Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Today driving into work, I saw a dead beaver on the side of the road. I have seen dead raccoon, opossum, fox, birds (from seagulls to sparrows), dogs, cats, deer, frogs, woodchucks, rats, mice, squirrels, rabbits, snakes, chipmunks... but this is the first time I've seen a beaver roadkill.

I know that beaver traverse the canal - I've seen evidence of their presence all over the place. I wonder what made this one decide to cross the road?

I used to volunteer at Tifft Nature Preserve as a guide for schools and scouts and other groups who came down to learn more about nature. I used to love giving tours... I'd probably still be volunteering if I hadn't moved so far away. It is so wonderful to have such a big space with the diversity Tifft has to offer, right in the city of Buffalo. There is no bad time of year to visit Tifft. Here's a link to Tifft's Photo Blog, if you're interested.

Anyway, I remember the beaver (plural) who occupied the area - one day I'd be there and you'd never know there were beaver around. A few days later I'd be taking a group though and we'd find a small stand of trees gone with nothing but stumps and wood shavings on the ground. I used to love seeking out the newest activity every time I was there. It always amazed me how much a beaver can take down in such a short amount of time.

We had three beaver lodges at Tifft when I volunteered there. I think only two of them were active at the time.

I've sat near lodges - not at Tifft, we weren't allowed there after dark except for special occasions - a few times and watched the beaver come out for the night. I could see them, but it was always too dark for any good pictures. Being the elusive creatures they are, it gave me a thrill when I sited some.

I like seeing them alive much better than as roadkill.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Harry Potter

So this week I went to see the new Harry Potter movie. Being an avid Harry Potter fan, I was happy when this was finally released. It was originally supposed to come out the day before my birthday last year, which would have been a nice present - but as my life goes, it didn't.

Without getting into detail, I have to say that the movie was pretty choppy. I think that if you didn't read the book, some of it wouldn't have made sense. As usual they left way too much out, but I still enjoyed it. I loved Jim Broadbent as Slughorn :)

Warner Brothers is making Deathly Hallows into two movies. I'm betting that they are kicking themselves for not doing the two-movie thing earlier. They are going to make a lot more money off of that movie because you know darn well that before the release of the Deathly Hallows Part Two, there will be screenings of part one again. I know it won't bring the ticket sales of the first opening, but it's still going to be a lot of extra revenue they didn't get with the other movies. Order of the Phoenix or Goblet of Fire should have been made into two movies if they were going that route. They left soooooo much out from those books.

Here's hoping that they do the last book justice by splitting it up - they will have a hard time coming up with excuses for leaving anything out!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I never knew my Godparents. I knew who they were - I know their names and I've seen their pictures, but I can't say I've ever met them. I know I must have because I've seen pictures of me with them when I was a baby, but I don't think that really counts. I've never seen them or heard from them at all growing up.

Everyone I know who has Godparents always got some extra perk on holidays or birthdays. I lost out on all that fun :(

Today I became the Godmother of my niece. I'm really excited about it because I want to be the Godparent to her that I never had. I understand the serious responsibilities of being a Godparent and I am ready to carry those out, but I can't wait to spoil my niece.

She's not going to feel left out if I can help it :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Job Hunting

So in the past month I've turned down two better-paying jobs. One of the jobs would have given me a $3/hour raise, had a phenomenal schedule and great benefits.

It tears me up inside, because after interviewing, I know that I wouldn't have liked working at either job (it's amazing how job postings leave out so many details of the actual position). I can't help but think about the fact that either salary would have been such a relief to my bank account.

Only once have I had a job that I truly hated. I never want to go down that road again, so I am looking for all the red flags ahead of time.

Why is it so difficult for a reasonably intelligent, dependable, hard-working person to find a job they like at a good rate of pay?

...and so the hunt continues.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Who watched Big Brother last night?

The POV challenge was the grossest challenge I have ever seen - Yuck!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


As I've mentioned before, I loathe shopping. The only exception is Home Depot - I could happily spend hours there - I just wish my bank account would allow it. Otherwise shopping is a tedious task that I only do when absolutely necessary. Today I suffered not only through ordinary shopping - I was tortured with clothes shopping. Shopping for a dress to be exact. And on a Saturday. How much can a person be asked to endure?

