Catchy title. But not exactly accurate. Let’s see if I can get from an armadillo to ice in just a few steps.
Part one – just one Armadillo:
The other day my dog Jack saw his first armadillo. He looked at me for clues – Do I chase it? Play with it? Kill it? Eat it? I held the leash very tightly and allowed him to smell just enough to get the scent. The armadillo escaped safely into the drainage culvert that runs under the road.
Part two – Rabbits (just one to start with):
One neighbor had a pet rabbit and let it loose as it was too much work to clean the cage and his children couldn’t remember to feed it. Another neighbor thought it was cute to have a rabbit in the yard so he got one rabbit and also let it run loose. Hmmm, one rabbit plus one rabbit equals…..no, don’t tell me. I’ll figure it out. I was pretty good at math in school; even got a 95 in Algebra. So one plus one equals….um….drat. Guess the answer is not always ‘two’. Oh, goody, do I get to use the word ‘exponentially’ now? If you need a bit of help, try this link:
Yep, what we now have in my small neighborhood is, as Yosemite Sam would say…”Rachin’ Frackin’ Varmint Rabbits”!!! They are everywhere. Looks like a low-budget Alfred Hitchcock movie set and I sure ain’t a Tipi Hedren look-alike.
Pet rabbits released into the wild are supposed to have little chance of survival. However, since these rabbits are in a semi-private, low-traffic speed bump community with plenty of food and shelter, the colony is thriving. There are numerous links about diseases that can be passed from feral rabbits to humans and some that can be passed from rabbits to dogs. It is very frightening.
Woke up early this morning…way too early for my old body…a neighbor needed a ride to the local Veterans’ Administration Clinic as he had to catch the VA van heading over to South Carolina this morning for some long overdue tests. Just my luck at 6 in the morning my dog decides to take off like a bat out of Hades on speed chasing two feral rabbits. Note; Yes, I always put a harness and leash on my dog; unfortunately somewhere between the word ‘harness’ and the word ‘leash’ my dog took off running. This is NOT his usual behavior. I had only 30 available minutes in which to panic, cry, walk as fast as I could around the entire neighborhood four times and clap my hands, whistle, and call my dogs name loudly and repeatedly to make sure all my neighbors could enjoy the day as much as I did. My antics set all the neighborhood dogs to barking. Oh joy, I felt like a mother Penguin when among all the barking dogs I was able to identify the bark of my own little dog.
Using stealth and cunning I walked between two houses following the sound of his barking voice, I got on my hands and knees in the mud to crawl through someone’s garden and under their cucumber vines (oh, very healthy looking vines you got there mister) and around to the back of their tool shed. Ah, there was my dog Jack, baying his head off like he had treed a raccoon. He was alternately barking and digging, still trying to reach the rabbit that had hidden under the shed.
No, Jack, No.
I lifted and carried Jack, as I crawled out from the cucumber vines, and was able to get him safely home arriving at my house at 6:26 in the morning, dead tired and covered in mud. Whew, with four minutes to spare! I cannot be late to drive my neighbor to the VA as he has a bus to catch and I cannot get angry with my dog Jack because he is part Beagle – I mean, chasing rabbits is what they do, right? Don’t worry; no rabbits were harmed.
Good dog, Jack.
Part three – Ice (or lack thereof):
At 6:30 in the a.m. I gave the neighbor a ride to the VA and he was on time for the bus; ten minutes later I arrive home and check my emails, give another friend a ride to work. Did I mention that I run the local free taxi service?. Finally. I go to my daughter’s house to pick up my grand-dog. As a dutiful dog-sitter, I always check for a note in case I need to give her an allergy pill or give her an extra poop walk.
Oh, goody. How’s this for a note:
Daughter wrote: “The ice cubes are melted; the refrigerator is officially dead, so on my way to work I stopped at the other house to turn on the spare refrigerator so it can get cold.” I realize that not everyone has a spare house and a spare refrigerator, but this kid has both; God bless her good fortune.
…Can you read between the lines on the note? The way I read the words on the note is:
“Mom, in your spare time, since you are retired and have time to drive strangers all over for free, and while walking your own dog and babysitting my big dog, can you please transfer all the food from the dead fridge to the working fridge in my other house halfway across town…since you like to drive the car so much”.
Aha! First I think, maybe I should have started my day with coffee. But I am smarter than that. I went to Lowe’s where the coffee is free but, on this particular day, the customer service was lousy. They may be able to match prices but they cannot always match customer service.
