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Sunday, July 3, 2016


I could only do the kitchen today because the rest of the house doesn't have AC. I'll wait until it cools down. At 7 PM tonight it was still well above 100.° I tried out some putty that I had planned to fill the cracks between the ceiling boards and the trim boards, but it was yellowish. I had to dig out my 20 yr old oil paints left over from when I painted portraits. Couldn't get the linseed oil jars open so couldn't do a very good job, but I got it painted to blend in good enough that it doesn't bother me.

Thereafter, I just stuffed steel wool in the gaps. Below the trim had already been sealed, except in several places where the filler had come out, so I patched that too. I only get one or two mice per year, but mice and roaches are two things I can't tolerate. Have never had a roach in the house. Lots of spiders and ants at times. This should cut down on spiders too.

If the kitchen was where the mice were coming in, then I've got it solved, but I'm going to do the same thing to the upper roof. At least I won't have to climb two step ladders after this. I used one to get onto the kitchen counter, then put a smaller one on the counter to get onto the cabinets. The ceiling is 10 or 12 foot high, I forget now. The ladder on the counter was the worrisome one. There wasn't room to open it up, so I just leaned it against the cabinets, and very carefully went up and down. On top of the ladder it said, "do not sit or stand" on it. I did both. Glad over the cabinets is done. I won't be able to do the entry hall without someone holding an extension ladder. Too, too dangerous. That ceiling is 20 foot, I believe. I'll do it last. By then I should have a system down pat. I'll also do what I can from the exterior. It has metal trim up under a metal roof and I can't get to where I can even see back in there. It may be OK, maybe not. On the bottom of the metal trim it overlaps the rock wall by quite a bit, so I can't see in there either. I may just buy a ton of steel wool and stuff everything full on the outside.

After the mouse-proofing, my next foreseeable project is going to be getting rid of stuff. It's possible I might hypothetically need some of it someday, but I don't even remember what I all have, and seldom can find it if I do need it. So cleaning and organizing and eliminating stuff. Needs and interests change, but possessions stay the same. Need to update my clutter. It's not out where you can see it, but in drawers in the house, or in the back rooms of the guesthouse. They're my substitute attics. Sheds loaded with stuff too. I used to say that the space is there whether it's full or empty, so might as well be full. But I, at the very least, have to organize it occasionally so it jogs my mind as to what's where. And as I get older, I know a lot of it isn't going to ever get used. For example, I came across my late husband's microphones today (while looking for my artist oils). I know they're probably way old-fashioned by now. Gonna donate them.

I spent some time at the oasis looking for odes. I'd post photos of birds or butterflies too, but things are scarce. Very dry except at the tanks. And if it doesn't rain, they'll soon be dry too.

There's a favorite perch over one tank but it's too far away for good photos. So I took a step ladder and leaned it up on the wall of the tank near the perch, with the lower portion in the water, and climbed down to it from above. It was so hot out, at that point I didn't much care if I fell in the water or not. Didn't get very good shots, but after I managed to get back up to the bank (no easy feat), I sat in a comfortable chair and just enjoyed watching the activity. Suddenly, a snake flew through the air into the water, just inches from the ladder I had been sitting on. He missed whatever he went for, and slithered back up the side. I'm sure it's a Western Coachwhip, although it seemed awful skinny for that species. It was shaped more like the black Central Texas Whipsnake I had seen earlier today.

Since it's July, I'm starting my July checklists for odes and butterflies. Remember the list I started at the beginning of this year? It's been fun doing inventory anew, every month, and I'm sure I find stuff I would have overlooked if not working on the list. I plan to continue this method every year henceforth.

As you can see, today I added two damselfly species for the month, as well as for the year. The question marks on the list are those I didn't get photographic confirmation on.

Mexican Forktail

Kiowa Dancer

1 comment:

  1. When I lived in the country, I never saw a roach. Plenty of other critters though.
    I continue to be impressed by your mighty labors. And they have had good results....