For a bit of background, I don't wear dresses. I don't own a dress. And honestly, even though I am sure I have since, my last real recollection of wearing a dress was twenty years ago. Next week however, I going to become the Godmother to my niece and my sister said I have to wear a dress. I am thrilled to pieces to be a Godmother, so I was happy (happy being a relative term!) to go dress shopping. And it's my fault for going on a Saturday - I procrastinated way too long :(

I found something acceptable - I'm not totally in love with it, but it will work fine and was within my budget (actually under budget!). I have to get shoes yet, but shoe shopping isn't quite as horrible as clothes shopping. If there was a shopping scale with 1 being the worst thing in the world to shop for and 10 being the best thing in the world to shop for, clothes would be about a -5. Shoes rank at about a 2.

The new Big Brother season started this week. My first impressions:

- Ronnie won't be lasting long

- Chima is like nails on a chalkboard to me

- I like Casey - I hope he sticks around

- Natalie is going to get caught lying really quick

- What the heck was Julie wearing???? Ugh.

If you fly a lot or just periodically, you will like this post from Dave. I totally empathize - I've seen exactly what they are talking about. Make sure you watch the video - it is soooooo well done!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Good News, Bad News

The good news is, my truck finally passed inspection - yay!

The bad news is, I had to waste a vacation day to get it taken care of - boo.

The good news is, it didn't cost me anything (more) - yay!

The good news is, I got my tractor running - yay!

The bad news is, I couldn't get it moving - boo.

The good news is, I finally got it moving - yay!

The bad news is, it sucked up most of my day and it was too late to hook up the brush hog - boo.

The good news is, I got some pictures of my chickens - yay!

The bad news is, they don't stand still, so it was really hard - boo.

The good news is, I did manage to get a few good ones - yay!

The good news is, I heard from a friend I haven't heard from in a long time - yay!

The bad news is.... well there is no bad news there :)

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Things I've Learned This Weekend:

- My chickens are more than happy to share their food with every bird in the neighborhood. I can't wait until they are on the adult/layer food, which come as pellets. Pellet food doesn't seem to appeal to most wild birds. The chick foods only come in a crumble form - which seems to be the favorite of birds everywhere.

- My favorite tools always seem to have a very short lifespan, whereas the tools I am not so fond of seem to go on forever.

- Really big 4th of July fires are a lot of fun

That's my sister next to the fire to give it scale. It was really hot, and she didn't stand there very long!

- It doesn't look like I'll be getting any pears this year.

- A root beer float makes me feel better when things aren't going right.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Piggy Bunny Rabbits

Isn't it amazing how nice your lawn looks right after it's cut - no matter how many weeds there are?

The barn swallows were swooping away as I was mowing the lawn today. I haven't seen those guys in a long time. They are so much fun to watch as they go after the bugs. They make me smile :)

I realized for the first time today that the half-tree that came down last week also took down a big chunk of my pear tree that was next to it :( I hope I will at least get some pears this year. I won't be able to really tell until I get around to cleaning up the dead-fall first. Maybe I'll have time this weekend.

If you look at the tree standing on the left, you can see where the tree split...

It must be because of the holiday that there are so many police cars around the last week or so. I'm seeing them *everywhere*.

I wish it would stop raining. My basement is never going to dry out at this rate.

Does anyone out there want a couple of rabbits? I have two in my yard that won't leave my garden alone. I've never had such a problem before. The robins and I used to share the strawberries - there was plenty for all of us. Not this year. Piggy Bunny Rabbits have spent all their time the past couple of weeks eating them all. The Piggy Bunny Rabbits have also eaten my peas, beets and lettuce. I've always had rabbits in the yard, but they never bothered my garden before - I don't know what's changed. I planted my corn, green beans and cucumbers late, so they haven't come up yet - but I need a plan to save them now. I'm thinking of trying a small electric fence around the garden. I have a solar panel kit that I picked up a couple of years ago for another project that never came to fruition - so I'm thinking of trying to use that to set up something. I have to do something soon - otherwise there won't be a point of me having a garden. Except for my peppers and tomatoes. They haven't touched those. Yet. And why don't the eat the weeds?