So, there's been no real reason why I've been away from here. There were a bazillion times when I thought about posting but then either higher priorities took precedent or I just thought, "Meh," and shrugged my shoulders and went on to other things.
But, it's a BEAUTIFUL sunny day out there today. After old snow covered by forest scrap and pine needles following a massive wind storm and most of us feeling very ready for melting and springtime, Ma Nature brought us a good dumping of heavy, WET snow last weekend. Then, the temperatures dropped and the snow was here to stay, making everything clean and bright . . . which I love. It's 29 degrees out now, but the sun will soon start the icicles dripping off the south slope of the roof.
Work was pretty boring and slow during February. Lots of cleaning for me. Which needed to be done but is also fairly monotonous. Now, though, the spring stock has started coming in, and we're bizz-ee! A good thing! We had three semi deliveries yesterday. Where to put it all?! And, the spring-break skiing tourists have started coming in, so there've been shades of summer: dealing with the little rushes they bring us as well as the misplaced items they stick wherever they were when they decided they didn't want it . . . and their garbage. Yes, tourists seem to find it necessary to empty their pockets in whatever aisle they happen to be currently standing. But, they still have the chagrin to try to hide the dirty kleenexes and candy wrappers . . . and chewed wads of gum . . . or cigarette butts . . . or the packages of their "electronic" cigarettes. As the Doors said, people are strange. And stupid. And inconsiderate. But, after mutterings and sighs (or a few swear words, depending), we clean up after them, knowing it's "job security".
All the four-leggeds are good, but Tucker's in desperate need of a trip to the groomer's. I connected with J this week, asking her to put us on the schedule . . . but she's usually a couple of months out because, as is the custom (necessity!) in this county, she works a 40-hour a week job in addition to her what-I-really-want-to-be-doing job. I am just a little worried about Bonzi, though, and am keeping a close eye on her: she took a bad fall off the sleeping loft the other night - onto the hard floor 9' below. She's the fat cat, and she landed HARD. I know that cats can fall from 3-story windows and be okay, but I'm still concerned. She seemed to be holding a hind leg a little funny right afterwards, but my poking and prodding and massaging didn't seem to bring on any pain. She's had a watery eye for a couple of weeks, too. It's an on-and-off thing but another "ailment" that I'm watching.
As far as the feathered flock goes, I'm not happy with their environs. It's too small. The little roosting coop is 4'x4' and the "solarium" is 4'x8', but they won't roost in the coop, and so the outside enclosure is getting ALL the poop. As soon as the ground is thawed enough to start pounding stakes, I'm going to start building an outside run for them. I already have it designed in my head. But, unfortunately until then, there's not much that can be done. :(
Another task awaiting the warmer spring weather is building the compost piles for the critter waste. Now, the cat litter is just piling up in bags. Even though it's enclosed and frozen in a garbage can, I still cringe each time I empty their litter box and have to "store" the waste. Knowing there are bags of frozen poop awaiting attention is just . . . gross. Same goes for the bottom of the chicken enclosure: if I had a compost pile for them (again, enclosed by sides so Tucker can't get to it) and IF (big if!) I could coax them all into the coop for the time required, I could pull some of their litter out and replace it with clean straw or shavings. At least I know that everyone/thing will be healthier come building weather, and then we'll be set for NEXT winter! That gives me a little comfort.
I'm not sure why, but I am more cognizant of my two days off being non-consecutive HERE rather than when I was at SRR . . . which is ironic since I gain two hours a day by the lack of driving to and fro. It's a double-edged sword: I don't seem to have the time (or is it the energy?) to tackle big jobs here, knowing that I'll have to be back to work tomorrow. But then, being at a fairly mind-numbing / people-draining / on-my-feet-ALL-day-long job for 5 straight days in a row would be exhausting. So, I'm still grateful that the most days I work in a row is only three.
And, back to stresses at work (which, I have to admit, DO affect me 5 days of every 7!), there's been a slight shift in ownership over this past year, and some of the changes (or threats/promises of change) are weighing heavily on all our shoulders. And that causes snippy moods and just general tension. AND, we're losing our acting manager, too, at the end of the summer. She has worked there for (get ready for it) SIX DAYS A WEEK for the past TWENTY YEARS!!!! Since her husband "retired" a couple of years ago, he's worked with us, too, for three days each week . . . and provided INVALUABLE assistance to us all! Anyway, she hits 62 in a couple of months and so they've both given their notice to retire after Labor Day Weekend. His position WON'T be replaced (which is NOT a good thing), while her position will be filled . . . but only in the capacity of someone taking over her area of the store. NOT in the context of taking on ALL the extra, invaluable things she's done these past many years. Therefore, we're all stressed at the impending loss of these two WONDERFUL people. :(
Here at The Fork (in the Road) and besides dreaming about the things I want to get done once winter eventually departs, I've basically been spending my days off working on the inside of the cabin. Namely, on shelving. When I've complained to people about not having any space inside due to all the STUFF that got shoved in with the move, they don't understand why I just don't put it away! Well, you can't put things "away" if there's nowhere to PUT them! There aren't any closets in here. There weren't any shelves or storage units (other than the single kitchen cupboard and single cabinet). Though it would be more convenient to store my foodstuffs in the upper, wall-mounted cupboard, it makes more sense to store them in the cabinet on the floor, where it's cool/cold. So, that's what I've done. The upper unit is given over to pots and pans and kitchen necessities.
|I had to take the door of the bottom cabinet off and switch it around: it opened against the wall which was NOT handy! Thought I took some pictures of that process, but I guess I didn't.|
|Shelf going up over door. Half finished.|
|Shelf above door: finished!|
|Shelf above kitchen window half-finished.|
|Poor quality, but a deer walking outside the kitchen window as I put up the shelves!|
|Kitchen window shelf finished . . . but I'm going to remove and replace some of the upper-bracket screws today: they were of poor quality (for the job) and stick out a bit. Because of that, this shelf still sits empty.|
Okay, with (all) that, I'll sign off and get on with the rest of the day. Thanks for hangin' in with me!
P.S. I've been getting SO much spam (commenting) since I removed it that I've reinstated the word verification for comments. For those of you who find commenting difficult with the word verification, I apologize . . . but I gotta do it.