Monday, September 25, 2017

Walking the Dog then and now

Walking the Dog is a repeat of a short post that I did on June 15th 2005, this post only got one comment at the time but my blog was fairly new then.

I thought for fun I would do a then and now post, Walking the Dog is the original post with pictures of Dixie and I on or about the date of June 15 2005, below that post I am going to add pictures Cindy took of Dixie and I on September 23, 2017.

To give you a little background this was during the time that I was either walking with forearm crutches, or was in a wheelchair, Do You Want To Race explains this period in my life somewhat.

Our neighbor had given me this scooter so I could get out and visit the neighbors, Dixie thought that every time that I got on it that she had to go also.

Young Dachshund named Dixie riding wit Jimmy on an Amigo scooter

Dachshund Pup named Dixie riding with Jimmy down sidewalk on an Amigo scooter

Thought you might get a smile out of me taking my dog "Dixie" for a walk. Now who do ya think is really in control here?

Mowing the Lawn 
Jimmy driving Cub Cadet tractor with his fourteen year old Dachshund sitting up with paws on the steering wheel

Side view of Jimmy driving Cub Cadet tractor with his fourteen year old Dachshund sitting up with paws on the steering wheel
And this is Dixie helping me mow the lawn (actually just ride on the tractor) twelve years later. I think she is still in control.

Friday, September 22, 2017

A Stinky Situation?

What do you do when you have a colony of ground squirrels living on the backside of the property up on the hill away from the house, nowhere near anything you are using? You leave them alone.

Now what do you do when one comes down the hill and takes up residence underneath your shop? This is when you panic, ground squirrels are viscous little creatures and I really don't need one tearing up the foundation of my shop by building squirrel tunnels and inviting all of his friends. I have never heard of this before but I don't want to be the first guy to get the lower leg of his jeans ripped to shreds by a pesky squirrel that is squatting under his shop.

Wire live animal trap sitting on top of empty flower pots
My live animal trap
The solution is a live animal trap, this way if I catch the squirrel then I can deal with him, and if I catch one of Cindy's rabbits then I simply release it, no harm no foul.

The squirrel had been spotted running out from under my shop and munching on the little cottonwood tree saplings that are springing up in the garden area. My idea was to set the trap right in the middle of a batch of these trees; I also had some concrete hard dirt that I had dumped out of the pots from our failed tomato-growing excursion this summer. I placed the dirt shaped like a flower pot next to the trap to semi hide it, and then covered the top with some of the tree saplings that I had pulled up.

Perfect, now I have created a secluded dining place for the pesky squirrel. Within a couple of hours I had the varmint captured.

After "relocating the squirrel" I set the trap once again, the very next morning when I went to let the chickens out, the trap was sprung, inside was a half grown rabbit, I opened the door and watched him scamper to safety.

Yesterday morning our little dog Dixie and I went to let the chickens out and again the trap was sprung. Another half grown rabbit. I think it was either the first ones twin, or the same rabbit again. I opened the door and Dixie chased it all the way to the fence. The rabbit got to the fence long before Dixie did, with Dixie being fourteen years old, the rabbit had a good chance of out running her.

I decided if I had another rabbit this morning that I would just release him and put my trap away. As Dixie and I made our way to the Chicken pen I could see the door was once again slammed shut on the trap, I went by and opened the door to release the flock for their daily routine, then I looked into the trap. I slowly backed away...

Skunk caught in live animal trap sitting in between cottonwood saplings
Skunk in live animal trap, taken from a distance.
What do you do when all of a sudden you realize this is not Bugs Bunny but instead Pepe Le Pew?

The first thing you do is remain calm and slowly, I said slowly back away, I had to grab Dixie because she does have a history with skunks. We had to take her in for a de-skunking at the groomers after her last encounter.

I really didn't want she or I to be forced into a de-skunking this morning, so I took her back into the house. Cindy asked me, Did you catch anything this morning? I said, Yes I did. Another rabbit? Nope a skunk...

She had the nerve to laugh out loud, she laughed so hard that her face turned red, she was literally bent over and slapping her knee. I didn't think this was all that funny, not laughing out loud funny. One time my brother in law came up against a skunk, I wrote about it in Jest Shoot Em if you want to laugh at a skunk story, I thought this was funny even though my sister didn't.

