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Invasion of the Wildlife

While I love touring the countryside and capturing pictures of wildlife, I don’t necessarily like to see them up close and personal in my yard. This summer has been rather interesting around my house as several different animals have decided that our neighborhood makes a good place to live.

We have always seen deer around the area, but rarely see it near our house. One morning, we saw four deer making their way across the field behind our house. They came up from the river at the end of the block and were on their way back home after a night out. A few days later, I was on my way to work and I saw something in the road. It looked like a cat at first, but I realized that it was bigger than a house cat. As I got a little closer I realized that it was a red fox. It was headed out of my housing area, so I’m not exactly sure where it was coming from. I just hope it doesn’t live near.

My husband was working from home the next day when he sent me a text that a groundhog had apparently taken up residence under the shed in the back corner of the yard. When I asked him if he was sure, he sent me a picture. Since it was about the size of our pug, I was concerned and wanted it gone. We called a wildlife company that will trap and relocate the animals. The price was close to $200 to put in a trap so we decided to buy one ourselves. At the same time I saw a story on the Baltimore news that a rabid groundhog was found on the grounds of the Baltimore zoo, so I definitely didn’t want that living under our shed.

After about a week we didn’t catch anything. We were going to put the trap away but we ended up lending it to our neighbor when he said that a groundhog was living under his shed and eating from their garden. I figure it was like an all-you-can-eat buffet at their house for the groundhog. After a couple of weeks he returned the trap and said that he didn’t catch anything either. So apparently the groundhog moved on.

Photo © lenalee

Last weekend my husband went outside to mow the lawn. He saw a tiny bird alongside the shed and he thought it was injured. We put some water near it and when he checked a little later, it looked like it was trying to drink. After he finished the grass, he looked for it again and it had hopped up on a low board of the fence.  My husband took a picture of the little guy (who looks a little grumpy) and I texted it to a co-worker whose husband volunteers for a wildlife rescue organization. It seems the little bird is a newly fledged mockingbird who may have overestimated his flying ability. He said the mom and dad were probably close by. When we checked an hour later, the bird was gone, so the water must have worked. The next day we noticed mom and dad mockingbird chasing one another around our trees. I think they might have been celebrating their empty nest.

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Winding Down From the Holiday

Christmas is behind us and New Year’s will be here in a few days. Looking at our tree, it looks so sad with all the presents gone. I love looking at the lights, especially at night if we have a fire going in the fireplace, but we haven’t really been cold enough for a fire lately. We didn’t have any snow for Christmas this year and that has been the case since we moved to Maryland. Snow seems to come in little bits until February. That’s when we get a lot…should I mention last year and the 3 feet plus snow storm that we got in one day?

cubsMy husband and sons (both human and furry) gave me a Cubs throw to keep me warm when I curl up on the couch and snuggle down to read. Go Cubs!!!!

Our pug only managed to get one present out from under the tree. He somehow managed to sniff out one of his new squeaky toys from among all the wrapped gifts. It was cute to watch him stretch his little body under the tree. He kept his back feet on the carpet and used his front paws to bat the package closed and then he tugged the string holding it together. After all of that effort, my husband and I let him have his toy. There is something so precious when a dog gets a new squeaky toy. He is just so exited and happy. He wore himself out playing with it. I was worried he would try to find his other gifts, so we moved them up higher.

suv-hooksMy husband also gave me one of the best gifts. It is a hook that attaches to the headrest of a vehicle. It holds my purse and that means it doesn’t get tossed around the backseat of the car when we are together. It also means that I don’t put it on the floorboard when it is wet. I can hook it behind the seat, his if he is driving, and I can reach for my phone or wallet. I never knew I needed it, but now that I have it, I wished I had it sooner.

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!!!

 

 

A Quiet Weekend

Do you ever have one of those rare weekends where you stay home and do absolutely nothing? If you’re anything like me, those don’t happen very often and when they do, you almost feel guilty that you didn’t really accomplish all that much. This past weekend was one of those for us. On Friday, before leaving for work, I had put a pork loin in the crock pot with some Sticky Fingers Carolina BBQ Sauce…yummy, and my husband and son did the yard work that would normally be done on the weekend. Fridays are usually one of the days that we will eat out, but my husband had gotten off work early, so he started in on the yard and it was done before dinner. That left Saturday free and he was looking at his list to try to figure out what he wanted to do next. Washing the cars was on the list, so he figured he would tackle those on Saturday.

teaWhen he woke up, he said that his throat was scratchy and a little sore. As the day wore on, he began to talk like he gargled with gravel, and while he wasn’t running a fever, he didn’t feel good. So he made a beeline for his comfy chair and dozed off. Now usually, when the hubby is sick, he can be needy, so I tend to be busier. That wasn’t the case this time. I made him a cup of tea once in a while and offered to make him soup, but he said he didn’t have much of an appetite, so I found myself with time on my hands and not sure what to do. I needed to vacuum, but hubby was sleeping, and that can be done one night after work. I read for a while and searched the web for recipes for vegetables. Yes, I am still trying to find ways to cook veggies that I will eat :). And I did get all the laundry done. But mostly I just relaxed and enjoyed the quiet time. Well, as quiet as it is with a pug and a husband snoring in the background, but you get the idea.

