Who Am I?

Before I begin, I’d like to preface this blog with a few details, not to steer you in one direction or another, or prematurely give away the subject matter.  Typically, the focus of this blog is referred to in the feminine form, and it’s been portrayed as a villain in comics and movies.  Now let’s begin.

I can be found in North America and Asia but I’m not fond of the desert or arid areas, or ones of high altitude.  I’m all in favor of higher carbon dioxide levels and over the years my population has increased, doubling since the 1960’s.

I really have no boundaries.  Sometimes I can be found in the suburbs in your backyards or rural and remote areas.  I’m subtle in my appearance, no flashy colors to signify my potential wrath.  In fact, I blend in quite nicely in my surroundings and I can change colors, again to blend into my background, disguising me even more.

I don’t discriminate, my reach can effect the old and young, male or female.  All are equal in my eyes.

Normally, when playing such a game, the guesser, gets to ask if it’s a person, place, or thing.
Hint:  It’s a thing.  I hope that doesn’t spoil the fun too much.  Moving on.

I’m somewhat shade tolerant but prefer the sunlight.  I’m recognized more when I choose the company of trees, as opposed to my other forms.  I’m smooth and shiny on the surface with a woody stem, void of any thorns or indicators of what I can do.

Hint:  Yes, I am a plant!

Unbeknownst to some, I don’t have a defensive mechanism.  What is assumed as me fighting back, is really a means to help me retain water.  I don’t intentionally try to be mean, it’s simply nature.

Besides some insects, birds, deer and bear, who eat my seeds and berries, I’m very unwelcome.  Although there is a rare, and very lucky fifteen to thirty percent of the human population who doesn’t have an issue with me, nor I them.  However, that can change over time, as one ages or changes environments.

Any ideas?

I leave my invisible presence, urushiol, on everything I come in contact with and it can remain for several years, reintroducing my legacy, even in the winter.

Now one of the biggest clues …

I’m recognized by my leaves of three.  I have a couple names, one being oxicodendron radicans, but I’m commonly know by another.  And despite my widely used name, I’m not a hedera.

I think those clues are substantial enough for an educated guess.  And those who have come in contact with this subject matter might have a few more choice words for this plant.

Who am I?

Yes, poison ivy!  With my recent run-ins with this silent irritant, I’m trying to make light of it.  Although, with every exposure, my allergic reaction is getting worse.  This time, I have blisters on top of blisters, on top of blisters, between my fingers, down to the webbing.  My hands are so swollen and irritated, it’s hard to bend my fingers.  I have Mickey Mouse hands!  Naturally, that’s not the only place the reaction has appeared, although I can handle it on my arms, neck, legs and stomach, even in my belly button!  A small amount made its appearance on my left eye and eyebrow, nose, ears, and upper lip.  I can even handle the skin irritation behind my knees, but my hands actually hurt from the pressure and every time I bump my hand against a corner, pain.

Where did I get it?  No clue, at least not this time.  My first run-in with my nemeses of the season was basically intentional.  I knew fully well of my actions.  You see, I wanted to plant an asparagus garden at my parent’s house.  The best plot of land was among a group of locus trees, covered in … poison ivy.  Dad killed most of the poison ivy on the trees, but to be sure, I wanted to get this plant at its heart, or more accurately it roots.

Protecting myself in clothing from head to toe, I ripped up the poison ivy from the roots.  Yes, I made sure to prewash in cold water and shower in cold water, with harsh soap, and I scrubbed my skin till it was raw.  I washed my cloths several times.  I even began taking a liquid poison ivy to build my immune system.  You name it, I took precaution.  Did I get it?  Of course, but not terribly bad.  Manageable.

This time, I have no clue of my encounter with the poison ivy.  To the best of my knowledge, I haven’t been around the nasty plant.  I haven’t even been in my asparagus garden!  It seems like all I simply need to be, is within feet from the silent creeper to find its affects a few days later.

