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Bear VA Black Bear Cub

Virginia Black Bear Cub – Photo Source Unknown

“If I expect the worst will happen and then it is the best, I am happily surprised. On the other hand, if I expect the best and the worst happens, I am sorry I didn’t think the worst to begin with.”    Quote by ~Dor

I have a blogger friend, Kate, who freely admits she magnifies simple human maladies into end-of-the-world death-approaching, devastating ailments. She makes me laugh because I see “me” in there too.

Once the question was asked at a book club meeting, “What kinds of books do you prefer?”

And there were answers like, “Mysteries, Romance, Biographies, Historical Fiction, etc.”

My answer was, “Doomsday  books.”

And everybody laughed!

Yes, it is true I love doomsday stories (fiction or non) about living through the plague, the great influenza, the civil war, the world wars, floods, hunger, and pestilence.

The first book I loved, cried over, sped through and read again and again was the American Classic,  Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton.  And I still wish I could change the ending.  Surely the doomed lovers could have positively altered the course of their lives and survived unscathed. Couldn’t they?

Progressing from that frustration I began reading powerful historic treatises on The Great Influenza, Isaac’s Storm, and yes, those stories about the plague, war, starvation, pestilence, the plight of women, etc.  I still love them all and always looking for more.

And as a result, over time, I saved life-saving tips into a collection I now call Dor’s Doomsday Survival Manual.

But  when my real-life friends look at the manual they laugh and seem to consider it a comedy.

And now you have it – the deep dark underside I have struggled so long to keep hidden, and the reason I aim to publish funny blog posts.

But I wonder if you would laugh as you browse through Dor’s manual chapters.

  • What to do if there is a bear on your deck!  Hide – plus other good ideas.
  • How to save a cat from drowning in a flood.  Float out in a sealed bucket (I just saw that on t.v.
  • How to purify water.  Clorox?  Yes, really.
  • Hidden water sources in your home.  Toilets?  Yes, really.
  • Non-perishables that will last 25 years of even hundreds of years.  Fruit cake and honey – really!
  • What to pack in a survival suitcase.  Chocolate?  Wishful thinking but there is a longer list.
  • How to prepare for the Avian Flu (or did it already come and go?)  I think the Bird Flu passed on by…. or has it?
  • What to do when food sources are low. You can live many days without food. Who knew?
  • Beware of summer storms.
  • Evacuation tips
  • Assembling a first aid kit.
  •  Tools and supplies to have at the ready.
  • A Family Disaster plan.
  • And more.

Do you think I should publish my Survival Manual as a comedy or what?

Your input is entirely welcome, but I am thinking the worst.

 

 

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Smashed Bird Feeder Courtesy of Bruno the Bear

We lived to tell the tale of Bruno the Bear.

Last night, if you may recall, I was cowering in the back room watching Bill try to defend our home from a very BIG bear!

Really.

I estimate Bruno was over 300 pounds!

I considered that our lives were in danger but in some ways the scene at the living room bay windows was hilarious.

Bruno was pacing back and forth and looking in at Bill.

Bill was growling very loudly and swearing at the bear.  He (Bill) was also waving his arms around and snarling and making monster faces. 

My HERO!

We had the lights on at the deck so I was able to see Bruno’s reaction.

He looked a bit irked.

I should have snapped a picture but was afraid it would irk him more.  It wouldn’t take much for him to lean on a window and enter the house!

Finally Bruno decided to leave (but momentarily forgot the way he had arrived).

I think the HUGE BIG BEAR stayed visiting us for about an hour.  Maybe it was less but it felt like an hour.

Actually, it felt like a few several hours and I got dressed while Bill was playing his monster roll (just in case we had to flee and stay at a motel for a few days).

Then it got quiet and stayed quiet, and we gave up and went to bed.   Bruno must have gone on to other things.

Let us hope it will remain quiet again tonight.