I asked Cindy if she wanted to walk out with me to go and see the skunk. No way she said. I bet it really stinks. He didn't spray, I told her, we just have to remain calm and move slowly. What are you going to do with him? She asked. I'm just going to release him, you and I are going to place a tarp over the trap so he won't see us, and then I will open the door and let him go. Good luck with that, she said, because you are on your own Bud...

I gathered my shovels and rakes and implements of destruction, in preparation for dispatching Pepe back into the wild.

Red broom handle and green tarp lying on a concrete driveway
My red broom handle and trusty green tarp
Actually I grabbed a tarp and a handle that I had saved from an old push broom, the handle was to push the tarp down and around the trap, not to poke the skunk because I was really trying not to get myself sprayed.

I folded the tarp to the approximate size I needed and held it in front of me as I approached the trap, I was also holding the broom handle, which caused me to lose grip of the tarp and drop it from my right hand. I froze for just a minute while the tarp unfolded at my feet and watched the skunk, I'm looking at him and back to my tarp on the ground, he is basically ignoring me, so I re fold the tarp within a few feet of the skunk, he is busy digging up dirt and destroying the vegetation near his enclosure.

With my newly folded tarp I approach the trap, I slowly place the tarp against the side of the trap and this is when I hear a drumming sound, this is a warning that skunks give when they are getting ready to spray, I froze right there doing my best mannequin selling a tarp impersonation and allowed Pepe Le Pew time to settle down.

Green tarp covering live animal trap containing trapped skunk sitting next to a fence
Tarp actually covering live animal trap the skunk was caught in.
I gently laid the tarp over top of the trap and used the handle to press it into place all around while leaving the trap door accessible; I waited for a minute and then pulled the door open latching it into place. This is when I slowly backed away as quickly as I could, picture me now running backwards in slow motion.

The skunk emerged from his makeshift cave and looked out at the field and definite freedom, I was expecting him to scamper away in that direction, But No! He instead made a right hand turn and squeezed underneath my shop.

I did the only thing that made sense for me to do at the time, I picked up my green tarp, red broom handle, and live animal trap to put them all away, and then I went back to the house for a cup of coffee.

Cartoon character skunk Pepe Le Pew
Pepe Le Pew (Source)
What do you do when a skunk goes underneath your shop after being released and not spraying you? You leave him alone...

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Down it came

It was fifty nine degrees early this morning and Cindy decided that today is the day to take the pool down for the season, I had just shocked it and added chlorine so needless to say the water was looking really good, crystal clear if I say so myself.

12 ft round above ground pool sitting in front of a small leaning tree.
I said to Cindy that I wanted to get in the pool at least one more time, but there was a slight leak coming out from underneath and to patch it the best thing to do would be to drain the little pool, but it wasn't like the major leak the other one had, I just know that we can swim once more I said.

Look at the temperature Jimmy, Cindy said to me, it won't be that hard and we will be better off taking it down now before it gets colder. Yes but it's not winter yet! I contested. No it's not but it is almost October, she replied. I want to use it one more time, I demanded.

I should know better than to demand anything by now, we have been married over twenty years for goodness sake. So you all know exactly what happened, yes down it came.

The rest of the day I drained the pool and draped it over the poly carts to dry, the tarp that I had the pool sitting on was stretched out on the driveway and hosed off, but before I could do that I had to do something with the dirt that the pool water had washed down the driveway right where I wanted to place the tarp.

Needless to say this little "let's just take the pool down" job started before breakfast and lasted until after supper.

Our little mini poolio is now boxed up and stored away for winter, and after all of the draining, stretching, folding, packing, sweeping, and shoveling dirt, I notice that as the sweat runs down my back that it's really hot out here.

Jimmy floating in above ground pool wearing a straw cowboy hat
I'm thinking this.

Bare spot where above ground pool was sitting before removal, small leaning tree in background
But I'm seeing this.

I say to Cindy, It sure would be nice if we were floating in that pool right now.

She says, Let it go Jimmy, just let it go...