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Posts Tagged ‘danger’

work in progess of a cartoon charcter of me.

rodents made this into a condo

The past few days have been just gorgeous. The air is cooler. The sky has been a range of clear blue, to heavy thick grey clouds and rain.  The trees haven’t changed color, even though the past couple of weeks the leaves have started to fall and dried leaves crunch beneath my shoes.

The yellow jackets are cranky with the cooler air, and the over abundance of fermented fruit.  Drunken bees are interesting indeed.

The grass and the wildflowers are now orange, red and browns mixed with dirty yellows.   Even the air smells like fall, dried grass and hay, mud, mold and Halloween.

 I feel a little sad; this summer was so hot, I couldn’t enjoy it. Each day was a steam bath of heat, making it nearly impossible to breathe, and walk at the same time. Even when I made an attempt, the mosquitoes forced me back indoors.

Now, I have to make my fall list of chores, I still haven’t finished my spring’s time list. Summer, forget it. That list was eaten by Uriah and I didn’t even care.

This past Friday the garbage was still sitting out by the curb, not having been collected on Thursday, the normal garbage pick up day; by Friday it was ripped open and spread around the mouth of the driveway by a skunk. I wanted to make sure it didn’t spread out into the road, so I rushed out and picked up the paper towels, and chicken bones scattered along the ground.

 As I shoved the very smelly garbage into a new plastic bag, I wondered, why the skunk hadn’t finished off all the bones. At that exact moment, when that question rattled around in my head, I saw a black nose, with black fur and a white stripe slip out of the drainage tile that stretched under the road  connecting the east side to the west.  

We shared a look and I stood up fast, “Oh no you don’t! I said out loud as I backed carefully away.  “You are not going to spray me!”

I thought I was safe, the skunk was in the drainage ditch and I was near the road. He would have to spray upward to get me.  I decided to ignore it.    I watched out for the cars whizzing by me, mere inches from my head.

Hurrying with the cleanup, I failed to notice one important thing.

 That little skunk had sprayed the other garbage bags.

I tossed the bag I was holding onto the pile, and then decided to straighten them all.

Right now, as I type this, I wonder why I had the compulsion to straighten the garbage bags….

The smell hit me hard, rotten chicken and the odd, burning green smell of skunk!

That skunk didn’t need to spray me, I did it myself. Then with all the brain power I had left, I covered my nose with my sleeve. The sleeve, which had skunk juice on it!

I headed back home, fast!  Uriah happily following behind, his nose pointed up as he kept sniffing the air around me. I gagged and blinked multiple times.  Having to stop when I thought my stomach would end up in the driveway if I moved to fast.

Next week, Michael is checking on the garbage!

****

Sorry, I haven’t been here a lot. I missed reading your Blogs. I will get back in the game. Sitting is a real pain.

Uriah is doing great. New dog food he lost a little weight. He needed to.

The examiner isn’t paying out like I hoped. They made some changes and the numbers aren’t posting correctly. Still I keep trying. I wrote my first article June 27th, I am on number 44 today, and I only made $17.97, that’s with 2,476 hits. Hmmm!?

I am trying my hand at cartooning myself. I jumped around on the internet checkout sites to make your self into a cartoon. Then I pieced together a character, redrew it, and colored it in paint. It is a work in progress. I posted it with this article on the examiner. ( I tried to add a link and wordpress just wouldn’t let me, here is the full link)

http://www.examiner.com/plant-life-in-chicago/searching-for-the-noxious-plant-called-marijuana-hampshire-illinois

 My camera started acting up. 90 % of the pictures came out blurred and the camera started making odd noises. Luckily I had a store warranty I took it back to Best Buy and they gave me a different camera. Maybe I should get an under water camera. It’s a thought.

 **Don’t read this part if your squeamish about women’s issues.* I’ve been doing the doctor run for Michael. Then I had my normal routine -yearly exams.  My doctor thought it would be a great idea to do a biopsy of my uterus. A fast decision he made. He said, instead of me coming back in a few months; let’s do this now…. I was in no position to argue. Michael said, I looked like I saw a ghost when I came out of the doctor’s office. perimenopause is so much fun! Results sometime next week.

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Hello, everyone!  This has been a very long, tiring month. With Michael unable to drive, I have been doing all the driving. Normally that wouldn’t be an issue, but I have a back injury that makes it hard for me to sit, stand, and walk for even short periods of time.  Before, we were taking turns driving, now it’s all me. With multiple doctor appointments for all of us, including our teenager who will start ninth grade August 16th, I am having trouble even checking my emails. 

Now on to other happenings..

Yesterday Uriah killed, ‘That Rat’!

Where’d he go!

We were standing next to the garden. I was complaining about all the tomatoes that have been eaten in the past week. Thirteen! Thirteen big beautiful tomatoes!

