Wednesday, August 25, 2021

The Beauty Of Nature?

 We have lots of wild visitors at our house. You've met Roxy (formerly known as Rocket J) and her three babies. You've met the possum family. You've seen some of the deer that wander thru. Did you know we also have a pair of armadillos that cross the yard to get to the farm field. I call them the living roombas because they seem to hover as they glide across the yard.

 You know that we have tons of squirrels and lots of bunnies and a big flock of wild turkeys.

We also have lots and lots of birds, from the tiny hummingbirds that chase each other around the porch to a huge Barred Owl that likes to scare us when we're out after dark. He sits in the tree above my head and lets out a loud screech. We all run for the door. Last year the pair of owls nested in a tree across the street and the little ones made such a racket that we couldn't wait for them to grow up and leave.

We have lots of robins, finches, chickadees, sparrows, blue jays, woodpeckers and others. But mostly we have Cardinals. When we first moved here we were both amazed at how many Cardinals hung around the yard. In Maryland we had a pair but here we counted at least eight pair at one time. 

But now we have something we'd never seen before. We have a pair of bald Cardinals. They look like half cardinal and half vulture. They are quite ugly and we even started calling the male"Uggo". 

I looked them up on the google and the condition can be caused by either mites or an unnatural molt. In either case the feathers are supposed to grow back in a couple weeks Wrong! Uggo and his ugly female friend have been like this for at least a month and show no signs of growing feathers on their bald heads. They don't appear to be sick. They hang around the feeder most of the day and seem to act as normal as the other birds.

Let's just hope these two don't decide to have a family of bald birds. I don't think the world is ready for flocks of blue  naked headed cardinals.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Rocket Powered

 It began in June of last year. A big hungry mama raccoon raided our bird feeders one night. The next night she returned with her six babies and they finished off the seeds the birds had left behind. Not much of a meal but easy for the family to access. We began bringing the hanging feeders in at night because the hungry creatures were stealing them and leaving the empties under the porch. Still, there were a few seeds remaining in the flat feeder attached to the deck and they disappeared overnight.

Then the family moved on but they left behind the runt of the litter. He was tiny and they probably felt he couldn't keep up, so they dumped him. He curled up and slept in the feeder for several nights. When I took the dogs out he'd lift his head and look at us, then go back to sleep. He ate the few seeds leftover from the day. After the first few nights he started sleeping in the hedge during the day, then would turn up when it got dark. I felt bad for him and put out some grapes and hard boiled egg. Then Rob admitted that he'd been cutting up hot dogs and leaving them in the feeder for the little guy. 
I started calling him Rocket J and we started putting out dog kibble every evening along with any leftovers we had available. He turned up every night around 10 PM and watched us watching him eat. If a car came down the street or something moved he scrambled into the hedge to wait till it was safe again. If we went outside he climbed onto the roof and watched us. Rocket came every single night for his dinner. It could be 90 degrees or zero. It could be raining or sleeting. He showed up.

This spring he started getting more comfortable. He started showing up about 7PM while it was still light outside. He began sitting down to eat and sometimes would even lie down with his legs hanging over the rail to take a quick catnap. After finishing his dinner, he'd climb into the fountain for a drink, then would play in the water for awhile. We would stand at the window and watch his antics. Then when he was finished Rob would take out a second helping of kibble. Rob would no sooner be back in the house before Rocket would reappear and finish off his second course.

We got creative at times. A couple times I made peanut butter sandwiches and cut them into little pieces. He loved them. He liked all fruit but wasn't fond of green veggies. They were the only thing he ever left behind. His absolute favorite was when we'd coat his kibble in bacon grease. Those nights he'd eat everything, then lick the feeder clean. He didn't want to waste a bit of that bacon flavor.

Then two weeks ago Rocket showed up early, around 6:30,and he had a surprise for us. It seems that Rocket J was not a boy. Rocket is a girl and she brought her three babies with her that night. They were adorable! They looked like fluffy gray kittens with white ears, black masks and striped tails. One baby was a bit bigger than the others and started eating kibble along with Mom. The other two smaller ones stood in the box watching us. At some point the three climbed onto the roof to wait for Rocket to finish eating. Then they all disappeared into the hedge.

