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Archive for April, 2010

Today is Oprah Winfrey’s No Phone Zone Day!

http://www.oprah.com/packages/no-phone-zone.html

If you haven’t signed the pledge Please think about doing so. Driving and texting or talking on the phone is very dangerous. When you talk on the phone or text, which I don’t understand how anyone can text while driving! You are using your car as a weapon to kill someone.

My husband and I were in a car accident in 2004 that accident nearly killed him and now he has daily seizures and can’t work.

In McHenry county Illinois, where the accident was presented, we were told accidents happen…     And the case was never brought to trial.  We were told that if the case had been presented in Cook County it would have turned out differently.  We were screwed over royally!

That accident seemed to happen in slow motion. I remember the girl, who hit us was talking on the phone while she was driving. She was tailgating and her car went out of control and hit the cement median. Then shot across the express way slamming into the driver’s side door of our car. My husband saw her coming and made an attempt to move out of the way. He was turning the wheel to the right.  He leaned to the right as well, that move pulled him away from the door before his seat belt locked up. We were told at the hospital that move saved his life. If he had been sitting straight up his spine would have been broken when the door caved in.

I still hear the booming impact; the scraping metal, brakes screeching.

We spun around one and half times, coming to a stop and facing a truck coming us. Add in the sounds of that trucker locking his breaks, I thought that we were dead!   I stared at the PETERBILT logo as the truck stopped inches from the front of our car.

She never got a ticket!

I heard her taking to her father as she came over to our car.  I heard her say:

“Daddy, I had another accident and this time I think I hurt someone.”

That moment when she slammed into us changed our lives forever. I wonder if she even remembers us… I wonder if she signed Oprah’s ‘No Phone Zone’ pledge?’

I worked for a cell phone company, T-Mobile, they told their drivers they had to be on the phone while driving or they would be fired. Even if they were exhausted- all the Field Techs were over worked and extremely exhausted. (My time at T-mobile is a movie or novel waiting to happen..)

 I wonder how many companies have the same rules and threaten to fire their employees for not answering their phones while driving- past your kids, husband, wife, mother, sister, and grandparents! They put everyone’s lives at risk for the bottom line!

One of my dogs was hit by a car and killed.  I wonder if they noticed, or were they too busy talking or texting on a cell phone…

I could go on and on, but that isn’t what I want my Blog to be about. Even though this too, is my Walking Path.

Please, don’t use your cell phone while driving…

 Sign the Pledge!

http://www.oprah.com/packages/no-phone-zone.html

Have you been hurt, or know someone who was hurt in a car accident caused by a talking on a cell phone?

no-phone-zone

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This afternoon we had a small dust storm. The farmer across the road from me had turned over his field during the past week. Today the winds picked up the dirt and manure from his fields and ran it straight north.

The wind tunnel was an interesting sight. So I decided to Video tape it for you. I was really glad the wind didn’t shift and come out of the west and head east. That would have brought all the dust down on me. 

 Check out the video. I add a short poem.

Winds blast
across the open field
Pushing in from the south
tearing to the north
Too close
Yet, just far enough away
I should head back 
to the house
If the winds shift
I will be covered
in dust and manure
A powdery layer
That will coat everything
This Place is
Dubbed…
Tornado Alley
Not that one ever hit the house
They all seem to jump over
to somewhere else
As political winds do
Unless they want to cost you money
Then they stay, and
rip your roof off
For now I watch
I lean against my car
It convulses
as the wind
beats against it
in an attempt to push it
and me
off this road…

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The night air was cool with a sweet, smoky smell of a camp fire threading its way past me as I stared upward into the slowly darkening sky. There were very few clouds. The ones above were wispy and rolled like the scales of a fish. They reached out and  past me. I had the feeling someone was pulling the blanket of daylight off the bed and the narrow end was caught on the setting sun. While the horizon was a dull, peachy color with grayish blue, the color and clouds spread out over head and mingled into a dark bluish-grey.

Uriah whimpered. He wanted to take a walk in the tall grass. I did not.

“Go on, Uriah! Do your business!” I pointed out towards the pond and lengthening shadows.  

