To each his own. To me my own.

Animals

Man’s Best Friend

This picture was taken after a harrowing storm in the Philippines over the summer. The image packed a big punch with me, so I thought I’d update the wording and share with all of you.

The original was posted via Twitter back in August by this fine gentleman/rescuer – God bless him. 🙂


Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreaming

I don’t know about the rest of you, but the direct rays from the sun sometimes makes me sleepy. About a minute after I snapped this, Camille was fast asleep.

Prior to that, I thought she looked dreamlike.

To view other entries in this week’s photo challenge, ‘Dreaming’ –  click here.


The value of Unconditional Love

I’m so pissed off as I’m writing this that after I finish I may choose to not even post it at all. At the least this will be a raw and jump-all-over-the-place post. The question lingering in my head is, how can someone choose to abandon their animal? What god-given right do they think they have to consider these defenseless beings disposable?

In the small neighborhood where I live, we know each and every dog that ‘runs around’ (yes, there is a leash law but not really enforced) and know that each one indeed has a home. Three days ago, a white adult male Boxer showed up at the house next door. He will not leave the area, and has even made a huge bed of yard brush in the back yard of the house we think he was abandoned at. Our street is but a cul-desac consisting of four houses. The house two doors down was foreclosed on a few months ago, so the bank sent a contracted group of cleaners and yard personnel to get the house ‘ready’. It was approximately an hour after the hired personnel departed from their second visit out that the collared AB (abandoned boxer) showed up.

This is the closest shot I could get of him.

He appears to be a senior dog who’s non-aggressive, but he won’t come to anyone. I later gathered he is deaf since he didn’t pass my hearing test of several loud noises when he wandered in our front yard. Once he notices me by arm signalling, he always slowly turns around and walks back to his ‘house’. He will wander a short distance throughout the four homes on our cul-de-sac, but always returns to the spot where he was abandoned. It doesn’t take a damn rocket scientist to figure out what happened.

He’s waiting on his family to come back for him.

Yesterday I contacted the SPCA (humane society) who gave instructions to call the pound. I am not calling a kill shelter on this animal, it’s not his fault his family doesn’t want him anymore. Today I’ve spent hours attempting to reach boxer rescue organizations in the area. Though I’ve found a handful, half won’t consider a stray, another is full, most want to be contacted via email, and I’ve left messages with the two others. It appears that Sunday is not the optimal day to reach anyone.

I live in Gaston County on the North/South Carolina border – if anyone has any suggestions as to other contacts, I’d sure be open to them. Other than that I’ll just wait and hope I get a returned call back tomorrow at work.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Together

As most of you know, I have a new ‘son’ – Mr. Mojo Risin. He was unusually nervous on the way to get groomed for the first time today. Although the little man was afraid, he trusted his new Mommy implicitly. In fact, everything seemed more than okay – as long as we were Together.


Mr. Mojo Risin’

I found the little boy an hour after he was posted on the shelter’s website, and immediately called to inquire on him. I was told there was someone else also interested, but that the staff would put a ‘note’ out for him with my contact info signalling I was interested too. I know how this works and have done it before, many times. Realizing the shelter operates on a first-come first-serve basis, I literally ran up to my boss and asked if I could leave work an hour early, which he graciously obliged.

As I walked in the door, my heart sank – a large woman with another small dog in tow already had him in the acquainting room with her. I watched as she shooed him off with her foot and leg, and barked out commands which the little eleven-week puppy had yet to learn (she was also blissfully unaware of her loud voice bellowing into the corrider for everyone else to hear). I went to the front desk and spoke to the girls about ‘pup’, telling them I also had a note out on him. To my chagrin they informed me that Mean Lady™ was going to adopt him. Mean Lady™ had been there for hours waiting to adopt, but their computer system was down and they had to wait for it to come back up to complete the adoption. I verified once again that this was to be a sure thing, and they told me it was. As I walked toward the exit door, I noticed Mean Lady™ had her oversized leg and foot outstretched again towards the pup. I left the shelter in tears even though I’d never even met the little fella. I wondered just what kind of life he had in store for him.

