Thursday, June 28, 2012


Mouse in the House -1
We Have Not Yet Baited Trap Today.
[Available Light Photo (no flash)]
Caution: Mouse in the house! Saturday I noticed the tell-tale dropings of mice in a food cupboard where dog food is also stored. Unfortunate for the mouse, storage in this pantry, one of two, is mostly canned goods or other containers usually impermeable to the razor sharp needle teeth of mice.

I began to search the house for other tale-tale signs and found one under the sink. We set three traps but no luck. The critter stole the cheese and did not trip the two of three traps.

Monday morning I found the tacky mouse and maybe companions had dined on tomatoes on the kitchen counter which I had separated from others I was ripening on the window sill. At least those were chosen for discarding as Husband is fighting blossom rot.

So a trap will be set on the counter tonight. I may buy some more traps and several boxes of D-Con which I can only put in places Luckie cannot reach, because she will eat just about anything within her reach and that is remarkably extensive.

I am afraid I have a case of nausea that the nasty critters are on my kitchen counter that I scour daily with Chlorox wipes. In fact I hate the critters so much I hauled in the Fence Defense Deer and Rabbit Spray and put in crevices; even Luckie can't stand the smell of that stuff.

Mouse in the House -2
This is nearly same photo, except I used flash.
I prefer #! as I hate the harsh shadows an
on camera flash produces. My point-and-shoot
camera has no choice. I can turn the flash
off on my Nikon.
My best friend has found out the product works on raccoons and armadillos, too; just a little tidbit or information to tuck away for future use.

I spend the day looking for likely places the mouse found entry. In a manufactured home there are many, most of which I have dutifully stuff steel wool which cuts up the little critter's mouth. But I have found a couple of pieces under the kitchen sink. I check the bar sink which we reinforced against an earlier mouse invasion which ruined a case of paper towels.

I still have several more difficult places to look, and for all I know, they may march right in the dog door flap. Some time ago I watch one hop out of my husband's armoire drawer of outdoor shorts and run through our master bath under a darkroom door that had a seal flush with floor prevent light leakage.

Since the digital age this room has become a linen storage area, but there is water pipes through the floor in there, too. However, ceiling lights are also a nice entry way.

An Mature Miniature Rose with Buds
[Using Zoom Telephoto w/Macro Built-In]
Usually field mice, which I am assuming this is, don't enter buildings until fall and winter when outdoors pickin's are thin to none. However, this is not a normal summer, nor do I expect it to improve. Rain is not in our forecast for the next 10 days. It has been at least 7 days since we have received any significant moisture. My water meter is spinning so fast, it is meeting itself coming and going.

Deer are already moving around because grazing is scarce. A whole herd of deer were standing in the middle a town on a state highway near us. Usually, this occurs when they change from grass to acorns here which is about October, or hunting season.

To rid myself of the indignation of  mice army invasions, I have posted a couple of mini rose photos, with which I am still experimenting with my close-up dioptors.

Photos: NitWit1, unless otherwise attributed.

Miniature Rose Bud, Lower Right of Above Photo
[added+10 diopter to Telephoto Maco Lens]
Center of focus is center of bud; when using
a large magnification the focused area is
quite small. What I have not figured out
is the awkward white highlights tinged with
blue edges. I will figure it out eventually.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


No! not the 'cluck'-click,' 'peep'-peep,' 'cock-a-doodle-doo type, especially the White Leghorn type. My Dad kept a  few chickens on his gentleman's ranch as we call a 40 acre piece of land for a little farming as a side business or relaxation if you could call working the land - relaxation.
White Rooster painting, possibly White Leghorn
Broderbund ClickArt

He had White Leghorns, including a rooster. The rooster was over protective of his flock, I guess. In fact he was sort of a 'bully' rooster.

For no apparent reason MR BULLY decided Mother needed a good flogging one hot evening in the middle of a gravel driveway, causing her to fall.

She was calmly walking (more like very slowly ambling) the driveway to the gate where Dad was feeding cattle. She passed within about 50 feet of the hen house, but certainly nowhere near it or any hens, much less the rooster. She was no threat to rooster or hen. In fact I cannot remember she ever gathered eggs, because occasionally there were snakes or other varmits robbing nests and reclining  after a good meal of eggs.
Hen and Chick
Broderbund ClickArt

Being heavy she had difficulty in regaining a standing position, even with Dad's help. Of course, she was bruised and somewhat roughed up, but nothing broken.

