Whatta week!

Wow, we’ve had quite a week. The Divine Ms. M (as I like to call sweet Mireille), was rushing about tending to some new work going on at the house and property. Yes, it’s still ongoing and we even spent some time at a local bed & breakfast so that we could be out of the way as work progressed in one area of the house that we frequent: our work room! Let’s just say that it’s really a nice den – a one-story add-on to the house that was once (are you ready for this??) a separate garage and workshop for the family who built this amazing home in 1920. I’ll let Mireille fill you in on the particulars, but let’s just say that it’s an American Foursquare with Mission styling that makes one think of Frank Lloyd Wright – on a delightful dose of fantasy. It’s a charming structure and it’s uncharacteristically huge, although the rooms – including the center four of the Foursquare – are smallish with high ceilings and LOADS of windows.

As I am not the style guru of our clan, I’ll step back from that line of commentary to just say a hearty, “Hello!” to everyone and let you know how much I enjoyed this week in SL. Poetry and Song with Russell Eponym was a lovely respite; Russell was, as always, charming and offering a wonderful hour of poetry, prose, ruminations, and more. The music was exceptional and he was in top form with the rest. If you’ve not been to The Magic Tree Reading Spot at Ce Soir Arts to enjoy Russell‘s readings, you must come soon! Every Tuesday at NOON SLT, you will find us gathered ’round and rapt in attention as Russell delights us.

Russell Reading at The Magic Tree
Russell Reading at The Magic Tree

The Thursday show with Russell was also outstanding – 90 minutes LIVE with Russell is bound to be fun, and it was. Come along next time to enjoy with us! Of course, the wrap on Thursday is always what Mireille calls the elegant slide into the night with MoShang ZhaoThe Sound Jeweler from Taiwan who drops in on his travels around the universe to get us relaxed and energized with the very cool Chinese Chill. Come at 8 PM SLT every Thursday night to be mesmerized by the groove!

Russell and MoShang

Of course, we’ve continued to enjoy the beautiful exhibit and machinima of the fantastic artist, Fuschia Nightfire. Romance at Ce Soir is enchanting, to say the least, and we’re going to miss it. We’re keeping those amazing stone and marble sculptures that can be found at the entrances of The Ce Soir Castle. They’re very special and mean so much to me and to Mireille. We are known as romantics, but I must say that we’ve been inspired by Fuschia‘s exhibit to remember the great gift that Ce Soir is to us, and to take more opportunities to enjoy it by dancing or strolling about on moonlit nights. As M might say, “Sigh….” So, thank you, Fuschia!

This past week really was something. RL was hectic and I had to WORK (and I don’t mean my regular gig – I’m talking about WORK to help out with the repairs and renovations). I’m not a construction king (or even a prince), so it was an adventure, let me tell you! But I now know lots more than I ever wanted to about ceilings. They really are a marvel, you know. <insert wry smile here> ANYWAY, there’s another marvel you need to know about. They are known as squirrels. Delightful creatures! They’re beautiful, with their bushy tails and rapid scampering. Those little dudes (and dudettes, I imagine) can CLIMB – and do so so very quickly that you haven’t time to notice, much less do anything about it.

Before I go any further, let me state here – unequivocally – that some of my best friends in SL are squirrels. And there are some whom I admire who might not ever be willing to call me a friend, at least formally. One of whom I am thinking is a very talented artist and a close friend of the dear Mireille. So, I am NOT being at all pejorative in my commentary on squirrels. Quite to the contrary, I am lauding them as some of the most clever and mercurial of creatures. HOWEVER…in the Real of Lives, they do not belong living in my roof! And that, dear friends, is just what one merry band of them tried to do this past week.

The scampering of little feet overhead is not a delight. I am sad to report that it’s quite the distraction. And so, to coax them out, we had to reopen a hole in the soffit and fascia (Please note how technologically sound I am when it comes to construction now? Aren’t you impressed? I know I am!). The guttering guy hadn’t gotten here yet, so we could do this, relatively easily. The trick was getting them to come out! We tried several tactics that didn’t seem to produce any result at all. It was a bit maddening. But, on we went, trying to find a humane way to get the little family to move. Fearing that they were, um, “having babies,” we consulted our local veterinary expert. Assured that the locals had already enjoyed their first spring fling, we left our dreams and fears of little baby squirrels by the wayside and carried on.

One evening, we decided to view a television program. We turned on the television and settled down to watch, all the while keeping an ear at the ceiling. Sure enough, the little critters were up there…and they seemed to stir a bit more than usual. In fact they seemed irritated. EUREKA! They don’t like TV! In fact, they don’t like much of any human noise going on – and VOICES are particularly frustrating to them. I don’t know if it’s not being able to understand that’s the issue, of if they just shy away from the sound of the human voice. AND I DON’T RIGHTLY CARE!

All excited by knowing that our wee guests were upset with the management, we upped the ante considerably by turning up the volume on the TV and talking a bit more loudly than usual about the program as we watched. The squirrels were unhappy. Unsettled. And perhaps, a mite unstable.

But they stayed.

We couldn’t keep up the noise to a high level all night, but we did keep the telly on, and went to bed. Hopeful, we approached the morning only to be disappointed. They were still there. So, we started researching more heavily and came up with several possibilities – the least unsavory of which was the placement of live traps. (Yes, I know I’m a bit vampirish in SL, but in RL I am not so into bloodletting; I’m way too sweet of a guy for that. And, if Mr. Jefferson is reading this…well, dude…) <another smile goes here> Besides, we got to watch one of our fave movies THREE TIMES! (If you’ve not seen Cellular, you just gotta!)

While we researched, Mireille kept the sound wars going. She has trouble with sound since the accident last summer and has to be very careful; to say that she has the best earplugs available is an understatement. (I’d hate to have paid that amount for anything less, let me tell you!) That girl watched shows she’d never watch (or at least let them play in the background while she was working). She played music she hadn’t played in a long time, but we think it was mostly the vocals that did the trick. Mireille was pretty clever about it, and whenever she would leave the room, she turned up the volume to deafening levels. Our cat was intrigued, but being the quiet type, she shied away. And with Mireille‘s sound issues, she didn’t really hear much of anything, so it was only a mild distraction for her. Those earplugs were well worth every penny anyway, but this sealed the deal on that.

I had gotten some live traps, but before I set them, we gave this noise treatment a few days – and it worked! The little critters are off living the high life in a tree somewhere, and we are once again in the blissful quiet of our lovely – although still pretty torn up – home. At least the den is completely finished now and the outside is starting to look like a house with a yard again. Soon, there will be plants and flowers and herbes and vegetables growing out there, and by fall all the inside – and outside – work will be done. Even (as I have been informed) with a new color for the outside!

Who knew that we would have so much fun with all this mess?

Thanks for helping to keep us sane, SL!

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