Tag: critters


wonder dawg


max-kayak-May2015

So, here’s our Maxie.  We had been talking about a canoe/kayak trip for Memorial Day with our youngest babies for a few weeks.  This is the day before that, when “they” (meaning not me) decided we had time to make a practice run down a closer river than the one we had planned for Memorial Day.

I’m not sure what possessed us to think Max ought to go, but go he did.  And he did awesome.  He is such an amazing little boogar.  I’m always impressed with him whenever we take a leap and take him with us somewhere.  He’s such a good boy.  He never seemed the least bit scared on the water, although he did simply step or roll out into it a few times.  We’re not sure if he thought all the pollen on the surface meant there was solid ground where the water was still so he should be able to walk on it or if he needed to potty and was determined to get to a good potty spot.

As unafraid as Max was, I, on the other hand, was not so brave.  Almost from the start, we hit a bit of rough water, or rather the Hubby was moving more than I was comfortable with and I panicked.  That just set the mood for me.  I suddenly remembered how little I actually liked canoeing.  The kids have a couple of kayaks but Hubby has a canoe, so that’s what we float in.

I don’t much like a canoe.  I don’t much like water, actually and especially if it’s moving at all.  In case you didn’t know, the very first time Hubby took me canoeing we went with his buddies to a river he’d never been to himself, with class 3 rapids and he had never been in the back of a canoe (where you steer from) he’d always been in the front!

As a result, I got dumped out no less than three times, each time in a section of rapids.  It was everything from unnerving to terrifying.  My insulin pump got water damage and one of the buttons get broken from hitting the solid-rock river bottom so I spent the next few days giving shots because I had no pump, not to mention that my sugars shot up during the remaining 2+ hours of water-time and 3 hour ride home.  I think that’s one of the biggest reasons I don’t like being on the water.  It’s a constant fear that my pump will get damaged.  Other than that, I would like the water except that I can’t swim…and I hate getting water in my nose and ears.

Yeah so I probably won’t ever be liking water so much.  Heh.

I learned on that first trip that moving water is POWERFUL and if you are dumped out in it, you won’t just casually wade to the shore and stroll out of the river.  And if you are pinned on top of tree roots or anything else by said water, you might as well forget getting out of the water on your own.

So yeah, those things might have been flashing through my mind every time the canoe rocked back and forth and each time I heard the boat scraping rocks.  Then there was the moment when, for some reason, Hubby couldn’t steer the canoe fast enough to keep it from ramming underneath a tree.  Since I was in the front of the canoe, I was rammed into and under the tree too, and when I grabbed the limbs to keep them from taking my head off, the canoe tipped just enough to spill me out and Hubby either got dumped or jumped out, leaving poor little Max in there, floating off by himself. After him jumping out on his own, it was funny that he was the only one that stayed in.  I came out with a couple of fingernails ripped off and one bleeding with a hunk of meat hanging off the side of one finger.

I wasn’t  happy, as you can imagine.  I wanted to go back right then and there, but um… well, you don’t “go back” in canoeing.  Nobody comes to “pick you up.  We had to go on, but my babies suggested we use their kayaks and let them use the canoe.  DIL #2 insisted we switch since the kayaks are easier to control in the water.

So Hubby and I got in the kayaks and let Baby Son & DIL #2 in the canoe.  I still wasn’t completely comfortable, but it was indeed much simpler to navigate the water and in all honesty, I very much enjoyed the floating down the calm water… but the “bumpy” areas are SO not my favorite!

I decided by the time I had paddled to the take-out point, that I wouldn’t go back with them the next day on the originally planned trip.  My neck and shoulders were horrifically tight and they’re still sore today.

This is Max on the trip back home.Max: Post-Kayaking
I think we are both done with river running for awhile.

The Baby kids, hubby and a friend of theirs went and had a good time.  When it took them about 9 hours to run the section they did, I was very glad I’d chosen to stay home, even if it was boring.  Maybe I’ll go on the river again, but probably not until I’ve had time to forget that I don’t much like it.

Ha!

Genesis 41:51 –  “….“God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house.”[


escapist chickens & the mystery thereof


Yeah, so a couple days ago on Thursday, I had been out running errands all afternoon. I met Hubby for lunch and then started doing my stuff around town, so it was around 3 pm when I finally got home.