That night at home I told Keith about my misadventure at the shelter and that Mean Lady™ was probably at home with her new pup by now. I pulled up the shelter’s website on the internet to show Keith his picture and immediately noticed he was still listed. They probably haven’t updated their database, I thought. I called them up anyway.

“Hello, my name is Bonnie Melton and…”

“Oh, Miss Melton, we were just about to call you!

“You werrrrrrre??”

As it turned out, Mean Lady™ thought the pup would grow to be ‘too big for her needs’ (I’m thinking she knew she couldn’t kick around a larger dog). Just as well.

SCORE ONE FOR THE BON.

Meet Mr. Mojo Risin. That’s Mojo to his homies. I guess now I’ll be able to say with full confidence… I’ve got my mojo back.

NewMommy said we’re going HOME now. I like the word home… it sounds homey.

My new sissy. I like sissies, cuz’ they give good kisses.

See?? Told ya.


I’m so sleepy and NewMommy’s purse is oh-so-comfy.

I think NewMommy needs some direction here…

What?? Who, me – pull?? Never.

The little eleven week-old border collie mix has stolen my heart from the very beginning. How someone could mistreat these little defenseless animals is beyond me. Here’s an added bonus… Mojo and Camille have the same color scheme going on! So does that mean I can say I have designer pets??


Dirt to Sand

When I was a kid, my Mom used to point out the sand on the side of the road to indicate we were getting close to the beach. I must’ve worn the question “Mommy, how much longer ’til we’re there?” into the ground. She finally found a way to divert my attention from that irritating question every ten minutes – to pay attention for my own self to my own surroundings. Another great lesson in life by a great Mom.

Now when I’m on the way to the beach, I still pay attention to how the red dirt slowly evolves into beautiful white sand. Except now, I also appreciate the beauty of it. It serves two purposes.

Sometimes it takes patience while you’re waiting on the dirt to evolve into white sand. As my dear uncle used to say, ‘such is life’.

Ever felt like you’ve bonded with an animal of the wild? I tend to bond with many of the seagulls, at least I like to think so. This little girl seemed ever-accommodating – a trait I see as both admirable and disturbing. I named her Bon.


Oh, Snap

Well, trap #3 got the prize. Ewwww. (That’s not MY arm, by the way.)

Aside from the pressmen, I’m the first person in the office in the mornings. I haven’t screamed out loud for a while now – I guess it’s good to exercise the ole’ vocal chords once in a while! Poor little guy. We figure he’s got a sibling running around here somewhere too, so I don’t think the coast is clear just yet.

It reminds me of a short story my very talented grandmother wrote about ‘Odell the Mouse’. I’m gonna have to find that in my archives at home and repost it someday. RIP, Mr. Mouse.


A Day in the Life of Camille

This morning as I sat in front of my computer, my trusty sidekick hung out with me.
I caught her snuggling with Mr. Frog (the first stuffed animal Keith ever gave me).
For once, I happened to have the camera right beside me.

A few minutes later, she gave her customary ‘hummpphh’ from her table beside the computer desk. Knowing my little girl so well, I immediately took note it was more than a ‘hey mommy, over here!!’ grunt. It was obvious she was planning a desk-launch, and she wanted clearance to do so.
And so the stance was taken.

No, Camille.” Hunched forward again in pounce mode. (A little firmer now) “Camille – NO.”
She then backed off completely with one exception – her little left paw was left suspended
and quivering in mid-air.

And it hung.

And hung. And quivered.

“Aren’t I cuuuuute, Mommy?
Let me squint my eyes at you to let you know how much I love you Mommy and,
and, and… you are getting very sleepy, Mommy…”

“sooooo, now could be my chance – lemme slide in a little looksie at two o’clock…”

She shoots – she scores.

