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Neighborhood Watch

o-NEIGHBOURHOOD-WATCH-SIGNS-TORONTO-570There were two hummingbird feeders on our deck this week.   Now there is one.

A Dine Until Dark Curfew has been imposed on the little hummers and the one remaining feeder is taken inside when the sun goes down.

What happened?

A mystery intruder  visited and vandalized our peaceful Virginia home.

If you are interested in solving mysteries, here are the clues:

  1. A favorite old hummingbird feeder  was lying in three pieces on our deck,
  2. amid a wide swath of sticky sugar water, 
  3. replete with large animal footprints, and
  4. unidentified animal scat on the deck stairs.

“What critter (or person) could it be?”we wondered.

Bill thought it was a raccoon.  I thought a bear. Can you tell by these observations the differences in our personalities and outlooks on life?

I Googled SCAT and found some that looked like ours (NO, NOT HUMAN).  Oddly, there are actual animal “poop charts” so you can compare and identify droppings!  Somehow I find this offensive to my sensitive senses.

scat_berries4_800x600

Bear Scat

Anyway, that was as far as I got researching when an email came in from our immediate next door neighbors warning they had seen a mama bear and her two cubs in their back yard!

bear watch

Mystery SOLVED!  IT WAS DEFINITELY A BEAR!!!  AND A VIRGINIA BLACK BEAR WITH TWIN CUBS!!!  Well, what did I expect when we chose to live in the country – civilization?

Then a second email came  and a third.  The word is out and we have a NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH with friends sending email alerts!

  • “We saw a mama bear and two cubs in our back yard this morning.  If you think this is information that should be shared with the neighbors, would you pass it on?”  
  • “Yep! We had some work being done at our house a few weeks ago and they videoed two cubs and the mom on our property.”
  • “Also I saw them crossing the hunt road, heading up the hill into the woods between the pond and the riding ring, just like last summer. My mare has indicated their closeness to our place too. I have not viewed them there personally yet (but, she doesn’t fib).”
It is certainly comforting to know there is a Three Bears Neighborhood Watch, but having the trio on my deck borders on disconcerting!
I have a plan though.,
The trick is stay close to the front door, or the back door, or the car door.
Or if the bear gets inside – to barricade in the bathroom with my cell phone!
So much for summer walks in the woods.

 

 

kenmore freezerI know it is a bit unorthodox to lean into a deep freeze when the temps hover around 100 degrees outside, but yes, I confess, “I did it.”

Truth is our cavernous HUGE deep freezer suddenly began spewing water over everything in it.  I haven’t defrosted it in a month or two, 3 or 4 months, maybe a year, so I blamed myself.

Well, I know I defrosted it since 1990.

We bought the freezer in 1990!

Imagine?

And it has been going non-stop ever since.  No repairs, rare defrostings, overloading, underloading, whatever.

Anyway, I was overheated due to rising temps in this part of Virginia, so decided to hang over the edge of the old girl, chipping away at mountains of accumulated ice and picking at giant slabs with gloved hands and long prongs.

Cool!

And to add to the joy of being slightly chilled in a heat wave I had memories of balancing on the monkey bars when I was a kid.  Leaning leaning leaning over the edge of our freezer was  a similar feeling.

I felt young again!  Carefree.  And yes – Cool!

It took about four hours to defrost, de-ice, and displace all the foods that needed to be discarded or moved to our smaller refrigerator freezer.

And at the end of four hours I could barely move!

No longer cool.

In need of Ibuprofen.

Exhausted.

I turned the X&6%#@&* thing back on again, but Bill came along and turned it off.  “The freezer’s shot,” said he.  And this morning he went to Lowe’s and ordered a new one.

Me, I’m still wondering why I defrosted and cleaned a 26 year old faltering freezer.

It must have been to keep cool.

The Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Finland offers a variety of accommodations, including snow igloos. Guests who book a snow igloo during their stay get to sleep inside a shelter of ice. The temperature is kept at a consistent level regardless of the temperature outside and the guests are provided with down sleeping bags to keep them warm when they turn in for the night. If you’re noticing a trend, it is one of many ice hotels based in the Nordic countries, a sign of ingenuity from countries that celebrate the cold.