Hopefully, this cycle will not continue all summer long.  But I guess there’s worse things in life, and I’ve yet to go into anaphylaxis.  Although I just got word that we are in deed getting honey bees.  My cousin Pete is getting a hive ready.  Did I mention I’m allergic to yellow jackets?  I guess I’ll find out if it’s the same with honey bees.

posted by auntheather in Common Sense,Education & Learning,Family,Farming & Planting,Hiking & Outdoors,Hunting & Fishing,News,Observation & Imagination,Patience,Random Fun Facts and have No Comments

A Sincere Thank You!

Never ruin an apology with an excuse.  ~Kimberly Johnson

Marla-Kyle-at-the-Planinsek-Pavilion-2002

Marla (cousin) & our little dirtball Kyle at the Planinsek Pavilion 2002

Like many Americans, I do publicly show support for our military, (Happy Veterans Day, Silent Admiration, Remembering All Veterans) those who served and those still serving, past and present.   I don’t mean to downplay any and all efforts performed by our men and women in the armed forces, or those who serve a little closer to home such firemen and police officers.  But I want to give a special shout out to all the hard working Americans who make a difference, every day, without any recognition.

It’s no secret, I’ve always had an affinity for nurses, regarding them with the utmost respect.  I truly mean that.  Why?  I have no idea, perhaps it’s because of their loving nature or their desire to help others, or their moral support and experience during an emergency.  They are everything I am not and I appreciate that, one hundred percent.  I’ve met quite a few nurses in my short life, and each and every one of them have impressed me.

Over the years it was nurses who have brought us good news, like the birth of a healthy baby boy, to later be named Kyle.  It was also nurses who helped us with the tragedy of Kyle’s dad passing, my brother, not so great news.  It was nurses, some related and some friends who have managed to keep those near and dear to me trucking along.  Paula (Olczak) Klotz (cousin), Helen (Piper) Scanlon (cousin), Maureen Butina (friend), Mike Reese and Holly Reese (friends) and Sabre McClellend (friend) all have played major rolls in my life with respect to their discipline, in one way or another.

On a side note, if I left anyone out, I do apologize.

To me a hospital or any sort of medical facility works like the human body. It’s going non-stop, all the time, without fail, without thought, and sometimes without sleep.  The body continues from our very beginning, till the very end.  In that engineering structure, there are jobs to be done, all important and all unique.  If I had to sum it up, nurses are the heart of the body, physically and metaphorically.  Nurses are at the center of it all, and we can’t live without them.  They are constantly pumping life throughout all parts of this massive form and in turn, taking in the depleted to turn it around to push out more life.  Like I said, nurses are all heart.

I know I can’t categorize everyone under the same umbrella, rather I shouldn’t, and not all who share in the title of nurse, fits my perception and experience.  Like any discipline, there are those who have a passion for it and those who go through the motions.  Although, I can’t snub my nose at the later, for they too are hard working and pull their own weight, paving their own way without a free ride.

Helen-Scanlon-Aunt-Mary-Piper-Aunt-Heather-Piper

Aunt Helen Scanlon (cousin) & her mother Aunt Mary Piper. Helen was a great nurse who took care of my pappy for years.

Now, I want to take my thanks a step further.  Those who assist the nurses.  Yes, the nurses aids.  The worker bees who * “do the thankless dirty work”.  Again, without downplaying any other medical professional role.  Everyone is important and needed to keep the machine running.

If I was to classify nurses as the heart of the body, I guess that makes the nurses aids the pulmonary artery and the aorta and the veins and such.  Those functions for helping the heart do its job.

On another side note, I know just because I took anatomy and physiology in college, I am no expert on the human body, let alone a major origin like the heart, or any other organ for that matter.  Although, I am proud to say I dissected a brain, eyeball and a frog so I’m no stranger to the medical world.  Just no expert or even an experienced worker.

My cousin Marla (Olczak) Sutton is a nurses aid, as well as a lot of other people I know.  Seeing it first hand, they work hard and I know what their job entails and doesn’t entail, which they have to endure.

