Thursday, May 29

Breakfast. Court. Surgery. Plants. Funeral. Visiting. Clipping chickens. Garden. Pump switch and hoses.

Click to enlarge (like, duh. smile)

This is my breakfast for most days that I get up early to help feed the chickens. Looks just yummy, dudn't it. *grin* Actually, I do not eat them plain like you see them here. I added a puddle of ketchup, just enough to flavor my hamburger fork-piece and a small fork-load of sausage. Recently though, as in last week, I got tired of the above 'breakfast' and Rain has been making me scrambled eggs and bacon when she make her breakfast around 10 a.m. Yep, she's a keeper! ;-)

Our day in court has came and went. We showed-up on schedule. Unfortunately so did an attorney representing Capital One. When Rain was called up to the judge's podium, so did the C.O. 'turney. Judge asked if we were responsible for the amount charged on the card, Rain said, "Yes, but I have no money to pay because I only get a small amount for being a spouse of the one getting Social Security Disability" (paraphrased). Attorney 4 C.O.: "Can you give or send us a copy of the SSD paperwork and we'll go from there". We got a copy and mailed it to her that day (walked out of court around 2:15 p.m. [our court time was 2:00 p.m.]). Haven't heard anything since. YAY! That's Rain's card, but I have my own which we can't afford the payments of. We've talked to two different attorneys on the phone and explained the reason we haven't and won't be able to pay anytime soon. That was a couple of weeks ago and we haven't gotten any calls since. I guess answering the phone and talking to them is better that trying to ignore them. *snicker* YMMV (your mileage may vary).

Got my spot of skin cancer surgically removed at/by the doctor yesterday. We well I guess. The area around the sore was numbed and then an eyeball shaped swath of skin was removed with the sore and then sewn back together with 14 stitches (4 centimeter long). Most of the blood caused by the surgery was re-absorbed overnight and today it looks much better.

Still need to mow, since Rain wants the front yard especially to be more groomed (as opposed to letting everything grow like we originally planned). You can just barely see the mailbox from the porch - the grass has gotten shoulder height on me (I'm 5'8 1/4" inches tall). Our Daffodils have bloomed, but the we can't see them unless we get really close. Same with the Iris's.

Our 99.8 year old grandmother died last week, after she thought she couldn't have her cats visit. Guess that was the last thing she lived for and died the next day or two because she refused to eat. We're sure her husband was there to greet her to the other side. Factoid: Grandpa died in August of 81: was born in May). Grandma died in May (of this year): was born in August. Interesting, huh? *smile* Anyway, there's going to be a small and short funeral service on Saturday morning about 10 a.m. (a 1.5-2.0 hour drive each way from here) which we're planning to attend. Unfortunately, yesterday the gas was $3.79.9 per gallon. Luckily we can afford it this time... barely. On the way home we're going to stop by two of our friend's houses for a short-ish visit. Should be fun!

We don't want our chickens to get into the garden after one is planted. We are slowly but surely getting all of their wings clipped (just the flying feathers). We got a couple more done just a few minutes ago, but there are still about 5 hens out of their fenced area that we'll get clipped tonight once their in the coop for bed and on the roosts. Much easier to catch them then, then chasing them around the yard trying to catch a chicken who doesn't want to be caught. Plus the porch is much cleaner today than it had been up to two days ago. Just got through sweeping the few plops of chicken schitt that the escapes have left. Eventually we'll have a poop free porch. *grin*

The pool switch wouldn't turn the pump on a couple of days ago, so we bought a really inexpensive 1-pole light switch and installed it. The water can now be filtered, recirculated, and cleaned of surface debris. When I opened the switch-box, ants had taken over the inside. We're thinking they somehow messed-up the switch. I sprayed bug killer on them, let everything dry, then installed the new switch, which works great. The pool is going to need water soon, because it's been sunnier than usual the last several days and some has evaporated. On payday we need another inexpensive hose, because our current 2nd length of hose is getting old and bubbles are forming (already spliced-out a couple of lengths that got bubbles before). That means a bubble could burst anytime now, and we want to avoid that. Anyway, we don't have enough hose to reach the pool to top it off right now. Hence the need for hose! :-)

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Sunday, May 18

Digging wasps

I was sitting outside, sitting on the shady side of the porch when I saw a tiny hole in the ground. The first thought that entered my mind was "ground wasps". The hole was too small though (yes, I have personally seen holes dug by wasps). I'm guessing it was/is a tiny ant hole/entrance to the underworld. That got me wondering though, "How do wasps dig?" Well, I of course did a google-search and the first site gave me this information (below)

  1. Diggers these as their name implies are wasps which dig a hole in the ground for their nests, these can again be conveniently divided into four general groups depending on how they dig their holes, though a given species may use 2 or 3 of the following methods.

