I Am Starting To Count The Days

Y’all, it is to be 88 degrees today. To me, that is hot. I have been sweating. You know how I feel about that. I am trying to come to terms with the fact that I will be forced to spend the next almost four months as a hot mess. Hot as in, I often think about how much I could get away with not wearing before arrest would become imminent. I do not look all dewy fresh. I do not glisten. I sweat…. like a horse. By the end of a long, hot summer day, I probably smell like one too.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The ants, flies, mosquitos, fleas, and ticks are out full force, ALREADY. What the what???!!! I saw a horsefly the other evening that I swear could have actually carried off our horse. God, why did you choose to make flies that big? What was the point? I’m checking myself and all the dogs and cats daily for ticks. I used to be more squeamish about ticks than I am now. Now, I get any ticks and flush them down the toilet, yelling, “Die you little bloodsuckers!” at the top of my lungs. I consider it part of my summer therapy.

I bought some super cute tops that have those circle cutouts on the shoulders. They look great on me, but here lately it has occurred to me that I am going to have really weird tan spots on my otherwise white arms. I can’t win. On a good note, I love wearing flipflops so my feet are going to be nicely tanned.

I feel the need for an iced tea. It is my go-to drink of the summer. Green tea “on the rocks”. If you need me, I will be on the deck, sipping my beverage, laying in the hammock…..maybe fanning myself.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Fall starts on September 22nd. I am starting to count the days.

 

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The Flies Are Driving Me Crazy

Don’t we all need a good laugh sometimes? Going through my archives and thought I would share this little gem.

The flies are driving me nuts. That is one thing about summer time when one has animals…..flies in the chicken coop, flies

hanging around the horse. Ugh. I hate flies. What is their purpose anyway, except to harass?

Last summer I had some of the same issues……..

They’re Coming To Take Me Away…

horse fly, Diptera family Tabanidae, Tabanus s...

horse fly, Diptera family Tabanidae, Tabanus sp. Location: Winfield IL USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

On this incredibly stinkin’ hot day in the rural Midwest, I thought we could all use a good dose of humor. I will allow you to laugh at my expense. Dawn vs. Nature. It is not a pretty sight.

I thought that we had moved to a picturesque setting in the rural farmland of Ohio. Actually, this turned out to be true, although I had no idea the other critters that had also chosen to live alongside us on our little slice of land. In the Spring we had a raccoon under the deck. This visitor caused our dogs to nearly go berserk. At 3 am in the morning. The dogs couldn’t get to the “scared out of his wits” raccoon, and the raccoon was NOT coming out with two “Cujos” on the loose. There was not much sleeping going on that night for anyone in a five-mile radius of our house.

We have a ground hog that has a vacation home down where our property meets the road. He is quiet and keeps to himself. Every time I see him, The Wind and The Willows comes to mind.

We have Bambi and family that trek across our side yard on a fairly regular basis. Fun to watch, unless one decides to jump out directly in front of the family van….then it is a little scary. The other night my husband laid some rubber on the road when he braked hard not to hit a deer that literally came out of nowhere, directly in front of us. My heart was hammering in my chest during that little moment, as I was nearly decapitated by the stupid shoulder strap safety belt. Are there any statistics on death by shoulder strap?

In August and September, we have the gnat plague. Where in the world do gnats come from? Honestly, there is no food sitting out, nothing like that….they just appear like clockwork. In August. They stay for two months and the family chases them around with the bug zapper before they disappear, or are inadvertently eaten, as they are always in my way while fixing dinner. Um…they look like pepper. Sorry. I looked gnats up on the internet. They are a nuisance, but harmless and will not kill anyone if eaten. I don’t know why they come here. It’s one of life’s mysteries.

In late Fall and early winter, the field mice decide that it is time for them to head toward their winter retreat. The retreat happens to be our garage, and if they are slick enough….the main living quarters. This does not sit well with me. At all. I hate mice with a white hot passion. They mock me, as they scratch around in the walls. I find myself yelling at them ….and I know I am not imagining that I hear the faint sound of laughter. Go ahead and laugh! It’s all fun and games until I start laying out glue traps. Stinkin’ little fur balls. Then who will be laughing? I digress…….mice put me in a precarious mental state.

We are currently battling a horse fly population that has reached biblical proportions. Now, before I moved to Ohio I thought I had seen horse flies. I was wrong….at least not like these. I didn’t realize the name horse fly accurately described the SIZE of the fly. These flies are huge. Their heads are the size of my thumb nail. I am not kidding. One has to make a run for it when leaving or entering the house. If one should linger too long on the deck, there is a great possibility that said person could possibly be carried off by the mutant horse fly gang. They dive bomb anyone on the deck, like miniature Kamikaze pilots.

I better go. I’m heading out to the deck.

I think I’ll take the electric bug zapper with me. It reminds me of a lightsaber.

Just call me Luke Skywalker.