We didn't see the babies again for about a week. They had really grown in that time. They come along with Rocket almost every night now and they're about as big as she is. Rocket is still a pretty small raccoon. We expect that they'll soon be going off on their own but I think Rocket will probably be sticking around. She's addicted to bacon grease.

Thursday, July 8, 2021


 How can it be summer already? We're still a whole year behind. Shouldn't things slow down and give us a chance to catch up? Oh well.... onward! I have recovered fully from my gallstone operation and my knee is doing much better with a steroid injection and some therapy. A couple years ago I had surgery on my foot. I had injured it kicking a rock during a temper tantrum. Unfortunately, the surgery didn't work and because 2020 was a lost year, I finally had the surgery redone a couple days ago. Let's hope for better results and yes, I have learned to channel my anger in better ways.

Mackey is doing pretty well with her tendonitis. The steroids really helped but when they were done the limp came back. Dr B said it would be a long slow recovery, so we're making her take it easy, as much as we can.

We've still been getting lots of rain. It's even forecast for the rest of the week. Our yard has never been so green. The weeds are growing like weeds. The fungi are also growing. Here are a few that I discovered last week. These are growing on an old tree limb that fell a couple years ago.
See the little red one. There are a couple like that, pretty but probably deadly.
This cluster of tiny pink ones is interesting.
We also have wild strawberries growing all over the place, both front and back yards. The birds probably planted them and the night visitors sometimes eat them. They're very small and not sweet so they're welcome to them.
I've been keeping myself entertained during my recovery by reading and knitting. I've added to my collection of knit dogs.
Each of these is the size of a real puppy, so I will soon be out of room. 

Then I decided to try something different. I've seen Bernie popping up everywhere online so I attempted to make my own Bernie doll. Here he is.

The deer come around most mornings and evenings but lately they've been stopping by in the late afternoon.

Rocket still comes by every evening for dinner. He's been coming earlier, even before it gets dark. He finishes his dinner and plays in the fountain for awhile. Then he hides in the hedge while Rob gives him a second course. The door is barely closed before he's back to stuff himself some more.   
One of his favorite meals is dog kibble coated with bacon grease. He gets it a couple times a week and he licks the feeder clean. Unfortunately he then plays in the fountain for awhile and leaves a film of bacon grease floating on the water. Rob has to clean the fountain daily because Rocket makes such a mess.  
So, as you can see, nothing very important has been going on here. Springfield, Missouri has been in the news a lot lately because Covid is surging here. Most of the citizens have decided they don't need to be vaccinated. Rob and I are both fully vaccinated but we stay home unless it's absolutely necessary to go out and we both wear masks in public. There's no reasoning with stupid!                                                  

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Uh Oh !

Hi Everybody,

It's been a long time since Mom has let me post, but I have a lot to say. Besides, she's feeling sorry for me. You see a couple months ago I began limping a little. It wasn't even very noticeable but Mom has an eagle's eye when it come to us dogs. She gave me a little tasty Rimadyl tablet for a few days and everything was fine again. I was back to running and jumping and moving rocks to look for lizards.

Then a couple weeks ago the limp came back. We did the same treatment but it didn't go away. Then last week it got a little worse and over the weekend it got really bad. So Mom said those terrible little words that no dog wants to hear, " You're going to the vet".

 Oh no!!!!! 

Monday morning Mom got up and reached for her coffee. Nobody talks to Mom before her first cup of coffee because she's really grouchy. After the first cup she turns back into Mom again and things start getting done. She called the vet's office and they said to bring me in that afternoon. Oh no!!!!

 When we got in the car I thought we were going to the library. When we go there to pick up a book for Mom the nice lady at the window gives me a cookie. One of the ladies even gives me special meaty basted cookies that are delicious. But this time we didn't turn into the library and I realized where we were headed. Oh no!!!!

