I think (hope, and pray) that we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel as regards to our unwanted rat population. I don't know if all of our neighbors are taking measures to deal with their populations and seriously, WE are not just "the lucky ones" in our neighborhood. If WE have them, EVERYBODY in our neighborhood has them. So if any of our neighbors are doing nothing, then we have the problem of their populations growing exponentially and eventually spilling over to us again. *Sigh*.
Every now and then, something digs up the dead rats we've buried. And yesterday morning, I found out what it was. I had a trap near there and I was going to check it before dawn. I nearly walked right up on a skunk, feeding on the rats. If I hadn't had my flashlight, I might be telling you a WHOLE different story today. I quickly backed off and went back into the yard. Guess I won't be trying to trap out there anymore. Don't know what I'd do if I got a skunk in one of my cage traps. Later on, I went out there and it looked like the skunk had quite a snack. I didn't know skunks would eat dead rats. Apparently not the heads, though.
I haven't caught anything in the mouse-sized spring traps in several days, so I gathered those up and put them away. I have two rat-sized spring traps in the garden shed and one tucked back between the metal cabinets that are on the patio. I took up the one I had in the front garden bed that I had situated under a wire crate, because all I caught in that was an unfortunate snoopy sparrow.
Hubs and I both had appointments in town this morning. His was a lipids test at 7:30, mine was an annual ophthalmologic check-up at 9:10. So we ate breakfast at the hospital cafeteria after his test, then went to the workout center where we were finished in time to make my appointment. Only problem was, the girls at the front desk told me they had me down for 2:10 in the afternoon. I wish I'd brought that card they sent to me with my appointment rescheduled to today, because it did, indeed, say 9:10. I don't like to make appointments for the afternoon because by that time they're running so far behind that the wait time is pretty long. So I had them reschedule again. When I go back, I'll take my card and show them that the mistake was theirs, because they were so confident that it was I who had made the mistake. And also because, when I worked there, every DANG little mistake I made, people wore out the carpet getting to my office to tell me about it. First it would be my supervisor. Then the office manager. Then I'd check my voicemail and I'd have one about it from one of the doctors. Then the other doctor would stick his head in my doorway, and he, an older man, was kind of hateful about it and always treated me like he thought I was not very smart. It wasn't like I endangered anyone's eyes or anything, just so you know. And after being told of my transgression for the second time, I'd start to feel a little like, ALLRIGHT, ALREADY!!!!! for the third, fourth and fifth. So let's just say I'll be doing a little payback. But no, I'm not going to set all that in motion by showing the doctor or someone who might blab to one of the doctors or the office manager. But it's sure tempting. Those girls up at the front desk are new since I worked there and they need to be able to consider that sometimes they might make a mistake, that's all. (mumble, grumble....)
It was a good day to work in the garden, after we got home, and so we finished cleaning up the bed that's next in line to be tilled. Hubs said he figured it'd be dry enough by tomorrow. I dug out some clumps of perennial red clover (the flowers are actually more purple than red, but they call it red clover, all the same) and transplanted them into spots under fruit trees and in the elderberry bed. A lot of people don't like clover in their yards and that "Weed and Feed" stuff they sell at the garden centers will actually kill it as if it's a weed. But clover, in my opinion, is definitely not a weed. It's an herb. And when used as part of the "Guild" under fruit trees, it draws the bees. It returns nitrogen to the soil. It holds it's own against Bermuda grass and Bindweed. People use it to make herbal tea. HERE's what WebMD has to say about Red Clover when used as an herb. And HERE's what Livestrong.com has to say. I'm not sure if what grows out there in various spots is from a packet of seed I broadcast and then lamented that it didn't come up that year, or if the birds planted it, but suffice it to say I was happy when I first noticed it, the following year, growing and thriving.
I had gone through my stack of catalogs and that resulted in quite a pile of old ones that have since been replaced with new. Catalogs and phone books are hard to burn because they are too thick, but this thickness can be a real plus when it comes to using them in the garden. I've been tearing apart the really thick ones, and just opening thinner ones out to their centers, and putting them under the cinder blocks that I use to edge my raised beds. If you don't have old catalogs or if you have concerns about the inks used in them, you can use cardboard or several thicknesses of newspaper, or even your junk mail. It's a little work to get them in place, but it pays off in less work in the long run.