One Hot Mama

 

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Here I sit, on a hot and humid mid-July morning in rural Ohio. It is already hot as hades, and amazon jungle humid….and our air conditioner is on the fritz.  I am just not made for this weather. I think I must have Scandinavian blood in me. You know, the countries of the north, where it is cooler, and there are snow capped mountains even in the summer, and humidity isn’t as much of a thing.  Yes, I know I lived in east Tennessee for twenty-three years. I understand hot, muggy, summers in the south, but this chick does not “glisten”. I sweat like a horse. There, I said it. I know that is gross, but there is no getting around it. My hair is plastered to my head, I have a very attractive sweat mustache, and if unable to find some cool air soon, will be found deader than a doornail lying in a puddle on the floor. Okay, fine. This might be a slight exaggeration, but……only slight. My dogs and cats tell me to get over myself, I cannot possibly even understand heat until I’m wearing a full fur coat with temps in the 90’s. Yes, for those of you who care to know, I speak fluent canine and feline. What??!! Stop looking , staring, reading (?) at me like that. My husband calls me Dr. Doolittle for a reason. Kidding, people. Really. I am. I am not clinically insane. Yet.

I have an autoimmune disease, that I was diagnosed with when I was just fourteen. This particular “gift” makes me extremely heat sensitive. I told my husband the other day, “When it is cold you can put on socks and crank up the electric blanket to stay warm. In the summer months, when I am caught in the seventh circle of Hell, I am unable to escape”. I suppose I could strap a box fan to me, and just wear it around my neck as an, albeit unusual, fashion statement. I can only strip off so many clothes to cool off, before being arrested. Just sayin’.

I have summer loving friends, who thrive in the heat. I still love them, even though in my mind I’m thinking, “freak of nature” how lucky they are to be able to enjoy the summer months. Fine. Just fine. You enjoy the months of sweat, and frizzy hair (or stick straight hair, however it is you roll), and sunburn, and having to shave your legs because you want to wear shorts. And don’t even get me started on going bathing suit shopping. I don’t care if a woman is skinny as a rail or resembles Jabba the Hutt, or anywhere in between. After a certain age, bathing suits are not a girls best friend. The struggle is real. Sisters, can I get an amen?

So, as I sit here sipping my iced coffee, in front of a box fan going full blast, just know that I am dreaming of October. My month of bliss. Crisp, cool temps. Sweater weather. Hot chocolate. And pumpkin everything. I just have to hang on for what seems an eternity another two and a half months. Lord, help me.

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Mr. Mole

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I read The Wind and the Willows as a child, and because of that I am feeling some guilt over the story I am about to tell you…….

It all started a few days ago. My husband was laying down river rock in our front flower beds. (The reason we have river rock in our flower beds, is a whole other story, but it will suffice to say, we have dogs. Dogs that like to dig. Dogs that like to chew. Dogs that like to dig up entire bushes and carry them, root ball and all, to the four corners of the earth. Dogs that live out the words, UTTER DESTRUCTION.) So anyway, as he is working out front, the dogs figured out that something was under the stone steps that lead up to the porch. That is all it took for the barking and digging to commence. There is no stopping them when they get like this. My husband noticed dirt flying OUT of the hole—and not by the dogs. We had found a couple of good sized turtles and thought that might be what was digging. Then two days ago, when I was walking out to the barn, I saw the end of the flower bed (aka rock bed) was dug up. They were after something again! I gave all the dogs a stern talking to, letting them know that this was not acceptable behavior to allow our front flowerbeds to look like someone had dropped a bomb in our front yard. They sat quietly and listened to me, but the second I turned my back they took off. Dogs are like perpetual toddlers. Just sayin’.

Last night my husband and I were out, it was starting to get dark when we returned home. As we pulled into the driveway, our headlights landed on three dogs standing around something laying in the yard. Living with a pack of dogs out in the sticks, one can never be sure what said object might be. My husband went over to investigate. He said that he thought it was a rat. Just then Mitford (not yet two year old, Collie mix) grabbed it and took off across the yard, then dropped it again. It was big, whatever it was. Now, I had my doubts that it was a rat. I lived in the city for years, and we had rats (not inside!) that would eat dog food. Those rats were the size of opossums. They would stand up on their haunches and stare at me with their beady little eyes, daring me to catch them. I was completely freaked out and usually ran off screaming. Around here, we have field mice that pretty much are the size of my pinkie finger. I still am not friends with rodents, but they are more manageable. I digress……I told my husband I thought it might be a mole, but it was too dark to really tell.