Before I left to meet him for lunch, I ran out to take care of the critters… let Samson out of his pen, give Max a potty run and see if the chickens needed water and check for eggs. They were almost out of water, so I pulled their waterer out of the coop, pushed the door together and rinsed and filled the container, replaced it and shut the door back, pushing the huge slide latch with the hook on the end so it can’t possibly slide out accidentally.

All was well, there was about 4 eggs which I took inside then I locked up and left for lunch.

Fast forward to 3 pm… I was wiped out once I got home and unloaded groceries. It was a windy, blustery, gusting early April day and I guess battling the wind made everything seem harder. I plopped down on the couch where I can easily see out the back door to where the chicken coop and run are in the backyard. I am busy catching up on Facebook and such when out of the corner of my right eye, I see something round and white moving on the patio. I look up to see what it is.

Lo and behold, a chicken is bobbing across the patio and I am flabbergasted as to how she got out there…as I set the laptop down on the coffee table, moving to go to the door for a closer look, I see she is not alone. I quickly count and realize ALL nine of them are out running around in the yard!

Through the door, I hastily glance at the run to see that door is securely latched, so I immediately think, How on earth did the coop door come open?? as I slip on my shoes and head outside.

I count the chickens again to make sure they are indeed all loose and wandering in the yard. Yep, every last one of them. I run over to the coop, around to the door which is not visible from the house at all and… it is securely closed and latched tight, just like I’d left it.

Now I am truly flummoxed! I walk all the way around the entire enclosure… the coop is attached to a run, which is open to the area underneath the coop so they have some sun blockage or a place to get out of the rain while in the run, and then on that side, opposite the “people door” for the coop, is the small, spring-action door into the run. It is made of wire on a wood frame with a claw latch. It won’t stay open unless you hook it back to the run itself, it always springs closed behind you.

So all this while, I’m walking around and around this thing, trying to discover some hole where these chickens could have escaped. I’m also calling Hubby because I just can’t figure out how this has happened! He immediately asks where Samson is and I realize that I need to secure him ASAP!
Samson, our chocolate lab, is a big softy. He’d be content to just lay around wherever you are, unless you’d like to throw a ball. Then he’s all over that until your arm falls off. Either way, he just wants to be near you. He used to be amazing with our chickens. We had let them out in the yard numerous times with Samson and after a few times of training him that he wasn’t allowed to chase the chickens, he was good with them. Never offered to bother them at all.

Until his sister, Emma, who lives on the hill with my parents, started coming down when they were out. She killed one of the chickens her second or third time, then I caught her and Sam both up under a wood pile after one. I dragged Sam to his pen and threw rocks at Emma til she went away. All I could see under the pile was a bunch of white feathers, so I didn’t look any further. I was so mad that she’d killed another chicken! I was so mad that my parents didn’t seem concerned about keeping their dog on their property.

We have had Samson on an underground fence for years. He’s not the brightest crayon in the box when it comes to navigation, so he got lost a couple times after wandering off. So we went to the trouble of buying a trencher, the fencing, extra wire, the control box and his collar so we could keep him secure. Once he learned where the fence was, he never ventures too close, which is great now that we ride bikes.

Our house is on the main route for the town’s annual bicycle ride that brings in riders from all over the country. I know there have probably been many cyclists who have had a heart attack seeing Samson come barreling toward the road, barking, not knowing that he’s contained. I’m sure they wonder why he stops and just “chases” them as far as our driveway and only to within a couple feet of the road. Anyhow, the point is, we have taken pains and gone to great lengths to keep our dog at our house.

I know my parents would be mad if we let him roam around at their house the way Emma has done here. She’s a good enough dog, but when someone else’s dog steals your dog’s toys and gets him into trouble, she ceases to be on your good side, ya know?

So there’s been that whole thing going on until about 4 months ago, when my youngest son, who lives in the basement apartment of my parents’ house, got a dog and put in a radio fence for him, and Mom and Dad then bought Emma a collar too. So at last, she’s contained, but it’s too late for Sam. He can no longer be trusted out with the chickens.

So I go looking for Samson only to find him, napping contentedly on the porch. Poor fella, he stretches and looks at me like, “What?” as I lead him to his pen. Then he noticed the chickens…he knew exactly what was up then, and almost went into the pen on his own.

I told you, he’s a good, good dog!

