Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's Six O'Clock. Do You Know Where Your Pets Are?

I was sitting here a couple hours ago and suddenly Rosey and Lucy ran for the slider like they wanted to kill something. There was a beautiful Husky standing on the deck looking into the kitchen.

I went out through the garage and called him off the deck and out of their sight. He romped over to me in the yard. I checked; no tags, just a training collar. I tried to shoo him out of the yard but he just wanted to play.

I've never seen him before. We live on a country road, and the houses are a little ways apart. I know all the families nearby and have never seen this dog. Paul thought he had seen him in the area but didn't know where he belonged.

I reluctantly tried to chase him out of the yard, Lucy and Rosey were still having fits in the house, but he just kept coming back to me. Finally he wandered off to the house next door where he tried to get in the door. I heard loud voices trying to shoo him away.

It seemed like he was lost and trying to find a house to get into. If I didn't have two dogs who don't share I would have brought him in while we tried to find his owner but that wasn't going to happen. Lucy the Jack Russell Terror wanted to rip his throat out. Rosey thought he was a little too friendly if you know what I mean.

Finally he wandered off. Paul called and left a message for the town dog officer. We made a couple calls to neighbors further down the road but no one knew him.

I don't see him out in the yard or around the road, and now I'm wishing he would come back. We'd keep him in the garage at least over night but now he's gone, and I'm going to worry wondering what happened to him.

A dog can wander off. That can happen to anyone. But why would you not have tags on him so that someone could find who he belongs to?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

An Aha! Moment

I can be a bit messy. There! I've said it.

Right now you can barely see the dining room table because of all my 'stuff.' But I have to give credit where it's due in saying that Paul really doesn't gripe about my messiness too often even though he's pretty organized. His brother David was here doing some carpentry work a few years ago. He needed a certain grit sandpaper and over the telephone Paul was able to tell David exactly where the sandpaper was in the green cabinet in the garage where he kept it in increasing order of grit. He's that kind of organized, in some ways.

So Paul doesn't complain often about my clutter but he has always been on my case about drawers and kitchen cabinets left open. He has bitched at me enough over the years that I make a concerted effort not to leave them open. Especially after he walked into a kitchen cabinet door I had left open and snapped it right off, not at the hinges either. Fortunately David was here and repaired it.

However, Paul is not without some organized messiness of his own. We have a wooden bowl on the island in the kitchen which is supposed to be a fruit bowl. Right now in addition to an apple there is also a deposit slip, rebate coupon for wine, several envelopes and a note about a landscaper. We actually had some bananas go bad in there last week because we couldn't see them under the papers.

This I will not take the blame for although I know he will say some of the stuff in there is mine. I wouldn't do that if he didn't start it. There is always a pile of keys, cell phone, pen, glasses and notes which do not belong to me beside the fruit bowl. Somehow some of it often migrates into the bowl.

It has come to my attention recently that leaving drawers and doors open is beyond my control.

We were watching some cop show last week and when the detectives came into the apartment of a missing person, one of them commented on the condition of the place because it looked like it had been ransacked. The other cop's response was "unless a girlfriend or wife was here." When the first cop seemed puzzled the other guy said "you know how it is, women leave drawers and doors open thinking they are coming back to it, and they don't."

Aha! You see, I can't help it, I'm wired that way.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Two Years of Scribbling

On April 9, 2009 I wrote my first post here at It's a Jungle Out There. As of today I have published 273 posts. That sounds like an incredible amount of words.

When I began I really didn't have a clue what would be or could be involved with writing a blog.

I made a pledge to myself never to write about politics or religion which I've been true to. I have written about happy times and sad times. I've written silly posts. I've used it as a place to vent, and I've often used it as a way to says thanks.

Occasionally it begins to feel like a job, and that's when I take a break. So far I've always come back.

It seems I write well enough to make people laugh a little and cry a little. I have a few regular readers, and I appreciate their loyalty.

Many followers have come and gone, too, so maybe I've bored a few. I love to hear from people through comments but in the long run, this is for me. I have a gadget that shows me how many people visit on any given day and where they came from. I can tell from locations that a few friends and family are checking in.

At the beginning of last year I found a site where you can have your blog made into a book. I did and I love it. I had another made with my 2010 posts and plan to do it every year. I think of it as a yearbook and a great way to look back. And I don't have to worry about losing my blog to some computer glitch. Here's what they look like.

Occasionally I pick one up and browse. I did that recently and found some posts I had forgotten. I thought I'd republish some of my favorites. It was difficult to narrow it down to these few but here they are.

The first one is about my friends Chet and Nellie and our search for their horse farm. Recently Nellie was considering buying another horse. The people she was buying from wanted references. She sent them a link to this post.

This one about Colonel James Kasler is one that most touches my heart. I did try to find Colonel Kasler to share this with him. I found some people who know him who I think forwarded a link on to him. I never heard from him but I hope he read it.

This is about a lecture given by Elie Wiesel. For me hearing this man speak was a chance of a lifetime. Very powerful and very important.

And this one about Ben is a happy post. I write lots about our dogs, Rosey and Lucy, but this one is about a golden retriever that I helped find a home for.

If you are a regular follower, thanks for stopping by; if you're not, I hope you enjoy.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Things That Go Bump in the Night

One of the bloggers who I read regularly wrote recently about watching the movie Black Swan and then going to bed. I haven't seen the movie, and probably won't, but I've heard it's pretty creepy. I don't care for scary movies much. I prefer to be entertained not scared.

