or what used to be our normal winter weather. Nothing blooming in the yard now. Everything is black, brown, or laying on the ground. I peeked under the covering to see if the mustard greens survived and they look good but won’t know about the cabbages until Monday when I uncover everything.

Cat’s new favorite place…warming up her butt on the mac mini.

Time to go release the kittens.

Monday, January 15, 2024

been busy preparing for the hard freeze

I’ve been more or less MIA since Wednesday. I say more or less because I did upload my last post on Saturday. Last Wednesday was such a clown show in the House it just grabbed all my attention and Thursday I’m always out of pocket because of SHARE which was a food delivery day from the regional food bank, our new Elder while putting boxes on the storage rack wants to make sure we know…

Friday I spent the day working on my post which I had intended to post that day but, oh well. Which brings us to the weekend. Friday afternoon, Saturday, and Sunday I spent getting ready for the arctic blast that is sitting on us right now. I pulled the big potted plants that would withstand a light freeze into the garage and put the big tarp up and across everything. I harvested the rest of the cauliflower, broccoli, 

most of the mustard greens and lettuce, and the two ready cabbages and covered the rest of the cabbages and mustard greens (we’ll see if they survive). I covered the ponytail palm, the bougainvillea, bird of paradise, the begonia, and the yesterday today and tomorrow, pruned back and covered the porterweed and the yellow angel trumpet, brought smaller pots of flowers and plants in the house, filled the bird feeder. 

This silly thing was blooming yesterday.

And worried about Momcat and the kittens. I had brought 3 boxes home from SHARE and put three ragged towels in them and put them and a basin with kitty litter in the shed behind Pam’s house but didn’t intend to lock them in until today as it was only supposed to get down to near freezing Sunday night. As I headed over to feed them around 4 I checked the weather and now it was going to get down to 29˚ Sunday night so I moved their food and water dishes from under the porch to inside the shed and they all went in to eat and I shut the door. It was 25˚ when I got up this morning. Well, damn. I hadn’t plugged in the small radiator heater Pam has in the shed for her plants because I didn’t think they would need it last night. 

I went over to check on them after breakfast and after the icy drizzle had stopped, hauling the heavy duty extension cord over with me and plugged it into the outdoor outlet on the back of the house and when I opened the door of the shed they were huddled in the boxes and the water in their dish was frozen. I put out more food, cleaned the litter box, plugged in the radiator and arranged the boxes around it (but not too close) because it’s going to be even colder tonight and colder still tomorrow night, like 18˚. Momcat immediately wanted out. Sorry Momcat, not til Wednesday. I’ll go back and check on them this afternoon.

I had brought in the prunings from the yellow trumpet flower yesterday, one of which had an open bloom, and put them in water to root like I did last year and last night as I was sitting at my computer the flower released it’s wonderful lemony scent.

There was another thing that happened last week besides the clown show in the House. Marc’s mother died Tuesday night. She had been in hospice care at home with her youngest son providing care which he has done for the last ten years or so, moving in and putting his life on hold when their mom started to decline. Al was with her when she passed. She was 92. We were hoping that this year would easier than last but it has started out with another death in the family and next week Marc has cataract surgery. I don’t suppose at this point in our lives that any future year is going to be eventless. 

But here’s one small success, Cat finally succeeded in snuggling up to Minnie.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

season 2, episode 1 of the Republican House majority clown show

The House was back in session last week and if you thought they would get down to the important business at hand and address the funding bills to keep the government functioning since the current stopgap measures both expire this month, you would be wrong even though the Speaker earlier announced a deal made with the Senate (which he has since indicated he may not support after all because that’s what they do, make deals and then go back on their word). No, the important business at hand apparently was an Oversight committee meeting last Wednesday to determine if Hunter Biden should be charged with contempt of Congress for refusing to honor their subpoena (which was unlawfully issued before the formal impeachment inquiry into President Biden) to answer their questions about his business dealings and whether or not President Biden illegally benefitted from them in their quest to find something, anything, with which they can impeach President Biden. The fact is that the House republicans cannot find evidence because none exists. All they have is Joe loaned Hunter money on several occasions and Hunter paid it back and Hunter took a phone call from his father during a business meeting. 

After Committee Chair James Comer (R-KY) had previously said that witnesses could decide on a public or private hearing that evidently didn’t apply to Hunter as they have insisted on a closed door session. Hunter held a press conference that he would answer all their questions in a public hearing which republicans refuse to allow. What they want is to be able to misrepresent Hunter’s answers, twisting them to claim they have evidence like they have done with the closed door sessions of Hunter’s business associates. As Jasmine Crockett (D-TX) told republicans during the meeting Wednesday, “let me tell y'all why no one wants to talk to you behind closed doors because y’all lie”.

