DebisZoo

Fantasy worlds. Magical inhabitants. Timeless battles between Good and Evil.

Category Archives: Living in the Mountains

Newsletters

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There are several authors from whom I receive newsletters and for the most part, I enjoy these little slices into their lives. Some are clever, some folksy, some risque, most wisely dependant upon the types of books they write. I mean, what reader of clean mysteries wants to read about reverse-harems with aliens. Yes, those are things.

I have tried my hand at a newsletter. One of my favorite authors sends a little one out every day. I strive to manage my works-in-progress every day. How could I possibly send out to a bunch of readers a slice of my life? It’s too boring, for one thing, plus I’m just not that reliable. The way I figure it, when I retired from my “Official Job” a few years back, I dropped deadlines like a hot potato! I try to write consistently, but if I don’t, I’m not going to hear about it during the next meeting with Washington, D.C.

Which brings me to life with the Newsletter Clique. Most of the ones I receive are monthly and update me on how their writing is going, what they’re up to, what their publishing timeline looks like. That’s good; I like that info. It’s nice and short, and in the case of some, I’m looking forward to their next book. Others are a little more personal—how they’re surviving during the pandemic, how their cats are doing… and some just go way over the top. You knew I would get to them, didn’t you? Here is a a mishmash from a few I’ve received, with a little added zing from me!

The Newsletter from Heck: We’re managing this crisis with our heads high (hopefully masked). We’re helping out by feeding our elderly neighbors, and I think that’s tax deductible! But then our kids and their dogs had to move back in with us, so we might have to stop that. Our refrigerator broke down the other day, so I tore it apart and found that little piece that was wonky, I had to make a new one, but everything is OK now! Oh, and while I had the fridge spread out, my cat ate something that was dangling from the back. Vets closed, so I mixed up and salt and warm water, he drank it and threw it up. He’s feeling much better now (of course, I need stitches on my face, arms, and hands, but I’ll take care of that too). I might have put on a pound or two, haha! That’s what happens when you can’t get to the gym and exercise (what’s wrong with a few situps and jumping jacks at home?). Since I’m having to cook so much more at home, I absolutely had to have Amazon send me a few things to help me get by! I love the new Air Fryer Oven Cooker, and the Omelet Maker and Instant Pot, but you should see the Family Size Electric Breakfast Station I got! It’s blue! Let me close by thanking my kids for coming home to mom and dad when they were frightened and in danger of getting kicked out of their apartments because they couldn’t pay the rent. We understand you need to cut loose on the weekends–you’re kids! You need not work at a fast food place while trying to find a job that uses your basket-weaving degree; we understand! That’s what families are for!

Sigh. I can’t compete with those kinds of lives. My boring newsletter would run something like this–except with bullets cause, you know, I like bullets:

  • We live in the mountains now; it’s quiet (although we live between the freeway and the fire station, so it can get lively at times). We also live beside a transformer station. A section of it got hit by lightening and blew up a few months ago. It set our backyard on fire; the village mayor lives behind us, a little further up the mountain. He came running down and started putting it out before the FD we live so close to, got here. That’s was when we noticed—hey, our yard it on fire! Nice way to meet the local politicians. BTW, a transformer explosion is astonishingly loud. My nerves are finally settling back down.
  • We enjoy our “quiet” lives with our six cats. Three are elderly, they throw up frequently, tending to do so where we’ll be sure to see it. They’re thoughtful that way. Try stepping on that at dawn; a real waker-upper. They also have discovered there are mice in the garage, and their new hobby is herding them into the house. Mice go under the furniture, waiting for my foot to go by so they can attack. My daily exercise taken care of—win win!
  • Our adult kids have typical kid troubles; we help them as much as we can. We love them, and they want to live their own lives, but things are weird right now. It’s amazing how many things can go wrong with little things around the house when you can’t get someone to fix them right away. Both are learning to be repair people out of necessity. Not exciting, but making me proud!
  • Our refrigerator is OK, but not so the freezer section. Tossing out an entire freezer full of food isn’t quite so back in the mountains, where you can toss the meat out back and enjoy the sounds of the coyotes fighting over it at night. They tend to come back for seconds, but at least not during the day. Vinnie will be here in a half-hour to fix it. He wears a mask when he comes in! And we got new pans! They’re some weird color, but they were on sale.
  • Speaking of critters—hubby went around to the side of the house recently, and he and a bullsnake about five feet long met up. After hubby introduced himself from a distance (the snake wasn’t wearing a mask), the snake then proceeded to crawl up under the siding and back into the house. How about trying to sleep after that! And what a rotten mouser he is! How do I teach my cats not to go after a snake when they’ve never seen one? They aren’t the smartest…

