Diversions while we wait for the days to get Long Enough

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

This is another one peeking out.

Thumbnail by dahlianut
Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Here is a natural nest one decided to build close to the habitat. No one lives there now.

Thumbnail by dahlianut
Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Those are the best ones I got. I'm hoping to be able to use my new camera the next time we visit!

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Wow, Dahlia, neat pictures! I wonder who's going to move in to the empty house. Isn't it nice that they don't have to sign a bunch of papers?

When my mother was a kid, she said her mom told her one day, "Well, the house is paid off". It had taken about 5 years. They were just blue-collar folks in N. California.

Hmmm, no politics in Costa Rica... DH is going to be pulling out all my Spanish books when I tell him that, Sofer.

Santa Fe, NM

Burrowing Owls! Dahlia, how great that you got to see them and got any pictures at all. They like you! How nice to get that visit in on your trip. Picante, you and I are in the same party. The uncommon sense party. You belong in my country, Picante, where I am the Queen! But, you may have any title you like, too. I have friends who are currently wintering in Costa Rica; camping in a tent and mostly incommunicado. The female half of the couple is French and her husband is American. Traveller types who, over the years, have often lived in Santa Fe. The male person is a teacher and wanted to improve his Spanish. It will be interesting to hear their take on things when they get back.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Great burrowing owl shots dahlia! Those are one of my favorite creatures and a natural control on prairie dogs. Unfortunately, both are endangered species.

Picante, your DH will like Costa Rica even better when he learns they have no income taxes. Many Americans have moved there for that reason -- including one tax attorney that I knew. Also it is a beautiful and civilized place.
Picante, I am pretty much on your side politically which may keep me from getting elected to the council, but what often counts more in this town is do you know a lot of people here and do you go around and knock on a lot of doors. Issues in the council are very local -- parks, soccer fields, replacing county buildings operating in WWII quansit huts with actual modern buildings, and should the local radio station be allowed to place its antenna on public land? It will probably help my campaign that I truly detest gophers. That is one item the entire county electorate would agree on. Maybe I should suggest that we build a burrowing owl habitat -- that is if burrowing owls are willing to live in the mountains and eat gophers.
Sof, glad you still like me in spite of my union activity. It was one of the most interesting activities I have ever been engaged in, but it was kind of like drinking from a fire hose, the input was so great. There are those who told my husband that he shouldn't be allowing me to do it. He quoted Mr. Micawber from David Copperfield perhaps not exactly, "If the law things I can control my wife, then the law is an a**." Actually he supported me completely in my activity and union organizing is protected by law. As a result I was able to say and do things that others feared. It was rewarding to be a steward and protect admins ( formerly known as secretaries) from their abusive bosses and to act as an unpaid lawyer for people unjustly fired or reprimanded. It was great for learning chutzpah for myself. But union organizing is very difficult in today's society. Employees, are justly afraid to join unions due to management retaliation.

Well, we will see how this all turns out. All my friends support me in doing this, but do I have enough friends to get elected? Only one way to find out. Given my, for Los Alamos, radical, history, I might not be elected. But then, one of the big problems on the council is, forgive me, stupidity. I think I began to consider running when I discovered that the county was planting trees in about 20 percent of the onstreet parking near my favorite restaurant in a misguided downtown beautification project. I asked the owner of the restaurant what he thought of it, and he thought it was stupid and bad for his business. Of course they did this all up and down the main street at great public expense. Now, there is no greater tree lover than me. I have way too many on my property, but eliminating downtown parking in favor of little tree planters is beyond nuts. We have lots of public land that can use more trees -- why in the parking places?

Well, this is the nature of local beefs. They are neither red nor blue. One might see me as being a red candidate on the subject of downtown beautification if you only consider the tree issue. More issues like this are coming up. For instance the same "downtown beautification" folk want to do the same thing to our main traffic artery downtown. They don't think cars are a good thing and I agree. But shouldn't we quit tearing up the streets while most of us still drive cars? Perhaps, free community bicycles are a better plan. We have built lots of trails and bike lanes.

