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Posts Tagged ‘Survival’

Hogweed 1

Hogweed in Northern Michigan

“Shall I not have intelligence with the earth? Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself?”

– Henry David Thoreau

 

Oh how we rejoice in the beauty of nature!  And summertime in rural Virginia couldn’t be more invitingly lush and green.

Then my brother called from California to warn us about an invasive weed recently found in Virginia.

Beware HOGWEED!

It grows exceedingly tall and some might say, “pretty”,  but you don’t want to cut Hog Weed for indoor  arrangements.  Even if you just brush against as you pass by, your skin may suddenly become sunlight sensitive to the point of third degree burns!

And if you get some of the sap in your eyes, you could literally go permanently blind.

Read about Hogweed  here!  It is in a number of states now and Virginia is the latest.

Now if Hogweed wasn’t enough (and forgeddabout Stink Bug infestations) but have you ever heard of SLIME MOLD?

Slime Mold

Slime Mold – Nickname “Dog Vomit.” Ewwwwww!

This weekend I looked around the mulched beds in our front yard and saw a giant spread of a horrifyingly ugly mold.

It was a sickly white globby thing!

I expected it to ooze out bigger and bigger and to eventually smother every living thing in its path.  Yes, you would definitely see SLIME MOLD in a very scary horror movie.

I was terrified.  I didn’t want to touch it.  I didn’t want to move it.  “Well, maybe I will water it,” I thought.  A hard spray to the monolithic gooey mass created a copper colored cloud of deadly dust.

  • Am I inhaling this?
  • Will I die of an alien fungus and who would know?

My fearless friend Amy was here but even she was intimidated by the ugly slime.  She agreed to turn a pot over on it so we wouldn’t have to see it.  I had nightmares that night though.

  • What if it seeped out the sides of the upside-down pot?
  • What if it could figure out how to get inside the house?
  • There was a hole in the bottom of the pot for drainage but the hole was now “up” and was I feeding The THING with oxygen and enabling it to grow?
  • Would it crawl out the drainage hole?

Thank Goodness for “Hey Google!”

Turns out that SLIME MOLD (affectionately nicknamed “DOG VOMIT”due to the similarity in appearance) is not dangerous to humans or pets or even plants if it doesn’t smother them with love.

Slime Mold is only horrifyingly ugly, which demonstrates that sometimes Mother Nature is indeed, benevolent and even compassionate.

Watering will cause Slime Mold to float around in the air (in that big copper cloud I unleashed) and spread (the result of my watering efforts).

And so my friends, my own personal ugly Slime Mold took up new residence on top of an Impatiens flower in the same bed.

According to my panicked research, the way to remove it (the Slime Thing) is to dig it up with a shovel, put it in a plastic bag (like you would dog doo) and discard the whole thing in the trash.

Bill grinned and bore it and just pitched the one celled organism into the woods where it will surely find some new decaying vegetation on which to build a life.  We are not killers after all.

Such are the gifts of nature to be found in the Virginia countryside!

I did see a mama turkey and her six young-uns running for the woods yesterday.  Maybe they heard about the Slime Mold Invasion.

So, what’s new in your neck-o-the-woods?

 

 

 

 

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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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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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My favorite stories are about survival.

Like tales about the plague or hurricanes are just wonderful.

Surely there must be germs of experience in such doomsday revelations to help one through life’s most pressing challenges.

But the latest survival information I discovered is even more direct.  A rather obscure article I read recently gave explicit instructions on imaging to deal with life problems.  Evidently you can think your way into surviving anything by simply writing a thought, shredding it, and then discarding what you wrote!

Doesn’t that make some logical sense?

Presumably, the image of trashing a problem like the plague (after you reduce it to little paper bits) will make the whole thing go away.  I’m sure they never thought of imaging in the days of death-by-plague, but we have definitely come a long way since then haven’t we?

Anyway, as instructed, I now spend 15 to 30 minutes a day writing down every thought and then shredding and discarding each thought, one by one.

The waste basket is full of bits of  note paper .

And in the last few days noticeable patterns emerged.

