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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Off The Beaten Path

My house is off the beaten path. And, somewhat paradoxically, it may not be far enough from the beaten path. It's also close to the center -- I mean that quite literally -- of a city of about 50,000. I'll explain this seeming paradox in a bit.

Just to give you some idea of what I started with, these first two images were taken in late December of 1986, about a month and a half before I bought the place. I bought it on a Friday the 13th; and I paid off the mortgage on the same date ... though, I'd have needed to wait for the next anniversary to get another Friday the 13th.

To be blunt, I bought the place for the land -- two and a half isolated and wooded acres on a hill overlooking the city center -- rather than for the house. I didn't particularly like the house when I bought it (you should have seen what it was like on the inside), and I'd never done any construction or re-construction -- my attitude was "Well, if this doesn't work out with me trying to rebuild this place, I can always have the house pushed over the hill and another built by people who know what they're doing."

As you're doubtless happy to know, the house does look much differently these days.

And for the past month I've been making (yet another) addition to it; that's one of the reasons I haven't blogged all month.

What I've been doing is building a roof over the patio located beside the far window on the left (the window is now a pseudo-French door, as perhaps may be seen in the image below). I'd have preferred to leave the patio open to the sky; among other things, it will reduce the light coming into the livingroom and the "great room." But the roof is necessary: in the winter, the water held in the gravel and sand beneath the patio's paving is freezing and the weight and pressure is pushing out the retaining-wall. If I don't do something to keep water out of the substrata, within a few years the whole thing will come tumbling down.

Though, now that the patio has a roof, that's good too; it's an area of about 13x21 feet, which ought to be a nice area for being outside even when it's raining.

This picture was taken at night (I'm sorry about the terrible quality) around Christmas of, I think, 1992. At any rate, that's the very latest it can have been taken. This picture doesn't show the additions, which were made after that. I include it because I really like how the house looked at that time.

It was with a view similar to this, though further to the left with respect to this image (and a couple of hundred feet farther away), perhaps a year and a half after I bought the place that I suddenly began to see the house as an attractive building and not just a monstrosity of a dump I'd saddled myself with. I was walking up out of the woods past the far side yard. Due to the lay of the land, the house wasn't visible at first, but as I climbed, it coyly presented itself to me, and I was hooked.

These next three images were taken one April morning in 2001.

This is pretty much what the front of the house looks like today, except that the plantings just on the other side of the car are more mature -- or, depending on your point of view, over-grown. To the left of the front door, you can just see the corner of one addition (which even today I haven't finished). I suppose you could call it a "great room," when I do complete it.

In this image, the "great room" and the "sun room" additions are (just barely) visible. The pile of dirt is from an excavation I'd just had done so that I could put in a foundation on which to eventually build an attached garage.

If you'd like to see a larger version, click on the image.

This image was taken directly to the east of the house, showing the "great room" and the "sun room" additions, along with the east side of the patio's retaining wall. The roof I'm building over the patio basically extends the roof which juts out on the south side of the "great room."

One last picture, from December of 1997, with a better view of where I'm currently working. Much of the area where the "great room" sits was originally going to be part of the patio. That is, the patio was originally going to be two to three times the size it is.


Now, about that seeming paradox of being both off the beaten path and yet not far enough off it --

As I mentioned above, I live near the city-center. But, due to the lay-of-the-land, most people don't even know that the property is here. And, due the property's size and isolation -- on all sides, I have the back-sides of other people's properties between mine and the public streets -- it's almost like being out in the country. In the summer, after the trees leaf-out, I can't easily see any other houses. Though, I still can sometimes hear the traffic from a main street nearby. And I can hear the dogs from many blocks around, some of which are allowed to mindlessly barks for hours at a time. Or, perhaps I ought to have said, "... some of which mindlessly are allowed to barks for hours at a time."

So, I'm in the middle of a city ... and sometimes I see deer in my yard or hiding in the woods. Always before, they've been young ones, I presume trying to find a place to live. The other day, just a day or two after I'd started the latest construction, I was outside early and saw a fully grown deer running through the yard. A neighbor from down the hill came up later that day, I suppose to check out the noise (and also to ask for permission for his son-in-law to drive a bobcat through my yard so he could get to the backside of his property to haul out some lumber), and mentioned that he'd seen both a grown dear and a young one together. Also, I think they ate his garden (which is half-way up the hill from his house), despite the fence around it.

There a woodchucks living here. And opossums. And raccoons. 'Possums are ugly, but they leave you alone. Woodchucks are nasty, and they stink, and they like to eat your garden -- they're the reason the neighbor's is fenced and why I gave up. And the raccoons are always trying to get into my attic. I think (knock on wood) that I've finally got them blocked from doing so.

