Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Showers and Skunks

At 4am this morning I woke to the sound of something getting into the bag of cat food. I thought it was one of the cats; maybe their bowl was empty. Ox is black and white but this animal was black with a white stripe running from nose to tail. I very carefully propped opened the screen door with a pumpkin and tip-toed back into the barn and up the stairs to the loft. The skunk appeared to pretend I wasn't there. I sat at the top of the stairs, listened to the sound of skunk mastication and waited for it to leave. When it had gotten its fill, it left the way it came in- through the cat door. (That we have been trying to teach Harry to use the cat door for a few weeks without success was the first thing I thought as I saw the skunk effortlessly exit.) I wasn't much in the mood for sleeping after that so I went to work for a couple hours before breakfast. Fast forward to 6am and I'm standing at the sink assembling oatmeal when I hear a rustling from behind the couch. Apparently the first skunk had come in with a partner. (I had closed off the cat door after the first one left so this was certainly a different skunk.) When it saw me, it retreated to safety behind the couch, curled up and went to sleep for the rest of the day. Michelle sat at this computer and worked all day. We were in and out. Ate lunch. The skunk slept. Our strategy was to vacate after sundown and give it a chance to leave on its own. After dinner out we returned to a skunk-free barn. We'll keep the cat door closed tonight.

I haven't had a chance to write that a couple days ago I took the first shower in the house. It was at the end of the day the solar system was up and running and the plumber had come and brought water to the shower stall. The cedar shower was fabulous. The scent of warm red cedar filled the bathroom. We don't have propane coming into the house yet so this was all solar heated. On the first day the 80 gallon storage tank reached 130F. On the second day excess heat from the storage tank was pumped through the slab and kept the house warm all night. So far the whole system is exceeding my expectations.

The last coat of mud went on the drywall today. Sanding on Friday.

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