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February 21, 2018 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Turning turtle

Turtle flying with birds. 1892 Indian Fairy Tales, Batten (USDPD., artist life/

If a Tesla can go into space, who’s to question? (USPD/

There’s a reason turtles live a long time. They don’t do home renovations.

And they swim, acknowledged as low impact exercise. (slight adjustments to avoid sharks – just like land life.)

Not being born with suitable accommodations, people seem to be constantly jammering and hammering to create the ideal refuge for the end of the day – swimming in the vast sea of home repair aisles.

It’s got to be an illness. 

I’m not going into all the nail gun shootings through the hand, or feet through the just completed kitchen ceiling, but been there, done that – with a townhouse and three houses. Not for flipping. Not with contractors. Tearing out walls is great job stress relief. Although putting in long steel beams to replace walls is only funny now. At the time, home projects were everyone we knew spare time hobby and entertainment…when the weather was too bad for sailing.

Having grown weary (and less nimble), this house was supposed to be “done” – just live in it.

Man cooking over wood stove. (USPD. NARA.HInes. by fed employee/

Ah, the memories of living for months after totally gutting the kitchen.(USPD/

You know, addiction lapses:

“Oh, allergies. Let’s jerk out the carpet and put in wood floors again.” (Of course we found fabulous close out cheap wood…took a bit of time calling and driving to get enough. But, hey, wood never wears out. Done is done.)

“Oh, the fireplace surround is so bland. Split rock would really go well with the floor.” (Of course, the was before split rock was fashionable – read that as easily available. I’m not even sure how we knew about it. But the importer in Florida was so happy to help us and get news of the product out. And once done, ahhh – like a mountain retreat in the winter.)

“Oh, Look at this teak industrial ceiling fan with black housing on close out. How cool to replace the living room’s ugly gold and white fan. And it would go with the floor and the fireplace.” (Fans are important here both summer and winter, but ugly hangs heavy over your head. Unfortunately, we’ll need to also put in some recessed lights on a separate light switch to complete the look…someday…)

Suddenly “Oh, can you believe this? Another teak fan just like the first one – even cheaper! Discontinued. How can people not love these? A serious air mover that will go great in the master bedroom – and the dog will love it all the summers’ nights long and get off the bed!” (Of course that final bit bought the fan…which sat in its’ box on the floor so long, RC Cat considered it a deck built just for her under the sunny window.)

Man carving wood trim. 1936-37 (USPD. NARA. by fed. employee, Hine,

And they said classes in cake decoration were a waste of time and money.(USPD/

All last summer we mused “Oh, it’s too hot to get in the attic. Once it cools down we’ll get that stuff done.”

We suddenly realized a couple of days ago, it’s after Valentines Day and winter’s about done. Already 80’s F. a couple of days.

I know. That groundhog. 

But if you really looked at the poor shivering thing, he was quaking like a carjacking victim pleading “Just tell me what you want. I’ll say anything. Please just let me go.”

As we debate whether to stay here or move one more time, the fact is we’ve got to get this house done.

man working. carpenter. 1936-37 (USPD. NARA. by fed. empllyee, Hine,

I’ve heard rumors some people have hobbies that do not often involve ER trips and band aids.(USPD/

It’s causing much emotional distress – to the animals.

Molly Malamute hates ladders – a terrifying souvenir of her previous life somehow. We don’t know. If it’s not raining she can go outside, but of course…

RC Cat has to be closed up in her inner sanctum bath and closet loft suit to keep her from scrambling up the drop down ladder and claiming the attic as her new luxury penthouse – and requesting “a few skylights, please”.

Both of them are pretty on edge with the smoke alarm change outs – as long as we’ve got the ladders available and doing stuff. Hey, smoke alarms do wear out and this new system can contact us if something goes off. (Half of staff worries about the dog being stuck inside and driven crazy by a shrieking irritated irrational smoke alarm going off while we’re gone…for some reason the cat isn’t worried about…not buying the excuse “She’s already crazy.”)

Of course all of this involves electrical and shutting power off and on from the outside electrical box.

Of course it’s raining.