PATTERNS:

  1. Reminders.

    “Buy milk.”

    “Get graduation cards for J and K.”

    “Call Kit.”

    (Do you see any correlation to eradicating a serious problem in such thoughts? Well I wrote them down anyway and did the dastardly shredding.)

  2. Questions.

    “When will my friend be moving back to this area?”

    “Should I order pot holders online?”

    (So far there have been no subliminal answers. Maybe I am thinking of this exercise like it’s a Ouiga Board.)

  3. Wishes.

    “I wish I had a dog.”

    “Wish I didn’t have to cook dinner tonight.”

    “I wish I was thin.”

    (Now wouldn’t that be something if I could tear up the last wish and begin to lose weight?  I did notice I skipped the after-lunch cookie today!)

CONCLUSIONS:

  • This exercise is fun.
  • I don’t think it has any intrinsic value but will let you know if I ever feel problem free.
  • Maybe the exercise can be tailored to address specific problems.  Like one day you shred only those thoughts that are about wishes.
  • Or maybe it is like writing a letter to Santa, who will read the list and come forth with all the goodies
  • I don’t see any signs that my expected longevity is extended.
  • So much for shredding problems.
  • And so much for survival.

And my last thought was/is in the Reminder category, “Don’t forget to buy a whole bunch of scratch pads because you are running out of shredding-paper.”

Now maybe THAT is a solveable problem except I shredded the reminder and will probably forget what I was trying to remember.

 

 

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Sign of the Times

Yesterday I parked next to a car with this outdated 2014-15 Zombie Hunting Permit displayed in the rear window.  Should I have left a note to remind the driver to renew?

Zombie Hunting Permit

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Blizzard Sign

Photo from:  WTVR CBS6 Richmond on Twitter @tristateweather .

Lizzard warning issued for Long Island.  As seen on northern state parkway.

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When I was young and wrinkle free (never mind care free), I thought the first sign of aging would be a gray hair followed by a wrinkle.  I also believed the old hag image could be avoided by eating and sleeping right and using all the miracle creams advertised on television and in magazines.

Hope is a many splendored thing, but the truth is harder to take.

Over time, there were signals that healthy living and preening were not quite succeeding:

  1. Police-people began to look like children. I wondered why little kids were assigned for protection.
  2. My doctor was the same age as my son!  He is still the same age as my son but now they both look middle aged while I still feel 18. (?)  Who can explain this?  Note:  I didn’t say I LOOK 18!
  3. Then a nice young man at the supermarket began saying, “Yes Maam.”  Was he talking to ME? REALLY?  Should I call him “Son?”
  4. Then another nice young man somewhere opened a door for me.  Hasn’t he heard that chivalry is already dead?  YOUNG women open their own doors. I CAN OPEN MY OWN DOOR – THANK YOU!
  5. Oh NO!  the first gray hair came and went (ouch!) but suddenly there were waaaay too many.
  6. The first wrinkle was a frown line.  Oh well, that could be blocked out with photo slight of hand.  You will never see a wrinkle in my selfies!  Ha!  I got THAT down pat.
  7. In airports,  people seem to think I am lost or confused.  “Do you need help?” they ask.  Hmmmmm.  It’s odd but I usually do.
  8. Magazine ads stop giving beauty hints when they get to the “Over ___” category
  9. Salespeople exclaim, “Oh, my grandmother bought one of those and she just LOVES it.”
  10. The AARP card has some real advantages – like free coffee – even if  I don’t even have to show the card.
  11. My grandgirls look the same age as I think I look until I look in the mirror.  I am considering hanging black shrouds over mirrors!

 Perhaps there is a vitamin to ward off the old hag image.  Only I know how many weird vitamin supplements are taking up space in my kitchen cabinet(s) and they are all secretly labeled “Hope dashed.  Store for later discard.”

Yes, hope is a many splendored thing, and I am still in favor of eating right, sleeping right, and exercising for energy and good looks.

I have been duly warned by the experts however, that with healthful living and of course, the most expensive beauty products, I will look 20 years younger and live long enough to enjoy 15 minutes more a day drooling in my soup.

 

 

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