Another Sunday in the South

Let me just say, I love, love, LOVE this kind of weather. It gets cold at night, then warms up during the day. Beautiful sunshine during the day, a little frost in the morning. I wish it would stay like this longer than it usually does here, but I'm afraid all too soon it will get REALLY cold. I'm not looking forward to that.

Things are settling back into a routine after being gone for a week. Jess is busy at work; he was getting calls before we got home. Jonathan is working 8 days straight. I guess they're letting him "make up" for all his time off!

I'm slowly getting all the laundry done, suitcases back in storage, and other stuff. Seems like I'm carrying something down to the basement every whipstitch! And sure got a lot of ironing that needs done. Some shirts and pants just don't emerge wrinkle-free from the dryer.

The grocery shopping is done for this week, and I've got a work plan made up for the next month. It's a lot easier when I have a list of tasks and can just move from one to the other without having to think about which thing I should do next!

So we're settling back to the status quo, at least until it's time for the next trip!

Maybe we should have stayed on vacation...

We just got home yesterday from almost a week in Pigeon Forge. I'm beginning to think maybe we would have been better off staying there.

There were bad storms around the country yesterday, and the Canadian contingent was flying home. Bad combination. Evidently a big storm in Chicago messed everything up and their flight from Knoxville left about an hour & a half late.

Worse, when they got to Chicago their flight to Fargo had been flat-out cancelled! They ended up having to fly out on another airline, and instead of going to Fargo where their car is parked, they had to fly to Winnipeg instead. So after a little over 12 hours of trying to get home, now at some point they'll have to spend even more time and make a trip to Fargo to get their car!

Now unlike the Canadian contingent, the actual trip home went fine for us. Jonathan did the driving, and we only made a couple of stops along the way. No, our problems began when we got home.

First off, when we drove up Jess noticed the feed room door was hanging open and the feed bucket and the llama's food bowl were sitting in the yard. Why???

It's like this, I pay what I think is a pretty good sum to have the animals looked after. I left a short checklist of what needed done for use as a quick reference each day, AND then a detailed explanation of everything WITH PICTURES to be sure everything was clear. And yet, there were things that were NOT done that were very clearly written on the list, such as:
  • * getting our mail out of the box at the end of the driveway and putting it in a bin on the back porch,
  • * feeding the dogs 2 eggs each every day,
  • * keeping one of Toby's food bowls full of food,
  • * giving the peachicks a sack of greens every day.

I'd put stuff on a table on the back porch. I worked hard before we left to chop up enough greens to place a couple of cups full in each of the paper lunch bags, so each day the peachicks would have some, and they didn't get any!

And as I said, I left pretty clear instructions. I was disappointed since in times past one of the kids from this same family had done the chores and did an excellent job. When it's plain so many things were NOT done, it makes you wonder what other things didn't get done that you can't tell anything about.

Well, once we unloaded everything from the car, Jess and I headed towards Huntsville to pick up the parrot. We got her home and eventually realized that all the flight feathers are gone from one side. No wonder she took a nose dive to the floor when she tried to fly from the top of her cage to the den!

I haven't been able to stretch out her wing yet to see if they were clipped or she pulled them out. I think it's a distinct possibility that they were clipping her beak and toenails, and most of the time people also ask to have the flight feathers clipped on their bird. Maybe they got started and realized they weren't supposed to do it, then quit. But it doesn't make any sense to do just one side, even if they weren't supposed to do it at all. Once one side was done, might as well make it even and clip the other side, too.

And coming back from the bird vet's office we had to drive through heavy rain and lots of wind, and tornado sirens going off in north Alabama. Good grief!

And even more stuff... We put some special air cleaners out in the house before we left, and it did smell better when we came back so I was all excited about that. However, I'm not so sure we've solved the problem, because once we got the air conditioner going again, it seems to me there was more smell. I don't think that problem is conquered. Bummer.

Because of the air cleaning, I'd placed a towel over the turtle tank to prevent any of the chemicals getting in there. When I took that off, the smell was awful. Upon closer investigation I discovered some of the food from the automatic dispenser had fallen in a floating decoration, made a stagnant, yucky soup, and there were little larva that looked like mosquito wrigglers in there. Considering the abundance of little black gnat/flies I'm sure that's what was breeding. I put on plastic gloves and cleaned up that mess, so hopefully that's the end of that!

Further, once we got home I found out about a family situation that I think is a train wreck in the making, but there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. The person is an adult, can do what they want, and I really don't have any say about it. Unfortunately, there's little doubt that at some point I'll have to deal with the consequences from this situation.

All that was yesterday evening. But it wasn't the end of unwanted problems.

Today I spent time searching for another avian vet. There isn't any unless we drive an hour away. So I called and asked about the missing feathers, very polite like, just to see what they'd say. The vet insists he didn't trim her feathers, that she must have pulled them out. Anything is possible. I've never seen her do it before, but it does stress her to board at the vets, so who knows? I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and presume she did it herself.

I also mailed a payment to my farm-critter-sitter today, along with a note about being disappointed because all the chores weren't done, and high-lighted the parts of the chore list that were missed so it's plain. Maybe the next job for whoever, it will prompt a little more care?

And then I went down in the basement to do laundry and discovered yet another unwelcome surprise. We have glue boards down there to catch cave-crickets and spiders that wander in, but one glue board had an extra critter on it... a little snake. A little *live* snake. (I won't creep you out with a picture... but there will likely be one tomorrow on the farm blog!)

Are we having fun yet?

Okay, I'm ready for things to settle down to some semblance of normal, or at least just toodling along with no unwelcome surprises. So excuse me now while I go down and put more laundry in the washer and dryer... if you hear me scream, you'll know there was something else down there I didn't want to see!

Looking for boring. . .