No, folks, they don’t. If you are under the mistaken – and let me repeat that again – MISTAKEN – assumption that mothballs deter snakes, I am here to tell you that they do not! Repeat – DO NOT!
After lifting up one of the dog’s blankets and finding a coiled up snake, I was told by many to scatter mothballs around my Garden House and the dogs kennel to deter snakes. So, out I ran as fast as I could to purchase a box of mothballs. As soon as I got home, I scattered a number of them – ok, a gazillion – of the mothballs under and around my Garden House, which also serves as the dog kennel. For good measure (loads of good measure), I scattered more than my fair share inside of my Garden House as well. I will just mention here, that at this point, it is not a good thing to walk inside of my Garden House.
Well, all was fine and dandy for about three weeks and then today Hubby found a snake in the kennel! This is what transpired.
I was listening for the dogs to bark to let me know the mail-lady was at the front gate because I was expecting a package. Instead, what happened was my phone (which of course was on the charger in my office closet) rang and I was in my clothes closet and heard it somewhere near its last ring. By the time I got to the phone, it had stopped singing. I saw that Hubby had called so I called him back. No answer. Meanwhile, at the same time (and unbeknownst to me) Hubby had come home and was in back of the house trying to get the dogs in the kennel so he could let poor Mr. Nick (whose is mostly blind and can’t hear) out of his truck while he hooked up his trailer (taking a breath here). The dogs heard the mail lady blow her horn and took off just as he almost had them to the kennel where he then saw the snake. He had the dogs running off, me not answering the phone, the snake in the kennel, Mr. Nick in the truck, and the mail lady at the gate blowing the horn.
As Hubby is walking back up the drive he starts telling me all of the above and of course, I have all of my questions (the sequence of events) which to him are not that important. When did you see the snake? Is it dead? Is it alive? Were the dogs in the kennel? Did you kill it? How did you see it? There are thousands of mothballs, why is there a snake in the kennel? Yes, the ramblings of a freaking out me! Just the sort of dilemma he doesn’t like. By then I heard the dogs barking and was going out the front door when I saw Hubby running down the long driveway to the gate. At this point, I am still oblivious (my usual state of being) to what is happening.
Eventually, I did get all of my ridiculous questions answered, but not before having to follow him to the kennel where he proceeded to get the shovel to kill the snake.
Don’t worry. I was wondering the same thing – was the snake just sitting quietly all this time waiting for Hubby to kill it? Turns out, in the course of answering some of my barrage of questions, Hubby (who fortunately had his white shrimp boots on) had stomped it enough that it was well stunned and paralysed from the attack. So, yes, I guess it was just sort of waiting for Hubby to return to finish it off.
Then, after killing the snake and picking it (up) and a bird that the dogs had managed to catch and that was now deceased as well, and disposing of them, I kennelled the dogs and Hubby let poor Mr. Nick out of the truck – who had no clue what all the commotion was about. Then, Hubby had to explain the entire fiasco to Mr. Nick.
Just another typical day on the farm with “Lucy”; although sometimes, it’s more like an episode of Green Acres and Lucy comes to visit.
You may have noticed that I post a load of pictures on Facebook and Instagram of my two West German Shepherds, Ryka and Calypso. I adore my four-legged companions and all my friends know this. They love tagging me when they find posts about shepherds. This story was shared by a friend this morning and it touched my heart so deeply that I wanted to share it here.
It happened as the Martin family pulled into a strip mall outside Atlanta. The dad went into a store to buy a new dog collar for Noah. Out of nowhere, a road rage incident erupted in the parking lot. Gunfire hit the SUV.
Diondra Martin told INSIDE EDITION, “Glass was flying over my head, over their head.”
A bullet hole pierced the seat just inches from where Diondra’s son was sitting.
“When I took them out of the car and realized where the bullets were, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. They were that close!’ ” exclaimed Diondra.
A 911 caller said, “Somebody got shot. I heard around 8 gunshots outside in the parking lot.”
Then, a remarkable thing happened. In the hail of bullets the dog raced to the front seat.
Diondra explained, “His body was pushing me to stay this way.”
Diondra believes Noah was coming to sheild her and that’s when a bullet hit him in the neck.
“The bullet was coming towards me and it hit him in the neck,” she said.
