Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Oh, what a night!


Around 3am, Rick and I were both awoken by a thunk on the deck outside our bedroom. I immediately think "BEAR!" and get up to look. I tell you, I'd have given anything for a bear to be out there over what I saw. One of the window screens was lying on the deck. DENNY!

Rick and I both ran out. We weren't sure if Denny knocked it off or if an animal was trying to get into the house. Trust me, that's not an impossibility here. The screen was intact and had no markings on it at all. After a frantic search around the house, we couldn't find the cat. Panic set in. Rick and I were both outside in our bare feet with flashlights looking for him. Nothing.

We searched the house again, and by now, Nichelle was up helping. Denny has all sorts of sleeping and hiding places, so we thought he could have bumped the screen, got scared, and took off somewhere in the house. Then I heard what sounded like two cats fighting up the road. My heart sank. We walked up and down the road, but couldn't see or hear anything.

After awhile, Rick was poking around one of the neighbor's house where I'm sure the original cat sound came from. One of the owners came out, so Rick told her what was going on. He said our cat got out of the house by accident. Now ... this particular house has a cat that comes on our deck every damn night and torments Denny. He stays up all night waiting for him. I'm am 99.9% positive this cat had something to do with this. Anyway ... the lady sees her cat on her deck and then starts rambling about how they used to have three black cats, but two got eaten by something. She goes on and on about things like fur, deer legs, body parts, mountain lions. What the hell?!?! By this point, I'm in tears already, so I just have to walk away.

I go back to the house hoping to find him inside still. With my luck, we'd wake up the entire neighborhood and the goofy cat would be hiding under the bed or somewhere. I couldn't find him, so I go outside again and Rick starts calling my name. He yells that Denny is over by another house that is two doors down from us, and one house over from where the rambling lady is. I go over to the house and find Denny wedged between a wall and a watering can on the deck. The house is owned by some Canadians and they're renting it right now, so we probably scared them to death going up on their porch like that.

We got him home and the look on his face said it all. He was terrified. He didn't seem to be hurt, and eventually he got something to eat and took a long drink. Needless to say, we shut all the windows and cranked up the air conditioner. He stayed in our room for a few hours before finally whining to be let out. It took me forever to go back to sleep. The adrenaline rush triggered massive nausea for me, so that wasn't fun at all. Denny is downstairs sleeping right now, and I imagine he will be for most of the day. 

I don't know what happened. I don't know if he just jumped up on the windowsill and the screen gave out, or if he deliberately pushed on it. But I do know that other cat is in our yard every damn night. It drives Denny nuts. I don't know if Denny tried to chase him out of the yard, or if the other cat chased him. I do know there were cat sounds, so there was some sort of confrontation. I'm just glad it wasn't with a bear or a mountain lion. I'm also glad it was the living room window and not the one in the hall. Had it been that one, he would have fallen two stories down and probably wouldn't be here today. Anyway, he's okay and he's home, so that's what matters. Rick's looking at ways to clip the screens on better so they can't be pushed out so easily. In the meantime, I don't think we'll be sleeping with the windows open for awhile. 

And to top the day off ... I get up to find one of our fish has passed away. She's been sick for awhile, so we knew it was coming. It was just sad to see it happen. We have a tank full of fish and this is the ONLY one that the boys gave a name to — Becky. She was Rick's favorite. She would come up to his fingers when they were in the tank, and she loved swimming in the bubbles when he added fresh water. We think she had what's called Swim Bladder Disease. It was sad to see her go, but ... at least Denny is safe and sound.

I seriously need a nap.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Red-naped Sapsucker


At least I think that's what this bird is. We have many woodpeckers here, including my favorite, the Pileated. The other day a bird hit hard on one of my windows. It had the same exact markings at this bird here, except all the red color was a rusty brown shade. After some research, I believe it was a juvenile. The poor thing hit hard. I didn't think he was going to make it. I sat outside with him for about five minutes. Yes, I'm weird like that. Just call me The Bird Whisperer. Anyway, he was really dazed and wobbly, but eventually he flew off. Right after that, I got this picture above, which makes me think they were the same species.

I really wish there was a way I could prevent them from hitting the windows so much. Our house is U-shaped and it has a 'great room' with a combined dining room, kitchen, and living room. Because of that, it's all windows. There are ten windows and three glass doors. The poor birds don't have much of a chance. I know there's a special film you can buy that allows the birds to see the glass better, but it's really expensive. With so many windows, I haven't been able to afford it. I'll have to look around some more. I hate having them hit the windows.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

New Website


I have a new website for my books. Imagine my surprise when I was working on some book related stuff today, only to go to my website to find it no longer existed. Huh? Rick called the company and apparently they took down the service a few months ago. Great. That just goes to show you how long it has been since I was on it myself. No worries though, as I got a new one up for the time being. It's a Weebly one, but I have my own domain. I was dreading having to relearn that web design program of mine because it's complicated. If you wouldn't mind checking it out and letting me know if everything is working, that would be awesome.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Got Eucalyptus?


