Tag Archive for DIY

The Animal Dance

Right now we are in the middle of a huge living room / dining room remodel project.  Our house is slightly askew with some of the living room and dining room furniture squished into our family room.  So we’re a little crowded, and some days claustrophobic.  We like doing the work ourselves (I’m a DIY-er at heart) so it’s taking awhile.  I’m ok with that.  I can put up with the disarray and the out of place-ness knowing that the end result will be amazing.  However, the animals in our house do not like their  routines and normal sleeping and lounging spots being disrupted.  They are all a little out of sorts.  

Let me introduce the cast of characters;

Tiger- The queen of the roost.  She is the oldest of all of the animals, turning 14 this month.  She has not been a happy camper with the living room disruption at all.  Her favorite window perch has been torn apart so she prefers to lay anywhere on the floors where she is in a “traffic” path.  You know where we have to step over her constantly.


Clyde – Our resident doggie.  He’s 11 years old this year, and is still wary of Tiger after all this time.  He has taken up sleeping in my office which is down the hallway from the remodeling noise and mess.  He likes to have his quiet space, and it is not in the family room right now. Poor guy.  He has been a trooper letting Lucy follow him everywhere too!

2015-04-17 13.49.04

Storm- He’s the teenager in the crowd.  He’s three and likes to be a pest to Tiger.  He tries to challenge her authority all of the time.  Wouldn’t you think he’d get tired of that?  He’s a great mouser cat though, and he’s even caught a few gophers in the back yard.  He earns his keep.


Photo by B.Juedes


Lucy- She is the baby in the crowd.  She’s just a year old, and is staying with us temporarily while her house gets fixed.  She’s been here for a few weeks, and is finally getting to know our routine, and learning how to live around the cats!  She loves to tease and chase Storm and vice versa. They are really funny together after dinner chasing each other around the back yard.


Photo by E.Bettencourt

Now here is where this cast of characters gets interesting, and sometimes annoying. I call this the dance.  The dance in this case is the morning and evening routine we go through when the animals are fed.  Here’s my take on it, and it somewhat reminds me of having a small working farm!  When I get up in the morning I head straight for the coffee pot, and get it started.  While I’m doing this Tiger is meowing at me to be fed and she does this incessantly.  Clyde is outside with Storm, and Lucy. Clyde loves to stand at the patio door and stare in at me while I’m enjoying my first cup of coffee.  I imagine he wants to say, “Hey remember me, you left me outside, with the cat!”  We call his glaring at us his Snoopy pose.  Lucy is so humorous, she is Clyde’s shadow right now.  She follows him everywhere.  She jumps at the patio door to get my attention.  I imagine she’s saying, “Look at me, look at me.”

Tiger gets fed inside, and I don’t let any of the other animals in while she’s eating.  Tiger gets her quiet time all to herself, her “alone” time.  Once I have my first cup of coffee in hand, and have had a few wake me up gulps I head out onto the patio to feed the rest of the cast of characters.

I have discovered through trial and error that it’s best to feed Lucy first, then Clyde, and last but not least Storm.  Storm is late for every meal.  I’m pretty sure he mooches from one of the neighbors, but I’m not sure which one.  I feed the animals in the morning around 7, and then again at 5pm.  The menagerie of course always has water available, although Tiger thinks she needs to drink out of the toilet.  Ugh!

Here’s what happens in the afternoon; I’ll be working in my office for a while and then stroll out to the kitchen around 3 or so.  Miss Tiger thinks it’s time for dinner already!  She is always pushing the dinnertime button and trying to get fed earlier than usual.  At this point I remind her that she is not the boss of me, and dinner is always at 5pm and not a minute sooner!  She is quite relentless though and meows at me every time I walk into the kitchen between 3 & 5.  

This group has had a tough time with their normal sleeping places disrupted.  But have no fear, the living room remodel will be coming to an end soon, and then some of these things will be getting back to normal.  I’m sure Clyde will be relieved, he’s had the toughest time of all.   Once the living room is back together it will be nice to have the pet patrol back to “normal”.  Everyone will have their favorite “spots” back where they like to slumber.  The slumbering spots are always in the path of the foot traffic through the house.  Does anyone else have this problem?

This post linked to the GRAND Social  and the #MidLifeLuv Linky Party.


10 Things I Have Learned to do Around My House


There are times when my Travel Man cannot be home, and some little thing needs to be fixed around the house.  Of course, with Murphy’s Law waiting in the wings, nothing ever breaks when he’s home, just right after he leaves.  So when something of a minor proportion goes wrong around the house I try to fix it on my own. That means I may then be forced to learn a new skill out of necessity.  I have also been known to  place a phone call to a certain Travel Man that talks me through the fix over the phone.

You see we always have an ongoing honey-do list, but I try to keep it very short and sweet.  When my Travel Man is home I do not want him spending his days at home fixing things.  I want him to be able to spend his time with me.  I am selfish that way.

Since acquiring my title of Domestic Goddess, there are a few new things I have learned how to take care of around the house. This is my list of 10 new skills that I have acquired, learned and/or taught myself while my Travel Man has been on the road.  A good portion of the things on this list I would have previously left for the hubby to take care of or for the two of us to do together.

1. Cleaning the pool filter.  This is usually just a weekly thing, but I am able to keep it on track by myself.  We have an above ground pool, nicknamed “big bag of water” by my brother.

2. Maintaining the pool chemicals.  I can do this, but in the middle of a hot summer this one drives me nuts!  Oh how I loathe algae.

3. I learned how to use a roto-hammer to take up some flooring in our hallway.  I got the floor completely prepped so Travel  Man could come in and install the laminate flooring.  This one was exhausting!

4. Taking the car in for service.  I always felt like the service writer would take advantage of my lack of knowledge where the car is concerned.  I never liked doing this one, but now I just do.

5.  Cleaning the air filter on the air conditioner. Our filter is removable, and reusable. you just spray it off, let it air dry and replace. Voila!

6. Adjusting the sprinkler timers.  I have had to learn how to program two different controllers for our front and back yards.  Now I feel like I am an expert.

7. Replacing some drip nozzles on the lines out by our fruit trees.  This one was surprising quite easy.

8.  Repairing our thermostat.  You can read the details of that story here.  Travel Man was actually at home when this one happened. This was a must-fix critical situation!

9. Fixing our lawn mower. I learned how to clean out this little teensy-weensy carburetor jet.  You can read all of the details here.

10. I have learned how to light the charcoal grill.  It took me awhile to get past this one.  I would always just light the gas grill for a quick summer meal.  But now if I want a really great hamburger I definitely light the charcoal grill.  The flavor is so much better, and now I love to do this.

All of the things that I have learned to do on this list make it easier for Travel Man to be away from home.  He knows I’m not afraid (nowadays) to try to fix something I feel is within my “comfort zone”.  And you know it’s also a confidence builder for me.  I can still learn new skills, and be just a tad more self-sufficient when I need to be.  However, Travel Man and I do have an ongoing agreement that if there are any plumbing problems when he is on the road, I simply call our resident plumber!


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