That’s right! Noah took a bullet for the family.
“It was so heart breaking. I saw the hurt in his eyes,” she recalled.
You won’t believe what happened next.
The gravely injured Noah took after the gunman, as seen on surveillance video.
Dad, Kadon Martin said, “I see my wife over there screaming, and she was bloodied up.”
Kadon ran after his wounded dog and showed us how he found Noah lying on the sidewalk. Kadon explained, “I grabbed his head and I opened his mouth and tried to blow in his mouth.”
But it was too late. Noah died from the gunshot wound.
The loss is too much to bear, and Kadon tearfully stopped and had to leave the room.
Diondra said, “It’s very hard on him. He’s never cried like that before.”
But the story doesn’t end there.
Dog breeder Elizabeth Wilkerson heard the story of brave Noah on the news. She drove 750 miles from her home in Michigan to deliver a very special present to the Martins.
Wilkerson told INSIDE EDITION, “The whole situation just broke my heart.”
Meet their new dog, Kris! We were there for the big moment!
The children were overwhelmed with joy. But none more than dad, who broke down in tears, telling Wilkerson, “Thank you so much. Thank you so much.”
A happy ending to a tragic tale.
But the family will always have a special place in the hearts for Noah, who took a bullet for them.
“He saved the kids. He saved my lfie,” said Diondra.
I was bound and determined today to sit down and just write. It’s something I’ve been feeling the need to do and not having the time to do. It’s Lent for anyone who is Catholic and a time of reflection; at least that seems to be the theme of the homilies at church these days.
I don’t know if I just didn’t understand exactly what reflection was, or just wasn’t in a place to reflect. That statement will no doubt resonate with only those who have been in a state of flux as I have been. So much in my life is unsettled and will remain that way indefinitely. I think that is what makes reflection difficult for me. To reflect means thinking back on some of the most painful parts of my life, and while it may be helpful to work my way through those parts, it is truly not possible. There are missing parts and people who are needed to work through those parts. It is not only my healing that is needed.
I have been reflecting on what a mess parts of my life have been. I do not think that as children, we think about growing up and looking back on our lives trying to figure out what was truth and what was not. Sadly, this past year has been one of many revelations; most of them not good.
I’ll probably be writing more on reflection later, but for now, on to the “lighter” side of life.
If you follow my blog, you know that I have two beautiful West German Shepherds. They are my two loves! Calypso seems to have her own “Lucy” moments, like her mistress!
Hubby wanted to have chickens and so he built a chicken coop. All I did was warn him, the chickens had better be secure as Calypso (and Ryka) were here first.
We weren’t going to start with the chickens so soon, but a friend of Hubby’s wanted to get rid of a few of his so it jumped started the process. He quickly built a coop of his own design and instead of the six he was hoping to house, he ended up with nine chickens. Well, there’s a saying that goes something to this effect – “You get what you speak into your life…” Well, he’s been saying that he might have to give three away if they start fighting because he really only wanted six and built the coop for six.
…and then there were eight. Hubby built the pen on skids so he could pull (see the chain?) it around the yard with the tractor so the chickens would have fresh grass. He pulled and parked it one night, not noticing that it sat on uneven ground. That was all that chicken needed! It bypassed the barbed wire along the bottom and out and about it went. Didn’t take long for Calypso to spot it – I wasn’t there but I know my dog VERY well. It looked like a chicken feather plucking contest in the back yard. The chicken was confiscated from Ryka and Calypso in the front yard. It wasn’t in good shape from what I heard.
Calypso has been spending an in ornate amount of time in the kennel as of late. It seems as though all I need to do is walk out of the back door, and they head to the kennel. The chickens have gotten used to Calypso running around and around and around the coop. Even after three weeks, she still finds them fascinating. She loves the excitement of making them fly. Ryka sometimes joins in, but for the most part is content to sit and watch between naps.
…and then there were seven. Hubby really should have known better on this one. He didn’t put the dogs in the kennel before going to the coop. He opened the door and a chicken saw a dog and a dog saw a chicken stepping out, and that was all it took. Calypso made a move and the second chicken was confiscated in the front yard. This one was still in good condition as Hubby chased Calypso and grabbed it. However, it was dead. Hubby cleaned this one and put it to cook.