And of course, as soon as this is done, we’re done. (In more ways than one)

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Turtle from fairy tales of India, 1892. Batten, ill. (USPD., artist life/

Not a Uber choice. (USPD/

And now a word from RC Cat: 

The Realm was faced with torrential storms last night with lightning and thunder so loud that We, worrying taking Our responsibilities of making sure those in Our care are safe and reassured seriously, leaped onto the bed in the darkness – only to find what We thought was an “island of safety in storm waters” was actually a dog. Out of habit duty, We performed the Hiss of Authority mandated by protocol before allowing all to settle in for the duration.

Dog reconnaissance reveals several inches of standing water along the gate side of the Outer Realm.

Once again Our thoughts turn to flooding.

Which makes Us wonder if those who are in City of Houston planning, permitting, and flood control are turtles with their heads stuck inside their comfy shells.

How else to explain allowing a large senior citizen development to start up right on the border of Addicks Reservoir and within the reservoir flood pool? Remember this is an area where homes, many still uninhabitable, had waist deep water during the last destructive deluge. “Senior Housing development near Addicks Reservoir raises concerns.”

Do they expect a couple of hundred old people to exercise in a pool everyday to prepare them for swimming out when it floods? Will the development showcase a wetlands area occupied by large turtles that can be used a ferries in case of a storm?

Man at pond. from 1897 Pink Fairy Tale book, Lang (USPD., artist life/

Where’s that darn turtle? I called for a Lyft not a spontaneous turtle underwater ballet.(USPD/

On top of that, the developer/builders were busted for attempting to drain their swamp in order to build by using pumps to move water from the site to public lands – but unfortunately the water flowed into a small creek and low areas up against neighboring property and fences. Later yesterday, the Corps of Engineers put a stop to that saying it was illegal to drain property by pumping it onto public lands and to cause flooding to neighboring property. The Corps says they are putting someone on site to make sure it stops. “Senior living development near Addicks Reservoir causing water issues for nearby homes.”

We may be catty, but We are disturbed humans make many of their problems themselves.

The world might be better if humans were constructed like turtles. Although there would be the issue of needing functioning staff. 

You are free to leave now. Audience over.

Yes, yes, We are quite aware how long this post is.

Blame that on Staff’s dithering.

Read it in several sittings. There. Problem solved.

Run along now….or unless you are willing to work gratis as substitute staff. We shall be so pleased when the sun returns and this home redo madness it done.

Now slide that can of tribute this way.

I Am RC Cat and I approve this message.


  1. easyweimaraner / Feb 21 2018 10:50 am

    that’s the post for me… our diy-adventures end always bloody (in any way we can use this word)… maybe turtles live longer even if they do renovations because they always wear ahelmet what becomes a bunker if the sh.. hits the fan?

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 21 2018 11:03 am

      Helmets! They have evolved to survive…not having hands/fingers that can hold hammers helps. Maybe I’ll try super glueing mittens on? Thanks for nailing a comment

      Liked by 1 person

      • easyweimaraner / Feb 21 2018 11:12 am

        maybe once the turtles ended with 16 stitches after a salto mortale from the roof too and since that day they wear their helmets every day? ;O)))))


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 21 2018 11:52 am

          Ducks and hanger-oners! Partners of the re-do clan. (Molly just sighs and moves from room to room)


  2. shoreacres / Feb 21 2018 10:59 am

    What? Storm? I did see some extra water out and about this morning, but apparently I just got another confirmation that I sleep pretty soundly after all.

    I’m engaged in home improvement, too. One of the mini-blinds in my bedroom finally hit the dust when two of the strings wore through and broke. I’m going to call the office and have them replace it — as soon as I get my place cleaned up enough that I’m willing to let the maintenance guy in. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 21 2018 11:06 am

      Had to go out and use a cup to drain off water in a potted plant. Poor pots have surrendered trying to drain.
      Do you remember when people used to restring Venetian blinds? It was worth it back then. Each summer it seemed Dad would string them out in the living room and struggle with it loudly…mom would pack us off on bikes to the pool swimming pool.
      Thanks for patching in a comment


      • shoreacres / Feb 21 2018 11:10 am

        You know, I’d forgotten the phrase “Venetian blinds.” Of course we called them that, but the mini-blind makers have nearly erased them. I don’t even know what they call the ones with the wider, wooden slats any more. I’ll have to make a quick run through the Home Depot site. 😉


