Posts filed under ‘Animals’

Santa’s little elf

bears-003

Contrary to popular belief, I haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth.  Santa’s little elf has been busy in the bear department the last couple of months.   The two little bears are for my 2nd grader’s teacher, the medium bear wearing the head band and dream catcher is for my 5th grader’s teacher.  The little naked bear in the back row will be dressed and wrapped for my little one by Christmas morning.  The big bear in the blue and red, has yet to find a permanent home.

Two things have slowed down my sewing adventure, 1.  Looking for employment, and 2. every stitch was done by hand.   Not that I am complaining, the sewing machine and I  really aren’t  on good speaking terms.   Oh sure for sewing curtains or big items, it is great, but the little bears are only about 8 inches tall and I am not nimble enough to sew those small seams without sewing my fingers into the mix.

And besides, I enjoy the ability to sit on my bed late at night when the house is quiet and watch television and sew.  It is almost a mindless repetitive motion that is both relaxing and challenging.  I like to say that every stitch is full of love and thoughts of the one it is being made for.  Well that is my excuse for not writing much lately.

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December 22, 2008 at 10:57 pm 6 comments

I HATE BEES

There I am doing it again. Using that “H” word that used to get me into so much trouble. But I do. I really do hate bees. Beyond that, I am bee phobic. I run and scream like a girl whenever there are bees around. Throw a snake or a spider and I would calmly put it outside, but have a bee in my house? I run for the bug spray. You know the kind I am talking about. The can that shoots up to 40 feet and totally drowns everything in its path.

I know where my fear comes from. We used to have honey bee hives and I was fascinated and loved to watch them fly in and out and dance their directions to each other. But one day it happened. I was out there watching them as usual and for some strange reason they decided I was a threat. Maybe the queen bee was PMSing and yelling at all the worker bees, or maybe it was just that time of the month (inventory time) and the workers didn’t want me watching over their shoulders. I should have retreated when I heard the little bugle call coming from the guard bees, but no I stayed. You’ve seen the cartoons where the swarm comes out and chases the person till they run into the lake? Well, I didn’t have a lake to run into. I was rather sore and swollen after they finished with me. The only good thing was the knowledge that the suckers who stung me were dead.

So that explains my fear, but it just isn’t honey bees, anything with a stinger terrifies me. And I know logically that the sting only hurts for a little while, but adrenaline outweighs my logic everytime. Logic tells me it is only one little bee in my house, adrenaline tells me to grab the can and wash the window with poisons. Logic tells me to slowly walk away from the bees and adrenaline says screw that, run for the hills.

Well my gripe today doesn’t involve a honey bee but a wasp. Last night I innocently grabbed hold of a bag of garbage that it must have been resting on and zap. Right in the thumb. Of course it hurt a little bit and then I went about my day. (getting stung is never as bad as the FEAR of getting stung. It doesn’t make sense, I can’t explain it.) So it thumps for a while and I look down and there is a nice welt forming. A few minutes later I notice I can’t bend my thumb. It has swollen to twice it’s normal size. You know those cute little lines on your thumb where it bends? I have really deep lines but the thumb, it no bend.

Of course it is on my right hand and I’m right handed, and I never truly appreciated the opposable thumb before today. The only good thing is that if my car breaks down I have a really big thumb to hitch hike with. Or maybe I could draw eyes and a mouth on it, it sort of reminds me of humpty dumpty, and then I would have my very own thumb puppet to keep me occupied. Maybe if it insists on growing, I could name it and claim it on next years taxes.

Did I mention that I hate bees?

October 1, 2008 at 9:26 pm Leave a comment

Apology to the other cats in my life.

A few posts back I told you all about the kitty Kohl and I think I have started something. All of the other cats are jealous. They must get on line and read my blog while I am at work, because I never told them that I wrote about Kohl. But somehow they know. And they are mad. Not to mention the fact that Kohl slapped my poor Sydney today, I think he was trying to prove me wrong. He was saying, “I am not a wimp.”

