Category Archives: Barbara Ellen

New frocks

I had passed Barbara Ellen the latest Women Within catalog and she gave it back this morning. With pages folded back on frocks she preferred. I love clothing my big girl.

The scorpion

When it appeared in the ceiling light fixture, after I’d switched a dead 40w bulb to a 14watt LED, my first thought was Bar’s bad reactions to hornet/wasp stings and such. Very bad reactions. Show-stopping reactions.

So Bugmaster is on the case and can’t come too soon. They advertise as scorpion exterminators. Then I’ll tell her, so her nightmares are fewer. And then I need to replace the LED with a CFL or incandescent.

LED’s won’t survive enclosed space. The things you learn when our thieving pols of both parties are paid off to put sales restrictions on Mr. Edison’s invention, the incandescent.

UPDATE:  Bugmaster can’t come until tomorrow, from 4 to 6.

Remodeling blues

Had new marble bathroom countertops and porcelin sinks installed but installation revealed six cut-off valve defects with resulting leaks. After a night of the pan/bowl brigade, we have a plumber coming this morning to repair everything and connect the sinks. Gimme them remodeling blues.

UPDATE: Plumber capped off the valves so they no longer leak but can’t get to us to repair and connect until tomorrow. Remodeling blues, indeed.

The curious case of the robins

Barbara Ellen first noticed the robins in the trees in the canyon off the porch at the mini-rancho. Two of them at first, then three, then four, then six. American Robins.

They usually aren’t found here in Central Texas until winter when they flee the cold in points north. And they do it in roaming flocks, hence the six we’re now seeing daily. But in November, not September. Why are they here so early and in the midst of a prolonged heat wave and bad drought? No wild berries to eat now, which constitute 60 percent of their diet.

Bar speculates that their early arrival means we’re in for an early and prolonged winter. Maybe. But first we’re likely to have a flood. Droughts hereabouts usually end that way.

UPDATE:  Turns out there are wild berries in the vicinity. I spied them out with my trusty binoculars. So the robins ain’t starving while they’re here.

Kissing Wrens

Mrs. Charm has been sending us lots of interesting birds, but especially wrens, which we used to call our wren buddies. They are the king of all birds.

The other day at Rancho Roly Poly, where I went to run the irrigation system to keep the lawn green in case our buyer bailed before closing and we had to start selling all over again, I hung a new bird feeder.

I asked Mrs. Charm to send a wren to inaugurate the feeder. Then the doorbell rang and I went to answer it. I looked back over my shoulder at the feeder outside and saw a wren perched on it chowing down.

That was cool but what’s even cooler are the wrens Bar saw a day or so afterwards on our porch at the mini-rancho. These wrens were standing on the cushion of the chair I usually sit in, which was odd enough. But these two were going at it like we sometimes see cardinals do. Kissing. By rubbing the tops of their longish beaks together. Ah, love, ain’t it grand.

Dishwasher Saga

In eighteen days we’ve tried to get a new dishwasher installed three times. And counting. The first time the Lowe’s contract installer said he couldn’t do it from the existing cutoff valve because it was broken and he wasn’t authorized to replace cutoff valves.

The second time, the Lowe’s guy fixed the cutoff valve but said he couldn’t install the dishwasher because his company had a rule that dishwashers (on their watch) couldn’t be connected to an electrical outlet. The third time the Lowe’s installer saved us from goofy excuses. He just didn’t show up. His number was busy for an hour.

Then he showed up, an hour late, and a bit grumpy because he’d worked all day. But he got it installed and we ran a load of dishes and cups and utensils through it.

Only potential problem is he connected our aluminum wires to the dishwasher, which surely has copper wiring, and aluminum wire haters say that’s a no-no without insulating connectors, grease-filled by preference. Too late. Though I suppose we could hire a plumber or electrician to do it. But the ones I’ve been dealing with for a decade poo-poo the very idea.

Off-line for a while

Pulling the plug on the old AT&T innertubes connection today and moving to reopen shop on Spectrum (Time-Warner in disguise) by Monday at the latest.

We’re moving from the rancho to the mini-rancho, sans roly polys we hope, still under the trees but poised on the edge of Neely’s Canyon in the hill country. Today, moving some stuff over, Barbara Ellen was enthralled with the animules: a family of white-tailed deer just below us on our fenced porch. She’s the reason we didn’t find a mini-rancho on a ridgeline this time. Haven’t lived on a ridge in sixteen years.

I do miss the sunrises and sunsets, but BE prefers to watch the deer, the squirrels and the birds, and I prefer to watch her be happy.