Friday, November 30, 2007

No fun

I received a notice in the mail yesterday stating that I must remove my birdfeeders as per the condo's rules and regulations. First, the author referred to me as Mrs. Anyone who writes numerous letters as this District Manager probably does, should know that unless you are absolutely clear a woman is married, you should refer to her as Ms. He stated how bird "dropping" is a health and safety issue. Only myself and my guests are subject to this "health violation". Nevermind the fact that after living there for 5 years, I have never seen anyone else wash their balcony aside from myself.

I know that the regulations say that "No resident shall hang garments, wash, rugs, clothes, or other items from the windows or from any of the facades, porches, patios, or balconies." But this line seems to only refer to wash or rugs. I don't see how somebody hanging a wind chime is hurting the aesthetic appeal of the 20 year old development. What I do see hurting the aesthetic appeal, is the general lack of maintainence on the facade...rotted wood in the trim and posts, holes in the trim, lighting fixtures that are not securely attached, etc. Nevermind how in the summer of 2002, a macroburst swept through my area. I lost numerous larger trees and all they have replanted is one small red maple.

So I only fathom that this crackdown is the result of the condo association attempting to raise some money through fines. As soon as I got this notice, I was reminded of the X-files episode where Mulder and Scully pretend to a married couple in a gated community.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Just another shack

So I've been chomping at the bit to get out to the site I visited last month after I learned of the neighboring property's weirdness factor. Also, to view the beautiful lake. I also wanted to bring my boss because I know he enjoys that stuff too. Sadly we missed lovely fall foliage but it still was beautiful.
Somebody cleared all the vines off the old gate. Must have been a lot of work.
Here's the estate house I didn't get to see last time. Just for the record, no trespassing occurred. All those signs and threats of motion detectors and cameras were enough to stop us at the property line.
What you can't see in the pictures are the few vultures sitting on the roof. One was sunning itself with its wings wide open. Check the stairs to get to the joint.

I know that I wish this place would be restored and opened as some sort of hotel. They sure don't build homes like this anymore. It'd be a great place for parties and weddings...just throwing out some ideas here.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Inquiring minds - Thanksgiving edition

I always like to see how people find my blog...what keywords are punched into the various search engines in which my blog appears. It boggles my mind the type of information one seeks. The most recent comical inquiry is....

"how many hores do i have to walk in my tall boots to break them in"

At first, I was total shocked...but then I realized and hoped that "hores" is really supposed to be "hours" and not what I initially thought it was. Good luck gentle inquirer in East Meadow, NY. Be sure to keep us posted with the answer to that.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

First snow of the season

I don't know if everyone else was as shocked as I was to wake up monday morning and seeing a blanket of white everywhere. I figured it wasn't sticking to the roads so I left without my snowboots and immediately regretted it when I stepped in 2 inches of slush in the parking lot. I decided that I was too lazy to brush the snow off my car, which I also regretted since it didn't melt/fall off until most of the way to the office. It snowed heavily most of the day and even more so up north at the office. We got like 4 inches by home and nearly 6 inches by work. But it was the pleasant snow that barely stuck to the roads...that is except the office parking lot which was a mess and the sidewalks were no better. But they got the crews out by the afternoon. Of course it almost all melted by now.

It sure was fun seeing trees with leaves covered in snow. I wish I had some pics of the bright red maples.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


America's Next Top Eastern Painted Turtle that is. I had a photo sesh with Cashew today. He did pretty well, but needs to work on conveying more emotion in the eyes. There he is being silly with some shrimp pellet pieces on his head.
He gave me a scare yesterday. I believe it might have been a near drowning. I was in the basement working on resecuring the ceiling to stop the mice/chipmunk entry, when I saw him walking around the bottom of the tank. This was odd for him, but I let him go for about 15 minutes. He made a few attempts to escape the situation by clawing at the tank walls. But he's always done that at all water levels. Finally I got worried, grabbed him and put him on the floating rock. He usually scurries off it and hides in the aquatic plant. But this time he just sat there, front feet limp, and breathing real heavy for a couple minutes. Freaking me out all along. Then I shut the heat lamp off and he moved and turned toward the water. And then he went back into the water and into the plant. All was well. Of course a few minutes later he was on the bottom of the tank again, but he found his way back up. I think the filter system has made some currents he can't quite fight yet. But he should manage to find his way to the filter box (it sucks toward it) and then can climb on top of it and then be almost out of the water. He did this the second time he was hanging out on the bottom. I wonder if this was what happened to Peanut.

This is the usual spot I find him...tangled in the roots of the aquatic plant. He's grown quite a bit. His shell is 1.3 inches long. I'm really hoping to keep him out of hibneration this winter so he can grow and be large enough to be free by next fall. But he has to learn how to eat live food before then.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Just a coincidence or more?

A weird thing happened to me on Tuesday night. My dreams are a lot like Desmond's from Lost psychic flashs. I'm not saying I'm psychic, but that my dreams are like scattered moments and when put together they usually don't make a whole lot of sense. There may be things or people that carry over from moment to moment.

