Sunday, June 27, 2021

Words from the Wise

There won't be a picture with this story, but I hope you will read it anyway. 

Many of you know my late husband was an Army officer who served 24 years. 

He has been gone almost five. 

I still shop at the Commissary and PX at Fort Leavenworth, our closest post. 

Because of the pandemic, I felt so much safer, because no one but card carrying members could shop there for the year of the pandemic, and you had to show your card to get in.  Everyone was masked, and the stores were cleaned constantly.  I felt safe. 

On Wednesday, I went up to do my weekly grocery shopping.  I do supplement with some things from other stores, but I do my main shopping at the Commissary.  For those of you who are not familiar, the baggers at the Commissary are not employees, but independent people who bag your groceries and accompany you to the car and unload them for you.  When Keith and I first married, we shopped at a tiny Commissary at Great Lakes Naval Air Station, because he finished out his enlistment in Illinois. I asked Keith at that time (2003) what I should give the baggers who helped me, because you are expected to "tip" them for their services. 

Keith told me the "going rate was 25 cents a bag".  I was surprised, but that is what I stuck to for a time. 

Anyway... I try to be generous with the baggers at Fort Leavenworth, because they make my life so much easier.  They are a mixture of young and older people, some native born Americans, some spouses who came here with their husbands from other countries.  I am friendly to all, and also to the check out people and they look out for me, they all know I am diabetic and they have actually run and gotten me orange juice when I stupidly have not eaten enough.  

One bagger who has helped me frequently is from Japan originally.  She lives in Leavenworth, and like me, is widowed.  We visited as we walked to the car on Wednesday, and we talked about our gardens and how they were doing in the middle of this heat we have been having.  In the course of the conversation, we talked about how much we both liked to mow grass.  I told her I had a riding mower, and I loved riding and mowing.  She told me she had a push mower.  We both confessed that sometimes we were NOT pleased to be out cutting in the hot weather, and laughed. 

She is 84 years old. 


I immediately said a prayer that I would still be cutting grass at 84. 

Here she was bagging and hauling my groceries for me. 

I guess I could say that I will not let her do it any more, because... my gosh... but... she obviously feels good and is staying active and wants to earn the money.  More power to her! 

We should all be so lucky. 

Here is Wanda early this morning, she is still doing so well.  I surprised her in my shop the other day, and she fled out the hole in the wall, so I know she knows where to take shelter.  There is food in there for her. 

Cleo, the cat I had after Wanda, has been nowhere to be seen. 

I let her loose on Friday, and my neighbors are looking for her on their cameras, too. 

Cleo came from the same colony as Tessa, who escaped from the LRHH. 
They were true ferals, have been neutered and had shots.  
She was like this for two weeks. 

I am praying that this is her, early this morning, because it means she knows where the food bowls are. 
They are full all day long. 

And here is faithful Rusty, two days ago. 

The computer I am using is a desktop model, and is now almost seven years old, it was 
Keith's when he died.  He had hardly used it, and it had plenty of space on it (pictures) so I used it when mine kicked the bucket.  Last fall, I believed it to be faltering and bought another HP desktop, which is still in the closet.  I have GOT to make myself sit down and put all the pictures on a hard drive to save. 
This one is beginning to fail, though it is not full... but I don't want to get up and find all the photos gone one day because I didn't save them. 

And then, when I think about it... who on earth will look at those pictures once I am gone? 

This small swinging feeder is my only one left of this type, and the finches love it. 
The bigger birds rarely bother it, it hangs on the deck where I can see it all the time.  The chickens 
clean up what spills under it.  I won't have any more swinging feeders because of the amount of feed that was wasted last winter.  I keep this one pretty clean, taking it down daily and using a brush to get everything out.  If it rains, I dump it in a bowl, and make sure it is not wet. 

I'm rewarded with the gold and purple and house finches. 

I'm cleaning the hummingbird feeders almost daily now, too, because of the humidity. 
Be sure to check for black mold on yours, even on the little foot rests... it can kill the hummers fast. 

I have literally never seen as many cottontails as I have seen this year.  Some are not even 
that afraid of me.  They are out in the yard day and night, and I am scared Molly will get one. 
Right now, there are babies all along the road. 

The "June candles"... yucca... have been beautiful this year, but are already beginning to fade. 

The little house.  

I did not have the flag flying, because we had light rain off and on yesterday. 

Ooops... there is that broken storm door hanging open.  I actually have a company who will be coming to fix it, but they were very backed up, and my small job is down the list.  I will have to replace it again, a windstorm completely broke it.  It was just put on in December.  

I am going to contact the company this week and see what time frame we are expecting. 

My faithful boy, Jester, my last dog.  He has just been the most wonderful companion, and he and Molly get along great.  Jester could get along with ANYTHING, I am convinced. 


Monday, June 21, 2021

Sunny Days

Lots going on here.... including rain for days, nine days in May in a row, in fact. 

Let's get caught up!

Wanda, the Ferocious Feral, was giving me hints that she was ready to go. 

She never calmed down, though I caught her playing throughout the days on the camera. 

She was still enough of a kitten that she played with the toys I had in the little red hen house with her. 

I released her on May 23rd, before dark, but she waited until after 8 to go out. 

She is coming in and out regularly, but the problem (that I knew would happen) is that 
the raccoons immediately found the food source.  

That's a nursing mother who has been going in and out. 

I have food here, in the old garage (used for storage), in the pasture feeder (the one on stilts), 
and on the porch.  One raccoon comes in daylight, and this mama above showed up on camera yesterday at 3:15 in the afternoon, she must be very hungry. 

Last night, I thought for a minute I had left a hen out, I saw movement by the big hen house... it was Wanda.  I put some food near the water bowl there, since she has found it.  
Barring any animal attacks, I think she will do okay. 

Miss Molly is now going out during the daytime.  At the feed store, she 
was an indoor-outdoor cat who stayed mostly indoors. 
I started letting her out two weeks ago, with some trepidation... the fact the 
mama raccoon came during the day worries me. 

(not from a rabies standpoint, from a Molly could be stupid and try to fight 

She goes in and out, I usually let her out very early in the morning, and then she 
comes in and out.  She is never out until dark, I am not trusting enough.  And, of course, 
if I ever see her go for a chicken, she will be in all the time. 

There are a lot of baby squirrels here now.  They have to taste everything. 

Sorry for the shot through the window, but an indigo bunting has been visiting regularly. 

(and oh yes, I was down at face level) 

Same snake. 

Raccoons don't like the oranges (tho they go for the jelly)... but the squirrels love them. 

In a way, I am glad the orioles are only here for a few weeks, as it is 
a pain to refill the feeder with sugar water, I have to wash it out with the hose because of the ants. 


I'm breaking here, because I literally typed that almost three weeks ago and never finished it! 


Here is the Ferocious One on the deck cam on Saturday, and, as you can see... she is doing fine! 

The orioles are gone now until next year, they only stay about three weeks. 
I'm glad, because it is a PAIN to keep that station clean. 

I thought this was funny.... look at the temperature! 

It wasn't, though we have had 100 degree days and many with the "feels like" over 100. 
We were expecting storms last night, and they did not happen, despite a lot of thunder. 
It is cooler today, though, thank heavens. 

I do not know if you can tell, but baby tails are sticking out from under Mama. 

I have another picture, if I can find it. 

There you can see some little baby paws sticking out. 

There goes Molly.  She is having a blast, but she is usually under my scrutiny. 

And..... BABY SEASON is upon us!  

Have a good week, everyone!