I can’t say for sure it was a rat that ate the tomatoes, it could have been the skunk, a family lives near the barn. Or the opossum, one tried to take up residence in the dog house. Maybe raccoons!  There are plenty of those around. Even coyotes love tomatoes. Do foxes eat tomatoes?

What they looked like, then they were gone!

Anyway, Uriah turned away from me and started nosing around a square drainage tube that was lying at the top end of the garden. Ground squirrels like to hide there. I raised the tube to slide out the animal, and it held on inside tight. I rolled it over, and over until it was pointed at the Bog Willows and the rodent slid out.  A very fat, cute reddish rat ran a zigzagged pattern towards the trees.

Uriah looked up at me, surprised.

“Hey, you go catch that rat!” Ooops! I used the wrong word. Rat sounds like cat, Uriah isn’t supposed to chase a cat, and so he sat and watched it run. I pointed at the rat and yelled.  “Mouse! Get that mouse!”

 Uriah hesitated, then started chasing it through the grass. 

Yes, it squeaked, so do Ground Squirrels and Chipmunks. I almost called Uriah off. Almost..

The chase lasted only a minute or two, with Uriah tossing it into the air, then turning in circles and a giant leap, then silence.  Uriah waited. I praised him and gave him a pork rawhide bone. He happily trotted off, while I moved the body to the burn pile, fully intending to burn the tree branches and that rat, tomorrow. 

We were due at the doctors in an hour and I won’t light a fire if I’m not around. So that was the plan, tomorrow light the fire…

It rained all night. The trees are flooded.  The water line is inching towards the house and overflowing the burn pile. I need another plan…

 Link on Chipmunks and Ground Squirrels:

http://web.extension.illinois.edu/wildlife/directory_show.cfm?species=groundsquirrel

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Captain Jack Harkness ~ “Wanna know a secret? So did I. And just for a second there I felt so alive.”

Yesterday, in the middle of a thunderstorm, with multiple warnings flashing across the television and of course being me, I stood outside on the deck watching the clouds.

Dolphin?

Stupid? Yes!

It was amazing! At one point lightning streaked across the sky in a vein of pink and white.   Then in the same spot, the lightning flashed again, this time with multiple tentacles stretching outward, looking like a fireworks display.

Silver white and pink!

 Followed a few seconds later by a cracking roll that shook the ground!

 That flash had sent me in for my camera.  I wanted to capture a picture of that lightning!

Ready! Set! Okay sky smile!

Each time I pointed the camera upward, the lightning would flash in a different spot, above, or behind me.

I noticed a low hanging cloud that seemed to swirl all on its own. I thought, just maybe this was makings of a tornado and I should be inside. I turned off my camera and glanced up before I pulled open the door.  A solid object half appeared for a second, as the clouds drifted slightly.   Before I had a chance take a picture, the cloud moved back around the object, covering it and as it moved upward.

Can you see it? Shaped like an upside down triangle with rounded edges. It is nearly invisible behind the cloud cover.

It was solid, not part of the clouds. Any ideas? Guesses? Funny captions?

Weather balloon?

No lights! And it didn’t move fast, it just hovered.

Maybe I witnessed one too many lightning hits!

My eyes were playing tricks on me.

The Jupiter II slipped out of storage!

With all the odd weather we have been having I would guess at a weather balloon. If I were a meteorologist I would be recording these weather patterns.

Ever see anything odd in the clouds and wonder; Huh! ?

“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”~ The Wizard of Oz
*
Michael took this picture after the storm. 

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“Without Fear”

There was a little boy who walked across the road

He wanted to see where the wolves had gone

His mother warned him not to wander

Nature is dangerous and needs to be feared

Still, he only looked back once, then sprinted

Between the trees into the darkened corners

Leaves formed a canopy over his head

He delighted in that secret place, and ran on

He saw a flash of grey fur and a shimmer

As the sun flashed off the wolves’ laughing eyes

Without fear he stepped into a clearing

An upsweep of flowers white and yellow and blue and red

A place where cinnamon perfumed plants grew

The boy stopped, his mother’s warning echoed

And fear grew, and he picked up a stick

A wolf cub ran up to him and pulled on his pant leg

Fear had him raise the stick above his head

       Fear had him swing the stick at the pup

Its mother looked up, when she heard the yelp

The eyes of its mother showed fear

             Fear that had shown in his own mother’s eyes

                   Fear that that placed that stick in his hand

                         Fear that now mirrored in the pup’s eyes

The boy dropped to his knees and cried

             He cried for seeing a threat that wasn’t there

                   He cried for what he lost by allowing fear, control

                         He cried for the pup he had hurt

The mother wolf trotted over to her pup

She licked his wounds until he wiggled happily

Then she turned to the boy and licked his tears away

When the sun touched the edge of the earth

And the sky turned pink, then red, then purple, then black

The boy came out of the trees

His mother was waiting, tortured, with fear

He raced to her and tired to explain what he saw

                     She did not hear him

                          She clung to him in a panic

He patted her back and hugged her shaking shoulders

Then he pulled away, and looked back towards the trees

             …without fear

 

*

*

Remember, June 21st World Peace and Prayer Day. I posted a poem on June 4th.  Take a minute and send out a prayer for the earth, a prayer to stop the oil spilling in to the Gulf and our oceans and all our lives.

