Sunday, March 23, 2008


There was quite the confabulation of grackles in the backyard this afternoon, but now that they have vacated the premises, the sparrows are taking their turn at the feeders. It was another excellent poop-scooping day, and per my usual MO, once I got outside, I found a few other things to take care of, like trimming back the ornamental grasses. And I have the blisters to show for my efforts.

It is that time of the year when, despite the calendar, spring has not quite sprung yet. While the lilies and iris have been joined by the daffodils in creating a bit of green, for the most part everything else is still brown and gray, and the north side of the house still holds a bit of snow. Walking around the nabe, most yards look a little worse for wear, especially those with xmas decorations still hanging about. Winter caught us unawares last fall, but the city is determined to pick up the leaves it couldn't get to before the weather turned.

Besides outdoor activities, I have been doing a little indoor work as well. When you live in a small house, you have to be disciplined about not accumulating too much junk. My house has gotten to the point where I can't bring in anything new unless some of the old goes. So this past week, I donated the old water softener plus a like-new window AC and like-new dehumidifier to the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. I called first, and the woman I spoke with was surprised about the water softener, so I explained that I went from well water to city water and had no more use for it. She didn't ask about the AC or the dehumidifier, but they have stories as well.

Both were experiments. I like my bedroom really cold in the summer, and it occurred to me that instead of cooling the whole house at night, I would use a window air conditioner to make the bedroom cooler than the rest of the house. It seemed like a good idea, but the cheap unit I purchased was so noisy and made the lights dim that I never ran it. Similarly, the dehumidifier was my attempt to save on AC costs, by dehumidifying the house when it was damp but too cool to run the AC. The only problem was the dehumidifier also heated up the house when it ran. I replaced my whole-house AC last summer, one that will dehumidify without cooling, and now my house is more comfortable and the summer electric bill is much more reasonable, so bye-bye to the experiments.

Today I also moved the rabbit to the Florida room, which frees up some space in the family room. Sometimes I feel like I am just shuffling things around, but I think Hip Hop will like getting a little sun. I know the other pets do. For that matter, so do I.

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