Monday, September 9, 2019

Good morning from the Texas Hill Country

Good morning from the Texas Hill Country!  What do KP and I share in common?  Geckos!  And possibly tree frogs.  I was making my coffee this morning and there was one peeking at me through the kitchen window!  And he didn't try to sell me car insurance!

Woke up earlier than usual and Sammy the cat didn't have to bite me to get me out of bed!  LOL!  Sammy likes geckos, but he can't catch them!  They are faster than him!  He's getting his share of standard Texas lizards, or at least their tails which they disconnect from them as a lifesaving distraction...

Speaking of Sammy the cat that I got at the local human society shelter... all vaccinated and microchipped... He seems to be part Bobcat!  And nobody noticed... or did they???  LOL.  Caveat Emptor!  Very smart kitten, love the little guy and he's quite affectionate.

Texas Hill Country Bobcat
Notice the jaguar like patterns on the flanks

My first clue to this was noticing that his feet seem large and furry and the legs longer than a normal kitten.  At 5 months of age he seems tall.  He also loves to nip, a habit I'm slowing easing him away from, with more success for myself than poor Bev.  Sammy thinks she's far game when she walks over to my house.  Bev is more a dog person than a cat person. But Sammy is slowly winning her over.  He is cute.

I was telling Heather about Sammy's unusual traits and she said this: "lol...'here kitty, kitty!', I says to the bobcat!"  WELL.... I got to examining local bobcat traits and lo and behold they have he exact same fur pattern on their flanks as Sammy! 🤪How did Heather know?  Well how does Heather know most of the stuff she knows???  Hmmmm???  Central Bankers are still scratching their heads on that one! I know better than to ask that question after 6 years, but she still does catch me by surprise!

Sammy doesn't have a bobtail, definitely a house cat mother... but his daddy may have had more exotic origins!  And he's got those patterns and same mouth configuration as bobcat.  He's also similar to a cat I had long ago by the name of Bubba, especially his desire to tag along.

Bobcat patterns to left, and bobcat jaw and nose, no signs of ear tufts yet... but
a growing thickness of fur on the neck and chest...

Sammy when I first got him

We have had a hot summer here.  About 60 days over 100 F (38 C).   Today is cooler and the weather pattern is shifting.

This house I've been so graciously been been able to rent, after my oxygen deprived CO experience, needed some work. I have been painting and removing barnacles of grandpa's inventions from the structure to make it more "saleable". Ultimately a self-defeating goal for me as it goes for housing - this house will eventually sell... I know.  But this is more about exercise, stress relief and creative well being for me.  Plus after the oxygen levels I had in CO its nice to see I still have all my brain cells working. And I have lost a little weight during it all!  In any case I doubt I will be here in 5 years so renting versus owning appeals to me right now.  And I have been kind of in a holding pattern anyway while Heather is in the hoosegow (a temporary situation I feel but I'm not making predictions as to when it will end).  I don't think that work is quite over yet, we still haven't arrived at the ET first official contact part of all this....

The family members that inherited this house are not in immediate hurry to sell it, and when I get finished with it was will have much more of a "curb appeal" than it had originally.  My way of repaying the kind favor they did me to me letting me rent this when I needed it at short notice.

I've rebuilt the patio cover that had rain damage from a broken rain gutter that was filled with leaves, built a great little picnic table which I am using to write this post, and replaced light fixtures, fans, switches.  I joke that I am doing "Johnny-ology" (the archeology of Johnny) deconstructing the various inventions of the late "Johnny" which the family members were afraid (with good reason) to tackle.  He was a most inventive, if not unconventional in his building style.   The laundry room storage was mind blowing in its waste of space and improvised wood hinges and shelving, but that's all gone and will soon be re-drywalled and efficient.  And aaahhhh the space!   No more feeling like I can't breathe! The kitchen window outside had a shelf made from a metal office storage cabinet door... LOL... stuff like that.  Now removed.  It wasn't used anyway.  Walls soon to be painted.

I am a bit of a minimalist when it comes to designs so I am reducing the clutter down to the the basics and functional.  The fixing is mostly repair carpentry. I did splurge on an electronic cat door for Sammy that recognizes Sammy's microchip and locks out the local raccoons and skunks.

There's a concrete drainage system along the back (was huge 20 inch rain downpour in 2007 that caused major problems in this area) built to handle rare flooding conditions.  This mostly directs run off around the back of the house, to the front where it drains in the road drainage ditches. I am in the process of clearing that and making sure it still works. And re-aligning the rain-gutters which got overburdened with Texas elm leaves and bent during the declining years of the aging prior occupants.

Texas weather is unpredictable.  Texas Gulf to the south, deserts to the west, and the thunderstorms of the great plains above. Summers are hot, winters are cold, and spring and autumn are short.

Hailstorms are common here, and everyone with any sense has a metal roof, a garage  or a metal outdoor cover for their cars.  Hailstones can get to be golf ball size and you see cars all the time that look like a madman with a ball peen hammer pounded on them in some wild drug fueled frenzy.

There's a lot to love about Texas, the hospitality, the fact that most still don't lock their doors (I do!).  I'm not a fan of small town mentalities, where the entertainment is gossiping about the neighbors and how much they water the grass (have to be careful about that as water is expensive here), but there's always Austin when I want to escape all that.  Still there is a sense of decency here.

I can honestly say I now feel like I am a Texan, and I mean that in this highest regard to all Texans whether native born or California refugees like me.  Texas welcomes all, and you will be Tex-ified when you live here. Resistance is futile!  LOL.

Love all y'all!


PS: I have had a number of odd little things happen here, that I will mention in brief.  I don't know if its some ETs joking with me, Fae playing about (the Yeti are back and we have the poop to prove it), or frequencies causing anomalies in "reality". Items being relocated outside at night.

I am refurbishing a great vintage cast aluminum BBQ, and some wheel axle collars I bought from Amazon, had their set set screws appear outside the sealed plastic bag on my dining table, I thought at first Sammy bit a hole into it but it was indeed 100% intact and sealed (that's not the first time some thing relocated spontaneously.  I had a rusty kitchen sink strainer come through my shower ceiling in Morocco and fall on the floor during my shower! LOL!  But that one felt more like a cosmic message, that there was going to be a straining/sifting among the exiles in Morocco... and that did indeed happen).

I bought a cheap Chinese made $7 radio controlled mouse toy for Sammy which never really worked but once.... but everyone once in a while it scoots across the floor on its own.   And of course Sammy watching and jumping at small beings my eyes can't see.  Cats are known for that...