Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A better mouse trap, indeed



This is an update on my last blog about my uninvited, and  unwanted guest.

I still cannot locate where the critter(s) have gotten in, so my next decisions was how to get this thing that’s been roaming about in my attic, out of it. I researched all of the various choices to catch it, but finally decided on just the old fashioned mouse trap. I was hoping that it wasn’t anything other and bigger than a mouse, but had to start somewhere, so two traps loaded with peanut butter were strategically placed in my attic, and now I wait.

One day went by and I didn’t hear anything, but then the next evening, I thought that I heard one of them snap! Ugh, I guess that means that now was time to check them. Eeeww, the thought of that is so creepy to me, and the animal lover side of me felt sad if I had indeed trapped the mouse, or whatever it is. What if it was a new momma and had babies up there? I have got to stop thinking like that!  Up to the attic we go and find both mouse traps licked clean, but not set off at all!

So, I fed the critter, but didn’t catch it?? How is that possible?

Round two, same thing, peanut butter on both traps, strategically placed, I wait another day, or two this time. Back to the attic, check the traps, and…. you have got to be kidding me, licked clean again, and not set off, again!!

At this point I think that this critter must be thinking that he that he is now a permanent member of my household since it is obvious that I care enough to feed him not only once, but twice, and not just any peanut butter, but extra crunchy peanut butter.

I need to try another strategy as I start to picture a very large, peanut butter satisfied mouse calling his friends to tell them of his good fortune, and inviting them to move in with him! No way!

Third time, we arm the traps with bacon pieces wrapped around the trigger points and put peanut butter on top of that. He would have to tug to get the bacon off, and surely that would set the trap off and end my problem once and for all.

Two days later, back to the attic to check the traps, and yep, you guessed it, licked clean again and neither one set off!

Unbelievable! Am I really being outsmarted by a rodent?

Obviously the old fashioned traps are not working for me, so back to the store I go in search of a better mouse trap. This time, I look for words on the packaging that state, “Guaranteed to catch, or kill”, and decide that I would take them up on their challenge and guarantee.

One new and improved mouse trap set back in the attic and once again, I wait.

The next day, and the fourth attempt at this, it’s back to the attic to check the new trap.

The package simply reads, “Mouse caught”.

You can’t see the mouse with this new trap, which is good, but the trap felt heavier, so we had to assume that he did indeed get trapped. Whew!

So, I think that my problem is now solved, or, at least I hope it is. But, if some of his friends got to my attic before I found the new improved mouse trap, I will be ready for them with the first attempt this time, and while using only generic, creamy, peanut butter.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

An uninvited guest




This experience has probably happened to many of us in our lives, and most often more than once, but at least in my opinion, it’s never a good experience.

The day when you discover that you have an uninvited, furry house guest creeping throughout your house.

There can be many signs that this little intruder is invading your space, such as his little black rice size packages that he leaves behind, shredded fabric that he so carefully worked at to build a nest, or in my instance, just the sound of him scratching, crawling, and tearing at something in my ceiling above my kitchen.  EEEEEK!

Now, most of you know that I am a true lover of animals, and even mice are cute, but not when they are living in my ceiling! That’s when all bets are off!

Here’s the real problem though. I really don’t even know if it is a mouse that I am hearing. I have no other signs of this little guy, so it could even be something much bigger like a raccoon, or squirrel, but whatever it is, it’s gotta go!!

I have looked at every possible spot that something could have gotten in, and I can’t find anything. I put my cat, who is usually a great mouser, (as well as a great birder, bunny getter, you get the picture…), in the rooms in my house to do some investigative work, but she will have no part of that! Thanks for nothing, Josie!

I have talked to others about what they think I should do next, but the best answer that I seem to be getting is..” yeah, good luck with that!”

Finally, I started looking up pest control companies to get their opinion, but was advised that this could be very expensive, and without them being able to actually hear the little critter scurrying around, it would be very hard to figure out where to go to find this thing. Seriously!

So, I guess it’s back to square one, or square 3000 in my case, as I have apparently not torn apart enough of my house to find where this little intruder has gotten in at. Wish me luck as I continue on my hunt for my uninvited guest!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Perfect Fall Day


Is it just me, or does it seem like fall just started a little over a month ago, and now it feels like winter is knocking on our mid-western door?