Uriah stood and watched me, then nervously shifted from one paw to another.

“Come on! It’s not a trick! There’s no boogieman out there waiting to eat you up..Hmm!’

I frowned and stared between the darkened branches of the Blue Spruce.

“There could be some horrible Ticks in there!”

Uriah whimpered then sat down.

I turned towards the front of the house.  Deciding that the ticks may not like to walk the slight incline up hill so I maybe safe if I walk around the house… I can hope!

Uriah followed. First, he peeed on a few of the taller tuffs of grass, as he passed by them, then he stopped to stick his nose in a chipmunk hole and to sit on the tulips. I never understood why he had to sit on my tulips.

 I really need to get some diesel and wake up the tractor. That thought crossed my mind as I stood in ankle deep dandelions, thick and dark leafy greens with yellow flowers.  Too tall grass is perfect for Ticks, they love it. I kept looking around hoping nothing jumped at me.

For a half hour last night, Michael tried to get a Tick to let go of my leg. The little bugger was covered in soap, then Vaseline, Michael tried to shock him by lighting a match, blowing it out and touching the bug with the hot unlit end. Still he hung on a death grip with his little foot and mouth pinchers. Finally Michael announced he got it off me and with its head still intact. -That really was an odd sentence, could be I’m tired.- I hate Ticks!

A robin yelled at me from the trees and Uriah let out a long loud yawn, time for bed.

Last night I took a picture of the moon. Here it is..

I took these pictures of the flowering Crab Apple trees when it was nearly dark.
 

 

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This past week I have been busy with Kaoru.

Last Tuesday morning I was talking on the phone and surfing the internet, while checking hundreds of emails.  When I decided to pull up the Tails web site, which is the Pet rescue place where we adopted Sanosuke in February of this year.

 I had sent Tails a copy and link to my Blog story about Sanosuke,  the one where I wrote about his adoption.  Soon after that Blog posting, Sano’s litter mates were adopted and their pictures disappeared off the adoption site.  So when I pulled up their site I was very surprised to see a kitten that looked like one of Sano’s sisters. Her name was Hershey.

I was curious about her history.  Why was she still there? Was she brought back?  Maybe I was wrong!  Cats look very similar, right?

I pulled out Sanosuke’s file and compared the litter numbers; they matched except for the last two digits. Which made sense each kitten would have their own number.

Biting my nails I clicked off the site and went about to reading emails.

Then my curiosity got to me and I called Tails and asked if any of Sanosuke’s litter mates where still there. I gave my phone number to the woman and was told I would get a call back.

Within thirty minutes Tails called back. I was told; one of Sano’s sisters had never been adopted. When the other kittens were adopted they moved her out of the cage into the cat room.  It wasn’t a good place for her. She was placed in a room that was being closed off due to a fungal infection.

Ooops!

I was told she was never ill. She never had an infection! Yet, she had to go through the incubation period of nearly two months while she got dipped; physically held down under water with only her eyes and mouth showing. The process can make a cat crazy and this kitten was in a room with a lot of other cats that needed help. They only had two wonderful people to take care of them physically and mentally. Hershey wasn’t given the attention she needed.  So her mental health was set to the side while they dealt with other cats, seemly, more stressed than her.  

I felt claustrophobic just hearing about it.

Now if you had read my original story on Sanosuke, you would know that he and his litter mates had very little human contact, besides getting medical care and being fed.  We were warned he was nearly feral.

Now, here I was hearing that she may never be just right, ‘and’ she will need a lot of one-on-one care. ‘And’ she wasn’t very social. ‘And’ she would freak when someone came near her. I thanked the woman for calling me back and hung up.

Then I hunted down Michael and told him the story.

Michael asked what I was going to do. One more kitten would be an expense. But then again cats are very clean and social animals. But this one may be broken.  Then he walked away from me…

It took me ten minutes of thinking.

The cats I had for years were from a mama kitty. She was my daughter’s first animal rescue.  My daughter was ten years old at that time.  I had been very surprised when that little cat gave birth, in the closet, within a month of coming into the house.  Her kittens never left my life. The last one, Sandy died at eighteen while I  held her.   