It seems the local stores can't seem to keep it on the shelves ... that's one thing I know! Awhile back I was reading that eucalyptus is said to repel mosquitoes. Being one of those people that can get a hundred bites just walking from the car to the house, I've gotten to the point where I'll try anything. Most of what I've read online talks about lemon eucalyptus oil. I haven't been able to find the Repel brand of this specifically, but I've been using anything else I can find with eucalyptus in it, including all of this junk pictured above. 

The body spray is from Bath & Body Works, but the Dr Teal's stuff came from Walmart. They can't seem to keep it in stock either, so I don't know if others heard the same thing I did and are willing to try anything. Even though these aren't actual repellents, I figured they were worth a try. And besides, I love the smell. We had a eucalyptus tree at my childhood home. I remember how fragrant it was and how the bark always peeled off the trunk. So, I decided to try these products this summer and see if I got bit a little less than usual. So far, so good. I still use the heavy-duty stuff when I'm in the backwoods. Sometimes the mosquitoes are thick as fog.

How about you? Any tried and true remedies you use to keep the bugs away?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Creative Blogger Award


On the 29th of June, Bish Denham presented me with the Creative Blogger Award. It was such a nice surprise, especially since I've been so bad with my blog these days. I'm trying to get better at keeping up, but due to some stalker-like incidents, I've been a little leery about what I feel comfortable posting. Screw them, huh?

The rules for this award are simple:

1. Thank and post the link to the person who nominated you.
2. Share 5 facts about yourself to your readers.
3. Nominate 5-10-20 blogs and notify them.
4. Pass on the rules.

So anyway, I want to say thanks to Bish for nominating me for this award. I've done quite a few posts in the past with random facts about myself, so I apologize if I repeat any here. My five random facts are as follows:

1. I used to have Ondontophobia, which is an irrational and overwhelming fear of dentistry. After finding some very good dentists, I no longer have the fear. I have none, whatsoever. In fact, I'd rather be at the dentist than doing a lot of other things, even something as simple as an eye exam. {{{shudder}}}

2. I'm not a picky eater at all, but three foods I despise are dates, salmon, and Brussel sprouts. If something has dates in it, I simply won't eat it. Salmon is one thing I really wish I liked because it's so good for you. I recently tried it a sample at Costco not too long ago, just to see if my tastes had changed—nope—it's still nasty.

3. I have reoccurring dreams about bears in my yard. In the dreams, I'm always trying to get a door or window shut, thinking the bears are going to break into the house. Most of the time, the bears are just meandering in the yard, and not caring about the house. In one dream I was so panicked I was trying to hammer a screw through a glass window. How that's for logic?

4. I'm horrible at reading directions. It doesn't matter if it's something like a kid's board game or a complicated origami project. They might as well be written in Swahili. However, I have a good sense of direction, which has helped me get out of many Las Vegas casinos. Go figure.

5. And finally, I have an unusually high interest in the Holocaust. If I could go anywhere in the world, Poland would be on the top of my list. I'd love to visit Auschwitz sometime. I also want to see the Holocaust museums in DC and Los Angeles. Most everything I watch on television these days is about the Holocaust. Last night Rick asked if we could watch something a little more light-hearted. I guess I've been bombarding him with sad shows lately. So, I compromised and said, "Hogan's Heroes"? I know, I'm a lost cause ...

My nominees for the Creative Blogger Award are:
Kelly Polark
Kaylyn's Blog
Kim Kasch - A Writer's Blog
Janet Smart @ Writing in the Blackberry Patch

I know that's only four, but I'm so out of touch with the blogging world. No pressure for any of you, but I do enjoy your creative blogs!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Three Ingredient PB Cookies


It seems there's another recipe on social media I had never heard about -- peanut butter cookies using just three ingredients. Why have I never heard of this before? No flour? No butter? Seriously? I decided to give it a try. Since it only uses three items, I figured I wouldn't be out much if they ended up terrible. The cookies are made with 1C sugar, 1C peanut butter, and one egg. That's it. You blend it together, roll into balls, press with a fork, and bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes. That's it. I made mine very small, so I got about 30 cookies from this recipe. There are many sites online for these cookies, but you can check this one out at All Recipes -- Three Ingredient PB Cookies. Tasty little things ... and so easy!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Love this sign ...

I wish I could hang this sign up at the state park I walk at. There is a sign that people must clean up after their pets and keep them on leashes, but this one is better. People either can't read or they're just assholes. I wish I could blame this on the tourists, but the people I see with dogs are on the trail all the time, so I'm pretty sure they're local. It's so rude. I wrote to the park manager, but I doubt there is anything she can do about it. The sign is up there. Perhaps if it's not enforced, she should go out and clean up the trail everyday. This is why I prefer national parks over state parks. It's not that I'm a dog hater. I love dogs, but I shouldn't have to watch every damn step I take while trying to enjoy a local park.