My Weekly Musings – Beginning June 23 – The Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s

            Today, we finally, or should I say my husband was finally home long enough to do a little work in the yard today. He trimmed (or should I say bushwhacked, the Crepe Myrtles. Steve Bender from Southern Living would have a coronary. He writes an article almost every year about people who bushwhack Crepe Myrtles. I have to say, Hubby didn’t do too bad a job this year (in my opinion – I love giving MY opinion.)

Not too many branches down.

He hooked the little trailer to my four-wheeler (the lawn mower) and Ryka hopped in (to my surprise) and off she and I went. We rode around the yard and finally made it to the first stop on the tour (otherwise Hubby would have strung us both up in a tree.) I expected Ryka to hop out of the wagon, but instead, she hunkered down for the duration. We piled tree branches in, around, and on top of her. This didn’t bother her in the least.

Ryka – ready to roll.
The branches are getting higher.

Once the wagon was full, she and I headed to the north forty (as we refer to the acreage behind the house.) We dumped our load and headed back to the front yard. We are breezing along at a little clip (use your imagination here – it’s a lawn mower) when the mower begins to sputter. We ran out of gas. This is why cell phones were invented. Hubby met me about half way back to the house with a can of gas. Ryka stayed in the wagon just watching. I guess she truly is a “watch dog”. I emptied the can of gas into the mower and headed back to the house to tank up. As you can see by the pictures, Ryka did not budge. It took about an hour to haul the tree branches back to the burn pile and she never left the wagon. I finished the last drop off and headed to the barn, parked the mower, and hosed it off, and she still did not get out of the wagon. She actually spent another half an hour just sitting there; this time, watching me pick figs.

Ryka – waiting for gas.

I guess I’ll be giving doggie rides in the wagon this summer! We aim to please down here on the farm.

Enjoying solitude from Calypso.
Didn’t want to get out.

After that task, I helped Hubby make a rolling plywood wall. He literally attached a piece of plywood to my old wagon. Why you ask? Sadly enough, it’s to protect my dogs from food poisoning. Long story short, my best friend used to live next door. Then, she divorced her husband and moved. She got me in the divorce and the rest of the family (who live next door) declared war (only we are not participating.) One member of the family began placing their garbage can up against the fence, fine, no problem. Then, they began throwing plastic bags of week old food against the fence. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a puppy is going to chew and pull as much garbage and food through the cyclone fence as possible, and then proceed to eat said food. This happened twice, with my dog getting sick (evidence by back door) twice. So, for the safety of my dogs, Hubby came up with the idea to put a piece of plywood against the fence where the garbage can is located. This idea works great; or did, until they moved the garbage can. Well…we moved the plywood. After much moving of the heavy plywood up and down the fence line, usually by me, Hubby came up with the idea to screw it to the side of my little wagon (my favorite wagon, which I can no longer use, that wagon) so I could just roll it up and down the property fence line.

Calypso preferred the swing.

Right now, it is sitting against my little garden house/kennel. The neighbors temporarily moved the garbage can away from the fence, so we moved the plywood. If they proceed with the garbage game again, we will just roll the moving wall back to the fence. The ball is in their court, one can only hope it stays there. Meanwhile, the dogs are safe from food poisoning for the moment. It is a sad situation. Welcome to Country Life folks. Gotta love it. The Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s, re-incarnated. You have now heard of two games that I play at my house; Scoop the Poop and Rolling Wall. Life is the country is great! (she says sarcastically.)

I’ll just hang out here.

Maybe it’s that way in the city too, who knows. After just being there, I doubt it. My daughter told me not to be offended when I got on the elevator and no one said hello. Katie-Beth said everyone keeps their head down to avoid making eye contact. They do not want to know you and they do not want you to know them. That was true until this visit. This trip, there was an elderly gentleman who bid me adieu on one day, and a very friendly woman who conversed on another day. I was happy about this because being unfriendly can drive a Southerner crazy. We just want to smile and tell everyone, “Hi!” but we want a response back.

Friday afternoon there was a break in the rain. Since the grass was temporarily dry, I decided to mow the yard. I normally put the dogs in the kennel before I start, but this time Calypso was under the front porch, so I left her. I know that she is afraid of the mower and any time she sees me pull it out, she immediately runs into the kennel and into her house and stays there. Since Calypso was on the loose, I decided to see if Ryka would stay away from the mower. For some reason, she likes to follow me on the grass throwing side. It didn’t take long to see that was her intention once again. She had just had a bath; there was no way I was going to let her do this so into the kennel she went.

I made a round of the front yard and for some strange reason; Calypso decided to venture out and ended up at the front gate. As I came around on the mower, she ran to the flowerbed in the corner and tried to make herself disappear behind the flowers. I finally had to stop the mower, calm her down (she kept wanting to jump in my arms) and take her to the kennel where she immediately ran into her house. Lesson learned. Put the dogs in the kennel to start with.

