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What I Learned This Week – 9/15/13

Not my family, but very funny! Photo: http://www.reddit.com

Not my family, but very funny!
Photo: reddit.com

This week I learned that I am very in need of being a part of something.  I was ridiculously excited this week that the church was having directory pictures taken. Although I half expected for someone to stop my family and be all like “What the heck are YOU doing here?”

It is my asbestos friend’s church. My family has tagged along with her enough times that hopefully they have forgotten that we never officially joined or anything. We were in the previous directory because it was just a list of names typed up by my asbestos friend (who happens to be the church secretary) and she was just like “Do you want me to add you guys?” and we were like “Sure”.

Then the church got a new pastor, so he just sees us at events and hopefully doesn’t notice that we don’t actually belong there. At least, that is how my mother makes me feel about the whole deal. I can’t even tell her when I am going to the church for an event, because she acts so juvenile.

Don’t believe me?

TEXT 9/15/13
ME: C is contemplating buying L & B’s old car that was in the accident that they traded with the pastor for their old car. Somehow I ended up being the one to call pastor Z. 6:19PM
MOM: I read the word pastor twice. Gag me. 6:22PM
ME: You are so juvenile. 6:44PM

She so lives in her own world that she can’t even grasp why I might want a circle of people who are supportive to surround my family.

She grew up with a normal mom, dad, and brother family, with a huge extended family.

I grew up with just her and my grandma. Most of my extended family were already dead by the time I was born. She doesn’t understand where I am coming from, and she never will.

Photo: http://the-bradford.blogspot.com

Photo: the-bradford.blogspot.com

This week I also learned that squirrel’s can be WAY more ruthless than even I had first thought.

Earlier in the week, I had one try to assault me from the air.

Some people have run-ins with bats. My enemy animal is THE SQUIRREL.

I let my dogs out the back door. They raced to the backyard. I heard a scrambling on the roof of my garage. So I kicked the side of the garage and yelled something to the effect of “Get your damn furry ass off MY garage!”

Now, to set the scene for you, my garage is not attached to my house, even though the insurance company classifies it that way. There is about 6 inches between the edge of the house roof and the garage roof.

I was standing directly under that spot, when the squirrel decided to try to run across.

As the back half of his body was hanging in mid-air directly above my head, his beady eyes met mine.

Now I know that I have seen EVIL.

Pieces of leaves and other roof debris were falling on me, as a preview of what was to come. Now, I have had a squirrel on me before. It may have been like 33 years ago and memories fade, but I DO remember that that is something I never want to repeat again.

So I screamed and ran away.

The squirrel regained his footing and made it across to the other roof.

I was shaking with terror that I had come so close to wearing a live squirrel as a hat.

They are evil. Head my warning. Keep your distance from those varmints.

Be careful out there…

Photo: the-bradford.blogspot.com

Photo: the-bradford.blogspot.com

What I Learned This Week – 5/5/13

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This week I learned that if you are going to stand on your feet for 8 1/2 hours, you need to have very good shoes.  I did not.  Then I proceeded to climb up to my 2nd floor and back down the stairs again to prepare for a garage sale the next day.  By Sunday morning, my feet felt like they were on fire.

My garage sale only made enough money to buy lunch for 2 1/2 people at McDonald’s.  But I did figure out that a 6 foot tall nutcracker is a good way to catch the eye of traffic as it passes by.

I blame my lack of writing productivity (blogging and otherwise) on the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  The Vancouver Canucks and the Detroit Red Wings play on alternating nights.  After 10PM (when my toddler son, M, goes to bed) is usually my most productive time.

And, well, that was my week.

"Get out of here squirrel!  My giant nutcracker has no giants nuts for you, so just scram!  You have done enough damage around here, you filthy varmint!"

“Get out of here squirrel! My giant nutcracker has no giants nuts for you, so just scram! You have done enough damage around here, you filthy varmint!”

What I Learned This Week – 4/7/13

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This week I learned that squirrels are more evil than I ever suspected.  Just look at what one did to my dog!

The leg is still there, just heavily bandaged.

The leg is still there, just heavily bandaged.

Now, I do feel like I may have helped to manifest this. I did tell my dog, Parker, he should kill the squirrel in our yard. I even told him that if he got bit or scratched in the process, I would take him to the vet and get him fixed up. I also had a plan on Friday to go to the vet and purchase more heartworm preventative.

But, well, Parker impaled himself on a metal post in our yard in what I can only suspect was pursuit of a squirrel on Tuesday afternoon. A metal post that would not have even been there except we put it there to prevent him from escaping out a gap at the bottom of the other two fences.

The scene of the injury.  The squirrel runs up the tree on the other side of the fence.  The green post used to be straight up.

The scene of the injury. The squirrel runs up the tree on the other side of the fence. The green post used to be straight up.

I feel a little guilty. I did momentarily forget both dogs outside. But that was for like 10 minutes. Parker had been left outside unattended longer. (We have a fully fenced in yard. Not that that keeps my dogs from escape or mayhem.) And really, who expects their dog to crucify himself on a 4ft tall metal post?

