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hardingfele

[ website | Larsen Family ]
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Closing this blog out [Jul. 11th, 2009|08:56 pm]
hardingfele
My website is closing and so I am making the switch to another freebie website where I can post my photos, videos and blog and have all the info in one place.  This blog is basically dead, since to the best of my knowledge there is only one reader, famous hat!  So new website is www.jeffinnakari.weebly.com It is still in a state of flux but I will fix it up in the next several weeks.
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Sad News about Pumpkin [Jun. 29th, 2009|10:37 am]
hardingfele
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[mood |sadsad]

Pumpkin was put to sleep 6/25/09, same day as Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. If we measure lives in stages and by cats and celebrities, 6/25 marked the end of an era for many. Pumpkin was going downhill very fast, quit eating and could not walk. She almost made it to 22.  She was acquired during the Twins-St. Louis 1987 world series, lived thru 5 presidents, the collapse of the Soviet Union , 9/11, and the first Black president, but did not see a Cubs World series……

Five minutes before she died, she spilled her last glass of water, something she always liked to do for mischief. 

 


 

We put that glass in front of her and she was lying the floor, barely alive. So she gathered up all the energy she had, got up, pawed at it and spilled it and then collapsed back on the floor. She even took a long time to die, the vet had to wait a good 15 min to make sure the drugs kicked in. She went down fighting.

I already planted some pumpkin seeds on her grave, will see what comes up. She was Jeff's cat and her first act when she saw me was to hiss and then claw and puncture a blood vessel. I said either Pumpkin goes or I go and of course Pumpkin won and at the end, I was the one who she hung out with most of the time. She would lay on my pillow and tickle me with her whiskers.  I tolerated the matted fur, the wheezing and the kitty litter covered paws. You had a long life, rest in peace now, plusha.

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Caged pets - to free or not to free [Jun. 4th, 2009|06:04 pm]
hardingfele
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As one of my LJ and facebook readers commented, someone came to free goldfish from the library fish tank.  The whole story is here, http://www.famoushat.blogspot.com  While goldfish rescue seems quite ridiculous and unnecessary, especially a rescue for a very well-cared for pet, it does bring the question up of whether we should minimize caged animals in general.  I dont know much about fish, they may be quite happy in a bowl or a small tank, but visiting a zoo is always depressing to me.  The big cats have a smaller area to live than our indoor/outdoor cats (our fenced in yard).  They can hardly run. I know they have to strike a balance between exhibiting the animals and having them hide, but I do wish that the enclosures were bigger. Same goes for the smaller animals, they have hardly any room to turn around.  Having worked with research mice and rats, I see them use every opportunity to escape from a cage that has food, water, toys, buddies.  So even for these small animals, as well as animals that we classify as pets and cage (hamsters, gerbils, rats, mice and various reptiles, frogs, fish), I am not sure if they are entirely happy being confined.  They want that freedom even though they are unaware of the dangers that freedom brings. Giving these animals the run of the house is somewhat tricky, they will destroy wiring, food, or escape to die or never to be found.  So I guess what I am saying is perhaps people should really think about minimizing the ownership of pets who require confinement and stick to dogs, cats, and animals such as ferrets and bunnies who can be trained to be out of the cage some of the time.   Yes, technically the fenced yard is a cage for our cats, but these guys have the benefits of the outdoors without any of the risks associated with  being a free-roaming cat.  So while it is silly to rescue goldfish, perhaps we should think about having less pets who require confinement.
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Death of a backyard - what a shame, Part II [Jun. 2nd, 2009|09:50 pm]
hardingfele
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Sadly, plant crimes are being committed again, this time across the street from us.  We got a foreclosed house that is falling apart and the resident has moved on.  Well the grass in the front was high, very high and unsightly.  I pulled the dandelions out so that they won't blow into my yard.  The back yard, though had a huge raspberry patch and a bit of rhubarb, as well as being filled with a beautiful carpet of violets.  I pulled the garlic mustard out just the other day and the yard looked passable. Well some of the neighbors legitimately complained about the high grass and yes it should have been mowed in the front.  But here is what happened.  They mowed the front and it looks great, but then they mowed the back and I mean everything - the violets, the raspberries and even attempted to use the weed whacker on the rhubard with dismal results. I rescued what was left and will make a pie out of it.  What is so sad is that a big patch of canes that were ready to fruit in a month were shaved to the ground.  I mean do they look like weeds?  Last year, when this person still lived there, I had some of the berries and they are red and very sweet. These mowers just devalued the house, because they mowed down several fruit patches.  A prospective buyer could have said - hmm it's a fixer upper, but it has a berry patch.  Now it has nothing. I don't expect mowers to be experts and they probably cannot distinguish between violets and virginia creeper and grass and those will come back, they are pretty hardy and low growing plants.  I do expect mowers to be educated by the city to know that raspberries and rhubarb are garden plants that should not be mowed. To that effect, I wrote a letter to the city.  Gosh they are used to hearing from me by now.  That will be in my next post.  Sad that in this day and age, nature and habitat still lose.  Strike 1) no more walnut tree and shelter and food for birds and squirrels and other animals
Strike 2) no more rapsberries for anyone
I am now waiting for strike three.
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Death of a Tree - What a shame [May. 17th, 2009|02:43 pm]
hardingfele
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Today my neighbor cut down a magnificent 30 or 40 ft tall black walnut tree.  At first I thought she was going to trim branches but when I asked, she said the tree is coming down.  I asked the reasons why.  Here they are
1) It's a mess to clean up the lawn.  I guess lawncare supercedes a beautiful tree. 
2)  Walnut do poison the soil so it is difficult to garden. I am all for gardening, but it is possible to garden away from the tree, put in raised beds, whiskey barrells, whatever. 