There are squirrels, of course; both red and grey. In the past year or two, I've been seeing the black variety of the eastern grey squirrel. Squirrels also like to try to get into the house; I call 'em "fuzzy-tailed tree-rats."

There is always at least one pair of crows around here. In the early spring, they almost always discover an owl or hawk roosting in a tree here. They always chase it off.

In the winter, crows like to congregate by the thousands in the local trees -- it's a real mess when they choose the ones around the driveway. I've generally been able to discourage them -- what you do is wait until they're settled-in for the night, then startle them with loud and abrupt noise; the more it sounds like gunfire, the better, I think. Do that for a couple of evenings and they generally decide to find a less disturbing place.

But, they always seem to try again the next year -- apparently, from something I read in the local paper, they've been congregating in this area for as long as there are records. This was mentioned in an article explaining why there was a man firing off a noise-cannon ... at city expense. But, it was being done during the day, when most of the crows are out looking for food. It was also in the fall, rather than in the winter. It wasn't too effective and was tried only the once.

Also, I'm starting to fear that some skunks have taken up residence. For the past year or two, I'll sometimes be awakened in the middle of the night by the stench of skunk.

Pretty countrified, huh? Pretty much what you'd expect of a place off the beaten path, right? And yet ...


The only *easy* way to get onto the property is via the driveway. All the other ways involve climbing steep slopes (frequently, long steep slopes), and generally involve trespassing on someone else's property before the trespasser can get onto mine.

When I have materials delivered ... or when I ask the police to come out ... the person almost always says, "Wow! I didn't even know this place was here!"

And yet ... there are still people trespassing from time to time; the house was even broken into once (this doesn't include the neighbor kids who tried to break in after I'd first closed the place back up after I bought it).

For instance, a couple of days after I saw the deer running across the yard, I was out working on the construction (which is on the far back side of the house), and what should I see but some total stranger walking right past where I'm working. When I mentioned that this was private property, he held up his hands as though I were pointing a gun at him ... and he kept going. Then, just a minute or two later, a cop walks by and asks whether I'd seen some guy walking through.

I suspect that the fellow who burgled me ten years ago was a similar case. One of the cops who came out to see whether there was any evidence (I pretty much had to insist that they come over and *try* to find some evidence) just happened to mention that he'd hadn't known the place was here until he'd chased some guy through just a few days prior. These cops had just a few minutes before asked me whether I knew any one who'd have broken into my house -- I understand that's a standard question, but it was still offensive -- so, I'm thinking, "OK. What about that fellow you chased a few days ago? You have the car he was driving when you pulled him over for that routine traffic stop; unless the car was stolen, you ought to have a pretty good idea who he is. Should he not be a prime suspect?"

And there are always kids trespassing, generally just being kids, which is to say, getting into things and sometimes appropriating things. Yet, let them hurt themselves and you just know the parent(s) will try to make it my fault, despite that I've probably chased that same kid off at least once already.

On the other hand, a few years ago, quite by chance, I happened to find three kids, aged about ten to twelve, up on the roof of the double garage (there used to be another house up here, that garage was for that house) -- ripping up the aluminum drip-edge to sell as scrap!

Update (2010/06/01):
I got within about 10 feet of this little fellow before he spooked the second time (his first spooking alerted me that he even existed). So, his Momma and elder sister(?) took up residence in my neighborhood last summer, and now there is him.

133 comments:

cathy said...

What a transformation you've made with your house! I really like that you kept the front traditional (especially the beautiful front door), even adding architectural details. (I'm glad she won you over.) But the inside must be so different, with the new larger rooms, the big windows. Do you have any pictures of the views from those windows? It must be wonderful looking out onto the woods.

What a great location -- to feel so removed from the city, but be so close in.

cathy said...

I almost forgot -- Are those redbuds in your front yard? Beautiful, anyway.

Ilíon said...

Yes, redbuds.

When I made my last trip home from Vincennes University, I dug up a redbud seedinging from a roadside woods (I'd never seen any around my hometown in northern Indiana) and planted it at my mother's house. Then, after I bought this place, I brought a seeding of that tree and planted it here ... and that's what you saw in the picture.

Ilíon said...

If you have a Facebook account (near as I can tell, you'd need one to see the Photo Album), the last two photos on second page show some inside after shots.

cathy said...

Hi, Ilion. Just stopping by to wish you a very happy, blessed, Easter.
Cathy

Ilíon said...

Rejoice, for he is risen!

cathy said...

Amen!

Ilíon said...

Speaking of being off the beaten path -- yesterday some Jehovah's Witnesses knocked on my door. I can't recall that I've ever encountered any before.

cathy said...

We very rarely get missionaries at the door, but I am always impressed with the courage it takes to put yourself out there. I am so glad that form of witness is not demanded of me.

Ilíon said...

