Entries Tagged 'critters' ↓

Oops, Fell Off Again

Yes, I kinda fell off the internet again.

Robin is still wandering the country in training. I hear from him, usually a short Facebook post, about once per week. He’s on trainer #4, and I’m hoping will be done soon. He’s spent a couple weeks waiting for trainers, but at least he’s been being paid for the waiting.

Two weeks ago Ron started orientation with Schneider, half of last week was kinda flail-ish with getting his truck and getting it fixed and cleaned, so today starts his first real week. He left stupid early this morning, and will be back Saturday, so home Saturday night through Sunday night. So far he’s happy with Schneider, and his shoulder is enjoying not dealing with tarps.

The dogs are Not Pleased with being crated all day. Once we settle into a more predictable pay schedule and pay off some bills that have accumulated, I’m hoping I can get a daily service to come and let them out around the middle of the day.

Thanksgiving with the extended family-by-choice was fun. 8 of us total, which meant we all had “real” plates and flatware, and the house was pretty much full.

Last weekend we bought a Charlie Brown Christmas tree – Peanuts brand and everything. We were at Ace Hardware, and saw a pre-lighted 18” tree, and we considered it. I wandered through the aisle of holiday stuff and found the Charlie Brown tree and snagged it. It’s a proper straggly thing, crossed-boards base, one red ornament, and a “Linus blanket”. It’s sitting on top of the living room water bottle (to be fairly safe from toppling by playing dogs), and Christmas presents are being piled on/around the “Christmas Chair” nearby.

Natter about craft shows at the local high schools can be found on the Otter blog.

Yesterday we went to the storage locker for a couple Otter-ish things, and cotton duck from my fabric stash. In the afternoon we made an apron for Ron from said duck. It’s fairly long, and the bottom turns up and is attached at the sides, and the edge stiffened with some leather, so it forms a big pocket to catch chips when he’s woodcarving.

I also shopped the stash for upholstery fabric, and made new slipcovers for the bolsters that live on/around the couch. They’re 2-3 couches old, and an icky faded blue that do not match the blue couch we have now. Once I had the covers done (which didn’t even take too long), we decided to pull the old dead foam out of the bolsters, and re-stuffed them with fiberfill from Sweet Potato, Ron’s co-driver bear, who has developed holes in multiple seams. So now we have a pair of cylindrical bolsters that look nice and are actually useful again.

The Water Resources Christmas luncheon and staff meeting is on Thursday, so last week I made myself a new shirt and vest. Both had some issues, but were solved. I just need to put a hook and eye on the neckline opening of the shirt. I should consider ironing it, too, but I don’t know if I’ll get that far.

Didn’t Mean to Fall Off the Internet

Oops, I seem to have disappeared for a while.

On October 22nd I took Robin to Indianapolis. Actually Robin drove down and I rode shotgun, with Gimli in the back. I-65 down was a mess with on-and-off construction all the way. So I took something-or-other west almost to Bloomington/Normal, had dinner with Ron, then took 39 north to get home. Which made for a loooong day. Gimli was not happy with driving away and leaving Robin, and even more unhappy when we left Ron.

Robin is still alive, I got e-mail from him today. Not sure where he is, other than probably the continental US, as he doesn’t have his passport or passport card with him. Nor an ATM card, because Chase no longer does the instant issue thing any more, and the one that should have arrived a couple weeks ago is still AWOL (but has been cancelled). Fortunately, Robin is getting paid on a company debit card, so he’s not wandering the country without fundage.

Three days after dropping off Robin (ie: that Wednesday), I went to Gary and picked up Ron and all his stuff. Ron enjoyed the flatbed work, but two weeks on the road at a time was too much, and some other things, and the upshot was that Ron resigned from Roehl. Good thing I didn’t take Tommy to pick him up, Mongo the pickup truck was full, both back seat and bed.

Ron did a little flailing around, and then early last week we got a resume finished and job-hunting commenced in earnest.

JB Hunt seems to have a lock on all the local (as in home every night) jobs, and they want some more experience. And there are a metric boatload of headhunters looking for bodies to fill those jobs – Ron quickly got to the point that early in a call he’d ask if they were calling about JB Hunt positions.