I learned a few fascinating things with this chicken – one, there was a soft egg that the chicken would have laid the next day. Call me silly, but I didn’t grow up on a farm and never gave an egg much thought other than the fact it came in a carton at the market. Two, old chickens taste and smell horrible. While Hubby was chowing down on chicken stew, I had to shove my bowl away. I am extremely taste and texture sensitive. It was awful!
There are still seven chickens to date and I informed Hubby that if he would like for it to stay that way, he had better begin speaking it into his life, as in “I always wanted seven chickens!”
I learned an interesting trick this week. I saw this on Facebook. What would we do if not for Facebook. It is such a wealth of information! (laughing) I boiled a dozen eggs the other night and tried this technique out. After the eggs were boiled and slightly cooled, I put them one at a time into a mason jar. I filled the jar with tap water to about the height of the egg, capped it, and then shook it viciously. The egg pealed itself! I kid you not! I was so excited and making such a commotion that Hubby ran to see what I was doing. After that, it was a fight to see who was going to peel eggs. Why I didn’t just give him his own jar is beyond me.
And, being the Lucy that I am, what would a week be if I didn’t cut or burn myself at least once! I have no clue how I did this, especially since I was being careful, but I managed to make a connection with a knife right at the knuckle. Hubby did a great job of bandaging it in a way so that it stayed immobile to it could heal. The cut probably needed stitches, but I’d rather suffer. It has finally healed but looks like I have an extra ripple. Oh well. Doesn’t look any worse than the arthritis on my fingers.
I have friends who home school and this semester Hubby is teaching a farming course to them. They are gardening in our back yard. It should be quite interesting for the kids. They planted seeds and are documenting their growth through germination, planting and harvest.
Calypso and Ryka each get a “cookie” in the morning. The difference in personalities is so great and really comes through in the little moments. This is each of them waiting for me to hand them their cookie.
Ryka, ever the patient one, and Calypso in her “I want it and I want it NOW” way. She is the wild child. She lives life to the fullest. I guess I should be glad she’s a dog and not a kid.
I love taking pictures and while I was out walking a couple of days back, I took some shots of what I refer to as “Around my yard” on Instagram. You can follow @SouthernCharmPlanner if you are interested. There is a sunny shot of a beautiful Red Maple tree in my front yard and then a shot from a different angle on a cold and cloudy day. I love the contrast of the bare Crepe Myrtles and the Red Maple in the background along with the gray sky.
I also took a few shots of my front porch, along with some of the bird nests in the trees in our yard.
Other than a favorite of mine, Homemade Hot Chocolate, that’s about it for now. Hope to see you again next week! Please feel free to comment about your week.
Here are few more of the chicken and pet pictures. Enjoy!
My dad passed away Tuesday evening at the age of 84. He had been struggling for a while, suffering from Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Parkinson’s. The one person who should have been holding the family together, was more instrumental in tearing it apart so that now we are a family divided.
The last time I visited with my dad was this summer. He didn’t seem to know who I was. He still looked well and I felt good about my visit with him. That was the last time I saw him. I know that as time marched on, his condition deteriorated and I chose not to visit. While some may view this as a cop-out, I look at it as self-preservation. The family drama also made visits difficult.
I lost a sister fifty years ago to Leukemia. I was 5 and Debbie was 7. I remember some things as though it happened yesterday. It was an event in my life that changed me forever. I do not deal very well with losing people. I know that it’s part of life; just not one that I deal with very well.
I’ve been through a lot of loss in my life, beginning when I was very young. The last, and most devastating loss was during my divorce from my children’s father. That was 18 years ago. Although they are blissfully unaware of what transpired (the therapist said I protected them too much) and how things have progressed to where they are now, it was through manipulation called Parental Alienation Syndrome. That’s the problem with PAS. Children do not normally realize what happened until sometimes many years in to adulthood and they get angry any time it is mentioned. Sometimes much too late to reconcile with the alienated parent.
This is a loss I wake up with every day of my life. While we bury some of our loved ones, grieve, and somehow manage to move on with life, this is different. It is a loss of a loved one every day and you continue to grieve, but not move on.
