Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mission Accomplished

With a twinkle in his eye and a smug look of accomplishment, Curious the goat returned to his farm today. His stink level declined quite a bit once our ladies were no longer in heat. I was thankful for that when it came time to heft him into the back of the pickup for the ride home. Henry also has a smug look of accomplishment, but I think it's for a different reason.

The snow has been deep for a few weeks now, settling down to about a foot. It was quite cold for a while -- down to -9 degrees, which I discovered is our threshold for freezing pipes. A little propane torch action on the bathtub drain solved that problem though. Some day I'll insulate our pipes, but most probably need to be replaced first.

Our neighbor Stan has taken it upon himself to plow our driveway (which we greatly appreciate), as his four-wheel drive tractor with a front end loader is much better than our old Ferguson in the snow. Upon learning that Henry was using the snow pile made by his tractor for a sledding-launch, he decided to make it even bigger and more worthy of a sled launch. Henry felt that Meowy the cat might also enjoy a sled ride.
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I've thus far been pleasantly surprised that our rodent problems don't seem to be all that bad. I keep a few traps out, mostly in our basement and garage, just to be safe though. About once a month, I catch a few. They seem to come as a family, as I rarely catch just one.

Until last week, I hadn't considered the bounty of indoor hunting opportunities offered in Michigan. When Rachel heard some scratching in the laundy room, I came downstairs to investigate. My cheap Chinese pellet rifle, despite it's horrible accuracy, appears to be effective at indoor ranges.

Considering where our economy is headed, I feel that indoor hunting skills like this may come in handy in the future. They could really help to stretch that grocery budget, and food can't possibly get any more local.

You know how realtors like to describe a "fixer" house with a witty statement like "Bring your paint brush" when "Bring your bulldozer" would be a more accurate description? Since our rennovation money ran thin, we've decided that there's a lot of wisdom in those ads.

Since the "polish a turd" policy started in our living room seemed to work pretty well, we decided to continue the policy and paint the dining room as well. So long as you're in the next room and have poor eyesight, it looks pretty nice now.

As we were setting up the room for painting, we set out some light plastic drop-cloths to protect the floors. I'm not sure they're really worth protecting, but it seemed like a good idea. Anyway, the dropcloth wouldn't stay put. It kept billowing up like a parachute as the wood stove is sucking air through the myriad cracks and gaps in our floor. I've since attacked all the gaps from the basement with a can of spray-foam, and also added some fiberglass insulation. I haven't tested the new airflow rates with a dropcloth though. I'm not sure I really want to know what the results would be.

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