I just saw a wild turkey on my property a couple of days ago. I emphasize that I live in the middle of a city of 50,000.

cathy said...

Oh, I get such a kick out of turkeys -- they are so funny in their peevish stateliness.

And I truly love woodpeckers -- do you ever get any of them in your "woods"?

Ilíon said...

Yes, I forgot about the woodpeckers.

In the trees, woodpeckers. On the ground, woodchucks.

cathy said...

Am also quite fond of woodchucks (whoda thunk it?)-- but I understand this is not a sentiment shared by serious gardeners.

I ask with some hesitation: Does "cute" fall under 'sentimentality"?

('Cause a baby hedgehog sunning itself on your back step is awful damn cute.)

Ilíon said...

There is *nothing* cute about woodchucks ... they stink something awful, they're destructive, and they're downright vicious and hate-filled.

Thinking animals are "cute" doesn't necessarily fall under "sentimentality" ... but it can, if taken too far. Such as kitten calendars.

cathy said...

they're downright vicious and hate-filled.

No, no. They're just misunderstood. :)

(Even I don't care for kitten calendars. Websites, yes. Calendars, no.)

Ilíon said...

The groundhogs have actually ruined the few peaches that I get some years (most years, a late frost nips the baby peaches, so that none develop).

Years ago, when I came home from work, I found that a groundhog had got himself caught in the livetrap I had set (I was trying to get a raccoon). When I was still 20 or 25 feet away, he started trying to attack me through the cage. And the smell! For at least two days, that area of the yard stank.

Ilíon said...

I had a load of sand delivered years ago (I still have about 1/2 or it). I put a plastic tarp over the pile ... and the groundhogs dragged the tarp into a nest they have in one of my outbuildings.

cathy said...

Those must be some big groundhogs! It sounds like the ROUS* problem my sister has, finding the rim and lid of the trash can chewed, and most recently, the (full)trash can dragged about 30 feet from their back door into their woods.

* Raccoons Of Unusual Size (Apologies to "S. Morgenstern " and William Goldman.)

cathy said...

How do groundhogs get the peaches?

Ilíon said...

I know it's difficult to believe that a groundhog would be eating peaches out of the tree, but I saw it with my own eyes! It's not a very big tree (it's barely alive, at this stage), and I had some cut wood piled up near it. So, I suppose he climbed on the wood and then got into the tree.

===
Also, I saw the two deer again. So, apparently they found enough food in my woods to overwinter -- and thrive! They both look well-fed, and the baby has grown up.

I was out making a dandelion-run (*) the other morning; I came around to the east side of the house from 'round back, and there they were in the area of the yard I call "The Prarie."

The younger one was skittish, but the mother was just looking at me like "So, what are *you* doing here!" She finally ambled off into the woods with an "Oh, well, if it will make you happy" attitude.

One of the neighbors from down at the base of the hill has a large garden half-way up the hill -- he has to lug his roto-tilller up through my property to get it to his garden, which is like carting it uphill and downhill for the disance of all the way around a city block, since there is just a stairway from the level of the garden down to his yard. He has it fenced to keep the groundhogs out; that fence will be nothing to these deer.


(*) This time of year, I try every day to make a circuit of the yard with a weeding tool to pop the dandelions out by the root before they can set seed. I miss a few, of course, but my yard is one of the few without dandelions, or lots of chemicals to keep them down. I sprayed a few times 20 years ago, and haven't since. Though, there are other lawn-weeds I need to spray for some time.

cathy said...

Oh, we have one of those dandelion-digger-out-ers -- it's really quite satisfying sometimes to pull those big roots out!

We get rabbits through our yard every year, whether they take up residence in the "Briar Patch" or not, so we don't use any toxins on the lawn. The rabbits do eat a good bit of the clover (we are supporting a bee hive somewhere, I'm convinced) -- and it's a treat to watch one eat a dandelion: he'll nibble, nibble, nibble, drawing it in from the bottom of the stem, pause for a moment with the blossom on his lips (like a baby with a pacifier), and them suddenly Pop! the flower disappears. Decidedly "cute." ;)

As for the lawn -- we have more weird weeds and invasive grasses it random little patches -- as long as it looks green from the street, i don't care anymore.

Ilíon said...

Like a kid eating spaghetti.

Ilíon said...

And I'm sure it is cute to watch.

Once. ;)

cathy said...

;p

cathy said...

Hey, Ilion, I've been visiting your Facebook pictures, marveling at the drastic changes you had to make to the inside of your house. I was over there before, a few weeks ago, I guess, but something interrupted before I could comment at the time. The floor you put in with the inlay work is just beautiful.

And (as you can probably imagine) I love those pictures of you with your nephews! (Isn't it weird how they go from adoring little kids to regular people with their own opinions and everything!)

Ilíon said...

