Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Just as I was dozing off last night I heard a clink.  Something had triggered the trap.  Of course I got up to look.  As expected it was a nice-sized possum.

My cats were lining the window peering out with me.  I decided it would not do to have them spend the entire night staring at the poor creature so I called my neighbor.  She doesn’t hear all that well and had her air conditioner running so I was sure she hadn’t heard it.

I informed her that the possum was caught and she really shouldn’t leave her little dog out on his own because I was certain he’d be yapping at the fence, trying to get to it and would be difficult for her to coax back inside.  Yes, don’t you like the way I put that?  Concern for her and her dog?

Half an hour later her grandson shows up with his mom, the daughter who went on and on about it being a muskrat.  The first thing he said was, “Mom, that’s not a muskrat, it’s a possum, just like I told you it probably would be.”  Ha!  Seems I’m not the only one that disagreed with her.

They took it away to release it up in the woods bordering the park where it supposedly won’t disturb anyone.  Possums are scavengers so I think it’s more likely to take up residence in a shelter near the trash cans in the park but I didn’t stick my head out and say that.  It’s gone.  The trap is gone.  They’re happy.

But it got me thinking.  Here was this critter, minding its own business, foraging for food in its home area and suddenly it’s snatched away and dumped somewhere unfamiliar.  I’m sure it will adapt and survive even though absolutely everything about its existence has changed in an instant.  Can we say the same about ourselves?

Sunday, June 23, 2013


It was easier for the game warden to appease my neighbor’s daughter than to reason with her.

Now that Howie’s fixed I went off to do some adventuring.  I came home to find a muskrat trap set in my yard.


I’ll let you know how it turns out though I suspect they’re much more likely to snare a snipe than they are a muskrat.  Just as soon as the full moon fades.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

June 20, 1916

Today would have been my great aunt Irva's 97th birthday. Sadly, she only made it to her 94th. Still, that's a long time. Imagine the changes she saw in her lifetime. She was the quiet sister. The good girl. The nice one. Or that's what people saw. Oh, don't take that the wrong way. She was those things. She was also the most sweetly determined woman I ever met. She issued orders that had everyone hoping all the while sitting regally and smiling sweetly. No one dared to refuse because it was Irva and of course you had to do what she said.

As I age, I find that I am looking more and more like her. I'm okay with that. Perhaps with the appearance will come the ability to command without seeming to as brilliantly as she could. I sure hope so because it was a true art. Gods, I miss her.

Happy birthday, Irva. I love you.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Once Again

It is time to move.

My neighbor called yesterday.  She was all upset because her daughter who was visiting was outside the other night, cleaning up something in the yard, saw a possum in my yard.  It was night.  As far as I’m concerned it’s part of life.

Doesn’t matter that we live in the city.  Possums adapt and can survive just about anywhere.

Apparently I wasn’t upset enough.  My non-response of oh well, I’m sure it doesn’t actually live here and was just passing through didn’t satisfy them.  Today her daughter called.  She was bordering on hysteria as she begged my permission to try and have the muskrat trapped.  Muskrat?  How did we go from possum to muskrat?

She continued, telling me that when they are friendly like that, they are sick and very dangerous.  Friendly?  When I spoke with her mom the creature ran and hide from them.  Again, it was night.  Nocturnal creatures roam, looking for food.  It ran from them so I’m still not overly concerned.

She proceeded to blame my strawberries for drawing it.  Yeah, okay, it could very easily have stopped for a snack but so does the skunk that wanders down the alley every night in the wee hours of the morning.  Don’t hear them wanting to trap that and skunks are just as capable of carrying rabies as any other wild critter.

Now this woman is calling the game warden to come trap it.  Trap it from where?  I’ve lived here 25 years and this is the only sighting of such a thing in my yard.  I’m certain it doesn’t live there. I poke through it often enough that I would have noticed.  Not to mention that there is no suitable shelter that would be adequate for it.  Come to think of it my neighbor’s falling down garage is much more likely a residence for creatures of that nature than my yard.  Perhaps they should check there first.