We sat in our Adirondack chairs on the back patio in the afternoon and enjoyed the day. It was warm enough that we were comfortable with a light jacket on. We saw a hawk hunting in the field behind our yard. It actually landed at one point, where it caught and ate something. I sincerely hope it was a rat. Next choice: a rabbit. I don't think hawks hunt skunks.
This is now Wednesday, December 9.
Hubs and I went to the fitness center this morning, and on the way home we stopped to pick up leaves in response to several phone calls we've had. We weren't prepared for the number of bags of leaves and the weight of the bags at the last stop scared me. You know men. They will do stuff that is beyond their capabilities and then pay for it later. I told Hubs we could skip this stop. But he said, "Well, we're HERE." So I dragged them over to him and he wanted to bend over, once inside the bed of the truck, and hoist them up from the ground, but I told him, "Absolutely NOT!" These had been sitting on the curb since before those last several days of rain and they were all chopped up and saturated. Being in clear leaf bags, they will compost pretty quickly, right in the bag, so will be nice to have for the garden. But getting them there is the rub. We now have all the leaves we can use, and then some, and so we won't be picking up any more this year.
People find it hard to dispose of their leaves now. First, our city waste management system said they'd pick them up separately if they were in clear bags. So everybody went out and bought a supply of clear bags. And then after about a season of that, they said the homeowner would have to buy a special "tag" to put on each bag, or they would not take the bags at all. I guess they no longer care if the bags are clear or not. I don't know if this is how it is in other cities or towns, but here, it seems like they keep trying different recycling schemes for all kinds of different things, they spend a lot of money implementing it, and then they don't stay with it.
We have a mulching blade on our mower and we don't rake leaves. My parents never raked leaves, in fact, hardly anyone did, in the bitty town where we lived. Mom just mowed over them when spring came. And I don't think they made mulching blades for lawnmowers then. But her electric push mower chopped them up just fine. They had a little travel trailer parked in the yard and when they moved the trailer out in the summer, you could tell right where it had sat because the ground under it was a couple inches lower than all the ground around it. All because of the leaves that composted themselves into the soil. But hey, this is Nature's Way.
To unload, Hubs just backed into the garden and pushed them out of the truck bed onto the ground. While I was out there helping him unload the trailer, I noticed several clear bags that had finely chopped leaves in them, from an earlier trip. After I had a little rest, I went out there with the red wagon and lugged those onto the garden bed Hubs tilled yesterday. Oh, you should've seen the excitement the tilling of that bed generated in the bird community. There were so many big fat robins and cardinals, working over every inch of the newly-tilled soil. I hope they were getting bugs and grubworms and not the red wiggler worms. It seems to me that an obvious advantage to tilling the soil is that the bugs and larvae that are wintering over in the soil get exposed. I've seen some kind of little beetles, might be cucumber beetles, running around, when I've tipped over a cinder block.
I'll be going out after I've had another rest, and then I'll start opening all those bags and dumping the contents. They'll need spreading with the rake but that's enough for today. I'll let the birds inspect them first. Tomorrow's expected to be a pretty nice day, and we don't have workouts. A good enough day to do that, I think.
Several of you have reminded me I haven't said much about the knee lately. I'm now a week away from four months post-op. They told me at the osteopathic clinic that I can do anything I want to, the knee will cooperate or not, and that will set my limitations. It still feels like a heavy chunk of concrete, still stiffens up at night and during periods of being "at rest". I still limp. I have good range of movement, and I can use the bicycles at the workout center that have pedals that go in circles rather than just forward and back. But I have to take that slow, and I usually am sore that night.
Well, we went all day Sunday with no rats caught. Then Monday, no rats in the spring traps in the shed or on the patio, but three caught in the cage traps that I set along the east fence where I had seen some movement. Today, so far, there have been four caught there but none in the spring traps.
