Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A Busy Sunday . . .

  While Tommy and I wait for his biopsy reports, I find myself cleaning house more than I have in years. It is hard to sit still. My mind wanders in directions I don't want it to go.
 I miss my mother more than I have since she died. I long to here her say "Tommy will be fine." For the first time in my life, it is hard to talk to my daughters. They are as worried as I am. I want to be strong for them. I am not doing that great of a job. We all want to know the results of the procedure done on May 31st. Small talk gets on my nerves. I only have one thing on my mind and I refuse to speak those words out loud.
  Yesterday Tami,Jake,Logan and Jacy came out to visit and help us get a few things done. It was my first time to meet Jake. He is very nice and will probably never come back to the house. I put him to work almost as soon as he walked in the door. Tami and Jake assembled a futon for me. I thought it would be simple. It turned out to be a two hour job with 40 million assorted screws.  Tommy and I would have never gotten this done. Tommy doesn't feel like doing it. He would need my help and I can't get down on the floor or sit low to the ground yet.

 I needed an extra bed in the living room slash den area. It looks nice and I am very thankful for Tami and Jake's help and visit.  The grand kids moved some mulch for us to different flower beds. Jacy drove our truck. I love her laugh when she drives. I have reduced the amount of bird feeders and flower beds this year. I do not want to take of a lot of flowers or a big garden this year. 
  One of the things that always happens when the kids come out is music. They are amazing. 
   
                     


                       
   We had a good time. In fact, it was the best time we have had in several weeks. Laughter is a good medicine. After everyone left, Tommy and I walked out to the fire pit area. I needed to push mow around all the swings and 'stuff' I wanted in that area. It took probably 30 minutes. Check one more thing off our list. Below is the den and the futon. Yesterday I moved the china cabinet. That is another blog dancing in the back of my mind. 
                 
  






   

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Invasion of the Possum Snatchers...



   The end of April and a good portion of May found Missouri in a state of emergency. Round after round of torrential rains set in and did not let up for days at a time. Interstates and roads were closed due to water over the roads.   People and animals alike were stranded and had to be rescued. About this time, our garage became a second home for five uninvited possums. They did not arrive together. Instead they came one at a time for close to ten days. They were eating our dog food and making a nuisance of themselves. We purchased two live traps, loaded them with dog food and the wait began. The first night we caught a possum. We immediately took him off to a safer place, far away from our garage. Tommy was determined that I help with the possum catch and release program. I tried.


I have to admit they are one ugly animal, and they stink to high heaven. This little stinker was also heavy. We took him down to the Missouri River. I wanted to go there anyway and check out the river and roads. It was as bad as had been reported.

Upon arrival at the river we were surprised at how high the river was. It was completely out of its banks. The parking lot was covered by the muddy, rapidly expanding Missouri River. A steep boat ramp located on the other side of the trees was completely submerged.





Tommy found a dry spot and pulled over to let the possum go. It should have been a simple release. After the cage door was opened all the possum had to do was jump out of the cage and head for higher ground.

 Now I know why possum's seldom make it across the road at night. They cannot make common sense decisions. At night they see two headlights blazing down on them going 70 miles an hour and they think they have time to saunter across the road. They seldom make it. The same thought process happened with our 5th possum to release. Not one iota of common sense. He jumped out of the cage and into the raging water! Off he swam in the wrong direction. Hopefully he made it to the trees and climbed one for protection. If not he is probably floating down the river and should reach St. Charles by tomorrow.  We tried. The possums are gone for awhile. They have been replaced by a wild calico mama cat and 4 kittens.  To be continued when we figure out what to do with our new tribe.
             




                                                                                 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Wind, the Rain and This. . .

  When I wake up in the morning, I never know what the day will bring. We have had storms off and on for a month. Yesterday we woke up to a horrible storm about 3 o'clock
in the morning. Thunder shook the house, lightning split the heavens while lighting up our bedroom, enabling
us to see our dog having a panic attack. A loud crackle of lighting hit again. With a loud bang the electricity went off. I could have sworn I heard Sabella cry. 
  We had a wedding to attend at 10 a.m. which meant we had to get ready without electricity. It has been a long time since I put on makeup by flashlight.



  Today was almost a repeat of yesterday except we have electricity. Tommy wanted to go to Ben's and see how he was doing. He made it over the first hill and had to turn around because a tree branch had snapped and a huge limb, the size of a small tree, covered our road. 
  Tommy turned around, driving home to get me because he knew I would want to see the tree. At first I wanted to leave the tree alone. I do not care for the man who owns that property. Apparently, I was mad at the wrong man because Tommy swears 'the ass' I am mad at does not own that piece of land. I still disagree.  However with that in mind, we decided to clear one side of the road. The branch of the tree is the size of a small tree. We tried several times to drag the tree with a rope. That was futile. The rope broke each time. We went home and retrieved a heavier rope. 

