Sunday, September 09, 2012

Being At The Top Of The World

On Pilot's Knob near Clay City, Kentucky.  This is God's country ... no doubt about it!!!!

Saturday, September 08, 2012

She's a Hunter, Alright!

Emmy is three and a half years old, and it's just been recently that her natural feline instincts have kicked in.  Okay, it's not like she's been a failure as a feline up to this point.  It's just that she's acted more like a dog at times than the cat she really is.

You might all remember last weekend, when she finally showed off her friend, Mr. Snake?  She was very upset when I relegated her to the upstairs so that we could remove Mr. Snake without her assistance.  If she could talk, I believe the conversation might have gone a bit like this:

"Listen, you ho-bags!  This guy is mine.  Who is the one that found him, stalked him, and messed with his little snake mind the last month?  Not you two, certainly!  It was me!  Back the heck off!"

Emmy isn't necessarily the most polite of young ladies ...

Two nights ago, Emmy woke me up in the middle of the night, yowling.  It was loud, obnoxious, and I could tell, she was trying desperately to get my attention.  So, I drug my tired butt out of bed to see what the problem was.  The problem, as it turns out, was a GIGANTIC, freaked-out cricket that was desperately trying to jump away from Emmy and her fishy breath.

Luckily, I had an empty glass in my room, so I was easily able to scoop him up and then flush him in the toilet, where all good, large-ish crickets should end up.

Emmy was not pleased.  In fact, she sat on the floor switching her tail at me. I didn't care. It was 3tooearlyinthemorning!

Fast-forward to last night, when we were under all kinds of weather watches and warnings.  As you can imagine, my weather phobic self didn't sleep very well, and when the storm finally blew through, and was nothing to write home about, I finally collapsed into bed, physically and mentally exhausted.  So, at 3:30 a.m., when Miss I Don't Care What Time It Is came back into my room and started yowling like crazy, I was pretty sure I knew what the problem was.

I stumbled out of bed, turned on a light, and sure enough!  Emmy had another cricket!

I am not sure where she's finding all these critters, but she's definitely got the taste for blood!  I'm worried about the next thing she's planning to drag into my room in the middle of the night ...

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Why Was I So Inconsiderate?

Last Friday, we had a half day of school.

While this isn't really anything Earth-shattering in terms of news, it is pretty impressive in that we teachers actually got to leave at noon.  We never get to leave at noon.  I mean, we do.  We get to go out to lunch ... sometimes ... but we usually have to be back to do something like work or grade or meet with people or something.

However, last Friday, we didn't have to go back after lunch.  It was a free afternoon of loveliness.

Naturally, Erin and I decided to go out for a super girly lunch at Sage Garden Cafe! And of course, we converged upon the eatery at the same time that everyone else that works for the state government did, and so we had a wait and wait and wait.  While sitting there, at which time we attempted solutions to world peace and world hunger, I spotted an adorable and statuesque woman with the most amazing hair!

"Erin, look!  I LOVE her hair!"  It just so happened that I had an appointment with Susan Hart that afternoon.   "I am sooooo going to ask Susan to do that to my hair!  Do you see how cute that hair cut is!?"

"Uh-huh," Erin nodded.

"I mean, it's super adorable!"

Erin looked up from the garden book she was perusing.  "Well, it's pretty much what you've got already."

"Yeah, but it's shorter."

Erin just shook her head.

So, I relayed this story to Susan, who laughed, but whom I am sure was all, "This girl is a nut!"

Still, I got a super-duper short cut that I just LOVE!  And yes, it's pretty much what I have already, but it's just enough of a difference to make me smile.  And smile I did, yesterday, when I rolled into my classroom, two pounds lighter than I have been in a very, very long time, and sporting this cute, short cut.  Smiling all the way to Reading, where it all came to a screeching halt with the raising of a small, little ten year old hand.

"Yes, Karen*.  Do you have an answer to my question?"  Karen is one of my quiet, sweet little girls.

"Ummm, no," she said quietly.  "I was just wondering -- did you get your hair cut?"

"Yes!"  I said, a bit too enthusiastically for the rest of the group.