So where am I going with all this?  Basically I want to say thank you!  Thank you for all your hard work, thank you for all your patience and thank you for caring.  I am not a sensitive person and perhaps my heart is two sizes too small, but I don’t have that passion for the sick like these individuals do.  They are what makes a difference in the lives they touch or indirectly touch.

I am shameful that most of the time, these medical professionals are background noise for me.  Not that I would ever disrespect anyone or treat them any less, EVER.  I simply just don’t pay attention.

Holly-Reese-Aunt-Heather-Piper-2014

Holly Reese & me at Crossfit 2014

Then, there are times when someone is so disrespectful, when the misbehaved person should be the complete opposite and should appreciate those who are trying to make their lives better.  I’m speaking in reference to Alice Piper.  Truth be told, she is my paternal grandmother, even though I don’t like owning up to it.  Why?

Recently, one of the nursing assistants, yes one of our beloved worker bees, went through an ordeal that no one should ever face.  Poor Debbie Brant, a single mom working two jobs, trying to put one kid through college, was assaulted by none other than Alice.  Even worse, it was with a dirty gross washcloth to the face.  I’m sure there are many stories more horrific than this, but my grandma wasn’t behind those (at least I hope not).  I take the embarrassment of my grandmother’s behavior, one she has graciously and unwillingly bestowed on our family, very personally and regrettably.

One day I’ll write the tale of Alice the Awful, but now is NOT about her.  Take my word for it, I am not exaggerating about this nasty old lady in the slightest.  There is no excuse for her attitude, her filthy mouth, her immature behavior, her threats or her physical abuse.  None!  No mental illness, nothing!  She is a miserable example for a human being, let alone a great-grandmother to Kyle and Cheyenne!  Sincerely, it’s a known fact that Alice is just plain mean and horrible and disrespectful.  Take it from my experience, she has been that way her ENTIRE life.  Even my dad can vouch for the truth I speak of.  Again, one day I will outline Alice the Awful.

Debbie, I know no amount of apologizes would fix the situation nor change it, but on behalf of my family, “I’m sorry” and “Thank you” for your efforts and hard work.  If in the future you need anything from me or my family, anything to help make your life a little easier, let us know!  You’ve put up with enough crap!  Please note, just because we don’t say it, we are appreciative of you and everyone else who deals with Alice (other patients included).  So to everyone else who has to endure Alice the Awful, I too am sorry.  I surely hope you will be rewarded in heaven for this!

*Quote from Aunt Hot Dogs

posted by auntheather in Common Sense,Education & Learning,Family,News,Observation & Imagination,Patience and have No Comments

Of Mice and Me…Part 4

If you build a better mousetrap, you will catch better mice.  ~George Gobel

Aunt-Heather-Piper-holding-Rascals

Me holding Rascals c. 1993

This is ironic, I keep writing about mice, yet my affection for them them is very much less than favorable.  In fact, mice in my opinion reside in the revolting and antipathy category.  Regardless, I need to sing my praises of another successful trophy over my mantel, even though it’s not quite what you’d expect.  At least I was completely thrown off of my game.

I’ve said it before and I believe it to be true, the neighborhood mice are picking on me!  I don’t get it, recently I haven’t had much food in the house.  Also my little corner of the world is very clean, I mean bleach clean.  My house is kept  junk and clutter free, I’m pretty much a minimalistic.  So let’s take inventory.  I have no food, a very clean clutter free house and I have a cat.  Why would any mouse decide to take refuse in my personal domain?  The only thing I know to be reality is that I am like my parents and I tend to come and go with the door hanging wide open.  Ok, note to self, learn to keep the door shut, especially after this last episode.

This mouse was haunting me for over a month.  What is really strange, is that I never saw the mouse before or after Storm had it cornered under my dresser.  Coincidentally, that was the same time one of my mouse sticky pads went missing, still never found it!  A few weeks ago I kept finding what I thought were mouse droppings in the strangest places.  On the backs of my couch and chair, my window seal in the living-room, and even on my window seal behind my bed.  I don’t even want to discuss the few that were on my sheets.  Ever since that incidence, it became my nightly ritual to change my sheets and check everywhere before I laid my head down.  It didn’t even look like the mouse was even in my kitchen.  What is wrong with this mouse?

