Monday, August 31, 2015

What a day.

I got up this morning feeling woozy.  Apparently there is some kind of virus at my wife's school, and clearly she brought it home with her. Not the first time.

Not fun but it's not something like the flu.  Just makes you feel worn out and achy.

So, Tylenol, Coke, and light meals.

Half way through the day,  I went outside and one of the kittens was missing.

The catling had walked off the edge of the porch and fallen 15 feet down into some hay stored under it.  I went down there, searched everywhere.  Nothing.

I figured probably some animal got the cat.   But just to be sure, I went back up to the house and got Spike the Ferret.  Took him down there and let him root around.  He doesn't care anything about cats, having lived around them all his life, but he is curious and I knew if the kitten was there he'd root it out.

Sure enough, he started burrowing into the hay.  I carefully lifted a bale, and there was the kitten. At some point in the past, the chickens had dug a "dust pit" there.  Then I put the hay down over it and that made a kind of cave.  The kitten pushed in and got into that.

Ferrets have incredible noses. They can't see very well, but there's nothing they can't track down by smell.  Because they like to dig and to take dust soaks, they get nasty and have to be bathed frequently. Their bedding has to be washed and dried for the same reason. His bed is not always this dirty.

The internet has been out most of the day, just came back on tonight.  I was supposed to pay bills today, but no interent, no bill paying. I'll do it in the morning.

On the nitwits in action front:

Kerry signs U.N. small arms treaty.   Link


  1. Harry - been up for 2 straight days and nights. keep trying to lay down but i can't stop worrying about the new puppy and the fact that all 3 cats have been outside for the past 2 days and nights....they are not really liking the new puppy at all. i am sorry that you are feeling definitely sounds like you have something. even if all you can get down is a few crackers and a cup of soup - do it. right now you need your strength and your rest. i am sure glad that Spike took army ranger training and was able to find the kitten. we've been having intermintant power outages due to this tropical storm thingy as well....we just haven't noticed because of the new puppy! i'm covered in puppy chew-bites but she is fitting in with us very well. jam has already taught her how to sit and stay. we love her...but it is time to get her outside so the cats can come back in. any advice would be very much appreciated.

    sending much love, as always! your friend,

    1. Kymber, I have never had indoor dogs. Mine have all been strays that showed up pretty much full grown. Maybe somebody out there knows something about when a puppy can go out side. Are there animals there that might eat a puppy?

      I bet Nudi-New and the others are aggravated that they've been turfed out to make room for the new addition! I'm pretty sure you can't put a puppy outside at night or they will yelp and whine all night. Don't know where I got that from, it just sticks in my head. So does something about putting an old wind up alarm clock in their box with them, so the ticking soothes them, but maybe it was kittens that was for.

      Spike is a great hunter. You never have to worry about snakes getting in the house with ferrets around, but without them that happens here in the mountains a good bit.

      I bet you are tired out, Kymber, but that's the price of parenthood! New baby animals are as big a pain in the a..... I mean, require as much care as a human infant.

    2. My wife is making sure I stay hydrated. We had a case of "real coke". "real coke" and 7 Up are standard medicines here for flu, as is Gatorade except that I drank up the whole gallon jug of Gatorade just because I like it, so there is none. But I'm good. I had run out of real coke, and when we went to town Saturday my wife made me get some even though I didn't want to because those 12 packs are heavy going carrying from the parking pad to the house and we already had some of them for other flavors. But now I am glad she did. We only drink the real coke with all it's calories when we are sick.

  2. Harry - we have realized that she is definitely an outdoor dog. we took her out the first time this morning and she went haywire - she had never been out before and she loved it. she allowed jam to put her little harness on her 3 more times today because she knew that it meant going outside. she is HUGE! she is only 10 weeks old but she is way bigger than we expected her to be! and looks JUST like a siberian husky - blue eyes and all.

    the cats are certainly miffed but during the nice summer and fall months don't mind being outside which is why i wanted to get katijya used to us first, and then outside second. but she is really ready for outside. tomorrow we are going to tether her with her harness to a tethering thing and then jam is going to build her a doghouse. she's in the living room sleeping with jam as as i write. but she is definitely an outdoor dog! once we move her out then the cats can start coming in.

    our autumns are quite nice here - but she will always be brought in on to the porch and during cold nights in winter she will be brought into the house. right now, she has just shown such a propensity for loving being outside, we are going to give that to her.

    she will learn the normal smells and sounds of what is "normal" by being outside...and then she will learn to bark at the the not normal stuff. i think she is going to be a very great investment in our time.

    she's so pretty Harry, you will love her. thanks so much for writing back - i really appreciate it. she and jam are snoring together right now. i think they are going to be back up for each other and i think both of them will love it! and i will definitely love having her when jam is gone to town!