After digging her out from the wires on back of computer (oh how I hate that)
comes the dreaded walk of shame.

“Whatta you mean I gotta get back on the bore-table?! All that work for nuttin’??
Oh I’m pissed. No, I won’t look at you. No. I’m so…”

…pissed, I tell you. Errr, what… a close-up you say?
Well – okay, gotta look my best for dem close-ups. Cheese!!”


My Favorite Cow is a Bull

For the past few months, I’ve admired a certain cow during my drive in to work. There she stood each day, huddled with her comrades in a misty morning field. I’d often see her in groups ‘kissing’ with some of the others. Now I didn’t know if they were actually kissing or not – but the Bon in me just wanted to believe this was a cow’s way of being cute and sweet.

I’ve always been a sucker for odd markings (take my cat for example) and this cow’s markings definitely fell into the unusual category. Dark legs complimented her cream-colored base, and thick black rings accentuated her huge eyes. She really stood out from all the others, and I found myself searching her out each time I came up on that field.

On the way home from work last Friday, ‘my’ cow was standing all by herself roadside at the fence. I did a three-point road turn and positioned myself right smack in front of her…

…errrrr… HIM.

In retrospect I guess I should’ve known it was a he, but this city girl hasn’t been around many bulls and cows in her life. I’ll also stand by my defense of having not seen him up close until Friday. Thirdly, I didn’t think bulls were allowed to mingle freely with the cows… I mean, do these girls get any rest? I don’t mean to be crude, but this has to coincide with at least some of the more intense mooing I hear coming from that field around dusk each night.

As soon as I reached him and stopped, I immediately noted the large horns upon his head. This majestic creature stood there and subliminally yelled out to me “I am MAN, hear me roar” then snorted a mild “hummfff”. As I sat in my car with him and I separated by a mere fifteen feet and five pieces of wire – it suddenly struck me that I might need to grow a brain and moooove along…

Well… after I squeeze in a small photo opp, of course. Isn’t he beautiful handsome??


Mouseworks

How I’ve missed my little blog – both reading others and writing them. Things have been extremely busy my way with moving, and I can’t wait to reaccustom myself to a more permanent schedule once again. I thought it would make everything easier having 2+ months to pack, get everything out and clean… but it seems as though I’ve been going back and forth now for way longer than I should! I’m finally convinced doing it all in one day is the way to go.

All weekend we worked over at my place and now, thankfully I can say I’m pretty much done. I still have to get the washer/dryer out to store for my daughter and find a home for my couch. K has worked his rear off the entire time, and cleaning should now be a cinch since the place is now empty! I did happen across a most precious commodity (ahem) for my cat Camille, that made her very very happy.

Meet my mousse! (Mousse because Mademoiselle Camille has always pronounced the word in French.) The Little Girl has been reunited with her long-lost BFF who has been MIA for at least a year and a half. Maybe longer. How old is this thing, you ask? Oh, I realize it looks like it was resurrected from the caveman era. But to Cam… it’s a thing of sheer beauty. A huge basket full of toys is no match for this one item sent straight from Heaven. She’s carrying her baby around again while talking, then dropping it for daddy to play fetch. She is one Happy Girl.

A view of the front of Keith’s. Note: it now comes complete with it’s own set of nightlites located in bottom left window…

I actually went to type a blog out last night, and in addition to all the nerve-wracking hustle and bustle of moving noticed my mouse (MY mouse, one S) was all but operable. I had to go out and purchase another one after work today. I guess I’ve been behind-the-times until now, because I’ve always had a corded mouse. At last I made the ‘jump’ and opted (pardon the pun) for a ‘new improved one’. That is, one that is non-corded.

Left: old one… Right: new-improved (non-corded) one. My hand hardly knows what to do with something so very small in comparison – but I’m finding it ever-functional.

So who gets the points on the cat’s eyes being covered up??


