by Mousie, Researcher of Miscellaneous Trivia
Hello, everyone. There, that took care of the Good Morning, Afternoon or Evening dilemma. Hello, friends. I'm back with another funny tale. A short one this time.
As you'll know if you read last week's blog Grammy went camping in her youth and adulthood before she got 'old' and crotchety. And in that tale you heard about sassy Mr Skunk. Well, that wasn't the end of her encounters with animals that night.
Once Mr Skunk had huffed and puffed and wandered off to feast in other campsites they (Grammy & her friend) settled down to a peaceful evening before the campfire. Fortunately, vegetation was lush and wet so fires were permitted. But this had its downside too. That same lush vegetation was a breeding ground for mosquitoes and they were plentiful. In fact, they were more than plentiful. There were squadrons of them and they were all out and about on foraging missions. What were they foraging for, you ask? Why fuel, of course.... and that fuel was high-octane blood of which Grammy had plenty.
For the most part the smoky campfire kept the mosquitoes at bay and that suited Grammy quite well. Grammy disliked those buzzy critters with a passion. While lower legs and arms were generally safe from the blood suckers most took great delight in tangling themselves in hair and dive-bombing ears, cheeks, forehead and thick juicy thighs. Nasty beasties.
What was unfair though was that not one of those critters bothered her friend. She could never understand that. Why ignore one and concentrate on another? Maybe thick curly hair and hairy limbs protected her friend but Grammy's rich blood and delicate skin were an easier target. But we won't dwell on this. This isn't the tale I was going to tell.... so here goes.
After an hour of star gazing two tired campers settled into their sleeping bags expecting to sleep through til morning. At some point in the night a loud commotion woke both. Suddenly on high alert, Grammy grabbed a flashlight, unzipped the tent flap while friend took up an ax and a second flashlight and went to investigate. Was it a bear? Another skunk? What could be causing this cacophony of noises?
There, inside a hole torn into the brand-new kitchen tent was a raccoon raiding the larder - raw eggs, fresh fruits, a bag of chips...Yum! Who knew raccoons could and would open cooler chests? Definitely not these two goofballs! And not to be left out of the feast a dozen blackbirds had followed the bandit leader into the tent, demolished a loaf of bread and a bag of cookies, scattering crumbs everywhere.
Now that they'd had their fill they were flapping furiously against the netted walls in a futile attempt to escape. Grammy opened the flap, let them out while friend chased off Mr Raccoon. After cleaning up the disarray of the night marauders these two greenhorns returned to their sleeping bags and resettled for the remainder of the night.
Only problem was that despite having cleaned up, it was done in the dark with the aid of two flashlights. Not an ideal situation, and bits were missed. These bits attracted their own parade of opportunists. Squirrels, chipmunks, sparrows, finches, ants and you name it all made an appearance taking away bits and bobs - bread and cookie crumbs, peanuts in the shell, dry cereal.
A veritable feast was had by all and sundry. AND what about Grammy and her friend? They toodled off to town for a 50s diner breakfast and to restock the larder. Lesson 2 learned.... all food stuffs were to be stored in the trunk of the car overnight.
Comments are welcomed... let's keep them light and fun.
By Mousie, Researcher of Miscellaneous Trivia
Good morning, afternoon or evening, wherever you are and whatever time you read this. I had to say all that because Grammy says etiquette is important and we want to greet people with the proper greeting whatever time of the day it is. It would be silly of me to say good morning when you are reading this at night, though it is morning somewhere in the world. So now I'm confused. Well, I'm covering all times of the day....just in case.
And so again I say, Good morning, afternoon or evening. Phew! Now we've got that over with I can move on to the important part of the blog. As you know Sweetie has been diving into boxes in our storage room looking for dirt on Grammy. Oops, I mean to say looking up other critters in Grammy's life. Well, she's still researching on those bunnies. They are elusive little hoppers.
While she was in there I joined her and found another box of stuff and boy do I have a few dooseys for you. Wait until you hear this! Grammy was a camper in her youth. Can you believe it? That old stick would sleep on the ground where bugs crawl! The same Grammy that freaked and almost had an apoplectic fit when a spider slipped down it's silky thread to tickle her neck and met it's sudden demise! That's not a mistake the poor spider will make twice. *giggles* Nope, that spider made it's last and maybe one and only mistake - coming near Grammy. Well, unless that stuff in the box is fiction Grammy was a camper.... and had some very interesting 'speriences.
There were many things Grammy loved to do while camping and a few she wasn't so keen on. She and her friend would go fishing at dawn, walk the trails to the top of the Canadian Shield for the views (and they were magnificent), swim in the lake, cook yummy meals, even bake cakes on her camper stove. At night they'd light a campfire and enjoy toasted marshmallows (not S'mores. No, she never really enjoyed those things), sit around chatting or listen quietly to the night sounds. The one thing she truly disliked though was fishing near the marsh at dusk when squadrons of mosquitos would come out, dive bomb past her ears and come in for a landing on arms, legs and ankles. But on with the fun stuff.