Like I said, I didn't really care for the house itself when I bought the place; I bought it for the land (I have always had this atavistic attitude about land).

The house had been thoroughly trashed inside, by people stealing the wiring and plumbing, and breaking open the walls just for the heck of it, and splattering old paint on the hardwood floors. Plus, the flat roof (where the sunroom is now) had been leaking for years, and the upstairs windows had been broken out, and so the hardwood floors installed in the 1930s were totally warped and ruined.

cathy said...

So, with as much damage as there was, what made you decide to take a whack at putting it right at all?

And why do I get the feeling that when you say "I built" or "I put in", you don't mean you picked the builder and told him what you wanted?

Ilíon said...

As I said, I bought it for the property -- it's in the middle of a city, so it has all the conveniences of that, but it's private 2.5 acres (it was advertised as 4.5), made even more private by the lay of the land. Now, it only I didn't have to listen to all the dogs which yap or howl all the time.

But, as there was a house already, even if I wasn't particularly fond of it, it just seemed to make sense to try to rebuild it. I think I mentioned that I could barely drive a nail when I bought the place? My attitude was that if I failed at rebuilding the house, I could always hire someone to tear it down and build a new onn.

"And why do I get the feeling that when you say "I built" or "I put in", you don't mean you picked the builder and told him what you wanted?"

You get that feeling because I did most of the work myself. Right at the start, I did hire a "handyman" to replace the collapsed basement wall -- the place was in that bad condition -- but I had to rip out everything he'd done and do it over myself.

Sometimes, I did have help from a friend or a neighbor kid, but mostly I did it all myself. You should have seen me building the sunroom -- that was kind of scary (if you've noticed from the picture, it extends two feet on both outside walls).

The sad part is ... I never finished the work.

cathy said...

You will, once the others matters that suspended working on the house are resolved. And it will be great -- and I will nag you for more pictures.

(You do realize everything you've done so far is pretty amazing, right?)

Ilíon said...

more photos

Ilíon said...

Cathy,
Just for you ... some cuteness

cathy said...

What a hoot! I think half of his weight is just his head!

I realized I knew absolutely nothing about miniature horses, so I googled 'em -- Did you know they can be trained as service animals for the blind? Amazing.

Ilíon said...

I saw that. The idea that you can actually house-train them was amazing in itself.

Ilíon said...

Did you see about the little tennis shoes thay have for the guide horses?

cathy said...

No! I missed the shoes -- that is too funny!

Makes sense -- they have awfully hard, loud feet to have tromping around inside. But the image!

cathy said...

And now for something completely unrelated...

I was looking, without success, for "that one thread" -- I'd gotten to second-guessing myself about how it rated on the discreet-o-meter -- and I'm wondering if you pulled it when you offered your blog as more nephew-friendly than April's fake-wood paneled rec room. ??

Ilíon said...

it's here

cathy said...

Hi! I just got the "page not found" page -- which is fine, 'cause then I don't need to worry about what I said.

cathy said...

And -- Thank you for thinking of that.

Ilíon said...

I'd messed up the link ... it's here

cathy said...

Hmm.

While this was an excellent thread to remove pre-nephew -- thank you, thank you -- it's not the one I was thinking about.

My concern was over comments I made regarding that ghastly DJ-fueled break-up-on-the-air post.

But don't worry about it; I appreciate the hunting around you did already, and I much prefer your having pulled the one you did. You are an awfully good sport. Thank you.

Ilíon said...

I didn't remove any thread.

The DJ one would be one of the four labeled 'Vox Day.'

Ilíon said...

The discussion about the shock-jock Valentine's Day on-air dumping of the girlfriend as in the comments of this thread

cathy said...

Thank you for clarifying, and for hunting up the other thread.

Ilion -- are you doing OK?

Ilíon said...

No, I'm not doing OK.

Between the fact that the job-search is not going at all well -- there are too many HR people, in the first place, and most of them have a check-list mentality, in the second place -- and the fact that so many people decline to think clearly (example), I'm slightly depressed.

I haven’t heard back from the local manufacturer to which I’d applied a couple of weeks ago. I slightly know someone in their IT department, so I do know that my resume did get to the person making the decision.

On a more positive note, a prospective employer (a real prospect, not merely a recruiting firm looking for resumes) contacted me via email today. I know that they’ve been trying to fill the position for some time; so, even though I may not have all the exact experience they want, perhaps they’ll be open to being a bit more flexible.

cathy said...

I want to say so much, though there is so little I can say that could actually help. I can't believe the job hunt is dragging out so long.

Would it help at all to "talk" more? I'd like to very much, if it would; and somewhere else, if you'd prefer. I'm just sittin' here...

cathy said...

Just read the latest at April's. Going for a walk. I'll come by later.

cathy said...