There was a lot more tree than we originally thought. It took three tries to drag that branch and, I use 'branch' loosely. We finally moved it over, so one side of the road is clear. I think the people who own the property are responsible for cleaning up their property. I am really not sure. I know trees are down everywhere. I think I will make some calls and see what needs to be done. It is a county road so I guess I will start there.


It is passable. . . sort of.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Rabbits Have an Odd Way Courting. . . . .

  The rabbits to the left have been the inspiration for many a story as we sit around the fire pit. They have kept us entertained for about two weeks. Most of what we made up cannot be shared here. Let's just say we had great laughs at the rabbit's sexual expense.
  It is the mating season in the country for most birds and animals. Rabbits mate every chance they get and as often as possible. As we watched these two rabbits in action, the one liners were flying. 
  It all started with one rabbit and a small patch of barren ground where he or she would come every day just before sundown and roll around in the dirt. I have never seen such pure contentment on a rabbit's face as I did when he scratched his back. His routine seldom varied. He would jump up in the air, flip over and hit the dusting spot with his back. He loved it. He would wiggle and squirm around giving himself the best back massage a rabbit could possibly have. Evidently, this rabbit could not keep a secret because before we knew it he was joined by another rabbit. At first, rabbit number one, we named him 'Fred' was not all that happy to share his pile of dust. The second rabbit we named 'Ethel', was eager to get her back scratched and did not care what Fred thought. As Ethel walked up close to the 'scratching area', Fred took off hopping in her direction at a full run; they jumped at each other in mid air about a foot off the ground. Bam!!! Ethel hit Fred in the nose. Then he jumped on her back and sort of barked. The next thing we saw was Fred running away. To my surprise Ethel sat there pondering what had just happened. Fred stopped running on the other side of my flower bed and peeped around the corner at Ethel. She did not move for five minutes. Fred flipped around and went in search of his dust pile down by the pond.





Ethel decided to move around a little bit. Before we knew it she was at the pond with Fred. I think they were having the "wham, bam thank you mam" discussion.

                       

Whatever the deal was they worked out,seems to please both rabbits. They have been doing this nightly routine for the past two weeks. I cannot get over the fact Ethel punches Fred in the nose. It is without a doubt one of the funniest things I have witnessed in nature. Once again, it shows God has a wonderful sense of humor.  I expect a birth announcement any day. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Watching the Storm Pass Through...

  It is a beautiful night in Missouri if you like watching a storm roll across heaven. 
  The winds are blowing from 15 to 40 miles an hour. The clouds are racing through the sky in different stages of gray, white, black with a smidge of blue thrown in the mix.
  The usual night sounds are silent and absent. There is no sight or sign of a rabbit, a squirrel or a tree frog. The birds are in their trees waiting to see what happens. The hummingbirds are the only signs of life I see outside. They continue to eat and fight much like the storm.
  People north of us are supposed to get hammered tonight. The storms struck earlier this afternoon and destroyed a mobile home court and dozens of homes. It looks like round two is a couple hours away from them. It is horrible to think what may happen to innocent people who are in the wrong place at the wrong time.
                

 
 In the photo, my road seems to be heading for trouble or running fast in the opposite direction, depending on your point of view. I can't go inside yet. I am fascinated by how fast the view is changing. It is a different sky in a matter of seconds. The trees are twisting, bowing becoming tangled in each others limbs much like first time lovers. A small space of time elapses as the direction of the storm has second thoughts. I probably should go inside. The night is taking its place on stage. It is hard to see what is going on in the heavens. For a brief moment it feels like no mans land.


  


  

  

Monday, May 15, 2017

Melodi, Lacey and Rowan's Visit

   The photo to the left was taken the morning Lacey, Melodi and Rowan left Missouri to fly back to Oregon. It was Lacey's birthday.  It was also bittersweet and a time of last minute kisses and hugs.  The girls flew home  for four days to celebrate all our April birthdays.  Arriving late Friday night and leaving around noon on Monday. We met them at Tami's home in Centralia.  All of us stayed there until late Sunday afternoon when the girls, Tommy and I  returned to our home for the night. The next day Tommy took them to the airport in St. Louis.  It was the best birthday present ever.  

   Rowan took up with all of us, just like she saw us everyday.  She especially likes Jacy. . . the 'baby whisperer'.  All babies love Jacy. She has a special quiet manner that allows children to be at ease in her presence.   

  For us it  was a weekend of grubby clothes, old stories and new stories in the making.  It was a weekend of belly laughs and pictures.  Unfortunately, Jacy and Logan had colds and did not feel all that great.  I wanted everyone to feel good and have a wonderful time. They had fun but still felt lousy. However, Rowan was feeling fine and ready to play with her Missouri relatives.  Rowan  has eleven teeth.  Her hair is a light shade of blond at times.  Her eyes are an indefinite shade of blue. They look brown to me however I have seen the blue flash through at times. Rowan is unique. She is the happiest baby I have ever seen. It is a happiness that comes from within.  When she was born, she did not cry. She looked around, sized up her little world and the people in it.  I do believe she liked what she saw.