    i am glad that you have good hunting ferrets and ferrets who can find baby kittens! i love reading about your ferrets and seeing pics of them! i am glad that you are staying hydrated and getting many calories as that is exactly what you need right now! plus some greens ok? and some homemade broth with garlic!

    sending much love, as always! your friend,

    1. Kymber, people have had dogs for thousands of year, and there's a general consensus that dogs were the first domesticated animals. I can believe it, because the relationship between us and them is symbiotic. They need a food source, medical attention, and above all else they need a "pack"relationship. Dogs aren't loners, by and large. People need a friend that won't ever betray them, and the dog is a great enhancement to personal security. Also, there's the peace of mind of having them on guard . I wonder, sometimes, if I could ever have lived out this far in the woods without dogs. I doubt it. Strange things happen out in these dense, dark old glades, but I always feel like I can cope because I know nothing can get right up on me, or catch me asleep, while the dogs are outside. Even if it's winter and they are in their straw house, they still keep alert.

      I'm not surprised J and Katijya are hitting it off. Most rural men need a dog. It's always good to have woman in the house, but the circle isn't complete without the dog. I'm not being facetious, either. Of course, I'm Southern and the bond between man and dog has always been very strong down here. If you saw the scene where Robert Duval went to the hound dog cemetery to see his old dogs resting place in "Get Low", that wasn't window dressing. It's how it is.

      She does sound like the perfect dog for up there. The cold winters won't be as hard on her if she has husky blood, they're born and bred for your part of the world.

      No one will ever be as good at hunting as Ragnar was, but Spike can find just about anything. Jet hasn't been feeling well, but he goes out for his walk every day, and then I comb him , he gets his medicines, and sleeps most of the rest of the day. I try to get the ferrets out once a day when the weather is good, and let them dig, dust bath, and wander around a bit. I am anxious for my daughter to come in October, both to see her and my son, and to get some new ferrets from the rescue in Acworth, Ga.

      I have some garlic, but no broth. I do have two bags of frozen brussel sprouts that you just microwave so I will have some of that tomorrow. We just bought a lot of easy to make food this weekend so I am in good shape.

      You'll find new things to love about your dog as she gets older. And as you say, J and you can both be more relaxed when he has to go out to work , and can't get home at night. You'll be safer. I know you are stout hearted, but the dog will help you feel relaxed. Living in the bush can be unnerving, sometimes, no matter how brave you are.

  3. Hey Harry and Kymber (the Puppy Whisperer)


    Harry' I read what you wrote about dogs and wives and all that coming full circle. I am definitely a dog person. Women are overrated (no offense Kymber) at least in my generation and younger American women's priorities are all screwed up.

    Dogs on the otherhand. That's a different story.

    Water, good food, attention. Lots of attention. Give them a warm spot in the winter and a cool spot in the summer and they are happy.

    The dogs in my life are indoor bed bugs. Three small dogs. A wild hair terrier mix. A Yorkie mix and a Chihuahua. Two are mutts, one's a purebred ( The Chihuahua) and all are rescues. They are also all ten pounders, small dogs.

    They have two large yards to roam around in but prefer to be on the sofa looking at the window or in front of the TV in the evening. They all take turns for 'lap time'

    The wild hair terrier is the Queen and rules the roost. The other two are the beta males.
    I grew up with Norwegian Elkhounds so I know big dogs real well. I just choose to have 'mini mutts' at this point in my life.

    In future years I'm not so sure I will have any more dogs. The expense and upkeep of dogs is a chore and if I live in alone in an RV and travel. A dog will be hindrance.
    I have donated money to a local no kill animal shelter. Later in my life in lieu of owning dogs. I may donate more money or leave what is left of my investments, properties and so fourth to that no kill shelter and to a veterinarian program at Texas A+M in College Station (Nobody needs to get there hopes up) I ain't gonna check out for at least another 20 or 30 years.

    In a nutshell. I don't particularly like people but I do like dogs. I even would prefer the company of wolves and coyote's over people. I understand where they are coming from and there is instinctual logic in their nature. The violence that a wolf displays may be territorial or protective over the pack. It may he harsh logic, but its logic never the less..

    Humans on the hand are prone for doing bad things and hurt other humans for no reason and logic whatsoever. Sometimes is just because they get offended by rolling up a car window and feel 'disrespected' when someone does not want to hear their music (I'm not so sure I should have referred to them as humans)

    1. Well, even if you are living in an RV and on the move, you need a dog. When I worked at the state park that summer, there were lots of old guys who came in , equipped with everything from just a tent to those $200,000 motor homes, and almost all of them had a dog of some kind. People get lonely if they don't have at least one being in their lives that cares about them.

