Raccoon or perhaps a beaver

I had to clean out the pool first thing this morning.  I suppose I should thank that damn raccoon for making such mess last night I could not ignore it for even part of a day, especially if I wanted to swim tonight.

When I looked out the window this morning, there were branches floating in the pool.  Branches.  Also dead stalks from my rhubarb, corn stalks (oh by the way not from my garden those went to the yard waste already – he brought these with him) and floating pieces of bark!  WTF Raccoon!  Perhaps it was a beaver trying to build a damn around the ladder.

So after my workout and breakfast I pulled all the debris out of the pool and vacuumed it.  Backwashed the filter and then added some water before putting the pool cover floats back on top and loading up to head to Mary’s for canning.

We canned 15 quarts of jam, 10 of blackberry and 5 of blackberry, plum and ginger.

All of this to prove my point from yesterday.  Because I planned on leaving by noon today I fit in my workout, pool cleaning, garden watering, vacuuming and watering the house plants before showering and loading up all my canning gear.  I get more done when there is less time to get it done.

Tomorrow is looking productive as well as there is a mid day appointment and a baking order due, both to add pressure to the schedule!

997

This is my 997 post. I should plan something remarkable for post number 1,000 but that won’t happen. It’s hard to believe you are still coming here to read about my “view” when so little of it is actually making the page these days. Part of that is the market season, for a part time job I am crazy busy. I do have three days off each week and have filled them up with a variety of things. Because of the 365 project a lot of those things I have pictures of, not all however.

Mary came over on Saturday, she is painting a house so borrowed my paint sprayer and picked up some of her things that were here. We went down to the market and walked around, yes even on my days off I am at a market. There are no pictures of this but I am heading over to Bremerton on Thursday to can blackberry jam with Mary, Mercy and a friend of theirs. So I’m sure there will be a picture and most likely blog to bore you with as well.

I have done quite a bit of baking lately, even with Baby Cakes not really in business any more. I have had orders two Thursday’s in a row. That along with a couple hundred cupcakes made last week to take to the market because my chef demo bailed and I didn’t have time to replace them.

I also made a cake recently for Sara and John’s 50th wedding anniversary. I couldn’t blog about it at the time because it was a surprise. Not the fifty years obviously but the dinner that the family had for them. I drove the cake through hemp fest traffic which was crazy and met them at Queen Margherita Pizza. Sara and John arrived and were very surprised to see everyone there. I got to catch up with Johnny, Audrey and little Sara. I also got to meet Bret’s finance Amber and the evening was a lot of fun.

This last weekend I went to a play with Katherine. I have only seen her a couple of times since Hawaii, once for another play and a couple of times to help in her yard, so this was a treat.

The play itself was hilarious, womens prison b-movie spin. Very campy and there is nothing I can do to explain it. Well except here….check out this video from the “talent show” that the inmates put on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1r96mn-1eG4

I could blog about Raccoons. Because there are always raccoons. Raccoons are always causing damage. They broke and tore up all of my corn last week. Every. Single. Ear. Of. Corn. I pulled out all the broken stalks and corn cob pieces while weeding last weekend.

They are always leaving me mud in the just cleaned pool. Always. Fun.

Or Football…I can always talk football. The preseason is looking good, three wins zero losses (so far.) Football starts in just over a week. Today the Seahawks had to cut the roster to 75 and I am so very thrilled that the quarter back they went with is Russel Wilson! This could be a very good season.

This young girl is a daughter of a vendor.
She asked me last week where Lori was, when I told her she went home to LA, she asked if that was why I looked so sad. Yep, that would be why. None of the grown ups I work with there would notice but she plucked that right out of the universe and handed it to me.

But these six cards I got in the mail today helped a little with the missing.

Well the cards and this awesome picture Flo took when we went to Kubota garden.

Feathers

I am only giving you this photo.  Chicken feathers everywhere this morning, IN. MY. YARD.  More than that however, in my pool, in my garden all over the deck.  I let Missy out and didn’t really look outside.  Went and gave her food and water and went back to the door and she wasn’t there yet.  I looked around and What The….. 

Missy was in the grass, sniffing at feathers.  Out I went in my bare feet, confirmed she was just sniffing feathers and not a carcass and got her back inside.  The feathers were stuck to the frost on my deck and now sticking to my bare feet and fingers.

I went in and showered and got ready for work because dealing with this was going to require more than my flimsy bathrobe thankyouverymuch!

I first got all of the feathers out of the grass and off the deck.  Then on the pool side of the yard I picked up big groups of feathers but mostly focused on the actual bird and stray organs.  I didn’t want to leave them out there for the crows or rats or whatever else to drag them off somewhere.  I’m sure when the raccoon comes back for leftovers tonight he will be mighty pissed I stole his dinner.  I managed to get the bird bagged and into the trash before the can was picked up for the day.

What I didn’t get up were the feathers.  Feathers in the pool, feathers in the garden, the beds, the paths, everywhere.  It looks like a sorority pillow fight gone bad.

I’m pretty sure which neighbor lost the bird and from the size of the feathers and the path they have you kind of have a road map of where they came into my yard over the gate, over the deck, over the fence, a little wash in the pool on both sides for good measure and then the main course in the garden.