Dad-playing-with-Rascals-Aunt-Heather-Piper

Rascals playing with Dad… just like a cat

One weekend after being away, I came back to a ton of crap, literally crap on my furniture and window seals.  Keep in mind Storm was with me so it wasn’t like she was sleeping on the job. I couldn’t take it!  This meant war.  By this time, I think I had already used up an entire can of Lysol disinfecting everything.  What am I to do?  My dilemma resided in the fact that I couldn’t set out certain traps, for fear Storm would get hurt.  So late, that Sunday night I went to the store and purchased about a dozen of those hockey puck shaped plastic traps that the mouse is suppose to enter and die.  My logic, I’ll have those set out everywhere all the time and when Storm and I go to my parents, I’ll set the deadly traps.  My kitchen looked like a mind field, but I didn’t care.  I was at war and I was determined to win.

Would you believe I checked those traps a couple of times a day and nothing!  The only thing those traps were doing was entertaining my cat!  Apparently she thought I bought her toys to push around the kitchen.

On a side note, if I did believed in reincarnation, I know I can’t come back as a cat.  I am such a horrible mouse catcher!

Now the ultimate test, go away for a few days and leaving out those small sticky pads.  My plan was to leave for the weekend, actually from Thursday to Sunday, since I took off work on Friday to go mentor hunting Deer Hunter, Kyle’s First Deer, with Kyle and dad.  Would you believe, when I got back to my house there was more evidence of the varmint, but no physical body?  I can’t even describe in words how ticked off I was!  Poor Kyle, he was trying to help me disinfect my house and clean up.  He even found one of the sticky pads with hair on it that was partially under the refrigerator.  Now at least, I know I was not loosing my mind, there really was something in the house.  I guess it was a bionic mouse to get out of a trap like that!

Aunt-Heather-Piper-with-Jake-&-Kittens

Me introducing Jake to the new kittens

What really had me seeing red was my new discovery.  As I opened my refrigerator door, I noticed the light didn’t come on and a wall of warm air hit me.  What?  The stupid beast destroyed my refrigerator?  It did!  This was it, I was at my whits end!  First of all I hate mice with such a passion, and now one was completely terrorizing me and destroying major appliances?  In my own house?  Not right!

That week I went back to the store and decided to get the really big sticky pads and the snap traps.  I was still going to hold my ground and take back my house.  All week long, I cursed at those hockey puck shaped discrete mouse traps.  I kept going on, on how bad they sucked and didn’t work.  Whenever I described the mouse to my sister I would say, “I must have the smartest mouse of its kind in my house!  It’s like a super mouse or a bionic mouse.”  On another side note, every time I discussed the mouse I felt like I was reading from a Dr. Seuss book!  Kinda funny.  Nicole just laughed and suggested that I get an exterminator.  I’ve seen Billy the Exterminator on TV, all they would do is exactly what I was already doing.  Nope this is my war and it will be my victory!

Nicole-with-Rascals-as-baby

Nicole feeding Rascals as a baby. Her eyes weren’t even open yet…I don’t Nicole’s were either….

By now I’ve learned my opponents movements pretty well.  I know the popular areas of interest and when that critter surfaces.  Now it was time to set the bait.  The following weekend, I made sure the house was unoccupied, but before I did so I set out a bunch of large sticky pads, a bunch of spring traps loaded with peanut butter and I bought some plastic traps containing poison cubes inside to allow the mouse to die within.  Of course let’s not forget the half a dozen plastic hockey shaped mouse traps.  It looked like an active war zone.  I was prepared and this battle was on my home turf, victory was in sight.

To be honest I was skeptical.  Actually, I made the same comment to several people, “If I don’t have a trophy over my mantel by Sunday night then I will seriously put my house up for sell and I’m moving out.  I can’t take this anymore.”  You know what?  I was being very serious.  I know it sounds a bit extreme, but if this was going to be an ongoing problem, then it was one I choose not be apart of.