I heard an interesting little tidbit about smiling on some program Hubs was watching the other day. Of course if you do an internet search on "benefits of smiling", you'll get a lot of hits. But if you want a link, HERE's one. Of course, I already knew from my secretary days that if you smile when you talk to someone on the phone, that makes your voice sound more pleasant. And then I heard, many years ago, about the benefits of laughing. There was a man who said he cured himself of cancer by exposing himself to things that made him laugh: happy people, children, funny books, movies and TV programs. It may be that the reason why getting out in public elevates a person's mood is more the increased number of people to smile at, than it is the change of scenery. When my eyes meet those of someone else, I have always just automatically smiled. I understand this is not the same for everyone, and I have run into an occasional person who returns my smile with a glare, as if to say, "I don't think you're WORTHY of a smile from me, and how DARE you expect one?" Unfortunately, there are people who had to fight so hard to gain their social standing that they are afraid to risk it by being too friendly to someone they consider "beneath" them. All I know is that I got the benefit of smiling, while, I guess, they didn't. Hmmmm. Karma.
This is now Thursday and my, how the time does fly! It's a gorgeous day. I did get the leaves spread, gathered up the garlic that's been languishing in the refrigerator crisper in brown paper bags, half expecting most of them to have softened and not be good for anything. But all of them were in beautiful shape -- even the large cloves of Red Estonian, which is usually a very poor keeper. And so I do recommend separating the cloves after the garlic has been dug in the spring and has had time to dry out a little -- maybe a couple of weeks -- then closing them up in brown paper lunch bags, and keep the bags in the bottom crisper drawer of the refrigerator. I think it has something to do with the paper bags, and how the paper wicks out the excess moisture yet doesn't allow the garlic to dry out completely. It isn't unusual for the bags themselves to feel slightly damp. The people who sell this garlic say to just keep them at room temperature. We here in Oklahoma are too warm in summer and fall for that. It's a good way to lose all the garlic you grew. I'm a little late getting these planted, but I think they'll be ok. I'll have extra plants by spring and if I have a garage sale then, they will sell well. I started out with Asian Tempest, Martin's Heirloom, German Porcelain,
Music, Red Estonian, Chesnok.
Inchelium Red, Red Toch, and Red Estonian. But over the seven or so years I've been growing them, I've gotten some of the ones that look alike mixed up, thanks to neighbors' dogs that dug up my garlic bed.
HERE is a link to the place where this garlic came from. The site hasn't been updated for awhile and the forms for ordering are missing. I emailed and got a response that they had taken some time off. They are a young family. Life happens. Maybe they'll be back soon. Till then, their informational pages are still there and those are interesting to read.
Hubs dumped the ashes out of the burn barrel and I scattered some over the graves of our 130 rats, 8 mice and 2 sparrows. Maybe the skunk will stop digging them up.
This is now Saturday.
Only two rats caught, all day Thursday, and one yesterday. This morning, when I was gathering up non-burnable trash to take to Joe's dumpster, I picked up a leaf bag full of other leaf bags and a rat scurried away. So I moved one of the traps to the northeast corner of the house foundation where that happened and have caught two today.
Hubs and I had three or four estate sales to go to, and they were all over the place when it comes to starting times and locations, so we combined some errand running with it. Went to the 7:00 sale and found a few little things we needed. Then to Walmart to pick up some stuff for this rash I have on my face. Then to another sale, then to Aldi to get eggs and yogurt. It wasn't quite time for the last sale to open so we went to Tractor Supply just to look around. They had some interesting magazines, and I almost bought a Grit magazine, till I saw that single copy price is $7. Oh, my stars and garters!! HERE is Grit's website. At the last estate sale, it was half price day. I didn't see much of anything I needed, but I did buy a Dyson DLC-16 battery-powered small-task vac for $37.50.
I watched Cook's Country today, but other than some kind of cake I don't much remember what they did on the show. I'm still kind of hacked off at them for they way they manage their website.
I hope the stuff I bought at Walmart helps get rid of this rash I'm carrying around on my face. It started along the crease of the sides of my nostrils, and went down the smile line to my mouth. It's inside my nostrils. I did some research online and I'm pretty sure what I have is Perioral (Perry-Oral) Dermatitis. This is something I've had, off and on, all my life. I remember when I was a child my mother used to get a salve from the doctor that had pine tar in it. Since I've been an adult, I haven't found that pine tar works, and I hate the smell. So, over the years I've tried this and that, and eventually it goes away, probably because it's just tired of being there, you know? Apparently it can spread to the chin and also upwards on the face but I've never had it that bad. Some of the pictures they showed just made me feel so sad for the young women who had it. It's more common on children than adults and more common on women than men. And you know what? In a day and age when they can cure cancer, they don't have the slightest idea what causes this. I found a You-Tube where they recommended a product called Spectro gel, but apparently that's made in Canada and not sold here except at Amazon, and kind of expensive there. So I was looking for other options when I found this young woman's video where she repeated her pharmacist's instructions of how to clear it up with easily found products. Hmmmm. Worth a try, I guess. HERE is her video, if you can get past the fact that she cannot pronounce "perioral", OR any of the pharmaceutical names for the active ingredients in the products she recommends. Bless her heart.
