Greetings all! It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I read Chris’ latest post on Walking the Journey today which inspired me to write a post of my own. She always gets me thinking! But, after looking over my last couple of posts, the following nonsense started flowing out, so I will get to my other post later.
I read the last post where my son found my blog. Then there was the post where I had been out with my husband and twisted my foot. That was Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. The next morning, Sunday, I woke up and couldn’t put any pressure on my foot. I literally crawled around on the floor. I made coffee, went on Facebook and made a plea: ‘If anyone local has a crutches I can borrow, please DM me.” My friend Karen texted and said she had a boot from when she broke her ankle. She offered to bring it to me in a few hours. I took a bottle of Kim Crawford rose, put it in an ice bucket, got a bag of ice and sat on my deck. My foot was iced and so was my wine. As soon as Karen brought the boot and got it on my foot, it was 100% relief. I could walk!
We drank wine, I made a delicious lobster salad and enjoyed a lovely afternoon. I had chosen not to go to the ER. It would have been a $200 co-pay to sit and wait for hours, on a holiday weekend, with all sick people, just to get an x-ray, boot or crutches with a follow up to an orthopedic. I now had a boot! So I called my doctor on Tuesday and had an appointment Wednesday morning. The x-ray confirmed a break and I was referred to an orthopedic, saving $200 in the process.
I google everything. I had diagnosed myself with a Jones’ fracture.
A Jones fracture is a specific type of fracture involving the fifth metatarsal bone of the foot. It is distinguished from other types of fractures involving the foot as it is located within an area of this bone that is difficult to heal.
The orthopedic PA I saw confirmed my diagnosis. He said I had the correct boot. Everything I read about a Jones fracture said at least 8 weeks recovery, most likely 12 and the PA confirmed that. However, it seems I have been healing well and at the last appointment, 5 weeks post injury, I was told I could abandon the boot as long as I wore a supportive shoe such as a Birkenstock. No problem, I have a couple of pairs of Birkenstock sandals. My attractive (wink) PA also told me I had pretty much no restrictions, just be careful on stairs and uneven ground.
In spite of my foot, I continued to work around the yard, finish planting my garden and touching up my outdoor improvements in the yard. Last year, I built a bar on my deck. Actually, my neighbor built the base of the bar nearly 10 years ago, but I improved it! I immersed myself in this project, most likely to put my husband’s infidelity out of my mind. I physically exhausted myself, working in the hot weather, as a distraction to keep my mind from returning to thoughts of my husband’s infidelity. I put a roof on the bar, decorated it with a tiki theme, built a fire pit and added two raised bed veggie gardens. There were a few ‘tweaks’ to make but the bulk of the work was done and I was determined to enjoy the fruits of my labor.
While I live in the city, when you walk into my backyard, it looks like Gilligan’s Island. I planted mandavillas, hibiscus, and rose bushes. I have established flower beds with coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, day lilies, hydrangeas and hostas. The 2 cherry trees and 3 pine trees host several varieties of birds including Baltimore Orioles, Robins, Blue Jays and even a pair of Cedar Waxwings. There are baby birds all over my yard.
I have my coffee on the deck in the morning. I read a little in the afternoon. I’ve had friends over for dinners and lunches. If I was placed on home confinement, I would not have a problem with that. Between Peapod delivering groceries, Drizly delivering booze, and Amazon delivering everything else, I’d be all set!
Earlier in July, I noticed that it seemed there were less goldfish in my very small pond. At first I didn’t think much of it. But then, a couple of days later, two of my pond plants were out of their pots, floating around. My fountain was crooked. My water hyacinths were torn up and there were a large number of fish missing. WTF. Something got in my pond, but what? I confirmed my suspicion via Google. I was sure I had a fucking raccoon fishing in my pond. A couple of nights later, as I was cleaning my bathroom, I glanced out of the window. I was shocked to see at least 6 if not 8 raccoons meandering over to the pond! I ran outside yelling, banging on the rail of the deck while my younger son Marc was laughing hysterically. I scared them off for the time being. In 20 years living here, I had never seen a raccoon before. That night I saw at least 6.