My Dad wasn’t perfect. None of us are. But, he was a good dad. He was a State Trooper for many years and because the pay was extremely low, he sometimes worked three jobs to support his family. If I had a “situation” he was there to fight my battles, to defend me. He sewed my broken bra straps. He dried my tears. When I needed a bug collection for science class, he helped me catch the bugs and then he carefully preserved them and mounted them inside of a glass case that he built for me.
He built two wooden shadow boxes and hinged them together. It had a handle and a latch and looked like a wooden briefcase. Inside each side he mounted styrofoam board with my bugs and installed glass over each side. It was the best in the school. While others mounted their bugs on poster board, my dad helped me mount them in first class. I was teased unmercifully, but like Dolly Parton’sCoat of Many Colors, that bug case was made with more love and attention that most kids get in a lifetime.
There was a Christmas when I received a little keyboard and I learned to play the Blue Danube. He was so proud. Anyone who came to the house had to listen to me play! I remember my dad singing all of us to sleep with Red River Valley. I also remember him keeping a little jar of lemon drops on the dresser and we were forbidden to enter my parents bedroom. We’d go to bed and listen to make sure they were in the kitchen and one of us would sneak into the room and take a couple of lemon drops. He never said anything about the missing lemon drops, although I’m sure he knew we took them.
He passed on his love of German Shepherds to me. He accepted me as the person I am. I am proud to have had him as my dad.
When my dad began feeling the effects of his illness, he mention two things that he wanted to do. One was visit the State Police Academy and the second was to visit his hometown of Olla, Louisiana. My husband (also a retired trooper) made arrangements to take him on a tour of the academy and he had the opportunity to sit in the Colonel‘s chair. He enjoyed his day tremendously and I was so blessed to have this time with him. The second in command presented him with two State Police medallions and when we returned home, I printed a photo of the old academy and of him in the Colonel’s chair and framed it along with the medallions. He loved to look at it everyday and tell the story. I regret that his health soon declined and we never had the chance to take him to Olla.
My dad had retired from the State Police by the time my second daughter was born, but when my first-born was little, he loved driving up to my house and putting the lights on for her. She would stand in the window and clap her hands. She adored her grandpa and he her. She was the first grandchild and the darling of his eye. He often picked her up and took her home with him.
While I miss my dad terribly, I know he is in a better place. A place where he can no longer hear the drama and manipulation around him. A place where he can now hold the child he lost so many years ago. That brings peace to my heart and I feel more happiness than sorrow. I’ve had him all these years and now my sister will have her turn in eternity. That makes me happy.
Those thoughts will carry me through his wake and funeral. I’ll grieve but it will be bittersweet. Goodbye for now my wonderful Dad. You were here for me when I needed you and I will miss you. Enjoy your life in eternity.
As the days are slowing creeping by, more memories have been floating around and I wanted to add them to this post, mostly for myself, but I also thought you might enjoy them as well.
When I posted on Facebook – what did we do before Facebook – to let my friends know that my dad had passed away, they began sharing memories of their own, which in turn, brought back memories for me.
There were times when I was stopped by policemen and didn’t understand why. I was always told I was going too fast, when I was pretty sure I had not been. Years later, I found out the reason. My dad, who was a State Trooper at the time would occasionally come across other law enforcement officer’s children who were speeding. He had a habit of following the kids home or driving them home, if need be, and standing there while they admitted to their parents that they had been driving way too fast, or were inebriated. Turns out, it wasn’t always appreciated by the parents. Also turned out, I was an easy target. I drove to school my senior year and like most places with one highway, it was easy to spot your target. While it bothered me at the time, I’m pretty proud that my dad tried to take the better road by trying to help these fellow classmates out rather than plopping them in jail. I can only imagine the retaliation I would have received if that had happened.
My high school boyfriend said there were many scary moments with my dad (I think I may remember more than my fair share – blushing here) but the one he really remembers is when he hit a parked car as he was driving past my house – about 15 miles away from where his father thought he was.
Another school mate admitted that my dad had stopped him for speeding and he must have been singing my praises (he was a friend) because being my friend got him out of a ticket.
I guess those were the good old days with such simple stories. My little group of friends and I were the goody two-shoes as the saying goes. Our idea of trouble was stopping in a curve on the “back road” and running into the graveyard to touch a grave. Of course, it was Deadman’s Curve where the groom was racing to see why his bride had been delayed and they crashed head-on. Doesn’t everyone have a story like this?