Lesson #8,853,414

You’re never too old to be taught a lesson. In my forty-three years, I have never been bitten by an animal. Never. I’ve been bitten by plenty of insects, and I can even throw a boyfriend or two in the mix. But never an actual animal bite.

So am I just good like that? Absolutely not – I’m just lucky and trust me I know this. The past couple of days have been a heartache for my mother and I.

An adolescent stray calico cat had taken up residence in mom’s yard for about three days. Let me say first that if I were a stray, I’d go to my mother’s back yard to live. Her yard is literally a Utopia – add the fact that she loves animals and it’s a win-win for the stray. Both of us were trying to find the cat which she called Callie a home. Two days ago, I dropped by her house to see her on the way home from work. Sure enough, the little thing jumped right up in my lap the moment I went outside and sat down. It was obvious by how tame she was that someone had likely dumped her out. Oh how I hate that – our pets should not be disposable.

For the next 20 minutes or so, I continued petting her as she nuzzled her head and made biscuits like cats do. Mom even got a movie of her doing this, she just melted our hearts. Lo and behold, for whatever reason something spooked her – and within less than a second she had bitten my hand and was back down on the ground. She got me good, too – all four incisors made puncture wounds. It took until later that night to get the bleeding to subside.

Since the cat was a stray, Mom had to make the dreaded decision of letting animal control take custody of her, where she’ll be held in quarantine for ten days to monitor for rabies. With us both being animal lovers, it’s really taken it’s toll on us. Mom had already gotten attached to the little thing. As for myself – I feel very responsible for what will likely be certain death for the cat. I’m told I shouldn’t, but so far it’s not something I’ve been able to shake off.

Mom went through so much crap yesterday just to get to the right source – that’s a perk of living in a big city, everything is automated with call-backs. Cops here don’t even come out to car break-ins anymore to take a report. We both had to meet with animal control to file the report and let them see the bite. Today, I’ve already gotten two calls from city workers at the health department ensuring I took the right steps. I held my breath as I answered what I recognize to be ‘city prefix numbers’ – afraid it might be a positive on the rabies, or at the least a call to come in for the shots. I felt compelled to immediately insert a line about having my own doctor who was aware of the situation (done as I hear this little voice screaming inside my head… ‘nooo, you can’t make me!!’).

My most recently learned lesson… don’t pet strays.


Boxton Love

Oh how I’ve missed my doggie lovin’. For years now, I’ve so yearned to have a dog again – I still have frequent dreams about my past furbabies. Everyone else’s dogs love the fact I’m still without, however – since they get extras whenever I’m around.

In fact, that’s what they refer to me as whenever I enter the room… The Extra. “Hey, Buddy!! Here comes The Extra!! Are YOU ready to RUMMMMM-BLLLLLE…???”

It seems as though I’ve always had a dog in my life, and I miss having one terribly. Just by pure happenstance, a certain picture got passed before me yesterday. I thought of nothing else all day long – this sweet little face that belonged to a Boston/Boxer Mix was like a slide that remained fixed in my blinders the entire day. The little pink ears and pads, his curious but loving eyes, the wrinkles on his kissable little head, and that strawberry character mark on those (yes, kissable again) characteristically boxer lips.

He’s a rescue, and he’s 3 years old – house-trained, all shots, good health, calm, friendly, good with kids, and has been described as a ‘social butterfly’ at the dog park. All 35 lbs of him. The original owners surrendered him due to finances, which is sad. Unfortunately we’re hearing of this more and more often.

I talked to the ‘rescuers’ this morning – good people. I won’t be able to meet him until Monday or Tuesday of next week since they’re going to the mountains this weekend. A good home is all anyone can ask for when it comes to our furbabies! The picture of this little boy has really stolen my heart like no other has the past few years… and this is the first dog I’ve actually called on. The only thing I’m concerned with is the possibility of him not getting along with Camille – of course that’s mandatory.

Is this not the most irresistible little boy you’ve ever seen??

I can’t wait to meet him.
(Just look at that little character mark….)


No Shadow… Spring is Near!!

