Monthly Archives: November 2009

I am having mixed feelings about the magnificent Great Blue Heron that’s been visiting our goldfish pond…

November 29, 2009:

Look at this magnificent Great Blue Heron. He is standing just behind the waterfall of the goldfish pond that my hubby built for me:

Edited to add this picture taken after the next one: (photo taken the next day, November 30)

DSC02737_thumb

My hubby, the best hubby in the history of the world, laid on his tummy and took this picture through our doggie door. (Photo taken November 29, 2009)

Great Blue Heron next to our waterfall

This is the most excitement I’ve had in the back yard for a couple of years. Here are two blog entries about similar events:

I am a birdwatcher, and as such I am VERY EXCITED that a magnificent Great Blue Heron has been coming to our pond the last several days. We live in an expansive, yet quiet, housing tract, near a very busy intersection. This is not the usual habitat for Great Blue Herons….

There are many bodies of water in Oklahoma City, yet this heron has chosen our goldfish pond to hang around by lately. It is quite a complement to my hubby’s craftsmanship.

Here is the original, un-cropped, photo, showing more of the waterfall and pond:

Great Blue Heron near pond and waterfall

Besides being a birdwatcher, though, I am a Pet Mom, and as such I am VERY WORRIED about my pet goldfish.

I don’t know if he has eaten any of my pet goldfish yet. Most of them all look alike, and if there was one missing, I would never know. We have more than fifty goldfish, most of them orange, with some white ones and some black ones. The great majority of our goldfish are the descendants of Rick and Ilsa, our two biggest, and oldest, goldfish.

There are very few goldfish with distinguishing marks allowing us to recognize them. (Rocky Raccoon has white patches around his eyes, for instance.)

Great Blue Herons are long legged wading birds. They wade into a body of water until they can look down and see the fish, they they bend their long neck down and grab a fish in their big beak.

With all the times I’ve seen this heron in our backyard, he has never been standing in the water, just next to the pond. In our pond, the first step is a doozy, as the saying goes…

We have a step, about a foot or so down, all the way around, to make it easier to step into the pond for maintenance. The pond is almost three feet deep.

As much as I love seeing this Great Blue Heron, I want him to go to one of the lakes or rivers in town.

I love you, but please go away…..

X

Edited to add:

November 29: It’s very cold today, so the fish are not moving. I went out and counted them, and only see 27 of them. (they are hard to count when they are all swimming) We had almost 50 the last time we caught them all in order to give the pond a thorough cleaning a few years ago. More have been “born” since then, so we knew we have (had) over fifty by now.

I have to accept the fact that some of our fish have been eaten. Some are trying to hide under leaves that blew into the pond and fell to the bottom. I hope there are more fish that are hiding so well that I can’t see them. I can’t even see Rick and Ilsa. They are our biggest fish. Rick is white, so he would be easy to see. I hope Rick and Ilsa are hiding under the leaves.

I’m on the web researching ways to keep Great Blue Herons away from ponds. Apparently it is a big problem for many pond owners. Herons even take big koi which are hundreds of dollars each. Koi have short tails. We like goldfish with long flowing tails, and they are a lot less expensive.

There are many, many very expensive ways to keep away Great Blue Herons, and none of them work, according to pond community message boards I’ve been searching.

We’ve decided that rather than standing at the window in awe that we are going to teach our doggies to chase the herons away. Maybe that will work.

Wish us luck…

X

Edited to add December 1:

A big Thank You goes out to everybody for all of the suggestions. I appreciate hearing from fellow animal lovers who understand my feelings.

After further researching the topic on the web, discussing at all the available products and options with my hubby, and visiting our local pond store last night, we decided on Pond Netting. The price is more reasonable than plastic herons and motion detector sprinklers (which won’t work here anyway because the water freezes).

Now, we have a physical barrier between my fish and the herons. Unless the herons figure out how to lift the rocks holding it down, and roll it up, my fish will be alright. It’s not pretty, but having my fish survive is more important. Whew. That was fun, {she said facetiously}.

X

Edited to add: Also see this post that has the solution to the problem: That great blue heron is never going to eat my fish again!