 

Nature’s Apology

A Virginia View

After foreboding clouds and thunder the air turned cool and dry and the sun lit up our mountain valley.  I sat outside watching happy hummingbirds, butterflies, and the mother deer and her young ones.

We were all celebrating nature’s  wondrous apology.

“Sorry ,” she said, “for the unrelenting heat wave and all the storms, humidity and heavy rains!

But here is a taste of autumn joy to come!”

After the Storm 2

After the Storm 1

Yesterday we spotted a Mommy/Doe and her triplets!  We passed them on our country road in a neighbor’s horse pasture.

I looked up and around and what did I see?

Three tiny rein-deer staring right back at me.*

And there they were, the Mom and her three fawns looking at us through the pasture fence.

They were startled by our car and quickly ran away, except for one.

A courageous baby remained to stare us down.

I call her Brave Bambi.

Bambi 2

She and her siblings are so tiny  (even though Bambi looks fairly large here), they actually resemble stuffed toy gifts for infant humans.

Note: The deer in Virginia are actually not “rein-deer.”  Ours are white-tailed deer who live in meadows and forests, and have poor adaptations for snow, whereas reindeer live in cold areas and have special split hooves for walking on ice and snow. Both male and female reindeer also have antlers.  In contrast, only the male of the species for White-tailed deer have antlers.

From: http://www.reference.com

 

 

 

Trigger Thumb

I have graduated from a Big Foot to a “Trigger Thumb!”

Perhaps I am suffering from Early Onset Old Age Decrepincy.

Decrepincy is my own self inspired word that is an extension of  the state of being decrepit.

After all, what would you call the systematic deterioration of body parts?

I am out of the Big Foot boot after wearing it for seven months (for bone marrow edema), and out of a different brace after wearing that for weeks (for plantar fasciitis).

trigger-thumb-only-blog-pos  And now I am wearing a splint for a Trigger Thumb!

This malady is supposedly caused by overuse and may be the only part of my decrepit body that gets overused!

My right thumb now bends and clicks just like pulling the trigger of a gun!  And no, this has nothing to do with 2nd Amendment rights either.

I feel a kinship with John Wayne  though, the silver screen cowboy who used his trigger fingers (or thumb?) to blast away at evil doers!

 

john wayne

John Wayne

The term”trigger finger” makes a bit more sense than a trigger thumb,  but there you have it – Decrepincy knows no bounds.

Get ready my friends in the blog-us-fear – I’ll meet you at the OK Corral!

For inquiring bloggers who have never heard of my latest malady:

“Trigger finger, also known as stenosing tenosynovitis (stuh-NO-sing ten-o-sin-o-VIE-tis), is a condition in which one of your fingers gets stuck in a bent position. Your finger may straighten with a snap — like a trigger being pulled and released.

Trigger finger occurs when inflammation narrows the space within the sheath that surrounds the tendon in the affected finger. If trigger finger is severe, your finger may become locked in a bent position.

People whose work or hobbies require repetitive gripping actions are at higher risk of developing trigger finger. The condition is also more common in women…”.

Source:  www.mayoclinic.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mystery Doors

For Milk Delivery

This old building in downtown Lexington, Virginia features a small set of doors on a side wall.

I thought the little doors were a local curiosity and my own curiosity prompted a small research project.  Google is quick to respond so it didn’t take long.

The old doors were called a “milk chute”.

Evidently they open to a platform where the milkman (they used to have milkmen in the old days you know) could pick up empty milk bottles and replace them with full ones.

The homeowner would retrieve the delivery (not the man – the milk bottles) from inside the house.

And if something extra was needed  (not the man) or  something different (well, maybe the man) from the usual order, the owner could leave a note in the neck of one of the returning empty bottles (hmm…secret messages?).  Actually, you could order vegetables or bread too.  The chutes were multi purpose.

And if you locked yourself out of your house, a little kid could usually crawl through the chute to get inside and open the door for you.

Clever huh?

Although home deliveries of perishable products came to a halt by the late 1960’s, there are still many old buildings with milk chutes (unfortunately, not milk men).

But, discovering little doors like this made me yearn for the good old days of  home deliveries, milkmen and mystery doors.

milkman2

vintage milktruck

I never tire of sweeping Virginia views!

White's Mill View

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