Monday, November 30, 2009

The Gravy Train

Countless bloggers I've read since joining the blogging world are animal lovers whether canine, feline or wild. Although I love all nature I am partial to dogs and cats. The only reason I have no cats is I am, or was, allergic to cats, but not dogs.

Like Arkansas Patti [ The New Sixty ]with her beloved dog, Mighty, who once operated an animal shelter, I have a number of dog stories. We now have a shelter dog, Luckie, but once we owned pedigreed German Shepherds. A recent story by Arkansas Patti, CAN CODY COME OUT AND PLAY???, stirred my memory of another German Shepherd, Felicia.

My husband's tour of duty when we married was a reserve training ship, U.S.S. Mills, docked at Fort McHenry in Baltimore. We rented the main floor and basement of an older house in a suburb. There was an apartment above us which was a separate rental.

Next door was a single family dwelling occupied by a family with children and an older, very friendly female German Shepherd, FELICIA, whose name had been shorten by the children to Fleecie. Since the children were young, I suppose they had difficulty saying Felicia, so it was shorten to Fleecie.

Being newlyweds removed from familiar settings, we made friends as best we could, including the dog, especially myself.

Since my husband's duty shift and my pharmacy shift rarely coincided, we spent time alone in an unfamiliar setting and culture.

Our kitchen served as an entrance; the kitchen window looked out at the neighbor's home and side entrance where the dog usually camped. Sometimes I sat on my steps and petted Fleecie and often fed her food scraps. The neighbors did not mind at all.

I noticed certain times of the day Fleecie appeared at my door even when I was not sitting on the steps. If I ignored her, she disappeared for awhile.

As months passed and winter set in, I notice Fleecie had difficulty getting up and down--my first initiation in the Shepherd culture of hip dysplasia and arthritis.

The owners took her to the vet for evaluation. They came over and asked me not to feed the dog because she needed to shed weight to prolong her life with less pain. Of course, I complied and only petted her.

After a period of time the owners asked me if I was still feeding the dog; I replied. 'NO" but I petted her and inquired why the question. They said, "She is not losing weight and we are barely feeding her."

I thought a minute and said I noticed she disappeared at a certain time of day every day about 4 p.m. She was not confined to a yard, nor tied, but only strayed once a day and always returned to her rug mat by her owners' side door.

Several weeks passed. I saw the owners outside one day when I arrived home. I asked them if they ever solved Fleecie's diet program. They said,"yes, and you won't believe it!'

Frustrated with their efforts for naught in Fleecie's weight loss program, one day the owners followed her, when she disappeared at the appointed 4 p.m. time. They were amazed the dog had appointed rounds throughout the neighborhood at houses where food was waiting when she arrived. This route was not just one block but involved several streets and quite a number of houses. The treats were not a few kibbles, but mounds of food scraps, dog treats and large bowls of dog food.

The owners followed her more than once mapping her route. When they had all the houses marked, they retraced the route and asked the owners to please refrain from feeding Fleecie.

The owners filled me in on Fleecie's well organized gravy train. The persons contacted were so disappointed, but apparently complied as she lost weight. Their comments were like mine: "She is such a sweet, friendly dog to adults and children. She would not hurt a flea!"

Before we were transferred the couple had marital problems and filed for divorce. We heard the couple didn't fight over the children, but there was much contention over Fleecie. Even though I am overboard in my love of dogs, I wonder how the children felt that their parents fought over the dog above them. Perhaps, it was explained to them, there was no need to fight over the children as they had reached an amicable agreement. I only hope so.

PHOTO: very old snapshot of our third German Shepherd, Gabriela, "Gabby" for short, a sable Shepherd. Felicia was the more common black and tan color.

Friday, November 27, 2009


While you view this admittedly haphazardly assembled post, we'll be toodling home from Little Rock like two stuffed piggies, Arkansas Razorbacks.

We left Luckie at her un-favorite spa Tuesday in the rain. By the time we traveled 15 miles, it quit. By Little Rock the sun was shining.

Tuesday I received a H1Ni1 shot at my asthma, allergy, COPD clinic; husband got his hearing aids adjusted at Fort Roots VA hospital in N. Little Rock.

We stopped in Clinton, AR at Western Sizzlin' on our trip to Little Rock and later had a small hamburger in Little Rock at Hardee's after checking in at La Quinta Inn in W Little Rock.