Living in the mid-west, I am used to seasons changing very rapidly, but after the really long summer that we had this year, I was looking forward to all that fall offers, but it feels like it came and went, and then came again, and then went yet again. I didn’t even get a chance to enjoy it this year.

A few weeks ago, I had started to write about the beautiful changes occurring in this autumn season. Normal changes that I love such as, the leaves changing to their glorious colors, the smells of fall foods cooking and burning leaves, the slightly cooler, more comfortable temps, and other fall things, but I guess I waited too long to finish my article, as now the trees are bare, the temps are more winter than fall like, and I am finding that I am settling into making more winter foods than I usually would be for this time of the year.

I also just realized that I have been stocking up on freezer and pantry foods to get through the winter, for the “just in case” storms.

Even though it seems like I am getting ready for the inevitable winter, (no, I am not a big fan of winter), I still feel that I need to write about fall, so, since I can’t look outside to write about it, I am going to rely on my memory of a beautiful fall day of the past.

Here goes….

Take a walk with me outside on this spectacular fall day!  Mmmmm, can you smell the crisp leaves on the ground, rustling and crunching under our feet? Oh my, look up through the trees and see the brilliant colors of the leaves that almost hurt my eyes when you look at them!  Isn’t that amazing?!

The cooler temps feel great don’t they, and are perfect for wearing our most comfortable jeans and hoodies!

Now, let’s go inside and have some homemade chili and corn bread. I will light a couple of fall scented candles, and you grab a bottle of wine and the glasses. After dinner, let’s build a fire in the fire pit by the pond and just enjoy the stars, the crackling fire, and the cool fall evening!

There is nothing like the perfect fall day!

Thank you for sharing this perfect fall memory with me!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Letting Nature Take Its Course



I want to start this article off by stating that I am not a doctor and don’t proclaim to be one at all. I respect those in the medical field, and as usual, this is just my observation of this subject. This subject being about letting nature take its course, and in this instance, letting it take its course with child birth.
I think it’s getting more reasonable now, but for the last few years or so, it seems like just about everyone I know that was having a baby, had their doctors encourage them to either be induced or have a C- section just about the time the woman hit the 37 weeks gestation mark.
Sometimes there was a medical reason such as a breech baby, or other medical complications, but there were also way too many times, when the suggestion was made purely for convenience sake. Those are the instances that I am writing about, do not agree with, and have to say, please, just let nature take its course!
Ask just about any woman at 36 or 37 week into their pregnancy if she is ready to have the baby, and almost all of them will say absolutely YES, GET IT OUT OF ME!! I mean, who wouldn’t want to be done carrying around that extra weight as soon as possible.
Okay, I know that there are women out there that actually like being pregnant, (my mother, who bore 11 children, for one.) but most women are tired of being pregnant and are ready to have their baby by around the end of their 8th month so, of course they are going to agree if a doctor tells them that it’s perfectly fine to proceed with getting the baby out earlier than their original due date.
They schedule the date to come to the hospital to be induced, give them the epidural so that they don’t feel the pain of the Pitocin (the dreaded Pit drip!), and the woman can basically sit back, hold a normal conversation with those around her and wait for the baby to arrive with very little pain. Sounds pretty easy, but the truth is that it’s not always that easy. Sometimes, after hours at the hospital, the little baby doesn’t come out at scheduled, (imagine that!), and then after all that time, they send the woman home and set up another day to try it again! Seriously!!
Hopefully the baby makes its own appearance when it is done and ready, but if they don’t, then back to the hospital the woman goes to be induced again! After all of that, you hope that the baby is born naturally, but even after all of that, they sometimes still have to perform an emergency C-section.
This all seems completely crazy to me, and I feel that I can speak of the above scenario as I watched it happen with my first granddaughter 6 years ago. Yes, they induced my daughter 2 times before my granddaughter was finally born, and then when she was born, she wasn’t breathing, and had a host of other complications which kept her in the infant intensive care unit for the first 3 days of her life.
Let me tell you that it is pretty difficult to bond with a baby that is hooked up to monitors and wired for sound. Luckily, she is perfectly healthy today, but I still believe that she had the complications due to being forced out of the womb before it was naturally time for her to come out.
As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, I know that this is not as common anymore, and the doctors do not force inducing of a healthy pregnancy before a woman hits 39 weeks, but they can still encourage it at that time. Again, I have to question, why? Why when everything is fine, is there a need to induce? The baby will come out when it is ready, and if there are no complications, we need to leave them in the womb until nature says that their lease up and it’s time to enter the world.
Back when I was having babies, (come on now, you had to know that I was going to go here) your doctor gave you a due date. If your due date was the 15th, they would tell you that you could expect to have the baby anywhere from the 1st to the 30th. That was common and you just expected it and lived with it, and unless there were complications, you didn’t get the option to have the baby on the 15th. God knows you wanted to be the one to have your baby anywhere from the 1st to the 15th, and prayed that you didn’t go all the way to the 30th, but sometimes you did.
God forbid you had to be induced back then, as you only got the Pitocin, which was pretty much awful as they didn’t give you an epidural to numb you so you felt every bit of that incredible pain. You definitely didn’t talk while you were in labor either, well, yes you did, but generally those were four letter words that you screamed out, while cursing your husband for getting you in this mess to begin with… But, I digress.
Most of the times in the past, (and I hopefully going forward), babies came into the world when THEY were ready, not when the doctors or the women were ready. Nature is funny like that, it knows when it’s time, and I am pretty sure that there has never been an incidence of a child growing up in the womb, so let’s get back to letting nature take its course, and letting the little ones enter the world when they are done cooking.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Moon