Against my husband’s wishes, I fished the big Have-A-Heart trap out of the shed and set it. Nothing for a few days except a couple of rats. My husband was pissed. He wanted nothing to do with my wildlife trapping. I gave the rats a burial at sea (drowned them in a garbage can) and then deposited them in a city trash can at the bus stop up the street.
Several nights later and as I cleaned up in the kitchen after dinner, I looked out of the window and saw a parade of raccoons walking through the yard. I yelled to my husband that they were back. We all ran to the deck and heard the metal of the trap clanging and then saw the raccoons turn around and run out of the yard. I caught a youngster in the trap. My husband, who told me if I catch anything, I have to get rid of it, said ‘I’m leaving, I have to get to the office, you deal with it.’
So I did. After I took a few photos, I put the trap in a garbage can, loaded it in the trunk of my station wagon with Marc and we took it for a ride to an isolated country location and let it go.
They’ve still been coming back, dwindling my fish population down to a hardy 8 or so that know to go hide if anything comes near. I brought out all 3 of my traps and set them up, but those raccoons are pretty smart and even though I’ve moved and camouflaged the traps, they seem to know to avoid them. In the past few weeks, I’ve caught a few more rats and even my little baby bunny George who resides in my yard. I let him out.
I caught a young possum one day, whom I also released as possums eat rats. Then I caught a young groundhog which we took for a ride and let go. Last Friday, I noticed my medium trap was shut. I went to take a closer look and saw the ground around it all dug up. Uh oh…
Yup, saw the black and white fur. I caught a skunk. My husband said, ‘now what are you going to do?’. Grab the camera of course. I took my phone and my Nikon outside. There was a big planter and bushes that hid the trap a bit. According to Google, they won’t spray if they can’t see you. I was about to test that theory. I talked to him, calling him by name (Mr. Skunk and Pepe LePew). He was pretty calm and responded to my voice by peeking out of the trap. I took a few photos with the phone and even used the flash on my Nikon. He didn’t seem overly bothered. I used a bamboo tomato stake to open the trap and prop it open but he didn’t try to leave. So I got another stake and opened the other side of the trap, where I was standing and ran back into the house.
An hour later, I went to inspect the trap expecting to find the skunk gone but instead, Pepe LePew was taking a nap! So I got a third bamboo stake and proceeded to prod Pepe. I tried to be gentle and still was talking to him as I poked him and backed him out of the trap. I retreated once I saw he was out of the trap and got a photo of him walking against the fence and he went on his merry way. No spraying, no problem.
I reset the traps Friday night. On Saturday, I got up at 7am and noticed the big trap was closed. Yay! I caught one of those damned raccoons. I went out on the deck to get a closer look. Fuck. Pepe LePew was back and was pacing around in the trap. This was a problem. The smaller trap had limited mobility for Pepe. He could very easily spray me in the bigger trap. Luckily I had placed cut bushes on the trap giving a bit of cover. I got an old beach towel, walked towards the trap with the towel in front of me, reassured Pepe that ‘everything was going to be alright’, and gently covered the trap with the towel. I then opened the trap and propped it open with a piece of wood and backed off, watching Pepe calmly walk out of the trap.
I’ve set the traps every night since and it looks like Pepe learned his lesson. Still no raccoons, but my neighbor told me this morning that her dog was sprayed last night by a skunk! Oops!
I love to cook and the bar has been filled with friends several times a week. We grill pizzas, make healthy keto friendly salads, desserts and cocktails! At night, I will sometimes sit on the deck with a glass of wine, listening to the sound of the water fountain in my little pond and feeling lucky to have a little piece of paradise. I’ve concocted two versions of delicious summer drinks, a strawberry martini and spicy margarita, both keto friendly and am quite content these days. This weekend we will be heading north for our annual week long family vacation in the mountains.
In the meantime, I will be writing a response to Chris’ post. I have been trying to catch up a bit on the Twitter threads I have missed. Evidently there is quite a stir with my ‘tribe’ about ‘teams’, snide remarks, blocking, etc. I noticed that there are several tweets unavailable, on the recent thread, so I guess I’ve been blocked by someone.
Carry on team! Happy August! Love my tribe. xoxo Dolly