"Ooooh," she barely whispered.  "It, uh, it looks, ummm, nice?"

See, I never sent out a permission slip ... I never created a poll ... I never bothered to consider the effects of my hair length on my students' well-being when I so carelessly gave Susan permission to snip away.

When will I understand that it isn't Clinton and Stacy I need to fear, but my fourth graders.  They are, most certainly, my toughest critics.

Now, please excuse me while I go and draft a permission slip for the brand new floral-print, cropped hot pants I'm thinking about donning soon.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Things You Just Shouldn't Do Before Your Morning Coffee

There is a pretty extensive list, actually, of things you just should not undertake before your morning coffee, but for now, I will concentrate on just one thing ... FINDING, LOSING, and then HUNTING AGAIN FOR SNAKES ... OF ANY VARIETY!

There is a back story to this ... For weeks, WEEKS!  Emmy has been parked in front of my water heater, watching "something" underneath it.  I have stabbed under it numerous times with a yard stick, thinking she'd batted a cat toy underneath there. Nothing came out but an old nail and a TON of dust bunnies, which reminded me that I needed to do some cleaning in my yucky basement. 

Little did I know ...

This morning, I decided to get a handle on my laundry as there will be no workout clothes tomorrow if I don't get cracking on it all.  So, I stripped the bed, and headed down the stairs to ... A.) find Emmy because she hadn't come up and wake me up yet, and she ALWAYS comes into my room to wake me up ... and B.) to start my first load of laundry.

When I walked into my laundry room, there was Emmy, with her paw batting at something behind the water heater!  And when she saw me, she meowed at me as if to say, "Look at this!  I want to play with him!"

I got down on my knees and proceeded to have a heart attack. 

Okay, maybe it was just a mild myocardial infraction ...

Perhaps a brain aneurysm.

Or a stroke.

It was SOMETHING that made my heart stop and, at the same time, caused me to utter a saucy word ... out loud ... in a screechy sort of manner. 

I had the forethought to grab an empty tub and lid to gather him up, but before I could figure out how to get him from behind the water heater, he slithered behind the furnace, and Emmy started running back and forth in the basement.  I nearly fainted under the weight of the following thoughts:

  1. Oh crap!  How am I getting him out of there!?
  2. Is there a Mrs. Snake?
  3. Have they made baby snakes?
  4. Will the hatch in my furnace?
  5. When the furnace kicks in this fall, will they all pour out of my registers and into the rest of my house?
  6. What is THIS going to cost to get rid of????
He's under the furnace!
It was about this time, my friend Tabby, texted me to confirm our Labor Day plans.  Poor girl.  All I could text back was: "I HAVE A FREAKIN' SNAKE IN MY BASEMENT!!!"

She very calmly, if not slightly amused, called me and asked if I'd like her to come and help me get it out.

I believe the conversation went something like this:

"Would you like me to come over and get it out?"


"I can come over and get it out.  Do you have a broom?"


"Well, I can come and get it for you.  I just need to throw on a hat ... and, well, maybe get out of bed."


Elly suggested I leave the house and never return, but considering I still owe about 28 years worth of a mortgage on this place, that didn't seem like the most prudent idea.  It was a good idea, just not prudent.

So, I relented and let Tabby come over and get rid of it.  The minute she unscrewed the filter casing, he slithered out, and I started screeching again.  She grabbed the broom and literally swept him out the door, through the garage, and into the yard.  I should have let him know that there is a house for sale up the street, and he'd be very happy there for a while ...

Emmy has not been happy with me ... she has been marching around the house, frequently checking the basement, and generally, pouting in my presence.  Seems I took her morning fun away. 

Meanwhile, I will NO LONGER be leaving laundry baskets full of clean clothes on the floor of the basement nor will I have my sorting baskets in the basement.  They are currently in my hallway waiting for a space to be made in my linen closet. 

Wildlife count to date:

7 dead birds (4 outside, 3 in my crawl space)
1 dead bunny
1 live shrew
1 dead toad
1 VERY ALIVE garter snake (please let it have been a garter snake)