I never get tired of looking at the moon.
 
Truth be told, it seems as though every time I look at it, I feel like it is the first time that I ever saw it, and will take every opportunity to share my enthusiasm with anyone else that will look at it with me, or at the very least, listen to me go on about how magnificent I think it is.
 
I think my love for the moon started when I was a little girl, and one of my nighttime songs sung to me so sweetly by my mother was “my sweetheart man in the moon”
I remember searching the full moon for the face of that man in the moon, swearing that I could see him, and he was smiling down at me as well.
 
Every stage of it, in all of its different phases, from the slightest sliver, to the fullest harvest moon, always succeeds in taking my breath away.
It has a way of making me feel close and connected to whomever in my life that may be far away from me.
The thought that while I am looking up at the magnificent moon, there could be that someone special looking up at the same moon, and no matter how far apart on this earth that we are, we are close, connected, and that somehow comforts me.
 
I have no idea why I feel so connected to the moon, or what makes is so special to me.  It is most likely a combination of all of the above reasons, or, maybe even something deeper…
 
It doesn’t really matter to me though why I feel this way.
 
I am just grateful to have the moon to look at in all of its phases, its glory and awe, every day, and every night.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Minute with Meg


I have never had a Face book account. I never felt the need for one, and was always leery of some of the things that those who have those accounts would tell me about their Face booking experiences.

 After listening to them, I didn’t understand why I would want to tell people, friends or acquaintances, at any given time, what I was eating, when and with whom. Nor, did I really want to know that about anyone else, and from what they would tell me, it sounded like everyone was stating that they had an awesome mate, kids and life. Really… always?? Come on!

 I might be wrong about this, but I have a hard time believing that this is an accurate portrayal of what is really going on in people’s lives out there, based on my own lives experiences and talking to real people. I thought that it must make everyone else who may have been honest with how their lives were unwinding feel that they were somehow inferior to the fake lives postings on Face book.

 I am by nature a fairly private person who only shares things about myself with a small group of people, and then it is still not as detailed as what I am doing at any given moment in the day, so when I started to think about writing a blog about things that I was passionate about, (including the above statement about making people feel bad about themselves due to not so honest postings), I did so with apprehension and nervousness, but it was something I felt that I needed to do.

You see, I am also a very creative person, who loves to write, correction, needs to write.

 It started with a diary when I was just old enough to write, (still have that little red diary) and continued with journals, poems, songs, you name it; if it crossed my mind with any sense of passion, then I had to write about it, good or bad.