It’s not gonna be difficult for me to find a subject for me to hop on today…

It’s Groundhog Day, and for the first time in a long awaited while Punxsutawney Phil is not afraid… that’s right folks, NO SHADOW!! Know what that means?

Spring is near!! Spring is near!! Oh gosh… Spring is near!!

The story of Groundhog Day begins with Candlemas, an early Christian holiday where candles were blessed and distributed. Celebrators of the holiday eventually declared clear skies on Candlemas meant a longer winter. The Roman legions, during the conquest of the northern country, brought this tradition to the Germans, who concluded that if the sun made an appearance on Candlemas Day, a hedgehog would cast a shadow, thus predicting six more weeks of bad weather or “Second Winter.” German immigrants brought the tradition to Pennsylvania, but how did Punxsutawney Phil emerge?

In 1887, a spirited group of groundhog hunters from Punxsutawney dubbed themselves “The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.” One member was an editor of Punxsutawney’s newspaper. Using his ink, he proclaimed Punxsutawney Phil, the local groundhog, to be the one and only weather prognosticating groundhog. He issued this proclamation on Candlemas, and yes, Groundhog Day. Phil’s fame spread, and newspapers from around the globe began to report his Gobbler’s Knob prediction. Info from http://www.visitpa.com/groundhog-day

In related news, February 2nd is exactly the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. It is the winter midpoint or ‘cross-quarter’ day. The coldest, bleakest part of our winter season is now officially half over!

Spring is near!! Spring is near!! Oh gosh… Spring is near!

Visit the official Groundhog Day site: http://www.groundhog.org/


Baby girl scare

So the epsom salt bath by candlelight with accompanying glass of wine that was on schedule for two nights ago was an epic fail. I had a minor/what could’ve been major, pet emergency.

Camille and I laid down for a short napper around 5-ish on Monday. I woke before her, gathered my cellphone and snapped the cutest pic of her laying beside me holding up her ‘hand’. (Yes, they have hands.)

Anywho, not five minutes after this pic was snapped she came running into the bedroom doing something I can only describe as a mix between a meow and a scream. I’ve only heard this terrible sound come from her once before – it was during the time I was trying to get her used to car rides. The few weeks it happened, I didn’t think I could endure it. I immediately noticed she had her belly close to the ground – not a good sign. She then took off (still performing the same ‘scream’) towards the living room, looking back at me to make sure I was following (YES, dog-lovers – cats do this too) and proceeded to lead me to the window overlooking the balcony where her cat-condo is at. There it was, about knee-level in the window – a red wasp, in all his effing glory. My furbaby had just ratted out the enemy’s location.

I. Freaked.

I hate wasps.

But the terminator adrenaline took over. Split-second checklist:

  1. Must locate fly-swatter (where is that thing??) ah, spare bathroom (wtf’s it doing in there?)
  2. Run-run-run up to it (quickly now, before I change my mind) and *big gulp*, oh my God I hope I get it the first time, I know these things DART at you…
  3. BAM. Okay, I injured it – but as I grudgingly glance back from the other room, I notice it still has flight capabilities. No good.
  4. Find the spider spray, once again rush it, and  empty half the can on it. Okay the rest is now history.

Meanwhile my baby girl was back in my bedroom, injured. She had jumped on the bed and was still doing that horrible scream. I made the quick transformation from wasp-terminator back to furmommy-mode.

Her little paw swelled up to twice it’s normal size. I made her a little icepack and held her paw on it for a couple minutes at a time. I watched/loved on her for the next two hours. She really is the most appreciative little thing – she knew I was trying to help her and was worried so. About 45 minutes after the initial sting, the icepack was still sitting in front of her and she sat her own paw on top of it, so darn sweet – she must have been feeling some relief from it. I’m so thankful that there wasn’t a stinger to pull out, but also not sure how many times it may have stung her since wasps can sting multiple times. As the case may be, this particular wasp won’t be stinging any more kittehs…

A couple of hours later, she was back to ‘answering’ my questions (she’s one of the most vocal cats I’ve ever had the pleasure of being mommy to).