This morning I was ready to head to the barn. I will readily admit I looked like the “What Not To Wear” page in Glamour magazine. My outfit consisted of a pair of paint stained University of Tennessee shorts, an oversized gray t-shirt with a hole in it, and my knee high rubber boots (a country girl’s best friend). Whatever people, don’t judge. Seriously, when one is going to muck a stall, who cares what I look like? Jazz loves me regardless. On the way over to the barn, I decided to investigate last night’s “kill”. I found it in the yard, the dogs all gathered around me, as if to say, “We did this for you. Receive our gift as a token of our undying love and devotion and well, we just like to chase things and catch things, and sometimes kill things.  Sorry. We’re dogs, after all.” (Pant. Pant. Pant. Slobber. Slobber.) It was indeed, a mole. His little mole “hands” stuck up in the air, like he had just finished a “Praise Jesus” chorus. Rest in peace little guy. Your digging days are over. Just then Mitford licked me. With his mole tongue. Sad thing is, that doesn’t even phase me anymore. Whatever. I can wash off when I get back to the house. If, by any chance,  there is some rampant mole disease going around, that I don’t know about, well then, I guess I’m a goner. Now, my husband is going to fix the flower bed, and the holes around the stone steps. Hopefully, this mole doesn’t have an entire mole family mafioso, that will now target our dogs for extinction, to avenge the death of their dear mole father. Or worse yet…..take out their revenge on our flower (um…rock) bed.

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And people think the country life is boring and slow……..they know nothing! #lifecanbescaryoutontheprairie

Challenge #3-Captivating Your Senses

The writing challenge for today has me describing something using my senses.

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Hoffman’s is known for their homemade ice cream. They have the best chocolate milkshakes and my favorite chocolate-peanut butter ice cream. They were, and still are, a family owned business, just down the road from where I attended high school. Simmons, another small family business, also had great ice cream, that really hit the spot on those hot summer days when I was a kid. Family get togethers, in warm weather, always required home made ice cream, with the cousins taking turns working the crank on the ice cream maker. It is funny how, as an adult, thinking back on my childhood, some of my sweetest memories involve ice cream.

Although my generation didn’t know it at the time, our childhood in the 70’s and early 80’s was the end of an era . It was before personal computers and gaming, and tablets and smart phones. In order to have a good time, all a kid needed was time, a working bike and a good imagination. But, I digress……..back to the ice cream.

 

The ending to a perfect Saturday afternoon drive with family was a stop for ice cream. Jumping out and slamming the car door shut, I could tell someone was mowing their yard, the smell of freshly cut grass wafted on the air.  On that hot summer day, the porch boards creaked under my tennis shoes. I pushed open the screen door and walked inside. The interior was dark and cool compared to the late afternoon sun outside. I could feel the rivulet of sweat going down the back of my neck on this day with no air conditioning. While my family was ordering ice cream, I looked out the window of the store to the ball field out back. Everything seemed so bright out there, compared to the inside of the store. I ordered my chocolate peanut butter ice cream in a sugar cone. Around and around I licked, trying to keep up with the melting scoop of ice cream. Sweet and cold, so cold it made my mouth go numb. Brain freeze!  I could taste the sweetness of the chocolate mixed with the saltiness of the peanut butter. Is there a better combination?

 

 

Peeing In The Wind…Again

I thought I’d share one of my past posts. I think all my east coast family and friends will be able to relate. Even though my family and I missed out on the big snow storm of 2016, we certainly have had our fair share of winter weather over the years!

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Peeing In The Wind (originally posted in February 2011)

This winter storm is something else.I spent most of the night listening to everything we had on the deck being flung down to the other end of the deck. Even our huge, heavy grill. Seriously powerful wind.

This morning my son, K, had to take Lonnie the wonder dog, out to do his morning business. Forget the postman delivering mail in rain, snow, sleet or hail…..what about a dog owner having to get the pooch outside in this weather? K suited up with coat, hat, boots, gloves for the stint outside. Lonnie on the other hand, was totally oblivious to the storm on the other side of the laundry room door. All he knew was that he had to go. Let’s make it snappy, pappy!

The door opened and the cold and wind smacked them both in the face. ( I on the other hand only looked on, snuggled up in my cozy robe.) Now, keep in mind my family and I live in a field. There are no wind breaks. It’s always windy here in rural Ohio, but today the wind is 40-50 mph. It is snowing and there is a thin sheen of ice on everything. Not the best of conditions for walking the dog. I sort of felt sorry for K, but not enough to walk the dog for him.

I briefly saw Lonnie go flying by the window. The poor dog only weighs 19 lbs, so it is a good thing K had him leashed or he might have ended up in Pennsylvania. As it was, he was part dog and part kite.

Poor Lonnie dog. Having to pee in 40 mph winds. Not an easy feat…especially for a 19 lb. dog that is hanging on for dear life.

Lonnie the wonder dog is resilient. He toughed it out. When he re-entered the laundry room, he shook off the cold and snow. He then made his way back to “his” rug in front of the fireplace. It’s all in a days work.

 

So Much To Do!

Some days are better than others. That is just a fact, isn’t it?

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It’s cold, cloudy, and damp

The chicken run, full of muck

When I went to turn

My boot got stuck!

My back is hurting

I can’t stand or sit.

This is bumming my day

I don’t like it one bit!

My to do list

is as long as my arm

So much to do

on our little farm.

I need to decorate

the Christmas tree

untangling lights

this is not for me!

I’ll take a deep breath

and do what I can

the rest can wait …

at least that’s the plan.

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Hoping your week will be a great one, even if it is busy and it makes you feel a little crazy! 102_4787