 Writing is my release from all of my emotions good to bad, all of my experiences, happy to sad, and chronicles of not only my life, but those around me as well. Usually my writings are kept to myself, for just me, so when I decided to start my blog; it was due to an overwhelming need that came from somewhere deep within me that urged me to share my writings.

Very scary stuff for a private person like me. Share my inner most thoughts on everything from my views on society to nature, with people I don’t even know? Oh My!

It was going to be a big step to say the least. What if no one read it? What good would that be, and how would I be helping anyone if no one read it, or worse, if they did read it, but didn’t like it. GULP!

Doing good for others was the feeling that got me started to want to write a blog to begin with, so that fear of not helping anyone due to lack of readers, kept me from proceeding with this goal for quite a while, but then one day, BAM, out of nowhere, I just went for it. I set up my page, and published my first article titled free. I had written it more than a year earlier, but the contents still applied, so it became my Guinea pig.

 I felt accomplished that I had gotten that far and past my fear that no one might ever even read it or like it. I was going to go through with this even if no one read it. (Here’s to you Mom- Give that IF a jolly good biff and set it stiff in the corner! Thank you!)

 I asked my sister, who is an avid reader, to read it and review my blog. She did and loved it. Now I know that she might be partial, but I continued on with adding more and more articles. She continued giving me feedback on each one, each time stating that she liked them and they were really good stuff. Thank you Laura!

 All I had really hoped for is that the passion that I felt for each article written would come through to the reader. That is all I still care about when I write.

 If I can help shed the light on something, make someone feel better and not so alone in a struggle they may be going through, laugh and maybe look at something in a different way, then I feel that I have done what I felt the need to do with each article.

 My number of followers on my blog are still small, and I know that some of my writings are pretty deep reading, but some things just need to be said, so I will continue on this journey in hopes of making this world, or at least someone’s world just a little better, one article at a time.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

One of those days


 
It’s been one of those days where nothing in particular bad has happened, nor did I get up on the wrong side of the bed, but I am still feeling pretty down. No reason why, just am. It didn’t really start out as a bad day, but then again, it didn’t really start out as a great day either, just a day.

Oh, I have pinned more inspirational, motivational, upbeat quotes onto my pinterest board, than I have pairs of shoes, so according to all of those quotes, I know I shouldn’t feel down, but the fact is I still do.

I am so grateful for all the blessings that I have in my life, so feeling down makes me feel even worse that I would have the audacity to feel this way! AAAHHH!

I am used to being a cheerleader for everyone in my life, but not used to trying to be my own cheerleader. Not sure how to play this role, and am pretty sure that I suck at it.

I have to believe that tomorrow I will feel better, and it will once again be sunny for me, but today, BLAH

I am pretty sure that this has something to do with me liking to be in control of things. In control of a lot actually, including my emotions, and right now, that is just not happening, for if it were, I would not be writing about this.

So, what to do to get through this? What advice would I give someone else in this same situation? Been there done that already and it’s not working for me. GGRRRRR!!

I guess that’s just life, it’s just one of those days and I have to quit beating myself up for not feeling happy.

As the saying goes,

Momma said there would be days like this!”

I am going to look at this like I do so many things, look to nature. I am sure that all animals have down days, and they don’t feel bad about it, they just go with it as part of life, so I guess that’s the approach I will take too. Besides, only about 2 more hours and I can go to bed and hopefully have some great happy dreams. Tomorrow is another day. Sweet Dreams all!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

See Me


Today's post is a poem not written by me, but found by my mother years ago when she worked as a nurse in a nursing home.

The message is strong and still true to this day. It is titled, See Me.


What do you see, nurses, what do you see?
Are you thinking, when you look at me --
A crabby old woman, not very wise,
Uncertain of habit, with far-away eyes,
Who dribbles her food and makes no reply,
When you say in a loud voice -- "I do wish you'd try."

Who seems not to notice the things that you do,
And forever is losing a stocking or shoe,
Who unresisting or not, lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding, the long day to fill.

Is that what you're thinking, is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse, you're looking at ME...
I'll tell you who I am, as I sit here so still;
As I rise at your bidding, as I eat at your will.

