Sunday, January 25, 2015

Pests, Part 2--Oh Cracky! The Otter is Back!

Remember my blogpost over a year ago? If not, click on Otters .

This time, otters are definitely not cool! He/She is probably munching on our grass carp that we added to the pond in December 2014!

Oh, we caught the 2nd mouse today. He/she was back in the coat closet looking for my peacoat. But we are going to leave the "loaded" traps in the closets just in case any mice relatives decide to drop in for a visit.

Now to figure out what's up with the coyotes. Their howling and moaning keeps me from walking my meadow path in the mornings. :(


Guest Appearance

(My friend Emily Shirley sent her friends a very special email message on Friday evening. Emily is not a blogger ( not yet, anyway), but her message is blog-worthy. She has given me permission to publish her post here on my Wetcreek Blog. I am proud to welcome Emily to "blogland" as my very first guest blogger.)
Getting Dressed the First Thing in the Morning
By: Emily Shirley
Last week a friend called and invited me over for coffee.  I didn’t have to stop and think, “Oh I’m not dressed, or I haven’t taken my shower yet.”  I didn’t have to check the time for coffee and determine if I could get dressed by then.  I was already dressed for the day and it was easy to say “yes, I will be there.”  

I don’t write a blog or anything like that on-line.  I do a little writing and editing of two newsletters for a couple of organizations I belong to.  But, those newsletters are “horticulture” related and the little blurb that I have in mind tonight has nothing to do with horticulture.  So, I decided to write something and send it to my friends in the form of an email.  Just sharing thoughts.  If I did write for an on-line blog, I would write an article about “getting dressed” early in the morning - for women that don’t have to rush off to a job. 
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love to snuggle up on the sofa in the library and enjoy an extra cup of coffee and read a few minutes after my husband leaves for work, but I allow myself just a few minutes for this.  Then, I get dressed.  For almost ten years I worked in Houston and got up at 5:00 AM each morning in order to be in my first meeting of the day at 6:30 AM.  Getting dressed then was getting dressed in full corporate dress for the day and getting to my office in a high-rise corporate building downtown Houston.  So now that I am retired, I REALLY enjoy not having to rush the minute my feet hit the floor in the morning and I do enjoy not having to look the part for work every day (by 6:30 AM no less!)  However, I also know the benefits of getting a shower and getting dressed early in the morning.  I have to really work hard on the “self-discipline” some days, so today I am reminding myself of the benefits of getting dressed the first thing in the morning, and sharing my thoughts with you.  This would be my blog article on getting dressed early in the morning (if I wrote for an on-line blog):
Get Dressed and Put Your Shoes On – 
By: Emily Shirley
Did you know that one of the main rules for the Mary Kay Company several years ago was that you could not make a single phone call from home in the morning unless you were totally dressed?  And that meant dressed all the way to include shoes. Other companies that allow their employees to work from home also encourage their employees to get completely dressed in the morning before they start working on the computer from home.  This is because people are more productive when they get dressed, even if they are staying home and working on the computer.  You act differently when you have clothes and shoes on. You are more professional, more alert, more creative, and more willing to move rather than just sit around. You even sound more energetic on the telephone.  It is healthier to move rather than just sit around, especially early in the morning.  Try it – If you are staying home for the day, get completely dressed the first thing in the morning and see how much more productive you are. And like all habits, you will have to work hard at this for the first week or two, but I think you will see the benefits.
Even if you are going to stay home all day, you still want to impress anyone that stops by.  We all want to impress others; especially our best friend, and I hope that best friend is you.  You will feel so much better about yourself when you have gotten dressed the first thing in the morning. And your best friend will be proud of you. 
Always put on shoes!  From a health and safety standpoint, you are safer if you are wearing shoes (even around the house).  Wearing shoes affects the way you walk, and you are less likely to run into something, or step on something and hurt your foot.  If you typically don’t wear shoes in the house because you don’t want to track things into the home, keep one special pair just for wearing in the house.  It is understandable that you may want to put on “comfortable” shoes and not “dress shoes” (or heels of any kind), but definitely put on some shoes.  Putting shoes on your feet that lace up are better than slip-ons, because they are harder to take off. Instead of kicking your shoes off for a quick snooze on the couch, you actually have to go to a bit more trouble. Maybe in that short instant you will realize that there is something more that you can do. With shoes on those feet of yours, you may be encouraged to do more – or at least one more thing.  And, you have no excuse for not going outside to take the trash out, clean the drive, clean off the front porch, walk to the mailbox, walk the dog, etc. You are literally ready for anything. Maybe a friend will call up and invite you for coffee.  Even if you have to quickly slip into different clothes (because when you got dressed that morning you put on your favorite jeans with holes in the knees), you can still be ready to walk out the door in a matter or minutes.   
(Dear Followers: I am sure Emily will be reading this blogpost the next few days, so feel free to leave your comments below. Always, Linda)

Saturday, January 24, 2015


It is enough to make my blood pressure soar! At least Mouse #2 made me almost squeal on my way to a routine doctor's appointment yesterday.

