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Snake Stories

Today, as I was taking a break in the shade while working on my garden, I saw the garter snake that lives in that area of my yard.  He/She is getting really big and I’ve seen it enough times now to feel like it’s a pet.  I really wanted to pick it up, but there was no good reason to, so I left it be.  In the past, I have picked it up to relocate when I’m hoeing weeds so as not to injure it.  Although you can’t tell by the pictures, the brown area on it looks like soft brown velvet.

 

Here is a little clip of it flicking it’s tongue, trying to determine if a cell phone is dangerous or delicious.  Sorry about my hands shaking the recording!

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Snake Story 2

When we lived in the old house in downtown, there was a railroad beltline track behind our house.  My little tabby, Mandy, would go up the hill into the rocks and bring home little snakes to me.  She is the only cat I’ve ever had that went after snakes.

mandy

Snake Story # 3

This one is the one that still makes me laugh when I think about it.

Back in the early 2000’s, I would visit my parents for 2 weeks every summer and we would go to the Sierra Nevada mountains, by Downieville, CA, to dredge the Lavezzola Creek for gold.  I had a diving mask and snorkel on and I was using a powered high banker to suck the sand and muck out from under a huge boulder overhanging the water.  I flipped over a huge rock and a water snake came swirling out.  I screamed (in my snorkel), flew up out of the water, smashed the top of my head into the boulder- I then fell back down into the water, waving my arms all over the place and came up laughing and choking!  I knew I was supposed to watch out for rattlers, bears and mountain lions, but Dad never said there would be anything in the water to fear.  I was embarrassed but I can laugh at myself.

water snake in Placer County     There is a video at the bottom of the pictures on this page- watch it, and you will understand the screaming!  You have to save it to your computer first, the page won’t let me link the video.

Snake Story # 4  (featuring TWO snakes!)

When I was a wee girl, the parents took us kids to West Virginia on vacation.  We went to stay at a trailer for a week out in the middle of nowhere, it seemed.  I guess it was a “hunting property” and there was nothing but nature all around.  There was a wood pile for bonfires and of course, a snake lived there.  It was a really big black snake and we kids were dancing around, screeching about it excitedly.  Then Dad took out a shotgun and killed it as it tried to climb up a nearby tree.  I remember we were all silent, in shock, from the loud sound, and the bloody motionless snake.  It then became an oft-told tale years after, the time when Daddy killed the black snake.  I even painted a picture of the event and my parents had to explain the bloody-black-snake-in-the-tree tale to my grade school teacher.  It was one of those “What did you do on summer vacation” assignments.

On that same vacation, my brother and I were playing in a nearby creek, catching crawdads.  We figured out little ones hid beneath little rocks and bigger ones beneath bigger rocks.  So he and I decided we would flip over this really big rock together and catch the big crawdad that just had to be under there.  (kids, you know?)  We stood side by side and counted to three, and flipped that sucker over.  Water SNAKE !! We screamed and jumped up onto the bank and ran for the trailer.  Dad was trying to get a description out of us so he could determine if it was a poisonous water moccasin or just a regular, mostly safe, water snake.  It was gone in a flash so we couldn’t describe that one.  We were afraid to go into the creek after that.  I don’t remember if we were even allowed.

Not snake related, but a funny note about that trip:  We heard a spooky-weird sound while sitting at the campfire one night, and Dad convinced us it was BigFoot!  I know now that he was teasing us, but I went around telling people for years after, that I heard BigFoot one time.

This is probably what we were hearing!

The scary sound in West Virginia!

 

 

 

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It’s not what you think

Sad but true….

The First Ten Words by Rich Larson

Chris Cornell, 1964-2017

Chris Cornell died early Thursday morning. His band Soundgarden played a show on Wednesday night at the Fox Theater in Detroit. Two hours after the show ended, he was gone.

For two days, I’ve been working on a piece to pay tribute to him, and it’s been a struggle. Usually when I have a problem like this it’s because I’m staring at a blank screen trying to figure out what I want to say. That’s not the problem this time. The problem is I have way too much to say.

I’m not going to sit here and claim to have been a huge fan of Soundgarden. I didn’t dislike them, I just had to take them in small doses. I was a fan of Cornell. I love “Seasons,” the solo song he had on Cameron Crowe’s movie, Singles. It’s a droning acoustic song about isolation and the…

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INFJ

via Free Personality Test – Which of These 16 Temperament Types Are You? ⋆ LonerWolf

INFJ (INTROVERTED INTUITIVE FEELING JUDGING)

As an INFJ, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you take things in primarily via intuition. Your secondary mode is external, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit with your personal value system.

