For the Birds

birds 0720
That’s the hummingbird on the back of the chair. I have determined there are at least two of him, one holding watch back here, the other minding the shop out front. At the rate my other guests are going, my feeder could be empty by tonight.

I am almost out of blogging time and I haven’t even started. For a long while, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to begin at all, because it took two restarts of the computer to even locate the cursor.

Maybe other people can function strictly on keys without a mouse or touchpad, but I was dead in the water and attempting to use my phone to figure out how to get my cursor back. My phone that now goes completely dead every other day because something is chewing through the battery.

The phone tells me the “Galaxy Store” is using battery storage, but it won’t tell me how to fix it. The internet so far has been less than helpful, too. And so my phone keeps plowing through the battery, shutting down because I forget to plug it in.

My computer, which has never gotten along great with Zoom, now has audio issues both in and out. It’s an MSi, and this company has a highly reticent internet presence, so trying to figure things out is harder than it ought to be. So I can’t talk to other people through my computer, now can barely hear them — and no cursor from which to navigate.

I am so tired of being surrounded by things I can’t fix and apparently can’t live without.

I also used up a good 15 minutes of blog time trying to locate the bag of bird food I hid from myself. I could — and this happens to me sooooo often — remember which inappropriate place I had put it, but not what happened after I looked at the initial spot and thought, “That’s not really a good place to store bird seed” and moved it to a theoretically more viable spot.

I finally located it, almost by accident, at the end of a garage shelf in a spot where it can’t be seen until you are standing directly in front of it. Not a good spot, but now the bag is emptied into the feeder (another use of blog time this morning), and hopefully the voracious hoard will take long enough in consumption to allow me to replace the bag and find a third spot to put it, which will once again become the very last place I look.

Then Marrakesh the cat threw up again, also cutting into blog time. He did that a lot two days ago; spent part of yesterday morning choking like a massive hairball might be causing him problems; and once again is regurgitating food. This is the cat who reacted poorly to his recent vaccine and cost us several hundred dollars, so we’re hoping this current issue resolves itself on its own, without veterinary ($$$) intervention.

I wish there were one thing in my life that seemed readily solvable.

I crossed paths with Dusty, our contractor, late last week, and told him about the non-functional solar tube. It turns out, the obvious location for a problem had escaped me: it’s probably in the attic.

He did offer to come take a look at it, but then it sounded like he meant “sometime this fall,” which probably, knowing Dusty, really means a year from never. But I thought, “Surely I can take a look at it in the attic.”

Well, maybe. The other day I extended my Little Giant Ladder as high as it goes in the inverted V (or stepladder) position, which is high enough to let me lift the attic hatch but would never be enough to get me into the attic. And then it turns out the collar into the attic goes on endlessly.

So once again, something that seemed relatively simple is going to become a major project, and I haven’t even been able to see into the attic, a space I’ve never ventured and haven’t seen since drywall went in place, to know if it’s something I can manage to get across to perhaps — possibly — identify a problem and then effect a repair.

Wouldn’t true self-reliance be a thing of beauty? I would have a computer that works, a phone that can hold a charge, a cat that felt better, bird seed properly stowed in an easily-located location, a functional solar tube, maybe some peace of mind . . .

I’ve had to revise my woodworking plans as well, because my teacher, who told me to start on the projects that need to be done on-site here at the house, now tells me he won’t be able to come supervise/take over until the fall. So now I have piles of lumber sitting around and need to go buy more — right as I learn there’s a nationwide shortage of wood due to the pandemic, along with bicycles and coins and a weird assortment of pretty much everything else — before taking up yet another bookcase project that I could work on in the woodshop.

It feels like every single aspect of my life relies on someone, or something, else, and while it’s not generally a bad thing to lean on those around you, it would be nice if I could get at least one thing to work. But everything seems so uphill these days.

I can’t do much about the new used book space at work until I put up some shelves, but I need brackets to put the shelves up, and since True Value, the store with plenty of social distancing, doesn’t have any, that means going someplace more crowded. Right as the county (and me) would prefer we stayed home if we can manage it.

I gather one of the earliest spots the county/law enforcement went to inspect was the lumberyard I shop at, where I presume the “Masks are optional” sign is now gone from the front door. One of my many friends named Mark reported that as of last Saturday, all the employees were masked. Maybe I can find shelf brackets there while buying lumber for yet another theoretical wood project.

Or I can just sit at home in front of a semi-broken computer next to a phone losing charge as we speak, near a cat that for the moment isn’t retching, watching the birds chow down on the seed that took all morning to find and load. You’re welcome, birds.


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