      I understand what you're saying about the human species. Most of them are a waste of air. There are some really good people, and meeting them on the internet helps keep my spirits up. But overall, people are a disease.
      I didn't feel that way until I spent so much time in hell holes overseas, but Lebanon was the frosting on the cake. Events in the U.S. lately have reinforced that belief.

      Some guys just don't want to put up with a woman, same was as some women don't want to put up with men. When you are part of couple, everything has to take into consideration two points of view and that can make it hard. But I tell you, I doubt I could have made it this long without my wife. Especially after I got out of the Marines, she was my anchor to the real world. And she followed me out into the forest on the dark side of nowhere after she'd already spent so much of her life living in the sticks in Niger and Nigeria.

      Whatever works for you, I guess. Nobody knows what makes a person happy except that person, and no two of us are the same.

    2. Hey Harry,


      There are some really good people on the internet and a few in meatspace I know.
      Other than that, you are right about most people are a using up air and resources and not contributing anything useful.

      I gotta say on your situation 'Harry. You lucked out when you found your wife. If you don't mind me saying this, most women would have 'bailed out' on your situation a long time ago. Finding a rock solid woman nowadays is almost an impossible task and you are very, very fortunate.

      That is one reason I gave up a long time ago. Dedication in a marriage has become an anachronism.
      (on a sidenote, it is easier and less expensive to have children out of wedlock thereby destroying the concept of a traditional marriage too. This is something that government social planners have scheming since the 1960's with LBJ's Great Society bullshit)

    3. hey captain - it sounds like you got your hands full with your little "wolf pack" - just shows that you really are a softie!

      to both you and Harry - jam is out building a dog house right now. he's taken her out running 3 times today and he is wearing her out - she's loving it. i swear she has grown more in the last 2 days. she is going to be HUUUUUUGE! i am taking a 5 minute break - she's passed out cold in the bathroom, which is where we have moved her to. the living room (where we have been keeping her), is a gigantic mess but she has done really good so far. on the other hand, the cats still hate her and won't come in the house! i am covered in puppy bites but she doesn't chew on jamie as he is the disciplinarian. he has never had a dog in his life, and as we all know, having dogs in your life just adds an extra element to living. i grew up with dogs and know and understand them so it is very sweet to watch jam with her. she is already showing protection of me and listening to jam give her commands. she is super sweet and very smart for such a young baby.

      harry - sorry that i have been talking non-stop about her but i still haven't slept. sending much love to both of you.

    4. oh - i forgot to add that yes - there are many people in the world that are just using air and i try to avoid them at all costs - that's why we moved here - to get away from big city idiots. the people here have flaws and their own eccentricities - but we have had several people get diagnosed with cancer and everyone in the communities comes to their benefit dances, gives money, gives their time to visit or take them to the hospital - some of them have long-standing family wars that go back 200 years but when the community is called on - it answers. i like that.

      harry - if you ever came to visit, you would think you were in the deep south. you'd fit right in. you, too, captain!

    5. I like hearing about your new addition to the family, Kymber. I think it's a really good thing to have the dog, and I'm glad she's working out so well in terms of fitting in. The cats will get used to her, especially once she gets out of the puppy stage and doesn't take much interest in them. My two dogs were out on the porch sleeping last time I went out, and the kittens were crawling all over them. The only two animals I have, including the ferrets, who don't at least ignore the kittens are the dad cat, "Shrimp" and his brother "Uncle Cream." They don't hurt them but they get annoyed and shake off the kittens, get up and go up on the rail where the kittens can't follow them. Shrimp and Cream are identical yellow Toms, except Shrimp has "Key West feet" and two of the babies do too, so he has to be the dad.

      I like my friends, it's the average run of the mill human being I can do without. I haven't met many average run of the mill people in this particular on line community.

    6. CC, I know I got a good one. But look at it from the woman's side. It's even harder to find a good husband. In the U.S., for whatever reason, more males are born than females. Then, in the "from birth to middle age" period more males die. Then a certain percentage of males are gay.

      Maybe that's why my daughter has had a hard time finding a decent guy.

  4. Glad your ferret found the kitten. When it comes to animals (especially baby ones) we human's are softies, aren't we?

    Yeah, we've just had 3 days of intermittent internet - as this has happened before at month end, I reckon our service provider has a set bandwidth, and, if their customers exceed the ISP company's monthly allocation, then everything slows down - or comes to a complete stop. Very frustrating, especially at month end, when, as you say, bills have to be paid. Grrr...

    1. Well, you know me, Dani. I'm not much of a people person but I do esteem my animal pals up here on the mountain top.

      Lately the power has been going out intermittently, the internet has been either slow or as today, just not working and when you call the tech support number you get some lame recording about "an outage in your area." They couldn't pick a worse day than the last day of the month when most people pay their bills.