INFJs are gentle, caring, complex and highly intuitive individuals. Artistic and creative, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. Only one percent of the population has an INFJ Personality Type, making it the most rare of all the types.

INFJs place great importance on havings things orderly and systematic in their outer world. They put a lot of energy into identifying the best system for getting things done, and constantly define and re-define the priorities in their lives. On the other hand, INFJs operate within themselves on an intuitive basis which is entirely spontaneous. They know things intuitively, without being able to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand. They are usually right, and they usually know it. Consequently, INFJs put a tremendous amount of faith into their instincts and intuitions. This is something of a conflict between the inner and outer worlds, and may result in the INFJ not being as organized as other Judging types tend to be (e.g. a messy desk in an otherwise orderly work area).

The INFJ is a natural nurturer and is patient, devoted and protective. They make loving parents and usually have strong bonds with their offspring. They have high expectations of their children, and push them to be the best that they can be. This can sometimes manifest itself in the INFJ being hard-nosed and stubborn. But generally, children of an INFJ get devoted and sincere parental guidance, combined with deep caring.

INFJ STRENGTHS

  • Creative – Combining a vivid imagination with a strong sense of compassion, INFJs use their creativity to resolve not technical challenges, but human ones. People with the INFJ personality type enjoy finding the perfect solution for someone they care about, and this strength makes them excellent counselors and advisors.
  • Insightful – Seeing through dishonesty and disingenuous motives, INFJs step past manipulation and sales tactics and into a more honest discussion. INFJs see how people and events are connected, and are able to use that insight to get to the heart of the matter.
  • Inspiring and Convincing – Speaking in human terms, not technical, INFJs have a fluid, inspirational writing style that appeals to the inner idealist in their audience. INFJs can even be astonishingly good orators, speaking with warmth and passion, if they are proud of what they are speaking about.
  • Decisive – The INFJ’s creativity, insight and inspiration is able to have a real impact on the world, as INFJs are able to follow through on their ideas with conviction, willpower, and the planning necessary to see complex projects through to the end. INFJs don’t just see the way things ought to be, they act on those insights.
  • Determined and Passionate – When INFJs come to believe that something is important, they pursue that goal with a conviction and energy that can catch even their friends and loved ones off guard. INFJs will rock the boat if they have to, something not everyone likes to see, but their passion for their chosen cause is an inseparable part of their personality.
  • Altruistic – INFJs have strong beliefs and act the way they do not because they are trying to advance themselves, but because they are trying to advance an idea that they truly believe will make the world a better place.

INFJ WEAKNESSES

  • Sensitive – When someone challenges or criticizes the INFJ’s principles or values, they are likely to receive an alarmingly strong response. People with the INFJ personality type are highly vulnerable to criticism and conflict, and questioning their motives is the quickest way to their bad side.
  • Extremely Private – INFJs tend to present themselves as the culmination of an idea. This is partly because they believe in this idea, but also because INFJs are extremely private when it comes to their personal lives, using this image to keep themselves from having to truly open up, even to close friends. Trusting a new friend can be even more challenging for INFJs.
  • Perfectionistic – INFJs are all but defined by their pursuit of ideals. While this is a wonderful quality in many ways, an ideal situation is not always possible – in politics, in business, in romance – and INFJs too often drop or ignore healthy and productive situations and relationships, always believing there might be a better option down the road.
  • Always Need to Have a Cause – INFJs get so caught up in the passion of their pursuits that any of the cumbersome administrative or maintenance work that comes between them and the ideal they see on the horizon is deeply unwelcome. INFJs like to know that they are taking concrete steps towards their goals, and if routine tasks feel like they are getting in the way, or worse yet, there is no goal at all, they will feel restless and disappointed.
  • Can Burn Out Easily – Their passion, poor patience for routine maintenance, tendency to present themselves as an ideal, and extreme privacy tend to leave INFJs with few options for letting off steam. People with this personality type are likely to exhaust themselves in short order if they don’t find a way to balance their ideals with the realities of day-to-day living.

FAMOUS INFJ’S

  • Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Carl Gustav Jung
  • Plato
  • Leo Tolstoy
  • Daniel Day-Lewis
  • Cate Blanchett
  • Agatha Christie
  • Tilda Swinton
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Michelle Pfeiffer

CAREER CHOICES

  • Clergy / Religious Work
  • Teachers
  • Medical Doctors / Dentists
  • Alternative Health Care Practitioners
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Counselors and Social Workers
  • Musicians and Artists
  • Photographers
  • Child Care / Early Childhood Development

INFJ IN SUMMARY …

Seek meaning and connection in ideas, relationships, and material possessions. Want to understand what motivates people and are insightful about others. Conscientious and committed to their firm values. Develop a clear vision about how best to serve the common good. Organized and decisive in implementing their vision.