Chicken Soup
Broderbund ClickArt
MR BIG STUD ROOSTER, who probably had too much male steroids like HMG, was chicken stew the next day. Much to my chagrin, I could not eat it; in fact I gagged trying, as the "clean you plate, remember the starving people in China" ruled our dinner table. I was not accustomed to eating freshly slaughtered chicken, or any other meat from our farm, IF I KNEW. The grocery store was much more impersonal and came in sterile white wrapped packages--no pinfeathers to singe or mess, etc. 
Hens-and-Chicks in Bloom
in Old Rusty Deco Tiller
Being originally a southwesterner from Texas, I have a natural fascination with succulents, albeit the non-thorny varieties. When I moved to north central Arkansas I noticed a number of succulents seemed to thrive, despite sometimes severe winters. Yucca plants lined driveways, property lines, or just among other plants, offering contrast to other plantings.

Several years ago I purchased several varieties of hens-and-chicks at my favorite nursery, Camp's Plants, which has several outlets in my area. It pleased me they thrived with little care, mulitplied, too, and even bloomed in a special sort of way. A big plus is these smallish plants have no thorns,  a feature of some succulents I thoroughly dislike. My yucca leaves can slice a finger.

So this year I planted quite a few more replacing annuals with them, as they also are perennials. There are several web sites about hens-and-chicks. However, just to illustrate the great variety of these plants, I have linked a catalog here. Wikipedia's brief description is here.

Hen Bloom Head & Stem
After Blooming Finishes,
the Hen Rots and Dies,
but Leaves plenty of Chicks
to Become Hens
I have scattered photos of the varieties I have bought around here, but feel sure many others are able to grow here. Next year I may mail order some as I love the deep ruby leaf ones, too. The only name I remember of the varieties I have is Cob Web Buttons. If you check the aforementioned catalog, you will see there is great variety of spider web hens-and-chicks, too.

These little plants are not flashy nor even seen by a passerby who may hone in on roses, redbuds in bloom, my Japanese maples, etc.  Most are planted near our home entrance steps. When blooming, the flowers are tiny, almost like many field flowers.
Bloom Head Before Flower Opens
(+4 diopter added)

An advantage to succulents, thus hens-and-chicks, is they disdain overwatering. None have died on me; some have not thrived in exceedingly dry summers. This year is a bumper year for blooms and chicks propagation. I need larger pots next year.

However, once the hen sends up a stalk and flowers, it then dies. But there is a multitude of chicks who can become hens. One of the best articles on growing hens-and-chicks is here.

PHOTOS: NitWit1 unless otherwise attributed. Most photos in this post are made with camera lens in Macro mode; some had a +4 diopter lens attached to camera telephoto zoom lens.
Cob Web Buttons Hens-and-Chicks

Cob Web Buttons Hens-and-Chicks

Flowering Hens-and-Chicks Stem
[+4 Diopter Added]
(One of my favorites) 

Friday, June 15, 2012


May-Pole Flowers - Not Really! These June lovely
tiny ox-eyed daisies are flourishing in fields in my area
now. This cluster around a telephone pole charmed me.
It is SOOC(straight out of the camera). Another shot of
same scene with a little PhotoShop is below.
    I like this one best.
Several on my  bloglist have noticed a decline in comments and posting and wondered if their posts were uninteresting, or people pass on through.

I have gadget that shows quite a few persons pass through without a word. One particular day I counted 50 and I only had 10 comments. I enjoy comments because I feel we know a wee bit about each other's niche in the world. Some days I comment too much; others days it is short and sweet.

Spring and Summer lure us outside to see, marvel, wonder and enjoy the beauty of awakening of life as well as maturing into Summer. For those able to garden, participate on water sports, or just walk, I say all fully justifies less blogging, etc.