While the republicans' plan was to excoriate Hunter for refusing to honor their subpoena it all turned to chaos when Hunter and his attorney walked in to the public forum and sat down. Nancy Mace (R-SC) lost her shit calling him the epitome of white privilege asking him what he was afraid of for refusing a closed door session and telling him, in this congressional setting, that he had “no balls”, saying that he should be arrested right now and sent straight to jail. Then Jared Moskowitz (D-FL) proceeded to list the republicans who refused to comply with subpoenas from the J6 committee, asked that they be added to the contempt of Congress resolution to show that this hearing was not politically motivated which of course republicans refused to do. Then he went on to say that Hunter was here willing to answer questions right now so let’s take a vote, who wants to hear from Hunter, he asked, anyone, while the republicans sat there silent and stone faced.

When it was Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-GA) turn to talk, Hunter and his lawyers got up and walked out and all the press followed them leaving Marge fuming claiming that Hunter was a criminal and a coward. But Hunter Biden has no reason to show her one ounce of respect after she showed nude pictures of him and his junk in a previous public committee meeting, which btw, is illegal. It is illegal to acquire nude photos of someone without their consent and it is illegal to show said images publicly without that person’s consent, both of which Marge has done. Where are the legal repercussions of that? And then she proceeded to show more lewd photos of Hunter albeit with his junk blacked out. It’s not pornography she claimed. What on earth does naked pictures of Hunter Biden have to do with finding him in contempt of Congress?

Of course at the end the republicans in the House Oversight committee and the House Judiciary committee that was also holding a meeting on Wednesday voted to recommend a contempt of Congress resolution against Hunter Biden for his failure to comply with a subpoena even though he offered many times to answer all their questions in a public hearing. Next it goes to the full House for a vote.

You would think that now that the committees have recommend Hunter be held in contempt that they would then turn their attention to the serious business of funding the government but once again you would be wrong. Instead they are starting the process to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas for ‘dereliction of duty’ over the southern border, an absurd charge, even though republicans have consistently voted ‘no’ on every revision of immigration policy that would increase funding and personal for border patrol and increase detention centers and asylum immigration courts. They don’t actually want any improvement on the southern border because then they wouldn’t be able to use it as a failure of President Biden and his policies, they wouldn’t be able to stoke up their base, they wouldn’t be able to grandstand at the border.

Not satisfied with two bogus impeachment investigations, President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas, House republicans announced an investigation into Cassidy Hutchison, former aide to Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff, in retaliation for her testimony to the J6 committee and demanding that she turn over documents.

The current House Republicans are a disgrace and have made a mockery of the House of Representatives. They have held the least amount of votes and passed the least amount of bills in the history of the House. They rant about President Biden weaponizing the justice department to go after Trump and his allies when Biden has done nothing of the sort while they are using their majority in the House to retaliate against the democrats for impeaching Trump for very real crimes. As usual, every accusation from republicans is a confession. 

A few other tidbits brought to light this week…

Trump told a European Union official in January 2020 that the US would not come to the aid of Europe if it was attacked, that NATO was dead.

Marge is threatening Speaker Mike Johnson with a motion to ‘vacate the chair’ if he doesn’t comply with her demands.

While republicans are desperately trying to find evidence that President Biden illegally profited some amount of money via his son’s business, democrats released a report, with receipts, that Trump and his businesses personally profited nearly $8 million while president from the governments of China, Saudi Arabia, and others (not to mention all the money he siphoned off the National Treasury for his weekends at Mar A Lago and playing golf or Ivanka’s Chinese patents or Jared’s $2 billion from the Saudis). 

In an attempt to get the charges against Trump dropped for his actions and involvement in the J6 attempt to stop the peaceful transfer of power and stay in office even though he lost the election, his lawyer has claimed that Trump has absolute immunity for anything he did as president, that the only way a president can face charges for breaking laws after his term is over is if he is first impeached and convicted for the offense. One of the judges on the three judge panel asked the lawyer if he was saying that if a president ordered Seal Team 6 to murder his political opponents or detractors or if he sold our most sensitive national secrets to our enemies he would be immune from justice after he was out of office? Unless he was impeached and convicted for the crime by Congress first the lawyer responded. Let that sink in. 

Trump’s main advisor Roger Stone was caught on tape discussing assassinating two Democrat lawmakers with an NYPD officer weeks before the 2020 election.

Y’all know what to do. Trump cannot be reelected. Vote blue up and down.