I will never figure out where time goes and why it zooms by so much faster the older I get. Maybe if I was just sitting watching TV and bored out of my mind, time would seem to creep along. But I can’t remember the last time I had enough time to be bored, but I know it has been too many years to count.
This summer has been too short, with the last snowfall in July, three cold rainy days the weekend before last and another bout of it the last two days, fall is here already. Plus the sun is setting earlier and I hate it, I am not ready for winter again! A lot of stuff got accomplished this summer but there is still much to do. Labor Day weekend lived up to its name, my friend Linda came up with her log splitter and we played frontier women, splitting and stacking the pine rounds from the trees I had cut down. And guys – don’t tell me how bad pine is for firewood, I already know that – but it is free, so it will get mixed in with the good stuff next winter after it is good and dry.
The things not done yet are a new electric panel and gravel for my driveway. There are only two electricians in this town and I have called both repeatedly and they don’t call me back. Must be nice to be too dang busy to even give a courtesy call back to a customer. Amazing the way some people run their business.
Speaking of which, I had a backhoe guy up here in July clearing my God’s little acre. He came out and gave me a bid and I accepted it. Long story.. but after the work was done, he tried to charge me over $1,000 more than he told me it would be. I wasn’t having any of it and I paid him what he originally bid. I got a bill for the balance; he got a stern letter telling him if he underbid the job he was going to eat it like any contractor would. I haven’t heard anything else.
I have run into this more than once: Many men think that since I am a ‘widow’ that they can run over me because I don’t have a man to watch my back. They must think my husband did everything and I was some meek mouse who played Suzie homemaker all day and hubby took care of everything. They couldn’t be more wrong and I won’t let myself be taken advantage of – imagine their surprise and frustration – Damn, a tough old lady we can’t push around! Hey, ya can’t be a pudding-pop and live up here alone, trust me.
If I was a wuss I would have been in the truck and outa here last week when I woke up to a bear on my deck. If he hadn’t rudely woke me up from a sound sleep at 6 AM, I would have been more sensible and grabbed the camera and watched him awhile. But in my pre-coffee still asleep surprised state, I just looked out the window and he was like 2 feet from me, I yelled ‘Get the hell outa here’ and he did in a flash. He had got in the trash and had it strewn all across the road into the woods, knocked over a storage cabinet on the deck (which is what woke me and the dogs up) and snagged a finch sock (bird food). Nothing that couldn’t be taken care of, no permanent damage. So there I was shotgun in one hand and trash can in the other cleaning up the mess. The shotgun was in case my dogs got stupid if he came back, I would need to keep them from getting shredded.
He was a good sized critter with his back about 40″ off the ground I guestimate and is a health nut as he ate all the little yogurts I had thrown away, he didn’t care one bit they ‘expired” two weeks before. He had gone into another house and I had heard about it a few weeks earlier. The guy had his kitchen window open and had cooked dinner, he went to bed early and heard a ruckus, which was Yogi in his kitchen. As soon as he turned on the light Yogi exited back through the window as the guy’s rat sized dog hid. I found out the guy it happened to is named Bill, one of my neighbors about 1.5 miles away. So, I was not surprised that I had a visit from a hungry bear and had been keeping my windows closed, just in case.
Things are weird this year, I have seen things on the mountain none of us full time mountain dwellers have seen before and some of it is a chain reaction deal. The bear is usually way up the mountain, he is down here because he is hungry, he has to buff up 50 lbs or more before he goes down for the winter. The late snow killed the blooms for berries etc. that he normally eats. Also there is a pine beetle problem, I know, I had a ton of the ugly suckers around here. Pine beetles lay eggs under tree bark and the larvae eats the tree, killing it gradually and as it dies, it doesn’t produce as many pine cones. Squirrels snag pine cones and get the pine nuts out of them and store them for winter, the crafty bear raids the squirrels cupboards and eats the pine nuts to bulk up for winter. Chain reaction = hungry bears.
Some of my civilized and city-fied family think I am crazy not to be scared, but it is obvious by Yogi’s behavior he is not aggressive towards people because when confronted he ran like hell. He is just doing what we all do everyday – trying to survive in an environment that is not always easy to live in. I hear there is a trapper up here looking to relocate poor Yogi and I hope they take him to Jellystone to reunite with BooBoo and live happily ever after. But until then I think having a bear that is not stuffed is pretty cool…