My dad’s CB handle was the Toy Maker. He carried his wooden toys that he made in a box in his police unit. When I was expecting my first daughter, he built a cradle for her. It is a work of art. He later made replicas for both of my daughter’s for their dolls. I have a toy train that runs around my Christmas tree each year.
I’m not calling this post finished because I know there are lots of memories that I will remember. Hope you enjoyed some of them.
We all have stories to share with our children and grandchildren. Whether it’s a proud moment, memories of grandparents, or a lesson you’ve learned, Memories of Me: A Complete Guide to Telling and Sharing the Stories of Your Life helps you put the episodes of your past onto paper and share them with loved ones.
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LAURA HEDGECOCK is passionate about telling stories and connecting with others. She comes by that passion honestly; her grandmother, Hazel Crymes, wrote throughout her life. However, her grandmother wrote in secret; Laura believes in sharing.
When she’s not writing, Mrs. Hedgecock enjoys spending time with her husband and two teenage sons (and her Springer spaniel), playing soccer, nature photography, and finding her roots.
The first thing that grabbed my attention with the book was the cover. I was drawn to it and actually sat there studying it for a few minutes. The author talks about a treasure chest of memories and the story, or how to, begins with the cover. There is a treasure box of old post cards and letters, and a computer.
As you open the book and begin reading about how to compile your own “Memories”, the items will take on a new meaning for you. They are history in the making, with a little help from us and this book.
The book is set up to make topics very easy to find and the author gives good advice on how to get started from recording your stories to choosing a medium to finding the time to write. You may prefer writing a journal. Some may prefer going digital (computer), while still others may share their stories by blogging. Whatever medium you choose needs to be something you enjoy, helping you continue your process of recording your history. The author generously offers the printable worksheets used throughout the book on a website.
My family tree looks nothing like the iconic oak with its rounded top and balanced, far-reaching branches. That archetype conjures images of the entire family gathered together, sharing its cooling and protective shade, drinking lemonade or other beverages while the kids climb around above. When you’re trying to trace your ancestors’ stories, though, the experience just doesn’t seem as symmetrical or accessible as the oak’s branches. Roots seem more applicable – hidden, fragile, tangled, and often more than just a little bit dirty.
If you are thinking about compiling your memories, your stories, MEMORIES OF ME, is a good place to begin. It is an easy book to read with clear and precise avenues of beginning your journey. I only read the first two chapters, but I’m impressed with what I see. I can definitely recommend the book.
These connections are the marrow of our lives, sustaining and nourishing us from within. This life-giving marrow of stories and memories should be shared and passed on so that we can fortify our connections to each other and springboard conversations in the here and now. They also allow us to continue to connect, teach, support, and console after we’re gone.
This guide not only provides an outline for you to construct a legacy of written memories to be treasured, but it should also motivate, challenge, encourage, and cajole you as you create a treasure of incalculable value for your loved ones.
Thinking of writing your memories down? Leave a comment below to be entered to win an e-book of Memories of Me.
My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book was provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55.
Never let it be said that life around me is dull; I’ll just make my own fun. Yesterday was mow the yard day. Trawling season here in South Louisiana opened so Hubby was occupied for the day and I was looking for something to do.
Ryka and Calypso love to ride the new mower so after all was said and done (the yard mowed) it was have some fun time. I pulled up to the kennel and cut the blade, and they both came running out, actually stumbling over each other in their haste to see who was going to climb up on the mower first. This surprised me as Ryka doesn’t seem to trust me. She’ll ride with Hubby, but is quite hesitant if given the opportunity to ride with me. Kind of makes you wonder…but Calypso? Now, that is a throw-back to the 1960s. She is the wild child and doesn’t think twice about anything. She leaps without looking. It’s all about fun.