At Western Sizzlin' a mother with three children ( 2 sons, 1 daughter) were seated near us. Mother told her children to shut their eyes and bow their heads while she said grace. As soon as she started the prayer, the two sons grabbed their forks and stuffed their mouths. I nearly laughed out loud. Daughter was obedient.

We had two meals at Luby's Cafeteria including Thanksgiving Dinner.

This time of year on Arkansas we carry twice as many clothes as we use as we never know when it will turn colder, like FRIDAY. Hence our room is really topsy turvy. We know how to move in and get comfortable--trash it up and throw stuff around like we do at home--RIGHT?

1. An interesting cloud formation as we were leaving Luckie's spa, Mountain Home, AR, taken out the front car window (window tint at top)

2. Western Sizzlin' sign in Clinton AR

3 . Husband reading e-mail and surfing 'Net

4. & 5. An interesting species of tree very prevalent around Little Rock. >
It appears to be some kind
holly which is now turning red.

6. My Thanksgiving Dinner. Did I say I was on a diet? It is the gym for 56 days now

7,. 8., & 9. Fountain in front of Towbin Hall, Fort Roots, North Little Rock, AR.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thankfulness #23 -30

Since we are leaving for Little Rock Tuesday I am completed my Thankfulness posts today. We will be staying until sometime Friday. This is a trip of necessity and we usually choose to spend at least two nights for our convenience and well-being.

My husband has a Little Rock VA appointment at the hearing clinic on Wednesday. We usually make at least 2-3 days out of this 300 mi round trip. To do it in one day is just too tiring on both of us. However, since Thanksgiving Day would be the day we normally would return home, we decided to spend an extra night and enjoy Thanksgiving Day in Little Rock, returning home on Friday. We had no other plans, anyway.

I will have my trusty laptop with me, but not sure what we might decide to do, if anything!!!

Thankfulness: [see Holding Patterns by Sandi]:

23. When I remember the original Thanksgiving in our country, the 51 survivors out of 100, were simply thankful they survived one year. So I am thankful my husband and I, despite chronic disease and aging, have survived another year.

24. Because our survival is often dependent on improved medical knowledge from methods of treatment, diagnosis, and medications, I am thankful for all who pursue these fields in health care, both practice and research.

25. It is said President Abraham Lincoln declared a national Day of Thanksgiving at Gettysburg, where grotesque parts of bodies still lay unburied from the greatest battle and turning point of the Civil War. To me this was the most horrific of wars. I pray the union of our states is never again be severed for any reason.

26. I am thankful, despite our distance from kinsman, we regularly are in touch with relatives via various marvelous forms of communication: cell and plain old telephones, various Internet programs, video conferencing which can be done with various chat/video Internet program, e-mail, voice mail, snail mail and newer methods are continually emerging.

27. I am thankful, I have never truly known hunger and poverty in any degree, much less that which exists on much of our planet. Even now some fellow citizens suddenly find themselves without jobs, homes, and sustenance. There are persons in my area sleeping in cars, some of which have little or no fuel to move.

28. I am thankful I have been exposed to military life as a wife and observed the unique, often nerve wrecking, family breaking pressures by the positions and assignments of a spouse. And it is much more stressful today, as there were not two wars. Pray for all our military families.

29. I am thankful for comforts that make independent living in older years easier: lift chairs, monitoring devices, care services, motorized carts/wheelchairs/lifting devices, only a few.To date I only use one of these. I read of new gizmos every day.

30. I am thankful for the blogging phenomenon. It probably will fade or evolve into something different, but that is the fun of it all. Blogginh is a positive creative activity in many ways. It can also be destructive, too. I try to say less, not more, and generally consider my opinion, not too important, if not positive .


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thankfulness #17 - 22

Apologies to Sandi of Holding Patterns for not being able to link with MrLinky. I've had this problem before-I'm sure its me, but I have provided a link in each posting to your web site.

17. I'm thankful my small community has a gym I can visit two blocks from my house....and a grocery store.

18. I'm thankful for finding a warm church family in which we fit, after seemingly searching a life-time, which I attribute to my not searching hard and long enough, not any one's fault by my own.

19. I'm thankful in my older years we are not strained financially to meet our daily expenses.

20. I'm thankful I still have eyesight and hearing, although somewhat diminished; I still can enjoy taste and touch; I still can communicate. I have peers who have lost a lot of these innate senses.