And yes nuts abound here. They always like to take up council time.

I don't have to decide until March, planting time. I can see the conflict now between planting and governing. Hmmm. That's a tough one.


This message was edited Jan 6, 2010 10:19 AM

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

I have several titles, roybird:
The Knave of Hearts
Fire Monkey
Pack Leader
Smartest Sister in the World
Nounours (well, I haven't been called that since I broke up with that French Canadian guy)

Oops, cross-posted with Paj.

This message was edited Jan 6, 2010 10:21 AM

Santa Fe, NM

You may use All or Any of them in my country! Altho, I am partial to Fire Monkey. Paja, it sounds like you are getting ready to run! I would vote for you if I lived in Los Alamos.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Quoting:
(I think it's time to start revoking corporate charters, for example. Higher education for everyone who can pass an entrance exam. Break the fascist Big Pharma grip on medicine. Outlaw advertising.)


The founding fathers thought many of the same things. If fact, corporate charters used to expire and the corporation was disolved by default. A corporation had to re-apply and start anew. They used to have the requirement that they do the public good. Now they have to make money. We've transitioned from having the people as our highest value to having money as the highest, which is essentially facist. Human nature has repeatedly fallen into this warped and destructive value system over the centuries.

I too would like a country that was above all this.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Time for some serious corporate reform in my books, too. Our country is being raped by corporations and I am fed up as are huge numbers of Americans. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be in a position to do much about it on the Los Alamos County Council. I have now located at least 5 people who would vote for me -- all members of my Wednesday lunch bunch. LOL!
I haven't made any decision on the subject. I have decided to let the whole idea ferment in my subconscious then surprise me with an answer some time when I am least expecting it. That's Betty's Tried and True Decision Making Process.

Instead I am working on getting my MIL's house on the market which means getting most of the stuff out of it. I hit pay dirt today. The owner of the main consignment store in Santa Fe offered to come and take away almost all of it and put it in his store. Removal fee of $300 will be covered out of proceeds of sale. There are some things he won't take -- no beds. Some collectibles. All the antiques except the Victorian fainting couch and the Rosewood square piano. But I think our lawyer may want the fainting couch and the consignment guy says he thinks he can place the piano for us.

Now my job is to look into all the boxes in the garage, spare bedroom and basement and see if they are papers or something to be sold in the Estate Sale. So far I have unpacked a large photograph of a Victorian gentleman in a really moldering frame, and a large framed family tree sort of thing from the 1980s or so. It is in a decent frame but is really ugly, itself. And a large, about 1880, wall clock in terrible condition. More books -- to go with the thousands not in boxes and hundreds of little tiny figurines of cats and dogs. This is going to be entertaining if nothing else.

Tomorrow, I will take a dozen fancy outfits to a consignment store in Santa Fe and will drop off 6 walkers, a pair of crutches and a garbage sack of clothes at good will.

I am already starting to get rid of stuff from my house because I don't want anyone to have to go through my stuff to this degree when my time comes.

The giant snow storm seems to have skipped us, but we get the cold anyhow. Supposed to get down to 5 tonight.

Santa Fe, NM

What is the main consignment store in Santa Fe? I'm curious.

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

What ever you do, take the back off the victorian Gentleman to see if there aren't bearer bonds behind it.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Well, as far as I know, the main consignment store in Santa Fe is Stephen's on Cerrillos Rd. -- for furniture, dishes and silver, that is. The main consignment store for clothing is Double Take. But mind you I am new in this market. I decided who was main by who was willing to take in new inventory. One consignment store -- that new one in the red building -- told me they wouldn't be taking any new consignments for a while. And for clothing Act II told me they would look at 4 items on 3 days a week. Double Take on Guadalupe will take up to 12 items each visit but visits must be 2 weeks apart.
Wierd. Here I am driving all the way from Los Alamos and they only want 12 items! I have the wardrobe of a very fancy lady for 50 years to sell. Anyhow, Stephens is very easy to deal with. The clothing people -- not so sure. I have an appointment tomorrow with the Double Take lady. Who knows if I will ever go back.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Hey Dahlianut, wowie wowie so awesome! those pics of the owls, fabulous to see, thank you!

as for these changes we all seem to like the idea of like revoking corporate personhood and cutting big Pharma off at the knees, you know? I kinda think our time is coming round one of these days...... not sure where that bit of optimism comes from but it is there, some things just make enough sense that maybe eventually they win out when the bull***t crumbles?

well of course time will tell, may we live to see such events.....