May-Pole Flowers - Not Really!
This has been slightly Photoshop
and cropped ox-eyed daisies.
I am partial to the SOOC.
Others like myself find myself due to certain health conditions stressed to complete the daily duties expected of a wife. Once I could whiz-bang through the morning and have an afternoon and evening to enjoy my hobbies and avocations. It is getting harder and harder; but I have been blogging 3+ years.

Currently I am trying to write once or twice a week, and read my complete bloglist through at least once a week and I DO comment unless the material is overtly biased in religious or political matters. Even if I agree, I do not comment. I feel I know you but not well enough to engage in this kind of banter. I may mention religion or politics in passing but usually in a generic way, not trying to persuade anyone of my viewpoints.

Cell Tower - our church leased
small amount of land to a cell
company who built a road through
our parking lot. I watched road
construction for 2 weeks.
Thursday when I arrived for my
4 hours work the tower was up
but not complete. See top of
tower in next photo.
One of the aforementioned bloggers I am featuring today. Her blog is Finding Life Hard? I added her in my first few weeks of blogging because we both love dogs. As with all bloggers, there is much more to both of us than dogs. She lives in Wales, United Kingdom. I live in Arkansas--not sure she ever heard of this neck in the woods.

 Liz Hinds was writing an e-book when I first added her to my bloglist. Recently she completed the e-book, THIS TIME NEXT YEAR, which I purchased for my Kindle Touch. I am not sure but I think it is her first book.

USA persons may purchase THIS TIME NEXT YEAR by Liz Hinds here for $4.74. United Kingdom persons may purchase the e-book here for £3.o8 or go to her abovementioned blog where there is also a link. The links here are Persons in other countries contact Liz Hinds for any other distribution channels.

I have not read Liz's book but have purchased it. USA have two 5-star comments and apparently the humor is great. I am engrossed in reading James A Michenor's THE SOURCE, which is an epic novel and may take me the rest of the year to read, as I just started it. He is a favorite author of mine.
Top of Cell Tower - If the prongs
along the sides are for human climbing
I will not watch - unless I have my
trusty camera. The transmitting/re-
ceiving equipment on top is yet to
be installed. I work 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Liz has four blogs; besides the one already been mentioned, one is the title of her e-book. Give her a visit and tell her I am helping her spread the word. She is busy promoting the e-book, which is the hard part or writing, so I am told.

Lastly, the this post, Husband (H) and I are planning a trip to Plattsburg, NY, known for one of the more important battles of the War of 1812. It is also home of a museum from one of the Navy ships H was on in mid 1960s, U.S.S. Henley. Their convention is the last weekend of the 2week Commemoration of theWar of 1812. I promised Shelly one ship reunion, and time may be running out.

We also will return via Niagara Falls. I have seen them, but he has not. I told him it was on his Bucket list now. All my slides are gone, so I want one more chance a photos, too. And it is one of the marvelous wonders of our beautiful  country. That leaves one thing on my Bucket List- Grand Canyon. Have no idea how we might accomplish that one.

The possibility of pulling this trip off is nebulous. We have relatives everywhere in poor health: a brother on radiation due to reoccurrence of cancer; half-brother with unbelievable heart problems, brother-in-law with multiple heart problems and possible decline in mental acuity; sister just diagnosed diabetic; and my heart medicine for A-Fib is definitely fading, which means a heart procedure which may prohibit my attendance (however, I am working getting a fishing pal to maybe go in my place, and I'll find someone to stay with me).

At least our deposits and reservations are refundable except $20; we have 70x that already in deposits/reservations. That does not count gas and nights on the road going and coming back.

PHOTOS: scattered through this blog have no relation to subject matter, so I have added longer cutlines. All photos by NitWit1 unless otherwise attributed.
Spider Web Hens/Chicks Blooming
In Pot Near Handicap Post
Starting Up the Ramp
Hens and Chicks Nearly Ready
to Bloom (Zoom Lens Macro)

I plan a later post, no certain date, on hens-n-chicks, perennial succulents of the family Sempervivum tectorum. Like many plants in my yard, they require little care and multiply ad infinitum. Almost all of them are blooming this year so here are two teasers of a quite a number of photos I have made.