I did mention that although I am willing to allow someone to come set a trap I will not be happy if they destroy my flowers and that they shouldn’t be surprised if they catch every cat in the neighborhood instead.  Or maybe, if they’re really lucky, they’ll get the skunk.

By the way, the possum in the pic worries me much more than the one I've never seen in my yard.  It has visited the courtyard where I work twice in five years.  Yes, it's in the city too.  (And yes, in case you can't tell I'm being sarcastic by saying it worries me.)

Saturday, June 15, 2013


After 20 years my holly bush has decided to make berries.  Purple ones.  The size of grapes.

My New Friend

Friday, June 14, 2013

Today's Rant

I am feeling the need to have a tiny rant.  About sweet red pepper of all things.  I know, I know.  Ridiculous.  But I’m tired of it being added to EVERYTHING and ANYTHING!

Just my opinion of course and you’re welcome to disagree but there are some things that simply do not benefit from the addition of red peppers.  Like the chicken and dumplings that I’ve been eating since I was a kid.  Seriously, this was my standard lunch when I came home from kindergarten.  I happily continued to consume it until a few years ago when the company who makes it got the not-so-bright idea to dump a handful of pepper pieces into it.  Oh sure, it makes it prettier, red peppers, green peas, orange carrots, but it also completely alters the taste into something I no longer enjoy.  Furthermore they have tampered with a decent childhood memory.  I don’t have all that many of them and I do not appreciate it.

Don’t misunderstand.  I like sweet red peppers.  Once they are available locally I will eat them plain as a snack, toss some in my salads, add them to stirfrys.  Yes, I like the flavor of them just fine.  Where it belongs.

I stumbled across another misplacement of this taste just the other day.  I wandered next door for ham and bean soup only to look into my bowl and spy the dreaded red chunks.  It wasn’t awful.  But it wasn’t exactly good either.  Not at all the taste I was looking forward to when I set out to acquire some.  My fault though I suppose.  My question when I call was, “What is the soup today?”  From now on I will need to follow that up with, “Is it made with sweet red peppers?”

Live and learn.

Happy weekend all!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Oh No!

One of the yards I tend has a recurring sink hole.  With the rain we had over the past week it has begun opening up again.  Right next to my pretty flowers.

So today I took some time and rearranged the plants.  We’re supposed to have torrential rains over the next thirty hours and I didn’t relish the idea of sliding down eight feet into the mud to rescue them.

There’s a visual for you.  Can’t you just picture me, someone holding my feet, waiting to yank me back out once I was thoroughly slimed and had snagged the poor little plants?  Yeah, me too but still, I decided to save them today, before it became critical instead.

I’d tell you to stay dry but that goes against my nature so how about be safe?  If you’re so inclined come out and dance in the rain with me.  Hey, you only get so wet and then, when you’re ready, you go inside and dry off.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


In honor of my dad's birthday.  He would have been 84 on the 10th.  This was made by the folks at the World Famous Pike Cafe and he would have loved it.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Some People

Strawberry season is winding down in my yard. I must admit that as much as I dislike picking them, mainly because I get all bitten up by very nasty, itch-making invisible bugs, I am going to hate not having ultra fresh, organic fruit in an instant even more.

I shared about twenty quarts this season and have eaten that many and then some, probably double that.  The other day an individual I haven’t shared any with made a special point to comment on how small the berries were that I had given to someone else. Hey, it was over ninety several days last week and these plants have been bearing hard for a month.  Yes, many of the berries now are on the small side.  She repeated the comment three times in different ways, saying how she could tell they were not purchased, due to the size and how much extra effort it would take to prepare them.

Hmm.  No, it won’t. Not for her it won’t because I won’t be offering any to her. Not this season, not ever. I certainly could have tomorrow as I harvested over two quarts this afternoon. Instead, I’m going to enjoy all those little berries on my own.  Does that make me selfish? I don’t think so because I have shared plenty of the previous pickings with many other people. In fact, I think not giving her any qualifies me as kind since I’m not causing her any undue strain by expending the extra effort to clean and slice such teeny, tiny nuisance strawberries.

So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go and get back to it. I want berries for dessert tonight as well as breakfast tomorrow.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Bad Wolf

Saturday, June 1, 2013