Friday, October 05, 2012

So Just How Do You Evict a Squirrel?

I saw an ad on Craig's List the other day that made me look twice. We all know that Craig's List has all kinds of ads. Some are real and others are fake. Some are even illegal and get people arrested. This ad, however, made me think of my daughter Traci who is studying to become a Vet Tech. The ad was for a Senior Wildlife Technician. Part of the job description read "Humanely evict and permanently exclude squirrels,raccoons and opossums. Just how do you evict a squirrel? Do you climb up a tree and bribe it with food? I can just see the wildlife tech climbing a tree and telling the squirrel that he is being evicted. What part of the "lease" did the squirrel violate? How demoralizing to be permanently excluded from the only home a squirrel has ever known. Yeah, dude, just try and catch me. Remember I can jump from tree to tree. Can you Mr. Wildlife Tech? And how do you plan to evict or exclude my buddies the raccoons and opossums? I'm outside all day long running and jumping from tree to tree. The raccoons and opossums also known as possums in my neighborhood are, sadly a little slower than I am and don't jump as far and fast as I do. My buddies are more likely to take hikes at night. Me, I would rather sleep then. I'm nice. What have I done to you? I don't knock over trash cans in the middle of the night like they do. And what about my skunk friends. You think they will be easy to evict? They'll put up a real stink about this. Just how do you plan to keep us out of here, Mr. Wildlife Tech? Permanently, you say? Ha just watch us. We'll be back. Huh? What? mean you will put us in cages? Horrors! And you will take us far away from all our friends and all we've known. What do you mean we are getting in the way of progress. You humans just keep taking our homes away from us. Don't say we'll be just as happy in our new place. I want a lawyer! You can't evict us we have rights! It will be nicer where we are going? You say that now. We all have kids. How many times have you moved? Was it a 'humane" move? Well that's progress I guess. We all know that animals get in the way of us humans. We think it is better to humanely exclude these animals because they may cause problems. Maybe there are too many in a certain area. We've all seen the stories about "critters" getting stuck in the chimney or getting inside attics of homes and causing problems. Sometimes it must be tough to be a Senior Wildlife Technician. Get the nets ready.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Love is Blind and Sometimes Not What It Seems

Recently there was one of those stories that seems to catch on everywhere. You know the ones- sad but hopeful "true love" that seems to be the things tv and other news outlets love to show. Sometimes there is a true love story and sometimes the story has a tiny bit of information left out. Would the public feel the same if they knew all the details of the story? Maybe or maybe not. A local tv statiion ran a story about the cruel twist of fate for two young lovers. They had both been married before and finally found "true love" with each other. Sadly the lovely young woman was dying. She had serious medical issues which left her weak and with only a short time to live. The young man promised her that they would wed before her death. As her days grew shorter the young bride and groom decided they must wed in the hospital. The wedding was filmed and a beautiful cake was made. The weak young bride was wheeled into the chapel in her dress as she lay on the hospitla bed. There in the hospital chapel the couple pledged their love. The story went viral. Tv, newspapers, and even Yahoo and Twitter found it trending. There was just one tiny little problem. It wasn't a real wedding. The groom was still married to his first wife. I wonder how that person felt seeing the news coverage. Call me old fashioned but I always thought that if a person wanted to get married, both parties had to be single. I guess that's just me. Why didn't the groom get a divorce from wife number 1? Good question. Of course all the parties said it was just a symbolic wedding between them and God. Okay, but what would God say about this? At the very least, in many places it is illegal to have more than one wife at a time. I just have to wonder what the news media and all the people who saw or read the story would think about this beautiful love story if they knew that it was not a real marriage. Personally I would not want to be a part of this fake wedding. While I am sure the couple loved each other, it would have been more honorable to divorce the first wife before marrying the second one. There was plenty of time because the couple had known each other long enough for a divorce to be finalized before the illness became terminal. I wish I could have said that was a sweet love story and wedding.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's a Bird, It's a Plane...No It's Just Ginger

