Archive for March, 2012

Frantically; madly-

Wringing; sopping; scrubbing.

Attempted ablution; hopeful soul reflection-

Mirrored angst; shameful pain.

Failing on her own.

Her work resumes in earnest.

On her knees; heart and hands lifted.

An unexpected epiphany-

She remembers.

The sacrifice-

For her.

Believing; accepting; repenting.

And is,




This is my first entry for the 19th week of Trifecta’s writing challenge. I may write more this week, but it’s Monday and since I was up early and I’m not awake yet, I’m stalling getting my day on.  😀

This week’s word is:
clean (adjective)
1: free from dirt or pollution

2: unadulterated, pure

3 a : free from moral corruption or sinister connections of any kind <a candidate with a clean record>

   b : free from offensive treatment of sexual subjects and from the use of obscenity <a clean joke>
  c : observing the rules : fair <a clean fight>


Please remember:

  1. Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  2. You must use the 3rd definitionof the given word in your post.
  3. The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  4. You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.  (No cleaning, cleaned, cleans, cleaner, cleaning lady, etc.)
  5. Your post must include a link back to Trifecta.

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Love Note

Love notes…….♥♥♥

A little more to the story…………Check Yes or No


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You might not think it’s a problem. But it is.

And it’s a BIG one.

*As of 2006, in Texas, there was an excess of 2 million. And there are over 4 million nationally.

That was 6 years ago. Breeding several times a year with litters of 2 to 8 offspring, you can well imagine how much those numbers have multiplied in the last 6 years. Puberty begins most often between 6 and 10 months old, although it’s not unheard of at 3 months. According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, this means the population can triple in a single year.

In 2007, they were **documented in at least 39 states, including the northern states of Michigan, North Dakota, and New York.

Yep. Wild, or feral, hogs are a REAL problem.

***”Without question, wild pigs do sometimes consume eggs and chicks (Thompson 1977, Tolleson et al. 1993); still, little conclusive evidence exists to suggest that pigs prefer these or any other food item.”  😯

The United States isn’t alone in this problem.

Here’s a map of wild boar populations of the “in the European part of the Russian Federation (2010, 2006), Ukraine (2010) and Belarus (2008) at the fi rst administrative level (oblast); and Moldova (2009), Lithuania (2007), Estonia (2007) and Latvia (2008) at the national level.” [Figure 6]

Australia also has its hands full: “Feral pigs are a continuing threat, and are now found across 40% of the Australian continent (Hone 1990, in Spencer and Hampton 2005) at densities ranging from 0.1 to > 20 pigs per km2 (Pech and Hone 1988, Choquenot et al. 1996, Saunders and McLeod 1999, in Spencer and Hampton 2005). Estimates of the total Australian population size vary between 13 and 23 million, depending on environmental conditions (Hone 1990, Choquenot et al,/i>. 1996, in Spencer and Hampton 2005).”

Still think this is a joke?

Even National Geographic has written about this problem, because it’s not like they aren’t just damaging crops- they are also spreading disease.


A Pickup Load of Pigs- The Feral Swine Pandemic: Trailer


Part 1, A Pickup Load of Pigs: The Feral Swine Pandemic – Natural History


Part 2, A Pickup Load of Pigs: The Feral Swine Pandemic – Damage


Part 3, A Pickup Load of Pigs: The Feral Swine Pandemic – Control


Any time you have non-native species of anything- plants, birds, or animals, there is an inherent risk of devastating damage to the natural environment that may well be non-recoverable.

Feral hogs ARE a scourge upon the earth in non-native environments.

People need to be aware of this eco-crisis and get involved. Awareness is the first step. Don’t be afraid to share this information with others, and to speak up, even if you don’t think this is affecting you personally.

It’s important. Do your part to contribute by sharing information.


Below, you’ll find some links to resources that have data and additional information. It’s important- take some time reading.