On Tuesday night, I had a dream about a friend's dog, who is the boxer in the pic. Now it wasn't that I had dogs, him, the owners, etc. even on my mind the night or day before. Because I hear that whatever you thought of last before you fall asleep might find itself in your dreams.

I dreamt we were in the woods and he was without a leash. We were in an area that reminded me of my parent's backyard. I was worried that if we encountered a bear he would go after the bear. Bears are recurring topics in a good chunk of my dreams. I was periodically pulling him by his collar or at least debating whether to lead him just using his collar rather than trusting him to remain with me. Then the second moment is of us trying to locate another dog (the black lab) and somehow we were heading to the lawn of my parent's backyard from the woods. I didn't think anything of this dream, but I emailed my friend to relay the dream. What do you know but the dog had run off that very night without his leash. He was found the next morning and carrying a bow tie in his mouth. It would just be too much if that bow tie came from some neighbor's decorative bear or something.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The squatters are back

About a week or so ago, I realized that my rodent tenants were back in the basement. In the spring, I had found their presents all over the ledge in the basement. I promptly had my father patch the holes in the drywall and seal any potential entry walls. Most of the holes were sealed except the ones immediately above the furnace, which were close to impossible to patch. I'm talking about less than 3 inches of clearance between the air duct and ceiling with numerous pipes going into the ceiling.

The presents were vacuumed up and have-a-heart traps (mice sized) were set. I never caught anything in the spring so I assumed they had been sucessfully evicted. As soon as it turned cold out, they were back. Presents were left along the ledge again. I also found an acorn sitting in the middle of basement when just the day before there was none. A bit alarming since it indicates that these tenants are stepping up their threats. I still haven't caught anything in the traps.
Last year, I had asked my father whether he saw any presents up there and he said no. Well I should have checked myself because there they were. I think the tenants find their way into the walls via the common hallway and then they just make their way through everyone's basements in the ceilings and walls. So this afternoon, I attempted to patch these last holes. It was hellish. I had thought to use the mesh that you have in window screens with duct tape and staples. I had planned to cut holes in the mesh to fit around the pipes. Yeah. That's easier said then done. I did my best and there's still some holes but I hope it's enough of a deterrent that they will just move on to one of my neighbors. If this doesn't work, then I'll need to borrow someone's cat to stand guard down there.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Fall into the gap

My cousin, her BF, and I went hiking along a portion of the Appalachian Trail within the Delaware Water Gap and Worthington State Forest. Our destination was this vantage point where you can see 360 degrees. This spot is also a popular birding and hawk watch. It was an almost 2 hour hike in and it was mostly walking over rocks of course. On the way there, we rested on a nice boulder and some birds flew pretty close. I was hoping that our final destination would be non-stop close bird flying action so we continued onward. Well not so much. Most of these birds at this final desitnation were flying so far away I couldn't see them at all. Just barely a dark spec in the sky. And it sure was blusterly up there. It was like the NJ Mt. Everest complete with a large pile of rocks and a plastic owl, of course. I will say the leaves were gorgeous.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

RIP Peanut September 2007 - November 2007

Peanut the painted turtle is no longer with us. He passed away sometime late this morning. I knew I should have checked on him when I got home last night. Something just told me to checkc on them but I brushed it aside. But I didn't since I usually feed them once a day. I had fed them that morning and Peanut was being such a good eater and he wanted to eat more but I was running late and I figured he would get a bonus meal that night. On weekends I try to feed them twice a day, but I missed out on their dinner feeding. He was his usual lively self yesterday morning. He was trying to climb the walls (I had to rescue him since he was wedged between the wall and the floating rock) and eating up a storm...even the good food he should have been eating all along. I found him this morning at the bottom of the tank between the wall and the filter. I thought he had gone into hibernation, but I still was alarmed because that was supposed to be weeks away. So I picked him and attempted to warm him. He opened an eye and moved his legs and head a bit. I placed him on the heating rock and he occasionally and slowly would move his head or front legs. I then was worried that he was getting too warm so I placed him in the water. He just listlessly floated so he was not going to go back to the bottom...if he wanted to go into hibernation. His lungs were I guess full of air. I checked on him later on and he still was just motionlessly floating. So I put him back on the heated rock. No movement at all and his eyelids seemed bloated. I checked on him again and he was all bloated. No motion from any limb and no flutter of the eyes. So he was gone.

I don't know what happened. As you can see, his belly was really orange and a little wrinkly from the day I got him. Cashew's belly is smoother and less orange. The past month Peanut seemed to be constantly shedding. His limbs were always surrounded by tissue looking substance. Cashew had it too, but not as bad. I thought that he was growing and so he had to shed constantly. He was indeed growing. Should I have forced him to eat the vitamin enriched pellets sooner? He was eating them the past week. Was the water too cold? It was about 70 degrees this morning. Did the fish I put in with them last week have some negative effect? The fish were segregated from them and they seemed to live in harmony even though the turtlets should be hunting them. Or was he doomed from the start being so small and having some mysterious ailment from birth.

Peanut was full of energy, stubborn, and scrappy. I had always planned on releasing them to this pond when they were bigger and stronger. I guess Peanut just couldn't wait. So here's his final resting spot. He's free now.