Saturday, September 26, 2015

France and how it's good to be home

To be fair, we've been home for a couple of weeks but between our latest two trips there was a lot of work to be done and many things had to take a backseat.

We stayed in Paris for a week with a few excursions and saw most of the tourist type places (from the outside). Neither of us are into art, the tower was a tower, etc. When I tell people we slept in, had good food and ran a lot, they usually have an eye roll or two. The only reason we went to France was to visit Normandy, specifically Omaha beach, where my Grandfather landed.

We visited the American cemetery, Point Du Hoc, Aramanche, Omaha and more. It was a whirlwind of a day, and very emotional. You can read about it, look at photo's, watch movies about it, etc. Nothing actually captured the area like being there in person. To stand on Omaha beach and look out at low tide and actually see how much beach had to be crossed under fire... well I'm just amazed anyone survived at all. Looking at what was once flat sections of land now crater holed for miles, crawling in and out of the German bunkers and murder holes, reading the names of the missing at the cemetery, etc. Overwhelming.
This is how much beach had to be crossed, plus another 200 feet behind me. Bloody Omaha.
South edge of Omaha as seen from Point Du Hoc

Edge of Omaha, looking down from the cemetery
Utah 'beach' is around the far point. This is from Point Du Hoc where the 2nd Rangers assaulted

It's good to be home, work is in upheaval and we have to finish getting ready for winter. We are at the cabin enjoying some anti-social time. At least the people in France were really friendly, not what we had expected but it was refreshing.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Doghouse for cats? Suggestions needed.

Rabies the cat is still hanging out in the woodshed, along with 2 of her kittens. They are fairly big kittens (not quite 2 hands long) but I'm worried about the coming winter. We aren't cat people, but I don't mind them hanging out and crapping all over the yard... They aren't going to appreciate when we add more wood to the shed, but our survival and warmth comes first, always. They currently live under the woodshed floor.

I'm thinking that to help them survive the cold winter I might build a doghouse with thick foam insulation on the walls and roof. Perhaps run an extension cord out with a light bulb and a timer/temp sensor so when it's under 36 the light bulb comes on. The roof will have to be fairly tall for the lightbulb to hang. Bedding perhaps some hay or an old dog bed.

This setup is what we used in the pump house growing up most of the time, and only in the coldest of winters did we have a space heater running. Since we aren't here every night that kind of setup might work, along with some kitty food on the days we are in the area. Part of me thinks they won't use it and that its a waste of time, I just don't know about cat things. Growing up my cat and her kittens would live under the house in the floor insulation.

Should we build some kind of a door? Perhaps some rubber strips hanging down so they can go in and out and it helps hold heat.
Regular insulation or thick foam?
Wasting our time or worth the effort?