Get ready…

… For a fabulous adventure! I will be heading down under early next month for three very full months of teaching, traveling and time with friends.

The piles are growing of things I need and want to take along. Making sure it all fits and comes in within the weight limit will be a trick!

My hope is to keep this blog updated regularly during my travels…. Time will tell!


Bats in the basement

Well, actually just one. On the top step of the stairs next to the door that opens into the rest of the house. Perhaps asleep? Or maybe not quite awake as it should have been hibernating.

A brown crevice dweller by all indications. My love at first thought it was a clod of dirt from his shoes.

Quick thinking and the little thing was safely between a see-thru Tupperware container and a sturdy piece of cardboard. As we researched what to do, the bat got very active trying to find its way out of the enclosure.

We are not set up to house critters – not even a pet cage – so keeping it was not an option. The friendly bat rescue lady in Rising Sun was as surprised as we were that the bat had surfaced in our home and suggested it could survive outside as that’s where it must have come from.

So, with warm encouragement, we put it out and set it free. Here’s hoping it finds appropriate shelter tonight.

New critter – arrrgh!

Well, this definitely must be the year of the critter.

There have been multitudinous amounts of mozzies (Australian slang for mosquitoes – more on that in a later post!), a forlorn baby dear that sounded just like a human baby crying, the previously blogged about spa mice and now….

Notice the strange 'stick' in the window???
Notice the strange ‘stick’ in the window???
Look closer at the bottom of the open window and/or the top - anything not a window frame???
Look closer at the bottom of the open window and/or the top – anything not a window frame???












… a rat snake pressed up against the screen in the kitchen window above the sink!  Had my back to the window for about 30 minutes while I ate lunch and checked email yesterday. When I put my dish in the sink I noticed that thick thing sort of falling out of the frame and thought how odd that the weather stripping was so thick… and then I realized what it was! (Sorry the pictures are not so clear, but trust me, the snake was there!)

Our ever-so-helpful neighbor came over to inspect this newest ‘pet’ and was able to prod it out of its comfort zone and down off the deck. Have to admit, I kept scanning all surfaces for snake signs the rest of the day!

Really, I’m glad to know there is a snake around to hopefully take care of the mice, but I’ve never seen a mouse anywhere near the window frame and definitely not near the kitchen sink so I have no idea what smell brought it to that spot.

Sure hope that is the last of our critter escapades this summer! Love living in the country, but sometimes it gets a bit more intimate than I appreciate.


All sorts of exciting stuff happening here!

– Spent the weekend with some fabulous gals from the Weavers Guild of Greater Cincinnati at their annual fiber retreat in Oldenburg (Srs of St Francis convent Center – special place!) and wound up with some great rusted clothing!

– Hubby scored two of the last tickets to hear Carmon DeLeone and his New Studio Big Band this coming Thursday at The Carnegie in Covington!

– I have a stack of close to 60 sheets of really nice palm papers from last week’s efforts – with lots more palm pulp in the freezer – that I am confident will work well for stationery!

– Got accepted into the Boutique and Fashion Show that happens in Cleveland on Sunday, Oct. 20 this year!

– Completed my first reconstructed garment for this year’s sales from a knit shirt and two t-shirts – used all but one sleeve in the making of a dress with pockets! (Just hope there is a tall skinny woman out there who is looking for a cool, green dress!)

– And the most exciting thing is we were asked today if we would have oldest grandson, Sebastian, stay at our house for the 4th of July weekend as his parents attend a wedding out of state! This will be Seb’s first visit to his grandparents home, first time to visit with some of the cousins in this area, first extended stay away from mom and dad. There is an ulterior motive on their part: hoping to ease the ending of Seb’s dependence on his momma’s milk. He is almost 21 months old and has been drinking out of cups for a long time – just likes his mom a lot! With her going back to work – some nights – not nursing would be a big step for all of them. ITMT, we’ll need to do some childproofing before he comes. Can’t wait!!!!!

Score one for me!

I need to give a big shout out to my friend Linda who shared a tip for keeping mice away: smelly dryer sheets! Apparently they don’t like the strong odor.

With high expectation and mild reservations, I draped dryer sheets along the edge of the tub where the mice seemed to be getting in. Then waited overnight…

Now, I have to be up front here. The dryer sheets I normally use are unscented ones – I don’t smell things very well and I know of folks who have trouble with heavy scents, so I just go without. In fact, I haven’t even used a dryer sheet in so long, I almost forgot they were there. When hubby reminded me of the non-scent variety that we have on hand, I rushed out to the local grocery in search of the worst smell I could find.

And the grocery has just “Spring Rain”, “Spring Flowers” and “Mountain Mist” on hand. Not even a regular scent. My heart sank as I tried to figure out which lovely outdoor smell would deter a mouse – it would likely love them all! In the end “Spring Flowers” won out. Fingers crossed it would be overpowering to a mouse.

When I saw two of the sheets on the deck floor peeking out from the tub cover skirting, I figured I had lost this skirmish. But NO! When the cover was raised, ever so carefully, not a mouse was in sight and no extra floating islands appeared!  Hurray!

Gonna give it a couple more days to see how effective the sheets stay. Hope to reclaim the hot tub for my own use by the weekend!