Bruno also left his mark by attacking a towel rack on our deck (now hanging askew).
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Do you suppose Bruno hates horses?  Why knock things awry like that anyway?

And a neighbor reported that he tore down a birdhouse with baby chicks in it but they are still alive!

Well, our trip to Washington, DC was fraught with tension due to the monstrous traffic.  But then we returned to the peace and quiet of the Virginia countryside only to find a monster in our midst.

I have to admit Bruno was kind of cute though.  Those little round bear ears and inquisitive face.

I hope, however, that he doesn’t mistake me for Goldilocks!

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As I write this, there is a great big Virginia black bear lounging on my deck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is 10 PM and we are at the end of a mild thunder storm.  I was sitting in the living room watching a weather program about surviving hurricanes when I heard sounds from the deck (right outside the window).

I turned on the outside light and there he is – Bruno!

He is, as I write this, ignoring the storm, but busily scratching himself and looking very content.

Bill went to check things out and said our bird feeder is now gone.  It was full of sunflower seeds.

That’s it for bird feeders!  If we survive, I will remove all feeders forever after!

Bill is spying on the bear now.  I wish I could take a picture but maybe the flash would agitate Bruno.

I am cowering in the back room wondering if we will survive the night.

To be continued.

 

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Camping

The problem with blogging is people begin to know all your weaknesses and character flaws.

Most cyberspace friends already know this country girl’slady’s flaws:

  • A devout shopper,
  • a worrier,
  • guilt ridden
  • a planner,
  • and a neat freak.

My hope is that all in all, you all (y’all in Virginia-ese) find these combined traits to be endearing.

But did you know that the BigFoot whiner was once an outdoorsy camping enthusiast?

Here are some FAQS you may have missed:

  • Once, at 3 AM, I threw an air mattress across the pup tent at my devoted spouse.

Why?

Because I kept sliding off and onto the cold lumpy ground.

  • And another time, I ran with a coat around my ankles to get back to the tent.

Why?

Because it was deer hunting season and it occurred to me that a beige suede coat whilst relieving oneself in the woods would conjure up images of a white-tailed deer!

  • And how about the time I had to wear a black patch over my eye to a party.  And it wasn’t Halloween and it wasn’t a costume to make me look like a Pirate either.

Why?

Because a giant gnat bit me near the eye and it swelled up to a frightening countenance.

  • And then there was the time we were six minutes into the Appalachian Trail.  Bravely carrying a 30 pound back pack I was moaning and lagging in line behind husband, our 8 year old son, and Tinker, the dog.  That’s when I sat down in the middle of the trail and cried.  

Why?

Because Y’All,

I hate camping!

More FAQs?

  • How about the tent that blew away?
  • Or having to sit under a tarp until a deluge of rain lets up?
  • Or trying to sleep listening to something or things crashing through the forest?
  • And wondering if we will be attacked by wolves or bears or angry deer.
  • Or being “Nose Cold” (and I don’t mean a head cold).  I mean a nose that’s almost frozen along with toes.

And now you have another character flaw to add to the list!

And Thank you Andrew for inspiring this post!

 

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KUiTpJf

“Hello, Super Market Management?  I am in your store and I am in the far end.  You know, near the chips?  I am a handicapped elderly woman (in a therapy boot) gratefully using one of your electric carts but the cart battery went dead.  Can you help me?

I cannot walk all the way back for another cart.  I need a new cart with active batteries and someone to help transfer all the groceries.  Yes, I am by the chips.  Thank you so much.  I love it that you offer this service.  It’s a very kind public gesture, but for some reason the cart batteries always go dead.

The electric carts at my grocery/big box store constantly run out of battery power.

And this usually occurs on the far side!

Getting stuck in the middle (or far end) of a gigantic store leaves a person (this person with the BigFoot) in a precariously helpless, embarrassing position, stranded in limbo with peripheral problems like being emotionally distraught.

I am STUCK! HELP!