However, last night he got a call from a guy who was much more helpful, and thought Ron would do well with Schneider, and if Schneider didn’t work out, would keep working with Ron to find something.  Local jobs are desirable, scarce, and can have issues with having consistent loads, so Ron and the recruiter decided to look at regional jobs (which Ron had already been looking at).

Schneider seems to be working out. Ron’s scheduled to start orientation Monday the 27th, since they’re not start an orientation class next week. The general schedule for a typical week would be leave Monday, come home some time on Saturday, off the balance of Saturday and Sunday. And they have a “Chicago” terminal, so we don’t have to keep renting yard space (although depending on exactly that is…).

Our current yard space is paid through the end of December. We decided to hold onto it, as we weren’t sure if Ron was going to need it, and Robin might need/want it depending when he finishes training and gets some home time vs. when Werner finishes work on their Joliet terminal.

We’ve been working on giving the snake enclosures thorough cleanings, and Ron’s been playing with woodcarving, so the living room floor is more or less coated with wood shavings. It will be clean by Sunday, as we’re having people over for a Thanksgiving dinner.

Ying showed her appreciation for her clean enclosure by leaving a large pile of metabolic end products, and then being cranky about me trying to clean it up. Bruce just curled up high in a corner on his jungle gym and sulked (yes, snakes can sulk. It’s a body-language thing.)

More Bullet-Points

  • Since I’ve been more than a bit remiss in posting . . .
  • Robin passed the difficult 2/3 of his CDL test two weeks ago. I supplied fundage for couple more hours of driving practice, and this morning he re-took the road driving portion and passed. Yay!
  • MuseCon is dead. I have feelings about this. They’re complicated.
  • There are still brush piles in the backyard, but the still-growing stuff (some of which is grass, most of which is . . . not) has been trimmed to a reasonable level. I think I’m just going to buy a fire ring after all.
  • Still playing both versions of “My Singing Monsters” despite getting repeatedly annoyed at the sequel. Ron suggests the annoyances are what keeps me coming back. He might be right.
  • Done some Otter Necessities stuff. More about that in the usual place.
  • After thrashing herself out of her enclosure and falling to the floor while attacking her food two weeks in a row, I have successfully learned how to feed Aurora the corn snake without so much excitement. She still gets excited and thrashes around, but I open the door enough to admit the rat and tongs, so she doesn’t have space to fall out. This is particularly silly as she doesn’t get live food.
  • Robin took the air conditioners out of the windows a couple weeks ago. There were many, many shield/stink bugs.
  • Robin and I investigated the new (as in moved) Schaumburg Dick Blick store. I had a not-too-large fail, and also got Robin some additional sketching supplies to take with him during training.
  • Ron has started woodcarving, as he needed a truck-friendly hobby for his downtime. Chainmail is too itty-bitty if when rings are dropped.
  • I now have a set of tube watercolor paints, some test bits of basswood, and two dwarf/gnome-ish figures to paint.
  • I left my iPod in a skirt pocket and it went through the wash. RIP iPod. And Apple has discontinued the Nano, now all they have is the phone-size Touch with a bunch of features I don’t want/need.
  • OTOH, I’ve determined that I can use my iPad to play music from my portable hard drive through my portable speaker, which accomplishes what I used my iPod for, without stuffing the memory on my phone or iPad with music. I found Ron’s old iPod and Xap found a cable for it, and then Robin handed me his green iPod Nano, which he doesn’t use any more. So, options, I has them!
  • I downloaded recent-ish purchases from iTunes to the desktop computer, and keep forgetting to update the music on my hard drive, and/or replace some of the music Robin likes on the green iPod with what I like. D’oh!
  • My new-ish co-worker is loud, and I don’t always want to have my door closed, which only does so much good anyway unless I shut it tight.
  • At least I promptly quashed the use of speakerphone in his open cubicle. Speakerphones are only for use in conference rooms or offices with DOORS, which should be SHUT when using speakerphone, dammit.
  • Last Tuesday morning at oh-dark-thirty Gimli insisted that he really needed out. He caught a rabbit. There’s a reason I keep my wellies in the dining room. He was reasonably good about giving it up, both the initial confiscation and after we played tug with it.
  • I got back to bed about 4 am. Then I had to try to settle a wound-up Tommy, who had missed most of the excitement by being on his cable and/or in the house.
  • I kinda slept in. Then I gave up and stayed home.
  • Since Robin was home and mostly-unoccupied last weekend, the weather wasn’t stupid hot, and it was a bonus long weekend for me, we made pasties.
  • Lots and lots of pasties. 90 of them. The freezer is not quite full.
  • This weekend I made something like onion soup with lots of meat and Italian-ish seasoning, put it over French rolls in foil loaf pans, topped with provolone cheese, then froze it, so Ron and Robin have very wet Italian-ish beef sandwiches to take with them on the road. I was restrained and the batch was only a six-count.
  • We also made a usual stupid-big batch of chicken macaroni salad.
  • This morning Ron left with pasties, chicken macaroni salad, and I’m assuming at least one beef sandwich brick, in addition to the usual supply of canned or otherwise shelf-stable food.
  • I think Robin has decided to go to work for Werner. No schedule for training, etc. yet.