To destroy such a regal tree over a few tomatoes or grass  is just sick.  If it's a mess to clean up, well the squirrels usually clean up the nuts for us and bury them.  We have a handful of walnuts growing and yes they do impact my garden, but I think habitat preservation supercedes my pathetic attempts at gardening.  How many bird and squirrel homes were just destroyed.  No more birds will sing in its branches, no more squirrels run up and down its trunk and perform acrobatic feats in the leaves.  Kari even said that the tree shielded her room from the moon shine at night and she liked the play of the branch shadows on her walls.  No more.  There will be grass and more grass.  We have walnuts growing on the fence line.  We and the neighbor will be long gone, before they reach the height of the tree that was just chopped.  For the brief time that we are here, I hope these trees grow and thrive and I will take perverse satisfaction as they drop their messy nut fuits on her lawn. 

Good bye great black walnut tree.  You live on in the seedlings in our backyard. May they grow tall and strong and produce lots of nuts.
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Eek a virus [Apr. 29th, 2009|02:03 pm]
hardingfele
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Trying not to freak about the swine flu.  Washing hands and instructing family to wash hands more often.  I guess it is a way to reduce an unsustainable population but quite a nasty one.  Far easier to limit family size.
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Help fight global warming [Mar. 25th, 2009|09:50 am]
hardingfele
Brighter Planet"s 350 Challenge
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Head Trauma: Science and Theology musings [Mar. 19th, 2009|01:14 pm]
hardingfele
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Just yesterday, Natasha Richardson died of head trauma. I had no clue who she was til a couple of days ago, but was following the news more out of morbid curiosity.  I am a victim of a stupid mistake, I never looked both ways when I ran across the street 9 yrs ago, Oct 26, 1999, 7:26 AM to be exact. Needless to say I never made the bus for which I risked my life.  I woke up in the hospital for which I worked for and went "WTF, why the heck am I in intensive care?"  It is only afterwards that my husband explained to me what happened, how I was brought in, bleeding from the mouth and ears, puking blood and being semi-conscious and incoherent, asking for my mother, then comatose for a couple days.  I woke up just in time for the World Series game and was asked what was on TV.  I must have answered correctly, because then Jeff knew I was OK.  After about 1.5 weeks of physical therapy, numerous CT and MRI scans, lots of painkillers, I was sent home and really short of some balance problems that resolved within 3 months, I had no trace of the accident, which according to the doctors was quite severe.  Far more severe than Ms. Richardson's fall on the bunny slope.  I was hit by a small pickup truck, my head hit the pavement, resulting in several skull fractures, bleeding and swelling of the brain. A somewhat tragi-comic post script to this was that 1) I found a ticket from the city for jaywalking in my blood soaked backpack and had to pay $49 and 2) The driver of the truck had his insurance company contact me and ask for compensation of damage to his truck.  Apparently my head put some dents into the truck.  I passed it off to my insurance company.

So what gives.  Is it luck or the biological makeup of a person, or God that spared me and did not save Ms. Richardson.  I have a very difficult time believing in a higher being who would save people at random like that and frankly I don't want to be so lucky at the expense of others. Who knows, my number may be up soon. I am more inclined to say that I probably had a thicker skull, as many of my friends and relatives can attest to.  It could be a whole series of physiological events where the road forked for me towards living and spiraled towards death for Ms. Richardson.  I know that if I did not make it, Kari would not be here.  After trying for many years to have kids, something must have been jolted enough allowing the pregnancy to proceed without any complications, 6 months after the head trauma. Again, I just cannot give God credit for that, because for every little kid what is born, so many are orphaned or die in freak accidents.  So maybe what I am trying to say is that I belong to the school of theology called shit happens.  There may be a God out there, but he or she is letting us live our lives without minute control from above. Some of us survive awful accidents and natural disasters and some dont.  At the end we all bite it, so I guess the moral of the story is to make the most of life every day, because that day may be your last.   OK lunch break is over and perhaps Famous Hat can a more coherent defense of the Supreme Being.

I dont know Natasha Richardson's family, but I have some idea of the pain that they went thru.  My condolences are to them in this difficult time.
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Eeek - Mouse in the pool [Feb. 28th, 2009|09:28 pm]
hardingfele
Kari had swimming class today at a local high school pool. I was so engrossed in my Star Trek book that I hardly noticed the commotion at the poolside.  Several lifeguards and instructors were trying to use some long handled device with a net to fish out something.  It was obviously not a kid and everyone was OK.  So I asked what it was. They said a mouse.  So I walked over there, amid the hysteria and picked the little baby mouse out of the water by its tail.  She was very wet and alive and tried to bite me.  Identified as a female house mouse, Mus musculus.  So I wrapped it up in Kari's towel and put it in my purse, amid the horrified looks of the parents and staff. It is almost below zero, I could not toss it outside.  We took the mouse on the bus and brought her home, but within an hour, she passed away.  I tried to revive it, but I think she had way too much water in her lungs.  After all, she was no more than 3 weeks old and barely the size of a pinkie plus the tail.  I am floored that over 20 people would freak out so much over something that small and harmless.
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1-20-09 The blinkies say it all [Jan. 21st, 2009|08:22 am]
hardingfele
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