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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Various T'ings ... Stars on Ice, House, and Alex

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Various T'ings ... Stars on Ice, House, and Alex

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We're home! Okay, we were gone less than a day. But we're home nonetheless.

I see that I owe some greetings ...

Happy Birthday, trekqueen!

And, to the whole flist ...

Happy First Day of Spring!

Of course, it's cold and miserable, though it's supposed to warm up tomorrow. It's a pity, though, because Rita's gives away free Italian ice on the first day of Spring, and Bobby and I had all intentions of visiting our local franchise and partaking in two. But it's so damned cold that I can't bring myself to consider Italian ice, even if it is free. Personally, I am beginning to entertain the conspiracy theory that Rita's secretly controls the weather because they offered free Italian ice last year too, and it was cold and miserable and raining on the first day of Spring so no one went.

Anyway, the Stars on Ice show was great, as usual. Though it made me want to skate badly, probably because I know that it is as much fun as it looks! Alex stayed with my parents while we were gone, and we spent the night over there to save us that extra hour of driving to go home. My parents' house is still in shambles, and the builders arrived bright and early this morning and started ripping the siding off the house right at the guest room; poor Alex hid under the bed, only he's so big now that only his head would fit under! It reminded me of our Golden/Lab mix Moose, who used to hate when people watched him poop, so he would stick his head in the weeds and leave the ass-end hanging out. But he couldn't see us, so therefore, we couldn't see him. Canine logic.

Alex is exhausted now; Grandmom and Granddad's house is exhausting! The dog never settles for more than a few minutes. First of all, there's twice the number of people to pester with his toys. Then there's a big dusty room to run around in while attempting to eat stray pieces of insulation. Then there's Jack the Cat, who edges a little closer to Alex every time Alex visits. Jack chases Alex, though the latter is four times the size of the former! Alex ended up sleeping for the entire afternoon once we got home ... which was pretty much what Bobby and I did as well!

I should mention that Bobby and I have officially decided that we will not be renewing our lease for this apartment and will start looking at houses at the end of summer.

There are multiple reasons for this.
  • We want Alex to be able to have a yard to run and play in. Taking him on walks is all well and good until the weather becomes utterly inhospitable. Alex may not mind being out in the cold but Bobby and I do.
  • Our rent is ridiculously high. Our mortgage payment would not be much more than our rent is now. So let's see: spend pretty much the same amount of money for a one-bedroom apartment or a single-family home. Hmmm ... And yes, I am taking into account that our utilities will be higher and that repairing things will no longer be a matter of calling the landlord. However, we have also owed a couple thousand dollars in taxes the past two years, which is fairly ridiculous, considering that Bobby and I are far from affluent and Dick Cheney got a tax refund last year. As would we, if we were homeowners.
  • We are simply out of room! We cannot set up much of our computer equipment and we have to wait for a warm, sunny day to paint because there is so much stuff on the desk. Under the bed, futon, and desk are all considered viable storage options.
  • This community has gone downhill since we moved here. We're on the third set of owners in less than three years, which is in itself suspicious to me. But the new owners don't seem to think that we need to have the ice cleared from the front steps in less than a day or that it's necessary to bother with removing the satellite dish that some slob tossed into one of the streams much less the mounds of trash clogging the same. For what we pay here ... just no.
  • And I'm simply sick of living on top of other people. Perhaps this isn't abundantly clear (harhar) but I am not much of a socialite. I don't like to be around people; I don't like most people, and looking at their cigarette butts in our front garden or smelling our next-door neighbor's pot every day or listening to their pain-in-the-ass poodle yapping to high heaven, day in and day out, is not improving my outlook.
We've decided that we're not staying in Howard County, however. Yes, I love Ellicott City, but not for reasons that I can't enjoy equally well as one of the annoying tourists who takes all the good parking spaces. Howard County is terribly expensive; it is the seventh richest county in the entire country, and the cost of living reflects that. Also, Howard County is not quiet and rural enough for me. I am a country girl and, try as I might to change, I always will be.

So we'll be moving slightly north and west to Carroll County. For one, Carroll County is hardly developed at all. For another, Carroll County is still cheap. We can get a single-family home on an acre of land in Carroll County for less than we would pay for a townhouse in Howard County. For a fifteen-minute drive west ... yes, I'll take it!