    • Pushers like Cerceris arenaria push the soil out of their burrows backwards using a specially flattened 'pygidium' (a small area at the end of the abdomen).
    • Pullers like Mellinus arvensis back out of the developing burrow carrying the excavated soil between the underside of their head and their forelegs, the soil or sand is generally left near the entrance.
    • Carriers like Ammophila pubescens pick up the soil in the same manner as the pullers but instead of just dragging it out to the edge of their hole they fly off with it and deposit it some distance from the nest.
    • Scrapers dig by scraping the soil away between their back legs with their front legs, using their legs either alternately like Oxybelus sp, or synchronously like the Pompilidae.

Sphex ichneumoneus the American Great Golden Digger can take between 15 minutes and 4.5 hours to dig a nest hole depending the soil she is digging in.

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Saturday, May 17

New bedroom, new pool table, swimming pool, skin cancer

Well, I was going to make me and my son some breakfast after I got back in the house after smoking a cigarette outside. HOWEVER, when I came back in he was asleep. Guess I've been let off the hook this time. I am kind of hungry, but then again I do have more coffee in the pot to consume, so I think I'll wait until that's gone before cooking anything. Speaking of smoking... we have begun cleaning and decluttering what used to be our smoking house because it's going to be our 15 year-old daughter's bedroom as soon as it has had some spackle applied to an old (as in before we moved here) damaged spot on one wall, caulked where needed, and repainted in her choice of colors (purple and red?). Yesterday she spent all afternoon cleaning the windows and window frames. Then we have to figure-out what to do with the old, crappy loveseat/sofa that's in there. Will offer it on Freecycle, but in all honesty I don't think it's really worth much even to people who're desperate for furniture. We also have another loveseat that's in better condition, sitting on the porch that we're considering taking to the free store in Lebanon, MO the next time we're headed that way. Once she is moved-in to her new bedroom, her old bedroom in going to become the pool hall. Friends of ours are going to be giving us a pool table when we're ready for it. That is going to be great fun.

In other news, I went to the Dr. on Wednesday of this week to have a spot on the side of my head by my ear that I've had for over a year, looked at. I thought that it was an ingrown hair, but according to the Dr. it's a non-cancerous (usually) type of skin cancer that can be removed with minor surgery. I'll be going back to the other doctor in the office to see if he can remove it. If not, then I'll have to make an appointment with a dermatologist in Springfield, MO. The doctor I saw on Wednesday wanted to set-up an appointment in Springfield, but we told her we couldn't afford to buy enough gas for the van to get us there. That's when she suggested the other doctor may be able to do it. We shall see. As for right now, I'm dabbing apple cider vinegar on it a few times a day hoping to get rid of it before the appointment in a couple of weeks.

Yet more news... I got the pool started a few days ago. I put two bottles of bleach and 2 bottles of vinegar in the water and turned the filter-pump on. Have ran it only a couple times since because prior to the day before yesterday, yesterday, and today, it's been cloudy, overcast and raining. That means the water hasn't been warming-up very much so there won't be any swimming for a while yet. Besides, the bottom is going to need de-leafed and vacuumed to get the dead bugs and other gunk off the bottom first. Which of course is done by me, and I'm not going to do it until that water warms up much more than it has so far.

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Friday, May 9

This, that, and the other things

What I obviously haven't been doing is writing in my blogs. Just don't really see the point. What I have to say isn't new because nothing has changed. I heard from my sister yesterday and that was cool. She wants a current picture with both of our kids in it so she can finish a picture collage for our mother for mother's day. Just waiting for both kids to be up at the same time so I can take one. They're both asleep right now, although I heard our dog stirring, so she might be coming out of the bedroom. Then again, maybe not, as I didn't hear the door open or close.