Ginger has been with us for a few months now. She has a "wild child" personality. Compared to the "laid back" style of Daisy, well there is no comparison. When we got Ginger after the death of Rowdy, my step-daughter got Ginger for us from an animal shelter. She thought she was a dachsund puppy, Well...not quite. She's a mutt. Depending on what Ginger is doing (into) her ears are hanging from the side of her head or "up and flying" making her look like Sally Field in the old tv show "The Flying Nun". Ginger is red and black with semi-long fur and light brown eyes. Like any small child she has that constant look of "what can I get into today". Ginger can go from quiet and relaxed to a barking cyclone at warp speed. If she feels ignored she barks - loudly to let us know that she wants attention. We haven't quite got that habit broken yet. Ginger likes to show off her blanket pulling skills almost every evening when we are watching tv. She has to make us notice her by pulling her blanket and Daisy's off the chairs and running around the living room with them. Daisy just looks at her with that OMG look. We've discovered that Ginger can jump from the chair to the couch with the greatest of ease. If I happened to be working at the desk, she will either jump onto the back of the couch or jump into the desk chair behind me. I can not go anywhere without a tiny shadow. If I go upstairs, she's right behind me. Forget going to the bathroom. Even with the door closed, a tiny nose will be seen at the bottom of the door. We are probably going to get some more algae-eater fish soon. Not because the aquarium needs them but because Ginger likes to "play" with them. As soon as we turn on the aquarium light and feed the fish, Ginger wants to play. The algae-eater is the one fish that seems to enjoy teasing her. Ginger likes to jump onto the chair which is beside thefish tank. From there she paws at the corner, enticing her buddy to come over and play. When her little friend comes over she paws the glass and tries to lick or bite it. Now just who is teasing who is a question we can't answer. But the fish seems to win every time and then move just out of the way. Ginger seems to do everything fast. When I take her outside, she races down the street. She seems to fly around wven when she is on the floor, stairs, chairs, or bed. Energy is something she could sell. It doesn't seem to matter what she does, it's done fast. Slow down kid, you're making me dizzy. Daisy was a quiet puppy compared to Ginger. At least Ginger is entertaining. I wonder if she could get her own reality show?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Like a Rhinestone Cowboy - Not Really

Yesterday ended the two week run of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. It's an icon known by farmers and ranchers all over the world. They come to look and buy the best of the best in animals and other things. The Houston rodeo has been going on for eightly years. Of course there are all sorts of livestock showings, many raised by school kids. One of the best things about this yearly event is the raising of funds for scholarships which so far are over $300,000,000 to education of young people.

It is the one time of year that many people want to dress up in Western wear whatever the cost. Some poeple only wear this once a year during rodeo time. Of course the real "cowboys" are always comfortable year round in this garb. I remember being in San Angelo, Tx a couple of years ago when I saw a "real cowboy" walking through WalMart wearing a western shirt, jeans, and boots complete with spurs. Yup, he was a real cowboy.

Then there are those who want to look the part and be seen in the latest Western atire. But, sadly many of these people miss the mark. Wearing short-shorts and cowboy boots does not a cowboy make. Neither does wearing a party dress with cowboy boots. I went to the Rodeo this week-end and again saw more wanna-be cowboys than real ones. Just imagine a teenage girl in black leggings, a very short dress and cowboy boots. Some women/girls like to bedazzel the world with all sorts of glittering outfits. Sorry folks that just screams "fake cowboy/girl".

But these two weeks are very popular venues. The county fair atmosphere is evident as the rides and games are all over the parking lots. The real livestock are shown off in a special building. There are also lots of different things having any and everything to do with things Western for sale by vendors. There are all sorts of jewlery, clothes, boots, hats, and decorations of anything "western". This year over a million people toured and bought and rode and ate/drank their way through money in the enjoyment of all this Western.

