Friday, November 1, 2013

A Mouse House And I Don't Mean Mickey

 Don't be fooled by these serene vacation pictures. These pictures were taken in Maine when all was well in the RV.  We now have an uninvited visitor in our RV and I am hell bent to get rid of it.
 About two weeks ago, I went into the RV to retrieve a jacket from the closet. When I went into the bedroom, I noticed that something was not quite right. As in the children's book, Madeline, Miss Clavel turned on the light and said, "Something is not right!!" You know one of those moments when you just notice something and your little brain goes, "Beep, beep, beep". Well, that's what mine did and I ran lickety-split into the house channeling Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory. "Janet, Janet, Janet".....  And so begins the saga of the mouse in the house (RV).
I asked advice from many RVing friends; I searched the internet; I called our armadillo trapper who also handles other pesky wildlife, etc. He scoured the inside of the coach and he scoured the outside of the coach. He found very little evidence but set about a dozen traps nonetheless. I, on the other hand, crawled under the RV on my back and shimmied all around under there looking for openings and access points. I found two large ones that had obviously opened up on some of the hellaciously bumpy roads during our trip. We sealed them up. I asked Terry and Stevie if they had ever had this problem because they live in their RV most of the year. Stevie said to seal up all the little openings around pipes and wires with expandable foam. We did this.

After several days and at least 12 traps, nothing. So we decided, OK, maybe the little sucker left. So we cleaned everything, vacuumed everything, and just in case, left the following tempting material out: paper towels in the kitchen, toilet paper in the bath, and a box of tissue in the bedroom (this is what had been disturbed earlier). I figured if there was any activity in the paper department, our visitor was still around. And so we waited. And for the last two days, I went out and checked each morning and, yay, no signs.

And then there was yesterday. I went into the coach, looked in the bedroom, and shoot!! There were little tiny bits of tissue in the bookshelf above the bed. So I called our wildlife guy back and he will come today. But in the meantime, I have taken matter into my own hands. He used peanut butter in his traps and generated no interest. I use bacon in mine. Just a tiny little piece and then I rub bacon grease on the wood as a special attractor. I put a trap in the bottom compartment and I put one in the bedroom. Actually, Janet put one in the bedroom because I'm too scared to go in there.

I have not been in the coach yet this morning because I'm waiting for my trapper. And even though I did not catch anything in the bottom compartment, the bacon is gone. Tonight, I'm trying a new technique I read about. I'm tying the bacon on with a little piece of floss. But maybe, just maybe, I will have a surprise in the inside trap which I could tell you about if I had the nerve to go in there. So stay tuned. I'm hoping to have some good news in the next few days. And for you non-RVers, this is a pretty common occurrence, unfortunately. Those little suckers can get in a hole that's only 1/4" wide. And yes, I now know way more than I wanted to know about this topic although I did learn a lot of it at my mother's knee. After all, I did grow up on a farm.

Friday, October 25, 2013

It Begins Again In Autumn

 A friend asked me today if I still had my blog. I really didn't know what to say. I do have the blog but I haven't written in it for almost an entire year. The last time I wrote we had a very sick dog. That lovely creature has since crossed the Rainbow Bridge but I didn't think I could come back to this because I thought it would be too painful.
 But then, I decided to post just a few autumn pictures and then, suddenly, I thought that it would be a very good idea to begin where I used to go when I needed a jump-start. I need to do my gratitude list. And so, as I begin this blog anew, I am grateful for these many things on this day:
Beautiful, cool temperatures that have finally arrived; a funny, precious little Norwich Terrier named Sibyl; the continued life of my Aunt Rosie who is 99 years old; the stained glass class and dog obedience classes that challenge my brain, my dexterity, and my ability to convince a little dog that, yes, she does know these moves and I'd appreciate it if she proved it; the garden beds that are not growing weeds while I sleep; the dropping tree leaves that remind me of the changing seasons both in the yard and in me; my new glasses that finally work right; friends that are willing to come over and help me work on yard projects that are too much for just one or two persons; the anticipation of an exciting trip to New York in January; my Kindle, that allows me to read voraciously because I can use a larger font; Candy Crush that keeps me occupied while I watch the World Series.

I am "back on the blog", not everyday, but more often.  And to my blog friend, Loretta, from New York--you have inspired me to get back on the blog. If you can continue to write after losing your dear mother so suddenly and so painfully, I can begin to write again after the loss of my beautiful Cocoa Bean. Thank you.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Way Too Long

It has been way too long since my last blog post, posted last September. I could say it is because I was on vacation, which I was. Or I could say it was because I have been busy, which I have been. But the truth is that I haven't written because the overriding event in our house is that our fox terrier, Cocoa, has a terminal illness. Cocoa has lymphoma and she is getting weaker and weaker each day.

