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Bit(e)s of things to come...?

By: Rotty3 , 2:09 AM GMT on April 02, 2012

Hope everyone had a great April Fool's Day. Is it really already April? Wow.

We tied yet another heat record - 90F, last set in 1935. Sigh.

Well, after the tick bite earlier in the year (and the 21 day Doxycycline round), I thought life was going to be easy. Well, that's until I finally was able to do more stuff outside. Mid-March, right after the hectic week, I finally got to scrub the horse water tubs. They've been getting a leeeeeee'l bit crudd. I reach for the rim to flip the 40 gal. plastic tub and feel spider webs. Hmmm. Carefully sliding my hand off and moving to another spot, I flip and what do I see? A nicely shaped yellowish colored egg case, then another one and finally she herself. Yup. Lovely Black Widow. Ummm... Not around the horses, no you don't.
She was gone before she knew what got her. I believe in quick dispatches. So, I carefully screen further along the rim. Sure enough. 'Nudda one. Okay, gone two.
On to the next tub a few days later. Again, some spidery sense says, careful! Sure 'nuff. Number 3. And gone, too. One in the garden as I was working on one of the beds last weekend. URGH. So that's four. Nice four leaf clover would be better. Alas.

So I sit at that computer yesterday and mind my own business (still tweaking that manuscript's final version before it goes to final systems check), and look to see what the horses are up to. I can see them from my office window (planned that way). What wasn't planned was what crawled up between the window screen and the outside window pane. You guessed it. Black Widow Number 5. Heartache by the Numbers anyone? Well, she's no longer having no heartaches that's for sure.

The skeeters are atrocious around here for several weeks now. And the black biting flies (innocently looking like regular house flies) are biting the horses and me like blood is going out of style. Urgh. Bug spray? Lasts about 1 hour at best. Then what? Yea, they laugh.

On a brighter note, the first set of new crop plants have shown their lil' green nosies. Yea. Armenian Yard Longs, some reseeding of lettuce for the summer (hoping for slow bolting), carrots for both equines and moi, okra and some tomatoes and hot peppers.
Today, some yellow and green zucchini / squash seeds went out, along w/ butternut and patty pan (anyone remember the flying saucer squash I grew the last two years?) and tonight I finally got the eggplant and tomato bed done. Next on list? Remove left-over onions and replant w/ peppers and some leek. Then, get the ol' beans and peas out too. And of course some watermelooooh'ns. Hopefully this year they actually WILL grow. Last year they failed miserably. Oh well. Gotta see if I can find the asparagus I planted last year under all the green overgrowth (yes, Virginia, 9 months of doing nothing in a garden when the weather is so warm you can fry an egg in a pan by sitting it in the sun WILL make anything vanish under a blanket of green...).

Things are looking up nicely. And I'm starting to get my interest up toward maybe another degree... this one a little different. Thought of going back and doing another UG degree, but from the looks, I can get away easier w/ doing a grad one. This time, work will pay for it. Yea. Doubly good :)

On the critter front:
Chicks (minus the one hen I reported having lost her life unexpectedly after doing so well) are doing well. Laying pretty good, too. Not sure they have or are molting this year. They'll be 1 year in about 10 days. I see some feathers around but nothing that would make me think "shedding feathers."

Miss Sharpy is doing well after all the scares she's put me through. We were down to 20 mg but the baggie on her chest seems to return slightly, so we upped the prednisone back to 30 mg. We'll see if that works.

And then today, Panthera (Mamma Cat's son who is my indoor kitty) went to the vet on an emergency call. He had so much blood in his urinary tract that a blood clot blocked the exit and he was backing up. Poor thing had a very hard bladder and felt super puny. He's a very active kitty (he should be 2 1/2 yo now I think) usually and this morning he couldn't be made to move at all. Big alarm bells. So, I called vet and said, can I bring him over. He's now in the hospital w/ a catheter and hopefully can come home in about 2 - 3 days. That is, if he doesn't reblock when the catheter comes out tomorrow. Keep fingers crossed.

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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5. Ylee
6:57 PM GMT on April 09, 2012
Hi, Rotty! Any good news? I saw where you got to ride some! How's Panthera?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
4. Rotty3
2:18 AM GMT on April 04, 2012
Arbie, I guess I should take pictures of him, shouldn't I? He's just so funny - sees me, wants to be right there where I am. Not one to sit still or anything like that. More like a Mexican jumping bean.
For visuals, think solid black kitty with three white "pom-poms" on his chest and belly - similar to the French Pierrot clowns.