21. I'm thankful that technology continues to enhance my life, whether it is wireless networking, or improvements in all areas of medical technology. I remember when there were few to no inhalers for asthmatics and only a few, now obsolete, oral medicines.

22. I'm thankful to be an American. I have lived overseas in a third world country, which was an experience for which I am grateful, but made me appreciate my own country, yet not be too provincial.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Enter His gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
[Psalm 100:4-5]

No matter our prosperity, or perceived lack thereof, I am sure we can enumerate thankfulness to fill a calendar year. One of the bloggers I follow is listing an item a day of thankfulness. [See Holding Patterns by Sandi].

In a year of less than desirable economic prosperity, 10% unemployment, personal and family bankruptcies, homelessness and all the accompanying trials and difficulties, I believe we still can find thankfulness, so I am going to try to catch up with Sandi with 16 today, and then try to post 1-2 each post weekly until I have 30, hopefully on Nov. 30.

Thankful list:

1. Parents, now deceased, who adopted me and taught and guided me into adulthood with decent moral values, and invaluable education.

2. A husband who puts up with me.

3. Numerous pets who have brought joy into my life.

4. Many friends, wherever we have lived.

5. The privilege of living in a third world country which taught me respect for other cultures.

6.Having a younger brother and sister helped understand value of a family unit.

7. Finding my biological family at a relatively late age is a major marker in my life, plus two more brothers and another sister.

8. Having survived several major medical crises in my life helps me understand the stress such events have on the patient and family.

9. Having the privilege and confidence of local voters to serve my city on city council for 3 terms.

10. The ability throughout life to learn and develop additional skills of interest, whether computers, photography, arts and crafts.

11. The Internet as a tool of learning, research, virtual friendships, communication.

12. To have witnessed a man walk on the moon via television and to remember the introduction of the first b/w television into general markets.

13. To have witnessed my Mother's gifts of one of the first automatic dishwashers, an electric sewing machine, a Bendix washing machine & dryer, electric typewriter.

14. To have witnessed the introduction of computers.

15. To have witnessed our nation undergo two attacks on our homeland (Pearl Harbor and 9/11) and emerge with resolve to remain an united Nation.

6. To remember how our Nation united and backed our President and others resolve during WWII even while still suffering the remnants a Great Depression.

Comments on#16:

I remember sitting by the console Philco radio listening to President Roosevelt's speech after the attack on Pearl Harbor. I did not understand it all, except through my parents I knew it was serious.

I remember Victory gardens and war bonds; we had several of each.

I remember rationing of sugar, tires, and other commodities. Dad became so proficient at patching intertube tires, we grew to expect at least on flat on almost any trip. The longest trip was 120 mi (round trip) to grandparents and great aunts in same town. These trips were infrequent, usually very special occasions.

We had practice blackouts and curfews; there was an Army camp outside our town. I remember driving home from church one night with only parking lights on. When we arrived home we either went to bed or listened to radio in the dark.

Yet through it all I observed more community and national support in so many ways that I do not see today. Women went to work. to help sustain the family. Women and those who were not drafted, or did not volunteer made bandages, knited sweaters, scarves or sock, packed care packages and worked with the USO.

Today I see very limited exhibition of patriotism. It seems patriotism might offend someone. Too bad! At this house we have worn out more flags than I can count. Further, my military retiree husband insists the old ones be properly disposed. Sometimes he does the job or we give the tattered flags to the VFW.
PHOTOS: My sister's driveway entrance in Texas.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


The household is slowly reverting to near normal, none too soon for 4-legged grumpy caregiver Luckie.

In much better health Friday I kept an appointment with local physician. Still wheezy, but in good spirits, I informed her of the horse dose amoxicillin the asthma/allergy physician gave me. She may refer me to a veterinarian for future treatment (joking)

Husband seems to be recovering faster than I; he always seems to "snap out of it" in full speed ahead mode.

Friday I spent day catching up on household duties--so no FOTO-FRIDAY. Today I will continue to play catch-up.

Luckie has not had a late breakfast since I so rudely slept an extra hour, and was soundly berated when I remembered to feed her. Far be it I should upset such a temperamental caregiver. But then we have now reversed roles to her satisfaction; we are caregivers.

Neither of us had H1N1 swine flu, but Doc said she had tested several patients and last week; one patient tested positive.

