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CRITTERS IN DESERT HOMES: PACK RAT

Posted by barbaraminas on May 4, 2009 at 3:58 PM Comments comments (17)

Noises in the night.  Javalina, bobcat, raccoon, rat?  


A rattling and banging of metal startled us.  There was something outside my studio.  Maybe even in my studio.  We both looked, one of us going through the studio to the back yard and the other leaving the living area to the back yard.  Complete silence.  We settled back down.  About 5 minutes later another loud banging and shaking of metal.  We looked again.  Daisy dog paid no attention what so ever.  Mike went to bed and as I sat reading I could hear more commotion.  I sealed the dog door to my studio; just in case.  Early next morning I noticed the top of the tiny orchid was gone and Christmas cactus branches were strewn around the floor.  I grabbed my ready made breakfast from the refrigerator and thought about the mess around the plants.  From the kitchen Mike asked if I'd seen the bananas.  One had been hollowed out.  So a famished critter had taken up residence with us.  We went to Ace Hardware for a trap or sticky paper.  


This wasn't my first run-in with long tailed rodents.  In Tacoma we had one eating apples in a bushel basket at the back door.  Again, no reaction from dogs.  Sitting in the dining room I saw this giant Norwegian rat scuttle from the kitchen area to a bedroom? basement? Anyway I saw it.  I left my ex's loafer on the kitchen counter with a drawing of a rat pointing at the shoe and a note saying "This is how big I am."  The first trouble with rats is they are so intelligent.  The second is that I don't like to kill anything.  However this one was as big as a cat and had to be taken out.  


Now the current critter left signs all over the countertops, computer desks, laundry room, etc.  It did get stuck on the sticky paper that night.  A sad sight indeed.  Pack rats are adorable: light tan, round ears and round button eyes.  We were able to put this very fat one out of it's misery quickly.

Sonoran Arts Festival

Posted by barbaraminas on April 4, 2009 at 1:03 PM Comments comments (8)

Volunteered yesterday and today.  First designated as an "ambassador," meaning I wandered around meeting every artist to see if  and when they might need a break, during which I would man the booth.  It was a blast.  Then the winds picked up to 50 mph and booths started tipping and toppling.  Stressful, but everyone endured and all the art survived.  Today I was in a booth where kids (3 - 4 at a time) could come in and use acrylic paints.  Each kid could paint one square (there were 9 per canvas).  Kids from 3 to about 12 loved doing this and their parents liked it even more.  Instead of having something done for them (balloons blown up or faces painted)  the kids got to make art themselves.  And the day was a perfect sunny 75 degree day!  This kind of volunteering is always rewarding.


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