Thank the Good Lord, as of yesterday she’s back to normal. Breathe, Bonnie.


The Picture

After a hearty Cracker Barrel breakfast on Sunday morning, K suggested driving down to the newest indoor fleamarket to walk some of the food off, to which I happily obliged.

There was no agenda, nor any certain thing we were looking for. The few times we’ve been to the place (ah, air-conditioning is a must) we’ve come away empty-handed – but it’s all good. K loves antiques, and is quite educated about them. Honestly, for me, it’s the walking around together and ‘discovering things’ with each other that matters so – it seems to go unsaid that he feels the same way. So we walk, hold hands and talk, and look… and happen upon it

The print is entitled, Making Friends. The artist is Burton Dye, and the debut date was 1986. Same graduation year, and same high school… yes, yet more nostalgia.

K just finished remodeling his own bedroom, and in doing so moved into a larger room in his house. The color of paint he chose was a light to medium sort of periwinkle blue – it hints of blue, gray and lavender, and translates to airy and soothing. In combination with his dark furniture and just the right amount of beautiful sunlight the room gets, it was an exquisite choice.

Making Friends ~ ©Burton Dye 1986

Flashback to the picture. There it sat, amongst it’s competition, all of which were neatly lined along the floor of the vendor. Just like magnets, both of us were instantly drawn to this one. Print no. 1241 of 1900, it said – and it was very much in mint condition. Still in it’s original frame and matte, the wood frame has two tiny periwinkle blue pinstripes down all four sides that matches the matte – these were only visible up close.

The print is an image of a small boy with blonde hair, sitting along the shore of a riverbank to feed a flock of geese and goslings. The boy’s portrayal in the print is nothing less than that of pure innocence. I have yet to share my own perception of the art with K.

Shown is a young, innocent boy – soon to be in search of the finer things in life, which Capricorns are so noted for – but also appreciating the simple things. His love for animals is well-noted… as well as his love for the water – and fishing. The boy’s youth still leaves much to the imagination, such a large future lies ahead of him. With the comparable difference being light brown instead of blonde hair, I think the profile of this young lad so very closely coincides with that of K’s own childhood pictures. I think it’s fair to say this print has captured a piece of my heart for many years to come now…


Cat of the Day

I have the sweetest cat. Thank you, Lord. Don’t get me wrong, even if I’d had the misfortune of having a mean one I’d just deal with it, since I don’t believe in giving up the animals you made a commitment with unless something is really amiss. Of course I realize there are extreme instances that do warrant replacement, and by that I mean re-homing.

In any case, both of the past two cats I’ve owned are simply… well, female. My Sadie who passed in 2006, was a Queen. She never knew a stranger, and would come up to non-cat persons and make a spot on their lap – providing them with the added bonus of making biscuits. This always got a giggle out of me. Camille, my current babygirl, is a Princess. She however is an introvert, and takes much time to acquire the trust of any person. The two personalities couldn’t have been any further apart.

I’m quite aware that there are loads of cat-haters out there. I even read a post of a favorite blogger recently about how loathsome this person thought cats were… he wrote of how they ‘lurk in the shadows’ and ‘don’t ever show theirselves unless it’s to attack’. Sweet bejesus, nothing could be further from the truth. This person obviously neither a) never owned a cat, b) had a feral (wild) cat, or c) lived a party-like-its-1999 lifestyle where the animal was just plain afraid to come out.