Bullet-Points, we got Bullet-Points

  • The brush piles did not get ground up this weekend, for boring reasons.
  • I did get cleaning done in the dining room, and Robin worked on the spare bedroom, since we weren’t out dealing with brush.
  • We found floors!
  • I got pictures of Buford the very shy snake with his enclosure door open. He did not approve.
  • Baljeet the snake seems to have resumed eating after the trauma of mites and mite treatment.
  • Caudimordax was pretty good about getting a snake sauna and having stuck shed removed from his head.
  • Tommy earned himself the name “Mousebreath”.
  • Kajura the snake was fed on Thursday, as the mouse they were supposed to get on Tuesday “mysteriously” disappeared.
  • Pumpkin pie spice mix is appropriate any time of year, and yummy, on baked apples.
  • Baked apples would have been even better with Granny Smiths than Honeycrisps, and could have used a tiny pinch of salt.
  • Another round of baked apples, happened, because a bag of small back-yard-tree sweet apples of unknown type appeared at work. Cut in chunks, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, butter, baked, then topped with salted caramel coconut milk ice-not-cream was yummy.
  • Chicken fricassee-like stew made with coconut milk instead of cow milk is pretty good.
  • Not sure the little new potatoes in it are usual, but I put them in anyway, and don’t regret it.
  • Leftover Minimalist Potato Salad is pretty good for breakfast.
  • I need to pick up more eggs, potatoes, and mayo next time I get groceries.
  • Lummy the tortoise doesn’t care if other tortoises think prickly pear cactus is wonderful, he wants his greens, dammit.
  • I prefer the original “My Singing Monsters” to the “Dawn of Fire” sequel.
  • I blame Robin for Singing Monsters infesting my iWhatsit.
  • I need more keys to buy more Dibblers!

More Stuff Accomplished

Let’s see, since I last posted almost two weeks ago…

My sister’s closing did happen on the Nth scheduled date. Robin drove to Escanaba on Wednesday (before Labor Day), helped her move Thursday, and instead of coming home on Friday stayed until Sunday – he and my (step) Mother helped get things in place on Friday, Robin hung art; they showed Robin Gladstone, where my Dad grew up), and visited the family farm on the Stonington peninsula. And then Robin gave his grandma a ride to the ferry in Manitowoc, as her car was having issues.

Which left me wrangling beagles on cables, because fence. On Labor Day Robin cleared brush along the back/east fence line, accidentally taking out the neighbors’ internet line in the process. And a little later Gimli charged the door when I was dealing with Tommy and escaped. Fortunately, the back neighbors snagged him. Over Labor Day weekend I worked on Otter stuff, more natter on the Otter blog.

