I may have used up my bloggish clever for the day, since I have just launched another blog to talk about beekeeping (Beeing Human) and allowed out of the closet the one where I started putting links to things that make me think of Stephen Colbert's children's book (about 1:25 into the clip). It's called Dystopic Fun and I don't have to behave very well there.
Also I am pretty sure Blogger is trying to gaslight me by changing the template every time I come to it, but I'm fine.
I really have cut down on the opium.
After I persuaded the little man and his boat to leave the kitchen, I tidied the rest of the place up a bit, so I was ready to go to sleep when my parents arrived and got stuck in the driveway.
My father has the racking cough so popular in Boston today, and both my parents were wearing city-person shoes (not the Manolos, thank God). My father, who is only 83, wanted to go dig the car out. Since they were visiting me in theory because I am laid up, I could not go and shovel it out myself. Fortunately Doug and his fiancee came and got stuck just ahead of my parents' car, and then Dick the archaeologist and his wife Deb (not the same Deb as the one I have been exploiting for healthcare and Bee School)(that one is Deb Duranceau, Deb D). Doug and Dick dug out the cars, and then Deb and Dick made dinner. They and my parents have met before, but it's had to get them in the same room, so I had pulled my weight as a poor convalescent to bring them together at the same time. It was fun. Deb had made a lamb dish with coriander and chickpeas and I am still enjoying the delicious leftovers.
They all left around eight, and I was too tired to go to bed.
Since then I have been more careful (or less busy) to have naps.
Monday here was in the fifties Fahrenheit, which means LOVELY. I think that was the day we had this year's 'January thaw,' a period of usually four or even five days above freezing the last week or so of January, during which the snow consolidates. One day was very nice, and not enough. I walked down and up the driveway (I did not get stuck or fall!). Mal and Marten came with me. It is fun to watch a dignified quadruped slide. Mal (former kitten, now maybe 6 months old? maybe 5?)was very curious about the nice weather and came almost all the way down to the mailbox. Marten (probably about 5 years old, also a cat) followed slowly after us. At first, while zooming down and up around me, Mal did not recognize him. When he saw Marten, about twenty feet away, he made a huge M-cat (huge for him. Mal is still about half Marten's size). Marten did a very lazy M-ish cat in response. Mal danced, ferocious yet cautious, in Marten's direction. When he was about four inches away he apparently got Marten's scent. He relaxed completely and greeted Marten with a friendly side-brush and rushed off again. We walked back up the hill and I lay down in a sunbeam in a dry place on the porch for a few minutes. I think I saw two bugs. Chickadees made 'Hey, baby' remarks. Spring is coming.
The next day was cold again, and so was yesterday. Not sure about today yet. On Tuesday I drew my act closer together and fetched the dyeing materials: the needle-felting workshops of Conbust are the week after Doug's wedding, which is only 30 days from now. So I recalled what dyeing facility I had, and put fleece into jars and into the microwave. It's fun. On Wednesday I did more, and only got a little on one thumb pink (dye acts very differently when it is exhausted than when it is not), and took a nap.
Around three, Deb picked me up and took me to lab, and Sarah came and took me to the Elegant Ewe (only needles)(honest), and to dinner and the supermarket (at last! Raisins for the oatmeal!) and Doug brought me home.
Well, we were tired, Doug and I both. I read a book for a bit. We wondered if we were hearing a mouse in the walls. The cats ignored it, told us to sit back down and pat them. I staggered upstairs, Doug staggered into his room. I turned off the hall light. A monster made crashing noises.
A monster made crashing, gnawing noises.
It was coming from the hatch in the linen closet upstairs.
See, on Saturday, Doug had put hardware cloth over the damaged gable-end vent in the roof. By Wednesday, the monster wanted out.
Doug said sadly that he did not want to get dressed and go out on the roof with the ladder in the snow and detach the hardware cloth.
We turned off the lights, we turned on the lights, Doug came upstairs, Doug went downstairs, the monster made crashing noises, I went downstairs, Doug went upstairs and brought the kittens, who wanted to see the monster (even the older cats were quite interested) downstairs into the kitchenette.
The monster almost opened the hatch. I suggested we open the hatch and let whatever it was out. The raccoons know their way around the house quite well. Doug pointed out that squirrels were not so reliable (I could see him thinking of squirrels leaping from the light fixtures). We wondered if we had a porcupine.
Doug opened the hatch. He identified a raccoon and sighed a lot and closed the hatch. It was now midnight, so he went to fetch the stepladder. The raccoon made 85% of the way through the hatch into the closet, saw me, and went back into the ceiling. Doug went out the second upstairs bedroom window onto the roof, while I held a flashlight and said encouraging things. He undid the bottom screws so one could squeeze out from under the hardware cloth, and he waited. Later he came back into the house and waited, but though no one tried to come through the hatch no one came out through the damaged vent either.
Eventually we went to bed. No idea whether there are monsters up there now or not. I mean, more than the usual ones who spend the rest of the time under one's bed.