Monday, August 20, 2012

The Spunky Little Deer


The other day my friend Dee posted a video on her Facebook page of an area in our town called Coffee Tree Lane where dozens upon dozens of deer congregate each evening to graze. After I saw the video I couldn't resist dragging Mister Man out there to watch them. We've been out almost every night for the past week. The first time we drove up, I almost had a heart attack. There were more deer that first night than any other and of course I didn't have my camera with me. They were everywhere. I stopped counting at 40.

I managed to remember my camera the next time we went - but of course I'm as hard on my camera as anyone could possible be and it's a little broken right now. As in, the trigger is taped on with scotch tape right now, and it's not focusing all that great. So only a couple of the pics came out.

You know me though - I'll be back and armed with a better camera next time! :D

The thing that I most wanted to show you though is this video I shot of one of the fawns going hog wild and running several laps around one of the fields. We're pretty sure he was just feeling a little spunky and was playing. It really is cute though. Try to ignore the line running down the right side of the video. I'm pretty sure that happened when I dropped my camera the time before last....or maybe it was the time before that....

I think my favorite part of the video is when Mister Man breaks out with the Forest Gump and Bambi's Dad voices....

I have some more cute video - I got some of a mama and her two babies eating apples and the babies couldn't put the apples in their mouths so they were stomping on them to break them up which was uber-eek, and another video of one of the does getting a bit pissy with us to the point where she stomped her hooves and blew at us. I'll save those for another time though.

Saturday was my birthday. I'm old now. Spent it with Mister Man, my little brother and his wife. It was a nice mellow day. Then on Sunday, while cutting a rope to tie up our tomatoes I sliced my leg open and had to go to ER to get nine stitches in my inner thigh. Yep. So that was fun. I was almost going to gross everyone out by putting a pic of it up...but to be honest it was so bad I almost passed out every time I looked at it. I'm typically okay with other's people's boo-boos...but when it comes to my own be prepared for a massive meltdown. The damn cut is only about three inches long, but it gaped open about an inch to inch and a half and you could see all the leg fat hanging out...did I lose you yet? LMAO! But I now have proof that I do have fat on my body. Mister Man and I saw it for ourselves. :D Man, that's another just aren't meant to look at the inside of yourself...I could have died happily never knowing what my leg fat actually looks like.

But, all stitched up and in relatively no pain. Can't ask for more than that! It is going to put a damper on some of our Summer activities over the next couple of weeks though. We had some river fun planned, but I'm not supposed to get it wet, so everything is on hold for the next two weeks.  Maybe since I'm stuck at home taking it easy, I should get my ass in gear finishing up all the holiday items I started for my store last year....and just never got around to finishing.

Hope everyone had a great weekend and that you are all gearing up for a great week!

'til next time...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My fancy new kitchen curtains

I finally got around to making the kitchen curtains I've been talking about putting together since we moved into this place 10 months ago. We had some family come out and stay the weekend, so I used that as motivation to get off my butt and turn the sewing machine on again. I am literally thrilled with the way they came out.

Our kitchen is pretty white washed and bright, and my intention is to fill it with color. So I used some bright fabric that I had laying around - I'm a crazy fanatic about using my 50% off Joanne's coupon so I can hoard fabric for projects like this - and threw together a quick pattern. Pfffft. I wouldn't even call it a pattern. I basically just hemmed all four sides of a square. Actually, it was a bit more complex than that. I had to make sure that I had the right measurements for the window, and then had to make sure that each of the different colored panels measured up correctly (not so easy to do for someone that can't cut or sew a straight line), and then I did a rolled hem...not to mention we had to rehang the curtain rod because the previous tenants had hung it with the left side about 2" lower than the right.... 

But I managed to get them somewhat lined up and hung!

I have to laugh because under this window is a sink full of dirty dishes that I've been avoiding all day.

I was too lazy to change the thread out while I was sewing, so I just picked a color I liked and went with it. Turned out the contrasting teal was a nice choice!

And last, but definitely not least, I threw together a colorful little pom pom banner to hang above it.

I think it really dresses the kitchen up! They have inspired me to finally start decorating this place. I have such a hard time wanting to decorate or fix up a place we just rent...but we've decided to see if we can sign another year lease while we get everything together to purchase a house, so I'm finally giving in and attempting to make her pretty.

'til next time my lovely friends...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bloggers Beware

We've all heard quite a bit about the possibility of being sued for posting someone else's picture on the internet without the owners consent. This goes beyond the world of blogging, to include the world of Facebook and Pinterest, among others. It's something I've often had small panic attacks over but never really done anything about, lumping myself in the 'it'll never happen to me category'. 

Well, after reading the article written by romance author Roni Loren in regards to her experience of being sued for using a random internet photo in one of her blog posts.....I think it's time to err on the side of caution. I strongly recommend you pop over and give her post a quick read through. She has some very interesting information in it. You can find her article here.