When we got to the vet's office I didn't want to go in but Mom dragged me inside.  Next they weighed me and said I'd gained two pounds when I was supposed to lose five. Then they took my temperature. How humiliating!

Then in walked Dr B. Oh no!!!! He and Mom talked a little, then he put me on the table and called in some helpers. Mom said her Porties never had to be held when they were on the table but it took six people to hold me still. Dr B did all the usual stuff, looking in my eyes and ears and feeling me up, then he grabbed my sore leg. He isn't as gentle as Mom. He pushed it and pulled it and twisted it and moved it every way he could. Oh no!!!!

Finally he let go of my leg but he and the helpers still kept me on the table.  He said to Mom, "Do you want the good news or the bad news?" She asked for the bad news, silly woman. He told her it would take a long time to heal. The good news was that it probably would heal. He says it seems to be tendonitis in my shoulder. It could be from an injury or an infection, but my jumping has aggravated it. I have to take an antibiotic and a steroid and try not to jump. Who's he kidding? Me not jump? 

Then he showed Mom how to give me a shot in my hip. I have to have the shots every week for a month. Mom is going to have to tie me up like a calf in a rodeo to give me those shots but she doesn't seemed concerned about it. I wonder what she has in mind.

So now Mom's knee is getting better and she isn't limping anymore, but I am. She said she had to have a shot and take medicine too, but I don't believe it. She's just trying to fool me. Dad put pillows down all around the bed so if I do jump off I land on a soft place, not the hard floor. He also said I can't chase squirrels anymore till I'm all better. Oh no!!!

At least Mom says I can post on the blog, but I'd rather be chasing a squirrel or moving rocks to find a lizard. It's not easy being a dog.

Your limpy friend, Mackey



Sunday, May 23, 2021

Do You Know What Today Is?

 Today is National Turtle Day.

We have a neighborhood turtle that walks thru our yard every spring on his way to a pond about half a mile away.
In the fall we see him walking back down the hill and we give him a lift to the woods where he continues on to his winter home.
He's been showing up every spring since we moved here and the dogs let us know he's arrived. They all watch him closely, but Tsar is the only one who ever interacted with him. Tsar picked him up and carried him to the door where we took him and set him back on his route.

I had a little turtle when I was a kid. It was ok but as pets went, it was pretty boring. I still like turtles, but I'll stick with my knitted ones.

 To all the turtles out there, have a wonderful day and stay safe.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Playing Catch Up

Last week I finally had my gallbladder surgery. I had postponed it for over a year due to Covid and once everyone involved was vaccinated I decided the time was right. I had planned on doing a lot of easy tasks while recovering but I felt to tired that nothing much got accomplished. Finally yesterday I felt like knitting again and today I was able to face the computer. 

There isn't a lot to report because I just read and watched tv most of the time when I wasn't napping. I did continue to feed Rocket J during my down time. Last night his dinner was dog kibble soaked in bacon grease. Yum!

Rocket thought it was yummy and even turned up early while I was getting it ready. As you can see, he's no longer a tiny little runty raccoon. He's a big boy now. The opossum family has been missing for about a month. I hope they're just busy and haven't left the area.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Goodbye Cousin Bo

 It was announced yesterday that Bo Obama has died from cancer. 

His family is heartbroken as we all know from experience.

Bo was 12 years old and was the cousin of our boy, Fudge. Can you see the resemblance?
Rest in peace, dear Bo.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Spring Come Back !

 Monday was a lovely Spring day, warm and sunny.

Syd and Mackey spent most of the day searching for lizards.

Tuesday when Mackey and I went out to feed the birds, we saw this.
It continued all day. We wound up with about 2 inches.
My crabapple trees looked like this.
Today we're back to sweatshirts and the dogs don't want to stay out. It's cold but sunny. Most of the snow is gone.
Wonder what tomorrow will bring. The weather dude says thunderstorms, then into the 80s. Weird!