So I went to another store that offers free coffee. The Home Depot – which has the most excellent employees; maybe they are happy because they get to write their name using Sharpie markers on their snappy orange vests. I was shopping for a brand new smallish fridge. It had to be in my price range, light enough for me to carry up four steps while dodging spiky cactus and delicate succulents into my daughter’s house. Did you know there is a rule that says if you lay a fridge on its side you cannot plug it in until it has been in the upright position for at least 24 hours? Who writes this stuff – airline hostesses? So the fridge also had to be small enough to stand upright in the mouth of the car trunk. Yep. I bought a cute little stainless steel beauty of a fridge. It’s a beauty.
From the comfort of my daughter’s kitchen the dogs watched in awe as I unloaded the huge box, backed into a Yucca plant (ouch!), then ‘Yosemite Sam’d’ the fridge up the four steps, ripped open the flimsy cardboard carton, carefully avoided cutting my fingers on the numerous staples, cursed the styrofoam…really, did they use enough? I mean, this fridge only had to come from China; how much styrofoam does one smallish fridge need to feel safe and comfy on a ship traveling halfway around the world? All four of my grandparents traveled to America on ships and were quite comfortable even before styrofoam was invented, and roughly 35 years after staples were invented, but several years before the refrigerator was invented!!
Then I transferred the food from the dead fridge to the new fridge. Oh, sorry, this might be helpful. Some of you may use the word ‘frig’ and some may use ‘fridge’ – http://www.grammarphobia.com/b… Okay, back to my story. The bad news is that when the old refrigerator, fridge or frig died the strawberries and raspberries didn’t survive the temperature fluctuations in the freezer compartment. Some corn on the cob looked a little iffy, too.
Good news is that Luigi’s lemon ice was just fine.
In fact, it was delicious!
So there you have it. I managed to get from Armadillo to ice in just a few easy steps.
Update on our local animals:
In the Spring my neighbor started a small garden. Lately, it seems that ‘something’ has been eating all her plants and digging up the soil. I do not have the heart to tell her that it is most likely the rabbits eating the plants and the armadillo doing clean-up eating the worms and grubs.
The other day another friend saw a ‘strange’ animal in the yard and asked, “What is that?”
She managed to snap a couple of photos using her phone (did I mention that my friend is smart and has a SmartPhone?). She sent the pics to my phone somewhere around half past midnight.
Truth is, there is a slight lag in the time needed here. Since I am not smart enough to own a SmartPhone, it was necessary for me to take my somewhat ignorant flip phone to the T-Mobile store and ask the helpful clerk to please, please, please (in my younger days I might have batted my eyelashes, but I guess being an old lady is enough to encourage the young men to offer assistance) would he kindly push the correct buttons on my phone to send the pics to my email. Yes, I admit that am not smart enough to own a Smart Phone. Here is the strange animal that my friend photographed…an Armadillo.
Here is one of the cute little multitude of adorable feral bunnies at midnight. Eeeek!
The dogs and I take a walk before bedtime. On one walk we counted 17 rabbits plus another batch of babies, but this was the only rabbit who sat still long enough for his close up.
Update September 5, 2014
The rabbits are spreading. They are now in my yard and gardens. This could get ugly. Or maybe I should just plant some carrots.
Update: Mid September 2014
Twenty-four hours later the mint, garlic chives, Thai basil and several young Sassafras in my yard and garden have been chewed down to almost nothing. These adorable bunnies also like to dig random holes for me to trip over. Walking my dog is now a very risky and dangerous event.
Update: October 11, 2014
There was a litter of bunnies in one neighbor’s yard. Soon after the little rabbits were weaned and eating on their own, one of them is living temporarily in a cage-within-a-chicken-coop in my yard waiting to be re-homed. My hope is that every one of these wascals er, rascals can find a new home – and far away from my garden, please.
Today my friend PlantSister who lives in Thailand sent me a bit of information; a link with lots of natural rabbit repellents. I will try some of these methods…
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Update June 1, 2015
My daughter’s little garden is producing edibles. Sometimes the big dog is allowed to enter the little garden fence and help weed and harvest. So tranquil; so peaceful. Yikes!! The dog suddenly lunges under the bean plants, through the tomato cages, what the ??? There is a little gray rabbit that had been hiding under the leaves of the bean plant. When it was spotted by the dog and all heck broke loose. We have no idea how the rabbit entered the securely fenced garden but it leaped over the fence and escaped. That was a few days ago. Each day the big dog continues to look under the bean leaves, under the tomato leaves, under the cucumber leaves…she knows there is a rabbit in that garden somewhere!