How about this… my girl meets me at the door every day. If she’s not there yet, then she’s running (yes running) from the back bedroom to the front door to me – bleary-eyed as hell from her afternoon-long nap. It’s the same ritual every day… I scoop her up on my shoulder and start talking baybay talk to her. She, in turn, starts snuggling my neck as if wanting to almost crawl into me. I walk her around the condo bouncing her like a baybay (should I be embarrassed?) (have I mentioned how very vocal she is?). She is so vocal during the rest of the night that I’m beginning to realize I need a laptop BAD. The crying that goes on during my time behind the iMac is absolutely unreal. All the instances in-between this are… well, let’s just say that we never lack for conversation. The word spoiled pretty much sums it up! I need to add in the fact that she absolutely LOVES my guy. And that, ummm… she owns him. 😉

I entered Camille in the Cat for a Day contest on a local country station, Kat Country 96.9 (wkktfm.com). While I believe that most entries secure a spot on the calendar, I was surprised that my entry today made tomorrow’s calendar spot. So, therein lies Camille’s 15 minutes of Limelight.

I’m proud of my July 29, 2010 kitty…

Cat of the Day… on Kat Country


Cow Killers – the Red Velvet Ant revisited

Here at wordpress we’re fortunate enough to have a stats feature that informs us of our most-read posts. I personally find this feature useful, and in paying close attention to it for the past month, have found one post that supersedes all others by a mile. It is the post I wrote on my experience with the Red Velvet Ant.

I had never seen one prior to that one instance. At the time, it’s mere image was so unrealistically startling that I questioned whether or not I was dreaming. I haven’t ran across another one since then, which if I never do again it’ll be too soon… but apparently  a LOT of you out there are coming in contact with them this summer. The google search terms that people use to find information on them are plentiful, which lets me know they are still very much alive and well.

The insect coined the name ‘Cow Killers’ because when cows graze, they often pull the grass up by the roots, and sometimes attached to it is a less than friendly red velvet ant. The insect will then crawl up the nostril or face of the cow and sting it. Although ten times more powerful than that of a red ant, it’s a myth that it’s sting is lethal enough to kill a cow, unless of course there are multiple attacks. The female Cow Killers are wingless, which is what I encountered. They crawl around the ground looking for the holes of other bugs such as ground-nesting bees. They’ll infiltrate the nest, find a cocoon and eat a hole in it, then deposit an egg. When it hatches, it then feeds on the bee larva. Amazingly enough the insect is born as white, legless grub and will go through many stages before metamorphing into fuzzy Red Velvet Ants.

Here’s a very informative video on this most interesting insect which is really a wasp. This lady is well-informed and shares some very useful information on this most intriguing insect.

Click here for a short informative video on the Cow Killer

Photos © Kim Hosen;Merrimac Farm Wildlife Management Area, Nokesville, VA; September 2009


Bits and Pieces

I gazed down at myself as I sat down in my car seat this morning and discovered a spider had hitched a ride down the stairs with me. Lovely. I should be used to it by now I so hate spiders.

On a brighter note, here comes our holiday finally and with it the three-day weekend. Longer for some, I know, but I’ll take the extra day and not complain a bit. I recently made a friend who frequents the lake (via boat) and she invited us out this weekend. I’m SO STOKED I couldn’t be more excited if I were going to the beach. Wellll, I might be a bit more excited about that – but this is still major to me. I haven’t had a good day out on a boat in well, I don’t count last year because the boat never even moved from it’s stationery spot. So, three years now. That’s far too long for ole’ water-Bon to be a land-lubber. Craving the ocean too, but that’s a whole other story. The lake will most definitely temporarily suffice.

So, Eclipse has come out. All of my New Moon buddies have seen it so far and are telling me it’s mega-awesome, so I can’t wait to see it. My guy said something about Monday and it probably will be less crowded that day. One friend of mine was going to see it for the second time last night. The last movie I went to see more than once was Nights in Rodanthe, which I saw 3 times at the theatre. I didn’t know it at the time, but that movie was to become a staple in my newfound single life.