I'm a small child of ten with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters, who love one another,
A young girl of sixteen with wings on her feet.
Dreaming that soon now a lover she'll meet;
A bride soon at twenty -- my heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows that I promised to keep;
At twenty-five now I have young of my own,
Who need me to build a secure, happy home;
A woman of thirty, my young now grow fast,
Bound to each other with ties that should last;
At forty, my young sons have grown and are gone,
But my man's beside me to see I don't mourn;
At fifty once more babies play 'round my knee,
Again we know children, my loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead,
I look at the future, I shudder with dread,
For my young are all rearing young of their own,
And I think of the years and the love that I've known;
I'm an old woman now and nature is cruel --
'Tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.

The body is crumbled, grace and vigor depart,
There is now a stone where once I had a heart,
But inside this old carcass a young girl still dwells,
And now and again my battered heart swells.

I remember the joys, I remember the pain,
And I'm loving and living life over again,
I think of the years, all too few -- gone too fast,
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last --
So I open your eyes, nurses, open and see,
Not a crabby old woman, look closer, nurses -- see ME!

This poem was found among the possessions of an elderly lady who died in the geriatric ward of a hospital. No information is available concerning her -- who she was or when she died. Reprinted from the "Assessment and Alternatives Help Guide" prepared by the Colorado Foundation for Medical Care.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Summer Morning


 
 


As I sit out on my porch this late August morning holding my cup of hot coffee close to my mouth, I watch and listen to the morning and nature unfolding all around me.

I live out in the country, so for the most part, there are only country sounds.

Sounds such as the crickets beginning to wrap up their chirping serenade from the night before, and, the birds singing boisterously, while searching for their breakfast.

The Hummingbirds are fighting not only each other, but also the bees, for the sugary water at my feeders, while the squirrels battle over something in the woods.

In the distance there are the sounds of trucks and cars moving along the highway on the way to their destinations.

I look over at my flowers in all of the different pots that line my decks and notice that they have passed their prime, now looking wilted and tired.

It’s been a long, hot, dry summer this year, so there are no deer coming out of the woods to graze at my property edge as I would normally expect to see right now. I miss seeing them. Almost every year since I have lived here, I could count on seeing the deer all year long for various reasons.

In the winter, pawing at the snow to get to some precious grass underneath, possibly sustaining them for yet another day. In the late summer, if the stream in the woods was dry, they would come to my ponds edge to get a needed drink, and, in the early summer, they would do me the honors of bringing their fawns out to show them off to me. In the autumn, they played it smart and kept low and out of sight somehow knowing that it was hunting season.

 

The neighbor’s dog is barking, probably at the birds, and my cat is perched on the edge of the deck, overlooking my property for any little creature that might interest her in an actual game of cat and mouse.

It’s all very serene and very natural.

The sun is beginning to rise higher in the sky, shining down on the dewy grass making it sparkle like a million tiny beautiful diamonds.

It’s going to be another hot day.

I grab my coffee mug and some day-old bread and I walk out to my pond to feed the fish and the 2 cute paint turtles that have taken up residence here this year, most likely due to the stream in the woods being dried up. As I break the bread into pieces and begin to throw it into the pond, all of the fish and turtles gather and eat with voracious appetites. It’s fun to watch all of them, sometimes banging into each other, to get to the food.

I love summer, and I would normally say that summer is my favorite season, but this one has lasted for about 5 months now, and I find that I am looking forward to fall and all that the autumn season has to offer here in the Midwest more than I have ever looked forward to fall before.

Seeing the beauty of the trees changing colors, the autumn smells, and freshly picked apples that snap with a delicious crispness when you bite into them, are just some of the things that are uniquely beautiful to autumn.  The fall foods and festivals, throwing on a hoodie and comfy jeans, and just sitting out in the crisp evenings around a fire. Aaahhh, I can’t wait!

Yes, I love all of what autumn is about, but I do still love all that summer has to offer, and even though this one has lasted for a very long time, I will continue to embrace all that it has to offer while it’s still here. Things that no other season can offer, such as being able to sit out on my porch with my coffee and being part of nature starting another new day.