I’ve written before about life here–A Room with a Scream and A Room with a View, in earlier blogs. Life with screaming chickens and what looks like a view from a scifi movie is interesting. But I can’t compete with those other people. We’re typical and boring. I’m cool with that.

A Room with a Scream

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When we moved to our idyllic little house in the mountains, I was so happy (still am!). A small slab of mountain behind us, and one across the freeway. Freeway? Yes, the freeway, or at least a small section of road, is visible from our front yard. And our picture window. But when we were viewing the house, we sat inside with the doors and windows closed, and then with the windows open, and we couldn’t hear anything, so we decided that really didn’t matter. We’re still in the beautiful mountains, in our sweet, little village. NOTE: There is also a substation next door, but I’ve addressed that in an earlier post.

The day comes when we move our furniture from the city to our little cottage in the–yeah, yeah you get it. We now live in the mountains. After an exhausting day of directing the movers where to put what (they don’t follow directions very well so there was a lot more work to do after they left), it’s time to make the bed and fall into it! It’s so quiet, serene, cold… we like it cold. It’s November, in the mount–yes. We open the windows and snuggle under our quilts. The bedroom cat crawls under. She’s like, what the hell? It’s cold out there! NOTE: Anny Catt (bedroom cat) is 4 lbs of terror; she hates everything on earth but hubby, tolerates me, tries to kill our other 5 cats on sight (remember, she weighs 4 lbs) so she lives in our bedroom. One of our cats weighs 18 lbs, another 20, the others aren’t much smaller A fight is not a pretty sight.

So, we’re all fast asleep, when in the middle of the night, coyotes run by. We’re accustomed to that, we had them running through the arroyo behind our old house, howling and freaking out the cats. It’s kind of a cool sound, sometimes it makes the hair on my airs rise, but it so nature! Only these coyotes sound like they’re standing under our window! They are so loud, they wake me up, my heart pounding. They go rushing by, probably running in the dry creek bed behind our house, or alongside the mountain on the other side of the creek. But they go by fairly quickly and me, hubby, and cat soon so back to sleep.

And then it happens. A ghastly scream breaks the dawn. We both fly up. Cat runs further under the quilts, growling. Silence, then another scream, and another. Dear God, is someone killing someone in our backyard? Hubby runs to the window and slams it shut. No dear, you can’t make the killer go away by shutting a window. By the time he gets to the other window, the next scream ends with a tiny, doodle-doo… Another scream-doodle-doo. It’s a freaking rooster. It sounds like a woman being stabbed to death! I swear!

“Why aren’t the damned coyotes eating that thing?” I demand blearily. “Is that what they’re doing down here, hunting for it?” Can we call animal control? Probably not, we’re living in nature now! Hubby Googles, “how long do roosters live?”

It’s now March and that damned thing wakes us up at dawn nearly every morning, unless we sleep with the windows shut, which we rarely do. Even in the middle of winter, they’re open a crack. Apparently, that’s all the room the sound needs to filter through.

I’m at wits end. I’ve wondered if there’s such a thing as a noise-sensitive floodlight. Or, we can get a screaming goat. You’ve seen them on YouTube. They also sound like a murder victim. If the rooster awakened them, would they scream back? Maybe an airhorn? I don’t know; it’s hard to think rationally at 6 a.m.

So, that’s the view from the bedroom.

In other news regarding the view from my office (substation), we’ve contacted the electric company. The bemused gentleman who came and looked agreed–we need something to put between our house and the eyesore. He wonders why the people who lived here before didn’t do it. I don’t care. I just want to look out my office window and not see an EMP-machine living next door.

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