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Archive for June, 2010

 This morning when I opened Uriah’s dog food container I  noticed it was very low.  I usually set the bag of dry food inside a tall plastic container, so each time I scoop out a cup I don’t have to lift the bag. Today I lifted a nearly empty bag. 

Time to go dog food shopping!

Uriah has a bad habit of not eating what I give him, at least not right away. When his brothers were alive he would tease them with his food. They ate faster then he did, with his usual, “I am starting trouble!”  grin!  He would sit on his food and wait.  Literally! Sit on his food!  So when they were finished and came nosing around he would show off by slowly eating in front of them.

Uriah, set in his ways, keeps up that play. With no one to show off to, Uriah wanders off and those country rats steal each morsel right under his nose. A problem starts when the mice take his food and carry it into the cars engines.

To get Uriah to eat I have to stand next to his food bowl, no matter where it is.

Or, I try to anyway. Uriah is a dog that has the ability to ‘out wait’ anyone.

He can hold his pee for hours, then still wander around and hold it in until I can’t take it any more. I will stand next to a bush and pretend that I’m lifting my leg, until Uriah looks likes he’s laughing at me, and then joins in.

Today I opened the garage doors and pulled out my car. I opened the engine and Uriah helped me look under the hood. 

Mouse poop littered the top of the engine!

I loosened the air filter and pulled it out. Mouse poop inside under the air filter! Great!  When I had taken my car last month for a fix on a recall, I had to dish out an extra eight hundred dollars to remove a ten pound bag of dog food from my air intake. Lovely little Mice! 

Michael had a doctor’s appointment on Friday.  He took his old Saturn, not trusting my mouse condo.  *His car saved our lives in an accident in 2004. A young girl on a cell phone..* So he totally trusts it to fend off mice:-)

Michael came home two hours late riding in the cab of a tow truck. Seems the mice may have invaded his engine too. Lack of a dollar, means his car is now a paper weight in the garage.

Back to Uriah helping with my engine!

 I pulled out the Shop Vac and vacuumed up mice poop on my engine. Then I popped the hood of the Saturn. I removed the air filter and didn’t see any mice droppings. Michel told me, that the air intake was under the car, and that will need to be removed to find the problem.

If a mouse was sucked into the engine…well, bye, bye engine. I can’t crawl under that car …

I stepped outside with Uriah and we both contemplated the problem. Or, I should say all three of us thought about it!  Me and Uriah, and That Rat who was sitting near the door on his hind legs watching us with a thoughtful, “what’s going on guys?”  look…

I jumped when I saw that reddish- brown haired rat. He in turn jumped and raced into the horseradish plant as I yelled after him.  “We are not your family! Stupid Rat!”

Hmmm! I wonder if he could be trained to keep the mice out of the garage.

I looked down at Uriah; he never made a move to chase the rat. But he did take a mouth full of his food and started to chew, slowly.

*

Sanosuke had me laughing this morning. So I made a video for fun. Enjoy!
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I was shifting through bird names and I pulled up, Dickcissel.  Then I Googled the Dickcissel’s picture; he looks similar to some of the smaller song birds I saw in the Blue Spruce just outside the window next to the computer.

Then I played the  Dickcisselcall/song, both Sanosuke and Kaoru sat up and listened.  As the young cats ran out of the room my attention turned back to checking my email. I had closed the site with the bird’s song, so when I heard a bird singing again I automatically rechecked my task bar.

 It’s like checking if I left the iron on…not that I use the iron anymore.

 It took me a minute to realize, that singing bird was coming from outside the window, in the Blue Spruce. And that bird was talking to my computer. Hmmm!

What all this rambling means is I added a Dickcissel to my list of birds I have seen and heard.

http://www.sdakotabirds.com/species/dickcissel_info.htm

I took this picture while standing in the kitchen, hiding behind the counter and zooming in through the window. The bird, I believe, is a Brown Thrasher.

What do you think?

I played the Brown Thrasher’s song and Sanosuke and Kaoru went crazy, again.  I really shouldn’t laugh when they start jumping from window ledge, to window ledge all excited, but I couldn’t help myself.

http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/679/overview/Brown_Thrasher.aspx

For fun, I put together this video. Enjoy!

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I was looking through some old pictures and came across my first publicity photo, taken  many years ago. Notice they spelled my name wrong.

When I was thirteen we moved and that doll was left, sitting on a top shelf, all alone. Heavy sigh! My mother kept insisting it was packed. She lied!  During those thirteen years, I only touched it once and that was for this picture..

My mother thought it was cursed or something.

 I had gotten very ill after that picture was taken and nearly died. So, no matter how many times I told my mother I wasn’t dead, she still wouldn’t let me play with the doll.

I remember staring up at it, sitting all by itself, in its box, thinking how pretty she looked.  Every day I said, hello to her. One day I made an attempt to drag a chair over to the shelf and try and reach her.  I nearly fell off the shelf, and I nearly got caught.

 Luckily my sister, my partner in crime, had wanted to play with her, too.  She had been holding the chair steady.  She stood by silent, as my mother waggled her fingers at us and told us over and over again, how that doll got me sick…

Poor pretty little doll! She seemed so lonely.

My mother must have thought my comics were cursed; she tossed them out when I was fifteen.

I copied the flip side of that newspaper clipping; Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth and Kim Novak. 

Do you have something special, that your parents tossed out when you weren’t home?

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These pictures were taken by Michael. 

Cats love to nap!

 

 

Kaoru and Sanosuke are tiny compared to Kenshin. He is a big boy.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tomoe and Sanosuke are climbers.

Kaoru was sleeping under my blankets, when Sanosuke woke her up by sitting on her.