So to be fair I have to tell you that Kohl is getting braver and I need to tell you about the other three cats. First off there is Jade. A beautiful Siamese that was adopted from the pound. She is small and petite and the most lovable cat I have ever met. She is a lick-er and a lover. I always thought Siamese were distant cats but she has proved me wrong. Maybe it came from Disney and Lady and the Tramp, but I always thought Siamese cats were cold and mean. But she is nothing like the stereotypes, she is her own cat and a wonderful one at that.

Then there is Mr. T. He showed up here at mom’s house a few years ago. He was named Mr. T because he beat mom’s poor dog up. He was a scrapper if I ever saw one. He took mom’s dog through the yard clawing and scratching, never mind that Cleo was a full grown lab. He was named Mr. Tough Guy and it suited him well, but of course we had to give him a nickname and Mr. T. it was. But that was just an exterior he presented. Because he loved mom’s lab and Cleo would lick Mr. T. and dry him off if he got wet. Those two were inseparable. He is really a sweet heart in tough man’s clothing. And when Cleo passed he mourned.

That brings me to Oreo. He was never meant to stay here. Mom found a group of kittens one day and he was the only one that didn’t find a good home. So he stayed here. He is black and white hence the name Oreo, but my sister calls him Hitler because he has a very distinct black moustache. He is the instigator. He creates tension where none should be. He likes to keep things stirred and if it is too quiet, you can count on Oreo to stir it. But he is sneaky, he will start it and then run and if you aren’t paying close attention, you yell at the wrong cat.

That got me to thinking about cats. They will not lower themselves to beg for your attention. They will not act happy to see you if you have been gone longer than usual. They will act put out that dinner wasn’t served promptly at 5. They will pout and act offended if their needs aren’t met exactly on time. They can be loving and wonderful, but on their schedule, not yours. They are self centered little know it alls……and they are worth every second of it.

There is something special when a cat curls up on your lap kneading and purring. All is right with their world, and in turn they give you a chance to stop or at least slow down and just relax. Cats have the amazing ability to be cute and playful one minute and completely asleep then next. There is something warming about watching a cat curled up with tail wrapped around their face or fully stretched out basking in the warm sun.

So to all the special kitties in my life, I love you and sorry it took me so long to write about you. To the dogs in my life, your turn is coming I promise. And to both, please quit going on line and reading my stuff. And no more looking up kitty porn sites, it just looks bad for my user name to be on those sites. So guys, back off or get you own user names.

September 17, 2008 at 9:53 pm 4 comments

Mr Kohl

I am a cat person, which is a very good thing since I live with four of them. I’m also a dog person, which makes things interesting when the two worlds collide. But today I have been watching and thinking about Kohl. Kohl is a long haired black cat with the prettiest green eyes. Shhh don’t tell him I said this because I really don’t want to hurt his feelings, but, he is a wimp. He is scared of everything.

He started his life out with my brother and his wife. He was a scaredy cat from the first day home from the shelter. I think he lived there 6 weeks before he came out from under the bed. He bonded with them but they had to move and couldn’t take him with them, so he came here to live with my mom. I think she had him a few months before he would come out for her to see. He would want to be loved on, he would meow and look longingly, but it took him a long while to trust.

Then came the day I got the excited call. Kohl allowed mom to pet him and to touch him. I accused mom of having an imaginary cat since I never saw him. When I would come over to visit, a black streak would race through the kitchen and run downstairs. Was that really a cat running past or was I starting to believe in mom’s imaginary cat? I thought time would tell.

About a year ago, mom moved and the boys and I moved into her house. Now would be the real test. Would I ever see this infamous black cat? Would I prove my mother’s claim that one actually lived here? Or would I prove myself right that she had a good imagination? The first week here, I counted cats and always came up one short of a full house. I set out cat food and watched and waited but no kohl would appear. I had about convinced myself that I needed to take over my mother’s checkbook when one night it happened. I heard this little meow come from downstairs.

