The fences are up here, btw. Our cul-de-sac decided to get heavy-duty fencing along our back fences, and add two gates to the entrance of our street. It only blocks one driveway, but that house was foreclosed on months ago, so the bank can go punt. The outer gate is open during the day, but closes before the inner gate opens if you want to come in. After dark, you have to wait until the outer gate opens before you can get in. Right now, we're using flashlights to check under cars; pretty soon, though, we'll be getting some floodlights -- eight, to be exact. Four mounted high, at the corners of the gates, and four mounted low, to allow visibility under vehicles. That was my idea, btw, and I still am rather proud of myself for thinking that up.
Less than a mile away from us is St. Mary's Home for Boys. Or it was, anyways. It's closed now, and the boys have been farmed out to -- farms, really. Not that there's much to pick right now, but there's always work on a farm, and not living in a dormitory is so much safer.
We would still be stacked in my house like cord wood, but our neighbors to the south decided that they wanted to go back to Arkansas, and they didn't want to wait for the house to sell. Now Sam and Pat and their kids are there. More importantly, their darn cockatiel is there, too -- that bird really hates me.
So far, Daisy is turning out to be the best watchdog in the neighborhood. She'll back at strangers and squirrels, but when something is really wrong, she lets out this high-pitched whine that's just awful. Oddly enough, it's high enough that most of the other adults can't hear it, though kids and teens don't seem to have that problem. Yin and Yang are barkers, though, and unfortunately, they don't have a special bark for 'friend,' 'stranger,' or 'squirrel,' so other than for intimidation, they're not much use.
Tammy and Greg -- Yin and Yang's owners -- aren't back yet, and there's been no word on where they went. They didn't pay their rent in December (obviously) and they aren't going to pay it in January, so we figured that they would rather have there stuff stored over here than out on the street, so we hauled it all into the garage of the house Sam and Pat are renting. Turns out, they were really into the whole 'minimalist' thing. They lived in a four bedroom house, but all their stuff fit easily into one parking space in the garage.
Their meat-filled freezers came to my house, though, since I'm the one feeding the dogs. I've been canning all I could for the last week, in case the power goes out again. Turns out, they had quite a bit of freeze-dried meat in their attic, enough to feed the dogs for over a year. Nothing else, though -- not even any extra TP. Odd, but it could have been worse -- they could have been hoarders, instead.
The shelves in my garage are set up now. That was my Christmas present to my husband; he got me some ten gallon barrels to hold water, enough to fill the bottom shelf all along the south wall. The shelves above them are only about half full of food, but we're getting there.
The north wall, though -- that makes me rather proud. The wood shop is set up with storage for all the tools and hangers for the sawhorses on the wall. When everything's put away, it all fits withing twelve inches of the wall.
The only thing left to do is to finish plumbing the sink and run the gas line out to the burner so my husband can brew his bear out there and I won't have to share my kitchen; it's hard to make dinner when there's wert stewing on the stove! Also, there's enough ventilation that we can actually cook in the garage, so if they go through with that power rationing they've been talking about, we won't heat the entire house just to be able to eat.
Other than the fence and the gates