Although somewhat fatalistic in attitude to epidemics-- you're either get it or not--I am diligently observing some precautionary procedures, especially concerning hand washing, cleaning surfaces, and covering my nose/mouth when sneezing/coughing.

If you participate in activities where facilities are used commonly among participants, such as exercise programs, gyms, etc., carry or use provided sanitizing materials, on weights, exercise bands, even the chair or machines where touched, both before and after use.

Major stores are providing wipes for shopping carts; but grab and extra wipe for your purse or the restroom door when exiting. Sans wipes, use Kleenex, paper towels or any material to avoid touching doors and knobs. Women, think of all the places we set our purses--floor, kitchen counters, car seats, etc.

In our area the H1N1 vaccine is still scarce. Since there is an "A" viral strain in the regular seasonal flu vaccine, there may be some residual protection for swine flu. If H1N1 vaccine become generally available I will have one as I am in a vulnerable group, regardless of my age.

The scarest part of this epidemic is the number of fatalities among children.

Please take sensible everyday precautions, but don't become too obsessed as to make life miserable for yourselves and others.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Disgruntled Care-Giver

It is a good sign both occupants of Luckie's 2-bed infirmary are rapidly recovering. Yesterday, I ventured to WalMart where I probably encountered millions of germs and viruses, not already inhabiting this old body.

After 2.5 hours of shopping, mostly "window-shopping," as the store is rapidly filling up with all manner of goodies for Christmas, I was exhausted. At least I can chalk up a few Activity Points (called leisure walking) for Weight Watchers (WW). The store was unusually busy--long checkout lines. There was a special of 60 cents/lb. turkey (name brand) and deep price cuts on plasma panel TVs.

[This a.m. WW weigh-in showed 2.5 lb. weekly loss, leaving only 1 lb. of weight gain caused by too many long trips and two steroid shots. YEAH! YEAH!-a new laptop is in my immediate future.]

Shelly was much better after a day of antibiotics and some cough syrup, so he can sleep. He ventured out to take a few high-water pictures of Bull Shoals Lake. Access ramps, and our access to our boat stall are rapidly being inundated with the umpteenth ascent of water to the flood level.

However, our caregiver, is becoming disenchanted with her job. This morning she barked and grumped when breakfast was over an hour late. Luckie and I share a Foodaholic Anonymous membership of two--don't upset our chow wagon.

Truthfully, I am waking up at 5:09 a.m. which would be 6:09 a.m. under Daylight Saving Time. I should just get up as my body is trained to that celestial timetable, but, no, I turn over and go back to sleep for an hour.

Apparently, Luckie's chow time didn't rotate with the time change!

Photo: Luckie dislikes neck scarves her beautician loves to give her each visit!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Luckie's Infirmary

Coward's Corner with Luckie is temporarily an infirmary with Luckie as chief of staff.

Sunday Husband (H) announced he was victimized with some "bug." I heard his coughing all night which equaled and often echoed mine.

Today we'll assessed our medical needs. Sometimes it is difficult to get H to accept medical care--tough guy syndrome, but he has arisen asking me to make an appointment. I seem better as long as I don't exert myself; exertion causes the shortness of breath to return.

New meds from asthma/allergy/COPD specialist seem to be taking hold, especially the horse-strength antibiotics and new long-acting inhaler.

Luckie is serving as physician's assistant, nurse practitioner and chief sympathizer. Who can resist those brown eyes pleading with us to get well (but we better not miss her mealtime!) and toss her toys?

Post Script: Luckie says all beds are filled, no new admissions, unless it is her. Cats and dogs are getting swine flu, but I don't think that is what we have---wrong symptoms.

Friday, November 06, 2009


Husband (H) Best Friend (BF) and I completed our round-trip to Little Rock Wednesday to my and BF's asthma/allergy/COPD physician.

As usual BF is in better shape than I am. It seems I have bronchitis annually at same time as my annual trip . On the way home I developed laryngitis. I have quarantined myself to the house until major improvement.

My husband is chanting " oh! happy day." He probably hopes the SILENCE stretches into a week or more.

My physician is changing my medicines. Age seems inviting more attacks. One antibiotic is an older one in a strength I did not know existed. I'm almost afraid to take it, but had made it through two doses without major side effects.

Photos today demonstrate SILENCE a tad too. Serene landscapes are part of a portfolio at least 15 yrs old. Luckie quietly napping were taken Nov. 2.