In fact, one of the primary things we're looking for is a bit of land. I despise those modern communities of ginormous houses on a parcel of land with about five feet of yard on either side of the house. Besides, all of those houses look the same, and I've heard bad things about the construction of such places, considering that it is done en masse. We would like a modest-sized house on a nice piece of land. I would love a wooded lot where people can't see the backyard and I can lie around naked if I want. And you never know with me ... I might want! *evil grin* Bobby supports me in this notion, not surprisingly.

So Bobby's started to look into this, and when the weather warms up, we're going to drive around Carroll County and check out some of the towns we're considering. Aside from the time that he spent practically living at my parents' house during our university years, Bobby's always been a city boy. I told him that he's going to have to get used to country wisdom, like looking at the way the leaves are turning to tell if it's going to rain or measuring the black stripe on a woolly bear caterpillar to judge how harsh a winter to expect. He's up to the challenge; I think that my antisocial tendencies are rubbing off on him. That and working out of DC ... right in the heart of urbanity! He says that he needs a place to live where he can escape that, and I don't blame him.

So that's the first and latest on our house quest. There probably won't be much else to tell for a while; our lease here doesn't expire until October, but this is our goal.

On a completely unrelated note, I had hoped to reply to comments today but spent most of the day being tired and hungry and doing nothing of significance. Besides going out of town, with all that I have been accomplishing lately, I need to eat my weight in food to keep going. I will try my best to answer them tomorrow after work!
  • I'm nipping out to have some dinner, but I want to note that it is 66 degrees here, and it's 9:40 PM.

    *suspicious glances* OK, Mother Nature, where are you hiding the snow?
    • Dude. Why was it in the 30s here at the same time? That's really not fair. ;)
      • WTF, indeed? Why is my comment timestamped 1:41 AM? I know for a fact that it was before 10 PM!

        And that would be because you were getting the chilly weather that I had several days before. ;) But if it's not warm for you in the near future, I'll eat my hat (I don't own any hats, because I'm not a hat person) the rest of my Teddy Grahams.
        • Hey, my last comment is time-stamped at 10:20 or so, and I posted it at 6:30. I dare not question the ways of LJ; it is posting my entries and comments, so I am happy. ;)

          You can go ahead and eat your Teddy Grahams ... even though it's currently in the 70s here and we have the screen door and all the windows wide open. ;) That makes for a happy 'gund.
  • House hunting! Looking forward to reading about how that goes later in the year :D
  • Yay spring! It was a very lovely spring day today here! The snow is gone! Gone gone gone gone gone!!!!!!! :D

    Don't be so sure Alex can't fit under the bed. He just hasn't figured out how to get under there yet. ;) (Seriously, my dog got stuck under the bed not too long ago...daft.)

    And sounds like Alex is pussy whipped. ;P So's my dog. The Evil Kitty comes over and demands to be bathed!

    Good luck with house hunting! Though I am sad you're not moving to Tarrant County or Larimer County. ;)

    I will hopefully be apartment hunting this weekend. One of the complexes at the top of my list is on Hobbit St. *grin*
    • We may yet end up in Tejas. The new positions at CBP don't open for another two years, so maybe Carroll County will be a very temporary thing? ;)

      In Columbia, there is a street called Wood Elves Way. It is right behind the Hobbit's Glen Golf Course. Now, Columbia was on my list of Places Where I Would Not Live (it is a planned community and very creepy, imho), but I would compromise to live on Wood Elves Way! :^D

      And good luck with apartment hunting!
    • That's a little out of my area of expertise. You should ask Juno. >;D
    • (no subject) - satismagic
  • Ha ha, now I'm back, and I can reply in more detail!

    Huzzah for the house-hunting! Wishing you lots of luck on that front.

    My <10 lb. cat, Phoebe, chases the 3x larger dog, Chewy, most shamelessly, and he's completely cowed. She hisses whenever he comes close (deserved, because he chased her terribly when she was a kitten) and he skitters away as fast as his paws can carry him. ;)
    • Lol, having seen your pictures of Phoebe and Chewy, that is a funny thought indeed!

      Alex is cowed by the fact that Jack has claws ... and my parents' pretty pumpkin-colored cat (he actually looks a lot like Phoebe, only with fewer white markings) looks quite evol when he hisses and yowls. Though, at first, they wouldn't tolerate the sight of each other; now they get within two feet of each other before Jack starts to perform. Progress! :^D
  • Hee! Tess used to like sneaking up on the dogs and swiping at them... once she ran and slid upside-down under White Sox and started hitting his tummy, the poor dog... but she was stupid not to learn to stop, because she'd try the same things with Pip, and Pip (the smaller dog) *did* fight back.

