Pictures of Ugly Stuff and of Other Stuff

The morning sun revealed a world of icing sugared trees.

And empty bird feeders and impatient woodpeckers.

And at long last, blue skies.

But those were gone by about noon. There is still much to do inside, though. Guess what I want to do now?

Obviously not an ideal stopping point, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to wipe all those cupboards down just to have to wash them again after scraping the open dining area right behind them. But they do need to get washed. So.

Besides, after discovering how badly the huge kitchen light fixture was installed, I’m keen to get this down. We never did trust it and never have used it and are very glad we trusted our instincts.

I don’t know how far along I’ll get today, but the curtain has fallen, literally and figuratively, on the other half of the room.


This one’s for you, Debbie Boone.

I did indeed need supplies, so off into town we went. Stopped by the Farmer’s Market because everybody knows sexy people support local producers, right? Met Gus.

The balloon was free, the duckie cost two bucks, but anybody who’s met her knows she’s not walking by three full shelves of duckies without doing something cute enough to get one sent home with her.

This is the one she picked.

We invest in so little media we don’t even receive any sports coverage.

Ask me why I wasn’t surprised.

Her grandpa used to come and get me no matter where I was or what I was doing when Bugs Bunny came on. He’d be proud.

It was a good weekend for movies, too. Not a drop of sunshine outside.

Which kinda made everybody stay in, which was great, because I had a big job I didn’t want to leave half finished for a minute longer than it would take to finish, and yay! Free child care!

Oh it was gross. I grew up doing move-out cleaning and light reno in extremely low value properties. I know the answer to “why on earth would they” is always “you’ll see”.

The “you’ll see” under the so-badly-done-you-wonder-why-they-bothered textured ceiling was a variety of stains, scars and holes that were entirely anticipated and could have been much worse. But it did kill any hope of a one day job.

Fun discovery: not a single screw holding up the extremely heavy light fixture framing was screwed into anything but drywall.

But it got done. 

And it is every bit as un-pinterest worthy as the last humble improvement, and just as magnificent in my eyes.  Fortunately my spatial relations expert is also experienced in electrical work, because I got a little shock installing a ceiling light once and now I’m flinchy about it. It’s not good to work overhead with glass and short arms when you’re flinchy.

It is clean and it is bright and that is why it is beautiful to me. That is all I need to be happy.

Well okay, a kitten-warmed bed is pretty nice too.


Ugly Picture Day

It’s as grey as a day gets and the cows are acting skittish out there so we’re keeping it close to home today, clearing away all the organizational dominoes that fell when new life invited itself into mine with no prior discussion on the matter.

I believe I’ve cleared away enough of them to be able to tackle this perfectly horrible piece of real estate currently hanging over the food prep area:

It’s a hell of a daunting task for a short chick with infomercial arms but the passion with which I hate popcorn ceilings – especially in kitchens – simply burns too hot. I’m going to do an inventory of supplies, see if I need do a run over the weekend. It’s quite possible I’ve already got everything I need right here. Maybe even a light fixture that’ll work.

Meanwhile, a little piece of leftover peace from yesterday morning.



Yee Haw and so on and so forth.

It was another literally crystal clear morning.

Brisk, but worth stepping outside to watch the millions of little mirrors bounce the morning light around.

Gorgeous day for a road trip into town.

Took us a bit to get on our way. Rubber duckies can only be fed very small bites.

But we didn’t delay. There were cowboys that needed flirting with.

Bulls that needed staring down.

And evidently asses that needed to be glittered.

Correction: that is a horse

You can always count on the farm and ranch show for interesting asses.

Regrettably for her Luka came with a warning to keep him away from goats and pigs. They really did strike up a little love connection.

It was educational, too. She got to understand her friends on a deeper level.

And then home to complete our masterpiece.

Pinterest can go to hell. We built it to hold our three recycling bins. It holds our three bins AND the mop pail that has been tripping everybody all the time everywhere we’ve tried to put it.


And if I cry a little when we get the boot tray set up underneath it I will not be ashamed.

It’s safe to come out now.

Hey so good to see you guys. Somebody stopped by this morning to ask if he could kill you.

I said no, and I let him know in no uncertain terms that I sincerely appreciated his coming to the house to ask if he could hunt on the property.  Under the right circumstances I’d let an ethical hunter fill his freezer, but the circumstances for hunting on our property are not right in any way, shape or form at the moment.

And yeah, I admit I’d rather not lose one of these three under any circumstances. We look forward to seeing them, and they make us all so happy. They really are starting to feel like family.

Speaking of family, our roundest member has been down for the count with a twisted ankle. I was able to give him something that I think helped with inflammation and it’s much improved now. Also treats helped. Treats always help.

The biggest item on today’s to-do list might not look like much, but it should make a big improvement around here.

I finally figured out what to do with this cold, dead space by the de-commissioned door in our boot room earlier this year. I am fortunate that the elder of my co-habitants has a talent for spatial relationships. I am capable of basic carpentry, but my talents for spatial relationships are such that I have to accept going in that what I wind up with will not be exactly what I envisioned, and simple as this is I was pretty particular about what I wanted. This is exactly what I wanted, and I’m psyched.

It was built in the spring, flipped on it’s top with a drop cloth underneath it and a cat we were fostering immediately decided that was the perfect place to raise her kittens. By the time they were weaned it was growing season, and this is the first chance I’ve had since to get back to it. There is cat hair painted into it, and the markers my daughter played with during the summer’s tornado scare have left their indelible imprint. 

Nothing wrong with ingraining a little family history into the wood.