X

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Yet another health issue for me to practice not obsessing on: Now there is something wrong with my husband…..

In the past several days I have blogged about finding new mold in my house:

11/15/2009 Well, dang. No wonder I’m not getting any better. We found more mold yesterday. Rats.

and my dog, Belty, having some sort of an attack:

11/18/2009 Good news and bad news about my good boy dog Belty…

Now, it is my hubby’s turn to have a health issue….

In the past few days, he has developed severe groin pain, and he went to the doctor yesterday. They examined him, and sent him for an ultrasound. The doctor thinks that everything got twisted up and he needs an operation, at least….

My hubby, the “Work Horse”, is at work today, pain and all. He is very dedicated about supporting us, no matter how much I tell him he should be at home resting. (I can’t work anymore, so he works as much as possible.)

We are waiting for the doctor to get the results of the ultrasound before we know for sure what is wrong with my hubby.

During my rant about finding the mold in the first blog of this series, I finally remembered that Jesus says: “Do not worry”. In that post I explained that worrying about things I can’t control is something I’ve done for years and years – both in the many years before I was a Christian, and now, in the 13 years since I have been one.

The more you practice doing something the better at it you get. Please, Dear God, I don’t want anymore homework practicing not worrying….

Bad attitude, I know. But, I am still X, warts and all. I try to stop myself when I catch myself worrying about things I can’t control, but it is a very hard habit to break.

God has a plan where the health problems of me, my dog, and my hubby all make sense. He’s in charge of the timing, and there is nothing I can do about it.

Time again to practice my “Do Not Worry” homework:

This is Jesus speaking:

Matthew 6:25-34

Do Not Worry:

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Jesus, I’ll get it another try, but I’m not promising anything….

X

     

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Good news and bad news about my good boy dog Belty…

We took Belty to the vet yesterday. First the good news: They did more blood work, and his kidneys are doing better since he has been only eating the nasty tasting “special” food. Now the bad news: (after my favorite picture of Belty)

Belty triumphant after killing a stuffed toy...

The reason we were in the vet in the first place was because Belty must have had a stroke, or something. All of a sudden, Belty started falling down, not being able to walk. Then, he got up and started walking in circles. Then I noticed his eyes were moving back and forth very quickly. He looked dizzy.

The vet gave him some anti-inflammatory medicine and steroid. It could be an inner ear thing, but the vet just can’t tell at this point.

As I said in my last blog about finding more mold, I have to just give the situation to God. There is nothing I can do anyway. I’m not very good at not obsessing when things go wrong. But, the more things that go wrong, the more practice I get trying to trust God…..

We are trying to prepare for the worst, but we are hoping and praying that he will get better.

At this point, we know that Belty is going to die sooner than later anyway. As we adopted him from the pound as an adult, we don’t know his age, but he has to be at least thirteen because of how many years he’s lived with us.

When Belty comes to the point when he is not enjoying his life, I want God to take him to Dog Heaven (actually, I prefer that dogs be in people heaven) But, seriously, I do believe in Heaven, but any place is better with dogs……

(my hubby and I are Born Again Christians, but we are radical in our belief that God abandons nobody, and everybody will eventually be in Heaven, no matter what religion they were in. We do not believe that God would create people, knowing they would reject Him, and then put them in the “fiery pit of Hell” for eternity. There is no “fiery pit of Hell”. That is not Biblical, just a tradition made by men. That’s a blog for another day)

Back to Belty: I love my boy dog. He is “Mom’s Main Man”. But, I have to trust that God is going to do what is best. I do not want him to suffer. At this point in time, Belty is scared. He does not know why the room is spinning around and he does not know why he can’t walk straight. The only time he seems alright is when he is asleep.

Belty hanging out with Mom (me) on the patio.

I do not know if he is going to get better or worse. But, when God says is is time for him to die, my hubby and I are going to cry big tears for a very long time. I’m already crying a couple times a day just thinking about it, and my hubby is, too. But, Jesus tells me not to worry, and like I said in my last blog about the new mold we found, it is a hard lesson to learn. I hate homework.

