Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bits & pieces. As per usual.

Last week, I uploaded a couple of photos of tracks to my Flickr photostream. They're some I see every so often, on the easement. They're little five-"fingered" paw prints, and that narrows things down quite a bit, but I've never been quite sure if they're from a raccoon or a possum. (I've since looked them up online, so now I know how to tell them apart, provided they're nice and clear.)

Rachel, you said they looked like raccoon tracks to you, and I think you were right. (No, they weren't leading to the garbage can. (g) Or at least I couldn't tell from the few I saw where it was headed.)

The very evening of the day I took the photos, we went on a walk down toward the pond. It was later than we usually walk, but still plenty light enough to see. (Otherwise, believe me, I wouldn't be walking out there. Way too snaky.)

We suddenly heard rustling in the low growth just off the trail-- and then there was a little masked raccoon face peeking at us around the trunk of a dead pine! He went up a way, then realized that the tree was broken off, turned around and headed back down, head first, peeking at us from time to time. (If Molly had been with us, she would have gone crazy!)

So, there's definitely a raccoon scampering around in the vicinity. Donald thinks this was his first time seeing a live raccoon in nature, and I haven't seen them that many times, myself. (The other time I remember most clearly was up in the mountains. That one was acting a little strangely, if I recall correctly, and we wondered if it might have been rabid.)

Of course, as luck would have it, we hadn't brought the camera along with us-- but it probably would've been hard to get a good photo, anyway. Besides, I guess everyone already knows what a raccoon looks like. Just picture one peeking around the trunk of a tree. ;o) (Kind of like this. Or this.)

I know they can cause a lot of trouble, but they sure are cute!

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Donald made some phone calls to Sweden over the weekend. (Their Mother's Day was Sunday.) Apparently they've been having weird weather over there. For a brief time, things warmed up so much that his mormor's parrot molted. Of course, life being what it is, the unseasonable warm spell ended abruptly and the poor bird was shivery. Warmer weather's back, now, I think, so he should be ok.

. . . I wish we could have the Swedish style of "warmer weather". (g) The summer hasn't even revved up to day after day of mid-to-high 90s yet, and I'm already tired of it. If it weren't for the necessity of growing food, I could do very well without summertime. Just stretch out spring and autumn for another couple of months each, please. ;o)

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After that one tomato plant was broken, we've had better luck. I think I mentioned that they were living, but not growing? Well, now they're finally growing-- visibly. Some have tiny "baby" tomatoes (one cherry tomato is even turning orange!) and more have flowers. Keeping fingers crossed that they continue to do well.

I need to research them a little. I'm pretty sure I've read that you should pinch off certain parts to keep the plant focused on producing tomatoes. . .

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I heard today that if you fall asleep within ten minutes of your head hitting the pillow, you are probably borderline narcoleptic and likely need more sleep-- or at least need to make sure you're getting enough sleep.

All my adult life, I've tended to fall asleep very quickly. Once, I would have thought that was just normal-- or maybe even something to be happy about. (Lying awake, unable to sleep, is so frustrating!) Now I'm not sure whether I should be glad about it or not.

This is why I avoid medical news. It's hardly ever good news. In fact, it seems specially designed to make you uneasy-- or at least dissatisfied.

Well, ok, I looked it up. I guess I misheard. What they're really saying is that people normally fall asleep within about ten minutes of lying down. If you're falling asleep in five minutes or less, that could be a sign that you're borderline narcoleptic, etc., etc.

Ok. . . But how are we supposed to know how fast we fall asleep? I mean, we're falling asleep. . . (g)

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Still on the subject of slumber, Donald says I've been talking in my sleep, lately, but by the next morning, he can't remember what I was saying. It must not have been anything too interesting, or surely he'd remember. (Then again, maybe not.)

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While going about my daily chores, I've amused myself by composing a list of the Sisyphean tasks in my life that keep - cropping - up:
  • Mowing the lawn-- This time of year, there is always at least one portion of the lawn that needs mowing, because I never manage to do it all in one day.
  • Weeding and mulching the flowerbeds-- Partly my own fault, but even if I were more vigilant, it's still a never-ending job.
  • Cleaning the floors
  • Keeping the kitchen counter top clear
  • Cleaning the bathrooms
  • Keeping the laundry in check
Well, let's be honest. Just about everything we do around the house or yard has to be re-done over and over and over again. That's why it's so nice to make something. At least with crafts and the like, there's a beginning, a middle, and an end-- a finished piece to admire. And you don't look at it the next day and realize that it's all come undone and has to be redone! (Not most of the time, at least!)

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Off to cook supper-- another of those never-ending chores. Fortunately there is such a thing as left-overs. Tonight, I cook (chicken spaghetti), but tomorrow night most of the work will be up to the good old microwave oven! ;o)