Thursday 28 February 2013

Happy to be home, my feline twins

I know lots of my blog buddies have pets. We took the girls in for their operations. They are six months old and it was time. Heaven knows there are enough unwanted pets in the world.
They did well. We missed them terribly. Buster wasn't himself. Sady didn't care much.

Home they returned. We had strict orders to keep them quiet. We were supposed to keep them from licking or chewing their stitch.  Don't let them outdoors. Give them their antibiotics every morning for three days. A wee oral syringe.

They were very happy to be home. But slow them down? Nope. I thought we'd have a quiet play in the living room. They were up and down, grabbing one thing and another. Sigh.
Buster growled at them. I'm not sure why. He adores them. They did smell, well, antiseptic!

Daisy ended up on my shoulder in the bathroom. (This is Dorah's usual trick.)

By dinner time, finally sleepy, I was checking their stitches. I thought I'd take a photo just to see baseline, what they looked like. You have to watch for infection.
I checked Daisy, then Dorah. Daisy's stitch, 30 hours after surgery, had gone!
We were in the middle of a blizzard, 18 cm total, and there was no way we were driving 40km to find the on-call vet.
Besides, I had a big gash in my finger last year. The ER nurse told me that after 24 hours they don't bother stitching it, as it won't close. We watched her like a hawk. The wound seems fine. I checked her at 5 a.m., still fine.
Up I got, once dawn arrived, ready to shovel snow again.

I nearly choked them, giving them their meds. Two more doses each.

 The tree branches, heavily laden with wet snow, were falling off of our old pines. I tried to take a photo from the door. Daisy escaped. Then she came to the door. Dorah escaped when I tried to let her in. Daisy, then Dorah came in. All is well with the world.

It looks beautiful!

Here we have another dump of snow!

What a storm- and it's not over yet! Snomageddon II

"The only fence against the world is a thorough knowledge of it. "
-John Locke, philosopher (1632-1704) 

Or a good dump of snow!
Amazing radar shots. I am fascinated with them. The red is rain, green snow, blue snow. Sigh.

I went out yesterday and shovelled the front walk three times, the driveway I did twice. Good exercise!
And I didn't break a nail!

In the dark, it was still snowing.
 It snowed all night, so back out I go today. I can see poor 'labbit's' tracks in the snow, seeking food. The deer have uncovered my garden  foliage, looking for food.

I'm going to pace myself and do it in stages, as I did yesterday. I was much easier getting the early slush off of the driveway, and hopefully, today, the snow will be light. My arms are sore, using the snowblower!

I tried with the shovel, but it was too heavy. It was like shovelling fudge!
Here we are today...
Buster is not amused.

Tuesday 26 February 2013

Time for change, with helpers

It's time to change my banner. I brought in the old one. It was a little the worse for wear. Frosty looked a bit tired, standing on guard over our mailbox.
I used a How To Draw book, my granddaughter, Jofee, loves. Simple patterns suited to felt and a banner. My dear blog buddies take fabulous photos, paint, and travel the world. My world is one populated with 4 felines.
I had big helpers. Dorah stole a pom-pom. Buster thought the banner a good spot to nap. He preferred to nap on the new one, rather than Frosty on the old one. We'll see how my pipe cleaner tree lasts out in the wind!

The kittens went in for their little girl operation and I managed to finish it last night!

Monday 25 February 2013

This American Life: Harper High School

If you haven't tuned in to This American Life, you should. This is a whole different world.
Broadcast via Public Radio International, you can subscribe to its podcasts. My son tuned me in to it. These are fascinating stories that illustrate how life is different from our Canadian experience.

Guns are rampant in this Chicago neighbourhood. It shows how horrible they are, with drive by shootings and gangs, and young children who witness death on a regular basis. What has helped in this school are supportive funding, which is about to run out, for special needs schools. Their multi-million dollar budget is about to lose $1.8 million next year, with staff cuts, including these miracle teachers.
"I appreciate you in advance for getting to class on time!" One social worker declares.
I remember using this tactic in my classrooms: "Thank you for putting that into the recycling!" referring to a piece of paper on the floor. They do, surprisingly.

