Back To My Normal

Everything I want to write about deserves so much more time and attention than I have to give at the moment.  Fingers crossed I make it back soon to give topics justice…

We had a house guest…two weeks?…ago?…and I forgot to ask him how I might refer to him here (if he felt comfortable with being named at all).  A friend from years and years ago.  I couldn’t (and therefore didn’t) take time off for his visit, but he relaxed and entertained himself and we did manage an afternoon trip to see some of the nature sites the upper peninsula of Michigan has to offer.  There was also good beer and a camp fire.

I couldn’t take time off because I had already scheduled a week off, starting the day he left, to join some of my dearest friends at The Wildcat Sanctuary in Minnesota.  This is the first trip our non-profit, Animal Warriors, has managed to coordinate remotely.  Three people flew in from Tampa, one New Mexico person arranged work travel in such a way she was already in MN, and I drove over.

We worked our asses off together over the weekend, and then each day we lost a worker to the real world until Wednesday (yesterday) when I drove the last person to the airport and headed home myself.

Actually, we were the second and third to the last people.  Kath, my beloved AT companion in 2012, will be there for a month to help with a gap in the intern scheduling.  She is the one who coordinated this trip having done month-long stints at the sanctuary last year.  I am already scheming how I might manage another weekend away while she’s there.

In four days, we finished the top and bottom of a brand new enclosure, as well as helped with the last touches on another habitat.  I am sore, sore, sore.  And happy, happy, happy.  These project-specific trips can be so useful for rescues and animal organizations once they realize the skills and experience we can offer.

Tom was jealous of my trip, but so extremely supportive.  He held down the fort here including taking Markey the Sheltie to his first post-op checkup to remove staples and examine the pin site.  All is going as expected on that front and Markey’s personality inside the house is really blossoming.  Outside is he still frightened and skittish.

Things are still in limbo with the tree situation.  I’m not sure where the neighbors stand in submitting a claim to Wisconsin Public Service for their garage repair and I’m pretty sure Tom has not heard back on our claim for the increase in the tree service needed after the fall.  But the huge log of white pine has been removed by someone who needed it and paid for it (pine would not be good for an indoor fire and we already have plenty of wood piles for outdoor-only).  The other tree that fell, the oak, is slowly being carved and split by Tom to keep us warm this winter.

As an added bonus, the right someone finally read our craigslist ad about free hay for mulch.  Even after creating a hay bale garden, adding some to our mulch pile, and using hay to fill in an old stump depression, we had about 20-30 bales leftover from winter insulation.  It was wet and decaying and not good for much of anything.  The strings had mostly rotted off so moving them was difficult and a huge pile ended up right in front of the living room windows which was not at all ugly to look at every single morning.  Such a relief it is gone.  Tom is putting up some sort of insulating board over the foam insulation in the crawlspace gaps so we will not have a repeat of hay-gate next spring.

I just got up to look out at those living room windows and there is a bright red leaf stuck in a baby pine.  When I drove through town on my way home yesterday, I noticed the streets were distinctly less crowded.  Our humming bird feeder, which sat almost untouched since spring, has been emptied twice in three weeks.  Fall is just around the corner.  It has been a satisfying, exciting, busy summer.  I know I should not look forward to a slow season and slow sales at The Hiker Box.  But right now a little catch-up time sounds wonderful.

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