Tuesday afternoon, my husband is just walking out the door to go to work. He attempts to let the dogs in for me. We discover that Parker has what is (let’s put this delicately) a giant hole ripped in his front right leg doggie armpit. I grabbed my first aid kit. My husband, who JUST started a new job as a temp and CANNOT be late stayed 5 more minutes. He helped me get the injury wrapped up, and put Parker in the car. (Dude, that dog weighs 60lbs. I can’t exactly cradle him in my arms.) I called the vet. They said the doctor was out on a call and wouldn’t be back for an hour. She made it sound like I should hang out at home for a few more minutes. Then she said I could come in if I wanted and they could pressure wrap it while I waited.

When I got there, she said my wrap job was good, so they just left it til the doctor returned. The doctor, without looking at it yet, said it would be 30-45 minutes and asked me if I wanted to wait or come back. She said she would give him something to make him sleepy. I waited.

I skipped laying my son down for a nap because I just couldn't bring myself to close the curtain on this poor, injured dog.

I skipped laying my son down for a nap because I just couldn’t bring myself to close the curtain on this poor, injured dog.

I could tell when they removed Parker’s bandages. The assistant came in and told me he ripped quite the hole in himself. Then she came back in and asked if it was OK if they did a chest X-ray, because the doctor was worry he may have punctured his lung. (He didn’t.) Then the doctor came in and informed me that my dog had tried to rip his leg off, but luckily he was unsuccessful and had missed the muscle, tendons, etc. He was lucky he had missed his main blood vessel (which apparently she could see beating). If he had clipped that, she said he would have bled to death before I could have gotten him to the office.

They ended giving him full anesthesia and intubating him. We were there for another two hours.

Now, you might think this is a lucky dog. But remember, he is also a determined, stubborn, entitled dog.

In order to not pull out the stitches, they wrapped his whole front leg to his body. Essentially, he is a tripod. Except, well, he knows his leg is still there and tries to get it out.

Thursday morning my husband took Parker to get a dressing change. By the time they arrived back home (approximately 20 minutes), Parker had worked his leg out. Back to the vet they both went. My husband arrived home a second time–with a dog who had 4 legs visibly showing. We went back the third time that morning, and got re-wrapped again.

This time we tranquilized him. Probably a little too much. The tranquilizer was to keep him from messing with his bandage or doing silly things like trying to get on the couch.

The vet also recommended greatly confining him. But my incredibly tired and exhausted husband didn’t get around to it. Or maybe he thought the dog didn’t need to be.

By Thursday afternoon, he was laying in front of the couch (an obvious play to make it up on it) and he had used his back leg to scratch at his bandage, exposing his drain. (Gross, I know. Sorry.)

So, I re-bandaged a drugged dog who couldn’t stand up as well as I could. He is leaky, but at least we didn’t have to take him back again.

By Friday morning, the dog had made his way into our bedroom. This is the furthest spot from the back door, where he needed to be taken out because he hadn’t been outside in hours and hours. So, using a beach towel as a sling around his torso, I half-walked/mostly-dragged him out the back door. After a brief rest, he did pee. (Ya!) After another brief rest, he ate and drank and took more tranqs. (Ya!)

On Saturday morning, Parker had another vet appointment. He was hobbling in on his three legs, all pathetic. He got as far as the lobby and stalled, as if he did not have another ounce of energy left in his doggy body. That is, until the resident cat walked by in front of him. He did a couple of lightning quick dives trying to get it, but only ended up with a face plant.

They decided to leave off his bandages because the skin was suffering from too much moisture and a lack of fresh air. So, he has his leg back, but is favoring it. We are to keep him tranquilized til his next appointment on Monday. He has a giant doggie cone collar on, but I was worried about him scratching his injury with his rear foot. My mom came up with an excellent idea to put a sock on his back foot to reduce the damage. He was a little more himself today.

There is a good chance he might have to have a few stitches redone where the skin is necrotic. I am worried about how concentrated his urine is, but that could be because his water intake and trips outside are way down. He is eating and drinking and pooping and peeing though, so I will take those all as good signs.

My 2 month old son seems jealous of all the attention Parker is getting. So is Dave, my other dog. I am just exhausted from being a caretaker. The dog is on 9 pills a day right now. And we have to keep his wound clean and dry and put Aloe Vera Gel on part of it.

I was originally going to give potty-training my boy another try next week. I think it can wait a little longer. Oy.

I saw the squirrel in the backyard today. It could have just been the light or his coloring or that he had just scratched his licey, flea-bitten body, but to me it look like he had a scratch on is side. It would make me feel better about all this damage to Parker if I knew he had least took a little hide off that squirrel.

Watch out, squirrel. Remember…I have TWO dogs.

What did I do to myself?!

What did I do to myself?!

Bobby Jo Jinkins

I was looking through a pile of old poems the other day and I found this gem. It is written in a similar vein of The Ballad of the Fried Squirrel and The Legend Live On, which I previously posted.