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 21 2018 11:54 am

          Don’t wander there – you might get confused and come out with high hopes, starry eyes, and all sorts of projects!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Rachel McAlpine / Feb 21 2018 11:09 am

    Good news: HRS (home renovation syndrome) is a childhood disease. One day a switch will flick and you will miraculously be free. I was lucky, only about 60 when I grew out of it. I move furniture around instead. However, heat and flooding… that’s different. Good luck.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 21 2018 11:50 am

      Oh, there’s hope. You survived. Furniture can be shoved around on those little felt pads/feet. Encouraging!
      Perhaps it is “young at heart” syndrome at play? We’re much further down the road than you (also known as old as dirt)
      We pick our locations very carefully being natives and having spent most of our lives along the coastal prairies – one reason we’re hesitant to move on – it’s high and dry here (with rain or without HAHA)
      Thanks for sawing off a comment to nail up here

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rachel McAlpine / Feb 21 2018 12:12 pm

        Oh good, your feet are dry. You are still needed for these important tasks. OK, seems I need more years than 78 to become young at heart: I look forward to it!


  4. Cecilia Mary Gunther / Feb 21 2018 1:40 pm

    I am not that type thankfully – not much of a renovator at all – it means buying stuff and you know how i feel about shopping. Cows on the other hand – now that is my kind of shopping. Now – WHY are they letting a developer build another old folks home in the flood zone? how does that even work?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 21 2018 1:59 pm

      Being budget minded and old school we tend to recycle, repurpose, and reuse rather than shop…going in any store is a time killer for sure. We used to trade materials among friends. Habitat for Humanity has a second hand materials/building store close to here…but go in there and it shoots the day – so much stuff with potential. We donate what we cannot use there when jobs are completed.
      Sister-in-law in the ranch spares no effort or cost on her barns and animal shelters – her horse barn was built/completed before the house. HAHA
      Cow shopping time of year has arrived here: livestock and rodeo starts this weekend. It was originally created back in the 50’s to get ranchers and breeders together and showcase animals that do best in this climate (and are profitable – it was all family farms and ranches then. Cows (actually bulls mainly) came in from all around d the world – an education in itself to see them all and talk to people from everywhere. There was less concern about lawsuits, so it was hands on and you could really get up close to the animals)
      Yep, people are asking the city: “Why and how could you even think of giving out building permits for this?”…even if they say the structures will be raised 2 feet off the ground…homeowners are elevating their structure 4-8 feet up in that same area….
      Investigating reporters need to stay on this – and maybe the Corps will step in and nix the whole thing.
      No end to stupidity and developers without conscience.
      Thanks for nailing up a comment


  5. sportsattitudes / Feb 21 2018 3:17 pm

    RC Cat…two cans headed your way…after such a long night fending off an attack on the Realm you deserve them!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 21 2018 7:08 pm

      RC Cat: “How kind – and rare – that you appreciate my situation. So delighted with your gift. (Burp) We are sending a grand wave to you…it may be a bit damp as we have had even more storms all day and due to lack of interest and opportunity to go outside the dog is polluting the air on occasion. Most annoying. So your treat was welcomed soothing. paw wave. Oh, that makes,two. Oh, well We shall call it even then.”

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Kate Crimmins / Feb 21 2018 3:39 pm

    I wonder what Molly thought about having a cat land on her! Here we by Band-Aids by the pallets. Cheaper that way. One more move for us too…maybe.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 21 2018 7:13 pm

      It was a great night. Senior staff lurched out of bed after a big thunder boom and yelled he had to go out and make sure the electrical box cover had been replaced…which allowed plenty of room for Molly to lunge into. She had no intention of letting the cat displace her and was playing dead when RC made her normal giant leap into the air and onto the bed, only it was onto the dog….sort of like jumping onto an island in the ocean and discovering it is actually a whale. It was easier to ignore the whole thing than to try and sort it all out. Rain all day today.
      Costco had these huge bins of assorted band-aids and we bought two – but you know you always run out of the size you need…Maybe the remaining pieces could be wall paper?
      Thanks for chuckling along

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kate Crimmins / Feb 22 2018 7:22 am

        Snorting coffee out of my nose. You paint quite a picture of the bed scene.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 22 2018 8:15 am

          It’s still dripping with heavy fog or drizzle, but at least no thunder. The two apparently have some treaty agreement stipulating rotation of bed lounging, but apparently there’s some claws about thunder that changes everything. (Only those with animals can possibly understand) Don’t waste the coffee!