I was still on the phone with Hubby, repeatedly assuring him there was NO WAY those chickens just got out, that someone must have let them out. I emphatically told him yes, both doors were securely latched and I couldn’t find any holes or separations in the wire. I was completely stumped as to how they got out.

I don’t know if he thought I was crazy or what, but as I was talking to him, all the while still visually scouring that coop and run for a way the chickens could have escaped, I realize someone has walked up beside me.

It was my sister, who lives next door. I have no clue where she came from or how long she’d been there, but I immediately ask her, “Did you let the chickens out?” and almost as quickly, I chuckle at how crazy that sounds. She gets this shocked look on her face and denies it. I’m sure she was stunned because as it was, she had just pulled up in my driveway and walked over to me just then, so she was clueless about what was going on.

I get off the phone with the Hubby and start telling her what happened and still just going mad trying to figure this mystery out. She informs me that she just came to get an egg because she wanted to make my Baby Son some brownies for his birthday, which was also that day.

By the way, this all went down April 2nd, the day after April Fool’s day, so had it been one day earlier, I’d have been on the hunt for the prankster who let my chickens out!

After calming down a bit, I took Sis into the house since I’d already gathered the eggs for the day, and got her one and we sat down to talk a bit. She hadn’t been to the house in ages and was in a visiting mood, so I went with it. Every little while, my mind would go back to those blasted chickens and how on earth they could have possibly gotten out. I had decided that some random person had to have walked a good 30 yards from the road to the back of our house, let them out and then waited to latch the door back.

Yeah, it didn’t seem too likely to me either, but neither did the idea that anyone in the family let them out, so I was desperate to reason the thing out for my own sanity!

DIL1 came up after she got off work, just to visit, I think, and we told her the saga and she couldn’t come up with a good scenario either. Not long after DIL left, Hubby came home and hobbled with his crutches straight over to the run to ‘figure it all out’, I’m sure. I am almost certain he thought I was crazy, in some state of low blood sugar or fatigued delusion…but after he’d walked around it once, he didn’t have a good answer either.

Hmph!

So, while we were out there, the three of us because Sis was still there, Hubbs and I went into the run to replace the big water tank that had tipped over where the chickens had dug under one of the supporting blocks. While we were in there, Sis shut the run door that I had propped open earlier so the chickens could get in there if they needed to… and remember, the wind is fierce all this time…whipping and gusting like crazy. So all of sudden she yells, “HEY! This door blew open all by itself!”

We look around and see that even though the door is made of 1-inch-square wire, the wind is strong enough to shake it back and forth when latched and that the latch rattles open after awhile.

Thank God!! You can’t imagine how relived I was! I was seriously about to lose my mind trying to solve this mystery. I never imagined the wind could have blown that door open!!

And so, the mystery of the escaping chickens was solved and I got to smooth the tension I felt about getting together at her house this coming weekend for Easter. I told her how Mom had “invited” me to this thing by saying “If you wanna come, fine and if you don’t, fine.” Sis seemed to think it was ‘just Mom’ these days and didn’t seem to have a clue what instigated that. She’s not usually very subtle and if she’d been talking to Mom about me, she’d have let it slip or have outright said what was bothering her. So…anyhow, there’s that much tension I no longer have to deal with, thank God!!

He is so SO good to me! *big smile*

1 Peter 1:22“Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,”


worst patient ever


So today, Hubby has been…let’s say, exploring his limits.  He thinks when a doctor tells him to take it easy, that means to just do what he always does, only slower.

Observe:

Today, our boys needed some help using a laser they were not familiar with on the job.  They brought it up to the house first thing so their dad could help them set it up and teach them how to figure the settings.   It was all very confusing and boring, but soon they felt confident with it and took off to their job.

Ever since yesterday, Hubby has been saying he was going to try driving today, wanted to go get his hair cut and price new tires for our truck at the local tire shop.  I told him he was NOT going to drive, but first thing this morning he was insisting on it again.

The boys called to asked their dad a question a couple different times, so soon as I was dressed, he said we “needed”  to go check on them.  “It won’t take long,” he assured me.

Yeah, right.

I had decided if he was going to insist on driving, we might as well take Max with us.  He loves to ride and if we plan to take him to Nashville in May, he needs all the ‘practice’ and time in the truck.  I said he loves to ride, and he does, but he’s not crazy about his tether.

