Saturday, April 7, 2007

Odds & Ends

Sorry I didn't get a chance to post anything yesterday. It turned out to be an uninspiring day, so I'll overwhelm you with a variety of things today.

The only exciting thing that happened was Penny caught a mouse but she is an inefficient mouser and would rather let them go and chase them till they go under some furniture or kitchen appliance at which time I have to put out traps for a few days. This time I got Sophie involved, since she's a good gopher catcher, she quickly adapted to the mouse catcher role. Those little mice are quick and before Sophie knew it, the mouse had escaped under the dishwasher. Oh well, I'll just set a trap there for when the mouse comes out..... Later in the evening I was sitting in bed knitting and here comes the mouse into the bedroom and under the bed! Oh crap, now I have to go and find some more traps. During the time I was downstairs getting traps, Penny went into action and when I came back up again, Penny was pursuing the mouse downstairs. I called Sophie into action because Penny had dropped the mouse downstairs and it ran under Rick's recliner. I tipped the chair forward and Sophie saw the mouse run out. "Get it, Sophie," I urged her (she works better with verbal encouragement). Within about 40 seconds, she had caught that little mouse -- one good chomp and the mouse had become a crow treat for morning.

But wait, the story doesn't end here.....I put the dogs out at 12:30 and on the trip back upstairs, I see there's another mouse cowering in the corner on the top step. "Oh great," I thought, "what do I have downstairs to catch this little critter?" I finally decided on an almost empty jar of Skippy that I keep on hand for baiting mousetraps. The poor little mouse was petrified, so I just put the jar over it and slowly slid the cover on the jar as I pulled it off the step. Then I was able to release the mouse outside. I'm not sure where these little mice are coming from -- they're definitely not full grown, so I don't know if there's a nest somewhere in the house or maybe they're just sneaking in from outside since it's gotten so cold again. Never a dull moment at our house!

Here's Sophie looking for mice outside.

It's still cold and windy today. At noon it's still only 25 degrees with a windchill of 9. At least the sun is out -- it makes us think it's not so cold. I feel bad for the insect eating birds. This morning I had a chilly-looking robin pecking around under the feeder. Maybe she will find some grubs or something to eat. When I worked at Wild Birds Unlimited, we had a customer who put out sunflower hearts for his robins. I think I'll try putting some out on the ground and maybe the robins will find them.

I visited my friends at Wild Birds Unlimited this morning to take advantage of their 20% off coupon in the last newsletter. I've had my eye on one of their great big windchimes since right after Christmas and today was my big day. I had set aside some money to attend some birding festivals but now that gas has gone up to $2.69 with predictions of $3.00 by the end of the month, I decided that I'll probably be spending a lot more time at home this summer, so I might as well indulge my chime addiction instead. It's a beautiful, big, midnight blue sparkly chime. It probably weighs at least 20 lbs. and boy, does it ever sound nice! It's hanging below the dining room window, so I can hear it chiming even inside the house. Wow!!

While I was walking to the backyard to hang the chime, I noticed a killdeer fly up in the yard. Could it be I have a killdeer in my yard this spring? That would be so cool. After hanging the chime I got my camera and walked out to the far hill. Sure enough, just over the hill there it was. It would walk around and then peck into the ground, stand up straight, and bob its head a couple of times before moving on to the next spot. Poor thing, I hope it's finding something to eat out there. I would like to keep it around for the summer if possible.

The killdeer was on this hillside I've decided I'm not going to my anymore. I'm planning to just have 3 trails mowed to the get to the bottom of the hill. This will give us walking paths to the bottom and also enable the bluebirds and killdeer to find more insects on the mowed trails. The highway right-of-way next to this part of the yard is very steep and never gets mowed, so there are lots of wildflowers, blooming weeds, and some bird-planted shrubs. The red-winged blackbirds like to nest in this area and last summer I had a dickcissel hanging around here too. I would like to encourage this to become a better meadow area and I'm going to try planting some common mullein and milkweed here too. Not mowing this acre is going to save me almost an hour in mowing time and also probably half a tank of gas. Watch for later updates on this project once summer arrives.

I've been reading some inspiring blogs posted by other knitters and decided since it was still going to be cold for a while, I should really try to finish that other wool sock I've been working on since November -- especially since one is already done! Here's the work in progress. I only have about 3 inches to go till it's done, so hopefully I'll have a new pair of warm socks to wear on Monday since I think they've already turned the heat off at work.

And one more thing before I go -- my siblings will appreciate this. While posting today's blog, Club .977 The 80's Channel (one of my favorite internet radio stations) played "The Love Shack" by the B52's and that reminded me that while I was in Mills Fleet Farm last night "The Love Shack" was playing on their store sound system. I was groovin' in the ladies clothing section, but I wondered whether the majority of the Mills Fleet Farm shoppers could even appreciate this fine musical selection. I guess you had to be there, but if my Sissy had been along we would have had a great time singing along and dancing to this classic tune.


Sissy said...

Oh the Love Shack is a little old place where we can get together......Love Shack, baby Love Shack.


RuthieJ said...

The Love Shack....that's where it's at! I knew you would appreciate this Sissy. Shoulda' come with us last Friday night.