I’m going to reprint the “Do Not Worry” passage of the Bible as I did in my mold blog. This is Jesus speaking:

Matthew 6:25-34

Do Not Worry:”Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Jesus, I’ll keep trying, but I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to do it, even though you command it.

X

 

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Well, dang. No wonder I’m not getting any better. We found more mold yesterday. Rats.

Background: I’ve written in the last two years about my lung disease. When I was diagnosed, my hubby started making the house dust-free for me, and ripped out the wall to wall carpet. That’s when we found mold the FIRST time.

It was from a leak in the bathroom, apparently. We had found the leak some time back, but did not realize that mold was growing where we couldn’t see it. When my hubby ripped up the carpets, he found mold under the carpets in the rooms adjacent to the bathroom: my bedroom, where I spent eight hours a day, and my office, where I spent another eight hours a day.

I had worked at home for seven years. It was the best job in the world. Having no oxygen in my brain, caused by my yet undiagnosed  lung disease, made me lose my job. Rats.

Time passes…..

Last week, my hubby painted the concrete, carpet-less, floor in the living room. Yesterday, since the floor looked so nice, he decided to paint the walls. He started sanding an area that had peeling paint, and lo and behold, more mold was underneath the peeling paint. A nice really big patch of mold.

The really crumby thing is that since I’ve been sick, I’ve spent all my time in my lazy boy chair in the living room. So, once again, mold is in the room I spend most of my time.

Well, heck. No wonder I’m not getting better…..

The peeling paint is adjacent to the ceiling. We poked around with a screwdriver to see how bad it is, and a screwdriver easily goes right through the drywall into the attic.

Who knows how far this problem extends. We just had a new roof put up a few months ago. Maybe our roof leaked and and we did not know it.

Anyway, this is not fun news. I did some research on mold yesterday online. We printed out a stack of info from the state health department and the US Environmental Protection Agency. I also called a certified mold inspector. We are going to get the whole house checked out once and for all this week I hope.

Me getting sick and having no income for two years has made things tight financially. We’ve been very frugal to make the money stretch. I’m a little nervous about how extensive the mold in the attic is. It’s not like it is going to be an optional expense.

We’ve called our insurance company yesterday, too. They said that mold is not covered, but water damage is. Anyway, perhaps some of the cost of getting rid of the mold might be covered by insurance for the water damage. I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope….

I’ve been feeling really punky lately, more than usual. (Punky is my word for feeling in general ill health. That definition is not in the dictionary, so don’t bother…..)

Another thing, feeling sick all the time makes it more difficult for me to handle stress….

I’ve been letting Windows Live know about the spam problem in Spaces comments since last February. I’ve recently realized that there is an endless supply of “No name” accounts available to Spammers. Even if Windows Live DID close the accounts of the reported known spammers, that would not make a dent in it since they keep getting new accounts every few weeks. Anyway, since I’ve been feeling so sick all the time lately, I had to back up from the spam issue.

After I first got sick, my hubby moved my computer out of my office. Now, the computer is in the living room, hooked to our HDTV and I have a wireless keyboard and mouse in my lazy boy chair. All this within breathing distance of the newly found crop of mold. Dang it….

Oh well. This is just a post for no apparent reason. I guess I just needed to rant and get it off my  chest. Grr.

X

Edited to add:

The next morning, Monday, November 16:

When I wrote this yesterday, it was just cathartic to deal with the frustration. Now, I’m asking for help. I would appreciate your prayers, if that is your thing, but kind thoughts are totally welcome, too. I’m scared.

All of my birds, with their little bitty lungs, have been living in the living room right under where we found the mold. As I said before, being sick makes it more difficult for me to handle stress. I could not sleep last night because of worrying about everything. I think the worst thing I’m worried about is having to move out of my home while they do the work. I have dogs, birds, bunnies (plus my pond goldfish). I don’t want to have to board my pets.

—————–

An “Aha" moment just came to me when I was writing that.

I feel that God is trying to teach me (again) to rely on him. I really have not been a Christian very long (only 13 years) for my age (over 50).  I was used to running my own life for a long time. I was the all-powerful Super Career Girl (in my own mind), and that is very difficult to let go of. This is an other opportunity for me to learn to trust God. Dang. I hate this kind of homework.

