Oh Well, It Was Swell While It Lasted

Is it me or what?  Exactly one year after this post: I engaged in my first mercy kill.

blue bellied lizardThe cat dragged him into the back yard. He stuck his claws into the lizard’s head and batted him around the patio. My warm fuzzy feelings for the cat vanished in an instant as I threw him inside and returned to the lizard.

He was upside down until I turned him over and saw that he was breathing…and bleeding. I went back inside to try and forget about him. I told myself he would live, he would go find a nice place to rest and heal.

His belly was the most beautiful blue…

An hour or so i reluctantly returned and to my dismay he hadn’t moved a centimeter and his breathing was labored. If he were human he would be engaging in what is known as the death rattle. (Oh the death rattle…why do you haunt me so?)

My sister thousands of miles away confirmed it, I had to put him out of his misery. (Despite my protests, who am I to decide? What if he is enjoying his final moments?)

But the blood was plentiful and my heart was exploding. The time had come and I went for the machete. If I could just chop his head off with a quick one-two…

But it took four. Four chops to sever the head. And believe me it wasn’t pretty. His head and body twitched violently long after the deed was done.

I yelled noooooooo and tears sprang to my eyes as I delivered each blow. When it finished I looked up to the sky and wailed. (An actress at heart truly, but one cannot help the level of dramatics we are born with.)

And so it was. So it is. So it will be.

Send Me an Angel

One year later, and I am still married. I wonder if it’s true what the say about the first year being the hardest. I don’t have enough experience to say.  If it’s anything like learning a new skill for instance, then the hard part about the beginning is not knowing which way is up or which is down.

Don't crouch down; the lion has seen you long before you saw it.

Don’t crouch down; the lion has seen you long before you saw it.

One year later makes marriage settle into the background and get comfortable.

It's comfortable in this here tree.

It’s comfortable in this here tree.

Although. Sometimes…sometimes… Ok, say you learn to play the accordion and later learn that you taught yourself upside down and backwards.  This is sometimes what it feels like.

Meow?

Meow? 

MEOW!?!?!!!!!!

MEOW!?!?!!!!!!

But that would be if we were doing it alone, and we are mostly certainly not.

...meow.

…meow.

Yep, we are part of something a lot bigger than what we can possibly imagine.

MeoW! Meow meow meow! Meow, meow?!...meow.

MeoW! Meow meow meow! Meow, meow?!
…meow.

So, the hard part? Nah. It ain’t no thing.

Yeah right.

Yeah right.

How To Rescue a Cat From a Tree

Materials Needed

Ladder or adrenaline

A rope with something somewhat heavy attached to one end (Or a long, thick extension cord)

Laundry basket

Directions

1. Construct pulley system using rope and laundry basket.

2. Climb as high as you can using your ladder if possible.

3. Throw the heavy end of the rope over a branch near the cat. (Do not hit the cat.)

4. Pulley the basket near the cat so he can jump in. Be patient. He will jump in.

5. Lower the rope to the ground.

6. Climb down and carry the limp little carrot home.

(Alhum.)

How to Make an Herb Drying Rack

GUEST WRITER
The Ringleader, author of Sly Press

After spending yet another morning organizing my priorities— ensuring my future also lives the dream— I spent the afternoon outside, wrestling tomato and watermelon vines in my new garden. During this time tending to my plot, I not only learned a valuable lesson, which is to trim your plants on a regular basis and never, ever neglect your garden, but I also became inspired to create something useful for harvesting my crop.

Since my herbs are the most forgotten and least harvested, I decided this was a good place to start.

Herbs are most flavorful when fresh however when harvesting you will get bunches at a time that may need to be dried. Therefore a herb drying rack is the perfect tool for evenly drying you harvest.

Crafting your own herb drying rack is a simple and easy project.

The materials you need:

Drill
Screws
Hot Glue Gun and glue
Clothes pins
Scrap piece of wood (this will be your base and it may need to be painted, I happened to find a piece  already painted white– also find a size that fits for you I chose a skinnier size because I liked the way it looked)

Wood Strip, Hot Glue, Clothes pin

To begin, line up the clothes pins on the strip of wood in order to perfect the placing. I suggest keeping the clothes pins close together with equal spacing between. The more pins you have the more you can harvest.

Line up the clothes pins

Hot glue the clothes pins onto the strip of wood.

Hot glue and clothes pins

Should look like this!

I decided to place the last two clothes pins horizontally to add variety.

Horizontal Clips

Next, gather your herbs and sort them into bunches.

Gathering herbs

Wash herbs.

Use pan to scrub and dub em’

After your herbs are clean as a whistle bundle them up with string. These bundles will be hung on your newly created herb rack.

Purple sage Bundle

Gather all your bundles.

Lemon verbatim, parsley, purple sage, and pineapple sage

The last step is to find a place to hang your drying rack and screw it into the wall. I used three screws to ensure it sticks to the wall and a level to make it straight. Take your bunches of herbs and clip them onto your new herb rack. In a few weeks your herbs should be ready to use. If you feel like you have too many dried herbs, come up with fun ways to use them like putting together herbs packages for your friends and family. Otherwise store your herbs and use them as you cook!

Admire your new craft project

After you have finished, sit back and enjoy the afternoon with a hermit’s two best friends.

There’s a ‘Steak’ in my Boot!

Late morning as I got ready to head for work, my husband, who is suffering from a cold, called from the bottom of the stairs:

“Come look, there’s a steak in the garage!”

A steak? What in the world is he talking about?

I bustled down to the site of the ‘steak’ and lo and behold, wrapped around the sink, slinked a slithery snake.

Now don’t let the picture fool you, this guy was big, almost three feet long and about as wide as a child’s wrist. You can tell by the blurry photo, I was in no shape to take a picture!

“Get the olive jar you cleaned out the other day, and poke some holes on the top.”

My husband grabbed it from the tail as it curled into a S and gracefully dropped into the jar.

Later, we dropped him off on the mountain near our house, where he could start a new life far from our abode. I wish he would stick around and form a mutual relationship with our family, but we don’t speak snake. Too bad Rosetta Stone doesn’t have that language…hmmm that’s an idea, language programs to learn cat, dog, chimp, etc. Shark Tank here I come!

Yes, our snake was really cute, but Indiana Jones and others suffering from snake fright might suggest that its time to move!

I say it’ll take more to make me afraid, eight more to be exact…

You never know what will find refuge in the place you hang your hat, but don’t freak and always practice humane animal control techniques…

Trap for the Cowboy Rat