I did the quick head count and found all the ones that I have been seeing, so there was another cat in the house. Maybe my mother wasn’t crazy after all. Or maybe I was starting to hear things. Then I heard it again, so I quietly inched my way over to the steps and saw these green eyes glowing in the dark stairwell. I assumed they belonged to the mystery cat. He meowed again so I meowed back, I figured that I didn’t want to be rude, and he answered me. We stood there talking for a few minutes and I’m not sure what I said, but it must not have been offensive because he would wait every night till the kids were in bed and the house got quiet, and he would call me again just to talk and say hi.

Then it was finally my turn to have the excited phone call saying that I actually TOUCHED Kohl. The funny thing was, the kids had to be asleep or in school and I had to be sitting on the toilet. I guess he figured if I decided to turn mean I couldn’t catch him without tripping over my pants. But that became his ritual. And it was a great honor he bestowed upon this mere mortal. It was a red letter day when Kohl would let me pet him and love on him. And I bragged about it too.

The first trip my darling JB made up here to visit me in this house, I introduced her to all of the animals and told her about Kohl and how to not feel slighted but she wouldn’t see him. I was the only one he would let touch him and he would hide the whole time she was there. You know what they say about kids and animals? They’ll make a liar out of you every time.

JB and I went over and sat on the couch and we were talking when this black cat walked up and started rubbing on her legs. He then insulted me again by JUMPING up on her lap and letting her pet him. I mean I had worked for months to get him to allow me to touch him. I sat on that stupid toilet for an hour just for the honor of petting his highness and she is here less than an hour and he is sitting on her???? We couldn’t get rid of him. I think he fell in love with JB, (I can’t blame him for that. I know I sure did.) So my weeks of bragging and warning her about him being so scared went right out the window.

I really wasn’t upset with him or her. I was amazed though. I know animals can “read” people and know whom they can trust, but it shocked me at how quickly he trusted her. But it really shouldn’t have. I trusted her from the very first too. She is just that type of person. I know I am very lucky to have her in my life. But anyway, that is how Mr. Kohl came out of his shell and learned to trust.

He is still a scaredy cat and he is still a wimp, but he no longer runs and hides when the kids are around. I can now walk up to him and pick him up and pet him and he will lay on my lap for a nice nap. I call my JB the cat whisperer, which is a lot nicer than my Indian name for her, which is another topic for another day.

August 22, 2008 at 7:03 pm 5 comments

Modern day Fable

I can honestly say that I now understand how the Israelites felt during their exile.  Well maybe not, because at least they were surrounded by other Israelites.  Maybe it is more like a lone Samaritan traveling in a caravan made up entirely of Israelites.

That is how it was this last week at the county fair.  I was the lone Samaritan spending everyday, all day with a bunch of Israelites that were so much better than me.  Maybe we should make that a Samaritan with leprosy, a hairy mole on the tip of my nose and six fingers on one hand.  Maybe I should leave biblical references behind before I am accused of blasphemy.

Okay children, gather around and I will tell you the story of the Lonely Little Lesbian (LLL).   Once upon a time there was this beautiful, gorgeous, stunning,….okay, okay.  An Exceedingly average and short lesbian who spent the week at the county fair.

For seven years, said lesbian has spent that week at the county fair and until 2007, was part of the barn, part of the conversations, and part of the fun.  All was grand and good fun until the wicked ex-father-in-law (boo and hiss) thought it would be fun to “out” (sound of closet door slamming open) the exceedingly average and short lesbian. (Awwwwww).

Needless to say, nothing about the vertically challenged lesbian had changed, but people treated her as different.  No longer was she invited to be a part of the group, to laugh, or have fun.  And whenever she dared to approach the group, conversations would cease, people would stare, and the teens would giggle every time they passed her lonely watch post.

That first day was overpowering and humiliating for the poor girl.  And thus she fled to the safety and warmth of her own home.  Even while she was hiding and licking her wounds, she realized that she had to go back and face the wooden faces and unblinking eyes.