Baby-Racoons-Aunt-Heather-Piper

Three baby raccoons… only Rascals survived

Well as Sunday night rolled around, I planned on having Kyle with me, but alas I didn’t.  No worries, I became callous to the idea of dealing with a dead mouse.  In fact, I was looking forward to this nightmare to end.  As I entered the dark house, I instantly looked at the trap set by the door and the ones in close proximity, while turning on the lights.  I examined my living-room and headed back the hallway to check the few miscellaneous traps.  Nothing!

To be honest, at that point, it’s a little bittersweet.  I really don’t want to clean up a corpse but then again I don’t want to know there is still a mouse running around my house.  Just as I walked around my chair and headed into the kitchen, there it was, with its head trapped in a snap trap pushed onto a sticky pad!  Instead of getting grossed out, or cheering with victory I was somewhat flabbergasted.  I literally had to do a second and third glance, blink a few times and cautiously approach the prisoner.  I didn’t catch a mouse, like a normal person would.  Nope, I caught a chipmunk!  Yes, I caught Alvin!

At that moment I had a rush of thoughts that hit me all at once, allowing me to make sense of the actions that lead up to this point.  The crap on the chairs, which were near a window; the crap on the windows seals, which were incidentally by a window with the blinds partially up for Storm to gaze out; the reason why my small mouse traps never caught a mouse; the reason Storm was never able to kill the rodent; the ability for the animal to take down a major appliance.  It all came together!  I had no idea I was living with Alvin!  More importantly when did Alvin move in?  Well, the only important focus of this story was that he was dead!  Upon closer inspection I found out that he put up a fight before meeting his untimely death.  There were two snap traps set off and a few sticky pads moved around.  But ultimately I won this battle!

After all the shock wore off I called my sister to tell her I wasn’t moving out and I have a prize trophy.  She said, “You caught a chipmunk?  Heather that’s disgusting!”  I retorted, “I’d rather have a chipmunk on my furniture than a mouse.  I actually don’t feel so dirty now.  I’m happy knowing this.”

Since then, my house seems untouched by all creators that move around under cover of darkness.  At least that’s what I tell myself, it helps me sleep at night.  I hope since I killed Alvin, Simon and Theodore aren’t plotting revenge on me.

Read more on my encounters with mice
Of Mice and Me…
Of Mice and Me…Part 2
Of Mice and Me…Part 3

posted by auntheather in Books, Movies, Shows,Common Sense,Education & Learning,Family,News,Observation & Imagination,Patience,Reminiscing and have No Comments

Of Mice and Me…Part 3

It doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice.  ~Deng Xiaoping

Cowboy-Kyle-Aunt-Heather-Piper-2004

Cowboy Kyle…he loved that hat (courtesy of Uncle Sonny)

My disdain for mice is no secret!  I have no clue why I have such an aversion to those little rodents, but I do!  I’ve never really liked mice, but since a certain incidence occurred, when Pudd’in caught a live mouse and brought it into my bed to play with, while I was “asleep”, I can’t deal with the squirrelly rodents.  Let’s face it I don’t do mice!  Anyway, why am I rehashing my terror again?  Because I have another mouse!

First, I want to call out that I have no idea why the mice are picking on me.  Yes I believe they have a list of houses they want to infiltrate for one reason or another and my invasion has the goal to simply torture me!  Granted, I know everyone who has lived, has had a security breach with a mouse in their living quarters, at least most people.  And those who have not, AMEN!  Good for you!  I envy you, big time!  Being aware, that I have a pretty good life, I am also aware this single mouse spotting could be worse.  I don’t sleep on a dirt floor with flies swarming around my face and rats climbing over me as I sleep.  That would give me a complete meltdown.  But now my mouse saga continues.