The first night they camped - and this was Grammy's first time camping in years - they set up the tents - kitchen and sleeping. Grammy (remember she wasn't a Grammy then, she was an almost 40s adult) made the evening meal. They sat down for a delicious dinner of pork chops, mashed potatoes and vegetables, followed by a dessert not-named. And of course, first thing you do after a meal, clean up. So, dishes done, garbage in the bag, kitchen tent tidied and Grammy set herself down before the campfire. Her friend was still messing about near the kitchen tent and dusk was settling in over the campgrounds. It was so peaceful listening to the fire crackling and the birds chirping and rustling in the trees as they settled in for the evening.
Suddenly, a skunk crossed the distant footpath, waddled up to the campfire, sauntered between Grammy's legs, under her chair and onward to the kitchen tent. It rummaged around the garbage, found the pork chop bones, gnawed them bare, rummaged around for whatever other goodies it could find, looked over at Grammy as if to say, that was meager pickings, do better next time and wandered off.
Now, suffice it to say, Grammy was a little shocked, somewhat surprised and definitely amused by this little stinker. BUT, she wasn't stupid. Grammy and her friend had learned a valuable lesson. When dinner is done, take the garbage to the designated lidded garbage site immediately. BUT that isn't the end of the tale. No siree. The next night, dinner done, garbage disposed of and sitting around the campfire their little visitor sauntered up, under and through again. He (or she)stopped at the kitchen tent, rifled around the cooler and paraphernalia looking for the leftovers, huffed and snuffled and snorted, looked over at Grammy, grumbled and snorted again, kicked up some dirt in disgust and wandered off never to be seen again.
Another time, up at the crack of dawn, fishing gear in tow, off they went to their little rowboat, rowed around the point and settled about 20 feet off-shore near the marsh. It was a beautiful morning, sun just coming up over the treetops, the lake smooth as glass except for the ripples around the boat as it bobbed in the water, a cool breeze blowing away the no-seeums and mosquitos. A little bit of heaven on earth.
Off in the marsh a loud smack broke the silence. Oh no, animals fighting? A tree falling? What was it? Then, just the smallest ripple appeared about 10 feet off the side of the boat....and as it got bigger, two eyes, flattened ears and a head surfaced. A beaver had come out to check on the intruders. This beaver, having warned his family, was doing a thorough check.... he swam around the boat two or three times, coming closer each time until he was within arms length of Grammy. Grammy rippled her fingers in the water but otherwise stayed still. Mr Beaver circled the boat once more, sniffed the air, submerged and was gone. Since there wasn't a second slap of the tail Grammy assumed they were deemed non-threatening to the beaver family. Later, Mr Beaver returned, this time pulling a birch branch, leaves attached past the rowboat and into the marsh where she assumed he had built his family's lodge.
Later that same morning, still sitting in the boat on the peaceful lake loons could be heard calling to each other. Soon, they too pulled up close to the boat, mom, and her half-grown off-spring, circled it, let out a mournful cry and swam off. Forget the fishing.... this was much more delightful.
That's all for today, friends. There's more to tell... like the tale of the Raccoon. the blackbirds and sparrows but... that's for another day.
Thanks for visiting, friends. We love to hear your comments, so please comment below and we'll reply to each and every one of you.
Hello dear friends.
This time I have taken it upon myself to sneak into the archive boxes in the storage room. I, the little feisty one, Sweetie, have decided there must be other feisty critters in Grammy's past and I found a few. There are four lovely bunnies that Grammy had after PowderPuff. These four came in pairs, years apart. Two dwarves and two long-eared beauties. I'll tell you about each of them - two today and two next time.
The first two who followed Puffy were Twink and Wendell. Dwarf bunnies with their short ears, cobby bodies and large brown eyes they were adorable. Both loved to play in the garden and with each other, practicing their wooing skills on each other. They would take turns chasing each other around the house mounting whatever part of the others' body was closest - head, tail-end, shoulders, left hip, right hip - it didn't matter. Silly bunnies. BUT, it was a nice change for Grammy. Her ankles were no-longer the focus of bunny loving. (see Into the Archives IV: The Bunny Who...)
Twink, with his Siamese Sable colouring was chocolate brown on the ears, face, paws and tail and cocoa coloured on his body. He was sweet, gentle and loved to have his head and ears scritched. He wasn't a very active bunny with Grammy preferring to sit and be snuggled. In after-thoughts it was probably because he had cancer. Poor little duffer didn't last long before he was diagnosed and had to be euthanized. There weren't the options we have today for sick animals. Grammy was heartbroken to lose her little chocolate truffle.
But, she still had little Wendell, his buddy to care for. Wendell, who was originally called Smokey, was smoky coloured over his body and charcoal grey on ears, face, paws and tail. Wendell's only issue was his teeth. He had an overbite and had to have his front teeth trimmed every few weeks otherwise they'd get so long he couldn't eat. The effects of not being able to chew properly caused stomach issues and eventually took him too but he lived a number of years with Grammy. He was, as you'll see, sweet and loving and above all, feisty and playful (like me).