Last week was fairly routine. Ron got home Friday evening, yay! Yesterday he had to go to the Gary terminal to swap trailers and pick up tire chains. While he was doing that Robin and I measured the east fence, and got ground contact-rated pressure-treated lumber. After lunch Ron and Robin trimmed the lumber and Gimli-proofed the fence. And there has been much beagle rejoicing, as they’ve been able to run loose.

While they were working on the fence I cleared off “my” end table and added a narrow section of shelving where it was sitting. I filled the shelves with junk that was on the end table, in front of the snakes by the desk, and stuff that had ended up piled on the desk. So now we have a nice-looking usable table, and less mess.

Today we did some Otter-ish stuff, and later in the afternoon I went grocery shopping. This evening I ground up a big chunk of beef and chopped up a bunch of onion in the food processor, then cooked it all. I was planning on grinding 2/3 of the beef for tacos and chili, and making stroganoff with the last third. Normally I use chunks of beef for stroganoff, but I decided on laziness for the win and ground all the beef. So now I have a bunch of beef and onion ready to finish making dinners tomorrow and Tuesday, and had tacos tonight with the last bit.

Excitement, with Dogs

My sister’s closing got re-scheduled *again*! AAARGH! Current schedule is Thursday, and she has the paperwork and it appears in order; so Robin is driving to Escanaba tomorrow, helping her move Thursday, and coming back Friday. Robin should be starting behind-the-wheel training for his CDL once he gets back (currently out getting his schedule, then coming home to pack).

Friday morning Ron took Tommy to the yard to visit his truck and put groceries away. Tommy enjoyed the trip, especially sharing Ron’s breakfast, despite twice attempting to hang himself.

And then there was Gimli . . . Gimli figured out how to escape from the yard on Friday, and did it multiple times over the course of the weekend. In order to find the escape route, Robin started clearing brush from the south fence line Friday evening while Ron and I piled the cut stuff up. And then Robin and I continued Saturday morning, after Gimli broke his collar and escaped again and I made new collars for both beagles. So the yard is effectively much wider now, except that it isn’t a yard so much as a series of brush piles (even without dog escapes the brush-clearing really needed to be done), which the plan is to run through a chipper.

Meanwhile, we had not actually found the prime escape route, which Sunday night Gimli demonstrated to be the east fence line. All 60 feet of it. Headdesk, headdesk. We’ve formulated a plan for dealing with it.

Ron left Saturday morning, so he missed most of the excitement of me trying to impale my foot on a small stump/spike (only a bruise and lump on my left arch, thanks to good hiking boots), Robin getting lots of minor scrapes and scratches, both of getting minor sunburn, and me clipping a couple Pippin claws too short Sunday night, so now my light blue skirt is liberally blood-spotted. Fortunately, the skirt was already spotty (bleach, I think) and disreputable. And Pippin was very good about us getting the bleeding stopped (time, pressure, and super glue).

Sunday morning about 3 am my body announced that the UTI I had a couple-few weeks ago was back with a vengeance for round 2. Eventually I got back to sleep. The acute care associated with our doctor’s office opened at 9 am Sunday, and I was there very soon after. More or less uncomfortable the rest of the day, improvement started overnight.

I was not up to the MuseCon wrap-up meeting/party Sunday evening.

Baljeet the baby rat snake did not eat last week, dammit. Trying again tonight, will try what I did last time I got him to eat (annoy him into striking).

Meanwhile, Ron’s temporary crown came loose yesterday morning. A Google search determined that real dental professionals say that denture adhesive can be used until you can get to your dentist to get it re-cemented. Then in the afternoon-evening yesterday, Ron ended up sitting an a highway doing a parking lot impression while the mess from a semi having its fuel tank ripped off was cleaned up.

When *that* was done, and Ron was therefore in violation of his allowable drive time and trying to get to somewhere to park, he discovered that Kentucky has some badly-designed off-ramps, and he got hung up on a guard rail. Apparently this is not an uncommon occurrence, and other similar ramps have been modified, but not this one. Headdesk, headdesk. After a chunk of guardrail was removed with a cutting torch, he was pulled back onto the road by a wrecker and sent on his way only needing two new tires, some tie-down straps, and a bungee or two. The officers at the scene were very nice about it all, and even invoked pizza.

