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November 29, 2008

Intelligent Animals and Odd Women

Filed under: Home — donwood49 @ 3:49 am

I’ve been reading a book called Odd Women by George Gissing. It was written in the 1800’s sometime, and even though I enjoy reading books from that time period, this one has little interesting to say. What is interesting in it is it’s portrayal of “odd women,” women who wanted a career in a society and time period where they were expected to stay at home. For a book about people who want something other than marriage, it spends a lot of time with marriage. A woman has trouble with her husband, leaves him after he wants to control her thoughts, and then right off wants to marry someone else right away. This is very strange plot. It also has a plot twist no modern writer would think of. Apparently, a man and women couldn’t sit together in a living room alone without suspicion, so of course when the married women knocks on the door of a man she knows, the whole community believes she’s been doing improper things with him. Now a writer today would never think to write that. I guess that’s what townspeople did with no TV to watch.

Today Ernie told Walter the dog they were going for a ride and then went into the back room. Well, of course Walter couldn’t handle that, ran right to  our gate for the back room, then starting crying and watched outside the window to see if Ernie’s car was moving. That was interesting. I could see the wheels turning in his head: maybe Ernie had wriggled his way out the back window and ran around to the front of the house to the car, just so he could leave for a ride without the dogs. It makes you wonder. If babies eventually get over the “peek-a-boo” idea and stop thinking you’re going when they can’t see you, when do animals do this? Mom says Gerard our earlier dog thought anyone human could hide in the same places he could. Ebony our dog used to hunt behind the TV for predator animals on nature shows. Maybe it’s a predator-prey thing. Would Walter eventually understand that getting around the house would be difficult for Ernie? Probably not, but that’s just Walter. He wants to know where Ernie is all the time, but he’s a smart dog. Which part of an animal or human brain is this located? I wonder if it’s the same as the chickens not understanding about glass. They would try to drink tea with me by pecking at the glass. Since many of these animals are quite bright, it does make me wonder about this portion of their brain. If a 18-month-old child (or whatever age it is) can figure out this type of thing, what prevents the animals from doing it?
Food for thought.

Today I searched for jobs, went thrift shopping with Mom (who was called to scrounge at Savers). She’s looking for a cabinet, and found it but the prices were too high. Searching for jobs is beginning to annoy me. Half the time they do not have the right keywords or catagories so far at least. Makes searching difficult. I got a camera that makes stereoscopic pictures, but it can only be viewed with a little viewer. Really a silly thing to buy since I can’t see 3D, but I thought it would be fun. The batteries and film are still useable — I know because Mom tried it on me with the flash).

I took my banjo down to the music store the other day with my neighbor, who was quite happy to come along and knew just what to say to the music people about what my banjo needed. We took a tour of the place and looked at the different instruments — something I wouldn’t have neccessarily done by myself but I enjoyed it. I bought a book on banjos.
We had porcupine meatballs for dinner, and pie (third slice of the day, very good). Now we’re watching mysteries on TV, so I’ll end the post now.

November 27, 2008


Filed under: Home — donwood49 @ 11:34 pm

Well, here it is Thanksgiving. Which seems strange as it didn’t feel like Halloween this year or last. Ernie came with his dogs and we are at home today. I imagine everyone is at home today, and probably all eating. We have a cranberry-pear and mincemeat pie on the counter cooling. Ernie’s making a turkey. I’ve been trying to think of crafts I could do, but so far haven’t done any but knitting. I don’t know what to write about in this post. Dad told Ernie I was planning to post here, and Ernie said “Good God!” as in, “Is she really?” And he’s right.

I’d like to post some writing here, craft plans, though I don’t know how to go about it. It’s overcast here today, slate grey outside, and cold, even though Mom keeps throwing both doors open and saying it’s too hot. It is, too, because we have new yellow siding on the house, which makes it look different and great and warmer, even if it does ruin my ability to tell cabs “Go to the worst painted house.” And you know, they could always find it. Worked like a charm. But I like the new siding.

Dad set up a new screen door, one of those with cross-hatch wires and bars. It looks kind of strange, because it clicks shut behind you very securely, and reminds me of the type of door in rough neighborhoods. But it does mean that we don’t have to worry now about people come to the door, on account of the screen door. So that’s good as well.

And what have I been doing? Well, for one thing, this is the longest I’ve written anything in quite awhile. College fried my brains, I guess. The house is full of pie smells today, and dog-mud, and there are bits of glass in the carpet where Mom threw down two bowls that were locked together. She wanted to jolt them apart, but instead the little one shattered. Ernie and Dad are at the table working on computers, and I’m here at the couch doing the same, typing with Zoomtext off, and trying to think of what to say, here in this blog.