These are the rare funny poems. Most of my high school poems are about suicide. It is amazing I am still here. I could have really used some hard-core therapy my senior year of high school. Instead, I read Sylvia Plath and wrote lots of dark poems.

Enjoy this ditty!

Note: Bobby Jo Jinkins is a guy. I don’t know why I spelled the name like that.

Bobby Jo Jinkins
By: JLF
11/15/94

On a chilly autumn day,
I sat and watched the squirrels at play.
The sun shone down, bright upon the leaves
That were freshly fallen from their trees.
When all a sudden, their chatter ceased
And they ran away like pigs that were greased.
So I crept up to the leaves, to see what they’d found.
To my surprise, what was buried in that mound
Was a three-week dead, worm-eaten corpse–
It was Bobby Jo Jinkins, of course!
The story had been in the papers for days
Bobby Jo Jinkins wandered into the corn

    and got lost among the maize.

But more than corn mites had found Bobby Jo.
It looked as though his head was bashed in by a hoe.
Poor Bobby Jo, what a terrible fate for a Jinkins,
His life had been rubbed out in a blink of a blinkins.
Oh, oh. If the town could see me now
They wouldn’t believe this sight–oh wow.
No one I knew, ever believed
I could ever get Bobby Jo Jinkins alone with me

    under the trees.

(Aint life wacky?)

Squirrels Cannot Be Trusted

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Doesn’t this totally look like a pot-smoking squirrel, using his nut as a bong?


I hate squirrels. I see them as worthless vermin. Some people feed them and think they are cute. Not me. Some people buy greeting cards with pictures of squirrels on them. I use those cards as a dart board.

My distrust stems from an encounter I had with a squirrel when I was young, a preschooler. Apparently someone in the small town I lived in had raised a squirrel from when it was a baby. Hence, eradicating it’s natural fear of humans. But it grew up and they released it into the wild. Now, I refer to this as half-tamed. Apparently the squirrel had attacked a girl down the street. But no one tried to catch it.

Then one day my mom and I were sitting on our front porch, minding our own business. She was reading a letter from her friend in California. Luckily for me, they wrote each other thick letters. The half-tame squirrel ran up and attacked me. I don’t really remember it, I remember my mom telling me about it. (I probably blocked it out of my memory for continued sanity.) He scratched and bit me. My mom beat him off with the letter.

Our next door neighbor was an RN, so she fixed up my wounds. My mom rented a live trap from the DNR and finally caught the thing and they hauled it off. I have hated squirrels ever since. Which, is like, over 30 years. I am good at holding a grudge.

One time I was taking a walk at work with my green-haired co-worker while we were on break. We saw a squirrel and she threw a stick at it. The stick hit close to it, bounced, and the squirrel ran—in the direction that the stick bounced. Hence, the stick totally hit him right in the head. The funniest damn thing I have ever seen! I wish we had taped it for YouTube.

In my current house, we have a big old maple tree in the backyard that the squirrels love to live in. If we were in the country, I would shoot them with a gun. The squirrels drive my German Shorthair Pointer nuts. They sit in the tree and “bark” at my dog. Sometimes they sit up there and scratch themselves. I just know they are flicking their fleas and lice down at me. Yuck. Filthy, gross beasts. The worst is probably when the dogs are on the 20 foot lead. The squirrels know that. They will stay just beyond where my Pointer can reach them and taunt him.

My house if over 100 years old. Several years ago, we redid the dining room ceiling, removing the plaster. As we hit the ceiling to break up the plaster, we could hear nuts up above the lathe. In the past, those nasty animals were living IN my house. Last year one squirrel moved into our garage. It isn’t a finished and nice garage, but I still don’t want vermin in it. I would open the garage door and startle the squirrel that would scurry away, in turn startling me. Sometimes he would dive across the small distance between our house roof and the garage roof, just as I was letting dogs out, driving them crazy.

A couple months ago, I let my dogs out into the backyard and was standing around, minding my own business while the dogs tended to theirs. Just then there was a commotion and all of a sudden I had a squirrel running at me at full speed, with my Pointer just inches behind him. Parker must have smoked him out of his hiding spot by the house somewhere. I screamed and jumped, which is the natural reaction when you think a squirrel is going to jump up your leg. The squirrel, realizing I was between him and his favorite tree, made a hairpin turn and headed for the garage instead. He leaped up onto the fence gate, that is attached to the garage. He stumbled, and Parker almost got him. But no such luck. The squirrel clawed his way up the garage siding, leaving me and my dog with our hearts beating out of our chests.

When I envisioned this post six months ago, I didn’t have a good ending for it. Now I totally have great closure. The stupid squirrels would use a barrel that sat next to the garage to help them climb to the roof. I had not noticed the squirrels jumping up that way for a few months. Then our neighbor realized there was a dead animal in the barrel. Everyone thought it was a raccoon. When my husband removed the carcass, it turned out it was two dead squirrels. Wow. Mother’s Day had come early. I couldn’t have been happier. Couldn’t have happened to a nastier animal. Except maybe bats. One time we had one of those drown in a storage container in the attic. But, that’s a different topic.

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