Ilion, please take care of you. Don't let the bad days gang up on you too much.

cathy said...

Just to say "Howdy."

Ilíon said...

Oh, I'll be ok.

cathy said...

I know. I just missed you.

cathy said...

I almost forgot! We went out for a walk the other night, and there was a small fox just trotting down the sidewalk. You know, they really do just "merge into the shadows."

Ilíon said...

I'm fairly certain I saw a coyote one night, coming home from work.

Ilíon said...

"I know. I just missed you."

I was avoiding writing and posting this.

cathy said...

It seems to me that you took him apart rather tidily. Why did you avoid writing the post? Are you regretting something in it now?


And to the thread at Nick's -- I wish there were something useful I could add; I hope there was someone who was able to help at the time.

Ilíon said...

I was avoiding it because, as I keep telling Gentle Reader, I dislike doing it. I (sometimes) do it because it must be done, but it's an unpleasant task ... and made more unpleasant when you actually like the person or (at least at one time) respect him.


As for the other thing, at the time, I thought I was going insane, or at minimum that there was something seriously wrong with me. I experienced the very tiny snaps of consciousness I had during the events (if there were events) as dreams -- it was years later, after a surgery, when the dream-like state of trying to fight off the anesthesia brought back the feel of the memories, that it all snapped into place, and a possible explanation which had never even occurred to me (that I’d been drugged) became the only one which made sense of all the bits of knowledge I had about the time.

cathy said...

Ilion, this is wretched! Bad enough to go through it, but to spend years believing there was something wrong with your mind --
To be left with the anger and the confusion, with no way to sort out or resolve them --
What a horrible thing to do to a young man.

I'd better stop talking.

cathy said...

Ilion, thank you for the sweet things you said at April's!

Darrell is so right about how hard it can be to interpret something when all we know about the other person is what we meet in their writing.

I am so glad you take me at my word when I ask you to explain something, because I realize it could just as easily be read as a challenge.

Ilíon said...

Well, you know, there is challenge and there is challenge.

There is a vast difference between:
1) I'm not yet convinced that you're right; or,
2) I don't understand your argument, so I'm not yet convinced that it's right; or,
3) This is interesting, but I think you have a mistake here; or,
4) I think your argument fais for this reason;
n) and so an and so on;

and:
x) "Yer stoopid!"

Ilíon said...

... my point being that "Yer stoopid" is an attitude and that it is readily apparent when someone is "challenging" a person in that manner.

There is a vast chasm of difference between engaging someone's argument, whether or not one essentially agrees with it, and refusing even to attempt understanding it.

cathy said...

I just saw the coolest thing! It's early -- just after 7 -- and I walked out to the screened porch with the cat -- it is the most wonderful morning, the air is just perfect -- and a couple of birds landed in the tree just beyond the porch. I thought at first it was two female cardinals, but one was shaking out its feathers quite oddly and I really looked at it -- it was a juvenile cardinal, being led by both adult male and female, across the yard in short flights -- with much "talking" the whole time. (There might have been two juveniles; there was enough in-and-out of the branches that I couldn't always tell if I was seeing the mom or a young one.)

Funny, I was thinking about you yesterday evening -- I was standing just inside the carport while a thunderstorm moved away -- the beyond-the-clouds lightening was amazing -- and it seemed to me I remembered you saying something about your porch being a good place to sit when it rained.

Of course, I always think of you now when there's any interesting critter on the move!

Ilíon said...

Animals are interesting … I just wish there weren’t so many around here.

A couple of evenings ago (actually, it was considerably after midnight), I heard some loud animal noises coming from behind me. I walked around, couldn't quite place the sounds. I turned on the floodlights I'd installed when I rebuilt the house, and after I bit, I walked out into the "greatroom" ... and there, out on the patio, I saw a raccoon climbing back down from the patio’s roof. I guess he was going up and my turning on the lights convinced him to go back into the woods.

I *hate* raccoons. And groundhogs.

Recently, I’ve been hearing bird-calls I don’t recall hearing before. I’ve not seen who is making them.

cathy said...

Do raccoons do damage, too?

And what would that one want on your patio roof?!?

Ilíon said...

Yes, they do damage -- they're always chewing on things (like wiring), always trying to open things (like boxes in the attic), always movinf things (like insulation).

They get up on the roof to explore, to see if there is someplace else they can get, to see if there is food up there or a way into the house. Though, in this case, I don't think he was trying to get *on* the roof so much as into its structure, considering that to be a good place to hide during the day.

Ilíon said...

LaShawn Barber has some recent posts about a housefinch nest on her front door.

At my house today, a woodpecker accidentally killed itself banging into an open window (I have casement windows).

cathy said...