 Take a moment, one second, to pray. Pray for the earth to sustain.

Picture is from, Word Clipart

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The air is still hot and heavy with moisture. Add to that a mixture of bug sprays, chemicals and manure, spread across the fields by plane or tractor. At that point, breathing becomes an inflexible process.

The skies this morning were blue, then deep, dark angry grey that rumbled and barked, spitting out streaks of light, then changing back to blue.

I took Uriah out for his morning walk by sitting on the front step and waving him off. With a happy wag of his tail he headed to the pond where he startled some ducks and blackbirds.  As I waited for him to return I was bombarded by annoying mosquitoes. 

Uriah took his time. So I just stared out over the field grass and watched it grow.

I had the tractor running a couple of weeks ago. It had roared to life, with as much exuberance as Uriah running to the pond.

*If you didn’t get that reference, well, Uriah walks slowly sticking his head in every hole sneezing and rolling in everything that smells bad… The tractor coughed, wheezed, chugged and rolled, jerked and smelled bad…

I checked and filled the tires, added water and oil. Brushed off the cutting deck and oiled anything that moved. Once I pulled her out of the barn I decided to move that downed tree.

I was very careful..

Before I took her on the path, I stopped the engine and walked the area, poking at the ground.  I didn’t want to get stuck in heavy mud, or caught up on a stump.     I backed into the path and tried to get as close as I could to that tree.   Driving backwards is not within my tractor maneuvering ability, so it took me a while.

Satisfied I wasn’t going to be stuck in the mud; I turned off the engine and gracefully slipped off the seat unto a wild rose bush.  Ouch!

Finally I was able to wrap the chain around the back hitch and around the middle of the tree.

Once back in the driver’s seat I slowly moved forward, dragging the tree not forward but sideways, just as I planned. The trees roots were facing south and its upper branches to the north. I could only move it a few feet, or it would get caught up on the Bog Willows.  

Slowly I inched forward.

Uriah was watching me from the edge of the path. As soon as I made my first lurching movement his tail disappeared between his legs and he ran towards the house. Smart dog! He remembered when that same chain broke free from the last tree I moved and went flying, taking out some branches. I had found it hanging in a tree some fifty feet away.

I hesitated for a moment and watched Uriah run. For a second, I debated what I was doing and thought that maybe this wasn’t a good idea…

That lasted for a minute.

Then I set the tractor in forward motion, slowly the chain went taut. I was very surprised when the tree moved off the path and ended up right where I wanted it to be, top facing west and roots to the East.

Nothing tried to bite me. I didn’t get the tractor stuck in the mud. The best part, I didn’t see one tick! 

I removed the chain from the hitch. Then I put Uriah in his outside kennel. And came back to cut the path, I was tempting fate by not walking the path first.. But even that turned out well,   so well in fact I took Uriah out for a walk..

A walk that ended with us being chased by a few angry Bumble Bees, luckily they only sting if cornered…

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 Sweat ran down my back and I felt light headed from the heat and humidity.  The sky above me was a hazy, darkening blue-grey with soft, puffy white clouds. The tops edged with a hallo of white sun. I watched a Blue Heron fly towards me from the west. He nearly disappeared inside the glaring setting sun. This is his usually way of approaching the pond.  His large wings barely moved as he glided in.  His long legs held out behind him and his thin neck stretched straight ahead in elegant splendor. Slowly, his heavy wings caressed the air as he slipped between the trees into the pond. His goal was to  feed on frogs and catfish.

I was standing next to a giant Blue Spruce.  It towered overhead as I pushed into its soft prickly branches.  Uriah was half hidden underneath the thick needles.  His choppy movements shook the upper branches and a pinecone hit me on the head. I tried to drag him out by his chubby body.

He had something in his mouth and he wasn’t giving it up! In the expanding darkness I couldn’t make out what it was.  All I could hear was a loud, “Crunch! Crunch!”

 I pushed Uriah to the side and yelled at him to drop whatever was in his mouth. He rolled his eyes up at me and refused to open his mouth. Like a spoiled kid caught eating a candy bar he swallowed his prize.