Luckie Napping and Dozing

Portfolio- photo copies of prints made from slides (about 15 yrs. old)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Affirm or Evaluate

I have been re-reading a small book (69 pages) entitled BALCONY PEOPLE by Joyce Landorf Heatherley, who has a variety of inspirational books. One other book, SILENT SEPTEMBER, deals with constant pain.

This book was recommended by a cancer support group sponsored by CARTI, the area Central Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute. This group holds luncheons in a nearby town, Mountain Home, for all cancer survivors, and caregivers, regardless of treatments. I only had surgery, the only treatment for kidney cancer, yet I am still welcome to take advantage of their luncheons and activities.

BALCONY PEOPLE is written to describe how to encourage and show your love and concern to others and affirmation of your love and respect for one another.

When you tell a person how you appreciate how well they clean your house, better than you ever could, that is affirming that person, but it is more than that, it is showing a certain kind of love for that person.

Conversely, there is the evaluator, unfortunately in the majority, who sums a person up and spits them out in rejection. There are evaluators whose job is to determine talent or qualifications for positions, but they can be affirmative.

The book I am re-reading is a second copy. I passed my first copy on to a person I felt needed it more than I did. But I wanted to refresh my memory of how to be an affirming person.

Although cancer survivors have need of affirming care, the survivor can also become an affirming person to others, especially other cancer survivors.

Of course, this philosophy is applicable in many life situations, not just cancer. How about a waiter/waitress who really serves you day after day in a friendly but attentive decorum; he/she really cares if your food is exactly what you expected, or the phlebotomist who has a special talent to hit that tiny vein (a most gifted person in my mind).

In the blogging world, we offer prayers and words of concern and encouragement.

It is wonderful to know there is a great and diverse group interested in each other .

However, this little book, written with references to organized religion, can help each of us be affirmers to those close to us everyday, our family, our friends, our business associates, our neighbors, the postal or newspaper delivery persons, the babysitter--the list can go on and on.

An Anonymous reading in the front to set the tone of the book is below; [not to be misunderstood, this booklet is written in the mode of our physical interaction with those persons in our everyday life---not the blogosphere. I am offering it simply because its message is imprinted in my mind.--NitWit1]

I WAS...

I was hungry and you formed a humanities club to discuss my hunger.

Thank you.

I was imprisoned and you crept off quietly to your chapel to pray for my release.


I was naked and in your mind you debated the morality of my appearance.

What good did that do?

I was sick and you knelt and thanked God for your health.

But I needed you.

I was homeless and you preached to me of the shelter of the love of God.

I wish you'd taken me home.

I was lonely and you left me alone to pray for me.

Why didn't you stay?

You seemed so holy, so close to God, but I'm still very hungry, lonely, cold and still in pain.

Does it matter?


Monday, November 02, 2009

The Great (O)Possum Invasion

The year 1996 was memorable for three reasons. August marked my Dad's 90th birthday and we traveled to Texas for the occasion, which was interrupted with my ruptured kidney cancer emergency. I do know how to crash a party in unorthodox style, don't I?! [Scripture to Go! Part 1 , Scripture to Go - Part 2]

Besides Dad's 90th birthday and my kidney cancer encounter, there was the great possum invasion.

Before we left for Texas and Dad's birthday, we knew there were weird bumps under the floor of our manufactured home, especially at night. Husband(H) with back problems would give a cursory glance through several crawl space openings with a super-sized flashlight, more like a floodlight.....nothing visible.

Our manufactured home had a layer of loose insulation held in place by black impervious material stapled to the floor. In some places it had been torn open for repairs to various electrical and plumbing lines. Critters could possibly make nice nests if they were not allergic to Pink Panther insulation.

At the time we had our third German Shepherd, Gabriela [Gabby for short(G)], about 8-years old. The bumping and racket drove her crazy; she ran from floor vent to floor vent trying to catch the then unidentified critters who seemed to party at night, and relatively quiet in daylight hours. They were a raucous bunch, no doubt these were mating rituals, but we did not identify the critters for a while.

I do not remember when we identified the critters as possums. I remember finding a baby possum dead in the yard. H said it fell out of a tree. G may have had a part in the baby possum's demise.

