Wednesday, October 22, 2008

ahh, fall mornings at 7,000 feet

Fall has been descending on Wayne County in fits and starts this year. The colors appeared on the aspen trees up on the mountain—ooh, aah. Very pretty, of course. But one could still view them while hiking in shorts and a tank top. Nighttime temps dropped a bit, of course, but days were still gorgeous. Then we had our wild winter storm a week and a half ago, in which the wind went crazy as it is wont to do here, it snowed, the clouds scudded through the unforgiving sky, and the wind made that eerie, hair-raising moaning sound when it forced its way through the cracks around one's doors and windows.

Then the temps shot right back up, the wind left, I lounged by the river in shorts in a tank top and was rendered almost comatose by the drowsing sunlight. The sky was crystalline blue, the rocks were glowing red, the air was blessedly still. Loved it.

Then yesterday the freaking wind again. I'm very serious about the WC wind (locals sometimes call it Wind County). It can be horrendous, ridiculous, a howling fiend that knocks over enormous trash cans, rips your car door out of your hands when you open it, and brings flashing images of Kansas and Toto and a little girl in a blue checked dress on her way to the land of those kind of creepy munchkins. I stayed inside.

This morning, my little atomic radio clock read 65.8 degrees F at about 8am. When I stepped outside the house, it definitely felt quite a bit chillier. (Although, thank goodness, no wind.) So I put my trusty little clock outside and left it for about a half hour or so. When I returned to check, it read 35.8 degrees F.

I quickly retreated indoors again. Hooray for warm houses and coffee! Pippin quite agrees, as he is flopped out on his favorite blue chair right now:

Aahh, fall. I must say that 35.8 degrees outside bodes well for my writing this morning. That said, I'm back to it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

plump moonrise

Wow...I was outside at about midnight last night, letting the pup out for his last pee before bed. Got to see the moonrise, which was spectacular.

First, we noticed a 5-point buck (mule deer) and some does standing stock-still in the middle of the dead frozen garden. Pip pointed for a moment, then bolted after the creatures. They bounded away in enormous leaps, of course, having freaking Slinky springs in their legs or something. Pip made sure they were safely gone from "his" property before returning, tail up high. It's deer season right now, so all the smart ones have come into town where they cannot be hunted. Gorgeous.

Then I was treated to the sight of the half-moon rising, hanging low and full and glowing orange-gold on the eastern horizon. So, so beautiful. Classic view, streaked by dark clouds and all. Aahh. I did a little dance of appreciation for getting to see such beauty.

Shiver of joy. These are the moments I truly adore living here! If only I could take good nighttime pictures. That would have been a shot to share. Alas, you'll simply have to imagine it...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

chickens everywhere

I'm housesitting right now. Part of my duties include tending the chickens (plus three ducks and a turkey, which apparently will be someone's Thanksgiving dinner this year).

Chickens are interesting little critters. There are about 20 or so of them here, and they seem to run the gamut of chickendom. There's a crazy-looking one with wild feathers coming out the top of its head and flopping down over its eyes. A rooster that faithfully cock-a-doodle-doos in morning, even if it's still in the little chicken-house because I haven't yet stumbled out of bed to release them into the rising sunlight. There's a very sweet orange-red-creamy-colored one that rushes right up to me whenever I'm in their pen and looks up at me adoringly. Perhaps it's just hungry and wants to see what sort of treats I may have brought. But it's still very sweet in its attempt to communicate with me via Chickenese.

I get to benefit by having as many fresh eggs as I want, warm from sitting under little chicken butts all night long. Pippin already enjoyed one (an egg, not a chicken butt) mixed in with his dry food this morning. Of course, I also have to guard against marauders, such as the rather pleasant-appearing little cat that was just in the pen. The chickens (and ducks and huge turkey) actually didn't seem to mind the cat. I wouldn't either, really, since this particular cat is on the small side, and it really didn't seem at all interested in committing any feline mischief. But just to be on the safe side, I deposited it on the other side of the fence.

Ah, life in the boonies. I need not worry about drive-by shootings, commuters insane with traffic-induced rage, or smog. Nope, all I have to concern myself with is keeping the chickens safe. And then eating their eggs. Bon appetit!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

that dratted mercury retrograde again

Damn, have the past several weeks been wild and chaotic, or was that really just me? One good thing about NOT having any money in the stock market is that I didn't lose any. However, my other money flows have seemed a bit dry. This particular Mercury retrograde was the biggest, craziest one of the year, and it's a good thing it ends tomorrow. (Though beware reverberations for another several days or so!)

Mercury rules over communication, travel, finances, and mechanical things, among others. Be careful when it retrogrades, because things usually go haywire (see world financial markets as a glaring example). Here's my story from this one:

I ordered a jacket and a pair of running shoes from an online site back in August. I hadn't ordered anything from this site for several years, but they were having a killer sale, 50% off their outlet prices. Couldn't resist. My new goodies arrived promptly, but the shoes, alas and alack, were too large. After waiting around for a few weeks (typical me), I finally boxed them up in early September and sent them back for an exchange. And I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

The first week in October (the retrograde began Sept. 24), I emailed the company and asked if they were going to exchange my shoes ever? They immediately replied, just about falling all over themselves with their "sorries." The shoes would be mailed right away.

Fabulous, I thought, and went about my week.

However, no shoes. Again. Then, oddly enough, I received an email form the company asking me how my shoes were! Interesting. What shoes, I wondered? So last Thursday, I checked the UPS tracking info (love that), and discovered that they had been delivered to "front door" on Monday the 6th.

Huh. I looked at my front door. Nope, no shoes there. Asked the landlords. Nope, no shoes up there. Wow. Bizarre. See, the local driver, Russ, knows everyone around here (not hard considering how small the area is). He certainly knows who I am and where I live. Russ, however, has had some time off and there's been a sub driving.

Aha. I then got even more clever and called UPS to see where, exactly, the substitute driver thought my front door was. And lo and behold, the package had been mailed to the correct address, all right--that is, it was correct about five years ago, when I last lived there. Which was the last time I'd ordered from that company. Meaning they still had that address on file, apparently, and someone got very, very confused (um, a little "retrograded," perhaps?).

Luckily, I know who lives in that place now, so I called them up. Well, plot thickens again. Some years back, when the state got all GPS-happy and mandated street signs for every single dirt road in Wayne County (I kid you not--there are street signs on little dirt roads that lead nowhere, ending after about 200 feet), they also discovered that some of the addresses folks had had for a lifetime were off. So the place I used to live, 4150 1/2, is now 4200. And the other house up that road is now 4150 1/2, and that's where my package ended up.

Still luckily, I also know the people in that second house (yet another benefit of small town life). Mark was surprised to see a package for me--he hadn't looked at it too closely and assumed it was for his wife Mary). And after even more time, I finally ended up at his house and retrieved my package. On October 11, almost two months after I originally ordered my shoes.

And the shoes fit. And I am happy. And that, dear folks, is why Mercury retrograde deserves a wide berth. Because if it can fuck with you, it will.