This is SO not Max, but a nice doggie who would sit still and let someone take a photo. This is the tether we use.

We HAD to get the tether because Max is like a rubber ball, bouncing all over the cab, pushing buttons and knocking mirrors and rolling down windows…he’s a real mess.  But he does okay with the tether, the worst thing is that he goes around and around in the seat til he’s got it twisted up and pins himself to the seat.

Anyhow, so we get to the job site and next thing I know, Hubby is attempting to hobble down to the main area with the boys right behind him ready to catch him if he fell.  *shaking my head*

He had to do some re-figuring on the settings, and studying the plans and shooting the grade… and a bunch of other stuff.  We ended up being there for almost 3 hours.

SHEESH!!  Thankfully, somehow God made me calm and it didn’t bother me in the least to be stuck at a job site with the dog and absolutely nothing to do.  Trust me, that is completely out of character for me.  And the other great thing I’m thankful for is how good Max was!  We walked and walked, we sat in the truck and watched/barked at people, we sat nicely in the parking lot and watched intently all the goings-on with the big equipment.  He was such an awesomely good puppy!!  He was definitely glad to get home, but even more glad, it would appear, to get to sleep:

Sleepy Max--glad to be home!

Sleepy Max–so glad to be home!

So all that is great and I’m thankful that Hubby seems to be doing so well, I just hope he’s not pushing himself too hard and makes his healing take longer, ya know?

Something that happened yesterday has me upset and totally confused.  My sister called about a week ago wanting to do Easter dinner the night before Easter (I don’t know why) at her house.  I said, sure, what should I fix.  She said layer salad.  I said sure, great.  And that was that.

Both my boys’ birthdays are in April.  Precisely two weeks apart, matter of fact.  I dunno how we managed that, but I assure you it was not planned.  Anyhow, it always makes for a very hectic month what with winter coming to an end, spring blowing in and making it easier to do things outside, then Easter and their two birthdays, either of which sometimes will fall on Easter weekend.  This year, it’s my baby son.

Last I knew, his wife told me she wanted to plan a cookout for him, but she’d let me know.  It depended on when her parents could come.  (honest moment here:  that made me kinda upset, although I did NOT let on, but why did it matter when they could come for HIS birthday?  argh… obviously, I’m a little hyper-sensitive when it comes to anything to do with them, still, I found out just today and because I pressed that she’s putting off this cookout for a week and I can only assume it has to do with them and that bothers me)

ANYhow…so yesterday, I’m talking to my mom on the phone and she informs me, as if I didn’t know anything, that we were going to do Easter dinner at sis’s house, and “If you wanna come, fine and if you don’t, that’s fine too.”

Yep.  Paint a blank, wide-eyed expression on me here.  I have NO CLUE why she said that or what was up her butt when she did.  All I know is that my sister’s car was at Mom’s almost all day Sunday.  I didn’t talk to her Monday and thus, she wasn’t told about Hubby’s accident, sometime or other, she found out though, possibly from DIL2, but it doesn’t matter.  I wasn’t TRYING to keep it from her, I just didn’t want her to worry OR to hear what I did when she asked me how he was.. that accusatory tone and the questions as if he could have somehow avoided it or that he brought it on himself.

*siiigh*

I am just bewildered, as I always am when she does stuff like this.  She went on, after her “come or don’t, fine” remarks, to request that I fix a casserole.  I swear, I am so tempted to just deliver the foods and leave.  Honestly?  If I did, they would all wonder what was wrong with me.  I can just about bet you Mom would act as if something was wrong with me and either deny she said that to me or act as if I took it wrong.

Seriously!?!?!

I just don’t know.  I’m just way past sick of this crap.  I dunno if Sis was up there complaining about me all day Sunday and that’s why Mom was crappy to me or if she was just that way on her own.  I just don’t know and I’m so sick of trying to figure out this garbage.

If the opportunity presents itself, I may pull Sis aside and ask her if she had told Mom she didn’t want me there or if Mom just said that to me on her own.  I don’t know.  There has been a lot of stuff in our sermons lately about making relationships right, but I just don’t know how to fix anything with my family.  Where is the line between being who you are, being your own person and trying to be what God wants me to be and making peace with them??  Why do I need to “stuff” my own interests and personality in order to be acceptable to them?

I am at my wit’s end with them.

