Monday, August 06, 2012

Glad I Bought That!


An old crate makes a great side table on the porch next to two vintage rocking chairs on our covered porch.  Guess I'm not the only one that appreciates it.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Explosive Weather


Real life stories are too interesting to have been made up.  Holidays are often punctuated with a phone call to my veterinarian brother-in-law with some cow down or a dying goat.  This Fourth of July, he and my mother-in-law had treated us all to expertly grilled ribs.  After, we sat around and we listened to his story of some pigs he had had to catch and vaccinate.



The cosmos was set in motion and the phone rang - one of the same pigs had a prolasped rectum.  We all moaned in sympathy with him (and disgust at the mental image).  It seems the pig had had pnuemonia earlier in the week and had coughed himself inside out.  Several relatives were interested enough to don boots and accompany him on the call.


Those of us remaining took in small town America, spreading blankets near a gazebo festooned with patriotic half-moon banners.  We watched the clock nervously looking over our shoulders at an approaching storm.  Lightening began competing with some renegade fireworks, but the real show was not scheduled to go off for another half hour.  Just as we decided to go to the car, the fireworks started early. We stayed, until we felt rain and heard the screaming.  People running - and screaming.

It began to downpour, and hundreds of people ran down the street, pelted by hail.  A man fell down, laughing at himself.  Parked nearby, we made it to the car just in time, but not before my sister-in-law got a black eye from a piece of hail.  The fireworks continued to go off, observed from the car through the hail and rain. We were no longer hot, given that we were soaked.

Back at home, we heard more about the pig, and how to fix a prolapsed rectum.  I had recently had a foster kitten with this problem, so my interest in the procedure is not as bizarre as it might seem.  Personally, I think some bacon making was in order.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Overheard

At work today, I lifted a five gallon bucket of paint into a man's cart.  His young (two? three year old?) son said incredulously, "Girls are strong??"

The man answered, "Yes, son, girls are strong."

This one is going to bed after 15 miles (by my pedometer) since yesterday morning.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Empty Nest


I knew she* was capable of feeding herself.  One morning, I surprised her with food in her mouth.  Yet, the next morning, she looked at the food I had placed on the railing for her, hopped over to the popsicle stick I normally used to feed her, picked it up, put it down, and looked at me with a cocked head.  If she had used words, she couldn't have more plainly said, "Feed me!"  It was an amusing moment, and one that was startling in the clear communication with this bird.  So bird children are no different than human children can be!

A week or two later, "Birdie"  (or "Tweetie" to William) has me literally feeling the empty nest syndrome.  She is now completely self-fed, using both food I leave for her and lifting bark to find a tasty beetle.  She does still come to me, lets me pick her up, but the days are numbered.  I've seen her flying with other juvenile European starlings, arguing (or so it sounds) as they fly.  It won't be long before she doesn't come back to see me.  Each day, she comes less frequently to say hi.  And yet, that is what good parents do:  they teach their young to be independent.

I was told I couldn't do it:  raise a single starling.  For one thing, and I didn't know this, it is illegal to raise starlings in Kentucky (one of the few states that prohibit keeping starlings).  I could legally kill this baby crying out in hunger.  I could drown it.  If I had a hunting license, I could shoot it.  I could not, however, nurture it.  Birdie was was flying free but still being fed when I learned this.   At this point, Birdie lived totally outside and so, I wasn't "keeping" her as a pet, I was feeding a "wild" bird.  I had raised two starlings and released them successfully some years ago.  I accepted that Birdie might not make it past her first year, but odds are, most birds don't.

Birdie is going to make it, and in a way, I miss her.  I'm very proud that she is going to be a real bird, but it was quite heartwarming to hear her, call out, and see her glide in to the porch.  William and I have become acutely aware of the sound of starling fledglings.  We notice them everywhere.  We have learned tons by raising this bird: what it eats, how it develops, how it lives. 


The day we found her, an ugly little thing.


A cute phase



Just now, she is showing a few black and white feathers on her shoulder, 
signaling that maturity is right around the corner.

Although starlings can talk in captivity, she'll likely be gone before she learns words, but don't be surprised if one lands near you and says, "What cha' doin'?


*Note:  I call it a "her" although gender cannot be determined until the first molt.






