Critters...Part 2

I have no pictures to go with this post.  None.

For some of these stories I wish I had a picture.  But in some cases it is better that there are no pictures.

Many critter stories occur out here.  I’ve written about them before here.  And here. And also here. 

But several new things have occurred lately that I want to get off my chest. 

(My worry in posting this is that my IRL friends will no longer want to come over….PLEASE DON’T STOP COMING OVER!!!)


Our weather has been so all over the board:  one day the high is 80…and the next it’s 50.  But…when we’ve had a few warmer days in a row, we’ve been blessed with FLIES! 

We have cows…we have cow poop…we have FLIES!  We have horn flies, regular flies and some other kind that we still have yet to identify. But somebody is biting.  And drawing blood.  They were having a hey-day with Chelsea.  One evening her teets had been bitten so much that we had to throw the milk away because it ended up getting blood in it.   YUCK! 

Jas talked to a man he works with who has just gotten into raising cattle on the side the last few years.  But what this fellow does to combat flies is give his cows feed that has fly killing chemical right in it.  Brilliant?  Some may think so….but not us.  Double yuck!  Note to self:  Never buy meat from Mr. So-and-So’s cattle!

Well, Jas got on this.  He researched and read…and read and researched.  He put D.E. in their feed…on the hay….and dusted it on the cows.  It helped, but not as much as he’d like.

And then, my friend Arica reminded me of a remedy we used to use on Bobbie and Jenny:  essential oil(s) mixed into coconut oil, to make a salve.  I got out the Terra Shield I bought last summer to make my own bug spray for us humans (it is a mix of essential oils good for repelling bugs).  Jas mixed a few drops into a little jar of coconut oil.  Voila!   It has been helping SO much.  There are flies around…but not on our beloved Chelsea! (Truth be told: Chelsea is fine, it is the milk we LOVE!)


More Flies…
The children are in and out (and in and out) our kitchen door approximately 4,731 times a day (that is only a slight exaggeration).  So some of the flies outside…have been finding their way inside.  Ugh!  Hate this. 

The children – and Noah especially – have become very adept with a fly swatter. 

What the children find most interesting about the fly killing?  The fact that apparently an inordinate number of the flies are “bonding” or “dating”, in the air, when the children are chasing them.  Noah has snagged several two-for-one deals with the swatter.   More reproductive talk…why don’t we just go ahead and get some rabbits and go whole-hog. 


We have recently had a little problem with mice.  Not many.  But enough.  I still have yet to lay eyes on one.  But I believe Jas.  He has set some traps in out of the way places with a dab of peanut butter on each one.  He has caught a couple.  But one, well, one was too tricky for that.  The pb would be gone, and the trap even tripped…but no mouse.  And then….Noah and Gabriel were playing in the sunroom/playroom one day...

Now this room has an upper level at the far end that goes into our laundry room/utlilty room. This smaller area is where Jas goes in and out for milking and where he is storing milking paraphernalia and feed until we finish the shelter in the pasture, (it only has poles and a roof so far).  That feed is very likely the source of our problems. 

So one afternoon N and G were in the sunroom.  And then....well, here is how Noah described the happenings in a text to Jas a few minutes later:

Gabriel and I caught a mouse alive!  G and I were in the sunroom when G said ewww a mouse.  So I looked to see if he was telling the truth and sure enough there was a mouse.  So I caught it.  I caught it in a container.  (I caught it in less than 30 seconds!).  Love, Noah

After trapping that sucker, N and G brought it inside (I didn't realize the "fun" they were having out there until this point!).  We held on to it until Jas got home, at which point he (and five children) escorted said mouse to the pecan orchard across the street and let it go.  According to eye witness accounts, it wasn’t too chipper when released, though…so I don’t know that it survived the ordeal. 


We have not really had a flea problem with BeBe (just seen a few here and there), but ticks…ticks are another thing entirely.  Yuck.  So we have been using a homemade treatment on her.  By “we” I mean: I found it and made it…and Elisabeth actually applies it to BeBe.  It’s not that I wouldn’t, it’s just that Elisabeth loves it (apparently) and she is always the one to think about it.  The funny thing is that between the D.E. and the neem powder that are in the treatment, “BeBe the Black Dog” ends up looking decidedly….green.  

Maybe Abby and Tugger (our next-door dogs) make fun of her….because when BeBe sees E coming with the jar…she runs and "hides" in her kennel in the carport.  But she is a good dog, so she comes out pretty easily when she can tell that E is serious. 



This story actually happened the first summer we were in this house.  But I was so traumatized that only now am I able to share. 

So, I did mention that first summer that we were having a cricket issue.   Looking back I think we had such an issue because we mowed down the “back 40” (now our pasture) which hadn’t been touched in who knows how long.  Mowing it down not only drove in a moccasin…it also scared in crickets.  TONS of them.  I spent last summer (our second summer here) scared to death we were going to have a repeat of the Summer Cricket Invasion….but it never came.  Phew. 

So, we were having cricket problems, to put it mildly.

Then one day I get my hand mixer out of an upper kitchen cabinet.  Is that clear?  OUT OF AN UPPER KITCHEN CABINET. 

I fill my mixing bowl with (insert some yummy concoction here….I can’t even remember what in the world I was making….I’ve blocked as much of this incident out as I can)…and I turn on the hand mixer.

The mixer made some weird noises…and then CRICKET PARTS (LEGS, BODY, ETC.) FLY OUT THE VENTS ON THE SIDE OF THE MIXER.  

Random black cricket parts now littered my kitchen counter...and the batter in my bowl. 

Some crazy cricket had somehow crawled into the inside of my hand mixer (through that same vent I suppose?), and then expired inside my mixer.

After I worked hard at stopping myself from throwing up….I threw the whole kit and kaboodle of the that hand mixer away.  And the bowl of yummy ingredients too, of course.

I know some of my friends who would have thought, “Now that the cricket is out, the mixer itself is fine now.”  Um.....no.  I wasn’t having any of that.  Call me a waster and silly.  I can take it.

I took myself to wally and bought myself a new hand mixer.

And I haven't regretted that for one second.

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