Many people come to see the headliners who not only do the saddle or bareback riding, bucking, roping or whatever the professional rodeo cowboys do. Let's not forget the calf scramble where the kids try to capture a calf in hopes of getting one to raise and show the next year. Ever seen chuck-wagon races? Of course many country music stars enjoy playing at the Rodeo. This year I saw Brad Paisley. Each day a different star performs from the likes of Alabama, to Reba. Some artists have actually earned the honor of, over time, singing for more than one million people.

But it never ceases to amuse me how many patrons want to dress Western for a few days but have no idea how to ride a horse or know nothing about raising any livestock. They just want to look like tha "Rhinestone Cowboy" for a few days of the year. Then the cowboy hats and Western wear go back into the box and closet until the next year... Yeehaw.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Just Call Me Soggy

I've lost track of how many days it has rained. I don't know who is more tired of the whole thing, me or the dogs. First all the pollen bursts forth which is because of the rain and the fact that we are still having drought problems. People are coughing and sneezing. Yellow dust is everywhere. Then the rain comes, sometimes for days at a time. Ever try to drive in Houston, Texas in the pouring rain? Not fun. Where we live is a mess because our neighbors made their own drive-way and every time it rains hard this turns into a lake. Daisy and Ginger don't like walking in the rain. Ginger refuses to do much of anything if it is raining. Daisy does some but hurries back in side.

It is good that we are getting this rain but there are times when it isn't all that fun. Now we are hearing that due to this rain the mosquitos will soon be out in force. Oh how fun. I'm glad I don't have to work in the rain. Taking dogs outside is enough work.

Another hazzard of the rain is the fact that the tv signal fails. Damn and I was watching "Independence Day" and ending up missing part of it because of the rain. At least I've seen it already a couple of times. One of these days I may have to learn to use the DVR.

Oh dear, now it's getting cloudy again. I saw sunshine a little while ago, In and out...just like little kids. "Mom, can we go outside? Nevermind it's raining again. Guess I might as well take my soggy shoes off...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

You Go Girl!

Today is the annual running of the Daytona 500 stock car race. For me it's more ho-hum than excitment. I'm not really a racing fan. I don't really care to watch cars go round and round and round for 500 miles just to see who is the fastest. I sometimes think that people like to watch stock car racing or and racing just to see a possible disaster. In any racing there can be wrecks which take people out of the race. My husband loves to watch Jimmy Johnson race. Today I think I will watch at least some of the race for one reason- Danica Patrick.

I watched Patrick when she was racing those open wheel races. Seeing her and others race in those little cars is frightening when you think about the posibilities of accidents. Now that she is racing stock cars, I wonder if she will be able to do better here than her previous attempts. I know you probably think I watch her just because she's female. Well you are partially right. Not many women choose to do any car racing. Most do not do very well. I have seen Danica Patrick get into arguments, maybe even fights with other drivers. She is feisty, and I think she's a good thing for NASCAR. Is it time for the "good ole boys" to have a girl in the middle of the race? Maybe.

I just hope that the race will not have too many wrecks. I think a lot of people watch just to see those wrecks. I don't. I just want to this girl who wants to race with the big boys do well. I think it will be good for NASCAR racing. Maybe more women will be tempted to watch. She's tough, guttsy and strong. She is the "rock star" of racing. You go girl!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Book Store Where Are You?

I recently read a story in the New York Times newspaper about the future of Barnes & Noble bookstores. It seems that this store is teetering on demise. Why? Oh, I don't know, blame it on the Kindles, Nooks and Thanks to e-readers many people don't buy books anymore. They go to Amazon and download a book to their kindle or Nook. Barnes & Noble came out with it's Nook a couple of years ago, in an effort to stay compete with the popular Kindle. I don't know about e-readers. I could buy several books for the price of one e-reader. Somehow I just don't get that warm feeling about an e-reader that I do with books...something about the actual fingers turning the pages I guess. Or maybe it the heavy Bram Stoker book of five novels that I have read and also use as a weight when I exercise my arms. I love books. I love the smell of them, the artwork and the history of them. I've been made fun of in high school English class for reading some of the classics like Lorna Doone, Wuthering Heights and so on. I even got an embarrassing nickname thanks to them. Oswald is name the guys taunted me with in class. I got my revenge by getting "A"s on my book reports. They didn't. Turning the pages of those books took me places where no-one else could go. I've given away more books than I've kept. But they were all bought in a bookstore.

