Been awhile again since mused. So a couple of catch-up muses.
Sick Musist is a Fussy Musist. Sick SWITBO is just plain Mean.
Since retirement, your musist's favorite spot is The Bunker. The basement of the house in Denver. No windows to speak of. Lots of technology. Lots of exercise gear. A bathroom. Why leave?
A drawback has reared it's ugly head. Waning disease resistance. Plenty of germs in The Bunker I suppose. But mostly mine and the cats. Some of SWITBO's. She's not a big fan of The Bunker so only passes through to serve the kitties or get to her indoor greenhouse. I've developed good resistance to those germs. But...
It was our year to host Thanksgiving. 20 some odd alien germ donors. One or more of them packing enough cold germs to kill a lesser man. I will spare the details, but it would have killed a lesser man. Been sick to sickish for a month now. Worst part of all is I might have infected SWITBO.
Whether I did or not, I got blamed for it. We've been married 35 years. She's been sick like a few times. Mostly she denies ever being sick. No denying it this time. And she hated it. I'm a great patient. Perfectly happy to accept treatment and aid. SWITBO on the other hand, when sick, is a stone cold terror. My offers of treatment and aid were met with anger and vitriol. Seems it makes her feel mortal and weak. Let's assume my offers were made with absolutely no condescension in content or tone.
About the time I was getting better. She gave it back. As I muse, it does seem to have mostly run it's course.
SO, the Adventure
Other than something to complain about, why you ask is this relevant?
Well. Just as this thing was taking me into it's death grasp, we were scheduled to take a trailer load of plants down to the Quail Manor. So your increasingly sick musist went to UHaul. We rented the smallest enclosed trailer they have but I was going to hitch it to my Volvo of the Buttery Soft Leather. Turns out the Volvo of the Buttery Soft Leather may as well be a truck. The way we use it and the way it pulls the smallest UHaul trailer.
Biggest hitch, pun intended, is the high temperatures the day it had to be loaded was below freezing and the overnight low the night before we left was below zero. These are SWITBO's plants in there. It's going in the garage. Now to get it in the garage it's going to have to be backed up the driveway.
I do some reading on the UHaul site and backing is simple. Hold the steering wheel at the bottom and turn the bottom of the wheel the direction you want the trailer to go. That's the theory. Practice was just a bit less elegant. Not the least of which is to start up the driveway I have to block the street out front of the house, which is also one of the entrances to the neighborhood. Gets some traffic. And. The street is solid rutted ice. So I have to quickly back this thing across the ruts, up the curb, in the snow (in the street, not the driveway of course!), and not hit any of SWITBOs in the ground plants.
Got that done rather more easily than I expected. Got cocky. I'll back it straight into the garage. We have a side entry garage so there is a backing up with a trailer 90 degree turn in my immediate future. After not just a little bickering the trailer was abandoned with about 5 degrees of turn successfully accomplished. The UHaul guy was able to move it by hand. Maybe a I can too. Turns out I could. So we're in the garage.
But the trailer is empty. Wonder how likely it is that I'll be able to get it BACK on the hitch and pull it out when full at 0 dark 30. Called Mom and asked her to engage the Sunday School Class in a little praying...
I got worse overnight.
But the prayers worked.The trailer went back on simple as you please. Being the heathen that I am and not wanting to rely completely on prayer, I had blocked the trailer so the hitch was ABOVE the hitch ball on the car. All I had to do was hold it up while Ann pulled the blocks and we maneuvered it the inch over onto the ball. Now, I wonder if I can keep it on the driveway as we pull it out. Did.
I'm pretty well medicated. Ann is still her normal perky self at this point, so she drives basically the whole way to Tucson pulling the trailer. Turns out either it's a dream to pull or Ann was a trucker in a prior life. I awake at some point and we are going the speed limit...
We arrive in Tucson and more backing is necessary. Now we're in the barrio and the neighbors drive trucks for a living. There is going to be some judgement of the blue eyed devil in the Volvo's driving skills. Ann bails on the backing and leaves me to it.
No it wasn't pretty. You can't see it in the picture, but the other front wheel is rolled up pretty much on one of her sweetness's plants. She took the keys away at that point.
We got it empty and out of there as fast as humanly possible. Been getting some sideways glances, but no explicit criticism from the neighbors.
Improvements to the Quail Manor
We've been trying to get a few things done since September to prepare for the arrival of the cats. Once we got on the schedule, life got in the way so Yada Yada Yada we're into midDecember before much progress got made.
We got the band back together. CtC had proper screen doors installed by the time we got here. Tony the Precision Painter (TTPP) arrived to apply paint after we got here.
I got out of bed to help CtC install a little section of roof over the back door. Then went back to bed.
I got out of bed again to add strings of mood lighting to the pergola. Some customization was required as we adapted what we could buy to what we needed. The result turned out to be quite nice. Then back to bed.
We finalized and ordered the components of what has variously been called the Cat Habitat, Cat Spa, Cat Recreation Area, Cat House, and what we now know is called a Catio. A Catio is a actual thing. Here is one site. and Here is another. After much back and forth we ended up ordering a standard tub enclosure sliding door and a couple of pieces of custom glass for a shower enclosure. Took awhile to get all the parts and for Craig to get it built, but build it he did and it is magnificent!
By the time we are preparing to leave. Guess who is coming down with The Cold that she is too strong to catch. The trip home was a negotiation of who felt better and was the least medicated!
Here are some pictures. About midway, there are some shots of cactus's with hats. When we got here, I noticed Peggy next door had Styrofoam cup hats on her cactus. Thought it odd. I am informed that keeps them warm when the temperatures get below freezing. Clever. SWITBO bought some cups and applied them. But only to the cactus that are not completely indigenous to this desert. Seems the local cactus are on their own...