• Creatures,  Ramblings

    Her Dirty Paws and Furry Coat

    In our farmhouse in Iowa, we had a lot of mice. A lot of them. In fact, whatever you think is a lot, make it a lot of that amount. We could hear chewing in the walls of every room. There was mouse poop everywhere. We would see multiple mice every day. We set up a camera in the kitchen to record them overnight, and you can see three at a time, I believe, in one of the videos. I can’t seem to locate the recordings at the moment. They were everywhere. I love animals, and I did not want to kill these innocent little lives, just going about how they knew to survive. So we set up live traps, and there were so many mice that Brian was catching multiple by hand on a near-daily basis. We purchased a little wire cage in which to transport them, as we caught each one, across the river to a large cornfield near the trees. It didn’t take long for that to become too much. So, we purchased a large fish tank with a mesh lid to keep them in until we could mass transport them. They had timothy hay, a little wood arch…

  • Creatures,  Ramblings

    You Know I like My Chicken Fried

    We’ve decided to buy a full refrigerator, or a freezer-less refrigerator if you like that better. Our not-quite-full-size one can no longer handle the amount of produce we’re buying. I’d show you but it’s way out there and I’m way in here, and you really should have asked before I sat down. You’ll just have to trust me. As a kid, I abhorred folding and putting away my clothes. So I’d shove them into any drawer that wasn’t clogged, making it so when you pulled the drawer out later, clothes would spring up like a jack-in-the-box. That’s almost how our fridge is at the moment. We have reached maximum capacity. Actually, that point has come and gone. On top of needing more space for the produce, we also need room to prepare things for the week. Surprisingly, though we eat far less food, I spend way more time in the kitchen. Making breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, using almost exclusively whole foods, takes a lot of time and effort. I find myself wanting to reach for a bag of cookies rather than spend forty minutes making something for myself. I’ve started spending a couple days preparing easy to grab items to…

  • Creatures,  Ramblings

    Sunshine Beating on the Good Times

    It was early May when I first noticed a scrawny grey cat hobbling around with an injured back leg. He could barely make his way across the yard, each step clearly causing him a lot of pain. There was no way he’d be able to escape if one of the neighboring ranch’s dogs went after him, and they’ve killed a number of their own cats, or if a coyote or wolf caught sight of him. So, I did what anyone who’s me would do; I suggested we trap him. Brian bought a raccoon trap, we baited it with a couple cans of wet cat food, and we waited. That evening it started to hail. We checked the trap on the off chance something may have been tempted by the food and found it had tripped. Assuming the hail had set it off, Brian went out to set it back up, only to find the injured cat fearfully crouching in the corner. There are a lot of cats here. Muggabee hasn’t been back for nearly a year, and although I saw him yesterday, Foosball is a rare sight since we put the pasture fence up, but there is still a gang-load of them.…

  • Creatures,  Ramblings

    I Got Blood on My Hands

    Wicket was spayed Monday morning. I understand this is a common practice for most people, but our dogs have never been fixed. I’m about to go against Blogger Rule #1: Express No Opinion. The following comments are strictly related to indoor pets. This is not an opinion that necessarily applies to dogs often kept or used outdoors where unmonitored situations may occur. I do not believe the anatomy of an animal should be altered for the sake of my convenience. I believe their bodies are their own, and it’s selfish to want to rip away what is natural because you may not want to watch them closely or deal with a “mess” every six months or so. I cannot believe the removal of important parts, especially while young, can be the healthiest choice for them. That being said, I’m aware a lot of people can’t watch their animals 100% of every day, especially in homes where there are animals of the opposite sex. In that case, I feel the male should be fixed since it’s a much less invasive procedure. I’m also aware that there are procedures that don’t require the removal of organs, but we live in 1825 and…

  • Creatures,  Ramblings

    Breathe Some Air That’s Never Been Breathed

    We spent some time this weekend sitting out in the pasture. It’s the first time I’ve put my butt on the bare ground since we had to slide down a rocky ledge while geocaching in Connecticut. The number and size of spiders and insects that scurry through the fields here is somewhat disturbing. I’ve seen at least two cat-faced spiders, there are yooge funnel webs leading to deep, scary tunnels in the ground, where Shelob’s cousins live, and just last week I was stung on the finger by something that injected a venom that caused pain to my elbow for, like, at least an hour — it was touch and go there for a while. Fortunately, nights have been chilly, so many of the crawlies are gone. Levee has been packing on a bit of weight over the last few years. Until the cattle panels go up this spring, she can’t run free for hours on end like she could before. She has play time every evening, but she doesn’t get as much movement during the day as she should, would, and will. The weather was perfect, so while we enjoyed plucking at the grass, the dogs got to run wild, chasing each…