This past week, as I stepped through my threshold of my castle, Storm didn’t greet me.  What?  She always runs to the door to see me, just like Scooby and Seven, but alas this time no Storm.  I called her and she was nowhere to be found, even after looking in the living-room and the kitchen.  Initially, I thought ‘She must be fast asleep’.  To be honest, I wanted to wake her up and surprise her.  Well, she got the last laugh when I walked into my bedroom, my private, secure, safe haven of a room, where I found Storm creeping low beneath the edge of the my dresser.  Instantly, I recognized the position of her body, and the flick of her tail, she was in hunting mode!  O crap!  Just then I saw the movement of something small under the dresser as Storm pounced side-to-side trapping the living squeaky animal.  Yikes!!  What to do?  I had to leave with her, but I didn’t want the mouse running around my house, but I didn’t want Storm to catch it alive, but I didn’t want a dead mouse in my house.  This is where I thought, ‘How can I train my cat to catch and kill a mouse without a mess and throw the deceased rodent in the trash and never speak of it again?”  I’m seriously working on that.

Did I mention, while I was trying to come up with an immediate solution, I heard the mouse squeaking?  Gross!  Storm must have sank her razor sharp claws into the large problem, which happens to came in the form of a tiny package.  Gross! Gross! Gross!

Chad-with-Kyle-as-a-lion-Aunt-Heather-Piper-2002

Chad holding a lion (Kyle). First Halloween – outfit courtesy of Aunt Nikki 10/2002

Well, until I train storm to be the terminator I needed to resolve this.  I retrieved a few of those sticky pads I had purchased from the last mouse incidence and strategized how this was going to work.  First, I put the one sticky pad down, while I was reaching for Storm.  I didn’t want her to get stuck in the gunk.  Then, as I was holding her, I placed another sticky pad down on the other side of the dresser, all while watching to make sure I wasn’t going to get jumped by the invader.  For a grande finally, I placed one in the hallway, leading out of the bedroom.  I was pretty sure I covered all bases.  Of course I didn’t have a choice in the matter, since I laid down all ammunition that I had on hand.

Storm and I exited stage right.  After I got situated in the car, I called my mom.  When a stressful situation like this one surfaces, always defer to mom.  As I was explaining the events that just unfolded, aside from wanting her to stop laughing at me and my phobia, I wanted her to come up to my house, once she got Kyle off of the bus, and defuse the situation.  Unfortunately, she didn’t have enough time.  Really?  Whatever!

Ok, so it looks like I’m going to have to face my fears and deal with it like an adult.  Even thought I did ponder the idea of asking friends of mine, I decided it was my problem.   When Kyle and I managed to get back to my house it was dark.  Incidentally, neither one of us can handle mice, we looked like the ‘geeked out’ leading the ‘grossed out’.  As we creeped inside, I realized I couldn’t let Storm run free, not with the sticky pads placed on the floor.  I barricaded her in my office with the closed door.  The entire time, she meowed and she exposed her paws out from under the threshold.  Kyle and I were both laughing.  We even started to play with her paws as they poked out and extended the width of the door.  Minor distraction before we got down to business.  We first checked the trap in the hallway, nothing.  Then we proceeded to move into my room.  At this point I was torn, I wanted to see a dead mouse in the trap, but then again I didn’t.  I just wanted to rid my house of mice FOREVER, if that’s even possible.

Kyle as a lion Aunt Heather Piper

Kyle’s first Halloween outfit. I was the lion tamer. 10/2002

Immediately, I saw one sticky trap, which contained a bug but no mouse.  Ok, so in my mind the last sticky tab contained the mouse and it was under my dresser.  Good?  I guess, again in my mind I just wanted to end this.  I grabbed the flashlight and headed back to the bedroom.  At that point I asked Kyle to get down and look under the dresser.  He just gave me a look of ‘Ya right’ and then said, “Umm why don’t you?”  I responded, “Cause you need to help me.  Nothing is going to jump out and get you.”  I must have been convincing because he approached the dresser with the flashlight in hand before turning back to me saying, “I just can’t!”  Logic must have taken over Kyle and he realized, I could be doing this and not him, so I did.  What do you think I saw?  Nothing!  Well that’s not entirely true, I found a photograph that somehow found its home under my dresser but nothing else.  No mouse, but also no sticky tab.  What?