Using my walking stick I scrapped at the pile of grass that accumulated along the bottom of the tree. Uriah had his nose to the ground, digging at a specific pile of grass; he pulled out what looked like the remains of a nest and a decomposing rabbit. I saw the back feet and a sort of body, but no head or fur, except for a fuzzy tail. The entire rabbit was covered with the grass clippings and dirt.

Uriah and I started a little dance of power.

He tried to pick up the remains.  

I yelled!

He dropped it!

I skipped backwards away from it!

He jumped forward and grabbed it!

 I yelled! 

He dropped it!

This could go on all night…

Finally I stepped between Uriah and rabbit, and pushed him towards the house.  I could see his little mind whirling.  He was storing this information, so in the morning he could reclaim his prize.

Mental note to self: Tomorrow get rabbit before Uriah does…

In the morning, I walked out with Uriah. The heat hadn’t abated, rather someone turned up the thermostat!  I hurried around the house and grabbed a shovel and a plastic bag.

Luckily, Uriah spotted a bird near the garden and decided to chase him away.

I dragged the shovel over to the Blue Spruce and carefully scooped up the carcass holding it as far away as possible.  I was surprised it didn’t smell.  When I reached the drive way I opened the plastic bag and tired to figure out the easiest way to get it into the bag.

I looked up and saw Uriah trotting over to the Spruce, nose to the ground hunting out the dead rabbit. After minute he looked up at me and ran over. I knew then that this plastic bag wouldn’t keep Uriah away from the rabbit, and I certainly wasn’t going to bring it into the garage. 

My next thought was: The burn pile! I could bury it there, under the ash.

It was relatively easy, the ground bowed to the power of the shovel and I dug a shallow grave. In the meantime Uriah had run off into the trees so I thought I was getting away with something..

When Uriah finally came back we took a walk to the pond where he happily swam in circle, then promptly ran out and shook all over me. He probably figured he was doing me a favor. It was very hot, and I was melting.

I stood in the heavy humid air, with the hot sun already burning my skin. It was only eight-thirty in the morning.  Birds yelled at me! We scared all the toads into the water, I couldn’t see them, but I heard their heavy bodies making contact with the water the same way I do a belly flop. Ouch! With Uriah stirring up the mucky bottom I couldn’t see where they went to, even when I pushed through the grass and searched the waters edge. I had taken a picture a week ago of one floating lazily in the water.   

I could hear my neighbor cutting his grass and a truck passing by on the road.

I shielded my eyes from the sun and motioned to Uriah to follow. We headed back to the house. I washed off the shovel with the hose before I went inside.

While I did that Uriah was nosing around the burn pile…

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With one of my cats, PJ sitting to my right I finally began typing out this Blog. The past week has been full of gardening fun, rain, high humidity, cold weather and todays temperatures pushed me into air-conditioning.  The range has been maddeningly painful.

Last Saturday a family of magical beings came by and helped turn over the garden and plant some vegetables. They stayed only about three hours, but during that time I was able to talk to, and walk around with three little boys, while their parents grunted and groaned, as they dug, straightened and chopped up large chunks of dirt and moved around rocks.

When the boys spotted the rocks, the middle one was enthralled by the odd shapes and sizes. He wanted to take some home so they could make their own, Stonehenge under a tree in their back yard.  I was in agreement, so a pile was formed and a box appeared from the barn, a sturdy box that would hold all the rocks. Their father didn’t’ realize those rocks, when placed in a box, would weigh a ton and a hernia, until he tried to pick them up.

 Being a magical family, the boys had hoped to float the box of rocks above the ground. But alas, they forgot their fairy dust and had to settle on using a simple dolly.

 In the meantime, Uriah was being ridden like a horse.  A horse that was too tired to stand. He laid on the ground while the youngest boy sat upon his back and held tight to his ears.  I was worried Uriah wouldn’t like this, but when I saw his furry face he had a happy doggy grin. Finally, Uriah got tired of the game and stood up. Luckily the littlest guy was expecting this to happen, so he jumped off Uriah and gave him a big hug.

Uriah heard something in the trees and did his slow walk towards them. He kept looking back at me. When I finally turned my back, he slipped in-between the trees. Totally vanishing between the green leaves and heavy branches

Uriah’s normal disappearing act caused great distress to the youngest boy. He called Uriah’s name over and over, it must have seemed like hours to him instead of minutes, until Uriah reappeared to hugs and kisses. Uriah looked up at me, I shrugged and he happily trotted off with the little guy running along behind him.

Because of that extra help, I was able to plant a large amount in a short time.

This morning the rain was still pouring down, watering the seeds and plants, allowing the garden to take root, now, that also means the weeds will have a fighting chance too. I haven’t used weed killers or inhibitors in many a year. I prefer the old fashion wrestling techniques… I pull and the weeds pull back:-)

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