And… just for the record, I’m not sure the 450mg dose of Wellbutrin is going to be much more beneficial than the 300mg.  It’s just not doing anything “more”… just not worth the extra meds, ya know?  I will see the PA in a couple weeks so we’ll see what she has to say.  Hopefully it won’t be to just chew me out for upping the dose on my own!

Genesis 37:5, 10-11“Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more.

10 But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?” 11 And his brothers were jealous of him,but his father kept the saying in mind.”


a new name for Undieman


After leaving you hanging with this post, I had to scramble to recall the details of the incident I’m about to recollect for you.

Okay, so my dad is weird,  We figured that one out already.  He marches to the beat of his own drum, you might say (yes, possibly in his underwear) so don’t even think you know the tune he’s drumming or what his drum’s even made of because nobody knows.  No-body.  I’m not sure if this incident had anything to do with his weirdness or if it was just “dumb luck”.

Like I said, his very own drummer, uhkay?

This happened when my boys were not quite teenagers yet and I’m not really sure why we were all there at bedtime, but for some reason we were.

Dad had already got in bed, but he was watching TV in there.  Maybe the boys were being loud or something.  I honestly can’t remember.  What I DO remember is that he suddenly started hollering, “Hey!  HEY!  SOMEBODY COME IN HERE!”

I dunno who went in first, but I remember calling through the door to ask what was wrong.  Didn’t wanna risk another viewing of Undieman, ya know?  So I hollered through the door.

He said, “There’s something in here!”  Well, yeah, if I’d had time to think about it, I would have probably rolled on the floor laughing at the ludicrousness of him saying that now, some 20 years after this incident, but I didn’t have time.  Now, however, it makes me crack up.

So my eldest son, who was probably around 12 or 13 at the time, opened the door as I peered into the room from behind him.  All I could see was Dad in the blue flicker of TV light, with the covers pulled up under his nose staring wide-eyed at the ceiling in the corner of the room.

“What is that thing?”, he said, and pointed to where he was looking so intently.

We both leaned in, staying behind the door because frankly, Dad was freaking us out a little.  What we saw was hard to make out, but at first it appeared to just be a big black blob up in the corner of the room.   Yes indeed, scary enough if you’ve watched as many spooky movies as I have, but as our eyes adjusted to the low light, we could make out the skin-like wings of a bat!

By this time, my husband had come on the scene from wherever he had been.  Perhaps he was trying to keep his distance from the bedroom?  I guess maybe the possibility of seeing your father-in-law in his skivvies was more than he wanted to deal with at the time, but he went on in to see if it was indeed a bat and what could be done to get the thing out of the house!

In case you’re wondering, no, this wasn’t the same house that had Undieman running for his life.  It was actually a house that had been my grandparents’ for as long as I could remember.  It was built in the 1940’s so it was a fairly old house, although very solid and not at all ramshackle or run-down like you might imagine a bat would like to hang around in.  Maybe this was a progressive, rebel bat who was looking for a more modern scene?

what all the cool bats wear when they go out clubbin’

Anyhow, so Hubby proceeds to try shooing the bat out, which leads my mother to scream bloody murder lest the thing escape the bedroom and be set loose to fly all over the house.  I think she figured she didn’t have to sleep in the bedroom in case we had to just shut the thing up in there and wait for an exterminator.  The hubby soon learns that This Bat will not be shoo’ed.  He simply flaps and squawks at Hubby’s pathetic attempts to make him leave.  Once or twice, The Bat flew from one corner to another, which didn’t get him any closer to being outside and was apparently a little unnerving to both men judging from the occasional yelps that came from inside the room.

In a few minutes, Hubby sticks his head out the door and instructs the boys to find something to catch the bat in.  My mind went completely blank as it raced to try even fathoming what my parents might have lying around that would double as a bat catcher.  Before I could start a list of possibilities, our eldest comes to the door with a couple of lacrosse sticks from the set Mom had bought the boys to play with.  PERFECT!

With a bit of effort, Hubby soon had The Bat scooped into the nets and holding the sticks together in the most ridiculous fashion he hurried out the front door that Mom was holding open. She slammed it shut almost before my poor hubby made it outside, as if The Bat had come through the front door in the first place.

And so that, my friends, is the story of that time a bat got in Dad’s bedroom and he got a new name, although not really a superhero name like Undieman.

Can you guess what it was?