Who would have ever thought that the blue woolen peacoat that I haven't worn in two years would be the nestling spot for Mouse #2? Since the weather was damp and cold ( and my fleece jacket was in the dryer), I decided to wear my super warm peacoat to my appointment. As I reached into the coat closet (right next door to the pantry!!!), a mouse jumped out of the coat, bounced on the floor, and scurried into a closet two doors down. I wanted to scream but knew I would give my hub a heart attack and then what could he do. Well, put out more traps, of course.

So instead of screaming, I jerked the coat out of the closet. Threw it on a bench in the mudroom and grabbed a woolen cape. Not much chance of mice in that flat piece of fabric! Then I was off to my appointment.

This is what I found in the pockets of my peacoat:

After we had destroyed the magnificent Dollar Store shredded bag home next door in the pantry, Mouse #2 was busy getting the next home ready. In my pocket! 

What did we do next? Put traps in all the closets in that hallway! No mouse ( mice!!!) yet!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Sorry I Disturbed You

Sorry I Disturbed You

Two little snakes
Two huge stinkbugs
Two tiny lizards
One ladybug

I just wanted to clean out the front flowerbeds,
Then I can add mulch and see what Spring will bring.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Got Him and Photos and LL 17 januari1980

The mouse, that is! Now waiting for my hub to take him to his final resting place, and then the cleaning and organizing of the pantry begins.

While I wait, I'd like to share a few photos and another Love Letter to my parents.

This is the Buziaustraat in Rotterdam where we lived back in 1979 - 1982.

Our apartment was up this set of stairs and on the left. Even after entering the apartment you had to walk another flight of stairs to get into the living area. We were both in great shape!!!!

Our bedroom was even another flight up with the only toilet downstairs on the living level.
Confused yet???

I think this is the latest view. The apartment with the For Sale sign is the neighbor's, not our old apartment. Our kitchen window and kitchen balcony are just above that sign.

Our former apartment will be auctioned off mid February 2015. Seems like it has been on the market for about 5 years. Real estate photos on the Internet are disgusting. Looks more like a foreclosure. Sad really. We were the first residents of this "maisonnette" 35 years ago!

View out the back windows.

And the only photo acceptable for inside. 
I think they took this photo back five years ago when the apartment went up for sale.

Now the letter to let you know what we were doing on the Buziaustraat 35 years ago--

17 januari 1980
donderdag avond


J. is working until 9 or 10 tonight, so I've kept myself busy. It is just 4:45 p.m., and I've already given myself a permanent (nice curls!), made a cute diaper holder for M., washed several loads of clothes, repaired J's coat, written the Teachers' Retirement about the check that was short over $800, written to the school board about my W-2 forms, and now a letter to you. This week has been better than last  week. Tuesday I attended the Women's Club meeting and am trying to get involved with them. I enjoyed the meeting and all of the ladies were really nice. I will go on a tour of the police station on Jan. 29 with them. That should be interesting.

I haven't worked these two weeks, but that's the way substitute work goes. J. wants me to start writing. He said I should utilize all of this free time. I know he is right, but it is hard to sit down and do it. I always think of something else to do.

We will go to a party for his office tomorrow night (7:00-10:00). It is supposed to be a buffet and dance. I still haven't decided what to wear. As in the U.S., "anything goes" here except jeans, of course. Maybe a bolt of lightning will hit my brain, and I'll think of something suitable.

It is getting dark, so I'll run mail this. Write soon. It took your Jan. 4 letter 11 days to get here!!!

Love, Linda and J.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Time To Organize That Pantry!

I know! I know!

It is January, and everyone should be in the organizing mood. Every magazine is packed full of ideas. Okay, I get it!

We are reorganizing our pantry! Not because of the magazines, or the television shows, or because it is almost spring.

There is a MOUSE in the pantry!!!!

Lately I had smelled the most lovely aromatic spices when I opened our pantry doors. Actually thought I was just getting into the mood for our trip to Morocco in a month. Little did I know that Monsieur Mouse had found an unopened package of Moroccan flavored couscous, soup noodles, chocolate chips, vanilla pudding mix, and most recently my assortment of salted nuts ( that was the clue).

Plus, he had made a cozy home of shredded Walmart and Dollar Store bags behind some empty plastic trash bins. Think he was taking a doze last night when we discovered his new home, since we saw him scurry away to another corner of the closet.

Hub set out two mouse traps baited with peanut butter last night and this morning one trap was set off. By Flip!!! While we were taking out future "meals" for the gourmet mouse, our beagle sneaked in around us and snapped one of the traps. Luckily not on his nose! But don't think he will be trying that again. He can wait to be served his PB and cookie treat!

We set two more traps ( this time with chocolate chips), piled up the kitchen table with boxes and bags of yummy, tempting ingredients, and will now "organize and mouse-proof as much as we can before sanitizing and reorganizing the pantry as soon as we catch the mouse.

That is our first mouse in 7 years of living in this house!

Who invited him for Bed and Breakfast, anyway? 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Just Completed a Marathon!


I just finished walking 42 kilometers (26 miles)!

And it only took me two (2) weeks !
Here is my badge!

Now on to the next badge--100 kilometers!