Where are the B. Dalton bookstores, or Crown Books? Borders Books went away last year. We can still buy books, hardback or paperback, at places like Walmart, Target and even some grocery stores. But their selection is limited. I can still go into Barnes & Noble and buy a book, or sit down and read one. And there are used or half-price book stores around. I could spend hours just looking at the selections of their books. I always seem to find one which will tweek my interest or bring back a memory. Barnes & Noble has stores in all 50 states. How many people do they employ? I don't know. Would they lose their jobs? Would the selection of books dwindle?

What would Andy Rooney say. I'm sure he would take notice of this and mention it. I miss Andy. The way things are going I wonder if people will miss bookstores? Sure technology improves things. Thanks to Nook and Kindle we don't have to worry about losing our book on an airplane. I guess we won't lose our place in the book when the bookmark falls out. After all, we aren't supposed to turn down the page corners, right? Those e-readers will remember the correct page, right?

Maybe one day I'll buy an e-reader and download a book from Amazon...or maybe not. I just like the feel of a book in my hand. Turning pages is, well, like life. I shudder to think that maybe one day there will be no bookstores. Of course cds made albums and record players disapear. Television is in color now, even in HD sometimes. What next? By the way, I bought two books today...just not at Barnes & Noble. I happened to be at Walmart and bought them. Sigh...

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Out With the Old and In With the New

Happy New Year! I certainly hope this year is better than 2011 was. I would like to forget most of that year and look forward to better things cause 2011 was not very kind to us. Jimmy was out of work for about nine months. We had to scrimp, beg and borrow just to make ends meet. That was not fun at all.

Now he has a new job making some good money with a plumbing company. But would you believe that on the 2nd of December just as we were about to catch up on things and look forward, he work van was stolen out of our parking lot! That was a blow because all his tools and equipment were stolen. That was several thousand dollars lost. Of course the insurance company will pay for some of it but we won't get the full value of things. Jimmy was heartbroken because some of the tools were his dad's and are no longer made. He was really upset too, because a tool set that I gave him for Christmas the first year we were married was part of the loss too. We are still waiting for word from the insurance company. Who knows how long that will take.

We lost two friends late in 2011. Jimmy's best friend died of throat cancer. It was sad to see a big man reduced to a shell of himself. Then we lost our dog Rowdy. He was only 11 years old. We took him to the vet but were told they would have to put him in the hospital for a couple of days but they could not say for sure if he would survive. And when we were told he would have to be by himself, we decided to take him home and let him die surrounded by family. Now he is with Lady in doggie Heaven.

On the bright side Jimmy's daughter surprised us with another puppy for Christmas. We really didn't want another dog so soon and certainly not a puppy. We thought we'd wait a while and get another dachshund about six months old. But Daisy looked so lonely. We could tell that she was lost without Rowdy. That is when Amanda surprised us with an 8 week old puppy named Ginger. She got her at a local animal shelter. Though she is not a dachshund like we wanted she is cute. But she is so tiny. I am always afraid I'll step on her. The papers the animal shelter gave us said she is a chihuahua. I guess I'll get used to her. I've never really wanted a dog of this breed, but I will not send her back. As long as she gets along with Daisy we'll keep her. She is already growing on us. We'll just have to wait for another dachshund later.

Hopefully this year will have more happiness and be better for us. I'm going to try to look forward to better times. As the baseball player Satchel Paige once said, "Never look back, something could be gaining on you". So, onward through the fog to a happy new year to us all. Right?