          Liked by 1 person

  7. RKLikesReeses / Feb 21 2018 4:17 pm

    (((((((((((hugs)))))))))))) for all who are upheaved and discomfited by those renovations/improvements. Ghastly situation! Re RC Cat’s important addendum: WHOA. Seriously? What’s the matter with people?? ::sigh::


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 21 2018 7:17 pm

      For better or worse these jobs take multiple days – and we don’t do them back to back….knees need time to heal from kneeling on rafters.HAHA
      Even the cat knows that development is nonsense. We have a saying around here that in 4-5 years people forget all about what flooded and are willing to buy in a nice looking house…but that’s 4-5 years, not months! Ridiculous. Future Red Cross and FEMA dependents in the making.
      Paw waves! and thanks for the encouragement

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ally Bean / Feb 22 2018 6:25 am

    Having survived a summer of bathroom renovations + a little more, I appreciate how difficult it can be to live happily when things are not right in your house. No wonder Molly and RC Cat are perturbed. I feel their pain, and hope that sooner rather than later all is finished.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 22 2018 8:24 am

      I remember commiserating as you lived through the redo’s. We try to destroy, I mean, work on one room at a time to limit the chaos…but you know how it – and the tools/materials spill over…These bathroom counters/sinks are too low – the taller faucets helped but not enough…either it’s move or fix them – tired of the complaints about the towel rack locations, too. (It is an illness…probably should ask for intervention?) Thanks for sanding up a comment to leave.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Amy / Feb 22 2018 8:02 am

    The never-ending home improvement projects. After a long financial drought, we are now doing the make everything work projects as we dream about home improvements.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 22 2018 8:20 am

      After all the work on houses over the years, we’re now only tackling one project at a time. Budget, rising health costs/flood insurance, and rather unstable economy are big concerns. We do scrounge and pick up items on sale that are real bargains and store them for later use and when we have more energy….the last fan has been the cat’s sun spot for at least 5 years…and the boxes of recessed lighting on closeout actually came from the last house (gads, over 10 years ago…we’ll get around to them some house HAHA). It is wonderful to actually get a project long dreamed of done. Happy hammering to you! And thanks for pounding out a comment to add.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Curt Mekemson / Feb 22 2018 2:56 pm

    Home improvement, the bane of us who prefer to wander. Fortunately, Peggy likes doing such things, likes with a passion. “I’ll cook dinner this week if you will take care of the plumbing under the sink.” And away she goes, Peggy the Plumber, Plumber Peggy. Fortunately, I am secure in my male hood, and can be the manly man in other ways. 🙂 –Curt


  11. Littlesundog / Feb 22 2018 6:50 pm

    I bet you’ve never heard of a nail gun being shot off, with a nail impaling a man’s nose, from the side angle? Yep, back in the day when Forrest was in construction, a co-worker was goofing around, and shot a nail gun off for kicks. Forrest said his vision went triple, and it took him a minute to realize what happened. Too embarrassed to walk into the doctors office with a nail piercing, he removed it himself, but did have the doctor make sure no damage was done. The doctor kept the nail. He claimed it would make a great conversation piece.

    Good luck with continued improvements. I repainted the two bathrooms. That’ll do me for a few years.


  12. LordBeariOfBow / Feb 23 2018 4:37 pm

    Much to my wife aka The War Office disgust I have absolutely no interest in hammer and nails and renovations. If the place looks ready to fall down then it’s time to move on. So long as I have a kitchen in which to slave away and a bed to sleep in everything’s Jake!
    My Coco goes berserk if and when we have a storm, they seem to be getting fewer and father between, I just wish he could go berserk more often. If Tx has any to spare you can send them over this way.
    I’d have thought RC 🐱 would be too blasé when it comes to thunder & lightening. 🐱 🐱
    🐱 (That’s cats plural 😛 ) always seem above such things.


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