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Archive for the ‘Nature’ Category

This is Irritating little Chihuahua at six weeks, January of 1999.  She is eleven years old this month, and she has her daily exercise routine.

It consists of sleeping, and

going outside and surveying her driveway, from the great sniffing of automobile tires down to the Yucca plant.  I have yet to figure out what is so intriguing about the Yucca, as it does not seem a normal “pee” spot to me, but it is on her daily route. 

It is also on her daily route to debate whether to go on down the driveway to the road.  She will look back, to see if we are watching, go a few trots, stop and look back.  This continues until I rap on the window or yell at her.  Then, she ambles off into the yard as if, “No, I never intended on going down the driveway.  I know my boundry.” 

The rest of the day is taken up with sleeping with nose buried,

and begging for food, and sleeping.  Mostly sleeping. 

Oh, and there is the occasional — jump up and give me a dirty look because she swears I touched her haunches, when she actually has a flea. 

Before I am yelled at, she has a frontline flea application monthly, as well as her heart worm pill.  She has had neurological problems with other flea applications, so Frontline it is.  This was working well for her until the St. Bernard family decided to eat our garbage and deposit their “city of fleas” in our yard.  They DO NOT get flea applications.  Chihuahua  added the garbage cans to her morning run as those St. Bernard’s leave behind all kinds of things, including their fleas. 

The St. Bernard’s eating the lid of the garbage can, to circumvent the ties and boards and anything else we could find to keep them out, finally resulted in putting the garbage cans in my studio (which I rarely use in winter).  The city of fleas resides on the ground yet, as well as the smells do.

Twice a day I comb her with a frozen flea comb, catch the fleas that freeze on it, and put them in the freezer of doom; a disposable container in the freezer.   I know this is wierd, but, yes, I have a container of frozen fleas in my freezer (Try saying that three times fast.).  On top of which, sits her flea comb.  Someday the City of fleas will all die —– I hope.

So, back on topic, the Chihuahua sleeps, eats, poops, and sleeps all day.  For ten minutes, at night, she also plays with her Taco Belle Chihuahua.   Taco Belle Chihuahua has more sewn body parts than you can imagine.  Irritating Chihuahua loves to grab it by the neck and try to knock herself sensless with it.

My fear, the year we had floods, was that our home would be flooded, fall into the pond and the Taco Belle Chihuahua would be history.  I have searched ebay, Good Will and yard sales for a back-up Christmas Taco Belle dog.  Chihuahua has a basket of stuffed toys and will occasionally play with the Turkey Buzzard and rarely with the cat mouse toy.  Taco Belle Chihuahua is her love.

Now, we have found another exercise outlet for Chihuahua: The Wii.

Yes, Gaffer brought a Wii home.  One of the games sounds rather like a bark, so she stands on the couch and barks back at the Wii.  But, bowling drives her nuts.  It took her three hours to figure out they were not throwing food for her.  She loves her Wii.  She does not understand it, but she loves it.

This is Skeeter, trying to communicate with the blue jean leg of the Wii player.  She is either saying, “Okay, where is the treat you have been throwing for three hours?” or “GO TO BED!”

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  1. We are almost having summer here. Summer, with golden red leaves in the trees and brown ones on the ground. 
  2. I let Irritating Little Chihuahua out the front door the other night, and both of us got a bit freaked out by the sound of footsteps in the deep crinkling leaves at the back of the house.  She came right back in and I went to face the unknown out the back door, where my flashlight highlighted a possum.  Just how does a possum walk in leaves and make footstep sounds?  Gaffer said it was a hoppin’ possum.
  3. It has been raining in Indiana, which means I have problems getting on line and can, yet again, listen in on my neighbors phone calls and they, mine.  Gotta love Indiana.
  4. Twenty-three year old, Gaffer, is working now.  In the last months, he has applied for a job in every city within a fifty mile radius.  He got, exactly, one call back.  After two interviews, he began working as a cashier at a Cracker Barrel and is now up for his first raise.  He is delighted.  He is a good worker and in January, he begins his training to take his Master’s Electrician license. 
  5. The twenty year old, EMT, was looking for a job.  He has signed his enlistment papers to join the Army and goes to basic in January so thought he would not be able to find a job to fill-in for a couple of months.  He was happy to find a job with NTN in Columbus, IN.  They make drive shafts, I believe.  He starts on Monday.  We have thought, for some time, that would be a good fit for the military.  Will I worry?  Yes!  But, no more than when he was a volunteer fireman or getting his woodland fire fighter certificate. 
  6. And, the games continue.  Tonight they are playing Trivial Pursuit.  It is as noisy as Risk.  I do believe they have all realized that life, as it tends to do, will be evolving very soon and are making memories and enjoying each other’s company. 