But I was a stressed, Tommy was baying at various things out the window behind the couch/right next to my ear, Gimli really doesn’t grok this out-on-a-cable thing, and I was up too late plus not sleeping the best the last couple nights (see above, re: UTI), and still off this morning, and took a mental health day.

So I was home when Ron called and said he’d probably be sleeping at home tonight, as he’s got a bright and early appointment with the dentist tomorrow morning, as he has now, it seems, *swallowed* the temporary crown.

Robin just got home to retrieve a piece of paperwork the CDL school doesn’t have, which is needed before he can drive their trucks. Yes, he’s taking his binder of all relevant paperwork back with him.

In better news, the bruising and swelling on my foot is going down. Most of the above chaos is chaos, but not crises. And most of all, we don’t live in SE Texas.

Mid-August Already?

Last week was reasonably quiet. Or maybe not, re-reading? Are schools really re-opening this week and next? I’m not complaining about not having really high temperatures, but I’m having trouble grokking that we’re already halfway through August.

Ron went back on the road Tuesday morning, and Tuesday afternoon/evening I went to the yard twice – on the way home to retrieve food Ron thought he left in the SUV but actually left in the pantry, and with Robin after he got home from gaming to fetch home the SUV, since the Kia was acting up. That was repaired and Robin picked it up today (John & Scott’s was busy last week), so we met at the yard tonight to drop the SUV off and proceeded to get dinner on the way home.

Thursday afternoon I went to the doctor for a UTI. At least the antibiotics kick in quickly.

Saturday I did mostly Otter Necessities stuff (natter over on the Otter blog), with breaks to hunt for an un-eaten mouse, and check snake water bowls while I was hunting. Scatha has taken over hiding un-eaten mice from Tanis, apparently. Earlier in the day Ron had obtained pasties and crossed the Mackinac bridge at about 20 mph (truck speed limit) in very nice weather. That knowledge did not help the mouse hunt. I eventually consoled myself with sorbet, fetched by Robin.

Yesterday I did some Otter stuff, and more general housekeeping. I got groceries, changed water in the aquaria, continued the battle against snake mites in Baljeet’s tub (cautiously optimistic that we’re winning), worked on doll clothes, folded laundry, did dishes, and made skirt steak and dressing for dinner with Robin’s help. And did not vacuum the living room and front entry, which in no way look like the cleaning fairies just came Tuesday. Part of the Otter stuff meant straightening up in the dining room and front entry (including throwing some stuff away), which led to tracking shredded aspen around from the front entry. And there was also a lint explosion from a load of white towels/rags.

Saturday Gimli was very worried, as moving Otter stuff around looked too much like getting ready for MuseCon for his comfort. He was better yesterday, I think because things were getting more put away.

Not-A-Lot Report

Last week was fairly quiet, after the many kabooms on the third and fourth. Gimi was not a happy puppy again on the night of the fourth, but it wasn’t as bad – I didn’t need to turn on the white noise generator and put his Thundershirt on like I did on the night of the third, when most of the fireworks were.

Ron left Wednesday morning, so we’re back in the Ron-not-home routine. Saturday I worked on the MuseCon book, then we went to the regularly-scheduled MuseCon meeting. Sunday I did a bunch of small stuff around the house, and goofed off.

Last night I got chomped on but good by Bruce. Ouchie. I think I startled him reaching in to pull his shed out. See G+ for a fairly goofy picture of him biting one of his rope-vines after that. I tried to take him out tonight to admire his post-shed shiny skin, but he was being stubborn. Kajura seems to have decided to be a social snake – I open the door, and there they are.

Today I think I amazed my co-workers by picking up a “wild” fox snake who’d been found hiding in some boxes stashed under the eaves of our building. He was in blue pre-shed, and chilly, and very, very mellow and well-behaved. I had to take a good look to see if he was somebody’s anery corn snake that had been dumped, he was so good.

After eating dinner and getting snake food for tomorrow out, the dogs and I decamped to the bedroom. Much better. The temperature out isn’t horrible, but the humidity is.