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Haunted by Dreams

It’s 6am and I’ve woken from a dream; I’m very upset and unable to go back to sleep. The dream is too clear to forget so I start trying to analyze it.

I am on a boat, actually a yacht, off the coast of Ft. Lauderdale, where my husband and I used to vacation. I know the people, they invited me aboard and welcomed me. But I am upset because I am supposed to be aboard another boat, with people who know my family. I don’t really know them and it was an obligatory invite, or demand; I’m unsure. But as we go further out to sea, I am struggling to remember the name of the hotel where they were staying, so I could at least call and tell them I cannot make the trip with them. It seems like something I should do while my hosts tell me “Don’t worry about it.” The guilt is stifling.

There is also a small bit prior to the actual yacht ride- I cannot find my shoes. They seem to have disappeared. And I try to fix a window. It is already broken and needs replaced. However, as I work on it, it shatters completely. My host says it’s okay, we will just get a new one. It had to be done anyway.

******

Back to reality- what is going on in my life at this moment? I just found out through the grapevine, on Thanksgiving Eve, that my father has been battling throat cancer since July. He has gone through radiation and chemo. I don’t know if there was a surgery or not. He has a feeding tube. He is now waiting on scans to see if the cancer is gone.

I am estranged from my family. The bearer of bad news also said “Dad says if you can’t be in his life when he is well, he doesn’t want you in it when he is sick.”
My mother is the one who destroyed our relationship and blocked me from her facebook and email. In time, my younger sister did the same. My brother sent me “anonymous” hate mail from a fake account and then deleted it immediately so I couldn’t reply to the vitriol.

I am sick myself although none of them really believe it. They say it’s all in my head, a way to get out of work, a way to take drugs legally. I have fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, and IBS that is looking more and more like Crohn’s Disease. My mother has Crohn’s and she certainly is believed. I have some symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis- my Uncle Ralph had MS.  My doctor wants me to do a nerve conductivity test but I keep putting him off.  My immune system is dysfunctional and he has also suggested that I get my tonsils removed. I do not go visit people because if they have any germs around, I will get sick. I go to the grocery during off times when there are few people around. I don’t use the telephone except for doctors appointments and insurance arguments. I stutter badly or lose my train of thought on the phone. Even if I did take the chance and try to call my Dad, I don’t think he could even talk right now. I could mail a letter to my dad but my mom is like the gatekeeper. He will probably never see it and she will delight in reading it and throwing it in the trash.  I’ve written before and have no idea if he even knows- there was no reply.

I am so depressed right now, so sick and in such physical and mental pain. I cry for my father, who I cannot seem to reach out to in a constructive way. Hubby suggested I drive out to see him- but she may turn me away at the door. I’m so sick at the moment though that I could not make the drive anyway. I mourned the loss of my parents from my life 10 years ago when the argument, disownment, and estrangement happened. If he dies without me seeing him ever again- does he miss me? Would he want to talk or write with me again? Am I hurting him worse by staying away?

And it was said- stay away. If you can’t be in his life while he is healthy, don’t come when he is sick

.mydad

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Japanese cat and dog clocks with swishing tails make clock-watching more adorable than ever

I want….

SoraNews24

AC 1

Honestly, I’ve never really seen the point in hanging a clock on the wall in your home. Between the time displays on my PC, phone, TV, DVD player, PlayStation, and microwave, I’ve got plenty of ways to tell the current hour and minute without a dedicated timepiece taking up space where I could hang other things, like the California license plate in my living room that simultaneously makes me miss my home state and driving whenever I look at it.

I’m just not convinced that having a wall clock makes your home that much more convenient. However, it can make it a lot cuter, if it’s one of these adorable Japanese dog or cat-shaped clocks with an amazingly lifelike wagging tail.

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Do cats understand the laws of physics?

But of course!

Why Evolution Is True

Betteridge’s law of headlines would suggest that the answer is “no”, but the authors of a new paper in Animal Cognition beg to disagree. This short report (reference and free pdf below) tests the idea that cats can identify a rattling sound in a box as denoting an object in the box, and then, when the box is opened upside down, will get flummoxed if something doesn’t drop out of the rattling box. They will also get flummoxed if a toy drops out of a shaken box that didn’t make a rattle. In other words, cats can somehow sense the incongruity between an auditory stimulus (the rattling) and a visual stimulus (the expected object causing the rattle).

So, to be brief, here’s what Saho Takagi and her colleagues did.  They studied 30 domestic cats of both sexes, all tested in —yes—cat cafes: a delightful staple of Japanese culture.  Each cat was given…

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