Can We Keep The Super Bowl Commercials Secret Next Year?

Unless your team actually made it to the Super Bowl, the only reason a lot of us watch the game is for the commercials. I am originally from Chicago…Go Bears…so having moved around a lot since getting married, I cheer for the local team where ever we are at the time, unless they are playing the Bears…Go Bears! Since the Bears haven’t been to the Super Bowl since January of 1986, it is all about the commercials for me.

Our Super Bowl tradition is the food, wings in several different flavors, chips and dip, pizza rolls and something sweet for dessert, which was fudge brownies this year. So no, it isn’t a gourmet feast, but it is perfect for the Super Bowl. Eat, eat, eat and watch a commercial. Eat, eat, eat and watch a commercial. Past favorites are anything with the Clydesdale horses and the Doritos Pug, (probably because I have a pug).

So this year, who decided that it would be a good idea to release the commercials early? I understand trying to create a buzz about a product ahead of time, but that didn’t seem the case. Maybe when you are paying $5 million dollars for a 30 second spot, you want to have your commercial aired across the nation for free as many times as you can get it. There were numerous news articles about the ads for this year and they included the videos of the commercials. I could skip reading them, but when I watched the news, they discussed the commercials and then proceeded to show them. No, no, no. Don’t show them early. I want to see them for the first time during the game and then play Monday morning quarterback to discuss with family and co-workers which commercials were the best and which were the worst. But this year, that discussion happened during the week prior because companies decided to show their commercials early.

So now that is it all over, what is my opinion? I didn’t really enjoy them like I usually do. And my Super Bowl watching experience was just that. I watched the Super Bowl. I didn’t care who won, and because I saw most of the commercials ahead of time, there was no anticipation or excitement. I did like a few though. The Mt. Dew Puppy Monkey Baby one was rather funny (probably because the puppy face was a pug) and they did have the Clydesdale horses. The one for Jeep’s 75th was very moving, while Steve Harvey for T-Mobile made me laugh. But it just wasn’t the same.

So next year, please keep the commercials a secret. My Super Bowl watching experience could use some excitement…unless the Bears make it…one can only hope…and dream…and keep fingers crossed…and say prayers…lots and lots of prayers. Hey, it can happen.

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays 2

PugChristmas

It’s Here…..Fall, Autumn…..Finally

Image result for fall leaves clip art

Okay, I have to admit that I am one of those that love fall. I love it when the leaves start turning and the nights get cool enough that you can keep the windows open. There is nothing like sleeping in on the weekend, all bundled up in the blankets because you just can’t bring yourself to get up and close the window. Nope! I will gladly pile on the blankets instead of stepping one toe out of bed to close the window. It’s the principle. I gladly trade a cup of coffee after dinner to a mug of hot chocolate with marshmallow fluff or marshmallows. I’m not picky.

I spent too many years living in several southern states where you only really had summer and February. February was the month where you would have lots of rain, a cool spell (maybe about 45 degrees) and yes, even a flurry or two. Or the one January when we were living in Tennessee and we actually woke up to 8 inches of snow. Our pug had no idea what snow was and refused to go outside. We would carry him out and set him down and he would race back in the house. Eventually, my husband had to shovel a path around the yard that showed him that the grass was still there. The little guy stuck to that path and did all his potty trips along that route until the snow finally melted.

When we moved to Kansas, where it snowed a lot more, we bought our pug little snow boots. Yea…good intentions, but an epic fail. Our pug went out with them on once and began to shake each leg until his little boots flew off, landing in the snow, and then he proceeded to kick the snow until he was sure that he had buried them for good. Of course my husband had to dig through the snow to find them, much to our pug’s disgust.

This year, the weather gurus are calling for a colder, wetter winter courtesy of El Nino. Of course, that translates into lots and lots of snow. Before that happens, I hope to enjoy fall. I want to get in the car and drive into the countryside to look at the beautiful fall foliage. I want to go to the pumpkin patch and pick out the perfect pumpkin for our porch and stock up pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin butter. Oh so yummy good!!

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