Robin reports we had water in the basement while he was at CDL training, but only based on where the floor in the laundry area is/was damp. At one point this morning Ron stopped for a short nap between Chicago and Milwaukee, and woke up when one of the computers in his truck beeped to let him know his route was being closed – fortunately, behind him. As far as I can tell, all of Lake County IL is flooded. I encountered water on the road in a couple-three spots on the way home, all in the usual places, worst was only a couple inches deep.

Ron’s currently south of Green Bay, after a trip to Iron Mountain. He was originally going to L’anse, but the schedule altered so that he dropped the trailer with the load to go to L’anse in Roehl’s Green Bay yard. Still da UP, though.

Apropos of which, my sister’s offer on a house in Escanaba has been accpted. Yay Kiely!

Busy Week

Let’s see, I last posted Wednesday. But I forgot to mention that my truck acted up on the way to work, so I dropped it off at the shop.

Ron had been over to his truck for one reason or another every day since getting home, a pattern which continued all week long. Yes, pretty sure that the week off after orientation & training is for truck setup.

Thursday felt like Friday.

Friday I took off for birthday party (mine belated 50th, and Ron’s). I didn’t get quite as much done as I could have. The shop called, they couldn’t get my truck to act up (it had done it once previously, a week or so before, so not a surprise). Probably a transmission thing, choices were to start poking around in the transmission or to wait and see. We opted for wait and see, so all I paid for was the oil change they’d also done.

Saturday morning we had a MuseCon meeting to iron out some bumps that had come up in the road. Which was held in our back yard, and added to the party preparation fun. Between the meeting and the party several strong people got into the trailer and got out gridwall, which is now packed in Mongo the truck until MuseCon.

Then we had the party, which was a little lower-key than Ron’s 50th last year, but still fun. I didn’t go quite as overboard on food, either. Pen met and held Ying, my big carpet python. Other snakes got to come out and be social. Dogs did not for much of the day, due to allergic humans in the house, but survived without *too* much complaining. And when they did come out Gimli decided that Doug was his new favorite person.

Saturday, thanks to the wonder of Amazon Prime, we got a solar trickle charger and a giant stuffed bear skin that were ordered Saturday; and Ron ran to JoAnn and picked up 10 pounds of stuffing for said bear. The trickle charger is so that my truck can go to the yard and be left without the battery running down while Ron is on the road – we’d been waffling about one, but figured it could wait as we thought my truck would be in the shop until the middle of this week, as they were busy. The bear and stuffing are Ron’s co-pilot. There were many interesting comments while Ron stuffed the bear during the party. Most were of questionable taste. Bear is more orange the light brown than Ron was expecting, so it was named Sweet Potato, as in the famous “I Has a Sweet Potato” blog post on LJ.

Ron was supposed to go back on duty at 9:00 am yesterday. He didn’t have a load assigned Saturday night, or when he got up in the morning. Went to the yard, was ready to go, and still no load. I brought his perishable food and a couple other things I found in Mongo, and still no load. I went off fabric shopping, went home, and about lunchtime Ron came home to lurk around the house. Still no load. Fleet Manager said try again in the evening. Nada. This morning they finally had a load, to be picked up in Madison on Wednesday. So Ron’s home for two more days. Waiting and not knowing when he’d get a load was frustrating for him, so this is an improvement.

This morning we discovered that Tanis the corn snake’s enclosure was infested with whopping big flies. Mr. Shop Vac was called into service to suck most of them up, then we completely changed her substrate. As far as I can see they spontaneously teleported in, and that’s the explanation I’m sticking with, especially since we cleaned snake cages on Friday. Then we did some running around – to the yard to get some stuff Ron had left in the truck that he’d need/want before Wednesday; to Dick Blick to NOT use a coupon that was for Michaels, not Dick Blick, oops; lunch; back to the truck for Ron’s trucker’s atlas tablet; and then home with a brief stop for me to run in at Osco for dairy enzyme pills.

This afternoon, since Mr. Shop Vac was sitting out I cleaned up the dog hair and whatnot from the window sill behind the couch, sucked the dust off the fireplace screen, and blew the dust and whatnot off the downstairs bathroom window screen. A little off on the timing, I should have done those things Friday. Oops.