G was not a hunter, like Luckie, but she hated invaders of her domain. Neighbors were amused, watching her rip the gutter downspouts off the house to get rid of chipmunks. I never found a dead one. She did unbelievable damage to aluminum downspouts with her teeth.

Never doubt the pressure of a German Shepherd's bite! None of our dogs ever bit anyone, but I respected their reputations and did not subject strangers to them. They generally warmed up to persons after they witnessed we were friendly.

We replaced aluminum downspouts with PVC--ugly but still standing.

Discovery of 0ur mystery invaders' identity may have been before the Texas trip. We had blocked every crack and crevice which could be used to invade our crawl space. One morning early I notice a large break in the lattice work surrounding our front deck's base and told H, who checked it out.

Meanwhile a stench permeated a few areas inside the house, like mice who die in the walls.

H worked for the City which frequently trapped wild or domestic pests for citizens, especially if rabies threats were prevalent. He borrowed a trap, baited it with dog food and placed it inside the lattice work near the opening. [These are not critter friendly traps, so some of you may wish to move along to another blog.]

We waited and checked every morning. A few days passed with no results. One morning I carried my coffee out on the deck and peered over the railing. Bingo! Something was in the trap. I awakened H to tell him we had a criminal in the trap.

He dressed and went out for a look. Being a man of few words, especially before a cigarette and coffee in the morning, all he said was "Possum." He carried it off to the City's unofficial and probably illegal dead animal dump; I made sure I didn't know where this was, although I was not a city official at the time.

These critters could form a formidable army as they have 1-3 litters, averaging 8-9 infants, yearly. We were already losing this war without knowing it.

Over a period of time we caught several possums, some were lunker-sized. He caught at least one while I was recuperating in Texas; it was the news of the day when I called him.

When I returned home I spent a few months more recuperating and applied for Social Security disability (I was 59.5 years old), which was granted. During this time the possum trapping continued.

The City work force began kidding H about when we would be serving possum pie, and other despicable sounding dishes, known in the South, nicknaming him Possum Hunter and a variety of related names. Long ago I told H the only meat on our table came from the grocery store. However, I relented for fish, when we were lucky enough to have a decent catch.

During this period of time there was a tragedy in a nearby community where a man shot and killed his wife, dismembered her into parts placed in white garbage bags in a Styrofoam cooler and dumped in Norfork Lake. It was the scuttlebutt for miles around.

I begin to worry about the white bags leaving our house for the city's animal dump, especially if neighbors were watching.

One day I'm sure they were watching!!! One possum was not dead in the trap. It growled at H, which didn't set well him. He came in the house, retrieved his shotgun, and finished off the possum with several blasts heard round the neighborhood. Discharging a firearm in the city limits is a violation of law, but you do have the right to protect your own property---interpretation is everything.

Then he carried the remains in white plastic bags to the city animal dump.

That day I made several unscheduled appearances outside the house around the property so the neighbors didn't start a rumor H was carrying his wife off in numerous white bags, just like the widely reported tragedy the rumors of which were getting wilder by the day.

This was NO COPY-CAT murder and I wanted to be sure we were the brunt of the city's coffee shop's rumor mill.We have several very popular coffee shops just brimming with "official" information to pass around. Some coffee shop regulars, mostly men, make all the stops every morning.

The possum population finally reached zero after several months of no victims. H sealed the opening.

Then began the obnoxious repairing of damaged insulation and black material. This was a dismal period in our lives where finances were tight, I was not working, and hiring the work out was not an option. We had decided that if we could get the mess removed, we would staple batts of insulation to the floor so no more invasions would be possible.

H's supervisor, knowing our situation, offered to help remove the near 20-year-old dirty insulation and black holding material. Despite he and H wearing protective clothing and masks, they both were sickened by dead possum carcasses. It seemed the supervisor was the unfortunate discoverer of a majority of the carcasses.

H then put up the new batts in several sessions. We had no major invasions on our property since the possums, just lots of annoying ants and a mouse once in awhile.

However, the current invasion of note is the home next door, which we watch for the absentee owner. Armadillos are breeding under it. It is 13 years later and H's hands shake a bit. When he heads for the shotgun, Luckie and I head for the Hidey Hole storm shelter.
Photo: old snapshot of Gabriela Von Haus Coward commonly called Gabby; she always thought everyone needed assistance in the bathroom . No doubt occupant at time of this photo thought otherwise! Gabby has a sable coat, a bit unusual in German Shepherds.