I have a friend who is taking his girlfriend to the beach this weekend – and planning to ‘pop the question’ to her. From what he said, she’s wanted this for a long time, and what better time than July 4th holiday? I’m such a romantic, so I bask in stories like these. I got all sappy yesterday when I heard what he was planning, and the girls at work were laughing at me. I can only explain it by saying that I’ve never in my life had anyone who actually wanted to marry me, so I guess that’ll make a person a romantic if nothing else will. I can’t wait to hear how he did it when he gets back in town… will he propose on the pier? On the beach? Or maybe at Broadway, standing underneath the fireworks after they start… my goodness, I love that idea….

Stay tuned. 🙂


Visit from beyond

I was ushered in through the foyer, past the living room and down the hallway. The doorknob to the right was turned, and the door opened for me to enter the room.

Their room.

The room itself was bigger than I remember, and had a radiant, almost heavenly look about it. I immediately noticed that it was cleaner, whiter, and less congested. It was almost pristine – with much extra room to move around. Just as quickly as the door closed behind me, they appeared.

The dogs.

My dogs. The dogs I had to leave behind through a marriage separation, now well over two years ago. And they were smiling. C’mon now, no bashing… any dog-lover out there knows what I’m talking about. They DO smile.

I don’t remember actually getting down on the floor, but in the next moment that’s exactly where I was, and where I remained. Chance and Rebel were all over me, and I was all over them. They were both clean as a whistle and smelled so good. There also was no gray in them whatsoever. The dogs weren’t pups, but they certainly weren’t old men, either! Along the empty sides and corners of the room, there were lots of clean blankets and sheets, all neatly folded – there must have been 8-10 of them scattered throughout the room. As time went on I kept grabbing them, unfolding each one and spreading them out for us, all while continuing to love on them. I remember thinking, ‘boy is someone gonna be mad at me for unfolding and messing up all these linens…’, but the dogs were loving it, and loving me. All three of us were so happy and comfortable, in that room.

The tears continue to fall as I write this. This particular visit occurred in a dream I had last night, on Tuesday night.

I believe it all started when I asked my daughter to take a picture so I could see them. I was at work Monday when I received them, and it immediately made me cry. My girlfriends at work saw this and were very sweet and caring – they are good friends and fellow animal-lovers to boot, so they understood without even saying anything. Just to see how gray the little and big guy’s faces had both gotten in two years was shocking – in particular Rebel’s, the boxer.

I’ve tried to force them out of my mind for a long time now because it’s just been too painful to think about. That still remains the case. I guess somehow, unfortunately, love really is associated with pain. Whatever the case is, I do still miss them greatly.

It was a good visit. No, it was better than good. The visit was awesome, even perfect. I hope they visit me again soon. Or should I say… allow me to visit them.

One of the pictures my daughter sent me


Birdland…

Yet another family of birds have ‘flown the coop’. It was the sweetest thing. We got up this morning and I notice K veering off to the right to open the front door. All the sudden I hear “I knew it, I knew it!! They’re gone.” Sure enough, his last family of birds nested under his porch had finally all spread their wings and left. We were wondering how much bigger the babies could get… it was comical to still refer to them as ‘babies’. They had gotten so big that only about two of the four could fit in the nest at one time. They sat up there looking like big lugs – baby birds on steriods. K could barely get out the front door anymore for anything since the mama and daddy birds were in instant protect mode of their ready-to-fly-at-any-given-moment babies.

We’ve stood here and watched bird after bird go for a drink in the birdbath. He decided it needed some clean water – the birds are now having a bird field day. 🙂

Nature is so cool… yet often sad, and always unforgiving. We were talking about it last night and he told me a story of how he recently witnessed a hawk swoop down and score a dove, carrying it off in it’s huge beak.  Many birds of different species tried to come to it’s rescue, in vain. The Hawk only needs one split second to complete it’s task. In this case and most others, it got it’s prey. I was told there are still a bunch of feathers were the ‘incident’ happened.

Here’s a link I’d like to share on yet another woe of Nature. This is a bit graphic at the end, and throughout the 4 minutes can really get your heart pumping, but I promise you won’t be sorry you watched it. 🙂

The Bear…

Peace.