Hey, Ilion,

I am so sorry to hear about the woodpecker at your place -- such a sad thing. Birds just really don't get windows, do they? Friends of ours have a resident cardinal that bloodied himself at least two or three times doing battle with his reflection in the window closest to "his" tree. (They put some of those window-cling pictures up to break up the reflection; seems to have worked.)

I did get quite a kick out of the "baby pictures" at LBC, though. :)

I was thinking about all those rude critters you have to contend with -- do you suppose getting some wolf or fox urine to put around would discourage the raccoons and/or groundhogs? (Or maybe just borrow a dog for a day or two?)

cathy said...

Hey, Ilion,

Your comments to the new kid at April's have been really interesting. And patient. ;)

I think she's as sincere as she is incorrect -- and I suspect she's just starting her journey.

Ilíon said...

I think you're teasing me on the patient bit.

cathy said...

She's got staying power, I'll give her that.

I was even being very temperate in my comment regarding her take on the "many Christians" and the "morula of cells" business.

Which seemed pointless to load when I got back to the thread and saw that she and Darrell had gone another round while I was typing.

Let this be a lesson to me!!! *wan smile*

cathy said...

I think you're teasing me on the patient bit.

No, I wasn't -- but I saw you were starting to get pretty fed up ("Are you even *paying attention* to what you yourself are saying?") when I went back again. ;)

Plus, I just now spotted the "Miss I-Am-WOMAN-Hear-Me-Meow" crack! (I'm really quite out of charity with this girl -- that would have seemed a lot meaner earlier!)

Oh, I do like coming over to your house.

Ilíon said...

I'd have completely missed that if you hadn't mentioned it to me.

But, the thing is, from her very first post in the thread, I knew where she was coming from ... which is why when I did make my first post it was a snarky response to her conplaint about not having been taken seriously.

Ilíon said...

The "-hear-me-meow" was obviously a two-level pun on "-hear-me-roar."

But, there was a third, and probably not obvious enough, level to comment's meaning -- I meant it to be understood as likening her reasoning to that of a cat in heat -- "Nothing is as important my *desires!*"

cathy said...

Oh, yeah... I'd kinda forgotten that.

cathy said...

Then it would have to be "hear me yowl" ;)

Ilíon said...

"(I'm really quite out of charity with this girl -- that would have seemed a lot meaner earlier!)"

See why I don't worry (*) about accusations of my "meanness?" I intend and strive to speak the truth without varnish or waffling ... that tends to offend others.


(*) Too much, I mean; 'cause, of course, I do care about what others think of me (I just refuse to be controlled by such concerns).

Ilíon said...

"Then it would have to be "hear me yowl" ;)"

I can't tell you how long I sat here, trying to remember that word! I finally gave up and went with "meow" (even though much of my meaning would be lost).

Ilíon said...

hmmm ... that makes it shound like I sat here for hours trying to think of the word. OK, it was like 20 seconds. ;)

cathy said...

Just as well -- you would probably have been quite disappointed in us, when none of us got your three-level pun anyway!

(Oh, dear, perhaps I shouldn't be so quick to speak for the rest of the gang...)

cathy said...

I hate it when I get over being ticked off and just get to feel bad about having been catty.
*sigh*

cathy said...

I hate it when I get over being ticked off and just get to feel bad about having been catty.
*sigh*

Ilíon said...

You hate it when the righteous indignation wasn't?

But, where were you catty?

cathy said...

Oh, I think my indignation was sufficiently righteous; I just feel bad about getting snarky over here!

(Such a good word, "snarky" -- something else I had never known B.B. (Before Bloggery) Almost as good as "shirty", and much less likely to be misinterpreted.)

Ilíon said...

I don't see that you (or I) have been snarky, or snide, or catty, here. We've discussed (and sought to understand) some unflattering aspects of someone's behavior.

cathy said...

Well, I re-read my comments, and, when disengaged from the things I was thinking at the time, I guess they weren't too snotty after all! ;)

Ilíon said...

Momma Dear had another baby this spring; it's still in the dappled stage. I got a fairly good photo of it yesterday with my sister's phone, so when she sends it to me, I'll have to post it.

Mind you, I really don't want deer in my yard. I might have a different opinion it they'd eat the grass (and spare me having to mow it).

Ilíon said...

Also, my sister told me that I'd look better if I cover my face.

What a family!

cathy said...

I'm sorry the deer are a nuisance; they're such lovely things. I'm looking forward to seeing the "baby picture."

And your sister is totally wrong.

Ilíon said...

Well, to be precise in the telling of it -- I've had a full beard most of my adult life. A couple of months ago (after seeing a horrible picture she'd taken of me), I decided to see if I have a face that doesn't look silly woth a goatee. This past weekend is the first time sje has seen me since I shaved. She said, "You look better with the beard."

Ilíon said...

