Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Always Something To Do Around Here

The desk top computer has been giving us trouble lately. I'm no computer expert, but I know enough to get by. The router/DSL modem crapped out last month, so I got a new one. The problem with the new router though, was we had to turn off the security to get on the internet! That ain't right. No matter what I did, I couldn't get the security system to view the new router as a non-threatening program. Then the power went out once and we lost internet connection. I finally figured out it was the new router. After much fiddling around with it, I re-installed the program disc and it worked, but we still had to turn off security to use it. Yesterday, the power went off and once again, the router/DSL modem no longer worked. This time, however, I couldn't get it to work again. Time for a new router. And a new security system.

Amazing how a day without internet services can sort of put a damper on things. We aren't online all day, but there are quite a lot of things we do on the computer and not having internet service really stunts us. We're too far from anywhere with wi-fi access and more than 20 miles to the nearest Library, so packing up the laptop is not ideal for us. Making a trip into the big town was necessary.

The other day, the riding mower sputtered and back-fired, then shut off on Andrew just as he finished the majority of the mowing. Lucky for us, he knows enough about engines that he knew what it needed and a trip to the hardware store for parts should do the trick. The hardest part about that was finding a hardware store that carried what he needed! At one store, the filters were all bent. At another, nothing matched what he needed. Third time was the charm indeed when he found all he needed at store number three.

While at the hardware store, we picked up fencing. We're going to fence in the chickens! After much talk, we've decided it would be best to build a pen around the chickens. I love the idea of free-range chickens, but in the case of my chickens, that means free-ranging all over the back stoop! Nothing like stepping on cold, mushy chicken poop in bare feet! I used to be Miss Barefoot until the chickens came along, then I became best friends with my flip-flops.

We bought 150 feet worth of fencing, which I think will give the chickens plenty of room to roam. I'm still thinking on a way to make a gate without resorting to buying one. I have plenty of scrap wood, so I'm leaning to making a frame then stapling chicken wire to it and voila! a door. I get lots of ideas in my head, just a matter of translating to paper to actual materials.

The kids are pretty happy about fencing in the chickens. The big rooster chases them and I constantly have to provide distraction to the rooster so the kids can make their escape to the swing set. It's getting irritating. Warmer weather equals kids playing outside equals mama dropping everything and distracting the rooster 10-plus times a day.

Anyway, after we got home from the computer store and the hardware store, I tried to get the new router working. I had quite the time trying to get it all to obey me. I get frustrated to tears when it comes to the computer because visions of it freezing and floating bits of money flying out the window do not a pleasant picture make. After about 4 hours of installing, un-installing, deleting, more installing, updating, down-loading, re-starting and one final updating, the desk top works! It works, it works, it works! Happy dance!

I worked right through dinner and sweet Evelyn made dinner without any prompting. She came to me and asked me to check and see if the macaroni was tender. "Macaroni?" I asked.

"Yes. I'm making dinner because I can see you are too stressed out from the computer, so I wanted to help you." Evelyn replied.

Well, melt my heart! We ate a mighty fine dinner of macaroni and cheese last night, paired with a glass of juice. It makes me proud when one of the kids can step up to the plate and pitch in when Andrew and I are both busy doing something.

Andrew's friend is supposed to come over tomorrow and let Andrew use his brush hog. I'm so excited! All the weeds and brambles and small brush are slowly overtaking the yard and I cannot put up the new fencing for the chickens until we clear away the brush. Using the brush hog will make the job go so much faster and easier, then we can just maintain afterwards. Fingers crossed it all goes well!

Percy the cat is quite the TOM cat. He is getting rambunctious and jumps BC, the older cat, a lot. He's starting to pee on clothing or towels that get left on the floor and I try to keep after the kids to pick up their clothes, but I don't catch every one. We could smell pee somewhere and sniffed around for it, but couldn't pinpoint where it was coming from. Andrew says here, I say there. Finally I moved a bed over and there was a pair of pants, soaked with cat pee.

Peter let Charlie the cat in the house a couple days ago, and he made a beeline to the bowl of cat food on the floor. I let him chow down when this happens, then put him back outside when he's done. This time, however, I got distracted and forgot about Charlie being in the house. I got a quick reminder when Percy spotted Charlie and a swirling, angry, hissing and yowling ball of black rolled around the kitchen floor, tufts of black fur flying! I'm not stupid enough to stick my hand in there and separate them, but something needed to be done! It all happened so fast, I somehow got them apart, swatting at them with a towel or something, then just as I was about to pick up Charlie, Percy came charging again, and the crazy ball of two black cats fighting rolled into the sun room, leaving a trail of fur. Andrew came in and managed to pull Percy off Charlie, then Charlie hid under the table in the sun room. After I finally coaxed him out and let him back outdoors, we knew something had to be done about Percy.

No way are we letting him out, free to impregnate every fertile female cat within spitting distance. He has an appointment on Thursday to get neutered. After he comes back, if he continues to pee in the house, he'll go outside with the other cats. Hopefully he stops that, cause I really like having him in the house. All the other outdoor cats are there because they peed in the house at one time or another.

Andrew works from 1-9 today, so I'm hoping for an uneventful day. At this rate, I'll be happy to distract the rooster to let the kids outside than face another computer issue.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Whew! You've been busy. Fun on the farm, yeehaw! I wouldn't have it any other way. I could not live in a city...
And GOOD for Evelyn! That made me happy/smile too.