Friday, July 17, 2009

Only in Louisiana!









Sorry for the presentation but this is not the easiest blogging software to work with......Bryan, I need some tips on how to move and type around these pictures! But, in a monumental effort to get back on my blogging, I am going to leave them how they are and explain my title!
First, the snake......this happened right when school was out. We made our annual summer move to the Log Cabin for the summer....we leave the day school is out and do not return to Hammond until the night before school starts...we are so lucky! Anyway, we have some friendly little critters (mice) who have been keeping us company so I decided to bring a feline friend to live in the country this summer in hopes our acorn hiding, rubber boot eating, breaking into rice bags, furry friends would vacate the premises. On the first day...success! Suzy (our brave little mouser) was stalking something.....she stopped by the big linen closet on the front porch and in my proud moment of glory, I thought, "I bet she has already found a mouse"! So, I leaned down to peak under the armoire and got an nice surprise...a six foot snake all curled up and and not happy about being stalked. Gary was not home, so my best course of action (I thought) was to leave it be and when Gary got home we would capture it and set it free! I had already determined (with Charlie Gambel's help) that is was a non poisonous rat snake. So, I went to do a little housework (you know my house is always soooo clean) and after about thirty minutes decided to check on my new friend.....I walked in and knelt down, peered under the armoire and you guessed it; no snake! I looked over my shoulder to my left, still crouched down and there was the snake, stretched out in all its glory, not three feet away from me. (see pic above); I know, observation is not one of my best traits! So first, I freaked out: screamed a blood curdling scream, and jumped back at least three feet! Elizabeth came running and well, wasn't exactly worried about me...her first reaction was "Wait Mom, let me get the FLIP so we can get this on my documentary (she is documenting her whole summer with clips on her FLIP (a small handheld recorder). So, I did what every good mother would do with a six foot snake in her house....I waited! Once we were set up to film, I opened all the sliding glass doors and we slowly "herded" the snake out of the house. He graciously cooperated and from the pic above you can see, let himself out. Let me tell you, he was not scared of us at all! Whew, that was a long post; now for the next pic:
If you can't tell what that black blob under our bathroom sink is: it is a baby raccoon that, unbenownst to us, ran in our Hammond house as we were packing to leave for North Carolina. Let me start off by saying we are never very organized (I know that comes as a surprise to anyone that knows me), but we had completely packed the car the night before except for the things we would need for the cartrip like coolers, food and of course the IPod. With two children in high school, it would be unheard of to go ANYWHERE without the Ipod to play through our radio! We had a ten hour drive and wanted to leave at 8:00 and would arrive at 6:00. We were taking the girls to camp in North Carolina but spending a few days with the Sharps before camp started. Right on schedule at 7:30AM, we were putting our stuff in the car ( I was so proud!)....all the girls got in the car and I went in for a last minute turn off of lights ect., check of the house. I walked into the bathroom and again, let out a blood curdling scream. Have you ever been eyeball to eyeball with a baby raccoon? Am I Damn Dr. Doolittle or what! So, I gathered the girls, accessed the situation and decided that if I could "snake herd", I could "raccoon herd"! I got the broom and the plunger (typical raccoon herding tools), closed all doors in the hallway, opened the kitchen door and with the great success of my snake removal, was sure I could shoo this critter out the door and be on our way right on schedule. Baby Raccoon did not agree with me....he ran up under the sink, wedged himself between the wall and the sink and took all four paws (although they look just like human hands) and held onto the pipes with a death grip. No amount of poking and prodding changed the situation. And yes, Elizabeth once again, ran and got the FLIP and has this documented! So, my next move is to call Dr. Bryan Crothers, a biologist who live around the corner (Sara's best friend; Laura's Dad) Luck was with me for once: he was home and rushed over with an assortment of capturing devices like big nets, nooses and such. After thirty more minutes, he said there is no way we are dislodging this critter unless we kill him and that was not an option. We decided that he needed to calm down and maybe he would come out on his own and Bryan could then capture him. They are destructive creatures so at Bryan's suggestion, we removed just about everything from the bathroom, put cat food and water in the bathtub and closed the door. Another lucky thing was that Euhla, my maid of ten years, was there to clean that day, and she said....just go and I will peek in from time to time and if he comes out, I will call you. It was now 10:00 AM so we took her advice. Around two o'clock, about halfway into our trip I get a phone call from her. "Da Coon is off da sink and is on da flo" (and that is the closest tranlation I can type). I called Bryan, he ran over and he and Euhla worked to capture it, bless her heart, for all my past complaints about her, she is worth her weight in gold! It had now climbed up between the toilet and the wall but was much more accessible. I am told (by Laura) that between Euhla pushing and poking with the broom and plunger on one side of the toilet and with Bryan on the other with his tools, they successfully captured the poor little fella and released him outside! Mission accomplished and we made it to NC only two hours late!
Since I have written a novel (making up for two months of not blogging) the last picture speaks for itself.....where else in the country can you have a sink full of beautiful fresh shrimp (probably fifty pounds!) In the words of Forrest Gump's sidekick "Bubba": We will be eating shrimp stew, shrimp cocktail, shrimp scampi, shrimp gumbo, boiled shrimp, fried shrimp, ......you get the picture! I have so much more to blog about! Later....right now I am typed out!
However, I have so many more stories.....thanks Julie for the bit of encouragement to get back in the game! She emailed me "Less puppy playing, less swimming and more blogging!" It worked!
Layne

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