Gaffer may be here for a year, or more, but once he has his Master’s Electrician License, he will be off to points where there are sets and stages that need electricians.  EMT will be in the Army for four years and Jake, formerly known as JRock and less formerly known as JCountry, will be off to Nashville, TN in a couple of years.  His choice is either Diesel Mechanic and/or guitar/singer. 

Right now, the little ladies who shop in Nashville, Indiana love Jake and are overwhelmed by the depth of his voice, with their claps and a few tips too.

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Irritating Little Chihuahua is still giving the recliner a wide birth but she is ferocious in her sleep!

sleepingdogface

OR NOT!

sleepingdog

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My Labor Day

I slept late and we are having a quiet day.  This is what I woke up to at 9 a.m.

9amfog

This was not night time.  This was out my front door at 9 am and we don’t have fires to blame.

fawn

With the cool nights all summer in Indiana, the marigolds are about the only thing left, and our fawn twins are now just one.  I don’t know if they have split up or one got hit by a car but this guy is still coming through twice a day and feeding, so she can have what she likes.

Happy Labor Day all

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It is miracle Saturday.  I don’t usually get online on a Saturday; let alone one that is rainy.  So, I thought I would share a bit of my life with you.

When I do get online, one of my favorite blogs is Crazy Aunt Purl.  I have secretly been thinking about living in L.A. a lot lately.  I have no idea why; okay, there is the warmer weather, but I would HATE the traffic.  But, Crazy Aunt Purl wrote a most moving blog on August 17; when the gardeners her landlord hired totally destroyed her garden.  It was an act of vandalism, as far as I am concerned.  My heart  sunk when I saw it, I can only imagine how she felt when she came home and discovered it.  Her rows of beautiful corn, I have four stalks that have yet to reach knee height, and her pumpkin vines are now just like four sticks sticking up, with one tiny pumpkin sitting forelornly in the mud.  How mean can someone be, to do that to a person, after that person has worked for months to put food, they grew, on the table?

Anyway, that is how they grow, with tender loving care, in Sunny L.A.  This has been a cool year and this is how they have grown in rainy, cool, Indiana this year.

baby watermelon

Let’s just hope these striped babies are well hidden from the two orphan fawns that are eating my ripe tomatoes.

My pumpkin patch is creeping out into the grass, which is now impossible to mow without cutting the pumpkins.  It originates from the top o the picture (where the tomato cages are and is growing out to the bottom of the picture, and on the right side, even growing up the side of my studio.

pumpkin patch

And, here is one of my baby yellow pumpkins in this patch.

pumpkin yellow

To end up, I will show you what IS tornado damage.  The expert came out to one house and declared it to be straight wind but my yard was damaged with things falling in a circular pattern throughout.  I have very thick hostas in front of my studio.  I was going to thin them this fall, but this is what I have on one side now. 

damaged hostas

You can see the progressive damage as the wind whipped around.  The sticks at the corner of the studio were full grown hosta just as the one under the window is; even though it is also beaten a bit.  This is one side of the door, the plants on the other side of the door were barely damaged at all.  The tree to the right of this building, past my garden, had a large limb ripped off and it went to the right.  The limb on my roof was knocked to the right, and all around my yard, they were knocked down in that swirl pattern.

My next door neighbor was home during the storm and he heard the freight train sound, so I am presuming the eye went over their house.

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It’s so beautiful out today.  I love this property, with all the trees waving in the wind and the two fawns that have taken up residence (I think their mom might have died in a car crash).  Poor babies are eating all the red tomatoes and yellow roses.  They do not like the pink roses.  Pink must taste bad.   They wait for the tomatoes to turn red.  Actually, not just turn red but be soft and ripe.  It is now a game of wits between us to see who gets the tomato at the proper maturity.  They won the other night and got the three I planned on picking the next morning.