Now, you may think I’m a little crazy because how do I know what my dogs are thinking? Clearly, if that’s the case, you don’t have a dog (and not everyone wants a dog). Ryka is the regal one. She sits like a queen, acts like a queen, gets treated like a queen. Of course, she’s earned it. She came to us fully trained, but sadly only listens part of the time. When I call her, she sometimes just sits there and looks at me. Just like a teenager! I’ll tell her to “come” again and she’ll put her head down and give me the sad eye look. Generally, the third time I call her, she’ll slowly drag her body up – like it’s a huge chore – and walk on over, hoping there will at least be food. On the other hand, if she thinks there’s a belly rub coming, she’ll flip over in a nano second.
Calypso – what can I say? She’s the wild child. She’s half Ryka’s age at 3 and has Doggie ADD. She loves spring – she loves any season. She loves the cold and wet and mud in the winter. She loves the cool days of fall and spring. But, she especially loves the summer months with swimming and bugs. Actually, she loves water period. She loves chasing anything that flies by. I love sitting on the porch swing watching her run back and forth. If you’ve ever watched a cutting horse, you’ll understand. She is very graceful. She runs and cuts and heads back and spins on a dime. Shepherds are very powerful animals and to watch her run and gain speed and cut is actually quite a beautiful dance. What is particularly interesting to watch is when a mosquito hawk (dragon-fly) lands on the chain link fence. She does a series of tapping with her back legs until she gets her position just right and then up she goes on those hind legs and grabs the bug without ever touching the fence – that is grace. Then, in a New York second she’ll bite your finger trying to get her doggie cookie – we’re working on that one. I can feed her ham or cheese and she is quite careful about nibbling it out of my fingers as not to bite (I’m constantly trying their patience on that one so they remember not to bite the hand that feeds them), but if I have a dog cookie, she’ll take my fingers off in the process. I’m still scratching my head on that one.
Signs have been popping up all over the parish (we are in Louisiana) in the shape of forks. It’s all about tourism. I was at a meeting focusing on our Parish Comprehensive Plan (I’m on the Planning Commission) and there was talk about a new fork that had popped up. To us, who live here on the bayou, it depicts a little humor. It is so often the answer when someone is asking directions – “It’s up the bayou” or “It’s down the bayou.” It is a phrase I even find myself using it quite a bit. I’m a transplant to the area and never gave it a second thought until one of my daughters asked me – “How do you know what is up the bayou and what is down the bayou?” I guess it’s one of those relevant things – if you are here, that’s up and that’s down. Move a little and what was up is now down, or visa versa. Anyway, I thought you might enjoy the sign and a little trivia. This particular sign can be found once you exit the interstate, (which crosses Bayou Lafourche) and you circle around to Louisiana Hwy. 1 which runs with the bayou. Instead of Raceland or Lockport, it just simply states “Up the Bayou” or “Down the Bayou.” You have only those two choices.
I did have a little excitement this week. I attended a meeting and then headed off to grocery shop. My habit is to put my keys in my pocket when I exit my vehicle and then lock the doors. That way, I NEVER forget my keys. There’s that word I NEVER try to use because it always comes back to bite you – NEVER! About half way through shopping I happened to run my hand down my side and realized in a panic that I didn’t feel my keys. At that point I tore my bag apart searching, hoping frantically that I had tossed them inside. No keys.
I did my best to calm down and then began praying in earnest. I completed my shopping and retraced my steps back to the truck. No keys. At this point I was beginning to panic. I stepped up to the window and there on the console were my keys and after my initial excitement, I realized they were locked in and I was locked out. And, to make it worse, Hubby was at a meeting 40 miles away and that person had picked him up at our house – 15 miles “down the bayou” and that is where his set of keys to my truck were. Not a good situation and to make matters worse, it was 6:00, the time his meeting was set to begin. I was quickly adding up the miles involved to get my truck opened – 40 + 15 “down” + 15 “up” + 40 back to the meeting = I had better find another way into the truck.
Then I remembered – ONSTAR!!! Then, I thought oh no, how do I call OnStar? I am one of those people – the one who is so organized, she panics that maybe that is the one time the information won’t be found. I did have my phone and I called. The kind lady asked how could she help and of course, being me, I told her my keys were locked in my truck and I was locked out of the truck. The whole process took less than three minutes. I gave her the needed information and she told me to step away from the truck and the locks popped up. Magic! Needless to say, there was a whole lot of prayer thanking going on.
I’m sure those weren’t all of my adventures, but I think I’ve blocked the rest out. See you next week!