Now at this point, fear and disgust was replaced by frustration and curiosity.  Where did the other sticky pad go?  Then Kyle and I went on the search.  One, because I didn’t want a dead mouse lying around somewhere, and two, I didn’t want Storm to find the sticky pad.  Kyle and I searched high and low.  Nothing!  We literally searched the entire house, under furniture, behind things, in closets.  Nothing!  I went even as far as to go to my basement and inspect everything.  Nadda!  No mouse, dead or alive and no black sticky pad.  Are you kidding?  My nightmare just went into limbo, into something worse…the unknown.  This is killing me!

I seriously must have the smartest mice ever!  This one pulled a Houdini on all of us.  No traces of a mouse, anywhere!  Once I got over my shock, I started to second guess myself, thinking I only put out two traps, when I knew very well I put out three.  While Kyle was there I didn’t make the missing trap into a big deal, only because I didn’t want Kyle to worry.  He would stress about Storm’s safety and I didn’t want the kid to feel afraid to walk around my house.  But the truth is, I was concerned!  Did the mouse pick up the trap and exit the house never to return?  Did it place the pad somewhere to catch me?  Was it waiting till I was fast asleep ready to place the sticky side down on my face all in the name of revenge?

I tried to put those thoughts out of my head and focus on my little man, not my little problem.  Kyle is too funny.  After we gave up, I gathered my trash to take out to the curb.  As I was heading outside, Kyle stopped me and said, “Aunt Heather where are you going?” with a very stressed out voice.  I told him, “To take the garbage out.”, while I displaying the overly stuffed trash bag.  He said, “You’re just going to leave me in here?”  He was mortified and I couldn’t help but laugh.  I will admit I would have been leery too, if I was alone after that anti climatic mystery ending to this story, but he is just so funny.  I said, “Kyle, nothing is going to come out charging you, besides you have the best weapon, Storm and her razor sharp claws.”  Immediately as the words fell from my mouth, he looked toward Storm and made the motion to pick her up, before she ran away from him.

After the evening settled down, my next biggest concern was sleeping.  I have a fear of Storm (any cat really) bringing a mouse, dead or alive and placing it in bed with me while I sleep.  Some may say my imagination is going a rye.  Not really, it actually happened!  I lived to tell the tale and I have never recovered from that nightmare.  I understand that, that’s the greatest honor for a cat, to bring their owner a live mouse, but I’m good.  I don’t need presents.  I don’t need the cat to prove themselves to me.  I don’t need to know they killed the enemy, as long as I don’t see it.

Believe it or not, the mystery is unsolved.  I started to clean out corners of the house, searching everywhere, but have found nothing.  If anyone would find the missing weapon, I would think it would be Storm, but she’s come up empty too.  On a side note, to make me feel better, I want to call out that my house is spotless.  Aside from getting behind on dusting, it is clean!  In fact, I haven’t really had any food in the house.  My refrigerator is bare, and I mean empty!  I’ve been meaning to hit up the grocery store, but haven’t had the chance.  So what is so interesting about my house?  How are they coming in?  What else can I do to keep mice out?  HELP!

Read more on my encounters with mice
Of Mice and Me…
Of Mice and Me…Part 2

posted by auntheather in Books, Movies, Shows,Common Sense,Education & Learning,Family,Milestone,Observation & Imagination,Patience,Reminiscing and have No Comments

Breaking News…Pudd’in Concedes – Dogs Wage War…

When most of us talk to our dogs, we tend to forget they’re not people.  ~Julia Glass

Puddin-Concedes-Aunt-Heather-PiperGiving an update to the war that was raging in the Piper household, I am happy to announce it has since subsided.  Pudd’in has thrown up the white flag and has been behaving herself, as is dad.  However, as history has always told us, it’s not long before another war breaks out.  This time it’s dogs waging war.