Last weekend I made banana chips because the Milk Pail, an absolutely wonderful produce market, had a major sale on boxes of bananas. I got a box and spent 10-12 hour days for the weekend making chips. They were great, like taffy. We have now eaten more bananas here in the past week or so than ever before. Whenever I go past the jar, I get some to chew and Mom has them with yogurt. I made some banana chutney too, which I’ve been bragging on a bit. That’s because Mom got me some canning jars and equipment and showed me how to can. I made sauerkraut too, which looked amazingly fine. I tried some a few days ago and Mom said I would probably die from the food poisoning entirely. But it turned out just fine and everyone else here had some and said it was very good sauerkraut. And now I know a little about how that works.

Mom’s been trying to train Walter, Ernie’s dog, about the proper place to lie down in the kitchen. She’s always tripping over him in there, and now that Walter knows where he needs to sit, he’s usually got one foot over the carpet, or is standing behind Ernie. Wolfie and Walter are always watching for crumbs from heaven. I even took apple scraps and eggshells out to my worm farm this morning, and Wolfie followed, jumping and watching intently. I don’t know why, since he’d certainly have a time with the eggshells. Dad promised him we’d feed him some peanut butter later today. That should be fun. I believe Wolfie would try to eat almost anything. He had a good look in my worm bin, and then around Mom’s smoker. He’s been dying to have her open it, since she hasn’t cleaned it yet, and it smells of chicken grease and beef and sausage. We aren’t smoking our turkey, but Mom’s turning it on the rotisserie.

Dad’s music is playing on his computer, and Ernie’s chopping things in the kitchen. We got some new light bulbs there, which makes a great difference. You no longer feet blind while in there. (Although I suppose I could’ve taken my cane in. “Where are you going?” “Off to the kitchen.”) We didn’t notice anything was wrong until the new lights brightened things up.

The herbs and peppermint and cactuses are stored away for the winter in the new greenhouse. Mom and I went out today to fetch basil and sage for the stuffing. Of course we had to eat some too. The squirrels keep getting in the green house and playing soccer with my sugarcane sets. They must be. They’ve never yet gotten over the fence with one, but leave them perched various places on the fence, still covered in potting soil. That, and they’ve turned over my garlic too. I’ve told them if they would only stick to weeding the garden, I’d be pleased, because they’re quite good at that, but instead they bury nuts and throw the sugarcane about. I’ve never seen one  yet with a sugar addiction, but who knows? Maybe there’s a squirrel out there who raids ice tea sugar at picnics. A squirrel mafia, maybe. Little cartoon squirrels with John Dillenger hats. Now that would be cool. “Give us something or we’ll tear up your yard!” But really, we get on well with them, and don’t have the problems our neighbors do. The squirrels live in our oak tree, coming down for breakfast and nodding good morning to us. For the most part they leave our plants alone and come with the humming birds and doves to drink water out of the fountain. Did you know, they take shifts for breakfast? The squirrels, doves and little birds must have an organization going, because each morning a different group comes down from the trees to eat, about 7 of the animals altogether, all different kinds. They have a squirrel sentry or a bird sentry and warn each other when something suspicious happens. They’re used to us, however, and so we can watch them very well from the arbor or the deck. Today I haven’t been out to check on them as I’ve been in here. But we have a regular community of animals there, and had a larger one in the tree, until the raccoon came a few years ago. We got him to leave with mothballs eventually. Now the littler animals have begin to live there again. Once recently there was a big fight over of the squirrel nests there, with bits of nest and leaves pitched around, and a lot of swearing going on. That was the largest nest up there, and I suppose several families of squirrels wanted to live there. (Really like an apartment complex). Regardless of who moved in, they settled things. Now that it’s winter all the animals are probably too busy to bother having arguments. (Except for Wolfie and Walter, of course, who generally sleep on either side of Ernie when we’re all watching TV on the couch, and every now and then go outside to play-fight each other all over the yard.) Today Wolfie climbed up the slide and did his usual “I am lord of all that I survey.” Then Ernie came out and he went down the slide again, which was fortunate, because he’d been comteplating which side of the swing set to jump from, even if it is five or six feet high at least. Mom kept telling him to go down the slide, and Wolfie had been ignoring her. Then he ran off the slide.
Well that’s all I can think of to write at the moment. I’ll post something later.

My First Post

Filed under: Home — donwood49 @ 9:53 pm

Hello. Here is my test post. Someday I can use Dragon with this, although I will have to be very careful because Dragon swears.

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