Saturday, May 05, 2012

Eugene (1998 - 2012)

Eugene is no more.  He gave it his all, even in death becoming an "organ" donor to a church that works on cars to donate to people in need.  We tried to nurse him along, but in the end, he told us it was "time" when he refused to drive in reverse.  He would try so hard to go forward, slipping and revving his engine.   After over 247,000 miles and many memories, Eugene is no more.  He was a good car.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Listening

Overheard on the way back from swimming with three homeschooled boys:

".....blah, blah, blah Sponge Bob Square Pants."
"Actually, he isn't "Square Pants".
"Yeah, his pants are really rectangular."

Friday, April 20, 2012

Meet Luna


William's cat Luna

While fixing dinner last night, I was trying to catch up on "House", but was distracted by the loud sounds of sirens wailing.  I said a prayer for the safety of my husband driving home from work at that same hour.  Let him be safe.  Then, a bit of guilt, knowing that if my husband is safe, some other family's daddy or mommy might not be safe.  I said a prayer for whomever those sirens were for.  They went on and on.  It must be a terrible fire or accident.  

Then - I realized William was in the basement with his buddy playing xBox.  The sirens were on their game.  My husband arrived home safely, as I hope everyone else did, too.

The above photo is of William's new kitten, Luna.  She is scared but warming up nicely.  After living eight short weeks in a barn, she and her two siblings were in a "cat room" at the pound, with many big and (if I were a wee kitten) scary cats.  It will take awhile to not be scared, but she and William have bonded already.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

No Good Deed....

My first thought, upon hearing, was that I was probably a suspect in a robbery.  The police might come and question me at work, and surely, that would not look good.  That sure would be embarrassing but also would make for some lively conversations in the break room.  I called the victim right away and told her all I knew, hoping she didn't think I did such a thing - which I certainly didn't - but would she think that?  There was, however, a more likely suspect - but I'll keep you a bit in suspense.

It all started when a neighbor called and said, "Can you come over?  I need you. ...but don't ring the doorbell...the dogs will bark....wait, there's someone at the door....can you come?"   Was her home being broken into?  Would I find this situation dangerous?  Was she having a heart attack?  William and I arrived quickly, as she is just doors down from our house.  There was a man on the front porch talking on his cell phone.  I didn't talk to him, but found out later he was the gardener.  I let myself in, being privileged to have the code to her door.

My neighbor appeared gravely ill, and wanted to go to the emergency room.  She did not appear to be in immediate danger, so we decided I would drive her.  I double checked the front door, and locked the side door as we exited. We told the gardener that we were going to the hospital in town, that the neighbor was sick.

Thankfully, tests showed that the neighbor was okay, though that took several hours.  During my wait, she realized that she didn't have her insurance cards.  I volunteered to return home to get them, and did so, finding her wallet where she said it was on the desk, and seeing no one there, returned to the hospital.  She was being released!  I was able to take her home and drop her off just before it was time for me to go to work.  I noticed the gardener had returned and was now watering the bushes.

Well, it seems that after having a bite to eat, she went into her bedroom and discovered that much of her jewels were missing and a stereo.  And...I had been to her house during the time she was at the hospital.  Details helped, however, formulate a scenario.  While I was there, I fed her dogs and checked her kitchen doors.  One was unlocked, and I dead bolted it.  I had come in the front door with a code, but left by the side door, which was unlocked.  Surely, I had locked it.  I locked it again.  So - someone, a "he" (determined because a toilet seat had been left up) had come in the kitchen door and exited the side door - just after using the potty.  But at the time, I didn't know that, having only been in the kitchen and office.  And the unlocked door?  It gave me pause, but I thought perhaps it unlocks when opened from the inside, or I didn't do it right.  I brushed aside these thoughts - until I heard what had happened.

Days went by, and finally a detective came by to take prints and question the gardener.   Long story short, he has confessed and will likely do time.  Sadly, the victim will not recover all her items, some of which were sentimental.  And the robber?  Unemployed, the victim had tried to do him a favor to earn a little to help support his baby.  Sad.

Me?  It was an interesting conversation starter this past weekend and I'm relieved that the police didn't show up at the paint desk where I work.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Real Life

My drain was clogged.  Thinking to teach William some real life lessons about maintaining the house (for surely he'd use that more than the definition of a rhombus),I told him to watch me.  Maybe I'd let him do some of the work.  As I opened the drain, a glob and an overpowering smell came out with the water.

"Awwwwrg," he wrinkled his nose and ran to another room.  "If I clean up that throw up smell, I'll throw up and then I'll have two throw-ups to clean up."

I guess the trade of plumbing is out of the question.

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