Unfortunately the photos from that era have disappeared over time and through a bunch of moves so the collage below is made from stock photos of bunnies similar to them.
This was a stressful time for Grammy. We won't go into details as it pertained to a traumatic car accident involving parents but affecting the whole family. We'll just say that she moved a couple of times to accommodate family needs. Finally, when things settled she left her home and moved into an apartment taking Wendell with her.
While there wasn't much furniture in the new digs things were comfortable. Kitchen had a table and chairs and was otherwise basic but sufficient. Bedroom was comfortable as it contained her own furniture from home: bed, nightstand, dresser and a lamp. What more could one need? The livingroom was sparse, rocking chair from her bedroom at home, a floor lamp, and a small cabinet that housed her record collection and on which sat her stereo and amplifier. It was her very own little nest with resident bunny.
Wendell, actually named after Oliver Wendell Holmes, was a great little fellow. He loved to eat, play and sleep and settled in with Grammy quite happily. The bonus was that they moved in warm weather so Wendell settled on the balcony quite readily and early on determined it would be his home. And why not! It was a 25 by 5 foot rabbit run with cement ends, solid metal on the railing side and entrances to both bedroom and livingroom. Grammy set up his litter box at one end beside his cage - always open, and a huge planter in which to grow carrots and greens, installed green outdoor carpet the whole length of the run and set up a patio table and chairs at the north end for her socializing. At first there was more seating area for humans outside than inside. AND it was glorious.
So, the new life began, Grammy worked, visited family, came home to Wendell and socialized with friends and family at home when she could. BUT she and Wendell had their special time in the evenings.
Wendell and Grammy played hide and seek, tag, and other silly games. Of course, the old dear was more agile then and could romp around on her knees. Can you picture it? I sure do and it's pretty funny.
When Grammy got tired she'd sit in the rocking chair, pick up her book and read.... but that would elicit another thump from little Wendell and despite being tired another round of tag. Not tag as we know it. This was bunny tag. Wendell would thump his hind feet, wiggle his nose and then hop like the wind into the bathroom and hide, ears and nose twitching behind the toilet. Grammy would get down on all fours, chase him in there with an 'I'm coming to get you' and thump her hands on the floor, then reverse and return to her chair chased by a swift little sooty cottonball. He'd thump and run, again and this would go on until one of them (usually Wendall) had had enough and headed to the door to be let out into his rabbit run.
As autumn approached Grammy started to worry about her little bunny and the coming cold weather. Wendell loved being out in the fresh air but the nights were getting colder and colder and Grammy was concerned about him living outside during a harsh Canadian winter. So, she decided to bring him indoors and let him outside to roam on warmer days.
He could only be out of the cage while supervised... Grammy found that out within a day or two when the covers on her books were nibbled and torn, and though litter trained outdoors, his indoor manners were abominable. Being caged after having free run outdoors didn't suit the little fellow. He moped about and was miserable. Grammy was afraid he would become ill.
So, Grammy decided a winterized outdoor environment was necessary and would only bring him indoors for play time and when the temperature dropped too low. He still had free run of the balcony but Grammy hoped he'd snuggle in his winterized cottage/cage but he never used it except as a latrine. Contrary little duffer, just like me. *Sweetie giggles*
What did the smart little hopper do? He built himself a little snowy igloo. Yes, he burrowed into the snow on his carrot planter box until he was completely encased in a cave just big enough for his body. He loved to huddle fur fluffed, ears flattened against his head and paws tucked under just inside the entrance. All you could see were his twitching nose and twinkling eyes. He was happy and free. Of course, he came in for his evening games and his social hour with Grammy but he was free to be himself in HIS domain. Now that's quite a life, don't you think?
So friends, as you know we just love to hear your comments. Let's keep them light and fun though.
A Little More Summer Poetry
by Rondo, Poet and Balladeer
Good morning, friends.
It has been a while since I last shared poetry with you. Well, now that summer has arrived here are a few poems that are actually my favourites so far. These are a few of the very first poems that I wrote.
This will be a very short blog since we are having computer issues and for some reason Grammy thinks fixing the computer takes precedence. Obviously, she has her priorities wrong but since she has the opposable thumbs and we don't we are out-thumbed (obviously) and out-weighed on the decision-making. We won't say more on the weight thing other than that she out-weighs all of us put together.
So in honour of summer, birds and bees - the creatures who keep our planet pollinated and serenade us with their beautiful songs - we bring you....
Birds and Bees
Birds and bees as summer comes
Seek out the flowers their sap to sup
And as they do they spread the crumbs.
One to another they drop them down
To infuse the stem and procreate
Another year the earth to crown.
We are so blessed
That bees do best
With cobby bodies
To pollen wrest
From hearts of flowers
And stamens long
To drop it next
Within the throng
Of bee's bouquet.
© Whiskers, Mouse, Sweetie, Etude & Rondo - Mischief and Mayhem Central
Friends - comments are welcomed. We love to hear from you all. Let's keep it light and fun.
Five Cats, Five Personalities, One Goal - Mischief & Mayhem.