  5. Hey Harry,

    I hope you're feeling better by now. Like Kymber says with some rest and good food you'll feel right as rain.

    We've had dogs since we owned our first house and the family just isn't complete without them. They are loyal and easy to understand. In fact the hardest part of having a good dog is when you have to say goodbye to them. I have a real respect for all of our animals, I think our treatment of animals shows our fullest capacity as humans to be kind. The stories in the media also show what scumbags some humans are.
    Hence I only buy British bred meat, in the EU they have low standards of welfare and I have no interest in buying Halal slaughtered meat, it's inhumane. Luckily my local butcher has meat reared within 6 miles of his shop and killed over the hill in a local slaughterhouse, the most humane British way.
    Animals are certainly easier to understand than a lot of humans!
    Take care
    K x

    1. Kirsty, I'm much better today. It was one of those virus things you get that make you feel badly for a day and then you shake it off.

      I am really conflicted about eating meat. I do it. I like it. At the same time, I feel really uneasy about it. I know this is strange for a blood thirsty hillbilly, but I never said I wasn't eccentric in some respects. I think it goes back to when I was a kid and my dad raised beef cattle. I could never quite understand how he could train them to come when he fluttered his handkerchief, give them names, pet them, then slaughter them. But I ate the beef happily.

      I try to just go along with hunting and all, because if you eat what you kill then it does play a part in maintaining the natural balance, though I could not do it except under extreme duress or need. However, when it comes to "sports" like shooting ground squirrels for fun, or "varmint hunting" then I think people who want to do that should join the army and go hunt something that can hunt them back. That would be more exciting anyway.

      The local people here think I am completely crazy because I won't let people "coon hunt" on my land. Coon hunting is hundreds of years old here, and it's a popular sport with men in the mountains. You and some of your cronies build a big fire in the mountains. Then you drink and smoke around the fire, while your hounds range the woods looking for raccoon. When the hounds tree one, you all have to blunder through the forest til you find the treed coon by following the sound of the hounds, and you just shoot it and leave it. Even young women in their teens and twenties follow their boyfriends and husbands around in the woods doing this on special hunts where the doddering seniors have approved the presence of women. This only happens rarely, but to me it's even more revolting.

      Still, it's deeply ingrained in the culture and I don't have any right to say anything about it other than it's not happening on my land. I've returned coon dogs to their owners when they've shown up lost here at my place. All coon dogs wear heavy , tight leather collars with a brass plate giving owner contact information. I return the dogs because they are another man's beloved animals, and also because not doing so would certainly get you ostracized and might easily get you beaten to a pulp or even killed. There are some taboos you can't break.

      I think we see pretty much eye to eye on animals. And perhaps, on people. ;-)

    2. Harry I have the exact same feelings as you. I enjoy meat, but it rests uneasily on me. I also think if you hunt something to eat then that's one thing, to hunt something for sport is unnecessary and cruel.

  6. I was so happy to read that the ferret found the kitten! I hope you are feeling better. You used to be able to buy Coke syrup and make your own, I don't know if you can get that any more.

    1. Kathy, I'm feeling a lot better today. I've never made my own coke, but I'm sure there are people doing it up here somewhere. I do know some people who make their own root beer and beer.

      Mostly I buy canned soda and store it in the barn (in the climate controlled part.) Sometimes the Ingles has Coke products that they run on sale, and you can get 3 twelve packs for nine dollars plus tax. I usually stock up big time then.

  7. I had no idea ferrets could do that. How cool!

    1. ferrets can find anything. Once a snake got in the house and they were on him in seconds. I had to lift him up with a broom and put him outside before they could kill him.

      If you have chicks, and the ferrets are outside for playtime, you have to watch them like a hawk. They will go for chicks like a bolt of lightning. People still use them to hunt in Europe, especially in England.

  8. Harry,

    Good to hear your ferret found the kitchen, and it wasn't hurt.
    Our computer went down for a period of time too, the bills went on the back burner for paying later on.

    I'm in town just a couple of days, then back to TX. Were dealing with mom's estate. Mom and Dad purchased the house 7 years ago, and moved in 50+ years of stuff. We've been going through all kinds of stuff looking for legal documents, and dealing with attorney's. I won't be on the computer too much because while in TX there's no computers to use. I'm planning on doing a basic post maybe tomorrow. Right now my time is dedicated to dealing with the estate. Even my garden is being neglected........well, our son is taking care of it and the house with his you know how that is, lol.

    Take care, and feel better.

    1. I know what an ordeal that is. Fortunately for me, my brother , who lives in the west, handled all that when my dad passed away in California.

      I'm glad that you will be able to do at least a basic post. I get worried when people disappear, you know how that works. Almost always it's just something like you are dealing with, but sometimes.......

      Look forward to your post.