    Chip, on the other hand, would play with Sox (jumping merrily above him on the couches as Sox happily chased him) and sometimes start trying to bat at his tail when it wagged. :D

    Ah, what would life be without animals? :D

    And yay for living places with more space and more yard! You definitely seem like you'd enjoy a place with a bit more non-human wildlife. :) (Though I didn't know it was true that woolly bears' stripes can predict winter's harshness... I thought that was just a myth?)
    • I'm sure the woolly bear thing is a myth ... but when I was a kid, that was wisdom to live by! I remember a friend of my parents' once telling about how she had seen a woolly bear that was almost totally black, and everyone panicking: "OMG we're in for a doozy of a winter!"

      Now the flipping leaves predicting rain ... totally true! ;)

      Life without animals would be a life not worth living. Really. I sometimes wonder if people consider what a lonely world this would be if the Human species was successful in eradicating everyone but themselves.

      My parents' cat KC used to "play underneath" their late dog Crosby. He was a Golden/Irish Setter mix who we adopted later in his life, and instead of being neutered, he'd had a vasectomy ... and KC used to love to get underneath of him and bat his balls around! Crosby could care less ... he was a good doggie and good for more than one laugh!
      • I'd heard it was a myth, and I was glad when I did hear it, because I always see woolly bears with different stripes in the same year and used to get tired of all the mixed signals. ;)

        And I wholeheartedly agree! I remember the semester I went to Ireland and couldn't be with my pets... holy crud, I nearly went crazy with stress because there weren't any dogs or cats to pet regularly! I spent as much time around the stray dogs on the university campus as I could just to get my "fix." And hearing birds singing is one of the things that helps me pull myself out of the winter blues...

        Hahaha! I don't think we ever got White Sox neutered, but even Tess didn't go there. *sporfle*
  • Angelica (the Very Evil Eponimous, a.k.a. Empress of the Universe) has always looked down on the dog as the most contemptible being around and behaved towards him accordingly. I should say that my dog is unusually good-tempered and patient otherwise...
    Enormous houses that take up all the land around it seem to be an international epidemy, then.
    • Oh no, the Suburbia is spreading!? :^D

      When Bobby and I move, we intend to get a cat. That will be an interesting experience, with Alex. Though if we get a kitten, maybe they'll get along. My parents had a dog when they got KC as a kitten, and the two got along great!
  • (no subject) - satismagic
  • yay thank you!!! :D I agree with you about housing... so freaking ridiculous. Although our neighbors arent too bad, the neighborhood in general is getting questionable despite our city being so well high up there on the safest of its size... (even though the violent crimes arent happening, the lesser stuff doesnt really make you feel safe either). we'd love to get a wooded/acreage lot but getting that in california? ha! forgehdabuddhit! *hugs* hope you have some good luck in finding exactly what you want. :D
    • You're welcome! :^D I hope it was a good one!

      The good thing about Carroll County is that it's avoided the urban sprawl ... so far. And I'm hoping that it will until my husband either gets transferred to Florida for his job, we retire and can move there, or I become a bestselling author and we can move there. ;^D But I think it will for some time now, which is a good thing.

      It's also good working with warrants in this regard ... I know where all the bad neighborhoods are!
  • *sends you good house-hunting vibes*
  • After our latest house-hunting/moving adventure, Kirsty and I have decided we are Never. Ever. Moving. Again. I don't care if Ellen DeGeneres calls and says, "Hey, wanna live in my mansion rent-free?" No, Ellen, we do not.

    (Incidentally, we are getting jerked around by Sky, our new ISP, so we'll still be without Internet until the 29th at the earliest, in case you are wondering if we died.)
    • Bobby and I swore that too. ;)

      Just wait till you run out of room or suddenly have more income and want more space ... it's amazing how quickly you forget that it's a ginormous pain in the ass to move! Or get a Golden Retriever and have to trek up and down, up and down the steps every time he has to take a leak.

      Though, to be fair, we've decided that this time, we're hiring movers. And packing up will be far easier ... you know what my room looked like before we moved! o.O
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