Finally. After four days of sitting with an air compressor and countless other pieces of machinery at my back (because it's a working garage, after all, not just a place to park vehicles); four days of being bombarded by flies and buffeted by the chilly breezes that often whirled through the door; four days of listening to people tell me their life stories (and being truly creeped out by a lone man named Bob from Appleton who'd found Jesus -- but where, he didn't say); four days of crossing the yard and hustling into the house whenever the opportunity arose, hoping to have enough time to use the bathroom, shove some food in my face, and let the poor dogs out. Yep, I was alone for three of those four days. It's harvest season, which means JLA has been driving truckloads of vegetables around the state.
At least I can now pay the DMV $75 to have my license plates renewed. But I still must return to the garage to pack up all the leftovers. Ugh. The weather has definitely turned autumnal -- gray skies, gusty winds, and occasional smatterings of cool rain.
The highlight of my long weekend came courtesy of my canine companions. The weather was lovely enough on Sunday to allow them time in their big, pine-shaded pen. Early that afternoon, they both started barking in a way that said, WTF? People, come here! What is this? What are we to do? (For those of you who've never had dogs, they have different kinds of barks that convey different messages.) So JLA, his son, and I all hurried over to the pen as a few shoppers browsed in the garage.
What had Cody and Luna so distraught was a hissing snake, curled in the underbrush along the fence. Since none of us is a herpatologist and there are timber rattlers in Wisconsin, we got the dogs into the house and then asked the few people at the sale if anyone was familiar with snakes. A younger man came outside to eyeball the invader.
"That's a bull snake," he said. "It won't hurt you."
Later, my inquiring mind drove me to the Internet. Bull snakes are, it appears, a protected species in Wisconsin. They're constrictors -- they stalk rodents and small mammals and squeeze the bejebus out of 'em -- and, while nonvenomous, can deliver a bite if they feel threatened.
Now, of course, we're left wondering where exactly this creature has taken up residence. State law says we're not to harm it or even move it, but . . . the bugger was in the dog pen! We have no clue where it's currently lurking. Eep!
Well, back to work. I have to do some house and garage cleaning before I can even begin to contemplate writerly stuff. By the way, many thanks to all of you who popped in for the blog tour!