Saturday morning, after being woken up at 3 am by Hubby leaving for his last trawling outing for the season (I know this because the season closed Saturday at midnight), I was again woken up by the dogs at 4:15 am. They were holding a HUGE monstrous rat captive underneath the a/c compressor on the patio. I nearly freaked out. Things like this only happen when Hubby is not home. Why is this? The dogs, who do not need a flashlight, and me, with the flashlight, were trying to figure out how to get that little sucker (excuse me, HUGE sucker) out from under the unit. I had a brilliant idea (as close as you can come at 4:15 in the morning) to use hot water from the sink (that has a hose hooked up to it) located three feet away. I was thinking that I would flush him out and hope the dogs didn’t catch him. They are waiting around with baited anticipation while I am getting the water started and putting the flow under the unit. I am standing there running scalding hot water under the a/c compressor and NOTHING! In the two seconds it took for me to do this, the little (HUGE) sucker must have taken his leave. Using the flashlight to give the dogs some help, we all realized that stinker was gone. They searched all over my flower garden and then followed the trail through the gate into the front yard – nothing. I hope that he is long gone. Let me just add here that if it’s not light outside, I do not see any point in getting out of bed. 4 am in the morning is for SLEEPING, not chasing monstrous rats.

I went out (at a more reasonable time) to feed the dogs breakfast. Calypso ate most of hers and settled down behind me on the step stoop. I looked at her and the side of her mouth was red. I thought she had food hanging from her lip. Upon closer examination, I realized that it was part of her lip hanging and I had a handful of blood. This is normally when I would go crying to Hubby that someone was wrong with my dog and he would handle the situation (he’s a good Hubby.) With tears in my eyes, I gently turned her face to examine her mouth. That damn animal (which had to be a rat) had attacked her. That was the yelping that I heard that morning that pulled me from bed to check out the barking.

I guess when Calypso tried to put her face under the a/c compressor (I KNOW my dog), the animal bit her. The barking, I can tune out, but when my dog cried out, I got up. We live in the country and Sentry had cornered a possum one night. I could hear the hissing from inside the house. It wasn’t pretty. Hubby was home and took care of the situation. He also took care of the situation with the cat. He wasn’t here for the rat. He was out trawling.

Things always seem to happen when Hubby is away from the house. I am the one who has to shoot the snakes, hack them to death, spray the roaches, etc. I am the biggest chicken that ever walked the earth! That snake story is a story all on its own. Let’s just say, thank heavens I am an excellent shot with a pistol. My lesson – do not use soaker hoses in the country. There may come a day when YOU mistake it for a 10 (TEN) foot water moccasin. Once you realize that you almost grabbed and adjusted a water moccasin, have a heart attack, revive yourself, gain your senses and scream only to realize there are no men at home in the surrounding area to help, you back away slowly and run for the gun. Hubby was on the tractor in the back forty and didn’t answer his phone. I was forced to take matters into my own hands. I got my pistol, walked back to the offending object (the snake), and took aim from fifteen feet. I peppered his ass. I mutilated him. You should have seen the pieces flying (that’s kind of gross – but true.) I thought, surely he’s dead. He was practically torn up to pieces.

When Hubby finally made it back to the front yard, I couldn’t tell the story fast enough. I gave him the extra magazine (the Trooper says it’s not a CLIP, it’s a magazine) and he set out for the front yard. Of course, I was at his heels, and the dog at mine. That was the day I found out you have to shoot the head completely off if you want to kill the snake. Hubby acts like a hero, stands over the snake, and severs the head with one shot. Ump! I did all the work. Did you know that some snakes can charge at you in the air? Fortunately, I found out that piece of information from a story someone else was telling and not by experience! Never roll over the snake with a tractor or a lawn mower in an attempt to kill it. You will only irritate the hell out of it and you had better be faster than it is. Folks, we have some (excuse my language) mean-ass snakes here in Bayou land.

I know I’ve said this before, but where is my husband? The dogs are in the garage again today. Sprawled out, sound asleep and enjoying every hot minute of it. And, HE let them in. Who is this strange man and where did they take my husband?

Last night (Saturday), my dogs, and every dog in the country neighborhood (up and down the highway) barked most of the night. After the rat incident, I wasn’t sleeping too well, worrying that I would hear another pain bark. Just when they settled down, and I was able to fall asleep, my sister started texting me. My dad was having chest pains and she had driven my parents to the emergency room to check it out. Thank goodness I have two sisters who are Nurse Practitioners’ and can handle these types of situations. We texted back and forth until 2:30 am when she finally arrived back at her house. The hospital is forty miles away and I was not awake enough to make that long of a drive. I was exhausted. I texted one sister at 9 a.m. to get an update and received no answer. I texted another sister at 9:15 am, and again, received no answer. I started to panic. I finally called one of them at 9:20 am (I am NOT known for my patience.) Finally, one answered. She had had a long day and then night and was barely coherent but I managed to get a, “if something were wrong, I’m sure I’d hear”, from her. Then, about five minutes later, another sister texted that she was feeding the dog and then calling for an update. The Sunday morning phone chain ain’t what it’s cracked up to be sometimes! Anyway, he had many tests run, a heart attack was ruled out (which was good because he has a heart history), and he is back home and doing fine.

This afternoon I took a four-hour nap. I may not sleep tonight but I am feeling rested now. Hubby says I would have been great on the Gilligan’s Island show – remember the three-hour tour? They don’t call it a nap for nothing. That is the name Hubby has given my “power naps”. By contrast, his power nap lasts about 15 minutes. How anyone can feel refreshed after 15 minutes has me baffled. A fifteen-minute nap would give me one thing – a rotten attitude!

I know it’s only Sunday, but it seems as though I’ve had a full week already. With that being said, I’m posting this tonight. Enjoy!

Ya’ll come back now!