Saturday, August 25, 2012

Lessons Learned




To progress from one grade to the next in school, you must complete a specific set of tasks and pass all necessary tests in order to proceed to the next grade level.

If you don’t complete these items, you need to repeat that grade until you learn what is needed to move onto the next grade.

At least that is how it used to be, and how it still should be, because that is a valuable lesson not only in school, but also in life that everyone needs to learn.

In life, you need to learn lessons to progress to the next level in your life, and if you don’t, you will find yourself repeating the same type of task, taking the same type of test, over and over again if necessary, which is crazy and it doesn’t have to be that way.

Remember Einstein’s definition of insanity- Doing the same thing and expecting different results.

It doesn’t always have to take years to progress to the next level if you just pay attention, pay close attention, because if you find that you keep repeating the same tasks, and don’t seem to be moving on to the next level of your life, you probably need to stop and re assess what you are doing that is keeping you from moving forward.

It’s when you figure this out that you will finally move onto what you have wanted to accomplish and your next level in life.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Empty Nest






I suppose no one really knows how the “empty nest” stage of their life is going to affect them until it actually happens to them.



I imagined how I thought I would feel when my nest was vacated, but I think I was only about half right.


My empty nest probably isn’t that different than a lot of people these days, in that, not only did my last child finally move out, but the little person that we had been helping to raise for the last 4 years, since her birth, moved out with her.

You would think that it might be a relief to not have to clean up after another child, when you thought that you were done with your own, but for me anyway, that would be a wrong assumption.

 Oh sure, I do like the fact that my house stays cleaner for much longer periods, but that is greatly minimized by the fact that I also don’t have that adorable, smart little girl begging me to play, read and laugh with her on a daily basis.

I am sure that my own two kids begged me for those things too, but when you are the mom, so many things seem so much more important at that time, and you really have no idea how fast that time is going until one day they quit asking for your attention, turning to their friends attention instead.

It’s much different when you are the grandparent. You know immediately how fast that time goes, and you promise yourself that you will not take it for granted this time.

I was a child of the 60s and only saw my two grandmothers about 2 times a year when they would visit from Wisconsin. Not much of a relationship in my opinion.


I swore that I would be the kind of grandparent that was an active part of my grandchildren’s lives, having a close relationship with each of them.

 Now, I didn’t realize that I would actually have one live with me from birth, until her 4th birthday, but to me, that just turned out to be a pleasant surprise.

 I developed such a close relationship with her, that it felt more like being her second mother. So, when my daughter announced on a Monday, that she had probably found an apartment, and moved into it on that Thursday, I didn’t really have much time to absorb the impact of the change this would have on my life.

I threw myself into getting her and my granddaughter set up and settled into their own new little nest.

Then, I took a week to transform my daughter’s old room into a quiet, sunny, day room.

For quite a while, I had envisioned what that room would look like once she moved out, so I was actually looking forward to that part of “empty nesting”.

 The room transformation project took much longer than I had expected, and even stalled, while I waited for pieces of furniture to be completed and delivered, but it finally got completed to my satisfaction, and keeping busy with it kept my mind off of how quiet my house had suddenly become.

 Shortly after they moved out, I stayed on my schedule of keeping my granddaughter at least once a week, so that I could continue my relationship with her. I knew that the move was hard on her, as she had only known our house as her home, and now, she was getting used to a much smaller place with just her mom and her cat.

Once she got more used to her new space, I then transitioned to keeping her overnight every other week.

The week that the “empty nest” hit me hard, and caught me completely off guard, was the week that I didn’t get to see my granddaughter at all, as she was spending time with her dad and his out of town visiting cousins.

I missed her, but I knew that this was good for her to get to know more relatives, so I looked forward to the next week, when I could have her stay with me again.


It’s now been a couple of years since my nest was vacated, and I can honestly say, that I am doing  very well and even enjoying some of the alone time that I got very so very little of for  many years. I have another new beautiful granddaughter and a grandson on the way, so I am not worried at all about having the nest ever get too quiet for very long as I expect to continue having close relationships with all of my sweet babies!
 

Everything is just as it should be.


 Everyone is doing well in each of their own nests, and as any close flock should do, gathers regularly at my nest.