Ice done got bigger

To set the expats mind at ease, I did empty the cistern two weeks ago to avoid the miraculous expanding ice debacle of twenty-ought-three.

I cleverly used such advanced technology as a plastic tube to siphon the water out.


Comma kai yai yikki yikki yay

Sorry for the lack of updates, I am not too keen on updating the blog at work as one never knows when blogging at work will be viewed as a seditious act and, in the final throes of the dissertation, I have not been taking too many pics. Here is one from the trails a few miles from the house from a week ago.



All done. Click for bigger photos of the before and after:
Screen Door

what's the secret you're keeping?

New screen doors. Kitchen is done, they are drilling on the front as I type this.
Click each part for a much bigger image (before, after, after with door closed):

And the nice latch

More shortly on the new front screens...

Fat Cat

Mosca just got back from the doctor. She is now .2 pounds fatter than last check in septemeber. 7.4 pounds now, Woo! Not wasting away. A ways to go to the previous high of 9.something pounds, but she is heading in the right direction.

The fall yardscape

Click for the full panorama.


Flip Kitty

The ground finally dried out enough for Mosca to roll in the dirt. First time in a month.


The Engine

This little machine for making coffee is probably the only thing that is keeping me remotely productive in the evenings, weekends and when I work from the house:

The buzz and steam as it fires up is very satisfying, much like I am stoking my own personal steam driven productivity engine.

Winter Coats

As the temperature hovers around freezing each morning, both mosca and I are starting to grow out our winter coats.



Long time no post. Ran out of camera batteries and was attempting to put my creativity to the thesis this week. Mosca is as yowly and love demanding as ever. I sit here looking at the return of the cold grey sky after 4 days of brilliant sunshine. And I have nothing new but the pictures of this nice weird beetle that made its way around the porch for three days. I dub it the "Greater Pojaque Ridgeback Beetle" if'n it is not named yet.



When the clouds cleared this am they revealed a snowline at about 8000 feet or so over Los Alamos. Almost snow in town. I have high hopes for the mythical ski trails open by thanksgiving this year. It was darn near snowing at the house last night with a light rain filled with heavy drops bordering on slush. It looked and smelled like snow, but was a few small degrees away. I awoke with visions of a snow day dancing in my head, but alas, no luck.

In other news the ugly giant stray siamese tomcat was back in the yard this AM. Perhaps the only other cat in the valley as clever as mosca. I had high hopes that a coyote finally ate it, but no. It was actually asleep in mosca's refuge spot in the cat car (an old car with a warm pile of old jackets in the back). The nerve. This is the cat that sprays the front door, eats mosca's food and drives her to the roof to hide. I am a bit sceptical that mosca can still get in the car, so I am closing the window in the car for the time being. Mosca has been not spending any time outside at all as it has been chilly and wet. I chased the ugly siamese away in a fusillade of rocks, but I know it will be back. Grrrr.


Holy Bowl

Despite a daily changing of all the waterbowls in the house for Mosca (I even bought two more for her from the super sale rack at pier one), she seems only to drink from this one:

from which she will suck down half a bowl in a sitting. It is old, chipped and filled with sediment from the mineral rich well water we have here. I keep the other bowls clean of deposits and even use filtered water in one of them, but nope, only the holy bowl gets any apparent use. I am afraid to clean it or move it, lest she turn her nose up at it too and expire of dehydration.
More rain and cold

We are into our third straight day of chilly drizzle and thunderstorms as well as a snow advisory at higher elevations. But in the brief sun we had yesterday, mosca took advantage:


Cold and rain and rain and cold.

Well, it dropped about 30 degrees overnight hovering just above freezing this am and we got a bunch more rain as at least two thunderstorms moved in last night. Most ceiling leaks are still there. Mosca kept me company working on a presentation until 2 am last night and then she woke me to let me know there was a thunderstorm and the roof was leaking at 5am. Thanks kitty! At least I do not oversleep anymore. Maybe some more snowy mountain photos tomorrow. For now, uh, here is the fall harvest from the property:

The apple tree had an insane number of apples this year. Small and sweet, delicious with sharp cheddar. I need to get the rest off today or tomorrow before they freeze. One of the front yard pear trees had two pears. One fell off, so I panicked and picked the other, it proved to be very very unripe. Too bad.


Supermodel kitty

Many people ask what mosca is sick with and what she needs to be medicated with. (Many = more than one). So the short story is that she has some sort of non-complex heart disease which may or may not be exacerbated by hyperthyroidism. This messes up her metabolism, her heart rate and could cause all sorts of as yet unseen complications, the meds keep all this in check. I believe that she is feeling noticeably better and is a bit fatter since medication started. I need to give her a pill and a small amount of liquid medicine every day. Here is her pill:

Very Kate Moss, no?
It is really half a pill, but she does not like taking it any more than a full one. She is really good at holding in her mouth for tens of seconds and pretending to swallow and then, as soon as she is free of you, she can shoot the pill across the room.
What skill! What panache! What a pain!
We have come to an agreement that she will not claw me anymore if I acknowledge that she hates getting the pill and let her make me frustrated. Occasional hiding the pill in wet food works fine, but she turns her nose up at food occasionally so usually we go for the pop the mouth open and cram technique. Reminds me of my favorite pre-meal grace:

Bless the meat
Damn the skin
Open Wide
and Cram it in



Lots of good bugs down at the house.

The best thing thus far has been the nice paperwasp (?) nest that fell off during the not so big thunderstorm a few weeks back.

There was a good plague of grasshoppers this year and a nice hatching of praying manti lately. Mosca, for the record, is barely interested in either bugs or hummingbirds.

The last hummingbird siting was 9/30 and none over the weekend, so it appears they have boogered off for the winter.

More bugs as cat news slows...



Like I said, the storm dumped some snow on the high peaks around the valley here. I think one of the pictured peaks could be Sierra Mosca, at 11,800 feet, perhaps part of the inspiration for the tiny mosca kitty's name? The others are probably SantaFe Baldy and maybe Tesuque peak? Both at around 12,500 ft. I can't find my topo map to be sure.

Click above for the full pic.

Here also is the quintessential rural NM postcard image, dirt road, bunch of rusty old mailboxes, coyote fence and some flowers which you only see in profusion in wet years.