But first, for your viewing pleasure, here are pictures of some wild hogs:


Monster Pig/Hogzilla 2

"Hog hunting Florida Style"

Florida Wild Pig


The Mystery of Hogzilla Solved

Hogzilla and Monster Pig (Hogzilla 2)

Hog Hunting Florida Style

Florida Wild Pig- Hog Kong 1

Hog Kong 2


Resource links:

*Facts on Wild Feral Hogs

**Beryman Institute, Managing Feral Pigs, page 5

***Beryman Institute, Managing Feral Pigs, page 14

Countries (or multi-country features) with distribution records for Sus scrofa in the Global Invasive Species Database.

Wildlife Management- Feral Hogs in the US

Texas Boars

USDA Invasive Species


Today’s post is brought to you courtesy of a writing challenge put forth by The Hobbler.  There may be extra stuff on the side bar if this offering is deemed successful.  Stay tuned.  :mrgreen:

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This is my first time for trying the Trifecta challenge.  Someone please let me know if I’m doing it right or not…..

Here is this weekend’s Trifecta challenge:

This weekend’s challenge is to write a story entitled ‘Lost’ in exactly 33 words. The word ‘lost’ can only appear in the title, not your 33 words. Any reference to the TV show could result in another visit to see the editors in the Trifecta offices.



She’s been looking.

High and low;

Where did it go?

Left and right;

It’s not in sight.

Over and under;

She’s got to wonder –

Where in the world did she put that egg?

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A Gift

Honestly, every day is like Christmas around here. How could you not be thrilled to get multiple gifts every day? 😆

One of the things I ♥♥♥ doing is collecting eggs. I just went outside a bit ago, and this was waiting for me:

Isn’t it beautiful?  I’m pretty sure this is one of Bella’s eggs. It’s actually a little darker green than it looks in the picture.

We’ve gotten some eggs before 😆 but none that were standing on end like this one.

Another thing to know about chickens is that while they go into the nesting box and lay down, once it’s time to actually let loose the egg, they stand up to drop it. And then they normally fuss around for a little bit before leaving the nesting box, which is why it’s unusual to have one standing at attention. It makes me wonder if she backed up in there and then made her deposit while she was running out….  😆

Can you see the great fun I’m having?

PS- any one know why the smilies are all misplaced when not editing?

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The Answer

I’ve found it. Yep. I have. And you, my lucky friends, are hearing it first; right from the horse’s mouth.

I haven’t patented it yet, so you’ll have to be nice and not steal it. Promise?

Those of you who either have or were teenagers will know it’s hard to get them out of bed most of the time, but particularly in the morning. This issue, as I’ve learned, applies to all teens, including those who don’t have to get up at o’dark thirty to get to school on time. 

Nope. Even when teens are able -and take- naps during the day as they grow (remember those growth spurts when they were babies? Ya, same dealio, except they eat WAY more food), they still have a reluctance to get out of bed in the morning.

This has long been a frustration of mine, as I know it was for my forefathers mothers. I have, however, found a solution for my little corner of suburbia.

A house chicken. Yes, you read that right. 😆

A house chicken will cure most of the sleeping issues your teenagers may be trying to pull over on you. You can thank me later. :mrgreen:

We’ve had Daisy in the house off and on- mostly on- for the last few weeks.  You may recall (or not) that Daisy was one of our prime culprits in the plucking fiasco. After our Butternut adventure, I knew I had to bring Daisy inside for behavior modification and rehabilitation.

I know you’ve been dying to know how that’s working out………….. 😆

I am not ashamed to say I sleep with the lights on. This started when the kids were babies as I had a need to be able to see their faces in the middle of the night (and check the mirror to see if they were breathing, of course) without crashing around, trying to find a light. The solution at that time was to have nightlights in our bedrooms (which hunny would rather do without), and a table lamp on in the living room gently wafting light around so as not to contribute to body bruising.