I grabbed my keys and headed for the car. Michael laughed and called out the door. “Don’t come back without her!”

When I entered Tails, the receptionist looked up and smiled and asked me if, I was there to adopt Hershey?

Laughing I asked, how she knew? She told me Michael had already called and informed them I was coming for her.

I filled out some paperwork while she located someone to help me.

A wonderfully patient volunteer took me in a room to talk. “When you saw, Hershey how did you get along with her? Was she friendly?”

I had to be honest; I haven’t seen her since we adopted Sanosuke and I told her so. I did ask, if Hershey was the kitten that had been staring at me though the glass wall?  She had spotted me when I walked in and we had ‘a moment’ through the glass. I cooed. And she stared.

I was told that was her.

Then, I explained that I was taking, Hershey home to her brother.

The woman looked at me quietly and said. “He may not remember her.”

“He will!” I said with a smile. “I have fed and observed feral cats for years. They know a family member when they are reunited.”

I don’t think she believed me…

She was trying to stop me from being disappointed.

When I said, “They just need to be shown to each other gently and with love.”

The interview was over and I finished signing the papers.

Hershey was placed in a room for me to observe her, and allowing me time to change my mind. I was warned not to enter the room.  I was told; she would freak due to her history and lack of human contact, and may hurt me or herself.  I needed to wait before I entered the room. She had just clawed the technician who brought her to me 

I waited a few minutes for the kitten to move away from the door. Then I entered the room.

I sat on the chair and waited.

She hid behind a chair and stared.

She had a look in her eyes similar to the animals on the commercials that have been abused.  So sad and scared!  I started talking telling her about her brother. She wasn’t listening to me at all.

Cats need to form a bond with humans in order to see them. Otherwise they have eyes only for other cats. Here she was, stuck in a room with a human.  And the only other people she knew would grab her and give her medicine and didn’t have time to play.

Carefully I moved the chair she was hiding behind and picked her up. She was stiff and extremely frighten. I started to rock her like a baby, and then she leaned against me without relaxing.

During this time I could hear the sound of the puppies and dogs from the doggie area. I wanted to go see them, but not today.

So many animals calling out for someone to love!

When I brought her home, Michael grabbed the carrier from the care and carefully set it down in the living room.

Tomoe hissed and hid.

                                  Kenshin glared and hid.

                                                                         PJ walked up and said, hello.  When she hissed at him, PJ looked like his feelings were hurt.

                                                                              Then

                                                                                    Sanosuke, slowly

                                                                                                            walked up

                                                                                                                          to the carrier.

They touched noses, and made happy sounds. She reached through the bars and gentle touched Sano’s head. He rubbed against the cage as she cried loudly from inside. Sanosuke sat and watched, as we set her up in a cage in the living room. He never stopped taking to her!  

They remembered each other and both are very happy. We changed her name to Kaoru…

Helping an animal doesn’t mean you have to adopt. You could volunteer, or donate money, or cat and dog crates, or baby blankets or new toys.   

If everyone can save just one animal, just one..   Just think how wonderful that would be!

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Last night I had washed my hair before going to bed. I was so tired I couldn’t wait for my hair to dry, so I placed a hand towel across my pillow. This morning I crawled out of bed and stumbled to the bathroom. This is what I saw when I came back to bed.

I was able to grab the camera and take pictures without waking up Tomoe. She slept for three hours before she had to hit the litter box. Tomoe owns the bed after I get up. It was very early and I wasn’t ready to get up.  She didn’t care.

Then Uriah needed to go.

 I resigned myself to the day starting very early and set off outside into the early morning sunshine. Birds screamed at me as I carefully walked around spider webs and newly opened dandelions. Uriah barreled under the pink crabapple blossoms and stepped on the greenish-reddish stalks of unopened peonies. I noticed the Lilac’s flowers were still in the small budding stage in a few more days I will smell their fragrant perfume. I probably won’t bring them indoors, Sano eats everything. I don’t believe they are poisonous to cats.  But he will make a mess of them.