I decided to update this OP with the best closeup of the fawn.

cathy said...

What a great picture! I'm surprised he let you get so close.

cathy said...

FWIW... I'm not a fan of goatees, either.

Maybe you should "take it all off" and see what you think? I'm guessing it wouldn't take very long to grow back if you want. (I won't even bug you for pictures. Now, that's not to say I wouldn't love to see pictures, but I promise not to bug you.)

Ilíon said...

I'm not a fan of goatees either ... very few men have the facial structure for it. I just can't decide whether I look ok with one.

But I know that I don't look good clean-shaven.

cathy said...

Well, I don't know how helpful this is, but I am quite a fan of your Columbus look.

Ilíon said...

The only thig I can think htat my "Columbus look" might refer to are the two "dark and stormy night" pictures, taken 10 years ago, that I uploaded to Facebook.

A few months after those pictures, I shaved my beard down to a moustache and took a few pictures in progress. I then immediately grew back the beard.

I'm not at all photogenic, so there are not too many photos of me that I'm willing to let others see.

At the same time, it seems that a lot of people don't realize that I'm not too attractive. What I mean is, several years ago, some co-workers from Kansas City came out here to Ohio as one of those "bonding exercises" that brain-dead MBAs are so into. One of the things they did was take photos of us to take back and post on a bulletin board. My photo was one of the worst of me ever ... and some of my co-workers, people who had seen me everyday for close to 15 years, were shocked and maliciously pleased by it. (Need I point out that these were juvenile men?) One of them made a photocopy of it, and for weeks afterward would hang a copy of it out in public areas of the building.

Ilíon said...

Just for you: some images

cathy said...

I know what you mean about not liking pictures of yourself (Boy howdy!) -- but I'd rather leave you a Message than a Comment.

cathy said...

So I did. :)

cathy said...

Random Animal Factoid #713:

I learned today that a giraffe has a heart the size of a Thanksgiving turkey.

Ilíon said...

Maybe I ought to make a post about animals!

Ilíon said...

I could even be talked into posting some pictures of supposedly "cute" animals. I suppose.

cathy said...

I don't know -- I just saw the picture of that piglet at April's. So, so funny.

Perhaps a running collection of undersized animals in footwear... Remember those miniature horses in sneakers? :)

cathy said...

Seven hours at the zoo yesterday -- and the only undersized animals with footwear were the regular two-legged variety. But some of them were cute, anyway. ;)

cathy said...

Ilion, you keep up with music more than I do, so you may already be familiar with this, but it seemed like something you might like: Trace Adkins' song "Arlington."

(courtesy late nights and early parades blog)

Ilíon said...

I don't "keep up with music" much at all ... most of the music I listen to is 10 to 30 years old (and mostly Christian).

cathy said...

Hey -- the movie for Nick's blog (His Girl Friday) is on Hulu. Wanna play?

cathy said...

Hey, Ilion. You've been mighty quiet lately. You doing OK?

cathy said...

Just stopping by to say Hi.

Ilíon said...

And none of the newer posts interested you enough to comment? ;) Well, at least I can be confident that you're not going to do like the now-banned Eric (he keeps posting something and I keep deleting it without reading it; at least he's down to every few days, rather than several times a day).

cathy said...

Heavens. Well, few things are certain in life, but I think I can guarantee I'll never pop in just to pick a fight. :)

cathy said...

Oh, Ilion! The ugly truth behind footwear for animals! ;) The Husband came across a most excellent video of a dog playing the accordion -- and on the same page of videos was "Dog tries new hiking boots."

And I know how you like "cute"... :)

Ilíon said...

Oh! That poor puppy!

cathy said...

Still no pictures! You're such a tease. ;)

But I would love to get caught up on what all you're doing on the house.

Are your woods turning good colors? Some of the trees around here got hit too hard by the dry summer, but others -- particularly a lot of maples -- are performing beautifully.

cathy said...

Still no pictures! You're such a tease. ;)

But I would love to get caught up on what all you're doing on the house.

Are your woods turning good colors? Some of the trees around here got hit too hard by the dry summer, but others -- particularly a lot of maples -- are performing beautifully.

Ilíon said...

Yes, I *am* a tease; always have been.

But, you have no idea how much work it will be to put together a coherent series of pictures to post -- I copied 377 pictures from her two cameras, the majority of which are ones she took as she was driving (sunrises, fog-shrouded sunrises, cloud formations, colorful trees).

Yes, my trees are have changed color ... and about 1/2 the leaves are now on the ground. And I *really* need to get working on collecting them.

cathy said...

Oh, Ilion, good luck -- I know that's huge job at your place!

Did you get many Trick-or-Treaters? I allowed for a 25% increase over last year's crowd, and we still ran out of candy just before 8:00! But the little kids are so... CUTE! :)

Ilíon said...