   
 Rowan loves to eat. It takes her an hour to eat her meals. She feeds herself and enjoys every bite.  She doesn't eat baby food.  It is the real stuff for Mz. Rowan. Oatmeal, bananas, water, strawberries diced up. She enjoys her meals and is very creative in the ways she feeds herself. Some food goes to the dog, some to the cat. I ate part of a strawberry. We had a good ole messy time.
                                                                                          



                                                                                                             Aunt Tami got her share of hugs and kisses.  Every time someone put Rowan down, someone else was ready and waiting to hold her and get some good loving.                                                                                                                    


Rowan started walking on her first birthday. Lacey and Melodi call her walk the, "drunk baby walk".  I think she walks like I did after I had my knee surgery. . . only it looks a lot better on Rowan than it did me. I even had purple socks that would not skid or slip on the floors.




Tommy and I bought Rowan the "Frozen" tent for Christmas. She was in and out of that all the time. She loves the movie, "Frozen". When it comes on she points her finger and is elated when she hears the words "let it go"



Soon it was time to go to our home and get ready for their departure the next day. We had such a good time.

 

In this photo I  brought some of Jacy and Logan's old toys for Rowan to play with. I couldn't wait to see what she would do with a doll almost as big as her.  She looked at the doll and looked a little more then Rowan stuck a little finger in her eye and patted her on the head and walked away. 


Papa got some lovin' from baby girl.


My baby girl's little girl. The circle of life is small and goes by so fast.


Some photos are priceless- - - to me this is such a photo


The next morning was Lacey's birthday. She has been such a blessing in our lives. I hope all her birthday wishes come true.

Tommy took them to the airport in St. Louis, soon they were gone.We talk all the time, and they share videos with us. Sunday morning the girls were cooking breakfast and the refrigerator door was open, Rowan took all her food out of ' her' drawer and climbed in the drawer and sat down. The Mom's to the rescue as another day of motherhood began. . . to be continued.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Sights and Sounds of Spring. . .

  I think Spring is finally here. It took awhile for her arrival to be solidified. Like every other season in Missouri she always has the option to  leave at a moments notice. Years ago I remember we had a six inch snow on April 11, 1978. It was gone by late the next day as warm air moved back into our state. Seasons in Missouri slip in and out like an old used grease gun.

  Last night was beautiful. We went outside about 7 p.m. and put our fire pit to work. We sat in our swings, that desperately need new cushions, and listened to the sounds of the night. The tree frogs and the frogs at the pond were in rare form. They were still singing when we returned to the house a couple of hours later. 

  We were listening for the turkeys to fly up and roost. They usually gobble at that time. This gives a hunter the advantage the next morning to know what area they are in. On a quiet night for about three weeks the sound of turkeys is part of the nightly routine. They are ready to mate. Unfortunately for some turkeys, gun season arrives on Monday and will last for three weeks. They had better not play the field looking for a better looking hen. They need hurry up and mate with the first hen they see before they are some person's fried turkey nuggets. This is Tommy's favorite season to hunt. Thank God I do not have to go! We have been down that road together and it was not a pretty sight to see. He will never make a hunter out of me and I will never make a reader out of him. That works for both of us.

  As we sat there in the swing, we heard about six or seven gobblers fly up to rest for the night. As the turkeys became quiet the cardinals took over the chorus. They were close to where we sat and very loud. I watched a pair of Cardinals for about five minutes. The male was a vivid red and singing unusually loud. The female of the pair, more muted in color, walked as far away from him as she could get without flying off. In my imagination she was ticked off at her mate and had no desire to hear what he had to say. He was aggravated at her for not being enthralled with his song. Both flew off in the same direction. I guess they worked it out. 

  Our hummingbirds are late this year. I have only had a couple of scouts visit our feeders. I bought new feeders and I am not positive they like these feeders. I would put my old feeders out if only I could remember where I put them. I think they are in my corner of the garage---but I wouldn't swear to it. 

   We fed the squirrels all winter and never once saw them eat at the corn cob feeders Tommy had made earlier in the summer.  We enjoyed them nibbling on the corn cobs never leaving a piece of corn uneaten. Every morning we replaced the old cobs with new ones to be eaten while we weren't looking. Last night three of them romped through the trees almost as if they were trapeze artists, near our swing. It seemed like the big maple tree by the swing leafed out almost overnight. That is their favorite place to play.

   We have several rabbits, who are enjoying eating my Day Lilly leaves. One popped out of the leaves and was as surprised to see us as we were to see him.

   Just as the fire was dying down and we were in the process of going inside, we heard two coyotes howl in the distance. We no longer hear coyotes as much as we used to. In 1978, they howled so close to the house it sounded like we were about to be attacked by Indians. Farmers have thinned the population of coyotes down to about a third of what we used to have. They had to do this to protect their livestock and new born calves. It was a nice surprise to hear them again.

   All in all it was a delightful Spring night. Nature's playlist is beautiful and long. I never tire hearing the night sounds of life out in the middle of nowhere.