Friday, November 6, 2015

Appalachian Heartwood Fall Update 2015

Followers of this blog know I do not post often. It is just not meant to be for me to post everyday, or even once a week! Even once a month is really sketchy. I post when I have something to say, or something to share, or tell a story. That is when my health will allow me to. I want to thank all of you for following me and hope if you don't hear from me, life has taken me away from writing on the old blog. I have a total today of 72 posts up and 14 drafts. The drafts are about 4 incomplete articles (need to check a couple of things first before posting or get a picture so it can be pinned) the rest are ideas for new posts.

My health just does a number on me. September 3rd was an exciting day. I woke up with vertigo. The bed was spinning like I'd thrown a real good bender and was still drunk.  Problem was I had not thrown that kind of a bender in YEARS. At least in a decade or more. Plus I couldn't remember drinking or taking anything at all. I am a cheap drunk anyway.

When I set myself up, I could not stop throwing up. Ended up with a very nice ambulance ride to the ER....sorry to the very nice ambulance crew, I threw up on your shoes! After six hours of vomiting and 3 shots to get me to stop, a maneuver to get my head back straight, prescriptions to hold the spinning and illness off, I was sent back home to deal with this on a daily basis.

It's a trip...literally. I trip all the time now over my own feet. New bruises every week and I think I need to leave knives alone until I get this straightened out. Last week cut my thumb, this week my hand. Have an appointment with a balance and hearing clinic in December. The medication makes my brain fog on like overload. Could not find the eggs the other day and found them in the freezer.

To maneuver the stairs I don't wear my shoes, it makes it worse for some reason. So I carried my shoes downstairs. I was getting ready to catch my ride to an Interfaith forum in Blacksburg to talk about the need for health care for people like my son who is falling through the cracks of the health care system we now have. Thank God they come get me because it's pretty nuts in this brain of mine right now.

I was running around grabbing my coat, I'm saying to myself, "Where are my shoes? I carried them downstairs. I know I carried them downstairs!" I can't find them.  I make my way back upstairs, which is a rail hugging experience every time and no shoes. Make my way back downstairs and just slowly wander through the entire downstairs of the house and look. One shoe was on the washer, I didn't remember being in the laundry room. The other was in the dinning room on a chair...opposite end of the house!  Another WTF moment, that is really taking some getting used to!!

With chronic fatigue I have to rest up for these "events". When I get back then recharging takes me such a long time!! To me the event was important because the churches are now understanding that people lacking health care is a moral issue and try as they might churches cannot fill the need alone. Drugs and treatments are getting out of hand and too costly with price gouging etc. Donations are just not covering the need. So to me it was important to be there and tell my son's story.

Then it's getting cold and we heat with wood. Every year that gets a little harder on me to keep up with. I buy wood from a local vendor but just getting it in the house and maintaining the stove is quite a feat. I love wood heat but it's a JOB! Especially in my shape. Oh to have the knowledge I have today and my 20 year old body back!!! I'd be dangerous!!

AND it's mouse trapping season. Every fall this old 150 year old house, next to a large field, is the target for field mice. They are coming in from the outside looking for a place to hole up for winter. There are 150 year old mice runs in this place. Sealing them up? Ha Ha Ha. Mice will chew through whatever you seal with if it's a place they know. It's just nature and we deal with it every year.

Our indoor 12 year old cat, Butters, passed away in April. She maybe didn't keep them all out but did keep them down. Last year we had this one mouse that played with her and knew her so well. The cat would catch mice, kill them and bring it to me to throw out. This one she caught and lay it at my feet, I'd think it was dead, go to pick it up and it was playing possum. It would get up and run away. Played with that one a lot last year until I finally caught it.

Some people this section will be cruel but unless you are going to trap and release a half a mile or more away from your house, you will get your mice back as they will make their way back. They are very prolific and if you don't take care of it you will be overrun with mice. I do as my mother and grandmother's before me....we set traps.

I DON'T use the poison food or anything like that because they will die in the walls or someplace you don't know where until you smell them rotting and that is NOT healthy at all. I don't like the sticky traps because to me that is a slow death and more cruel.

I get the good old fashioned, watch your fingers when you set them, wooden mouse traps, as soon as I see sign of a mouse. I don't set just one or two...I set a trap line of about 6 or more for about 3 weeks!! My grandmothers, aunts and mother always said that if you see one there are at least 5 more.

I know where they come in. Over and over it will be a place they have dug out even chewing through new wood or plaster and or made a place to where they can wiggle in the hole around a pipe the size of a dime. They will chew through the spray foam stuff, hard as rock. They want in and they will do whatever it takes to get in.

I don't bait them with cheese...I use peanut butter. Mice love peanut butter more than cheese. I set traps on the trap line before I go to bed every night and check them every morning.

I have placed traps inside shoe boxes with an opening cut out, next to an area with sign (i.e. mouse crap or hoarded cat food). I used a shoe box to keep the cat out of it.

If I notice they've been in a cabinet, I will clean and clear everything out of that cabinet and place a trap for several days, always catching them. Then disinfect the entire cabinet and contents.

When I stop seeing any in any of the traps for about a week I know I've won again. I go about sealing the holes back up....until the next time.  Living in the country, in any house or apartment I've ever lived in here in Appalachia, there have always been mice to try to come inside, especially in the fall. I get about 6 to 8 a year. I've seen mouse infestations that are so bad that I can't believe people are adverse to killing them or getting rid of them and will live with their houses overrun with mice like that.

I take the dead mice and throw them in the field near my house to feed the out door wildlife. Between the snakes if it's warm enough, red tail hawks and barn owls, there has never been one to just rot away in the field. I was late checking them one afternoon and found I'd caught one. Took it to the field and threw it out. As I was walking back to the house a large red tail hawk swooped down and got it. Fit my agenda and his both.

My Christmas cactus is confused. It bloomed on Halloween. I've put it in the dark and tried everything to get it to bloom at will bloom in the dark when it wants to. So it likes Halloween and Easter. This one was my dad's and I've had it for years. I abuse my plants. Seriously, I don't know why they live, but I'm glad they do.

So that is my update. That's what we have been doing, living best we can. I have some black walnuts that I need to crack...soon as I do, I will post some black walnut recipes. Also thought I'd make some orange peel candy and post that recipe. That's a REALLY old recipe. So until then, BLESSINGS ALL!