Paja good luck with the selling, hope you find an easy and lucrative venue.

I am currently experiencing a kind of enslavement. I am being controlled by the presence of a box of Godiva chocolates. It seems to want me to keep eating the contents. I can't seem to make some other decision. Do you think this is a problem?

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

No. Godiva knows what it is talking about.

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

Of course it is a problem, Kyla! Send them to me immediately and I will solve your problem for you!

Except I am not eating chocolate right now myself, so that is a fake offer. You would not take me up on it anyway, ha!

Tonasket, WA(Zone 5a)

dahlianut, thanks for the pictures from lonedivers place and the owls. The only owls that i know of near here the large Horned Owls. Haven't heard or seen them yet this winter.

paj, I live out in the country from a very small place, no consignment of that type of stores. I hve been a collector all my long life, so my family will have a problem when I am gone. I still enjoy being surrounded by my many things, except maybe my fairly large stamp and first day covers. I would like to sell them. My DIL said she would help me but we don't live close to each other.

Donna

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

I like the owl habitat too. There used to be some burrowing owls near where I grew up and we would go watch them in the evening.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Listen to the chocolates.

As for the reining in the corporations, we have a lot of work ahead of us, because the corporations have become so powerful. On that subject, I often listen to Thom Hartmann on Air America. It is of the utmost importance that we discuss our views on this subject with our congressional representatives. I just sent off a couple of missives on the subject to mine. Most important is to keep talking about this with everyone!

If you can't get Tom Hartmann locally, you can listen to him on his website or even subscribe to his broadcasts so you can listen to them any time you want. You can listen for free during the actual broadcast time.

Carson City, NV(Zone 6b)

I shared the burrowing owl habitat with the other biologists in my office and they are all jealous that lonediver has enough land and tools to build his bird habitats. I have seen a few burrowing owls in fairly high elevation valleys around here (up to about 5000 ft). They often burrow in piles of sand and dirt left by the highway department.

My parents are junk collectors extraordinaire and I'm not looking forward to cleaning out their house some day. They don't have anything nearly as nice as fainting couches and pianos.

We are still dealing with a very sick cat, in the ICU for four days now.

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Wishing your cat quick healing, Katlian.

Santa Fe, NM

I'm sorry about your cat, Katlian. What a worry. You need some chocolate. Paja, as to the consignment, I thought Stephen's, but wasn't sure. The consignment clothing biz is one I do know something about having worked at Encore, way back when. And co-managed a charity consignment and thrift shop. I know Suzanne, who owns Doubletake and others. Have not been involved with consignment for last 8 years or so. Although, I am an occasional shopper. People are often insulted and annoyed about what various shops will or will not take. Each one has different criteria but I will say they do know what sells for them or they would not be in business. I think Doubletake has gotten more and more oriented to younger women. Perhaps it is because I have gotten older! Even very beautiful clothing, if it is not in the current style, is not easy to sell in a consignment store. You might do better to put an ad in the paper. I would say that it will probably be more of a hassle to keep track of and not much money if you go with consignment. Many people prefer to donate to a charity thrift store and get the tax deduction, if the amount is large enough. And you decide the worth, the $ amount of the donation, not someone else. Just a thought.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Ebay or Craig's list are also options for selling things.

Sorry about your cat Katlian. Hope it is better soon.

