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Archive for the ‘Mysteries’ Category

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.

 

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Pedometer 1

The final indignity that has opted me out of modern gadgetry was an old reliable pedometer that finally ran out of batteries .

And of course, no one could figure out how to open the battery box.

Maybe it was frozen in shock at how few steps I walked in the last five years.

I mourned that little pedometer and somehow knew a substitute would require a Masters’ Degree in Programming and hours of frustration to get up and running walking.

Forced to buy a new pedometer- three or four new ones  to be exact- they all challenged my intelligence.

It’s not that I’m not intelligent.  I used to be considered a bright child.

But that was in the good old days when life was simple.  There were no huge technological innovations calculated to make things easier.

Life was easy enough with Off and On switches you might have to get up for.

But I am ranting.

Even after hours of reading and re-reading I could not decipher the directions to all the new pedometers stacking up in a secret hiding place reserved for storing complicated gadgets.

Asking for help, as you may know, is humiliating.

But trying one last time, I ordered a supposedly SIMPLE  PEDOMETER that “is operational right out of the box!”

Really?

I could hardly contain my excitement when it came – a simple little drop-in-your-pocket pedometer with great big Easy Read Numbers and a little pull-tag.

I pulled the tag (according to the directions) and it was ready to go!  No intelligence required!

But where were the instructions to program calories burned, body mass indexes, breaths per minute, miles consumed, muscle contractions, levels of perspiration, or all that other irrelevant stuff?  Not there.  What a relief!

All I ever wanted to know was STEPS!

And, although I hardly believe it, this little gadget ONLY REGISTERS STEPS!

No need to purchase another 550 page book on Pedometers for Dummies (I wonder if there really is such a book)!  I already have Computers for Dummies, Windows 10 for Dummies, and Office for Dummies, plus a few more.

“By golly,” as they used to say in the good old days, when I was intelligent,  “Someone has figured out how to regress to simpler times.”  Kudos to the inventor of this precious little Steps Only Pedometer!

And  now maybe I can fool the world into thinking I have a Master’s Degree in Programming.

Why can’t everything else be this easy?

Why do I always have to pull out the directions for my self cleaning oven?

Shouldn’t I just be able to hit “Clean??

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Oh yes, there is a similarity between Cinderella and me since Big Foot got taken down to a demure size.

Ready to get back into pretty little shoes and maybe even glass slippers!

But as you know, the big shock was the diagnosis of a new foot condition (Plantar Fasciitis) with recommended arch support inserts (the downside of too much marathon running and athletic pursuits like pole vaulting).

To add to the arsenal of curative orthopedic aids, I got some Dr. Scholl’s gel heel pads too.

Trying the heel pads first, they offered a little comfort – maybe.

Then in went the doctor-provided arch supports for the next test.

“These things take up a lot of space,” I thought, because the shoes were uncomfortably tight.

But I wore the inserts anyway and grimaced my way through the day until finally it was bedtime.

Ahhhhhh!

The very first thing was to get rid of those miserably tight shoes and of course I gratefully removed the arch inserts.

And there were the Dr. Scholl’s labels!

Picture this:  Underneath the arch support things,

were the heel support things,

all stacked to create some very tight shoes!

Don’t you wonder what Prince Charming would have thought of all that mistakenly placed double padding?

This sheepish Cinderella stayed home all the next day.

Never mind prepping for the ball.

It wasn’t because she had to clean fireplace cinders, but she was googling for information about the side effects of stacking too many shoe inserts in a glass slipper.

 

 

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DeVinci quote on feet

I can hardly believe it but Big Foot is now Little Foot again!

That is cause for celebration.

Or is it?

Yes, the swelling is down.

And Yes, I no longer need the Big Boot.

But for over a week now there is a new piercing heel pain

which according to the expert Foot Man (podiatrist),

is the result of wearing the Big Boot for 3 months!

This common condition is called PLANTAR FASCIITIS.

I have graduated from Bone Marrow Edema to Plantar Fasciitis!