He was supposed to come home tonight but weather was NOT condusive to driving 40 miles in 25 minutes. I can do it, but I don't do it with pouring rain, winds and hail. Not that suicidal. And not during rush hour traffic though it's not that bad on the interstate. Made it to vet in under 45 min on Sunday, but it was sunny and traffic wasn't too bad. It's a tad over 50 miles from me to vet. Yes the life of a boonies dweller lol.

Calpoppy: thankfully this vet is not that bad. I pay $90 / emergency call fee. Which honestly is a super fair deal. And my vet doesn't have that "mandatory this and that crap" that the ER vet does, they were just plain, let's put catheter into the pipeline and then we'll see what we get. Anesthesia and Clavamox will be the two most expensive items (he's coming home w/ 2 bottles of Clavamox drops).

Also, congrats on the new roo. Hope he will be just as lovely as the one you lost (though of course, that's not saying 'just like him' as I think there's never a replacement of the previous animal like some people call it).
Kool on the keets. I may try my hands on some in the next year. This year, I think I want to bring home about 5 bitties (either more BPRs or some RI Reds). Just good solid egg layers. Got 2206 eggies as of today. That's since August. Not too bad :-D But more ppl who want eggs than I have available right now.

Ylee: yes, when degree posts finally in May, there is a pay raise coming down the pipeline (we have merit pay at work, so you earn a degree, you get more moolah). And they usually pay for 6 hours of class work. Since the degree I'm oogling is close to what I do for work, I think they will spring for that :-D Still have to get my boss on board though. But I know others have gotten their tuition paid, so I think I can too. Will still have to pay for my other fees (so I can use the athletic center--read: gym--and other stuff like buses, libraries, etc.).

As for the spidies... well, I can't get rid of the water tubs for the horses (40 gal sized). Unfortunately those water fountains you see in racehorse pastures won't work here - water pressure is not high enough to make them function. Already checked. So I just have to be extra vigilant and not scrub tubs at night.

Skeeters are horrid right now. Had some rain today (though nothing like TX), and they are just eating everything in sight. Need to get some EWT for the horses asap. According to my vet, horses vax'd in April are less likely to get EEE (most prevalent of the encephalitis bunch in this area) than those Jan through March. So it's time to get out the shots lol.
End of month brings two floats and two Coggins (another trip to the same vet office that Panthera is at right now). But at least that's a known quantity. About $200 + 10 gal of diesel for the round trip. By then probably close to 4.50/gal. Sigh.

So far, so good. No more Black Widows (oh did I mention the one I found / killed under the salt block holder for the horses with a big red nose trying to be really ummmm... nosey and helpful?) -- thankfully haven't found any more and the silly "baby" didn't get bitten!
Black biting flies otoh are a-eating bunch o' fool though. Ya'd think blood is going out of style. Or maybe I missed the Black Friday March sales flyer?

Have a good Easter / Passover week everyone. I'll just say "Hippity, Hoppity Easter y'all!"
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
3. Arbie
2:13 AM GMT on April 03, 2012
Oh, I didn't see your entry. Now I see who Panthera is. Pictures?

That sounds terribly painful, what Panthera has.

Well, you were wondering what you were going to do once you didn't have your dissertation to worry about. Looks like you are sorting things out. :)

We have a lot of 'squitoes around here this year too! It is all that rain, I suppose.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
2. calpoppy
11:30 PM GMT on April 02, 2012
Hi Rotty! I hope Panthera will be okay! Your vet bills have got to be enormous!!! What we do for our critters.

I got my new roo, a silkie. He is a sweetheart but still very timid with the ladies, well he is a little short compared to them. I may breed him with my blue silkie, we shall see. He is black and I will bet that is a dominant color.

Guinea eggs are on there way, a dozen of them. Assorted colors from a farm in Northern Cali. One of the silkies is broody so she gets to do the job of being a mom to all the keets! We have blocked off her nesting box from the rest and she now has her own area with food and water. Sorta like a little nursery area. We have set out our incubator also, just in case. The guineas will be free range and hopefully go back into the coop at night.

I don't care for widows either, though we did watch one catch a fly in her web and then roll it up in silk. It was pretty interesting to see. After she rolled it up she made off with it.

Good luck on the next degree, how many is there????
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1. Ylee
5:23 PM GMT on April 02, 2012
Rotty, when our kids were small, they had one of those plastic turtle sandboxes. Every year, for about three years running, black widows would take residence underneath that thing. Needless to say, we got rid of the sandbox!

Glad to see Sharpy doing well!

And if work gives you a raise after getting the degree? Triply good! :)

The vet didn't say what was causing the bleeding? Maybe a bad infection? I'm assuming Panthers is on antibiotics?

Good luck on the veggies!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

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