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About a month ago I noticed that I had a dead pine tree in the back yard, one of the two trees holding up younger niece's hammock, in fact. As said tree is at the fenceline, at a corner of my garden shed, and at the corner of the neighbors' house (not my brother's family but the other neighbors), it needs to come down.

More, with satellite view of the lot )

The cats, of course, find this all very distressing. People walking by the windows, strange noises including the occasional loud thump--all this on Friday, when I'm supposed to be available to provide a cat-lap and other services as required. It's Not Right.
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Got home around 6:30, fed the cats, opened the mail, then started heating leftovers for dinner. Decided on hot tea to drink, reached for the instant hot water, and got most of a cup before the flow slowed...and stopped. Tried the faucet. No water.

DeKalb County informs me that a crew just started working on a water main break in the prediction on how long it will take to repair.
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Somewhere in the confusion of the last month I decided to pay off my mortgage. It's been within reach of my available cash for a while, but I was content to let inertia hold and keep on taking the tax deduction on the interest. Then came the annual letter about the rate adjustment (down, of course), and how they were adjusting the payment down as well. Previous times this happened I was able to go online, find the well-hidden links to the automatic debit system, and adjust the amount of extra payment on the principal to keep the overall payment level.

But this time... )
Oh, yay me! The house is all mine! And the cats', of course.
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Nothing like coming home after a 7-hour drive and finding a gas leak...

It's all fixed now, but here's the tale of woe... )
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There are too many places in this house for "miscellaneous junk". Places that need to be searched when I need to find a smallish item that is not where I expect it to be, or that doesn't have a place where I expect it to be. Top drawers in two desks, compartments in one of those desks, top drawers of dresser, bathroom drawers, jewelry boxes (which also accumulate buttons, pins, keys, etc.), a box or two in the garage cabinets, and many spots in the 'new' (from the 2006 renovation) cabinets of the utility room and the Cat Room.

I searched all of these, the most likely of them two or more times, looking for my old Hastings triplet hand lens, largely unused since I emerged from college with my geology degree, got a job as a hydrologist, and quit looking at rocks for the most part. I thought I'd seen it recently, defined as 'period of time that seems like a couple of months, but the older I get could really have been a couple of years'. It eventually turned up not in any of the junk drawers, but in a box of 'misc. stuff' that needs a new home after a clean-out of the primary desk's top drawer. Not with it, however, was the smaller, higher-powered triplet that used to be on the same lanyard...that may have disappeared forever.
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Let's see...Saturday was the Decatur Book Festival. Sunday was catch-up-in-the-house day. But then, today was too. There's always a backlog in the house.

weekend puttering )

Pretty quiet Labor Day...
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Real, non-family sorts of people, too!

I volunteered to hold a neighborhood association meeting at my house, after cramming into someone else's small living room full of furniture and people at the last one. I have the Weird Room (see the floorplan if you're curious) with a broad expanse of floor across which I can spread the dining chairs, 2 sets of card-table chairs, and the 3 breakfast bar chairs. (All I have in the Weird Room is my dining table, piano, and a small desk.) The piano bench could also seat 2, and if more than that show, we can spill into the living room which has several movable chairs. But I really don't think it will come to that--I'm guessing there were 15 at the last meeting. The neighborhood is only 121 houses total, and the agenda doesn't look too exciting.

So, lots of straightening has been done, several long-delayed tasks completed, and a good bit of "throw it in a pile out of sight" will happen tomorrow just before the meeting (which starts at 7). Cats will be confined to my bedroom for the duration. Must fetch extra card-table chairs from next door when I get home from work, spread some snack food and brownies out for munchies, and then see who shows up.

This is good practice for me, the hermit, and got some needed cleaning done in prep for October when I have agreed to host the Atlanta monthly housefilk. That will be more interesting than the neighborhood meeting in terms of 'who shows up', as I think I've made it to two or three housefilks ever, despite being a regular at GaFilk. Probably will be fewer people than the neighborhood meeting, anyway.

Gas leak

Feb. 19th, 2007 09:05 pm
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Got a call from my sister-in-law while I was out running errands (Linens-N-Things, Home Depot, Target, PetsMart, Publix--she called during the Target stop...), but I missed the call. That was unfortunate, because she had been home when the gas meter reader was at my house and found a leak. He refused to fix it without the homeowner being present or at least being notified, and when she couldn't get me he left a note and departed. He did leave the gas on, as it was a small leak.

Notes on the idiocy of gas deregulation, and the fixing of the leak )

Now I will sheepishly admit that I've gotten a whiff of gas smell at the meter for a while, but erratically. I had called in a leak once before which uncovered a leak at a patch in the line to the gas grill--but right after that I smelled gas at the meter where the technician failed to find a problem. So I didn't worry much about it, and kept thinking I'd call AGL when I got around to it. Guess I got around to it. I promise that the next time I smell gas, I'll deal with it promptly. I really don't want the house to explode. Really!
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Where did the weekend go? Or more like it, why didn't I get much of the to-do list done during it? I did manage major flea-attacks, getting all the various throws, bedding, curtains, etc., washed, and appling a flea-powder/carpet cleaner to all carpets and upholstery, and vacuuming it all up. This now exhausts my house-cleaning quota for the decade: only problem is, I'll need to repeat the flea attack at least once.

Did a little in the garden as well, forced by the delivery of the pinestraw I ordered through a fund-raiser for the area high school. This might not have been the absolute cheapest way to buy pinestraw, but having 15 bales deposited in my yard without having to haul them in my car (and clean out the resulting debris) was worth it. I got 10 bales spread around various thin spots in the mulch this morning. The remaining 5 bales will wait for mulching the hosta and the impatiens beds--but those will be a while before they completely die back for the winter.

I spent yesterday afternoon at the Georgia Tech football game (vs. Clemson)--a battle for the middle of the ACC, which Tech won 10-9. Not a scintillating outing by either team. I underdressed for the game, and shivered through the last 3 quarters--it wasn't really that chilly, but I didn't bring the right jacket. Should have gone in search of a souvenir stand and bought another layer at the game.

The vet called Saturday with the results of Agatha's blood work, which all seemed normal. I missed the call, but she left a message with the details. We'll proceed with the surgery for the lump on Wednesday.

I tried to find a copy of Sword of Orion, but the local Borders and B&N either say it's on the way or it's "order only". May have to resort to Amazon on that one.

What else? Oh, pumpkins! I carved my jack-o-lantern--it's another cat-themed one from a commercial pattern book. I helped with the nieces' and nephew's, as well--they ended up with a Wile E. Coyote outline implying that said coyote had just crashed into the pumpkin. I nixed the nephew's choices for various designs rated "challenging" to carve, as I wasn't up to a challenge... Pictures will follow later.

I haven't paid the bills, finished reading the paper, straightened the desk, done any of the work I brought home (though I did answer some emails on Friday), gotten to the library to pick up the books they are holding for me, or placed the order for some clothes I need from LL Bean. At least a couple of these have got to happen before bedtime!


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