It's been raining off and on, mostly on, for the last 3 days. That means that the kitchen and bathroom trashes haven't been taken out to the trash barrel and burned, even though they both really need to go out. I suppose I could just take them out and put them in the barrel and put the makeshift lid back on and wait until the rain clouds go away, or at least to stop threatening us.

Yesterday we met with some other home schoolers at the bowling alley. Had a good time. I finally found a ball that wasn't too heavy that I could get down the lane at a good pace. Unfortunately, I can't aim. I was thinking I would have a good game because my first turn I got a strike, but that was apparently just luck, as I only did it a couple more times in the 10 frame game. I even bowled several gutter balls, which isn't surprising. I guess bowling every couple of months with no practice in between doesn't have a positive affect on my game. After the bowling alley, we stopped at McD's and got 4 double cheeseburger meals for under 13 dollars. After that we went to Woods and got lottery tickets and a package of flour tortilla shells. Then it was on to Meeks to buy a toilet-tank flapper because ours broke late Wednesday night. After that it was on to our friends house where we spent a few hours talking. They have a pool table and I played one game with my son, friend's son and daughter and didn't win, but I didn't lose either.

Later in the evening we watched Survivor. Was a pretty good show I guess. It was funny watching yet another guy get blindsided and voted out. What don't people understand about not ever giving up am immunity necklace?! Well, it's now 4 women that're left and only two of them will win in Sunday. I have no idea who that'll be, but we definitely plan on watching the last show and reunion on Sunday evening. Should be interesting.

My wife is stressing about her/our court date that's coming up on Monday the 12th of May. We really don't know what to expect, but are pretty sure they can't get money out of someone who doesn't have any. Guess we'll find out.

Although the NBA playoffs won't be over by the 21st of this month, we're still going to cancel our satellite television subscription with Dish Network. I will find out who wins the championship on-line. I might even be able to find highlights of the games I miss, so I'm okay with not having satellite tv after this month.

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Saturday, May 3

Good-bye kitties and a cell phone



Tea (Tay-Uh)

(click any picture for the enlargement)
These are the three cats that we dropped off at the no-kill animal shelter yesterday. Originally we were going to take Rocky, but we didn't see him when we were ready to leave, so we substituted Slash to go in his place. All was going well and we weren't too emotional because we prepared ourselves beforehand to be "okay" with these three going bye-bye. However, after we got the crate containing them out of the van and sat it in front of the 'playroom' they'd be in until they got their shots and whatnot, I needed to go in carrying one of them. After I got in there, two of the cats we had taken in last month (Dali & Dragoon) were still there, and Dragoon came out of hiding and meowed at me since he obviously recognized me. It was SO cute. Awww.... The people at the shelter told us that he and Dali were always hiding whenever someone went in there, and since people want to adopt cats that they're going to be able to see, they (Dragoon, Dali) haven't been adopted yet. After I left the little room they'd be in, Dragoon sat in front of the screen-door meowing. It was so sad. It was like he was saying, "Please take me home, please?" Obviously we couldn't, and it just hurt our hearts to have to listen to him beg. *teary eye* It was good to see him and Dali though, but sad nonetheless.
Then we went to the bank, cigarette store, gas station to buy $40 of gas, then Wal-Mart to do our monthly shopping. Spent a lot, then again, our pantry was getting really low. After that we came home. One of the things we bought while we were there was a $20, flip-up cell phone and minute card for our DD. Actually, she bought the phone with her allowance money and we helped with the minute card. It's a Virgin Marbl. Of course we don't get service at our house, so in order to make sure it worked we had to drive 3 miles to the highway, and even then we could only get a weak and intermittent 1 bar. So, my wife had given me a $20 bill and said that if we had to drive all the way to Buffalo (14 miles) to get cell service that I might as well pick-up pizza from Pizza Hut, which we did.

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Thursday, May 1

Redbud tree and unknown pretty

I took the first one (left) of our Redbud tree, which is much prettier in person. The picture didn't come out as pretty as I thought it would. Sorry about that. On the right, although I have no idea what it is, I am letting it and all the others like it remain without being mown. If you know what it is, feel free to clue me in.

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