This morning I opened the door to let irritating Chihuahua out and a rabbit was sitting in front of the door munching the grass.  Probably the same rabbit who is eating the blooms on my melons.  I do think mother nature is winning this year.  Between the late blooms, due to cool weather, and the animals, I’m not sure what we are getting out of the garden other than peppers.  Anyway, the rabbit would NOT move.  Just refused.  I knew the Chihuahua would take out after the rabbit and I wanted the rabbit to have a chance and also not to beat the tar out of the dog, so I said “shoe.”  The rabbit munched away.  I knocked on the inside of the door.  The rabbit munched away.  The dog actually went back in the house (we were on the porch) and laid back down and the dumb rabbit was still munching away.  I think my wildlife has gotten tame.

I have two gardens this year.  I planted vegetables in the very sparse rose garden, where a bunch of roses came up in the beginning but didn’t do much with the cool weather.  I took care of them this year too.  But, I have two new plants that are doing great.  One is a yellow rose and one is varigated and I just love it.  Will post a picture later.  The vegetables were doing great too, before the orphans took up residence.

And, then we have the square foot back garden and the pumpkin patch that is invading our yard.  These are some of the numerous blossoms.

pumpkinvines

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Sorry, for the long absence. We have the log off our roof now. That’s good. I reformatted my computer, hoping to improve my Dial-up Access, but that is not working so well. I never get on to AOL with the first try and, when I do get on, other things seem to be constantly running and keeping me from doing anything.

So, I am writing this at night, hoping to have a solid minute online to actually upload it.
Husband left town for a few days to pick up eldest boy, Gaffer. His ride from Duluth, MN fell through and he had no way to get home. He has his permit and IS getting his license when he gets back if I have to take him.

You have no idea how exciting it is to have a husband gone for three days; until you have had one home with you, twenty-four hours a day, for twenty years. Since, I am an artist and work out of my home, and he has been disabled and unable to work for that long, it is just way too much togetherness.

Mom offered to come, and stay and keep me company. I have to wonder how often she actually listens to me, since I repeatedly say, “I love to be alone.” Of course, she does not and probably wanted company herself, but husband took our only reliable car and there is not a bed here she is comfortable in and, once you have read the rest of this, you will see why she is probably glad she stayed home.

Yes, things are normal around here.

The first day EMT took JRock to school, almost. His truck, the one they worked on all weekend; the one they dropped the engine and replaced a seal and all kinds of goodies on, well, it broke down between here and town. The restaurant owner, where it is parked, is kindly letting it sit there for a few days. I got the call, and went to pick the boys up. So, while he is at work now, I do not have access to a car. No problem!

That day, the icemaker quit working. Okay, fill the stack of small yogurt containers with water and freeze them. No problem!

My plan to clean my downstairs studio, while husband was gone, went well. I emptied it the first day, onto his bed. Today, I put things away where they belong, cleaned off his bed, went out to the outside studio and got the couple of containers that belong in here. I do have three containers I have to sort through yet, but it is not piles here and there. I had no idea how much room I had down there. I still have empty cupboards I can fill up.

However, I may never go down there again after what I found, this evening.

EMT works with making knives and doing leather goods. He was looking for some copper, to decorate a knife holder with, and I thought I might have some in my downstairs studio. And, since it was now mostly clean, I could find it. I got down on my knees, searched the cupboard, only had rods and tubes, nothing flat; closed it all up, stood up and spotted a snake. YES, A SNAKE. A snake in my studio downstairs. A snake in the room that used to be my mother’s kitchen.

EMT is deathly in hate with snakes. He won’t even watch them on tv, but I yelled for him and all without telling him why; rat that I am. It was a little snake, and I didn’t think, I was just afraid to lose sight of it and not be able to find it again and then I would have to sleep in the car or on the roof.

The snake was thinner than a pencil, mostly, and probably a foot and a half long. It’s hard to tell when they won’t quit slithering.

He comes down and says, “Get out of here. It’s a copperhead.” We have copperhead here. We had a nest in the gully, the second summer the boys were here. I think EMT burned it out. But, they seem to be plentiful in Brown County. Hence, all the people so proud of this fact that they name their properties, “Copperhead Ridge” “Copperhead Hollow” etc.

Are you ready for this? EMT then killed the snake with the side of a folding table. Whatever works! He then picked it up with his leatherman and put it in the garbage and his brother took it out. After he killed it and turned it over, he says it was probably a black snake. I don’t care, it does not belong in my basement, and how many friends did the darn thing invite in? He searched the basement for more. Found a hole it may have come in and plugged it, but no other snakes. Very brave for a kid who absolutely loathes snakes.

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