Hens and Chicks
Zoom Lens Macro With +4 diopter added

Monday, June 11, 2012


Reuphostered Lift Chair -Front View
Looks Good. Not Even Padding on Top
Top; Extra Padding Was Added at to
Front Back & Seat at Extra Cost.
The days and weeks have been so full I have not had time to post, a few minutes to peruse your posts, and a pocketful of duties large and small. It seems with my chronic maladies and age, what used to take 30 minutes takes half a day.

My daily written "to do" list is never empty. Sometimes I rant at my infirmities/inadequacies. But I must remember I am functioning at some level; many others my age are not as fortunate.

In early posts I have alluded to a number my infimities making sleeping in a standard nor adjustable bed most uncomfortable, such as severe spinal osteoporosis, a slipped lower disk(s), asthma/COPD/breathing and heart rhythm problems. We have adjustable beds, but it is an extra long which does seems to lift head and knees adequately for my husband, but not short-stuff 4'10" me. There probably is not one made to fit me.

However, there are lift chairs which have come to my rescue for both resting, sleeping, and relaxing in front of  TV. I have worn out one lift chair, and replaced it with a top-of-the-line infinite position with heat and vibration, and other features.

Underside Back Flap - Original Was Completely
Finished on the back.
The infinite position lift chair was in a small size, still a tad larger than I need but I could adjust myself, comfortably enough. It was divine to sleep without constant tossing and turning to find a position comfortably to rest, as well as breath better and surprisingly also not as many irregular heart pitty-pats.

In short I LOVED THIS CHAIR! Heavily used, in 5 years the fabric was FRAYED, DISCOLORED, NEAR THREAD-BARE!

Enlargement of back of Back Flap
Shoddy work and Velcro
Since it was a high-end priced lift chair, I was torn between replacement and reupholstery. I checked prices of new chair which have increased about $200 for same features and a newer size, depending on brand of petite or junior petite. But upholstery was $500 less.

I mulled over the dilemma. My mother did not believe in upholstering furniture. We used it, in whatever condition it degraded, until we could afford a new one. Fabrics often were faded, not in vogue and often did not blend with changing decor. We waited until we could afford, which meant pay CASH.

Since none of the high end chairs are in local medical sales businesses (all are special order), I leaned toward upholstery. Top of the line chairs are not in demand in a rural poor areas; persons only use them for as long as they may need to recover from back, knee or hip surgery, and then sell them. Hence they buy less expensive lift chairs with minimum add-ons.
There were upholstery businesses in a town 50 miles from me, but a nearby town (16 miles) also had three upholstery shops, one of which had a reputation of very good work. I picked up sample fabrics and finally decided one. The chair had only had one service call, to replace one of two hand controls. No work was done beneath the chair where the main mechanisms and wires are connected.

Sloppy Replacement of Wiring Mechanism
The business courtesy is to pick up the furniture and deliver it when it is done. This chair has two motors that operated certain parts of the chair independently. Every feature on the chair was working perfectly when the chair went out our front door.

After pick-up I was called in two weeks the chair was ready to return home as soon as I paid $700 for it, first trip into the nearby town.

Now the wretchedness begins!. First a lot of velcro was used on the chair in the back. I don't mind velcro, although it appears to be used to cut sewing time, but I do mind sloppy fit and bunching fabric which may have not been cut as neatly as possible.

Sloppy Fit; Velcro Does Not Align
Unfinished Edges, Fraying, and
Poor Fit at Inside Corner; Bumper
Legs Missing on Delivery
Then a $200 motor went out. The repairman, who also is the dealer who sold me the chair, and I, noticed the wiring was hanging in a tangled mess under the chair, and a connection box containing a circuit board for heat and vibration was broken and glued back together, hung with a twistie over a frame bar. Apparently clips used to hold the wires neatly out of the lift mechanism had been eliminated. Everything was loose and tangled, knotted and disorganized.
About a month after the motor went out, I turned on the heating pad....NO HEAT, and the bumper feet (2)  on the back of the chair were missing.

A second trip by same repairman who felt the broken  box is the culprit, probably the circuit board. The upholstery shop did offer to place the heating pad in the chair free, as it entailed tearing open their work. I also mentioned the bumper feet.

By now the owner was becoming irate with my complaining. He said he would bring them out next time they had a call in my town about 16 miles from his shop.

