Monday, August 4, 2008

Raccoons, Mice, Redneck Sunbathing

I'll get back to the horses in the next update.. For now, a little South Texas "single girl living in the country" amusements.

I've had at least one raccoon munching down horse grain in the barn for a few weeks. A borrowed trap served no purpose other than a minor distraction - twits kept opening the lid & setting themselves free. I bought new trash cans, bungee corded the lids shut, and still no success. One morning last week, I swear the whole county heard me scream - Opened Chewie's feed container, and ACK! Little dork was IN the feed can. He split the scene, me hollering him into the pasture. That's when I decided I needed him to DIE! :)

Went to Tractor Supply Co, bought a "humane trap", considering it only a containing device, and set it. Saturday morning, there was a fairly small raccoon in the trap. "Stinks to be you, don't it?" I told him while I gathered morning grain & fed the boys. Cowboy Les and I brought the little fellow to his end courtesy of quick hands & a 20-gauge shotgun. Still, the next morning, with stray Kit-Ten in the trap, meowing her teenie little head off, the feed can lid was flipped over.

Overnight, I set the trap again, absolutely 100% convinced I was going to nab her before heading out of town on the 9th. Woke up this morning, had that "got somethin'" feeling. Headed to the barn at 4:30am, the "morning fuzzies" not worn off, MacKenzie in-hand on the leash. She and I cautiously opened the feed stall door, heard a little rustling, and turned the light on. SUCCESS!! That same raccoon that scared the living beejeebies out of me last week, in the trap, looking at me with that same terrified face I had. Mr. Coon may have had a good life the past few weeks, but that happy life will be ending tonight. Cowboy Les is going to head back to the house again tonight, and he will find his end. Inhumane, maybe, but I don't have time to rescue every vermin that lives in my pasture. I'm not hauling the trap off to "set him free" just so he can terrorize someone else's feed barn. There are plenty more raccoons in God's wild creation, and I'm not tolerating one in my barn at 5:30am every day when I wander out in the dark to feed.

Had a mouse in my bathroom, living in the cabinet, for about a week. I was certain the cats would serve their purpose in the family, as they have before, and the critter would end up belly-up in the bathtub, cats smiling. But not so much. Bought some traps, set one with Pnut butter in the cabinet. Woke up Saturday morning, opened the door,,, BINGO! One dead mouse, squashed by the trap. Again, inhumane, maybe... But I have low tolerance for unwanted house guests.

That reminds me.. Must tell the "Possum on my Pillow" story sometime... one sure to get your creepies crawling.

Yesterday afternoon, Les & I tackled some fix-its around the place. The power to the barn is now in a more secure switch box - a little left to do there. We also repaired some PVC water pipe at the barn, and now I have water at the stalls again. That'll be great when it's time to water again. No more dragging a long, heavy hose around the back yard trying to get the boys water. Also a bit easier for soaking beet pulp when it starts cooling off (but before it's 35F and I'm stupidly dragging buckets of warm water out there "so they don't have to drink cold water" hmph spoiled).

Having my fix-its done, went to Les's place, and finished a horse-lean-to that had been blown apart by Hurricane Dolly's winds. Two weeks ago, we put up the framing, and I became a "wood hammering" expert of sorts, in some tiny little girl way. I climbed up & down the ladder, in the 90+ humid heat, battering sun, and got the work done. Yesterday we got the tin sheeting up for the roof. Nailing the tin to the wood wasn't so hard, however, screwing the tin together, a whole 'nother ball game. The power screwdriver was attached to wimpy arms, and I had to bear down, my whole upper body pushing the screwdriver into the screw, into the tin, to secure the pieces. All that's left now is to nail up some flashing, and the roof is complete. That's one more stall and a tack room someday. For now, it's another place the horses at Les' house can get out of the wind & rain. None too soon, either, as Edouard hasn't decided where he's going to land yet.

As I was sitting up on the tin, nailing it down, work shoes, goofy frog ankle socks, blue shorts, blue shirt, I looked at Les, and laughed.. "Hey, Les ! LooK! Redneck sunbathing!" with the sun reflecting back off the tin. The roof was about the only place mosquito free. The blood-sucking monsters arrived in a blast last week, and haven't let up at his house yet. They're moderate at my house, but just insanely thick at his. Monsters... I'm covered in nasty little red itchie bumps, that will last at least two weeks before going off. Don't scratch, don't scratch, don't scratch. Yup, I told myself that, tearing up my left leg on the couch last night scratching about 6 all at one time.

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