Add to the list of random things my husband has at the moment I need them: a cardboard mailing tube, a pitchfork, thick brown wrapping paper, and a long metal ruler. He can also fix pretty much everything. A few weeks ago when I was visiting my parents' house, my mom sent me home with a round-bottomed copper bowl, used for chilling and whipping cream. It had a good-sized dent in it, and she wanted to know if my husband could fix it. Dents are tricky, but using a cushion of towels, an old softball, and a wooden mallet, C massaged the dent away until it was all but gone. He enjoys doing stuff like that, and is always looking for a new project. Unfortunately, I think I reached the limit of his skills this week, when I knocked my prized Gingher scissors off the sewing table, causing them to land hard on the wood floor and form a little burr on the blade. "You're going to have to take them to a professional sharpener," he said to me. I was already practically in tears because they are my best (and most expensive) scissors, still practically new, and I felt so bad for being careless. Then, surprised that my husband wasn't able to fix them, I was forced to confront the fact that he can't do everything. He's spoiled me up until now! But where do you get scissors sharpened?
Meanwhile, C has had problems of his own, trying to secure the yard from scrap-metal thieves, who snuck into our yard and took a few things last week, while we were in the house. Our neighborhood is full of empty houses, easy targets for thieves who steal and sell metal wires, pipes, and whatever else they can get their hands on. They were probably running out of houses to loot and thought our yard looked like easy pickings, with C's collection of old drainpipes, bales of wire, and metal roof sheeting, there for the taking. My dad said, "Oh, you got rid of some stuff!" which is true, but I would rather sell it myself and get the $2.50 (seriously, why not get a job instead?--scrap metal foraging does NOT seem worth it to me) than have strangers sneak into my yard (and possibly my house!) to get it.
So we've been thinking of ways to secure our little homestead, and this was the list I made of possible solutions:
1. Get a mean guard dog
2. Put up better fences
3. Set booby traps
4. Put all our metal items in one pile and electrify them
5. Put up motion/infrared detecting alarms
6. Put up video cameras, or signs saying we have them
7. Spend a lot of time doing target practice in the backyard so everyone knows we have guns
I like the booby-trap idea (covered pits, bear-traps, etc.), but apparently they are against the law. So are pellet guns in Durham, as it turns out. In fact, I don't think you can really do anything to hurt a trespasser these days, because they can sue you, even if it is their fault for trespassing. But this whole incident has made me think that it might not be a bad idea to brush up on my shooting skills and get licensed to carry a weapon, in case anyone were to break into the house. Meanwhile, I think the motion/infrared detecting alarms are the best solution. C's idea? He cut down the brush in the woods behind our house, put up No Trespassing signs where the men came onto our property. Then, underneath one of the signs, he hung a dead squirrel. So far, the thieves haven't come back.