When I came back in I noticed the coffee was already brewing. Michael had gotten up when I took Uriah out and set up the coffee pot. In a daze of complete coffee bliss I told Michael he was like a God to me. Bad move! He kept repeating that all day. Very irritating! 

Yesterday I had heard on the radio that the Tick season has started in Illinois. Great! Ticks love me! Any Tick, in a ten mile radius, will jump its way on over to me.

Michael thinks it’s hilarious, when Ticks leap from the grass and trees towards me.

We are not amused! Heavy sigh!

Well, yesterday evening I took Uriah for a walk and came back inside. Not thinking about Ticks at all… It was a cool evening, not summer cool but that spring cold where you’re wondering if it will snow by morning, definitely not insect weather. I walked into the kitchen to get a drink of water and noticed a slow moving black bug on my arm.  I brushed it into the sink and called Michael to tell me what it was.  I didn’t have on my glasses, so it could have been a spider or a piece of dirt.  I was surprised he said it was a Tick and quickly washed it down the drain.

I asked him if he could see any more. Arms out, I did slow turn.

Leer, leer!  Wink, wink!  

“Just look for Ticks!” I grumbled and rolled my eyes.

Michael announced I was Tick free. He was wrong…I was wearing black pants and Ticks love dark colors. I sat down and noticed a shiny little body crawling on my pant leg. Then another and another…Eeek!

i have been ticked!
does anyone have a tip
a tip
       to trick
                 a tick
i have used deep woods off
and worn lighter colors
i have smashed and brushed and flicked
those little buggers
                      into the trees
                                         the toilet, and
                                                              the sink
i have danced and screamed
ran in circles and swore..
april thru june
are the days of the tick
or so I am told
i have seen them in october…
little
       shiny black
                         vibrating bugs
go ride a deer, and
stay away from me!

*

*

If you’re interested here’s a site about ticks:

http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/pccommonticks.htm

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This weekend was beautiful one of those perfect, mid-western spring days. The skies were baby blue with nary a cloud to be seen. The birds were singing. The winds were just a gentle breeze, and the trees were all budding lime green with a sprinkling of leaves waving as I passed by. The air held a slight chill so I had to wear my orange coat unzipped, I never broke a sweat.

Uriah ran up to me panting. He had his worried face on. His eyes bulging out as he tried to walk as close to me as possible, without actually jumping into my arms.

“Come on Uriah!  What’s wrong with you?” I patted him on his head and he paced then leaned into me.

I stood up and looked around not yet getting what the problem was. Then I heard it. The call of the, Warm-Weathered-Mid-Western-Gun-Owner and  my main reason for wearing a bright orange stylish coat all-year-round.  Avoidance of bullets! Add in the fact that I could be seen from miles off. Unless they think that deer, coyote and raccoons shop at Fleet and Farm, I should be safe.

The sound of a gun being fired caught my attention, along with the immediate high pitch ‘Peeeyuuu!” sound traveling behind it.  The bullet must have ricocheted off something then headed in my direction.

Sort of ruined that safe feeling of wearing my orange coat!

I continued on with Uriah around the back path, enjoying the warmer spring air, just a little more leery.

Yesterday when we took the same walk I saw one of my neighbors, standing in the farmer’s air field, at the back of the path. He and his two young boys were digging a hole. When I came close we exchanged pleasantries. Then he explained the farmer gave him permission to shoot the chipmunks. He then told me that the coyotes hunt the chipmunks and dig holes making it unsafe for the farmer to land his planes. Okay..

 Then he added. “You shouldn’t be walking around without a gun!” He nodded looking around.   “There are Cougars in Illinois that sleep in the trees! Just like in California and they will jump out at you. Or grab little kids, like my boys here,” He pointed to his sons and mimicked biting at the kids, “and then they’ll drag ‘em off” He hesitated for effect then added. “And there are Wolves here now. I know a hunter who saw their tracks just on the other side of town.” Hand on hips, he gave me a few seconds for that to sink in then he continued.  “And a Wolf pack will hunt you down if you’re walking alone!”  He pointed to the gun slung over his boys shoulder. “That’s why you should never walk around here without a gun.”

