Thursday, June 28, 2007


It's a VERY sad day. After all the work of trying to catch the SOB, our neighbors called this morning (they also have quail in a pen). The SOB had killed one of their quail several weeks ago so they went and purchased a live trap. A LIVE trap.

When she called she said "So what do we do with a dead raccoon in our trap? Should we throw it in the garbage?" WHAT? They not only caught our SOB but they KILLED her! Well, they didn't mean to kill her but they had been gone for a few days and must have caught her while they were gone - it got hot yesterday.

I had to see the sweet raccoon that I knew had outsmarted Elmer Fudd all these days. All the tricks he had tried with the cat food and all the times she had stolen the food right out of the cage. I went to see the body...

"What did you use for bait?" I asked. I thought they must have used something better than the old cat food standby that works every time.

"You're supposed to use bait? We didn't know that. We just opened the door and she must have walked in ..."

Poor SOB. Caught and died for nothing. You should have tripped our trap - we would have released you - alive...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Casting For Recovery

Several weeks ago, I won the cancer lottery. I was one of 14 women chosen to participate in Idaho's first Casting for Recovery. It's a retreat for breast cancer survivors/patients where we spent the weekend learning from some of the most awesome women - not only the basics of fly fishing, but probably even more about ourselves.
As I packed my bag for the trip, I thought (just for a moment), should I pack my fake boobs, as I usually do when I travel. For the first time in 5 years, I thought, nope, hopefully there would be others like me. Even if there weren't, I didn't feel like I would be judged or looked at like "what's wrong with her - or is that even a her?"
Yep, for the first time in 5 years, I felt totally comfortable being me. I wish I could go every year, but there are 14 new deserving women here in Idaho who will have the same opportunity next June to experience total acceptance, learn a little bit about fly fishing (I wasn't good but it was SO much fun!) and meet some of the greatest gals you'll ever know.
The picture on the bottom is a few of us at the pond. The picture on the top is the most awesome group of volunteers (all who fly fish) who were there for everything we needed. These women consisted of nurses, a fishing guide on the Salmon River, businesswomen, a doctor, one of only 7 women in the US who holds the title "Master Fly Fishing Instructor" (although I found it much easier to say "Master Caster", and a Thereapist. (although, when I first saw Jodie and her name tag from across the room, I thought it said "Terrorist" - that kind of scared me...)
So, to all of you - cheers. You will always be one of the most special memories I know I will ever have. Let's get together like we said we would. I'll be sending you all an email one of these days with a date for coffee.

SOB Remains Free...

Well, this morning was a disappointment. SOB didn't pay us a visit last night. I'm not surprised however. Raccoons rarely visit the same place 2 nights in a row. He may be back tonight, and if he is, EF is ready for him. He's wired the cat food can to the bottom of the cage so that he can't steal it away without stepping on the pan...

EF told me last night, "Three more nights."
"Three more nights what?"
"I'm giving him three more nights, and if I don't catch him by then, I'm sittin' outside in my lawn chair all night with my shotgun and I'm gonna blast that SOB."

I'm sure the neighbors would appreciate that...

I'm going to be so disappointed is we catch him/her. But if we do, I'll be sure to post a picture of the critter who's so far, outsmarted us!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

SOB - 3, Elmer Fudd - 0

For this post, EF (Elmer Fudd) will refer to my wonderful husband and SOB (that seems to be EF's name for him) will reference the raccoon.

EF steps out the back door. Gone for just a few moments then back inside.

EF: OK, that SOB is going on my wall when I catch him.
Me: No he's not!
EF: Oh yes he is!
Me What did he do today?
EF: That SOB took the whole can of cat food out of the trap and ate it.
What? I step outside with EF. Inside the trap, I see the lid to the cat food.
Me: Why did you leave the lid to the cat food in the trap?
EF: I thought the more stuff I left inside, the more he'd have to play with and he'd stay long enough to trip the trap but the SOB reached over the pan (that's the BIG flat thing the SOB is supposed to step on to trip the trigger on the trap) and grabbed the can and ate all the food. And he IS going on the wall when I catch him!