"We are not selling crack. Pull your pants up, nobody wants to see the crack of your butt, baby!" the principal tells one student! They are corrected with boundless love, joy and humour.

Schools who are at risk for violence, social and emotional ills best remedied by social work intervention, supportive staff, breakfast programs, computers, emergency housing and clothing. All sadly lacking in this Chicago school.

487: Harper High School, Part One

FEB 15, 2013
We spent five months at Harper High School in Chicago, where last year alone 29 current and recent students were shot. 29. We went to get a sense of what it means to live in the midst of all this gun violence, how teens and adults navigate a world of funerals and Homecoming dances. We found so many incredible and surprising stories, this show is a two-parter; Part One airs this week, Part Two is next week.

Sunday 24 February 2013

Feline walkies in the snow

What a dark morning, yet the sun rises earlier and earlier. It began with hail.

Yesterday, we had a lively day. Playing indoors, Buster began bothering his big sister, Sadie. I took them out for walkies. That ran off some energy!
They were intrigued with the spruce tree. 'Labbit' had been hiding under the tree, I spotted rabbit poo there! They scoop up seed from under the bird feeder, our rabbits. In the snow, I spotted her tracks. She came up the four steps, and onto the front porch to feed and leave us a deposit!
By the end of the day, with cold toes, Daisy perched on top of the mailbox. They the twins curled up for an afternoon nap.

Saturday 23 February 2013

Buster and Dorah

Buster takes good care of his younger sisters. He helps them with grooming. Often, though, it ends up in a play fight! He is 2 years old next month. Dorah is just 6 months. She adores him!

Hail, deer, cat in the snow

Buster on the cedar rail fences, covered in hail! Bambi stand in front of the feeder, showing hubby where to put the food.
 Yes, we feed them a small amount. No, they don't fight much. They all have their own spots! It's a hierarchy, with one deer whacking another as they see fit. They understand this!
It smells wonderful!
Bambi watches the cat, who ignores her!
They only get a mouthful of food, with 12 deer in the yard. They use our property as a winter yard. We back onto about 100 acres of wetland.
We have a wolf, a she-bear, and coyotes in our forest! The wolf  hauled away a roadkill deer last year. Her carcass was 3 days old! The coyotes helped in the clean-up.
She gives the yearling a whack.
They know their place in the clan!
We buy quality MNR-recipe deer food from Dodds & Irwin.
We have a bad corner on our highway for roadkill. I don't know why the animals all cross here. We've lost porcupine, raccoons, a beaver, many snakes and turtles, and a barred owl, as well as deer. The drivers all speed up as they round the turn. The critters seem to think it is a place to cross. Most of the roadkill occurs in the summer.

Lovely way to start the day! Rain, snow, sleet hail - often on the same day!

The MNR tells us not to feed deer. Nancy, my friend at Bondi Resort, writes about the cautions around feeding deer.
Their metabolic rates slow down naturally in winter. They need less food as they store fat in summer, and feeding may imbalance their systems. There are times when it is prudent to feed the deer. We've had winters with an abundance of snow, with tender shoots covered up. Last year the drought was terrible, and we lost many small bushes and trees in the wetland.

Deer in the yard from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

1. The wrong feed can be bad for their digestion.
2. The habitat may not be able to support the increased population.
3. Deer may lose their feer of humans.
4. A concentration around artificial feeding situations can tempt predators like wolves.
5. Concentrating deer increases the risk of disease.
6. Deer may end up as roadkill, if they cross streets to get to the food sources.
7. Deer may end up fighting with one another.

Hail, hail from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Deer Conservation in Winter, A question of food, fat and habitat. This publication is 
CC #255
available free of charge from local Ministry of Natural Resources offices.

Habitat and Behavior of Wintering Deer


Forest Management Guidelines for the Provision of White-tail