PJ taking a catnap

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Musk Thistles

 

Tall and strong, they held their heads high

Their skin, a smooth line of waxy green

Coated with thorns

They looked up

And saw the sky

Blue…

Amid fast moving puffs of white and grey

They looked abreast, and saw the ground

Brown…

Lines and leaves of diverse greens, amassed

Thrust, from side to side

with each random breeze

They looked out at my camera

wide eyes of innocence and unease

In that moment of stratum pink and white

they wondered, If…

and survived

 

The Musk Thistle is considered a Noxious weed in Illinois.  These Thistles were growing near the road. If you want to read about them click on the link below.

http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CANU4

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I wrote and rewrote this Blog. I had a hard time writing this.

On June 3rd in the middle of the afternoon, just when I decided to slather my face with a face mask someone knocked on the front door. I splashed water on my face and hurried to the door. I was worried about Uriah, he was wandering around the back and he could get hurt when a car comes down the driveway.

I was surprised by a state police officer informing me that a neighbor was going to be working on the drainage tiles…Long story, very stressful.

  • In 2008 this neighbor, the one who told me to get a gun because of the Cougars and Wolves wandering around- We don’t have Cougars or Wolves!- He filed against me and another neighbor to tear up the drainage tiles. This man had bought the lowest area of land in 2004, and it flooded regularly. He wanted to replace ancient drainage tiles, without putting a retention pond on his property. He also broke through the Aquifer so he could have a swimming pond on his property and he wanted to attach the pond to the tiles that would add to the water problem and tap into the fresh water. Bad idea to go into court thinking this is crazy and someone will listen-when you don’t have a lawyer.. *

 

I asked the policeman, why now? He had told me two years ago, that he was working on the tiles, and it would only take two weeks. But he never touched anything. The police officer said, that neighbor had been waiting for approval from the, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, concerning the wet lands.  And he, the policeman, was sent to tell me what my neighbor was up to…

I will call this neighbor, Bob, not his real name.

I asked when Bob, would be digging. He didn’t know.

How long would it take? He didn’t know.

I didn’t trust Bob; I asked how much digging would he be doing? I was told he would only take out a fifteen foot wide section of trees, running along the tiles.

I told him Bob couldn’t bring his young kids on my land. If they got hurt I could be sued. He agreed that could happen.  He said, he would inform Bob, not to bring his children on my land.

The police officer told me Bob would replace my fence and toss around grass seed.

Grass seed?  He needs to replace the wetlands vegetation!  

The policeman shrugged and said nothing.

My thirteen year old was graduating from eight grade that evening, so I went back inside and made a note to send out and email to the county and find out what was going on.

I didn’t have a chance to send the email that night. The next morning before I got up, Bob had torn out the trees. He ripped through the wetlands destroying nesting areas of countless birds and animals. From the deck I watched the birds circling and screaming.

He pulled out more than fifteen feet; the least was twenty feet wide. I need to measure to be exact, but it looks like he tore a crooked line of up to thirty feet wide.  The length from north to south is around five hundred feet.

I was under the impression it was illegal to tear out vegetation during nesting season. Or am I wrong…?

This may be small compared to the oil spill in the Gulf. But each time a tree is ripped out a nest destroyed, a plant or fish is killed. We are losing a little bit more of nature. A little more fresh air, a little more life is gone.  It makes me ill to think of all those baby birds that died.  I have a hard time wondering what else died under his wheels.

I was shocked at how someone could come onto my land and do so much damage. Later that evening I took Uriah out for a walk.  I watched Bob driving along the road in a four wheel, off road vehicle; he turned into the farm field, next to me.   He wasn’t on his land. He saw me with Uriah and turned away.  His two boys were with him. He was taking his kids to check out the area he tore up..

 Here is a very small list of the birds that live around me. There are some odd birds and songs like the bird that looks like a Miniature Blue Heron; it has a loud screaming call.  Or the one I can’t seem to see very well through the trees, it has a throaty growl. There’s a beautiful bird with reddish-brown back and head, with a beige underbelly that holds itself like a Jay. It might be a Cuckoo or maybe a Brown Thrasher.  I didn’t add the foxes, skunks, muskrats, or coyotes. 

This is not a complete list at all.

Great Blue Heron
Blue Jays
Crows
Horned Owl
Cardinals
Red-Tailed Hawks
Turkey Vultures
Screech Owl
Pheasant
 Peregrine Falcon
Sedge Wren
Ducks
Geese
Woodpeckers
Robin
Toads
In the video I turned and faced the neighbor’s house, you can see where he dragged the downed trees. This pile, earlier, was circled by birds franticly searching until they finally gave up.

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MONDAY, JUNE 21th

World Peace and Prayer Day

All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer

 

 

http://www.wolakota.org/menu.html

Chief  Arvol Looking Horse Who Sits on the Mountain Top, Chief to the Spirit of the Lake People, Lakota, Nakota and Dakota, known as the Sioux Nation-

Is calling for a day of prayer

With the oil spilling into our waters we need prayer. I wrote this poem with all the above in mind.

The earth cries and

We pray for help

To stop her bleeding

We cry salty tears into pools of oil

We drown in her blood

We choke on the smell of her death…

We pray for healing

We pray to stop insanity that

                                             rips out

                                                        her life’s blood for money

We pray the pain that courses through the land will heal

We pray that those with power will

                                                       Stop!

                                                             The vampirism of the earth

We pray with tears and sob on our knees

The earth’s breath wafts across the lands singing out

Why rip into her heart when

                                            progress

                                                         is in the wind

Hear the cries

Pray…

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