As for me, well, I'm cleaning up my blog posts. Slowly but surely. I have very, very few posts with other people's photos in them. But I still feel the need to go through each past post just to make sure I haven't infringed on anyone's copyrights. Better to be safe than sorry. And I'm still up in the air about Pinterest - even though they've changed their Terms and Conditions. I haven't deleted my account with them, I just haven't used the site in a long while. Anyone have any thoughts on the matter? I'd like to hear them.

Completely random picture of my Otter Pop.
But it's MINE!

'til next time...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Damn Nature, You Scary!

It's been a pretty eventful Summer this year so far! Storms up the wazoo, lots of activities and excitement, and the critters....oh, the critters. They have been rearing their heads again, only this year because we're further out in the country we're seeing much, much, muchmuchmuch more of them. Are you prepared? Because there really have been quite a few of them - and you know me and my pictures...  :D

We had a lot of branches piled on top of our fire pit from the storms, when we moved some of the branches to light it up we found two snakes curled up together. They were your basic Eastern Garter Snakes, harmless, and I really have no clue what they were doing. Mating? Planning to take over the world? Who knows. One was much smaller (only about a foot) and more brightly colored than the other...

The second snake was wider and around 2 feet long - stripes were a bit wider and coloring more muted.

We chased them off so they didn't get burned and now they are currently living under the branch pile on the side of my yard.

While trying to get to some of my tomatoes we came across this Yellow and Black Agiope (Orb Weaver)  that was in the way. It was about 2", so needless to say I went without my tomatoes that day.

CICADAS!!!! Need I say more? No! But will I? Of course!

I absolutely love Cicadas. Occasionally they can get a bit annoying when they're pumping Al Green and all worked up for their sexy time (they can get LOUD), but for the most part you just hear some light rythmic whirring or thumping coming from the trees. This is the first one I've seen in Kentucky (you can hear them everywhere - but they remain out of sight). I'm not too sure why he was in the grass, except maybe he was just coming out of the ground where they pupate. At any rate, I picked him up and set him on our largest tree. As soon as he hit the bark he started climbing until he was out of sight. Their big green eyes and the light dusting of gold on their back always strike me as so pretty.

Another fun bug I learned about by having it fly directly into my face is the Tiger Bee Fly. First off, I love that name. It's awesome. If I were that fly, I'd be rockin' that name. 

Second....look how big that damn thing is!!!

These next guys, I could dedicate a whole post to, and probably should have. These are Robber Flies. Two different types of them - and for the life of me I can't find their specific name. If anyone can help out please leave a comment.

I'd never heard of a Robber Fly before a  month ago. We were out at the farm for 4th of July and I kept noticing these large bugs that looked like a cross between a dragon fly and a wasp swoop out of the sky and attack honey bees in mid flight. They would grab the prey with their strong legs, often time tumbling to the ground with them, and then use their legs to hold them still while piercing a part of the body with their beak and injecting a paralyzing agent. When I came home from that weekend I started noticing them all around our house. I keep seeing varying accounts of how big they get - the ones around my house seem to be between 2-3" long - but I haven't caught one yet to measure it.

This one I found hanging on the front of our house, just outside the front door. It is similar to the type we saw at the farm in Indiana. It was munching on a Yellow Jacket, and as I watched it turned the Yellow Jacket several times to inject different areas of the body. 

Now that looks like it would hurt if it bit you. They aren't supposed to be aggresive towards humans, but I hear they will bite if handled and it hurts! One site I found has a first hand account of a very large Robber Fly taking out a small hummingbird. The person was able to rush out and save the hummingbird, but that is just a testament to what strong and voracious predators these guys are.

Most of the articles I came across stated that it was common for them to hang by one leg while they were feeding

Now, this darker one is the kind of Robber Fly I'm used to seeing around the house. This isn't a great picture - if you want to see one in more detail I suggest this picture. We have lots of these guys. As a matter of fact I accidentally let one in my kitchen the other day and it was like having a really fast, pissed off, loud, dragon fly buzzing around. I hung out on my back porch for a bit that day....traumatized. 

There is a rather large wasps nest in the facsia of our house that we haven't taken care of yet and I'm pretty sure that's why I'm seeing so many of them. A large portion of their prey is wasps and I've seen them take out quite a few. So while I scream and run at the sight of them, I won't complain too much. Btw - that isn't a stinger on the black Robber Fly. This is a female and that is her modified ovipositor, or what she uses to lay her eggs.

Then there is Mr. Dung Beetle...why do we have a Dung Beetle? Well, I'm not really sure. There are some cows up the road, so maybe he just wandered off.

I'll leave you on a cute note, the sunflowers that I planted right outside my kitchen door are in full effect (and killing me with all the pollen - note to self: don't plant close to house next year). They've finally started attracting some Goldfinches. Yay! I've been wanting some, and these are the first I've seen in Kentucky. When we lived in Yorba Linda, we had a flock of about 20 that would come every single day and feed. I've missed them.

Wow. Are you still there? That was a lot of photos. And you can imagine all the creepy crawlies I see when I don't have my camera handy! The weather is still warming up though - just entering the dog days now. So I'm sure we'll be seeing even more in the next month. Have any of you guys come across any weird or wonderful bugs around your homes?

'til next time...