I’ll let it dry well before putting it into service, but it feels good when something that’s been half finished for so long gets completed.

Took surprisingly long, considering how much dedicated assistance I had.

Update: no smarter, but possibly getting luckier.

Wind Songs

A warm, bright sun makes for beautiful days when the snow is fresh and clean. Had a few extra jobs I wanted to get done outside, and the day was perfect for it. 

And yes, I took the hint, and yes, it was a perfect day for that too.

Dude. Your time is over. This is not your world anymore. Cross over already, it’s almost painful to look at you.

We watched Cllouseau literally gallop in with the herd hot on the heels of one of our steer, and then the herd galloped off again about two minutes later while Cllouseau stayed behind with his head in one of the bales Farmer #1 put out for them. I think he’s learning to herd them so he can eat undisturbed. We were eating lunch when all this went down, though, and by the time we’d finished and got out there he was gone. Farmer #1 has also opened new pasture for them – actually the small section of hay field that got cut but not baled, so they’re all off gorging on windrows right now. 

It was very peaceful in the pens and surrounding pasture with everybody gone.


The audio of this banner snapping in the wind matches up perfectly, which amuses me greatly because it isn’t the banner making that sound, it’s popartory two kicking her heels in her sleigh.


We have a lengthy to-do list this week, but we’re off to a good start and just keeping things pretty chill.

Where things come from.

It was a beautiful weekend. Saturday was painted with frost.

It’s getting cold as hell overnight, but the sun came out and the wind died down and we gorged ourselves on vitamin D while we had a chance.

And of course.

You’ll neeeveer waaalk aaalooone…

You’ll neeeeveeeer waaaalk aaaaloooooooone.

Seriously. You’re not going anywhere without him. Ask anybody who’s stepped foot in our pastures.

We were lucky to be out just as the hoarfrost glitter was letting go of the trees.


It was so thick.

Hey guys, did you hear me yelling to wait up?

In addition to my chicken snatching friend there’s a momma coyote skulking around with her pup too. We don’t anticipate her being a nuisance per say, but with all the predator activity these days Cllouseau is most welcome company. We know the one body was dumped nearby, who knows what else might be out there and who else it might be attracting.

Fucking poachers. That’s what gets overlooked in the conversation – they are as much a danger to the communities they exploit as to the animals.

Luka has melted his ice patch into the snow already this year. He’s still out there in all weather guarding his post, but puppy or not when there’s more than one coyote at a time circling that’s pretty intense for a guy by himself. That’s when he comes to get us for backup. We have wonderful tools for making scary noises.

Mr. Happy has likewise been diligent in his responsibilities. 

As have the resident miscreants.

Karma runs a tight track around here.

Enjoyed watching the purple pollution claw of coal march across a brilliantly yellow sky this morning. Beauty can’t help where it comes from.


Expectations Can Be So Unreliable

The day looked like it was going to be filled with more of the same. 

I got busy knocking things off my to-do list. She decided to conduct an inventory of shoes in the master bedroom which, evidently, she can now open the door to.But it was not more of the same! It was more of the very similar, granted, but not the same. It’s still cold, but it’s not sloppy cold. This is snow a kid can actually have some fun in. 

And it decorated my llama most tastefully. Luka is of course enjoying it, but not as much as he should be. Problem is he’s had to work overtime and hasn’t had a chance to play in it properly. I know there’s been at least one big coyote skulking around that he’s been chasing off – I’m quite confident it’s the one that I cornered in our yard over a chicken once – and he’s been out there most of the day every day making sure nothing else comes into the yard either. Poachers invite a lot of unwelcome company.

Worth noting he never guarded anything in his life before she was born. He’s made her play set his command post.
Been getting a lot of invited traffic through too, though. Good to see them filling their little bellies. I seriously marvel at how these tiny chickadees and nuthatches survive year round up here. We are all feeling very winterized indeed.

Inside This Week

We have been doing all those things that we have been waiting for bad weather to get done inside, because it’s been no kind of weather to want to do anything outside. Thankfully there has been nothing besides regular chores needing to be done out there, and we are enjoying the diversions we’ve stockpiled in here.


As well as the upholstery and warm friends.


Honestly you wish you could bring them all in some days. We’re used to cold well enough, but cold and wet is a unique misery that nobody here is acclimatized to. And it’s murder on my boy’s beautiful curls.


Little Lady has clearly inherited her mother’s stink eye. Still needs to stand behind mama’s butt for courage, though.


Next day was slightly less soggy, but morale was little improved. He keeps looking at me like I can do something about it.


Not that everybody’s complaining. Want to come in yet, boy?


I don’t know what the forecast is and I’m not going to look on account of I can’t do a damn thing to change it if I don’t like it anyway.

May everyone be as warm and snug as the inside of my quilted flannel pocket.


Happy Discount Candy Day Eve!

Our livestock trailer is haunted by the ghost of a butterfly. Seems harmless. Mostly just hangs around.

I remember so many first snows on Halloween growing up. It is the official date beyond which I no longer begrudge it falling. So I officially can’t complain.

But it is not any of the fun kinds of snow at all. It’s that cold wet slush that melds into an ice shield snow.

Most definitely stay inside and be glad we made it to the library over the weekend snow. We’ve all been experimenting with the oil pastels I picked up and actually wound down after the busy weekend and emotional day with a spontaneous colouring party on Sunday. Captain Combine Repair’s call phone finally gave him an evening off to run his own errands yesterday evening and he picked up a box of soft pastels to try. Something else I’ve never used before. They aren’t kidding about soft.

So a good day for experimenting with those I’m thinking. Provided, of course, my Commander and Overlord approves.