Carson City, NV(Zone 6b)

Thanks everyone, we're thinking healing thoughts for him. He's pretty stable this morning and they're going to try to get some food into him today. We're hoping that helps him heal faster. We're trying to spend as much time with him as we can but I don't have much vacation time saved up right now so I usually just go visit at lunch and after work. They are very busy in the mornings so that's not a good time for visitors.

I really like craigslist.org for buying and selling stuff locally. We recently bought a car through it and sold some older electronics. For specialized stuff that has a smaller market we usually use ebay. Freecycle is also nice if you don't feel like hauling larger items to a thrift shop. Around here there are plenty of people who are willing to come and get unwanted furniture, clothes, etc.

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

Sorry your kitty is ill, Katlian. Hope he gets better quickly.

We have the Nearly New here in town, run by the women's club. It is a mainstay for many of the low income families around here as the women's club purposely keeps the prices extremely low. Then they plow the proceeds back into community projects. I donate most of the worthwhile stuff I am getting rid of to them. Unless I sell it on ebay, but I only sell more valuable items on ebay because all the fiddling around with answering email questions etc. is not worth it to me for inexpensive items.

I do know one woman who makes most of her winter income buying stuff at the Nearly New and reselling it on ebay. But she works at it constantly and lives across the street from the Nearly New so she is in there all the time.

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Meow, get well soon.

I'm a used clothing shopper. I see lots of weird things in the retail stores, like fabrics that are too thin to be decent, unfinished garments with no hem or facing, tops that dive below the bustline, ... What gives? Am I just so far out of style that this stuff looks alien?

I need elegant things for dancing. I seem to have very little trouble finding things on Ebay and at the Goodwill. And failing that... Victoria's Secret actually does have dresses and tops that cover well, no chintzy fabrics, they have stuff on sale all the time, and it always fits. (Or if you want the tops that don't cover well, they have those, too.)

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Katlian, sending healing wishes toward your cat, I guess I missed what happened to him.... no need to repeat tho, just wishing it gets better soon, poor kitty..... he has certainly contributed lots of nice stuff to our little forum here, tell him his posts are missed.

;-)

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Katlian, I too wish all the best for your kitty. I also admit not remembering what was wrong with him. I wouldn't mind if you just summarized briefly. Not that I need to know. Just so I can send the right kind of warm thoughts to Tom, wasn't it?

Thanks for all the advice, everybody, on disposing of stuff. Yesterday I invited my friends to come over and take all the books they want free. They each took an armload and one took two cashmere sweaters. The other purchased a vacuum cleaner and agreed to purchase 2 rockers (out of approximately 8 in the house) and a wing chair. I dropped off 13 items at the Doubletake, but I agree, Penny, it is hardly worth it. I also dropped of 5 walkers at Goodwill. I will be sending lots more to good will and am preparing to sell for the first time on ebay -- I have bought a lot but never sold anything. And I guess I will try Craig's list as well.
The lady who stages houses wants $38 per hour and is willing to conduct a garage sale for us. Well, that seems awfully steep to me so I am rethinking that whole thing. I do think staging the house is a good idea, but I am not sure about paying anyone to conduct a garage sale for me.
Haven't tried freecycle but no doubt will. I have heard of it.
I also took a truckload -- well, almost, of old dead electronics to the electronic recycling part of the dump. I don't anyone in either household had ever disposed of a dead computer, monitor or computer speaker set or printer before. Sheez! We are bad!

Carson City, NV(Zone 6b)

Xavier (AKA rough-tough-tiger or punkin,) garden fertilization supervisor and shower lifeguard, suddenly became very ill on Sunday afternoon. We rushed him to the vet where they first suspected a recurrence of his previous infected cat bite. Later we got a call that he was much worse and in septic shock. After recovering somewhat from that his labs showed that his kidneys were doing poorly and he was anemic. Then the liver numbers started to go south. He's had two transfusions now and is still slowly losing red blood cells and quickly losing calcium. Kidneys and liver have recovered to sub-optimal but not bad level of function. So far no heart or lung problems, just short of breath because his blood isn't carrying enough oxygen. Two things he really needs are oxygen and food. The vet offered to try an artificial hemoglobin that will help him for 24 hours but mask any recovery of his own blood cells during that time. It's expensive but I think we're going to try it. It's hard to give up on him when all of his other organs are recovering.