I don't get trick-or-treaters; the effort of trudging up to my house, if they even knew it was here, isn't worth the candy they'd get (if I'd bought any to pass out).

I recall the first time I'd gone trick-or-treating. I was maybe six or seven (I'd never heard of it before). I went with my Dad's brother's kids (even though both their parents were southern, they knew more about life in Yankeeland than we did). If was fun for maybe the first 1/2 hour, then I was just cold and miserable.

I do recal the old hiding the bag of candy under your bed trick, and the old so much of it at once that you make yourself sick trick. And, no doubt, my younger brother (who was way more into candy than I) pilfered my candy.

Ilíon said...

Somewhere today, I encountered someone's post about what he or she thought were the best costumes of his/her visiters: Dead Barbie Dolls.

This person said it's a rule (which I'd never heard of) that it you can't guess the disguise, you have to give double the candy.

cathy said...

I've never heard of this if-you-can't guess-the-costume penalty concept. Too easy to abuse -- should be the other way around. If the kid can't put enough into the costume to get the idea across, no deal!

And I had no idea Trick-or-Treating wasn't common in the South when we were little. Do you remember what you "went" as that first time?

Ilíon said...

For you, some cute.

cathy said...

Holy Hannah! "Cute Overload" -- they ain't kiddin'! You know, i didn't know what a stoat was before. (They are darned cute when they're babies -- that shot of the one looking inquiring is priceless.)

Now, I doubt you got as far as the middle of Page 3, but there is a video more amazing than cute, so here's the short-cut.

cathy said...

Oh -- some entries are cleverer than others, but I encourage you to check out the (marshmallow) Peep Show.

(I found it through "CO" but have again provided the most direct route.)

Ilíon said...

No, I didn't go that far. Kathy Shaidle har posted the picture of the stoat with some entry on her blog. I was going to post a link to the item, but then I noticed that clicking the picture took me to that "cute overload" site. So I thought you'd like the whole site, instead of just one picture.

cathy said...

Well, I do like it! It's a bit much :) but there are some real gems in there. I believe it's safe to skip the Comments (ohh... the Comments... ), but I generally find small fuzzy faces pretty therapeutic.

Thank you!

Speaking of fuzzy faces -- what did you decide about the goatee?

cathy said...

Hey, Ilion,

Just popping in to wish you a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving.

Cathy

Ilíon said...

Thank you, and I hope you had a wonderful Giving of Thanks to the Sovereign of the Universe.

I was out of town (with my familty) -- the starter in my car suddenly went out. My one sister drove over here after work in Friday (before TG day) and we managed -- purely by God's help -- to get it started, then drove back to Indiana. My other sister replaced the starter.

Just as I was starting to respond to your little note the phone rang. It was a company out of Cleveland asking me to come to an interview! It's apparently a small company, and they want some skills in which I have no work experience -- and they understand that I don't have the experience.

cathy said...

Hi! I'm so glad you got to spend the holiday with your family, despite the Murphy's Law of Car Trouble. (You and your sisters -- and God :) -- make a great team.)

We had the whole family together; my sister, brother-in-law and the boys stayed with my folks, but my niece stayed at our house. It worked out pretty well, since she could have the quieter house for working on her project paper, and since we're literally a few minutes away from my folks, back & forth is easy. And I got to have a little extra just-us time with her, which was lovely.

I'll have my fingers crossed for some good news to come out of your interview. Do you know when it will be?

Ilíon said...

11:00 tomorrow morning.

I got to see my great-nephews ... they had to sneak over to their grandmother's house, since their mother has decided to have nothing to do with any of the family (including, most recently, her 18-y/o daughter).

Ilíon said...

I'm glad your family aren't as insane as mine are.

cathy said...

For all that we have what is probably an average level of disfunction, we're pretty fortunate in (no pun intended) relative sanity. I'm sorry your niece (?) is so troubled. Is the 18-year-old doing OK?

Ilíon said...

I haven't heard anything from the company in Cleveland that I interviewed with 2 1/5 weeks ago, so I'm assuming they don't want me.

The interview today (in North Canton, about 1 1/5 due east of me) went very well. They want me back for a second interview (I have to fill out some forms, and when they get them we schedule the interview).

Just before I left the house, a recruiter in Columbus called to see if I am still interested in the position entry-level she's trying to fill. The pay will be low (it's entry level), but I agreed to visit her on Monday. So, since it involved UNIX (which I haven't worked with since 1999), I suppose I need to study this weekend.

cathy said...

just came by to say Hi!

cathy said...

Hey! Do you already have this in your collection?

Ilíon said...

I've seen it, I don't know about haveing a "collection."

If I recall correctly, it was that picture than led me to think I ought to put up some allegedly cute animal pictures for you (which I never did).