Hmmmmm. That SOB is even smarter than I gave him credit for.

SOB - 3, EF - 0

Monday, June 25, 2007

I'll get you, you wascaly wabbit...

Several months ago, my husband decided he wanted to find a little "hobby" for our son Adam. He thought it would be fun to raise some baby chicks so one Saturday, he and Adam take off for Dunlop Hatchery, supposed to be bringing home some pre-hatched chicks.

Two hundred and thirty dollars later, they came home with an incubator and 2 dozen chicken eggs. "We decided it would be a lot more fun to watch them hatch," he explained. The hatchery told him the day the chicks should be born so we all anxiously waited. The big day arrived and I was told that I needed to stay home with the eggs just in case one needed help getting out. OK...

I called my boss (ok, he's really a good friend who's given me some menial tasks to do for their business and I usually only work 1 hour per day simply because if it's not something his own 7 year old daughter could do, it's probably way beyond me) and told him I couldn't come to work because I had to stay home with the eggs. If you're running out of sick day excuses at work, you could try this one - it worked for me. Not a single egg hatched that day.

Three more days passed before we had our first born. It really was cute! After all was done, we had about 8 chickens from 2 dozen eggs. Well that was so much fun, he decided we'd try 3 dozen quail eggs ($24). We had about 20 hatch and 4 died because I wasn't willing to use the "I need to stay home with the eggs" excuse again.

Next came 2 dozen pheasant eggs ($32). Again, I wasn't staying home to babysit eggs. Four hatched - 2 died.

For about 2 months now, we've had all 8 chickens, 20 quail, and 2 pheasants in a small pen (4x4) in our backyard. They've all grown up and it was getting way too crowded so my husband decided it was time to build them a bigger home. We went to Home Depot and $395 and three days later we now have a nice bird pen that's 8x24 - the birds are happy.

Three nights ago, before our new pen was finished, we noticed that a raccoon had been trying to feast on our birds. He/she had scratched and knawed at the tiny pen trying to snag one and drag it out through the chicken wire. Well my husband was gonna have none of that! He borrowed a live trap from one of his trapping buddies and after much discussion with said trapping buddy, came up with a perfect plan to catch that raccoon. With great care, he set a can of cat food at the very back of the trap and proudly proclaimed that he had set the trap with a "hair trigger."

First thing the next morning, he excitedly ran out the back door to see his prize. Instead of hearing the expected proclamation of "Got him!" I hear, "Dirty bastard tripped the trap!" Guess that hair trigger thing isn't a good idea when you're trying to catch a 30 pound coon.

Last night, he sets the trap a little tighter and made darn sure that the can of cat food was CLEAR at the back so the dirty bugger would have to go ALL the way in to get the food. I have to admit that I was even excited to go out and see how big the coon was. "Dirty son of a Bitch - this is war!" is what rang through the neighborhood at 7 am.

Being born the daughter of a Game Warden, we raised many animals that had been abandoned by their mothers. One favorite was a raccoon who had been born blind. She was so much fun and when you grow up with them, you learn that they are much like children. They use their hands like we do and can reach up on things, through things, and around things if they think there's something there that they need/want. It's really quite cute, and they're really quite smart!

Well our "wascaly wabbit" had learned from the previous night, NOT to go inside the trap. All it had to do, was go around the back of the trap, and reach through the very large holes with it's cute little hands and dig the cat food out of the can and put it in it's mouth. So, when my husband went again, to claim his prize, he realized he had once again, been skunked.

So, tonight he has again put another can of cat food in the live trap, covered the back of the cage with a towel so the coon can't reach through the back of it, and has proclaimed that TONIGHT he will catch that coon. Now it's a game - game on! My husband actually does kind of remind me of Elmer Fudd...

I can't wait to see what the morning brings!

Chemo Bird...

I took this picture of this baby sparrow in our yard. He reminds me alot of when my hair first started growing back after chemo.