Coffee break after a long and interesting day

I’m taking a break from chores, all I can think of is chores.

Monday, when it was dumping, I happened to notice one of my tenant’s rain gutters was clogged. It was pouring and cold outside, I decided to take a look at it later. Today, as I was tidying up around the driveway, I noticed, the water had poured so hard out the other end of that section of gutter, sticking off one corner of the house, it had made a depression on the ground.

So, you know me – I bent over and picked up the first stick I saw, and I stuck it up the downspout hole – SPLASH! The single sycamore leaf that was holding all that water back popped over the side of the gutter and a burst of water hit me about mid-torso, soaking the front of my pants. It was so cold – I almost pee’d myself too!  Yeah, there was water stuck up there – only about 4 feet of gutter – and it just kept pouring out of there for over a minute.

I realized, all the  gutters are full again too. Ye dam-ned trees! I got a longer stick and went around to all the downspouts, poking and prodding, all clear. But this weekend I will have to get on a ladder with my handy-dandy scooper made out of a an old soda bottle and harvest some leaf mash. MMMMM-Good!

I ain’t doing it today, I had enough of grubby jobs, I came in the house to have a cuppa java with my close friend and constant companion, Arthur Itis.  Arthur told me not to stick that stick up there, but I didn’t listen to him.

One job I will try to get to today is plant garlic. I didn’t do garlic last year because I did lettuce and herbs instead.  I didn’t plant lettuce in time, I just plain forgot about it. I might try it in the green house later this year, and then move it into the garden in spring. For now I’m going to plant some garlic. I found out, I can grow better garlic than I been getting at the store lately.

I  cleaned my garlic beds but I couldn’t find the heavy piece of wire fencing that I lay over the top, so by the next morning the squirrels had torn it all up. They like to put their nuts in there, the squirrelly bastards. I looked all over the property for my piece of wire, which is exactly the right size to cover the bed and real heavy so the squirrels can’t get under it.  I finally accused my husband of taking it to the dump – and then I remembered, senile old biddy – I had laid it over the compost hole we’d filled in earlier this summer to keep the dogs and the coons from digging it up. It was still there, the weeds had grown over it a little, but none the worse for wear. How embarrassing – I should know my husband better, he is also a hoarder of weird stuff, he never takes anything to the dump until the last bit of life has been used out of it.

We went to a neighbor’s yard sale last year , his father-in-law had died and they were cleaning out the house. The old man kept bees, we’d bought honey off him before, real good. There were tables loaded with all kinds of tools, shop and household gadgets from years and years of living. I spied a really neat flour sifter – still had somebody’s gramma’s greasy fingerprints etched into the tin, you could just imagine her fat old hands rolling out biscuit dough daily.  I use it almost every day, they don’t make them like this anymore. What did my husband buy? An old beekeeper’s smoker, the leather almost turned to wood. “What do you need that for?” I asked. He said, “It’s neat, they don’t make them like this anymore…” I had to agree. It’s on the junk shelf in the shop, next to an old fruit crate with my grandfather’s name stenciled on the side.


Today my husband spent the morning trying to set up new cell phone service. We have had it with T-Mobile – first the service just sucked, have to walk out to the street to use the phone. Then about a month ago they sent us a letter saying, their security had been breached, and our SSN’s were out there!

So, first thing the idiot at Verizon demands is my husband’s SSN. My husband was flustered, wanted to say No!, ended up screwing up his SSN. Oops! Now they needed proof of ID – other than his driver’s license? But you have to go along or you don’t get a phone, so he had to come home and have me rifle the filing cabinet for his card, still in the piece of blue paper they’d given his mother. I’ve got all that stuff socked away, buried, in a locking cabinet behind other stuff also buried. We got in and dug it out, and then he left. That was two hours and 40 minutes ago. He’s still sitting at Verizon, but says he thinks he’ll be out of there sometime this century.

He’s watching this homeless couple, camped in a parking space in the parking lot. Dogs and everything. He says right now the man is laid out in his sleeping bag, apparently asleep. If he sleeps by day, what’s he doing all night?

Today I got an alert from Nextdoor

about car break-ins around town. A couple of people theorize they are dealing with the same man – I think it’s a guy I’ve seen and my friends have seen – we call him The Walkin’ Dude (my apologies to Stephen King). He walks around town arguing with invisible people. People report he’s been coming right onto their property to break into their cars, but they haven’t caught him in the act, don’t have anything to give the police.

I know who they’re talking about – I recently encountered him at One Mile, one sunny morning as I rode home from a meeting Downtown. He looked me right in the face and said, “Oh yeah, you really think you’re something…” I wanted to burst out laughing, but stared straight ahead. I’m sick of these human boogers. 

When my friend caught this man trying to get in his front gate, he confronted him directly. He screamed at the man and threatened him with brutal physical violence. He reportedly told him, “you go ahead and walk down my street, but if you so much as slow down in front of my house, I’m going to kill you.” This I got from my friends’ older brother and roommate, who watched from the front porch. 

Scuse my friend, he lives on a busy street with lots of freaks around and he has a young grandson to worry about. He’s asked the city for help but they just sent him a traffic study to fill out.  He put that fence in specifically because of this creep, who walks by every day shouting threats of every nature.  He built a sturdy gate with a good latch. He posted a No Trespassing sign, like Chico PD told him to do. The idea that this fucker would just walk in was too much for him. Me too. He has a lock on the gate now, which is difficult to fumble with in the dark, but makes everybody feel safer, I’m guessing, especially The Walkin’ Dude.  My friend is nobody to fuck with, and that’s pretty clear. When he tells you he is going to kill you, you believe it.

Walkin’ Dude is on Chico PD’s radar, my friend sees them talking to him all the time, but they never arrest him.  The folks on Nextdoor theorize he has a partner to whom he hands the stolen merchandise immediately – crazy like a fox, eh? This is the kind of person Butte County Behavioral Health is spending some $7 million a year of our tax dollars trying to accommodate in our town. 

Well, got to collect the laundry before it gets dark. 







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