No matter how badly I want chickens there is no way to keep them safe from the raccoons without surrounding my house in some raccoon proof version of Thunderdome.

Plum Feast

A few days ago I walked out and checked these plums.  There were 15, nearly ripe plums.  Not bad for the first year for the tree.

Yesterday while working out, I looked out the door window on my little home gym and thought I need to pick those.  Well I spent the day baking and getting ready for today’s market and didn’t get to them.

Tonight when I was out watering the garden I noticed a major branch on the plum tree was broken, there was ONE plum left.  The Raccoons must have been watching the ripeness also and came for a plum dessert in the middle of the night last night.

I picked and ate the one that was left, it was yummy.

and then there was SUN

(Was being the operative word) Sun for three days, beautiful sun.  It got to 70 degrees on Friday.  I spent part of my work day walking posters for the farmers market around to the down town businesses.  It was beautiful.

The weekend is here so we are back in the 50’s and raining.  I did manage to get the pool cleaned today.  There have been so many raccoons visiting lately and as you know they leave a mess behind.  They have been tramping through the garden, the muddy wet garden and then washing off in the pool.  Because of all the mud it was harder to vacuum up, it wasn’t just the usual particles settling in the bottom.  It made it more difficult to get it all up and tomorrow what everything that was disturbed has resettled I will be able to finish up.  While I’m out there tomorrow I will be able to clean up the broken light that one of them dislodged while climbing onto the shed and it crashed to the ground.

I want to get a garden in, the weather is just not cooperating.  The ground is pretty saturated and cold.  I may drop seeds in this week and with positive thinking just will them to grow.  Lets just hope those three days of sun were not it for the year.

Cont…..

I failed to mention in my post last night about the mouse rat.  I had left half of a peanut butter cookie on the counter and when I got up yesterday it was on the floor.  It had been chewed on by the mouse rat.  Della got up a few minutes later and was telling me that Taylor saw a mouse the night before, come up over the step into the kitchen and then run back down behind the beverage fridge.

So last night when I went to bed I set a mouse trap for it.  This morning when I got up, the first thing Taylor said was you got a mouse.  So I picked up the trap with tongs, Taylor took the picture and I tossed the whole thing in a bag and into the trash, which thankfully gets picked up today.

So it’s was a baby rat, not a mouse and it had to have been under the refrigerator all day and Sophie was to concerned with the guinea pig to even notice or be aware.   Can I just say I don’t have any qualms killing mice or rats in my house, babies or not.

Then I let the dogs out, it was still 5:15 in the morning and Missy went charging for the fence, Sophie and the puppy on her heals.  Up the tree went four raccoons.  Two adult and two babies and I just remember the stories of little dogs getting attached by raccoons so as soon as all the dogs peed, back into the house they went.

While Della and I worked out, we saw them s.l.o.w.l.y come down the tree.  The babies having trouble following on some of the branches.  They are finally gone and I am afraid to go check out the damage they may have made to the garden.  I did notice they had been in the pool.  I could tell by the puddle of water and they removed the thermometer again,  they must think its a floating toy.

The day today just keeps getting crazier.  The next thing up was the daily dog walk.  I picked up Viv and Bailey we drove up to SeaTac to meet Charla and Frank.  They nearly didn’t make it because Charla’s car wouldn’t start but they got there as the last minute.  We were walking along and Missy and Bailey ran up into the shrubs for a minute and when they got back Missy had rolled in shit.  HUMAN crap.  So when I finally got home I had to hose her off with soap and water.

While we were walking the puppy was trying to play with Bailey and bit her in the butt, Viv was in the middle and when Bailey turned it knocked her down.  It at least was into long grass and a soft sit then roll kind of fall.  It wasn’t until I dropped them off and was almost out of the parking lot when she phoned to say she had lost her keys at the park.  So back up there we drove and found them right were she had fallen.  We were gone from the house for nearly three hours.  All for a 45 minute walk.  C R A Z Y day so far.

Babies…..

Of the Raccoon variety.

Last night after the mouse left the house I went to bed.  Missy was whining like there was something outside.  I went to the window and looked out at the pool and did not see any raccoons so I got back in bed.  Missy ran downstairs, then came back up and actually put her paws on the windowsill and was whining out the window.

I got up again to check again.  Because I had been waiting for this day, I had a flashlight and a pellet gun on the dresser right by the window, waiting.  It’s a strange juxtaposition amongst my jewelry most days.  I flashed the light out of the window and coming over the fence toward the garden I saw two glowing eyes.

I got he pellet gun, raked it to get a pellet into place and shined the light back out the window.  There were then TEN eyeballs glowing at me.  I could tell by the sizes of the shadows that there was one adult and four babies.  I shot pellet after pellet toward the masses on the fence.  I’m sure never coming close as its one impossible to aim in the dark, and two I was having to put down the flashlight between each shot to rake the slide.  (Pellets not BB’s)

After I emptied the pellet gun the first time I went to load it back up and spilled pellets on the floor.  I started shooting again and the five raccoons lumbered off back over the fence from where they had come.

My blueberries and strawberries were all still intact this morning.  I am thinking the flashlight is cumbersome and I need to put my running headlamp up there on my dresser.  Such an exciting life I’m telling you.