Scooby vs Pudd’in, well not Pudd’in per se but Pudd’in’s lifeline, her food and Scooby and Seven against mom and dad.  Ok, it’s not full blown war like we’ve seen with dad and Pudd’in but it’s certainly well played sneak attacks.  Let me step back about five or six years ago when we got Scooby.  He was a tiny little puppy that Kyle held on his lap and brought him home.  Scooby has never known a time without us.  Needless to say, over the years he has picked up certain eating habits from my parents.  Basically eating anything he wanted, when he wanted, which he did a lot of.  Now jump to a year ago when we rescued Seven from the pound.  Unfortunately, he had two sets of families that returned him back to the pound before making his way straight into the hearts of the Piper’s.  He was a year old.  Seven, as far as we can tell has only had dog food.  On a side note, I have never, in the 17 years I’ve had Pudd’in, given her anything but cat food and water.  Anyway, over the most recent year my parents tried to ease Seven into their eating habits just as Scooby has always eaten.  As it turns out Seven has a sensitive digestive system and he can’t handle different foods.  Actually, mom found out that the Dad’s brand dog food has been agreeing with him the best.

Great!  Problem solved, well no, it started another problem.  Since Seven couldn’t eat scraps from the table, mom and dad felt it’s not fair to give one dog and not the other.  Over the last few months they’ve really reinforced this rule in the house and reiterated it to me and Kyle.  So new rule, don’t give the dogs food scraps!  Check!  No food scraps to either dog and as I’ve mentioned, Pudd’in never received any anyway.  Seven, didn’t seem to know the difference, but Scooby on the other hand is taking this quite personal.

Scooby-Who-Me-Aunt-Heather-PiperA few weeks ago mom told me she made dad fish with veggies for dinner.  She set the plate of food on the table while dad took a shower.  When dad came out, the plate was cleared, however he didn’t notice the cleared plate of missing food.  I guess dad sat there for a while, then asked mom where the dinner was?  Mom responded, ‘You ate it.’ followed by dad saying ‘No I didn’t, I didn’t eat anything.’  Mom said, ‘Ron, I made you fish and vegetables, where’s it at?’  At that moment those two, who probably looked like a skit from Abbott and Costello discussing Who’s On First?, realized there was a thief among them!  All they had to do was ask, ‘Who ate pap pap’s food?’ and the guilty party walked right into his cage.  So you see, Scooby decided he wanted to eat what dad was eating, throwing a good old fashioned temper tantrum.  Scooby is basically telling my parents, you are not cutting me off of food just because of the new addition.

It gets even better, Scooby’s blatten defiance doesn’t end there.  He is now showing his discontent through an easier innocent source.  Pudd’in’s cat food!  Since Pudd’in has a heart condition and she burns so many calories, we are having a hard time keeping weight on her.  She acts very healthy and happy with long strong whiskers, shiny soft coat, and a playful demeanor, however she is very anorexic looking.  In order to help Pudd’in keep some weight on, we have her on a special indoor high calorie formula.  Well, apparently Scooby is in on the same special diet, because recently, mom and dad have been busting him, sneaking to the back room where Pudd’in’s food resides and dibing into the bowl.  Mom made a comment not long ago to get more cat food for Pudd’in.  I thought that was odd since she is only a six pound kitty and I just got her cat food.  I shrugged it off thinking it was longer than I realized, no biggie.  Then I heard the news.  At that moment my eyes opened and as I compared the dogs, Scooby is noticeably thicker in the middle than he was before.  I guess the high calorie kitty food is doing it’s job.  Just on the wrong animal.

A weekend or so ago, mom made dad eggs and toast for breakfast.  As she buttered the toast on the counter and walked away, apparently Seven decided to takes Scooby’s lead and help himself to a slice of toast.  I asked mom, how do you know it was Seven. Mom’s reply, “Because Scooby was in the living-room and when I came out in the kitchen Seven was licking his lips.” Ummm

Just like children, the boys don’t realize we are trying to help them and not limit them.  It’s for their own health.  Well, I guess there’s another war raging in the Piper household.

Read more on the wars in the Piper household.

Pudd’in vs Dad – A New Kind of War

Pudd’in vs Dad vs Kiwis – War Continues…

Puppy Problem Called Seven!

posted by auntheather in Common Sense,Education & Learning,Family,Observation & Imagination,Patience,Pets and have Comments (2)
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