Debby told about hearing weird noises in the house after going to bed that night. Her husband apparently sent her downstairs to find out what it was. He probably didn't hear it and figured she could ruin her night's sleep rather than his. She said the noise lasted for 20 minutes and she never found out what it was.

Regarding things that go bump in the night, Paul is just about deaf in his left ear. I learned that on our first date when we sat at the bar in a noisy restaurant waiting for our table. As we chatted I had the feeling he couldn't hear me but didn't find out for sure until later.

It's the result of shooting without ear protection. Usually when you are right-handed when you shoot a shot gun or a rifle, you use your right eye to sight on the target and you tuck your right ear into your shoulder. Your left ear is exposed to the percussion of the gun. Sounds like I know what I'm talking about. Living with a shooter/hunter for 25 years you learn these things.

He told me by the time you realize you've damaged your ear, you're saying a lot of "Huh? What?" and it's too late. So I learned early that if I want him to hear me, I should be on his right side. If I want to mumble things about him, I should be on his left.

So what ear do you think he puts to the pillow at night? The good one. Consequently he hears just about nothing. I, on the other hand, wake up when a mouse farts in the attic.

And we do have mice in the attic. And they dance above my head at night. I think they are doing the rumba.

Paul did wake up one night to find me standing on the bed pounding my fist on the wall above the bed trying to scare the mice away. I don't think they ran away. I think they just held still until I laid back down. Then they started again.

We don't have a small house. Why do they feel they have to dance in the corner of the attic above my side of the bed? Why can't they dance over the spare bedroom?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Want To Play Barbies?

Recently someone donated a Barbie doll to us at Adopt-a-Family. We buy and give away dozens of Barbies every year so what makes this one remarkable?

She's a 1964 dark brunette swirl ponytail Barbie doll that appears never to have been out of her box. I took her out, certainly not to play with her, but to take pictures. I've got her for auction on eBay with a reserve price of several hundred dollars.

Crazy you say? Not necessarily. Recently a 1963 vintage Barbie sold for $601.99. I'm hopeful our doll will sell for nearly that much.

See the label on the end of the box? It says Sears, Roebuck and Company and shows a price of $2.19. With inflation that would be $15.79 in 2011 dollars.

If you're interested, check her out here. Or maybe you're heading to your closet to dig out your own dolls from your childhood. When this auction is over I know I am.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What's the Buzz?

Sunday on my FaceBook (yes, I reactivated my account but am spending very little time there) I posted:

The girls are here! All 12,000 of them. They arrived yesterday from Georgia, and we picked them up today. We moved them into their new house this afternoon and hopefully they will start decorating IMMEDIATELY. Honey for everyone for Christmas!

We've been talking about starting an apiary for a long time. It's a fascinating culture. I did a little beekeeping many, many years ago but was only a helper so my experience handling the bees was limited. But I do remember lots of information about apiculture and the equipment. This spring we looked into it and decided it was time.

We took a class offered by the local beekeepers' association. We met some local beekeepers and got some recommendations of vendors of equipment and bees. We bought some hives and frames, known as woodenware, and placed our order for 3 pounds of bees. Yes, you buy them by the pound. Most of the package bees bought in this area come from Georgia.

Paul painted the hive bodies, found a spot in the orchard and got the equipment out there. We picked the bees up Saturday, and I put them in the hive that afternoon. I felt really comfortable working with them. I wore a full suit, no sense in getting stung plus the more comfortable you are when handling them the better results you'll have with them.

The colony arrives with a mated queen. She's in a separate little cage with the bees and you have to put her into the hive in that little cage. She is usually able to get out in about 24 hours. We can't open the hive until they've had 3 days to get settled and the queen hopefully begins laying eggs.

One more day and I can look to see how they are doing! Here are some photos. I'll update more as things begin to happen.

Getting the equipment ready.

Paul brought the hives out to the orchard and picked the spot.

All ready! Just need bees.

This is what 3# of bees looks like.

That's me putting them into the hive.

Come on in.

So far, so good!

Monday, May 2, 2011

What an Eerie Feeling

When I have trouble going back to sleep in the night I do what I call "read myself to sleep." There's always a book by my bed and right now it's Craig Mullaney's The Unforgiving Minute subtitled A Soldier's Education. Written in the first person, the book follows Mullaney, a West Point graduate, Rhodes scholar, Airborne Ranger and U. S. Army Captain, to his service in Afghanistan after 9/11.

An often brutal but very interesting book, it's a subject I wouldn't generally read but I'm glad I did. It might be a book we should all read to learn some of what our soldiers go through to prepare for service. But this isn't a book review.

This morning about 5 a.m., once again I couldn't get back to sleep. I flipped my reading light on and picked up The Unforgiving Minute. Not really a book that should put me to sleep, I figured I'd give it a try.

The point I had reached in the book was pivotal in Mullaney's career. The infantry platoon he was leading in Afghanistan was caught in a firefight with al-Queda fighters, and for the first time one of his soldiers was killed.

The incident occurred at an area called Losano Ridge which is about 2,000 feet from the Pakistani border. At the time the soldiers determined that some of the incoming attack originated in Pakistan. It was estimated that more than sixty al-Queda and Taliban fighters were killed.

I managed to go back to sleep for a couple hours. When I got up this morning the national news was reporting that Osama bin-Laden had been killed in an area of Afghanistan on the Pakistani border.

What a strange coincidence.


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