 I responded back.  “Wolves eat rodents! Rats, mice, rabbits, chipmunks… not people!’

“They will if they get hungry enough!”

There are certain points during conversations where I think of Lucy and Charlie Brown, the Peanuts Cartoon characters. This was one of those times.

 

Lucy had told Charlie Brown, the reason a Palm tree is called a Palm tree is because you can get your entire palm around it. Charlie Brown reacts by clutching his stomach in pain.

 

I know how he felt…

To be truthful he had me a little nervous. I remembered how Uriah was frightened a couple of times at night, and I mentioned that. (see  link #3 below)

“Yeah!  Probably a Cougar!”  This guy is good. He will nod yes, when he wants you to say yes. And shake his head adamantly when he wants the negative reaction. Right now he was nodding and looping his thumbs in his belt loops. ”Yeah! Cougars!”

Okay I have to stop here. I tried to call the county to ask them about this. But no one called me back.  Gee! I wonder why…

A couple of Cougars were sited a year or two ago and they were shot. Illinois doesn’t have cougars on the endangered species list because they are so few. Cougars were exterminated in Illinois before 1870.

As for Wolves, according to ‘Defenders of Wildlife’ site (see link #1 below) Wolves; “were killed in most areas of the United States by the mid 1930s”

The difference being, Wolves are on the endangered species list.  (See the link #2, below)

Back to my walk: Uriah was bored he wanted to keep walking he didn’t want to stand around and talk. He kept glancing at the guns, then looking away.

I had to ask this question.” How do you know that a coyote was digging those holes? Could’ve have been anything!”

He answered with a wave of his hand. “Well there are coyote tracks all over the dirt. They are really good diggers.”

“I was just wondering, because we have a lot of holes made by Muskrats.” I pointed behind me, about fifty feet away there was a visible mound of rocks.

“Muskrats? Huh!”  

After that answer I was wondering if he knew what a Muskrat was.

“We also have a couple of irritating rats near the outside kennel that dig a lot!”

“Rats! You sure it’s not a opossum?” He gave me that I don’t believe you look.

“No! It’s a rat. A nice fat county Rat!” I held my hands about half a foot apart.

“Could be a raccoon.” He mumbled.

“Coon! No it’s a rat!”

 He kept shaking his head, as if I would change my mind and agree it was something else.

“It’s a rat! I have a picture of it. Unless it was a opossum, and it dressed up like a rat!”

Luckily his phone rang and his wife summoned him to dinner.  Or he was bringing it with him. I don’t know!  I didn’t look at what happened to the chipmunks they had shot.

When I got back in the house, I told Michael we needed a gun to fend off Cougars and Wolves. He wanted to know what I was drinking on my walk…

#1: Information on grey wolf:

http://www.defenders.org/wildlife_and_habitat/wildlife/wolf,_gray.php

#2: Endangered species list:

http://ecos.fws.gov/speciesProfile/profile/speciesProfile.action?spcode=A00D

http://ecos.fws.gov/tess_public/pub/stateListingAndOccurrenceIndividual.jsp?state=IL

#3:

https://gerardinebaugh.wordpress.com/2010/03/15/something-was-in-the-fogor-take-bets-on-who-pees-first/

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Friday Flash 55..

I followed the 55 word story theme from this Blog:

http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/55-rain-is-17/

To this Blog:

http://www.waystationone.com/2010/04/55-traveling-circus-of-idiots.html

To this Blog:

http://g-man-mrknowitall.blogspot.com/2010/04/friday-flash-55_15.html

I could keep going.  If I do you will never get to

my 55 words… On my Blog:-)

The warm air turned cold.
I shivered.
The gate squeaked,
then quietly clicked shut.
I pressed deeper into the shadows
and held my breath,
hoping
it would leave.  
It dragged its damaged foot across the floor.
It knew where I was hiding
and stopped directly in front of me.
I barely had time
to scream!
 
Tulips are blooming, their color is so vibrant. Flowers for Friday  

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