  • The basket on this electric cart is full.
  • It will lurch forward while emitting a weak sickly beep.
  • It will never make it back to square one for a new cart.
  • That means I must WALK (Limp) back across the store (for what seems like a mile) to get another cart.
  • You may witness my staggering arrival at the cart area where there may or may not be a new cart available.
  • If I am lucky and find a cart it may have a dying battery, and there is no way to tell if it will make it back to Cart #1.
  • Hurrah!  It arrives at Cart #1 for a transfer of goods to Cart #2.
  • Finally… leave Cart #1 stranded and,
  • With aching foot and increased blood pressure, move on to finish shopping.

Results?

  • Embarrassment
  • Pain
  • Anger 
  • Frustration
  • Fear of getting stuck again.

The latter fear has taken such a hold that I can only shop on one side of the store at a time, i.e., bar soap is on the wrong side (the other side) of the store.

Soap therefore, must go on a different day’s shopping list entitled “Right Side” or “Left Side”.

I also finally devised a Diabolical Plan (feel free to try this yourself if you are either elderly, infirm, or both):

  1. Program the name of the store and it’s local phone number into your cell phone.
  2. Choose an electric cart without too much concern for dying batteries.
  3. Begin shopping and don’t worry about filling your basket. Fill it to the brim or higher! Remember, the point of this plan is to send a message to store management.
  4. Be alert and wait to get stuck ANYWHERE in the #$%2x##* blankety blank place (preferably far far from the stable of carts).
  5. Are you stuck yet? Well, if you are, then sweetly call the store from your cell phone.  Please, reserve the urge to rant!  
  6. Helplessly plead you are handicapped and need to be saved by a store employee who will have to fetch another cart.

Will pity prompt positive action?

I haven’t tried the Diabolical Plan yet.

Stay tuned.

 

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My BigFoot “Expert Doctor” is in Charlottesville, Virginia.

It’s about an hour and a half drive over the legendary Afton Mountain.

And even on a clear day you can be confronted with fog.

There are lights embedded in the roadway but it still feels treacherous.

And it may not actually be fog, but the signs say so.  Last time we went “over the hill” we could see a low lying cloud enshrouding the roadway, and then drove right into it.

What a thrill it is to creep along and wonder how bad it could get and would we careen over the edge?

Can you tell I am a worrier?

We have survived the winter with several visits over Afton Mountain and actually this was the first time to experience fog.

From Virginia Living:  “The drop-dead gorgeous scenery disappears when clouds blanket the mountain. Fog and ice make for a white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel. VDOT (Virginia Department of Transportation) has addressed safety by installing expensive airport runway lights along the 64 roadway to guide motorists…”

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It’s done!  It’s done!

And it’s the day AFTER my tooth extraction.

My new dentist is probably the best in the entire country.  He is on my Super Star list even though he does his work from an exercise ball.

Because:

  1.  There were no needles to accomplish numbness.
  2.  He was strong and reassuring and explained every step of the way.
  3.  It only took 30 minutes.
  4.  AND THERE WAS NO PAIN!!!!!!   Not during the procedure and not after and not today (the day after).

What more could anyone ask?

  • Well, you might want to have a reassuring dental assistant too.  Ruth Ann is another star in that office and is very sweet and reassuring.
  • And you might want to know if the office is efficient and knows you or remembers you.  Well, I told them once that I had an adverse reaction to epinephrine and they had that on record and didn’t use it!

The whole happy event yesterday reminds me of a (true) story.

Once upon a time I was a substitute teacher for a third grade classroom (for one day).

I had no control and the children literally went wild.  They were so loud they couldn’t hear me begging them to simmer down.

And one red headed little boy locked himself in the bathroom.  I had to call another teacher in for help.

What does this have to do with dentists you ask?  Well, I had an appointment after class.  And I was never so happy to get into a dentist chair!

I know.  My long ago story doesn’t really seem to fit this current extraction episode.  But, actually, it does because it was my first happy dentist-experience and yesterday was my second.

 

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