This can also take months to heal too and requires icing, bending, pushing, pulling,  resting, exercising, adding shoe inserts and the possibility of

sleeping with a stretching brace.

Really?

I am patient, slow to tearful demonstrations, and even slower to overt signs of anger.

I don’t mind putting my feet first (and up)  for a while.  But three months?  And then months more?!!!!!!!

Any objection to WHINING?

Dr Seuss on Lucky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Secret Box n DescriptionThe aches and pains of aging are one thing.  I expect that.

Short term memory loss is another.  I expect that too.

However,

Planned Forgetting requires some immediate attention.

Have you ever looked around for a foolproof hiding place for your special treasures?

Well, that’s what I was going about doing.

Where could I hide my favorite locket?

  • How about the freezer?  No, that’s old-hat.
  • Hide it in one of those mini boxes with secret ways to open?  Nope. Probably well known to marauders.
  • In the back of a desk file drawer?  Not there either – thieves would probably look there first.Locket in Files
  • In a shoe box with some shoes.  No, No, No!Locket in Shoe Box 2
  • Finally there it was – the perfect spot.  “I WILL remember this place! I MUST remember!”

You can see where this is going.  I was consciously, knowingly planning to forget and stored the locket in the pocket of a favorite off-season jacket.

And of course I did forget  both the locket and the jacket.

Weeks later I wanted to wear the locket but where was it?

I looked in the mini treasure box, the desk drawer, the files in the desk drawer, the freezer, all the logical storage spots, and every box of shoes (including Bill’s).  This took hours of emptying and reassembling drawers, thinking and thinking, retracing steps.

“It’s no big deal,” I thought, “How important are such things in life anyway?”

But it wasn’t the loss that was so frustrating, it was the fact that I could not remember where I put it, that I knew I would not remember where I put it, and my own prophecy had come true.

Finally on the verge of tears, I tried one last place.

“It must be in a pocket! My mother always hid things in pockets!”  That meant going through the pockets of all the slacks, tops and vests in the closet, and finally the jackets.  Touching the last jacket I knew the locket had to be there.

And there it was!

And that is the essence of “Planned Forgetting!”

Locket in Jacket

If you are a robber and want my pretty locket, well, come and get it!

It’s will now forever reside in an old fashioned junk jewelry box in plain sight.

Hopefully I will not forget I didn’t plan to forget another hiding place and then forget that it is in the jewelry box right under my nose.

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Peanuts Cartoon

Peanuts Cartoon – From http://www.thecuriousbrain.com

I know.  I already told you about my swollen foot.

It is a case that should be included in the television show, Mystery Diagnosis.

But since a mildly swollen foot is admittedly a bit boring, don’t worry, it  is not really the subject of this blog post.

It goes deeper than that. “It goes down deep…layer after layer after layer!”

One of the tests they did was to check circulation via a sonogram.  Although I lay upon the table worrying, the technician went about her business and kept smiling.   And I thought, “How cruel to keep one in suspense and grin about it.”

But I liked her cheerful attitude and painful as it was to erase the worry lines from my forehead, I dutifully grinned back.

Technicians are usually secretive and unwilling to share information, but Leigh was different.

With a great big smile she said,

“You have BEAUTIFUL veins!”

Huh?  Really?

“In the business, that’s what we call them, and you have beautiful juicy veins.”

My friends, are you listening?  I HAVE BEAUTIFUL JUICY VEINS!

She went on to say there are many people who have skinny, narrow little veins with inhibited blood flow.

I was no longer really listening but was smiling smugly.

And all the way home I smiled smugly and laughed out loud too.

Now, in the looking glass I see the usual old-er, less than star quality image.  But I just have to remember this.

I have BEAUTIFUL veins!

And Mom was right again.

Beauty is only skin deep.

I  just wish I had a copy of that sonogram!