If you know anything about me, it’s that I’m a little OCDish (I mean, really, who isn’t? 😀 ) and kinda like routine in some ways. I think it goes without saying that still, to this day, the table lamp in the living room is on at night. I am always really appreciative of this fact when stumbling around for meds for sick kids or getting up with hunny at 5:30 am before the days get longer.

At this point, you might be thinking I’m just rambling, and what does this have to do with a chicken alarm?

Bear with me as I explain a little bit more…… many people add supplemental lights in their chicken coops during the winter. Chickens need anywhere from 24 to 30 hours of light to lay an egg. With the shorter days of winter, a lot of people get annoyed because their chickens aren’t laying every day simply because they don’t get enough daylight to complete the deed. Hence, they add supplemental light, and viola, egg production doesn’t drop as steeply.

We, however, don’t go that route. As I understand it, chickens have the ability to lay a certain amount of eggs in their lifetime (I imagine this might be similar to human females being born with all the eggs they’ll ever ovulate- don’t quote me on that, though, since I haven’t researched it), and I personally, would rather have more chickens (as if you didn’t know that already!) to lay what we wanted than add supplemental light and have them run out of eggs sooner.

Chickens can live on average for about 8 years, and while their peak laying happens around years 2/3 years, I plan on keeping our girls. I know people who have 10-year-old chickens who still lay an egg every now and then.

Hopefully, this means that my girlies will continue to lay- even if sporadically- well into their golden years. Even without supplemental light, our 13 chickens have regularly given us anywhere from 6 to 9 eggs a day this winter (I am convinced that the answer to that is upping the protein…).

In case you’re still wondering what this has to do with getting teenagers out of bed, you can wake up now, because I’m going to explain……..

If you’ve been reading along, you’ve no doubt got the egg song still stuck in your head. Our girls are a little different in that regard, because most of them sing before laying their eggs instead of after.

Daisy falls into this category. The brooder is in the living room. The lighted nighttime table lamp is in the living room.

Have you figured it out yet? 😀

At this point, you might have deduced that with constant daylight, Daisy’s internal clock has gone wonky. She really doesn’t know what time it is.

Last week, the answer to her 4 am concert was to shut the doors and try to go back to sleep. The following night, we let her sleep outside. By the next morning, she was still trying to sort of sample the others, so back inside she came.

But what to do with the middle of the night singing? Because I’m a genius, I figured out to turn the light off. And it is magical. Light on- egg song. Light off- quiet. Light on- egg song. Light off- quiet. I may have to patent a clapper version of this, so I can do it remotely.

The egg song will, every time, rouse those grumpy sleepy teenagers from their lairs! And, because YOU weren’t the one waking them up, they have no right to be mad at you (except for having the chicken in the house part). Plus, because animals are inherently cute, they can’t stay mad at the chicken.

Now, for you naysayers that contend a rooster would work just as well, here is my argument: You know some rooster crow off an on all day, right?  That means they aren’t really reliable as just an alarm clock.

The brain association with the crowing = getting out of bed won’t mean the same thing subconsciously to the teenage species and certainly won’t garner the same response when the crowing is consistently intermittent. I equate this to the “boy who cried wolf” conditioned response.

Nope. It just won’t work the same. Plus, you won’t get the goodness of a yummy treasure from a rooster, either.

So, see? I have the answer!  😆

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Predator Alert

I really had no intention of posting about this and feeding an ego, but since I’ve come into contact with another unsuspecting woman who had airline tickets to visit him next week, I feel I have no choice.

Ladies: If you are familiar with a person named Thomas Murray who lives on St. Thomas (or Puerto Rico), be aware that

1) He’s a predator/psychopathic narcissist/con-artist and

2) He’s very married to a very lovely woman.

Obviously, I could go on and on, but I’m going to let you follow the yellow brick road for yourself.  http://thatprecariousgait.com/2012/03/10/thomas-murray-a-cautionary-tale/

There is a reason he shut his blog down, and it’s probably NOT what he told you.

If you need more information, you are welcome to email me.

Don’t feed the troll.

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