By now I am getting hot under the collar,too. I said, "and when will that be?"

He said, "I said when we have another call out there."

I lost my cool and said, "that could be 100 years from now."

Right Back Corner; Velco d0es not Match and One Piece
Is Not Long Enough for Neat Closure, Some Bunching
of Material; Fraying, and Bumper Leg Missing at Delivery.
He lost his cool, and said, "it will be a 100 years if you keep talking. I will throw the bumpers in the wastebasket and forget about the whole matter." He hung up with further comment.

I later called and said I would pick the bumpers up myself and my husband could surely figure how to put them on. The owner backed down and offered to come out after work the same day, but I refused, picked the bumpers up without incident and wrote that place off any place I would recommend.

At 75 I still am seeing how wise my Mother (and Daddy) may have been. We can afford a chair, and I simply should have done it. There is the problem of dispensing with, or selling the older ones.
Improper Fit ofMaterial- There Is Bunching or Folding
of Material at Several Spots on the Chair.
This chair still works....till something else goes wrong. So I am taking my time deciding. I may look for a person in need of a chair and cannot afford one. I will tell this person the history so if it crashes and burns, I will not be accused of falsification.

It is entirely possible these chairs are a lot like electronics or heavy appliances that work well set up, but when moving is necessary, sometimes a lot goes wrong.

This saga is not over for me. But the sage with upholstery business anywhere is. I'll keep the adage of my mother in mind. "Use it till it quits." I fondly remember a cranky, aged, heavily used electric clothes washer would occasionally refuse to run after loaded. She would stand in front of it each time to see it was going to cooperate and run. If it did not, she gave it a swift kick, and it would start. This worked for an indeterminate time; I guess oneday she punted instead of  kicked  which was the last straw and it died.

Monday, June 04, 2012


Those who follow me, or have read my brief biography, will extract a minuscule measure of nerd in my measure of life and its pleasures, especially my preferences in music and reading.

Being 75, and having thus far survived several serious and diverse health episodes, I have sporadically spent time, some with my husband, doing the 'putting our affairs in order,' or more pragmatically, less tactfully, last will and testaments, funeral preferences, etc.

My husband has not put his in writing to date, but since it is primarily military, I pretty much know what he wants. For example there is a Navy tradition, where a boatswain's mate,( shortened to bo'son mate by comrades), uses small pipe (similar to a piccolo, more like a multi-note whistle) to announce important events, including retirement ceremonies and funerals. On these occasions the pipe's 'music' is somewhat symbolic of transition, and commonly called 'piping over." A military funeral of any branch is finished after presentation of the FLAG and playing of TAPS.

However, I have deviated from the normal civilian rituals, at least in areas that I have lived. My distinct preference is 90% all music, some with and some without audience participation, reading of the complicated obituary which includes my biological and adoptive families (already written),  audience stories (IF appropriate for church) and NO SERMON funeral. If you think this unusual, succinctly my philosophy is 'a sermon does not make a saint.'

I consider music the equivalent of 'piping over.'

In order to make this request for music easier on those who try to comply, I am making a CD, I have encountered a popular musical group of unusual composition, 4 males and an orchestra. I saw them on TV and began listening them, primarily via You Tube. I plan to purchase at least one DVD. They speak and sing 3-4 languages and have several world tours. You may check them out here.

I have provided YOUTUBE links to I CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE (Elvis Presley), UNCHAINED MELODY, MY WAY, and AMAZING GRACE. [that is if I clicked on the right YOU TUBE title! I don't do this often enough.] Another worth watching is DON'T CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA - a lot of Spanish here I am sure, so I did not include it but if you go to YOU TUBE and type in IL DIVO you will get a large assortment of their music, some professionally made and some obviously filmed by amateurs attending a concert.

 A number of their concerts include other celebrities in the music field like Celine Dion, Barbara Streisand. Some of these videos are amateurish, but the music recording is representative of their voice richness and range.

Attribution: Videos = YOUTUBE links, none of which are my work. Nor have I been contacted to promote them.They do not need my endorsement. - NitWit1

NOTICE: If YOUTUBE links do not work, the title of the music and IL DIVO will get you to the clip in YOU TUBE. I don't believe these play using 64 bit IE.