From Yahoo.com – a definition by Duude:

“Beauty is only skin deep” refers to the outward beauty of a person. Of course, we must realise that a person can be beautiful on the inside. Such a person is often referred to as a ‘lovely’ person. However, when we refer to something beautiful we are usually referring to that something’s outward appearance. What the phrase tries to emphasise is that the outward appearance of a person counts for nothing, but it is what lies beneath the skin, the actual person him/herself is what really matters. 
 

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Lit Birthday Candle“Happy Birthday Grammy!  We have something for you.”

That was the message from my grandgirls this birthday month.  Kendall and Mackenzie, our two girls in Virginia, met up with us for a celebratory dinner, when they gave me a sweet smelling Happy Birthday candle.  I have since learned it was also from the missing grandgirl, Jess, who is in school in Michigan.

Have you ever heard of a Bella j candle?

They said, “Just burn it Grammy and you may uncover a diamond worth $10,000!”

“Oh, o.k,” I replied.  “And I will split the proceeds!”

I dutifuly burned my candle every night for three nights and enjoyed watching the dancing flame and the peek-a-boo sightings of emerging foil.  My excitement grew and finally, there it was – the package I hoped would hold a bonanza!Surprise Emerging

Bill said, “It’s too small to hold $10,000.”

“Maybe it’s a check though,” I said, “or a real diamond?”  Hope prevailed.
Surprise Revealed

Following instructions I extinguished the flame, waited for the candle to cool, and carefully removed the foil packet to be opened with extreme care.

Of course, it isn’t a diamond or a check, but is a tiny bracelet with a sweet little glowingly gold charm.

And I love it!  Thank you GrandGirls.  The candle is a lovely gift, the charm is a “keeper” and you (all three of you) always light up my life!

 

 

The Prize!

The Prize! Learn more at http://bellaj.com

 

 

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Mist in the Treetops

My friend, Debbie at The Mountain Kitchen  just wrote a great story about a water pump problem at their house.  There are  emotions that come with sudden water loss and she tells a mesmerizing tale.  At the end her post brought back memories of an incident at our house that still makes me laugh.  Country living does have its challenges.

It was a summer weekend when we lost our water.  Isn’t it always?  And to make things worse, our son and family (with three young grandgirls) were visiting and we couldn’t even call a plumber until Monday!

We had lived here long enough to know that several things happen when there is no water :

  • There is nothing to drink.
  • Cooking becomes problematical.
  • Washing up from cooking becomes problematical.
  • There is nothing to wash bodies with.
  • Sanitation becomes problematical.
  • The toilets will not flush.

bucketThere are also steps that can be taken to survive the above crisis:

  • Buy bottled water.
  • Bring in water from the pool to flush toilets.
  • Eat out.
  • Use sanitary wipes to wash bodies.
  • Go to a motel.

But we were facing surviving the weekend (or longer) with a total of seven bodies in the house.

The visiting family had two choices:

  • You will not hurt our feelings if you pack up and go home now, or
  • You can stick it out.
prepforshtf.com Water Storage and Procurement

prepforshtf.com
Water Storage and Procurement

Oddly enough, they decided to stick it out.

  • We trucked buckets of water in from the pool for three bathrooms.
  • We rented a motel room about 2 miles down the road (for showers only).
  • We bought tons of bottled water.
  • We bought tons of paper plates, plastic glasses, and utensils.
  • Don’t ask me what we did for meals!
  • And we stuck it out until Monday.

On Monday morning I drove to town to get more drinking water and Bill called our Farmer’s Co-Op for help.

And when I got home, 30 minutes later,  the water was on!

“What was it?” I asked Bill.

“It was a switch,” he answered with a wry grin.

“A switch!?  But we did check the breaker box!”

“Yep, it was only a switch.”

Evidently the man from our farmer’s cooperative came out right away.  The first (and only) thing he did was to inspect the breaker boxes.  He noticed there was another little box across the room.  We forgot about that one!  It was an emergency box that was installed for a new generator.

And the Co-op Man found it and flipped  the switch that was plainly marked, WATER!

Such is life in the country .

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What is this?

Alien Visitor

 

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