I probably spent more than if I'd just bought the bottle of Spectro gel on Amazon, but I'd have to wait for it to get here, and I'd get a bitty tube so I might not have enough left for future attacks.
I'm having trouble with a tooth, too, may have to call the dentist and I just hate to do that because I don't think there's anything he can do about it without removing a couple of teeth.
Back when I was a senior in high school, I broke a tooth, about third from the back, on a popcorn hull. My mother would rant and rave every time she had to spend money on me and I hated how she acted like I did stuff like this on purpose, just to be a bother to her, so I just didn't tell her about it. It didn't hurt and I went on and graduated from high school, then went out and got myself a job, and an apartment, and so on. But about a year out, I began to have some serious pain, and went to a dentist who pulled it and built a gold bridge over it and the tooth ahead of it and behind it. I didn't know it at the time, but in order to attach the bridge, he had to seriously cut in to those two perfectly good teeth. All I knew was, after the harrowing procedure was over, and all the men at work teased me about how they thought I'd been in a bar-room brawl till the black and blue turned to green and then went away, I was good to go. Until I was the mother of teenagers, and then the fake tooth that was held down by the bridge broke in half. So a different dentist worked on it again. And then, when I was the grandmother of teenagers, the bridge came off. So my current dentist crowned the two teeth holding the bridge. Well, guess what. Something's loose again. I get food particles inside there and it makes my gums sore. He says only one end of the bridge is loose, while the other half is securely fastened, and he doesn't think he can get it off without having that tooth pulled. So I've been crippling along, trying to keep everything clean, and until just here lately it hasn't been too bad. The last several days, though, it seems like all the things I've done before just aren't working, and with this new knee, I can't afford to get it infected. They told me I can't get my teeth cleaned or have any kind of invasive medical test done without taking antibiotics first, until I've had this knee for a year, because if I get an infection it'll go right to my knee. We don't want THAT. So I'm doing my best to take precautions and stay in good health. I'm flossing more, which I hate, but learning to be gentle with it, I'm brushing with a softer brush and more gently, using baking soda instead of toothpaste, and doing "oil pulling" every morning with coconut oil and a little peppermint essential oil. Might try clove oil tomorrow morning, see if that feels better. I bought some mouthwash today that fights plaque but that doesn't burn like my old standby, Listerine yellow. Plus I got the idea that maybe, with age, my gums might be receding and so I've been massaging them gently every day with my finger. Monday I'll call the dentist and set up my annual check-up appointment, then call the orthopedic clinic and have them call my antibiotic in to the drug store, let him take x-rays all over and find out if he's thought of anything else we can do. Though I doubt he gave it a second thought once I left the chair. They don't go home and think about us. I suppose if they did, it would drive them all crazy.
I swear, it just seems like I ought to be named RoseAnn RoseAnnaDanna, because "It's ALWEAYS SOMETHIN'"! Oh, wait a minute...... I might be speaking that into being, might'n't I?
I saw an interview with Kevin Nealon on TV and he was talking about his mom and dad. They've been married 65 years. He said they still hold hands. Then he smiled and said, "But I think, really, that's just to keep from falling over...." LOL Hubs and I hold hands sometimes. And truly, sometimes that's the reason.
Here are a few places to visit, if you are interested:
Nature is Speaking by Conservation International. Several to look at. Harrison Ford does a great job speaking for the ocean.
Henry Ford's Innovation Nation with Mo Rocca
Well, my dears, I'm working on a pot of soup, beef vegetable with beans, for supper. The pressure cooker is making the beans and the rest is simmering on the next burner over. Guess I'll go up to the main floor and see what Hubs has on TV, watch with him while I watch supper.
Y'all have a super weekend, be safe, be happy. Hugs xoxoxo