No. not for herself, because she lacks the courage to fight those demons for herself, but for her children.  Those two wonderful children that were counting on her to be there to make it possible for them to stay the week and enjoy the fair and show their animals.

Okay kids…a short break in the long and drawn out story for a bathroom break and a snack…(I heard your stomach growl)……Everyone back?  Okay.  So back to the story.

I wish I could say that the week improved and people remembered that they used to like the short little lesbian in their midst, but no, their prejudices kept them wooden and silent.  I also wish that I could say she held her head high and thought good and Christian thoughts all week.  But alas, she is only human with many, many faults.

Although she never wished any ill will towards those who failed to see, it can be truthfully said that she was quite bitchy in her private thoughts…(wicked laughing heard).  Even as she felt guilty for those thought, she didn’t fight them off.

THE END.

What?  Where’s the moral?  How can it be a fable without a moral and a lesson learned?  Hmmmmmm.   Maybe you are right.  Let me think……

Well not all was lost, because in spite of her pessimistic view of the fair she wasn’t completely alone.  There was one who remembered fairs past and “Love your neighbor as yourself” and would speak to the LLL, lonely little lesbian.  (not to be confused with the LOL, Loyal Order of Lesbians) in which her membership is in good order.

So although the week was uncomfortable, it was bearable.  And in the midst of blind hate and isolation, there was found a beautiful flower of a person who loves in spite of the popular thing to do, who reaches out to someone she doesn’t understand, and cares beyond her own belief system.

And the LLL found that while it was fun to think those nasty little thoughts, in no way did they feed her soul or improve the situation in any way.  So by the end of the week she was able to say a sincere prayer for those who still mocked her.

So I guess the moral is this:  No matter what the situation, God can plant a wonderful person or circumstance to give us hope.  And while pouting and nasty thoughts can be fun, they bring forth no fruit.

August 3, 2008 at 12:30 am 14 comments

Different

In a conversation that I had recently “being different” was discussed. I have to admit that I am different, some would say a little queer. (Actually I am a big queer but that fact has already been established.) But I got to thinking and yes, I am different in a lot of ways. But that isn’t a bad thing.

I have many hobbies that some would consider weird. I like to make homemade soap and lotions, I would go out of my way to help an animal but yet I brain tan hides, and I spent a year staying up half the night just to watch chickens hatch in my incubator. Oh and baby ducks too and button quail. I have set mouse traps and felt no grief when I caught one of the little beggars, but I have also fed baby mice with an eye dropper because I believe everything deserves a chance to grow up.

I can spend an hour sitting in the grass looking for fourleaf clovers. I can get lost in the beauty of a sunset or a flower. I tend to mosey when I walk, I rarely hurry and I easily get sidetracked. And finding a snail is enough reason to stop and look. And I agree with my youngest, that snails are one of the coolest creatures God made. They are slow and easy to catch and they make SLIME. How cool is that?

I like snakes, spiders, and bats, but bees will see me run and act like an idiot. I am afraid of bees and balloons although I have learned to accept balloons, they are not my friends. If there is a bee in my house I will hunt it down and kill it, but I have learned to leave them alone when they aren’t after me and are OUTSIDE. I like to watch bats fly around at night and I try to safely remove spiders from my house. I don’t even mind Grandaddy Long Legs. I just prefer they live outside. I have a snake that sleeps in my room. Although I can’t feed it when JB is around and awake. In his defense, he is a cute little snake that is so tame and calm.

I once had a pet crawdad (crayfish or otherwise known as a freshwater lobster though not near as big). I would tap on the cover and he would come out and let me pet him. But then again I have used crawdads for fish bait. I love to fish and I am the official queen of the bluegills, and I had cleaned and eaten the fish I have caught. But I once had a funeral for one of my pet fish that died.