And I’m working on the MuseCon program book. Yes, it’s long, grim slog of doom time. For reasons related to bumps in the road I’ve simplified the page-layout in the programming section a bit, which is making it easier, but smooshing down said bumps will be adding other complexity to make up for it.

I have no special plans for tomorrow, except to cook the rack of ribs I got and forgot to cook on Saturday, and I’m thinking it would be an appropriate time to watch “Independence Day: Resurgence”, probably after watching “Independence Day”. And I expect I’ll be putting Gimli’s Thunder Shirt on tonight. He could have used it last night, but we realized that only after we were in bed, and it was downstairs. Fortunately, although we’ve always had one dog afraid of bangs, they’ve never been of the panic and tear around trying to escape variety of fear. The “worst” problem we had was when I gave Lobo a tranquilizer that kicked in before we went to bed, and Ron had to carry the resulting 65-pound puddle of limp husky up the stairs.  🙂

Posty-Post-Post

So, last week when I wondered why Ron didn’t get handed off to his new trainer at the Appleton, WI terminal instead of riding down to Gary to do so? He ended up riding with someone going from Gary back up to Appleton to meet his new trainer. Then there were problems with new trainer’s truck, and getting a part, so a trip to da UP didn’t happen, and then a trip to California and then working their way back east and hopefully picking up Ron’s truck in Arizona this week didn’t happen.

Instead, they went to Vermont, by way of Canada. That was trip 3 of the 5 Ron has to do on his own, so he could still finish the last two up this week, since the drop-off in Vermont was first thing this morning. After the delivery in northern Vermont he had to go to southern Vermont (not sure if that’s empty or loaded), about which I made smart-aleck comments on how little time that would take. Because Vermont: not one of the big sprawling states.

And now I have a craving for maple sugar, because I associate Vermont with maple sugar and marble. My grandpa was from Vermont, and marble-topped tables and other bits of marble, along with maple sugar and syrup, would follow my grandparents home from trips to Vermont.

So anyway, the long, grim slog of doom training month-plus continues. Not sure if Ron will be doing a set of trips (11-14 days) once he picks up his truck, or if he gets a break fairly soon after. But, after the training period the new drivers usually whole week off. Which means that he could be home for his birthday on July 1st and maybe through the 4th. OTOH, as a New Guy he could very well get stuck working over the 4th. We’ll see.

Changing gears completely, how traumatic is a snake bite? Well, Nageswari bopped my hand several times when I was spot-cleaning her enclosure and refilling her water yesterday, and I thought they were mouth-closed “go away and quit bothering me” taps. Nope, she did bite and drew blood. Not a lot, but there are some marks. Some of those could be from Tanami, who I think mistook my hand for food. He grabbed on and held for a minute (and his eye-spots made him look slightly puzzled), then let go and was his usual good-natured self. This is not outrageous behavior for Tanami, as Woma pythons have a strong feed response. I probably should work on tap-training (both myself and the snakes) which is where you gently tap the snake with a hook or rolled-up paper, or something not-your-hand before you pick them up, so you don’t startle them, and they know it isn’t feeding time.

Had Bruce out for a while, and he went for an explore on the stairwell handrail. I got lots of pictures, since I could let him play without worrying too much about him escaping, which left me both hands free.

Moresby later spent a while throttling me and exploring my head and shoulders, and helped me take the bucket of snake-garbage out to the wheelie bin. He also helped hold my phone with his tail while I was talking to Ron. And said “pfft” to me a lot – when both he and Bruce get excited and/or holding on tightly to something they say “pfft” (which is definitely not a hiss), and Bruce will occasionally make other little squeaky noises. Its rather silly, and cute. Robin was laughing at me and Moresby for saying pfft at each other.

Friday and Saturday were hot and sticky, yesterday was much nicer. We turned the A/C units to fan-only and opened the bedroom doors to get fresh air in the rooms. I was more comfortable with the fan on (low) than off in the living room, but even with the fan off it was better than Saturday.