At first, I couldn't write about it at all. I could barely take it in that we would be losing her after having her for only five years (she is ten years old; we got her when she was five). I can barely write about it now. For those of you who are pet owners and pet lovers, I know you understand the heart-wrenching emotions that accompany care-giving, whether for a person or for an animal with a lingering illness. 

Cocoa is currently on Prednisone. While this medication is great in many respects, it also causes changes that are not easy. She has her days and nights mixed up so she sleeps during the day and keeps us awake at night. We are taking turns with her, just like we did with my dad when he was terminally ill and living here with us. She needs to eat more frequently; needs to relieve herself more frequently; needs more reassurance. She is having trouble swallowing so we give her only soft foods.

However, she is still happy a lot of the time, wagging her tail for petting, scrambled eggs, and the possibility of soft cheese. She waits patiently for dinner to be concluded so she can lick the plates. Yes, I know it's not sanitary but a good run through the dishwasher with boiling water takes care of it. Cocoa was able to go with us to the mountains and to enjoy the first run with our new fifth wheel. She is still the alpha dog even though we now also have little Sibyl, a six year old Norwich Terrier. 

We are trying to make her last days as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. I'll keep you updated. Right now, she is asleep on her favorite chair waiting for the daily breakfast routine.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Second Personal Altar For Meditation Corner

My newest box, "My Daily Path", a personal altar box for a meditation corner.

My Newest Bit Of Artistic Interest

For my birthday, I bought myself this crucifix just because I liked it. I think it's interesting, colorful, and folksy. It really reminds me of folk art and I am very drawn to religious folk art. That started it all. This cross, of course, came from a thrift store. 

This week, while scouting around, I found another piece that I could not leave behind because it was so quirky. This little home holy water basin is from Italy. I think this is one of the most interesting things I've seen in a while. I imagine that it was placed right inside the door of someone's home so that those entering the house could bless themselves prior to entering. 

So I guess I've started myself a religious folk art collection. These items are on the wall in my studio and I will keep my eyes open for more. 

Not to be outdone however, I decided to work on a little religious folk art of my own. I've been inspired to take old wooden boxes, decorate the inside, and create Personal Wooden Altar Boxes. 

This is the first one I've done and am working on a second. Will post when it is ready. I have often had a personal altar in my home where I collect meaningful objects that inspire me. I hope these boxes can do the same for someone else. Watch for these on Etsy sometime soon. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday News

Well, here it is Monday again and it has been a somewhat busy day. 

1. Had someone out to fix the sliding glass door that I simply could not open. It was off the track. Happy now it works. 
2.  Sent texts to both the teenage grandchildren for their first day of school. 
3.  Made a batch of chick pea and roasted tomato soup. So easy. Put everything in the VitaMix, blend, and there you go!!
4. Called someone to come fix the broken gate. Always something when you have a house. 
5. Cleaned out the refrigerator.
6. Did some trimming in the garden. Way too hot, but had to be done. 
7. Washed a load of laundry and hung it on the clothesline. Yes, I still use a clothesline. I told you I was old. 
8. Thought a lot about my Homies who are all starting another school year. It's always weird for me when I'm not involved but I love not being involved. I can support them from afar. 
9. Ordered a Spoonk. What, you don't know what that is?? My daughter, Shannon, tells me it is a wonderful new product that stimulates all of one's accupuncture points as you lay on it. Kind of like lying down on a bed of nails. I'll let you know once I try it.  Dr. Oz highly recommends. 
10. It's noon now and Cocoa's little wristwatch is going off. Time to go feed the dog!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Do I Say The Same Thing Every Year?

I decided to look back at my past blogs to be sure I'm not saying the same things I said one or two years ago. I seem to post a lot of pictures of my garden in its various stages. However, the one thing I really liked about my blogging last year was that I posted about my daily accomplishments. On those days when I think I do absolutely nothing, I can re-read the posts and know that isn't true. I don't know why that matters, but it does. I hear my mother's voice in my head, "Idle hands are the devil's workshop, Shirley." Lordy, no idle hands for me. 

So for today:
1. Met for two hours with Sheila to discuss my new part-time employment, the implementation of electronic medical records 
2.  Mailed two Etsy sales
3.  Created and ate a beautiful salad of greens, tomato, avocado, roasted chick peas, and grilled chicken.
4.  Washed that down with a Jamaican Ginger Brew, a non alcoholic juicy, gingery, fizzy drink that is very yummy and tickles your nose when you drink it.
5.  Grocery shopped
6.  Prepared eight additional Etsy sales
7.  Am thinking about reading a little. Currently reading The Blind Assassin. 
8.   That's it for now but it isn't even two o'clock.