Most of my pets are strays or from the local pound, but I once paid $200.00 for a registered German Shepherd that we had spayed since she was a loved pet and not a breeding dog. I am a cat AND a dog person. I love them both for different reasons. My house would not be a home without a dog and a cat running around. I love animals, more than some people I know, and yet I am not a vegetarian. I eat meat and I enjoy it.

I have raised livestock that I knew would end up on my dinner plate, but I truly believed it was my duty to make sure everyday of their life was happy and that they always had their needs met. I grew up in rural America and farmed for many years of my life where livestock was food, but in no way do I fault vegetarians. For whatever reason they choose that path, I understand that people work out of so many different motives and lifestyles. I can not judge them, although vegans do get a hard time around here, but they won’t get it from me.

I firmly believe in the old saying of live and let live. I don’t care if I disagree with your thoughts and opinion 100%, if I believe you are acting out of your convictions, I will respect you for it. For an example, my being gay. If your convictions lead you to believe that I am in sin, then fine. I disagree with you but you are entitled to your opinion. I will treat you with respect as long as you return the favor. I know in my heart that I am who God created me to be and you may know in your heart that I am an abomination to God, so lets agree to disagree and let God figure it all out. That is his job and not mine or yours.

So much of that seems like contradictions, but really it isn’t. How can one limit a life to those things that always seem to agree? If people were a flat two dimensional creation, then that would matter. But humans are round, squishy, full of life and vitality, and we are complex. And the amazing thing is, we are always changing. What I was yesterday is not the same as today. Notice I didn’t say “who I am” for I believe that never changes. God made me who I am, I am responsible for what I am and what I become.

I know parts of me may seem rather odd, but if you get the chance, stop and really look at a snail. Even if you can’t fully appreciate its value and worth, notice the grand design that God created and thank him for it. And then go one step farther and notice the grand design in all of God’s children and thank him for it.

July 24, 2008 at 3:14 pm 9 comments

The adventures of the cherry tree

Today I happened to look out the window and noticed the cherry tree was loaded with red ripe cherries.  Most years the birds and critters wait until they are almost ripe and then wipe them out the night before you are getting ready to pick them.  But this year, the critters were too slow and I got my share picked.

Well to be honest, there are a lot of cherries left on the tree.  The tree is tall and I am not.  I prefer the term vertically challenged but even I have to admit that I am short.  I stand at 5’1″ and the tree is probably 15ft tall so I was at a disadvantage.  But I gathered enough to make a pie or two and so I am on line looking for an EASY pie crust recipe.

I like to bake, you can’t beat my homemade bread, but pie crusts have always eluded me.  I just can’t make a nice flaky crust that doesn’t fall apart or require steel teeth to chew.  My grandmother could bake wonderful pie crusts.  Even when the dementia was gaining the upper hand she could make a crust that would melt in your mouth.  That is just one talent I didn’t inherit. 

But back to the cherry tree.  My dog Sydney and I walked down to the tree and I was quietly picking cherries and letting my mind wander where ever it wanted to go.  I was down there picking for about half an hour when I noticed my dog staring intently up into the higher branches of the tree.  She uttered not a sound but her intent look drew my eyes up to where hers were trained.  Remember the critters who like to eat the cherries?  Well I look up and saw the largest raccoon fast asleep in the nook of the branches. 

I have to admit that I have a love/hate relationship with raccoons.  I can’t help but to admire their dexterity and their intelligence, and heck, yes they are cute little masked bandits.  But on the other hand I was responsible for reducing their population by a dozen last summer after they mutilated my chickens.  They didn’t just kill one to eat, but they went through and tore up and mutilated almost my whole flock. 

But there I was today, looking up at the fat raccoon who I know will be eating cherries all night tonight and there may be none left tomorrow and Sydney looked at me as if to ask, “Should I bark and chase it away?”  The chickens are long gone, the cherries out of my reach, so no, we left it alone.  I finished filling my tub and then quietly walked away.

July 5, 2008 at 6:12 pm 7 comments

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