Monday, September 22, 2014


I got out of bed at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday (I work up a half hour earlier but refused to get up). It was still raining. I got a cup of coffee and started working on the rest of the Blog.

When I finished up, it had stopped raining (for now, anyway). I threw on some pants and a tee shirt and went out to fetch the Game Trail Camera. I checked the rain gauge. There was about 3/4-inch of rain in it. I didn’t dump it as it’s supposed to rain again this afternoon, so I thought I’d get a weekend total for you.

I got the camera in. I set it in the dish rack to dry and took out the SIM card. I checked it and there was 208 videos to go through (groan). Most, of course, were squirrels, birds, me, my neighbor, etc. I did get the fox, two raccoons, the possum and a skunk. I accidentally erased the skunk video, but the rest I posted.

I finally shaved, showered and got dressed. It was windy, cloudy and cool, with puddles everywhere. With that much rain, I was pretty sure Hines Drive was closed, so yet another Sunday without riding the Big Thumper. Dammit!

Sidebar: When the owner of the bike shop called it a big thumper, I thought he made that up. But, I noticed the other day that the crankcase oil I bought from him is from Thumper racing. Coincidence? 

So, I started the second load of laundry, switched my mental gears and began cleaning the house.

I took a break to take a pee and happened to glance out the bathroom window, I saw a young raccoon coming up to the patio! WTF? I only see then at dusk or on the Game Trail camera videos.

Nevertheless, I grabbed my camera and caught a couple of photos before he moved out of sight (only one turned out as he was running).

Then I realized there was a dull motor noise outside I had heard for a while but been unaware of consciously. So, I walked out back. The old man was bush-hogging the vacant lot next door and probably scared the raccoon.

It was just starting to sprinkle (it was about 1:00 p.m.) and I noticed I had left the wheelbarrow standing up yesterday. So, I went to tip it on its side (so water doesn’t stand in it and rust it). That’s when I noticed one side of the opening to the rear garage door opening was all chewed up!!!

Sidebar: The rear garage door was disabled and boarded up inside when I moved here. I painted it almond to match the siding years ago, but never thought of it again.

Now, I don’t know if we’re talking carpenter ants or termites, but something ate the hell out of it. Worse yet, it’s only about two feet away from the corner of the garage. I’m normally a pretty postive kinda guy, but let’s face it: If they have been chewing on that, they probably have been chewing on the 2x4’s in the corner. And if the corner sags, the roof (and so much more) will suffer irreparable damage.

Sidebar: I have not seen this kind of crap since I was helping Sadie and Luanne fix the 200-year old walls of the kitchen when they were adding on. Nasty!

But, it was 1:30 p.m. on a Sunday. I had no idea how the siding went on or how to take it off. I had no 1x6” board to replace the rotted one. At that point, all I could do was damage control.

So, I went inside and got two 2x4’s I had bought for the cat house.

Sidebar: You probably noticed that, other than one illusive video, my neighbor’s testimony and my two visual sighting, the mystery monster cat has never been seen again. I figure either his owners stopped letting him out on the weekends, he got picked up by animal control or he got ran over. I hope it was his owners got wise, because he was cool!

I measured the opening (84 inches) and cut the 2x4 1/8-inch longer (84 1/8 inches). Then I took it out back and beat it into place with a hand sledge. I gave myself enough room so I could work on the bad 1x6.

Then I went back inside and cut another 2x4 to 84 1x8 inches. I beat that one into place next to the first. Then I screwed them together using 2 1/2-inch deck screws. So, I have a virtual 4x4 holding up my header. That should give me time to work on fixing the problem.

Of course, that only makes more problems. Should I just fix it and call it good? Should I rip out the lame garage door outside and the half-assed wall inside and do it right. I dunno. All I really know is that it would have been a nice summer project. In the fall and winter, not so much…

I put the last load of laundry in the washer and folded the second one. I took a break and took a nap.

When I woke up, I put the last load in the dryer. Then I washed the downstairs and kitchen floors.

I vacuumed the living room, the bedroom and the office floor waiting for the floors to dry.

For dinner, I boiled a package of Buitoni mushroom agnolotti and heated up a jar of alfredo sauce. I put the two together, topped it with some grated Parmesan cheese and had a good Sunday supper.

I cleaned up my dirty dishes and pots and then went into watch some TV. I settled on PBS and Masterpiece Mystery. This time it was a Miss Marple episode. It ended at 9:30 p.m. and I switched to reading until bedtime.


  1. God luck with your garage. It looks like termites have really been enjoying your home...sorry. On a brighter note the raccoon is adorable!