9.28.2012

Me time?

Mom sent an email today, wishing me a restful "weekend" off, and reminding me to get some "me time" in the mix. Yesterday's day off was One Of Those Days, where everything electronic I touched went to h3ll. I retreated into a pile of junk food and junk television, grumbling for the rest of the evening. I won't go into details - the tale of woe is long and mind-numbingly boring if you're not into Hackintoshes, DVD burning snafus, and Linux installs. I was a walking technology plague. Spouse avoided me accordingly. It could have been contagious.

Today is a new day. Decided to get the last professional pedicure for the season, then it's bare toes until Spring. "Me time" indeed, as I only get pro service a few times a year. So much nicer when someone else wields the cheese grater on my gnarly feet:



Then I come home to break up the second duck fight of the day. Same two girls, Queen Moe and one of the others, both on the tail-end of a molt and extremely crabby. Despite getting on the other's nerves, they're never far from each other. "Frenemies?", I asked Twitter. First fight was this morning, each had a beak hold on the other's chest, and didn't care that I was coming near. I picked up Antagonist #1, and held her in my arms until her heart slowed down and she realized she was in That Stinky Hominid's arms, and there was no going anywhere for a bit. The next fight, I picked up Queen Moe with the same strategy: hold her until she calmed down. She gave her thanks in that special way ducks do:



And that's my restful "me time" for the weekend.

9.14.2012

Project Research: New Porch Curtains, aka Tidying the Ragamuffin Encampment

Summer hit fast this year. We quickly put together canopy shade structures for the animals, and blocked sun from the west with whatever pieces of shade cloth were available. The shade cloths used (for the sides of the canopies, and for our own porch curtains) were from a big-box hardware store, plentiful and within our budget. Unfortunately, it can be expensive to buy cheap - the shade cloth is disintegrating after only two years, and brushing up against a panel sheds onto one's clothes & ground like a tsunami of dandruff. Yeccch.

Now that I've off-site paid employment again, we have the funds to start tidying up our ragamuffin-looking property. First thing on my list: new porch curtains and shade panels.

After much online searching, found Arizona Sun Supply (nope, this is not an ad for their company, this is just my own research). They've been great about answering questions over the phone, and sending samples (hooray, free samples!). They recommended the Textilene 80 or 90, which provides 80%-90% sun blocking, but still let's one see through the fabric. Nice.

The fabric itself is fairly thick, and kinda looks like screen fabric, but fatter threading. We could use big metal or nylon drapery grommets, which would make the curtains easy to hang and move on the curtain rod. But with as heavy as the samples feel, I'm thinking we may want to consider creating vertical flat panels instead. For the animal's shade canopies, the panels could have a couple of grommets at top and sides, and attached to the metal leg & horizontal roof poles via ball bungees. But for the porch? Whatever we do, it will need to be both easily removable (to allow Winter sun) AND goose resistant. The geese like to hang out on the shady porch, but sometimes get bored and decide to chew on things:



With as windy as it gets, the screen panels will need at least seven points of attachment: three at top, two on far middle sides, and two on far bottom sides. Or maybe we'll just make a channel "sleeve" at the top of each panel, "threading" the drapery rod through it, then add grommets at sides and at two points on the very bottom, so we can swing a panel across/back when we want sun.

Time to order!