The vet is baffled by this case and his current working hypothesis is some type of venom causing the red blood cells to rupture and disrupting the calcium channels in his cells. But there is no test for the venom so he just has to treat the symptoms.

Santa Fe, NM

It sounds awful. Perhaps he was bitten by a spider or a snake.

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Poor baby. What a lot for all three of you to have to suffer through. My thoughts are with you.

Both my dogs are having a vomiting attack right now. Close inspection of the vomited material reveals the problem -- they finally subdued and jointly consumed the black plastic plant tray they have been playing with for days. Also my empty green compost container which I left outside to be purified by the sun's rays -- such as they are these days.

Dogs are active considering. Kelsey wanted dinner,. Raja didn't. Raja never eats when the weather is bad -- except for plastic plant trays and compost containers. I think no permanent damage was done, but in the morning I must remove all plastic containers from the back yard -- including empty flower pots. So far they haven't gone after large flower pots filled with dirt, but who knows what the morrow will bring.

Really, Katlian. I am so sorry about your kitty. I remember when we had Kelsey at the vet from consuming Xylitol. It felt awful both to us and to her. My heart goes out to all three of you.

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Xavier, meow, meeeow, meow, meow! (Which translates as "Get better right now!").

Love, Luna & Rat Cat

Carson City, NV(Zone 6b)

Well, his anemia was getting worse so the vet offered to try an artificial hemoglobin that would buy him 24 hours to start making his own red blood cells again. It work really well and he perked up quite a bit until his heart stopped. We knew there was a risk but we had to try everything we could.

We buried him under a little pile of dirt where he like to sit and watch the birds. I'll plant some catnip for him in the spring.

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

Oh, I am so sorry, Katlian.

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Sorry Katlian sounds like your Vet worked hard and you provided everything you could to help Xavier. You are a good friend to a good friend.

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Oh, I am so sorry, Katlian. You and your Vet did everything possible, and I know you gave him a good life. Hugs from me and all my fur-kids.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

O what sad news to return to :( Katlian I am sure Xavier is at peace now and is sending you purrs for looking after him so well. The COC has passed out on my left foot after keeping me up all night celebrating the 'joyous return of the peoples' which involves jumping on my head until I pet him and waiting til I fall asleep and jumping on my head again. The 'joyous return of the peoples' will last until he remembers that he is supposed to be in a snit about the 'leaving of the peoples'.
WOWSER it's snowfull here.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Kaitlan lonediver has also built a couple of quail habitats. He has recently discovered a desert fox on his land and is currently working on a fox habitat too. He thinks we should buy the 4 acres next door to him and join him in his endeavours. That would be SO exciting but DH is not so excited about the idea as we would have to truck our water ourselves (as well as build a house). I really respect lonediver because in addition to the habitats he builds, he also humanely traps wild dogs and cats that come on his land in conjunction with Fish & Wildlife (who provide the traps), rather than killing them.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

I'm sorry you lost Xavier too, Katlian. That's a hard way to go. It reads to me like he got hold of something toxic too. Seems different from what I know of spider and snake bites though.

Glad you're home Dahlianut. I've experienced similar although, thankfully, I don't have any headclimbers. Hopefully you and DH found a place you like down here in the SouthWest US.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

O sigh I liked so many areas that our 'narrowing down' was tres difficile for me Dave-who-is-Dave. In order of preference which DH also liked SO FAR:
First Place: A piece of a mountain in Rio Rico
2nd Place: A ranchette in Oro Valley just north of Tucson with neighbourly horses
3rd Place: Tippy Top of a Hill in Lake Havasu
4th Place: A potential garden that came with a cute little Sante Fe style house in Queen Creek.

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