You know, in math class, how you had to keep working the same kinds of problems over and over until you could do them well? I think this is God’s way of telling me I have an other opportunity to learn to trust him. I would rather do algebra and geometry, thank you very much.

Jesus specifically says “Do Not Worry”. I am totally going against Jesus’ advice when I worry about things. Besides, it is extra silly to worry about things over which I have no control, anyway.

Well, I guess this is a good time for me to start meditating on this passage again:

Matthew 6:25-34

Do Not Worry:

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Thank you, Jesus, for an other opportunity to get to know you better. Sorry I’m such a hard-head.

X

     

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How to make your Windows Live Space unique with a Custom HTML module – HTML knowledge not needed when you use Windows Live Writer!

image_thumb[7][1]Adding a Custom HTML module is a great way to personalize your Windows Live Space. Your Space will not look like anybody else’s once you put your own content in a Custom HTML module.

As I show below, you don’t even need to know html because you can design your content in Windows Live Writer and it will give you the code! This post assumes you have Windows Live Writer downloaded, and you know how to add text and images with it.

Many people, me included, make a banner (or have a friend make a banner in my case) for their Space and put it in a Custom HTML module. That is just one way to use it. I also have buttons to my groups and website in a Custom HTML module.

Would you believe that some people like to make banners for their friends? Ask around! You might have a talented friend who would love to make you a banner if you would just link to his Space in yours. My friend, Jodi, made my banner for me as a surprise!

The picture of my parrot, Rufus, is in my Space in a Custom HTML module. Think of some text or image, or a combination you can use to make your Space unique, and put it on your Space in a Custom HTML module:

Click Customize/Add Modules/ then select “Modules” as shown below. Also, make a note of the “Save” button, you will need that in a minute.

image

After clicking “Modules”, scroll down until you see Custom HTML, and then click “Add”.

add-html

After clicking add, click “Close Tab”, then “Save” as you saw in the image a minute ago. You will have to put your Space back in the “Edit” mode to move your Custom HTML module where you want it: Customize/Rearrange or hide modules.

Next, if you are an HTML expert, just put your code in the module and click “Publish” as shown below.

Otherwise, if you are not an HTML expert, Windows Live Writer is a great tool. You can format your text, and add images that are already hosted somewhere so you can load them in writer with the url. Once you get what you want designed in Writer, switch the view in Writer to "source" to get the code and copy it:

Windows Live Writer

Then paste the code into your html module and click "Publish".

html-publish

I hope this helps you to customize your Space so that it reflects your personality.

Have fun with your Windows Live Space!

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I’ve been spending way too much time online….

Friday, my hubby was sick, so I was off the computer to spend time with him.

Saturday and Sunday, the computer was unhooked when my hubby emptied everything out of the living room so he could paint the floor.

Monday, the living room floor looked like a Spanish clay patio, and the living room stayed empty in order to let it dry completely.

Today, Tuesday, my hubby hooked the computer up on his lunch hour.

Between Friday morning and this morning, I re-discovered that there is a whole world outside of this box……

I spent time with my pets. I enjoyed the lovely Fall weather inside my screenroom that my hubby had built for me. I listened to music. I crocheted. I read. I watched my goldfish in the pond. I took a short trike ride. I cuddled my boy dog Belty. I walked in the yard. I pulled up dying plants in the pond. I played with my birds. In other words, I had a life.

So, I’ve decided that I’ve been spending way to much time on this box, and it’s time to cut it down some. I’ll be available by PM and email, but I won’t be spending nearly as much time here. I’ll still make Clubhouse posts as the mood strikes me, and I’ll still visit from time to time.

As for the Spam: 

I’ve come to the realization that my efforts are pointless as long as there is a never ending list of “No name” accounts available to Spammers. While I’ve been reporting fires to Windows Live, they have been handing out matches. My decision to take a break from the battle at this point will hardly make a difference.

I’ve let Windows Live know that there is a problem a zillion different times in a zillion different ways already. We can only hope that all my complaints since last February will see some changes in the next wave to come.

X

     

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My computer has been down.

I blogged this from my cell phone. Back soon, I hope. X

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